Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Love and Hatred in International Politics (1): A Review of Hatred

The 7-7 terrorism in London has impressed us that emotionalism plays a substantial role in international politics. We have been arguing world affairs through realist and idealist perspectives. Whether we talk about state actors, or non-state actors, like corporations, pressure groups, NGOs, and civil societies, we tend to focus on values and the balance of power. But people do not so much attention to emotional aspects. Terrorists and rioters’ behavior is based on love and hatred, which makes it quite unpredictable. When people act on realism and idealism, we can understand their way of thinking through rational expectation. But this is no use to understand behavior based on emotionalism. While the role of love and hatred plays increasingly important role in international politics, this sentiment is not necessarily well grounded. Hereafter, I would like to discuss anti-Americanism, the West-Islam clash, anti-Japan sentiment in Asia, and European integration.

Anti-Americanism Worldwide
Regarding emotionalist aspects in international politics, pro-Americanism and anti-Americanism is the most frequently discussed issue. Anti-Americanism can be found throughout the world, but can they explain clearly why they hate America? It is quite doubtful. Most of them are jealous of overwhelming power of the Unites States. In Europe and Japan, many people participated in anti-American demonstrations during the Iraq War. Most of the participants were not keenly interested in world affairs. They diverted their daily frustrations, simply by denouncing American hegemony. They enjoyed the event as a kind of picnic. It is leftist organizations with sufficient money and networks, which mobilized so many people to their events.
While anti-Americans use conspiracy theory, it is not well grounded. Just read my article on June 22. You will understand it very well. Most of these conspiracy theorists are leftists who lost their ideological foundation after the Cold War. They develop finesse theories, but what they have in mind is emotional hatred to the global power. Simply, they blame America for everything bad around the world.
As to America’s image to global citizens, people talk about the latest research by the PEW center. In the aftermath of this research, Anne Applebaum, columnist of the Washington Post, writes an interesting article in the latest edition of Foreign Policy, titled “ In Search of pro-Americanism.” This article shows differences in the pattern of anti-Americanism in developed and developing countries.
In developed countries, pro-Americans are self-made men. They are not well-educated, but moving their social position upwards through hard work. On the other hand, Anti-Americans in developed countries are establishments with good educational backgrounds. Typical anti-Americans are ENA (École Nationale d’Administration) graduate elitist bureaucrats in France.
In developing countries, pro-Americans are highly educated yuppies working for Western companies, and anti-Americans are marginalized people in the rural area.
In both cases, those who admire vitality and macho dynamism tend to be pro-American. On the other hand, those who feel their vested interests are threatened, or those who are marginalized in the global economy, are likely to be anti-American.

Islam vs. the West
Currently, Islamic terrorists are the most critical threat to the West. Anti-Western elites agitate the poor to stand up for terrorism. Most of the Islamic fighters are educated at madrasa (Islamic mission school). They recite the Koran at the school. Since the text of Koran is written in classical Arabic, students do not necessarily understand it well. They are brainwashed easily. Some Moslems, such as Pakistanis and Afghans, are more likely to be brainwashed, because they are not native speakers of Arabic. As a result, they are driven to violence, without understanding Islamic thoughts and international politics. Terrorists, who attacked New York, Washington DC, and London, have no realist and idealist perspectives. They hate the West. Nothing else in their mind.

Anti-Japan Sentiment in Asia
Asians’ hatred to Japan has been a serious problem since the end of World War II. It is difficult to evaluate how much Japanese apology is enough for Asians. Asians themselves may not know. The world is moving towards the new order of the post-Cold War era. However, in East Asia, Japanese aggression during the World War II is still critical diplomatic issue. Whether Asians’ case is right or wrong, it is quite odd that Japanese and Asians still argue criminal behavior in the past. China and South Korea complain the content of history text books used in Japan. They insist that those textbooks must explain Japanese misconducts to Asian people during the World War II much more in detail.
However, it turned out that China and Korea exaggerate Japanese war crime in their school textbooks. It is not clear why they attack Japan so much. Above all, they satisfy their jingoistic pride, simply by blaming Japanese behavior in the past. They may use some sort of fineness theory, but I think this is their underlying sentiment. Just as the case of Islamic terrorists, their motivation is based on poorly grounded hatred. Quite often, such hatred leads them to violence against Japan.

European Integration
Love and hatred does not necessarily cause adversary sentiment and violence. People in Europe rejected EU constitution, because they were scared that their social and cultural tradition would be destroyed by Brussels bureaucrats. This sentiment is illustrated very well in the cartoon of this blog on June 27. One civil society organization in London, called the Democracy Movement, raises the case against EU constitution. However, they do not oppose further integration itself.