Realism is dull

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Realism is dull, Robert Kaplan notes, but it works:

Kissinger’s description of Metternich’s diplomatic achievement in controlling Napoleon adds another layer: “It had not produced any great conceptions; nor had it used the noble dreams of an impatient [revolutionary] generation. Its skill did not lie in creativity but in proportion, in its ability to combine elements it treated as given.”

Realism is thus about deftly playing the hand that has been dealt you. It is not exciting or inspiring. Journalistic careers are rarely built on embracing realism, though policymaking careers often are.

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