tv Why Wilson Matters CSPAN June 18, 2017 3:00pm-4:31pm EDT
i want to tell you why we thought and i thought in particular that tony would be an ideal person to bring in this year. one of the world's great woodrow wilson experts -- in affect say one of the world's two great woodrow will son experts already teaches or on faculty. i found in the age of trump it's important to choose your words carefully so i want to tell you why i think they're both wilson
experts. to my mind, professor knock has done more than anyone to tell us what woodrow wilson had to deal with, the history and me moment of woodrow wilson, to tell us what woodrow wilson confronted and how and the development of his own thinking in the world he lived inch professor tony smith has done more than anything to tell us why this matters. frankly, every president since wilson -- not a question for them of whether or not they are wilsonian but rather much. in fact the question that an nateed woodrow wilson, promotion of democracy, guides american foreign policy and might say haunt american foreign policy. what woodrow wilson said helps drive america today. which i why i am particularly
pleased to have the author of this book "why will son matters" is a darn good book to come here and explain it to us and then buy your own copy. so without further adieu, professor something i, the under is yours. >> i think everything is working. i think jeff said kind of introduced me in a way that introduced my family, who i'm happy to see here tonight. my sister and i grew up in richland hills in heart of the metroplex, and my friend karen thrasher-jones, who is here, used to go with me to louans where we were the champions of the north texas push. that was some time doing since
they closed in 1970 but i'm sure -- unable -- karen and i were horrified because we were, too, but we thought the -- they were calling attention to a widespread problem here in dallas. all right around here and i'm glued to see a few of you know these places. well, i've known tom for a long time, tom knox. jim, who is a professor in political science and head of the john tower center for political studies, is someone i've has known for a very long time. i'm glad to see him here. and then to meet jeff ingle is a real treat, since i've heard
about him for a long time, and i saw that there was a reference to a book he and tom have just published, which i might as well tout myself for you. it sounds really interesting. i'm waiting for my copy. "when life strikes the president: scandaling are death and illness in the white house." i noticed neither the bush presidents in it, nor is jimmy carter. guess there were a few people who were immune but going to be a wonderful book. those who watch cbs news may see when charlie rose says, your world today in 90 seconds, i have to give you wilson's world this evening in 2,400 seconds which is 40 minutes which is where we should keep ourself to if i can.
this is an excellent time to be discussing woodrow wilson. april 6 is the centennial of the declaration of war against germany. the result of which was that an army of -- by the dumb of 1918, 1.8 million american soldiers were in europe, 126,000 died, 204,000 were wounded. this pales in comparison with european losses. something like 11 million young europeans lost their lives, not to speak of 27 million others, including ottomans who died. but the bottom line on this was that despite the fact that our losses relative to the europeans were slight, the american contribution was decisive. it's quite possible the germans would have won the war had the
united states not intervened when it did, and how it did. the result was to make woodrow wilson the presiding figure at the peace conference that opened in paris early in 1919, and finally, the person who was most responsible for the creation of the league of nations in april of 1919, the covenant announced in april of 1919. so ex-we're in for two years of centennials. april 2017, april 2019, passing by what was called the armistice but what was a german surrender in november of 1918. well, this war left huge marks on the 20th century. in fact, most historians give it more weight than the second world war, however, near and more horrific that may seem to
us. the reason is it unleashed several forces. the bolshevik resolution the most obvious, but in response the rise of fascism in italy and especially nazi germany. after that we can shift our gaze to the world that was under the domination of western imperialism and most notably china. this was the beginning of the rise really of what was later called third world nationalist revolutionary movements. the impact of these three forces is still felt with us today, but in a way communism and fascism are more or less dead ideologies. the one thing that is less commonly brought up is wilsonianism. the reason it is important is it still with us today and has been with is ever since fdr entered
the white house in 1933, particularly since the german invasion of poland in 1939. fdr was close to wilson and his secretary of state, cordell hull, was in fact even much, much closer. so, the transposition of wilsonian thinking into american foreign policy came about very easily with the outbreak of world war ii. all this said, not much is known or appreciated about woodrow wilson. in fact, i would say he is, if not -- perhaps can win as most important president who is forgot 'or disliked. he was disclimbed by people who opposed the war and he repaid the favor by punishing him.
the landscape was shocked by his repression of dissidents to the war, people he labeled dissidents, people who he called the hyphens, mainly german-americans, who were opposed but also irish americans who were opposed to the war. people who were socialists, pacifists, whom he imprisoned or allowed vigilante groups to take out after. and then african-americans, who were treated a very badly indeed. there's a three-part pbs series going on now about world war ii in many way is don't think it's particularly good but what is particularly good is the way it focuses on the crackdown of wilson on these people or his disregard as with the african-americans. the dislike of wilson, though, continued far past the war
itself. the united states did not enter the league of nations by a vote in the senate in march of 1920, confirm later, and it was solidly rejected also by the american public in the presidential election of november that year, when a republican was returned to the white house, the first of three republicans, hard, coolidge and hoover. only when fdr came back that wilson came into office that wilson began to be remembered, but even at that time, he was despised by the intellectual elite. walter litman, hence mortgagen that. george kennan. the list go coo go on and on help was also disliked by, as time win on, the left in the united states. they saw him as a person who actually was talking about peace
and democracy as a front for pressing american economic interests abroad with a strong military. in other words, this was kind of a marxist approach that was widespread in american universities in the 1960s, particularly into the 1970s. but the right didn't like him either. the right depend like him because he was for strong government and because he -- well, if were a realist, he seem to idealistic and too much of a moralist. the bottom line on this was that wilson was simply not appreciated and recently has been opposed by african-american froms. those who have followed "black lives matter" may know that there were occupations at princeton where wilson was a student and a professor and then president, until early in the
20th century. he was no politics. he didn't like to call it political science so it was politics. at any rate, "black lives matter" asked the legitimate question. is wilson's most famous statement was that he wanted to make the world safe for democracy, why didn't he make the world safe for democracy in america for starts? okay. and that leads up to something that jim reminded me. my become is entitle "why wilson matters." believe it or not princeton university press contacted me and said, can you change the title? we're going to be occupied if you leave a title like that in. i thought, why is it going to be occupied? bus it's too positive. change it to something like "does wilson matter? "? so i have some explaining to do, i think.
