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The Realism of Hans Morgenthau by Brian A. Keaney A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Government and International Affairs College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Mark Amen, Ph.D. Susan Northcutt, Ph.D. Earl Conteh-Morgan, Ph.D. Date of Approval: May 1 2006 Keywords: theory, internationa l relations, evolution, progres sive, liberatory potential Copyright 2006, Brian A. Keaney
Dedication For Patricia and in memory of Moyra, Charlie and Jim
Acknowledgments I would like to thank Professor Susan Northcutt for all her assistance over the years. I am very grateful to Professor Mark Amen for his support, guidance and interest to and Professor Earl Conteh-Morgan, for being a me mber of my thesis committee, and for his interest and his most insightful comments. I would also like to thank Ms. Doris Kearney, Graduate Secretary of the Department of G overnment and International Studies for her support. As always, I owe a deep debt of grat itude for so much to Kathleen Paul. I also want to thank Alexandra Keaney and Abigail Keaney who gave me the incentive to complete this project.
i Table of Contents Abstract ii Introduction Defining Realism 1 Chapter One Morgenthau: From Realist to Realist 7 Chapter Two Politics Among Nations: The Duality of Realism 32 Chapter Three Five Monographs: Mo rgenthaus Approach Applied 50 Chapter Four From Germany to Nuclear Weapons: Realism in Practice 58 Chapter Five Realism Through Other Peoples Words: Morgenthaus Book Reviews 67 Conclusion Toward A New Paradigm? 76 References 81
ii The Realism of Hans Morgenthau Brian A. Keaney ABSTRACT This thesis analyzes the life and car eer of Hans J. Morgenthau, commonly accepted as the father of the realist paradigm w ithin the field of international relations. It does so by offering a dynamic revisionist account of the nature of Mo rgenthaus classical realism and suggests how the approach discus sed might have wider application in the field of international relations. Traditional perspectives of Mo rgenthau suggest that in the course of his career, he changed from holding what would generally be labeled a conservative political viewpoint to a libera l political viewpoint. This thesis takes a different starting point. It does so by suggesting that c onstancy, not change, was the hallmark of Morgenthaus intellectual developm ent. Thus, what appeared to be a shift from right to left, was in fact merely the diffe rent applications of a consistent reading of international relations. Central to this interpre tation of Morgenthaus wo rk is the second innovative argument of this thesis: that Morgenthaus realism contained within it the potential for both conservative (as traditionally defined) and progressive (as tr aditionally defined) applications. Acknowledging that realism as conservatism is already an accepted understanding within the field of international relations, th is thesis focuses on drawing out the progressive potential of Morgenthaus realism, by proving that what appeared in Morgenthaus later career to be an inte llectual shift in fact stemmed from the progressivism inherent in the actual existing realis m of Morgenthaus early career applied to new situations met in his later career Based on this analysis of what has be en accomplished within the framework of classical realism by Morgenthau, it is the challenge of this thesis to invite contemporary
iii realist thinkers to do the same. In short, the thesis invites contemporary theorists to explore, recover and reclaim th e liberatory and progressive pote ntial of classical realism. In so doing, the thesis suggests the potentia l for two new research programs. First, reclaiming the liberatory potential of Morgenth aus approach and use of realism provides for the creation of a new unde rstanding of contemporary re alism which can transcend both the essentially sterile internal debates between classical and neo-realism and those between classical realism, neo-realism and neo-classical realism. Second, foregrounding the liberatory possibilities of classical realism offers a fruitf ul approach for the recreation of common ground between realism and other mo re politically progressive paradigms in contemporary international relations theory su ch as peace research or constructivism. It is the final hope for this thesis that it might, by building bridges within and between different fields, lay the foundations of a possi ble path for the reintegration of the whole discipline of international relations.
1 Introduction: Defining Realism Over the course of the past half-centur y, realism, or the attempt to understand the behavior of states based on th e recognition that int ernational politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power, has been one of the central paradigms in United States International Relations theory.1 The concept of realism or realpolitik can be dated back to Thucydides and Ancient Greece or perhaps Cardinal Richelieu of the French Ancien Regime.2 It is, however, more commonly associat ed with Otto Von Bismarck, the first Chancellor of Germany and his efforts to cr eate a nuanced counter-balancing between the great European powers so as to avoid a general war in the la ter half of the nineteenth century.3 In the United States it is yet more comm only associated with the work of Hans J. Morgenthau, who both as a pr ofessor at the University of Chicago, and as the author of Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace the seminal textbook of realist theory, articulated wh at came to be accepted as th e foundations of a realist understanding of the post-war Cold War world. If Morgenthau articulated and defended re alism for over thirty years from within the academy, it was policy makers in Washingt on who attempted to apply its theories to the reality of international re lations. Represented in such key policies as containment the conviction on the part of U.S. policy make rs that they should try and contain the power and influence of the Soviet Union real ism came to be as central to the post-1945 1 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948), 2 Thucydides, The Melian Dialogue, The History of the Peloponnesian War trans. Rex Warner (Harmonsworth: Penguin Classics, 1954) cited in John A. Vasquez, Classics of International Relations 3rd Edition, (New Jersey: Prentice Ha ll, 1996). Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis Richelieu, The Political Testament of Cardinal Richelieu trans. Henry Bertram Hill, (Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, 1964). 3 A.J.P. Taylor, Bismarck: The Man and Statesman (New York: Knopf, 1955); David Blackbourn, A History of Germany 1780-1918: The Long Nineteenth Century 2nd edition, (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003).
2 foreign policy of the United States as it wa s to the field of in ternational relations.4 Although the practical applica tion of containment was first laid out in George F. Kennan's famous Long Telegram, ma de public in 1947 in his anonymous Foreign Affairs article "The Sources of Sovi et Conduct," better known as Article X, it was Hans Morgenthau who provided the in tellectual basis for the policy.5 The readiness of United States policymakers to embrace both the theory and practice of rea lism may be traced in part to the tremendous influence exerte d by Morgenthau over the future U.S. policymaking elite. Indeed, it would not be too much to suggest that for many U.S. diplomats, politicians and civil servants Morgenthaus realism was the framework through which they understood their world. As significant as the theory of realism ha s proven to be to the practice of politics, however, its importance within International Re lations theory has declined. As Francis A. Beer and Robert Hariman have pointed out, real ists believe that realism is the only story of world politics. Post-realists assert that realism is only one story among many: although it is an important story, it pr ovides neither the only plausi ble explanation nor the only possible world.6 In a similar vein, theorists such as Alexander Wendt have argued that contrary to realisms focus upon power and ma terial power structures, it is ideas and culture that govern rela tions between states.7 This thesis takes a different starting poi nt. As it does so, it offers three major conclusions. First, through an analysis of the published writings of Hans Morgenthau over the course of his forty-year career, th e thesis suggests that Morgenthau, despite appearances to the contrary remained consiste nt in his thought and analyses. Simply put, Morgenthau, in the course of his career, appear ed to shift from what would generally be labeled a conservative political viewpoint to a liberal politic al viewpoint. In 1948, he laid out the basis for what would become the c ontainment of communism in Eastern Europe by advocating an aggressive stance toward th e Soviet Union; in 1968, he argued for the acceptance of communism in South East Asia by advocating the withdrawal of U.S. 4 Kenneth Waltz Theory of International Politics Reading. MA: Addison Wesley, 1979. 5 George F. Kennan "The Sources of Soviet conduct," Foreign Affairs XXV (July, 1947), 566-82 6 Francis A. Beer and Robert Hariman, Realism and Rh etoric in International Relations, in Francis A. Beer and Robert Hariman ed., Post Realism: The Rhetorical Turn in International Relations (East Lansing: Michigan State Univers ity Press, 1996), 7. 7 Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
3 troops. Despite the apparent shift in thought suggested by these different policies, however, it is the thesis of this paper that th ey in fact represent two sides of the same intellectual understand ing of international relation s, two sides of realism. The second conclusion offered by the thesis is contained with in the first: that realism contains within it the potential fo r both conservative and progressive analyses, and that the likelihood of one or the other be ing suggested at any given time or in any given situation depends on the particulars of the time and situation. Thus, contrary to traditional understandings of realism as a purely conservative doctrine, this thesis demonstrates that realism contains within in it a progressive, liberatory and even moral component. It is this component whic h will provide the mechanism by which Morgenthau will appear to shift from c onservative to liberal. The conservative component of realism has long been recognized. It is the aim of this thesis to break new ground by highlighting the progressive compone nt not as a sign of Morgenthaus change of heart but as a sign of the pr ogressivism inherent within realism. Third, the thesis suggests that accepting the legitimacy of these understandings of Morgenthau changes the manner in which Morgenthaus work should be read, and thereby changes both our understand ing of what realism really is or was meant to be, and our understanding of the consequences of th e implementation of realist theory by so many practical disciples in the years since 1945. In order to understand both the subtletie s of Morgenthaus original concepts of realism along with the significance of his evolving applications, it is best to begin with an analysis of what might best be termed bas ic realist theory. As proposed by Morgenthau in the first edition of Politics Among Nations, published in 1948, realism may be said to be based on a number of key assumptions. Firstly that the state is th e central actor on the world stage. Thus for Morgenthau, the implicat ion is that internati onal organizations and other non-governmental formations, whether commercial enterprises or co-coordinated networks of individuals of lik e mind, are either essentially reflective of the interests of established sovereign states, and thus would be covered unde r the general rubric of his classical realism, or are simply not relevant in terms of his paradigm. Secondly, that the natural state of international politics is that of anarchy anarchy not in the sense of a war of all against all but anarchy in the sense that there is no legal authority to bind a state
4 when it perceives that breaking any agreement with other states is in its interests. Morgenthau did not suggest th at the international legal or der of conventions, treaties, agreements, understandings and common shared practices of states have no effect but rather that their effect is contingent upon the value placed upon them by the states which observe them. Thirdly, that all states will seek to have the greatest amount of power that they possibly can. Fourth, that it is the intr insic nature of the human actors who control the states that causes states to behave as they do. Fifth, that in thei r pursuit of security or power, states will conduct politics and adopt policies according to a rational framework. Sixth, that force, or the ability and willi ngness to use force when perceived to be necessary, is an integral part of statehood. Building on Morgenthaus work, Kenneth Walz later adapted realist theory to incorporate the notion that it was the international structure, not the deliberate willed actions of men and women, which influenced states behavior. According to Walz it is the structure of the international system itself that determines the behavior of states.8 In the years since, Walz neo-realism, or struct ural realism, has of course been further refined by other scholars. Indeed, contemporar y realist theory or neo-classical realism now contains within it a numb er of critical debates. Ther e is, for example, the debate between offensive and defensive realists. O ffensive realists hold the view that the constant ebb and flow of security and pow er between states guarantees that the international system will be dominated by oppor tunistic states forever fearfully looking over their shoulders at potential and actual competitors. According to this offensive interpretation, states must c ontinuously seek to strengthen themselves and their position vis--vis other states, even in the absence of a directly perceived threat. As a result, the behavior and desire of states are mainly shap ed by a perception of the relative capability of other states. Thus the unknowable future and risk of threat are ch aracteristics of the offensive realist.9 By contrast, defensive realis ts hold the view that real security is available, and that the best way for a state to achieve it is to forgo overtly offens ive postures. In other words, because of the anarchical nature of th e international environment, the security of 8 Waltz, Theory of International Politics 9 For an explication of offensive r ealism see, John J. Mearsheimer T he Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001).
5 the nation is not always best achieved thr ough a maximization of the nations power vis-vis other nations.10 According to this defensive inte rpretation, the inte rnational system creates positive incentives for behavior th at does not threaten the wellbeing of other states and which thereby preserves the stab ility of the international system. Unlike offensive realism which posits a direct relati onship between the inte rnational system and the policy choices that states make, defens ive realism sees the matter as being more complex, in that the relationship between th e nature of the international and the behavior of states is freque ntly of an indirect nature. While it is possible to present this conflict within realism in othe r terms as a debate between hawkish and dovish realists, or between optimistic and pessimistic realists the offensive/defensive characterization seems best able to capture the two sets of counter positions. The vitality of the debates outlined above suggests that realism is a sufficiently thriving force in International Relations practice for theorists to want to figure it out. This thesis represents a contribution to that debate. Specifically, it seeks to reclaim the liberatory potential of cla ssical realism and in so doing suggests as one of the implications of that reclamation, a new re search program which may bring about the possibility of real and systematic integr ation and melding between realism and other paradigms in the field such as constructi vism and democratic peace theory. Not alone then does this thesis seek to reclaim Morgen thaus own interpretati on and application of realism in a liberatory direction, but it also offers a path to ward a new general theory of international relations for the twenty-first cen tury; a theory which may finally resolve the decades old tensions between realist and idealis tic or normative approaches to the field. The thesis will begin by examining in Chapter Two Morgenthaus life, bringing out the influences of his youth which appear to have affected his later years, but focusing on his adult life and his formation and articulation of realism. The thesis will pay particular attention to Morgenthaus prot estations against United States policy in Vietnam, illustrating how what has traditionally been perceived as a liberal expression of protest more clearly fits w ithin an enhanced understandi ng of realism. Indeed, the 10 Key defensive realist works include Stephen M. Walt, The Origins of Alliances (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987) and Revolution and War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996); Snyder, Myths of Empire; William C. Wohlforth, The Elusive Balance: Power and Perceptions during the Cold War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990).
6 argument that the issues involved in Morgenth aus appraisal of Viet nam illustrates more clearly than anything else the combination of flexibility and constanc y that was inherent within Morgenthaus understa nding of realism is a thread which will run throughout the thesis. Chapter Three looks at the various editions of Politics Among Nations drawing out the core paradigm of realism while al so illustrating how Morgenthau adapted each edition to suit changing times. Chapter F our and Five consid er selections of Morgenthaus other published works, again us ing them to show the consistency with which Morgenthau approached the issue of in ternational relations. Chapter Six focuses on Morgenthaus published reviews of the work of other scholars More than some academics, Morgenthau used the opportunity created by these review s to articulate his own views, judging a book largely by whethe r it fitted within his framework or not, whether it offered a helpful lens through which to view the field and practice of international relations. Finally, Chapter Seven, the conclusion, places Morgenthaus achievements in a larger context, offering sugge stions for future research. Before we can appreciate the significance of Morgenthau the scholar, however, we need to learn something of Morgenthau the man. It is to that task that we now turn.
7 Chapter One: Morgenthau: From Realist to Realist Hans Joachim Morgenthau was born on 17 February 1904 in Coburg in North East Germany. As the seat of local government at the height of the German Empire under William II, Coburg represented the heart of German conservatism.11 This political environment clearly suited the Morgenthau fa mily who, in recognition of their perception of themselves as loyal subj ects of the German state named their only child after the youngest son of the Kaiser, Prince Joachim of Prussia; commissioned a portrait photograph of the young Morgenthau dressed in the uniform of a Prussian Dragoon;12 and mixed in sufficiently rarified circles to be invited to the c ourt receptions of the Duchess of Bavaria.13 Befitting his membership in this social class, Morgenthau attended an elite secondary school the Humanist isches Gymnasium where as Morgenthau described his fellow pupils there wa s not a workers child among them.14 Morgenthaus perception of himself during his school career was as a loyal German enthusiastic for the success of the empire in the Great War.15 Despite being the only Jewish pupil in his class Morgenthau perceived himself to be a loyal a nd integrated German subject. At this point in his life, Morgenthau already had some se nse of what would late r become his career; rejecting the idea of becoming a run-of-the-m ill lawyer or teacher, and hoping instead to become a writer, perhaps a professor, maybe even a poet.16 In any case, receiving the Abitur with high awards in spring 1923, Morgen thau seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of his father into a position of respect in the Weimar middle class. 11 Hans J. Morgenthau, An Intellectual Autobiography: 1904-1932, Society Vol. 15, No. 2, (Jan/Feb, 1978), 63-69. 12 This charming picture was published in Morgenthau, An Intellectual Autobiography, 63. 13 Christopher Frei., Hans J. Morgenthau. An Intellectual Biography (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001), 13. 14 Frei.. Hans J. Morgenthau 13. Morgenthau, Johnson interv iew, quoted in Frie, p.15. 15 Frei.. Hans J. Morgenthau, 15. Morgenthau recorded this view in a school composition written in March, 1918. 16 Morgenthau, An Intellectual Autobiography, 63.
8 Morgenthau entered the University of Frankfurt am Main intending to study philosophy.17 Unhappy with his experience of philosophy as taught there, however, he switched to law in the autumn of 1923 at the University of Munich. Still determined to study philosophy, however, Morgenthau complemented his law studies by taking additional courses in his areas of interest. Specifically, he studied with art historian Heinrich Wolfflin, and the nineteenth-centu ry historian Hermann Oncken. It was the latter who introduced Morgenthau to Bismar cks foreign policy, and more generally, to the relationship between foreign and military politics. Onckens work had a profound impression upon Morgenthau. As he phrased it, For the first time I felt the impact of a coherent system of thought, primarily a dist illation of Bismarck s realpolitik that appeared to support my isolated and impressi onistic judgments on contemporary issues of foreign policy18 These isolated and impressionistic judgments albeit further developed, and perhaps better articulated, would form the basis of much of Morgenthaus subsequent writings, appearing as a cons istent train of t hought throughout his publications. Some sense of the debt Morgen thau perceived himself to owe to Oncken may be seen by his always pausing in front of the photograph of On cken that hung in the History Department at the University of Chicago.19 A third influence on Morgenthaus intellectual formation at Munich was the Professor of Constitutional and Church Law, Heinrich Rothenbucher. Rothenbucher impressed Morgenthau not only on account of his work the political and social philosophy of Max Weber but because he was a man of exemplary and, in the contemporary German context, extraordinar y civil courage. Morgenthau perceived a similarity between the subject of the semina r, Weber, and the teacher, Rothenbucher, as both men approached political problems with detachment, objectivity, and penetrating intelligence.20 In light of Morgenthaus expresse d admiration for both the men and the character of their intell ectual endeavors, it is perhaps hard ly surprising that he appears to have modeled his own subsequent role as a scholar upon them. Thus whilst the political 17 Morgenthau, An Intellectual Autobiography, 63. 18 Morgenthau, An Intellectual Autobiography, 64. 19 Kenneth W. Thompson, The Writing of Politic s Among Nations: Its Sources and its Origins, International Studies: Notes of the International Studies Association Special Issue: The Legacy of Hans Morgenthau Vol. 24, No. 1, (1999). Oncken had been a visiting professor at Chicago in 1905, a prefiguration of Morgenthau s own later trajectory. 20 Morgenthau, An Intellectual Autobiography, 64.
9 turmoil in America caused by the Vietnam War wa s hardly akin to that caused by the rise of the Nazis, and while a nu mber of intensive tax audits hardly compared with persecution by the Gestapo, stil l in his own work, Morgenthau held by his convictions, refusing to concede when it might have made him more popular with the authorities to have done so. Morgenthau graduated from Munich in February 1927 and immediately began training as a lawyer. The prof essional part of his training consisted of a series of placements with various government departments. His main work focused on drafting briefs on points of criminal and labor law. Whilst Morgenthau found this work to be sometimes fascinating as an intellectual exer cise, he perceived the questions with which it dealt to be marginal to the crucial issues with which society had to come to terms. According to Morgenthau what really mattered in contemporary Germany was not the merits of different legal interpretations but the distribution of political power.21 In the context of Weimar Germany, a democratic go vernment facing threats from all sides, Morgenthaus analysis certainly makes sense and helps explain perhaps his later perception that power and the nature of its distribution were the core issues within society. As he trained, Morgenthau commenced work on his doctorate at the University of Frankfurt which he completed in 1929 with a thesis entitled The International Judicial Function and the Concept of Politics. Morgen thau had first become interested in the topic of international law under the tutelage of Professor Karl Neumeyer at the University of Munich. Building on his work with Neumey er, which had led him to the conclusion that international law was a particularly weak kind of law, Morgenthau in his thesis suggested that its weakness stemmed from t he intrusion of inte rnational politics. Taking this discovery one step further prompted Morgenthau to issue what would come to be the essence of his later work: what really mattered in relations between nations was not international law but international politics.22 Thus we see that the constancy that would later come to be a hallmark of Morgenthaus realist thought after Politics Among Nations was in fact already a part of his inte llectual framework twenty years before. His 21 Morgenthau, An Intellectual Autobiography, 65. 22 Morgenthau, An Intellectual Autobiography, 65.
10 experience in the German law courts, his experience in the archives, and his experience living in Weimar Germany, convinced him of th e twin propositions that what mattered in any society was power, and the nature of its distribution, and that what mattered in international relations was politics not law, or as he would later phr ase it, the politics of power as it was actually was, not the as pirations of how things should be. Morgenthaus last legal position, toward the end of 1931, was that of Acting President of the Labor Law Court in Frankf urt. He found the experience dissatisfying, however, and returned to his earlier focus upon an academic career. To achieve this he needed to complete his habilitation, an adva nced doctorate. With no openings available in his own university Morgenthau took leave fr om his judicial func tion in February 1932 and went to Geneva to enroll in the Graduate Institute for International Studies, taking a position as an instructor in Ge rman public law at the University of Geneva. His time in Switzerland was not overly happy, however, as he grappled with anti-Semitic students, fought with his colleagues, was unable to t each as much as he would have liked, and found himself in sufficient financial peril that he had to supplement his university stipend with some journalism. Perhaps in part as a result of these difficulties, Morgenthau initially failed his habilitati on, although he did, after much effort, eventually get this decision reversed. Unfortunately, however, even if he had wanted to return to his post as a judge, from which he had been on leaveof-absence since 1931, it would have been impossible for at this point the national hi story of Germany caught up with Morgenthau and as a result of the Nazi Law for the Restoration of the Career Civil Service, Morgenthau was purged on 17 November 1933 from his position with the Frankfurt Labor Court.23 The next four years were cumulativel y quite difficult for Morgenthau, being marked by his attempts to secure employment, of a kind he found amenable, wherever he could quite a difficult task for a Jewish re fugee in the 1930s. Morgenthau was initially fortunate, however, that two years later, when his time in Switzerland came to an end, and he was unable to return to Germany, he received assistance from the Emergency Committee for German Scholars Abroad which a rranged for him, in 1935, to go to Spain. There he joined the faculty of the newly-created Institute of International and Economic 23 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 49.
11 Studies as a professor of in ternational law. Whilst in Sp ain Morgenthau married Irma Thormann (with whom he subsequently had tw o children) and took his first steps as a public intellectual by writing for the Neue Zrcher Zeitung the major Swiss daily newspaper-of-record.24 The paper was renowned both fo r its extensive coverage of economic and business matters and for its intell ectual and in-depth articles and was, and still is, politically close to the libera l Free Democratic Party of Switzerland. Morgenthau was in Merano, Italy on vacation in the summer of July 1936, when the Spanish Civil War began. Unable to re turn to Madrid because of the fighting, Morgenthau and his wife stayed in Italy for several months before continuing to Paris, where they were to later learn that the Institute in Madrid had closed.25 Forced out of Germany, unable to work in France, and now shut out of Spain, Morgenthau and his wife were forced to look outside Europe for a pl ace to live. Whilst he had not previously considered the United States as a possible home, it rapidly appear ed, in light of the growing anti-semitism in Europe, as one of th e few options available to him. It proved difficult, however, to get an entry visa, but after some time and through a combination of good luck and good connections, Morgenthau and his wife immigrated to the United States in July 1937.26 In doing so, Morgenthau joined the great wave of refugees who fled to North America from Nazi Germany and w ho helped fight Americas war. Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, Morgenthau s contribution to America was neither the defeat of the Nazis nor the cr eation of the Atomic Bomb; hi s war was the Cold War, his enemy was the Soviet Union, and his contributio n was the political th eory of realism. On the road to that contribution, howev er, Morgenthau had first to support himself by working as an instructor in government at Brooklyn College.27 While there, Morgenthau made it clear through his teaching that despite his experiences over the last few years, and despite his difficulties in Germany and Switzerland, he had resisted radicalization and had in fact remained the staunch German Conservative of his youth. 24 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 50. 25 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 57. 26 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 59-61 Frie records that the Morgenthaus were able to get a visa to the U.S. in part because of a note of support from Irma Morgenthaus wealthy second cousin, Samuel Rothschild. 27 Hans Joachim Morgenthau, Current Biography 1963 ed. Charles Moritz, (New York: The M.W. Wilson Company, 1963), 275.
12 Morgenthau maintained his conservatism even to the extent of having difficulty with students over his anti -communist position.28 In light of these difficulties, it is perhaps not surprising that Morgenthau was happy to leave Brooklyn in 1939 for a full time job at the University of Kansas City, even though th e position carried a h eavy teaching load of 18 hours split between the Liberal Arts College and the School of Law.29 Even at Kansas, however, Morgenthau continued to be dogged by controversy. Feuding with the administration, for example, resulted in hi s being fired, and although, rather like his experience with habilita tion in Germany, he later forced the decision to be reversed, he made few friends in Kansas. Despite the fe uds, however, he did ta ke the opportunity to become both a U.S. citizen and a member of the Missouri Bar.30 In September 1943 Morgenthaus life took a dramatic turn pe rhaps even more significant for Morgenthau than his original entry into the United Stat es: he was offered the opportunity to leave Kansas by replacing Quincy Wright for 6 months at the University of Chicago.31 The position was to be the making of Morgenthau. At Chicago, first as a visiting and su bsequently as a permanent Associate Professor, Morgenthau began work in th e then new interdisci plinary subject of International Relations. In 1946 he published his first monograph, Scientific Man versus Power Politics Following this success, Morgenthau turned his attention to what was to be his greatest work, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, the first edition of which was published in September 1948. The book was immensely popular, filling a gap in the market for an up to date text to supply the growing population of US universities. Proving far more popul ar than its main competitor, Fredrick Schumans International Politics Morgenthaus book was the first coherent text that sought to make sense of the postwar world. On the strength of th is success Morgenthau became a Full Professor in 1949 at the age of 45, and in 1950 was awarded funding to set up the Center for the Study of American Fore ign and Military Policy in 1950 of which he remained the Director until 1968.32 It was during these years that Morgenthaus work became an essential fixture on 28 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 65. 29 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 66-67. 30 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 69. 31 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 70. 32 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 74.
13 the syllabi of so many courses in Internati onal Relations taught across the country, and during this same time that realism became an in tegral part of IR th eory. Indeed within a month of the books publication, it was adopt ed as a textbook for foreign policy and international relations by Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Notre Dame, and within six months by ninety additional colleges.33 Arguing that "international politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power," Morgenthau proposed that the only correct approach to the conduct of United States fo reign policy was an approach based on the tenets of realism.34 Thus, only a robust application of balance of power politics would be sure to generate the most positive possible outcome for the United States. After the publication of Politics Among Nations, Morgenthau found himself with the opportunity to express his concerns on an increasingly broad canvas. He did so within the context of the Cold War. While the origins of this ideological conflict between the United Stat es and the Soviet Union can be traced back to 1917 and Lenins subsequent announcement of the Third International, the years immediately after 1945 saw the conflict between the two remaini ng super powers escalat e into a full-scale Cold War.35 As might be expected given both hi s background and his current residency, Morgenthau backed the United States. More than this, he specifically advocated an aggressive realist approach to U.S. fore ign policy, an appro ach predicated less on securing an ideal peace between nations and more on recognizing that peace in the longterm could only be achieved th rough a realistic asse ssment of national in terest. In short, Morgenthau believed that the United St ates should practice what he preached.36 33 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 73. 34 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948). 35 In establishing the Third International, Lenin, at leas t in theory, offered support to socialists elsewhere in the world who sought to establish socialism in their countries. As might be expected, whether intended as such or not, the Third International was perceived as a threat by the leaders of the Western Democracies. 36 For an analysis of realism in action in U.S. foreign policy, see Joel H. Rosenthal, Righteous Realists : Political Realism, Responsible Power, and American Culture in the Nuclear Age (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991).
14 This presumed relationship between wh at Morgenthau taught and what U.S. diplomats practiced worked well throughout the 1950s. The result was Morgenthaus increasing academic stature as he was offere d Visiting Professorships across the country, including positions at Berkeley, Harvard, Northwestern, Columbia and Yale. His perceived direct relevance to future policy makers, militarists and analysts may be gauged from his frequent invitations to lect ure at the Armed Forces Staff College, the NATO Defense College, and the Air, Army, Navy and National War Colleges, as well as his association with the Washington Ce nter for Foreign Policy Research.37 In all, and standing testament to his significance to the field, Morgenthau delivered over 1300 formal guest lectures between 1950 and 1980.38 In addition to his academic credits, Mo rgenthau throughout the 1950s grew in political fame as others perceived him to be a theorist willing and able to intervene and advise on matters of current policy. Thus, at the invitation of Geor ge Kennan, the author of the famous Long Telegram in 1947 which ha d first outlined the cas e for the policy of containment subsequently implemented by President Harry S. Truman, Morgenthau had right of audience at the State Departme nt Planning Committee between 1948 and 1951 the key years of the development of th e realism-based policy of containment.39 In 1951 the State Department drew upon Morgenthaus presumed area of natural interest and expertise by asking him to make an official vi sit to occupied Austria and to offer advice on the removal of Allied control and the restoration of sovereignty. Building on this visit, and perhaps in recognition of the larger relevance assigne d to Morgenthaus work, the Department subsequently invited Morgenthau to visit South East Asia in 1954. The visit proved to be the start of a turning point in Morgenthaus career causing him ultimately to come into conflict with the practitioners of policy within th e U.S. Government.40 Warnings About Vietnam 37 Hans Joachim Morgenthau, Current Biography 1963 ed. Charles Moritz, (New York: The M.W. Wilson Company, 1963), 276. 38 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 75. 39 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 77, note 64. 40 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 77, note 64. Frie records that Morgenthau also served as a Defense Department advisor between 1963 and 1965, although little actual use was made of his expertise at this time.
15 During his visit Morgenthau had the oppor tunity to make the acquaintance of South Vietnamese policymakers of the highest level, including a meeting with Ngo Dinh Diem himself. Morgenthau published the findings of his trip to South East Asia in a series of articles in The New Republic In these essays Morgen thau sounded a note of warning. At first glance the warning might have appeared odd, in light of the fact that U.S. policy in South East Asia appeared to be based on the very theories of realism propounded by Morgenthau in the classrooms of Chicago. Visiting Vietnam, however, and seeing the consequences of U.S. involveme nt in the region, prompted Morgenthau to analyze the likely causes and consequences behind the U.S. presence. Outlining the situation, Morgenthau described the war as consisting of one supe rpower engaged in warfare and diplomacy in a region outside its direct and natural area of concern, and another much smaller power engaged in (depen ding on ones point of view) a civil war or at the very least local war.41 Thus right from the beginning of his a ssociation with Vietnam, Morgenthau expressed reservations about U.S policy. In particular, Morgenthau had a fundamentally hesitant view about John Foster Dulles, S ecretary of State unde r President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959 In his piece on Dulles published in 1961 as a chapter in An Uncertain Tradition: American Secretarie s of State in the Twentieth Century, Morgenthau fiercely criticized the developm ent of U.S. foreign policy under Dulles.42 Suggesting that Dulles was simply not up to the task, and furthermore was one who gave the impression to those with whom he deal t of being deceptive, Morgenthau evidenced his growing disillusionment with those in government who were in charge of the conduct of U.S. foreign affairs. After his first e xperience of Vietnam, Morgenthaus growing disillusionment with the actua l conduct of foreign policy became more obvious through his writings and public pronouncements over th e course of the next few years. Thus although Morgenthau acted as a consultant for the Department of Defense as late as 1962, his growing disenchantment w ith the actual conduct of the foreign policy of the United 41 Hans J. Morgenthau, The Immaturity of our Asian Policy , reprinted as The Immaturity of our Asian Policy, in Hans J. Morgenthau, The Impasse of American Foreign Policy (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1962), 251-277. 42 Reprinted as John Foster Dulles, in Hans J. Morgenthau, Truth and Power, (New York: Praeger, 1970), 87-108.
16 States increasingly led him to voice criticism of the government. Thus even as his seminal work was becoming an essential part of the International Relations canon, Morgenthau, in response to U.S. involvement in Vietnam, began to shift his political focus. He did so in the full gl are of the popular political limelight. With the fruition of television as a medium for popul ar political discussion, Morgenthau became increasingly involved in public debate. This was especially true when, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the fall of Diem, the Lyndon B. Johnson administration significantly escalated the military involvement of the United States in the conflict in Vietnam. Morgenthau became in creasingly concerned, and after observing the course of the conflict in th e early part of 1965, argued in a major piece published in The New York Times that the United States should ex tract itself from Indo-China by diplomatic means.43 In the event, 1965 did prove to be a turning point in U.S. involvement in Vietnam but not for the reas ons hoped for by Morgenthau. Ironically the year was also a turning point for Morgenthau s public and private political theories. Responding to Johnsons Johns Hopkins University speech of April 7, Morgenthau praised Johnson for recognizi ng that the communist world was not a monolith and for accepting that the United States would need to have a repertoire of different types of responses to different type s of situations. Referring to this particular situation, Morgenthau explained that we are militarily engaged in Vietnam by virtue of a basic principle of our forei gn policy that was implicit in the Truman Doctrine of 1947 and that was put into practice by John Foster Dulles from 1947 onwards. This principle is the military containment of communism.44 According to Morgenthau it was now time to change the policy, to adopt a different repe rtoire for a different situation: the alternative to our present policies in Viet nam would be this: a face-saving agreement which would allow us to disengage ourselves m ilitarily ; restoration of the status quo of the Geneva Agreement of 1954, with special emphasis upon all Vietnamese elections; cooperation with the Soviet Union in support of a Titoist All-Vietnamese government which would be likely to emerge from such elections.45 Morgenthaus criticism and call for w ithdrawal might appear odd given that 43 Hans J. Morgenthau, We Are Deluding Ourselves in Vietnam, New York Times April 18, 1965. 44 Op. cit., p. 85. 45 Op. cit., p. 85.
17 Politics Among Nations and its realist approach might be said to have provided a critical part of the intellectual framework for the de velopment of the policy of containment. The paradox is easily resolved, however. Realism expects nation states to act according to their perceived self-interest. In his call for withdrawal and an effective acceptance of a communist Vietnam, Morgenthau was not s uggesting that the Unite d States abandon its natural self-interest. Rather, he was suggesting that th e Cold War and the general fight against communism, though first targeted effect ively against a Soviet Union perceived to be ideologically and territorially expa nsionist, had now blinded United States policymakers to the real interests of their stat e. For this blinding Morgenthau placed a great deal of responsibility on John Foster Dulles: it is ironic that this simple juxtaposition of Com munism and Free World was erected by John Foster Dulles crusading moralism into the guiding princi ple of American foreign policy when the national communism of Yugoslavi a, the neutralism of the Third World and the incipient split between the Soviet Union and China we re rendering that juxtaposition invalid.46 Accusing policymakers of be ing blind to the United St ates real interests and focusing his critique upon one individual al lowed Morgenthau to present his argument still within a realist framework. For what is significant about Morg enthaus reasoning is that it was based not on a moral assessment of U.S. policy but rather on a realist analysis of what actions or policies in the given circ umstances would best se rve the interests of the United States. Thus Morgenthau explained, for better or for worse we live again in an age of revolution. It is the task of stat esmanship not to oppose what cannot be opposed with a chance of success but to bend it to ones own interests.47 Bismarck himself could hardly have phrased it better. In effect, it was no longer a realist policy for the United States to continue a military engagement in South East Asia. Qu ite the contrary. The realist policy would be to accept what c ould not be changed the presence of communism in the region and figure out how be st to turn that presence to the advantage of the United States. If Morgenthau blamed Dulles for the misapplication of containment, he also blamed Diem for changing the rules of th e game within Vietnam. According to 46 Op. cit., p. 85. 47 Op. cit, p. 85.
18 Morgenthau it was the refusal of Diem to agree to all-Vietnamese elections following what was supposed to be the temporary division at the 17th Parallel that committed the country to war.48 It was then the decision (and fault) of the United States to change the character of the war by unilateral declaration from a South Vietnamese civil war to a war of foreign aggression. A ggression from the north...49 Morgenthau articulated his assessment of U.S. policy in Vietnam not merely to play the blame game but in the real hope that his advice would be acted upon. Thus he concluded his re view hop[ing] and pray[ing] that vaunted pragmatism and co mmon sense of the American mind would act as a corrective upon those misconceptions before they lead us from the blind alley in which we find ourselves today to the rim of the abyss.50 Again, it is worth reiterating that Morgenthau did not call for withdrawal because America was losing. He called for withdrawal because it was his belief that Am erica could not win, and that to continue would therefore be to act contrary to Ameri cas national interests. It would be to act contrary to the policies sugge sted by a realist understanding of international politics. In the aftermath of his New York Times piece, Morgenthau clearly nailed his flag to the mast of opposition to the war and was thus caught up in the maelstrom of academic debate over the utility and righteousness of American i nvolvement in Vietnam. As The New York Times reported on May 2, 1965, the divisions within academia were not always along party or traditional lines. Thus, th e debate has now r eached the point where the prominent spokesmen of both sides are now fighting with each other, with Dean Rusk, the Phi Beta Kappa and Rhodes Scholar, condemning the opposition teachers and students; Joe Alsop calling Hans Morgenthau an appeaser and Morgenthau describing Alsops pro-administration line a scandal51 48 At a peace conference in 1954 the French and North Vietnamese had ag reed to a temporary division of the country at the 17th parallel. The French ih in the South and the Army of North Vietnam in the North. 49 Morgenthau, Deluding Ourselves, New York Times 85. 50 Op. cit, p. 87. 51 James Reston, Ann Arbor: The St range Bedfellows in Vietnam, New York Times 2 May, 1965, E10. Joseph Alsop was an influential political journalis t and commentator with easy access to the thinking behind government policy at very high levels. See generally, Robert W. Merry, Taking on the World: Joseph and Stewart Alsop: Guardians of the American Century (New York: Viking, 1996).
19 Perceived by the mid-1960s as a liberal both by many in John sons cabinet and by many fellow academics such as Henry Kissinger, then a professor at Harvard University, Morgenthau was involved in a long-running seri es of political engagements or sparring matches. He did so as a member of what British author Malcolm Muggeridge has referred to as the telly-dons academics, or in O xbridge parlance, dons such as historians A.J.P. Taylor and Hugh Trevor-Roper who were a constant presence on television, educating and influencing popular opinion on a variety of subjects. Morgenthaus success as a telly-don in the United States in the pos t-war world derived at least in part, as had been the case for his first entre into Stat e Department business, from his Germanic heritage. By the 1950s, in American popular culture through sources as varied as the character Ludwig von Drake in the Disney pant heon of roles, to the professor in the science fiction film, The Day The Earth Stood Still the idea of the German professor as an authoritative source of comment and in tellectual superiority was well-established. Thus, Morgenthau with his heavy German accent and the precise yet somewhat ponderous manner of a Weimar-educated professo r slotted into an al ready created role. He did so in an environment which was in its own way making use of popular media. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Univers ity of Chicago produced a radio program, The Roundtable which was re-broadcast by radio stat ions all across the United States Befitting his role as a telly -don (or in this case radio-don) Morgenthau was a regular participant on this show.52 Over the course of the decade, as Morgenthaus fame grew, so the canvas on which he propounded his opinion s, educating and influencing the public, expanded. Making his political sympathies plain, Mo rgenthau was prominent in the early days of the Teach-In movement on U.S. campuses and in May 1965 debated Arthur Schlesinger Jr. in the first nationally televised teach-in.53 The next day, on NBCs Meet the Press he debated Professor Zbigniew Brzezins ki, then a Soviet specialist at Columbia University.54 Following his appearances on television, Morgenthau continued to 52 Frie, Hans J. Morgenthau 78. 53 Principal Participants in the Debate, New York Times 16 May 1965, 62. 54 Zbigniew Brzezinski would later rise to high public office through his service to President Jimmy Carter as National Security Advisor from 1977-1981.
20 articulate his opposition to the war in a variety of formats. Just a few days after the Teach-In, for example, Moregenthau debated Fr ank Sieverts, a former State Department official of hawkish mien, at the New Sc hool for Social Research in New York.55 Similarly, on 21 June 1965 he participated in a CBS News Speci al debate between McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson from 1961-1966, Zbigniew Brezinski, G. J. Pauker, Ra nd Institute Asia specialist, O. Edmund Club, a former Asian expert who had been for ced out of the State Department during the Eisenhower purges, and John D. Donahue, a fo rmer advisor to the South Vietnamese government. In addition to speaking against the war, Morgenthau, perhaps inspired by his own position as a public academic (or telly-don), al so articulated his views upon the correct role of intellectuals in so ciety. According to Morgentha u, in an essay published in The New Republic in 1966, the intellectual wa s faced with a number of choices. First, he could excuse himself from the political wo rld altogether; second, he could offer policy advice whilst remaining detached from the political process; a nd finally, he could actively involve himself in the world of politics as an expert. In light of the active political life adopted by Morgenthau, both dur ing the height of the early Cold War and later with regard to Vietnam, and based on the lives and careers of academics he had admired as a student, it was clear that it was his belief that the intellectual had an obligation to help guide and improve governme nt policy, to involve himself in the world of politics as an expert. Significantly, however, this role was to be played not as a politician, but as an academic expert, for it wa s the very fact of being an outsider, or depending on ones point of view an insider pr otected from the outside that protected the academic from the pressures of politics. As Morgenthau phrased it, it was his immunity from outside pressure, manifested through job security through tenure that gave the academic the freedom to criticize and advise. Referring specifically to his own situation, Morgenthau continued: This immunity provides the academic with opportunity as well as with temptation. He has the freedom to speak truth to power wit hout needing to be afraid of more than irritating reprisals of the powers that be. The White House could threaten me with th e FBI, and make the Internal Revenue Service waste 55 New School Slates Debate on Vietnam, New York Times, 21 May 1965, 13.
21 many man powers on repeated audits of my income tax return; it could order the Secretary of Defense to fire me as cons ultant to the Department of Defense, banish me from the councils of government and ostracize me socially. But it could not deprive me of my livelihood or of my freedom to speak and write in so far as the media were willing to resist its pressure to deny me a hearing.56 With these words, Morgenthau both challenged his harassment by the government and questioned President Johnsons commitme nt to the democratic process. Johnson, according to Morgenthau, equated dissent with disloyalty.57 Comparing Johnson with some of his predecessors Morgenthau suggested I ha ve taken a look at Woodrow Wilsons and Franklin D. Roosevelts attitude s towards domestic dissent and I have been struck not by the similarity but by the differences between th eir democratic ethos and the climate of opinion prevailing today.58 Extending his argument in order to defend Senator Fulbright, also under criticism from Johnson, Morgenthau claimed that. the President has never deigned to argue with the Senato r but has ridiculed and mimicked him and treated him with contempt in public and to his face. White House-br oken journalists have taken their cue and have treated a bril liant, knowledgeable and high-minded public servant as though he were an ignorant, irresponsible fool. Morgenthau continued his attack by suggesting that the treatment to which Fulbright had been subjected was not unique. It is but a particularly spectacula r and distressing exampl e of a general policy. The White House project Morgenthau wh ich in 1965 had the task to disseminate information about me reflects the same general attitude. It is clear from Morgenthaus writings of this era that he firmly believed himself to be the victim of a harassment campaign by the White House. Indeed as David Sanford later pointed out in his piece in The New Republic in 1969, Morgenthaus son Matthew was drafted even though he was in a category of men (for medical reasons) not usually drafted. Furthermore, claimed Sanford, Ma tthew was persecuted and court-martialed during his basic training in Alabama, esse ntially because of his fathers political statements against the war.59 What matters here, is not so much whether either Hans or 56 Hans J. Morgenthau, Truth and Power: The Intellectuals and the Johnson Administration, reprinted in Truth and Power: Essays of A Decade (New York: Praeger, 1970), 13-28. 57 Op. cit., 20. 58 Op. cit., 20. 59 David Sanford, Matthew Morgenthaus Complaint, The New Republic March 1, 1969, 14.
22 Matthew Morgenthau were actually the targ ets of harassment but that they believed themselves to be so and acted and wrote accordingly. In light of Morgenthaus past experiences both as a refugee from Nazi Germany and as an observer of the McCarthy Era, his apparent surprise and anger at his treatment by the White House might appear as somewhat nave: he surely must have experienced and seen far worse than a few intensive tax au dits, or even the unwa rranted drafting of his son. In fact, his response is, I believe, comprehensible within the context of Morgenthaus status as an immigrant wher eby he, like many immigrants, thought better of the country he had chosen to call home and the country which had given him better hospitality than his own. Thus, in his expect ations of government behavior, Morgenthau the refugee, thinking well of his adop ted homeland, overwhelmed Morgenthau the intellectual who could expect nothing but realpolitik from the governments of nation states. Perhaps understandably in light of what he perceived to be the nature of his own situation, and aggravated by his belief in the responsibility of the in tellectual to engage with the needs of society and government Morgenthau had little sympathy with academics who either chose to st ay on the political sidelines, or worse, chose to enter the fray in absolute and fixed support of the government. Morgenthau offered a searing critique of the academy when he suggested that the military-industrial complex against which President Eisenhower had warned had been duplicated by an academic-political complex in which the interests of the governme nt are inextricably intertwined with the interests of large groups of academics. Furthermore, the intimate connection that research contracts have established between the government and the universities have recently been brought to public attention. It stands to reason that an academic who is working on such a contract or who expects to work on one is not likely to question the basic policies of the government either within his c ontractual research or outside it. As a result, according to Morgenthau, the interest s and expectations of the government not only determine the subject matter of contractual research but also influence ever so subtly its scope and in a certain measure its results. 60 Morgenthaus understanding of both the ideal and the actual relationship between academics and governments was undoubtedly 60 Op. cit. 21.
23 shaped by his own experiences most re cently through his work with the State Department but also by his earlier work in Sp ain, and perhaps even by his observations of the role played by Carl Schmitt in Hitlers Germany.61 Morgenthaus growing disenchantment with the government of his adopted homeland started to become increasingly eviden t. When it was disclosed that the National Student Association had been established and ru n as an instrument of state policy in order to help wage the Cold War, Morgenthau once again reflected publicly in print on what he perceived to be the treas on of the intellectuals.62 He argued that a large number of academics, although doing so less blatantly than the National Student Association were in essence making it appear as though the voice of the government were of necessity the voice of truth .63 Morgenthau believed that revelati ons in the media about the domestic role of the CIA raises three fundament al issues:  the ability of American democracy to pursue an effective foreign policy without destroying at home what it promotes abroad;  the feasibility and mora lity of domestic clandestine operations;  the relations between the Federal gover nment and the intellectual community.64 Holding that a domestic government, presiding over a pluralistic society, must somehow manage to mobilize private organizations on behalf of its policies, Morgenthau questioned how that could be achieved without impairing, if not destroying, the private character of such organizations?65 Applauding the eventual revelation of the truth behind the National Student Association, Morgenthau yet regretted that a heavy price has to be paid for this assertion of democratic scrutiny both domes tically and internationally. Morgenthau 61 Carl Schmitt, a professor of Public Law at the Univ ersity of Berlin, had published a short book entitled The Concept of Politics in 1921. Morgenthau considered his doctor s thesis at least partly a response to Schmitt. While recognizing Schmitts superior intellectual endowments, Morgenthau made clear both in writing and in conversations that he doubted that any German thinker surpassed Schmitt in subservience to the Nazis and lack of principle. For Morgenthau, the most compelling evidence was Schmitts defense of Hitlers blood purge of 1934 on the grounds that the will of the Fuhrer was the supreme law of the land. Never denying Schmitts brilliance, Morgenthau found him the most evil man alive. Morgenthau, An Intellectual Biography, 68. 62 Hans J. Morgenthau, How Totalitarianism st arts: The Domestic Involvement of the CIA, The Christian Science Monitor March 10, 1967, reprinted in Truth and Power: Essays of A Decade (New York: Praeger, 1970), 51-55. 63 Op. cit., 54. 64 Op. cit., p.51. 65 Op. cit., p.51.
24 suggested that had the Government had mo re confidence in the strength of a free democracy than in the efficiency of pseudo-to talitarian methods, it could have served the national interest without payi ng so heavy a price. Internat ionally, all individuals and organizations speaking on behalf of the Un ited States will from now on be suspect as secret agents of the government.66 Morgenthau virulently criticized the policymakers for having created a situation where domestica lly the moral confidence of the people in their government has been shaken. This is no t a moral crisis affec ting this particular Administration but a moral crisis affecti ng American democracy. Contrasting the sixteenth century perception of diplomats as honest men sent abroad to lie for their country, Morgenthau suggested that in th e twentieth century pub lic officials were increasingly perceived to be honest men s taying at home to lie for the government.67 Arguing that the government practiced systema tic deception paralleling that practiced by the CIA. Morgenthau asserted that this philosophy was not of democracy but of totalitarianism. Furthermore argued Morgenth au, as the integrity and independence of the government have been subverted by the m ilitary industrial complex, so the integrity and independence of the educational community have been impaired by the academicpolitical complex. The educational commun ity has in large measure become the handmaid of government, while maintaining its pretence to independence. Offering a solution to the problems raised by the disc losures of government deception, Morgenthau called for a radical moral reorientati on of both the government and the academic community.68 Morgenthau took his political engagement to its logical conclusion by involving himself in the 1968 Presidential campaign as an advisor to Eugene McCarthy. Following Johnsons dramatic withdrawal, Morgenthau put his experience of inte rnational affairs at McCarthys disposal, and became a charter member of a special advisory panel on foreign policy put together by McCarthy.69 Under the chairmanship of Stanley Hoffman of Harvard University, Morgenthau served alongside Quincy Wright, formerly of the University of Virginia, John Kenneth Galbra ith then teaching economics at Harvard, and 66 Hans J. Morgenthau, Truth and Power: Essays of A Decade (New York, Praeger, 1970), 52. 67 Hans J. Morgenthau, Truth and Power: Essays of A Decade (New York, Praeger, 1970), 52. 68 Hans J. Morgenthau, Truth and Power: Essays of A Decade (New York, Praeger, 1970), 53. 69 New York Times 5 August, 1968.
25 Gabriel Almond then of Stanford University, but formerly of the University of Chicago, and the serving president of the American Political Science Asso ciation. Morgenthau made his support of McCarthy pub lic through an article in the New York Review of Books then a relatively newly establ ished liberal counterweight to Commentary Given that Morgenthau had described U. S. foreign policy toward Vietnam as being in part a function of the psychopat hology of certain individuals, he offered a contrasting image of McCarthy, writing that what struck me again the other day is the complete absence of any visible contrast between the public role he plays and the man he is.70 Morgenthau supported McCarthy for th ree reasons. Firstly, he would restore a philosophy of government and of the Amer ican purpose that is in tune with the genius of the American people.71 Secondly, he can move large masses of the American people and, more particularly, of the younger generation back into active participation in the democratic process. Thirdl y, he presents clear cu t alternatives to the policies of the present administration as well as of his competitors. With regard to foreign policy, Morgenthau argued that Mc Carthys policies would be in essence common sense restored to its rightful place.72 Emphasizing his support, Morgenthau quoted approvingly from McCarthys own work, The Limits of Power : our foreign policy should be more restrained and in so far as prudent judgment can determine more closely in keeping with the movement of history.73 Taking a sideswipe at Johnsons Vice President Hubert Humphrey by attack ing Zbigniew Brzezinski who had been Humphreys primary foreign policy advisor, Morgenthau claimed that, McCarthy does not believe in the philosophy of Americ an paramountcy as propounded by Professor Brzezinski.74 Furthermore proposed Morgenthau, th e United States s hould, if it sought to influence other states, focus on its own do mestic policies first. Thus we serve our goal of promoting racial just ice throughout the world better by setting an example in the ordering of our race relations at home th an by exerting pressure on South Africa.75 Morgenthau concluded by suggesting that th e American mission was not to dominate but 70 New York Review of Books 22 August, 1968, quoted in Truth and Power 191. 71 Op. cit., p. 192. 72 Op. cit., 192. 73 Op. cit., 193. 74 Op. cit., 193. 75 Op. cit., 193.
26 to lead. In his support for McCarthy, Morgenthau succeeded in defending his own past theories of realism even as he criticized their subsequent mis-application by particular policymakers. According to Morgenthau, McCarthy was convinced that the great innovations that radically tran sformed American policy in the Spring of 1947 the policy of containment, the Truman Doctrine, the Ma rshall Plan are irreversible but he also believes that these policies suffer from two major deficiencies: they have not been adapted to drastically changed circumstan ces, and they have been corrupted by a disproportionate emphasis on military measures.76 With this analysis Morgenthau defended both realism and Politics Among Nations considered by some to be as much a part of the process of arming for the Cold War as any military preparations. In particular, and perhaps fittingly in light of the wars significance to his own intellectual development, Morgenthau drew on his ow n service to government as a means of attacking Humphrey. Specifically he made cl ear that from persona l observation, the war could have had no more genuinely committed su pporter than the Vice President. It is only now, in an election year, that the Vice Presiden t feels compelled to make this appear to be Mr. Johnsons war but not necessarily Mr. Humphreys.77 By November 1968, the Democratic Part y had made its choice. The Chicago Nominating Convention had come and gone and the American pe ople were about to go to the polls. In his piece Nixon versus Humphr ey: The Choice, Morgenthau explained the absolute importance of the coming election by suggesting rather dramatically that the very survival of American democr acy depended upon the elections outcome.78 Morgenthau believed that the threat to de mocracy came from two directions: on the one hand, the lack of any clear difference in te rms of substantive po licy between Humphrey and Nixon; on the other from the Wallace ticket.79 By election time with the possibility of a successful Wallace-LeMay ticket, no matter ho w unlikely this really was, Morgenthau argued for the lesser of two evils. In the ab sence of a vote which would put Wallace into 76 Op. cit., 194. 77 Op. cit., 196. 78 New York Review of Books November 7, 1968 reprinted in Truth and Power 199-206. 79 Curtis LeMay was a robust anti-communist WWII and Cold War air force commander. For further details see, John Paul Hill, A.R. Happy Chandl er, George C. Wallace and the Presidential Election of 1968, The Historian vol. 64, No. 3+4 (Spring/Summer 2002), 667-685.
27 the White House and LeMay into the U.S. Na val Observatory, Morgenthau suggested if the choice were simply between Humphrey a nd Nixon within the trad itional context of a two-party system, I would have said that the choice is a matter of political taste but not political judgment since there is really not hing to choose between their qualifications. There is no lesser evil to be pr eferred since both candidates po rtend evils different in kind but not in degree. In the concrete circumstan ces of the perceived po ssibility of a Wallace Presidency, however, Morgenthau argued that it was the candidate w ho was best capable of stopping such an event who should be s upported. Making the case that not alone would it be necessary to stop Wallace in 1968 but also in 1972, Morgenthau argued that American democracy seems to be best se rved not only by Nixons victory in 1968 but also by a defeat of the Democratic Party so dr astic as to amount to the disavowal of its present leadership, philos ophy, and policies and to render inevitable the radical transformation of its philosophy and structure. Morgenthau continued for without such a defeat the Democratic Party may consis tently and on a large scale act out what Wallace preaches. Only if the Democratic Pa rty of Johnson and those of a similar world view are defeated, only then will the me n who could have saved it in 1968 the Kennendys, the McCarthys, the McGoverns and their heirs have a chance to save it in 1972.80 Drastic words indeed. In the event, Ni xon did win the election but contrary to Morgenthaus hopes, the Democratic Party did not take this as a sign of a need to reinvent itself and subsequently lost the next election t oo. By that time, however, Morgenthau had already removed himself from the center of political affairs by transferring from Chicago to New York wher e he taught at the New School with the rank of full City University of New York Professo r until his retirement from full time teaching in 1974. Even then, however, he found it difficu lt to give everything up and so continued to teach a light load at the New School. He also continued to i nvolve himself, albeit gently, with progressive affa irs, serving, for example, as the Chair of The Academic Committee for Soviet Jewry, helping to faci litate the emigration of Soviet Jewish 80 Op. cit., 206.
28 dissidents.81 He argued in support of the Jackson-Vanik amendment which linked the granting of most-favored-nation status to the U.S.S.R. to that countrys granting of civil liberties to ethnic minorities, residing within its borders82. He also continued to concern himself, almost unto his death in 1980 fr om complications after a stomach ulcer operation, with what he considered to be the proper course for U.S. foreign policy in the post-Nixon environment by publishing such pa pers as The Pathology of American Power, a salutary warning for th e West to avoid a new Cold War.83 By the time of his death, Morgenthau had come full circle: from his first troubled semester at Brooklyn College he had become the grand old man of political science with a personal chair at the same univers ity. If he had travel ed a circular path professionally, however, he appeared to have ta ken almost a linear pol itical journey: from being the uncritical exponent of the politics of raison detat to becoming a critic of the state and articulating opinions which would not have been incompatible with those of teenage political pamphleteers. The reality of this characterization is not quite so straightforward, however. It is my contention that while Morgenthau in his stand against U.S. intervention in Vietnam, and in his virulent criticisms of U.S. policymakers appeared to be rejecti ng the ideas laid out in Politics Among Nations he was actually still advocating the same policies, albeit with a sli ght twist. He still advocated, for example, in favor of policies which would reflect the inte rests of the United States. Thus he still advocated realism. He simply believed, now after several decades association with power that those interests might be expresse d in a different manner. Thus he suggested that it has become obvious that the great issues of our day the militarization of American life, the Vietnam War, race conflic ts, poverty, the decay of cities are not susceptible to rational solutions within the existing system of power relations Likewise, he believed that poverty on a large scale, like the decay of the cities and the ruination of the natural environm ent, is a result not of accidental misfortunes but of social and economic policies in whos e continuation powerful soci al groups have a vested 81 M. Benjamin Mollov, Jewrys Prophetic Challenge to Soviet and Other Totalitarian Regimes According to Hans J. Morgenthau, Journal of Church and State v. 39 (Summer 1997), 561-75. 82 Op.cit.,563 83 Hans J. Morgenthau, The Pathology of American Power, International Security Vol. 1, No. 3 (Winter, 1977), 3-20.
29 interest.84 According to Morgenthau neither the continuation of poverty nor the militarization of American life could in any sense be considered as reflective of U.S. national interests. Thus, according to any rea list interpretation of the political system, it behoved America to solve these problems first, before it engaged in issues beyond its immediate concern. From this perspective Mo rgenthau may be seen to be far more consistent than has previous ly been thought to be the cas e. He articulated a realist framework (with all the potential for military engagement that framework implied) in order to meet what he perceived to be the ve ry real threat of S oviet expansionism; he advocated withdrawal from Vietnam when he perceived it to be against Americas national interests to remain militarily committed; and he called for resolution of Americas most pressing and most divisive domestic problems because he perceived such resolution and resultant domes tic unity to be in the countrys long-term interests. In much the same way, one might argue, did Bismarck institute old age pensions and a limited form of sickness insurance: not because he believed in the worth of the programs as a means of helping German ci tizens, but because he perceived their institution to be a means of undercutting suppor t for the Social Democratic Party, a much more important objective for the German Empire than the financial costs of any programs of relief. Thus the larger national security interests of Germany were preserved even if the actual policies implemented appeared co ntrary to the innate conservatism of the government. Likewise, the larger national secu rity interests of the United States, the preservation of the state, di ctated the resolution of dome stic divisions even though the implementation of policies such as welfare reli ef, or anti-racist ini tiatives might appear contrary to the general cons ervatism of the government. Thus, as I suggested in my introdu ction, realism, whether propounded by Bismarck or Morgenthau was a conservative doctrine, bei ng based on the assumption that states, under perceived conditions of relative scarcity of esse ntial resources, would pursue power, as defined by national in terest and survival. This realism contained within it, however, a progressive liberatory potential since in order to pr eserve the state, it allowed 84 Hans. J. Morgenthau. Foreword Arnold S. Kaufman, The Radical Liberal: New Man in American Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970), ii.
30 for the implementation of a wide range of policies both in the domestic and foreign policy sphere the value of which was to be judged according to their utility to the interests of the state, not according to a narrowly defined expression of political bias. Thus Morgenthau in advocating the containm ent of communism in Western Europe had begun his academic career as a realist, and desp ite appearances to the contrary, he had, by advocating the acceptance of communism in South East Asia, ended it as a realist. This combination of progressivism and constancy was perhaps most obvious when Morgenthau involved himself in popular a nd public politics. It was also obvious, however, if one read Morgenthaus realist masterpiece, Politics Among Nations, with the same attention to detail with which he wrot e it. It is time now to do just that.
31 Chapter Two Politics Among Nations: The Duality of Realism Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace was Morgenthaus masterpiece. First published in 1948, succes sive editions appeared in 1953, 1960, 1967, 1973, 1978 and 1985.85 While each edition carried the sa me title, however, the sum total over the course of Morgenthaus career really amounts to more than one book republished six times.86 Indeed a close reading of the te xt of each editi on suggests that Morgenthau should more properly be credited with producing a corpus of work representing a lifetimes thought and analysis. Specifically, ov er the course of his six editions, Morgenthau examined the most f itting and profitable role to be adopted by states in international relations, the mean s by which states acquired and maintained power, and the most likely means by which states might attain and preserve peace. More succinctly, with each edition of Politics Among Nations Morgenthau shaped the very field of international relations accordi ng to his conception not of how the world should or could work in the future but how it actually worked right now. While the substance of each edition rema ined largely the same, what changed, and what highlights the consistency of Morgen thaus analysis was the manner in which Morgenthau made clear how hi s theories, the theories firs t presented in 1948, could and should be understood and implemented in the light of the changed political environment 85 I have elected to confine my analysis of Politics Among Nations to the editions on which Morgenthau personally worked. The final edition, the Sixth, publis hed in 1985, while still reflecting Morgenthaus core theories also included elements of the work of its editor, Kenneth Thompson. For that reason, its analysis fits better into a study of evolving theories of In ternational Relations rather than a study of Hans Morgenthau. 86 Proof of this assertion might be found in Thomas C. Walkers recollection that when as students he and John Vasquez discussed Politics Among Nations they found the editions to be so different as to make them question whether we had indeed read the same book . Thomas C. Walker, Int roduction: Morgenthaus Dual Approach to International Politics, International Studies Notes Vol. 24, No. 1, 1999.
32 of the moment.87 Thus while it is appropriate to claim originality in each edition, and while students reading different editions might well be struck by the differences between them, it is also true that at heart, each edit ion contained the same essential premise. What was constant for Morgenthau throughout his ca reer was his belief that the core of his arguments remained the same, even as the situations to which they must be applied changed over time. Thus this chapter follows the mold created by its predecessor and seeks to prove that appearances to the contra ry notwithstanding six editions in thirty years Politics Among Nations represents two critical elemen ts of Morgenthaus political thought: it was simultaneously constant yet flex ible and contained w ithin it the potential for both conservative and liberatory applications. Perhaps unusually, the bulk of the materi al from which Morgenthau prepared the first edition of Politics Among Nations consisted not of archival notes, nor even of his own notes of other books or case studies, but ra ther tape recordings made of his lectures at the University of Chicago. As Kenneth W. Thompson, one of Morgenthaus research assistants reported, it was a tradition of st udents to tape the be tter professors, whose words were thought likely to be destined for posterity.88 Morgenthau was one of these professors, and it was the tapes and subseque nt transcript by one particular graduate student, Mary Jane Benowitz, along with re search and transcribing carried out by Thompson, which provided Morgen thau, who lectured without notes, with a written copy of both his lectures and what would prove to be the outline for his book. Morgenthau recognized his debt to Benowitz in the pref ace of the first edition. Over the course of succeeding years, many other students helped Morgenthau organize both his thoughts and his writing. In this sense at leas t, one might even suggest that Politics Among Nations was something of a collaborative work. If it was, however, it was so only in the laborintensive parts of its production. For as useful as Morgenthau found hi s research team, he 87 John A. Vasquez, The Power of Power Politics: From Cl assical Realism to Neo-traditionalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 36. 88 Kenneth W. Thompson, The Writing of Politics Among Nations : Its Sources and its Origins, International Studies Notes Vol. 24, No. 1, 1999.
33 rarely discussed the origins of his work nor shared his analysis of its implications but rather used his students as a re source, asking them to provide copies of particular events or case studies for his review. Thus while students provided the material, Morgenthau provided the conceptual framewor k into which it was placed. As might be expected, Morgenthaus Preface to his first edition was quite straightforward, simply acknowledging his resear ch debts and largely allowing the text to speak for itself. Thus the book was to cover not only the traditi onal subject matter of international relations courses but to place particular emphasis upon the basic problems of international law, in ternational organization, and diplomatic history.89 The text itself established the parameters of realism. Putti ng forward his central theory concerning the behavior of nation states, Morgenthau claime d that whatever diplom atic posturing might be assumed, in the final analysis all states would seek the greatest amount of power and security possible, even to the point of usi ng military force to achieve it, while accepting no check upon individual national sovereignty from any international, or supranational, body.90 Even as he emphasized the centrality of the balance of power between nation states as the key means by which nations could pursue both power and peace, however, he also discussed the possible role that could be played by normative limitations such as international law, internationa l morality, and world public opinion.91 Indeed for Morgenthau, ultimately it was the future obs olescence of nation states, and the giving up of national sovereignty to supranational bodi es, which would be the only way to secure permanent international peace. This assertion can be read in two ways: on the one hand, as an affirmation of the primacy of the nati on state as the key actor in world politics only upon its demise could permanent peace be secured; on the other hand, Morgenthaus text could be read as an aspiration of wh at supranational institutions might one day achieve. Until that time was reached, however, Morgenthau offered a theory of understanding which while acknowledging the lim its of the influence of ethics yet 89 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948), Forward. 90 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 1948. 91 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 1948, 9.
34 acknowledged that statesmen were not sole ly moved by considerations of material power. Thus even as he acknowledged overa ll the weight of the pursuit of power, he also paid homage to other non-material infl uences which might shape both policymakers and the decision they made.92 Having established the theory, Morgenth au then sought to apply it to the contemporary international situation, and to offer an analysis of the effects of its application upon contemporary Unite d States actual and ideal foreign policy. As we have seen, the book, and the theories contained within it, received tremendous popular and academic acclaim, setting Morgenthau on his way to becoming an integral member of the U.S. intellectual elite. One contemporary review referred to Politics Among Nations as the most incisive book of its kind.93 In a similar vein Harold Sprout, Professor and later Chair of the Politics Department at Princeton University, while taking issue with some of Morgenthaus arguments, made clear that he believed Morgenthau to have set a high standard for all who would venture into the treacherous quicksand of system building in international politics. Politics Among Nations is a work of major im portance. It should do much to promote better teaching and scholarsh ip in the critically important field of international politics94 And indeed it did. Thus co ntemporary scholar, and later policymaker Henry Kissinger argued th at it was through the publication of Politics Among Nations along with his other work, that Mo rgenthau created the discipline of post-war International relations 95 Likewise, fifty years after the event, scholar John Vasquez observed that in Politics Among Nations Morgenthau best expressed and captured what an entire generation of rea list scholars were tr ying to understand.96 Six years later Politics Among Nations was reissued as a Second Edition. In the Preface Morgenthau took great pains to em phasize the distinctions between the two 92 Thomas C. Walker Introduction: Morgenth aus Dual Approach to International Politics International Studies Notes Volume 24, Number 1, 1999. 93 L.H. Woolsey, Review of Politics Among Nations Hans J. Morgenthau, American Journal of International Law Vol. 44, Issue (Jan., 1950), 219-221. 94 Harold Sprout, In Defense of Diplomacy World Politics Volume 1, Issue 3 (Apr., 1949), 404-413. 95 For an extended analysis of Morgenthaus influence see, Greg Russell, Hans J. Morgenthau and the Ethics of American Statecraft (Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State Press, 1990), 59. 96 The Enduring Contributions of Hans J. Morgenthaus Politics Among Nations , John Vasquez, International Studies Notes Volume 24, Number 1, 1999.
35 editions, and in so doing revealed as much a bout the context of the first edition as about the second. Morgenthau explained the considerab le changes which he had made to this edition by referencing the new developments during the last six years in the intellectual climate of the United States, the conditions of world politics, and the mind of the author.97 Specifically, Morgenthau drew the read ers attention to the circumstances surrounding the production of his fi rst edition, the result of a n intellectual experience of twenty years. Its origins lay in a period wh en a false conception of foreign policy, put into practice by the western democracies, [had ] led inevitably to the threat and the actuality of totalitarianism and war. 98 Clearly Morgenthau had been deeply affected by what he perceived to be the betrayal of appeasement and blamed guilty men such as Neville Chamberlain for their failure to act in a manner which would have preserved the security and interests not only of the United Kingdom but of Western democracy.99 Fighting against such a lackluster in terpretations of states rights and responsibilities, and such a weak interpreta tion of what it was possible for states to achieve, Morgenthau in the first edition of Politics Among Nations had put forward the case for an aggressive diplomacy, or what he termed a frontal attack, a radical statement which made clear just how mu ch independence of action each state possessed.100 In essence Morgenthau had put forward the case for realism, urging his fellow intellectuals and contemporaries in th e world of diplomacy to concentrate on the realities of the world situati on the reality of a weak Un ited Nations in the midst of strong nation states rather than on what they hoped might become the situation a strong United Nations capable of imposing its peaceful will upon subservient nation states. In his call Morgenthau was undoubtedly infl uenced by what he perceived to have been the failure of international politics in the inter-war years, a period when academics 97 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2nd edition, 1954, Preface. 98 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2nd edition, 1954, Preface. 13 The term guilty men was coined by Michael Foot et al in their analysis of the appeasement generation. Michael Foot, Peter Howard, and Frank Owen, The Guilty Men, (London: Victor Gollancz,, Left Book Club, 1940) 100 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2nd edition, 1954, Preface.
36 and politicians alike ap peared to have focused so much on what they had hoped could be achieved that they had placed excessive conf idence in institutions and organizations which in reality had had little effect upon what was actually achieved. They had, in effect, hoped that a strong League of Nations or a forceful Internati onal Court of Justice would be able to impose their peaceful will upon subservient and compliant nation states. Thus whether one looked at Woodrow Wils on at the start of the age, or Neville Chamberlain at the end, each, and many othe rs in between, were guilty of hoping that international law or agreed upon norms of beha vior would be suffici ent to ensure peace between nations. As Morgenthau was only too well aware, the policymakers hopes had not been met. In Morgenthaus direct experience the struggle for power by Hitlers Germany (amongst others) had overwhelmed the democracies struggle for peace. Based on this personal experience, as well as an academic understanding of international relations, Morgenthau, in the first edition of Politics Among Nations had emphasized the reality that nations would, in the final analys is, always be struggling for power, but he also offered the hope that a state of interna tional peace would be the most desirable. Until such a state was achieved, however, (most likel y by the real concedi ng of national power to a supranational body), he argued that the theory by whic h one attempted to understand the world should be shaped by how the world actually was, not by what one hoped it might become. In short he argued that intern ational relations should be understood within a realist, not an idealist framework.101 Six years on Morgenthau considered himself to have been successful. From his viewpoint, the United States had stood up to the Soviet Union, contained the spread of communism in Europe and achieved the frie ndship of like-minded states. Six years on with that battle largely won, Morgenthau perceived himself, and the United States, free to shift in focus a little and to consider the changed nature of the international arena. Not only had the United Nations achieved far more than he had considered likely six years previously but particular groups of nation states had co-operated to form regional supranational bodies. Thus, according to Morgen thau, it was now possible to consolidate the victory of having his earli er robust theories accepted by now not only consolidating and defending his arguments, but where necessa ry, adapting them to new situations and 101 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 1948, 5.
37 experiences.102 Of the many new situations perceived by Morgenthau he was perhaps most struck by the possible consequences of decoloniza tion, the rise of supranational regional institutions, and the activities of the Unite d Nations. According to Morgenthau the colonial revolution has spread over much of Asia and Africa and has increased in intensity, thus emerging as a new force in world politics, creating new problems, and calling for new policies.103 Critically, and foreshadowi ng his later position on U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Morgenthau adapted hi s theory of realism to include an entirely new component. In future, he argued, the stru ggle for the minds of men needed to be added to the traditional dime nsions of diplomacy and war.104 Thus, even as early as 1953, a year before Dien Bien Phu, and almost a decade ahead of President Lyndon B. Johnsons call to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people, Morgenthau acknowledged the need to win the support of the people amongst whom, and with whom, the U.S. would later fight.105 He was clearly ahead of his time, recognizing that even as he had earlier asserted th e rights of states to act independently and free of all fetters, they were in reality limited by their ability to win the minds of men. With this assessment Morgenthau had not abandoned his realis t position. He still believed fiercely in the likelihood that states would act according to their perceived selfinterest. He was merely now acknowledging that it was not always as easy as it had once been. Where once might had made right, (whe ther one liked it or not) and where once Lord Palmerstons Gunboat Diplomacy could assu re the British Empire of the success of its endeavors, now the United States, and indeed the United Kingdom, corralled and limited by the colonial revolution with its unl eashing of national aspirations and political ambition, could act only if they recognized that the struggle for the minds of men was a new and integral dimension of international politics.106 In light of Morgenthaus early recogn ition of the validity and, perhaps more 102 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2nd edition, 1954, Preface. 103 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2nd edition, 1954, Preface. 104 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2nd edition, 1954, Preface. 105 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2nd edition, 1954, Preface. In 1965 Johnson suggested that with regard to Vietnam the ultimate victory will depend upon the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there. Remarks at a Dinner Meeting of the Texas Electric Coop erative Inc, 4 May, 1965, INSERT WEBSITE 106 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2nd edition, 1954, Preface.
38 importantly, potential strength of the struggle to win mens minds, as expressed in 1953, his later arguments against U.S. involveme nt in Vietnam make more sense. His experience visiting the country, along with hi s academic assessment of the diplomatic and military possibilities, led him to believe th at this was one dimension of international politics which the United States could not wi n. As we have seen, Morgenthau considered the conflict in Vietnam to be a civil war a nd blamed U.S. policymakers for transforming it, in outward appearance at l east, into a war of Northern aggression. As it was not such a war, it followed that it could not be won acco rding to such terms. Thus it is apparent again, even as early as 1953 th at what would later appear to be a liberal and progressive politics on the part of Morgenthau, was in reality, a willingness to adapt by expanding and including new facets his political theory to a changed situation. If Morgenthau was hesitant about the c onsequences of the colonial revolution, unsure of the likely effects upon the older imperial powers, he was impressed by the efforts of various nations to try and achie ve a level of common interest through the creation of supranational organizations such as the European Coal and Steel Community or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This pooling of states so vereignty appealed to Morgenthau who saw within it a means of achieving both the broad objectives of the community and the specific aspirations of the member states. Here again we see Morgenthau the realist adapting his view point in order to accommodate changed circumstances. And as would be the case for Vi etnam, he proved to be right. The ECSC, as is well-known, proceeded to form th e foundation for the success of what would become first the European Economic Comm unity, and later the European Union. Published in 1953, the Second Edition was drafted in th e shadow of the Korean War. Accordingly, the war and its consequen ces had been worked into the theoretical framework of the book.107 Indeed it was the Korean War which prompted Morgenthau to re-consider the potential utility of th e United Nations. Disillusioned by the meager achievements of the inter-war League of Na tions, Morgenthau, in the first edition of Politics Among Nations had not initially expressed hi gh hopes for the nascent United Nations. Six years later he was prepared to acknowledge that the organization had achieved a great deal, albeit in areas fundamentally differe nt from those originally 107 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2nd edition 1954, Preface.
39 conceived. It had been under the flag of the United Nations, for example, that the United States had been able to enter and fight the Korean War.108 Morgenthau had two other innovations to bring to the Second Edition, both of which would, as was the case with Vietnam and the UN, foreshadow his later public positions. Morgenthau asserted that this s econd edition would take much more account of domestic politics, even to the point of asser ting a new rule of diplomacy dealing with the relationship between fore ign and domestic policy. 109 Again, as he foreshadowed events in Vietnam, Morgenthau, albeit with a slightly different focus, articulated the primacy of domestic politics six years be fore the publication of William Appleman Williams seminal work in the field, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy .110 In this light, Morgenthaus later call for the resolution of domestic racial divisi ons, the abolition of poverty and the cessation of environmental pollu tion appear less as radical statements of a newly found liberal conscience and more as the mature reflections of an academic convinced that the first step to securing a successful foreign policy is to implement a domestic policy which in meeting the needs of the people meets the needs of the state. Thus whether one places Morgenthaus analys is within the context of Bismarck the conservative policymaker or Williams the liberal academic, one can see that realism, though outwardly concerned with the behavior of states to each other, contained within it a strong element of potential progressivism. As we have seen, it was not just what Morgenthau said in the 1960s that led both some of his contemporaries and later scholars to perceive him as a conservative turned liberal, but the changed nature of his relati onship with the United States government. He appeared to have transformed himself (or been transformed) from an ally of the state, expounding the amorality of realpolitik, to an ex tremely vocal critic, sure that the U.S. state was doing something very much immoral. In fact, the paradox is only illusory, and as with so much else, was foreshadowed in the Second Edition of Politics Among Nations In his Preface, Morgenthau introdu ced as a new element of national power the quality of government. It is agai nst this articulation about the importance of 108 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2rd edition, 1954, Preface. 109 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2rd edition, 1954, Preface. 110 William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (New York: W.W. Norton, 1972) First published in 1959. Williams is generally credited with being one of the first scholars to highlight the significance of domestic affairs as a determinant upon foreign policy.
40 the quality of government, written in 1954, th at Morgenthaus la ter assaults upon the Johnson administration must be placed. 111 According to Morgenthau the quality of the government of a country was so important that it could, in cer tain circumstances, determine wh ether a country won or lost a war. Using as examples the cases of Aust ria-Hungary in the Great War, and France in the Second World War, Morgenthau argued that in both cases the failure of the relationship between the govern ed and the governors so degraded national morale that military success was no longer an option. Specif ically, in Austria-Hungary the House of Hapsburg had failed to retain th e loyalty of its Slavic subject s, and in France a significant proportion of the citizenry had preferred Hitler to the socialist Bl oom. Aggravating the defeat in both instances was th at the initial lack of solid arity caused by the government, further prompted the citizenry to reject the government and thus led to eventual national destruction.112 As an alternative, Morgenthau pr oposed what he believed to be the hallmarks of good or effective government: one which would cherish all of the children of the nation equally and enlist the strength of sectional groups into a common struggle for the good of all. Taking account of all these changes in in ternational politics, Morgenthau in 1953 informed his readers that his ideas on a gr eat many issues had also changed. He had refined his analysis of such in tegral concepts as power, cultural imperialism, world public opinion, disarmament, collective security and peaceful change. Furthermore, his analysis of politics among nations had been expanded to include the new flash-words of the age such as containment, cold war, uncommitted nations and Point Four. Thus Morgenthau prepared his readers for an adjusted interp retation of the rights a nd responsibilities of nation states, as well as an acknowledgement th at the world had changed in the course of the past six years. Putting the two together, however, did not produce an abnegation of realism but rather a readjust ment to suit different times. As a means of articulating the precis e nature of that realist framework, Morgenthau included a new in troductory chapter which outli ned what, for Morgenthau, 111 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2rd edition ,1954, Preface. 112 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2rd edition ,1954, 146.
41 constituted the six principl es of political realism.113 Given the centrality of these principles to Morgenthaus intellectual fram ework, it is worth anal yzing them in some detail, particularly so that we might s ee the extent to which they foreshadowed Morgenthaus later public pronouncements, pr oviding the basis for his later (apparent) political shift. For Morgenthau, the first pr inciple of realism was the recognition that politics was governed by objective laws which ha d their roots in human nature and that in order to improve society it wa s first necessary to understa nd these laws. One of these laws, constituting the second principle of real ism, was that statesmen think and act in terms of interest defined as power. Accordi ng to this perspective, Morgenthau believed it futile to be concerned with either the motive or political sympathies of the individual statesman. As proof of the former he dr ew upon the example of Neville Chamberlain who, despite having as his objective the morally virtuous goal of preserving peace, in fact instituted policies which made the Sec ond World War inevitable. By contrast, suggested Morgenthau, the motives of Winst on Churchill had been much less universal in scope and much more narrowly directed toward personal and national power, yet his resultant policies were far superior. Like wise denying the importance of political preference, Morgenthau argue d that statesmen must choose between what they might consider desirable, and what was possible under the concrete circumstances of time and place. The third principle of realism acknowledged that while the dominant force for any individual or nation state was the pursuit of its own interests, the nature of the power employed or sought would vary according to the political and cu ltural environment. Applying this analysis to the division of pow er or interests between states, Morgenthau made it clear, perhaps particularly so to those he perceived as having mis-understood his theories, that nothing in the realist position militates against the assumption that the present division of the political world into nati on states will be replaced by larger units of a quite different character, more in keeping with the technical potentialities and the moral requirements of the contemporary world. Where realism differed from other schools of thought, however, was the recognition that th is transformation would come about only as a result of manipulating the perennial forces that have sh aped the past rather than by 113 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 2rd edition ,1954, Chapter 1.
42 confronting a political reality that has its own laws with an abstract ideal that refuses to take those laws into account. With these words Morgenthau made his position with regards to the United Nations quite clear. He had acknowledged in the Preface that the first edition of Politics had offered a somewhat pessimistic view of the UNs potential but here he took the opportunity to clarify that though pessimi stic about the likelihood of change stemming from an ideal ist understanding of interna tional relations, realism did contain within it the possibility for transforma tion from a world of na tion states to one of supranational institutions so long as the shif t was accomplished on the ba sis of states real interests. Thus again, Morgenthaus reasoni ng illustrates the progr essive and liberatory potential within realism. Morgenthaus fourth principle focused on the question of morality, arguing that universal moral principles co uld not be applied as abstract formulations but only when filtered through the concrete circumstances of time and place. Thus, a nation state must act according to what would likely preserve its national interests not according to an abstract idea of morality. The fifth principle of realism articulated by Morgenthau proclaimed that while states will inevitably pur sue what they perceive to be their national interests, they should not th ink that in so doing, they al ways have God on their side. Morgenthau issued particular warning agai nst the crusading frenzy which blinding a nation to its true interests, could lead to the nations dest ruction. The distinction drawn by Morgenthau here between the reality that st ates will always pursue their own interests and the idea that states are always right is a fine one but one that is critical to an understanding of realist thought. Equally importa nt is the recognition that the very basis given by Morgenthau for avoiding a crusading fr enzy is less the moral consequences of believing itself to be right and far more the po litical consequences th at it would likely be to the detriment of the state. Thus realism, even as it acknowledges the limits of what states should do does so on the basis of what is best for the state. Again, it is from within this rationale hinted at i n1948 but articulated here more cl early in this Second Edition in1953 that Morgenthau will later criticize U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The final principle of realism asserted th at whilst acknowledging the existence of other spheres, a political real ist must always judge a course of action not by its effects upon those spheres but by its effects upon the po wer of the state. By way of illustration,
43 Morgenthau detailed three historical examples and in so doing highlighted the very heart of realist thought. Weighing up whether Britai n and France should have intervened when Russia invaded Finland, Morgenthau had no doubt that the answer to the legal question was in the affirmative: Russia had violated a treaty and ought, according to the legalist framework, be brought to book. According to a realist interpreta tion, however, France and Britain were better not to have intervened since to have done so would have put them at war with both Russia and German y a situation inimical to the interests of either state. Analyzing the question of the recognition of China and the decision by Britain to intervene following Germanys invasion of Belgium in 1914 in much the same light, Morgenthau used the events of history to em phasize what he perceived to be the core of realist thought: that wh atever other influences might be stake, realism dictated a focus upon the power and interests of th e state first and foremost. Seven years later, in 1960, Morgenthau again revisited the theory and practice of realism as he published the third edition of Politics Among Nations.114 While he claimed in his preface that assumptions tenets, and theoretical struct ure had been left intact, in fact, the book, as had its pr edecessor five years before, included a number of innovative applications. Morgenthau placed much gr eater emphasis upon the existence of an objective and universally valid truth about matters political which was accessible to human reason. Even as he argued for unive rsal truth, however, Morgenthau emphasized that its nature and form would change accordin g to the ever changing configurations of successive periods of history.115 In short, it would appear in different forms at different times. Thus to English people of the ninete enth century, a time when Great Britain was the workshop of the world, the notion of the balance of power as consisting of several states weighing themselves and their desires and actions against each other, each kept in check by the weight of the others, wa s both commonly and easily understood. By contrast, the United States cu rrently operated within a bi-polar international system. Critical to Morgenthaus insight was his argument that while the two systems of international relations appeared superficially quite different the earlier multi-polar, the later bi-polar, in fact the underlying principl es behind each were identical. Each system 114 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 3rd edition, 1960). 115 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 3rd edition, 1960, Preface.
44 was governed by a balance of power as partic ipating states, in pur suit of their national interest, kept the other(s) in check. Morgenthau used his Third Edition as a means of condemning those whom he perceived to have mis-understood or mis-appl ied his earlier work. He had first touched upon this issue five years earlier but now, in 1960 made his displeasure yet clearer. In particular, he railed agains t the allegation that he belie ved in the prominence of the international system based upon the nation stat e. Such a charge wa s especially unfair, claimed Morgenthau, when the obsolescence of the nation state and the need to merge it into supranational organizations of a functional nature was already one of the main points of the first edition of 1948. 116 Thus Morgenthau took the op portunity to remind readers that contrary to popular unde rstandings of his work whic h fixated upon his assessment of the key role of the nation state, he was, and had always been, concerned with the possibility that such states might one day concede power to a supranational body. Morgenthau also rejected the accusation that he had made success the standard of political action or that he was indifferen t to the moral problem, again directing readers to the substance of his earlier work as proof. 117 In addition to condemning those who had mis-understood his own work, Morgenthau took the opportunity of this third Preface to criticize policymakers who equated power with material strengt h, especially of a military nature.118According to Morgenthau, there was a great deal more to international diplomacy than building up ones arms supply. Morgenthau focused upon the growing militaries perhaps in part because of what he perceived to be an en tirely new feature of the post-45 age the obsolescence of all-out violence as an instrument of forei gn policy. In short, the likely mutual destruction that any nuclear war would create made any use of nuclear power, or all-out violence, unlikely. Thus, contrary to the basic theories of realism, states would not employ all the power available to them in pursu it of their interests b ecause to do so would be to jeopardize the greatest se lf-interest of all, survival. Again, it is against this context that Morgenthaus later condemnation of U. S., military involvement in Vietnam should be placed. 116 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 3rd edition, 1960, Preface. 117 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 3rd edition, 1960, Preface. 118 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 3rd edition, 1960, Preface.
45 A decade after the appearance of this Third Edition, the U.S. Government, frustrated by the continued survival of th e Viet Cong, and indeed North Vietnam, had turned to a policy of massive military engage ment, throwing thousands of tons of bombs at its opponents, confident (rather like the ge nerals of the Wester n Front in the First World War) that the breakthrough would su rely come if only they threw enough firepower at the enemy. According to Morg enthaus proscripti on, no such break-through would come. Indeed it could not do so since from the realist perspe ctive of Morgenthau, U.S. policymakers had become so fixated on the acquisition of material and military strength as a means to power that they were neglecting other, equally integral aspects of the system of international relations. That Mo rgenthaus critique was not merely a moral critique but one framed within a realist perspective is manifest in his warning that in neglecting the vital interests of other st ates, in this case North Vietnam, U.S. policymakers were risking the interests of th e United States. As Morgenthau himself put it if we look at all nations, our own in cluded, as political entities pursuing their respective interests defined in terms of power, we are able to do justice to all of them. We are able to judge other nations as we j udge our own and, having judged them in this fashion, we are then capable of pursuing pol icies that respect th e interests of other nations, while protecting and promoting thos e of our own. Moderation in policy cannot fail to reflect the moderation of moral judgment119 Morgenthau waited nine years before publishing the Fourth Edition of Politics Among Nations .120 As before, he refined his concep ts and theoretical propositions and added new material to address new situati ons. In 1967, the primary new situation was the changed configuration of the United Nations, particularly the new election and voting procedures for both the Security and Economic and Social Councils. As he had done in previous editions, Morgenth au also took the opportunity to engage his academic colleagues or perhaps more accurately to explain his refusal to engage. Referring to criticism leveled against him for failing to defend his theories against currently fashionable ideas within International Relatio ns theory such as systems analysis or simulation, Morgenthau argued that academic disputes about methodology were likely to 119 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 3rd edition 1960, 11. 120 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 4th edition 1967).
46 achieve little and indeed were most likel y to obscure political truths. Despite this seemingly disinterested stance, however, Morgenth au in fact did engage with the theories of his colleagues. Referring to the plethora of theories available, for example, he made clear that a theory must be judged no t by its epistemological pretenses and methodological innovations but by the contribution that it makes to our knowledge and understanding of phenomena which are worth knowing.121 Thus Morgenthau made clear that in his opinion the theori es with which he was supposed to engage were unworthy of his time since, no matter how sophisticated th ey appeared, they would likely make little contribution to knowledge. It was another nine years before Morg enthau published the Fifth Edition of his book, during which period, according to Morgenth au, international po litics had witnessed the most significant changes si nce the end of World War II.122 Morgenthau focused particularly in this edition upon the consequences of the Vietnam War, and the explicit recognition by the West of the territorial st atus quo in Europe, a recognition which, for Morgenthau, symbolized the effective end of the Cold War. The arena of International Politics had also changed subs tantially with the entry of China as a would-be third superpower and the coming of age of the de feated Axis powers, Japan and Germany, as independent, democratic nation states. Furthe r complicating global po litics, however, was the fact that the United Nations, the apparent success of which only twenty years before had caused Morgenthau to revise his initial pr oscriptions, had now declined as a force in international politics. In light of Morgenthaus public protes tations over the Vietnam War by 1973, it is hardly surprising that he took the opportuni ty provided by a fifth edition to analyze the consequences of the war for both U.S. power, and international poli tics more generally. Inserting an analysis of the wa r into his core principles of realism, Morgenthau suggested that U.S. conduct in Indo-China provided th e tools with which to construct a countertheory of irrational politics, a kind of pat hology of international politics. Morgenthau articulated an in-depth critique of the polic y makers whom he believed responsible for U.S. policy. They had replaced experience with superstition; refused to correct their 121 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 4th edition, 1967, Preface. 122 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 5th edition, 1973), Preface.
47 picture of the world in the light of subs equent experience; used intelligence not as a tool with which to adapt policy to reality but as a means of reinterpreting reality to accord with policy; allowed their egoism to wide n the gap between per ception and reality; and used action, any kind of action, as a means of closing the gap be tween perception and reality. Whilst the specifics of Morgenthaus denunciation were new to the Fifth Edition, the argument on which they were based was not; it rested on the same core six principles of realism as had his earlie r analyses of the Winter War, World War I, and the recognition of China. As he had done all al ong, however, Morgenthau applied his core thinking to new situations, and where necessa ry, expanded the range of analytical tools available to his readers. Thus, as a means of helping students of In ternational Relations make sense of the Vietnam War, Morgenthau no t only inserted an analysis of the war into his core principles but also expanded his an alysis of political prediction and included a systemic emphasis upon the factor of irrationa lity in the conduct of foreign policy. As he had made clear in previous editions so here did Morgenthau emphasize that while all of the changes to which he referred were significant, and while they all played some part in shaping a new tapestry of intern ational relations, still his theories, the same theories as first expounded twenty-five years before, were relevant tools of analysis.123 While on the one hand this assertion might be seen as a statement of self-confidence, almost arrogance, it also reflected Morgen thaus conviction that the substance of his arguments had not changed, even as the politic al circumstances to which they could be applied had. Thus again it becomes obvious that, from Morgenthau s perspective his criticism of the Vietnam War was a logical development within the original parameters of realism as first put forward two and a half decades before. Five years later in 1978 a Revised Fifth Edition of Politics Among Nations appeared, the last to be personally superv ised by the then 74 year old Morgenthau.124 As before, perhaps the most prominent statemen t by Morgenthau concerned the continuing relevancy of his work. Indeed, more than this, he celebrated the foresight shown in previous editions by suggesting that many recent developments in foreign policy had 123 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations 5th edition, 1973, Preface. 124 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Stru ggle for Power and Peace, New York Alfred A. Knopf, 5th edition revised 1978
48 been anticipated by the theoretical consider ations contained in previous editions 125 Thus according to Morgenthau, realism, or at least his realism, was not only still a relevant analytical tool but had proved capable of pr edicting or at least suggesting possibilities for the future w ithin international relations which could not have been known at the time. The consistency of the in tellectual foundations of the revised fifth edition of 1978 with the previ ous editions is quite remark able. As a result, although the effect of the application of hi s principals may have varied, Morgenthaus loyalty to these intellectual foundations remained unaltered. Thus he remained constant in his conviction that international politics, lik e all politics, is a struggle for power and that whenever policy makers strive to realize their goal by means of international politics, they do so by striving for power.126 The analysis Morgenthau offered the reader in 1978 of the elements of the power of a country geography, natural resources, industrial capacity, m ilitary preparedness, population, national character, na tional morale, the quality of diplomacy and the quality of government were the same as those he ha d offered the reader of the first edition in 1948.127 His outline of his theme was as constant as the morning star, from the robust and nuanced realism of Parts One through Eight, to his aspiration towards the possibility of a world state in part nine. His aspirations for a more hopeful future focused, as always, on the possibility, if not the probability of huma n moral transformation. He hoped, as he had always done, for the possibility of a global ci vil society as the basi s of a world state: What is needed [for permanent peace] is a radical transformation of the existing international society of sovereign nati ons into a supranational community of individuals.128 With this edition, as he had done in hi s career progression, Morgenthau had come full circle professionally. He had achieved fa me in 1948 with the publication of the first edition of what would prove to be his masterpiece. He had sustained his renown by publishing updates of this work over the course of the next thirty years. With each edition he had acknowledged the most critical changes in the international sphere while at the 125 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace Fifth Edition, Revised, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978), Preface. 126 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations, 5th edition, Revised, 1973), 29. 127 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations, 5th edition, Revised, 1973), 4-15. 128 Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations, 5th edition, Revised, 1973), 492.
49 same time making clear the continuing releva ncy, through its adaptability, of his core argument. Furthermore, his conf idence in the constancy of his work enabled him to offer critiques of contemporary U.S. foreign policy without losing faith in his own theories. In essence, Morgenthau, through hi s critiques and analysis, made clear that realism, as articulated by him over the course of th e post-war period, contained within it both conservative and progressive elements and t hus consisted of a theoretical consistency combined with a practical flexibility. Morgenthaus intellectual consistency was reflected throughout the successive editions of Politics Among Nations It was also evident in his other monographs, monographs to which we now turn.
50 Chapter Three Five Monographs: Morgenth aus Approach Applied If Politics Among Nations was Morgenthaus singular masterpiece, he also published a significant collecti on of other monographs, which taken together, might be seen to match Politics both in terms of substantive argument, and as a reflection of the constancy combined with flexibility which wa s the hallmark of Morgenthaus realism. In this chapter I have chosen to focus on five su ch texts, all of which, I suggest, reflect a particular aspect of Morgenthaus intell ectual development as applied to changing international circumstances. Morgenthaus first published monograph was Scientific Man vs. Power Politics published in 1946.129 In this text Morgenthau offered a critique of positivist methods in the context of a blunter analys is of the consequences of re lying on an idealist framework in international relations than would be presented even in Politics Among Nations Here he offered no hopes of how peace might one day be achieved through the formation of effective supranational institutions. Instead, he concentrated his fire upon the futility of attempting to apply the analysis of the laborat ory to the political collective. Morgenthau accused scientific man of trying to understa nd international societ y according to a set of rational rules by which everyone would abid e. For Morgenthau international society was not so easily ruled. Humanity was a grea t deal too complex to be the subject of scientific rational planning and analysis. Rath er what was required wa s the application of judgment and experience. Applying his theory to the internatio nal arena of the twentieth century, Morgenthau proposed that the problems of the inter-war era had arisen not because, as idealists would have it, there had been too li ttle reason applied, but because states as a natural course of order, recognize no lega l authority upon them. Certainly there might 129 Hans J. Morgenthau, Scientific Man vs. Power Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946).
51 exist moral strictures or an internationa l law in name, but, argued Morgenthau, an international law without the possibility of sanc tion was really no intern ational law at all. Thus, if one wanted to unders tand the events of the inter-war era, one would do better to examine the reality of states interests, ra ther than the looked-for hopes of reason and morality. Thus Wilsonian idealism had offere d not a realistic mean s of understanding international politics bu t rather a false hope. A realistic, or in Morgenthaus terms, a realist, analysis based on judgment and expe rience would have recognized that states were interested only in the pursuit of pow er, in which pursuit th ey would be governed only according to the perceived natio nal interests of the state. In 1951, Morgenthau applied his theory of realism to U.S. foreign policy. Thus In Defense of the National Interest: A Critical Examination of American Foreign Policy examined U.S. diplomacy past and present.130 According to Morgenthau, U.S. foreign policy could be broken down into four stages or eras. The first, represented by George Washington, perhaps most obviously in his Farewell Address, was an age of realism when policymakers clearly understood and acted upon what they perceived to be the real interests of the United States. The ninet eenth century, according to Morgenthau, witnessed an ideological era when the nationa l interests of the United States were coterminous with contemporary notions of morality. Though dangerous ground, this philosophy worked well enough because at h eart policymakers still pursued the real interests of the country. The real damage, according to Morgenthau, had happened in the last fifty years when policymakers had conduc ted foreign policy according to a utopian or idealistic conception of the world. Thus, here again, as he had done in Scientific Man and in Politics Among Nations and as he would do throughout his professional career, Morgenthau reserved his greatest disdain for idealism with, as a mechanism fo r understanding intern ational relations, its belief in the limits imposed upon the freedom of nation states behavior by international institutions and mores. This belief, argue d Morgenthau, was best represented by such theories and practices as Wilsonian diplomacy, Dunbarton legalism, Trumanian sentimentalism, and neo-isolation. Collectivel y these errors had caused U.S. policy to 130 Hans J. Morgenthau, In Defense of the National Interest: A Critical Examination of American Foreign Policy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1951).
52 stray from its proper course. The result, in th e post-war age, was th at what should have been a realist age had been perverted. Morgenthau now called upon policymakers to abandon these errors and revert to the realis m of Washington. Specifi cally, he urged that contemporary U.S. foreign policy should be gui ded by the objective of securing a balance of power in Europe and Asia, and by ma intaining a dominant position for the United States within its own hemisphere. Even more succinctly, he argued th at national interests should be yardstick against which all fore ign policy decisions should be measured. Just over a decade later, with three editions of Politics Among Nations under his belt, Morgenthau again applied the more general theories co ntained within his masterpiece to the particular ne eds of his adopted country. In Politics Morgenthau had urged both theorists and policymakers to theori ze and act according to the situation as it actually was, not according to how they thought it should be, or hoped it might one day become, and above all else, to focus on the na tional interest. Examining U.S. policy in 1962 in The Purpose of American Politics Morgenthau argued that while not all states had a national interest, the absence of which e xplained their relative lack of influence in the world, for the United States the national interest was an amal gam of equality and liberty. It was this creative tension that ex isted between equality and liberty the national purpose that gave a norma tive nature to the outcome sought by U.S. foreign policy. Having asserted the centrality of national interest, Morgenthau in American Politics was ready to follow the same rule even at the cost of apparently c ontradicting his earlier arguments.131 As elsewhere, however, a close readi ng of Morgenthaus argument reveals not an inconsistency with earli er thought but rather a flexib ility, an ability to adapt an existing theory to a new situation sufficiently well that the original theory, might at first glance appear to have been overruled. In fact, it is still ve ry much present. The new situation that actually was in 1962, according to Morgenthau, was the combined existence of nuclear weapons and the advanced rockets and guidance systems designed to carry the weapons from continent to continent. The result was that America could no longer secure its borders exclusiv ely through its own efforts. No matter how much material strength the U.S. amassed, it could not prevent an attack of such 131 Hans J. Morgenthau, The Purpose of American Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).
53 magnitude as would likely destroy the nati on. Thus where once Morgenthau had doubted the utility of supranational bodies, now he saw them as the only possible mechanism by which new weapons of mass destruction could be controlled. True to his earlier analysis, Morgenthau in 1962 did not suggest that a strong United Nations or some other such institution, was a guarantee that nuclear weapons would not be used, only that it was the best method of potential control available. As he phrased it, The United States must choose not between insecurity and security, but between utter insecurity and a measure of insecurity which, in view of the alternative, is tolerable.132 While it would be possible to read American Politics as a shift to the left for Morgenthau, and his call for a stronger supranational body as pr oof of his growing disenchantment with the politics of power be tween nations, it would be more appropriate to see in it a constancy of purpose, a call for nation states to act in a manner which would best serve their self-i nterests. Thus, believed Morgentha u, if every nation state signed up, it would make the supranational body all the stronger, and all th e more likely to be able to impose its will upon constituent members, and thereby assure both the collective and individual security of those same members. From this perspective, the conceding of national sovereignty, was not, as might superfic ially be assumed, agai nst the interests of nation states but rather very much integral to them. If in American Politics Morgenthau applied his realis t framework to an overview of U.S. foreign policy, in Vietnam and The United States he concentrated his analysis upon what was in 1965, the year of the books p ublication, possibly the hottest single issue in U.S. foreign policy.133 Although the book could be perceived as being what would be termed today an instant book, wr itten in response to a particular set of circumstances of the moment, its analyses and arguments reflected years of scholarly research and reflection. As we have seen, Morg enthaus analysis of U.S. involvement in Vietnam represented not an aberration of the realist conception of international relations produced in1948, but rather its practical app lication to a new set of circumstances. Consisting of previously published essays dr awn from Morgenthaus contribution to the mass media between 1956 and 1965, along with an original introductory essay written for 132 Morgenthau, American Politics, p.68 133 Hans J. Morgenthau, Vietnam and The United States (Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1965).
54 the occasion, Vietnam and The United States summarized and foregrounded Morgenthaus thoughts about U.S. policy and Vietnam. Essentially Morgenthau proposed that U. S. policy toward Vietnam was based on three myths: a binding commitment to the Sa igon government that engages our honor; aggression from the North against a people anxious to have us defend their national independence; and the identity of the interests and policie s of the Viet Cong, North Vietnam and China.134 According to Morgenthau, sin ce none of the propositions behind these ideas was true, the U.S. policy which had resulted from them was also false, i.e. a policy not in the true interests of the Unite d States. Instead, what had resulted was a policy which could result only in the indisc riminate killing of everybody in sight by genocide.135 Morgenthaus use in an academic monogr aph of language more likely to be heard on the streets, or on the campuses of student-dominated universities might, as before, suggest a shift to the left. Again, however, a contextualized reading of his argument makes clear that this is not the cas e. Morgenthau argued against genocide not on moral grounds but because the policy from which it would result was flawed, flawed in the sense of not serving the interests of the United States. From this perspective, as elsewhere, Morgenthaus realism may be seen to contain within it a liberatory potential since it recognized that the indiscriminate killing of ever ybody in sight was hardly good or useful politics. In the second edition of Politics Among Nations Morgenthau had introduced the element of quality of government as an aspect of international politics. We have already discussed his later use of this dimension in reference to the Johnson administration and its harassment of hi m through the arms of government. In Vietnam and The United States Morgenthau employed the same analytical tool to serve a blistering attack upon the individuals within government he perceived to be responsible for U.S. involvement in Vietnam. He accu sed these policymakers of being unable to distinguish between what was good for the country and what was good for their own reputations. His analysis is worth quoting in some detail since it manifests the anger Morgenthau clearly felt when he consider ed the Vietnam War. As he saw it, 134 Vietnam and The United States, p.13. 135 Vietnam and The United States, p.20.
55 disastrous policies consistently pursued serve the self-protection of those who have initiated or i nherited them. We are here in the presence of an issue not of foreign policy or military strategy but of psychopathology. The result is the personalization of the fear of the loss of prestige, so that in th e end it is not only the prestige of the nation that is at stake, but the prestige of the policymaker himself, his ability to retain his power, and his place in history. The commitment which the policymaker feels he cannot escape is not so much to the government of South Vietnam as to the public opinion of the United States.136 As with his use of the term genocide, Morgenthau with this critique placed himself squarely on the side of those who would later ask President Johnson how many kids had he killed today.137 Although the desired ends were the same, however, there was a difference between Morgenthau and most street activists. Morgenthau called for an end to the war not because it was the morally right thing to do, or because the United States should abandon its interests in the region and concede to the force of popular will or compassion. Rather, the United States s hould withdraw from Vietnam because the countrys involvement was a result not of real or actual U.S. interests but because of the interests of particular officeholders who were intent on pu tting their interests ahead of the interests of the countr y. The extent of Morgenthaus disdain for the Johnson administration is clear when one realizes that he condemned the policymakers not for having implemented bad policies in good faith but for continuing to implement bad policies for bad reasons. Thus, the fact that the vitriol contained within Morgenthaus assessment of particular members of the U. S. policy-making establishment matched that launched by left-wing activists who sought bot h the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and the downfall of the current U.S. admini stration does not mean that Morgenthau was himself a left wing activist. At times, one might walk like a duck, talk like a duck but still be very much a realist conservative, albeit a conservative whose framework contained within it the potential for liberation and progressivism. Reflecting on his experiences toward the end of his career, Morgenthau produced 136 Vietnam and The United States p. 18. 137 The taunt Hey hey LBJ, how many kids have you killed today? was extremely popular amongst antiwar activists during the 1960s, personalizing responsib ility for continuing U.S. presence on the president. For a history of anti-war activism see, Nancy Zaroulis and Gerald Sullivan, Who Spoke Up? : American Protest Against the War in Vietnam 1963-1975 (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1984).
56 his last work, A New Foreign Policy for the United States in 1969.138 The very title of the book might well be seen to refl ect a shift in Morgenthaus thinking. As one credited with formulating the basis on which so much of pos t-45 U.S. foreign policy had been built, if Morgenthau was now calling for a new foreign policy, then surely he must be rejecting the old, or more specifically his old. In fact he was, as ever, de veloping and applying his existing policy to the new circumstances of the late 1960s. Doing so would mean a change in the actual foreign policy as currently practiced by the United States, but it would not change the fundamental grounds on which such policies w ould be based. That basis was the same in 1969 as it had been in 1949 the pursuit and preservation of U.S. national security and power. Arguing that the United States must most urgently decide what was essential for its national well-being a nd reject what was peripheral a nd contingent, Morgenthau argued for a ruthless prioritization so as best to promote the national interests of the United States. In essence, rejecting both isolationi sm and globalism, Morgenthau called for new policies for a new world. Reiterating his convi ction that there was no such thing as a monolithic communist world, Morgenthau emphas ized that in interf ering in countries where it had no business to be, the United States was acting against its own best interests. Instead, Morgenthau laid out a new vision of foreign policy. Based as ever on the pursuit of U.S. national interests, this policy should, according to Morgenthau, avoid an arms race, conduct nuclear policy at the internat ional level, recognize China and form a new Atlantic alliance with Western Europe. In shor t, the United States should decide where its national interests lay and implement policies exclusively in those regions, neglecting areas of no particular concern to the U.S. As harsh as the proposal might have sounded, or indeed as soft as it mi ght have sounded given its gene ral advice to withdraw from Vietnam, the underlying message was the same as it had always been find, and secure, the interests of the state. Perhaps of most obvious dramatic significance, Morgenthau, in A New Foreign Policy called for an end to the policy of contai nment. Arguing that it had been valuable during the famous fifteen weeks of the sp ring of 1947 when the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan had together represented the implementation of the then innovative 138 Hans J. Morgenthau, A New Foreign Policy for the United States (New York: Preager, 1969).
57 policy of containment, Morgenthau now proc laimed it to be an outdated, and with particular regard to China, dangerous po licy. Attempting to contain China, claimed Morgenthau, would likely lead to a serious military engagement. Far better to engage diplomatically, recognizing the realities of the situation China wa s the dominant power in its hemisphere, was already becoming an economic and political competitor to the United States, and was in any case, practici ng a communism different in substance from, and certainly not allied with, that practiced in the Soviet Union. Thus by the time of his final new monograph, Morgenthau had, as he had done in other spheres, come full circ le. Having become famous on the basis of the doctrine of containment, certainly justifie d and popularized by him if first articulated by Kennan, he was now calling for its rejection. He did so, how ever, not because he believed realism to have outrun its course, but because he percei ved that realism had already been abandoned by U.S. policymakers and needed very much to be brought back. It was a position articulated in successive editions of Politics Among Nations in a representative sampling of his monographs and also through his c ontributions to edited collections and his published articles in academic journals. It is to these that we now turn.
58 Chapter Four From Germany to Nuclear Weapons: Realism in Practice Whilst Morgenthaus monographs represent important statements of his thought, he also contributed to academic debate, and helped shape the parameters of the discussion, through the writing of peer-revie wed articles, book chapters, and essays.139 In this chapter I have chosen to analyze three articles and one book chapter as a means of understanding Morgenthaus pol itics of realism. Taken together, and building on the suggestions already made through a reading of his seminal work and other monographs, I propose that here, as elsewhere, what is appare nt is the flexible fixity of Morgenthaus thought. In the summer of 1950, the Norman Wait Harris Memorial Foundation Annual Institute was held at the Univ ersity of Chicago. These annua l institutes which had been established in 1924 were the occasion of bringi ng various outside spea kers to Chicago in order to discuss a common them e of topical importance. With the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, it se emed timely that the 1950 Institute should discuss Germany and the future of Europe, and that the editor of that years volume should be Hans J. Morgenthau. In a ddition to editing the published collection, Morgenthau was also responsible for cont ributing a chapter of his own, Germany and the Future of Europe, dealing with the quest ion of how the political interests of Western Europe might be reconciled with the rebirth of an independent Germany.140 The significance of this question to post-war Europe cannot ea sily be overemphasized. If Europe of the 1870s had been bothered by the German question in the shape of how to 139 Christopher Frei., Hans J. Morgenthau. An Intellectual Biography (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001), 76. Frie records that Mo rgenthau published over 420 articles, essays and commentaries between 1950 and 1980. 140 Hans J. Morgenthau, Germany: The Political Problem, Germany and the Future of Europe ed. Hans J. Morgenthau, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), 76-89.
59 cope with a newly united Germany, then th e Europe of the 1950s was plagued by the German question in the shape of how to deal with a divided Germany, and in particular how to respond to a West Germany which thoug h territorially much reduced in size was still a major economic and political power to be reckoned with. With the decision by the United States to actively engage in a process of containment of the Soviet Union, West Germ any was the frontline state with the Soviet sphere of influence. By choosing to examine the issue of Germany, Morgenthau was in many ways looking at the central problem of the early Cold War. For Morgenthau there were three key problems to be dealt with wh en examining Germany. Firstly, to prevent a rebirth of the worldview that led firstly Prussia, then a united Wilhemite Germany, and then Hitlers Reich into war. Secondly, how whilst making sure that Germany would not again be a threat to its neighbors, it would yet be an economically powerful and politically stable state. And finally, how this economica lly powerful and politically stable German state would be able to protec t itself against Finla nd-style domination by the Soviet Union. At the same time as he sought to avoid German domination, however, Morgenthau believed that Germany had to be su fficiently strong so as to serve as a buffer against communism. Indeed, Morgenthau believ ed that a strong Germany was essential to the success of anti-communism efforts. In esse nce, Morgenthau sought to engage with the issue of how a rearmed Germany could be pr evented from dominating its neighbors to the detriment of the interests of the Western Allies while still being allowed to grow sufficiently strong as to protect them.141 Even as Morgenthau was offering solutions to Europes, and in light of the global nature of internati onal relations in 1950, the world s German question, he was also identifying what he perceived to be the origins of recent errors in U.S. foreign policy. According to The Mainspring of American Foreign Policy: The National Interest vs. 141 Europes German question has since been re-born yet again with the re-union of East and West Germany in October 1990. Now Europeans must grapple with the issue not only of how to respond to a united Germany (as had faced them in 1870) but how to do so in the context of the European Union. The problem might be summarized thus: give Germany too much power and freedom and it might, in enthusiasm, run away with (and thereby destroy) th e Union; on the other hand, give Germany too little power and freedom and it might, in frustration, run aw ay from (and thereby destroy) the Union. For an up to date analysis of the German question in the context of the European Union see, Desmond Dinan, Ever Closer Union? An Introduction to the European Community. (Houndmills, Basingstock, Hampshire: MacMillan Press, 1994).
60 Moral Abstraction, published in 1950 in The American Political Science Review the premier journal in the field, the error lay in the original claim of early colonists of the would-be United States that their society was fundamentally different from Europe. Specifically, according to Morgenthau, they claimed that their society was the antithesis of Europe rather than, thr ough its imperialistic nature, its culmination. It was only, claimed Morgenthau, because the indigenous inhabitants of the North American landmass were so inferior in terms of numb ers, organization and military capability that the apologists and politicians of the European settlers were able to make the argument that the political expansion of the original thirteen colonies into the interior was an act of civilization rather than conquest and as such essent ially differed from, and was morally superior to, the imperialist ventures wars of conquest, and colonial acquisitions with which the history of other nations was replete.142 As a result of this deception, claimed Morgenthau, the American public believed itself to be morally superior to Europe. With this belief, cloaking the expansion of the country in a civilizationist framework, they were denying the reality of the power politics by which the expansion had actually been achie ved. This denial of power politics and the accompanying perception that politics was in fact guided by moral impulses such as the civilizational impulse which had sponsored expansion into the in terior, had, claimed Morgenthau, led directly to the disaster of Wilsonian idealism. Morgenthau believed now that the only way forward was for U.S. policym akers to acknowledge the reality of what had actually made the United States such a st rong country and to deny the myth of what people believed had made them strong. To do so would be to correct the basis on which future foreign policies could be established, an essential prer equisite for future success since it stood to reason that a policy built upon false assumptions, as had been the case with idealism, could reap only false rewards, or at least rewards antithical to the real interests of the United States. Likewise antithical, according to Morgenthau was the granting of aid to other nations on grounds unrelated to U.S. national in terests. Preface to a Political Theory of Foreign Aid, published in The American Political Science Review in 1962, might in 142 Hans J. Morgenthau, The Mainspring of American Foreign Policy: The National Interest vs. Moral Abstraction, The American Political Science Review Volume 44, Issue 4 (Dec. 1950), 833-854.
61 some ways be considered Morgenthaus most controversial article si nce it appears to be absent any sense of compassion. It is certa inly one that weakens any perception of Morgenthau as a liberal. And yet, it is no different, no less realist, no less progressive than his other work.143 For Morgenthau compassion in foreign policy was misplaced. To implement foreign policy according to a compa ssionate view of the world would be to implement foreign policy according to how one wanted, or wished, the world to look. To act according to these guidelines would be to return to the idealism of the inter-war age, an idealism which, according to Morgenthau, had clearly not worked out, and which had been obviously discredited. As Morgenthau sa w it, cloaking foreign aid in idealism had clouded the minds of both policymakers and the public about what ai d should really be concerned with. It was not, argued Morgenthau about charity or help. Nor was it purely an economic transaction. It was an expre ssion of the relationship between economy and politics and was directly tied to the securing of the interests of the United States. These interests, according to Morg enthau, did not include appa rently random, or at least indiscriminate giving of aid to underdevelope d nations so that they might develop. Perhaps somewhat harshly, but expressive of a realist view point, Morgenthau suggested that some nations suffered fr om human deficiencies which preclude economic development or to put it bluntly: as there are bums and beggars so there are bum and beggar nations. To give such nations aid would be ludicrous since short of a miraculous transformation of their collective in telligence and character, what they receive from the outside is not likely to be used for economic development. Further lambasting the political structures within such nations, Morgenthau believed that in many aidrecipient nations, peace and order were maintained onl y through the ruthless use of the monopoly of violence by the ruling group. Thus while the giving of aid might well prompt democratic forces to start a revolu tion, it could not control the outcome and thus revolution would likely lead not to democr acy but to chaos and disorder. Hence for Morgenthau, any attempt by the United States to stimulate economic development or industrialization as a route to political democracy would, by di srupting the social fabric of the underdeveloped nation more likely l ead to a revolution, th e outcome of which 143 Hans J. Morgenthau, Preface to a Political Theory of Foreign Aid, The American Political Science Review June 1962, pp 31-39.
62 would be unlikely to benefit the United States Instead of this idealist path, the U.S. would do better to determine its aid recipien ts according to its friendships a harsh proscription perhaps but one that would be more palatable, at least within the domestic sphere of U.S. politics, if the idealism under which aid was currently cloaked was abandoned and the public taught to see aid for wh at it really a was, as another dimension of international relations. In Politics Among Nations Morgenthau had articulat ed the hope that the international political order could eventually create a mechanism for the enforcement of international peace. In 1963, The Political C onditions for an International Police Force, published in a special issue of International Organization he looked specifically at the likelihood that such a peace could be main tained by an intern ational police force. 144 Arguing that the political conditions for inte rnational peace would be in place when nation states were willing to su rrender real aspects of their sovereignty to a supranational body, Morgenthau declared that that time had clearly not yet come. Thus he had reached the conclusion that in a world of sovereign nations, the idea of a reliable and effective police force was a contradiction in terms. According to Morgenthau, an interna tional police force, by dint of being international could not be more reliable or efficient than the political interests and military capabilities of the nations supporting it allowed it to be. Furthermore, the loyalty of the individuals within the international police force would always lie first with their own nation state. Taking as his example the attitude of the poli ce during the forced integration of the University of Mississi ppi in 1962, Morgenthau argued that the political preferences of the police are likely to color the performa nce of its functions.145 Thus in order to be effectiv e, a supranational body would ha ve to create its own force rather than relying on the borrowed forces of nation states. In effect, Morgenthau was 144 Hans J. Morgenthau, The Political Cond itions for an International Police Force, International Organization Volume 17, Issue 2 International Force : A Symposium (Spring ,1963), 393-403. 145 Morgenthau, The Political Conditions for an International Police Force, p.394. What Morgenthau found to be true of Mississippi in1962 would also prove to be true of Northern Ireland in 1968, a year infamous for the obvious preference of the police force for the Protestant cause against the nationalist at the outbreak of what would come to be known as The Troubles. For a through evaluation of the role of the police in Northern Ireland see, Aogan Mulcahy, Policing Northern Ireland: Legitimacy, Reform and Social Conflict (Cullompton : Willan Publishing, 2004); and Chris Ryder, The RUC: A Force Under Fire (London: ~ Methuen Publishing, 1989).
63 following the advice offered many years earlie r by Lenin that the dictatorship of the proletariat could not merely take over the in struments of the Tsaris t state and use them for its own purposes since instruments designe d for one purpose cannot readily be used for another. Thus just as Leni n held that the proletariat had to create institutions of its own, so too did Morgenthau hold that a supr anational institution must create its own police force. Significantly, and suggestive of the progres sivism inherent within his realist framework, Morgenthau suggested that the cr eation of just such a force was a real possibility in a totally disa rmed world. According to Morgenthau, an environment of total disarmament would create or be created by, a supran ational authority rendering the international sphere to be no longer anarchic In other words, total disarmament and world government go hand in hand 146 With this article Morgenthau appeared to offer something to all sides. On the one hand, a di smissal of the likely effectiveness of any international police force a clear string for th e right; on the other, th e expression of hope that one day total disarmament and worl d government would gove rn international relations a clear string for the left. In r eality, Morgenthau was pulling politically for neither side. He was simply, as he had been doing since 1946, applyi ng the essentials of his realism that nation states sought, main tained and used power according to perceived national self-interest to the perplexing question of whether or not, or at wh at point in time or circumstances, an international police would or could become a viable reality. One of the most chilling aspects of the Cold War for many ordinary citizens must surely have been the knowledge that the de struction of their c ountry, and perhaps the world as they knew it, was always only a few minutes away. In this respect, Morgenthau was no different from his fellows. Analyz ing the influence of nuclear weapons upon international relations in The Four Pa radoxes of Nuclear St rategy, published in The American Political Science Review in 1964, Morgenthau proposed that the transition from pre-nuclear to nuclear age was as signifi cant as that from antiquity to medieval and medieval to modern.147 The existence of nuclear weapons was made yet more complicated by the four paradoxes of Morgenthau s title. First, the impossibility of the 146 Morgenthau, The Political Conditions for an International Police Force, p.403. 147 Morgenthau, The Four Paradoxes of Nuclear Strategy, The American Political Science Review Volume 58, Issue 1 (Mar., 1964) 23-35.
64 use of nuclear weapons because of the fear of their destructive capability, whilst still holding a commitment to use these same weapons Second, the desire for the creation of a viable nuclear strategy which was sufficiently complex so as to avoi d ever having to use nuclear weapons. Third, the c onflict between seeking to pr event a nuclear arms race whilst continuing to develop ever more power ful nuclear weapons. And finally, the desire by the United States to create an international alliance system to protect its interests, even as there existed rockets to carry hydrogen bombs from con tinent to continent which, for Morgenthau, made such an alliance structure obsolete. In essence, Morgenthau suggested all these paradoxes result from the contrast between traditional attitudes and the possibility of nuclear war, and from the fruitless attempts to reconcile the two.148 In short, Morgenthau was calling for policymakers to see the world as it actually was, as it had become, rather than either how they wish ed it to be, or even how it had been. The innovation of nuclear weapons necessitated a re-evaluation of inte rnational relations. Again, this re-evaluation represented not a sh ift away from realism but a recognition that as times changed so too must the policy stemmi ng from a realist appraisal of the world. The presence of nuclear weapons had not only changed the particulars of international relations, it had also changed the means by which states would or could do business with each other. Based on his experience and judgment, Morgenthau was clear that neither superpower wished to use nuc lear weapons. Berlin, Korea, Hungary and Cuba, for instance, were each examples of the superpowers willingness to compromise their original positions so as to avoid the threat of nuclear attack on their respective homelands. As significant as this withdrawal from the br ink was, however, Morgenthau drew the readers attention to the fact that on several occasions, each power had threatened to deploy nuclear weapons, each si de in effect hoping to bluff the other into believing that it was willing to risk its homeland in pursu it of its objective. Such a position, argued Morgenthau, led to a new dime nsion within interna tional relations and a new twist on the realist assumption that a na tion state will, in pursuit of its interests, employ military force, the effectiveness of which in defeating an enemy or defending ones own nation, lies in its ac tual application. In the ne w era of the nuclear age, suggested Morgenthau, this was no longer th e case. Rather the p rimary function of 148 Morgenthau, The Four Paradoxes of Nuclear Strategy, 23.
65 nuclear force lies in making its physical application superfluous by deterring the prospective opponent from using it.149 Thus as he pre-figured Johnson in his cal l for the hearts and minds of men, here Morgenthau may be said to have pre-figur ed Mikhail Gorbachev who, in his vision of perestroika and glasnost, declared nuclear w eapons to be irrational and ineffective tools of diplomacy since to use them would be to bring about the destruction of ones own state.150 Likewise, only five years after the fi rst post-war proteste rs against nuclear weapons marched to Aldermaston151 in the United Kingdom, and many years before the women of Greenham Common152 would call for the removal of cruise missiles, Hans J. Morgenthau, arch-realist, propone nt of a realpolitik likely to find favor with Bismarck, was calling for a new understanding of internatio nal relations in orde r to take account of, and preferably contro l, nuclear weapons. In light of this call, it is perhaps ha rdly surprising that some have mistaken Morgenthaus views, that some have consider ed him to have become more liberal with age. It is also possible for others to look only at the emphasis placed upon states interests and see only a conservative, concerned only with the preservation of his own nation state. In fact, as we have suggested throughout, Morgen thau is not so easily or neatly classified, or at least not if one insists on employing the limiting terminology of left and right. Morgenthau, as we have argued form the beginn ing, is in fact more easily understood as a progressive realist. As a realist, he advo cated tirelessly for the implementation of a foreign policy which would best reflect the interests of the na tion state. As a progressive, he advocated for causes against the percei ved current political interests of his government. For Morgenthau there was no inconsistency in his position. His realism, as 149 Morgenthau, The Four Paradoxes of Nuclear Strategy, 24. 150 Mikhail Gorbachev had first articulated his views on nuclear weapons within the larger framework of restructuring detailed in his book Perestroika (Borgo Press, 1991). He later declared I am convinced that nuclear weapons must be abolished. Their use in a military conflict is unthinkable; using them to achieve political objectives is immoral.), quoted in Arms Control Toda, ( July/August 2005). 151 The Atomic Weapons Establishment, the center for the design and construction of the United Kingdoms atomic and hydrogen bombs, was set up at the former wartime ai rfield at Aldermaston in Berkshire on 1 April 1950. Easter weekend of 1958 witnessed the famous peace march from Trafalgar Square, London to Aldermaston. The march is generally considered to constitute the start of the Campaign for Nuclear Dis-Armament Movement (CND). 152 Greenham Common was the UK base at which U.S. cruise missiles were held. Beginning in 1981, and lasting until 2000, peace protesters, predominantly women, held a vigil outside the base in protest at the missiles presence.
66 the very title of his master piece suggested, contained w ithin it the recognition that relations between states were based on power but also the recognition that nations would struggle for peace as well as power. In additi on to tracing that struggle in his own work, as we have seen here, Morgenthau also ch arted the struggle through the work of other people. It is to those re views that we now turn.
67 Chapter Five Realism Through Other Peoples Words: Morgenthaus Book Reviews In addition to using academic journals as a venue for his original work, Morgenthau, like many scholars, also used journals as a means of commenting upon the work of his peers. Through these book reviews Morgenthau was able to participate in the general debates of the day, br inging out the thesis of the book under review to be sure, but also ensuring that his own views were clea rly expressed whether in support or not of the particular book. As one might expect, a study of the reviews written by Morgenthau over the course of his career reveals his pre-occupation wi th the same themes when tackled by others, as when written about by hi mself. Thus, the books he chose to review dealt with issues such as idealism, the L eague of Nations, intern ational law, morality, nuclear weapons, and Vietnam. I have selected this particular gr oup of reviews because they cover a diverse range of topics and suggested solutions. Read individually, each could paint Morgenthau in a either a conser vative or liberal hue some appear quite callous with regard to the fate of individua ls, some appear quite concerned with those same people. In reality, whatever the partic ular topic, however, and whoever the author, Morgenthaus thought, as it was in his monograp hs and articles, was constant, reflecting Morgenthaus conviction that much in the field of international relations could be mended if only realism was cons tantly, if flexibly, applied. One of Morgenthaus earliest contributions was to The American Political Science Review the premier journal in the field, and cam e only a month after the outbreak of war in Europe. Morgenthau rejected the ar gument made by author Georg Cohen in NeoNeutrality that neo-neutrality was a positive force in world politics and thus different from, and stronger than, traditional neutralit y. According to Morgenthau there was no community of interests at the internati onal level sufficiently strong to overcome
68 conflicting interests. Thus, just as the ideals of the League of Nations were unattainable, so were Cohens aspirations for collective s ecurity based on an unreal izable international solidarity. Morgenthau concluded in the realm of politics, it is by definite political, and not by abstract humanitarian, cons iderations that states are moved.153 With this comment Morgenthau pre-figured Politics Among Nations as surely as if he had written his own article. A year later, and a year into the Europ ean war, Morgenthau again returned to the limits of what international law could possibly achieve. Making International Law Work argued that law and force were incompatible at the international level. In keeping with his later, more developed, arguments, Morgenthau claimed the contrary. Indeed he asserted, there is no such thing as law without for ce, nor has there ever been organized force without law. Morgenthau reject ed the notion that a suprana tional state would come into existence based solely on the aspirations of international law. Rather, he claimed, supranational states would come into existe nce when it suited nation states to concede sovereignty. In other words, supranational institutions, as all asp ects of international relations, would owe their existence to power politics not id ealistic hopes. Again prefiguring his later work, Mo rgenthau made clear what he believed to be the foundation of international relations: power politics is not an artificial attribute of our social life; it grows out of the very nature of man as a social being.154 Given the centrality of this perception to Morgenthaus intellectual worldview, it is perhaps hardly surprising that he c hose to review Georg Schwarzenbergers Power Politics In his review, he once again rejected th e notion that power politics and the rule of force were the antitheses of community spirit and the rule of law. From Morgenthaus perspective, quite the opposite was true: it was only through th e use of power politics that one could hope to achieve comm unity spirit, and only through th e threat or use of the rule of force that international la w could work. With these words, Morgenthau foreshadowed the dualism present within Politics Among Nations and the progressivism and liberatory potential within realism. Thus according to Morgenthaus realist understanding, it was 153 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Neo-Neutrality Georg Cohen, The American Political Science Review vol. 33, No. 5, (Oct, 1939), 893-894. 154 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Making International Law Work, George W. Keeton and Georg Schwarzenberger, The American Journal of International Law Vol. 34, No. 3, (July, 1940), 537.
69 possible to have international community and to live according to, and within limits set by, international law. In order to effect such a situation, however, one had to accept that states would only act according to their perception of thei r best interests. Praising Schwarzenbergers work because it would help educate non-specialists who were easily dazzled by the pseudo scientific pretensi ons of the prophets of permanent peace, Morgenthau also suggested that our prof essional peace planners would do well to ponder its lessons.155 Morgenthau returned to his vitriolic disd ain for liberal idealism in the last full year of the war, a time when both policy makers and members of the public were thinking about peace. In his review of Towards An Abiding Peace Morgenthau made clear his conviction that that liberalism was an ineffective means of trying to understand the world: the liberal who, contemptuous of power politics, endeavors to exorcise social evils by invoking reason, la w, and ethics, will at best remain ineffective in the political sphere and at worst fall victim to those evil forces which he may understand but which he is unable to meet on their own ground.156 Again Morgenthau foreshadowed his own later political development, making the point that for people who thought as he did, the antithesis is not betw een power politics on the one hand, and reason, law, and ethics, on the other, but betw een power politics for evil and power politics for desirable objectives.157 For Morgenthau the significance of power politics was not just that it governed relations between states, but th at it also governed relations within states. This much was clear from Morgenthaus review of Were the Minorities Treaties a Failure?, a study of the treaties governing the right s and obligations of Europ ean minorities mandated by the Treaty of Versailles.158 Morgenthau answered the questi on in the affirmative, suggesting that the treaties failed because they regard ed the issue of nationa l minorities as a legal rather than as a political question. Furt her complicating the chances of success by international treaty was the reality that the minority issue was a question of political 155 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Power Politics, The Am erican Journal of International Law, Vol. 36 No. 2 (Apr., 1942), 351-352. 156 Op. cit. p. 351. 157 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Towards An Abiding Peace R. M. MacIver, The Journal of Political Economy Vol. 52, No. 1 (Mar., 1944), 91-92. 158 Hans J. Morgenthau Review of Were the Minorities Treaties a Failure? Jacob Robinson et al, Journal of Modern History Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sept. 1944), 237.
70 import to the larger state within which the given minorities resided, and which was therefore unlikely to allow arbitr ation by an international body. A month before the Allies declared victor y in Europe, Morgenthau wrote a review of War and Its Causes Morgenthau rejected the authors argument that all wars were to be equally avoided and that war was always bad. Accordi ng to Morgenthau, a war of defense differed from a war of aggression, a nd there was a significant difference between just and unjust wars.159 Significant to Morgenthaus later vi ews is that what could here be seen as militarism, rejecting those who opposed war, in fact provided the same intellectual framework which would later allo w Morgenthau to call for an end to the Vietnam War. Thus, here again we see that what later appeared to be radical, new views, had in fact already been arti culated, albeit in a different context, the year World War II ended. As the United States (and other natio ns) prepared for the post-war world, Morgenthau took it upon himself in book review s, as he would later do in monographs and articles, to articulate what he believed should serve as th e parameters of international relations in the post-war era. Reviewing Foxs The Super Powers and using language that would later form the sub-title of his masterpiece, he chided U.S. policymakers for refusing to face the political facts of life, th e very essence of which was the struggle for power, that is, the desire of i ndividuals or nations to keep th e power they have or to add to the power they have, or to show the power they have.160 Clearly Morgenthau praised Fox because his views coincided with Mo rgenthaus own. The same was true a few months later when he reviewed Manley Hudsons book International Tribunals Morgenthau applauded Hudsons recognition of the natural limitations of the judicial function and his warning against regardi ng it as a universal me thod for the peaceful solution of international disputes.161 Morgenthau would hardly put it more eloquently himself over the course of his career. Morgenthau used the occasion of his review of The Device of Government: An 159 Hans J. Morgenthau Review of War and Its Causes L. L. Bernard, American Political Science Review, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Apr. 1945), 365-366. 160 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of The Super Powers William T.B. Fox, Ethics Volume 55, Issue 3 (Apr., 1945), 227-228. 161 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of International Tribunals Manley O. Hudson, The American Political Science Review Vol.39, No.4 (Aug., 1945), 802-804.
71 Essay on Civil Polity to establish his view that the proper role of the intellectual was an activist, engaged with the problems of the age.162 More poetically, a scholarship devoid of contemporary relevance, was for Morgenth au nothing less than medieval scholasticism in modern garb. Again, it is against this c ontext that one must pl ace Morgenthaus later anti-war activism. It was not that the Viet nam War sparked a new idea for Morgenthau, it was not that he suddenly felt a compulsion to speak out. Rather, wh at was new about the 1960s was that so many others felt such a sudden compulsion. Morgenthau had been articulating his realism since before the Second World War. For many of those who would become activists in the 1960s, it was the Vietnam War which prompted them to speak out. Significantly, not all who spoke out did so inspired by a realist assessment of international relations but since what they said appeared to coincide with what Morgenthau said, it appeared to the superficial observer, as though Morgenthau must be inspired by the same ideals as they. In fact, if the point needs to be made again, he was not. He was inspired by the same framework as twenty years before: a realist analysis of U.S. national interests. As the United Nations geared up for its work, Morgenthau used his review of Pioneers in World Order: An American Appraisal of the League of Nations to elucidate his analysis behind the failure of the League.163 Its officials, argued Morgenthau, had erred in perceiving the problems of the day to be capable of solution through technical or legal means when in fact they had been poli tical problems that needed to be solved by political means. For Morgenthau, the gap between the ideals upon which the League was based and the concrete environment in whic h it was forced to work could not be obliterated by the attempt to superim pose a set of abstract principles upon a recalcitrant reality. In 1946, as he would shortly make clear in the first edition of Politics Among Nations Morgenthau was similarly distrustful of the nascent United Nations. He was equally pessimistic about the potential for change through voluntary means within the press. Reviewing A Free and Responsible Press composed by The 162 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of The Device of Government: An Essay on Civil Polity John Laird, The Journal of Political Economy vol. 54, No. 6 (Dec., 1946), 566. 163 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Pioneers in World Order: An American Appraisal of the League of Nations, ed. Harriet Eager Davis, Journal of Political Economy vol. 54, No. 6 (Dec. 1946), 568-569.
72 Commission on Freedom of the Press, Morgenthau asserted that the main threat to the freedom of the press cam e from monopoly practices.164 Morgenthau perceived a similarity with international re lations, suggesting that just as it was useless to hope that international law could work without teet h, so it would be useless to hope that monopolistic wielders of power would give up that power of thei r own volition. Thus the government should step in and create i nstitutional devices which will make it impossible [for] the abuse of power. In th is as elsewhere, we see the liberatory potential within realism, whereby the power of the state could be used to control circumstances for the good of all if one accep ts that it would be for the good of all to avoid the concentrati on of media power. Proof of the potentially beneficent eff ects of realism was also evident in Morgenthaus review of Herbert Feiss The Spanish Story .165 During World War II Spain was dependent on Britain and the United States for oil, just as Germany was dependent on Spain for key mineral resources. Morgenth au contrasted the di fferent policies of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill a nd U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull. Churchill used Spains dependency upon British oil as a mechanism by which to achieve Britains larger objective ensuring that Span ish North Africa and Gibraltar remained out of German hands. By contrast, Hull saw Spai ns giving of economic supplies to Hitler as a bar to normal relations. Praising Churchill for his realism, and condemning Hull for his idealism and moral indignation, Morgenthau ar gued that it was the realist approach of Churchill rather than the ideal ist perspective of Hull, which had secured the Allies larger interests. As we have seen, Morgenthau credited realism with the ability to win wars, form the basis of supranational bodi es, and in his review of La Constitution Federale de la Suisse, 1848-1948 a centenary commemorative volume of the Swiss confederation of 1848, with the potential to form the basis of nationhood.166 Morgenthau explored the image by which popular understanding of Sw itzerland was constructed: the Swiss 164 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of A Free and Responsible Press composed by The Commission on Freedom of the Press, American Journal of Sociology vol. 53, No. 3 (Nov., 1947), 225. 165 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of The Spanish Story Herbert Feiss, The American Political Science Review Vol. 42, Issue 4 (Aug., 1948), 791-792. 166 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of La Constitution Federale de la Suisse, 1848-1948 The American Political Science Review Vol. 42, No. 6 (Dec., 1948), 1222-1224.
73 constitution of 1848 and the peaceful co-opera tion of four different nationalities under it has become one of the popular arguments in favor of interna tional federation on a European, if not a world, scale. The public is treated to the mythological spectacle of a Swiss democracy where for more than six cen turies segments of the main European nations have lived together in peace and fr eedom. Against this image, Morgenthau posited the blunt assertion that Switzerland as a Federal stat e was the result, not of a centuries old harmony among reasonable and peaceful people, but of a struggle for power culminating in a civil war through whic h one faction of the nation was able to impress its will upon the other. Returning to one of the central themes of his lifes work, Morgenthau undertook a review of Harold Laskis Liberty and the Modern State .167 Laski had argued that the Four Freedoms of President Roosevelt were a prere quisite to the achievement of liberalism. Morgenthau disagreed, contending that the Four Freedoms were insufficient planning tools for the post-war world, since they lacked intellectual rigor, were imprecise and were as a result, unachievable. This denunciation of what might still be termed New Deal politics would appear to place Morgenthau firmly in the conservative camp and would certainly appear to place him at odds with hi s later self and his calls to end poverty. In fact, as elsewhere, the distinction is more apparent than real. Morgenthau disliked the Four Freedoms because they were an imprecise basis for future policy. They did not take account of the situation as it actually was, but rather hoped for how it might become without providing the tools necessary to ge t there. Thus it was not the objective of abolishing hunger that Morgenthau rejected but rather the likelihood that the Four Freedoms would serve as a means of achieving it. As early as the late 1950s, Morgenthau was already questioning the value of nuclear weapons, suggesting that their presence necessitated a re-orientation of traditional diplomacy based on military strength. Specifically, Morgenthau praised Henry Kissingers Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy for its recognition that peace and war, political and military policy were different phases of one organic whole: the defense and promotion of the national interests vis--vi s other nations. Yet he doubted Kissingers 167 Hans J. Morgenthau, The Corruptio n of Liberal thought, Review of Liberty and the Modern State, (1949), reprinted in Dilemmas of Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958).
74 confidence that policymakers co uld control nuclear weapons as an ordinary part of diplomacy and suggested instead that polic ymakers should restore conventional weapons to prominence. Morgenthau returned to the Viet nam War in 1966 in his review of Vietnam: A Diplomatic Tragedy: The Origins of The United States Involvement Enlarging upon the position he had taken a year earlier in his own monograph, Morgenthau made clear that the U.S. was involved in Vietnam not because of bad policies carried out in good faith, but because of a series of untruth s, half-truths, and rationalizations.168 As a result of this veil of secrecy, future historians, accord ing to Morgenthau, would have a hard time disentangling the tale of U.S. engagement. Morgenthau praised the book in particular because he believed that it demonstrated th at the war was rooted in the philosophy and diplomacy of Dulles. Personalizing his critic isms yet further, Morgenthau highlighted the fact that when first advanced, Dulles policy had been opposed by the then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. A decade or so later, how ever, Johnson was apparently compelled to draw the ultimate logical conclusions from that very same policy. Thus again we see Morgenthaus activism ag ainst the Vietnam War, and his denunciation of those individuals he believed to have instituted the wrong po licy, in the context of his perception of what constituted the real interests of the United States. In a similar vein, Morgenthau, as he w ould do more fully elsewhere, articulated his views upon the issue of fo reign aid in his review of The Cultural Approach: Another Way in International Relations .169 Emphasizing what he perceive d to the errors in current thinking about aid, Morgenthau so mewhat bluntly asserted that the concept of a foreign office sitting in a political vacuum and spreading goodwill and understanding throughout the world for the love of it has no relation to the actualities of international politics. Rather, he argued, cultural instruments such as foreign aid should be used by states only in pursuit of their national interests. Published in The New York Times in the 1960s, Morgenthaus arguments about th e potential uses of foreign ai d would certainly appear to label him as a conservative. By contrast, hi s stance on China would suggest the opposite. 168 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Vietnam: A Diplomatic Tragedy: The Origins of The United States Involvement Victor Bator, American Historical Review vol. 71, No. 3, April 1966, 1101. 169Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of The Cultural Approach: Another Way in International Relations, Ruth McMurry and Muna Lee, Amer ican Journal of Sociology Vol. 53, No. 5, (Mar., 1948), p.397-398.
75 Reviewing China: The Peoples Middle Kingdom and the U.S.A Morgenthau argued that the current China policy of the United States was in error.170 Specifically, Morgenthau called for the removal of the seventh fl eet, the presence of which was surely a provocation to China, as a means of avoiding a regional conflict, and for a re-orientation of policy toward China in general. Morgenthaus book reviews touched on a wide variety of subjects, but at the root of all was his twin belief that as a framew ork for international re lations, idealism should be replaced by realism. This fundamental po sition, which remained constant throughout his career, led him to reject international c oncern for minorities within foreign nations, indiscriminate aid to foreign countries based on notions of charity, a nd collective security arrangements based on presumed faith and goodwill. Each of these positions would generally fall within what could be termed the politics of conservatism. The same realist framework, however, led Morgenthau to call for withdrawal from Vietnam, recognition of China, establishment of collective securi ty based on the will of nation states, and the abandonment of nuclear weapons if not absolutely at least to interna tional control willed by, and recognized by, nation states. Each of th ese positions would ge nerally fall within what might be termed the politics of liberal ism. This duality of political perspectives suggests a level of confusion w ithin Morgenthaus thinking. In fact, there is no confusion, only two sides of a single coin. Such was the beauty of Morgenthaus realism. It, being constant and containing within it both conservative and pr ogressive elements, could be applied to a variety of different situations, which might, becaus e of their different natures, result in a variety of implica tions, a variety sufficient as to suggest conflicting positions within Morgenthaus thinking. In fact, while the suggested policy choices might differ, the fundamental analytical basis remained the same. Thus Morgenthau, recognizing his own consistency, and believing firmly in the obli gations of the intellectual to engage with the problems of the day, believed himself to be compelled to honor the implications of his beliefs, whatever the public and political consequences of so doing. Thus in both his calls for withdrawal from Vietnam, and his rejectio n of foreign aid as a charitable endeavor, 170 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of China: The Peoples Middle Kingdom and the U.S.A ., John K. Fairbank, China Quarterly No.32 (Oct.-Dec., 1967), 174-175.
76 Morgenthau was acting according to the same political impulse: advocacy of the policy which would best serve the inte rests of the United States.
77 Conclusion Toward A New Paradigm? Hans Morgenthau came to the United States in 1937 as a refugee from European fascism. He did so carrying the burden of hi s experience both as a man excluded from his native country because of the significance attach ed by one particular political party to his ascribed ethnicity, and as a European who had watched that same political party build up sufficient military strength so as to pose a threat to the rest of the continent. This experience of rejection e ngendered within Morgenthau an abhorrence both for totalitarianism and the weak methods of unde rstanding relations between states on which he perceived the internationa l system to have relied. In addition to these burdens of reje ction and disillusionment, however, Morgenthau also arrived bearing the advant ages of one who had attended university and acquired a comprehensive understanding of po litical relations. Putting the burdens and the advantages together, it shoul d come as no surprise that upon his entry into the U.S. intellectual academy, he should have advocat ed an understanding of international relations which contained within it both th e potential to be aggr essively robust where needs be in order to prevent, for example, the take over of Europe by totalitarianism, whether German fascism or S oviet communism but also th e potential to be liberatory and inclusive where needs be resolve issues pertaining to domestic ills, withdraw from fights of fancy in order to preserve the st ate and promote the greater good of the society empowered by the state. It shoul d also come as no surprise that as a member of that intellectual academy, Morgenthau perceived hims elf to have a responsibility as a scholar, teacher and public intellectual to convince others of the right eousness of his beliefs, and thereby work toward the advancement of bot h the state and society in which he now lived. Specifically, Morgenthau published monogra phs, articles, book reviews; delivered
78 speeches, taught consistently, both at his home university and at various guest institutions, and was a regular participant in popular analyses of current events. In so doing, particularly at th e start of his career, he helped produce much of the intellectual underpinnings of the strategic posture of the United States during the early Cold War. Politics Among Nations and the teaching that helped pr oduce it, and later resulted from it, helped shape the worldview of a gene ration of scholars and policymakers. They believed Morgenthau when Morgenthau told them that relations between states were determined above all else by the pursuit of each state for power and security. They believed Morgenthau when he asserted that supranational bodies in an age of nation states were unlikely to be able to do very much. They believed Morgenthau when he proposed that states, being states, will defend th eir interests up to and including the use of military force. Morgenthau propounded, his students and others influenced by his words implemented. Over the course of Morgenthaus car eer, he continued to propound, and others continued to implement. As the years passe d, however, a discrepancy grew up between what Morgenthau was propounding and what othe rs were implementing. Superficially, or so it appeared to many at the time, it appear ed as though the discrepa ncy was the fault of Morgenthau. As one who had apparently shif ted from arguing the need to contain the communism of the Soviet Union to advoca ting the need to accep t the communism of North Vietnam, he had apparently shifted his political position. Indeed, it would be logical to assume that having made such a journey in his polit ical outlook, from conservative to radical, Morgenthau would have made a similar journey in terms of his theoretical perspective. Morgen thau seemed to suggest as much when he chose to serve as a political advisor to Euge ne McCarthy, the most liberal of the candidates in the 1968 Democratic primary race, and again when he chose to serve as a board member for the Institute for Policy Research, the left-wing t hink-tank and bete noir of the American right.171 Morgenthaus perception of himself as the philosopher speaking truth to power that he must honor his convictions with acti ons and words made him an uncomfortable bedfellow for some of his original political associates. As a result, seeing his apparent 171 Peter Kovler, The Left-Leaning Think Tank, Change (The Magazine of Learning), Vol. 10, No. 5, May 1978.
79 shift and listening to his r eal criticisms, some policym akers condemned him for his treachery and his weakness. As this thesis has demonstrated, however Morgenthau, despite all appearances to the contrary, made no such shift. Certainly what he said in 1968 involved implementing policies different to those inspired by what he said in 1948, but the difference was in the policy not the theory. Thus Morgenthau in 1948 called for a robust containment of the Soviet Union ere it become too aggressive and seek to expand acr oss the continent or even world. Morgenthau perceived that such an expansion would be against the interests of the United States. And, just as importantly, he perceived that the United States, could by making its position clear from early on, succeed in its objec tive and contain the communism of the Soviet Uni on within the Soviet Union. In 1968 Morgenthau called for the wit hdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam because he did not believe that it was in the in terests of the United St ates to continue to involve itself in the region. Furthermore, and ju st as importantly, he did not perceive that the United States could succeed in its objectiv e of preventing the spread of communism from one part of what Morgenthau considered to be a single country (even if current U.S. policymakers failed to recognize this) to the other. In bot h cases, however, Morgenthau was proposing that U.S. policy makers should base their course of action upon the real interests of the United States. In short, he was arguing for a realist interpretation of international relations. It is perhaps not surprising that so many of Morgenthaus contemporaries failed to recognize the consistency cont ained within his argument s and so accused him of changing his political tune. Perceived to be the doctrine which provided the basis for the containment of communism, realism was pe rhaps inevitably perceived to be a conservative doctrine. And so it was in its opp osition to the unchecked spread of Soviet communism. What was not so obvious in the ear ly years of Morgenth aus career was the variety of potential policies wh ich could all be justified on the basis of realism. They were not so obvious because the progressive el ement contained within the very theory of realism, was not so obvious. As we have s een through an analysis of Morgenthaus published works, it was there right from the be ginning but again perhaps understandably, in the 1940s a nd 1950s, at the height of the Cold War hysteria, others
80 saw, and responded to, what they expected to see. As a result, they did not see the theory fo r all that it was. Morgenthau did see it. Realism, for Morgenthau, never ceased to be about anything but the security interests of the nation state, but those inte rests, according to Morgenthau encompassed far more than a simple amassing of military strength designe d to secure position vis--vis other states. They involved the resolution of domestic divi sions in order to promote unity and wellbeing, and they included a recognition of what the state could and could not achieve vis-vis other states the recognition that a c rusading frenzy for the wrong ends could not but be detrimental to the state. Thus realis m was, for Morgenthau, both conservative and progressive. In taking this different starting point, this thesis offers a challenge to contemporary realists. The security problem of states, in the form of neoclassical realism is still one of the most important aspects of contemporary Internati onal Relations theory today. Even as other approaches such as demo cratic peace theory or constructivism gain strength, so realism remains a consistent element within IR theory. As it does so, however, it is perceived to be an innately co nservative framework and thus one with little to offer the more progressive approach es. This thesis s uggests otherwise. An analysis of Morgenthaus life and work has demonstrated the progressive potential within his realist framework. This thesis suggests that that progressive element provides a starting point for the establis hment of common ground between classical realism or even neo-realism and more obviously left-wing frameworks such as democratic peace theory. Morgenthaus unders tanding of his realism in the concrete political reality of the 1960s and 1970s demons trates that classical realism may be as usefully applied to a liberal or progressive vision as to th e more traditional conservative vision. Thus with this thesis, we seek to commence a process of the reclamation of the left-wing potential of realism. Within the context of real-world United Sates politics Morgenthau went as left as he could: as a critic of the Vietnam War and the Johnson administration, as a member and writer for Americans for Democratic Action, as a supporter of the Institute for Policy Studies, and as an advisor to Eugene McCa rthy. In each of these endeavors Morgenthau employed his realism to support liberatory and progressive ends. In using his world view
81 to critique the development of the trajectories of dominati on, control and imperialism of the post-war United States Morgenthau offere d a remarkable demonstration of the power and flexibility of realism It is the contention of this thesis that any contemporary realist might do the same. Thus it is the challenge of this thesis to i nvite contemporary realist thinkers to explore, recover and reclaim the libera tory and progressive potential of classical realism. The concerns raised by Morgenthau about the global environment, racism, poverty, militarism, inequality and the rising power of large trans-national corporations are all issues with which many contemporary re alists are concerne d today. Morgenthau predicated and analyzed these issues in te rms of the classical realism he had done so much to revive, reinvigorate, articulate and popularize in his time at the University of Chicago. It is for contemporary r ealists to now do the same. Illustrating what has previously been accomplished within the framework of classical realism creates the potential for tw o new research programs. First, reclaiming the liberatory potential of realism provide s for the creation of a new understanding of contemporary realism which can transcend both the internal debates between classic and neoclassical realism and those between classi cal realism, neo-realism and new classical realism. Second, foregrounding the liberatory pos sibilities of classi cal realism offers a fruitful approach for the recreation of common ground betw een realism and other more politically progressive paradigms in cont emporary international relations theory. Accepting the liberatory possibilities within realism, and the subsequent potential for engagement with other approaches in the field, such as peace research or constructivism suggests a possible path for th e reintegration of th e whole discipline of international relations. For while considered separately each theory within International Relations might suggest a partic ular number of policy solution s, it is possible that when considered together, the collective result mi ght be the production of a great many more, and more original policy solutions for any num ber of contemporary problems. It is thus the somewhat immodest hope of this thesis that in exploring the constancy combined with flexibility that lay at the root of Ha ns J. Morgenthaus realist understanding, it has gone some way toward the laying of the gr ound work for an innovati ve liberatory-based general theory of international politics for the twenty-first century.
82 References Primary Monographs Hans J. Morgenthau, Scientific Man vs. Power Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946). Hans J. Morgenthau, In Defense of the National Intere st: A Critical Examination of American Foreign Policy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1951). Hans J. Morgenthau, The Purpose of American Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). Hans J. Morgenthau, Vietnam and The United States (Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1965). Hans J. Morgenthau, A New Foreign Policy for the United States (New York: Preager, 1969). Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948), Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2nd edition, 1954 Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 3rd edition, 1960). Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 4th edition 1967). Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 5th edition, 1973) Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York Alfred A. Knopf, 5th edition revised 1978)
83 Collected Essays Hans J. Morgenthau, Dilemmas of Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958). Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics in the Twentieth Centur y: The Decline of Democratic Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics in the Twentieth Cent ury: The Impasses of American Foreign Policy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics in the Twentieth Centur y: The Restoration of American Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). Hans J. Morgenthau, The Crossroad Papers: A Look Into The American Future (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1965). Hans J. Morgenthau, Truth and Power: Essays of A Decade (New York: Praeger, 1970). Articles and Chapters Hans J. Morgenthau, Germany: The Political Problem, Germany and the Future of Europe ed. Hans J. Morgenthau, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), 76-89. Hans. J. Morgenthau, Foreword, The Radical Liberal: New Man in American Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970), Arnold S. Kaufman, i-v. Hans J. Morgenthau, An Inte llectual Autobiography: 1904-1932, Society Vol. 15, No. 2, (Jan/Feb, 1978), 63-69. Hans J. Morgenthau, The Mainspring of Amer ican Foreign Policy: The National Interest vs. Moral Abstraction, The American Political Science Review Volume 44, Issue 4 (Dec. 1950), 833-854. Hans J. Morgenthau, Preface to a Political Theory of Foreign Aid, The American Political Science Review June 1962, pp 31-39. Hans J. Morgenthau, The Political Conditi ons for an International Police Force, International Organization Volume 17, Issue 2 International Force: A Symposium (Spri ng ,1963), 393-403. Hans J. Morgenthau, The Four Paradoxes of Nuclear Strategy, The American Political Science Review Volume 58, Issue 1 (Mar., 1964) 23-35.
84 Hans J. Morgenthau, The Pathology of American Power, International Security Vol. 1, No. 3 (Winter, 1977), 3-20. Book Reviews Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Neo-Neutrality Georg Cohen, The American Political Science Review vol. 33, No. 5, (Oct, 1939), pp 893-894. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Making International Law Work George W. Keeton and Georg Schwarzenberger, The American Journal of International Law Vol. 34, No. 3 (July, 1940), 537. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Power Politics, Georg Schwarzenberger, The American Journal of International Law vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr, 1942), 351-352. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Towards An Abiding Peace R. M. MacIver, The Journal of Political Economy Vol. 52, No. 1 (Mar., 1944), 91-92. Hans J. Morgenthau Review of Were the Minorities Treaties a Failure? Jacob Robinson et al, Journal of Modern History Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sept. 1944), 237. Hans J. Morgenthau Review of War and Its Causes L. L. Bernard, The American Political Science Review Vol. 39, No. 2 (Apr. 1945), 365-366. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of The Super-Powers William T.B. Fox, Ethics (Apr. 1945), 227-228. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of International Tribunals Manley O. Hudson, The American Political Science Review Vol.39, No.4 (Aug., 1945), 802-804. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of The Device of Government: An Essay on Civil Polity John Laird, The Journal of Political Economy vol. 54, No. 6 (Dec., 1946), 566. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of La Constitution Federale de la Suisse, 1848-1948 The American Political Science Review Vol. 42, No. 6 (Dec., 1948), 1222-1224. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Vietnam: A Diplomatic Tragedy: The Origins of The United States Involvement Victor Bator, American Historical Review vol. 71, No. 3, April 1966, 1101. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of The Cultural Approach: Anothe r Way in International Relations Ruth McMurry and Muna Lee, American Journal of Sociology Vol. 53, No. 5, (Mar., 1948), p.397-398
85 Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of China: The Peoples Middle Kingdom and the U.S.A ., John K. Fairbank, China Quarterly No.32 (Oct.-Dec., 1967), 174-175. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of Pioneers in World Order: An American Appraisal of the League of Nations ed. Harriet Eager Davis, Journal of Political Economy vol. 54, No. 6 (Dec. 1946), 568-569. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of A Free and Responsible Press composed by The Commission on Freedom of the Press, American Journal of Sociology vol. 53, No. 3 (Nov., 1947), 225. Hans J. Morgenthau, Review of The Spanish Story Herbert Feiss, The American Political Science Review Vol. 42, Issue 4 (Aug., 1948), 791-792. Secondary Monographs David Blackbourn, A History of Germany 1780-1918: The Long Nineteenth Century 2nd edition, (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003). Desmond Dinan, Ever Closer Union? An Intr oduction to the European Community (Houndmills, Basingstock, Hampshire: MacMillan Press, 1994). Christopher Frei, Hans J. Morgenthau. An Intellectual Biography (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001). Michael Foot, Peter Howard, and Frank Owen, The Guilty Men, (London: Victor Gollancz,, Left Book Club, 1940). Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika (Borgo Press, 1991). John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001). Robert W. Merry, Taking on the World: Joseph and Stew art Alsop: Guardians of the American Century (New York: Viking, 1996). Aogan Mulcahy, Policing Northern Ireland: Legitim acy, Reform and Social Conflict (Cullompton: Willan Publishing, 2004). Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis Richelieu, The Political Testament of Cardinal Richelieu trans. Henry Bertram Hill, (Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, 1964).
86 Joel H. Rosenthal, Righteous Realists : Political Re alism, Responsible Power, and American Culture in the Nuclear Age (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991). Greg Russell, Hans J. Morgenthau and the Ethics of American Statecraft (Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State Press, 1990). Chris Ryder, The RUC: A Force Under Fire (London: Methuen Publishing, 1989). A.J.P. Taylor, Bismarck: The Man and Statesman (New York: Knopf, 1955). John A. Vasquez, Classics of International Relations 3rd Edition, (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1996). Stephen M. Walt, The Origins of Alliances (Ithaca: Cornell Un iversity Press, 1987). Stephen M. Walt, Revolution and War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996). Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 1979). Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (New York: W.W. Norton, 1972) First published in 1959. William C. Wohlforth, The Elusive Balance: Power and Perceptions during the Cold War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990). Nancy Zaroulis and Gerald Sullivan, Who Spoke Up? : American Protest Against the War in Vietnam 1963-1975 (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1984). Articles Francis A. Beer and Robert Hariman, Realism and Rhetoric in International Relations, in Francis A. Beer and Robert Hariman ed., Post Realism: The Rhetorical Turn in International Relations (East Lansing: Michigan St ate University Press, 1996). John Paul Hill, A.R. Happy Chandler, George C. Wallace and the Presidential Election of 1968, The Historian vol. 64, No. 3+4 (Sprin g/Summer 2002), 667-685. George F. Kennan, "The Sources of Soviet conduct," Foreign Affa irs, XXV (July, 1947), 566-82. James Reston, Ann Arbor: The Strange Bedfellows in Vietnam, New York Times ,2 May, 1965, E10.
87 David Sanford, Matthew Morgenthaus Complaint, The New Republic March 1, 1969, Harold Sprout, In Defense of Diplomacy World Politics Volume 1, Issue 3 (Apr., 1949), 404-413. Kenneth W. Thompson, The Writing of Po litics Among Nations: Its Sources and its Origins, International Studies : Notes of the International Studies Association Special Issue: The Legacy of Hans Morgenthau, Vol. 24, No. 1, (1999). New York Times New School Slates Debate on Vietnam,, 21 May 1965, 13. L.H. Woolsey, Review of Politics Among Nations Hans J. Morgenthau, American Journal of International Law Vol. 44, Issue (Jan., 1950), 219-221. John Vasquez The Enduring Contributions of Hans J. Morgenthaus Politics Among Nations , International Studies Volume 24, Number 1, 1999. Reference Works Hans Joachim Morgenthau, Current Biography 1963 ed. Charles Moritz, (New York: The M.W. Wilson Company, 1963).
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Keaney, Brian A.
The Realism of Hans Morgenthau
h [electronic resource] /
by Brian A. Keaney.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
ABSTRACT: This thesis analyzes the life and career of Hans J. Morgenthau, commonly accepted as the father of the realist paradigm within the field of international relations. It does so by offering a dynamic revisionist account of the nature of Morgenthau's classical realism and suggests how the approach discussed might have wider application in the field of international relations. Traditional perspectives of Morgenthau suggest that in the course of his career, he changed from holding what would generally be labeled a conservative political viewpoint to a liberal political viewpoint. This thesis takes a different starting point. It does so by suggesting that constancy, not change, was the hallmark of Morgenthau's intellectual development. Thus, what appeared to be a shift from right to left, was in fact merely the different applications of a consistent reading of international relations. Central to this interpretation of Morgenthau's work is the second innovative argument of this^ thesis: that Morgenthau's realism contained within it the potential for both conservative (as traditionally defined) and progressive (as traditionally defined) applications. Acknowledging that realism as conservatism is already an accepted understanding within the field of international relations, this thesis focuses on drawing out the progressive potential of Morgenthau's realism, by proving that what appeared in Morgenthau's later career to be an intellectual shift in fact stemmed from the progressivism inherent in the actual existing realism of Morgenthau's early career applied to new situations met in his later career. Based on this analysis of what has been accomplished within the framework of classical realism by Morgenthau, it is the challenge of this thesis to invite contemporary realist thinkers to do the same. In short, the thesis invites contemporary theorists to explore, recover and reclaim the liberatory and progressive potential of classical realism. In so doing, the thes is suggests the potential for two new research programs. First, reclaiming the liberatory potential of Morgenthau's approach and use of realism provides for the creation of a new understanding of contemporary realism which can transcend both the essentially sterile internal debates between classical and neo-realism and those between classical realism, neo-realism and neo-classical realism. Second, foregrounding the liberatory possibilities of classical realism offers a fruitful approach for the recreation of common ground between realism and other more 'politically progressive' paradigms in contemporary international relations theory such as peace research or constructivism. It is the final hope for this thesis that it might, by building bridges within and between different fields, lay the foundations of a possible path for the reintegration of the whole discipline of international relations.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
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