Skip to main content

tv   Why Wilson Matters  CSPAN  July 30, 2017 8:30am-9:58am EDT

8:30 am
the founding fathers. i will be reading that and it will take a long time because it's a pretty thick book, so most times that's my reading. if i'm not reading bills, that's what i'm reading. >> book tv once to know what you are reading. send us your summer reading list via twitterbook tv or instagram haircut ..
8:31 am
>> we found in the age of trumpets important to choose your words carefully so i want to tell you why i find them to be both wilson experts but of a different quality and a different tone and tenor. to my mind the professor knock has done more than anyone to tell us what woodrow wilson had to deal with. to tell us the history and most moment of woodrow wilson, what he confronted and how he confronted it and these developments of his own thinking in the world he lived in. professor tony smith as the other side of that coin has done more than anyone to tell us why this matters. so frankly every president since wilson has not been a question of them or of whether or not they are will sony and but rather how much. animated woodrow wilson in particular of democracy in so
8:32 am
much of professor smith's work in the subject of his book tonight will continue to guide american foreign-policy today, one might even say would continue to haunt american policy today. what woodrow wilson said will not help us understand what professor smith will help us understand before going away helps drive america today. which is why i am particularly pleased to have the author of this book "why wilson matters" which i have to tell you is a darn good book to come here and explain it to us and then you can buy your own copy so without further ado, officer smith, the floor is yours. [applause] >> i think everything's working.i think jeff said kind ofintroduced me in a way that also introduced my family who i am happy to see here tonight. my sister and i grew up in
8:33 am
richmond hills in the heart of the metroplex . and my friend karen pressure jones here used to go with me to luanne, those of us who are old enough to mention luanne we where we were champions of the north texas putsch. that was some time ago since luanne's closed in 1970 but i'm sure. [inaudible] the lakewood ranch used to swoop in because they would be drinking under age. karen and i were too but we thought they were calling attention to a widespread problem in dallas. it was all right around here and i'm glad to see that a few of you know these places. i've known tom for a long time, tom knox through who just kindly introduced.
8:34 am
jim hollis felt who is a professor in political science at the john chandler center for political study, someone i've also known for a long time and i'm glad to see him here. 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 had just published which i might as well count into cells for you. it sounds interesting, i'm waiting for my copy. when life strikes the president: death and illness in the white house. i noticed neither of the bush presidents is in it. nor is jimmy carter. so i guess there are two people who were immune but it looks like it's going to be a wonderful. well, those of you get up early and watch cbs news may see when charlie rose says
8:35 am
the world in 90 seconds. i'm going to have to give you wilson's world this evening in 2400 seconds which is about 40 minutes which i think we should keep ourselves too 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 by the summer of 1918 of 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. 27 million others including ottomans who died. but the bottom line on this was that despite the fact that our losses relative to
8:36 am
the europeans were slight, the american contribution was decisive. it's quite possible the germans would have won the war had united states not intervene 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 then finally the person who was most responsible for the creation of the league of nations in april 1919, the covenant announced in april 1919. so we are in for two years of centennial's, april 2017 to april 2019. passing by what was called the armistice but what in fact was a german surrender in november of 1918.
8:37 am
well, this war left huge marks on the 20th century. in fact, most historians give it more weight than they give the second world war. however near and more horrific that may seem to us. the reason is it unleashed several forces. the bolshevik revolution being the most obvious but as a response to the revolution, the rise of fascism in italy and nazi germany. after that we can shift our days to the world that was under the domination of western imperialism and most notably, china. this then was the beginning of the rise 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 ideologies.
8:38 am
the one thing that is less commonly brought up is wilsonianism. the reason it's so important is that it still is with us today. in fact, it's been with us ever since fdr entered the white house in 1933 were particularly since the german invasion of poland in 1939. fdr was close to wilson and his secretary of state cordell o was in fact much closer. so the transposition of will sony and 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 he can win at the most important president who's forgotten or dislikes.
8:39 am
>> he was certainly very much dislike in his own time by people who opposed the war and to be repay the favor by punishing them. the liberal left which had supported his presidency and indeed supported the war was shot his refreshing of dissidents to the war, people he labeled dissidents. >> we call the-. mainly german-americans. who were opposed but also irish americans who were opposed to the war. people who were socialists or pacifists whom he imprisoned or allowed a vigilant, vigilante groups to take out after. >> and then african americans who retreated very badly indeed. >> there's a three-part pbs series that's going on now about world war ii. in many ways i 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.
8:40 am
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 march 1920, confirmed 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 coolidge and hoover. it was 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 movement. walter whitman, george cannon, john maynard kane, ch car, the list could go on and on. >> he was also dislikes by as
8:41 am
time went 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 system approach. it was widespread in american universities in the 1960s particularly in the 1970s. >> but the right didn't like him either. the right didn't like him because he was for strong government and because he, well, if you were a realist, seemed too idealistic and too much of a moralist. >> the bottom line on this was that wilson was simply not appreciated and once most recently has been opposed of course byafrican-americans .
