Мы публикуем на этой страничке ЛУЧШИЕ эссе студентов первого курса факультета мировой политики МГУ им. М.В. Ломоносова


Wars are won by words not weapons.

Nataly Yurchishina

It's common knowledge that ordinary people consider wars to be the result of arts and wiles of politicians. It may be a true statement as diplomas’ words can be really influential and they can move heaven and earth to achieve their goals. Sometimes atomic diplomacy or other threats can lead to horrible and disruptive wars, and I'm sure that every involved diplomat may ask himself the same question as one Molier's character: "Mais que diable allait-il faire dans cette galere?" which means "What the devil am I doing?"

I truly believe that every war can be finished even without being started. Negotiation is the most acceptable way of solving any problem rather than a lot of bloodshed. I hope that diplomats will build bridges, not walls and people from all over the world will sleep peacefully in their homes.

Nataly Yurtchishina, Faculty of World Politics

Wars are won by words not weapons.

Olga Ignatyeva

For centuries people have tried to solve their problems by negotiation. To escape conflicts and wars they have used words to persuade their opponents.

That’s where diplomacy begins.

As is known to everyone, diplomacy is an intellectual activity and decision–making derived from on–going analysis of current situations. Diplomacy includes the combination of ways and abilities which any state can use for its worthy existence in the world and for establishing cooperation with other members of international community.

However who plays the main role in diplomacy? Of course it’s a diplomat.

A diplomat is the only person who can win the war by words, not weapons. That’s what makes him one of the most important people in any country’s government. I would also like to mention that not any diplomat is able to play and win the game of international intrigue. It’s common knowledge that a perfect diplomat should possess a combination of endless ingenuity, wit and common sense comparable to, for example, Confucius’s wisdom. Moreover, diplomats must be highly qualified experts to be able to solve any problem even in an unpredictable situation.

Once Abraham Lincoln said: “I don’t think much of people who are not flexible.” Flexibility is a very important quality of a diplomat.

Turning to my final point I should say that only the possession of all the characteristics I’ve mentioned above can turn an ordinary person into a professional diplomat and let him win any political game on national or international scale.

Olga Ignatyeva, Faculty of World Politics

In archaeology you uncover the unknown.
In diplomacy you cover the known.

Ilya Mironov

Diplomacy is said to be the game of international intrigue. Statesmen and leaders of different countries with large and small population are competitors in this game, and in this eternal competition the fortunes of nations depend on a small group of people, who represent their countries' interests in the international arena.

It is common knowledge that internal policy of a country does not always agree with its foreign policy, and if the country is weak, only diplomats could prevent a war, by hiding the problems of their country, so to say, “keeping them under the carpet”. On the other hand, diplomats can cleverly conceal their country’s intention to start a war. Or they might try to find an excuse in the eyes of other countries' leaders, if the war is inevitable.

Therefore it is true, that wars are won by words, not weapons. History knows many examples of the brilliant work of diplomats. For instance, general Kutuzov used this knowledge to win the war against Napoleon, Adolph Hitler was hiding his evil intent to start a war against the Soviet Union; and the United States of America is still trying to convince the international community that Iraq occupation is a good idea.

However, a diplomat’s job does not consist only of sinking unpleasant truths. There are also lots of positive things that a powerful, sensible, ingenious, smart and, of course, talented diplomat can do.

Ilya Mironov, Faculty of World Politics

Wars are won by words not weapons.

Amir Abdalov

I’d like to comment on this statement because in my opinion it is a very wise aphorism which should be considered by any serious politician.

There is no doubt that being a diplomat or a politician is a great responsibility. The decision-making of these people may cause wars or (if the worst comes to the worst) many unpredictable situations. That’s why diplomats should always act adequately and be flexible in the changing conditions. For example, Abraham Lincoln was a wise politician and a flexible diplomat. These qualities determined his success in the American Civil War.

Apparently, the only way to solve serious problems between countries is negotiations. Reaching an agreement is the most difficult task. A single word may influence the whole world’s history. That’s why a smart diplomat should draw upon the heritage of the past.

For example, Prophet Muhammad was a very wise and tolerant diplomat. Once he was exiled from Mecca because of his belief in a single God, while others were pagans. But he faced the challenge and coped with it. He conquered people by his Words, not weapons. He won the city without violence and bloodshed.

