per page, with , order by , clip by
Results of 0 - 1 of about 0 (0.001 sec.)
INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY
@author: Manas Reprints
@digest: 0274ee584206ac41a613424a43e51253
@id: 2358
@mdate: 2004-12-06T17:00:00Z
@size: 56232
@type: application/pdf
author: Manas Reprints
creator: Microsoft Word
producer: Acrobat PDFWriter 3.02 for Windows
#keywords: glaucon (41683), oppenheimer (35653), tibet (14972), korean (12848), nehru (11334), psychical (10466), china (9988), aggression (9969), india (7769), communist (7619), 1955 (6211), socialism (6078), united (5286), foreign (4932), policy (4658), april (4637), states (4605), reprint (4367), indian (4308), political (4215), volume (3965), research (3643), manas (3513), american (3090), the (2923), against (2887), between (2808), because (2778), western (2592), difficult (2556), country (2436), that (2429)
VOLUME VIII, NO. 14 APRIL 6, 1955 INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY [While it is generally contrary to MANAS editorial policy to print articles which might be termed "political," we publish this review of Indian foreign policy, contributed by an Indian observer, for a particular reason—which is that the decisions of Prime Minister Nehru seem to issue from a background of philosophical reflection. Acts of statesmanship so undertaken deserve a sympathetic hearing at the very least. In addition, we feel that few Americans have had opportunity to read a clear and dispassionate account of the reasoning behind Indian policy, such as this article appears to be. For these reasons, then, we offer it to our readers. Editors, MANAS.] WHILE addressing the two houses of U.S. Congress in October, 1949, Mr. Nehru said, "Where freedom is menaced or justice threatened, or aggression takes place, we cannot and shall not be neutral.” This was prima facie a substantial assurance to Washington of India's support against unprovoked aggression; and since the unquestioned assumption was that such aggression would originate only from the Soviet bloc, Mr. Nehru's assurance promised a great accession of strength to the United States in its anti-Communist global policy. The subsequent misunderstandings and antagonism that India's foreign policy provoked in the United States rose from the fact that Mr. Nehru's assessment of critical situations differed vitally from that of the United States since it was prompted by the larger interests of world peace and not by requirements of anti-Communist strategy. Communist aggressiveness was not as obvious to India as it was to the United States and the Western powers who had therefore to do without India's active cooperation against international Communism. The differences between Mr. Nehru's approach to world problems and the strategic approach of the United States and the Western powers were thrown into sharp focus by the Korean War. India supported the Security Council's resolution against North Korea immediately after the invasion of South Korea in June, 1950. The United States and the Western powers readily identified this as naked Communist aggression and responded with prompt military action. India was anxious to treat it as just a breach of the peace between the two Koreas. It is not clear how far the invasion of South Korea was "unprovoked aggression" by North Korea, though it excited world-wide attention; the two states were chronically belligerent, minor incidents were always happening and it is possible that North Korean "aggression" which had almost stampeded the world into a third World War was an oversized retaliation against routine South Korean provocations. Be that as it may, Mr. Nehru was anxious to localise the Korean conflict and expressed this in his letters to Marshal Stalin and the then U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. Dean Acheson; and he was not inclined to aggravate the situation by condemning the Communists for aggression. While the promptness and massiveness of U.N. operations in Korea were very salutary, the righteousness of the United Nations was jeopardised when U.N. forces went beyond the limited and legitimate objective of pushing back the invaders beyond and suspending operations at the 38th Parallel. India's warnings against U.N. trespass into North Korean territory were not heeded nor was the necessity to continue the war explained. Some sort of explanation was attempted only months later when General Ridgeway spoke about the indefensibility of the region roundabout the 38th Parallel in a press conference in Tokyo in August, 1951. Strategical unfeasibility however did not confer moral defensibility on an undertaking which took on the very complexion of North Korean high- MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 handedness it meant to punish when it violated the South Korean boundary. Red China's entry into the Korean war was, India believed, the consequence of U.N. penetration into North Korea right up to the borders of China, and India refused to endorse the U.N. resolution branding China an aggressor because China had valid reasons to distrust and resist U.N. operations which assumed proportions menacing to her. Mr. Nehru's policy of neutrality was never well-received in Washington; and the outspokenness of his criticism of U.S. policy in Asia, which became very pronounced as the Korean war proceeded, greatly exasperated the United States. It was not unnatural in such circumstances that India's independent outlook appeared to the United States to be appeasement of Communist China. The