Opinion column by Aubrey Herbert (pseudonym for Murray Rothbard), published in Faith and Freedom, Volume VI, Number 1, September 1954, pp. 8-9

Along Pennsylvania Avenue - Aubrey Herbert

The United Nations, born amidst high and ballyhoo, is within a year of its tenth anniversary. The organization chartered itself in June of 1945 at the very crest of World War II. Noble, "peace-loving" allies bound themselves to continue, in peace, the cooperation that had netted them such gains in war.

Opposition to the UN at that time was taken to be admission of crackpottedness or wicked "isolationism," if not lurking Nazi sympathy. Who could be so sinful as to oppose international cooperation for "social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom"?

Disillusionment with the UN, of course, has gradually changed the old climate of opinion to such an extent that calls for withdrawal from it have finally been heard even from the lips of important public officials. But sentiment for outright withdrawal is still highly scattered, and in Congress seems confined to a few gentlemen like Representative Usher Burdick of North Dakota. (Burdick valiantly introduced a bill for withdrawal only to have it die in committee without hearings.)

The If Sentiment

The more popular sentiment for withdrawal is the merely conditional one—that we withdraw if Communist China is admitted: this sentiment has been endorsed by such high sources as the majority and minority leaders of the Senate. No doubt they feel they have the backing of the American voting public.

Ibsen, however, used to say that when the masses hit on a correct policy, they tend to do so for the wrong reasons. Indeed, note the faulty reasoning behind the present popular sentiment for withdrawal.

For, if the UN is a worthy and useful organization, how would admission of the actual government of China (to the seat reserved for China's actual government) change the organization so drastically as to justify leaving it. On the other hand, if the organization itself is an evil one, it would seem obvious that we should leave immediately.

Let us suppose, for a moment that the UN is a good and useful organization. In that case, why should advocates of the UN balk at the admission of Communist China? The UN Charter says the Chinese government is one of the permanent members of the Security Council. And like it or not, the Communist regime is the Chinese government.

It would be only simple recognition of reality for the UN to replace Chiang with the Mao government. To state this is not to be pro-Communist but to be pro-common sense; if the positions were reversed and Chiang were once more triumphantly established in Nanking, then the same principle would of course apply and his representatives would be seated again.

The UN Must Be a Power Center

Indeed, it is hard to see how a UN can be operated differently. It must compose itself of the governments actually in power; otherwise it might become only a discussion center for exiles, instead of being a genuine international organization.

Let us pose a few questions to those who would fend off the Chinese government: Are the Chinese Communists wicked, and therefore not fit to sit down with decent people in the same room? What, then, have we been doing for ten years in the same organization with a vast number of other wicked Communists, including Russians and Byelorussians and Ukrainians and so on?

The only other argument seems to be that the Chinese have committed "aggression," and "must purge themselves of it" before being admitted. But how are they supposed to go about "purging themselves"? No State Department official has ever told them what specific purgative steps they must take.

The "aggression" charge, moreover, comes with ill grace. No one has ever adequately defined this term or used it so as to make sense. If "aggression" is the touchstone of evil, then some may rightly ask: when has the United States "purged itself" of its own "aggression" against the French during World War II (the North African landing, the invasion of Southern France, etc.)? Compared to this, the alleged aggression of the Chinese Communists might be considered quite tenuous.

Before Chinese entered the Korean War, UN armies had crossed the border into North Korea and "aggressed" against it. Seeing their own border threatened, the Chinese Communists finally entered the fray. Whether or not protection of their border was their real motivation, it is difficult for us to charge otherwise. In short—from a technical point of view of "aggression," the Chinese Communists do not have a uniquely sinful record.

An Elusive Point

The important question concerning the UN, then, is not whether we can high-pressure the other nations into blocking Communist China's admission for another few years. The important question is the value of the UN itself as a force for good or evil.

Here even the advocates of immediate withdrawal have tended to miss the central point. Too many of them are against the UN because it is a nest of Communist spies, because Russia is in the organization, because Alger Hiss presided at its birth, because its flag bears a resemblance to the Red Army flag. All these things are true, and they are bad enough, but they are not the fundamental grounds for opposition to the UN.

For the UN might be even more dangerous to America if it had no Communist affiliates in its membership! It might be more dangerous because with the Communists out, the organization could work its aims much more quietly and effectively, provoking far less opposition in this country.

To realize the true danger of the UN, take another look at what the Communists promote. Their communism is simply a brand of socialism. There can be laborite socialism, militarist socialism, theocratic socialism, etc.; with each group bitterly opposed to rule by the others.

Communism is simply one of these Socialist brands, and it is evil not because it is laborite, or because it is ill-mannered, or because it is pledged to amorality. It is evil basically because it is Socialist, i.e. because it believes in wielding the power of the state to dictate the lives and fortunes of the people. And this, no less, is the final aim of the UN.

The UN is a conglomeration of Socialist nations. Largely because they are Socialist they are also impoverished, and therefore casting greedy eyes on the United States, a relatively free island of wealth and civilization in this hungry world.

Objective: Seduction

Their objective is to seduce the United States into a world superstate born of the UN. When this day occurs, they will no longer have to beg alms from us, all the while hating our wealth and our enterprise. They will be able to use their heavy majority to drain us of our lifeblood and to use our precious capital to finance their Socialist schemes.

The UN itself is simply the long first step toward the destruction of the American Republic and the great American dream of happiness through freedom. All of the UN's efforts, by its numerous commissions, its Economic and Social Council, UNESCO, etc., point clearly in this direction. How long after the American becomes a "world citizen" before he must pay the brunt of a destructively "progressive" world income tax?

The tragedy of the conservative internationalists is that they believe the UN is an organization limited to the punishment of evil-doers. Our high-pressuring of the UN into sanctioning American "police action" in Korea was an example of this belief.

But our allies have justifiably wearied of such fighting and know that they face a far more powerful enemy this time. They are eager to prevent their productive means from becoming bomb-fodder: they would prefer to devote themselves full time to the far more profitable business of trying to lead the American Republic to a slaughterhouse on the East River.