Bad Statesman, Good Prophet

Bad Statesman, Good Prophet

Mini Teaser: The shape of the post-Cold War world is not really elusive. It is defined by the Wilsonian triad of democracy, free trade and arms control.

by Author(s): Michael Mandelbaum

Woodrow Wilson and the Post-Cold War Order

WHEN the Cold War ended, professional observers of international politics began an informal contest to describe the new post-Cold War world. This was known as the "Kennan competition", for the goal was to do for the new era what the American diplomat George Kennan had done for the post-World War II period in his influential 1947 article, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct." In that essay he identified the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union as the centerpiece of international affairs and coined the term "containment" to describe American policy toward its chief adversary.

In the course of the first post-Cold War decade an impressive array of books and articles about the new world order appeared--one of the most influential of them, Francis Fukuyama's "The End of History?", in the pages of this magazine--but none gained acceptance as definitive. The answer to the question of how to characterize the world after the Cold War, however, was hiding in plain sight. The key lies in the ideas of the most controversial and least successful of all American foreign policymakers, the twenty-eighth president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.

Both the controversy and the failure center on Wilson's plan, unveiled at the Paris Peace Conference following World War I, for an international organization to keep the peace. The League of Nations was established but the United States did not join, and the organization did not prevent the outbreak of World War II two decades later. One reason for the American rejection of the League was the president's incompetence in lobbying the U.S. Senate in favor of American membership. Both at home and abroad, Wilson was a poor statesman.

Eight decades later, however, he has proven to have been a remarkably good prophet. His vision of a world transformed, of a new postwar order that would prevent a recurrence of the ordeal of 1914-18, went beyond the establishment of a League of Nations. The Wilsonian vision had three other components, each of which, he believed, would contribute to a more peaceful world: restraints on armaments, democratic government, and the unimpeded flow of commerce across national borders. These other pillars of his program--this "Wilsonian triad"--form the setting of the world after the Cold War.

In his statement setting forth what the United States hoped to accomplish by intervening in World War I--the "Fourteen Points" speech of January 8, 1918--in his subsequent elaborations on those points, in his other major addresses on the war, and in his diplomacy at Paris, Woodrow Wilson presented his vision of the postwar international order. His was a program of international reform in which disarmament, democracy and free trade were central.

He called, on January 8, for the reduction of all national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety. He was convinced that the expansion of Europe's armed forces and the accumulation of weaponry by the continent's great powers before 1914 had contributed to the outbreak of the conflict. Arms, he believed, were themselves a cause of war.

Popular government was an equally important part of Wilson's vision. The United States had entered the war, according to the contemporaneous slogan, to make the world safe for democracy. Democracy was a necessary condition of peace, its absence a cause of war. Democracy entailed self-government, and the single greatest obstacle to European self-government in the second decade of the twentieth century was imperial rule. Wilson's Fourteen Points speech thus called for the end of empires. This required the application to imperial territory of the principle of national self-determination, a principle that Wilson considered necessary for the kind of democracy in which he believed.

In the same speech, as he had before and would again afterward, Wilson also called for the removal of barriers to international trade and the establishment of equal trading conditions for all countries everywhere. Free trade was, with disarmament and democracy, a pillar of a peaceful world. At Paris, Wilson sought to dismantle the barriers to the free flow of commerce across international borders.

Wilson's ideas seem familiar to us today. They reappeared in the statements of American aims in the next war by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They entrenched themselves thereafter in the political rhetoric of the Western democracies. They are staples of speeches by Western--especially American--political leaders on world politics and foreign policy. Indeed, the Wilsonian ideas are so familiar that they have become the political equivalent of Muzak, scarcely registering on an audience whenever they are proclaimed. They are what all Western political leaders say they want, what--they insist--the policies they are prescribing aim to achieve. Wilson's three precepts are considered the standard means to the universally desired and self-evidently worthy ends of peace, liberty and prosperity.

The Passing of the Old Order

BUT THIS was not always so. In the decades after Wilson unveiled his vision of international order, the means he had advocated were bitterly contested. And for most of recorded history the ends he proposed, far from being universally accepted, were all but unthinkable. A century before Wilson's moment, and for all the centuries before that, the world in which every human being lived was what, after it had disappeared, came to be called "traditional." Life was lived locally. Economic activity was almost entirely agricultural. Political authority was hereditary and arbitrary. Change in the daily routine of court, town and village, when it occurred, was experienced as disruption, not progress. The principal causes of change were dynastic succession, religious schism and the weather. The three international goals that Wilson proclaimed and that came in the twentieth century to seem unarguably desirable would have struck almost anyone living in the first half of the eighteenth century or earlier as distinctly odd .

