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Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma


Author(s): John H. Herz
Source: World Politics, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Jan., 1950), pp. 157-180
Published by: Cambridge University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2009187 .
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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM AND THE
SECURITY DILEMMA
By JOHN H. HERZ

THE heartbreakingplightin whicha bipolarizedand atom


bomb-blessedworld findsitselftoday is but the extreme
manifestation of a dilemmawithwhichhuman societieshave
had to grapplesince the dawn of history.For it stemsfroma
fundamentalsocial constellation,one where a plurality of
otherwiseinterconnected groups constituteultimateunits of
politicallife,that is, where groups live alongside each other
withoutbeingorganizedinto a higherunity.
Whereversuch anarchic society has existed--and it has
existedin mostperiodsof knownhistoryon some level-there
has arisenwhatmay be called the "securitydilemma"of men,
or groups,or theirleaders.Groupsor individualslivingin such
a constellationmustbe, and usuallyare, concernedabout their
securityfrombeing attacked,subjected,dominated,or anni-
hilatedby othergroupsand individuals. Strivingto attain se-
curityfromsuch attack,theyare drivento acquire more and
morepowerin orderto escape theimpactofthepowerofothers.
This, in turn,rendersthe othersmore insecureand compels
themto preparefortheworst.Since none can everfeelentirely
securein such a worldof competingunits,powercompetition
ensues,and the viciouscircleof securityand poweraccumula-
tionis on.
Whetherman is by naturepeacefuland cooperative,or domi-
neeringand aggressive,is not the question.The conditionthat
concernsus here is not a biologicalor anthropologicalbut a
social one. This homohominilupus situationdoes not preclude
social cooperationas anotherfundamentalfact of social life.
But even cooperationand solidaritytend to become elements
in the conflictsituation,part of theirfunctionbeing the con-
solidationand the strengthening of particulargroupsin their
competition withothergroups.The struggleforsecurity,then,
is merelyraisedfromthe individualor lower-grouplevel to a

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158 WORLD POLITICS
higher-group level.Thus, familiesand tribesmay overcomethe
powergame in theirinternalrelationsin orderto face other
familiesor tribes;largergroupsmay overcomeit to face other
classesunitedly;entirenationsmaycomposetheirinternalcon-
flictsin orderto faceothernations.But ultimately, somewhere,
conflictscaused by the securitydilemmaare bound to emerge
amongpoliticalunitsof power.
Such findings, one mightagreewithHenri Bergson,"ont de
quoi attristerle moraliste,"and men have reactedto themin
dissimilarways. The two major ways of reactingwill herebe
called Political Realism and Political Idealism. Political Real-
ism franklyrecognizesthe phenomenawhich are connected
withthe urgeforsecurityand the competitionforpower,and
takestheirconsequencesinto consideration.Political Idealism,
on the otherhand, usually startsfroma more "rationalistic"
assumption,namely,that a harmonyexists,or may eventually
be realized,betweenthe individual concern and the general
good,betweeninterests,rights,and dutiesof men and groups
in society;further, that poweris somethingeasily to be chan-
neled,diffused, utilizedforthe commongood, and that it can
ultimatelybe eliminatedaltogether frompoliticalrelationships.
The distinctionis thus not simplyone betweenthoughtcon-
cerned with the actual and the ideal, "what is" and "what
oughtto be." It is truethat Realism,frequently, is more con-
cernedwithdescriptionand analysisof what is than withpo-
liticalideals, while Idealism oftenneglectsfactualphenomena
for political ideals. But Realism may well, and often does,
glorify"realist" trendsas the desirableones, while Idealism
may take noticeof powerphenomena.The distinctionis rather
one of emphasis: Realist thoughtis determinedby an insight
intotheoverpowering impactof the securityfactorand the en-
suing power-political,oligarchic,authoritarian,and similar
trendsand tendenciesin societyand politics,whateverits ulti-
mate conclusionand advocacy.Idealist thought,on the other
hand,tends to concentrateon conditionsand solutionswhich
are supposedto overcometheegoisticinstinctsand attitudesof
individualsand groupsin favorof considerationsbeyondmere
securityand self-interest. usuallyappearsin one or
It therefore
anotherformof individualism,humanism,liberalism,pacifism,

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 159
anarchism,internationalism-inshort,as one of the ideologies
in favorof limiting(or, moreradically,eliminating)the power
and authority whichorganizedgroupsclaim over men. As one
authorhas expressedit, if "the childrenof darkness"are real-
ists,pessimists,and cynics,the "childrenof light"sin through
a facileoptimismthatrendersthemblind and sentimental.'
The distinctionheresuggested,while franklyinadequate in
therealmof morerefinedpoliticaltheory,seemsto be a fertile
one forthestudyofthegreatsocial and politicalmovementsof
history.Its importancebecomes evidentwhen one starts to
analyze the characteristicattitude-patterns and emotionsof
leadersand followersin such movements.Eitherthe approach
has been expressiveof a utopian and oftenchiliasticPolitical
Idealism,or-when disillusionment withthe ideal's abilityto
mold the "realist" facts frustratesexpectations it has taken
refugein an equally extreme,power-political and power-glori-
fyingPolitical Realism. This fatal reversaltime and again has
constituted the tragedyof Political Idealism,which,paradoxi-
cally,has its time of greatnesswhen its ideals are unfulfilled,
whenit is in oppositionto out-datedpoliticalsystemsand the
tideofthetimesswellsit towardvictory.It degeneratesas soon
as it attainsitsfinalgoal; and in victoryit dies. One is tempted
to sum up the historyof the greatmodernsocial and political
movementsas the storyof the credosof Political Idealism and
theirsuccessivefailuresin the face of the facts observedand
acclaimedbyPoliticalRealism.Nowhere,perhaps,has thisbeen
more strikingthan in the field of the relations among the
"sovereign"units of organizationand power,i.e., in modern
times,in the "international"realm.2
I
There is some typical"Idealism" in the veryexclusion,or
comparativedisregard,of internationalproblemsfrompolitical
thought.Unlike thoughtregardingformand structureof gov-
ernment,theoriesin the realm of internationalrelationshave
formeda side issue. Systemsand theoriescentered
traditionally
1 ReinholdNiebuhr,The Childrenof Light and the Childrenof Darkness: A Jindication
of Democracyand a Critique of Its TraditionalDefense, New York, Scribner,1944.
2
The following, under I throughVII, condensesa chapter of a larger manuscript,en-
titled"Political Realism and Political Idealism, A Study in Theories and Realities."

