But Americans are a restless people who are always ready to move. So, although they enjoy the life in the suburbs, they will by no means end their pursuit there. When his income rises as his career makes progress, he soon looks for a better house, in a better district, with more land, a better view, a bigger and finer swimming pool. He may be attached to the house which is home for the time being but this does not mean that he will put his roots there. Today’s job, today’s income, today’s friends and neighborhood: all these are part of an American’s (and his family’s) identity. Instant coffee, instant friends—but nothing is seen as permanent; an American hopes and expects to exchange them all for something better; and he finds no difficulty in identifying himself with the new.
The UN General Assembly, the central political forum, is composed of 193 members, including virtually all the world’s nation-states. Two thirds of its members are developing countries, which account for about three-quarters of the world’s population.
Reaching decisions is difficult, especially since all agreements by custom must be reached by consensus. As a result, important agreements are often held hostage by narrow special interests, and most agreements are reached only by reducing them to their lowest common denominators. But the real question is whether the major countries of the world will allow democracy to function at the highest level.
The Security Council, which is responsible for peace and security, deals with issues of the greatest political importance. The Council has only 15 members so it can meet frequently and deal with crises. Once impotence due to Cold War rivalries, it has regained much of the authority accorded by the UN charter.