Peace would have seemed an odd goal because war was considered a natural feature of relations between and among sovereign states. War was not always desirable, of course, and a body of doctrine had accumulated over the centuries to regulate its conduct, but the abolition of war was almost nowhere regarded as a serious human hope or purpose. As the English jurist Sir Henry Maine observed in the second half of the nineteenth century, "War appears to be as old as mankind, but peace is a modem invention."1

If peace was a fantasy in the traditional world, liberty for all was widely considered a menace. Democracy was tantamount to mob rule, as well as a departure from, indeed an inversion of, the divinely decreed, normal order of things. The educated few familiar with the history of the ancient world had learned from it that the rule of the demos (the people) led to disaster.

Prosperity was the third component of the Wilsonian triad. Individual wealth was an age-old feature of social and political life; exchange was a normal part of economic activity; and the discovery of new deposits of minerals, the opening of new trade routes, incremental improvements in the techniques of growing crops and making handcrafts, and above all the vagaries of the climate had caused the level of economic activity and the supplies of food and material possessions to rise and fall from time immemorial. But the broad-based, self-sustaining economic growth of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was beyond imagining.

The world of tradition was swept away by the Industrial and French Revolutions. The first led to the greatest change in human existence since the domestication of agriculture in the Neolithic age, between 8000 and 3000 B.C. Beginning in Great Britain, it involved the substitution of inanimate for animate sources of power, the concomitant substitution of machines for human labor, and the use of new and more abundant (and ultimately manmade) materials. The second, which substituted the popular will for dynastic inheritance as the basis for political legitimacy, was the most important political event in Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire. Together, the two revolutions formed the context for all that followed. They changed the way public affairs were conducted and individual life lived. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that they changed the world--decisively, irreversibly and rapidly. So powerful was their impact that at Paris in 1919 assumptions about what the world was and what it could be that had been axiomatic as recently as the eighteenth century had been so decisively repudiated that no serious person could hold them.

The horrors of World War I had turned the abolition of the ancient practice of armed conflict into a practical necessity. The course of the nineteenth century, continuing the work of the French Revolution, had progressively weakened the grip of dynastic rule in Europe, and World War I put an end to it. And the extraordinary surge of economic activity, involving new sources of power that made possible new products and new ways of producing them, had disrupted the settled agricultural life of much of the planet. In the nineteenth century, and to the present day, the Industrial Revolution, with its unimagmed material wealth and its unprecedented squalor, has proven to be as close to an irresistible force as human history has known.

Wilson accepted the goals of the modern world but his vision of them was distinctive in two enduringly important ways: first, he offered a particular set of means for achieving peace, popular rule and prosperity. Second, he asserted that the goals of liberty and prosperity were also conducive to peace. The first of the three great aims of the modern world, the one that the recent experience of terrible battles like the Somme and Passchendaele had made it seem imperative to achieve, was also, in the Wilsonian vision of the post-World War I order, a by-product of the other two.

The Origins of a Vision

ALTHOUGH it bears his name, Wilsonianism did not originate with Woodrow Wilson. While his vision represented a program of international reform when he urged it on the world, it was not new. It was the product of a particular intellectual and political climate of a particular time and place that itself was the result of a particular historical experience. It arose in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Great Britain and its political offshoot, the United States.

The influential nineteenth-century English political thinker Jeremy Bentham had proposed the abolition of armaments as an avenue to peace, and the cause was taken up by the English peace societies that were founded in the first half of that century.3 American revolutionaries at the end of the eighteenth century, especially the more radical among them such as Thomas Paine, believed that the overthrow of the hereditary monarchies of Europe would, among other benefits, relieve the world of the selfish, unnecessary wars that these monarchs were in the unbreakable habit of waging.4  As for commerce, the cause of free trade was a major issue in the nineteenth-century politics of Great Britain, and some of its most enthusiastic proponents--the member of parliament and textile manufacturer Richard Cobden prominent among them--asserted that, beyond making countries richer, free trade would also make them more peaceful in their relations with one another. The United States was not as firmly committed to free trad e as was Great Britain, but the benefits of commerce and the desirability of promoting it were themes in American political life from the founding of the Republic.

