The Miracle That Is Freedom
Chapter 1: Why is This Book [Web Site] Credible?
Chapters 2 to 7 have been extensively rewritten and included in Saving Lives, Enriching Life: Freedom as a Right And a Moral Good
Chapter 8: An Enlightened Foreign Policy
Chapter 9: But What About...?
Other Democratic Peace Documents On This Site
But, relevantly here, in the last years of the Bush Administration high officials were making comments clearly showing that they appreciated the relationship between democracy, international cooperation, and peace, and had made promoting democracy an operating principle. For example, Secretary of State James Baker pointed out in 1992 that
|The Cold War has ended, and we now have a chance to forge a democratic peace, an enduring peace built on shared values--democracy and political and economic freedom. The strength of these values in Russia and the other new independent states will be the surest foundation for peace--and the strongest guarantee of our national security--for decades to come.|
There was thus a variety of American attempts to help democratization in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and especially in born again Russia. President Bush clearly linked aid for Russia to democratic peace:
|A victory for democracy and freedom in the former USSR creates the possibility of a new world of peace for our children and grandchildren, but if this democratic revolution is defeated, it could plunge us into a world more dangerous in some respects than the dark years of the Cold War . . . This effort will require new resources from the industrial democracies, but nothing like the price we would pay if democracy and reform failed....|
Still the Bush Administration articulated no overall strategy within which these ideas could be given more than an ad hoc life. And perhaps it is unfair to demand one, for, after all, this was the Administration that saw and indeed was partially responsible for negotiating the end of the Cold War. Clearly, however, the Bush Administration was moving toward a general policy of democratization and might well have articulated one if they had won a second term. But it was left to their successor, President William Clinton, to finally conceptualize such a policy.
From day one the Clinton Administration had a firm foreign policy goal of democratization--to help other nations become democratic and to help solidify the newly democratic ones. The reason was clear. They saw democracy as a way to peace and greater international cooperation. The President himself had stated that democracies do not make war on each other. In one of his campaign speeches during the 1992 election campaign he pointed out that "Democratic countries do not go to war with one another. They don't sponsor terrorism or threaten one another with weapons of mass destruction." As President he expanded on this when in his 1994 address to the UN General Assembly he said that "Democracies, after all, are more likely to be stable, less likely to wage war. They strengthen civil society. They can provide people with the economic and political opportunities to build their futures in their own homes, not to flee their borders." And he made the foreign policy consequence of this view plain in his 1994 State of the Union address: "the best strategy to ensure our security and to build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere."
This idea has become a basic foreign policy principle of the Clinton Administration shared by virtually all top officials. In foreign policy speech after speech the basic understanding that democracies do not make war on each other is reiterated and the cooperative nature of democracies underlined. In the words of Secretary of State Warren Christopher published in the U.S. Department of State Dispatch,
|Democracies do not threaten their neighbors. They do not practice terrorism. They do not spawn refugees. They respond to the needs of their citizens and thereby achieve greater stability and prosperity for all.|
From this belief has flowed a policy of democratization, what the administration calls a guiding concept of (democratic) enlargement.
Moreover, this overall foreign policy goal is being implemented through a variety of organizations, many of which were specifically created during the Cold War to further democracy and some of which have changed their fundamental policies to put democratization front and center. Such has been the Agency for International Development (AID), which now has as its strategic objective the creation, stabilization, and deepening of democracy. It is doing this through a systematic program of promoting the free market, experience and understanding of democratic institutions, civil society, political parties, the enfranchisement of women and minorities, the creation and implementation of constitutions and civil rights, the rule of law, and fair elections. Just in fiscal year 1994 AID is spending about $400 million to foster democratization and to assist new and shaky democracies.
Similarly the US Information Agency is engaged in a number of activities to build democratic institutions. The Endowment for Democracy, created under the Reagan Administration, has been engaged in the same efforts. And so have a number of private groups, such as the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs, the Center for International Private Enterprise, and the Free Trade Union Institute
Nor are such efforts limited to the United States. A number of countries, such as Great Britain, Germany, and Japan are officially involved in democratization, and private and quasi-private groups within these countries and others are also pursuing similar programs. Such, for example, are the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Hans Seidel Foundation, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and Friedrich Ebert Foundation; the Westminster Foundation in Britain; and the Canadian International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development.