To sum it up I would like to emphasize that all wars should be won by means of words not battles. And those who are able to act according to this principle demonstrate tolerant and wise diplomacy.

Amir Abdalov, Faculty of World Politics

Experience is sometimes the best teacher.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen!

Today in front of my honourable audience I am going to speak about the advantages and disadvantages of personal experiece.

George Boyko

There is an old adage which says that fools learn from their own mistakes while smart people learn from someone else’s mistakes. In spite of the fact that it is difficult to argue against the wisdom of the past, I am convinced that fools are unable to learn just by their definition, so to say – by default! And the failure that occurred once in real life is most unlikely to be repeated again – if we are not talking about full-time idiots…

However it is common knowledge that the benefit of good education can not be denied. Experience has other advantages. Unfortunately, any information obtained from someone else has a disadvantage of being remembered only partially. At the same time one’s own experience is usually carried through the person’s whole life. For instance, someone who once got burnt will be more careful while “playing with fire” in future. Such things work like an instinct and you do not even have to concentrate to find a suitable solution.

Moreover real life situatuions require more than just theory. Sometimes you have to act rapidly and you do not have time to look through any hand-book. So what can be a better assistant here than your own experience and intuition?

Boyko George, Faculty of World Politics

Diplomacy is the patriotic art of lying for one’s country.

Dear friends!

Today I’m going to throw light on the issue of diplomacy as the patriotic art of lying for one’s country.

Ira Sheverdina

Abraham Lincoln once said that he did not think much of people, who hold one point of view forever. I agree with him. This doesn’t refer to diplomacy only, it also deals with more general issues. People should be flexible and consider the changing conditions. Of course we should be sincere with our close friends and relatives, because friendship and family relationship should be based on truthfulness and confidence.

However, if we speak about diplomacy on an international scale, the diplomacy as an ability to make and maintain relations between states and international subjects, we will remember that the main task of a diplomat is to win wars by words, not weapons. That’s why he has to be flexible and sometimes smooth-tongued. Thus he is working for the benefit of his country. Therefore his lies can be called “white lies”!

For example, if a neighboring state observes some problems in the domestic policy of a certain diplomat’s country, it might be thinking about invading some part of this country. In such a situation, our diplomat will have to improve the relations between the two states by negotiation. It’s obvious that it’s impossible to manage this business without a great deal of flexibility.

Under these circumstances, the ability of a diplomat to solve urgent problems for the benefit of his country by flattery and some other arts and wiles is very helpful. So, we can see now, that diplomacy really IS the patriotic art of lying for one’s country.

I’d like to finish my presentation leaving you with yet another statement to think about: If a diplomat says «yes», he means «perhaps»; if he says «perhaps», he means «no», if he says «no», he is no diplomat.

Sheverdina Irina, Faculty of World Politics

Diplomacy is a matter of survival in the next 100 years.
Politics is a matter of survival in the next 100 days.

Ivan Systsov

Diplomacy is the foundation and practical realization of politics. For example, diplomacy is similar to the Earth, while politics can be compared to changing seasons. Today politics can bear this colour, next day it is tinted differently. However without diplomacy politics is colourless, shadeless, unimpressive!!

Ivan Systsov, Faculty of World Politics

Wars are won by words, not weapons.

Leo Tolstoy once said that wars are the nastiest things that can ever happen. Nikholas Balan

However there are a lot of armed conflicts in today’s world. Of course, it is the consequence of the wrong diplomacy which belligerent powers carry out. Therefore the main task of diplomacy is to get all people of all countries to live in peace and safety. That’s why a person who wants to follow diplomacy as a career should understand that thousands and even millions of human lives depend on his or her decisions. A good diplomat should try to solve every conflict by means of negotiation. Moreover, in addition to endless ingenuity a good diplomat should possess wit and common sense, comparable to, for example, Confucius’s wisdom. In fact, diplomacy is an ability to build and maintain relationships between countries; it helps to prevent wars and senseless deaths of peaceful citizens. Among other things diplomacy is the tool for making coalitions and creating alliances. On the other hand one wrong word or irrelevant expression of a diplomat can cause a major conflict. That’s why a model diplomat should also possess specific abilities such as language and communicative skills; he or she should be flexible and consider the changing conditions. Diplomats should be led by policy rather than sentiment, in other words they should draw upon their own knowledge and experience.

