The economist Joseph Schumpter is known for his economic theory of creative destruction. In this theory he purports that layoffs, plant closures, ending corporations, or the death of a whole industry can be good and necessary for a healthy economy. That destroying things that are going obsolete to make room for new and better economies is good. In other words the death of the vhs tapes industry can be healthy if done to make room for DVD industry which can be destroyed to make room for itunes. This is all healthy if the transformation is done ‘creatively’. He is also for the shutting down of plants if new technology is creating the possibilities of faster production and better quality. He also says the destruction of companies I layoffs can be good if it is to create a new corporate culture and a more refined administration. But this is only good if it is to ensure better performance and healthier industries. Creative Destruction is to be done with planning and foresight and not convenience and for the sake of growth alone.
Some have been hinted this is the way president Trump is currently doing foreign policy. He has a refined chaos theory of politics. Thus we have rocket man, the destruction of the State Department, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and withdrawing from the Iranian treaty. While I would wholeheartedly agree that he is taking a sledge hammer to the US foreign policy I am not sure he is being what Schumpter would call creative destruction.
First, his policies seem driven by impulses more than some overriding plan to improve the US status in the world. In other words his destruction of our foreign policy is being done with a sledge hammer. But he has not checked to see which are the load bearing walls and necessary to our foreign policy. He is not creatively destroying he is only destroying. This can be as bad or even worse than the status quo. And the problem is the Humpty Dumpty syndrome. Once the egg has been cracked you can never put it back together again.
While insulting and threatening North Korea may work it may be harmful to use the same strategy with Iran. Ayatollahs may not act the same way as a North Korean dictator. The humpty Dumpty of this policy is the destruction of the State Department. This took literally centuries to develop. A restructuring is always needed. It is harmful to just not fill positions. Certainly one could justify layoffs and ending certain policies but to show a total indifference in what remains or leaving it to the gods to decide is not creative but lazy.
Trump’s foreign policy seems to be based on destroying Obama’s legacy as much as anything else. Again this is not creative destruction but envy destruction. This again is a plan destroy Oba ma’s legacy but it is not necessarily a healthy one.
So I have said all of this to point out that a creative destruction of the foreign policy may be good especially in some areas. But what we face is the foreign policy caprice of a President who is not interested in intelligence de-briefing, does not read books, almost has a disdain for experts, and has one primary source for information this is a recipe for disaster. Trump must move to engaging more thought and planning then he has. He also must move from envy politics to a more sophisticated policies. The world awaits his deliberations. So hopefully he will deliberate.