8:42 am
those who have followed black lines matter may know that they their occupations of princeton where wilson was a student there and the professor and then president until early in the 20th century. it was in politics, he didn't like to call it political science it was politics. at any rate, black lies lies matter as the legitimate question, if you're wilson's most famous statement was that he wanted to make the world safe for democracy, why didn't you make the world safe or democracy in america? okay. and that gets to something jim reminded me of a minute ago. my book is entitled why wilson matters. leave it or not, princeton university had contacted me and said could you change the title? we're going to be occupied if you leave a title like that
8:43 am
in. i thought why are we going to be occupied? because it's positive. could you change it to something like does wilson matter? so i have some explaining to do i think. >> the explanation goes to a book i published in 1994. again with princeton called america's mission, the united states and worldwide spread of democracy. and what this book introduced was the idea that the cold war had been one essentially not thanks to our military power and our economic power alone much as this was true. but also because the contents between liberal internationalism and proletarian internationalism and ideological struggle, a struggle almost of faith if you will had been one by the liberal internationalists. liberal internationalism is a polite turn term for
8:44 am
wilsonianism. since nobody likes wilson, nobody wanted to use his term so liberal internationalism was kind of a collage phrase for him. what i pointed out was that what one the cold war was liberal internationalism.it wasn't either thecontainment policy nor was it the military. it was a combination of things . i asked i don't know how many of you picked it up that there would be a flyer distributed this evening at the opening and the first of these the first point on this flyer is what i called the virtuous diamond of liberal internationalism. it's a combination of democracy, multilateralism , economic openness, and american leadership. >> before before together result in either a regional
8:45 am
or an international zone of peace. >> the a great promise that takes us back actually to the enlightenment. >> people didn't want to recognize that this was will sony in. >> what does this have to do with woodrow wilson. >> he didn't leave a very good record that was coherent of his aching. in1918, 1919. largely because he had a terrible stroke . he had a series of strokes since he was a young man and finally was not able to finish his philosophy of politics which he wanted to do after he left the white house. he started it with like 20 pages that were written. at any rate, what i tried to do was to reestablish what wilson might have said had wilson been able to put together the pieces of the puzzle as the puzzle lay before him area in 1918, 1919.
8:46 am
>> and 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 was authoritarian, it was militaristic. it was imperialist, it was protectionist. and as a result of all these things, 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 this together although he was careful to separate the german people from what he called the german imperial government.
8:47 am
so that when the united states declared war on germany, the united states declared war, not these governments of the united states. not against the german people but against the german imperial government. the government was at the origin of the problem. now if we look at the second citation of the handout that i have for you, you will see what is the most famous declaration that wilson ever made, it's when he asked the congress in early april 1917 for a declaration of war saying the world was to be made safe for democracy, peace must be planted on the tested foundations of political liberty. >> the steadfast concert of peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of democratic nations. >> no autocratic government could be trusted to keep faith within it or to observe its covenants. it must be a league of honor,
8:48 am
a partnership of opinion. only free people can hold their purpose and honor steady to a common end and prefer the interest of mankind to narrow it interests of their own. here then is the origin that the ideas that underlay the league. it would come together predominantly as a group of democratic nations. there was a slight problem in this. i'll get to that problem later. let me switch back to the 1940s if i can, skip ahead to the 1940s. the 1940s is the wilsonian decade. here we have a system which integrates the leading capitalists economies into a form of regulated capitalism that creates the greatest version of growth and prosperity among these countries in world history. some people say it's like 19th century with the british but i don't think statistics
8:49 am
will bear that out. technically, and i think this was the gold standard of it all, was the occupation of japan and germany which converted these two highly authoritarian militaristic countries into guess what? democracies. and in the case of germany it mattered particularly because that allowed the marshall plan look forward to the european union. it also set the framework for the nato or nato which was created in 49. to put all these things together, some people would throw the un in but i think that's somewhat lessimportant . and you get again the virtuous diamond. a place in which american leadership is indispensable but the fact that the united states is a democracy, that is closest allies are all democracies, that they are joined together in a collective military situation, that they trade with each other and they do
8:50 am
so through multinational networks of an extraordinary sort never before seen in world history, by countries that are not acting under authoritarianorders to do this , this is really quite an accomplishment and it completely fulfills what it was that the president was looking for i think in 1919. now the third quote here is an astonishing quote. it's a quote from mikhail gorbachev. 75 years after the united states the claremore 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 an iron curtain was falling across europe, gorbachev three years, or nearly 3
8:51 am
years after the fall of the berlin wall declared that the end of the cold war was a victory for common sense, reason, democracy. the united nations should create structures which are authorized to impose sanctions to make use of other means of compulsion from the rights of minority groups especially are being violated. he went on to underscore the universality of human rights, the acceptability of international interference for wherever human rights are violated. in a democracy can't exist not only as the antithesis of totalitarianism. this means this movement from the national to the international arena. >> on today's agenda is not just the union of democratic states but also the democratic we organize community. it's really quite an extraordinary statement. well, it seems like i'm going
8:52 am
over my own notes here. during the 1990s there when my book came out, i took my ball off the eyes of what was going on with liberal internationalism. >> i was at a very liberal university and i started writing the book on foreign policy, the engender, all us liberals are into that. so in 1997 i was at the wilson center in washington in 1998, i was at the council of foreign relations in new york and i sort of miss what was going on in liberal international relations theory during the 1990s. finally my book came out with harvard in 2000 and i was having book talks right in the middle of it all, 9/11 happens. following 9/11, i've seen
8:53 am
