Strategic Analysis ‘a Bridge too Far’ when it become Utilitarianism

From a personal perspective much strategic foreign affairs analysis, appearing on the web, wanders dangerously  into that ‘values free zone’ of Utilitarianism. In an effort to be as objective as possible, strategic analysts sometimes stray outside the ethical bounds of a particular value set, world view and moral anchor. This somewhat abstract position, exemplified by a raw Utilitarianism position, renders any strategic analysis less relevant, to many readers with ethical standards

Frankly an amoral strategic view and set of analysed positions, bears scant relevance to reader’s needs, to balance explanatory views on strategic news, that resonate with a target audience’s world views, and ethical position. Without an ethical underpinning, utilitarian analysis becomes somewhat irrelevant. Modern strategic analysis appears to be veering increasingly towards an ‘ethics free’ utilitarian type process, in a vain effort to appeal to a multicultural readership. By trying to appeal to all, such analysis appeals to no one.

Neo-modern utilitarian amoral reporting and analysis styles, immediately become less relevant, as they attempt to become germane to the needs of all readers, regardless of ethnicities, cultural underpinnings and ethical anchors. The Machiavellian ‘ethics free positions’ where analysis resonates with the greatest good for the greatest number, regardless of ethics or moral underpinnings is becoming the norm. It is a given, that such a commitment will not make analysis and strategic perspectives relevant to all readers. This website will assume a Western Judeo-Christian world view and ethical stance when reporting, and especially when carrying out analysis.

One thought on “Strategic Analysis ‘a Bridge too Far’ when it become Utilitarianism

  1. This is a huge topic but a few thoughts:

    Might some of the strategic analysis and reporting you call utilitarian be more a straight reflection of the state actions that are being analysed and reported upon – that is, pragmatic?

    A primary function of a state after all is the protection of its citizens, ensuring the greatest good for the greatest number. And this will often be most effectively delivered by pragmatic means.

    The link given mainly concerns itself with critiquing utilitarianism as an ethical system for individuals. Arguably the state and agents of the state might operate under different criteria and/or with different thresholds.

    Further, the link does not distinguish types of utilitarianism. Ethicists distinguish act-based and rule-based utilitarianism, for example.

    Could you point or link to examples of strategic analysis which clearly contain “amoral reporting and analysis styles”, and for comparison, analysis which fulfills your criteria for taking “a Judeo-Christian and ethical stance”?

    Would it be fair to say that a great deal of strategic analysis and reporting by its very nature will be light on both utilitarian and Judeo-Christian ethical underpinnings? Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, Sunni/Shiite clashes, OPEC pricing, and NATO relevance spring to mind.

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