subsequent course of Sino-Indian relations on Tibet also strengthened American misconceptions of India's foreign policy. India had recognised China's suzerainty over Tibet, but this did not prevent her from protesting vigorously at China's invasion of Tibet in November 1950 when India was arranging for negotiations between China and Tibet. The Chinese replied in very unfriendly terms, alleging India's submission to foreign influence and her interference in China's internal affairs. The British Government supported India's stand against China's attempt to settle issues by force. Mr. Nehru asserted in the Indian parliament that India's frontier lay at the McMahon Line (850 miles east of Bhutan), saying, "We will not allow anyone to cross it.” For a while it looked as though the Tibetan crisis would mark the end of the "honeymoon" (as a commentator put it) between India and China. However, events took a different turn. Chinese troops halted near the Chamdo area, 300 miles from Lhasa, capital of Tibet. It is not unlikely that the Chinese did not want to alienate Indian sentiment. Negotiations over Tibet were resumed in 1953 between India and China, at the end of which India agreed to withdraw her troops Volume VIII, No. 14 from Yatung and Gyantse within six months and hand over the Posts and Telegraphs establishments there to China. The McMahon Line was accepted by China as constituting India's border. It is not surprising that India's policy, after her withdrawal from Tibet, smacked of appeasement of Peking to many in the United States and even in India. Answering critics in the Indian parliament, Mr. Nehru said that the Indian garrison in Tibet was a symbol of British imperialism and therefore had to be evacuated. On a matter of principle Mr. Nehru could not approve of extra-Indian dispositions of the Indian Army. His acceptance of China's suzerainty is explained by China's hegemony over Tibet which has had a historical continuity, though effective exercise of authority by China had not always been possible. This circumstance made it difficult for India to question Communist China's ambitions in Tibet even when there was a vigorous but short-lived assertion of Tibetan rights to independent existence in 1950, soon after Chinese invasion. It was a matter for negotiation and settlement between Tibet and China, in which India could not possibly interfere. Those who charged India with having surrendered to Peking ignored the fact that India had never made any territorial claims on Tibet and therefore had none to surrender. This point of view would, however, fail to impress the United States and the Western anti-Communist strategists. Neutrality is demonstrable only when the neutral finds occasions to be unreservedly critical of both the parties. Mr. Nehru's neutrality is suspect because circumstances have poised him against U.S. policy in Asia while he has had no occasion to rebuke Communist China except in the case of Tibet, which however was settled unsatisfactorily to the United States. Communist guilt was not easily identifiable in Indo-China because of colonial confusion and it was not fixable in Korea where the U.N. overreached itself. In Europe no further territorial MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 3 encroachments were made by Russia after the reduction of Czechoslovakia in 1948 and she was not involved in situations of which neutrals like India could be critical. In these circumstances the ideological immorality of Communism alone did not provide inducements for India to maintain her relations with Russia on any other than friendly basis. Asia was militarily active, but Mr. Nehru has never had to reckon with the kind of aggression against which he assured India's support in the United States Congress in 1949. The requirements of U.S. foreign policy overlooked that it would be more difficult to justify to Asians the expansive military activities in Asia of an alien power like herself (with her nonetoo happy associations with colonial powers) than to demonstrate the aggressiveness of China, an Asian power. Perseverance in mutually irreconcilable policies by India and the United States generates mutual suspicion such that mutual appreciation of their respective standpoints becomes difficult. The wisdom of Mr. Nehru's foreign policy will commend itself to America only when she realizes the validity of China's criticisms and claims against the United States (as on Formosa, Pescadores and the offshore islands) despite China's Communism; and this necessitates an efflux of time during which passions subside and the statesmanship on either side should be able to avoid war. C.V.G. MADRAS, INDIA Volume VIII, No. 14 MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 4 Letter from CENTRAL EUROPE INNSBRUCK.