Word of the Day

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


\rey-AHL-poh-li-teek, ree-\ , noun;
political realism or practical politics, especially policy based on power rather than on ideals.
Alas, when one advances blindly across the boggy ground of realpolitik, when pragmatism takes up the baton and conducts the orchestra, ignoring what is written in the score, you can be pretty sure that, as the imperative logic of dishonor will show, there are still, after all, a few more steps to descend.
-- José Saramago, Death with Interruptions, 2005
However, the daughter's accord with the postulate, which was during childhood like a faith in the gnostic cult of numbers of Pythagoras, later became a variety of realpolitik.
-- Rivka Galchen, "Sticker Shock," American Innovations, 2014
Realpolitik comes directly from the German word of the same spelling which means "politics of realism." It emerged in English in the 1910s.
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