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160 WORLD POLITICS
around unitsof government were consideredin isolationfrom
theirinternationalmilieu.A state of peace, in whichthe fact
of internationalrelationshipscould be eliminatedfromtheo-
reticalconsideration,was assumedto be "normal."Thus, most
of the well-knownutopias located theirideal commonwealth
upon some island,wilderness,or similarlyisolated place, and
even less utopian theoristsdevoted their main attentionto
problemsof internalpoliticsand the internalimprovement of
the community.
A lover of the paradoxical mightsay that the absence of
theoriesof internationalrelationsconstitutesin itselfthe most
typicalidealisttheoryof internationalrelations.It implies,in-
deed, that withthe solutionof the internalpoliticalproblems
no otherproblemsremain;interrelations of politicalunitsthen
automaticallybecome harmonious. But withthe passingof the
of the highestpoliticalunits,withtheir
relativeself-sufficiency
increasinginterdependence in a world-wideinternationalso-
ciety,theoriesof internationalrelationshave at last been given
more significant expressionand have come to constitutethe
basis ofpoliticalmovementsand politicalaction.Amongthem,
nationalismand internationalism will be analyzed here with
regardto theirbasic idealist assumptionsand theirfailurein
theworldof"realist"phenomena.
II
With the rise of sovereignnation-statesthere emergedthe
idea and ideal of a systemof equal, free,and self-determining
nationalities,each organizedinto its own state,and all living
peacefullyside by side in harmoniousmutual relations.This
"idealist" nationalismstands in contrastto the nationalism
thatdevelopedwiththe riseof exclusive,aggressive,expansion-
ist,and imperialisticnationalpolicies,and whichwill be called
here "integral" nationalism.Integral nationalism represents
Political Realism in its extreme:a Realism which startsby
analyzingpoliticaltendenciesin orderto evaluate them,and
which,throughtheirglorification, thenbecomesthe ideological
foundationof the resultingmovements.Idealist nationalism,
on the otherhand,has provedto be utopianin its expectation

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 161
of an ideal internationalsocietywhichruns counterto actual
tendenciesof international politics.
As is well known,nationalismas an "ism" hardlyexisted
priorto the French Revolution.The Revolution established
the People as a self-consciousunit; foreignattack upon the
Revolutioncreated the nation-in-armsand, thereby,French
nationalism,revolutionary, missionary,and visionary; resist-
ance to FrenchCaesarismon the part of subjugatedcountries
createda loveofnationalityin thesecountries;and in theWars
of Liberationthe revolutionary principleof nationalself-deter-
minationwas victorover the verynationwhichhad made the
Revolution.
Idealist nationalismas a systemof thoughtamalgamated
pacifist-humanitarian with liberal-democraticelements.The
doctrineof national self-determination had as its source the
same ideologythatproducedthe idea of the rightof individual
self-determination. Rationalistic individualismwas opposed
not only to restrictionsenforcedupon the individualbut also
to "cabinetpolitics"thatdisposedof populationswithouttheir
consent.Thus, the "fundamental"rightsof nationalitieswere
consideredto be the same as those of man, namely,freedom
frominterference and oppression.Once such freedomhad been
achievedin a systemof self-determining nation-states,there
would no longerbe any reasonor justificationforinternational
frictionand war. Freedomof nationswas to be the common
concernof all humanity;witnessthefamousdecreeof Novem-
ber 19, 1792,in whichtheFrenchNational Conventiondeclared
that France would "come to the aid of all peoples who are
seeking to recovertheir liberty."But the most significant
spokesmenof humanitariannationalismcame fromnationali-
ties whichwere still seekingunification.Because of the later
transformation of Germanyand Italy fromnationalitiesseek-
ing redemptionin a world-widehumanitariannationalismto
powerstatesthat wereviolentlyaggressiveand authoritarian,
early nationalistssuch as Herder,Fichte, and Mazzini, have
been widelymisrepresented as forerunners of integralnational-
ism; thisobviouslydoes themgreatinjustice.Yet in a deeper
sense it may not be withoutsignificancethat the countries
whose early aspirationsexpressedthemselvesin these authors

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162 WORLD POLITICS
later produceda Treitschkeand a Hitler, a Corradiniand a
Mussolini. In both countriesit reflectsthe transformation of
idealistutopianismin the realmof theoryinto thestarkreality
of powerpoliticsforwhichintegralnationalistslike Treitschke
merelyshapedtheideologyand the apologetics.
Althoughin Herder'sconceptof nationality, nationalismwas
mixedwithelementsof romanticism(each nationalityhaving
its peculiar"soul" and worthamongthe "flowersin God's gar-
den"), the emphasisput on the necessityof politicalfreedom
was as strongas the expectationthat self-determination would
makeforpeace and harmony:It is thecabinetsthatmake wars
upon each other,but not so the Vaterlaender.3 One and a half
centurieslater, with the historyof the coexistenceof these
Vaterlaenderin mind,a Frenchauthor,sadderbut wiser,could
speak ofthemas "thesemercilessfatherlands, fullof greedand
pride."'But it was Fichtein whosepoliticalphilosophytheidea
ofpeculiar"missions"ofnationsassumeda centralimportance.
In conformity withhis philosophyof history,whichconceived
thatan age of individualismwas beingsucceededby
utilitarian
one of rationalfreedomunder law and moral norms,Fichte
ascribedto Germanya missionto becomethe model of a Kul-
turnation,a countrywhichforthe firsttime in historywould
combinepoliticallibertywiththatsocial and economicequality
withoutwhichthe dignityof man as a rationalbeingcannotbe
realized.Patriotismwas stillthe means towardthe higherend
of the realizationof freeman and freehumanity.To Mazzini,
likewise,nationalitywas not onlythe naturalunit in an asso-
ciationof freepeoples,but also the only unit in whichthe in-
ternal task of emancipationfromtyrannyand exploitation
could be performed. God, he maintained,has, in a kind of pre-
establishedharmony,dividedhumanityinto distinctgroupson
thebasis of language.This naturaldivisionhas been disfigured
by the arbitraryboundariesof the "countriesof Kings and
privilegedclasses." National unificationthus simply means
restorationof preordainedharmony;and betweennations so
established"there will be harmonyand brotherhood."'The
3See Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichteder Menschheit,Riga and Leipzig, 1784,
Book IX, ChapterIV.
4 GeorgesBernanos,Journald'un curede campagne,Paris, 1936,p. 300.
5 The Duties of Man, New York, Everyman'sLibrary,Dutton, 1907 p. 52.

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 163

battlesymbol,so oftenappliedbyPoliticalRealistsfortheirown
purposes,is utilizedby Mazzini forsuch harmonizingconclu-
sions:
Humanityis a great army movingto the conquests of unknown
lands,againstpowerfuland wary enemies.The Peoples are the differ-
entcorpsand divisionsof thatarmy. Each . . . has a specialoperation
to perform,and the commonvictorydepends on the exactnesswith
which the differentoperationsare carried out. Do not disturbthe
order of battle.'

