Our Foreign Affairs: A Study in National Interest and the New Diplomacy

Our Foreign Affairs: A Study in National Interest and the New Diplomacy

Our Foreign Affairs: A Study in National Interest and the New Diplomacy

Our Foreign Affairs: A Study in National Interest and the New Diplomacy

Excerpt

The weakness of this book, as well as whatever of strength the reader may courteously find it to possess, resides in the fact that its aim is not ultimate but immediate, not theoretical but practical. I am not here concerned with the fascinating questions, whether or not the economic, political and moral bases of contemporary society are fundamentally sound, or whether an intensive civilization, like that of ancient Greece, is not essentially superior to our own extensive organization. I assume that the peoples of the world are going to continue, for a time, at least, along the lines they have lately been following. I take it for granted that men, in ninety-nine out of a hundred instances, will reject the radical, the courageous, the ideal solution to follow the old, worn path of least resistance; that of two efforts, they will, in almost every case, choose the less strenuous. In short, by practical politics, in the sense here accorded the term, I understand the continual compromise of principles with existing facts; the continual search for the possibilities, not of the distant future, but of to-day, believing, as I do, that a small and cautious step which can actually be taken at once, is worth more in the march of human progress than a whole program of steps, which may or may not be nobler and loftier in conception, but which cannot be executed within any reasonable length of foresight.

Nevertheless, I trust that the reader will become . . .

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