Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (October 11, 2019)

Always worth reading as a window into sane thinking about national security and related international non-economic plus political-economy thinking and circumstances:

Daniel W. Drezner: Your Interesting Late-Summer Foreign Policy Reads: "Normally when I do this, I recommend books. For a change of pace, however, this time I thought I would recommend some recent articles.... Kurt Campbell and Jake Sullivan, “Competition Without Catastrophe: How America Can Both Challenge and Coexist With China”.... Henry Farrell and Abraham L. Newman, “Weaponized Interdependence: How Global Economic Networks Shape State Coercion”.... Mary Sarotte, “How to Enlarge NATO: The Debate inside the Clinton Administration, 1993—95”.... Isaac Chotiner, “A Penn Law Professor Wants to Make America White Again”.... Penn law professor Amy Wax, ostensibly one of the intellectual leaders of 'national conservatism', beclowned herself repeatedly in her conversation with Chotiner. This claim was particularly ludicrous...

...You have to understand that I come to this whole question of immigration with an unanswered question in my mind, something I got interested in years ago, and I have tried to get people to answer it. And the question is: Why are successful, peaceful, orderly, prosperous, technologically advanced, democratically sound countries so rare and so few, and why do they clump up in one tiny corner of the globe, namely Europe, the Anglosphere? We also have Japan, which is a wonder, I think, in many ways, a very admirable country. Perhaps Taiwan. And why is the rest of the world essentially consisting of, in various degrees, failed states? Why do we have a post-Enlightenment portion of the world and a pre-Enlightenment portion of the world? And I guess, to be really crude about it, you would use Trump’s succinct phrase: Why are there so many shithole countries? Of course the moment you say that, people just get outraged: Oh, my God, you are a racist for saying that. And that, of course, lets them off the hook; they don’t have to answer the question, which is convenient.

I can’t speak for the all of the social sciences. For myself, however, I can only respond by pointing out that Wax has no idea what she is talking about. The world is not just civilization and failed states, the spectrum of successful development stretches far beyond the white Europeans of Wax’s dreams, and the idea that none of this has been studied before is laughable. Any scholar who can say those sentences with a straight face is willfully blind to both the facts on the ground and the scholarship in the archives.

So why am I recommending that you read this interview? So you can appreciate the intellectual caliber of national conservatism’s leaders, and why they can be easily dismissed. Happy reading!...

#noted #2019-10-11