As Hans Morgenthau argued, for there to be a ‘permanent peace’ in the global community, there has to be ‘peace through accommodation’ as a result of diplomacy. What diplomacy amounts to, essentially, is “the promotion of the national interest through peaceful means.” What this also means is a revival or shift towards a diplomatic paradigm of foreign relations and away from a hegemonic paradigm where military and ideological instruments were the focal points in the advancement of national interests. In turn, diplomacy has four tasks, according to Morgenthau:
- Diplomacy must determine its objectives in the light of the power actually and potentially available for the pursuit of these objectives
- Diplomacy must assess the objectives of other nations and the power actually and potentially available for the pursuit of these objectives
- Diplomacy must determine to what extent these different objectives are compatible with each other
- Diplomacy must employ the means suited to the pursuit of these objectives
Diplomacy also means that aside from the threat of force, persuasion and compromise are also necessary for the advancement of national interests. Why persuasion and compromise are of the utmost importance in foreign relations is because the farther people move away from persuasion and compromise, the likelier it is that they will go to war with one another. All of this requires, first of all, the determination of what the national interest actually is and what one’s objectives are, and then there has to be a “hierarchy” of objectives, interests, and priorities to be pursued, as Morgenthau wrote.
Since the beginning of the Cold War, America’s core foreign policy interest or objective has been framed or presented as a battle or struggle between ‘freedom and tyranny’ which one should note amounts essentially to code or a euphemism for a battle and struggle between East and West. In turn, there are economic, ideological, racial, religious, and social considerations and factors as to why America’s approach towards the world has been one which is conceptualized and then implemented in a manner by which perennial or perpetual struggle and war against “tyranny” has been the underlying principle or philosophical basis for foreign policy.
But as mentioned before, above all else, it is the fact that the global capitalist system which Washington seeks to preserve “conceals elements of crisis and war, that the development of world capitalism does not follow a steady and even course forward, but proceeds through crises and catastrophes” as Stalin argued. He added:
“The uneven development of the capitalist countries leads in time to sharp disturbances in their relations and the group of countries which consider themselves inadequately provided with raw materials and export markets try usually to change this situation and to change the position in their favor by means of armed force.”
Given the very basic character, essence, and nature of the global capitalist system which Washington seeks to preserve, the East perceives its relations with the West as one that is defined and determined by perpetual struggle or war and likewise, the West perceives its relations with the East in the same manner. In turn, a collectivist system undermines the very basic character, essence, and nature of a global capitalist system that has crisis, catastrophe, inequality, and war at its very heart. Hence, the policy of “containment” and the perception in Washington that concessions or negotiations with the East would be too “risky,” given that collectivism would undermine the very basic order, organization, or structure of Western society. But given recent developments and the overall outcome of a global hegemonic policy and strategy, the concept or perception in Washington that concessions or negotiations with the East would be too “risky” might have to change and as a result prompt a complete paradigm change in foreign relations which might make certain folks feel uneasy.