Author Topic: Democratic Statesmen Need to Re-Read 'Democratic Ideals and Reality'  (Read 71 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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  • Democratic Statesmen Need to Re-Read 'Democratic Ideals and Reality'
.By Francis P. SempaMarch 07, 2022

 In 1919, Britain’s Halford Mackinder wrote a geopolitical masterpiece titled Democratic Ideals and Reality. And while the details of that book written over a hundred years ago are dated, Mackinder’s insights into the enduring realities of international politics remain relevant. As the United States and its democratic allies deal with the twin crises of the Russia-Ukraine War and China’s rise in the Indo-Pacific, the leaders of the world’s democracies should re-read Mackinder’s classic.

Mackinder wrote about the world as it was in 1919 after the catastrophe of the First World War. His purpose in writing the book was to persuade the world’s democratic statesmen to take appropriate diplomatic and geopolitical steps to avoid the future outbreak of a more destructive global conflict. “The temptation of the moment,” he wrote, “is to believe that unceasing peace will ensue merely because tired men are determined that there shall be no more war.” He predicted, however, that “international tension will accumulate again, slowly at first . . .” Democracies have a tendency, he cautioned, to promote democratic ideals while ignoring geopolitical realities. Mackinder warned that if the world was to escape another global conflict, the democracies must “adjust our ideals of freedom to the lasting realities of our earthly home.” “We must reckon presciently with the realities of space and time,” he explained, “and not be content merely to lay down on paper good principles of conduct.”