(Re)Thinking International Law

This is the Collector from the Darkest Dungeon. He really is an asshole.

I’ve tried writing this post several times, but international law is so. Fucking. Boring.

The consequences aren’t. They make for great film, TV, and books. Think about how much money the Second World War has generated for Hollywood. Everyone wants to be the hero that jumps in and stops a genocide. To stop one, someone else has to start it.

And international issues are hard to see. If you can’t pronounce “Rohingya,” you can’t tell your friends about them. Plus, people have a lot on their plates. Here in the States, too many people are just trying to get a meal for their kids and maybe keep the power on at night. It’s hard to care about the starving kids in Venezuela when your own kids are starving in the next room.

Here’s the really shitty thing. If we as a species did something about war, for example. Like, if we not only made it illegal, but we could enforce it so nobody would even dream of arming a military, it would have some drastic effects. Global military spending hit $18 trillion last year. Imagine what $18 trillion would look like if we spent it on something peace related.

Have that awesome thing in mind?

That’s what having decent international law should do for us all. Whatever idea in your head. And your friend’s. $18 trillion should cover your other friend’s idea too.

So the next time you see some country parading around in tanks and planes, ask yourself if your peacetime idea would be cooler than whatever they’re doing. Because it probably is.

8 thoughts on “(Re)Thinking International Law

  1. $1 billion for one bomber (B2) is obscene. The B21 (which the US wants 100) is apparently so expensive the congressional oversight bodies haven’t even gotten a figure yet. There’s even a word for it: “Sticker shock”

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  2. Having decent international law is what smaller nations dream about, but it appears to me the desire for such laws is inversely proportional the wealth and power of a nation. The US would be a good example.

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    • It’s the same way for individuals as countries. More power equals less desire to have it constrained. But this happens for every country at the head of the table. You could switch things around, and on a long enough timeline, any country could discover a penchant for doing whatever it wants.


  3. There is international law. The hard thing about it, is how to get Russia, the US, China, or any country with any military power to honour it. It is interresting, how for example the worst tin foil hat conspiracytheorists in the US have for decades been affraid of the UN peace keeping forces as some sort of enemies of liberties. As if the UN troops were the enemies of regular US citizens????

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