The Tenets Of Realism Analysis

Realism is a worldview that critics have called cynical and pessimistic. However, the logic behind realism can explain many conflicts in the international realm. The tenets of realism starts with the State. The state is the number one player in the world. By definition, a state is a legal entity with defined borders, government and population, and sovereignty. With the state as the key player, universal organizations like the United Nations and Nato are not as important in this world view. Furthermore, the individuals who hold the realist worldview believe that the world exists in anarchy. States are not focused on helping each other to make the world peaceful; they are focused on gaining power and caring first for their own interests. People, …show more content…
In a rather stark contrast, one of the States’ prominent goals, in the realist theory, is to balance power. Realists believe that balancing power leads to greater international security because one state cannot overthrow all other states and force them into submission because of one state’s hegemony. Balancing power can be done by building up security in states since security is a function of power, and if all states have great power, none of them can be greatest. The ideology behind Realism stems from several philosophers. First, Thucydides, an Athenian historian, wrote about the balance of power in states through his work on the Peloponnesian War He said that power, if unchecked, will lead to desire for more and more power (Korab-Karpowicz). This is part of the so-called cynicism behind realism. Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli contributed to the Realist Worldview through his book, The Prince, where he states that people are at the deepest level self interested and unreliable (Spencer). Additionally, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote about how the world exists in …show more content…
The Cold War was essentially a contest to see whether the United States or the Soviet Union would gain hegemonic power. This is natural through the realist lens, because international politics are a struggle for power. The Truman Doctrine in the United States, which was a policy of containment of the communist power, can be explained by realists as an attempt of the US to keep power from the Soviet Union in an attempt to balance power and also a selfish US policy to keep more international power for themselves. The Soviet’s attempted to balance power by blockading West Berlin, and acquire power through China, Korea, Taiwan, and Tibet as they remained inferior to the US in atomic strength. Because of their inferiority, the Soviet leader Khrushchev attempted to keep peace with capitalism and the United States. However, the USSR continued to build up power. This realist would explain as a state attempting to build security and therefore power. Through the Cuban Missile Crisis, a realist perspective may say that the states and leaders are acting out of selfishness and pride- perhaps the cuban missile crisis would have never happened if Kennedy had never said that america would not allow any missiles in cuba or if Gromyko had admitted they had missiles in cuba, or if Khrushchev would have backed down. However, this is not a world of would haves or should haves. As the Cuban Missile Crisis wound down and

Related Documents