SIX PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL REALISM
* Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature.
* believes in the possibility of distinguishing in politicsbetween truth and opinion-between what is true objectively and rationally
* 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
* novelty is not necessarily a virtue in political theory, nor is old age a defect
* A theory of politics must be subjected to the dualtest of reason and experience
* For realism, theory consists in ascertaining facts and giving them meaning through reason
* 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
* The mainsignpost that helps political realism to find its way through the landscape of international politics is the concept of interest defined in terms of power.
* 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 wealth), ethics, aesthetics, or religion
* We assume that statesmen think and actin terms of interest defined as power, and the evidence of history bears that assumption out
* 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
* To search for the clue to foreign policy exclusively in the motives ofstatesmen is both futile and deceptive
* knowledge of the statesman's motives may give us one among many clues as to what the direction of his foreign policy might be
* 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.
* Good motives give assurance against deliberately badpolicies; they do not guarantee the moral goodness and political success of the policies they inspire.
* political theory must judge the political qualities of intellect, will, and action.
* a theory of foreign policy which 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 which presents the rationalessence to be found in experience, without the contingent deviations from rationality which are also found in experience.
* The difference between international politics as it actually is and a rational theory derived from it is like the difference between a photograph and a painted portrait. The photograph shows everything that can be seen by the naked eye; the painted portrait does not showeverything that can be seen by the naked eye, but it shows, or at least seeks to show, one thing that the naked eye cannot see: the human essence of the person portrayed.
* Political realism presents the theoretical construct of a rational foreign policy which experience can never completely achieve.
* At the same time political realism considers a rational foreign policy to be good foreignpolicy; for only a rational foreign policy minimizes risks and maximizes benefits and, hence, complies both with the moral precept of prudence and the political requirement of success
* Realism assumes that its key concept of interest defined as power is an objective category which is universally valid, but it does not endow that concept with a meaning that is fixed once and for...