tv U.S. Democracy Foreign Policy Since 1919 CSPAN April 27, 2019 8:30am-9:53am EDT
archival filmsh on public affairs on a weekly series reel america, saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv. this year marks the centennial anniversary of stanford university's hoover institution. next on american history tv former u.s. secretary of state , condoleezza rice joins hoover institution senior fellows in a conversation analyzing the changing role of u.s. democracy in foreign policy over the past 100 years. this is about an hour and 20 minutes. [applause]
tom: good afternoon, everyone. my name is tom gilligan, i am the director of the institution. i'm pleased to have you as you join us to celebrate the 100 year anniversary. in recognition of this momentous occasion, we have organized a centennial speaker series titled "a century of ideas for a free society." the series features 11 panel discussions that span the course of a year to showcase the rigorous scholarship and research central to the mission and values. i would like to welcome you to the first session of this series, titled "100 years of democracy and foreign policy." let me introduce to participants -- the participants of today's discussion that will discuss the changing roles of democracy over the past century. neil ferguson was the senior fellow at the hoover institution and a senior fellow at the center for european studies at harvard where he served for 12 years as a professor of history.
stephen krasner, a senior fellow at the hoover institution. he is a senior fellow in the freeman institute. from 2005 to 2007, he served under secretary of state condoleezza rice as the director of policy planning at the state department, where he worked on foreign assistance reform and other projects. lastly, condoleezza rice. condoleezza is the senior fellow on public policy at the hoover institution. the professor of global business in the graduate school of business. and a professor of political science at stanford. from january of 2005 until 2009, she served as the 66th secretary of state of the united states. she also served as george w. bush's assistant for national security affairs. please join me as this esteemed group comes to the stage.
[applause] ms. rice: good afternoon and thank you for joining us. we will have a little discussion here about the subject of this panel, democracy and american foreign policy, a hot topic these days. after we have talked for a while, we will invite you to ask questions. i want to remind everybody that i am a professor. i will call on somebody if no one asks a question. please, there are microphones. get your questions ready. i am delighted to be joined by neil ferguson and stephen krasner for this important discussion. it is one of the greater dilemmas of foreign policy. if we go back 100 years when the
hoover institution was founded, we would have seen a world in which the russian revolution had taken place but the country was still in civil war. many of the people who were in that civil war would escape russia and some of them would end up here at the hoover institution. one of the things not said about the hoover archives is they have a tremendous collection about the russian revolution. after kerensky had taken russia for just a moment towards democracy overthrown by the bolsheviks would spend the last years of his life at the hoover institution. we could also note that at that time, 1919, we would've seen the end of world war i. the american president, woodrow wilson, who believed we had or would make the world safe for
democracy would suggest that in fact democracy and foreign policy had to be linked for a country with american values. do you see today, when we are , seeing the rise of what i call the four horsemen of the apocalypse, populism, nativism, isolationism, protectionism, do we see any similarities to where are now with that period 100 years ago? neil, why don't you start? neil: i'm delighted to be here centenary. mark this it was great to be reminded in that video that we are an institution that studies war, revolution, and peace. we had our origins in herbert hoover's remarkable collection of documents. it is good that we should begin with a history question. looking back on woodrow wilson, historians are often tempted to portray him as a failure. because ultimately, his vision of an international order based
on collective security under the league of nations failed. not only did it fail to prevent world war ii, it failed earlier than that when the united states senate refused to ratify it. wilson's career seem to end in failure. when you look at the way we try to run the world today, it is striking how many of wilson's ideas are central to our concept of international order. free-trade was something you regard as an important part of a postwar order. self-determination. a nation's right to choose to be independent was another key element in the famous 14 points. the idea of collective security although it failed in the league , of nations was reborn in version 2.0 in the united nations. i think when you look at the concepts that woodrow wilson set out during world war i, in his
14 points, it is remarkable how ultimately so many of those have come to be the basis of our international system. stephen: i think woodrow wilson is a complicated figure. neil has told us about some of the more optimistic ways of looking at wilson. but he tried to make the world safe for democracy. he failed. he never worked out clearly how he would deal with minority rights. which are a very elaborated part of the versailles treaty. he was himself a racist. in some ways, the question is should be look at wilson as someone who was a harbinger of the future or should we look at , wilson as a symbol of how difficult it is to achieve a consolidated democracy?
that is really a central question for us. achieving consolidated democracy is difficult. madison said in "federalist 51," men were ruled by angels we would need institutions. men are ruled by men. this is something the united states and a few other countries have accomplished in which the government is effective and constrained. it is something that hasn't been achieved by very many. the central question for us is really understanding can , countries reach the madisonian sweet spot? what are the preconditions if any for reaching yet? what can we do as outside actors to facilitate that? ms. rice: let's go for a moment to the question of consolidated democracy and how consolidated is it really across the world. we all know the debate out there
among academics but it's seeped into the public and consciousness. it is that democracy as a concept and democracy as a practice may indeed be in trouble. that not only was wilson a harbinger of how difficult it would be to bring democracy around the world, but the harbinger of how hard it is to keep it once you have it. let's talk a little bit about the state of democracy before we talk about the state of democracy and american foreign policy. in general -- i will take you each through parts of the world and have you talk specifically about how democracy has been doing in certain parts of the world. let's talk generally first about the state of democracy. one of our colleagues talks about democracy in recession. people talk about democracy deficits. how do you see the state of democracy? neil: i'm less worried than the
people like larry talk about democratic recession. it depends where you start. if you start your time series sometime after 1989, you could find some modest retreat in recent years. if you start in the mid-1970's, there has been a massive shift in favor of democracy and the disadvantage of the authoritarian regimes. i went back and looked at some of the numbers ahead of the conversation, looking at the economist intelligence unit. the democracy index. roughly half the world's population live in democracies according to that. 16% live in what they call hybrids, half democratic, half authoritarian. illiberal democracies.