The putative relationship between democracy and free trade on the one hand and peace on the other was not, on the whole, central to the political life of either the United States or the United Kingdom before World War I. But that was because a great European and world war was not then an overriding concern in either country. By the end of 1918 it was the central issue, and one in urgent need of solution. Wilson bundled these Anglo-American ideas together and presented them as the solution the world was seeking. The ideas were in the air in the United States and Britain: Wilson was an American and an Anglophile, and as both a practicing politician and former university professor of politics and government he was aware of the pertinent intellectual currents in both parts of the Anglo-American political world. Woodrow Wilson was the Henry Ford of international liberalism, taking what had already been invented and offering it to the world in a widely available format.

The ideas he brought to Paris were current in the world in which he lived because they were consistent with the broad principles of Anglo-American political culture. The Wilsonian triad was liberal in the original and fundamental nineteenth-century sense of the term. In different ways, each of its component parts--democracy; free trade and controls on armaments--involved restraints on the exercise of power by governments.5

This principle has some claim to being the essence of political liberalism, which erects fences around certain spheres of social life into which the government is forbidden to intrude, thereby creating space for individual liberty. Similarly, restrictions on arms limit one of the basic tools of statecraft and so impose restraints on what sovereign states can do to one another. A market economy, which its earliest and most influential chronicler, Adam Smith, called "a system of natural liberty",6 is liberal in that one of its central institutions is private property, which is controlled by individual owners rather than the government. Economic decisions--what to produce, where and when to produce it, and to whom and for how much to sell it--are made by individuals according to the criterion of profitability rather than by officials according to their own agendas. To be sure, government plays a role, sometimes a large role, in a market economy: it produces some things; it sets some prices; it imposes taxes on privately owned property. But what it does is limited. As with democracy and restraints on armaments, market economics establishes zones that are off-limits to the exercise of governmental power.

If the other three parts of Wilson's vision had been established, the short-comings of the fourth, his beloved League of Nations, might not have mattered. But in his day the Wilsonian triad was not established, not even in the Anglo-American world from which it came. Great Britain did not favor self-government for its own imperial possessions, nor was it enthusiastic about limits on its navy. The United States was not wholeheartedly devoted to free trade. The immediate and, for most of the twentieth century, most formidable obstacle to establishing the triad in practice, however, was what for most of the century was the major consequence of World War I. Out of the rubble of war emerged new rivals to liberalism, movements that accepted two of the goals of modernity--popular sovereignty and economic growth--but prescribed radically illiberal means for achieving them. The contest for global primacy between the two forms of modernity was to dominate the twentieth century. Both communism and fascism had their pro ximate roots in World War I. The founder of the first was a Russian revolutionary who spent the war in exile in Switzerland until returning to Russia to seize power in St. Petersburg in 1917; the founder of the second was an Austrian-born veteran of the trenches on the western front, who ruled Germany from 1933 until his suicide in 1945.

The contest between international liberalism and the movements that Lenin and Hitler founded was waged to determine whether the popular will was properly expressed through the institutions and procedures of Western, originally Anglo-American, liberal democracy, or through self-selected elite political parties presiding over forms of state domination so extreme that they came, collectively, to be called totalitarian. It was also a contest over whether the wealth that the Industrial Revolution had made possible could be better achieved through the institutions and practices of the free market of the Anglo-American world or through much greater (in the case of fascism) or total (in the communist case) control by the government of the basic economic tasks of investment, production and distribution.

As for international security; the illiberal approach made war--in the case of fascism, war between states; in the case of communism, so-called "class war"--central, desirable, indeed necessary. In the face of such an attitude the hand of the liberal nation-states was forced. They might well believe war to be unnatural and undesirable, but they could hardly afford to act as if it were impossible. Until late in the twentieth century genuine peace, let alone controls on armaments, was not a realistic prospect. It was something that would no doubt be beneficial if it ever came to pass, but that showed no sign of ever doing so--until, that is, the sudden end of the Cold War.

From Dream to (Qualified) Reality

DEJA VU, according to Freud, occurs when someone experiences in real life something that he or she had previously dreamed. By this definition, the post-Cold War world was a textbook case. For as the twentieth century ended, what had been for Woodrow Wilson a vision of world order--what can be seen in hindsight as the Wilsonian dream--had, to all appearances, come true. A world dominated by the East-West conflict had given way to a world in which the principles of the winning side in that conflict were unchallenged. Those principles were liberal ones.

