These letters stand for the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and is an organization of the United Nations.
Since its inception in 1946 the UN has added to itself an impressive list of organizations. I have before me a list of eleven specialized agencies which were set up upon the basis of their own constitutions and brought into relation to the UN. They concern such affairs as labor, banking, agriculture, food, refugees, health, communications, postal system, and even meteorology.
To my mind the United Nations and the UNESCO are important organizations in our present world, which shall obtain a measure of success. They are born out of human idealism not only, but also out of the world situation with its global interests, dangers, and interdependence. Often the League of Nations is pointed to as a failure to which the United Nations is also doomed. It does show that ultimately all such fail, but it does not show that there is not a measure of advance in each one; the point of development to which each succeeding effort shall rise. From indications it seems to me t:hat already we can see how that the UN shall have greater success than the League. It carries within itself, however, the seeds of greater dissension and disruption, and its fall shall have great repercussions in the world if it is not displaced by another attempt of mankind to organize for security.
Among the organizations of the UN UNESCO is the most important it seems to me.
From Julian Huxley, the first chairman of the organization, (who committed suicide last year) we learn from his booklet about UNESCO that its aims are to serve the United Nations, that is be international, and secondly it must foster and promote all aspects of education, science, and culture in the widest sense of those words. He further explains that because of its internationalism it is debarred from accepting certain principles or philosophies. Among those he has in mind are, Islam, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Unitarianism, Judaism, and Hinduism. After mentioning other philosophical principles and outlooks from which UNESCO is debarred he mentions that finally it would be debarred from an exclusively or primarily other-worldly outlook. His proposal of a philosophy for UNESCO is an evolutionary humanism. In his conclusion he states that the single aim of UNESCO is to help the emergence of a single world culture. Although he realizes that there are two philosophies of life at present, that of East and West, individualism versus collectivism, he believes that these opposites can be reconciled.
Such an interpretation of the aims and program of UNESCO by one of its leaders is very revealing of the trend of our present world leadership of thought and action. All our present American life is connected with the ideology of the UN. Our labor organizations and political parties, our cultural life, and even our religious life will be drawn into its orbit. In 1952 UNESCO addressed an enquiry into the teaching of Philosophy to the national commissions of its cooperating countries to determine the influence of philosophy on the individual and society. This shows that it is progressing on action.
This idea of the UN is the age old attempt of mankind to preserve itself.
After the flood, early civilization sought security and renown in its tower, symbolizing collective security. Its boast that it would reach to heaven was meant with all the sinfulness of their self-will. Today the space ideas of modern man (Cf. the last Beacon Lights) are parallel.
The collective security of this Babel society was struck by the Lord in its most vital part, its language. Language is one medium of culture. That the Lord struck that medium signifies that he separated them in their cultural aims, the very vital part of their collective security. Ever since society has tried to recover from that wound and there was a healing from disunity. (Revelations 12).
Strangely enough its first attempt after Babel was its greatest as to its cultural unity, and glory. As to its force and power its greatness was not reached until the kingdom of Antichrist which would do wonders. (Compare the image in Daniel).
To a certain extent we can see the pattern in the UN and its important organization UNESCO. As UNESCO gives leadership to the UN its success will become more manifest, and its advice and “direction’’ will find its way to the educational and religious life in which the Christian finds himself called to bear witness to the kingdom of God.