The Two Realities

Professor Mark Shulman’s article advocating the adoption of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms as a foundation for U.S. foreign policy is a useful contribution to the contemporary political debate. Indeed, we all might wish that his policy prescriptions would lead to a new age of enlightened internationalism under U.S. influence and leadership. Unfortunately, history does not afford us cause for optimism. In the last 100 years, twice – after both World Wars – the West has hoped for a better world free from want and fear. And yet, those hopes – for the enshrinement of the Four Freedoms in the halls of government around the world – foundered on the rocks of reality when totalitarianism was established in a resurgent Germany under Hitler and in the hegemony of Stalinist Russia during the Cold War.

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