maybe one third are in authoritarian regimes. when you look at the economics, which is another thing we try to do it hoover it is really , striking that the democracies account for 74% of global growth domestic product. liberal democracies, 4%. authoritarian, 20%. that is nearly all china. when you look at it that way, it seems pretty clear that it is not a winning option in economic terms and democracy is a winning option. the real story is not so much your four horsemen, i am less worried about populism then some. -- than some. i think the key issue is china. that is not populism. that is communism. it is a one-party state which is a holdout from the 20th century totalitarianism. if that were taken out of the story, democracy would have won overwhelmingly. i can imagine that happening. havey really expects it to a complete collapse of soviet communism from 1989 to 1991.
i think we should not be too pessimistic. much of what you're talking about when you talk about the four horsemen of the apocalypse, populism, nativism, protectionism, i don't see that as fundamentally undemocratic. i think those are necessary checks. you might call it a backlash against liberalization which many ordinary americans and europeans felt was long overdue. i don't think populism is fundamentally hostile to democracy in the way fascism and communism were. what was coming to europe at that point and had already arrived in russia and some central european countries was something much scarier than populism. people face the choice between communism and extreme fascism. those are much more dangerous things. today, they fairly represent a threat except so far communism is still in power of the largest country in the world.
ms. rice: why do people talk about a democratic deficit or recession when one looks at the compelling numbers neil has given us. only 22% to authoritarians and that is mostly china. why shouldn't we be celebrating? rather than morning it? mourning it? stephen: i think we should be worried. there is no natural way in which countries end up being democratic. it is true that there are wealthiest countries in the world, countries that have governments that are effective and constrained. given that, one would think democracy would sweep the world. it is not necessarily been the
case. we have been subject to very dynamic changes. look at the technological revolution, which we are sitting in the middle of. the first industrial revolution, it went from 90% aquarium to 5%. -- agrarian 10 5% agrarian. you had two world wars and between that. if any of you have seen the movie "dunkirk," imagine if the sea had been rough when the british were trying to evacuate troops from the continent of europe. they might not have been successful. sued for ahave separate piece. -- peae. -- separate peace. maybe world war ii would have ended up the same way but maybe not. if you're thinking about reaching consolidated democracy, there is an element of luck to it. no guarantee that it signals the future for the human race. ms. rice: let me break it down a little bit and go through several of the arguments people would make to say that the bleaker look at democracy is actually more appropriate.
so, probably number one would be people have lost faith in democratic institutions. this is true across even consolidated democracies. we know the polls about how americans feel about congress. about how they feel about the media. about how they feel about even the supreme court at this point. really, the only institution that seems to have a widespread support in the united states would be the military. how are we to think about the lack of faith in institutions as a harbinger for trouble for democracy going forward? because you make the good point that populism is not necessarily antidemocratic, but it is a force that says go around your institutions go around your , elites directly to your people. that is the definition of populism. this breakdown of faith and -- in institutions, which madison would have said was absolutely essential to self-governing, is that one
reason to be concerned about democracy? niall: i think it is a wake-up call to the institutions. you mentioned the media, it is true that the public respect for the media and free press is very low in the united states. can you blame people? can you blame people for having a low view of professional politicians? of legislators in congress? it seems to me that it is entirely understandable that the public feels that way. the fact that it is a high level of respect for the military. that wasn't true to the 1970's and the time of vietnam. what we can see in the military is it learned from vietnam. it has done enormously good job of cleaning up its act and winning back public respect. that is what the media has to do. because they have lost it. i think they have lost it badly. i don't need to go into the
example that spring to mind here about the covington catholic fiasco, to the coverage of the mueller inquiry until it turned out not to be what the media led people to expect. i don't think it is surprising there is low trust and some of our institutions, but i think it is a healthy phenomenon. it is the people -- if voters express frustration with political establishments as they most certainly did in 2016 on both sides of the atlantic, political establishments had it coming. they made disastrous mistakes of which the financial crisis was probably the last straw. from my vantage point, what we are seeing here is not a threat to democracy, nor to the institutions, but a wake-up call to the institutions. i will make one more point. at the time president trump was elected, some academics predicted american tyranny, the fall of the constitution, the
end of democracy. that all seems absurd. it seemed absurd at the time. actually, the institutions have held up perfectly well through this somewhat mercurial idiosyncratic president. ,i see no sign the rule of law has been subverted by the trump administration. i see every sign that the constitution has held up and the separation of powers have held up. i don't think we should be worried that they are being criticized, as long as they are not being subverted. which i don't think they are being. rice: authoritarians are doing better, therefore the authoritarian model, the illiberal model as some people call it is really the new way that countries are thinking about potential for success. china would be exhibit one. stephen: i think it will probably fail. i have made this -- for 15
years, i have been saying china would fail. i have friends at the department of defense. he always says to me you have been telling me the same thing for 15 years. they haven't failed. what are the possibilities for china? it could become wealthy and remain autocratic. which would be unprecedented. we have no country like that except singapore, which is pretty small. it could sort of stall out at middle income. it could collapse and even collapse into civil war. i think it is unlikely that china will become wealthy and remain autocratic because it would require having -- as our colleague said, you could always run into the bad emperor problem. it may be ok if xi jinping is president but not so great if mao is the head of the government. i think china will fail, we can't be certain. the problem is if you think about challenges to democracy,