The unansweredquestionas to whom these divisionswere to


do battlewithwas soon to be answeredby historyitself: not
perceivinga common enemy,they would turn against each
other.
This turningagainsteach otherhad as one of its major rea-
sonsthesecuritydilemmaofpoliticallyunintegrated units,and
theirensuingcompetitionfor power. Nationalitiesinevitably
became competingunits afterhavingabandonedtheirstate of
innocence and establishedthemselvesas nation-states.Na-
tionalismin the major nation-statesnow became allied with
ideas of national or racial inequalityand superiority;liberal-
humanitariannationalismwanderedto the East. Theories of
integralnationalism,whichnow blossomed,had forerunners in
certainearliertheories,especiallypoliticalromanticism, which
had ridiculedthe conceptsof "man" and "humanity"as mere
abstractions.Thus the same authorwho had opposed Rous-
seau's ideologyofthespontaneousformation of thegeneralwill
withan emphasison an elite'scapacityfor"instillingthe right
prejudices" opined: "I have seen, in my time, Frenchmen,
Italians, and Russians; I even know,thanksto Montesquieu,
thatone maybe a Persian; butas forMan, I declarethatI have
nevermethimin my life; if he exists,it is withoutmy knowl-
edge."7It was throughthis eliminationof the conceptof hu-
manitythattheuniversalistideologywas takenout ofnational-
ism.
What remainedwas either pseudo-Realism,such as that
foundin theoriesof racialism (of white,or Nordic,or Aryan
6Ibid., p. 55.
sur la France,Lyon, 1843,p. 88.
7Joseph de Maistre,Considerations

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164 WORLD POLITICS
superiority,etc.), or genuinePolitical Realism witha recogni-
tionoftheinevitabilities ofpowerpoliticsin an age ofsovereign
states.How didithappenthatearliernationalism, withitsvision
of internationalpeace and harmony,could have so completely
overlookedthiscentralphenomenon?Some explanationmaybe
found in the chiliasticcharacterof all Political Idealism, its
inclinationto expectthemillennium, the "totallyand radically
differentsituation"on the otherside of the greatdividewhich
in suchthoughtseparatesthepresentevil worldfromthebrave
new worldof thefuture.Thus, the "heavenlycityof the eight-
eenth-century philosophers"(whichturnedout to be the bour-
geoisrevolution)was expectedto followtheabolitionoffeudal-
ism and absolutism.Socialism expected,and still expects,the
"altogetherdifferent" to become real, once the capitalisticre-
gime is overthrown. And humanitariannationalismexpected
the goldenage of internationalbrotherhood to come true once
nationalitieswere set freeto determinetheirfate in liberty.
Final victoryover the powerpoliciesof "kings and privileged
classes"was supposedto constitutethesenations'"leap intothe
realmof freedom."But in some respectsthe mechanicalbal-
ance-of-power politics of the absolutist cabinets,which na-
tionalistsblamedformostinternational evils,was moresuitable
forsafeguarding peaceful,if not permanentlystable,relations
thanwas a policybased on themoreemotionalimpulses,aims,
and claimsofnation-states whoseforeignpolicywas influenced
by the nationalismof the masses.
III
Amongmovementsexpressiveof idealistinternationalism we
may count those revolutionary movementswhichwere genu-
inely universalist,those which, in the conceptionand pro-
gramsoftheirleadersas well as duringthe earlystagesoftheir
implementation, tendedto bringabout a generaltransforma-
tion of society.In the cases of the French or the Bolshevik
Revolutions,birthplaceand actual theaterof the movement
were regardedas merelyaccidental startingpoints of what
was conceivedas a world-embracing development;such move-
mentswerethusworld-revolutionary in the strictsense.
The Puritan revolutionin England did not, in the main,

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 165
conceiveof itselfas a world-revolutionary movementaimed at
changingfeudal-monarchical institutionsall over the world.
Similar ideological isolationismcharacterizedthe American
Revolution,whereeven the appeal to "the opinionsof man-
kind" was made for what was consideredthe cause of one
singlenation.But world-revolutionary appeal and propaganda
wereof the essenceof the FrenchRevolution.It is true that,
exceptforsome radical cosmopolitanslike AnacharsisClootz,
neitherGirondistsnor Jacobinsadvocatedinternationalization
ofworldsocietyin the senseof blottingout countriesand peo-
ples; but theyall foresawan impendingexpansionof the revo-
lutionaryideas overtheworld; it was France's missionto help
othernationsto achievetheirfreedomand to join withFrance
in a societyof freenations."The Revolutionis a universalre-
ligionwhichit is France's missionto imposeupon humanity."8
This religiousfervorwas characterizedby two convictions:
one, that the revolutionary ideas, being the expressionof un-
doubtedtruth,were bound to prevail,so to speak, by them-
selves,by the sheerforceof theirtruthand reason; the other,
thatthetotaltransformation of society,whichtheseideas were
boundto bringabout,was imminent.This beliefin the abso-
lute truthof the gospel and the imminenceof the comingof
the Savior puts French revolutionaryenthusiasmalongside
movementsof chiliasticutopian-
similaruniversalist-idealistic
ism. This attitude,in the firststage of the Revolution,was
commonto all groups,leaders, and factions.Said Brissot:
"The American Revolution engenderedthe French Revolu-
tion; the latterone will constitutethe sacred spot whencewill
springthesparkthatshall put all nationsto fire."'And Lebrun
wroteto Noel: "It is withoutdoubt that our principleswill
spreadeverywhere by themselvessooner or later,simplybe-
cause theyare principlesof pure reason forwhichthe major
partof Europe is now ripe."10 Robespierre,in the Convention,
exclaimed: "What! You have an entirenation behind you,
reasonas your aid, and you have not yet revolutionizedthe
8 Albert
Sorel,L'Europe et la revolutionfrancaise,Paris,1889,Vol.II, p. 109.
9July10, 1791,quotedin F. Laurent,Histoiredu droitdes gens,Paris,1868,Vol. XV,
p. 24.
10November 11,1792,quotedin Sorel,op.cit.,Vol.III, p. 165.

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166 WORLD POLITICS
world?... In England,the partyof freedomawaitsyou . . . If
only France startsmarching,the republicansof England will
reachout theirhandsto you, and theworldwill be free."1Ad-
herentsof therevolutionarygospelin othercountrieswereim-
bued withthe same chiliasm.An addressof English republi-
cans to the Conventioncontainedthis statement:
Frenchmen,you are already free; the Britons expect to be free
soon. The Triple Alliance,not of crownedheads, but of the peoples
of America,France, and Great Britain,will bringlibertyto Europe
and peace to the world.Afterthe example set by France, revolutions
will be easy. We should not be surprisedif very soon an English
National Conventionwill likewise receive congratulations.12
In the unhistoricfashioncharacteristicof chiliasticmove-
ments,conditionsprevailingelsewherewereconsideredas mere
replicasof those in France,hencebound to undergothe same
development. Whileoverestimating theimportance
fantastically
of revolutionary movementsand sympathizing groupsabroad,
howeverinsignificant or isolated, one vastly underestimated
the hostilereactionthe Revolutionwas bound to evoke in a
Europe stilllargelyfeudaland monarchist. The war againstthe
coalitionthus appearedas a fightagainsttopplingold powers,
while appeals to the masses of the people would sufficeto win
themas allieson thesideoftheRevolution.The war wouldthus
becomeone ofpropaganda:
Let us tell all Europe . . . that the battleswhichthe people fight
at the ordersof the despotsresembleblows whichtwo friends,incited
by a mean instigator, exchangein the dark; as soon as they see the
light,theywill drop theirarms,embraceeach other,and punishtheir
deceivers. So the peoples,when suddenlyat the momentof the battle
between the enemy armies and ours the lightof philosophystrikes
theireyes,will embraceeach otherbeforedeposed kingsand a satis-
fiedheaven.13
And Robespierre,in 1793, intoned: "Might heaven at this
momentallow us to have our voiceheardby all peoples: Imme-
diatelythe flamesofwar wouldbe extinguished and all peoples
wouldforma nationofbrothers."14
Thus the Dutch, the Belgians,the Germanswere addressed
as potentialallies. The war againstthe tyrantswas to be the
' March 10, 1793,ibid.,p. 344.
12
November7, 1792,ibid.,Vol. II, p. 214.
13 Isnard,quoted in Laurent,op. cit.,p. 82.
14
Quoted in Laurent,op. cit.,p. 174.

