Friday, May 18, 2012

Food for Thought

The NATO meetings are in Chicago this weekend, so in that spirit, here is some foreign policy and political economy food for thought:

From the WSJ opinion pages today:
We do not get to choose if a freedom revolution should begin or end in the Middle East or elsewhere. We only get to choose what side we are on.... [I]f America does not support the advance of democratic institutions and values, who will? (George W. Bush)
This op-ed clearly shows that President Bush supports actively promoting American ideals (democracy and freedom) over stability through foreign policy (esp. in the Middle East). To me, this attitude shift was the biggest change in US foreign policy after 9/11 and the defining feature of the Bush Doctrine -- even more so than "preemptive strike."

From the NYT opinion pages today:
People used to believe that human depravity was self-evident and democratic self-government was fragile. Now they think depravity is nonexistent and they take self-government for granted. (David Brooks)
I liked this piece because he quotes Madison in Federalist 55:
As there is a degree of depravity in mankind, which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence.
Also, Madison in Federalist 10 warned against the tyranny of the majority ("majority factions") and took the time to explain how he believed a republic with separation of powers, not a pure democracy, would better serve the "public good."

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