they are really challenges. if you look at the senate, i know 10 years ago, it was really amazing if you look at the american constitution that it had been in place for more than two centuries if you compare that with the constitutional history of any major country. there have been major dramatic changes. you look at the u.s. constitution, the senate is becoming less and less democratic. the ratio of the most popular states to the least popular states in 1787 was 13 to 1, now it is more than 60 to 1. it is not clear how you could have constitutional change. it is also clear we are in the midst of a technological revolution. what happens in 50 years when people are working two hours a week? which is -- it's impossible to predict but that is a possibility. how will people understand themselves? i think, yes, we have real
challenges and people are really unhappy about how the government is functioning. we can't be complacent about the challenges being responded to or what we would think of as the right way. ms. rice: one point about authoritarians. then i have another challenge for democracy. there is this funny thing with what i call authoritarian envy. which is that there a kind of two states that are noted, one is singapore which is tiny, the other is china, which is big. of course authoritarians make really bad decisions too. the chinese decided on something called the one child policy. it was very efficiently carried out. that is one thing authoritarians can do. they can carry things out efficiently. democracies are kind of messy and they fall all over themselves and their veto groups. now 34 million chinese men don't , have mates. authoritarians often carry out good and bad decisions efficiently and it is something
to remember when we have authoritarian envy. i want to move onto to another challenge people discussed. our colleague, george schulz, will very often say the big challenge today is governing over diversity. united states in particular is a multiethnic, multi-religious society where identity has taken some hits as to what actually constitutes american identity. how much of a challenge is it to govern over a diverse population that know each other very well these days because of the smaller circles in which -- by the way, because of the way they get their news and information, can get into echo groups. i will date myself. when i was a kid, my family watch the huntley brinkley
report every night. some people watch walter cronkite. we had the same version of the vietnam war. the same version of the moonshot. now i can go to my cable news channel, my bloggers, my websites. i never encounter anybody who thinks differently. diversity is becoming -- instead of we are all diverse but together, i go to my tribe, how much of a challenge to democracy is that? it is not the united states . we see it across the world. niall: there are two problems. one of which is an old one and one of which is new. for centuries in the united states, the foreign born is back to 14% where it was in the late 19th century. it went down substantially the 20th century when there was significantly less immigration. not surprisingly, we are seeing many of the political responses to that diversity that we saw in the late 19th century. i have been arguing for what feels like years that the
populism that produced president trump is quite a familiar american strain of populism. in a period of rapid change where people see big changes in the population because of immigration, some people react. they say we need to limit this. you don't have to stop it altogether. i don't think many people make that argument, but you have to limit it. i think the united states is much better set up to deal with that challenge than any other country in the world. it has done it successfully before. each new incoming cohort is initially viewed with suspicion. remember how the irish were viewed or the italians were viewed in the 19th century? nobody would think twice about that now. i think the united states gives itself a very hard time about this despite the fact it has been pretty successful historically integrating newcomers. i think it has made enormous strides with respect to the central problem of american history, which is the racism problem arising from slavery.
you are in a fantastically better place then when i first came to this country as a young schoolboy in the early 1980's. the new problem is the technology problem you alluded to. because of the rise of the network platforms on the internet and the creation of algorithms that propel us down rabbit holes of conspiracy theories, that propel us out to the extremes of the political spectrum, we have created a very much more unstable public sphere than we had before. that i think is the real problem. it is not our identities. it is our identity politics as mediated through very polarizing engines of polarization, engines of confirmation. things like youtube. or twitter. we can show that those drive people out to the extremes. they incentivize fake news and extreme views. that is a problem we haven't figured out yet.
i don't think we are in much better of a place than we were in 2016 and disrespects and in some ways it has gotten worse. that is the problem we should focus on. identity politics in its most bitter and intense form is clearly being encouraged by the echo chambers and the filters of the internet. the regulatory landscape hasn't changed at all. if anything it has gotten rather worse. what platforms are engaged in censorship, and some ways they are. i think the atmosphere is extremely toxic online and is getting more toxic. we haven't figured out politically what to do about that. ms. rice: we will ignore that niall said he was a schoolboy in the 1980's. niall: i was, i came here for the very first time then. ms. rice: do you want to respond? stephen: it is definitely true. we have this echo chamber. but i think the problem is a really deep one.
if you went back five years, only five years, would we have more information? more information is better. there is more transparency. that is a great thing. i think i would have said that and all my colleagues would have said that. now we are not so sure. but we don't have a response. it is not just that it's an echo chamber but we don't have the understanding of what we want the media to be. more information -- it looks now as if more information is not necessarily better. it may even be highly problematic. but we have no way of talking about the contemporary environment. for us. that is really a hard problem i just want to add one thing. i do agree that the united states, i think it is better condi argued,as it is a country based on ideas. i think other countries, if you look at democracies around the world, they have been based on ethnicities. so it is even a more difficult problem for them. i think the problems of the u.s.
is less. the ethnicity, the history of black americans in the u.s., the ratio, even in the 90th percentile, the ratio of black income to white income has not changed since 1965. it is something like two thirds. school segregation, schools are more segregated now than they have been in earlier periods. i went to one of the high schools in new york city. here is mayor de blasio giving a typical democratic trope for the last 30 years. hardly havell, we any blacks or puerto ricans in the schools, so let's find some other way of admitting them. how exactly is that supposed to work? what are the alternatives?
there are hard problems for the usaid even harder problems for europe. not to speak of japan where that -- ethnicity has been the definition of what it means to be british or german or french. ms. rice: we talked about the state of democracy as a concept. the state of democracy in terms of the institutions and united states. let's talk about some of the other places. the united states' greatest allies or democratic allies in europe in particular, long-standing ties of history and tradition. how is europe doing in terms of democracy? niall: fine. [laughter] fine. i would say as per usual. as per usual british politics is a kind of jacobian tragedy. everybody is stabbing everybody else in the back.
