Classical Realism In International Relations Perspective

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The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been going on for the almost a century. It initially started when the Zionist Jews immigrated to Palestine in hope of finding a land to create a Jewish state. As more and more Jews came to the area, fighting between the Jews and the native Palestinians broke out. The future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said, “As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest.” (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ ). Driven by God the Israeli forces launched a two year offensive way which they ended up with even more territory than the United Nations had previously given them in 1947. With United States backing Israel has dominated this conflict …show more content…
Thucydides was one of the first predominant writers of classical realism and his ideas were later expanded on by Machiavelli, Hans Morgenthau, and other important classical realists. The main idea that sets classical realism apart from the other types of realism is the idea that states look to maximize their power due to human nature. As Hans Morgenthau said, "politics is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature." (Politics among nations, page unknown). Human nature is flawed therefore when survival is the main goal of a state, conflict is inevitable because a state has no way of predicting the true intentions of another state. This is why it is necessary for a state to expand their power, in order to have enough power to defend themselves in the anarchic international system. Many of these ideas came from Thucydides’ writing about realism in the international system. In many of his texts he writes about how a state’s survival depends largely on their material capability and alliances. More specifically if a state is internally solid with a strong communal identity, this will then lead to domestic stability and more importantly a strong foundation in the international system. However, being a strong state is not enough to succeed in the international world, alliances are important too. Though, Thucydides warns us that alliances can be a …show more content…
Morgenthau agreed with many other classical realists that states in the international system are driven by human nature. Building off of the fact that states want to maximize their power in order to feel secure, Morgenthau says, “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. This concept provides the link between reason trying to understand international politics and the facts to be understood.” (Politics among nations). This is the basis of Morgenthau’s approach to classical realism, that nations want to secure their goals and these interests are always defined in terms of power. Countries cannot achieve their national interest without power and states make their decisions based on this need for power. Furthermore this need for power allows one to analyze a choice a state has made or will make in the future. Morgenthau’s post World War II take on classical realism shaped the realist approach for international relations for future

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