March 17, 1964 New York City 11:30 PM
Tired, shocked from the cold outside - a midwinter day in mid March. With the canyon winds roaring along 5th and catching one up violently at the corner of University Place and the Square. I walked unprepared into class tonight at 8, after having dictated some pages of the book on Congress to Julia Martinez. But class went well; the discussion struck early upon the effect of similarity and interdependence, upon peaceful relations between two nations. I took off and developed point after point steadily. At the end of 2 hours we had hopped and skipped over history and civilization and fear, ambition, and injuries felt were the causes of war (their agency of peace), provided that the calculus harm-to-self expected was favorable. Whence, since f, a, and I are always about in sufficient quantity to cause war, and similarities and interdependence are largely subjective and partial conditions, the bellific calculus is the preponderant precipitator of war and must be the object of control and of world order. Indeed all other things can be cast aside as not mattering and efforts devoted at keeping the bellific calculus negative. To win the peace, one must appear likely to win the war.
A few minutes passed with A. Rogow and Harold Lasswell's new book on Power, Corruption and Rectitude. It turns out to be a silly attack against the Acton aphorism concerning the tendency of power to corrupt, an inexact expression, worthy and nice, but not to be taken as the base for launching a book. The attack is against the separation of powers and, apart from being well-written, as books in politics go, is child's play. I am surprised at Lasswell lending himself to such nonsense as these repeated assertions that the cause of democracy's troubles is the fear of power and its diffusion in government and society.