something really to me out of the blue. >> and that was the bush dollar. >> i've got the doctrine down here and i'm not going to read all the books doctrine, don't worry about this but. >> we've 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 will sony in. but there was something wrong about the accent. >> it was like going from i don't know, texas to england. and you understand what's being said but you don't quite understand there's something about it that's peculiar. >> well, the bush doctrine
8:54 am
said all the right things. we go backto the virtuous diamond , it was all there. open markets. cooperation among allies. us leadership. world peace. and so in the fourth entry i've got here for your take away 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 area. >> because these principles are right and true for all people everywhere. >> no nations owns these aspirations. and if i can find my pages, no nation is exempt from them. america must stand firmly for the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity, and rule of law, limits on the power of the state, free speech,
8:55 am
freedom of worship, equal justice, respect for women, religious and ethnic politics tolerance and respect for private property. the national security of the united states is started from these four beliefs and look outward for possibility. now this is liberal internationalism. but it's also not traditional. liberal internationalism. >> i'm going to argue is that it differs in fundamental ways from the way liberal internationalism is thought of by wilson and the way it was thought of during the cold war period. what happened, i'm going to try to go through this quickly because it's a very complicated argument is that the political science establishment of the united states and longer in the good graces that i used to be, began to conceptualize three
8:56 am
ideas of amazing force. the first was called democratic peace theory, that democracy bedspreads, peace will spread. look at the european union. the second was democratic transition periods but all countries can become democracies. it's a transition from authoritarianism to democracy isn't that difficult. look what we did for germany and japan, we can do it anywhere. the third idea was that since desirable, peace is possible through democracy. there's the responsibility to protect. a new just war doctrine that meant you could invade any country we wanted that was authoritarian, provided it inflicted huge human rights crisis upon its citizenry. well, as i think tom knox
8:57 am
will say, where is he anyway? as tom knox would say, 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 internationalism when it's under the flag of wilsonianism, promotion of human rights that we are 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 to fly the flag operation iraqi freedom, that iraq and afghanistan were going to be democratized, what was going on here? so i for a while was flummoxed. i wasn't sure but that my
8:58 am
opposition to the war should translate into an opposition to things that i personally like. human rights watch, amnesty international , oxfam. 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 in the history of american foreign policy, how had given way beginning in 19 2003 to the greatest disaster in american foreign policy which of course is with us today. and in both cases, using liberal internationalism as an explanation. >> the only way to deal with this was to go back to woodrow wilson. and to study in more depth
8:59 am
than i had before what wilson had to say. >> what i discovered, 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. as opposed to the american revolution. our revolution he said was barely a revolution at all. we were simply asserting the rights of the english and institutions that were colonial and had been built by the english. the french on the other hand,
9:00 am
and we were doing it by the way with the support of the church. and the church was most involved in this one is which one? the presbyterian church which was woodrow wilson was a member of. that calvinism in general was the opposite of the anglican church. so what we have here is an argument that democracy is something that is suited only to certain peoples who had eight certain cultural history to them. >> well, if that's the case, what are these cultural prerequisites? and here the more i read wilson, the more i became persuaded that there was this dog that didn't bark. the dog that didn't bark was calvinism. and it was particularly the covenant of the presbyterian church. >> this was the template for
9:01 am
wilson of how democracy comes about. now, 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 reformed judaism and explained at least in part i 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. in the middle east. okay, so what we have been is the notion that you can strip it away from calvinism. you don't have to be christian. you'll have to be white. and in fact, what these promises on nomination began to do was to found universities like the americans, what they call the
9:02 am
american university, in cairo, the american university in beirut and also in iran and turkey. there were going to convert these muslims to christians. it didn't work very well. but what they did convert them to wasconstitutionalism. and many of the liberal movements that we have seen in the middle east , out of these plants in the late 19th and early 20th century that are related to the protestant missionary schools that spread in so many parts of the world. >> so let's get back if we can without me running over time to what was going on meanwhile 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 suspicious condition for
9:03 am
german democratization. that defended largely on the german people themselves. it could not have happened without a strong german middle-class, a strong german protestants and in this case also catholic movement that were anti-fascists. that of high level of economic development. about a received doctrine from even before from the kaiser of congressional thought which is the notion of city, honor and duty of bureaucrats. i mean, the germans were not difficult to democratize. yes, it took a while but germany if anybody's notice remains very much germany and yet in many ways it's been fundamentally changed by the american occupation. or take the only country that democratized after world war i and there was no american occupation, czechoslovakia. czechoslovakia became a model democracy by the 30s and did so not because american
9:04 am
troops occupied czechoslovakia but because of the slovaks and what they were able to work out among themselves. in short, if you do not look at the character of the people you are saying you are going to democratize, you're going to get into trouble . this is what happened in iraq. did you know these people really thought democracy was just going to spring out in a rack ? anyone who has any background in the area would have said this is an absurd belief. yet i can document that it was a real belief. i know what some of you are thinking. you're thinking this was all a facade. it was over something else, it was really the web of events for weapons of mass destruction. everybody in washington concluded this was the calling card but there are
9:05 am
other persuasions, other arguments that are perhaps a littlemore persuasive . for example, that george bush wanted to show his father george hw bush that he really could do something right area and or that there was a lot of oil there and we had opec and we got a hold of that oil. or look at the strategic position of iraq. it touches our friends, israel and jordan and it's also in saudi arabia and it also touches our enemies, syria and iran. what a beautiful place to hold with all that will and to show the world what we can do so that democracy was just sort of 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. i think they did. i'm not picking only one
9:06 am
