November 04, 2004

SelectSmart Politics Selectors

Scroll to the bottom one: FOREIGN POLICY PHILOSOPHY SELECTOR. I wrote that one maybe a few weeks or a month ago. I guess SelectSmart is getting desperate if they'll actually post my stuff.

Anyway, if anyone reading takes this, then by all means post your results. Here are mine:

#1 Liberal
Emphasis on freedom, markets, democracy; free democratic states are good and fair, but autocratic states are immoral. We must push for democratization and liberalization around the world using open trade and international organizations: all people should be free. Wilson, Reagan, Kant, Shultz.

#2 Neoliberal
Emphasis on cooperation, consensus, free trade; cooperative, democratic states are more advantageous than rogue autocracies. To secure our own borders, we should make sure other countries are democratic, free-trading, and participate in international organizations: a much more pragmatic version of Liberal. Clinton, Fukuyama, Marshall.

#3 Libertarian
Emphasis on defense, small government, vital interests; states by and large don't attack you if you don't attack them. Governments should have little or no relations with each other as open commerce and mutual respect can maintain peace in most (or all) situations, only attack them when they attack us. Badnarik, Rothbard.

#4 Neoconservative
Emphasis on civilizations, democracy, strength; states act through civilizational and cultural means for their own advancement. We must spread democratic institutions and markets to other countries, but also include a very strong military establishment, democracy is a tool of diplomacy and war, ultimately democracies will side with us and we must side with them, although some of our allies may be non-democratic. Bush-43, Kristol, Wolfowitz.

#5 Radical
Emphasis on social justice, cooperation, democracy; the best states are peaceful and democratic, as well as moderately egalitarian. We must stop attacking countries for oil and focus on larger threats; beating up little countries that never hurt anyone is a grave threat to spreading democracy. Basically Neoliberal with a dash of Marxist. Dean, Gore.

#6 Pacifist
Emphasis on violence, injustice, war; states spread war, disease and famine. We must encourage an end to all violence, dismantling of al nuclear stockpiles, and eliminate the causes of division, conflict and violence, perhaps including capitalism or business. Thoreau, Tolstoy.

#7 Realist
Emphasis on power, strength, realpolitik; all states are aggressive and warlike and any chance to improve relative strength will be seized. We must judge our interests and do whatever is necessary to advance them, lest our country be destroyed. Nixon, Morgenthau, Kissinger!

#8 Neorealist
Emphasis on power, certainty, stability; states wish to be at peace but the world is unstable and uncertain, so they have to prepare for war to avoid destruction. We must be strong where it is warranted, but military reductions are the default, and arms control agreements can secure some stability. Bush-41, Waltz, Rice.

#9 Marxist
Emphasis on socialism, exploitation, racism; capitalist countries are either false democracies or outright fascist states, socialist countries are more just (or at least less dangerous). Capitalism and racism are evil institutions spreading Western hegemony and propping up decadent empires, either historical processes or street protests (perhaps revolutions) will bring about more humane world. Trotsky, Molotov, Marx!

#10 Nationalist
Emphasis on self-determination, ethnicity, bigotry; large states oppress and slaughter ethnic/national minorities. We, as an aspiring country, must use any means necessary to (re)establish our homeland, even as racists and imperialists. Though normally a broader group, this variant is the violent nationalist, sometimes (but not always!) creeping into terrorism. Arafat, Ceku, Adams.


Yep, I'm a liberal in foreign policy - but don't thinkt hat means Democrat. Most Democrats have no real foreign policy philosophy, just a mishmash of collected oppositions, reactionary feelings and garbled classical liberalism. Most Republicans tend to be realists or neorealists, but there are a number of neoconservatives and even some liberals/neoliberals there. Neoliberalism is more popular in the GOP than the Democrats, but Clinton was a pretty big one whenever he actually did something in foreign policy.

The one thing I'd say is that I like neorealists better than realists. They were ranked lower for me because neorealists think that strong hegemons or leader states can increase the likelihood for peace, as in the Cold War, because each side controls its lesser allies and is so big it deters war. In other words, two big states are in charge and they're too scared of war to permit much of it.

I think that that causes tension and ignores major problems of the world. As a liberalist, I'd prefer to see a joint solution to address common issues of crime and to improve commercial ties. Of course, I don't much care for the UN (socialist, Jew-hating and corrupt) but in theory an international group-security body is a good idea. I think that war is a critical means for achieving liberal goals, though, when genocide or war is taking place - even if we're not the ones being killed or attacked.

A realist would not want the two-party conflict of the neorealists nor the cooperative emphasis of the liberalists - a realist would say that fluid alliances and shifting loyalties will balance out the world and make the landscape too murky to predict. Since it's too hard to know if you'll lose in the end, states will avoid war.

I think uncertainty brings war, which is why I dislike the realist argument. I also think that bilateral tensions are unstable and ignore the root cause of most war: lack of rights and lack of commercial access. Freedom and open trade are the solutions, and democracy is the indispensable key to maintaining both.

Anyway, hooray for me, I make a profit (not really, they have yet to mail me my millions of dollars in royalty checks) at the expense of SelectSmart's dignity. Post your scores.

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