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International Realism Part II: Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes,Waltz, Carr, et. al Overview Realism vs. Idealism Intellectual and Historical Roots of Political Realism Implications of Anarchy Case Studies Thucydides Thucydides (ca.460-395 BCE) Aristocratic background, military leader

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International realism l.jpg

International Realism

Part II:

Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes,Waltz, Carr, et. al


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Overview

  • Realism vs. Idealism

  • Intellectual and Historical Roots of Political Realism

  • Implications of Anarchy

  • Case Studies


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Thucydides

  • Thucydides (ca.460-395 BCE)

  • Aristocratic background, military leader

  • Loses (or is blamed for) a key loss and is exiled from Athens


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Thucydides

  • While in exile he travels freely throughout the southern part of Greece (the Peloponnesus) and chronicles the war taking place between Athens and Sparta

  • Peloponnesian War runs from 431-404 BCE

  • Ends with the collapse of Athenian power



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Peloponnesian War

  • In 415, Athens attacks Syracuse in Sicily, in move to gain control over the whole island

  • Resounding defeat, democracy collapses in Athens (411)

  • Sparta, with aid from Persia, builds its navy

  • 405 surprise attack from Sparta on docked Athenian navy; all but 9 ships destroyed, thousands killed


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Peloponnesian War

  • Spring 404, Athens surrenders

  • Sparta forces it to tear down walls

  • Remove fortress around Pireaus (its main port)

  • Navy reduced to 12 ships


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I. Historical Overview

  • Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)

  • European Renaissance

    • Declining power of Church

    • Advancing in Science, Arts, Literature

  • The Prince written in 1513 during period of political exile



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I. Historical Overview

  • Machiavelli & Florence

    • Medici family rules city

    • French forces invade, set up republican government

    • Machiavelli gets role in government, ends up as high civil servant, some diplomatic missions and military operations


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I. Historical Overview

  • Machiavelli & Florence

    • Spanish defeat the French, and reinstall the Medici

    • Machiavelli is arrested, tortured, and eventually exiled to his country home beyond the city walls

    • During this period (he’s in his 40s) he begins his philosophical/political writing, including The Prince


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II. Human Nature and Power

“The desire to acquire is truly a very natural and common thing; and whenever men who can, do so, they are praised and not condemned; but when they cannot and want to do so just the same, herein lies the mistake and the condemnation.” (Chapter 3).


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • Power

    • Machiavelli the first political thinker to focus on power as positive trait

    • Simple recognition of the fact that the quest for power is an essential part of human nature

    • Why?


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • If we want to acquire possessions, then that implies that we also want the means to acquire those possessions

  • Need to recognize that for rulers the study of power is vital: how to acquire it, how to keep it, how to use it


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II. Human Nature and Power

“Many writers have imagined for themselves republics and principalities that have never been seen nor known to exist in reality; for there is such a gap between how one lives and how one ought to live that anyone who abandons what is done for what ought to be done learns his ruin rather than his preservation…” (chapter 15)


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II. Human Nature and Power

“for a man who wishes to profess goodness at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good” (chapter 15).


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • Indeed, Machiavelli asserts:

    “For one can generally say this about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, simulators and deceivers, avoiders of danger, greedy for gain; and while you work for their good they are completely yours, offering you their blood, their property, their lives, and their sons, as I said earlier, when danger is far away; but when it comes nearer to you they turn away” (chapter XVII).


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • So if a Prince or ruler wants to stay in power, he must

    “Learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge or not to use it according to necessity” (chapter XV)


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • Rather since we see power in political life we need to counsel rulers on how best to use it

  • Basic advice, don’t help others, be cruel, stingy, deceptive…

  • And get others to do the dirty work so you can escape blame


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II. Human Nature and Power

“You must, therefore, know that there are two means of fighting: one according to the laws, the other with force; the first way is proper to man, the second to beasts; but because the first, in many cases is not sufficient, it becomes necessary to have recourse to the second” (chapter XVIII).


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II. Human Nature and Power

fox and the lion; for the lion cannot defend itself from traps and the fox cannot protect itself from wolves. It is therefore necessary to be a fox in order to recognize the traps and a lion in order to frighten the wolves.”

“Since, then, a prince must know how to make good use of the nature of the beast, he should choose from among the beasts the


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • Examples?

    • Chapter VII

      • “Cesare Borgia acquired the state through the favour and help of his father, and when this no longer existed, he lost it, and this despite the fact that he did everything and used every means that a prudent and skilful man ought to use in order to root himself securely in those states that the arms and fortune of others had granted him”


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • Background here:

  • Cesare’s father? Pope Alexander VI

  • The Pope put Cesare in charge of Florence, and issued a formal papal bull (order) authorizing him to expand the power of Florence

  • What were some of the means used by this “prudent” and “skilful” man?


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • Later in the chapter we get one example

  • Borgia takes over Romagna, but is meeting resistance since “it was ruled by powerless noblemen who had been quicker to despoil their subjects than to govern them, and gave them cause to disunite rather than to unite them”


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II. Human Nature and Power

  • He decided it was necessary to bring “peace and obedience of the law” and installed a man named Remirro de Orca, a “cruel and efficient man” to rule

  • Then, after the area was pacified, Borgia does the following:


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II. Human Nature and Power

“Since he knew that the severities of the past had brought about a certain amount of hate, in order to purge the minds of those people and win them over completely, he planned to demonstrate that if cruelty of any kind had come about, it did not stem from him [Borgia] but rather from the bitter nature of the minister…”


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II. Human Nature and Power

“And having found the occasion to do this, he had him placed one morning in Cesena on the piazza in two pieces with a piece of wood and a bloodstained knife alongside him.”


