The reality of political realism essay

Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature. In order to improve society it is first necessary to understand the laws by which society lives.

The reality of political realism essay

Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature. In order to improve society it is first necessary to understand the laws by which society lives. The operation of these laws being impervious to our preferences, men will challenge them only at the risk of failure.

Realism, believing as it does in the objectivity of the laws of politics, must also believe in the possibility of developing a rational theory that reflects, however imperfectly and one-sidedly, these objective laws.

The reality of political realism essay

It believes also, then, in the possibility of distinguishing in politics between truth and opinion-between what is true objectively and rationally, supported by evidence and illuminated by reason, and what is only a subjective judgment, divorced from the facts as they are and informed by prejudice and wishful thinking.

Human nature, in which the laws of politics have their roots, has not changed since the classical philosophies of China, India, and Greece endeavored to discover these laws.

Hence, novelty is not necessarily a virtue in political theory, nor is old age a defect. The fact that a theory of politics, if there be such a theory, has never been heard of before tends to create a presumption against, rather than in favor of, its soundness.

A theory of politics must be subjected to the dual test of reason and experience. To dismiss such a theory because it had its flowering in centuries past is to present not a rational argument but a modernistic prejudice that takes for granted the The reality of political realism essay of the present over the past.

Political realism essay

To dispose of the revival of such a theory as a "fashion" or "fad" is tantamount to assuming that in matters political we can have opinions but no truths. For realism, theory consists in ascertaining facts and giving them meaning through reason. It assumes that the character of a foreign policy can be ascertained only through the examination of the political acts performed and of the foreseeable consequences of these acts.

Thus we can find out what statesmen have actually done, and from the foreseeable consequences of their acts we can surmise what their objectives might have been. Yet examination of the facts is not enough.

To give meaning to the factual raw material of foreign policy, we must approach political reality with a kind of rational outline, a map that suggests to us the possible meanings of foreign policy. In other words, we put ourselves in the position of a statesman who must meet a certain problem of foreign policy under certain circumstances, and we ask ourselves what the rational alternatives are from which a statesman may choose who must meet this problem under these circumstances presuming always that he acts in a rational mannerand which of these rational alternatives this particular statesman, acting under these circumstances, is likely to choose.

It is the testing of this rational hypothesis against the actual facts and their consequences that gives theoretical meaning to the facts of international politics. The main signpost that helps political realism to find its way through the landscape of international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of power.

This concept provides the link between reason trying to understand international politics and the facts to be understood.

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It sets politics as an autonomous sphere of action and understanding apart from other spheres, such as economics understood in terms of interest defined as wealthethics, aesthetics, or religion. Without such a concept a theory of politics, international or domestic, would be altogether impossible, for without it we could not distinguish between political and nonpolitical facts, nor could we bring at least a measure of systematic order to the political sphere.

We assume that statesmen think and act in terms of interest defined as power, and the evidence of history bears that assumption out. That assumption allows us to retrace and anticipate, as it were, the steps a statesman--past, present, or future--has taken or will take on the political scene.

We look over his shoulder when he writes his dispatches; we listen in on his conversation with other statesmen; we read and anticipate his very thoughts. Thinking in terms of interest defined as power, we think as he does, and as disinterested observers we understand his thoughts and actions perhaps better than he, the actor on the political scene, does himself.

The concept of interest defined as power imposes intellectual discipline upon the observer, infuses rational order into the subject matter of politics, and thus makes the theoretical understanding of politics possible.

On the side of the actor, it provides for rational discipline in action and creates that astounding continuity in foreign policy which makes American, British, or Russian foreign policy appear as an intelligible, rational continuum, by and large consistent within itself, regardless of the different motives, preferences, and intellectual and moral qualities of successive statesmen.

A realist theory of international politics, then, will guard against two popular fallacies: To search for the clue to foreign policy exclusively in the motives of statesmen is both futile and deceptive.Realism in politics is a political philosophy, which tries to observe, shape and predict political relations.

It is based upon assumption that power should be the primary goal of any political act, both in international or domestic sphere. Realism holds that the only reality is the material world, that study of the outer world is the only reliable way to find truth; the world is an objective phenomenon that our minds must adhere to.

We achieve greater and greater knowledge through proper study of the world. Political realism is a theory of political philosophy that attempts to explain, model, and prescribe political relations.

It takes as its assumption that power is (or ought to be) the primary end of political action, whether in the domestic or international arena. Essay on The Reality of Political Realism Words | 8 Pages. beliefs on foreign policy and war exist.

The three different diplomatic stances are that of pacifism, just war theory, and political realism. Essay on The Reality of Political Realism Words 8 Pages When discussing whether or not a nation-state should enter a war and when to do so, three beliefs on foreign policy and war exist.

The Reality of Political Realism Essay - When discussing whether or not a nation-state should enter a war and when to do so, three beliefs on foreign policy and war exist. The three different diplomatic stances are that of pacifism, just war theory, and political realism.

The reality of political realism essay
SIX PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL REALISM