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 167
last war.But untilultimatevictorywas won,therecould be no
neutrals:"The Republicrecognizesonlyfriendsor enemies!"15
Ideologicalmovementscarrytheirown idea of legitimacy,and
the establishedorder appears as mere brute force,without
foundationin law or morals.
The newmovementclaimeda "legitimate"rightto carrythe
warto thosewhoseonlytitlewas force.Then,whenthe peoples
ofEuropefailedto respondto themessage,disillusionedrevolu-
tionariesclaimedtherightto forcethemto be free.Expectation
of universalrevolutionwas postponed: "Prejudice, unfortu-
nately,spreads like a torrent,while trutharrivesat a snail's
pace."" Napoleonhad to reportfromItaly: "Love ofthepeople
forlibertyand equalityhas notbeenmyally ... All thisis good
forproclamationsand speechesbut it is imaginary."17 Propa-
ganda was now used as a weapon of national warfare,a sure
signthatthe stage of universalistidealismwas over and Real-
politikhad takenits place.
The rejectionof the principleof revolutionary intervention
bythedeclarationoftheNational ConventionofApril17, 1793
-a declarationwhichstatedthatFrance "will not interfere in
any way in the governmentof otherpowers"'8-marked the
real end of the world-revolutionary period and the beginning
ofnationalRealpolitik.Nothingmakesclearerthistransforma-
tionthan Danton's explanationof the new policy:
It is time that the Conventionmakes known to Europe that it
knowshow to ally politicalwisdom with Republican virtues. In a
momentof enthusiasm,you issued a decree whose motive was no
doubt beautiful,and whichobliged you to assist peoples desirous of
resistingthe oppressionof theirtyrants. This decree would have in-
volvedyou if some patriotshad wantedto make a revolutionin China.
But we must thinkabove all of the preservationof our own body
politicand of layingthe foundationforFrenchgreatness.19
Genet now was instructed,in the typicaltermsof classical
diplomacy("government,""party,")etc.,as comparedwiththe
15
Kersaint,January1, 1793, quoted in Sorel,op. cit., Vol. III, p. 244.
16 Baraillon,January13, 1793, quoted in AlbertMathiez, La revolutionet les Strangers,
Paris,1918,p. 88.
17
Quotedin Laurent,op cit.,p. 268.
18
See Vernon Dyke, "The Responsibilityof States for InternationalPropaganda,"
AmericanJournalof InternationalLaw, Vol. XXXIV, (Jan. 1940), p. 61.
19 Jules Basdevant, La revolutionfrancaiseet le droit de la guerrecontinentale,
Paris,
1901,p. 164.

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168 WORLD POLITICS
revolutionaryvocabulary of "sovereignpeoples," "tyrants,"
etc.) "to treatwiththe government, and not witha factionof
thepeople; and to be therepresentative of the FrenchRepublic
at the [American] Congress,not the head of an American
Party."20The Revolutionhad now become the "revolutionin
one singlecountry,"and, with Bonaparte's appearance quite
definitely"le jour de gloireest arrive,"withthegloryand might
of one's own countryas the aim. Napoleon coolly deniedthat
theFrenchRepublichad ever"adoptedthe principleof making
war forotherpeoples.I would like to knowwhat philosophical
or moral rule demands the sacrificeof 40,000 Frenchmen
against the well-understood interestof the Republic.' With
the establishmentof French hegemonyover Europe, propa-
ganda became of the well-known"co-prosperity sphere"type,
as whenit spokeof France's missionto unifyEurope in "one
family,"where "civic dissensionsconstituteattacks on the
commonweal."22The oppressednations,on the other hand,
havingstarteda war ofconservative intervention,endedby tak-
ing over much of the originalFrench revolutionary ideology,
whichtheynowwereable to turnagainstits creator.A Prussian
generalcouldnow appeal to thepeoplein thename ofthe liber-
ties of 1789: "It is forGermany'sfreedomthatwe shall win or
die.... Any distinction of rank,birth,or originis bannedfrom
our ranks.We are all freemen."23 The circlehad becomecom-
plete.
IV
The historyof the Workers'Internationalsis yet another
confirmationof the prevalence of power-political,"realist"
phenomenaover too facile assumptionsof a utopian Political
Idealism. The idea of a classless society,whichwas to result
fromthe concertedinternationalaction of the proletariansof
all countries,combinedinternaland internationalutopianism
in one comprehensive structure. The Second Internationalcon-
ceivedthetaskofthedifferent Socialistpartiesas one of oppos-
ing "capitalistic"wars or of turningtheminto strugglesforthe
overthrow of the capitalisticsystem:
20 Sorel,op. cit.,Vol. III, p. 431.
21Ibid.,Vol. V, p. 66.
22Laurent,op. cit.,p. 308.
23 Ibid.,p. 467.

