Mearsheimer, in part one of our two-part political overview defines what Liberalism is and how Liberalism in general can be subdivided into differing camps of Liberal action. These camps he describes as Nationalism, Realism, and Liberalism. The way we have defined these with an Integral lens is to say that what is believed is Orange Liberalism but how this is enacted and believed is through Blue Nationalism, Orange Realism, and Green Liberalism. In part two we get into International Relations and how these groups see the application of their beliefs beyond their own borders.
From the perspective here at CrazyCanadia, Orange is always labeled socio-centric where Green is world-centric. It is the case however that these are not perfectly discrete steps. These are noticeable parts of a wave of development. That is to say, the upper most progressed part of Orange is also world-centric where the middle part is socio-centric, and the lowest part of Orange is closer to ethno-centric. You can be in an Orange perspective, though the drive to bring that perspective global is the push into Green. The Orange idea of individual inalienable rights is Orange but is easily world-centric as well when simply extended to any individual. This is the nature of the fine line or blurry transition from one stage to another.
To look at this progression more linearly we can see this as a progression from Blue through Orange and into Green. Or put in other words, from Ethno-centric to Socio-centric to World-centric; from Nationalism to Realism to Liberalism. Or to relate this to the ‘left-right’ notion of politics, from right conservative to middle libertarian to left democrat. Normally I present development visually from left to right however to show the political ‘left-right’ of common speech we have the following:
Keep in mind that Blue ideology alone does not produce nationalism. It is tribal in its nature but this tribal nature existing whilst holding a national socio-centric ideology creates the tribal nation-team dynamic. The above is the separation of How the What of Orange liberalism is seen. If it’s not making sense, try to remember our looking glass lens of the quadrants from the last posting. We are looking at the How of Liberal belief and the added arrow in the graphic below illustrates the same direction of development above in the linear graphic.
Mearsheimer starts by defining Liberalism’s three main reasons to spread Liberal Democracy internationally.
1. Protect human rights globally
With an emphasis on individual rights being a cornerstone of Liberalism and Orange perspective, liberals see others in different countries as also be endowed with the same inalienable rights. This produces a moral imperative to help especially when these rights may be violated by another government on its people. Further than simply intervening in another country temporarily and firefighting against injustices, that country can be turned into a Liberal Democracy in which these individual rights are protected and will not then need outside intervention.
2. Cause international peace
Mearsheimer expresses that one of the ideas of a Liberal Democracy is that if all countries were Liberal Democracies than there would be no war. (I do not share this perspective) However, he argues that countries who are Liberal Democracies will be following the core aspects of the Liberal Solution in part one, inalienable rights and tolerance for other people in other states and therefore will have peace between nations which is called Democratic Peace Theory.
3. Protect Liberalism at home
Where other forms of government in other countries may wish to go to war with countries whom are Liberal Democracies or overthrow them from within, Liberalism could be wiped out. The ‘Red Scare’ of a communistic takeover of the world is an example of this Liberal hegemony in action. An attempt not to be wiped out. Here he also references President Woodrow Wilson who stated “The world must be made safe for Democracy” when calling for a declaration of war against Germany in 1917.
Within the first point of protecting human right globally Mearsheimer states that there are two strands of liberalism (simply seeing the development in a linear polar fashion), Universalist and Particularist. He states that the Universalist strand “wins out” over the particularist strand when seeking to enforce protection of human rights within non-liberal-democracy states (i.e. seeking to enact Liberal Hegemonic foreign policy).
“Liberals [Green] tend to believe that they have discovered at least one important truth. They’re basically violating their core precept that you can’t reach agreement on first principles. Liberals are basically saying that liberal democracy is the best political order and there is no acceptable alternative, but you’re not supposed to be able to say that.”
This contradiction seems somewhat reminiscent of the self-defeating logic of Green ideology itself which believes that its hierarchy says that all hierarchies are bad. However, I digress…
What is interesting in the last couple lectures of this series at Yale is how Mearsheimer continues to expound on the decision making of the factions. Again, in a polar style, he mentions that the Liberal or Universalist [Green end] strand approaches international relations differently than the Realist or Particularist strand of Liberalism [Blue end].
Based upon the tendency of orientation in the above progress of Liberal Hegemony, Mearsheimer suggests the above two factions tend to operate and engage in propagating Liberal Hegemony. How they engage is dependent upon where they operate from. The above graphic attempts to indicate the three types of engagement which Mearsheimer expresses as being two types with the Realist type having offensive and defensive subsets.
Lastly, what is interesting is the notion that the “globalist” ideology seen here within Liberalism, which at its core is Orange nation-state ideology, is being pushed towards a global society or global community. This seems to be a very corporatist style governing of trading partners in free markets which is pushed by multinational corporations seeking to expand their Orange corporate playground globally. This sentiment was also touched on with a brief comment by Mearsheimer who mentioned that there is “little public support for liberal hegemony as it is largely an elite-driven phenomenon”. He also stated that many political scientists believe it to be the case that America has pursued Liberal Hegemony since the end of the cold war in 1991. However, he claims that almost all would agree that it has been the case since 2001. This time frame has been a period of one single dominant power without a need to worry about balance of power politics and thus the US and the elite interests who generally run it have been free to operate from the Universalist end of policies rather than the Particularist ones.
After all of this, Mearsheimer expresses that the balance of power politics may be increasingly important to consider as China and Russia predominantly join as a counterbalance to US hegemony. What he is essentially suggesting is that of the options he sees we should be moving back to the particularist end of policies. What I would suggest is that we continue forward beyond the Green policies of Liberalism and into Yellow Integral policies.
If you enjoyed this, please "Like", share, follow, and/or comment. Thanks!