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Cold War II Contrasting Ideologies

Vox_Veritas
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11/5/2015 1:41:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The U.S. was founded upon freedom of speech, freedom of religion, a democratic form of government, freedom of the press, economic freedom, and so on. Essentially it was founded upon the principles of human rights, the question of whether or not they've always lived up to these principles aside.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century the world's great powers began to adapt these principles as well (and, later on, the right to self-determination, ending colonialism). The U.S. emerged from the Spanish-American War and, later, WWII, as the dominant military and economic power. It was in a position to lead the rest of the Western world in trying to work towards a world where all nations respected human rights.
This plan was interrupted by the emergence of the Soviet Union, a nation founded upon the principles of communism and the spreading of communism to the rest of the world, as a 1st/2nd most powerful military at the end of WWII.
WWII and the Cold War set a precedent of US involvement in the world's affairs. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the U.S. was finally in a position where it could freely impose its ideas upon the second and third world.
A nation's got a dictator who commits crimes against humanity, erodes the democratic process, and prohibits basic freedoms? POOF! It's invasion time!
Though this wasn't the explicit reason for the deposing of the Taliban regime or the Ba'athists, it's clear that the U.S. attempted to have Afghanistan and Iraq rebuilt as nations abiding by democratic principles. The U.S. also bombed Gaddafi's regime and aided the anti-Assad rebels.

Then came along Russia, having rebuilt its military force and ready to "get back in the game". And there's China, a growing military force. Whenever contemplating why Russia and China are doing what they're doing right now, the most common answer is "Vlad wants to build a new Russian empire" or "China aims to be the next superpower".
While these statements certainly have a ring of truth, this is in my opinion an overly simplistic answer.
The world watched in 2003 as the U.S. invaded Iraq and as the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. It also watched the very long occupations and counter-insurgencies that both involved, costing hundreds of thousands of lives. The world watched as the ISIL took over half of Iraq when the U.S. withdrew from the country.
The conclusion that many people would draw is that neither Saddam not the Taliban should've been deposed because stability and peace were provided by both regimes and chaos began to reign as soon as they were deposed.
The world sees Syria today. While no one's denying that Assad is a brute, as soon as the rebellion started the country was thrown into a state of civil war. Libya is the same way now.
The conclusion that they drew is that the reign even of these brutes is better than the current chaos. Dictatorship is, thus, in some cases superior to democracy, which is viewed as unsustainable in those certain cases. Democracy isn't necessarily superior.
Russia, under a fairly conservative government with ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, wants to crack down on LGBTs. The U.S. is pushing for LGBTs galore, while the Russian government sees them as perversions of nature. Its policy is contrary to American ideas on sexuality and it resents the US's attempt to make Russia act more like the U.S. in this regard.
Also, whenever the U.S. imposes democracy on a country, this usually largely involves American culture. Soviet Union in its final days? A Pizza Hut opens in Moscow! Russians are suddenly able to watch Oprah on their black and white televisions! Coca-Cola and democracy are sometimes used interchangeably. Thus, American democracy is viewed as being mixed or even synonymous with American cultural imperialism.
The guiding principle of the Shanghai Powers is, thus, that nations don't need to become democracies just because the U.S. says so. In some countries the native values, often completely contrary to American values, are better. America's imposition of its values and culture on the rest of the world is an overall detriment and should be opposed. Nations should be allowed to be totalitarian, theocratic, democratic, or whatever makes the boat float. It's not up to the U.S. or any Western nation to decide what's best for them.

It could be considered a battle between modernism (these modern values are best and EVERYONE should share them; U.S. side) vs Postmodernism (some nations are democratic and neutral in terms of religion, others aren't; let every country just do its own thing; anti-US side).
This is my analysis on the primary ideologies driving Cold War II. Thoughts?
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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11/5/2015 1:42:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Your ability to be logical and make good arguments has improved drastically, and given the fact that you obviously have plenty of time to write so many thoughtful posts, I think you'd do well if you tried again.
Vox_Veritas
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11/5/2015 1:43:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/5/2015 1:42:39 AM, Wylted wrote:
Your ability to be logical and make good arguments has improved drastically, and given the fact that you obviously have plenty of time to write so many thoughtful posts, I think you'd do well if you tried again.