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II. Human Nature and Power

“The atrocity of such a spectacle left those people at one and the same time satisfied and stupefied.”


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IV. The State of Nature

  • First condition of the state of nature is scarcity

  • Not enough of the good things to go around

  • Combine that with points 5, 6, 7 above, then we get:

    “From this equality of ability, ariseth equality of hope in the attaining of our ends…” (chap. 13)


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IV. The State of Nature

“And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end, which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes their delectation only, endeavour to destroy, or subdue one another” (chap. 13).


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IV. The State of Nature

  • In other words, the scarcity creates competition since

  • If we recognize the equality between two people then

    • A necessary condition of either “A” or “B” getting good “X” is preventing the other party from getting that good

    • Creates feelings of diffidence (chapter 6)

    • Rise of pre-emptive strikes

    • Leads to a “war of each against all”


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IV. The State of Nature

  • Where “war” consists:

    “not in battle only, or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known: and therefore the notion of time, is to be considered in the nature of war… so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting; but in the known disposition thereto, during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary” (chapter 13).

  • Consequences?


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IV. The State of Nature

  • In the state of nature, then:

    “In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death…


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IV. The State of Nature

“and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”


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IV. The State of Nature

  • Why?

  • Why won’t people be able to get along?

  • Why will the scarcity lead to this nasty situation?


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Prisoners’ Dilemma

  • Scenario:

  • You and an accomplice are arrested on suspicion of committing some nasty crime

  • The District Attorney and the police have been unable to produce enough evidence to convict you of that offense


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Prisoners’ Dilemma

  • We do have enough evidence to convict you of some lesser charge

  • The only way the DA can nail you for the more serious offense is if one of you rats out the other

  • Conversely, you and your partner can largely elude prosecution if you both stay silent

  • You and your partner are placed in separate holding cells and are unable to communicate with each other

  • DA enters and offers you the following:


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Rat

Hang Tough

Rat

Hang Tough

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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From your perspective, you and your accomplice are faced with the following:

Don’t Cooperate with each other

(rat)

Cooperate with each other

(hang tough)

Don’t Cooperate

with each other

(rat)

Cooperate with each other

(hang tough)

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Rat with the following:

Hang Tough

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Rat with the following:

Hang Tough

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Column Player with the following:

Rat

Hang Tough

0 , 10

Rat

Row

Player

Hang Tough

10 , 0

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Rat with the following:

Hang Tough

5, 5

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

10, 0

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Rat with the following:

Hang Tough

5, 5

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

10, 0

1, 1

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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What to do? Which strategy should you select? with the following:

Rat

Hang Tough

5, 5

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

10, 0

1, 1

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Dominant with the following:

Strategy

Rat

Hang Tough

Dominant

Strategy

5, 5

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

10, 0

1, 1

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Dominant with the following:

Strategy

Rat

Hang Tough

Dominant

Strategy

5, 5

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

10, 0

1, 1

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Neither player can improve his/her position, with the following:

Nash Equilibrium

Rat

Hang Tough

5, 5

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

10, 0

1, 1

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Neither player can unilaterally with the following:

improve his/her position

Nash Equilibrium

Rat

Hang Tough

5, 5

0, 10

Rat

Hang Tough

10, 0

1, 1

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Prisoners’ Dilemma with the following:

  • Generalized Form:

  • Rank Outcomes, from most preferred to least preferred

    • 1 = first choice

    • 2 = second choice

    • 3 = third choice

    • 4 = fourth choice

  • Choice is “cooperate” or “not cooperate”


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Don’t with the following:

Cooperate

Cooperate

3 , 3

1 , 4

Don’t Cooperate

Cooperate

4 , 1

2 , 2

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Prisoners’ Dilemma with the following:

  • Symbolic Form:

  • We’re in a Prisoner’s Dilemma situation whenever:

    T > R > P > S

    Temptation to defect > Rewards of Cooperation

    Rewards > Punishment for Not Cooperating

    Punishment > Sucker’s Payoff


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Prisoners’ Dilemma with the following:

  • Note that even if we start at the cooperative outcome, that outcome is not stable

  • Each player can improve his/her position by adopting a different strategy


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Don’t with the following:

Cooperate

Cooperate

3 , 3

1 , 4

Don’t Cooperate

Cooperate

4 , 1

2 , 2

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Prisoners’ Dilemma with the following:

  • But since both players have changed strategy we end up at the non-cooperative outcome, where both players are worse off than if they had chosen to cooperate


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Don’t with the following:

Cooperate

Cooperate

3 , 3

1 , 4

Don’t Cooperate

Cooperate

4 , 1

2 , 2

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Prisoners’ Dilemma with the following:

  • And, as we noted, this non-cooperative outcome is also a Nash equilibrium outcome;

  • Neither player has any incentive to change strategy since whoever changes will do immediately worse by making the move


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Don’t with the following:

Cooperate

Cooperate

3 , 3

1 , 4

Don’t Cooperate

Cooperate

4 , 1

2 , 2

Prisoners’ Dilemma


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Prisoners’ Dilemma with the following:

  • Problem for Hobbes, indeed for any political or moral philosophy, is how do we stabilize the cooperative outcome?

  • Hobbes does not develop the language of the P.D., but he is the first both to recognize the difficulty and consider fully the implications


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Prisoners’ Dilemma with the following:

  • Problem for Hobbes, indeed for any political or moral philosophy, is how do we stabilize the cooperative outcome?

  • Hobbes does not develop the language of the P.D., but he is the first both to recognize the difficulty and consider fully the implications


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Prisoners’ Dilemma with the following:

  • States are in a Hobbesian state of nature are in Prisoners’ Dilemma situations

  • Solution?

    • We need a sovereign

    • What kind?

    • Why obey?


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