Political Science to me is something of a cycle, which is attached to the worlds history and is an ever-changing science of communication at a state and national level. This cyclical process is also attached to my personal adoption of political ideologies, i. e. , as times change, as well as my surrounding environment, as an individual, I am forced to adapt to my surroundings, rather than a rock smashing through stubbornly regardless of the damage it may cause to all parties.
I am not talking of conformism, rather the adoption to my political and social surroundings that would best serve in the interests and security of the community at large. To provide the reader of a greater understanding to this ideology perhaps entails that I give a small personal example. I come from a diverse background that allows me to understand history and politics from many perspectives and which has made me less biased than the average man. Born in England, to a Turkish Father and a British Mother, and having lived in England, Turkey, as well as Canada has broadened my vision of the world to a great extent.
This is of course excluding the many political conferences that I have attended and the many countries I have visited around the world. An example of an assignment which required the utmost patience and the most open of minds was at a Model UN conference in Philadelphia I was assigned to represent Greece on the issue of Cyprus, being part Turkish one can understand what open mindedness that took. To do such a thing required the total adoption of what is the opposite of my historical perspective. However in doing so, this has brought me an understanding of international relations, conflict and interests.
This brings me to the ideology that I believe is most prevalent in the worlds state system of todays Realism. Many people view this ideology as a somewhat pessimistic view of the world and tend to believe in greater harmony and cooperation. These tend to be the idealists known to us as the Social Democrats of Europe, the Liberals in Canada, and the Democrats in the United States. Realism at this time and point of history seems to be the actual way that things are going amongst states. Alliances (rather than friendships) are formed and balances are created.
These Alliances are not there for anything more than security and self-benefit, of course the other half of an alliance definitely must fulfill its interests as well or else no alliance would be possible. It is a quite simple ideology actually of favors and a meeting of mutual interests. As Hans J. Morgenthau argues international relations is defined by states pursuing their national interests defined in terms of power. The more I study politics, history, and international relations the better I see the realistic approach in international relations.
I have been delving more and more into the activities of what is known as the Deep State and their role which is played in each and every nations policy building, and the way in which countries interact. The more I read books for example about the NSA, CIA, KGB, MOSSAD, MIT, MI5, MI6 etc, I am becoming in a true sense a realist. In reading about these agencies I can truly say that I understand the goals of these agencies are to provide security for their nations and states as well as to gain unimpeded access to the worlds natural resources, in particular oil.
It is this very strategic game which is being played out right now as I write this paper. The Afghanistan issue, the Iraq issue, and most of the regional conflicts from Central Asia to the Middle East are played out by the worlds powers indirectly and sometimes directly, with guerrilla groups being backed by Deep State agencies of the more powerful countries. China, USA, Britain, Russia, these are some of the top players in the covert strategic mission of gaining control of the worlds natural resources.
This strategic game may be covered with pretexts, issues such as human rights, and democracy vs. dictatorships. However, the end game remains pretty simple: to gain control or to secure alliances with the resource nations in the world. Sir Halford Mackinder and Alfred Thayer Mahan demonstrate a great example of this strategic world map. Their map displays what they call the Heartland of the world. This area is heavily rich in natural resources and we can look at this map to see that this area is heavily conflicted as well.
This is the chess game that the worlds powers play in order to maintain their edge and power. Many left wing and idealist movements tend to ignore the realities that States will always, and have always, since the beginning not only of the Nation State, but as well the Empires of Historys past, look out for the best interests of their own nation. Many people criticize the United States for example for its global hegemony. To those people I ask where would we be now if the USSR had not collapsed and the United States did so in its place?
Something to ponder perhaps for the Utopian philosophers. Realism is a perspective that deals with the realities of the world rather than to hope against hope that all states will work in harmony to achieve world peace. There has never been since the beginning of man a period and time where there has been total peace in our world. Some may say this is pessimistic. However, I believe that this is a historical fact. Another fact though that may lead to optimism, and a change of this trend may be to look at the Historical fact that two Democracies have never fought a war against each other.
However we cannot forget, covert operations and terrorist forces tend to do the dirty deed while the other Democratic nations feed money and arms in order to serve their interests covertly rather than head on. An example of this may be perhaps the PKK (Kurdistan Worker Party, Marxist Leninist Kurdish Terrorist group) which was armed, funded, and supported logistically by Turkeys neighbor Syria, and its NATO ally Greece and which cost over 35 000 Turkish Citizens lives.
The leader of this Terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, was captured in the Greek Embassy in Kenya where he was receiving shelter. Greece was then forced to fire key members of its intelligence agency to save face. This just reinforces the reality of the world is unfortunately not about cooperation at any cost, it is more like a strategic game in which allies are made and interests are served in order to maintain security. Security is the key issue that faces any and every nation today.
If a nation feels secure, and not threatened the greater relations such as trade and cooperation may become possible. If a nation does not feel a threat it will develop more relations based on trade and cooperation. There is an aspect of liberalism however which I find may be blended with realism, and this aspect is the aspect of the economy and trade blocks. Security and stability also must be assessed within economic terms as economic stability ensures a peace and stability all by itself.
This may be simplified to something as local as the Quebec Separatist movement, as the economy slouches the Separatist rhetoric increases and the referendum issue occurs and receives more support. When the economy is going well and everyone is economically sound why would an adventure of instability be undertaken? Economy is in the end intrinsic to maintaining a peace and cooperation that could be formulated into the realist approach from the aspect of Security and National interest.
What I have seen in my analysis of States and Empires throughout history is a constant calculation of Interests in relation to Economy and Security, from the Ancient Greek City States, the Roman Empire, the Feudal Empires of Asia, the Democratic states, the Communist States, even to the provincial level here in Canada, each state is looking out for its own interests, which includes first and foremost security based either on deterrence, trust and alliances, and economical stability and cooperation.
In general I may be more inclined to the realist perspective, but as explained above I also believe that cooperation is also possible in the equation of the nature of international politics. All theoretical approaches can be proved valid or useful for certain situations however it is from the aspect of international relations which I believe all states follow the main policy of realism which is based in National Security. There is no one nation in history that went to war to protect another countries interests without calculating what gains it will achieve for itself.
Whether it be a newly established regional influence or a newly acquired strategic partner in an important region, the reality is that Human Rights, Freedom, and Peace come after all other interests are satisfied, and is used as window dressing for the mass population who doesnt know any better. I would like to leave you now with a quote from a realistic approach which is expressed by Ismail Cem, former Turkish Foreign Minister.
Foreign policy is a mathematical equation of a countrys interests. It is a matter of calculation. Foreign relations are the product of a dialectical process in which the internal and external factors that shape interests are in constant motion. Stances that perceive foreign policy as a static, rigid phenomenon and that define others within categories of eternal friendship and eternal animosity are destined to be satisfied with the minimum possible advantage.