—In May, 1945, traffic in Austria had practically come to a standstill. A great number of railway engines and cars had been hit by bombs and many others remained on foreign territory or were confiscated by the Allies. Buses and private cars, called in during the war by the German military authorities like recruits, had not returned, and even motor cycles were rare, as the factory output had for a long time been exclusively military. The shortage lasted a number of years, until rolling stock for the most necessary traffic had been procured again, but even then the situation, especially for the railways, remained difficult. To illustrate: the Russians had replaced all the good engines and railway cars they took to the Soviet Zone with third-class engines and wagons! Thus a full recovery of Austrian transportation is difficult. Being poor, the Federal Railways lack the capital to buy on a large scale, and individuals have not sufficient money to buy even in small quantities. Up to last year, the street traffic has been mostly motorbikes and cycles, so far as modern vehicles are concerned. Lately, the situation has improved somewhat as a result of the Austrian Government's elimination of the import taxes on cars of German make, but conditions remain poor in many areas. In a mountainous country, many millions have to be spent to maintain the highways, which are often damaged by avalanches, breaks and erosion, and the building of new mountain roads costs many times more than construction of those on plains or mildly hilly territories. But Austria needs to strengthen her transportation system. There is Innsbruck (InnBridge), for instance, which cannot be reached by any means from the north, as the Alpine chains barricade the way from Southern Germany. Railways have to go a wide, roundabout way from Munich, while highway traffic (passing Achen Lake) has to approach the city from an angle. If a car coming south from Munich, past Achen Lake, were to go straight on, instead of turning off to Innsbruck, it would enter the Ziller Valley and there be stopped, as another chain of mountains would be reached after twenty miles. For this reason the Italian Railways have suggested to Germany and Austria: Why not pierce the mountains, building a tunnel to develop the shortest possible route from Munich to Venice? South German exporters are fond of the plan, especially those who deliver to Oriental countries, since it would mean a reduction of freight rates. And the Italian authorities—their plans are already worked out in detail—see so many advantages for their country in this project that they declare themselves ready to bear a large part of the costs. But the enthusiasm of the German tourist offices for the possibility of only one hour by fast train from the German border to the Italian border is just what the Austrians don't like. Austria would be reduced to a transit-territory. Most of the holiday-makers from whom the Tyrol (and particularly Innsbruck) makes a living would go right by. To agree with the Italian plan would mean economic suicide, so far as the Tyrol is concerned, while to refuse agreement would certainly oppose a necessary progress. It remains a difficult-tosolve problem. Such are some of the "minor" difficulties of European unification. . . . Despite these problems, the first thought of the Austrians is to please the visitors. One reason for this, of course, is to maintain Austria's reputation as a holiday resort for foreigners, bringing some support from the ERP (Marshall Plan). But this idea as well as the energy are theirs, when—as happened during recent years in various places, and is happening still—they build daring cable-ways to the highest peaks, thus opening a grand aspect of Nature for those who cannot climb. Volume VIII, No. 14 MANAS Reprint CENTRAL EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT April 6, 1955 5 REVIEW "PHYSICAL AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH" THERE is no doubt, now, that "extrasensory perception" is here to stay. Dr. J. B. Rhine was recently commissioned to do an original article for the Reader's Digest, a follow-up on excerpts reprinted in the magazine from his The Reach of the Mind, in February, 1948. The public is at long last allowed to believe that telepathy, prophetic visions, clairvoyance, etc., are real occurrences, while we find an increasing number of psychiatrists showing interest in the relevance of para-normal phenomena to their own field of investigation. Though chiefly concerned with the subject of dreams in the Reader's Digest article—"Do Dreams Come True"—Rhine also condenses findings in ESP research: Let us look at what happened in investigations in a field closely related to that of prophetic dreams: extrasensory perception, which involves claims of such powers as telepathy and clairvoyance. The anecdotal type of evidence, gathered over a period of 100 years, failed to convince the scientific world. So tests were designed that would rule out chance and the use of the known senses. After several decades of research by scientists in Europe and America, results showed that some individuals, at least, are able to exercise extrasensory perception under well-controlled test conditions. Investigators further found that neither time nor space had any relation to success in the tests: tests that involved future events or long distances were no less successful than those involving contemporaneous events and short distances. And these findings were just what the spontaneous experiences themselves had shown. . . . Perhaps the most significant fact that has emerged is this: there is now known to be present in human personality an aspect that is unbounded by the space and time of matter—hence a non-physical or spiritual aspect. Its boundaries and its capacity for growth may well be beyond the limits of our present powers to conceive. Another approach to the field of psychical research is provided in a volume entitled, Physical Volume VIII, No. 14 and Psychical Research, published in Great Britain by The Omega Press (1954). The authors are C. C. L. Gregory, a physicist, and Anita Kohsen, a psychologist, who attempt to outline a few coherent principles which will enable physical and psychical study to be regarded as facets of one larger