And there are many international institutions and agencies similarly involved. The most important of these is the United Nations, which established as its major priority the pursuit of human rights and democratization. In June, 1992, the former Secretary General of the United Nations laid out his "An Agenda of Peace" before the General Assembly.
|There is a new requirement for technical assistance which the United Nations has an obligation to develop and provide when requested: support for the transformation of deficient national structures and capabilities, and for the strengthening of new democratic institutions. The authority of the United Nations system to act in this field would rest on the consensus that social peace is as important as strategic or political peace. There is an obvious connection between democratic practices--such as the rule of law and transparency in decision-making--and the achievement of true peace and security in any new and stable political order. These elements of good governance need to be promoted at all levels of international and national political communities.|
The United Nations has thus helped to certify the fairness of elections and toward this end has set up an Electoral Assistance Unit. It has tried to help with transitions to democracy, as in its largest ever effort in Cambodia that ultimately involved 16,000 military personnel, over 6,000 civilian officials and police, and 2 billion dollars.
Not only the United Nations but the European Union, NATO, and the Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) are directly engaged in democratization efforts, as are such regional organizations as the Organization of American States (OAS), which proclaims that "representative democracy is an indispensable condition for stability, peace and development of the region." This has gone beyond rhetoric. In 1991 the OAS adopted a resolution requiring that upon the fall of a democratic government in Latin American there be an acceptance of "procedures to ensure the promotion and defense of representative democracy."
In general, then, what is the United States and other democracies and international organizations doing to foster democracy? They are giving economic aid, of course, but of no less importance they are providing help to establish sound constitutions and the rule of law; improving civil-military relationships, especially the subordination of the military to elected civilian authorities; strengthening and democratizing local governments; giving decision and rule making and material aid like computers to elected legislatures; furthering an independent and neutral judiciary and politically neutral police; improving the fairness, openness, credibility and effectiveness of elections; fostering civil and political rights and the rights of women and minorities; encouraging independent labor unions, professional associations, educational institutions and the like; improving the independence and responsibility of the media; advancing a competitive, aggregative and stable political party system; advance governmental accountability and responsiveness at central and local levels; assisting educational efforts for adults and children, particularly with regard to the nature of democracy and democratic tolerance; and nurturing trust in democratic officials and institutions.
All this is impressive and would seem to leave little to add. Is not the miracle that is freedom already recognized and this understanding fully transformed into foreign policy? No, it is not yet what it could and should be. And to see why this is so I will need to more fully describe Clinton's foreign policy.
As required by Section 603 of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, in July 1994 President Clinton submitted his report elaborating A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. This not only lays out his new national security strategy but also his foreign policy. In the signed preface the President defines the central goals of this strategy:
|that our goals of enhancing our security, bolstering our economic prosperity, and promoting democracy are mutually supportive. Secure nations are more likely to support free trade and maintain democratic structures. Nations with growing economies and strong trade ties are more likely to feel secure and to work toward freedom. And democratic states are less likely to threaten our interests and more likely to cooperate with the U.S. to meet security threats and promote sustainable development.|
The body of the report spells out what the central goals mean operationally. The strategy of enlargement means working with other democracies toward this end, emphasizing those regions and countries that create the strongest security concerns for the United States and those where American involvement can make the greatest difference. Obviously, Russia is number one on this list. But, also, of great importance are Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific, our Hemisphere, and Nigeria and South Africa in Africa (since what happens in these two countries can influence the rest of Africa).
The creating and strengthening of democracy is to be done by American leadership in mobilizing world resources toward this end; by publicly opposing the overthrow of democratic governments (as the U.S. did with regard to Haiti, Guatemala, and Nigeria); by integrating democracies into foreign markets (as was done with the North American Free Trade Agreement and General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs); and by strengthening the civil society--the groups independent of government. Moreover, the U.S. will emphasize strengthening civil rights around the world. In this and democratization the U.S. will use what is called diplomacy multipliers, the power of private groups such as unions, businesses, and human rights and environmental groups to help in this effort. Finally, this approach will be integrated with regional approaches, such as that of NATO and its Partnership for Peace that so far has signed up twenty-one nations, including Russia.
