- Taschenbuch: 284 Seiten
- Verlag: Random House (23. Januar 1967)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0812992628
- ISBN-13: 978-0812992625
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 1,9 x 21,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 105.051 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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The Arrogance of Power (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 23. Januar 1967
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
J. William Fulbright (1905–1995) was a Democratic senator from Arkansas and served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was first elected to Congress in 1942 and became a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he introduced the "Fulbright Resolution," calling for the participation by the United States in an international organization to maintain peace and is generally considered to be the forerunner to the establishment of the United Nations. In 1954, Senator Fulbright was the one member of the Senate to vote against additional funds for the Special Investigating Subcommittee headed by Joseph McCarthy, and was a co-sponsor of the censure resolution passed by the Senate against Senator McCarthy. During the same year, he was appointed by the president as a member of the United States Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations. He is the author of The Price of Empire.
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It is a reflection on what we have become, and the choices we make for our future. There are two competing forces for the direction we take, what the author Senator J. William Fullbright calls two Americas: One is the America of Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson and the other is of Theodore Roosevelt and the Superpatriots. They are two distinct sides of the American character. The character of Lincoln is rooted in humanism and assumes that America's greatness is its recognition of its imperfections. The character of Roosevelt is rooted in American Exceptionalism, or what the senator refers to as an arrogance of power.
The dominant strand of the American fabric is the democratic humanist one. It is rooted in the principles of our Founding Fathers, humanism, tolerance and accommodation. The coexisting strand is that of Theodore Roosevelt's belief in America's superiority, or what Fullbright sees as intolerant Puritanism. It is the belief that America expresses its cultural superiority through its wealth and dominance, that superiority is measured in military might.
According to Senator Fullbright these forces of the American body politic have been at odds for years with the belief in America's superiority dominating foreign and domestic policy. This is the strand the senator contends must not prevail. This path follows previous empires that failed because rulers did not rule wisely or well. He profoundly states, "power tends to confuse itself with virtue and a great nation is peculiarly susceptible to the idea that its power is a sign of God's favor, conferring upon it a special responsibility for other nations to make them richer and happier and wiser, to remake them, that is, in its own shining image." (Does this sound familiar)?
This superpatriot model is moralistic as well as it is imperial. It demands conformity on its citizens for whatever foreign policy it embarks upon. It fails to recognize that American values are not tied to it but separate and distinct. Fullbright contends that the very light and vibrance of a democracy can be found in its dissent; it is its greatest example of freedom and energy.
Noble intentions are not an example of a nation's greatness, as the author shows that historical interference in the affairs of others were all done with excellent intentions. This becomes a drain on a country's power that leads to political insignificance and irrelevance. Even our benevolence can be seen as humiliation, as our assistance is an embarrassing loss of face, and as we tell other nations what they should do to improve their economic or political circumstances. We are baffled by their lack of gratitude.
Just as the most effective leadership is by example, other nations will be influenced by us by the way they see the welfare of our citizens. America's greatest influence on others is the level of education, health, and standard of living we provide our citizens. They will not be influenced by our military might, a policy of solitary interest, or our "arrogance of power."
Our country is now at the height of its American Exceptionalism, which means it is at the depth of its greatness. Our continuation on this path will lead to our downfall. Our recognition that we are a partner in the family of nations and not its parent, will enhance our stature, not diminish it.
Senator J. William Fullbright died February 9, 1995. This book is one of his legacies. As long as people read and cherish this book that legacy continues.
The author defines Arrogance of Power as "a psychological need that nations seem to have in order to prove that they are bigger, better, or stronger than other nations" and "the tendency of great nations to equate power with virtue and major responsibilities with a universal mission."
The Senator also was critical of wars justified by "vital national interest".
Senator Fulbright points out that domestic policy suffers when war becomes the focal point of American policy.
His warning about the side effects of pre-emptive war has proven accurate in current times.
One has to wonder how different things in America would have been had Senator Fulbright's ideas been pursued during the Viet Nam era.
This book is very much dated, but the Senator's views are timeless and he communicates those ideas very well. This is still an excellent book on foreign policy and it's definitely not a "dry read".