undertaking, rather than as mutually exclusive investigations. The significance of Gregory and Kohsen's work, as revealed in their Preface, lies in the fact that they wish to penetrate the "field" of mysticism and religion with the impartial tools of the scientific investigator. They write "as scientists with orthodox training but unorthodox experience," who are "reluctant to disregard either," preferring to face an inevitable clash between "the theoretical framework of orthodox science and the facts of psychical research." In the last chapter, they write in summary: Much has been said and written concerning the desirability of unifying science without the application of new methods, or the introduction of new concepts. Such attempted unifications, as far as we are aware, have not included the possibility of the paranormal. We hope to have shown that inclusion of the paranormal has in fact helped to make this task easier, although new methods had to be applied, and new concepts introduced. Much that has been regarded as paranormal, and especially telepathic haunting, appears as an important feature in psychopathology, and possibly in all human relationships. If this be so, to disregard or evade it could be symptomatic of a Western malady, not obvious to the sufferer. If we are right in this, the whole implicit belief system of the Western world could be exerting a general defacilitation of images, other than those related to material systems and especially to human artifacts. Science as a discipline is magnificent, and indispensable as a belief system it is disastrous. Many regard our civilisation as near catastrophe, and some regard it as an infant just finding its feet. It is now too late to look back. What of the future? What are the hopes of a new and unified science becoming established, eventually to bridge the gaps between existing rival systems of belief? The unification of science has been regarded as a future hope, rather than as a present fact. We MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 6 consider that this is due to envisaging unity as a general belief in an universal conceptual system. We suggest this is the time to develop "metascience." The unusual content of Physical and Psychical Research revolves around the authors' effort to substantiate a "hierarchical view" of nature. What the word "hierarchy" means to Gregory and Kohsen is that every form of intelligence exerts an influence on every other— through unseen as well as observable media. It is, they suggest, this interpretation of all levels of consciousness which makes telepathy, precognition, etc., possible. So if there is only "one reality," it must be granted to have at least two distinct dimensions, and in the light of this conclusion the investigations of modern science are appallingly one-sided. Hence the importance of such work as that undertaken by Dr. Rhine and some conclusions derived therefrom lead the thoughtful mind to wonder, for instance, if "scientific" psycho-therapy is not apt to be fraught with a good many more perils than have been customarily realized. The following passage is one example of the significant correlations made by use of Gregory and Kohsen's prospectus for further research, and bears directly on the topic of "hierarchical" penetration between intelligences of all degrees: It may seem odd, at this point, to devote so much space to telepathy, which is more properly a subject of parapsychology; but we have already had occasion to envisage the possibility of telepathy in psycho-analytic procedure, so that it would be at least very rash, in what are regarded as normal psychological processes, to assume that nothing like telepathy could be operating. . . . Nothing could be easier than for a "healer" to use this skill for his own ends, and to the detriment of his patients, and this need not imply the awareness, on his part, of his supposed disruptive activities. He might himself be unaware of harmful motivation and its effects, he could be to some extent self-deluded, but need not necessarily be an integrated personality cynically pursuing his art for self-interest alone. to be thought the merely "physical" world exist behind the scenes—or in addition to whatever can be touched, seen, tasted or smelled, and consciousness has hidden depths, also. The authors quote approvingly from a paper by Lorenz: Intuition it was when Kepler first perceived, in the complicated epicycles of the planets' apparent movements, the simple regularity of their real orbits, or when Darwin first saw, in the intricate tangle of living and extinct forms of life, the convincingly clear Gestalt of the genealogical tree. Without intuition, the world would present to us nothing but an impenetrable and chaotic tangle of unconnected facts. It would be quite impossible for us to find the laws and regularities prevailing in this apparent chaos, if the mathematical and statistical operations of our conscious mind were all that we had at our disposal. It is here that the unconsciously working computer of our Gestalt perception is distinctly superior to all consciously performed computations. The most important advantage of intuition is that it is "seeing" in the deepest sense of the word. Like other kinds of Gestalt perception and unlike inductive research, it does not only find what is expected, but the totally unexpected as well. Thus intuition is for ever guiding inductive research. Gregory and Kohsen are convinced that the greatest need is for a new, more comprehensive methodology. Physical