The Realism of Kenneth Waltz Essay

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“Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!” Most famously quoted from the movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, this black and white satiric film produced and co-written by Stanley Kubrick in 1964, is a prime example of Kenneth Waltz’s Realist theories in regards to International theory.
The realism that will be the focus of this paper is that of Kenneth Waltz. Kenneth Waltz presents his theory of realism, within an international system, by offering his central myth that, “Anarchy is the permissive cause of war”. Kenneth Waltz’s central myth helps answer the question as to why war happens in the first place. During the cold war, there was a heightened sense of insecurity between
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These images were that of the Human Individual or commonly known as the “level of the Man”, that of the society or complex political organization commonly known as the “level of the State” and that of the international system commonly known as the “level of War”.
The first level analysis in Waltz theory is that of the human individual. In this sense, the first level of analysis is used to tie together an individuals role in war. Humans, according to Kenneth Waltz, are the ultimate catalyst of war because of their natural born behavior. Humans act upon their own selfish tendencies, which make them a key player when trying to answer the question pertaining to why war occurs in the first place.
In the film, Dr. Strangelove the first level of analysis is the most obvious among his three levels. This can be seen most clearly through the actions of General Jack Ripper. In simple rational it can be deduced that General Jack Ripper, “went off the deep-end”, subsequently commanding his airborne battalion of fighter jets to drop nuclear weapons on specific targets in Russia. General Jack Ripper’s motivation to order the series of attack was anything but orthodox. General Jack Ripper suspects that the Soviet Union is conspiring to contaminate the “precious bodily fluids" of the American people. General Ripper tries to convince his colleague, Major Mandrake, that his decision was ultimately the smartest by saying, "Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen

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