Not that there weren’t attempts to create such an order. There were three tries in the past century. The first came after the end of World War I. Europe was horrified by what it had done to itself. The United States introduced the idea of a League of Nations that would manage international friction to prevent future self-destructive efforts. Except no nation was prepared to surrender its interests to an international organization, and in any case the organization had no real power to impose its will. The United States turned out to be the most honest among all nations in this regard, declining to join it in spite of the fact that its architect was the American president, Woodrow Wilson. Other nations joined; joining was easy, since none of them had any intention of obeying the league’s edicts anyway. What made the entire idea absurd was that most of the members were imperial powers with colonies, and their interest was in creating “norms, rules and institutions” for ruling and exploiting those colonies. The League of Nations was primarily but not exclusively a European club, and it lasted only as long as it took European powers who opposed the post-war peace to recover and reassert themselves.

I can hear my 9th grade social studies teacher cursing from a thousand miles away.

posted 487 days ago