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Hans Morgenthau's classic text established realism as the fundamental way of thinking about international relations. Although it has had its critics, the fact that it continues to be the most long lived text for courses in international relations attests to its enduring value. Someone has said the study of international relations has for half a century been nothing so much Hans Morgenthau's classic text established realism as the fundamental way of thinking about international relations. Although it has had its critics, the fact that it continues to be the most long lived text for courses in international relations attests to its enduring value. Someone has said the study of international relations has for half a century been nothing so much as a dialogue between Morgenthau, those who embrace his approach, and those who turn elsewhere for enlightenment. After 50 years, the dialogue between Morgenthau and scholars from around the world continues more or less as in the past something with more intensity even in an "age of terror." The new edition preserves intact Morgenthau's original work while adding a 40 page introduction by the editors who explore its relevance for a new era. What follows the introduction are the perspectives of a dozen statesmen, scholars, and observers each offering insights on Morgenthau's concepts and ideas as they relate to current crises on every continent. They bring up to date the dialogue that began in 1948.


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Hans Morgenthau's classic text established realism as the fundamental way of thinking about international relations. Although it has had its critics, the fact that it continues to be the most long lived text for courses in international relations attests to its enduring value. Someone has said the study of international relations has for half a century been nothing so much Hans Morgenthau's classic text established realism as the fundamental way of thinking about international relations. Although it has had its critics, the fact that it continues to be the most long lived text for courses in international relations attests to its enduring value. Someone has said the study of international relations has for half a century been nothing so much as a dialogue between Morgenthau, those who embrace his approach, and those who turn elsewhere for enlightenment. After 50 years, the dialogue between Morgenthau and scholars from around the world continues more or less as in the past something with more intensity even in an "age of terror." The new edition preserves intact Morgenthau's original work while adding a 40 page introduction by the editors who explore its relevance for a new era. What follows the introduction are the perspectives of a dozen statesmen, scholars, and observers each offering insights on Morgenthau's concepts and ideas as they relate to current crises on every continent. They bring up to date the dialogue that began in 1948.