unless you know 17th-century constitutional history, you don't know what is going on. at some point, the queen will step in. i feel sure. rice: that will be democratic. niall: that is how british politics work. the french have their own style. they imagine themselves to be louis the 14th. lots of people run in the streets of paris to say you are louis the 16th. just because they are wearing yellow vests shouldn't deceive you. it is the same old way. ms. rice: what's the modern version of the guillotine? niall: this is what mr. macron has been pondering of late. compared with european politics, at the time that institution was founded, the danger of a democratic crisis in europe is vanishingly small. at the time the institution was
founded there were revolutions going on in central europe. and the democracies that were created out of the various peace treaties at paris, most had died by the 1930's. only czechoslovakia made it to world war ii. the rest had ceased to be democracies by the time the war began. we've come a very long way since then. yeah, you can worry about what happening in poland, hungary, and say democracy is a retreat there and the government is playing fast and loose with the constitution and the rule of law. but compared with what we've experienced in the past, i don't think it's a huge amount to get worked up about. the european union has many defects, but one benefit is to constrain member states from stepping too far away from norm. -- from the democratic norm. you can see that with poland and hungary. i think the picture is a bright one. the problems that europe is grappling with, partly
demographic in nature, have to do with slow economic growth, i don't think they are problems that fundamentally undermine democracy. they just make it hard to run a democratic government. there's the old joke, we know the structural reforms we have to do. we just don't know how to survive doing them. it's extremely hard to be a two-term president or two-term prime minister under those conditions when growth is relatively low and you are managing welfare states that period after of 1945 with a population of a different age structure. those things are really hard to fix. macron has only made relatively small changes to the burdensome french welfare state. that's the kind of problem european leaders have to deal with. every now and then it gets exciting.
it got excitement british voters decided to gamble on brexit and break away for the european union in look how that's ended. 2016. an estate of such political complexity that i begin to doubt they will be able to do it. they may actually fail to execute brexit, despite a democratic mandate on it. that could lead britain into dangerous waters and i'm sure brexit does not happen, the people who voted for it will feel extreme the better and will probably turn to even more populist figures. but will democracy come under threat? no i don't think so. , ms. rice: the idea of the european union was to prevent war by putting everyone into a democratic union. germany, powerful but not dangerous seems to have worked. , on the other hand, some would say that the key institution of the european union are in fact anti-democratic. one has the european parliament, which doesn't do that much.
people go to the parliament to either get elected to a real parliament or to retire. the european court of justice is always in a tug-of-war with national courts. the council of europe is really the heads of state and government. that's always more sovereign oriented. then you have the commission that nobody elected that is telling people what their budget targets have to be, all the way to what constitutes olive oil or cheese. some would say this isn't a very democratic looking institution and that's what people are reacting to. do you not think that that is a problem for the european union? niall: yes and no. i'm a euro sceptic by instinct. i was very opposed to the centralizing measures that led to the monetary union, but i was against brexit because i didn't think it was in britain's interest or europe's interest for britain to leave the eu.
the way i would think about it is this. a british historian made the argument the real point of the european union was to rescue the nationstates of continental europe after the disaster of world war ii. in fact, what is striking is that it has done that. it allowed what were rather shaky states and countries such as italy and west germany, and indeed france with its record of political instability to stabilize within a structure that was essentially confederal. i think europe's problems have arisen because some leaders decided to go the next step to full-blown federalism. it has been that attempt to create a federal europe with powers in truly federal institutions like the european court and european central bank that created the stresses of the system that had been working quite well until that if you point. rerun the financial crisis without the ecb and the europe,
greece, italy, spain, portugal will have a far less disruptive experience. i think that is really the way to think about the problem. one final point, something steve talks about, europe conference a desk in right now a bigger challenge with immigration than the united states. confronts a bigger challenge with immigration than the united states. the volumes of people capable getting to europe across various channels are absolutely huge potentially. , this is the real challenge europe faces. at a national level, one country after another is producing populist leaders who object to immigration. at the european level they cannot arrive at a collective solution. that is the thing that will ultimately going to unravel this attempt of the united states of europe. i think the united states of project that was doomed from the outset. they should have stuck with what they got to in the 1980's. remember the single european act , was margaret thatcher's government pushed for. there was a time when europe was
taking a rather british shape. that all went wrong. ms. rice: let me ask you about a couple of other parts of the world and you can use that to talk about our last subject, which really is what some call democracy promotion. let's call it the role of democracy in american foreign policy. let's talk about other places. there is a huge democracy in india that manages to have consequential elections with a billion people who don't speak the same language or worship the same god. there's latin america, which when i taught in the 1980's here at stanford, i would teach a course on civil military relations. i always had at least two or juntas toin american teach about in brazil or chile. they're almost all democratic, with the exception of cuba and the exception of course of venezuela which is now a royal , mess. talk about how democracy is
doing in other places. stephen: think about most of these, you have to look at a lot of african countries. they are pretty autocratic. if you look at recent developments in brazil or even in mexico, everything about brazil i found surprising. an ex-president ended up in jail. the level of corruption scandal was enormous. they elected someone, according to the american press, who is pretty right-wing. it is interesting to say there's a natural order of evolution where everyone becomes a consolidated democracy and everything is great. i think that is the problem. look around the world, it's only north america, western europe, which has done very well, eastern europe far more problematic. parts of east asia, which achieved consolidated democracy. well ifil scores pretty you look at the indicators of democratization.
it's a pretty messy place. it is surprisingly messy. the level of corruption was so high. it surprising he went to jail. all the heads of state and that, was a pretty impressive guy, now in jail. surprising his successor, the next military guy, they go back to the military. it also doesn't mean there's a natural order in which we have consolidated democracies. that might happen, but it might not. it takes extra actors but also internal development. niall: i'm much more optimistic than steve about latin america because the populism of the left failed so spectacularly in venezuela, in a state of complete anarchy that it is hard to make arguments for those policies ever again. what you're seeing is a gradual stabilization of the political
process around democratic norms. the new resilient president does get a bum rap in the american press. but remember what i said about american media? don't believe what you read. if you look at the economic policies that they are implementing those of the , policies we at hoover would be in favor of. liberalization, fiscal reform. the super economics minister is the kind of guy we should be giving our enthusiastic support to. if they can deliver economic results, i'm absolutely sure the democratic institutions will stabilize. ms. rice: let me go back to something steve mentioned. he said it takes internal developments and external actions. the premise of american democracy promotion, or i like to call it democracy support, because people say you shouldn't impose democracy. you can impose tyranny. there are few who want to live under tyranny, although getting
to consolidated democracy is hard. the premise has been these are indeed universal values, that the united states should support them because they are universal, and the united states should have the tools and use those tools to support those who want to have the same rights we have, the right to say what you think, the right to be free from the not so secret police at night, the right to worship freely. human rights has been a part of america's foreign policy doctrine. steve they're not necessarily , universal. are we as americans barking up the wrong tree? stephen: i think the problem is, how do we find the right words -- horse to bet on? you look at japan in the post-world war ii period, who did we bet on? we bet on the emperor, bet on the ministry of commerce. these are not people who love democracy.