Diplomacy helps to avoid wars and conflict by different means. For example, it can warn the confronting states about the consequences of their conflict, because sometimes belligerents don’t even imagine the real danger of a war; or it can try to reconcile them after having found all the circumstances and reasons of the problem.

Conflicts appear all the time, but, fortunately, not all of them become the real world-wide problems. Of course it is a merit of diplomacy and diplomats, who try their best to stop disagreement between the parties.

Nikolay Balan, Faculty of World Politics

Experience is sometimes the best teacher.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today I am going to speak about experience which sometimes is the best teacher.

Liza Babicheva

Firstly I would like to speak about experience in diplomacy.

It's common knowledge that today’s world is a very fast-changing mechanism. Very often diplomats are called upon to deal with unpredictable situations. Moreover they have to deal with the problems which they cannot prepare for or read about in diplomatic manuals. However there is a tool that enables a diplomat to act adequately in unique situations. This tool is their precious knowledge which includes a combination of information, training, experience and intuition.

I think that experience is the most important thing in the practice of a diplomat.

There is a statement: "Wars are won by words, not weapons." To my mind if a diplomat has no experience than the war will be won by weapons.

Secondly I would like to speak about Confucius’s practical judgment. There is one tale which illustrates it. Two of his pupil asked Confucius the same question. But there were two different answers. The third student asked Confucius about this contradiction. The philosopher replied: "The same question has different answers for different people. The main importance is attcahed to their personal experience.” I agree with Confucius. If a person has little experience he needs to ask for someone else’s opinion and after that he may act on his own. If a person has enough experience he acts the other way round.

People learn from their own experience and they are entitled to make their own mistakes. In this way, experience is sometimes the best teacher.

Elizaveta Babitcheva, Faculty of World Politics

Diplomacy is the Patriotic Art of Lying for One’s Country.


I am inclined to believe, that diplomacy is the art, the art of lying for one’s country, the art of building and maintaining relations between governments and other international organizations, the art of searching for compromise for decision-making on different problems, the art of “doing and saying the nastiest thing in the nicest way”.

There is a very special category of people, who know this art. They are diplomats. In today’s fast-changing world diplomats are often called upon to deal with unique situations – problems which they cannot prepare for or read about in diplomatic manuals in advance. Their knowledge – a combination of information, training, experience and intuition – is the tool that enables them to act adequately in unpredictable situations.

Once Abraham Lincoln said: “You should be flexible and consider the changing conditions.” Indeed Lincoln was a wise politician and a brilliant diplomat. It helped him to win the American Civil War. To my mind every person, who follows diplomacy as a career, must remember these words. Sometimes a diplomat can pursue a very hard line in his policy, as, for example, Andrei Gromyko, the Russian minister of foreign affairs from 1957 to 1985 did. In the West, he received a nickname – Mr. Nyet or Comrade Nyet for his sharp negotiating style.

Sometimes a diplomat can act according to the following rule: “If a diplomat says YES, he means PERHAPS; If he says PERHAPS, he means NO; If he says NO, he is no Diplomat.” Such kind of politician was Count Andrei Ostermann, the famous Russian statesman of the 18th century. He could negotiate with the representatives of other governments for hours without saying either NO, or YES. Moreover, he never answered any questions directly.

Sometimes a diplomat must carry out soft policy, as John Kennedy did during the Caribbean crisis. The President, led by policy rather than sentiment, did not go into war with the USSR; what is more, he was the initiator of negotiations in private with Nikita Hrushev.

Taking all the above into account, it is necessary to say that a diplomat, whatever kind of policy he conducts, should understand that the prosperity of his country depends on him.

Wars are won by words, not weapons. That is why it is very difficult to underestimate the role of diplomacy in our world. There are many examples in history, which still prove this point. It is due to the work of such brilliant diplomats as Winston Churchill and Alexander Griboedov, Afanasii Ordin-Nashokin and Nicholo Machiavelli, Tomas Jefferson and Sergei Vitte, Mahatma Gandhi, Austin Chamberlain and many others that numerous important treaties with other nations were negotiated, a lot of international problems were solved, important agreements were reached.

We owe it to them that we live in today’s world.

Marika Gelashvili, Faculty of World Politics

Diplomacy is a matter of survival in the next 100 years.
Politics is a matter of survival in the next 100 days.