the explanations good to a book i published in 1994. again with princeton, called "america's mission: the united states and the worldwide struggle of democracy." what that's book produced was the idea was that's cold war had been won essentially not thanks to our military power and our economic power alone, much as this was true, but also because the contest between liberal internationalism and parole the -- had been one by the liberal interagist us. liberal internationallallism is a polite item for wilsonian, so nobody liked wilson, so this was a camouflage phrase for him.
i opinion -- point out what won the cold war is a combination of things. i asked -- i don't know how many of you picked it up -- that the there be a flier distributed this evening that the opening, and the first of these -- the first point on this flier is what i called the virtuous diamond of liberal internationalism. a combination of democracy, multilateralism, economic openness, and american leadership. the four together resulting in either a regional or a international zone of peace. the great liberal promise that takes us back actually to the enlightenment.
people didn't want to recognize that this was wilsonian. what did this have to do with woodrow wilson? he didn't leave a very good record that was coherent of his thinking in 1918-1919, largely because he had a terrible stroke. he had series of strokes since he was a young man and fortunately was not able to finish his philosophy of politics. 20 pages were written. at any rate, what tried to do was to re-establish what wilson might have said had wilson been able to put together the pieces of the puzzle as the puzzle lay before him in 1918-1919, the answer is to look at his analysis of germany. germany for him was a malignant country, and it was malignant for a combination of reasons.
it authoritarian. it was militaristic, it whereas imperialist, it was protectionist, and as a result of all that's things it thought in balance of power terms. when you put all this together, you have what he called the perfect flower of war. now, the important thing to keep in mind here is that not all authoritarian governments are necessarily for wilson malignant. germany, however, was capable of putting all of this together, although he was careful to separate the german people from what he called the german imperial government. so that when the united states declared war on germany, the united states declared war, not the government of the united states. not against the german people but against the german imperial government. at the government was at the
origin of the problem. now, if we look at the second citation on the handout that i have for you, you will see what is the most famous declaration that wilson ever made, when he asked the congress in early april of 1917 for a declaration of war, saying the world must be safe -- made safe for democracy. its pause most presented upon at the tested foundations of political liberty. a steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except bay partnership of democratic nations, no autocratic government could be trusted to keep faith within it or observe the covenantsment must be a league of honor and partner ship of opinion. only free people can hold their purpose and honors steady to a common end and perform the interests of mankind to narrow interests of their own.
here, then, is the origin of the ideas that unlay the league. that it would come together predominantly as a group of democratic nations, but there was a slight problem in this. i'll get to that problem later. let me switch back to the 1940s, jump ahead to the 1940s. the 1924s is the wilsonian decade, where we have the britain-wood system which integrated the leading capitalist economies into a form of regulated capitalism that creates the greatest birth of gross and prosperity among these countries in world history. some people say it's late 19th 19th century with the british but i don't think statistics hold that up. secondly, the gold standard, was the occupying of japan and germany, which converted these two highly authorize tarean
countries into democracies and in the case of germany it mattered particularly because that allowed the marshall plan to look forward to the european union. it also set the framework for the north atlantic treaty organization, or nato, which was created in '49. you put all of these things together, some people would throw the u.n. in but i think that's less important -- and you get, again, the virtuous diamond. a place in and american leadership is indispensable but the fact the united states is a democracy but its closest allies are democracies and they're joined together in a collective military situation but they trade with each other and they do so through multinational networks of an extraordinary sort, never been seen in world history, but countries that are not acting under authoritarian orders to do this. this is really quite an
accomplishment and completely fulfills that pratt was looking for, i think, in 1919. now, the third quote here is an astonishing quote. it is a quote from gorbachev. 75 years after the united states declared war on germany, the cold war over, gorbachev came to the united states and he went to fulton, missouri, and there on the anniversary of winston churchill's famous address in 1946, saying that a iron curtain was falling across europe, gorbachev, three years -- nearly three years after the fall of the berlin wall, declared that the end of the cold war was a victory for common sense, reason, democracy.