cause for the invasion. there was a belief, extraordinary, totally mistaken that we could democratize these countries and that in doing so, we would create the same kind of peaceful attitude in the arab middle east that we had created with the european union. >> 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's went from the university seminar rooms into the white house. if there is what i call a foodchain where it could also be called a gravy train because money is involved, it goes from these, from harvard and yale and princeton and stanford and other leading organizations. in two these groups like workings of the american
9:07 am
enterprise institute or variety of other places or policymakers go. in the early 1990s were a time when everyone wanted to know well, now what do we do? the war world's only superpower, what are we going to do with all this power? what purpose to our power? and the answer was, well we just democratizes much of the world as we can. we will 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. because it's mind-boggling to read of the statements which they put out. >> or that that the project for a new american century which was the center of the neoconservative movement. okay. it can be easily documented that these people went into overdrive to push the idea
9:08 am
that the iraq war was going to be easily one, democracy would be the result and there would be falling dominoes in the middle east as democracy took hold. we see this even more strikingly to me for more worrisome to me in studies that came out from apparently totally nonpartisan sources, and ran whose major settlement is in santa monica california. it's got all kinds of government grants to write these enormous studies which by the way you will see listed in your handout today, get them for free online. call such things as a beginners guide to nationbuilding. nation and state building. how we are going to democratize. democratize all these people, are you kidding? are you getting that were going to democratize afghanistan? what possible, what possible
9:09 am
belief could hold up for five minutes to such a preposterous idea? millions of dollars went into this, hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. billions of dollars were spent in thinking that it could happen. oh and the crude of course. x well, what it 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 arguments is to say that it doesn't stop here. it doesn't stop. if this isn't a neoconservative plant within the republican party, if you look on my handout, the people who are blurred, i can't find it myself but it's number five on the handout, to a nation that 2009
9:10 am
publication of nationbuilding, it includes prominent german, swedish , high government officials, people who have been secretaries are equivalent to secretaries of state. it also includes kofi anan who a lot of people thought that state building for democracy could be accomplished. one mystery to me is how anybody who came to this belief that men who wrote this and there are most of them, some women like andre's water or power who got to it to who had ideas that they were trained at these universities during the cold war by professors who knew better than all of this. i mean, i knew better at all this instinctually. because i've been trained by these people myself. >> okay, so what happens then
9:11 am
and i'm going to rerun out of time in a minute is that the proof that this is really such a strong conviction in washington takes us to the obama administration. >> now, some of you may be aware that in 2016 jeffrey goldberg published a highly influential in my view not particularly good article called the obama doctrine in the atlantic monthly. it got a big play everywhere. he calls it then the obama doctrine. it was there was no such thing as the obama doctrine. >> the 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. if you just use two examples of this during the obama years, first the endless decision-making he had to go through during 2009 to decide whether to serve in
9:12 am
afghanistan or not. and then he decided to do so. as for what he said he spent all his time reading about vietnam. he didn't read about vietnam. i'm sure he didn't read about vietnam but he went with the red reports and general david traces awful book called counterinsurgency, a manual. >> all all of which were nation and state building devices which either glibly passed over vietnam or just talk about vietnam with outcomes without any real conclusions.there's also available online and listed on my handout today. >> so obama surge. he didn't surge as much as secretary of state clinton wanted him to. >> the only in an is an additional 30,000 servicemembers in 2010. he said he had been out by 2014.that a few years ago by my counting. secretary clinton won 100,000
9:13 am
to increase. okay, this is all a very unfortunate mistake. but obama, it's amazing. in the book i've got quote after quote. he didn't learn from the mistakes. he thought he was winning in afghanistan. i don't know what he thought he was winning of democracy but any rate he thought he was winning so that in 2011 when the april spring emerged, what did he do? he did what any liberal internationalist would do. he diluted the arab spring, he sort of had to admit it but he then intervened in libya. now, he calls that intervention in libya the biggest mistake of his presidency. it was actually hillary's doing, it wasn't his doing. but and i've got quotes here from obama that i will go over. he put all kinds of sugar coating on it about how the egyptian people are going to show the world that 6000
9:14 am
years of history is behind them as they introduce democracy into egypt, 2011. okay. as far as libya goes it was going to be exactly the same. they were finally going to be democratic and as for hillary, when in october 2011 cannot he was killed, cbs news came through and said what do you have to say about this? he said we came, we saw, he died. only 1 million people have died thanks to qaddafi. of course he was a madman and and authoritarianism. there was nothing that was going to create anything other than anarchy in that country. this takes us then to the end of the line because by 2011 they were also saying obama and officially secretary
9:15 am
clinton, that assad had to go. he was unilaterally deposed by washington. they contacted moscow? number of course not. they decided themselves that assad had to go to the wood. they were going to fund the so-called moderate errands. by 2014, president obama admitted in public testimony that there were maybe five or six they had found. five or six.there was no such thing as moderate errands. there were a few but most of them were fronts for al qaeda that just wanted more weapons. syria was except for the kurds, the kurds were the single exception here. i agree. i could get into why obama became a liberal internationalist, but part of it came from the fact that he was born that way. as a black man, as a constitutional lawyer, as a unity organizer in chicago, what do you expect? but healso use all the buzzwords of the time . use words like the universal
9:16 am
appeal of democracy. universal value of democracy, the nonnegotiable human rights that had to be everywhere in the world, if anything more than george bush did. >> okay, so we get finally did 2015 and the light comes on in obama's mind that this nation state building thing is a mistake. but it's too late. he only has a year and a few months left in his presidency . when he finally announces to his cabinet that the whole thing had been a mistake. >> they were, the question is how the mistake took so long to be corrected.>> well, let me conclude by turning to your next subject which is the first hundred days of donald trump.one of the things they corrected was by the election of donald j trump as president of the united states. liberal internationalism in important ways itself in.
