Liberalism has been the dominant philosophy in recent debates about the role of the United States’ leadership on the international stage. A foreign policy of liberal hegemony or primacy has grown out of progressive-liberalism, where the US is an activist country to provide global security, global capitalism, democracy, and peace. The combination of universal liberal values with the unmatched US military power leads to advocates ignoring the historical and cultural contexts of other countries. The unintended consequences of progressive-liberal policies on the international stage is a rise of illiberal political movements. If liberalism does not become inward thinking, the belief in universal values may be its downfall.
Kevin Doremus | United States
The United States has been involved in four military conflicts since the end of the Cold War: Serbia, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Of course, this is not counting proxy wars. The U.S. has spent an enormous amount of money and blood in regions that are known to be unstable. There needs to be increased restraint in how the government involves itself in foreign affairs.
Over the past decade, the United States has engaged in a policy commonly referred to as primacy, or liberal hegemony. Its advocates argue that the U.S. needs to preserve its power advantage and defend Western values such as democracy, universal human rights, and open markets. In Washington D.C., it is a strategy that has bipartisan support. Yet, the American populace has seemingly rejected this policy at the polls.
Blake | United States
Trump started his campaign with outright condemnation of America’s endless war epidemic. This message fit well into the “America First” platform. It resonated with many Americans that have grown tired of unfulfilled foreign policy promises. He seemed like the way out of the Bush-Clinton neocon dynasty. Trump reaffirmed this stance in February saying he inherited endless wars “of unlimited spending and death. During my campaign, I said, very strongly, that these wars must finally end.”
Megan Waardenburg from the Realist Review inspired me to create a foreign policy list for classical liberals and libertarians. Finding books on international relations and foreign policy can be challenging for noninterventionists. While there are libertarian works on foreign policy, those books are written by economists or journalists. Although those books are not bad, from an international relations perspective, there appears to be an underappreciation of anarchy and the realpolitik that underly the international order.
Here are some books I recommend for noninterventionists to further enhance anti-war/nonintervention arguments to challenge the idea of global leadership.
Libertarian champion Ron Paul made an appearance on RT recently where he gave his thoughts on the 2020 election. When asked about the candidates, Paul showed little interest in most of the twenty plus candidates running for the Democratic primary. However, he was very enthusiastic about Representative from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, calling her the “very best” option.