Thank you, but did you actually read the OP?
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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Wylted
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11/5/2015 1:48:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/5/2015 1:43:42 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 11/5/2015 1:42:39 AM, Wylted wrote:
Your ability to be logical and make good arguments has improved drastically, and given the fact that you obviously have plenty of time to write so many thoughtful posts, I think you'd do well if you tried again.

Thank you, but did you actually read the OP?

Getting around to it
Vox_Veritas
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11/5/2015 1:59:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
This was written in part to show that, like Cold War I, Cold War II involves two complex and contrasting ideologies and isn't just about Nation A being pitted against Nation B and Nation C, though that is of course a very large part of it.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,288
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11/5/2015 4:13:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I would disagree with characterizing it as a cold war, and with characterizing the latter option as being 'anti-America'. America either has to go hard-core imperialist, and absolutely remake the countries which it invades and occupies, or it needs to stop laboring under the delusion that we can just transplant democracy without investing a lot of energy in multi-generational occupation, possible annexation, and a full cultural overhaul. If we aren't willing to do that, then our three options are: support dictators in direct opposition to our purported beliefs in order to maintain our sphere of influence; prop up forms of government which we may not agree with, but which are not toadies either, and exert their own regional hegemony; or surrender the area to another nation which will support dictators in order to expand their own hegemony. Americans basically lack the stomach for long-term occupations, social overhaul, and the violence inherent in such things. They are also squeamish about supporting dictators. The obvious option should be to support independent, traditional governments and to nurture their growth while trading with them (the sort of thing advocated by the founders - friends to all nations, allies to none). However, the absurd myth that our form of government is this universal pinnacle to which all nations are destined to progress just won't die, so we'll probably end up taking option four and surrendering more and more ground to Russia and China in the years to come. This is the objectively stupid choice, and the fact that we're going to keep making it over and over again by default says volumes about how defunct the American government is on the world stage.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,086
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11/5/2015 4:18:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/5/2015 4:13:01 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I would disagree with characterizing it as a cold war, and with characterizing the latter option as being 'anti-America'. America either has to go hard-core imperialist, and absolutely remake the countries which it invades and occupies, or it needs to stop laboring under the delusion that we can just transplant democracy without investing a lot of energy in multi-generational occupation, possible annexation, and a full cultural overhaul. If we aren't willing to do that, then our three options are: support dictators in direct opposition to our purported beliefs in order to maintain our sphere of influence; prop up forms of government which we may not agree with, but which are not toadies either, and exert their own regional hegemony; or surrender the area to another nation which will support dictators in order to expand their own hegemony. Americans basically lack the stomach for long-term occupations, social overhaul, and the violence inherent in such things. They are also squeamish about supporting dictators. The obvious option should be to support independent, traditional governments and to nurture their growth while trading with them (the sort of thing advocated by the founders - friends to all nations, allies to none). However, the absurd myth that our form of government is this universal pinnacle to which all nations are destined to progress just won't die, so we'll probably end up taking option four and surrendering more and more ground to Russia and China in the years to come. This is the objectively stupid choice, and the fact that we're going to keep making it over and over again by default says volumes about how defunct the American government is on the world stage.

So basically if Americans aren't willing to, say, commit to long-term occupation then stuff like the War in Iraq did more harm than good.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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Vox_Veritas
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11/5/2015 4:19:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
To be fair, Iraq was incredibly expensive for something which we were only a part of for 8 years. I don't think even the U.S. has the money needed to keep it up for several generations.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,288
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11/5/2015 4:33:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/5/2015 4:19:52 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
To be fair, Iraq was incredibly expensive for something which we were only a part of for 8 years. I don't think even the U.S. has the money needed to keep it up for several generations.