u.n. should creating stuck toward to impose sanctions and other means of couple pulse when rights of minority groups especially are being violated. and went on to underscore the universality of human rights, accept the ability of internationaller phoenix wherever human rights are violated and democracy must prove that it can exist as the antithesis of to tall -- totalitarianism. on today's agenda is not just a union of democratic states but also a democratically organized world community. that's really quite an extraordinary statement. well, see if i can find where i am in my own notes here. during the 1990s, after my become crane out, i took my ball
off the eye of what was going on with liberal internationalism. i got -- started writing the become on ethnic groups and foreign policy. ethnicity and gender were -- all liberals are into that, and so the n1997 i was at the wilson center in washington in 1998 i was the council on foreign religiouses in new york, and i sort of missed what was going on in liberal international relations theory during the 1990s. finally my become came out with harvard in 2000, and i was giving book talks and right in the middle of it all, 9/11 happened. following 9/11 came something really to me out of the blue, and that was the bush doctrine. i have the bush doctrine down here on -- i'm not going read
all the bush doctrine. don't worry. but we have got citations from the bush doctrine which are very meaningful. what they argue is something that at first in 2003 i wasn't quite clear what was going on. i knew that the language was wilsonian but there was something wrong about the accent. it was like going from -- i don't know -- texas to inning explained you understand what is being said but you don't quite understand there's something about it that is peculiar. well, the bush doctrine said all the right things. if we go back to the virtuous diamond it was there democracy promotion, open markets, cooperation among allies, u.s.
leadership, world peace. and so in the fourth entry i've got here for your takeaway pages, i have the opening statement by george w. bush, which is replete with these words, and then his final statement in the pursuit of our goals our first imperative is to clarify what we stand for. the united states must defend liberty and justice because these principles are right and true for all people everywhere. no nation owns these aspirations, and no nation is exempt from them. america must stand firmly for the nonnegotiable demand human digit it in, rule of law, limits on absolute power of the state, free speech, freedom of work, respect for private, religious tolerance, and the national security of the out must start
from these core beliefs and look outward for possibilities to expand liberty. this is liberal internationalism. but it's also not traditional liberal internationalism. what i'm going to argue is that it differs in fundmental ways from the way liberal internationalism was thought another by wilson and during the cold war period. what had happened -- i will try to go through this quickly because it's very complicated argument -- is that the political science establishment in the united states in the i'm no longer in at the good graces i used to be, began to conceptualized three ideas of amazing force. the first was called democratic peace theory. if democracy spreads, peace will spread. look at the european union.
the second was democratic transition theory. that all countries can become democracies. the transition from authoritarianism to democracy isn't that difficult. look walt we did for germany japan? we can do it anywhere. the third idea was that since the desirable peace is possible through democracy, there's the responsibility to protect, a new justice war doctrine that meant we could invade any country we wanted that was authoritarian, provided it inflicted huge human rights prices on its citizenry. well, as i think tom knox -- where is tom knock -- as tom knock would say, the -- my reaction to this was not only to
be against the war but to suddenly say, what have i been doing writing all these wonderful things about liberal internationallallism when it's under the flag of wilsonianism, democracy promotion and human rights, we're engaged in this -- well, what did obama call it? dumb war with the invasion of iraq. not that the war against afghanistan to get rid of al qaeda was wrong, but tofully the flag of operation iraqi freedom, the iraq and afghanistan were going to be democracyized, what was questioning on here? i for a while was flummoxed. i wasn't sure that -- but that my opposition the war should also translate into an opposition to things that i personally liked, like human rights watch, amnesty
international, doctors without borders. you name it, i'm probably a member of it. okay, so this went on for a while, this kind of confusion, how had the 1940s, the greatest decade the history of american foreign policy, how had it given way, beginning in 19 -- 2003, to the greatest disaster in american foreign policy, which continues with us today. in both cases, using liberal internationalism as an explanation, while the only way to deal with this was to go back to woodrow wilson and study in more depth than i had before what wilson had to say. what i discovered -- yeah -- does this work better?
okay. so, what i found in going back to woodrow wilson was that for him, democracy was very much a question of time and place. you cannot expect the democracy will spread globally, either quickly or easily or perhaps at all. he illustrated this with the french revolution, opposed to the american revolution. our revolution, he said, was bare lay revolution at all. we war simply asserting the rights of the english, in institutions that were colonial and had been built by the english. the french -- and we were doing it with the support of the church and the church that was most involved in this was, guess which one? the presbyterian church which was woodrow wilson was a member of. in fact calvinism in genoas the
opposite of -- in genoas the opposite of the anglican church. what we have here-and-argument is dem trace e -- democracy is only suited to people who have -- if that's the case, what are these cultural prerequisites? here the more i read wilson, the more i became persuaded that there was the dog that didn't bark, and the dog that didn't bark was calvinism, and it was particularly the covenant of the presbyterian church. this was the template of wilson how democracy comes about. i don't know how many of you belong to the group of churches that today can be called affiliated with presbyterians in terms of their domestic
organization, but it's not just churches. it's also reform judaism, and explains at least in part, think, why wilson was so welcoming of jewish americans into princeton and then into his administration, and also was protective of the notion of a jewish homeland in the far east. -- i mean the middle east. so, what we have then is the notion that you can strip it able from calvinism. you don't have to be christian. you don't have to be white. in fact, what these protestant denominations began to do was to found universities like the american university in cairo, the american university in beirut, also in iran and turkey, they were going to convert these muslims to christians. didn't work very well. what they did convert them to was constitutionalism, and many
