Man, the state and war. – N. Y.: Columbia University Press, 1959


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WALTZ, KENNET N.
MAN, the STATE and WAR. – N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 1959

// Viotti, Paul R. and Mark V.Kauppi. International Relations Theory: Realism, Pluralism, Globalism. 2nd ed. N.Y./Toronto: Macmillan Publishing Company / Maxwell Macmillan Canada, 1993. – P.123-142.

In this article excerpted from Man, the State and War, Professor Waltz provides a causal explanation of war that combines three levels of analysis: individual, state and society, and international system. The permissive cause (providing no obstacle to war) is systemic anarchy; efficient or proximate causes of a given war may also be found at other levels.




P.123



INTRODUCTION
Asking who won a given war, someone has said, is like asking who won the San Francisco earthquake. That in wars there is no victory but only varying degrees of defeat is a proposition that has gained increasing ac­ceptance in the twentieth century. But are wars also akin to earthquakes in being natural occurrences whose control or elimination is beyond the wit of man? Few would admit that they are, yet attempts to eliminate war, however nobly inspired and assiduously pursued, have brought little more than fleeting moments of peace among states. There is an apparent disproportion between effort and product, between desire and result. The peace wish, we are told, runs strong and deep among the Russian people; and we are convinced that the same can be said of Americans.

P.124


From these statements there is sonic comfort to be derived, but in the light of history and of current events as well it is difficult to believe that the wish will father the condition desired

Social scientists, realizing from their studies how firmly the present is tied to the past and how intimately the parts of a system depend upon each other, are inclined to be conservative m estimating the possibilities of achieving a radically better world. If one asks whether we can now have peace where in the past there has been war, the answers are most often pessimistic. Perhaps this is the wrong question. And indeed the answers will be somewhat less discouraging if instead the following ques­tions are put: Are there ways of decreasing the incidence of war, of in creasing the chances of peace? Can we have peace more often in the future than in the past?

Peace is one among a number of ends simultaneously entertained. The means by which peace can be sought are many. The end is pursued and the means are applied under varying conditions. Even though one may find it hard to believe that there are ways to peace not yet tried by statesmen or advocated by publicists, the very complexity of the prob­lem suggests the possibility of combining activities in different ways in the hope that some combination will lead us closer to the goal. Is one then led to conclude that the wisdom of the statesman lies in trying first one policy and then another, in doing what the moment seems to require? An affirmative reply would suggest that the hope for improvement lies in pol­icy divorced from analysis, in action removed from thought. Yet each at­tempt to alleviate a condition implies some idea of its causes: to explain how peace can be more readily achieved requires an understanding of the causes of war. It is such an understanding that we shall seek in the fol­lowing pages.


^ THE FIRST IMAGE:

INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR
There is deceit and cunning and from these wars arise.

Confucius
According to the first image of international relations, the focus of the im­portant causes of war is found in the nature and behavior of man. Wars result from selfishness, from misdirected aggressive impulses, from stu­pidity. Other causes are secondary and have to be interpreted in the light of these factors. If these are the primary causes of war, then the elimination of war must come through uplifting and enlightening men or securing their psychic-social readjustment. This estimate of causes and cures has been dominant in the writings of many serious students of human affairs from Confucius to present-day pacifists. It is the leitmotif of many modern behavioral scientists as well.

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