Arnold Wolfers, Discord and Collaboration: Essays on International Politics (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1962, Chapter Five, "The Goals of Foreign Policy," pp. 67- 80


It might seem that the mere existence of a multitude of nation-states, each capable of independent decision and action, would suffice to explain the peaceless state of the world and the power struggles that fill the international arena. Undoubtedly, the anarchical condition inherent in any sytem of multiple sovereignty constitutes one of the prerequisites of international conflict; without it, there could be no international relations, peaceful or non-peaceful. Yet, in the last analysis, it is the goals pursued by the actors and the way they go about pursuing them that determine whether and to what extent the potentialities for power struggle and war are realized. This can be seen by imagining two extreme sets of conditions, both theoretically compatible with a multistate system, in which, as a consequence of the wide differences in the objectives pursued by the states in question as well as in the means they are willing to employ, the chances of peace would stand at opposite poles.

Starting at one pole, one can postulate a situation in which all actors are entirely satisfied with the established state of international affairs, and are content, therefore, to concern themselves exclusively with domestic matters. In this case, they would have no incentive to make or press demands on others. As a consequence, there would be no rational cause for conflict or for disturbances of the peace. Needless to say, this is a utopia. In some historical instances, however, conditions so nearly approached this extreme that to some observers the utopia appeared within reach, while in other times arious schools of thought held it up as at least a goal toward which policy should be directed.

Thus, since the days of Cobden, free-traders have argued that if governments ceased to interfere with commercial activities across borders the chief source of international conflict would be removed. Others have pleaded instead for economic autarchy which, by eliminating the need for international economic intercourse altogether, would make economic demands on others unnecessary. Then again, the satisfaction of demands for national self-determination, one of the cornerstones of Woodrow Wilson's peace strategy, was expected to eliminate a potent cause of international conflict. If every nation had the government of its choice and if every ethnic group were united within the boundaries of a single state, demands for more territory or for independence, objectives most conducive to war, would lose their raison d'être. It might be added that some have advocated policies of isolation and neutrality on the same grounds: a condition of dissociation among nations would reduce their interdependence and thus minimize the occasions for conflict. My purpose here is not to determine whether such policies are practical or desirable, but to draw attention to the close relationship between foreign policy objectives and the incidence of tension that might lead to a resort to violence.

This close relationship appears confirmed if one moves to the other pole and postulates that nations are engaged in making exacting demands on one another and are prepared to fight rather than give in. Actually, to be able to predict very serious threats to the peace, one need only assume that a single powerful actor within a multistate system is bent on attaining goals of territorial expansion or dominion over others, because resistance to any drive toward acquisitive goals of this nature is almost certain to materialize. The stage is thus set for clashes that justify a high expectation of violence.

Before looking into the kinds of goals or objectives that nations tend to pursue in their external activities, one semantic hurdle must be taken. It is customary to distinguish between goals and means, a custom I intend to follow to a certain extent; yet it is impossible to draw a sharp line of demarcation between the two ideas. All means can be said to constitute intermediary or proximate goals, and few goals if any can be considered ultimate, in the sense of being sought as ends in themselves. Even when a nation aims for a goal as highly valued as national independence, it can be argued that the nation is seeking such independence as a means
of providing its citizens with benefits other than national independence itself. 1


1. Percy Corbett, for instance, points out that "for democratic purposes it seems worthwhile to insist that the prime object of foreign policy . . . is the welfare of the individuals and groups organized as a national society" and goes on to conclude that "insofar as territorial integrity and political independence are judged to minister to that welfare, they may well be described as the mediate and instrumental objective to which foreign policy is especially directed." "National Interest, International Organization, and American Foreign Policy," World Politics, Vol. V, No. 1 (October, 1952), p. 51.


To make things more complicated, what constitutes a means or intermediate goal in one context may be a remote if not ultimate goal in another, with specific objectives changing places from one instance to another. Thus, enhanced power may be sought as a means of obtaining more territory, while the acquisition of more territory in turn may be desired as a means of enhancing national power. In the case of Europe prior to the establishment of NATO, the question was whether what was needed most was higher productivity as a means of increasing defensive strength or conversely whether more defensive strength providing a greater sense of security was not a prerequisite of greater efforts toward higher productivity.

Because the objectives a nation seeks to reach can range from the most immediate means to the most remote or ultimate ends, all goals will be taken to fall within the scope of this chapter with the single exception of power and influence. The justification for this exception should become clear when the unique position of these two values as the means par excellence for the attainment of all other foreign policy goals is discussed. 2 The fact that power may be turned into an end in itself will be taken into consideration in that connection.


