Thinking about the world of order

Patrick Porter The false promise of free order: nostalgia, delusions and the rise of Trump (Polity Press, 2020)

1985, historian William H ·William H. McNeil wrote this article to challenge historical ideas and it is a means to avoid past mistakes. McNeil believes that the study of history is imperfect. Its true meaning is to provide "collective memory" for humans. Without it, the states will be deprived of the "best practice guide". McNeil believes that we cannot use history to avoid past mistakes, because historical events occur in different ways and are isolated over time. What history can provide, in addition to being an important part of our identity (just like memory), can also "make us more wise in public choices and more humane in private life." In other words, history is "practical wisdom", a clever environment that explores how to deal with "self and others".

I taught this concept on the first day of class. The facts are important. But what historians do with facts makes history interesting and useful. Historians are inventors. They collect information, then synthesize and reclassify it into a coherent file package to provide a new understanding of the past.

Another question I asked my students was, "When does history happen?" The common answer is "past". But this is not the correct answer. Historians will write history in history. To be sure, no one has written about the occurrence and impact of the event, but our consciousness is empty, and the historian cannot understand what happened and reveal the unknown. A tree may fall in the woods, forcing travelers to build new paths. However, if the historian chooses not to write the fallen tree, we will never fully understand why this path exists, or even no one at all.

Just like history, the field of international relations has also invented traditions, which are the result of finding new meanings from the past. For example, realism is a response to the violence of the 20th century, but it has ideological origins in both classic and Renaissance writings. Suddenly, when people like Thucydides appear to create wise foreign policy, this method is based on critical thinking rather than sentimentalism. Hans Morgenthau was regarded by some as the godfather of realism. He placed himself in this imaginary legacy and advocated power in Inter-State Politics the most The "balance" between powerful countries was the key to post-war international stability in World War II. On the other hand, the efforts made by the United States to establish post-war international institutions are a return to the "ethics of tribes, crusades, and religious wars."

In response, the sociologist Frank Tannenbaum observed in 1952 that “those who persuaded our people to abandon their humanitarian and peaceful traditions and frankly adopted the political doctrine of power and the balance of power as diplomacy The people on the basis of the policy have sparked a debate about the nature and purpose of American foreign policy." Tannenbaum declared that this method is "not scientific."

Tannenbaum was dissatisfied with American moral character. In 1946, Tannenbaum published "Subordination and Citizenship" which is an intellectual bomb directed against American exceptionalism. According to Tannenbaum, slavery heritage in North America is worse than slavery in South America, because the former has a colonial heritage and returns to skin color. People with darker skin are considered to have no “moral character”. As a result, even after the liberation of the law, the United States still has a lot of work to do to resolve its ethnic relations. Tannenbaum wrote: "Law and traditional practices make social mobility easy and natural in one place, but difficult, slow, and painful in another."

In this way, there is a Dr. Jekyll and a people. After 1945, Hyde's quality leaned toward the United States. American policymakers have tried to build their own achievements abroad that have not yet been achieved at home: a society that recognizes human dignity. In a letter to Congress, Truman said: "We believe in human dignity. We believe he was created in the image of the father of all of us," Reagan warned in his second inauguration speech: "Someone in the world laughs at us. The view of human dignity and freedom is the foundation of the American Cold War. The war strategy is not the containment of the Soviet Union, but a "free world" view of competition based on liberal precepts. It is from the best aspect of the American spirit (freedom for all , Equality and justice) are conceptualized and have been labeled as “free world order.” In short, this is a product of desire-historical imagination. Historians who cite it today are fulfilling their role as public wisdom The role of the inventor.

Imperialism and Order

Another scholar, Patrick Porter, wants to reshape the free world order. His new book The Falseness of Free Order Promise is a debate on historicism, which is an act of ordering the concept of history. Specifically, he targets those who will exercise hegemony according to the “United States [since 1945] instead of imperialism; it oversees the transformation of “world history” , Where rules on sovereignty, human rights, and free trade dominate and define the international system;

Porter is the modern version of Zosimus Historicus, which can be said to be the first to record substantially the decline of Rome Historian. He is describing the end of a great age-defining power-an America that seems to have lost its reputation and power after the war. Since Donald Trump became a strong contender for the presidency, experts have been vigilant of his foreign policy warnings during a critical transition period during which conflicts between major powers will return after a long absence. According to Kori Schake: "It is clear that the leaders of the free world want to destroy 70-year-old alliances, trade relations and international institutions led by the United States." Like Zosimus, Porter is in On the verge of this collapse of hegemony. The Greek pagan Zosimus of Constantinople-the eastern division of the Roman Empire, has continued for another thousand years under the identity of Rome-and has been looking for close outsiders in the Western Empire. Porter was born in Australia and now lives in the United Kingdom. He shares a similar space with the beneficiaries of American hegemony and has a vested interest in his future. The two authors have a lot in common: they both believe that the decline of hegemonism is before it is widely accepted, and that it is an illusion to try to recapture the past.

Porter presented an inclusive challenge at the beginning of the book: "If you share these questions [about the liberal world order]please continue reading. If you are a believer and are already angry, let me try to persuade you with a spirit of tolerance "Despite this, my impression is that Porter sees historical writing as a zero-sum contest rather than an eternal dialogue. For example, he labeled his competitors, believers who believed in the existence of a free world order since 1945, as "panegyrics". In view of the fact that Edward Gibbon, an 18th-century British Roman aging chronicler, identified flooded literature (deceptive writing) as one of the reasons for the decline of Rome, mainly because these types of accounts are cited as "depreciating…sexual intercourse" The proud story stifles honest political debate. Gibbon uses Zosimus as a foil for pantothenic drugs. However, gibbons also seek to strike a balance between the former's pessimistic bias against Christian leaders and the latter's unfettered praise.

Porter’s main attack on the existing claims of the liberal world order was that they wore poorly dynasty (if not imperialist) language. For Porter, the free world order is a project under American rule: "The free order has a free tension… Freedom expansion is a missionary project designed to eliminate competitors' substitutes."

But Porter attacked 'S works are not the history of academic works. They are current affairs books, written by former US officials or national security figures, with a clear purpose of promoting US interests. Sometimes, Porter pushed his debate too far, and fell into a conspiracy line similar to the anti-establishment rhetoric of Marxists and Trump:

But the discussion about the free order continues to spread. It has become a common language for Atlantic security level . This is the consistency and unity of their language, and their social networks are so close, although they are in the conference halls of Aspen, Davos, Munich, Harvard, Brookings Institution [ion] or the Committee on External Relations There are conferences, and there are revolving doors between think tanks, government, foundations, universities, and media comments. The coalition of those who demand the restoration of free order can be regarded as a class with its own dialect.

Although this feature of the US foreign policy agency has become

Porter’s main arguments can be summarized as follows: First, its main arguments can be summarized as: The liberals in the “free world order” are wrongly called . Second, if the United States abandons the liberal movement and begins to act like a major Machiavelli country, the future foreign status of the United States will greatly improve.

Indeed, as some scholars have pointed out, it should not be called the free world order, but should be called the free world order. The -1945 order was due to the existence of Soviet competition orders until 1991. But it is unclear whether Porter described command or empire in the overview of American hegemony since 1945. Sometimes he seems to confuse order with imperialism. The Ottoman Empire is the latter, but there is no former. Same as the Mughal dynasty in India. Nazi Germany is a revisionist country, trying to build its own empire. Porter defined the order as "a hierarchical system created by the strong to maintain their peace." However, the order means that the empire or hegemony has the ability to transcend national borders to achieve peace (or simply "their condition") and make it Stick to it. An empire only needs a metropolis established directly or indirectly on foreign territory. Although imperialism may always involve order, order does not necessarily involve imperialism.

Before the United States after 1945, there was an order led by Britain. The order was established at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. According to A.G. Hopkins, this can be categorized as an order, because the securitization of marine navigation in the United Kingdom has expanded "international trade" and fostered "a new generation of international elites." As a former second-rate force, the Queen Elizabeth era caused Spanish ships carrying gold and silver from the Americas to be in trouble, and it was hypocritical for London to declare marine piracy. But this is what the overlord did when ordering. As Porter said: "They allow themselves to choose among the rules in a way that does not tolerate others." Of course, Britain is also an empire that exercises formal and informal control over remote areas.

Porter admits that the United States is the "least overlord", but he quotes a recent book to declare the United States as a "spike Empire". Because of its network of military bases all over the world. This made his historical perspective a long-term continuum of historians who regarded the United States as an empire of denial. This school of thought is the basis of many points found in Porter's historical narrative, and it is not without critics. One of the critics thinks this is "Whig's reverse interpretation of history." It portrays US policy makers as "too rational" and leaves little room for "unexpected" historical results. These historical consequences are those historical accidents that American policy makers are only good at using the situation. In addition, it can be a "historical method of retreat", which means that it can explain the past according to the present, especially in the late 19th century, "converting almost completely lack of achievement into…". The unstoppable proof of imperialism. "However, Porter here also like Republican prefers republicanism, and the excessive expansion of hegemonism leads to the decline of observations.

Porter saw the contradiction in the order after 1945. Yes, the United States and Like the United Kingdom, it tried to establish an international system from the beginning to take advantage of all its economic advantages. It also intervened in the affairs of sovereign states. He was right to point out that the legal cynicism of American hegemonism can sometimes destroy order. But He concluded that American "liberalism is not very free." Therefore, it has no international system. Porter described the intersection of American liberalism goals and power reality. Just as Robert Kagan (Robert Kagan) observed: "Americans are certainly not ready for the moral complexity of exercising such powerful power. They have never reconciled their tragic reality, that even with the best reason, they cannot exercise power with clean hands.

Obviously, any future work involving the concept of command after 1945 will have a duality in dealing with American history. Porter correctly pointed out the many contradictions of the US’s claim to liberalism. From the beginning, the United States destroyed Race Relations: From Thomas Jefferson’s eloquent statement about the evil of slavery, he was refuge on the British land after the American Revolution by the final draft of the Declaration of Independence and George Washington’s slave Harry Washington in our own time , The brutal abuse of African Americans by the American police. But this process has already begun in the historical literature-the most famous is Jill Lepore’s latest work These truths : American history and The United States : State . Similarly, Porter was the target of Porter’s debate, and he bluntly pointed out the duality of the American system, he recently wrote: “White people Doctrine is never just a marginal phenomenon, and it is not today. "

and Ordering

Just like the 19th-century critic Zosimus described in his history of Roman decline as "a theme of common disjointness", Porter was free The historical narrative of the world order and the American hegemony that underpins it are single reasons. For him, the interpretation of all problems boils down to one problem: power. The United States wields too much and often bends it. Therefore, the United States The inconsistencies in power politics betrayed its claim to liberalism.

According to Porter, the United States is a hypocritical hegemonist (isn’t it everyone?). It has invested in a relationship with a liberal regime like Saudi Arabia , Which means that it betrays its liberal values ​​both abroad and at home. In the Middle East, it allows some dictators to be overthrown during the 2011 uprising while supporting other dictators. Porter believes that this is a double standard, revealing The dirty side of the American alliance network. However, Porter is in an unstable historical background here. The United States has little control over these incidents. Although according to his estimates, the United States "was abandoned or overthrew the dictator" (due to "support Its transformation"), but he fell into a fallacy that was too common in Middle Eastern studies: too much responsibility was assigned to American institutions, not enough power and decision-making power for local participants. And, when it came to the entire Middle East At times, the United States sometimes encountered effective security concerns. The failure of the political participation policy should be decoupled from the criticism of the post-1945 order itself to avoid empirical differences. Indeed, this is a historical, causal danger , Porter applied it extensively to the Cold War and its aftermath.

In addition, any problems in the 21st century are blamed on the order itself-the sleepy American Guard, or its total failure. The rise of China, the recovery of Russian foreign policy Even climate change has been described as the failure of a free world order, "crisis stems from itself.

However, now, this is a "Maccaville era," Potter claimed. Just like Florence in the 16th century, the United States is at a crossroads of destiny, watching the rising and driving forces around the world, and wondering how it can sustain "the survival of its institutions and the virtue of its citizens." If it is indeed the "Machiavelli Moment", whose Machiavelli – Bertrand Russell or Isaiah Berlin? The former considers Machiavelli to be the author of the “gangster manual”. But for Berlin, Machiavelli is "one of the creators of pluralism. For him, it is dangerous to accept tolerance." Berlin believes that Machiavelli's defense lawyers separate private values ​​from public practice. This is an unknown duality, thus opening up the "very liberal foundation that Machiavelli should have condemned, but it has no characteristics and lacks a dedicated power pursuit."

Berlin’s Machiavelli is very similar to Porter's ideal version of the United States-a country that will not let values ​​determine its policies. Porter hopes to have an American, limit its liberal movement to domestic order, and adopt a profit-driven strategy abroad. Then, the United States "can return to its original purpose to ensure its interests as a constitutional republic in a diverse world." Porter is not an isolationist. He hopes to see the United States "contain" China, indeed allow Asian hegemons to attack smaller countries in its region, and even allow its troops to be the end of the tripwire, and even willing to consider cooperation with Russia.

But what Porter essentially wants is a free world order 2.0. He spent most of his books condemning American ambitions and power, and finally called for the decay of hegemony, among other things, armed "Taiwan is enough to make it a 'hawk pig' to China." In addition, he envisioned the United States withdrawing from certain conflicts, especially in the Middle East, and empowering regional allies. Within Asia, "these efforts can only be carried out in cooperation with the alliance. The protective measures of the United States will help to change the choice of allies: if bigger and stronger countries can help the overlord [sic] resist the rise in his backyard, It makes more sense. In the end, Porter suggested “take other steps at home to strengthen its own governance, social cohesion, and the ability to perfect the regime.” It is speculated that the United States should take steps to modify flawed liberalism in the country, but do so Later, it should not seek to readjust the world order. If it sounds familiar, it should do so. This is Porter’s vision of the free world order 1.0 depicted in his book: a betrayal of its liberal values ​​in order to maintain power Nation. This time, despite Potter’s suggestion to do so to China.

I hope Porter, this book is an international security scholar’s ​​understanding of history and will prove to be the beginning of a dialogue among more historians. The philosophical arguments in the book are creative and convincing (they certainly challenge my point of view), but historical events are only briefly introduced under the heading of American power without acknowledging the major historical debates. Nonetheless, Despite the problems with the single causal method of history, we still tried to use the history suggested by William H. McNeill: Porter tried to provide an important corrective method for our collective memory. Just like Zosimos (Zosimus) Like, he wanted to describe how the Romans lost their "sovereignty…" through blind stupidity in a short period of time. Potter boldly overturned the idea of ​​continuity. For Zosimos, this is East and West Rome. The continuity between empires led him to believe that if Constantinople avoided the mistakes of the West, Constantinople could still have a bright future. For Potter, this was from the mid-20th century to the 21st The continuity between American history at the beginning of the century and today’s turning point (or “Machiavelli moment”). Similarly, Porter also saw the bright prospects of the United States and marginal countries like him. They were worried about the rise of fearful China if The decline of the overlord broke its chaotic, orderly obsessed past and ensured its vitality.

The 2020 Black Life Material Protest is hard to think of the duality of the United States-a powerful country on the global stage Claiming to systematically trample on American virtues. The most recent sign on the highway is “Destroy and Rebuild the System.” The free world order provides Potter and others with the knowledge enemies (or systems) of destruction. Porter is right Yes, we don’t need romantic history to guide us into the future. But, as the gibbons realized, we don’t need thorough pessimism. For Americans, fortunately, Porter’s book is modern The product of Soames, and these are not.

Gabriel Glickman is a non-resident associate researcher at the Begin-Sadat Strategic Research Center of Bar-Ilan University. He is writing the history of the free world order and is the forthcoming book US-Egypt Diplomacy under Johnson: Nasser Comer and the limits of personal diplomacy (IB Tauris).

Picture: Pixabay (picture provided by RocioRoz)

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