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 169
If war threatensto break out, it is the duty of the workingclass
in thecountriesconcerned,and of theirparliamentary representatives,
withthe aid of the InternationalSocialist Bureau, to do all in their
powerto preventwar by all means whichseem to them appropriate,
and whichnaturallyvaryaccordingto the sharpnessof the class strug-
gle and thegeneralpoliticalsituation. Shouldwar,nevertheless, break
out, it is theirduty to cooperateto bringit promptlyto a close and
to utilizetheeconomicand politicalcrisiscreatedby the war to arouse
the masses of the people and to precipitatethe downfallof capitalist
domination.'
But despiteits apparentstrengthon the eve of the World
War,theSecond International,withits millionsof well-organ-
ized adherents,provedimpotentin 1914. The greatmajorityof
workers'representatives in practicallyeverycountryconcerned,
withonlyfeebleand scatteredresistance,voted forwar. Even
if it weretruethat this volte-facewas engineeredby bureauc-
ratized and "treacherous" leaders against the will of the
masses,thiswould onlyprovethe impotenceof "partydemoc-
racy" in the face of oligarchictendenciesin the organization.
But such an explanationis of doubtfuladequacy.What Social-
ist partycould,in good conscience,have assumedthe responsi-
bilityof paralyzingthe war effort in its own country,unless it
couldbe surethatits "oppositenumber"in the enemycountry
wouldbe equallysuccessful?Mightnottheoutcomethensimply
have been the sacrificeof the independenceof one's own coun-
try,includingits proletariat,in favor,not of the cause of inter-
nationalrevolution, but ofthecapitalistsoftheenemycountry?
The allegationof self-defense was certainlymore than a mere
fraud.It was indicativeof the profounddilemma connected
withthesecurityfactor.25
While the realitiesconnectedwith the securityand power
factorsled the Second Internationalto founderin impotence,
theyeventuallyturnedtheThird International,and the move-
mentit carried,into instrumentalities of powerpolitics.There
is a strikingsimilaritybetweenthe structureand fate of the
world-revolutionary ideologyofthe Frenchrevolutionaries and
that of its counterpart,the Bolshevikideology.Even priorto
theOctoberRevolutionthisideologyhad beenfullyestablished.
24
Resolutionadopted by the Congressof the Second Internationalat Stuttgart,1907;
see Lewis L. Lorwin,Labor and Internationalism,New York, Macmillan, 1929, pp. 91 ff.
25
Nowhere,perhaps,has the tragic situationconfronting
internationalists
during those
days been more poignantlyportrayedthan in Martin du Gard's Les Thibaults.

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170 WORLD POLITICS
In April,1917,Lenin declaredthat,owingmerelyto historical
accident,the Russian proletariatwould be chosen to be the
"skirmishers oftheworldproletariat," and thatits actionwould
be only a "preludeto and a step towardsthe socialistworld
revolution."World-wideexpansionof the revolutionhe con-
sideredas imminent,the preconditionsforits outbreakbeing
presentin all countries,and the responsibility of the Russians
forthefateoftheoppressedeverywhere was stressed.26In strik-
ing parallelto the Frenchdecreeof November19, 1792,a Bol-
shevistpartyresolutionof August 1917, statedthat "withthe
liquidationof imperialistdominationtheworkersof that coun-
trywhichwill firstset up a dictatorshipof proletariansand
semi-proletarianswill have the duty to render assistance,
armed,ifnecessary,to thefighting proletariatoftheothercoun-
Even morestrikingis thefactthatthe revolutionitself
tries."27
was undertakenonly because world-widerevolutionwas con-
sidereda certainty,28a fascinatingexampleof how ideologies,
by the veryfact of being acceptedby leaders of a movement,
create world-historic events.Even afterthe establishmentof
Sovietpowerin Russia, theinterestofthe BolshevistPartywas
consideredas subordinateto that of the world-proletariat. In-
deed, it was thoughtthe dutyof any particularrevolutionary
movementor partyto sacrificeits specificinterestsif and when-
everbroaderinternational interestsdemandedsuch sacrifice.
Inevitabilityas well as imminenceof worldrevolutionwere
taken for grantedeven when events seemed to shattersuch
belief.The slightestindicationsbecame proofs; some strikes
in Germanyand Austriain early1918,weretakenas suresigns
ofimminentrevolution, notonlyin thesecountries,but in Eng-
land,France,and Spain. The year 1919 constitutedthepeak of
utopian enthusiasm.Following events in Germany,Austria,
Hungary,Lenin predictedtheimminentbirthof an "All-World
FederativeSoviet Republic"; in July he promisedthat that
monthwould be the last of the "difficult" July's,and thatJuly
1920 would witnessthe finalvictoryof the CommunistInter-
26 See V. I. Lenin,Selected Works,London, 1936, Vol. VI, pp. 17 f., 230, 288, 297.
27
Resolution on "The Present Situation and the War," adopted by the Sixth Party
Congress. I owe this and the followingreferencesto Ossip K. Flechtheim,who kindly
made available to me a manuscriptentitled"The Struggleof Bolshevismfor World Do-
minion."
28
Cf. resolutionof the CentralCommitteeof the Party of October23. 1917.

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 171
national.Aboutthesame timean articleby Zinovievexpressed
thechiliastichopesofthatperiod:
As these lines are being written,thereexist already three Soviet
Republics as the main basis of the Third International: Russia,
Hungary,and Bavaria. Nobody will be surprisedif,when these lines
are published,therewillbe notthree,but six or even a greaternumber
of Soviet Republics.With dizzyingspeed Old Europe rushes toward
theproletarianrevolution.'

When the articleappeared the numberof Soviet Republics


had beenreducedto one. But its author,not to be discouraged,
now predicteda developmentof such speed and dimensions
that"a yearhencewe shall alreadybeginto forgetthatEurope
once witnesseda fightfor Communism;for a year hence all
Europewill be Communist,and the fightforCommunismwill
have begunto extendto America and perhapsalso Asia and
othercontinents."30It took about thirtyyears,and the trans-
formationof the regime into the autocratic rulershipof a
countrywhichnow had becomeone of the two poles of world-
power,to bringthispredictionto a beginningof truth,though
in a verydifferent sense. Stalinismadapted the international
ideologyofBolshevismto the"realist"factthattheone country
in whichtherevolutionhad succeededwas forcedto live in the
same worldwithits non- or counter-revolutionary neighbors.
Realisticappraisalofpowerphenomenaled theregimeto aban-
don its world-revolutionary ideology,except for propaganda
purposes.As a unit in internationalaffairsthe Soviet Union
now acts with at least the same degreeof insistenceon self-
"sovereignty,"
preservation, security,and powerconsiderations
as do othercountries.Whereas world-revolutionary ideology
the
upheld primacy of international over "national" proletarian
considerations,Stalinismacts on the assumptionthat no in-
terestanywherecan possiblybe above the existenceand main-
tenanceof Soviet rule in Russia. Whateverappears today as
Sovietinternationalism has in realitybecome subservientto a
primarily"national" cause, or rather,the maintenanceof the
regimeof one specific"big power." From the point of view of
genuineinternationalism, this attitude,with its cynical and
unabashedmisuseof internationalist idealism,constitutesPo-
2 Quoted in FlechtheimMS citedabove.
30 Ibid.