2. See Chapter 7, "Power and Influence: The Means of Foreign Policy."


Despite the difficulties and complications arising out of the way ends can serve one another as means, it often becomes necessary to inquire whether a nation is seeking certain results from its policy primarily for the results' own sake or merely as means of reaching more remote goals. If a nation is helping others through economic aid tO raise their standard of living, it may make a great deal of difference for the chances that such aid will be continued or extended whether the nation extending the aid considers economic improvement abroad as being desirable in itself, or promotes it merely for the sake of cementing its alliance with the assisted country or of drawing that country over to its own side. To take another example, there has been uncertainty in Europe whether American support for European integration implies that the United States believes such integration to be a good thing in itself--worthy therefore of continued support, cold war or no cold war--or whether greater European unity is valued solely as a means of strengthening Western defenses. Then again, the importance of aim or purpose may be illustrated by a question that has led to much controversy. Some see the Soviet Union supporting revolutionary movements abroad because world revolution per se is the goal of Soviet policy; others maintain that the aim is to bolster the security of the Soviet Union as a nation-state, and the revolutions can count on Soviet support only when and where they are expected to enhance the power of the Soviet Union and its alliances. Frequently, of course, a single means can serve to promote two or more concurrent ends. The Soviet leaders being both the rulers of Russia and the leaders of world communism may be unable themselves to distinguish between their national and world revolutionary goals and interests.

As soon as one seeks to discover the place of goals in the means-end chain of relationships, almost inevitably one is led to probe into the dark labyrinth of human motives, those internal springs of conscious and unconscious actions which Morgenthau calls "the most illusive of psychological data." 3 Yet if one fails to inquire why


3. Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (3rd ed., Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1960), p. 6.


actors choose their goals, one is forced to operate in an atmosphere of such abstraction that nothing is revealed but the barest skeleton of the real world of international politics.

It is understandable that historians have devoted so much time to probing the motives of actors. Although the success of an act such as an effort to pacify an area does not depend on the nature of the motivation, overt behavior remains unintelligible except in relation to motivation. An act of intervention may be the same in its outward appearance whether it is motivated by imperialist design or by the desire to help a people throw off the yoke of a tyrannical government. However, when other governments are making up their minds how to react to such intervention or deciding what to expect from the intervening nation in future contingencies, they cannot avoid seeking to discover what it was that prompted the particular action.

If nations are seen to desire a wide variety of accomplishments and gains ranging all the way from such ambitious ends as empire or predominance to mere trade advantages, opportunities for cultural exchanges, or voting rights in international organizations, one might expect that whatever a nation values and can attain only from other nations will automatically be transformed into a foreign policy objective. This is not the case. Leading statesmen may give expression to hopes or ideals of their people, but these hopes do not, thereby, become what properly can be called policy goals. They will become goals only if the decision is reached that some national effort involving sacrifices, or the risk of sacrifices, is to be made for their realization. All goals are costly. Therefore an aspiration will not be turned into a policy goal unless it is sufficiently cherished by those who make and influence policy to justify the costs that its attainment is expected to require in terms of sacrifices. The American people, or influential Americans, may place high value on the liberation of satellite peoples; the question is whether such liberation is valued highly enough to turn it into an American foreign policy goal for which a high price possibly would be paid.

Picturing aspirations and goals at opposite poles is not accurate. One might better regard them as the two ends of a continuum that runs from mere hopes to goals of vital interest. "Liberation," declared a goal of American policy at the beginning of the Eisenhower Administration, is more than a mere hope as long as it is promoted by propaganda that risks enhancing East-West tension; when one speaks of peaceful liberation one implies that the goal is not considered vital enough to justify a resort to force. World revolution is not merely a hope, but a goal of Soviet foreign policy. Yet, while it may be close to the pole of vital goals usually assumed to justify the resort to violence, it may be sufficiently removed from this pole to keep Soviet policy-makers from initiating a war for the sake of its promotion. Statesmen are well advised to keep in mind that threats to the peace may arise if other nations are left uncertain whether or not national spokesmen who proclaim national aspirations have actually decided to turn a particular aspiration into a policy goal, possibly a goal deemed vital enough to warrant risking or sacrificing the peace.

