Isolationism

 

 

Isolationism is a foreign policy which combines a non-interventionist military policy and a political policy of economic nationalism (protectionism). In other words, it asserts both of the following:

 

 

Not to be confused with the non-interventionist philosophy and foreign policy of the libertarian world view, which espouses unrestricted free trade and freedom of travel for individuals to all countries. This "libertarian isolationist" view is best defined as a policy of nonparticipation in foreign political relations, but free trade and affability to all.

 

"Isolationism" has always been a debated political topic. Whether or not a country should be or should not be isolationist affects both living standards and the ability of political rulers to benefit favored firms and industries.

 

All the First World countries (the UK, United States, etc.) trade in a world economy, and are experiencing an expansion of the division of labor, generally raising living standards. However, some characterize this as "a wage race to the bottom" in the manufacturing industries that should be curtailed by protectionism. Some argue that isolating a country from a global division of labor--i.e. employing protectionist trading policies--could be potentially helpful. The consensus amongst most economists is that such a policy is detrimental, and point to the mercantilism of the pre-industrial era as the classic example. Others argue that as the world's biggest consumer, with its own natural resources, the U.S. can wisely dictate what conditions can apply to goods and services imported for U.S. consumption, misunderstanding the nature of prices and their emergent, non-centrally planned, nature. Countries and regions generally enjoy a comparative advantage over others in some area. Free trade between countries allows each country to do what it does best, and benefit from the products and services that others do best. But "best" too often means monetary, excluding human and ecological costs, due to firms externalizing costs as a result of inadequately defined property rights. Protectionism allegedly interferes in the market process, making people poorer than they would be otherwise.

 

On the other hand, non-interventionism arguably benefits a country by reducing both military spending (as it is limited to defensive purposes) and the chances of provoking an attack (by not meddling or employing intrigues in the internal affairs of foreign nations).s).

 

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Isolationism".

 

 

 

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