of the liberal movements that we have seen in the middle east come out of these plants in the 19th -- late 19th and early 20th century to missionary schools that spread in so many parts of the world. let's get back without me running over time to what was going on in the united states. in the united states, the critical mistake that was made was to think that local cultures don't matter. now, it's true, we were a necessary condition to german democratization but we were far from a sufficient condition for german democratization. that depend on the german people themselves. could not have happened without a strong german middle class, a strong german protestant and
also catholic movement that were antifascist, without high level of economic doubt. without a perceived doctrine from the kaiser, the notion of civic honor and duty of bureaucrats. i mean, the germans were not difficult to democratize. yeah, it took awhile, but germany is anybody's noticed remains very much germany and yet in maybe ways it was fundamentally changed by the american occupation. or take the only country that democratized after world war i and there was no mesh occupation. it was czechoslovakia. became a model democracy by the '30s and it did so not because american troops occupied czechoslovakia but because the czechs and the slovacs slovacs t they were able to work among themselves. in short if you do not look at
the character of the people you are saying you're going to democracyize, you're going to get in trouble. this happened the iraq. people really thought that democracy would spring out in iraq? anyone who looks -- who has any background in the area would have said, this is an absurd belief, and yet i can document that it was a real belief. now issue know what some of you are thinking. you're thinking this was all a facade over something else. it was really the weapons of mass destruction. please, it was not the weapons of mass destruction everybody was clued in that this was the calling card but there oar persuasions, other arguments that are more persuasive. for example that george bush wanted to show his fur, george w. bush, -- george h.w. bush that he could do something wrong
or there was lot of oil there and we could beat opec if we that go oil. or look at the position of iraq. touches our friends, israel and jordan and saudi arabia and also touches or enemies, syria and iran. what a beautiful place to hold, with all that oil and so toe show the world what we can do. democracy was an afterthought. it really wasn't an afterthought. it was in the forefront of the global war on terrorism. now, i'm not saying the other factors didn't matter. think they did. i'm not giving only one cause for the invasion. but there was the belief, extraordinary, totally mistaken, that we could democratize these countries and that in doing so,
we could create the same kind of peaceful attitude in the arab middle east that weed a created with the european union. now, you're asking yourself, how do i know this? well, i think i know it because the ideology is very easy to see how it went from the university seminar rooms into the white house. there's what i call a food chain or could also be called a gravy chain because money is involved in it -- that goes from these -- from harvard and yale and princeton and stanford and other leading organizations, into groups like brookings or the american enterprise institute or a view virginia identity -- variety 0 other plays where policymakers go and the early 1990s were a time everybody wanted to no now what we do now?
what's the purpose to our power? and the answer was, well, just democratize as much of the world as we can. bring about peace, freedom, prosperity and an increase in american national security. you can see this in specific groups. the progressive policy institute which was related to the democratic party, is -- it's mind-boggling to read the statements which they put out, or the project for the new american century, which was the center of the neoconservative movement. okay. it can be easily documented these people went into overdrive to push the idea that the iraq war was going to be easily won, democracy would be the result, and then there would be falling dominoes in the middle east as democracy took hold. we see this even more strikingly
to me, or more worrisome to me, in studies that came out from apparently totally nonpartisan sources. rand, whose major settlement is in santa monica, california. all kinds of government grants to write eenormous studies -- flied the handouts -- called such things as a nation -- a beginner's guide to nation-building. nation and state building. how we're going to democratize all these people. democraciesize all these anymore are you kidding we're going democratize afghanistan? i mean, what possible belief could hold up for five minutes to such a preposterous idea? well, tens of millions of dollars went into it. hundreds of thousands of lives
were lost. billions of dollars were spent proving that it could happen. what it proved is it couldn't happen. well, what occurs, then in all of this, is the notion in the bush white house that it will happen, and he gets elected a second time, believe it or not. but what i want to do in making my argument is to say that it doesn't stop here. it doesn't stop. this isn't a neoconservative plant within the republican party. if you look on my handout thing, the people who wrote blurbs. it's number five on the handout -- to a nation -- the 2009 publication of nation building, it includes prominent german, swedish, high government
officials, people who have been secretaries or equivalent of secretaries of state and also includes kofi anan and thought that state-building could be accomplished. one mystery to me is how anybody could -- came to this belief. the men who wrote this -- mostly win, some win, like samantha power, who had ideas that they were trained at these best universities during the cold war, but professors who knew better than all of this. i mean, i knew better than all of this instinctually because i'd been trained by these people myself. so what happened then -- i'm going to be running out of anytime a minute -- is the proof that this is really such a strong conviction in washington, takes us to the obama administration.
some of you may be aware that in 2016, jeffrey gold buying published a highly influence shall in my view not particularly good article called o'obama doctrine "? "the atlantic monthlily. p.o.w. there wasn't such thing as the obama doctrine. doesn't exits. obama simply updated the bush doctrine. he didn't change it. this is as good an argument as i can find to show the power of ideas. i'll give you just two examples of this during the obama years. first, the endless decisionmaking he had to go through during 2009 to decide whether to surge in afghanistan or not, and then he decided to do so. after he said he had spent all his time reading about vietnam. he didn't read about vietnam. unit sure he didn't read about
vietnam. what he read were the rand reports and general david petraeus' awful book called "counter insurgency: a manual" all of which were nation and state-building devices which either glibbly passed over vietnam or just talked about vietnam without coming to any real conclusions. those also are available online for free and their listed on my handout today. so obama surged. didn't surge as much as secretary of state clinton wanted him to. he only put it in traditional 30,000 service members in 2010. he said he would have them out by 2014. three years ago, by my counting. secretary clinton wanted 100,000 and wanted it to increase. okay. this is all very unfortunate mistake. but obama -- it's amazing, in book i have quote after quote after quote -- he didn't learn.