In analyzing international politics, there would be no need to concern oneself with the problem of goals if nation-states were single-purpose organizations. If they were, states would never consent to make sacrifices for purposes--such as the promotion of peace--that obviously do not constitute their sole objective. It should be added, however, that even if foreign policy were directed predominantly toward a single goal, such a goal would not monopolize the entire activity of states, except in the extreme emergency of a war. Always there would remain the many domestic goals which no government can ignore and which compete for resources with whatever external purposes the nation may be pursuing. Often these domestic objectives place the severest restraints on external aspirations, as one can gather from any parliamentary debate in which the demand for financial appropriations to meet the needs of external pursuits runs up against demands to increase social benefits or to reduce taxes.

Appearances to the contrary, there is no division of opinion among analysts of international politics about the fact that the policy of nations aims at a multitude of goals. Some exponents of realist thought have been misunderstood to hold that power or even maximum power represents the only significant goal. Authors like Nicholas Spykman and Hans Morgenthau have contributed to this misapprehension, the first by stating on one occasion that "the improvement of the relative power position becomes the primary objective of the internal and the external policy of states," 4 the latter by his statement that "the aspiration for power is the distinguishing element of


4. Nicholas John Spykman, America's Strategy in World Politics: The United States and the Balance of Power (Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York, 1942), p. 18.


international politics." 5 However, Morgenthau also stresses that power is only an immediate aim or chief means of foreign policy, 6 while Spykman, relating the quest


5. Morgenthau, op. cit., p. 31.
6. Ibid., p. 27.


for power to the task of survival, mentions the existence of other objectives that are "geographic, demographic, racial, ethnic, economic, social and ideological in nature." 7


7. Spykman, op. cit., p. 17.


The goals of national independence, territorial integrity, and national survival which figure so large in the foreign policy of all nation-states are not uniform in scope or character and must, therefore, be treated as significant variables. Governments conceive of these cherished values in more or less moderate and in more or less ambitious and exacting terms. A good illustration is offered by colonial powers. Only those among them who insist that their "colonies"--or some of them--are not colonies at all but an integral part of their national territory are led to treat the preservation of these areas as a requirement of national survival and thus as a vital goal that justifies almost any sacrifice. The new postcolonial states present another illustration of differences in outlook among different actors. Some insist that any continuing ties with the mother country are unacceptable because such ties would defeat the goal of sovereign independence; others favor "union" or commonwealth types of association in the interest of economic welfare, provided the goal of sovereign equality is attained.

The goal of national survival itself is given a wide variety of interpretations by different countries or countries facing different conditions. Nations intent upon keeping their involvement in international conflicts at a minimum are inclined to consider their survival at stake only when their own territory comes under the threat of attack or actually is attacked. The idea of "indivisible peace" which would require them to participate in collective action against any aggressor anywhere has little appeal to them. In contrast, a nation engaged in a global struggle, as the United States is today, will tend to regard any shift in the balance of power that favors its adversary as at least an indirect threat to its own survival. As a consequence, it may consider its survival at stake in a conflict over remote and intrinsically unimportant islandso such as Quemoy and Matsu or over legal rights in West Berlin on the ground that, by an assumed domino effect or chain reaction, defeat at any one point will lead to defeat at every other point, until in the end all chances of survival are nullified.

No attempt will be made here to identify and classify all the many goals that nations set for themselves or may set for themselves in the framework of their foreign policy. Instead, I shall limit myself to a discussion of what appear to be particularly significant and persistent groups of contrasting goals. Most of them are in the nature of dichotomies; in the case of the goals pertaining to the national "self" and its accepted limits, however, a distinction into three categories has suggested itself. These will be treated in a later chapter as goals of national self-extension, national self-preservation, and national self-abnegation. 8


8. See Chapter 6, "The Pole of Power and the Pole of Indifference."


One can distinguish goals pertaining, respectively, to national possessions and to the shape of the environment in which the nation operates. I call the former "possession goals," the latter "milieu goals." In directing its foreign policy toward the attainment of its possession goals, a nation is aiming at the enhancement or the preservation of one or more of the things to which it attaches value. The aim may apply to such values as a stretch of territory, membership in the Security Council of the United Nations, or tariff preferences. Here a nation finds itself competing with others for a share in values of limited supply; it is demanding that its share be left intact or be increased. Because of the possessive nature of these goals, they are apt to be praised by some for being truly in the national interest, while condemned by others as indicating a reprehensible spirit of national selfishness or acquisitiveness.

