POLITICS AMONG NATIONS. The Struggle for. Power and Peace. Hans J. Morgenthau. Late Albert A. Michelson Distinguished Service. Professor of Political. POLITICS AMONG NATIONS. By Hans J. Morgenthau. NewYork: Alfred A. Knopf, pp. $ The volume can be regarded as a magnificent tool to help. Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and. Peace Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by.
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Morgenthau Politics Among Nations - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. This thesis analyzes the life and career of Hans J. Morgenthau, commonly 1 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for. SEVENTH EDITION. POLITICS AMONG NATIONS. The Struggle for. Power and Peace. Hans J. Morgenthau. Late Albert A. Michelson Distinguished Service.
The book's emphasis on Nietzsche is original, so far as I know. In the s, Morgenthau's formative decade, Nietzsche remained a zeitbeherrschendes Elerbnis in Germany, as Frei puts it—an "overwhelming contemporary experience by which few intellectuals went entirely untouched. Young Hans Joachim, who was exposed to radical anti-Semitism already in school but whose father deemphasized the family's Jewishness and was a German patriot in the first instance, saw himself as "neither a German nor a Jew, born at the wrong time in the wrong country, a man without a country" and felt "lonely and misunderstood" quoted from diary entries in October Nietzsche was to him a fellow-sufferer, "the greatest outsider of them all" and "the god of my youth.
Man, Nietzche argued, was not rational but enmeshed in a web of drives, most basically the impulse of self-preservation and self-assertion. Morgenthau developed this idea into a theory of politics as an autonomous realm of life rooted in the human psyche and its inherent drive for power.
He was profoundly critical not only of this view of international relations, but also of the "scientific" outlook of his colleagues in Chicago, including Charles Merriam, Harold Lasswell, Herbert Simon, David Truman, David Easton, and Gabriel Almond—the behavioralists of the "Chicago school. So much for Morgenthau the realist and for his adaptation of Nietzschean skepticism to the American debate.
As Frei makes clear, Morgenthau parted company with Nietzsche on the question of the relativity of values. Morgenthau believed that an urge arising from "the moral dimension of the human soul" made it impossible to banish value judgments from the social sciences. 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.
Conversely, the fact that a theory of poli— tics was developed hundreds or even thousands of years ago—as was the theory of the balance of power—does not create a presumption that it must be outmoded and obsolete.
A theory ofpolitics must be subjected to the dual test ofreason 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 superiority of the present over the past. For realism, theory consists in ascertaining facts and giving them meaning through reason. It assumes that the character ofa foreign policy can be ascertained only through the examination of the political acts performed and of the foresee— able consequences of these acts.
Thus we can find out what statesmen have actu— ally 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 ra- tional outline, a map that suggests to us the possible meanings of foreign policy.
In other words, we put ourselves in the position ofa statesman who must meet a certain problem of foreign policy under certain circumstances, and we ask our— selves 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 manner , and 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 ofinternational 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 inter— national politics and the facts to be understood. 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 systemic 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 conversations with other statesmen; we read and anticipate his very thoughts. 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 con- tinuity in foreign policy which makes American, British, or Russian foreign policy appear as in intelligible, rational continuum, by and large consistent within itself, regardless of the different motives, preferences, and intellectual and moral quali— ties of successive statesmen. A realist theory of international politics, then, will guard against two popular fallacies: the concern with motives and the concern with ideological preferences.
To search for the clue to foreign policy exclusively in the motives of states- men is both futile and deceptive. It is futile because motives are the most illusive 0f psychological data, distorted as they are, frequently beyond recognition, by the interests and emotions of actor and observer alike. Do we really know what our own motives are?
And what do we know of the motives of others? Yet even if we had access to the real motives of statesmen, that knowledge would help us little in understanding foreign policies and might well lead us astray.
It can- not give us, however, the one clue by which to predict his foreign policies. History shows no exact and necessary correlation between the quality of motives and the quality of foreign policy.
This is true in both moral and political terms. We cannot conclude from the good intentions ofa statesman that his foreign policies will be either morally praiseworthy or politically successful.
Ifwe want to know the moral and political qualities ofhis actions, we must know them, not his motives. How often have statesmen been motivated by the desire to improve the world and ended by making it worse? And how often have they sought one goal, and ended by achieving something they neither expected nor desired?
Yet his policies helped to make the Second World War inevitable and to bring untold miseries to millions of people.
Judged by his motives, Robespierre was one of the most virtuous men who ever lived. Yet it was the utopian radicalism of that very virtue that made him kill those less virtuous than himself, brought him to the scaffold, and destroyed the revolu- tion of which he was a leader.
Good motives give assurance against deliberately bad policies; they do not guarantee the moral goodness and political success of the policies they inspire. What is important to know, if one wants to understand foreign policy, is not pri- marily the motives of a statesman but his intellectual ability to comprehend the essentials of foreign policy, as well as his political ability to translate what he has comprehended into successful political action.
It follows that, while ethics in the abstract judges the moral qualities of motives, political theory must judge the political qualities of intellect, will, and action. A realist theory ofinternational politics will also avoid the other popular fal- lacy of equating the foreign policies of a statesman with his philosophic or political sympathies, and ofdeducing the former from the latter.
Statesmen, especially under contemporary conditions, may well make a habit ofpresenting their foreign policies in terms of their philosophic and political sympathies in order to gain popular sup- port for them.
Political realism does not require, nor does it condone, indifference to political ideals and moral principles, but it requires indeed a sharp distinction between the desirable and the possible—between what is desirable everywhere and at all times and what is possible under the concrete circumstances of time and place.
It stands to reason that not all foreign policies have always followed so rational, objective, and unemotional a course. Especially where foreign policy is conducted under the conditions of democratic control, the need to marshal popular emotions to the support of foreign policy cannot fail to impair the rationality of foreign policy itself. Yet a theory of foreign policy that aims at rationality must for the time being, as it were, abstract from these irrational elements and seek to paint a picture of foreign policy that presents the rational essence to be found in experience, without the contingent deviations from rationality that are also found in experience.