~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Goldberg on treating countries as people


Once you think of nations as people, the cult of unity, which assumes that togetherness for its own sake is a virtue, kicks in. Our discussions of foreign policy have been corrupted by this sloppiness.


What I am saying is that we are very confused about what confers legitimacy in foreign affairs, and that this confusion stems from our annoying habit of imposing our ideas about people on things that aren’t people.

Not sure I agree. He's talking about people like me, of course. I've long extended the metaphor of the "sovereign individual" up to the macro example of the State. While I see the potential for abuse (the "cult of unity" he describes,) I still think it's a useful metaphor.

If all the world is a cocktail party with nation states as the party goers, and if America ejects the drunken boor waving a pistol in everyone's face, that doesn't make America "wrong" just because it did so unilaterally. And it doesn't make the others "right" just because of their unity in denouncing America.

There's still value in the psychological model of foreign policy, IMO. Flaws in the model can't be avoided. It's just a model.

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