30 review for Politics Among Nations

  1. 4 out of 5

    Clif

    Can a textbook be good reading? YES! This book has been used for centuries, well for decades anyway, as a college text. I checked at Amazon and, typical of textbooks, even used copies are pricey. Libraries typically do not have textbooks for the simple reason that any copies would always be checked out, hogged by some student wanting to save money. My copy is the fifth edition dating to the late 1970's. I used the "look inside" feature on Amazon to see if the table of contents has changed and, not Can a textbook be good reading? YES! This book has been used for centuries, well for decades anyway, as a college text. I checked at Amazon and, typical of textbooks, even used copies are pricey. Libraries typically do not have textbooks for the simple reason that any copies would always be checked out, hogged by some student wanting to save money. My copy is the fifth edition dating to the late 1970's. I used the "look inside" feature on Amazon to see if the table of contents has changed and, not unexpectedly, there are major changes. This makes sense because the Cold War world is gone. That world was the one Morgenthau had to address in my edition. I'd love to compare the book I have with the work produced by those who have taken over for Morgenthau. I never took a course that required this book, it was purchased simply on the reputation it had (and still has). Morganthau's ideas are the foundation of the realist school of international politics. The acquisition of power is the basis of behavior. Nations are either trying to protect what they have (status quo) or they are trying to add to what they have (imperialism). This all arises from the basic human desire to have power. As individuals we express this desire for power in our daily lives, through advancement in our jobs, the collection of money, the purchase and display of things. Were it not for an authority over us (the government) some would always be taking from others in one way or another, the only protection being self-defense. The central theme of Politics Among Nations is that there can be no overarching authority on the international scene that would provide the kind of domestic tranquility we enjoy within stable nations. The reason there can be no such authority comes from the lack of a consensus that brings all nations together in agreement on what is just and moral. Morganthau points out that the 13 American colonies shared such a consensus even before they became a nation. They shared a language, a common origin in England, the same religion, the same ideas on what was lawful. A nation was present in the shared mindset of the colonists before the formality of the Constitution. Though pre-Napoleonic Europe had a consensus that was expressed by the professional diplomats who served the royalty that held power over the entire continent, it could not survive the divisions brought on by the collapse of monarchic rule. There is no way the family of nations can now decide upon an authority to rule above them. The best that can be hoped for is a system of diplomacy that will strive at all times to settle disputes short of war, but diplomacy is no longer used as it was. Instead there is grandstanding and much symbolic action on the part of national governments addressing the world from the seats of government, playing to the international audience while little substantive action goes on behind the scenes. Diplomacy has fallen far from when secret negotiations that sought to persuade, compromise and employ national power in the background, kept the international scene to an acceptable low boil. These days, foreign embassies are primarily data gathering sites that simply relay information back home. Ambassadors and foreign service professionals are largely ignored by secretaries of state and presidents who take foreign policy as their personal prerogative (think Henry Kissinger). An example of what background diplomacy can do was the secret talks held between Iran and the United States that resulted in the current negotiations over Iran's nuclear capabilities. This has so far avoided the war that would have been inevitable with the public bellowing indulged in by Israeli PM Netanyahu and the warhawks in Congress. Morganthau wrote my edition during the Cold War and he correctly saw that it created a bi-polar world of ideological competition with even the most petty disputes in the most remote places on earth becoming symbolic of the East-West zero-sum game. The disaster of Vietnam, with the false domino theory said to justify it, demonstrates the truth of Morganthau's ideas, though he hardly speaks of that conflict, just ended at the time of publication. The reader gets a wealth of examples from history to back the author's assertions. An in depth treatment of the League of Nations and the United Nations shows how neither organization has a chance of achieving what the architects hoped for - a world government. Nevertheless, the UN does provide an outside party that, through the Secretary General, can wade in to international issues with legitimacy. I'd love to know what Morganthau would say about the present situation of the United States standing unchallenged militarily. You'd think this book would be very dry reading, but I did not find it so. I was in my twenties when I first read it and recall being somewhat overwhelmed. This second reading at age 63 was a delight that I happily consumed. By all means get a copy, just be aware that not all of what you find in the latest edition is by the great man himself. Anyone interested in the subject of this book might find this essay by Richard Falk of interest.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    This is one of the fountainheads of the classic realist view of international politics. He disagrees with the idealist view of world politics, defined as (page 3) belief "that a rational and moral political order, defined from universally valid abstract principles, can be achieved here and now." He accepts the realist view, based on the following assumption (page 3): "the world, imperfect as it is from the rational point of view, is the result of forces inherent in human nature. To improve the This is one of the fountainheads of the classic realist view of international politics. He disagrees with the idealist view of world politics, defined as (page 3) belief "that a rational and moral political order, defined from universally valid abstract principles, can be achieved here and now." He accepts the realist view, based on the following assumption (page 3): "the world, imperfect as it is from the rational point of view, is the result of forces inherent in human nature. To improve the world, one must work with these forces, not against them." Normally, I hesitate to quote too much, but the essence of the realist theory is encapsulated by Morgenthau in a handful of central precepts (pages 4-11): "1. Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature. . . . 2. The main sign post that helps political realism to find its way through the landscape of international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of power. . . . 3. Realism does not endow its key concept of interest defined as power with a meaning that is fixed once and for all. . . . 4. Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It is also aware of the ineluctable tension between the moral command and the requirements of successful political action. . . . 5. Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral laws that govern the universe." This classic work spends considerable time examining international politics as a struggle for power (the title of Part II). One wonderful aspect of Morgenthau's book is its historical sweep, as he uses examples from history in considerable abundance. This part of the volume explores the nature of power, imperialism,, power and prestige, and the like. Part III focuses on national power, including chapters on the essence of national power, the elements of power, and the evaluation of national power. Part IV is one of my favorite components of this volume--a sweeping consideration of the balance of power in history. No need to continue part by part (there are ten parts and 32 chapters in all). This is still worth reading and thinking about, many years after the volume's publication. It has a hard-headed analysis of world politics, based on principles of realism. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Morgenthau's perspective, it is well worth while to read and think about his views.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Casey H