and psychical phenomena are to be related in the new discipline. We wonder, though, if their volume is not primarily a demonstration that every truly radical thinker will be able to develop his own "methodology" as he goes along; it is the institutionalization of method of which original thinkers learn to be afraid. One might be, in short, more enamoured of Gregory and Kohsen's work in its present, formative stage than later—if the methodology recommended finally becomes a polished construct. As one might expect from this volume, considerable attention is paid to the meaning of the word "intuition.” Some realities of what used Volume VIII, No. 14 MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 7 COMMENTARY RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FREE THERE is one phase of the problem of "communism" and "subversive activities" which is consistently overlooked by those who feel that the United States is justified in pursuing an aggressive anti-communist strategy—to borrow the terms of the writer of this week's lead article. The issue is commonly spoken of as between people or nations which can be trusted, and those who cannot. Free, self-governing peoples, it is said, will honor the agreements they make, while the communists regard deceit as a legitimate weapon in international affairs. Communist ideologists write contemptuously of "bourgeois morality," arguing that it represents only the self-interest of the ruling classes, and declare that all genuine moral values hinge on the Class Struggle— what serves the cause of revolution is right, what opposes it, wrong. And today, serving the cause of revolution is made to mean furthering the interests of the Soviet State. Actually, the question of why so many Europeans—in Germany, France, and Italy, to say nothing of Russia and other countries now behind the Iron Curtain—have voluntarily adopted political views which alienate them from traditional Western morality—is never seriously discussed. All that we hear is, "They are wrong and bad; we are right and good.” We do not here argue the claim. We simply wonder how long such righteousness can last, when it is marked by no little comprehension of those who are wrong. What is the responsibility of free peoples? So, how can the declared intentions of communist diplomats be taken seriously? There is no common ground. We have no wish to minimize this issue. We do not know to what extent the foregoing analysis is correct, but we are sure that it is in some measure correct. This is enough to create a situation of authentic tragedy for those in the West who are genuinely concerned with the establishment of peace. But there is this question to be asked: What is the responsibility in such a situation of people who take pride in their political freedom, in their allegiance to the principles of self-government and the traditional moral verities of Western civilization? If their claim of a superior moral position is just, what are they doing on a moral basis to correct the situation? Volume VIII, No. 14 MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 8 CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves THIS is indeed a great mystery, Glaucon. You continue to be so much more troubled by my approaching death than I have ever been, and despite constant assurance that it is far better to pass out of life in clarity than to continue at the price of compromise and confusion. Perhaps part of the difficulty, and an aspect of the matter we have not yet touched upon, is that you are imagining yourself in the place of Socrates. Thinking thus, and being, during that time of thinking, neither Socrates nor Glaucon, but rather an improbable creature in between, there is small wonder you suffer. It would be quite horrible for Glaucon to die the death of Socrates—and also quite unnecessary. People often advise us to "put ourselves in the place of another," but this is truly impossible, even in imagination. What the well-intentioned who voice this popular sentiment really mean is that men should always show a disposition to sympathize with the predicaments of others; this, however, is as far as we can go, since no one is able to fully penetrate the realm of individual motivation and aspiration. So do not imagine that I am you when you think of the sentence passed against these old bones by the Five Hundred. For when these bones cease walking around, not one Athenian will say "Poor Glaucon! No longer can he eat his great feasts nor sail his handsome boat upon the ocean.” No, they will not confuse my death with yours, no more than they confuse our lives, and it is indeed an insult to me, your old teacher, to allow yourself to be more confused than anyone else in Athens. You say that through me you have come to yearn for the same ideals as Socrates, that this makes us alike? No, Glaucon, this but enables us to converse with one another—a very important accomplishment all by itself, and a precious gift to the participants, but no ground for establishing "alikeness.” Perhaps we should further examine the nature of the differences between us, Volume VIII, No. 14 especially as they bear upon the question of grief and sorrow generally: Now, to begin with, I do not happen to plan feasts, nor do I have a handsome boat to sail in. Not having them will hardly be a new state or condition, brought on by the forcible separation of death—since not having them is my already present condition. Being poor clearly has its compensations, Glaucon, especially for one of my temperament. If