Kant


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Immanuel Kant
By: Yonna Yelverton

Immanuel Kant was a man before his time. His philosophies, as outlined in
Perpetual Peace, paved the way for modern political relations. Unbeknownst
to his day and age, his insights were a revelation. They were seeds planted
and left unsewn for 120 years. As a first and second image theorist, Kant
mixes his liberal and realist views to paint a picture of "perpetual peace." His
essay outlines the actions that nations should take to achieve this lofty
objective. Through his layout of behavioral and philosophical ideologies, he
believes nations can truly live synchronically. The first section of Kant\'s essay
contains articles that specifically state the actions that nations should take to
enable them to establish a world peace. These six articles must become the
law of a nation endeavoring for peace. The first article applies to treaties of
peace. In the first article he explains that states entering into peace treaties
must resolve all problems that lead them to war. All parties must make
known their issues and work to rectify them. Thus, in the future, there will be
no circumstance that will lead them to war again amongst each other. The
second of these laws communicates the need for all independent nations to be
free from the seizure of another state. The next article is in complete
opposition to the realist theory. Kant explains that all nations need to
gradually dispense of their armed forces. He believes that armies held by
nations increase the tension of their rivals. This makes them increase the size
of their military. Here, Kant indirectly addresses the realist Prisoner\'s
Dilemma. He believes that international conflicts arise from mistaken beliefs,
as well as inadequate information and bad governments. As each side
increases their military, the more likely a war will start. Thus, the paradox of
the Prisoner\'s Dilemma. Kant argues that because humans have rationality,
they can break out of the Prisoner\'s Dilemma. This is a fundamental
difference between Kant and a traditional realist such as Morgantheau. The
fourth law is about a nation\'s debt to the others. In this law, Kant argues that
nations indebted to one another will cause war. He states in this article that if
a nation face bankruptcy, then the nations that have loaned it funds will also
be adversely affected. Also, sovereignty of a nation is another law that Kant
argues to be important to world peace. Nations, he says, must not interfere
with the constitution of another. He implicitly reaffirms the principals of the
Treaty of Wesphaylia - sovereignty and noninterference. In the final article,
Kant addresses war directly. He states that if nations are at war, then they
should refrain from doing things during the course of war that would cause the
other nations to distrust them in future times of peace. By this, he is referring
to the use of assassins and treasonous deeds. This concludes the first section
of his essay. The second section of "Perpetual Peace" is more in depth. Kant
gives us three articles that define what type of government nations must apply
to reach a perpetual peace. He begins this section by arguing that it is not in
man\'s nature to be at peace. He declares that the natural state of man is war.
He goes on to say: "...for the suspension of hostilities does not provide the
security of peace..." (111) However, it can be reached in a state of
lawfulness. Kant explains why republican constitutions are vital to ensure the
peace of nations. He reasons this by arguing that this is the only type of
government that guarantees freedom and equality of the people. Kant goes
on to state that the republican form of government is the most difficult to form
and maintain. But, he reaffirms that a republic is the type of government most
apt to achieve peace because it gives its people a voice, ensures
consequences for lawbreakers, and imposes a system of checks and
balances to divide the power equally amongst governmental bodies. Also, in
this article, Kant addresses the concept of sovereignty. Nations must not
interfere with the constitution of another because it may cause a war. In the
second article, Kant