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Re: Morgenthau's Realism and Containment of USA
by Roslyn Bologh
14 April 2003 01:50 UTC
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Footnote to message below.  According to Turner and Factor's book on Max
Weber, in his own book of memoirs, Morgenthau reported that he got his ideas
about political realism from Max Weber whom he studied when he went to study
in Germany during the 1930s.  So Max Weber is the original source for the
political realism of U.S. international relations theory.

----- Original Message -----
From: "g kohler" <kohlerg@3web.net>
To: <wsn@csf.colorado.edu>
Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2003 10:50 AM
Subject: Morgenthau's Realism and Containment of USA

> Morgenthau's Realism and Containment of USA
> Hans Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations, used to be a textbook that was
> required reading in political science - international relations courses.
> this book Morgenthau presented his theory (doctrine) of  "Realism" (as
> opposed to idealism) in foreign policy. During Cold War times this was an
> ideological underpinning of U.S. foreign policy. The book contains two
> ideas - namely, (1) foreign policy must not pursue idealistic notions of
> Wilsonian democracy, but realism, instead. (This was derived from the
> notion of "Realpolitik" (aka pragmatic power politics) of the 19th
> (2) The second important notion in Morgenthau's book is the distinction
> between powers (states, governments, nations) that support the status quo
> the world system (rule of international law, national sovereignty,
> non-aggression) and what Morgenthau calls "revolutionary" states like
> Napoleonic France, Hitlerist Germany, Stalinist USSR). According to
> Morgenthuau's teachings, so-called "revolutionary powers" must be
> by the world community. "Revolutionary powers" are defined as powers that
> seek to revolutionize the world order and to overthrow the status quo of
> world system. (No similarity with a socialist notion of revolution.)
> Looking at the present world situation, we observe that Napoleonic France,
> Hitlerist Germany, and Stalinist USSR do not exist any longer. China does
> not seek to overthrow the status quo of the world system. There is one
> that seeks to overthrow the status quo of the world system with a new
> doctrine of preemptive strikes against any sovereign or non-sovereign
> in the world that is not to its liking. This doctrine is being implemented
> by the United States. It follows that USA is a revolutionary power in the
> sense of Morgenthau's Politics Among Nations. According to Morgenthau, any
> revolutionary power on the world stage must be contained by the (rest of)
> the world community.
> Gernot Köhler

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