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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Persistent Dishonesty about Isolationism

I have often seen the word "isolationist" used incorrectly and dishonestly against non-interventionists.

Isolationism is the idea that a nation should not have ANY relations with other countries- no trade, no alliances, no immigration, no diplomacy. The only current example I can think of that are the tribesmen of North Sentinel Island. They have never been contacted because they attack anyone who approaches them.
The North Koreans are very secretive, but even they trade, conduct diplomacy, and accept tourists. The Swiss are famously neutral, but they have relations and trade with almost every nation.

The reason this word is used so often is because history clearly shows that making alliances and getting involved in foreign adventures is a bad idea. Germany was forced to fight the US when its ally Japan attacked. Many nations in Europe were forced into war when Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia. China and the USSR were dragged into the Korean War when their ally North Korea attacked South Korea. Cuba's alliance with the USSR nearly started a war with the US.

And on it goes.

Non-intervention is prudent and moral. The US should stay out of alliances and foreign wars. It should guard its borders and keep a good defense instead of an offense. It should trade and talk with all nations.

Some guy name George Washington thought this way. Here's a sample:

"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop."

Here's the TL;DR version

"Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all."

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