the rise of the rest…

Recent conversations with friends have revived an old political musing. I had trouble coming up with a title for this post because I didn’t want to imitate The Economist, but, the rise of the rest seemed most fitting since this post is about globalization.

Last fall, I had the opportunity to hear Fareed Zakaria speak–it was a thoroughly invigorating experience. His discussion focused on the new world order, and his latest book, The The Post American World.  All of it touches on something I’m particularly interested in–the impact of globalization.

Globalization is, in many ways, the very fabric of modern society.

Just think of all of the imported products we possess and the impact that those imported goods, services, and ideas have on our society. Furthermore, the recent events of the U.S. credit ratings reflect how just interconnected we (as a superpower) really are to other countries in the world, don’t they? It was evident that the U.S. market was heavily impacted by the decisions of the EU.

So …why does the world economy matter to me?

Well, I think its stories such as this one that really hits home–it’s really the poor and disadvantaged that are affected the most. No, I do not have a solid foundation in economics but, it is clear that anything remotely close to non-interventionism would not be favorable in today’s society (due to globalization). It is in our best interest to maintain diplomatic ties with other nations.

In addition, I think foreign diplomacy and policies are often overlooked in primary elections (but maybe it’s just me). It cannot be emphasized enough that relationships with other nations are important. The only problem is, how to raise awareness of its importance? I have very limited understanding of it the importance of international affairs in the early part of college and was only exposed to global issues and geopolitics because I pursued social justice and human rights. There is just so much theory that goes into diplomacy that even I do not feel qualified to explain, so how is anyone suppose make judgements on varying candidate platforms?

During the informal forum last fall, Zakaria poignantly noted the arrogant attitude of the U.S. toward others.  When leaders of other nations visit our country, we give them a time allotment and fit them into our hectic schedules. Yet, our visits to their countries are often welcomed with such pomp. This should not be so. We need to be awakened to the reality that other countries are rising up to meet the challenge and we should receive them in a manner we wish (or expect) to receive. There are many other examples and situations cited by Zakaria that emphasize the new world order, I wish I could recall them! The only thing I still recall is this statement: “The strength of a democracy rests in the judiciary system.” The strength of a democracy in relation to The Future of Freedom are things that occupy my thoughts from time to time. There are countless essays and articles that attempt to capture the very breadth and meaning of freedom (in terms of democracy). It is rather complex and abstract, looks differently to persons of varying cultures and socioeconomic background.

Generally speaking, my political musings are often accompanied by the Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong’s version of ‘Let’s call the whole thing off’!

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10 thoughts on “the rise of the rest…

  1. I think the definition of “non-interventionism” in that link is incorrect. “Non-interventionism” does not equate to “isolationism” in my view. I think “non-interventionism” just means as a country that you don’t meddle in the internal affairs, emphasis on “internal”. You can have good relations, and arguably, better relations with foreign countries without tinkering with the internal affairs of their country – that is their sovereign domain – that doesn’t mean you are completely isolated from the world. Might be semantics, yes, but I think there is some misunderstanding regarding Ron Paul being an “non-interventionist” – he doesn’t mean “isolationist”

    • The link does not equate the two terms. If you look in the second paragraph, it states that they are different. The term “isolationism” is in quotes in the first sentence and the author goes on to say that it is inappropriate, “Traditional American non-interventionism was combined with advocacy of free international trade and the free movement of people, which is why the term “isolationism” was inappropriate.” They are definitely not the same thing. The objective of diplomacy is never to “meddle with internal affairs” of other nations–each country has their own sovereignty rights. However, our pre-emptive attack and current involvement with the middle-east make a non-interventionist approach not pragmatic. Non-interventionism is great in theory, every country minds their own business– but there are instances that call for intervention (i.e. human rights atrocities). I’m no expert on the two theories, but I have not come across any non-interventionist material that states that they would intervene under certain circumstances, have you? The term used in a philosophical context but I haven’t come across any pragmatic responses to the foreign policies in place or to ethical issues.

      • I’m sorry, I admit I didn’t read that thoroughly. You’re right, it doesn’t equate the two.

        Still, it seems to me that non-interventionism isn’t so stand-off-ish with other countries as it is made out to be. Maybe I am wrong.

        Also, under current foreign policy, which I think we agree is far from non-interventionist, has not and still does not do much of anything to intervene in human rights atrocities. The US and the UN didn’t seem to do much in Darfur, or some of the other recent affairs that most agreed were human rights atrocities. In my view, “non-interventionist” would at least stand about the same as the current policy on human rights atrocities, it would just seek to end all the unneeded manipulation and control we exercise in and over other countries – overthrowing governments and installing dictators we control, for example (in Egypt, in Iran in the 50s, etc.)

  2. Diplomacy is more than being on friendly terms with other nations, it is founded on much theory. I’m not sure that I comprehend it all, but I know that the issue is not about stand-off-ish-ness. It’s about the philosophical principle behind non-interventionism (what pragmatic solutions do they have?).

    There are many political and bureaucratic barriers that prevent effective intervention as it is. While current policies, charters, and treaties may not be effectively intervening, empowering a non-interventionist model would only exacerbate the problems.

    • Yeah, I can understand that concern. To be honest I don’t know what the pragmatic solutions are with any foreign policy philosophy, I wish I knew more about it. Seems like encouraging trade and cooperation are the big things.

      As far as “non-interventionism”, I like the bad that it keeps us from (nation building, preemptive strikes, etc.), I don’t have a good handle on what good it keeps us from. I can see how it could keep us a little too much on the back foot, instead of being proactive about foreign relations. That probably would be a negative. Though I think I would be happy to lose a little bit of that if it serves to lose the nation building, preemptive strikes, military bases in 130+ countries, and all that stuff.

  3. When you think about the “future of our freedom” I am curious to know how you would define freedom. :) This may seem like an obvious answer, but I promise I’m going somewhere with it…

  4. Theoretically, I believe that a government should have good relations with its neighbors, and in fact give generously to those neighbors in need. I believe a Christ-like model is appropriate, even at this highest level of governmental power.

    So whatever you want to call that philosophy is up to you. It really doesn’t matter because, realistically, no governmental person’s beliefs ever equal a particular classification (non-interventionism, diplomacy, isolationism, etc.), and their actions stray even further from adhering to whatever classification they would claim to be.

    Therefore, I would agree with Greg when he said: “As far as “non-interventionism”, I like the bad that it keeps us from (nation building, preemptive strikes, etc.), I don’t have a good handle on what good it keeps us from. I can see how it could keep us a little too much on the back foot, instead of being proactive about foreign relations. That probably would be a negative. Though I think I would be happy to lose a little bit of that if it serves to lose the nation building, preemptive strikes, military bases in 130+ countries, and all that stuff.”

    I guess my question is, Amyie, do you have a suggestion for somebody to vote for, whose actions embody some better classification of diplomacy, or do you just not like the theoretical problems that arise with somebody saying that they’re “non-interventionist?”

    My thoughts are based on your comments from this page and I do not at this point endorse any political campaign. Consider me a mediator of your thoughts as I’ve understood them.

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