Realism Quotes: An Exploration of International Politics

Government is, at least for the moment, a reality. Thus, regardless of one’s political philosophy, a certain amount of realism is required to understand how to deal with this fact of life. 

Realism when viewing government power can take the form of both pragmatism and cynicism. We believe that both have their place in the world — understanding that the world is the way that it is while also acknowledging that some of the worst actors in the world are using the levers of power combined with a genuine and widespread concern for the common welfare of men to amass power for its own sake. 

In its purest form, the role of government is imperialism. How the government acts abroad is how it will soon act at home. It is unbound by many of the strictures that restrain it at home. We can easily see what the state has planned for us when we look at what it is doing abroad. 

Political science is a very grim topic as many of these quotes will attest. But we believe, despite their sometimes unpleasant nature, that they will help you to gain a better understanding of both how the government works but also how you feel about it.

Quotes About Expansion of State Power

“Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really understand the situation.”

Edward R. Murrow

“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth.”

Ronald Reagan

“Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

Ronald Reagan

“We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Our modern states are preparing for war without even knowing the future enemy.”

Alfred Adler

“The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

James Madison

“The State acquires power… and because of its insatiable lust for power it is incapable of giving up any of it. The State never abdicates.”

Frank Chodorov

“What political leaders decide, intelligence services tend to seek to justify.”

Henry Kissinger

Quotes About Imperialism and Its Dangers

“The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault.”

Major Ralph Peters

“Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.”

Noam Chomsky

“When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys.”

George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant

“When all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”

Jeff Grubb

“Let not your zeal to share your principles entice you beyond your borders.”

Marquis de Sade

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”

H.L. Mencken

“This manual of the Communist Party should be in the hands of every loyal American, that they may be alerted to the fact that it is not always by armies and guns that a nation is conquered.”

Kenneth Goff

“It would be a joke if the conduct of the victor had to be justified to the vanquished.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

“Putting aside all the fancy words and academic doubletalk, the basic reason for having a military is to do two jobs –to kill people and to destroy.”

General Thomas S. Power

“What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in diamonds and cocoa?”

W.E.B. DuBois

“America… goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.”

John Quincy Adams

“Americans can be absolutely relied on to do the right thing…after they’ve tried everything else.”

Winston Churchill