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PS-0061 (13)

Man, State, and War

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Political Science
Kelly Greenhill

Man, the State, and War—Kenneth Waltz • classical Western political thought • understand cause of war and to define the conditions under which war can be controlled or eliminated as a final arbiter of disputes between groups of men in the absence of central authority • “That in wars there is no victory but only varying degrees of defeat is a proposition that has gained increasing acceptance in the twentieth century.” (pg 1) • can wars be considered natural occurrences? • will the wish for peace ever result in it • what are the means in which to achieve peace? • if all statesmen’s goals are for peace, should they try policy after policy in hopes of getting closer to peace after the process of elimination? • “to explain how peace can be more readily achieved requires an understanding of the causes of war.” “what is the relevance of the thoughts of others, many of them living far in the past, to the pressing and awful problems of the present?” (pg 2) • “Why does God, if he is all-knowing and all-powerful, permit the existence of evil?” (pg 3) (theodicy problem) • man is the cause of war—root of evil • there is always some kind of rationalization behind the beginning of every conflict • “Does man make society in his image or does his society make him?” (pg 4) • man is not born good or bad, society forms him • the way we act is a direct result of society and how it runs; therefore a direct result of politics as well • “good” states don’t start wars, but “bad states” do • “Rousseau himself finds the major causes of war neither in men nor in states but in the state system itself.” (pg 6) • people don’t act unless they have some type of assurance • “Though a state may want to remain at peace, it may have to consider undertaking a preventive war; for if it does not strike when the moment is favorable it may be struck later when the advantage ha
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