The control of armaments is a nineteenth-century idea but a twentieth-century invention. In Wilson's day no regulations governed the possession of weapons. In the wake of the Cold War there were many such regulations. Most of them concerned a particular region and a particular type of armament. The region was Europe. By the time the Soviet Union collapsed, the European continent was as intensively regulated for military forces as the center of a major American city is for architecture. The European arms control regime, largely negotiated in the latter years of the Cold War and in the immediate post-Cold War period, was a set of military zoning ordinances: strict, elaborate and designed to produce a stable balance of forces, even as zoning laws are intended to produce an ensemble of height and space that is both esthetically appealing and commercially viable. The most heavily regulated arms were those known as "weapons of mass destruction." This category included nuclear weapons, but also, by convention, chemical and biological armaments.

As for democracy, it was rare in Wilson's era. World War I was won by a coalition of genuine democracies: the United States, Great Britain, France and the British dominions of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But the roster of Allied powers in that war virtually exhausted the list of the world's functioning democracies, where governments were freely elected and the laws that elected governments enacted were scrupulously followed. The goal for which the United States had fought the first great conflict of the twentieth century had, by the end of the third of these conflicts, evidently been achieved: much of the world was democratic. In its 1999 report, Freedom House, an American organization that follows and seeks to promote the progress of political liberty in the world, classified 85 of the world's 192 countries as "free" and 60 more as "partly free." This was a far higher score, even adjusting for the vastly expanded number of independent countries, than the planet would have earned in Wilson's day. It is a higher score than the Freedom House ratings of twenty or even ten years earlier.7

The third Wilsonian precept, unimpeded international commerce, was also a notable feature of the post-Cold War world. Between 1950 and 1996, the world's exports increased by volume sixteen times over (while total economic output increased by a factor of six). In most countries, and for the world as a whole, merchandise exports as a percentage of the gross domestic product was considerably higher in the wake of the Cold War than it had been on the eve of World War I.8 All this happened despite the fact that many countries that had gained independence after World War II began their careers as sovereign states determined to adopt the policy of "import substitution", designed to restrict dependence on products made elsewhere. But by the first post-Cold War decade many of the barriers they had initially erected had been lowered or abolished. The World Trade Organization, established in 1997 to further the principles of free trade, had 132 members, with 30 additional countries seeking to join. And the flow of capital across borders had increased even more dramatically than trade.9

At the same time, more and more countries adopted liberal principles for organizing economic activity within their borders as well as across them. The role of government in economic management shrank, while that of market principles in decisions about production and distribution expanded. Liberal economic ideas penetrated even those parts of the world that had been, at the height of the Cold War, most hostile to them. By 1997 Wang Zhongyu, minister of the State Economic and Trade Commission (his title itself a badge of official economic illiberalism) of the People's Republic of China--a country in which, until quite recently, an individual suspected of following the "capitalist road" would have been imprisoned or shot--was declaring, "We must have a system where the strong survive and the weak fail. That is the lesson of the market economy."10 A term that became common in the wake of the Cold War bore witness to the strength of liberal economic ideas and practices: globalization. While it had a variety of implications, the word had a single meaning--the spread of free markets everywhere.

Another sign of the victory of economic liberalism was the status and power of the two principal international financial institutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMP). Both had their headquarters in the capital of the country that had been most vocal, for most of the twentieth century, in its proclamations of support for free markets: the United States. Both were committed to propagating these principles and both--the Fund more so than the Bank--possessed a crucial instrument for doing so: money.

The IMF was the Vatican of free-market economics, but more powerful than the bishop of Rome. Stalin's sneering rhetorical question about the power of the Church--"How many divisions has the Pope?"--was wholly inappropriate for the late twentieth-century citadel of liberal economic orthodoxy. For without so much as a Swiss palace guard it had, in the wake of the Cold War, acquired the power to induce governments to adopt sweeping changes in policy, with serious economic effects, that were often, in the short run, deeply disadvantageous to their own people. The IMF was a bank. In exchange for loans to governments it typically insisted on adherence to a strict free-market regimen. That regimen could be harsh, the economic equivalent of a Spartan diet, leading to economic austerity that was sometimes intense and prolonged. The IMF was not always and everywhere popular; in some countries it was extremely unpopular. But in the wake of the Cold War it was omnipresent. Its organizational tentacles seemed to be irres istible to any country in economic distress or simply not as wealthy as the rich industrial democracies. In the year 2000 a total of 83 countries were involved in IMF lending programs of one kind or another, including virtually all of the countries that emerged from communist rule in Europe. It became a mark of seriousness, almost a condition of sovereignty, to have such a program.11

