Moreover, the insecurity in the individual is ever more transparent and stronger in the state. Thus, very similar to Carr, the state as a collective body is very much continually searching to expand their power. Fundamentally, Niebuhr argument criticizes the moral collectivity that Kant saw the state developing. Niebuhr would not support the state as developing into a moral collectivity of human beings but rather would argue that the sin of human nature would be further brought out by the collectivity of human beings.
Hans Morgenthau would likely criticize Immanuel Kant’s view of international politics upholding realist thoughts to their basic nature. Lust for power and selfishness characterizes human nature. 33 Moreover, the nature of human beings cannot be changed no matter which way the state or international system of states is organized. 34 The state is transparent of the individual in the state. The state basically works for the achievement of its national interests as the human being does within the state. 35 Morgenthau argues that the state is simply the main actor in international relations.
For that reason, international politics is a struggle for power and satisfaction of one’s national interest. Morgenthau argues, mainly in reference to the American foreign policy, there is three flaws in international politics: utopianism, legalism, and neoisolationism. 36 Smith writes, throughout the World War II, “Americans believed that the Grand Alliance could continue after its conclusion and that it would be possible to transcend power politics and enjoy permanent peace. “37 However, as Morgenthau shows, the alliance remained intact until the end of the war.
Morgenthau’s argument was basically “peace is only respite from trouble. “38 Morgenthau’s examination of the United States failure of legalism is best characterized by America’s ignorant belief that legal obedience would occur in this international system of states. 39 For example, the belief the United Nations would recieve full obedience from states is a exaggeration that legalism will completely exist in international politics. 40 However, as history progressed, the League of Nations did not last. The last failure is neoisolationism.
Morgenthau argues neoisolationism leads state leadership to believe it can handle all the issues in international politics on its terms. 41 Morgenthau examination of the United States foreign policy during the Cold War/ Nuclear Age presents the arguments that continual attempt at peace will be a continual failure, strikingly contrasting Kant’s view of international politics. During this period, there was continual nuclear escalation and civil wars, not peace. An examination of realist thinkers and their possible criticisms to Kant compels me to completely disregard Immanuel Kant’s theory as a strong examination of international politics.
Kant exaggerates the ability of the human beings to develop a moral state, otherwise transforming human nature. Furthermore, Kant basically is too idealist. He views the system of international politics not as what it is but rather as what it should be. His optimism should be appreciated but ultimately ignored when discussing the current state of international politics. Hans Morgenthau presents the most persuasive argument because he incorporates the strong points of Max Weber, E. H. Carr, and Reinhold Niebuhr.
Morgenthau’s examination of the failures in the United States foreign policy concludes, similar to Weber examination of ultimate ends, that following morality as the main basis for decision making becomes irrational. This assessment is fair and persuasive if you examine the current system of states. For example, if peace was the key principle for countries, war would disappear but it remains present. Morgenthau recognizes the continual struggle for power, that E. H. Carr and Niebuhr emphasize is ever omnipresent in international politics.
Morgenthau’s conclusion that the state cannot transform the nature of the human being is a fair assessment because the current system of states includes states characterized by irrational and immoral leaders like the recently dethroned Taliban. Lastly, Morgenthau’s argument is most persuasive when studying his theory in the context of recent history, particularly the Cold War. Morgenthau’s examination of the Soviet’s alliance of states and United States’ alliance of states presented a bipolarity and balance of power very absent in international politics. 42 These alliances were created as security to the states in this system.
Appropriately, these alliances only reaffirm the belief that the security and struggle for power is key to international politics. Morgenthau’s argument is persuasive because it can be applied to the international politics of today. 1 Immanuel Kant, Kant’s Political Writings, trans by H. B. Nisbet and edited by Hans Reiss (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 125. 2 Kant, 124-125. 3 Kant, 87-90. 4 Kant, 74. 5 Kant, 74. 6 Kant, 79. 7 Kant, 46. 8 Kant, 46. 9 Kant, 77-79. 10 Kant, 90-92. 11 Kant, 79-92. 12 Kant, 105. 13 Kant, 125. 14 Kant, 112. 15 Kant, 112. 16 Max Weber, Essays in Sociology, trans.
by Hans H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (NY: Oxford University Press, 1946), 1. 17 Michael J. Smith, Realist Thought from Weber to Kissinger (Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1986), 24. 18 Smith, 1. 19 Weber, 30-32. 20 Weber, 30. 21 Weber, 32-34. 22 Smith, 74. 23 Smith, 76-77. 24 Smith, 77. 25 Smith, 76-78. 26 Smith, 76. 27 Smith, 76. 28 Smith, 77. 29 Smith, 102. 30 Smith, 104-105. 31 Smith, 104. 32 Smith, 108. 33 Smith, 136-137. 34 Smith, 136-138. 35 Smith, 136-140. 36 Smith, 147-151. 37 Smith, 147. 38 Smith, 147. 39 Smith, 148. 40 Smith, 148. 41 Smith, 149-151. 42 Smith, 152-155.