A Master Class on Realism and the Realist Sensibility
"Great-power competition is basically a jobs program for Kennedy School graduates..."
"Realism and liberal internationalism are two faces of empire."
"Great-power competition is an idiom expressing a return to realism...offensive realism."
I had a great extended conversation with Matthew Specter on the pod, which was a master class on realism, full of memorable one-liners like the above. The audio is in two parts: Part I and Part II. The full video is below.
Our discussion was anchored in Matthew's book, The Atlantic Realists. But we covered a thousand topics of interest to aficionados of international relations, including:
--The imperial origins of realism.
--The twisted values of the "Atlantic Realists" like Alfred Thayer Mahan.
--The invention of classical realism's 2,000-year old geneology in the mid-twentieth century.
--The farce that the United States was ever innocent of geopolitics, and why Americans once perpetuated the fiction that geopolitics was a Nazi superweapon.
--The striking similarities between realism and liberalism, and why that makes realism a poor refuge for progressive politics.
--Whether Hans Morgenthau was a leftist, and what his beef was with Carl Schmitt.
--Why great-power competition is just offensive realism, and why liberal hegemony is just primacy with institutions added (for grand strategy nerds).
And much more!