if you think about religious freedom, religious freedom begins in europe in 1648, not because of rules of europe -- rulers of europe believed in it, but because it was so volatile they just had 30 years war. they had the religious wars and -- in france. they had the english civil wars. they decided they had to somehow find a way of getting religion out of politics. what they settled on was religious toleration. there was not an official religion but do what you wanted to do provided you do it outside the city walls and inside your own private house. the problem is to find the right horse to bet on. that can be difficult because it the emperor was no democrat. but what he was looking at was a worse alternative. and i think that's hard to do from the outside. not impossible, but hard to do. niall: the lesson of the cold war is the united states should
speak up for basic human freedoms. by doing that, to an extent that i think policymakers at the times let the underestimated we , helped encourage the dissidents, encourage the oppositional forces in the soviet system and the soviet bloc in eastern europe. we also helped delegitimize a tyrannical system. we're going to see a rerun of this process to an extent that may surprise us as relations between the united states and china cool and we end up in something somewhat reminiscent of the cold war. the one thing we've got going for us is our commitment to individual freedom. the one thing president xi is most definitely against is individual freedom and the tightening of restrictions of freedom in china is one of the most striking features of the last eight years or so. it is something most egregious in the treatment of the weaker, muslim minority in western china.
the united states has to speak up about that and be true to our values. no, we're not trying to export a template of american policy and american culture, but we do need to stand on the side of individual freedom. by doing that, it seems to me we because achieve the kind of soft power we have talked about. it's a very expensive kind of power, and it's a potent force. i think it's going to be really important in the u.s.-china relationship which is really the , key relationship if what you're worried about is the future of democracy. if the chinese regime succeeds, and maintaining 6% growth for the foreseeable future it will , become the largest economy in the world. if it succeeds in its artificial intelligence program, it will become technologically our equal, conceivably our superior. the stakes are very high if that power is in the hands of a one-party state that is cracking down on individual and minority dissent.
so this is not the old cold war. this is the new cold war shaping up. ms. rice: would you agree? stephen: the iconic story about china, the chinese had a fleet that was much larger. the ships were much larger, the number of men much more substantial than anything in europe. they were halfway down the coast of east africa when they were called back by the emperor of china. he ordered the fleet destroyed because he saw it as a threat to his own rule. that's why china will ultimately fail. there's a difference between do people want individual freedom? yes, they do. will they necessarily be able to create a system that will bring that to them, which consolidated democracy does. i would say not necessarily. if you look at the cold war period, it's a very tight
between per capita democratization, except from 1989-1990. why is that the case? obviously, the soviet union wasn't interested in democracy and the united states gave lip service to it. we were more interested in making sure we had an autocratic rulers who supported us then autocratic rulers that supported the soviet union. i think in finding -- i think the problem with china is, if you look at the history of american relations with china from next and through obama, we assume -- nixon through obama, we assume they are just like chinese. guess what, they ended up just like chinese. they weren't just like us. one thing the current administration has done is made that absolutely clear. it isn't to say the fact there is a kind of yearning for individual freedom isn't the same thing as saying you'll
be able to construct and reach the madisonian sweet spot. ms. rice: let me throw something out. we did not reach the madisonian sweet spot for a long time either. is this actually more of a question of time? if one looks at the history of the united states, democracy as we are defining it, almost failed several times. john adams was a rather unpleasant fellow, it turns out, who didn't like to be criticized. had he been reelected, we would have had something called the alien and sedition act that would've made it illegal to criticize the president. the current president does not like being criticized. but we don't have laws against it. we might have. if you look at the united states and corruption, until at least teddy roosevelt, corruption was rampant. patronage, buying of positions, etc.
it was really only the professionalization of the civil service under roosevelt that began to change that. if one looks at the united states in terms of minority rights, i couldn't go to a movie theater in my hometown. so, is this really -- does the united states reach the sweet spot so easily that we shouldn't say to others, maybe it just takes you time to find that place at which people can self govern through institutions rather than through tribe or family or ethnic group? when you think about it, democracy is an odd concept. i ought to trust my interest, my rights to these abstractions called constitutions and rule of law and elections and so forth. so, shouldn't americans be more patient with those who are
trying to find the madisonian sweet spot given our history? stephen: this is the integral question. do we have a development in human history towards democracy or not? i would say not. it has happened in some places. i think there's been an element of luck in that, like when he had the evacuation from dunkirk. it's possible, but not automatic. that's my worry. there's no automaticity to thinking you'll get to the madisonian sweet spot. it is absolutely right to say it took the u.s. a long time. development in the u.s. has been very uneven, but they are very powerful institutions in the u.s. now that push in that direction. one of the things that amazes me about the soviet union is nobody killed stalin. why not? he was killing your wife. or sending your wife off to jail. no one killed him. it's hard to overthrow autocratic rulers.
