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Realpolitik [German: real ("realistic," "practical" or "actual") + politik ("politics")] is a term used to describe politics based on strictly practical rather than ideological notions and practiced without what would be considered sentimental illusions. Realpolitik is often used pejoratively as a term to imply politics imposed by means of physical violence, political extortion or economic suppression, or to imply completely amoral politics aimed solely to achieve the goals by any means.


  • Mittel Energie auszuüben und nur ihn anzuordnen der Energie besitzt kann sie ausüben. Dieser direkte Anschluß der Energie und der Richtlinie bildet die grundlegende Wahrheit aller Politik und den Schlüssel zu aller Geschichte.
    • Translation: To rule means to exercise power, and only he who possesses power can exercise it. This direct connection of power and rule forms the fundamental truth of all politics and the key to all history.
    • August Ludwig von Rochau, as quoted in The German Idea of Freedom : History of a Political Tradition (1972) by Leonard Krieger, p. 354

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