What Is a Nation?
Before there can be a theory, to say nothing of a science, of domestic or international politics, one must first have a dear conception of a nation. To find the guiding principles for putting a special class of things together in an effective manner, the kind of thing one is putting together must be known. Then one must describe the various species of this kind of thing and determine the scientific method for doing this. Otherwise, the student of either domestic policy or international relations does not know either the subject matter or the method of his subject.
Suppose the chemists claimed to know what they were talking about when they stated a policy for combining the different kinds of chemical elements, but had no clear theory of what a chemical element is or what the scientific method is for determining the properties of the different species of chemical atoms. Suppose also such a chemist regarded the physical weight of the different chemical compounds as the only relevant thing about them, thereby neglecting to pay attention to the properties which differentiate a pound of nitroglycerin, let us say, from a pound of fresh spring water. If, having thus treated nitroglycerin as if it were merely so much weighty matter and then blowing up both his laboratory and his neighbors', he then blamed one of his neighbors for what happened, we would not think very highly of his expertness in interchemical relations. Yet this treatment of different nations, peoples and cultures as if they were merely so much weighty physical power is precisely what present "experts" in international relations, such as Professor Hans Morgenthau and Mr. George F. Kennan, do when, deprecating the "moral-legal approach" to international relations, they treat nations