Is there any non-Objectivist commentator who is not a Peter Keating? Keating’s psychology is the only thing that can explain the insane view that cozying up to homicidal maniacs, such as the Chinese dictator, is going to “improve relations.”
I’ve been politically aware for over half a century, and throughout that time I’ve seen nothing but praise for “talks” and “summits” and “relaxing tensions” with the evil.
Actually, I can think of one man who understands the real situation. It is one of the Soviet dissidents, I think Natan Sharansky, but maybe it was Gary Kasparov, who tried to explain to American audiences that the policy decisions of Soviet leaders were motivated by a single need: to keep the populace from overthrowing them. He explained how the leaders live in constant fear of an uprising from the people whom they are victimizing.
But that is from a different universe than the one our Keating officials and Keating commentators inhabit. In their cosmos, smiles and frowns are the means of inducing others to produce the desired behavior.
Once President Xi comes to understand us and see that we have the same underlying concerns as . . . wait, he does understand us and that’s why he hates us.
The philosophical input to this understanding-means-peace approach and the (always refuted) belief that “quiet diplomacy” can work is Kant. He is the philosopher who “taught” us that formal structure and process are all that matter, that we deal only with appearances, never with what an entity is. His philosophy leads to ignoring the nature of the entities that act, so we don’t have to hold in mind that our co-summiteer is a murderous villain.