From all this it certainly seems that the Clinton Administration has taken the miracle that is freedom to heart and that government and non-government efforts are strongly at work on democratization. What more is there to add?
In answering this we must recognize at the outset that foreign policy cannot be wholly driven by slogans and abstract principles. Whatever the policies, they must be attuned to recent and current wars, such as those in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Armenia-Azerbaijan, Sudan, Rwanda, Yemen, Cambodia and elsewhere. They must recognize crises, as over North Korea developing nuclear weapons, the huge influx of Haitian refugees to Florida fleeing terroristic military rule, the subsequent mass influx of Cuban refugees, and Iraq's movement of major military forces toward the Kuwait border, and manage them on a day-by-day basis within the relevant context. They must deal with economic problems, threats to American citizens abroad, the interests of American foreign investors and businesses and a multitude of other interests, demands, problems, and threats. For this reason some foreign policy practitioners eschew the idea of foreign policy theory and grand designs altogether, believing that the best and wisest we can do is meet the problems as they come in terms of our knowledge and experience with foreign affairs.
But we can discriminate between the grand strategic foreign policies, like that of containing Soviet power during the Cold War, and foreign policy tactics and ad hoc procedures. The first lays the fundamental thrust of policy, what overall we are trying to achieve and the tactics we use to achieve it that take into account local threats, problems, or opportunities. Tactics are local in time and space; strategy is global and attuned to a distant future. Of course, the world fits no model or principles well, and regardless of what a nation's strategy and tactics are, to new and odd events one can only respond as they develop. The strategy I will offer should be looked at as a vector of action. It is like a sailboat trying to reach a certain port. The goal is to get to Honolulu from Los Angeles. The strategy is to do this by the maximum use of wind and currents. The tactics involve knowing when to tack one way or another depending on the direction of the wind and currents and the deployment of one's sails to make maximum use of the wind's power. That is sailsmenship. In foreign policy we call it statesmanship.
This having been said and recognizing the complexity of foreign policy and its inherent dangers in much of the world, of the possibility of violence and limited war, a foreign policy that recognizes the great utility and morality of freedom would have the two primary components: promoting democracy and anticipating threats to our national security.
In this new post Cold War world it is morally appropriate and historically and politically wise to put front and center the strategy of democratization. This would frame all other foreign policy concerns in terms of how well they promote democratization in other countries and support or enhance existing democracies (the justification of this is straight forward and given by the previous chapters in The Miracle That Is Freedom.
But what about Clinton's stated foreign policy of bolstering economic prosperity at home? Would not a more prosperous United States better enable us to employ resources toward democratization. Of course, but this is not a foreign policy strategy, tactic, or goal. The question of how and in what manner we make the United States more prosperous is a matter of domestic policy and deserves special attention of its own. Certainly all policies are interrelated and must work together. But, as one must separate for practical purposes what one does in the family from what one does at work, foreign policy must be concentrated upon as an especially important arena, for it concerns our vital national interests and the ever present possibility of war.
And surely, therefore, we must anticipate threats to our national security and respond to them whatever they may be. Is not this as important as democratization, if not more so? But how do we anticipate these threats and gauge both the required diplomacy and military capability? We conventionally do this by judging nations and their leaders along two dimensions. One is their capability to militarily effect our interests, as did Iraq in invading and taking over oil rich Kuwait. As difficult as it is to judge the military and related capabilities of another nation, we can discriminate, say, between the military threat to us of Peru versus that of China, or between that of Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The second dimension is the more important one. This is to judge the actual and potential threat of other nations by the intentions of their leaders. What are the likely policies of those who have the capability to threaten us? Are they antagonistic to us? Will they use their power to attack our interests? Indeed, will they endanger our security? Judging intentions is critical and because of this there is a whole government industry of analysts inside and outside of the intelligence services that are concerned with this and there is a major academic field, called strategic studies, in which this is one of its foci.
Intentions enter into virtually every level of strategic policy and our responses. When the Soviet Union existed and had a dangerous stockpile of nuclear weapons, we not only needed to determine the capability of these deadly weapons but we had to weigh whether the Soviets were intending to develop more and deadlier ones; whether they were planning a surprise attack to destroy our weapons; whether they were intending to invade Europe or provoke a war with China; or whether they were sincerely interested in arms control, the Nixon-Kissinger policy of detente, and in lessening tensions.
An assessment of intentions is no less central to foreign policy. What are the intentions of Boris Yeltsin, the President of Russia? Although much reduced, the nuclear stockpile at his or at his military's disposal can still destroy the United States. What about the intentions of his military--are they thinking of a coup against him and establishing an aggressive, fascist government? And does the Yeltsin government intend to establish a new Russian hegemony over its neighbors, such as the Baltic states, Georgia, Armenia, etc.? Were this so it would have grave consequences for our relations with Russia and possibly lead to severe crisis between us. And then there is North Korea, a country led, until his death a few years ago, by the same leader that invaded South Korea in 1950 and who continually threatened the South with frequent border incursions, secret tunnels under the demilitarized zone for the passage of troops into the South, attempts to assassinate its president and bombing out of the air one of its passenger planes. Did Kim Il-sung, and with his death, does his ruling son Kim Jong-Il, plan to develop nuclear weapons? If so, what does he plan to do with them? If he does intend to develop nuclear weapons, should we not take action of some sort to prevent this proven and outspoken aggressor regime, which has likely murdered over a million people, from having these incredibly destructive weapons?
Then there is the puzzle of Bosnia. What is the intention of the head of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, or of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic? Milosevic, doubtlessly, had been providing the major military equipment for the Bosnian Serbs to fight and defeat the Bosnian Muslims and carry out their ethnic cleansing. Is his end game to unite the conquered territories with Serbia? This would have serious implications, for these territories were part of an independent and sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina which we and many European states diplomatically recognized. But, also, does Milosevic eventually intend to clean the Muslims out of Muslim Kosovo. If so, this might well mean war with Turkey and other Moslem states who could hardly allow such further aggression against their religious brothers.
And so on and on. Intentions, intentions, and intentions. Gauging these are at the heart of foreign and defense policy. Mistakes can be expensive, as in having to fight the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein just a few years after sending him considerable economic and military aid. Mistakes about intentions can also be nearly fatal, as happened when the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Neville Chamberlain, misjudged Hitler's intentions in signing the Munich agreement of 1938 giving him part of Czechoslovakia. By misjudging Hitler's intentions, Britain started rearming late and thus came very near to losing the air war over Britain, which would likely have meant a successful cross channel invasion by Nazi forces. If Britain had fallen, which would have led back to just this misjudgment of intentions at Munich (which encouraged Hitler in his designs and strengthened the support of his military that otherwise might have deposed him), the Nazis probably would have consolidated control over Europe and succeeded in their invasion of the Soviet Union. To this day we might have to deal with a fascist Europe and the inheritors of the Nazi empire.
Now, whether another state is democratic or not bears directly on our assessment of its intentions. This is not sufficiently appreciated, but consider: Great Britain and France have dangerous nuclear stockpiles and the capability to deliver them. In the mid-1980s Great Britain had four nuclear submarines, each with sixteen Polaris missiles. Each missile carried three nuclear warheads equivalent to about 200 kilotons of TNT apiece (the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima was equivalent to 12-18 kilotons of TNT). The French had five nuclear submarines with a total of eighty nuclear missiles carrying sixty-four one megaton and ninety-six 150 kiloton warheads. Moreover, France had eighteen intermediate range ballistic missiles each with a range of about 2,200 miles and a 1.2 megaton nuclear warhead. Also France had some fifty-two nuclear capable Mirage tactical bombers to deliver her stockpile of 60 to 150 kiloton nuclear bombs. Therefore, Great Britain and France had and still now have the capability to launch a surprise attack on American cities and military installations, and although they cannot wipe out our nuclear capability or destroy the United States, the damage they could do would be the worst we have ever suffered in war--tens of millions of Americans could be killed.
And what is even more serious about this capability of Great Britain and France is that we have no defensive stance against them. We do not have submarines patrolling, aircraft circling, or even, to my knowledge, spy satellites in place to monitor their military activity in order to prevent such an attack or protect ourselves against it. Why? How can we allow this dangerous capability to exist without countermeasures?
The answer is simple. They are both democracies and we are not threatened nor do we feel threatened by fellow democracies. We recognize that they are like us, a free people with whom we will settle our differences by negotiation and concessions. We have utterly no expectation that they will attack us and know that they do not expect us to attack them. We are so confident about this that we not only leave ourselves wide open to attack from them, but we share secrets and military equipment with them. Great Britain's nuclear capability was largely due to what we had given them, sold them or transferred to them in exchange agreements.
It is interesting to note that somewhere along the line in theoretical work on foreign policy, the emphasis on intentions, so well known to the strategic analyst, got lost. The guiding rule of classical and modern foreign policy has been the balancing of power, that is creating an equilibrium of political and military forces such that potential aggressors would not find it in their best interests to risk war. The modus operandi of such policy has been that through economic and military aid, military alliances, executive agreements and under the table deals, a nation lines up a balance of other nations on its side. By means of public statements and the disposition of military forces, as with American "trip wire" forces in South Korea, a nation tries to communicate its will. Alliances, ready military power, clear communication and attention to credibility are the essentials of this game. This is the so called realist theory of international relations, the balancing of power as the basis of policy.
Intentions, of course, were not lost in this analysis. They were a central part of it. Everyone knew that Britain, Canada, Sweden, Norway, France and so on for a list of several dozen countries, did not threaten us, did not intend to make violence against us and there was no expectation of war between us. But what was has been lost in this, except to a few, is the explicit realization that these were all democracies and that no democracy was ever a threat to us or any other democracy. The realist theory of foreign policy simply does not take into account that democratically free nations are always with us, that they are always on our side of the balance. We now have a natural alliance among over a billion people, a zone of peace. It is the remaining part of the world against which this diplomatic game must be played.
What democracy means to foreign policy, then, is this. It vastly simplifies the central foreign policy equation. Who do we trust? Who is a danger? What do other nations intend to do? The answer is that we trust democracies, we have nothing to fear from them and we need not worry about their intentions. Moreover, they are our natural allies if danger or war threatens. If we expand the zone of democracies to all major powers, then to three-fourths of the world, and finally, hopefully, to nearly all the world, the national security problem so central to current foreign policy becomes less and less important until the question is no longer salient. For a fully democratic world would be one in which there is no longer a national security problem, in which, in fact, international war no longer happens and military forces are no longer necessary.
To aim for this world, to make such a world the utmost long run target of our foreign policy, should be our greatest goal and most important and central strategy. A policy of democratization is inherently the best strategy of national security.
Besides national security our foreign policy should also be one of cooperation with other nations on common problems like collective security, ethnic conflict, world health, the environment, and poverty. But here again there is no better way of strategically supporting this than to promote democracy. For democracies are naturally cooperative among themselves. They ally more among themselves than do other types of regimes and they are, as mentioned, naturally disposed to negotiate and conciliate conflicts. Moreover, as pointed out, democratic freedom promotes wealth and prosperity. By making democracy our highest foreign policy goal, we are not only pursuing our national security interest, but we are also promoting global prosperity and cooperation.
Now an overriding strategy of democratization does not mean that a concern with human rights is to be demoted. A foreign policy of democratization also must involve an emphasis on human rights. There should be no divorce between them, for the promotion of one is the promotion of the other. Here it is important to realize that democracy is not a threshold, that it is not true that the benefits of democracy can only be realized when a full blown democracy comes into existence. Rather, democracy is at one end of a scale of freedom versus power. At the other end is the totalitarian regime--Hitler's, Stalin's, Mao's, and Pol Pot's, and many others. As we encourage a regime to move along this scale toward the democratic end, the benefits of freedom increase. The more democratic and less totalitarian a regime, the less it engages in foreign and domestic violence, the less it murders its citizens, and wealthier it is.
This means that we should encourage human rights wherever possible and make them the benchmark for our cooperative activities with other nations and our aid to them. This should not be seen as simply imposing Western values or trying to make the rest of the world like us. It is rather making the world more peaceful and productive, it is both saving lives and promoting the good life for all.
Now, how is the strategy of democratization to be implemented? In other words, what should be its tactics? Democracy can be promotes through four major policies: communication, organization and unification of public and private democratization efforts, facilitation of foreign direct investment, and international politics.
Very few Americans know that democracies do not make war on each other, even those actively interested in public policy. Outside of those doing research in this area, those professionally engaged in writing and research on national security and foreign policy and President Clinton's foreign policy team, there is a vast ignorance of the role that democracy now plays in our foreign policy and the factual basis for it. I have never read a newspaper article on this nor heard the discussion of this in any foreign policy forum. It has come up as an item in a foreign policy speech, but that is about all. Here is Clinton's foreign policy devoted to the "long-term goal is a world in which each of the major powers is democratic, with many other nations joining the community of market democracies as well," and all this is widely unknown. But even more unknown or unstated is the fact that democracy is even more powerful in restraining violence, since democracies have the least domestic political violence and democide.
The first policy of democratization, therefore, should be the clear communication of Clinton's policy in its factual and historical basis, including the fact that democracy is an overall method of nonviolence. This should be done through national speeches, press releases, press conferences and all the other communications means available to the President. It is not good enough to file documents with Congress laying out our policy. The president must use his bully pulpit to argue the case for promoting and strengthening democracy and the means by which this will done. This should help generate support and resources and warn dictators and those that may be planning anti-democratic coups that the United States is solidly behind democratic forces everywhere. Such open communication will also give heart and spirit to those working for democracy within and without such countries. Yes, this is a crusade but a nonviolent one devoted to the elimination of tyranny and the growth of freedom, peace, and prosperity. Has there been a better crusade than that to end slavery?
Second, as I tried to make clear in the beginning of this Chapter, there is already considerable effort by international organizations, governments, and private groups to promote and solidify democracy around the world. But these efforts are largely ad hoc, often redundant and sometimes at cross-purposes. An effort must be made to coordinate all these efforts and to increase the resources available to them. This can be done through the creation of a national agency for democratization with the singular role of overseeing government efforts at democratization and coordinating these with those of private groups and international organizations. Additionally, the creation of a national foundation for democracy would further scholarly research on democratization, generate professional and international conferences on aspects of democratization and help provide the needed knowledge base for fostering democracy. In particular, this effort could help answer some important questions, such as how do we measure the progress of democratization, and what factors should be emphasized in promoting democracy? This agency would supplement the work of A.I.D. and the Endowment for Democracy that are more concerned with actually providing help to newly democratic or democratizing countries.
Third, the United States should focus on democratization the most powerful force now available--foreign direct investments (FDI). These are foreign investments that give investors some control over their assets. General Motors building a factory in Mexico to assemble automobiles for export is an example of this. By virtue of their sheer global volume (the world stock of FDI reached $1.5 trillion by 1990). These investments are a huge resource to help in democratization. No public resources available for this can come close to those available through FDI.
Of prime importance is the transfer by FDI of technological know-how to the host country. It provides jobs. It trains indigenous people in the business. It helps nations develop their resources and human capital and create an efficient and diverse free market. And, very importantly, it furthers a civil society independent of government. Already, for some less developed nations, FDI is a significant part of their economy. For example, in 1986 FDI in Brazilian manufacturing constituted 34 percent of total sales of manufactured goods; it represented about 50 percent of total sales for the Philippines in 1987 and a huge 75 percent for Thailand in 1986. The importance of such investments is not only development, per se, but democratization. For it is clear that economic development has a positive effect on democratization and the stabilization of democracy.
However, most FDI goes to developed nations. In 1987, for example, the world total inflow of FDI to all nations was $188 billion, but only $25 billion went to developing ones. As for the newly democratic nations, they are poor. Most are suffering severe economic problems, and they are often politically unstable. For investors these conditions make them less attractive than stable developed nations. Understandably, investors will put their money where the most profit is possible with the least risk. Especially troublesome is the instability of too many new democracies, near democracies, or democratizing nations. Investors fear uncertainty, especially when a coup, a rebellion, or even the election of a radical group could mean the total loss of one's investment. Consider Mexico. In 1994, from January through most of October, the Mexican peso fell by 11 percent as investors fled the country. During March and April alone, $8 to $10 billion in portfolio investments (stocks and bonds) was taken out of Mexico. Much less fluid FDI followed as this uncertainty deepened. The simple reason for this flight was Mexico's apparent political instability. There was the assassinations of Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donald Colosio and the ruling party's second-ranking official, the arrest of a gunman near the home of President-elect Ernesto Zedillo, the kidnapping of two billionaires and the insurgency in Chiapas. But those lost investments and particularly FDI were essential if the government's liberalization of the economy and democratization was to continue.