    The Big One. "Politics Among Nations" is arguably the most important text in international relations. If you wish to understand the intricacies of diplomacy and the power struggles between nations, read this book. It is an immense tome of collected arguments well defended by nuggets taken from every nook and cranny of political history. Impossible would be the task of compiling all that is in this book in one review. Morgenthau covers just about every topic imaginable, including some that The Big One. "Politics Among Nations" is arguably the most important text in international relations. If you wish to understand the intricacies of diplomacy and the power struggles between nations, read this book. It is an immense tome of collected arguments well defended by nuggets taken from every nook and cranny of political history. Impossible would be the task of compiling all that is in this book in one review. Morgenthau covers just about every topic imaginable, including some that new-students of political theory probably did not know existed. If a summary could ever be made, it would be that political forces behave in favor of their interests, ultimately abandoning the legal/moral paradigms when the inevitable time comes. One might recognize his foretelling of the errors and uselessness of the U.N. in diplomatic affairs, and the political cinema that is the unmoving, unproductive U.S. Congress in Morgenthau's attack on public diplomacy: "No man [who has to argue their side] before the attentive eyes and ears of the world can in full public view agree to a compromise without looking like a fool and a knave. He must take himself at his public word and must stand unyieldingly 'on a principle,' the favored phrase of public diplomacy, rather than on negotiation and compromise [...] this degeneration of diplomatic intercourse into a propaganda match is, then, the inevitable concomitant of the publicity of the new diplomacy." Think about that the next time you see a dictator waving his hat around before the U.N., or the next time Congressmen sign moral pledges to do this or that, sacrificing compromise for the sake of scoring political points. The book has often been accused of supporting power-struggles, war, and economic oppression. Amoral or immoral charges have also been laid on Morgenthau's theories. To some measure, this is fair. "Political realism" became so widespread in its recognition halfway through the 20th century that essentially every notable political entity on the planet had put it to use. It does not take much imagination to know where watching the actions of "political realists" on the 20th century stage would lead observers. Many post-Morgenthau realists have also been more conflict-prone, such as Henry Kissinger and John Mearsheimer. This is unfair to Morgenthau himself, of course, who had a very strong hand on the moral vein that pulses through politics in general. Morgenthau, who opposed the Vietnam War -- a classic "political realist's" conflict -- argued that morality was simply political prudence on a national level. What is moral to the individual is not inherently moral to a political state which must seek to preserve the individuals who have entrusted it with their safety. "Ethics in the abstract judges action by its conformity with the moral law; political ethics judges action by its political consequences." Note, too, how frequently some of the ugliest, bloodiest conflicts were spearpointed by moralism touted on a national stage. These sort of nuanced arguments, of which I did not even begin to give proper service to, are on every single page of this book. Hans Morgenthau's "Politics Among Nations" still retains relevance in a world that has moved far beyond the era of its writing. Related and worth reading for modern political theory: Reinhold Niebuhr's "Moral Man and Immoral Society" and Michael Walzer's "Just and Unjust Wars"

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo

    A masterpiece!! This book must be read by all people interested in foreign affairs. Even though the last publication of this book was in the 70's, it applies perfectly to today's international relations.