There is a statement that diplomacy is a matter of survival for the next 100 years and politics is a matter of survival for the next 100 days. In fact, it is true. For centuries, diplomacy has been a very important part of politics. However the powers of diplomacy are wider than the powers of politics. I cannot say that politics is not important. It is, but to tell the truth I should say that diplomacy is the ability to built and keep relations between the nations and other international subjects. Moreover, sometimes it is more difficult to reach an agreement than to make laws. That is why only highly qualified experts can establish friendly and lasting relations between their countries. A perfect diplomat should be wise, witty, sensible, ingenious and talented. He should always draw upon the heritage of the past.

While politicians tend to solve problems mostly by weapons, professional diplomats have never been in need of it. They can win the game of international intrigue using their words. A good diplomat always acts in the interests of his country. His main purpose is to maintain friendly relations between his country and its opponents. We should note that his task is not pure policy-making - he is looking for a peaceful solution to any problem.

Finally, we must face the fact that politics and diplomacy are too different and of course, the ways of problem-solving are different as well. Therefore, we should always remember that politics exists for today, and diplomacy exists for tomorrow.

Julia Korshakova, Faculty of World Politics

Experience is sometimes the best teacher.

Maria Toultaeva

Our whole life consists of making decisions. To choose the best way we need to have certain knowledge and of course some common sense. However, there is something else that helps us. It’s our experience.

One person has very little experience, another one possesses large experience, but every one of us has it to some extent.

What is experience? It’s hard to give a complete answer. However in my opinion experience is the compilation of different pieces of knowledge about the situations which you have faced during your whole life.

The best way to gain experience is to act independently but in addition you might ask somebody, with more experience, to assess your actions.

At the same time in order to know life better we have to make our own mistakes to understand what is good and bad, not to repeat these mistakes in future.

Ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, that experience is sometimes the best teacher. It teaches us to solve our problems, to make the right decisions, to give the right judgment, to be fair.

In conclusion I’d like to say, that wisdom comes if you are learning all through your life.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because even the most experienced people make mistakes from time to time.

Maria Toultaeva, Faculty of World Politics


Every society has rules and regulations to help its people live together and to keep them under reasonable control. Nowadays in every country of the world these rules Ivan Systsovare written down as laws passed by governments or religious leaders.

  Niccolo Machiavelli, the famous Italian diplomat of the 16th century, once noted that people can be good to each other only under constraint; and when they have a chance of choosing and acting on their own, they are immediately engaged in faction and upheavals. Therefore it’s common knowledge that starvation and poverty make people wily and laws -- better. Where something positive happens by itself without participation of any law, then law isn’t necessary, but when there isn’t any aspiration for good, law is necessary.

In English-speaking countries, many laws have their roots in common law. This is a group of laws handed down from medieval times, based on customs, common everywhere rather than just locally applied. But these laws were often so unjust that in the 15th century the English Chancellor issued the first one of many decrees to restore Equity or fairness.

In most European countries, however, law has its roots in the system of laws created by the Romans. So these countries are said to have Roman law systems. In socialist countries, the legal system was based on the ideas of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. In many Muslim countries, laws are based on the Quran.

 Today we can distinguish between the two main kinds of law: criminal law and civil law. Criminal law is directed against the crimes like murder, theft and rape. The definition of crime varies from country to country, but basically it’s an act that either injuries someone or damages someone’s property, or offends the government. While the aim of civil law is to settle disputes, criminal law is designed to punish people for crimes.

 In my opinion all laws consists of two categories:

The first category consists of the laws that are powerful instruments establishing physical or moral barriers against any vice. The second category of laws regulates the right of citizens that is the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of peaceful assembly and so on.

  It could be a big mistake to believe that laws were initially “invented” to ban some kind of antisocial behaviour, to fight organized crime, to regulate inheritance and property relations, to prevent civil offences, to impose penalties or to levy taxes…

From the very start (even in the primitive society) all laws were designed to balance moral and social interests of private citizens. An offence against the law is an offence against the sovereignty and the interests of the whole state; therefore the main point of law is the utilitarian justice. 

Ivan Systsov, Faculty of World Politics

There is some eternal law that is good for all times and places.

