Politics Among Nations Morgenthau Book Download
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Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace is a political science book by Hans Morgenthau published in 1948. The book introduces the concept of political realism, presenting a realist view of power politics. This concept played a major role in the foreign policy of the United States, which made it exercise globe spanning power in the Cold War period. The concept also called for a reconciliation of power politics with the idealistic ethics of earlier American discussions about foreign policy.
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Hence, it is no argument against the theory here presented that actualforeign policy does not or cannot live up to it. That argument misunderstandsthe intention of this book, which is to present not an indiscriminatedescription of political reality, but a rational theory of internationalpolitics. Far from being invalidated by the fact that, for instance, a perfectbalance of power policy will scarcely be found in reality, it assumes thatreality, being deficient in this respect, must be understood and evaluated as anapproximation to an ideal system of balance of power.
3. Realism assumes that its key concept of interest defined as power is anobjective category which is universally valid, but it does not endow thatconcept with a meaning that is fixed once and for all. The idea of interest isindeed of the essence of politics and is unaffected by the circumstances of timeand place. Thucydides' statement, born of the experiences of ancient Greece,that "identity of interests is the surest of bonds whether between statesor individuals" was taken up in the nineteenth century by Lord Salisbury'sremark that "the only bond of union that endures" among nations is"the absence of all clashing interests." It was erected into a generalprinciple of government by George Washington:
Political realism does not assume that the contemporary conditions underwhich foreign policy operates, with their extreme instability and the everpresent threat of large-scale violence, cannot be changed. The balance of power,for instance, is indeed a perennial element of all pluralistic societies, as theauthors of The Federalist papers well knew; yet it is capable ofoperating, as it does in the United States, under the conditions of relativestability and peaceful conflict. If the factors that have given rise to theseconditions can be duplicated on the international scene, similar conditions ofstability and peace will then prevail there, as they have over long stretches ofhistory among certain nations.
5. Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of aparticular nation with the moral laws that govern the universe. As itdistinguishes between truth and opinion, so it distinguishes between truth andidolatry. All nations are tempted-and few have been able to resist thetemptation for long-to clothe their own particular aspirations and actions inthe moral purposes of the universe. To know that nations are subject to themoral law is one thing, while to pretend to know with certainty what is good andevil in the relations among nations is quite another. There is a world ofdifference between the belief that all nations stand under the judgment of God,inscrutable to the human mind, and the blasphemous conviction that God is alwayson one's side and that what one wills oneself cannot fail to be willed by Godalso.
Thus it is inevitable that a theory which tries to understand internationalpolitics as it actually is and as it ought to be in view of its intrinsicnature, rather than as people would like to see it, must overcome apsychological resistance that most other branches of learning need not face. Abook devoted to the theoretical understanding of international politicstherefore requires a special explanation and justification. 2b1af7f3a8