all i would say is yes, we might reach this madisonian sweet spot. it takes a long time, but there's no automaticity to it. niall: can i push back against the theory that the weather won world war ii. come on. there is no conceivable way that i can think of, historically, that the nazis could have one -- won world war ii because of the determination to go to war with the soviet union. it ended in calamity for them. you also should remember, even if dunkirk had gone a lot worse, and it went pretty badly. this was a massive retreat, a massive evacuation, not a military victory, but the strength of the british empire was still such hitler's would not have dared an amphibious invasion of the united kingdom. we also have something which is leadership. it wasn't the weather that decided the outcome. it was winston churchill's leadership. i think we should never succumb to the theory of history that
says it's not about human agency. it's about the weather. that's important because it allows me to pivot to the issue -- rice: please, yes, right. niall: i don't think he can. [laughter] stephen: may not have time to. niall: that's what i'm relying to. gradualism is the key. edmund burke made this argument brilliantly in his reflections of the revolution in france. it was the disruptive character of the french revolution that he correctly predicted would lead to bloodshed and tyranny. he was altogether more approving of what was happening in the american colleagues -- colonies. that was a much more gradual process. there was not a breach of the rule of law and the american revolution. i think you are right in british history illustrates it as well as not better than american history. institutions have to evolve to
democracy gradually. you can't waive a wand and say hold elections and expect everything to work out fine. you know that better than anybody. ms. rice: i want to turn to the audience. i can't resist a couple of points. when i was secretary, i was sitting before the senate in one of those awful moments where you are being interrogated in what is called a hearing. i was asked by a sitting senator how the united states could have agreed to such a bad compromise as the afghan constitution where the afghans decided both sheria preamble. in the i said it wasn't half as bad as the compromise that made my ancestors to third a man in the -- two thirds a man and the american constitution. something to remember about time.
with all due respect, as to weather, hitler did mis-time his attack on the soviet union and got caught in something napoleon did, as well. it's called winter. niall: it would have been hard for him to avoid winter. at some point in that campaign, even with the power of blitzkrieg. ms. rice: earlier might have helped. we're going to turn to you now. if people come to the microphone to ask questions, we will alternate between the microphones. sir, you have the first question at this microphone. >> i wonder if you could talk a little bit about how our values inform foreign policy. we seem to embrace saudi arabia and their human rights and brutally murdering a journalist. and we want to sell them weapons. then we vilify iran and 50 years ago, the cia executed a coup with a nascent democracy. that seemed to be an hour best interest to overthrow a duly elected democratic government.
niall: that sounds like a question for the former secretary of state. [laughter] ms. rice: ok, i'll take the bait. you do talk about the central dilemma, if you're actually having to make foreign policy. when i read this khashoggi news, that is the day as secretary of state you just want to go back to bed. because the fact of the matter is united states is not an ngo. it has values, but it also has interests. when you're confronted with in a n ally that does not share your values, the hardest thing is to be true to your values and yet recognize sometimes you have strategic interests that means you have to keep your relationship alive. the united states can't cut off a relationship with saudi arabia for a whole host of reasons, including the fact iran is the most disruptive and dangerous state in the middle east. and a decision to cut off weapons sales to the saudi's
will most certainly embolden iran. that is against our interests. you're right. you're very often trying to walk and chew gum at the same time. you try to be true to your interest. onewest bank -- one mistake we made in the saudi case was we were not outspoken enough about what happened there, not condemnatory enough about what happened, and that gave the president no room to then say, but we do have to keep alive a relationship with saudi arabia. but it is a very, very difficult problem. we faced it several times, including with egypt, where we were arguing for democracy in egypt and still having to deal with a strongman like mubarak because we had to deal with a strongman like mubarak. niall: it should be said the other pillar of american policies in the middle east is its relationship with the true democracy in that region, which is israel.
however many criticisms one may make of recent policy, it has been quite successful in building up arab support, implicit or explicit, for israel and against iran. israel's strategic position has massively improved as a result of this. i think this is one of the achievements of recent years in the region. ms. rice: sir? >> first of all, thank you so much for this. this is wonderful. my question is, i was expecting to hear a little bit more about capitalism, free markets, globalization, and trade as a force affecting democratization of the world. i hear you talking a lot about that, but it does seem as though the china case is different than the soviet case. the chinese have integrated into the capitalist global trading system. the soviets never did. i'm wondering if that paints a different picture for the future. i know china hasn't turned out quite the way we had hoped, but
is there a pathway, short of collapse, that might somehow arc china more toward democracy? niall: i was just in beijing at the china development forum. it's important to bear in mind that the trend of recent years in china has been away from market capitalism towards state capitalism given that credit is channel toward state owned enterprises rather than the private sector companies, that the government in beijing views with considerable suspicion the most successful businesses in china, which is the tech companies. a mistake i think people commonly make is to say the chinese have become capitalists. that's not quite true. what's actually happened is an extraordinary market economy has formed around what is still a state-controlled economy. a friend of mine who works in the chinese tech sector said
this. there are three chinas. new, new china, which are the tech companies, the market elements. new old china, the state owned enterprises which they extract their rent, and old old china, the rust belt. unprofitable. one last point, we bent the rules for china and we turned a blind eye to their even further bending and breaking the rules after the chinese trade organization successions. the most positive developments of the trump administration, i want to echo something steve said earlier, has been this tougher line holding china , accountable for multiple transgressions. it's not capitalism if you're stealing intellectual property. that's piracy. the chinese have based too longer economic development on the theft of other people's intellectual property. i'm glad to say we have held
-- have called time on that ms. . rice: sir? >> condoleezza, you remarked a little bit about the threat to democracy and how we're all in a press bubble. i think the idea of a free press is a very important one. we're here at the hoover institution. niall, you very well put the evolution of the ways that we interact with the world. most of us in this room have a cell phone and the idea of how we engage with the press i think is very, very different from the constitutional, you know, foundation. so, i just wanted to ask you to comment more on that because on this idea of the threat to democracy and this idea, this age of net neutrality being bounced around, is it an fcc thing? we have california and acting its own laws. i think it's an important
question and i like to hear your thoughts on it. ms. rice: niall, you've actually done work on this. niall: i should credit george schulz, whose i'm delighted to see is here, for forcing me to think about what we should do. i wrote a book called "the square and the power about the history of networks," and i pointed out the problems of the rise of the network platforms. george said that's all very well, but what are we going to do about it, young man? i sat down and had a series of conferences he's held on the age of new technology and tried to figure this out. there are two things we need to do. i don't buy that they need to be broken up. i don't think antitrust is the way to go. i don't think we need a powerful federal regulator taking control of the sector. look how well that works in other sectors. i think we need to do two things. when need to look very hard at section 230 as the communication decency act, that exempts
network platforms for any liability for the content that appears on those platforms. that seems to be an anachronism that these are the most powerful corporations in the world, certainly in our public sphere. at the same time, we need to require a classic first amendment obligation on the desk was i first amendment -- quasi-first amendment obligation to them, which they are becoming, using their somewhat opaque user agreements to crack down on anybody they think is guilty of hate speech, which, by the way, is a euphemism for blasphemy, heresy, or something you don't like. those are two things we need to do to make them liable for the harm that arises, like videos of people shooting innocent people. and at the same time, make sure they don't censor us. make sure we have free speech in what has become the new public sphere.