Before I begin my essay, I want to say, that we should distinguish between the two notions: laws as part of various codes, and laws as rules. It’s important because we always follow the laws contained in codes (if we don’t, we will be punished), and we often break the rules, because they are based on our honesty and integrity. That’s why a lot of eternal good laws are not in use.

Let’s take 10 commandments of the Bible as an example. A few of us would remember them, when, we wish to do something wrong. But we  DO remember, that we might be put into a jail for a serious  wrongdoing. When we offend somebody, we don’t think about moral foundations at that moment! When we don’t help someone who is in a trouble, we might just think: ”It’s none of my business, so what does this person want from me? What? Help?! Get lost, chappy! I am too busy! I can’t help you...”     We often forget the wisdom of our ancestors. Their rules and laws were made to help us become better. In fact we don’t need to spend a lot of time seeking for these moral norms -- they should be there -- in our soul, just open it and take them!

Well, I am afraid I am beginning to lose the main idea. Maybe I’ll try to describe my views on the “Main Law Of Life” and not to fall victim of my own thoughts.  Firstly I believe that we should be humane to others. Secondly, we should attempt to be as perfect as possible, then we’ll become fair and honest and, finally we will be able to live without laws!!!    

Have you taken it on trust???

Oh, don’t be so naive!!!

It’s impossible, that every human could be honest!  Thus, we have the first “Golden Rule”: be as careful and thoughtful as you can --there are a lot of people, who want to cheat on you or offend you. The second Rule will be: Do everything you can for others and some time you will be pleased. And the third rule: never go against the system-you will lose!

“There is some eternal law that is good for all times and places.”

Oleg Zagrebenko, Faculty of World Politics


We only become aware of political problems when something goes wrong.

In order to throw the light on this topic from the political perspective it may be helpful to examineAmir Abdalov everyday life of citizens in a state. There are at least five basic social values that states are usually expected to uphold: security, freedom, order and justice and welfare.

Most people usually take these basic values (security; freedom; order and justice; welfare) for granted. They only become aware of them when something goes wrong — for example, during a war or depression, when things begin to get beyond the control of individual states. On those learning occasions people wake up to the larger circumstances of their lives which in calm times are dormant or invisible. At those moments they are likely to become well aware of what they take for granted, and of how important these values really are in their everyday lives.

We become aware of national security when a foreign power engages in hostile actions against our country or one of our allies. We become aware of national independence and our freedom, as citizens, when peace is no longer guaranteed. We become aware of international order and justice when some states, especially major powers, abuse, or disregard international law or trample on human rights. We become aware of national welfare and our own personal socioeconomic well-being when foreign countries or international investors use their economic clout to risk our standard of living.

There were significant moments of heightened awareness of these major values during the twentieth century. For example, the oil shock of the 1970-s made it absolutely clear to countless American, European, and Japanese motorists — among others — that economic policies of Middle-East and other major oil producing countries could suddenly raise the price of gas or petrol at the pump and lower their standard of living. The Gulf War (1990-1) and the conflicts in the Balkans, particularly Bosnia (1992-95) and Kosovo (1999) were a reminder of the importance of international order and respect for human rights. The attacks on New York and Washington (2001) awakened many people in the United Slates and elsewhere to the dangers of international terrorism.

To sum up I would like to emphasize that one shouldn’t take basic social values for granted because these values are so fundamental to human well-being that they must be protected and ensured not only at times when things begin to get beyond the control of state but constantly  - at all times.

Amir Abdalov, Faculty of World Politics

Experience is sometimes the best teacher.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today I am going speak about experience which sometimes is the best teacher, as one philosopher noted.

Our life consists of making difficult decisions. So we need to do a lot of hard work, we need knowledge and common sense to choose the best ways every day. On the other hand, I think that experience also helps us to build our future.

The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius said, “If a person has little experience he needs to ask for someone else’s opinion and only than he may follow other people’s advice. However, if a person has enough experience he may act by himself.”  Thus he illustrated the variety of life contexts. At the same time, people learn from their own experience and they have the right to make their own mistakes. This practice leads us to making the right decisions and to effective problem-solving. I believe that there is no better friend than your own intuition. We should also understand what is good or bad, and never repeat the same mistakes in our future. 

For diplomats experience is the most crucial thing. It helps them to act adequately in unpredictable situations. And finally experience helps every one of us to survive in this sophisticated and controversial world.

Maria Lapina, Faculty of World Politics




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