Regarding America's Geography: True or False? - Page 2 - TigerDroppings.com

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Brosef Stalin
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2011
6932 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

Second, how come the same argument cannot be applied to other land-based empires throughout history, namely Russia?

Russia's mostly an inhospitable wasteland. The US has relatively livable climate all over.






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TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Seoul, Korea
Member since Jul 2007
9437 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

A relatively high level of individual liberty.


But can that be obtained without security? Everyone from every nation wants "a relatively high level of individual liberty," but why can't they have it? The French have clamored for as long as we have, but never truly obtained it until just a few decades ago. Why is that?

What this ultimately boils down to is, what truly makes America "exceptional?" If you believe the geopolitical theory that Kaplan discusses (and I lean towards), then you don't think that the country is exceptional anymore than you would say that the people of Haiti or North Korea suffer because of their own inherent evilness.






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JLSIX
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Apr 2010
21597 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

The United States is as wealthy, deomocratic, and powerful as it is because of its geography.


This is the statement I said was true.








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cwill
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jan 2005
22857 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

Remember, America was populated by people willing to cross an ocean to a strange land for a chance to build a life from scratch. That was some pretty serious self-selection for hard-working risk takers.


So was Mexico and South America....it's the Brits in us.






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TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Seoul, Korea
Member since Jul 2007
9437 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

Russia's mostly an inhospitable wasteland.


If you're talking from the point of livable areas, then yes it is inhospitable. However, even those areas are abundant in their natural resources. It has been their experience of constant military and demographic invasions on all fronts that have led to their constant need to have a powerful government, bent on security at home and around the border.






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kingbob
LSU Fan
St. Amant, LA
Member since Nov 2010
13998 posts
 Online 

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


Of course secure borders play a roll. Secure borders means that the state has the ability to secure its property and usually indicates that private property is protected as well in turn. The protection of private property is issue numero uno for commerce. If you cannot control and protect what you "own", why would you work to attain it? That is why weak states and fully communist countries (i.e. not China) can't maintain booming economies. If you cannot retain what you earn in some fashion, the incentive to earn it is eliminated.





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TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Seoul, Korea
Member since Jul 2007
9437 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

what about Japan? Other island nations aside from GB?


When have those nations been secure and abundant in resources? Japan wasn't really secure from outside intervention until the Meiji restoration, and even then it needed resources the same way that Great Britain did during the 19th century.






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joshnorris14
Florida Fan
Florida
Member since Jan 2009
20644 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

But can that be obtained without security?


If you aren't secure in exercising your liberty than you don't have liberty.

quote:

Everyone from every nation wants "a relatively high level of individual liberty," but why can't they have it?


They are constantly being aggressed against, preventing them from achieving liberty.

quote:

Why is that?


Statism

quote:

What this ultimately boils down to is, what truly makes America "exceptional?"


I just stated it. High levels of individual liberty.

quote:

If you believe the geopolitical theory that Kaplan discusses (and I lean towards), then you don't think that the country is exceptional anymore than you would say that the people of Haiti or North Korea suffer because of their own inherent evilness.


I don't think there is anything exceptional about a country. A country is only an abstract. It doesn't actually exist. Only individuals do. Only individuals can be exceptional.






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OleWar
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2008
744 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


You should read Fukuyama's Origins of Political Order, to get a better perspective of the turtles on turtles. Geography is important, but it is important for the development of Europe and Western Culture and specifically the Britanic culture that dominates the political norms.





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TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Seoul, Korea
Member since Jul 2007
9437 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

But can that be obtained without security?


If you aren't secure in exercising your liberty than you don't have liberty.

quote:
Everyone from every nation wants "a relatively high level of individual liberty," but why can't they have it?


They are constantly being aggressed against, preventing them from achieving liberty.

quote:
Why is that?


Statism

quote:
What this ultimately boils down to is, what truly makes America "exceptional?"


I just stated it. High levels of individual liberty.


My question refers to cause and effect. Chicken and the egg, if you will. It seems to me that you are arguing that liberty leads to security within a nation-state, and not the other way around?

Besides the United States, can you point to any other historical examples?






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Bayou Sam
LSU Fan
Snake and Jake's Christmas Club
Member since Aug 2009
4792 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


Seems like correlation not causation to me...what about the dutch? Or a negative example, the Russians?





