UN, Stay Away from My Teeth.

At the moment, the United Nations is considering a treaty which would force dentists to stop using silver fillings because of the presence of a small amount of mercury in that amalgam. Now, the cause of silver fillings is not one close to my heart (though I’d point out that with about 122 million Americans having these fillings, they can’t be that dangerous), but the fact that the UN thinks that it has the power to regulate domestic industry is truly concerning. I do not want bureaucrats at a local level (who may well be my neighbors and friends) telling dentists how to treat my teeth, so I certainly am disturbed when an international-level organization tries to impose a one-size-fits-all regulation like this on the world. The United Nations was intended to be a diplomatic forum for the prevention of World War III, not a global government. The fact that the US, NATO, the former Soviet Union, China, and other nation-states, or alliances of nation-states, have been the arbiters of peace and war for the past sixty years proves that the UN has largely failed as a diplomatic entity. Now it feels threatened and sees the only way to justify its continued existence is to take up “feel-good” causes that should sometimes be in the control of local and national officials, or, more often, be controlled by the individual.
Whether or not it’s a “good idea” to have dentists switch to a different kind of filling should be left to the market. If it were ever to be proven dangerous, demand for these fillings would plummet and dentists would be forced to switch fillings. That is how it is supposed to work. An informed populace creates demand for certain products and the market takes care of the rest. When bureaucrats in government or international organizations issue top-down orders and mandates in place of market demands, they do more harm than good.
A perfect example of this is the UN’s humanitarian missions in poverty-stricken Third World nations, which may be plagued by tribal warlords and destructive civil infighting. Giving food to a starving populace in impoverished states is undoubtedly a “feel-good” cause. It also provides the implied argument for the continuation of the UN that without these missions everyone in these nations would starve. The problem is that, while the intentions are clearly noble, the effect is that the people now depend on the UN as a food source instead of looking to change their governments to allow for more prosperity and freedoms. Allowing more liberty would enable these nations to buy, raise, or grow their own food.
Now, before I’m called heartless and told that I want all Third World children to starve, listen to what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that there is no place for humanitarianism. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing to have people starving. And I’m not saying that the changes in government for the afflicted nations would be an easy process. What I am saying is that it is the place of private charities and churches to do humanitarian missions, not governments and international organizations, and I’m also saying that the only sustainable, long-term solution for countries that need humanitarian aid right now, is more freedom. Further, the only way to have a sustainable and free state in the long term is to have the people under the currently oppressive state’s control demand their freedoms. These freedoms cannot be handed to them or imposed on them by the UN or any other foreign entity if they are going to last. So, as difficult as it may be in the short term to see such hardship, it is not the place of the UN or of foreign governments to decide another nation’s fate; in fact, doing so hinders the native population’s motivation to improve their lot on their own.

4 comments

    1. That's productive… Don't address the arguments; don't make an actual point. Just insult someone who disagrees with you. The fact is that as a diplomatic entity, the UN is a failure, and it was set up to be a diplomatic entity. No real peace is brokered or sustained by the UN. Peace has been made and kept by nations acting independent of the UN. When the UN tried to broker peace between Israel and her arab neighbors, war kept breaking out. When the US mediated between Israel and Egypt at Camp David, the region became more peacful. It's still not perfect, but it is certainly not a large-scale invasion each decade.The UN gives its seal of approval after nations like the US or alliances like NATO do the heavy lifting. Its only claim to success is its ability to get food to the hungry, but, as just laid out, that is not a good role for a international political organization to have nor is it helpful long-term.

  1. ^You don't have to be rude with your comments. At least be productive and constructive. I agree with you that the statement was harsh, but I can say so without offending the author.

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