Milieu goals are of a different character. Nations pursuing them are out not to defend or increase possessions they hold to the exclusion of others, but aim instead at shaping conditions beyond their national boundaries. If it were not for the existence of such goals, peace could never become an objective of national policy. By its very nature, peace cannot be the possession of any one nation; it takes at least two to make and have peace. Similarly, efforts to promote international law or to establish international organizations, undertaken consistently by many nations, are addressed to the milieu in which nations operate and indeed such efforts make sense only if nations have reason to concern themselves with things other than their own possessions. 9


9. Dean Acheson expresses approval of the pursuit of such goals by the United States "so as to maintain an environment favorable to our interests" (A Democrat Looks at His Party, Harper & Bros., New York, 1955, p. 62). Writing in the same vein, Paul A. Nitze says that the United States "can no longer look merely to its narrow competitive interests within whatever structure happens, from time to time, to exist as a result of the policy and will of others or as a result of the chance operations of impersonal forces. If this is so, it follows that a basic objective of U.S. foreign policy is the creation and maintenance of a system of world order within which U.S. interests and U.S. security can find their satisfaction." (Annex A, "The Purpose of United States Military and Economic Assistance," from the Study submitted to the President's Committee to Study the United States Military Assistance Program, March, 1959).


Milieu goals often may turn out to be nothing but a means or a way station toward some possession goal. A nation may hope to increase its prestige or its security by making sacrifices for the establishment and maintenance of international organizations. But this need not be its exclusive aim. Instead, the nation in question may be seriously concerned about the milieu within which it operates and may expect such organizations to improve the environment by making it more peaceful or more conducive to social or economic progress. Here for once the analogy with the behavior and interests of individuals should not be misleading. A man is rightly considered not merely selfish but shortsighted in terms of his own interests if he puts all his efforts into the accumulation and protection of his possessions while remaining indifferent to the peace and order, the public health and well-being of the community in which he resides or works. These are aspects of his milieu, as the term is used here. It is one thing to be in good physical or financial Condition within an orderly and prosperous community, but quite another thing to be privileged by the wealth of one's possessions in surroundings of misery, ill health, lack of public order, and widespread resentment. The difference need not be one only of greater or lesser security of acquired possessions; it may also signify a difference in happiness, in future opportunities, and perhaps in moral satisfaction.

Nations also face these differences in their milieu, although it is up to them to decide to what extent they wish to devote their resources to the benefits they may hope to derive from helping to preserve or improve conditions prevailing beyond their borders. There is bound to be competition here with the demands that their goals of possession, some of them pressing and vital, make on the limited national resources. Statesmen and peoples called upon to allot priorities among goals that belong to these two categories often face trying dilemmas. Recent debates on aid to underdeveloped countries supply ample material to illustrate these dilemmas. Is it desirable to divert, to the promotion of a more friendly environment or to the satisfaction of a generous public impulse to help underprivileged peoples, funds that otherwise might go into the build-up of military forces?

In considering this question, one might be tempted to substitute for "milieu goals" the term international goals. There is, however, danger in using the word international here because it might suggest either that these goals are not in the national interest or that governments can and should pursue goals other than those concerning the national interest.10 The likelihood of milieu goals' being also in the national interest of other countries does not make them less valuable; it only points up that nations


10. Thomas Cook and Malcolm Moos (Power Through Purpose: The Realism of Idealism as a Basis for Foreign Policy, The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1954, p. 138), declaring that nations should substitute "international interests" for the traditional interests, claim that the American people's "root concern" and "ultimate concept" is the "spreading and sharing . . . of its societal blessings." They are pleading, in other words, for "milieu goals" as a substitute for national possession goals on the ground that the latter consist exclusively of the goals of national glory and aggrandizement, values alien to the American people. They disregard the fact that no nation could hope to survive if it failed to be concerned about its own independence and territorial integrity, core possession goals of all nation-states.


find themselves sharing common interests. If some critics of milieu goals expect their country always to be the loser if it engages in costly efforts by which others benefit, they fail to realize that any promotion of peace or international lawfulness, any fight against the trade in narcotics or the spread of epidemics, to cite only a few examples, depends on concerted efforts by many nations-and such efforts are not likely to be forthcoming unless they are in the common interest.

