March 28, 2023

The Collapse of World Order In the 20th Century

Robert Kagan

There has been a great deal of confusion of what the U.S.’s interests are on the  global stage. Normally, they are tangible, military, economy, etc., or they revolve  around values. One of the more defining interests is defending a certain type or  world order, one of liberalism, democracy, and freedom. Kagan then digresses  into America’s history where in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,  the U.S. was invulnerable to outside attack, and as a nation it chose to intervene  with conflicts. In World War One, world order was changed entirely, so the U.S.  chose to fight for the liberal world order to return, one that ensure American  prosperity. That same liberal world order was defended once again in World War  Two, when it was threatened by fascism and imperial Japan. For a modern twist,  the Ukrainian invasion once again has given the U.S. a choice to make, wither to  fight for the liberal world order hastily, or to wait to see if any outcomes arise.  Kagan in the question-and-answer portions discusses topics surrounding Senator  William Borah, the Great Debate of 1940-1941, and views of communism versus  fascism in the U.S. government.

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