Theories of International Relations
After his death, John Lennon finds himself in the next world. This is after being shot dead in New York City. However, his new found peace is abruptly interrupted by a big quake in the north eastern parts of Japan. He heads over to the source of the quake to find out what has really transpired and upon reaching there; he comes face to face to three individuals well known to him though some of them not known to him personally. These three individual are also here for the same reason as his; to find out what happened as a result of the earthquake. When Lennon gets close to the three who are; Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Karl Marx, he realizes that they are debating about the international relations theory and how the world has changed due to the change in the balance of power and the elimination of collective security.
Thomas Hobbes: I admit that the world has changed a lot something that has been brought about by the constant changes in human perception. However, there are certain areas which need to be closely analyzed in human life so as to develop and nurture equity and social justice to all humankind.
John Locke: Why do u say so?
Thomas Hobbes: Because over the years, I have been criticized of coming up with biased theories regarding human life and my quest on the beautiful life we would have had without governments. Who would not want a life where there would be no restrictions in life and every person would have a right to everything in the world.
Karl Max: I agree with you Hobbes but international relations theory can be said to have a positive impact in human life. I tend to consider neo-liberalism as a rather successful concept since many nations successfully cooperate in an international system. However, I would still vouch for my concept of Marxism because the current system in international relations is such that dictatorship and a struggle of classes.
John Locke: Liberalism holds that state preferences, rather than state capabilities, are the primary determinant of state behavior (Burchill, 2005). My idea of an ideal world is that without restriction in the context of political, security, economic and cultural factors. In my opinion, economic ties between countries is one of the factors that has fostered and enhanced the peaceful nature and correlation between modern states. However, I can stand here without fear of contradiction and fault Americas’ behavior towards left leaning democracies in Latin America.
John Lennon :( walking towards the group) how are you doing gentlemen; it seems that you have an interesting topic away from what has just happened.
Thomas Hobbes: Lennon, I have personally known you to be an influential musician and one who can easily pass and voice his opinions through music. My question to you is regarding how international relations theories have affected the modern meaning of life.
John Lennon: personally, I was born and raised in Liverpool and was very vocal in my entire life through peace activism practices which even at one time denied me the chance of getting permanent residence in the US.
Karl Max: Just how does that concern the topic of discussion?
John Lennon: My reasons for saying this is because in my songs, I was able to trigger or initiate a perception that had not already existed before. Consider my song imagine, the song may seem to take a neo-liberalistic approach however, I will not take sides regarding this matter but rather, the song was primarily intended to introduce the concept of a free world where there are less restrictions which is so much contrary to the current situation.
Karl max: But in my view, your song seems to be closely related to the ideological perceptive of Thomas Hobbes who says that the world should exist without governments and exist as one. Like you clearly state in your song, you say that you should not be considered as a dreamer but I really think you are one and even if you might not be the only one, there are a few others like you.
John Lennon: Why do you say so max?
Karl max: Your views and ideas in the song complement my idea of Marxism. However, my approach of Marxism was two sided in the sense that capitalism brought alienation, exploitation as well as a cyclical economic pattern while at the same time, the same capitalism has revolutionized industrialization and has brought growth and progression which in the overall has significantly improved human life. In your song, you say that we should imagine all people living for today. That is where my problem is; if we live for today, tomorrow bring a lot of uncertainties which creates a need for us to be prepared for it.
John Locke: I have over the years stated that human nature is characterized by reason and tolerance (Weber, 2004). This human nature is what has led men to be selfish. Lennon, in your song you say that we imagine that there are no countries and that all people are living their lives in peace. In my view, the sole right to coexist and defend in the state nature is not enough. This is why there should be a separation of powers between governments hence the existence of a free for all worlds would do more harm than good. We must also admit that revolution is not only a right but also an obligation depending on the circumstances.
Thomas Hobbes: With reference to the song Imagine, I feel that the conceptual view of the world is very appropriate. The song seems to go well with the basic ideology in my book though am not biased as a result of the same. The reason why I am saying this is because in a state of nature which refers to a condition of the inexistence of governments, there would be a free for all situations. But we must consider the negative impacts of this situation in modern world. There will inevitably be a situation whereby there will be a war of all against all. Each individual will rise against another on baseless reasons due to the lack of social order. Why then should we endorse the ideology of the song entirely in that the world would be peaceful in the absence of governments and the existence of a free for all state. Did you consider the negative side of this ideal world?
John Lennon: a meaningful life is one that people share the world which in my view is not applicable in life today. The same message is passed across in my other song revolution where I try to encourage positive thinking in life. It is a fact that we all want a revolution but the term carries a lot of weight both in context and meaning hence the question that we should ask ourselves is whether to have positive or negative revolution.
John Locke: Talking of your other song Revolution; I think what you were basically trying to imply is that the world cannot be changed by a single individual is that right?
John Lennon: That is true Locke and to add to that, I wanted to find a way to intercept the ideology that the balance of power lies under the control of the influential few a situation that locks out the common man out of important decisions in life. In view of Max’s capitalism approach, we must admit that there is a conflict of social classes that has shaped the social systems in modern world. This in other words mean that capitalism brings along with it alienation, exploitation and mass unemployment. He suggest that we replace this system with communism. Communism would thus create a balance of power which would eventually eliminate social classes and common greed that exist in modern societies.
Karl Max: In the same song, you seem to be excluding yourself from being part of change like when you say that when it comes to destroying the world, you should be counted out. We cannot ignore the fact that in modern life, it is easier said than done which implies that the song might seem to lack the connection that it should contain with the songwriter so as to closely associate the message to the writer.
John Lennon: Max, that is where you are wrong. I am not excluding myself from the song but what I am trying to do is to create a distinction from me and the rest of the atrocities in this world. We can say that realism introduced the culture of nations being the main actors in international politics. According to realists, the international system is governed by anarchy and has no central authority. However, subsequent theories seem to suggest otherwise take for example constructivism which suggests that international politics is shaped by persuasive ideas, collective values and social identities. In this view, the world can be described form personal perspective but we might be wrong in our judgments the reason why I say in the song that when it comes to destroying the world, I should be left out.
Thomas Hobbes: In your other song Happy Xmas: War is Over, what were you trying to insinuate considering the fact that the song took to task the then president Nixon administration that saw you engage in a lengthy lawsuit with the state who fought to have you deported due to your antiwar propaganda.
John Lennon: basically, I was trying to eliminate the perception of superiority with respect to the political setting and structure. This is because, the main reason why civil societies and other social and political structures are formed is to try and help resolve conflicts in a civil way. Most governments today engage in war like activities to prove their dominance and power. Just like the common belief by realists, international system is governed by anarchy which implies that there is no central power of authority. From a basic point of view, this leads to a struggle of power between self-interested states which is one of the reasons why the world experiences some of the problems today.
John Locke: Both your songs the Revolution and Imagine seems to have come at a time that most nations were going through the Cold war period. I imagine that the events at the time may have influenced the writing of the two songs.
John Lennon: That is very true which is why the state was against my anti-war propaganda.
Karl Max: How do you think the earthquake will impact on the international relations in the Asia-Pacific region?
Thomas Hobbes: Personally, I think that the society will not be so much affected because the society is a population beneath a sovereign authority. This implies that sovereign states must be in a position to control their civil, military and ecclesiastical powers so as to foster peace and unity at all cost.
John Lennon: You have enlightened me so much regarding my theoretical orientation and as I may have learnt, I might consider myself a liberal as my ideas seem to complement those of other liberalists.