Power through Purpose: The Realism of Idealism as a Basis for Foreign Policy

Power through Purpose: The Realism of Idealism as a Basis for Foreign Policy

Power through Purpose: The Realism of Idealism as a Basis for Foreign Policy

Power through Purpose: The Realism of Idealism as a Basis for Foreign Policy

Excerpt

The United States is the heir and standard-bearer of a culture begotten and bred in Europe. That culture rests on the twin foundations of Graeco-Roman politics and law and Judaeo-Christian ethics and religion. Our own tradition and history give us a unique position as modern champions of those ancient insights. Our constitutional democracy and our industrial technology provide us with unique opportunities to realize the Western promise in the daily practice of our lives and through the sure functioning of free institutions. We are equipped to achieve both citizenship as social and political participation in the shaping of our lives and destinies and the full development of the ultimate and irreducible person. Possessed of vast power and called to leadership in the world, we can, if we will, spread our ideals elsewhere and help others on the road to their realization. Our middle-class society is marked by an increasingly shared amplitude of economic means and by broad enjoyment of leisure for the cultivation of humane ends. It is the true classless society, without benefit of revolution or need for totalitarian discipline. It is the leader in the fight against these needless and soul-destroying ills, and against their spread. Its mission is to persuade those still free that they can with its help profitably and successfully follow its way, and to rescue those who are the victims of tyranny and set them, too, on the right path. To that end it must first strengthen its adherence to its own ideals and institutions at home, and purify its political practice. It must fight without compromise the internal enemies of its method of freedom. It must maintain without compromise the essential rights of those committed to those methods, and must champion the values of creative dissent and personal difference. Its foreign policy must no less clearly and forthrightly distinguish between friend and foe, and must be devised as an integral part of the total politics of a nation whose interest . . .

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