he actually thought he was winning in afghanistan. i don't know what he thought he was winning, democracy? he thought the was winning. in 2011, when the april spring emerged. he did what any liberal internationalist would do. he saluted the arab spring -- so did i, have to admit -- and then intervened in libya. now, he calls that intervention in libya the biggesting my stake of his presidency. actually hillary's doing. wasn't his doing. but he had to -- i have quotes here from obama that it won't go over -- he put all kinds of suge sugar goetting on it about how the egyptian people are going to show the world that 6,000 years of history is behind them as they'll introduce democracy into egypt. 2011. okay. as far as libya goes, it would
be in same, finally democratic. as for hillary, when in october of 2011 moammar gadhafi was killed, cbs daimler and say what you said? she said we came, we saw, he died. well, probably million people have died thanks to cad moammar gadhafi's fall. was mad main and a crew author tarynan. the would be nothing but anarchy in the country. this takess to the end of the line because by 2011, they were also saying, obama and especially secretary clinton, that assad had to go. he was unilaterally deposed by washington. had they contacted moscow? no. had they contacted? tehran, of course not. they decided themselves that assad had to go. so, go he would. and they were going to fund the so-called moderate arabs.
by 2014, president obama admitted in public testimony that there were maybe five or six they had failed. five or six there was no such thing as the moderate arabs. there will a few but most of them were fronts for al qaeda that just wanted our weapons. the kurds are the single exception here. enough, i could get into why obama became a liberal internationalist, was one. part of it came from the fact he was been that way, as a black man, a constitutional lawyer, as a community organizer in chicago, what do you expect in but he also used all the buzz words of the time. he used words like, the universal appeal of democracy. the universal value of democracy. the nonnegotiable human rights that were everywhere in the world. if anything more than george
bush did it. okay, so, we get to finally 2015, and the light comes on in obama's mind that this nation and state-billing this was a mistake. but it's too late. he only has a year and a few months left in his presidency. when he finally announce tout his cabinet the whole thing has been a mistake. they were -- the question was how the mistake took so long to be corrected. well, let me conclude by turning to your next subject, which is the first 100 days of donald trump. one of the ways they were corrected was by the election of donald trump as president of the united states. liberal internationalism in important ways did itself in. first of all it got involved in imperialist wars it could not win and that for good reason, angered and scared the american public.
certainly angered and scared me. don't know about you. about three million american service members have now served in muslim countries since 2003. they come back to their families with post-traumatic stress disorder, they come back with all kinds of tales of suicides taking more of their colleagues than enemy fire. they come back with defeat written all over them because they have been defeat -- sorry to tell you the this -- we have been defeated time and time again in these wars and gore together continue to be defeated in these wars. afghanistan is going south for sure. look at iraq and -- the whole thing is unbelievable. it's not unbelievable. totally believable. at any rate this stairs and angers the american public, and donald trump says something very important. he says i'm not going to push human rights and democracy. we will defend the national interests but we're not going to
engage in this will of the whisk talk about human rights and monday when erdogan won the election in turkey, he called erdogan congratulated him. erdogan was -- his secretary of state said the election was rigged and all these people are in jail and torture is going on. didn't matter to donald trump. we cannot preach these things to people who are not ready to hear us. now, it doesn't matter -- we certainly would like them to become this bay but that they would respect human rights, give equality to women and so on and so forth. one of the best ways toern sure they won't do it is to try to force them to do it. in guatemala there's a statement,
our culture is our resistance. and so you have the mayan communities that assert their mayan personality. that fine in guatemala. in the muslim world aid by becoming more muslim than they have in generations in part because of the pushes from outside. now, although i agree with donald j. trump on this, there's significant difference between trump and wilson. wilson was not going to engage in war to bring about -- he was not an imperialist. he was an idealist, moralist, but not a utopian and not an imperialist. therefore he would create something like the legal that would protect democracies and foster democracies where they had some chance of existing.
but he one going to send in the troops with bayonets to force people to do this. trump so far as i can see is not interested in a league with anybody. he is leaving the paris climate accords, leaving the trans-pacific economic agreement, he is leaving the kinds of multinational organizations that can sponsor democracy and alliances among democratic people. for these reason, although you can see a superficial similarity between wilson and trump, in fact the differences outweigh the similarities. the second -- i'm going to kind of conclude on this -- is something that i haven't talk about all and that is the neoliberal economic globalization.
now, this was something that you might say is liberal internationalist and in a way it, except that are not woodrow wilson democracy always had to be regular nateed. think canada, thing sweden, any of the scandinavian countries. had to be ways in which democracy wasn't going to be undermined by capitalism, but instead strengthened by capitalism. he was -- wilson was not against a free market. he was against an unregulated three market. think how many banks collapsed in united states between 2007 and 2009. not a single major canadian bank collapsed. they're regulated. that's the difference. also regulate their immigration. they don't have immigration problems because they regulate that, too. i won't get into immigration. the point here is that it was this economic globalization that was unregulated that created the
extraordinary economic disparities in the united states, probably the largest that ever have existed in this country, certainly as great as any that ever existed, that is resulted in not only a relative but absolute decline in the purchasing power of at least 60% of our population. of course these people are going to vet for donald j. trump. he says they're globalizing the middle class while they're impoverishing our middle class. he is right. the trouble is he talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. he -- what he does is, he allows crony capitalism to grow. he puts his daughter and his sons in charge of his businesses. i don't know how much money ivanka is now making with her line of clothes but seems to be considerable. the sons are doing much better.