9:17 am
first of all, it got involved in these imperialist wars could not win and that for good reason angered and scared the american public. it certainly angered and scared me, i don't know about you. >> about 3 million american nervous members have now served in muslim countries is 2003. they come back to their families with posttraumatic stress syndrome, they come back with all kinds of tales of suicide being taken more of their colleagues then enemy fire. they come back with disease written all over them because they had been defeated, sorry to tell you this. they've been defeated time and again. in these wars and we're going to continue to be defeated. >> afghanistan is going to help for sure, look at iraq. the holding is unbelievable. it's not unbelievable, it's
9:18 am
the really believable. at any rate this fears and angers the american public. and donald trump says something very important. he says i am not going to push human rights and democracy. we will defend the national interest but we are not going to engage in this will the west talk about human rights and just history day or monday when everyone won the election in turkey, he called erdogan and congratulated him on winning the election. erdogan is everybody's authoritarian. and in fact he was contradicting his own secretary of state as i remember correctly. he said the election was rigged and all these people are in jail and torture is going on. i cannot tell you, i don't think it would've mattered much to woodrow wilson either for the simple matter he did not reach these things to people who are not ready to hear us. now, it doesn't matter. we certainly would like them to become this way but that
9:19 am
they would respect human rights to be quality women and so on and so forth but one of the best ways to ensure they won't do it is by trying to force them to do it. in guatemala there's a statement , our culture is our resistance , [speaking latin] so you have the mayan communities that assert their mayan personality. that fine in guatemala. in the muslim world, it's becoming more and more muslim than they have been in generations. >> in part because of these bushes that are coming from the outside. >> although i agree with donald j trump on this, there is a 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, he was a moralist but he was not a
9:20 am
utopian and he was not an imperialist. therefore you createsomething like the league that would protect democracies and foster democracies there , they hadsome chance . >> but he wasn't going to send in the troops to enforce people to do this. trump so far as i can see is not interested in a league with anybody. he's leaving the paris climate accords. he's leaving the transpacific economic agreements. he is leaving the kinds of multinational organizations that can sponsor democracy and alliances among democratic people. for this reason, although you can see it's the superficial similarity between wilson and trump, the fact, the
9:21 am
difference is, i believe the similarities. the second and i'm going to find a conclude on this is something that we talked about it all. and that is neoliberal economic globalization. >> now, this was something that you might say is liberal internationalism. indeed, in its way it is. the cause for well so woodrow wilson, democracy had to be regulated. in canada, sweden, think any of the scandinavian countries. there had to be ways in which democracy wasn't going to be undermined by capitalism instead strengthened by capitalism. it was, wilson was not against the market. he was against an unregulated free market. think how many banks collapsed in the united states during 2007 and 2009. not a single major canadian back collapsed. >> they are regulated, that's the difference. we also regulate their
9:22 am
immigration. they don't have immigration problems. there regulate that too. >> well, we won't get into that.>> the point here is that it was his 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 had ever existed. it has resulted in not only a relative and absolute decline in the purchasing power of at least 60 percent of our population. of course these people are going to vote for donald trump. he says their globalizing the middle-class while they're impoverishing our middle class. he's right. >> the trouble is he talks the talk but he doesn't walk the walk. what he does is he allows crony capitalism. >> he puts his daughter and
9:23 am
his sons in charge of his businesses. i don't have much money, i don't know how much money she's making with her line of clothes but the cosmetics seems to be considerable, the sons are doing much better although they did when that huge deal with the chinese but there will be something else that comes along. he's honeycombed his administration with former lobbyists that he said he would never hire. in other words, he sold out the very people who fought that he was going to bring them help. yes he helped the carrier people but it looks as though both carrier and four were going to bring their investments over anyway. >> what about a wilsonian reaction to this. >> wilson would not, wilson would have said yes, it's fine to have open markets but they must be regulated and those who benefit from them the tax with the benefit of the entire country. this means for example that the 2.5 $3 trillion in corporate profits abroad
9:24 am
should be brought home and attached. yes, we should probably lower the corporate income tax from the very high level it is now to something like 10 percent. fine. but i think this is something that bernie sanders and senator elizabeth warren and nobel prize laureate paul krugman and joseph stigler were agreeing with. >> in short, there's nothing of an agreement among people like senators sanders and warren that economic globalization got out of hand and an agreement to trump that they have a solution that would reinforce our democracy that trump is going in the other direction. let me conclude by saying that wilson i think would say in effect the physician, heal thyself. we've got enough problems at home, the drug problem, the present problem, the
9:25 am
inequality and wealth, that will always be a problem but the actual decline in the purchasing power of the lower 60 or even 80 percent of the population. and so i would conclude by saying why wilson matters, wilson would have seen all this. there's nothing new that wilson would not have seen and what is going on today. >> that's why i like to include my talk with a page i can't find which is the last statement on the handout sheet that i have. it's this famous just, ... princeton in the nation's service tends towards a graduate and others of you may be in princeton, this is the princeton motto, princeton in the nation's service. the world memory must be kept alive, we shall never see an
9:26 am
end to the old state. the endangered to you lose our identity and become infantile for every generation. i need not tell you that i believe in full explicit instruction in history and politics. experience of people and fortunes of government means the whole story of what men have attempted and what they had accomplished through all the changes both form and purpose. then i'll stick to the end. you do not know the world until you know them that have resisted and tried in ways before you were ever given good grief from. and there is no sanity comparable to that which is schooled in the box that we keep. do you wonder then that i asked for the old bill, the old memory of times gone by, the old tradition, the old keeping of faith with the past as a preparation for leadership in the days of social change.that's why
9:27 am
wilson matters. thank you for your attention. [applause] >> thank you all. [inaudible] we're not going to call on anyone from princeton. [laughter] but if you would please ... [inaudible] >> you mentioned during your presentation wilson and calvinism. can you explain exactly what you mean by the relationship between wilson in internationalism and
9:28 am
calvinism, what's the relationship between calvinism and these cultural prerequisites necessary for democracy? >> the interesting thing about wilson is he was the son and grandson of presbyterian ministers. he prayed every day. he read sections from the bible every day. and the thing i found so interesting and terrific about thepresbyterians was that they have to books . i think and tucker will confirm with me, episcopalians due to. one is called the book of worship which has to do with the belief about and all presbyterians must have. the other is the book of order. the book of order reads like a constitution. and 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 was the major seminary at the time.
