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Fri Nov 30, 2018, 04:28 PM

Elizabeth Warren Tries to Invent a Foreign-Policy Message for Progressives and the Establishment

When did contemporary American foreign policy first go wrong? In an address at American University’s Washington College of Law on Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren offered a surprisingly tidy answer. “In the nineteen-eighties, Washington’s focus shifted from policies that benefit everyone to policies that benefit a handful of wealthy élites both here at home and around the world,” she said. “Mistakes piled on mistakes—reckless, endless wars in the Middle East, trade deals rammed through with callous disregard for working people, extraordinary expansion of risk in the global financial system. And why? Mostly to serve the interests of big corporations, while ignoring the interests of American workers.”

This sounds like a thesis statement for a foreign policy inspired by the wave of progressive populism that will make both Warren and Bernie Sanders formidable Presidential contenders in 2020, should they run. But Warren’s foreign-policy agenda, as described in her speech, differs in subtle ways from the vision Sanders outlined in his own major foreign-policy speech in September. To begin with, for Sanders and most on the hard left, America’s modern history of moral and strategic foreign-policy failures begins well before the nineteen-eighties. In his address, Sanders mentioned not only the Vietnam War but the C.I.A.-supported coups against Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, in 1953, and Salvador Allende, in Chile, in 1973. The most Warren said about this era was that America “wasn’t perfect.”

Warren and Sanders both have drawn connections between the problems we face abroad and the triumph of neoliberalism, an economic ideology that she never named in her speech, but nevertheless described succinctly. “Washington technocrats,” she said, “backed austerity, deregulation, and privatization all around the world.” For Sanders and others, the neoliberal turn exposed underlying economic dynamics that are indictments of capitalism itself. But for Warren neoliberalism has been a perversion of a system that could and once did work. “As one crisis after another hit, the economic security of working people around the globe was destroyed, reducing public faith in both capitalism and in democracy,” she said. “Policymakers promised that open markets would lead to open societies. Wow, did Washington get that one wrong.” All told, it was a speech aimed as much at the foreign-policy establishment as at the progressive left—a populist vision tempered for the Blob. Even if Warren doesn’t run in 2020, the balance she’s attempting to strike on this front may be the one the Democratic Party as a whole settles on.
https://www.newyorker.com/news/current/elizabeth-warren-tries-to-invent-a-foreign-policy-message-for-progressives-and-the-establishment/amp

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Reply Elizabeth Warren Tries to Invent a Foreign-Policy Message for Progressives and the Establishment (Original post)
JonLP24 Nov 30 OP
Perrenial Voter Nov 30 #1
brush Nov 30 #4
Perrenial Voter Monday #6
hedda_foil Nov 30 #2
pecosbob Nov 30 #3
Volaris Nov 30 #5

Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2018, 04:40 PM

1. I think that this is because she has some disciplinary blinders

as an economist, so she is looking for the roots of our current domestic economic problems rather than our longer imperial role in the world. Most economists on the left would point to neo-liberalism as the beginning and these began to be formulated as a set of policies in the 1980s. But many of these policies were already in place in the Third World as a result of the post-war neocolonialism. In the 1980s, though, these policies began to be introduced in the US and we have been suffering from them ever since.

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Response to Perrenial Voter (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 30, 2018, 05:29 PM

4. Wouldn't our neo-colonialism go back even further than the '80s?

If not "manifest destiny" and/or the "Monroe Doctrine" there is the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in the late 1890s.

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Response to brush (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2018, 08:32 AM

6. Yes, of course, neo-colonialism predates

neoliberalism, and colonialism predates that. However, in economic literature neoliberalism tends to be treated as discrete topic, not as part of an historical continuoum. This is natural, since economists are not historians are more concerned with economic policies and their impacts than they are with historical antecedents.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2018, 04:41 PM

2. She's diagnosed the problem correctly, I believe.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2018, 04:47 PM

3. What? No one jumping on Warren for being a socialist yet?

I'm sure there are plenty here that disagree with Ms. Warren's analysis and would like to tell us all again how progressive policies will doom the Democratic Party...

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2018, 05:40 PM

5. I'll offer this, and then leave this argument to run it's natural political course:

Sanders=Huey P Long

Warren, sounds like shes doing a damn good job of channeling FDR.

I'm a fan of Huey, but he never won the Presidency.

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