  5. 5 out of 5

    SpaceBear

    Politics Among Nations lays out Morgenthau's vision of realism as based on human nature, and the manner in which a "will to power" is hard-wired into both people and states. He adopts a positivist approach, asserting that international politics is governed by objective laws. He argues that although here are obvious moral implications to international politics, neither analysts nor practitioners should allow themselves to be guided solely by abstract moral goals, but instead, must address power Politics Among Nations lays out Morgenthau's vision of realism as based on human nature, and the manner in which a "will to power" is hard-wired into both people and states. He adopts a positivist approach, asserting that international politics is governed by objective laws. He argues that although here are obvious moral implications to international politics, neither analysts nor practitioners should allow themselves to be guided solely by abstract moral goals, but instead, must address power as it exists and is exercised. He defines power primarily as psychological, stressing it as "the mutual relations of control among the holders of public authority and between the latter and the people at large", which represents itself through the balance of power. He briefly analyses morality, international law, international justice, and world public opinion, but argues that even when they exist, their impact is secondary to the interests of great powers and the balance between them. He argues that such a system will inevitably have conflict within it, and that the overall goal of international politics should be to create a system whereby this conflict is not permitted to take place. He discusses three potential approaches to this, peace through limitation (disarmament, security agreements, judicial settlements) but asserts that they will not be able to remove the underlying insecurity felt by states. Second is peace through transformation (into a world state), but he asserts that a prerequisite of a world state is an international community with agreement on the meaning of justice. The only way to build this is through the third means, peace through accommodation. In this, he argues that diplomacy must be used to slowly build an international society through deft political calculations of power. The last section reads like a realists attempt at optimism, or a how-to guide t becoming a liberal over an extended period. The discussions on international society set the stage for the English School.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Holm

    This is a very persuasive argument against the idea that a world government is possible in our current world. Morgenthau explains the ramifications of the current nuclear arsenals and offers very faint hope for a nuclear-free world war in the future. In today's geopolitical climate, preserving the status quo is everyone's ambition and almost every conflict in the world has the potential of engaging additional countries, including the major powers. The discussion of power exerted for This is a very persuasive argument against the idea that a world government is possible in our current world. Morgenthau explains the ramifications of the current nuclear arsenals and offers very faint hope for a nuclear-free world war in the future. In today's geopolitical climate, preserving the status quo is everyone's ambition and almost every conflict in the world has the potential of engaging additional countries, including the major powers. The discussion of power exerted for self-interest recalls Machiavelli's works and rings true in the frequently cited examples in history. He paints a very bleak picture about the prospects of nuclear warfare. It is paramount to find a way to avoid any nuclear warfare. But he realistically does not see any solution except continued intelligent and masterful diplomacy. He argues that a world court would always uphold the status quo although many conflicts challenge the status quo. The United Nations is paralyzed by the face-off between the Security Council members (US, Russia, China). Major powers will never willingly surrender any privilege or advantage. A world government is not possible yet because there are too many cultural differences which make a moral consensus impossible. The moral consensus is essential for the government to be effective. The people must value order over selfishness. It is in their self-interest to have order. This seems to be an academic textbook in political science. It is very thorough and has been through many editions. A very worth-while read for world citizens.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Hard

    An interesting explanation of the Realist school of thought in international relations. The text has a classical style, and many of the ideas are frequently reiterated. As someone who struggles to reconcile realist and idealist political tendencies, this book helped me to clarify some of my own reasoning. Read this if you like to understand the historical development of theories. For something along the same lines that is more contemporary, I would suggest the Tragedy of Great Power Politics.

  8. 4 out of 5

    NinaCD

    Great primer for IR theory.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Owen nye

    Professional textbook, has almost what u need to understand and research IR

  10. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Morgenthau is as pretentious verbose as he is intelligent which makes for a difficult read. however, his conservative/realist's perspective give a nice balance to a liberal education.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexandros

    If Kenneth Waltz is the Diego Maradona of Realism, then Hans Morgenthau is its Pele. But classifying Morgenthau as a pure classical Realist is to misread his greatest work, Politics Among Nations. His starting point is how human nature leads to the pursuit for power and how anarchy allows for conflicts among nations. Going into great lengths to analyse the sociological foundations of individuals within states and the states within the state system, his conclusion is that what works in one sphere If Kenneth Waltz is the Diego Maradona of Realism, then Hans Morgenthau is its Pele. But classifying Morgenthau as a pure classical Realist is to misread his greatest work, Politics Among Nations. His starting point is how human nature leads to the pursuit for power and how anarchy allows for conflicts among nations. Going into great lengths to analyse the sociological foundations of individuals within states and the states within the state system, his conclusion is that what works in one sphere can not function in another. Precisely this obsession with the sociological elements of societies takes him away from a realist objectivity. For example, Morgenthau admits that the policy of prestige that nations pursue is the result of beliefs and not objective reality (p. 86-87). This subjectivity is closer to a constructed social reality rather than a rigid Realist approach. Morgenthau’s stance toward the balance of power is ambiguous. One the one hand he acknowledges its usefulness but on the other hand he is very critical of some of its features. in his own words, “but, while nobody can tell how many wars there would have been without the balance of power, it is not hard to see that most of the wars that have been fought […] have their origin in the balance of power” (p. 230). On another note, his cynicism about moral values as a pretext of ideological motivations does not stop him from admitting that morality has a place in international politics (p. 274). He attributes the moral and material decline of the Western countries to ethical questions of a postcolonial modern world (p. 372-77). Morgenthau is also a vehement critic of a world public opinion, or more accurately he does not recognise one. But in the era of globalisation, of internet and of social media, a world public opinion can have voice that transcends national borders. We mentioned above Morgenthau’s constructivist leanings when it comes to the policy of prestige. Similarly, his approach to the solution of how to understand and deal with nuclear weapons is a post-modern outlook. He stresses the importance of language, truth, and the politics of nuclear weapons. For him, the language and meaning we use in the nuclear context (concepts such as “weapons” and “war”) are obsolete and new vocabulary is needed to underline the destructiveness of nuclear weapons (p. 442). The second part of his book is devoted to ways of overcoming war and bringing a permanent peace. His proposal is a world state as the only vehicle that can realise a permanent peace. But because a world state to be formed requires a world society, he rejects the notion that one day we will have a world state because of a lack of a world society. In this respect his second best solution is the implementation of diplomacy as “peace through accommodation” (p. 565, 593).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Indira

    I actually kind of liked this IR book. The author, who was german, was very....interesting. And it was kind of funny when you could literally read how off hinged and crazed he was when he started going off about nuclear war and how we were all going to die from bombs

  13. 4 out of 5

    Talha Mahmood

    The book is rightly called “ the bible of international relations “. Each and every topic is covered in the book. However, the book isn’t uptodate

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    A bestseller by the most popular postwar writer for children of all ages.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sathyanarayanan D

    There is no course on “Realism” in the discipline of Politics and International relations that does not prescribe Prof. Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations: The struggle for Power and Peace. In fact, I first came in to contact with the school of Realism by reading Prof. Kenneth Waltz’s Man, the State, and War. Unless the very last man in this world is convinced to give up his pursuit of political power through violent means, the words of realists – from Kautilya to Morgenthau and Waltz are going There is no course on “Realism” in the discipline of Politics and International relations that does not prescribe Prof. Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations: The struggle for Power and Peace. In fact, I first came in to contact with the school of Realism by reading Prof. Kenneth Waltz’s Man, the State, and War. Unless the very last man in this world is convinced to give up his pursuit of political power through violent means, the words of realists – from Kautilya to Morgenthau and Waltz are going to be relevant in managing the international affairs. The abstract conceptions which are at times too simplistic in their prescriptions just cannot solve the problem – prevention of war. It is no surprise that in the aftermath of second world war practitioners of foreign policy and diplomats used this book as a ready reckoner for issues that needed some clear direction. And the realistic school of thought has only grown in strength ever since. Some of Prof. Morgenthau’s great contributions through this is work is to explain the concepts of Balance of Power, Comprehensive National Power, Sovereignty, Ideological element in International politics, Perpetual Struggle between Status Quo & Political Change, Policy of prestige, certain aspects in Diplomacy, Total war, Collective security & Disarmament etc., Hobbes writes the natural state of man as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” With that as a reality security for everyone is an impossible thing to achieve. Since power is not equally distributed, the one with power than the other is tempted to go to war, as he is convinced that his power is considerably more than his opponent. It is a vicious cycle. The belligerent thinks that because he has some level of power he cannot just sit quite, if he is not going to attack the other, the other will attack him for the same objective (Political Power). Extrapolating this state of nature to the context of Nation state, we realize that states (or empires) cannot be at war with all, all the time. Hence, they seek to negotiate with each other to what degree or level, power can be possessed by each other at a given point of time with certain factors remaining constant. It should be taken for granted that all violence in this world is because of the constant struggle between “Status Quo and Change”. The Church with the help of political power wants to convert every human being in to Christianity through any means and the proponents of Islam want to turn the world in to a caliphate that goes with either communists or capitalists for example, the possibility of violence is imminent hence the possibility of war. So, the conflict is inevitable. If power is a limited source, and at a given time a particular international setup (Status Quo) favors US and not Russia, then Russia would seek to overthrow the status quo for the sake of multiplying its power, and US would defend the status quo with all the means possible as the status quo favors it. To change the status quo means war, and war as a means involves costs on both sides, hence the two warring groups negotiate the terms to redistribute the power. Hence, they maintain the equilibrium. If state A has 10 missiles and state B has 15, then both may negotiate on the number of missiles both are allowed to have at a given time and agree that either A increase the count to 15 or B reduce it to 10 is balance of power. Now both know that they are equals (once balance is achieved), one cannot attack the other without destroying each other completely. Balance is attained, so the reduction of the possibilities of war. But in the international scene it is not so simple, the players are many and the factors that impact these calculations are dynamic. To understand Balance of Power among nations one should know what is National Power? Especially on this Prof. Morgenthau has done a yeoman service by theorizing Comprehensive National Power and the elements that constitute it. I recommend all to at least read that chapter alone if not the whole book. With the resurgence of eastern powers like China and India, the conflict between the defenders of status quo and the players who seek change is only going to get more severe. And the prescriptions of Prof. Morgenthau will only help us traverse through the hard times that lie ahead.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Hans J. Morganthau has written a classic in the field of international relations and established the school of realism in that study. Morganthau concludes that power is at the basis of international relations, just as at the basis of individual human relationships. A must read for anyone interested in the basic theory of international dealings among states.