9:29 am
then once you've passed all your exams and things like greek and latin and hebrew and church history, you will be vetted, given your idea ordained as a minister and the other ministers will propose you to congregations who are in need of a minister. my understanding is by the way that reform jury is him is like this by the way and i assume other protestant denominations are as well. >> exactly. which they got from, it comes from the cincinnati movement in ohio and the contact between the jewish sermons and the protestant reformation. okay, so reform judaism, the same way. you don't have to be a calvinist but the other organizations do it too. my friend doctor tucker will say that the of his companions are something like this now than they were before. secondly, the congregation is
9:30 am
empowered to through deacons, elders who associate themselves with the minister when he or now she goes on meetings with other ministers. the covenant which is the center of all this is tangible. in wilson's time, a woman who is unthinkable that woman could be a minister. now there are many presbyterian women ministers, just as there are many women rabbis in a foreign jury. the same is true now homosexual ministers in the presbyterian church and in episcopalian church. and in reform judaism too. so what we see then is a way in which the constitution changes over time. now, if you look at, i have a definition of the covenant that comes from reinhold meters brother richard. if you look at the covenant and if you think about if you get out one of these
9:31 am
extraordinary book of orders is as it's called in the presbyterian church, it's so democratic you immediately want to convert. >> i mean, this is terrific if you're a democrat, that is. because they have checks and balances built into them. they have all kinds of regions of information, speech built into them. this then becomes the template for the american constitution. in many ways, it was the dissident calvinists who waged the revolutionary war against the anglican brits. i can give many examples of this from boston where for example the major calvinist burial site of massachusetts faith colony was founded by calvinists area after that was dug up to build an anglican church. you get damn mad, that's what you do and you enter a revolutionary force . so princeton itself became a
9:32 am
bastion of now, this then leads to extraordinary history of princeton. it's great, i don't know how long i think, i'm really into this calvinist stuff but john witherspoon, one thing that i found in all this was the greatness of the studies of enlightenment which i have appreciated before and the presbyterians, the presbyterian church 's most powerful in scotland. there was an early contact between enlightenment thinkers like adam smith and david hume and church so that by the time witherspoon arrived at princeton in 1773, he was a minister. he told his students there's nothing that faith will teach you that reason cannot sustain. whoa. nothing faith will teach you
9:33 am
or nothing that faith will give you that reason cannot sustain. this was a meeting of the enlightenment with faith. quite extraordinary, if you ask me. this is why when you see these various groups that go along with this, they have long sessions of prayer and religious meditation, and then they enter into conversation with one another. this in many ways i think is self-sufficient but if you look at the great statements by wilson on the covenant of the league of nations, it's all there. and finally in the city on september 9, 1919 wilson got so excited that he held up and waved to the crowd's copy of the covenant and he said this is the covenant of the league of nations. i am a descendent of the covenanters of scotland. this is the covenant.