they did lose the huge deal with the chinese but something else will come align help hoss honey-combed hit administration with former lobbyists letch sold out the very people who thought that he was going to bring them help. yes, he helped the carrier people. but it looks as though both career and ford were going to bring investments home anyway. what about wilsonian reaction to this? wilson would have said, yes, it's fine to have open markets but they must be regulated and those who benefit from them must be taxed for the benefit of the entire country. this means, for example, that the 2.5 to $3 trillion in corporate profits abroad should be brought home and tacked. we should probably lower the corporate income tax from now to 10%. fine.
but i think this is something that bernie sanders and senator elizabeth warren and nobody bell prize lawyer yets paul krugman and joseph stigly tz would agree with. there's something like agreement between people that economic globalization good at out of hand and agreement with trump but they have a solution that would re-enforce our democracy where i'm afraid that trump is going in the other direction. let me conclude by saying that wilson would say in effect, physician, heal this. we have another problem at home. the drug problem, the prison problem, the inequality and wealth -- that we'll always have with it bus the annual decline in the purchasing power of the lower 60 or even 80% of the population.
so, would conclude by saying, why wilson matters, that wilson would have seen all of this. there's nothing new that wilson would not have seen in what is going on today. that's why i'd like to conclude by talking about a page i can't find which is the last statement on the handout sheet that i have, it's famous -- you have it, jeff? printed in the nation's service which i'm sure tom knows as a princeton graduate. this princeton motto. the world's memory must be kept alive or we shall never into an end to old mistakes. we're in danger lose our identity and become infantile in every generation. i need not tell you that i believe in full explicit instruction and history and politics.
the experiences of people and fortunes of government and the whole story of what men have attempted and what they've have accomplished through the form of change and purpose. you do not know the world until you know the men who have possessed and it tried it ways before you were ever given your brief run and there is no sanity operable to those schooled in the thought that we keep. do you wonder i ask for the old drill, memories of time again by, school offering present and tradition, keeping of faith with the past as a preparation for leadership in the day of social change. that's why wilson matters. thank you forrure attention. [applause]
>> thank you all. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> you mentioned during your presentation wilson and calvinism. could you explain what you mean by the relationship between wilsonian internationalism and calvin jim? what's the relationship calvinism? >> the interesting thing about wilson he was the son and grandparents or presence -- grandson of presbyterian minister. he played every day and read
from the bible every day. the thing i found so interesting and terrific about the presbyterians was that they have two books, i think -- the epesto pailans do, too. one called the book of worship having to do with the beliefs be that all presbyterians must have. the other is the book of order, and the book of order readded like a constitution. what you find in this is that to be a minister you must be ordained in a seminary that is recognized by the presbyterian church, where princeton what the major seminary of the time. then once you passed all your exams and things like greek and lattin and hebrew and church history, you will be vetted, givennure ordaineds a a minister, and the ministers will propose you to congregations who
will want to convert immediately. they have checks and balances build into them. they have all kinds of freedom of information and speech built into them. this then becomes the template for the american constitution. in many ways, it was the dissident calvanists who waged the revolutionary war against the brits. i can give many examples of this where for example, the major l calvanist barrel site, because the colony was founded by the calvins. half were dug up to build the church. you get mad when this happens and enter the revolutionary force. it became a bastian and this leads to the extraordinary history of princeton. i know how long i can go on
before you cut me off. i will really into this calvinist stuff. one thing i found out was the greatness of the scottish enlightment. there was early contact between enlightment thinkers and the church so by the time witherspoon arrived at princeton, he was a minister, he told his students there was nothing that states will teach you that reason cannot sustain. this was a mating of the enlightenment with fate.
and this is why they have long sessions of prayer and meditation. i think this is the constitution but if you look at the great statements by wilson on the covenant of the league of nations it is all there. and finally, in kansas city on september 9th, 1990 rosen got so excited he held up and waved at the crowd his copy of the covenent and said this is the covenant of the league of nations. this is the covenant. and by covenant he meant constitution. you don't have to be written. you don't have to be white.
india, i don't know. we can argue about a lot of countries. tanesia could become a functioning liberal democracy. i happen to think so. maybe cuba. cuba has a lot of the ingredients that could lead to a liberal democratic takeover there. i don't call it the white country and i don't think it is particularly christian anymore either. maybe it is but the point is it is not restrictive. there is no -- what wilson was trying to do was overcome the idea you have to be white, of british descent, and a christian particularly not a catholic or an evangelical to be a full-fledged american. it was enough to be a democrat. a liberal democrat to be an american. that was one of his many great breakthroughs. >> i had a couple questions.
