By J. E. Hare, Carey B. Joynt
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He complains that "we take the best and strongest from their youth upwards, and tame them like young lions - charming them with the sound of the voice, and saying to them that with equality they must be content, and that the equal is the honorable and the just". 9 Again echoing the sophists, Thucydides reflects in his History upon the way the war changed the meanings of the moral words. He writes, in an excursus on the evil effects of the civil war in Corcyra, and elsewhere in Greece, "words had to change their ordinary meaning and take that which was now given them.
But he conceives his usefulness to lie not in warning against the decline of morals that accompanies war, but in showing how best to exploit it. " 14 The name of Hobbes is often coupled with that of Machiavelli and the two thinkers are in many ways similar. But Hobbes is a systematic theorist, while Machiavelli is concerned more with practice. Machiavelli gives the impression that he writes books only because he cannot for the time being engage in serious politics. The relationship here is somewhat like that between the sophists and the generals at Athens, or between Morgenthau and Kennan in our century.
For the golden rule does not forbid our doing what we want for ourselves unless this interferes unduly with our doing for others what they want for themselves. Morgenthau concludes that the gap between ethics and politics cannot be closed. He illustrates this view with a number of historical examples. We shall mention three typical ones. He claims that the failure of American foreign policy to see the inevitable gap between ethics and politics played a large causal role in the horrors of the First World War, in the disaster at Pearl Harbor, and in the rise of Fascism.
Ethics and International Affairs by J. E. Hare, Carey B. Joynt