9:34 am
and by covenant he meant constitution. well, the question is, what other people going to become like this? you don't have to be christian. you don't have to be white. india, i don't know. you can argue about a lot of countries. can tunisia 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 a white country and i don't think it's particularly christian anymore either. the point isthat it's not restricted . there's no, what wilson was trying to do is overcome the idea that you have to be white, of british dissent and you have to be 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 or be an american. that was one of his many
9:35 am
great fixtures, sorry i went on so long. >> i have a couple quick questions. number one, you mentioned early on that miss wilson, every president that followed him has been will sony and to a degree. i would like to ask you how will sony and was lyndon johnson? >> first of all it was since fdr. either nixon nor lbj were particularly will sony and, you are quite right. and in the book i do have reservations for this people. on the other hand, nobody talked so stridently against, in other words they would engage in open economies worldwide. >>
9:36 am
it's shocking. he has begun to reverse himself. good. just like the fleet to going towards north korea reversed itself and headed towards australia. [laughter] 's event my second quickest question is, could you define the difference between capitalism and corporatism and
9:37 am
give us some idea of how it the fact-- affects democracy and how we live today? >> that is a hard question. i would say the capitalism can be of many different tugs in many different countries. there can be small capitalism and there can be corporate corporate capitalism has the capacity to go multinational, to be global. that is the point to begin to find the cheapest resources. if they pollute, that's up to the local people. to pay the lowest wages, well it's not unionized. if they park their profits abroad because bringing it home means tax it is for the corporation to decide. an example that took my breath away was last year when the apple corporation was told by the european commission it had to give $14 billion in profits--
9:38 am
does anyone remember the story lacks to the irish government. if you recall the irish government refused to accept the taxes and said absolutely not. we have all these corporate tax savings and if we tax apple, the others won't come, so the european commission said, well, then the us should tax them. apple is an american company took the obama administration said we don't tax profits abroad. do you wonder why donald j trump had a certain appeal? it had a certain appeal to me when he gets angry at things like this and i hope he lowers corporate taxes. i personally think they are too high, so more money is repatriated at a reasonable rate and injected into the american economy. where is the young lady from princeton who wanted to say something? that's not the young lady from
9:39 am
princeton. oh he is from princeton, good. >> my question has nothing to do with princeton. my question is, do you know if wilson read montesquieu and the reason i ask is because at the heart of montesquieu's philosophy was what might be called a politics in 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 context. >> exactly. >> montesquieu, you may know, was the think are most slighted by the founding fathers so i would imagine wilson probably did know something about montesquieu who by the way was the source of the information-- inspiration for checks and balances and separation of powers in the us constitution.
9:40 am
that i did is actually at the core of what you are talking about it seems to me. >> it is at the core and he did not read montesquieu carefully. he knew of course about it, i mean, it would be impossible for him not to know about it. of the spirit of the laws and that kind of thing. like everyone there was enormous spectrum, one of the greatest thinkers. essentially, he didn't like the french revolution, so he avoided the french. the problem with the french quiz-- illustrates your point again. they made the mistake of revolting against both the throne and the altar or could they destroyed the catholic church and the monarchy. in the united states the revolution was back by the church, many of the leading churches, certainly presbyterians and instead of destroying institution, our
9:41 am
revolution claimed the institution the english left us for our own, but he cites montesquieu, but it's not evident that he read in-depth. burke was the purchase he mentioned most and was particularly the british historian. he kept a log of verbal and he read. there is one reference to o'neill and that's it. yes, sir? >> i'm going to push back a bit. >> good. >> they have not yet you will get in on the way out. as a card-carrying liberal internationalist i went to push back and bizarrely enough going to defend the bush doctrine and defend the obama doctrine as you put it as one of the same
9:42 am
because it strikes me that one of the major critiques that our students and i think the general public has about wilson, limited wilson-- when they think of wilson they often times associate with failure because he did not achieve the world wanted. he did not achieve the league of nations he wanted or american participation. i like to point out that if you try to remake the world in you get 94% of that correct that is pre-good. let's not focus on the 6% that went bad and 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 through i think they were trying to promote the diamond as you described it. they were trying to promote a better world and trying to
9:43 am
create a world in the 21st century, which is different in many ways in wilson, but also paramount in the same in a sense of trying to promote democracy come up trying to promote civil rights and human rights around the world and promote free market around the world all in which wilson in and of himself approved of, so my critique in a sense is, is it fair to look at the faults of the obama and particularly the bush years as sins of commission when one could argue their hearts were in the right place, but also if your primary critique as i understand it is that they tried to create democracy in places where it naturally wouldn't fit, it's hard to know until you try. >> good. you are on my side. let me answer both of these briefly. >> i'm just glad we have a discussion going. >> oh, boy.
9:44 am
oh, boy. the german who talked pettit writer, frayed you have it wrong. wilson was seen as though year, but he was redeemed by fdr and that's why people like professor and i are trying with a few others to rehabilitate him. we have seen in a longer historical perspective that allows to see the 40s and at that 80s as times in which the wilsonian vision triumphs only to be undercut by its only pride to this thing i'm glad to agree with me because-- [laughter] >> what i lay out in the book is the number of-- you are young. [laughter] >> political science is divided into a bunch of different domains and one is called
9:45 am
comparative politics, a study of individual countries on their own bottoms. wilson was a comparative political scientist and in this he came to what in the cold war the establishment of political scientists and comparative politics called preconditions and sequences for democracy. now, this was a long list of them. they included such things as middle-class. some traditions government. some limit central government. some kind of social contract that provided for tolerance. they had a long list of these things and what happens is only in-- it starts in 1970, but with the change in the iberian celeb and everyone thought this would be easy to click what happened in portugal and spain overnight. is not overnight in portugal and
9:46 am
spain. it's a very long process. now, what occurs when is you need the equivalent of this and in the book i try to lay out these series of differences between the democratic crap-- transition crowd and what you should look for. it's not a mystery. if you had known about germany, germany is a country i know better than japan and if you had looked at germany you would say that ingredients are here for germany to be a democracy. it's not a matter of the german government. it's a matter of the german people having not ability to make the transformation. to compare as these people did is unbelievable to see. germany with afghanistan? germany with iraq? i have a whole list of the book of the differences between the two and how one study-- if you want to wage war, fine.