No Other Menu

WHILE the liberal internationalism that Woodrow Wilson had brought to Paris was, in the wake of the Cold War, more popular and more widely practiced than ever before, its tenets were not universally established. Restrictions on weaponry could not in fact be said to be firmly established anywhere. The geographic reach of many of the statutory limits on arms extended only to European important part of the world, to be sure, but far from the whole of it. And even there, these limits were fragile, the treaties mandating them depending on voluntary compliance. The rules governing weapons of mass destruction were global in scope, but they did not command universal compliance and were not matched by comparably broad protocols that applied to other kinds of weapons. Indeed, the very idea that restrictions on arms could make an important, let alone an indispensable, contribution to peace was still not universally accepted.

Liberal politics and liberal economics were far better established than arms control, not only in practice but also in theory. Behind popular, constitutional politics stood a rich tradition of scholarship and debate reaching back at least as far as Hobbes and Locke in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The comparable tradition for market economics was not quite as venerable, but its roots could be traced to the eighteenth century and to another formidable thinker, Adam Smith. No such admired tradition stood behind the idea that reducing weaponry was a key to international peace.

Indeed, while more deeply and widely established, the form of government Wilson had thought integral to peace was not universal, either. In the first post-Cold War decade, democracy became a cause to which a good deal of lip service was paid simply as a matter of convenience by rulers who remained authoritarian and corrupt. Many countries had governments that looked, but did not function, like the British parliamentary model or the American federal system. In the eighteenth century Grigori Potemkin, a minister of the Russian empress, Catherine the Great, lined a route on which she was traveling with impressive-looking but flimsy; hastily built structures in order to persuade her that large settlements had been built there. They are known to history as "Potemkin villages." In the same spirit, many of the post-Cold War "Potemkin democracies" were intended, among other objectives, to deceive the powerful of the international system, who could be counted on to confer economic favors on regimes they could find so me reason to believe were democratic. On a map of the world on which degrees of democracy were indicated by varying shades of red, large stretches of the planet--Africa, the Arab Middle East and much of the former Soviet Union--could qualify only for the palest of pinks. The government of the most populous country in the world, the People's Republic of China, still made the suppression of political liberty a matter of firm principle and, within its declining means, of daily practice.

Free trade, and the market economics that underlie it, was more widely accepted and practiced than either of the other two parts of the Wilsonian triad. Rare was the political leader who dared expressly to oppose either. While resolutely opposed to liberal politics, the Chinese government emphatically favored, at least rhetorically, liberal economics. Still, obstacles to commerce--while they were fewer and more modest, and although erecting and maintaining them were less intellectually and politically respectable than in Wilson's day--were still to be found throughout the international system. At the end of the first post-Cold War decade the world had not become a single, vast, seamless republic of merchants in which getting and spending, making and distributing, buying and selling all proceeded untroubled by any consideration save profitability.

Nor, finally, was the world fully liberal in the way that had mattered most to Wilson: it was anything but wholly peaceful. In the last decade of the twentieth century; the threat of a major conflict like those that had dominated the twentieth century had receded sharply; but lesser wars were numerous.

In the wake of the Cold War, liberal internationalism was not, therefore, universal. It was, instead, hegemonic. The term "hegemony" comes originally from ancient Greece. There it referred to the fact of preponderance and the exercise of leadership or predominant influence by one Greek city-state, usually within the context of a confederacy of several of them. The hegemon towered over the others. Similarly, international liberalism was a towering presence in the post-Cold War world. It provided the most widely adopted and enthusiastically practiced set of political and economic principles and institutions. It was practiced and promoted by the most powerful members of the international system. It was the world's orthodoxy. For the first time in the two centuries of the modern era, it had no serious, fully articulated rival as a set of principles for organizing the world's military relations, politics and economics. When Wilson had unveiled his ideas at Paris they had been utopian. Eight decades later they had become pedestrian.

