Humanity has two tendencies: we either adapt to the world, which requires that we change, or we expect the world to adapt to us, which requires that it changes. The former is natural selection, the latter solipsism, and all of our political and social inclinations flow from those.
Those on the side of natural selection tend to be political realists, or those who recognize that “might is right” in the context of who decides history, not morality, although we also see that there are multiple sorts of morality. Realists like that which makes outcomes better in reality, regardless of what people think about it, which requires a long time-consciousness and a qualitative assessment so that we choose what is real, what is good, and from that, what is best for the longest time-scale possible.
Political realism frightens the average person for the same reason “might is right” does, namely that it rejects their desires and demands and replaces them with the idea that whatever best understands the world will determine what persists over time. You can have all of the good intentions possible, but if you understand reality less than the other guy, he will be stronger and win, and you will lose, possibly dying in defeat as you watch your civilization destroyed around you. This is grim nihilistic reality, uncontrollable to us like death, and it terrifies the average human.
Our thoughts strike us as immortal. They exist only in a perpetual present tense, are symbolically pure, and radiate like a voice coming down from the heavens. However, they can be wrong as in the sense of “not real,” and sometimes we are tested. If it is night on the Alaskan tundra and you must make a fire, you either figure out how to do it or become bleached bones in the snow. Reality is literal and has consequences, unlike idle thoughts.
Political realists tend to differ from utilitarians, or those who are conformist to the point that they believe that whatever most people think is good is in fact good, on several key points:
Social hierarchy versus Individualism: “People” are neither good nor bad; in fact, the category “people” means very little other than species identifier. Humanity varies by race, ethnicity, and social class, and within that by family and individual; human beings have multiple dimensions, including degree of moral intention, competence at any number of tasks, attention span, experience, and self-discipline. People are people. They do good when they have a strong framework in which to operate, called culture, that is derived from the genetics of a group and is not universal or absolute.
Subsidies versus performance-based reward: Currently lots of people love to complain about capitalism since it is much easier to blame a market system than it is to admit that democracy has created an almost unbroked record of insane, stupid, and impractical decisions. People are individualistic; they like the idea that they will be rewarded no matter what they do; therefore they form unions, gangs, cliques, and clubs so that they can extract their reward from the rest of society with the strength of the group — that is the essence of Crowdism — which means that all groups succumb to this entropy unless directed in a different way. That spells the death knell for jobs and social positions outside of a genetic hierarchy because these become sinecures, or positions from which people extract wealth from the community. The only system that works involves choosing the best on the basis of their inner abilities (intelligence, wisdom, morality, nobility) and sequestering power and wealth with them so that it does not get misused; meritocracy cannot do this. At that point, each person has a position in the social hierarchy without much social mobility, and you can reward those who do well individually, for example bump the workers who outperform the others upstairs, ignore the mediocre, and yeet the failures to the curb. Only this provides upward Darwinian selection pressure and allows a society to, through biological/genetic quality of its people, stay above a state of descending toward third world levels. This means that not only do we need capitalism, but we need natural selection at every level, always boosting better people above the rest and pushing away those who are destructive, insane, criminal, or otherwise unfit for civilization. Sounds harsh? Consider adding the load from their damage to your workday. For each parasite, you can add ten minutes or more, and there are millions of them. They will be poor, sad, and powerless no matter what you give them or do not give them. Set yourself free. You have more potential to give to humanity than they do. The same principle applies at all levels of a healthy society.
Pluralism versus unity (and specificity): Utilitarians like the idea of having their cake and eating it too, which means “agree to disagree” or parallel truths which are forced to be judged as correct by the group despite conflicting; more sensible people see that among parallels, one is eventually chosen and becomes the next iteration of causes in a cause-effect cycle. This means that “agree to disagree” is at best a delaying tactic and at worst, dishonest manipulation. Diversity means division; homogeneity means unity. Pluralism means indecision; specificity, localization, and a case-by-case basis mean that decisions are chosen, but not in a universal context. That is, what is right for one town is not necessarily right for another, or for all towns; it works here and that is enough. Pluralism, like its ancestor pacifism, prefers universalism because that way, it can be used as a control mechanism to prevent realists from attacking any of the members of the group who made the choice to be pluralistic. Pacifism declares a means-over-ends approach: the goal switches from “find the right answer” to “keep the peace,” which means that any answer is compromised or otherwise adjusted so that all parties will be happy. This inverts any answer by forcing it to become more of what the group already accepts, mainly by removing anything which clashes with the pretenses, taboos, habits, and illusions of the group. This means that universalism leads directly to pacifism and pluralism since trying to establish too broad of a standard forces compromise, therefore forces a pacification process, either by subjugation by a centralized authoritarian entity, voluntary compromise to the point of inversion, or both.
High time preference versus continuity: Societies based around the individual care about what pleases the individual, which usually means whatever they want right now and to ignore the consequences long term or otherwise. On the other hand, realists value continuity, or a consistency of approach and actors from beginning to future, with the only change being qualitative, or to what degree of complexity and refinement these are applied. Continuity values tradition and figures where it is wrong, it can be improved to the point of being right, where sudden changes throw us into the world of human impulses which favor the short term and therefore, tend to be not just wrong but selfish and destructive.
Everywhere we consider political realism, we see a rejection of the human perspective in favor of taking the perspective of nature, logic, history, and the longest-term view possible. We also see a rejection of the universal and utilitarian in favor of a case-by-case basis and localized approach, which means that instead of a generalized human “collective” view, we have a recognition of the differences between people and the importance of allowing the best to rise above the rest. Political realism is political naturalism, or the idea that politics should mirror natural structures instead of imposing alien human structures upon what is ultimately a natural species in a natural ecosystem.
This takes us back to the two human political tendencies: we either adapt to the world, or force it to adapt to us. Political realism takes the former, where humanism — including egalitarianism, pluralism, pacifism, and utilitarianism — takes the latter approach. Only one leads to human thriving, and it is not the solipsistic masturbatory self-worship of humanism.