Of course profit is much more assured in developed and stable democracies like Canada, Great Britain, and Germany, but profit is also at a moderate level. It is in the new democracies or those liberalizing or democratizing, such as Mexico, Russia, and China that great profit potential exists. But to further entice investment in these nations foreign investors need to be given protection against political risks and the promise of sufficient profits.
Unfortunately no effective international organization exists to help educate and aid leaders of developing nations in structuring their laws and institutions or creating other inducements (such as a transportation infrastructure) to help attract FDI. Nor are there international institutions through which multilateral pressure or retaliation can be applied to nations that invalidate foreign contracts, impose price controls on foreign owned businesses, mandate their performance, limit their ownership or nationalize them. Of course, nations can do this bilaterally. For example, the United States did impose an economic boycott on Cuba for Castro's nationalization of all American owned firms and assets. But such retaliation is ad hoc, its application subject to political winds. Thus there is no general expectation by foreign investors that state action against their assets will be deterred.
Some insurance against such risks does exist through the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency in the World Bank. There is also the investor help programs of the Foreign Investment Advisory Service. What is needed here, however, is an insurance and help program that targets countries for FDI in which the possibility of democracy seems high or in which a great infusion of foreign investment will help stabilize an existing democracy. This should be a multilateral effort of democracies through existing organizations, such as The World Bank, or through a new international organization. The aim is to provide risk and profit incentives for investments where they can best help democratization.
Of course, insurance is only one mechanism for this. One can also encourage such investments through special home government services and tax and subsidy advantages. Also favorable policies regarding convertibility of foreign exchange and remittance of earnings will promote investment. In the first eight months of 1994, under NAFTA, American and Canadian companies invested 2.4 billion dollars in Mexico. The United States should now move to extend NAFTA to Chile (Chile is now negotiating with Canada and Mexico for such extension, but nothing can be done without the United States) and then to other Latin American countries.
The United States also can put its shoulder to integrating new and economically struggling democracies into GATT (The General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) and the new World Trade Organization created by GATT. Just establishing free trade with Latin America might increase Latin imports and exports by $300 billion by the year 2000. This would certainly help democratic reforms in the region. Finally, the United States can try to accelerate the development of an Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) free trade community. It would cover about 40 percent of the world's trade and clearly encourage a huge jump in FDI in the region. Foreign ministers for eighteen Asian-Pacific nations are now drafting a plan for free trade by 2020, much too delayed given the importance of such trade and resulting FDI to democracy.
All this should ultimately lead to a free market among all democracies with guaranteed admission for new democracies. The incentive for democratization among elites in nondemocratic countries would thus be increased and the success of democratization would be fostered by integration in such a global market. The critical idea here is to focus, and not ignore or replace, the forces of international capitalism.
Finally, part of our strategy of democratization and human rights should involve the organization and unity of democratic peoples. This does not mean federalization or a common government. It means organizing and leading a vigorous, global movement for democracy by forming an international political party. The basis for this movement exists in interests and numbers: in 1996 there were about 118 democracies (62 percent of all countries with some 3.2 billion people), 79 of which were liberal democracies with extensive civil rights and political liberties (and with a combined population of over 1.3 billion people). This is a critical mass of nations and peoples, but they lack a coherent focus on promoting democracy.
One facet of our diplomacy with deep roots in Western diplomatic history is its traditional, authoritarian style. Now, all democracies have political parties whose purpose is to win elections and pass into law their policies. In the United States these are, ideally, defined in a platform on which their candidates run for office. These parties promote and politically fight for their policies and use the tools of politics to win elections and get their programs into law. They organize, campaign, count votes, marshal support, and point out their opponents negatives. That is democratic politics.
But the diplomacy of democratic countries seldom operates this way. The United Nations is a case in point in which the United States usually refuses to use its political muscle to gain support or sanction those who vote against it; or to use speeches to draw distinctions between our side and the other. Rather, the approach is discussion, consultation, negotiation, encouragement, and, of course, the friendly speech making in which all are complimented for trying to solve the difficult issues facing the world. This surely is important, and politicians do this as well, but what is often missing is the other face of politics, the nonviolent struggle to win a resolution, a bill, an election, a dispute. This is the arm twisting, the public appeals, the use of interest groups to apply pressure, and the use of specific rewards or sanctions. Somehow the way one gets bills passed in the Senate of the United States is frowned on by our diplomats in the General Assembly of the United Nations. Saying this is not new. Such has been pointed out by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, both former American ambassadors to the United Nations.
