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Analysis Of Kant´S Essay On Perpetual Peace

1098 words - 5 pages

In his essay on perpetual peace, Kant presents his own view on perpetual peace, which could be realized only if a few “Do’s” and “Don’ts” are met. He calls these Do’s and Don’ts “preliminary articles” and “definitive articles”, respectively. In this essay I would analyze what Kant means by “preliminary articles” and “definitive articles” and argue that contemporary globalization is not undermining the nation-state, which is consistent with the views of several other experts.
Kant, a famous philosopher, in his essay imagines a state of perpetual peace. Different than temporary peace, perpetual peace, by definition is peace that lasts forever. Kant argues that perpetual peace is that all ...view middle of the document...

By “league of peace”, Kant wants to distinguish it from “a treaty of peace”, which brings a particular war to an end. He argues that a league of peace is necessary because in this way all states in this league are obligated to maintain the state of peace with each other, so as to reach peace forever, i.e. perpetual. He further contends that such a federation would function better than a world government does. One prominent reason is that a global government tends to have the authority to control over all the states, while nation-states demand the exclusion of any external authority. Each state has its own constitution and jurisdiction to govern within the state, so it seems that a global government would be redundant and unnecessary. This explains why Kant believes that the idea of a global government is not plausible.
In his third definitive article, Kant argues that “Cosmopolitan right shall be limited to conditions of universal hospitality.” This idea ought to be understood on two levels. First, cosmopolitan right shall include universal hospitality. That is, any person, who is the citizen of the Earth, has the right to travel around the world. People have the rights to visit any surface of the Earth and to be treated with “universal hospitality”. As a visitor from a foreign state, one shall not be treated as an enemy. Second, the cosmopolitan right shall be limited to universal hospitality, which indicates that there shall still be definite existence of nation-states. A state has no obligation to do anything more than hospitality to an alien person.
Kant depicts a beautiful blueprint of perpetual peace, but as far as I am concerned, such imagination is more ideal than realistic. Preconditions including “no standing armies”, “no national debt”, “no interference” are far from being realized. However, we do can derive some reflections from Kant’s arguments. In Kant’s view, even in era of perpetual peace, a federation of free states would be a better solution than a global government, which emphasizes the prominence of nation-states. Back to the contemporary globalization, despite the ever-increasing interconnectedness between states, nation-state is still the subject of all kinds of interaction. Standing armies secure the safety within the states, while national debts function as an economy adjuster worldwide. Therefore, globalization is not undermining the...

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