Explanations of the East-West Conflict.docx

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Political Science
POL 1025
John Freeman

Misperception Thesis • Everyone was paranoid/had fear • self-fulfilling prophecy ◦ "The Long Telegram": miscommunication about Russia taking over the West ◦ "NSC-68": white paper by National Security Council, said last half of the 20th century would be combat with Russia • hard to refute Ideological Incompatibility Thesis • not about perception, about different world views ◦ our views alien to them, their views alien to us ◦ fighting for the affection of the world • US view (Democracy) versus USSR view (Communism/Marxism) ◦ USSR view ▪ believe in Marxism, economy is foundation of the society, class system in society, no mobility ▪ believe Democracy is for exploitation and domination ◦ US view ▪ markets equal freedom, not methods of domination • Soviet International Relations ◦ Socialism would spread, cause war ◦ Two Camp Doctrine: socialist vs capitalist, everyone will become capitalist ◦ fear of soviets stabilized the West • Easier to refute ◦ countries don't adhere to long term goals ◦ Convergence thesis ▪ weak explanation, lots of evidence against it ▪ over time, we grew together ideologically, were not incompatible ▪ Political Economic systems became more similar ▪ USSR become more market oriented ▪ US became more plan oriented (Pentagon capitalism: planned our economy ▪ Soviets became more neorealist (nuclear weapons, inter nation relations), US was neorealist ◦ Doctrine of Limited Sovereignty ▪ Soviets crushed Czech uprising; infringed upon Czech sovereignty Realist/NeoRealist Explanation • Realist ◦ both sides on their own, only natural to end up in conflict because no one to protect us ◦ outgrowth of anarchical system ◦ superpowers (2) had to fight it out • Neorealist ◦ Security Dilemma ▪ arms race ▪ outgrowth of mutual rationality ▪ rationality: minimizing worst loss
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