  17. 4 out of 5

    RJ

    "What is important to know, if one want to understand foreign policy, is not primarily 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." - p. 6

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vheissu

    An old professor of mine, W.T.R. Fox, once told my class that Morgenthau was so annoyed by the constant criticisms of his work, which nonetheless became the standard text used by almost every college professor in America, that when he appeared at a conference he would simply say, "Okay. You know what I think. Let's have the complaints."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    Note to self: A classic reference/reading for International Politics course under Prof. Leszek Buszynski (London School of Economics 1980), Fall Term 2004, an elective course from the International Relations Program, International University of Japan.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Asim Virk

    A good analysis at the time of its publishing but world has come a long way since then and many new transformations have appeared in the theoretical field of international relations but his emphasis on aspiration of every being for power still holds true..!!!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Abhirami Sumam

    Its a very good analysis on the realm of International Politics, from a realist perspective... I anjoyed reading this....

  22. 5 out of 5

    Valentin

    although somewhat old very direct, concise, clear and practical

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stanley Waobikeze

    H

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zahid Abdulla

    a book that shaped my political views. its bible of realist theory of international relations.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Mervosh

    The archaic, out-dated, un-nuanced theory of classical realism in an 800 page nutshell. Yummy. Not.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mirwais Wakil

    Took too long to tell me that diplomacy will be the answer to Utopia.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alex Fabish

    The geopolitical Bible. Or, at least the New Testament.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brenden

    Politics among nations. The struggle for power and peace by Hans J. Morgenthau (1948)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandile

    I want to explore and widen my knowledge when it comes to Global Politics

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lissa Loo

    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. "The statesman must think in terms of the national interest, conceived as power among other powers. The popular 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. "The statesman must think in terms of the national interest, conceived as power among other powers. The popular mind, unaware of the fine distinctions of the statesman's thinking, reasons more often than not in the simple moralistic and legalistic terms of absolute good and absolute evil." "Realism maintains that universal moral principles cannot be applied to the actions of states (...). The individual may say for himself: "Let justice be done, even if the world must perish", but the state has no right to say so in the name of those who are in its care. (...) While the individual has a moral right to sacrifice himself in defense of such a moral principle, the state has no right to let its moral disapprobation of the infringement of (that moral principle) get in the way of successful political action, itself inspired by the moral principle of national survival."

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