The Retreat From RealismrnThe United Nations vs. America’s National Interestsrnby William R. HawkinsrnThe essence of conservatism is realism. Conservatives properlyrnstudy the bloody lessons of history and recognize thernambiguous temper of human nature. They reject the grandrnbut unworkable schemes for radical reform proposed by the socialistrnleft. They favor local and state programs over federalrnones, because they fear that the plans of a distant Washingtonrnwill be too abstract for parochial community needs. By extension,rnthe notion of a world government is even more fanciful.rnEver since the first modern multilateral congress of powersrngathered at Miinster and Osnabriick in 1648 to draw up thernPeace of Westphalia, schemes for a “New World Order” havernbeen hatched at the end of every major conflict. WilliamrnPenn, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham,rnand James Mill are among the many who have tried theirrnhand at such plans. All have failed. And while enlightenedrnthinkers have played the parlor game of peace-mongering, thernduty has fallen to conservatives to keep a wary eye on the inventoryrnof powder and shot.rnAt the turn of the last century hope was invested in thernPermanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. The GreatrnPowers held conferences in 1899 and 1907 to discuss armsrncontrol and dispute resolution. However, a third meetingrnscheduled for 1915 had to be canceled . . . due to the outbreakrnof World War I.rnPresident Woodrow Wilson then took his turn as championrnof a new order. His Fourteen Points and proposal for a Leaguernof Nations owed much to the thinking of British leftists. ThernWilliam R. Hawkins is president of the Hamilton Center forrnNational Strategy in Knoxville, Tennessee.rnFabian socialist H.G. Wells was the first to coin the phrase “ThernWar That Will End War,” using it as the title for an essay in Augustrn1914. Wells urged, “Let us replan society as we mean it tornbe constructed. Now is the opportunity to do fundamentalrnthings that will otherwise not get done for hundreds of years.”rnAmong his proposals was to “set up a Peace League that willrncontrol the globe.” The destruction of the “reactionary” autocraciesrnof Cermany, Austro-Hungary, and Russia broughtrnhope that the remaining Great Powers would cooperate in arndemocratic system based on international law, general disarmament,rnand free trade. Wilson’s utopianism was rejected onrnthe home front, and the United States did not join the league.rnMen like Senator Henry Cabot Lodge who opposed Wilsonrndid so not because they were isolationists but because they werernrealists and nationalists. Lodge had long been a proponent ofrnAmerican overseas expansion. What was rejected was anyrndiminution of American sovereignty or military strength andrnthe restrictions on America’s freedom of action that the leaguernseemed to entail.rnYet the United States did participate in other interwar diplomaticrnefforts compatible with the Wilsonian vision. Secretaryrnof State Frank Kellogg cosponsored the Kellogg-Briand Pact ofrn1928, which “outlawed” war. All the major powers that foughtrnin World War II had signed this agreement, pledging to “condemnrnrecourse to war for the solution of international controversiesrnand renounce it as an instrument of national policy.”rnAfter Worid War II, the United Nations was establishedrnwith a Security Council dominated by the major victoriousrnpowers: the United States, England, France, China, and the SovietrnUnion. President Franklin Roosevelt spoke openly of thernMARCH 1994/27rnrnrn