Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Switzerpan and a closer look at neutralism vs. isolationism
Of course, neutralists know that we do not want to get into a neverending cycle of violence, for who knows what strategem he might have then employed to cause me to challenge him.
Instead, I answered him on the nature of neutralism versus isolationism.
I think we have to get a handle here on what is an Isolationist. The Japanese before Perry were Isolationist, the Swiss are Neutralist. The difference is vast.
Mr. Pittenger was not completely satisfied,
I'm not intelligent enough to grasp that the difference between pre-Meiji Japan and modern Switzerland is "vast" especially when geopolitical settings are taken into account. At the core, both countries decided to pull back their horns. Japan later became aggressive -- because they were able to. The Swiss haven't -- because they are not able to, among other factors. (And yes, I'm familiar with the Swiss military system -- it is defensive, in nature.)
Because of his comment, I feel compelled to analyze neutralism versus isolationism in a tad more detail.
Japan up until Perry’s arrival was a hermit kingdom. It did not have a neutral foreign policy, it had essentially no foreign policy. It was like a hermit living in a hut in the forest who screams and yells and throws stones when anyone approaches.
Switzerland is a good neighbor. A neighbor who does not interfere with your business, but is glad to cooperate in cleaning up after the mess left by a storm. He might even have you and the missus over for dinner and accept a return invite, but he won’t insist you change the drapes or rearrange the furniture to his taste, nor will he league with the neighbors to make you. The gulf between the hermit and the good neighbor as between the isolationist and neutralist is thus vast.
He also avers that, “Japan later became aggressive -- because they were able to. The Swiss haven't -- because they are not able to, among other factors..” This assertion is interesting and has caused me to give it some thought. Alright, you are the hermit and somebody comes up to your hut with a gun and tells you that you have no choice but to live his way. What lesson do you come up with. Maybe the only reason we’re so bad is we can be. They really couldn’t be neutralist because we would not let them be. I could argue this in greater detail, but suffice it to say, if you have a choice, be Swizerland.
Neutralism is grateful to Michael and the folks at 2Blowhards for the notice and to Mr. Pittenger as well.