To be sure, in the last decade of the old millennium not all sovereign states accepted each of the three features of international liberalism; there were many rejections, tacit and explicit. And even where liberal principles were accepted, governments were not always able to practice them. But there were no alternative principles. The international system was like a fixed price menu from which a diner could accept or reject different items. He or she could choose to skip the hors d'oeuvre, or the main course, or the dessert--or to go hungry altogether. In the first post-Cold War decade, Burma, Cuba, Iraq and North Korea did reject international liberalism in its entirety and did go hungry--literally as well as metaphorically. But there was no other menu, no other series of equally appetizing political and economic choices from which to order. International liberalism had no shortage of critics who were prepared to point out its shortcomings and suggest improvements, but there were no restaurants offering a different product.

For all their failures to meet liberal standards, the Potemkin democracies and faux-market economies, with their rigged stock markets and government monopolies, were eloquent testimony to the liberal hegemony. They were engaged in a hypocritical enterprise; but hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, and at the dawn of the twenty-first century liberalism was conceded, for the first time, to be the essence of virtue.

A decade after it began, therefore, the central theme of the post-Cold War era is discernible: the plot of international history in the wake of the great East-West conflict is the defense, maintenance and extension of the three parts of the Wilsonian triad. Nor is this simply a detached, lofty perspective on the post-Cold War world far removed from the hurly-burly at ground level. This has been the theme of post-Cold War history in the era's first decade, as those who have been making that history have understood and experienced it.

The more powerful states in the international system have deliberately sought to propagate liberalism. They have propagated it even when they have not consciously been seeking to do so; they have been magnets as well as missionaries. Lesser states, especially those not fully liberal, have been attracted, repelled, exhilarated and offended--but at all events powerfully affected--by liberalism. It is the compass point by which they now take their own bearings. They understand their own politics, economics and foreign policies as responses to the liberal hegemony even if they seek to evade it.

Asked where in Paris he would most like to live, a French architect is said to have picked the Eiffel Tower, on the grounds that this was the only place in the city from which he would not have to look at it. For the moment, at least, the international liberalism that Woodrow Wilson unveiled at Paris after World War I is the Eiffel Tower of the post-Cold War world.

1 Quoted in the frontispiece of Michael Howard, The Invention of Peace (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000).

2 While it was impossible to preserve or restore dynastic rule in Europe (the remaining monarchs there lacked effective political power), imperial rule lived on in the French and British possessions outside Europe.

3 On the nineteenth-century origins of Wilsonianism, especially in Great Britain, see, inter alia, Michael Howard, War and the Liberal Conscience (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1978), chaps. 2-3; F.H. Hinsley, Power and the Pursuit of Peace: Theory and Practice in the History of Relations between States (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1967), chaps. 5-7; and A.J.P. Taylor, The Trouble Makers: Dissent Over Foreign Policy, 1792-1939 (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1985; first published, 1957), chaps. 1-2.

4 "Monarchical sovereignty, the enemy of mankind and the source of misery, is abolished, and sovereignty is restored to its natural and original place, the nation. Were this the case throughout Europe the cause of war would be taken away." Thomas Paine, "The Rights of Man", Common Sense and Other Writings (Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1953), p. 109.

5 Restraint here does not necessarily imply the establishment of a separate body to do the restraining. There is no higher power than the sovereign state, a fact particularly important for matters of international security. Restraint is self-restraint.

6 Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: Modern Library, 1994), p. 745.

7 Freedom in the World, 1999-2000 (New York: Freedom House, 2000), p. 602.

8 Some examples: in 1913 the percentage for the United States had been 3.7, in 1992 it was 8.2. For France, 8.2 and 22.9; for Germany, 15.6 and 32.6; for Japan 2.4 and 12.4; for Korea 1.0 and 17.8; for the world as a whole, 8.7 and 13.5. "Wealth of nations", Financial Times, May 19, 1998. See also "Survey", The Economist, September 20, 1997, p. 24.

9 Robert Gilpin, The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The World Economy in the 21st Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), pp. 21-4.

10 Seth Faison, "Messy Free Market Plunge Rattling China's Business", New York Times, October 5, 1997.

11 Annual Report 2000 (Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2000), PP. 123-4. Here is an example of the IMF's centrality drawn from a widely read daily chronicle of international economic matters in the post-Cold War world, the Financial Times. The London-based newspaper has functioned as the unofficial house organ of globalization: "The Congo Brazzaville government, which took power last year after a civil war, said yesterday that it would hold elections within three years and possibly within months. Rodolphe Adada, foreign minister, said the government hoped this month to receive International Monetary Fund approval for a national development programme." Financial Times, July 1, 1998.

Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. This essay is adapted from his forthcoming book, From War To Markets: The World of the Twenty-first Century and How It Came To Be.

Essay Types: Essay