Not all criticism of efforts directed toward milieu goals can, however, be discounted in this fashion. Frequently enthusiasm for such goals stems from an inclination to downgrade certain values that nations cherish highly--and need not be ashamed to cherish--such as adequate national security and its military prerequisites. Thus, nations have been advised to act on the principle of collective security, in the strict sense of the term, in order to help create a milieu in which threats to national possessions will cease to arise. But even assuming that such a milieu would be created, it is at best a long-run goal. In the meantime much can happen to a nation that diverts its limited military power from the task of protecting itself against immediate and specific threats to the task of "police action" in places where its survival is not at stake.

Another case of what may turn out often to be excessive zeal for a milieu goal takes the form of advice to wealthy countries to concentrate on lessening mass poverty and economic maldistribution throughout the world. Here again, immediate needs of self-preservation, which include the need for internal unity and public support of the government, place limits on the extent to which the pursuit of this goal is rational under given circumstances.

It has been argued that it is incompatible with the essence of national statehood to devote efforts to the creation of a "better world for all to live in.', There is nothing, however, in the functions the nation-state performs to prevent it from engaging in acts of altruism if its people or its rulers so desire and if in the judgment of its leaders it can afford to do so. A government that had assured its country of adequate security would not be violating its duties if it extended help to friendly nations without concern for the advantages its own country might expect to gain in return. Whether such altruistic acts are likely to occur, or whether, if a government claimed credit for them, its motives would be found to have been as pure as one were asked to believe, is another question. Acts of national foreign policy expressing a generous and sympathetic impulse--as was surely the case when the United States launched the Marshall Plan--usually will be found to have served the national security interest or economic interest of the donor as well. The same is true, too, of many acts of individual generosity and charity which may pay high "dividends" to the donor and yet be a moral credit to him. But while an altruistic act by an individual is likely to benefit the actor more if he is not conscious of serving his own interests too, usually when nations are involved suspicion of hypocrisy will be easily aroused; self-righteous claims of pure benevolence, by hurting the pride of others, will diminish the desirable effect of greater amity. For this reason it is wise for governments and peoples to be aware of-and in fact to stress-the element of national self-interest, however farsighted, that leads nations to improve the milieu by rendering services to others.

Another distinction between contrasting goals has been touched upon earlier: the distinction between goals arising from interests of the citizens as private individuals and from state interests, respectively. 11 While it was denied that state interests were the interests of a nonhuman Leviathan, nevertheless a significant difference exists


11. See Chapter 1, "The Actors in International Politics."


between goals meant primarily to serve the nation as a state or territorial entity and goals that are of prime interest to individual citizens or groups of citizens in their private capacity. If the latter benefit the nation as a whole, this can only be in an indirect fashion. Therefore, I call the first "direct national goals," the second, "indirect national goals."

Some goals like national independence or national security unmistakably are direct national goals. They have no meaning for men as private individuals except as these individuals identify themselves with their nation-state. The erection of tariff barriers, on the contrary, is of interest primarily to those private groups that expect to profit from tariff protection and it may or may not be advantageous to the nation as a whole. When tariff protection is made the objective of national policy it becomes an indirect national goal.

There is no yardstick by which to decide whether the promotion of any particular interest of larger or smaller groups of citizens deserves to be turned into a national goal, but it would be absurd to maintain that no goal can be in the national interest unless it is of the direct type. In a democratic society the state is not regarded as an end in itself or as an absolute good. We assume that the state must justify itself by its ability to insure such values as liberty, welfare, and happiness to its citizens.

Although in promoting such values the nation usually will benefit some people more than others and frequently even serve some at the expense of others-as in the case of tariffs, subsidies, or bars to immigration-this inequity does not in itself militate against such promotion. It greatly increases the difficulty, however, of deciding what is and what is not in the interest of the nation as a whole. Not everything that is good for General Motors--or for the auto workers--is good for the nation, but it can be.
It should be pointed out that indirect national goals are not a peculiarity of democratic foreign policy although they are alien to Communist countries in which private interests have no place at all. But a difference between democratic and autocratic countries may show up in the kind of private interests believed worthy of becoming an object of national concern. While in modern mass democracies the interests assumed to be those of the general public (or the common man) are likely to qualify for national support, in more stratified societies it is the interests of certain minorities, ruling groups, or economic elites that will tend to be identified with the interests of the nation.12


12. Charles Beard in The Open Door At Home: A Trial Philosophy of National Interest (Macmillan Co., New York, 1935) discusses under the labels "industrialist statecraft" and "agrarian statecraft" the way powerful sections of the population succeed in making the promotion of their special interests the goal of a policy parading as a policy of the national interest.


