Le Pouvoir est la manifestation supreme de la peur que l'homme fait à luimême par ses efforts pour s'en libirer. Là est peut-être le secret le plus profond et obscur de l'histoire. Ferrero, Pouvoir, p. 43.
The current discussion of a future world order has made it plain that the problem of coming international relations is of a magnitude surpassing even that of winning the war. It is not intended here to add to the rising tide of concrete plans in this field, but rather to elucidate certain proposals in the light of some basic features of the present system of international relations and, starting from a clearer picture of what is, to seek to discriminate between what is desirable and undesirable, possible and utopian. Wrong concepts of the forces underlying the present system have too often produced “peace plans” built on the sands of wishful thinking, and therefore bound to be wrecked on the rocks of reality. Disappointment caused by the failure of ill-conceived devices, in turn, is apt to produce a “realism” which ridicules any attempt to discuss international relations in terms of a possible evolution toward a more integrated stage.
Power, in modern international relations, has been the ultimate means of deciding issues and adjusting relationships among the units constituting international society. The states have regarded themselves as “sovereign” entities, not subordinated to any superior political power nor guided in their power politics by considerations of an a-political, i.e., power-alien, nature.