My argument here is that fostering democracy as a strategy should involve, among other things, using democratic party tactics. This is playing the good game of politics internationally. At the heart of this is the effort to form, in effect, although diplomats (of course) might wish to conceptualize this differently, a transnational political party that will fight internationally for democracy like political parties within democracies fight for their programs. This, then, establishes a whole group of political tactics: getting democracies together to define their program of democratization, communicating this program far and wide, gaining domestic support and financial contributions, electing the party leader, encouraging volunteers, and above all, relating international issues within and outside of the United Nations to its program.
I do not doubt that many diplomats of democracies will reject this out of hand. This is not the way diplomacy traditionally operates. However diplomacy is, ironically, usually carried out by nonpoliticians, especially those with long years of experience in the foreign service. Diplomacy involves in depth learning about other nations and, in particular, about potential or actual enemies. This means getting to know foreign leaders and their top officials publicly and privately, their interests and intentions, their secrets and hidden affairs. Then one sits down with them, deals with common concerns and tries to negotiate conflicts and differences. With antagonistic nondemocracies, diplomacy and the threat of force are seen as two fingers of the same hand, for both must work together. Military aid and alliances, helping one's friends against their enemies, all then become part of the international game. Particularly among diplomats of democracies, the aim of this game is to settle conflict and to minimize upsetting the complex international balance.
Such diplomats are congenitally opposed to the change and struggle of political warfare, and not without reason. In a time of peace, one's country is part of an international equilibrium of interests, capabilities, and wills. When war can result from mistimed or misconceived action, when well intended demands or changes can, like a stone thrown on a still pond, cause ripples that will spread in all directions with unknown consequences, the diplomats read the nuances and fear uncertainty.
For this reason I have been a strong advocate of prudence and small incremental changes in foreign policy. Just a few years ago people were dying by the thousands in Bosnia and by the hundreds of thousands (perhaps 200,000 in just two weeks) in Rwanda. More were dying in Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Cambodia (yes, still, even in 1994, from the Khmer Rouge guerrillas), Armenia and Azerbaijan, Georgia, and many other places. War is no longer unthinkable between Russia and Ukraine over the Crimea. Moreover, starvation is still occurring in many poor and badly governed countries in the world and hundreds of millions live in utter poverty with tens of millions of children dying even before the have a chance to see their first teacher. At the same time, there is no longer any nondemocratic superpower or any military alliance of nondemocratic states that endanger world peace. The 79 liberal democracies that now exist dominate international relations economically and militarily. One, the United States, is now the only superpower.
I am not calling for the use of armies against tyrannies and other dictatorships. Nor am I calling for the arming of indigenous democratic movements to violently depose their nondemocratic regime. I am not calling for the use of democratic intelligence services to covertly depose these regimes. Rather, I am calling for the application of inducements and nonviolent pressure to persuade nondemocratic elites to improve the human rights conditions of their people and to negotiate gradual transitions to democracy where possible. I am asking for open help to people and movements in their nonviolent fight for more human rights and freedom. That is, I am calling for the use of nonviolent democratic political techniques--a combination of the more useful arts of diplomacy with the tactics of the democratic politician.
The mass of existing democracies marshaled into an international democratic party using their knowledge, resources and political muscle to foster human rights and freedom could make a huge difference in the world. They could, as incredible as it may at first seem, possibly within a generation or two, eliminate war, reduce political violence to a minimum, practically end genocide and mass murder and encourage a huge jump in living standards in the poor nations of the world. This is not only the best foreign policy consistent with our knowledge and modern times, it is the most moral of policies, and in our national interest.
* From the pre-publisher edited manuscript of Chapter 8 in R.J. Rummel, The Miracle That Is Freedom: The Solution to War, Violence, Genocide, and Poverty, 1997. For full reference to The Miracle That Is Freedom and the list of its contents, click book.
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