Indirect national goals present a problem similar to the milieu goals. They, too, can absorb more of a nation's efforts and resources than is compatible with the vital needs of national security or power. The danger is particularly serious in the case of indirect goals because of the influence that subnational pressure groups are capable of exerting on their behalf.

There is bound to be controversy in instances in which, in the absence of a clear-cut national emergency, the question of priority arises with respect to possession and milieu goals or to direct and indirect national goals. Such controversy reflects differences in value patterns as well as in estimates of what the situation requires. Nowhere more than here does it become evident how little guidance policy-makers can gain simply from being referred to the "national interest." Countries presently partitioned offer a striking illustration of the dilemmas governments and nations face when setting these priorities. Reunification has become a pressing possession goal for these partitioned countries. The core value of territorial integrity is at stake. Yet most Germans seem to agree with the official view of the West German government according to which the goal of preserving the freedoms West Germans enjoy under a democratic constitution-an indirect national goal-should be given precedence over German reunification. If the restoration of the former territorial integrity of the country enjoyed top priority among German national goals, West Germany could bring it about at the price of turning Communist and joining the Soviet camp.

There come to mind other circumstances in which an indirect national goal might gain precedence even over what were formerly regarded as national core values. In the case of a threat of nuclear devastation some governments might be led to decide--or be forced by public opinion to decide--that surrender rather than defense offers the only chance for the nation to survive in any meaningful sense of the term. Here, then, the indirect national goal of keeping citizens alive and their possessions intact would have won over the goal of national self-preservation in the traditional sense.

One further pair of contrasting categories of goals deserves attention. It makes sense, especially in our era, to distinguish between ideological or revolutionary goals on the one hand and traditional national goals on the other. The example that comes to mind is that of Communist governments which, it is widely assumed, engage their countries in efforts to promote the universalist goal of worldwide victory for Communism whether or not their countries as nation-states with a territorial base and with distinct security interests stand to gain by such efforts. There is no way of proving, however, that the Soviet Union while claiming to promote the cause of international Communism actually consents to sacrifices that would not be justified by the way in which its leaders interpret the Soviet national interest. In assisting "wars of liberation," for instance, the Soviet Union may hope to gain friends or allies for itself while simultaneously helping history along its predestined path toward a Communist world. The Soviet leaders themselves may not be able to distinguish between their national goals and their revolutionary or universalist goals because ever since Lenin declared Russia to be the "Fatherland of the Revolution" they have been able to claim, sometimes to the dismay of Communists abroad, that what was good for Russia--and only what was good for Russia--was good for Communism. It seems evident, however, that Communist doctrine colors Soviet thinking so strongly that the interpretation of what constitutes a Soviet national interest as well as the Soviet image of the outside world are strongly affected by the doctrine.

The Communist governments are not the only governments that are influenced by universalist ideological causes and are therefore ready to engage in efforts unappealing to nation-states of nineteenth-century European vintage. Some of the more revolutionary neutralist leaders, as will be discussed in a later chapter, 13 carry on their fight


13. See Chapter 14, "Allies, Neutrals, and Neutralists."


against colonialism even after their own countries have gained independence. When this happens these leaders place their states in the service of the transnational cause of abolishing Western colonial rule everywhere. Similarly, and even prior to Woodrow Wilson, the United States has engaged in policies directed toward spreading democracy abroad, especially by promoting the institution of free elections in other countries.14 While much of the declaratory policy by which governments claim to


14. See Theodore Wright's discussion of this policy in his article on "Free Elections in the Latin American Policy of the United States," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. LXXIV, No. 1 (March, 1959).


be pursuing such lofty ends as self-determination for all peoples, or a world safe for democracy, may be either hypocritical or a matter self-delusion, it would be as difficult to argue that Woodrow Wilson was acting in behalf of specific American interests when he struggled to get the Covenant of the League of Nations into the Versailles Treaty as it would be to assert that Lenin after becoming head of the Russian government placed its power and prestige exclusively in the service of national as against world revolutionary objectives. However, although men like Lenin and Wilson who were motivated to an exceptional degree by revolutionary or ideological fervor were able to inject a universalist element into the policy of their respective countries, events in their own lifetimes demonstrated the persistent predominance of the concern with strictly national interests: it was not long before the Soviet Union, following its Czarist predecessors, was to struggle to keep the Dardanelles open to Soviet shipping and before the United States was to refuse to join the League of Nations.


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