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TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Seoul, Korea
Member since Jul 2007
9437 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

You should read Fukuyama's Origins of Political Order,


I actually finished this one back in early December. As always, he's as knowledgeable as they come and is well versed in history. However, the liberal paradigm of IR is simply not for me, as I don't believe that any Kantian or Wilsonian ideas ever work in practice. With that said, I'm looking forward to reading his second edition.






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Decatur
USA Fan
Member since Mar 2007
17275 posts
 Online 

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

quote:
Everyone from every nation wants "a relatively high level of individual liberty," but why can't they have it?


They are constantly being aggressed against, preventing them from achieving liberty.



quote:

quote:
What this ultimately boils down to is, what truly makes America "exceptional?"


I just stated it. High levels of individual liberty.



So a nation can only achieve high levels of individual liberty if they are not constantly being aggressed against...which has to do with geography more than anything else. Pretty much supports the OP thesis.

Imagine a world where America was bordered by Russia in the north and China and the South. Would America still be so exceptional under these circumstances? I think not. I think we'd be more like them then we'd like to admit.






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stuntman
LSU Fan
Florida
Member since Jan 2013
1040 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


Were Hong Kong's borders heavily secured from the 50's to the late 90's?

I know they only had China to worry about, but I'm just curious about the security during that time.



This post was edited on 1/29 at 11:33 pm


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TigerPride10
Columbia Fan
Seoul, Korea
Member since Jul 2007
9437 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

what about the dutch?


Good point. Kaplan briefly mentioned this, and his argument was that, since the British protected the sovereignty of the Benelux for the last few centuries, and by going to war with continental powers when that sovereignty was violated, they basically amounted to an island country themselves, apart from other continental struggles. He backs this up with examples of their sea-based empires.

Kissinger makes roughly the same argument in Diplomacy.

quote:

Or a negative example, the Russians?


When have the borders of Russia ever been secure?



This post was edited on 1/29 at 11:32 pm


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joshnorris14
Florida Fan
Florida
Member since Jan 2009
20644 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


quote:

It seems to me that you are arguing that liberty leads to security within a nation-state, and not the other way around?


Well, I think "within a nation-state" is completely irrelevant.

Societal wealth increases once individuals become more free. It is necessary for them to become more secure in order for them to become more free. It's a sort of a priori state. Being secure is a part of being free. Whether it be secure from the state, the mob, random criminals, outside armies, et cetera.

quote:

Besides the United States, can you point to any other historical examples?


China post-Mao
Russia post-Communist collapse
Great Britain-post Magna Carta
Hong Kong post-autonomous State

I can go on and the reverse is true.



This post was edited on 1/29 at 11:32 pm


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Bayou Sam
LSU Fan
Snake and Jake's Christmas Club
Member since Aug 2009
4792 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


Capitalism is the main driver eroding state sovereignty. What maritime empires were in an earlier age of land power, the flow of capital and to a lesser extent information are today.





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OleWar
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2008
744 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


I thought he sort of walked away from the determinism of liberal IR in explaining how rule of law and pluralism emerged out of the Catholic Church, and then showed how non-Western cultures came up with their own unique political noms.





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Bayou Sam
LSU Fan
Snake and Jake's Christmas Club
Member since Aug 2009
4792 posts

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


But the British went to war with the dutch in the interregnum... to say nothing of Spain.

On the Russians, maybe not. Though I can't think of a successful invasion since the mongols.






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kingbob
LSU Fan
St. Amant, LA
Member since Nov 2010
13998 posts
 Online 

re: Regarding America's Geography: True or False?


or...we would be more like the Swiss. Remember, our borders were not always peaceful. We made them peaceful through bloody wars and treaties designed to prevent more bloody wars.

Wen America was founded, it was bordered by English Canada to the North, English forts in the West, and Spanish Florida and Louisiana to the South and West.

Spain was a friend, but not England whom the young nation had to defeat just to be established. When Louisiana passed to France, you had it being controlled by a French regime that had committed multiple Acts of War against American shipping while being headed by notorious conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte. We had to fight a second war against England, a war in which our capital was burned to the ground, just to survive.

We also fought border wars with native Americans, staged revolts in Texas, dispatched armies to secure Utah, invaded Mexico to subdue a much stronger rival to the south, threatened war with England over Oregon, bought out the Russians for Alaska, and nearly came to blows with England and France over central and South America.

Our borders may be peaceful now, but they were not always that way. The freedom loving people of America MADE those borders peaceful.






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