ms. rice: yes, sir? >> in regards to threats to democracy and institutional failure, in i guess my 14, martin gary wrote it was failure in the intellectual legacy -- his whole point is that american democracy is in danger because the government is making promises to deliver economic growth and all these things, all these systems too complex to know what going on. when i was a schoolboy, the two towers went down in 9/11. we're still in afghanistan. the bailouts. how seriously should we be taking this idea that modern government, especially in the age of the internet, where everybody's failures are out there in the open and you can't hide them anymore because you control the three cable news channels, how big a threat is that to the next 50 years of democracy?
stephen: let me tell you, one thing you said which is absolutely correct, it's hard to figure out what's going on. it's even harder to figure out in other countries. if i ask any of us now, tell me how will we be living 50 years from now? how many hours a day? it is really hard to predict. i think if you want to have a government that works effectively, to some extent it has to be reactive to a set of developments taking place. if you think about making internet companies or software companies liable, which they haven't been up to now, it would look a like a bad idea 15 years ago because it suppressed innovation. it looks like a good idea now. all you can do is react. don't think you're going to predict what scum -- how the future will actually evolve.
niall: centralization is the great enemy here. the way of dealing with the problems is not to have a centralized state with some kind of on knowing planner in charge, which is the chinese model. our problems arise from the fact that we allowed centralization to happen, about the administrative state to spring up from the 1970's onward. forgot that the real genius of the american system lies partly in its decentralization. that seems to me the thing we've kind of forgotten. everybody should take a trip to switzerland, the last example of a developed economy that has remained politically decentralized. i would love to see us getting back to something that invested less power in the federal government and more power in the states and local communities. ms. rice: one of the guests the founders gave us his federalism. they have reserved to the states
anything not explicitly reserved for the federal government. and we have evolved. that seems to be taking some steps back. as people recognize the complexity you rightly identified can be better understood if those who govern in a you are closer to you. you see the states as experimenting with different -- one example, so everyone is concerned about retraining because of the job skills. we have 37 federal job training programs. some of them as small as $1 million. they don't do anything. perhaps granting power back to the states, because training in vermont or california or texas will look different. this question of how complexity and centralization work together is a very fruitful place to go. yes, sir? >> good evening, analysts and ladies it -- analysts and ladies and jenna. i have a quick question -- ladies and gentlemen. i have a quick question.
five countries currently hold veto power. in order to consolidate power and prevent national interests after world war ii. because of debt, you can prevent any substantial resolution within the security council. how do you view these contradictions for a country which champions democracy, authority over the world? and what is the future of the veto power in an increasingly democratic world? ms. rice: well, in a sense, the xiamen who asked the question -- the gentleman who asked the question, this is also an issue with what you note, the united states was in russia the ability to protect the ability to be dominant in issues of interest to it. the veto was given to the five permanent members of the security council. that makes it very difficult to do anything in the security council in which the interest of
the five powers are not aligned. we were able to do resolutions on north korea, but not syria. i don't think it's going to change. there was an effort when i was secretary by the group of four, japan, brazil, germany, and india, to join the security council as permanent members. it ran afoul. as secretary, i found myself saying we will reform the security council at an appropriate time, meeting probably never. what it has caused is that the security council has become less the place that one goes to get the resolution of warranties. regional institutions do more of that. when the united states send to kosovo, they went to nato. that is what happening.
the security council veto system is not going to change, but they are going to do what they want to do. >> now that president trump has been exonerated of all these silly charges, my question is -- one is for you. don't we have an opportunity to end 19 years of war? and to move on it aggressively and strongly. president trump can do that. and trump's ability to organize the kinds of economic cooperation with china and other nations, i think these are the two things i would like to know what you think about this, especially the exoneration of trump. what does that mean? you can't just put that aside as very good or very bad. what happens in the next years will be coming out of the trunk administration -- trump administration, period. ms. rice: i think we talked
about the china thing in economics. does someone want to talk about perpetual war? stephen: if you look at the situation, it wasn't a place you would have expected consolidated democracy in any short period of time. the problem is you have these constitutional decisions like the permanent members of the security council or even the u.s. senate, which are taken in moments of time and difficult to change it later on. i think you get locked in place by decisions which are taken by human beings at particular moments in time. they seem to be very was. they won't necessarily be wise in the future. one of the problems, thinking about afghanistan, is superpowered individuals. there's an alarming set of pages in the recent book about pakistan in which pakistan naval officers actually tried to steal nuclear weapons in pakistan, put them on boats in the indian
ocean, and use them against india. if you think about the spread of pandemic diseases, some may occur naturally but given the modern technology we have, it only requires a good ma in an biology, for ba in biology, to put together a smallpox epidemic, infect yourself, hang out at o'hare airport for a couple weeks before the disease starts to manifest itself and start a global epidemic. if you think about afghanistan, youif you think about it wasn't a place we could've left alone. 9/11, while it turned out to be
exceptional, we didn't think it would be exceptional at the time it happened. it's taken a lot of effort to make it exceptional. we're dealing with this situation where levels of death that could only be accomplished in early circle periods in wartime are now imposed on us by relatively small numbers of people, operating from countries that have limited resources. the danger is there. we have to be alert to that and we're confronted with this contradiction that our interests and our values -- it's fine when they are alive. -- aligned to but there will be times when they won't be. saudi arabia is an example. when they're not aligned, we're confronted with difficult choices. ms. rice: we're going to ask your questions and try to take them all. i want everybody to get the questions in. sir? >> we started by talking 100 years ago.
