The Future is Neocon

Issue: Sept-Oct 2008

TO COMPARE the records of realism and neoconservatism we must first define our terms. Realism consists of two mutually contradictory propositions. One holds that states are bound to behave according to their innate interests. Thus, Hans Morgenthau argued that politics is “governed by objective laws” whose “operation [is] impervious to our preferences.” The other holds that states may deviate from their interests but ought not do so. Thus, George Kennan argued that “the most serious fault” in U.S.

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