9:47 am
i'm not a pacifist. on for waging war against out-- afghanistan's to get rid of al qaeda. i'm for waging war against isis, but not in the name of creating democracy in syria and iraq. that's a pipe dream. i want to get rid of isis. so, jim has something. two finger one. sam huntington agrees with me completely from the grave. [laughter] >> the most famous comparative political person going. he died several years ago. i'm one of the two people who were academics who criticize, read his third weight in 1991. are you another? no, i don't remember your name in their.
9:48 am
and 1996 he wrote the clash of civilization and he made exactly this point. the book went down in flames. everyone was so furious. huntington was 100% correct. as he put it, this has a bloody borders, probably the most single famous line from the book. in other words, if you-- kept saying the clash of civilization will be our fault. i don't know when it will happen, but i see all of this growing up, this pride in the us , all of this self-confidence and self-righteousness. yes, we did win the cold war turkey yes, the right side one and we should be proud of who we are and so on and so forth, but don't think these other people are going to be like us or want to be like us or respect as. there may be an authoritarian backlash. well, he was correct.
9:49 am
in 1994, said the the same. don't play with the muslim world, china, russia, subsea carrion in africa. maybe yes, central and east-- central europe 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, but the ottoman empire, austria, hungary were just sort of like what he called them, stuffed animals. you could kind of admire them for their strudel. i don't know. [laughter] >> they want good people, but what about us? what about our african-americans , native americans, what about our drug problem and so on and so forth? let's not worry about setting
9:50 am
other people's houses straight. let's try to get hours straight. if they attack us we will take them on, of course. >> when you were talking about the middle east, i thought i understood you to say that unless a country has a cultural affinity or history with democracy they will not be democratic. i said okay, ataturk has proved he tried to take turkey out of the middle east, but are to one has proved you can take the middle east out of turkey, so that is obvious and i thought maybe you were arguing for isolationism, but how do you explain culturally the similar countries like to pan and south korea? asian countries that had embraced democracy whereas russia a western country has failed. >> each of these comparisons, which they have to be looked at individually and what you will
9:51 am
find in most of these countries is first of all either on american or british influence. those outside influences are important and you will usually find the middle-class which is educated and cosmopolitan. you will often find a movement in south korea, presbyterians. presbyterians are big and south korea. so are catholics and since the vatican reform democracy has been very important to both catholics and presbyterians in south korea. none of this is to be found in mother russia. it's crony capitalism. its traditions of absolutism. they had absolutism in these other places also and when we see a place like that in south korea we should salute it.
9:52 am
chile is another one. all the ingredients were there work it was terrible when nixon and kissinger pulled the rug from under a guide none of us need to have light, i'm forgetting his name. yeah, salvador again day. i think chile is now a stable functioning democracy and all power to chile. we can undermine democracy, also , and we have. we go back to this germans point, the nixon years like the lbj years happiest. >> i think we have time for one more question. sir, can i just say you get to have his place at dinner with me tonight. [laughter]
9:53 am
>> we do agree, sir, that the philosophy and wilson's statement that we were going to-- america would make the world safe for democracy was it -- was looking back now was terribly misguided to the point of disasters for us because you have a successful president buying into this work committee, example go anywhere, bear any burden. bush, same we will invade iraq, the modern-day kaiser made them into democracy and do the same thing that we did in world war ii and its just been a succession of disasters when this philosophy has been applied way too broadly? >> i wonder-- that's an excellent point and i wonder if
9:54 am
wilson has a big taken out of context. let me put it this way, i think no phrase has been more debated in the wilson literature than what he meant that the world must be made safe for democracy. now, my interpretation of it after long readings is that he was very worried in 1919, that democracy was going to fail most places. when he went to paris, he was shocked at the way the french end of the and the italians not only didn't cooperate with each other, but didn't cooperate with him either and he was going to create this league of democracies with government 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 john cooper's
9:55 am
books, we would write the heart of the world. well, write the heart of the world we did because we didn't join and by not joining the league became too weak. by being too weak, it became a total failure. so, your question is nonetheless -- you see from my point of view and i don't want to put words-- i know john cooper agrees with me is that the league was seen as a protective or defensive organization, circling 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 blodgett said was implied in order: ten of the league of nations, but if you read article 10 and you may disagree, i don't see it in article 10. it says that the council of the league will consult with the member government. it does not say we are cooling--
9:56 am
the council will override the american congress. this goes back to the whole illness of wilson and the rest that we don't have time to get into. of the major point here is that these later expressions of faith had to do with i think an exaggerated fear of cronyism, but nonetheless a fear of communism that i think all liberal internationalist share it. internationalism understood that communism was a dire threat to liberal democracy. you will not find a liberal internationalist liking communists. in fact, they would work with authoritarian governments against the communist in hopes that eventually if authoritarian governments than their ways chester crocker put it in south africa that way.
9:57 am
we will put our arm around the south african apartheid regime and by reassuring them they can get rid of apartheid, that kind of thing. so, your question is good, but i really think wilson is protected from the defensive not offensive nature that he placed. he really was worried about democracy surviving in another war. >> as we all are. thank you for giving us that. thank you all for coming. [applause]. >> let me quickly remind you there are copies of the book available for you to get and get signed and let me also remind you that i spent the whole weekend with it and it's really really deep and really good and thoughtful. therefore, we will see you next week for "trumps what-- "trumps first 100 days"

14 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on