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172 WORLD POLITICS
litical Realism in the extreme.Moreover,the facts and the
struggleconnectedwiththe phenomenonof "Titoism" tend to
refutethe allegationthatthis Realism is goingto last only as
longas theentireglobeis notyetCommunist,and thatwiththe
transformation of all countriesinto Soviet or "popular-demo-
cratic" republics,genuinefederationon the basis of equality
will replaceinsistenceon Russian predominance.The Political
Idealism containedin this "federalistic"ideologyseeminglyis
foundering upon the rockof realitiesinherenteven in a system
of plural Communistentities.Such questionsas "Who will be
industrializedfirstand at whosecost in regardto livingstand-
ard of the masses?" or "Who will formthe 'colonial' raw ma-
terialbasis forexploitationby a more 'advanced' comrade-re-
public?"-questions which are at the very basis of the Tito
conflict-showthatthesecurityand powerdilemmawouldhave
its impacton actual policiesin a collectivizedworld as it has
had in capitalisticand pre-capitalistic
aeons.
V
Besidestheuniversalismof"world-revolutionary" ideologies,
internationalism in thefieldof politicalthoughthas even more
commonlytakentheformof a generalidealism,whichhas been
relativelyindependentof specificsocial-politicalcreeds and
movementsand has centeredaroundwhat may be broadlyde-
scribedas pacifism.Arisingin an age thatwitnessedan increas-
ing internationalintegrationof societyin a wide varietyof
fields,such as communications, trade,finance,thistypeof Po-
litical Idealism had the same traces of rationalistutopianism
as were characteristic of humanitariannationalism.Its chili-
astic natureis apparentfromits assumptionthat international
integrationin certainfieldsof societywill inevitablybe fol-
lowed and implementedby the socio-politicalintegrationof
mankindintoone community. All the moreradical amongthe
well-knownrecentschemesforworld governmentassume the
"directedness"of history,as progresstoward internallyever
moredemocratic,internationally evermore comprehensive so-
cieties,whichwill eventuallyconstituteone greatcommunity.
Belief in the desirabilityof the politicaloneness of the world
leads to the assumptionof its virtualonenessin fact.All that
remainsto be done is to lay technical-organizational founda-

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 173
tions.Wars and powerpoliticsare consideredas anachronisms.
The philosophyof this schoolis perhapsnowheremoreneatly
expressedthan in a resolutionpassed by the North Carolina
legislaturein 1941:
Just as feudalismserved its purpose in human historyand was
supersededby nationalism,so has nationalismreached its apogee in
this generationand yielded its hegemonyin the body politicto inter-
nationalism.. . . The organiclifeof the human race is at last indis-
solublyunifiedand can never be severed,but it must be politically
ordainedand made subjectto law."'"
This was said at thetimeofthegreatestand most"total" war
in history, a war whichresultedin thepolarizationand concen-
trationofpowerin "super-powers" to an extentneverwitnessed
before.The theoryofthe anachronismof stateand sovereignty,
ofwars and powerpolitics,simplyoverlooksthe oppositetend-
encygrowingout ofthetechnicalinterdependence of the sover-
eignunitsin the world: Faced withthis growinginterdepend-
ence but also withthe securitydilemma,theirattemptedway-
out is to expandtheirindividualpower,economically(in order
in war), strategically(in orderto safeguard
to be self-sufficient
its defenserequirements),etc. This may be internationalpro-
vincialism, butitis hardto see howto escapeit in a stillanarchic
international world.The facileproposaloftheworldfederalists
thatall thatis neededis to abolishsovereignty by fiatof inter-
nationallaw, simply"takes legal symbolsforsocial realities."32
Such an unrealisticattitudeis responsibleforwhat has been
aptlycalled "the unrealityof internationallaw and the unlaw-
fulnessofinternational In viewofthesecuritydilem-
reality."33
ma of competingpowers,attemptsto reducepowerby mutual
agreement, forinstancethroughdisarmament,were bound to
fail, even if therehad not been additional,economicfactors
drivingthem into the directionof imperialism.If Marxism
maintainsthat political relationsand developmentsformthe
"superstructure" over the systemsand developmentsof the
means of production,forthe sphereof internationalrelations
it mightratherbe said thatpoliticaldevelopments have consti-
tuteda superstructure over the developmentsof the means of
destruction.
31 Text in InternationalConciliation,
No. 371, June1941,pp. 585 ff.
32
ReinholdNiebuhr,"The Myth of World Government,"Nation, March 16, 1946.
Law
33GerhardNiemeyer, W~ithout
Force,Princeton,PrincetonUniversityPress,1941.

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174 WORLD POLITICS
VI
It was partlythese additionalfactorsdrivingstates in the
directionof imperialismthat accountedforthe failureof yet
anothertypeof idealisticinternationalism, the one connected
witheconomic,or laissez-faireliberalism.Wheneverand wher-
everthetradingclass withits commercialinterestscame to the
forein competitionwithfeudal groups,it developedan inter-
ideologybased on the assumptionthatonce
nationalist-pacifist
the "irrational"monopolistic,militaristic,and nationalistob-
stacles to freeexchangeof goods among nations were elimi-
nated,all nationswould readilyrealize theircommoninterest
in peace. We hear even before1400 froma contemporary ob-
serverof Florentinepoliciesthatthesepolicieswere"not deter-
minedby ambitions, whichare typicalofthenobility, butby the
interestsof trade; and since nothingis morehostileand detri-
mentalto merchantsand artisansthanthedisturbanceand con-
fusionofwar,certainlythemerchantsand artisanswho ruleus
love peace and hate the waste of war."34England in the seven-
teenthand eighteenth centurieswas filledwiththe pacifistide-
ologyofcommercialism;and similarenthusiasmwas expanded,
in theworkofan earlypoetof a nationwhoseveryoriginwas a
fightforfreedomof trade,intothe visionof a worldfederation
"by commercejoined":
Each land shallimitate,each nationjoin
The well-basedbrotherhood, theleaguedivine,
Extenditsempirewiththecirclingsun,
And band thepeopledglobewithinitsfederalzone.
clan,by commercejoin'd,
Till each remotest
Linksinthechainthatbindsall humankind,
Theirbloodybannerssinkin darknessfurl'd
And one whiteflagofpeace triumphantwalkstheworld.35

While philosopherssuch as Comte and Spencer later de-


velopedthisideologyinto a moregeneralphilosophyof history
accordingto whichan age of science,technology,
industrial-
ism, and peace would followupon eras of morewarliketradi-
tionalism,militarism,and aristocracy-itfoundits more fac-
34 Salutati, quoted by Felix Gilbertin his chapter "Machiavelli," in Makers of Modern

Strategy,ed. by Edward M. Earle, Princeton,PrincetonUniversityPress, 1943, p. 21.


35 From Joel Barlow's "Columbiad," as quoted in Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism,
New York,Macmillan,1944,p. 299.