number one, you mentioned early on that since wilson, every president thats has followed him as been wilsonian to degree or less. >> that is fair. since, fdr, first of all, neither nixon nor lbj were particularly wilsonian. you are quite right. in the book i do have reservations for these people. on the other hand, nobody talked so stridently. they were engaged in open economies and saw democracy and nato was important to us. the idea lbj or nixon would have said nato is obsolete, that trump saluted the british exit
from the eu, that trump repeatedly mocked german leadership of the eu and singled out angela merkal for criticism. to someone like me it is shocking. he has begun to reverse himself -- good. just like that fleet going toward north korea reversed itself. i don't know. >> my second quick question is can you define the difference between capitalism and corpor corporatism? >> that is a really hard question. i would say capitalism can be of
many different types in many countries. it can be small capitalism or corporate. corporate capitalism has the capacity to bego multi national be global. that is at the point they find the cheapest resources. if they pollute that is up to the local people to decide. to pay the lowest wages and if it isn't unionized that is for local people to decide. if they park their profit abroad because they are taxed that is for the people to decide. last year an apple corporation was told by the european commission it had to give $14 billion in profit do is the irish government. anybody remember this horrible story? the irish government refused to accept the taxes. they said absolutely not. we have all these corporate tax
havens here. if we tax apple the others won't come. the obama administration immediately said we don't tax corporate profits of growth. do you wonder why donald j trump had a concern appeal? it did to me when he gets angry at things like this. i hope he lowers corporate taxes. i personally think they are too high so more money is repatrioted at a reasonable rate and injected into the economy. where is the young lady princeton who wanted to say something? i met her earlier. that is not the young lady from princeton but... oh, he is from princeton. okay. good. >> you will be glad to know my question has nothing to do with princeton. my question is do you know if
wilson read mont skew? the reason i ask that is at the heart of his philosophy was what might be called the politics of place. he believed the right regime for any people was very much determined by their culture, religion, economy, environment. all of those factors mattered to what kind of government would actually succeed in that kind of context. now, monteskew was the thinker most often cited by the founding fathers so i would imagine that wilson probably did know something about him who by the way was the source of the inspiration for checks and balances and the separation of powers in the u.s. constitution. but i wonder because that idea is actually at the core of what they are talking about it seems to me. >> it is at the core. he did not read it carefully. he knew of course about it. it would be impossible for him
not to know about it. the spirit of the laws and that kind of thing. and like everybody, there was enormous respect for him and he was called one of the greatest thinkers. he didn't like the french revolution so we avoided the french. the problem with the french illustrates your point again. they made the mistake of revolting against the thrown and the alter. they destroyed the catholic church and destroyed the monarchy. in the united states, the revolution was backed by the church for many of the leading churches certainly the presbyterians and instead of destroying the institutions, our revolution claimed the english left us for their own. it is not evident he read him in the depth he did others.
burke was the person he mentioned most and was the british historian. he kept a log of everybody he wrote. resow was mentioned once in the 70 volumes that were produced in the presidential writing. one reference and that is it. >> i am going to push back a little bit. >> good. >> as they have not yet. you will get it on the way out. as a card carrying liberal internationalists i want to push back and bizarrely enough i am going to defend the bush doctrine and defend the obama doctrine as you put it as one of the same because it strikes me that one of the major critiques that our students and i think the general public has about wilson, when they think of
wilson, they often times associate him with failure because obviously he did not achieve the world he wanted. he did not achieve the league of nations or american participation. i like to point out that, you know, if you try to remake the world and you get 94% of it right, that is pretty good. let's not focus on the 6% that went bad. i think the same could be applied to bush and obama in the sense that for all of their faults of exuberance for promoting democracy, it is true they were trying to promote the diamond as you described it. they are trying to promote a better world and create a world in the 21st century which is different in many ways than wilson but almost the same in the sense of trying to promote democracy and civil rights around the world and human rights around the world and free
markets around the world all of which wilson in and of himself approved of. my critique is is it fair to look at the fault of the obama and particularly the bush years as since of comission which a one could argue their hearts are in the right place but b, and this is the kicker, if you primary critique as i understand it is we tried to create democracy in places where it naturally wouldn't fit, it is hard to know until you try. >> okay. okay. good. yeah, the gentlemen that talks about the spirit of the laws had it right. i am afraid you have it right. wilson is seen as failure but
was redeemed by fdr in the 1940s. that is why people like professor knock and i are trying with a few others to rehabilitate him. we see in a longer historical perspective that allows us to see the 40s and the 80s as times in which there was triumph only to be undercut by its own pride. a tragic flaw. to this thing, and i am glad you agree with me, what i lay out in the book, is the number of -- you are young. comparative politics the study of individual countries. wilson was a comparative political scientists. in this, he came to what in the
cold war the establishment of you and comparative politics called preconditions and sequences for democracy. now, there were a long list of them. they included such things as a middle class. some tradition of consent of the government. some limits on central government. some kind of social contract that provided for tolerance. they had a long list of these things. and what happens is that only in the late -- it starts in 1970. but with the change in the ibarian peninsula and everyone thought this is going to be easy look what happened in portugal and spain overnight but it
wasn't overnight. it was a long process. i try to lay out the difference in the experience between the democratic transition crowd and what you should look for. if you had known about germany, let's take germany a country i know better than japan, if you looked at germany you would say the ingredients are here for germany to be a democracy. it isn't a matter of the german government. it is a matter of the german people having the ability to make this transformation. to compare as these people did it is unbelievable to see it. germany with afghanistan? germany with iraq? i have a whole list in the book of the differences between the two and how one -- if you want to wage war, fine. i am not a pacifist. i am for waging war against isis
but not creating divide in iraq. i want to get rid of isis. jim has something to say. okay. two finger. he is the most famous political person going on to be famous. are you another? i don't remember your name in there. at any rate, in 1996, he ordered a book called the "clash of civilization" and in this book he made exactly this point. the book went down in flames everybody was so furious about it.
