GLOBALIZATION AND WAR: REBUTTALS AND COMMENTARY: SAM CRANE
Part of an occasional series, the rebuttal and commentary posts will address the roundtable on Globalization and War. This format is open to both the symposium's participants and other interested bloggers or scholars who would like their views published here.Link Preface:Globalization and Conflict in East Asia by Sam CraneGlobalization, War and Mencius by Sam CraneGlobalization and War by Simon
of Simon World" Globalization, War and Mencius
by Dr. Sam Crane of The Useless Tree Over at ZenPundit there is roundtable series of posts and discussion on the broad topic of globalization and war (I will have a post there tomorrow). I want to respond here to Simon's (of Simon World) post. He focuses on the upcoming WTO talks in Hong Kong and, drawing on various East Asian data, comes to an optimistic conclusion about globalization and war:
As globalization brings economic growth, it will bring political growth. Countries that are economically successful and growing do not, as a rule, go to war. In a world where there are numerous flashpoints and delicate balances to be maintained, globalization is a key force pushing towards peace. It is that complicated. And that simple.
Many might look at that statement and say it is a clear expression of a classically liberal position: free trade brings economic growth and that engenders peace. It is also in keeping with the political economy of Mencius.
Let me just offer this passage and you can see for yourself the parallels between Mencius and Western liberalism on questions of trade and peace:
Mencius said: "Honor the wise, employ the able, and you'll have great worthies for ministers - then every noble official throughout all beneath Heaven will rejoice and long to stand in you court. Collect rent in the markets but no tax, or enforce laws but collect no rent - then every merchant throughout all beneath Heaven will rejoice and long to trade in your markets. Conduct inspections at the border but collect no tax - then every traveler throughout all beneath Heaven will rejoice and long to travel your roads. Have farmers help with public fields but collect no tax - then every farmer in all beneath Heaven will rejoice and long to work your land. Don't demand tributes in cloth from families and villages - then people throughout all beneath Heaven will rejoice and long to become your subjects.
"If you can do these five things with sincerity, the people in neighboring countries will all revere you as their parent. And not since people first came into being has anyone ever managed to lead children against their own parents. So if you do this, you won't have an enemy anywhere in all beneath Heaven, you'll be Heaven's minister...(54-55)
Save for the "public fields" thing it sounds downright Smithian to me... "