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 175
tual-economic, thoughmorepedestrian,elaborationin the the-
ories of economicinternationalism of the ManchesterSchool.
Thus Cobdenwas an activeprotagonist ofthepeace movement,
whichhe triedto ally withhis anti-colonialfreetradecrusade:
"The effortsofthePeace Societies,howeverlaudable,can never
be successfulas long as the nationsmaintaintheirpresentsys-
tem of isolation. . . . The Colonial System of Europe has been
thechiefsourceofwar forthelast 150 years.""I see in the Free
Trade principlethatwhichshall act on the moralworldas the
principleofgravitation in theUniverse-drawingmentogether,
thrusting aside the antagonismof race and creedand language,
and unitingus in thebondsofpeace."36
The realitywas imperialismand world war. The economic
systemof industrialcapitalism,while internationalistin its
earlytheory,was put into practicein nationaleconomicunits:
"Economictheoryis cosmopolitan, but politicalfactis national-
istic."" But it was in the economic as well as in the political
realmthatthe "realist"obstaclesto the implementation of the
gospelwerefound.Exactlyas in internaleconomies
laissez-faire
accumulationof economicpowerby monopolies,etc. has pre-
venteda genuinely"freeenterprise"systemfromfunctioning,
so in the internationalrealm completefreedomof interchange
ofgoods,ofmigration, etc.could notprevailoverthetendencies
ofmonopolyand exclusiveness.Thus tariffs(whileat firstper-
haps justifiedin certaincountriesin orderto protectrisingin-
dustriesfromolder ones in othercountries-such as England,
whichotherwisemighthave frozenthe economicstatusquo in
her exclusivefavorjust by utilizingthe freetrade principle)
became powerfulinstrumentsfor the preservationof vested
economicinterests.Also, liberal economictheoryoverlooked
thefactthat,side by side withtradesand industriesinterested
in peace,suchas exportor investment banking,thereare power-
fulinterestsin actual war or at least in conditionsunderwhich
war alwaysthreatens,such as those of the armamentsmanu-
facturer. Even withregardto foreigninvestments, whichappar-
entlyflourishbetterin peace than in war, need forprotection
and desireforbetterexploitationhave oftenresultedin conflicts
36
Fromaddressesin 1842 and 1846,quoted in Lorwin,op. cit.,pp. 21 f.
37Frank D. Graham,"Economics and Peace," in The Second Chance: Americaand the
Peace, ed. by John B. Whitton,Princeton,PrincetonUniversityPress, 1944, p. 126.

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176 WORLD POLITICS
amongcountriesbackingthe respectiveinterests.Political and
economiccauses hereare inextricably intertwined. Justas eco-
nomicinterestswould inducegovernments to interveneon be-
half of business,alleged businessinterestswould be used by
governmentsas a pretextfor power politics,for instancefor
strategicaims.38For, even if capitalismhad not developedin-
herentoligarchicand imperialistic trends,the securitydilemma
inherentin thesystemof sovereignnation-statesas such would
have preventedcapitalismfromforminga genuinelyfree-enter-
prisesystemon an international basis. It seemsunnecessaryto
enumerateall of the differentpower-politicalfactors con-
nectedwith"security,""defense,"etc. whichhave borneupon
thenationaleconomicpoliciesofthe variousnation-states.
ViI
If the theoryof economicliberalismin its internationalas-
pectsprovedto be utopian,one mightassumethatits opposite,
the theoryof economiccollectivism, with its strongand real-
istic criticismof liberal fallacies,would be expressiveof Po-
litical Realism. But an analysis of collectivistassumptions
showsthat,as in the case of nationalismand internationalism,
opposedideologiesmay each partakeof realistand idealistele-
ments.Realistic in theircriticismof the opponent,theyturn
utopian-idealistwhen theirown positiveprogramis involved.
Thus a laissez-faireliberallike Hayek criticizesthe collectivist
forbelievingthatin a systemof plannedeconomiesthe causes
ofinternational frictionand warswouldbe eliminated,pointing
withgood reasonto the factthat "if the resourcesof different
nationsare treatedas exclusivepropertiesof these nations as
wholes . . . theyinevitablybecome the source of frictionand
envybetweenwhole nations.. . . Class strifewould become a
struggle betweentheworkingclassesofthedifferent countries."39
Positively,however,hisbrother-in-arms amonglatter-dayspec-
imensof "classical" liberalism,von Mises, assertsthat "within
38 While liberal economictheoryhas tended to play down the economicfactor,Marxist
criticismof "financecapitalism"and imperialismhas tended to overlookthe power factor.
Both are realisticin their critiquebut reveal the harmonistictendenciesof their general
doctrinesby their respectivede-emphasis.Cf., e.g., the writingsof Eugene Staley, notably
his War and the Private Investor,New York, Doubleday, 1935, and WolfgangHallgarten's
book Yorkriegsimperialismus, Paris, 1935.
3 FriedrichA. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, Chicago,Universityof Chicago Press, 1944,
p. 221.

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 177
a world of pure, perfect,and unhamperedcapitalism" there
are "no incentivesforaggressionand conquest."' To this the
Laski, retorts,also withgood reason,that "in any
collectivist,
capitalistsocietywhichhas reachedthe periodof contraction
everyvestedinterestmustbe aggressiveifit wishesto maintain
its ground,"and yet he simultaneouslydenies that the same
factorcan play a role in a systemof planned economy: "The
motiveof aggression,excepton groundsof externalsecurity,is
ruledoutbythenatureoftheRussian system."'"This,ofcourse,
is beggingthequestion; forit is plain thatthe "exception"em-
bodiestheveryproblem,thatoftheimpactofsecurityand com-
petitionfactorson the policies of collectivistsocieties.It has
beenobservedabove (sectionIV) that,in viewof recentdevel-
opmentwithinthe Soviet "sphere"itself,thereis no reason to
assume that even in a systemof socialist commonwealthsall
causes forfrictionamong the units of the systemwould sud-
denlydisappear.But those amongthe ideologistsof collectiv-
ismwho now bewail the unbrotherly powerpoliticsof a social-
may take some consolationin the factthat
ist fellow-nation,42
even in classical antiquitythe representativeof economicma-
terialismhad been color-blind with to
respect thepowerand se-
curityfactorfacinga Communiststate,an omissionforwhich
he was criticizedby no less a criticthanAristotle.43
VIII
The foregoing may have createdthe impressionthatthe two
extremes-utopianidealism,with its chiliasticapproach and
its failurein practice,on the one hand, and cynical realism,
withits cool acceptanceor even idealizationof power,on the
otherhand-were the only existingand possibleapproachesto
40Ludwig von Mises, OmnipotentGovernment:The Rise of the Total State and Total
Far, New Haven, Yale UniversityPress,1944,p. 5.
41 Harold J. Laski, Reflectionson the Revolutionof Our Time, New York, Viking,1943,
p. 245.
42Thus Moshe Piyade, of the Yugoslav Politbureau,complains: "They have betrayed
socialism. . . They accuse us of meddlingin theirinternalaffairs,but they have brought
back theirdiplomacy. . . to the line that existedin Russia beforethe October Revolution
... We have learnedthat even the great principlesof Socialismand internationalSocialist
solidaritycan become business phrases in the mouths of Socialist statesmen. We have
learnedthat behindthe phrasesof Socialist internationalism therecan be hidden the most
selfishinterestsof the great powerstowardthe small." (From a speech made July7, 1949,
as reportedin New York Times,July9, 1949.)
4 Aristotle,Politics, Book II, Chapter 7, with regard to the theoriesof Phaleas the
Chalcedonian.

