A Reasonable Policy

Oct 4, 2011 by

When it comes to our Federal Government, the power of Foreign Affairs that is attributed to it is unquestioned.  Now, while that power may belong to the Federal Government, the debatable part is:  How is it that the Federal Government should execute this power?  Thus, I will begin to outline what I believe to be a reasonable foreign policy.

First, when it comes to Foreign Affairs, we must acknowledge that there is, nor can be, a global government.  For such an authority to exist would require all the people of the world, not just the governments, to agree to it.  And, even if it should come into being, like the Empires of Rome and Alexander the Great, it would soon be divided up from lack of ability for a single government to affectively rule so many.

Now, in order for one to discover what is reasonable in foreign affairs, one must find a scenario that is similar in which it deals with the individual, for the individual is an easier person to decide what is reasonable for than a nation.  Thomas Hobbes brings us our point of comparison:

“But though there had never bee n any time wherein particular men were in a condition of war one against another; yet in all times, kings, and persons of sovereign authority, because of their independency, are in continual jealousies, and in the state and posture of the gladiators; having their weapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on one another… which is a posture of war.”  (Hobbes, Leviathan)

Hobbes comes at this idea in the reverse order, but we meet in the center.  See, the state of nature, a place where all individuals are without government.  He sees that, though there may not have been one, we can see one on the international front, which will be the point of comparison for our purposes.  So, imagine that you are in a large group of people.  Imagine that in this, group, there are people who hate one another, people who keep to themselves, people who want to be friends, and all manner of people.  This is the international arena in a nut shell.  In this group, fights are the equivalent of wars.  And, in this group, there is no government.

So let us look at how a reasonable person might act in such a group.  The reasonable person’s first concern would be his own.  He would not want to get beat up or killed by anyone.  Thus, a reasonable person would train himself to defend himself, and always be prepared to do so at a moment’s notice.  Thus, the national equivalent would be to form a military which is well trained and well kept.  Also, a reasonable person would be aware of the intentions of those around him; who hates him, who is about to attack, who is thinking of attacking.  The national likeness to this would be the CIA and FBI.  The CIA maintains knowledge on everyone around us and tries to prevent chaotic situations from arising.  The FBI maintains knowledge on and tries to prevent acts of terrorism, which are foreign attacks but since on our soil, investigated by the FBI.  The reasonable person, in the group, would only start a fight if attacked first or if knowing an attack was coming inevitably and for no fault of his own.  Thus should our Government act.  Wars should only start when the reasonable nation is attacked or can see that there is no benefit in delaying the inevitable.  Now, inevitable does not mean soon. If a nation is gearing up to attack in a decade, and the attack is inevitable, to wait a decade would be reckless and unreasonable.

However, securing himself would not be the only concern of the reasonable person, in the group.  The reasonable person would also concern himself with finding friends.  The reasonable person would find friends who are reasonable themselves.  The national equivalent is for us to find nations who share our principles.  First, we would look to nations who, like us, believe in the rights of man.  Second, we would look for nations who, in addition to the first, share our principles of reasonable foreign policy.  Now, as far as wars to aid allies, this is the logic.  A friend of this kind is an extension of yourself, to an extent.  He is your brother.  Thus, an attack on him is an attack on you.  It is like how if one cops get shot, it is an attack on all of them.  They all share the same principles, simply because it targets a single person does not mean that it is not an attack on all.  An attack on our principles is an attack on our principles no matter who the physical incarnation of them is.  Thus, we should aid any ally in a fight that they may have entered into, so long as they remain loyal to the principles which bind the two nations.

Thus, our foreign policy should be about prevention and maintaining knowledge through the CIA and FBI.  We should maintain a strong military; though not enter wars for light and transient causes.  We should ally ourselves with nations who are both reasonable in that they believe in the same principles of the rights of man and reasonable in their foreign policy.  This is the foreign policy of the reasoned man in the state of nature.  This is the foreign policy of the reasoned nation.

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  1. Lot

    “would only start a fight if attacked first or if knowing an attack was coming inevitably and for no fault of his own.”

    Thank you for stating this. This is something that is often overlooked by people who fear the opposing party in any ordeal. It is that very fear that causes a person to make a drastic or unnecessary decision which can unleash chaos in a situation in which chaos may have been averted. When there are two sides that fear each other, it becomes inevitable or at least incredibly difficult to avoid a passionate reaction from a member of either side.

  2. Gerber

    Be careful in how you tread with this statement. Define Ordeal for me and give me an example of what you are intending to say. Israel fears the Nuclear “Ordeal” that is going on in Iran for good reason and is justified in any “passionate” reaction that they would choose to undertake to avoid an Iranian strike. So, please elaborate on what your intended example or point is with this comment. I agree to limits in wars, but I do not think fear to not be a justified cause of war. Fear means there is a reason to fear. What is that reason that you are thinking of?

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