April 26, 2004

Berger's Vision: The Fisking VIII

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective.

This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part VIII is below:

Likewise, we must reject the convenient fallacies that free markets inevitably give rise to free societies or that globalization by itself will lead to peace. Nations and leaders are not captive to abstract historical forces but act in accordance with their interests and ambitions. For the foreseeable future, the United States and its allies must be prepared to employ raw military and economic power to check the ambitions of those who threaten our interests.

There are two forms of competition challenging the US right now, competition and friction within the Functioning Core and the dangers that are emerging from the Non-Integrating Gap. The competition and the friction within the Functioning Core is at its lowest ebb in centuries. There are no civilizational conflicts on the horizon. There are no alternative great ideas that people will die in their millions for. We are in a period of consolidation and cleanup in the victory of free market capitalism over other economic systems and pluralism in the Core as a social system.

Berger is right that globalization, by itself, does not inevitably lead to peace but that is a half-truth. The kind of frictions that it does not help out with are intra-Core frictions, the very problems that we can put on the back burner because of their low threat level. The chance of Islamists coming in and imposing Sharia is much higher than the French coming in and forcing us to recite in school how "our fathers, the Gauls" created everything.

Where globalization and adopting the Core's rulesets does promote peace is in the friction and danger coming out of the Non-Integrating Gap. Since this is our primary security challenge of this era it's disturbing that Berger isn't talking about the elephant in the room.

Posted by TMLutas at April 26, 2004 11:51 AM