i was wondering, do you believe we are headed back in that you direction because we have isolationism, immigration stance, things like that? are we going back to that phase? also looking at the future, the ability of our next major military conflict will be with china, or if not, which country? >> i'm interested in talking about democracy promotion. him i'm assuming you mean peace and prosperity for other countries. the reality is both the united states and great britain, that involves military imperialism and economic exploitation of the countries. though mr. ferguson says we need to stand up to china on humanitarian issues and some imposes the saudi arabia question. our gdp is greatly injured -- influenced by transatlantic companies of cheap labor.
i don't think the difference between what our people want, which is living wages -- when i talked to my friends in mainland china, it's different than what americans want. and how do you address to my -- address democracy promotion when the reality is, is that our democracy, what we consider our democracy, does have an expletive component to it? and that we still are, our transnational corporations, your book on state sovereignty and power talks about how our fallen policies -- foreign policies are influenced by transatlantic corporations. ms. rice: thank you, yes. >> just anecdotally, iran for congress -- i ran for congress. i lost. i'm here today. two things people should regret about running for congress.
him and number one, you spend about five hours a day asking people for money. i did that for 22 months straight. i was once told early on do not think about national policy. my hope for running was to represent and focus on national policies, something i did in the past. i said don't think about that at all. it doesn't matter. even when you're in, you have to learn a heck of a lot. you have to get back in a cubicle and ask for more money. how do we deal with an institution based on things i don't think are the purpose behind it? ms. rice: thank you, sir? >> i have a question about the great paradox, 1917 with of the russian revolution. him him 2016 with brexit, institutions fail because they don't detect
radical change is happening. how can you explain the paradox that the greatest central organization that's probably known to man, which is the chinese communist party, seems to have done a good job at listening to the people, anticipating what they need, and and him delivering it. what do they need? what are they listening to? ms. rice: thank you. do you have a question? >> i wonder how america can continue to be the world's greatest ambassador after miss educated or not educated students. they are seduced by socialism. him him that seems to be the direction were going. how do we be the ambassador of democracy as we are increasingly socialist, which leads to communism and tyranny? ms. rice: i say picked two and answer the question. stephen: let me say something about china.
if you look years ago, things turned out pretty well. it wasn't the weather. you think about england, 1688, the glorious revolution and england, which came only after the english civil wars, only after they had been 10 years in british history when there had been no monarch. it had been ruled as the board protectors in england. there was an element of -- there wasn't the stewards agreed to go quietly into the night. after parliament demonstrated, and was willing to kill a king. i would say, if you think about what the evolution of china would be. the reason is not becoming wealthy or autocratic is that -- i don't think we've grown rich by exploiting other people.
you there's been a big advantage for the globalization of the economy. it's made hundreds of millions of people and china has lifted them out of party. the fact you can get your electronic device from china for a dollar or two dollars or five dollars, when in the u.s., you think the chinese, even though inevitably they were paid much less and workers would have been paid in the u.s.. but i think it was a lot of accident, luck, and happenstance that led us to live in a society where the government is constrained. i don't think the chinese will succeed in reaching that point because the question one would have to ask about china is, is it true that if the china continues to let economic element take place, in modern china, which is outside the control of the state, will the communist party crackdown and be
successful? that's the point, the critical issue. it's unclear what the outcome of that conflict would be. niall: question one is are we going back to 1919 in terms of isolationism? i don't think so. i think isolationism is exaggerated. i don't see john bolton pursuing an isolationist question two. where will it be? it's already begun. cyberspace between russia and china. question three,'s democracy promotion effectively synonymous with imperialism in the explication of cheap labor? no. what we do need to worry about is the increasing problem of monopolistic power within the u.s. economy. but by and large, the transatlantic corporations are generating employment
opportunities for people who would otherwise be in even worse poverty. question four, the campaign-finance question. i feel your pain, spending five hours a day raising money. what's the alternative? european has campaign restrictions. the problem about that is that you end up with the money finding its way into politics illegally, corruptly, and that's actually worse. at least we have transparency in our democratic system. question five, to institutions fail because they don't make the chinese communism party the exception? yes, it is because they listen to everything everybody says. they have surveillance and photo recognition. it has the most perfect surveillance system of any totalitarian state ever and it will not save the system. that's the irony. you can know everything about what your population is saying and doing and still succumb to all the problems a one-party state or pathologies that go
with the one-party state. finally, the lack of education in civics. i could not agree with you more. what a catastrophe we face, when young americans are educated to believe socialism is ok and free speech is a bad thing. if there's anything that can defeat a free society of american democracy, it is that. we won't be defeated by china anymore than by the soviet union. we'll be defeated by our cells and our failure to teach the next generation the values that this institution stands for. ms. rice: thank you. [applause] ms. rice: well, i have only left to thank our panelists. wonderful discussion. i want to thank you very much for spending the last hour and a half with us, talking about this extremely important question of democracy's future and america's role in it.
and as to the last question about teaching civics and teaching history, i hope that the next time that we do this, it will be not during spring break and that we will invite students to engage in this kind of discussion. because i do think that the ideas defining a free society, for which hoover stands, may not be fully under attack. but there is no doubt that they are not as healthy as they should be and there is no better way than to make them healthy than to have them discussed and discussed openly. thank you and thank you for the opportunity to do this. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> and i want to thank the audience. if you have the time, please stay with us.
we have a reception. please stay and chat. thank you. >> over programs are archived on our website at www.c-span.org. you can watch lectures intelligent classrooms, tourist cr schedule of upcoming programs. >> ibm has been in rochester since the coming up, we'll take 1950's. you inside the facility to learn about the innovations that happened here that have an impact on your lives everyday. >> back in 1956, rochester was a city of about three dozen people