Friday, March 19, 2010

The Song Remains the Same

German Communist Party Propaganda from 1954:

The Lie of the “European Defense Community”

There are 32 states in Europe, of which only 5 ½ will be members of this so-called defensive community. It cannot, therefore, be called “European.” The Americans behind the EDC do not want to defend Europe, but rather only their own greedy plans aimed against the security of all the peoples of Europe. The EDC is a community of monopolists and militarists opposing Europe’s security and peace! The peoples can never build a community with monopolists and militarists!

Europe’s security can be assured only when resurgent German militarism is eliminated, when the idea of collective security for all the European peoples replaces the aggressive EDC, which is what the Soviet delegation proposed at the Berlin conference of foreign ministers!
Graduate level gibberish for credit, 2004. By a PhD candidate at the University of Geneva and in International Affairs at the J.F.K. School of Government, Harvard University:
How does a hegemon behave in a unipolar world? How does the unipolar world structure affect the hegemon and provides it with incentives to act in different ways? This paper tries to answer these questions by testing various theories of international politics against the historical record of American behaviour since the end of the Cold War. In order to fulfil this goal I will draw on the case of the European security “architecture” since the early 1990’s. Why did the hegemon try by all means to undermine every single attempt to create some form of “autonomous” European security and defense policy, although the end of the Cold War represents a unique opportunity since the failure of the EDC in 1954 to pursue a strategy of offshore balancing? The answer to this question lies in the peculiar distribution of power resulting from the demise of the Soviet Union and the effect it had on the hegemon’s grand strategy.
I’m sure he means ‘hegemon’ in only the nicest way.
My chief goal in this article is to provide a power-based theory of unipolarity and by examining the post-Cold War European security architecture, to demonstrate that unipolarity provides not only incentives for power maximization strategies, but that my theory offers a better explanation than alternative existing ones. My argument unfolds as follows: Unipolarity provides the hegemon with incentives to pursue power-maximizing strategies. Simply put the United States opposed an “autonomous” European security architecture because the only remaining threat on the European continent is a strong, autonomous politically and militarily integrated European Union. Pushing for an autonomous “EU force” would mean creating a buck catcher that could, in the long run turn, into a peer competitor. Structural constraints do not provide the hegemon with incentives to pursue such a strategy.
As bad as a partner as they are, what makes this guy think that Europeans could be peer competators, or that it would be a problem? As the atmospheric “gut feeling” theory has gone for the past few decades, it doesn’t matter because the same lot imagine that merely being European is cause for deserving power over others, especially after what their wonderful political movements and wars have done for civilization.

It must be nice to have a face-saving way to explain negligence, uncontrolled arms sales, and inaction in the face of things like ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, a mere 1000 km from Geneva.

Of course the author, a chap seemingly obsessed with the desconstruction of American capacity rather than anyone’s security, now has a title that doesn’t seem to fit on a garden variety business card, and a government job with rather hegemonious power over students:
Current Affiliation: Head, Secretariat of the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students, State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER), Federal Department of Home Affairs, Bern, Switzerland
The author seems unconcerned with European security so much as he’s thirsty to see an all-powerful Europe, and for no clear reason. Suppositions about their humanism are theoretical and based solely on the sales literature. As with the 1954 KPD propagandist, he seems to abide by the old rule that seeks common cause can be found in hatred of an external entity over the use of security for the construction of peace and a balance of power, missing all of the lessons of the misery continental collectivist nationalism imposed upon the world.

Besides, nothing quite says rigorous scholarly skepticism than parroting the political propaganda of a tyrannical political racketeers written 30 years before you were born.

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