Then we shouldn't have gone in. And if we were staying that long, we should have just annexed it anyway, which would have paid off in the long run.

What should have been done in Iraq, if we weren't willing to fully commit, was a simple regime change. Find someone high in the ranks of the Ba'ath party who is willing to toe the line, support a coup, overthrow Saddam, and put his underling in charge. In stead, we invaded, disbanded the Ba'ath party (essentially barring everyone with political experience from taking part in the political life of Iraq), introduced democracy to a highly sectarian and fractious political landscape, and withdrew. The predictable result was the implosion which we're now witnessing, the staggering waste of American blood and money, and the destabilization of an entire region.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Vox_Veritas
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11/5/2015 4:44:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/5/2015 4:13:01 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I would disagree with characterizing it as a cold war, and with characterizing the latter option as being 'anti-America'. America either has to go hard-core imperialist, and absolutely remake the countries which it invades and occupies, or it needs to stop laboring under the delusion that we can just transplant democracy without investing a lot of energy in multi-generational occupation, possible annexation, and a full cultural overhaul. If we aren't willing to do that, then our three options are: support dictators in direct opposition to our purported beliefs in order to maintain our sphere of influence; prop up forms of government which we may not agree with, but which are not toadies either, and exert their own regional hegemony; or surrender the area to another nation which will support dictators in order to expand their own hegemony. Americans basically lack the stomach for long-term occupations, social overhaul, and the violence inherent in such things. They are also squeamish about supporting dictators. The obvious option should be to support independent, traditional governments and to nurture their growth while trading with them (the sort of thing advocated by the founders - friends to all nations, allies to none). However, the absurd myth that our form of government is this universal pinnacle to which all nations are destined to progress just won't die, so we'll probably end up taking option four and surrendering more and more ground to Russia and China in the years to come. This is the objectively stupid choice, and the fact that we're going to keep making it over and over again by default says volumes about how defunct the American government is on the world stage.

Also, what you're saying about it not being a Cold War...I think Wikipedia explicitly has an article on it calling it Cold War II. The article's been up for months (if not a whole year), so it isn't the action of some troll or Wikipedia noob who knows nothing about politics, seeing as how that surely would've been taken down by now.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

#drinkthecoffeenotthekoolaid
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,288
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11/5/2015 4:49:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/5/2015 4:44:56 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 11/5/2015 4:13:01 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I would disagree with characterizing it as a cold war, and with characterizing the latter option as being 'anti-America'. America either has to go hard-core imperialist, and absolutely remake the countries which it invades and occupies, or it needs to stop laboring under the delusion that we can just transplant democracy without investing a lot of energy in multi-generational occupation, possible annexation, and a full cultural overhaul. If we aren't willing to do that, then our three options are: support dictators in direct opposition to our purported beliefs in order to maintain our sphere of influence; prop up forms of government which we may not agree with, but which are not toadies either, and exert their own regional hegemony; or surrender the area to another nation which will support dictators in order to expand their own hegemony. Americans basically lack the stomach for long-term occupations, social overhaul, and the violence inherent in such things. They are also squeamish about supporting dictators. The obvious option should be to support independent, traditional governments and to nurture their growth while trading with them (the sort of thing advocated by the founders - friends to all nations, allies to none). However, the absurd myth that our form of government is this universal pinnacle to which all nations are destined to progress just won't die, so we'll probably end up taking option four and surrendering more and more ground to Russia and China in the years to come. This is the objectively stupid choice, and the fact that we're going to keep making it over and over again by default says volumes about how defunct the American government is on the world stage.

Also, what you're saying about it not being a Cold War...I think Wikipedia explicitly has an article on it calling it Cold War II. The article's been up for months (if not a whole year), so it isn't the action of some troll or Wikipedia noob who knows nothing about politics, seeing as how that surely would've been taken down by now.

It's not a matter of legitimacy, but of stretching definitions. I think that calling this any sort of war is a bit premature when all that we have is a single debatable proxy conflict.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -