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Realism In Government Essay

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Joshua Graham
Pols 100
Assignment One: Realism

Realism has been the basis for world affairs and political interaction by nation states since the offset of the Treaties of Westphalia. Realism was spurned from the beliefs of such philosophers such as Hobbes. Hobbes believed that human beings naturally desire the power to live well and that they will never be satisfied with the power they have, always requiring more power.  He believes there usually is a want for things like fame and glory or admiration from others.  He also believed that all people are created equally.  That everyone is equally capable of killing each other because although one man may be stronger than another, the weaker may be compensated for by his intelligence. Hobbes believed that the nature of humanity leads people to seek power.  He said that when two or more people want the same thing, they become enemies and attempt to destroy each other.  He called this time when men oppose each other war.  He said that there were three basic causes for war: competition, distrust and glory.  In each of these cases, men use violence to invade their enemies’ territory either for their personal gain. He said that without a common power to unite the people, they would be in a war of every man against every man as long as the will to fight is known.  He believed that this state of war was the natural state of human beings and that harmony among human beings is fake because it is based on an agreement.  If a group of people had something in common such as a common interest or a common goal, they would not be at war and united they would be more powerful against those who would seek to destroy them.  One thing he noted that was consistent in all men was their interest in self-preservation. Such interactions are classified by a number of varying categories that attempt to explain this phenomenon. The first of these is that the state is the most important actor in international relations. This means that state governments play the largest role in the realm of international politics. The state is a unitary and rational actor. Unitary means that the sta...

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