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178 WORLD POLITICS
the problemof politics.If so, a correctivestatementin a how-
everbriefparagraphis called for.True, time and again these
approachesand corresponding movementshave been recurring
in the historyof the last few centuries,or even millenia,one
leadingto, and provoking, theotherin what appearsas an end-
less chain or a vicious circle.But therehave also been possi-
bilitiesand actualitiesof synthesis,of a combinationof Po-
litical Realism and Political Idealism in the sense that the
givenfactsand phenomenawererecognizedwhichRealism has
stressed,coupled with an attemptto counteractsuch forces
withinthe realm of the possible on the basis of the ideals of
Political Idealism. We suggestto call such an approach,and
thepoliciesbased upon it, Realist Liberalism.The term"Real-
ist" indicatesthat the systemor policyin questionmust start
from,and accept,the factual insightsof Political Realism as
its firmbasis and foundation,lestit turninto unrealizableuto-
pianism.The term"Liberalism,"on the otherhand, pointsto
the typeof aims or ideals whichare to be the guidingstarsof
such an attitude.As proposedhere,the term"Liberalism" is
broader than the liberalismof the nineteenth-century free
tradersand constitutionalists. It includesall socialismthat is
not totalitarianism, all conservatismthat is not authoritarian-
ismor meredefenseofsome statusquo. It is not pledgedto any
specificeconomictheory,nor to any particulartheoryof the
"best" formof government. It is derivedfromthe ideal of free-
dom thatunderliesthemajor idealistictheories,thus accepting
the age-oldideals that centeraround termssuch as "liberal,"
"democratic,""humanitarian,"'socialist." Negativelyit tends
to combatall use ofpowerthatis notput intothe serviceof the
liberalideal but servesto establishor maintainprivilegeand
oligarchism, exploitationand theinfliction ofviolence;in short,
it opposes all the naturalforces and trendswhichare the direct
or indirectconsequenceof the securityand powerdilemma.
In orderto avoid mereeclecticismin thejuxtapositionof the
"realist"insightsand the aims of Idealism it is verynecessary
to keepthisbasic difficulty in mind.Liberalismin thissense is,
to quote Ortega y Gasset, "paradoxical," "acrobatic," "anti-
natural."' It partakesof the generalantinomybetweenethical
44 JoseOrtegay Gasset, The Revolt ofthe Masses, London,1932,p. 83.

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IDEALIST INTERNATIONALISM 179
ideals and naturaltrendsand forceswhichwas alreadyclearly
perceivedat the heydayof Darwinism (both biological and
social):
The practiceof that which is ethicallybest involves a course of
conductwhich,in all respects,is opposed to that whichleads to suc-
cess in thecosmicstruggleforexistence. In place of ruthlessself-asser-
tion,it demandsself-restraint;in place of thrustingaside, or treading
down,all competitors, it requiresthat the individualshall not merely
respect,but shall help his fellows; its influenceis directed,not so
much to the survivalof the fittest,as to the fittingof as many as
possibleto survive. It repudiatesthe gladiatorialtheoryof existence.
. . . The ethical progressof society depends, not on imitatingthe
cosmicprocess,stillless in runningaway fromit,but in combatingit.45
In following thisadvice,Realist Liberalismmust,above all, be
consciousof the limitswhichthe "gladiatorial"factsput to its
endeavors.Realist Liberalismis the theoryand practiceof the
realizableideal. As Koestleronce putit,"the difference between
utopia and a workingconcernis to know one's limits."Such
policyis themostdifficult ofarts,and to formulateits principles
themostdifficult of sciences.But if successful,Realist Liberal-
ism will prove to be more lastinglyrewardingthan utopian
idealism or crude power-realism.While less glamorousthan
PoliticalIdealism,it is also less utopian; whileless emotional,
it is more sober; while less likelyever to become the battle-
groundofgreatpoliticalmovementswhichstirthe imagination
of themasses,it has moreof a chanceto contributeto lasting
achievementsforhuman freedom.Even thoughit will be at-
tacked fromboth sides-for it can say, with Ibsen, "I have
withinme boththeRightand theLeft"-it maybe able to lend
to both Realism and Idealism some measure of attenuation,
thus renderingthe formermore humane and the latter less
chimerical.A kind of "second liberalism,"it emergesas syn-
thesisfromthe"thesis"ofutopianidealismand the"antithesis"
of cynicalrealism.
Whileit is impossiblehereto conveya morepreciseimpres-
sionofthegreatvarietyof approaches,devices,and institutions
whichRealistLiberalismwouldsuggestfortherealmofinternal
government and politics,it maybe remarkedin conclusionthat
in international relationsthemitigation, channeling,balancing,
4' Thomas H. Huxley, Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays, New York, Appleton,
1896, pp. 81 ff.

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180 WORLD POLITICS
or controlof powerhas prevailedperhapsmore oftenthan the
inevitabilityof powerpoliticswould lead one to believe.Thus,
a consciousbalance-of-power policy,despite the opprobrium
attachedto theterm,has in moderntimesmaintaineda system
of major and smallernationswhich,whilenot able to prevent
wars,injustice,or eventheindependenceofall unitsin thesys-
tem,at least preservedmanyofthemfromtotal subjugationat
the hands of one hegemonialpower.A systemof collectivese-
curity,as rationalizationof the balance principle(automatic
formationof the "Grand Alliance" whenevera memberturns
aggressor),perhapscame closerto practicalrealizationin the
interwarperiodthan debunkingof the League-of-Nationsex-
periment would have us assume.Concessions,evenifmade out
of "enlightenedself-interest" (such as made by the Britishin
respectto the Dominionsand now India) may substituterela-
tionsof cooperationand comparativeequalityforthose of en-
forceddomination.Today, it is true,any such devicesseem to
incureven greaterdifficulties in view of the bipolarityof the
presentpower-system, which,lackingthe traditionalbalancing
poweror groupof powers,rendersthe maintenanceof the bal-
ance more precarious and excludes collectivesecurity; for,
whileone may have collectivesecuritywithten,or five,or pos-
siblyeventhreeunitsof power,it cannotbe achievedwithtwo.
The use ofa terminology ofcollectiveactionthenbecomesmere
ideologyand subterfuge in orderto providebloc-buildingwith
a semblanceof legality;thus,collectiveself-defense becomesa
pretext,howeverunderstandableand justifiedsuch regionalism
may be, in East or West,fromthe standpointof security.For
the securitydilemmatoday is perhapsmore clear-cutthan it
everwas before.It wouldappearthatfromthepointwhichcon-
centration ofpowerhas now achieved,it can onlyeitherproceed
to actual global dominationby one power-unitor recedeinto
diffusionand disintegration. But the greaterthe difficulties,
the
greateris thetask of a policyofrestraintand themeritof those
who,as Realist Liberals,would knowhow to foregothe "easy"
solution,the "Gordian knot" solutionof force,in favorof a
peace that would be neitherappeasementand abdicationnor
theCarthaginianresultof a war whichmightspell the destruc-
tionofour civilization.

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