Debating IR

Probing the philosophical underpinnings of the international system and anything else of interest.


Thursday, March 09, 2006


I loved Shinko's article. The author seems to summarize everything I have thought about world politics, and to a degree life, for some time now. The idea that everything in life is subjective is certainly powerful. We often like to think that there are just certain things that are good and bad. Good causes, good countries. It is scary to think that the values we hold most dear are not necessarily true because they are true but because we believe them. And yet this is how I see international relations and the world.

Slavery is wrong because powerful countries said it was wrong and imposed their will on the others. Hitler is the most evil man to ever live not because he was but because our textbooks tell us so. All of these are things I have accepted, and I am now thrilled to have a tool with which to examine the world which supports this view.

Another thing I like about Shinko's article was the emphasis on power. One of my problems with critical theory was to shy away from power and look more towards its idea of universal morality as the ultimate answer instead of power. In my mind, power is the ultimate answer. Power is able to be the ultimate answer not because it has attributes that are objectively true, but because it exists empirically. Power, force, is always present. Ask any physicist. Power is all-pervasive, it works its way into any and every interaction. And that is what I loved about Shinko's article. She aid what I have said for years now; everything is subjective and power creates the "truths" of our lives.


Blogger NYkrinDC said...

I found your blog through a link at Duck of Minerva. I want to add you to my daily reading list, but your RSS is not working. I'll bookmark the site, but it would be better if I could use the RSS on Firefox to track it.

3:59 PM  

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