huntington was 100 percent right. as he put it, islam has bloody borders. that is probably the most single famous line from the book. in other words, if you launch -- he kept saying the clash of civilization is going to be our fault. i don't know when it is going to happen but i see all this growing up. all this pride in the united states and self-confidence and self-rig self-rightousness. we should be proud of who we are but don't think these other people are going to be like us or want to be like us or respect us. there may be an authoritarian backlash and he was right. in 1994 i said the same. don't play with the muslim world, china, russia and sub-saharan africa. they don't have the ingredients. maybe central and eastern
europe. perhaps. south korea, perhaps. latin america, let's hope so. the rest of the world forget it. we just have to get along with them as they are and hope for the best. if they turn out to be mad dogs like the germans let's fight. aut austria and hungary they were just like soft animals. they were not good people but what about us? what about our african-americans and native americans and drug problem and so on and so forth. let's not worry about setting other people's houses straight. let's try and get ours straight unless they attack us. >> i will stand up, i guess.
when you were talking about the middle east i thought i understood you autoteric has proved he tried to take turkey out of the middle east but everyone proved he cannot take the middle east out of turkey. so that is obvious. i thought maybe you are arguing for an isolationism but how do you explain culturally similar countries like japan, asian countries that embraced democracy whereas russia, a western county, it has failed? >> that is at a good question. each comparative would say it has to be looked at individually. what you will find in most of these countries is first of all an american or british influence. those are outside influences
that are very important. you will usually find a middle east which is educated in cos cosmopolitan. you will find the movement in south korea is presbyterians which are big in south korea and so are catholics. since the vatican reforms, democracy has been very important to both catholics and presbyterians in south korea. none och of this is to be found in mother russia. its crony capitalism. it is traditions of absolutism. they had absolutism in other places and when we see places like south korea we should salute it. chile is another one. all the ingrediants were there.
it is was terrible when nixon pulled the rug under from the guy why liked and instead put someone else in his place. i think chile is now a stable functioning democracy and all power to chile. we can undermine democracy, too, and we have. i am afraid to go back to this gentlemen's point the nixon years like the lbj years were not the happiest. >> sir, can i say you get to have his place at dinner with me tonight. just so you know. there in the back.
the philosophy and wilson's statement that we are going to -- america is going to make the world safe for democracy was at this looking back now terribly misguided to the point of disaster because you had a secession of presidents buying into this. kennedy, an example, going to go anywhere. bush going to invade iraq and they told the modern day kaiser made them into a democracy and do the same thing there that we did in world war ii. it has just been a succession of disasters when this has been applied too broadly. >> that is an excellent point and i wonder if wilson hasn't been taken out of context.
i think no phrase has been debated as much as this. my interpretation is he was worried in 1919 that democracy was going to fail most placed. when he went to paris, he was shocked the way the french, british and italians didn't cooperate with each other but didn't cooperate with him. he was going to create a league of democracies with governments all of which were thinking in terms of balance of power and revenge. for him, therefore the league had to be run by the united states or as he put it, in his famous words that became the title of one of milton cooper's book we would break the heart of the world. we did break the heart by not
joining and by not joining the league became too weak and a total failure. you see from my point of view, and i know john cooper agrees with me, but the league was seen as a protective or defensive organization. a circling of the wagons if i can put it in texas terms. it was not seen as we will pay any price and bear any burden. that was what people like lodge said if you read article ten but i don't see it there. it says the council will consult with the tlocal government. it doesn't say the council is going to override the american
congress. none the less, the fear of communist behavior that all liberal internationalists shared. liberal internationalism understood that communism was a dire threat to liberal democracy. you will not find liberal internationalists liking congress. in fact, they will work against them in hopes the authoritarian government will mend their way. chester brock put it in south africa we will put our arms around the south african apartheid regime and be reassuring them we can get rid of the a pn apartheid.
the question is good but i think wilson is protected. he was worried about democracy surviving in another war. >> as we all are. thank you for coming and giving us that. let me remind you there are copies of the book available to get and get signed. let me also remind you i spent the whole weekend with it. it is really deep, good and thoughtful as a work and therefore we will see you next week for trump's hundred days. thank you. [applause] book is on facebook and twitter.
tweet us or post a comment on our facebook page. facebook.com/booktv. >> they did this thing and made a cereal and they were cleheeky and funny and corky and sold them for $40 a box as collector editions and fed them to the press and the press ate it up and may made $30,000 from the cereal. that didn't turn the company around.
ultimately one of the advisors said you have to apply for why combinator. and they said we don't need to go to that but they said you are dying and need to go. it was the cereal that got them in because paul graham who ran it at the time and was a very tough critic didn't think it was a good idea either. he said what is wrong with people? they stay in people's homes? on the way out they mentioned they sold all this cereal and he said if you can convince people to buy cereal for $40 a box you can probably convince people to sleeping other people's air mattress. but it was really the advice he gave once in which is go to your
users, shower them with love. they didn't think about doing that. , coming to visit their users. they sat with them for hours on end and watched them use their product and realized they didn't know how to pose photos or write listings in a way made them appealing so they sat with them and merchandised. that is what turned the numbers around. that said what sort of -- that is when the kind of turning point hit.