one is so stubborn as to set himself against the will of those more powerful, then it is most convenient to be unattached to luxuries of all kinds. Yes, this is certainly a topic all by itself—the blessings of being poor. For instance, though I have heard pious utterances to the effect that the poor are always humble, I confess in secret that I am far from humble. In fact it may be that my second source of pride is my poverty, since I reason in this way: the man who needs many things for happiness necessarily places himself in bondage to others who may now control, or come to control, the means by which his goods are procured. Thus it seems best for no man to desire an elegant home unless he can construct it for himself, unaided. A joyous boatman like yourself, Glaucon, would truly be in better state if he were able to manage the building of a small ship with his own hands. For consider, are you not otherwise fearful of losing the services of men who can supply you with the object of your desire? Now, reasoning thus, it has seemed to me that one must choose between being a wondrously dexterous artisan of many callings, or desiring few things—if determined to retain full freedom. Is it not true, Glaucon, that there is no more exacting servitude than that demanded by the things we wish for ourselves? Perhaps nearly all men know this when they come to discuss matters philosophically, but it is so much harder once the desires have taken root. Yes, some will say that it is a coward's way to live, schooling oneself to desire little so that one's life will not become too complicated. But I do not say, as it is reported of some of the Indian MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 9 philosophers, that the aim of life is to put an end to desire. I desire mightily, Glaucon, but, since I realize that desires rule me just as everyone else, it seems wise to expand my energies in striving only for those things which no man can take away from me. If one can desire without fear, desire becomes good rather than evil. This is, after all, but a new though perhaps strange way of repeating the same doctrine I have been expounding as excellent for your children, Glaucon—yours and all others'. It seems to me that much of the political confusion in Athens at the present time arises not because politics have become more complicated, but because the citizenry has become too wealthy. And, in turn, it is not the wealth of land or goods of itself which is responsible, but the worries and fears, greeds and insatiable ambitions, which always must obtain when men are able neither to personally create the things they desire, nor to use them intelligently. I am humble in this one respect; I know there are few things of which I can make full use, and so find existence far more satisfactory if I think only of that which I can create and use. This is the wonder of philosophy. Always it can be used, and the man who creates even a little bit can always create more, if he puts his mind to it. We are fully creators—Gods, if you will—only with the things of the mind, the tools of understanding. What we make of understanding within ourselves cannot be destroyed by others, cannot be attached by means of overdue taxes, like a boat, or burned down by one's enemies, as a sumptuous dwelling may. And yet, do you know, Glaucon, that the men envious of the possessions of others, quite illogically, are rather more desperately envious of the philosopher than of anyone else? One would think that they would choose their own road, the road leading to possessions, and let the philosophers choose theirs, but it is not so. There is an awesome independence about the man of thought which rouses their ire; he is free to say and do as he believes, and they are not. Volume VIII, No. 14 It is necessary to point this out, along with all the rest, Glaucon, for otherwise I should be guilty of misrepresentation—making the calling of philosopher seem easier and better rewarded than any other. But while this is indeed true in one sense, it is also true that the road to becoming a philosopher takes one over terrain most difficult. Simply to make formal renunciation of the world's pleasures and possessions is not enough; in this we see false or premature pride, not the pride of tested conviction. I do not know, Glaucon, whether your children, or even one among them, will ever attain to the status of philosopher, nor do I know whether, if they do, the philosophy chosen will make of them cynics or optimists. But it is sure that if the struggle in this direction once begins they will find the early stages accompanied with engagements most difficult. The way of the world, at the present time, and probably for a long time to come, is not the way of philosophy. Men will not submit to the rule of reason in practical affairs, because reason supports our desires one half the time, no more, and we are at first apt to wish all our desires supported. But it is not impossible for philosophers to some day become kings, as young Plato likes to envision the future. In any case, I shall have to wait for that day, in whatever form of existence will be mine after the body of Socrates is laid away, if I am ever to see philosophy and matters of politics existing side by side without evidence of fear and jealousy. MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 10 American society and more in keeping with the temper of the American people. FRONTIERS "What Will People Say?" MANAS has a letter of criticism which needs to be taken quite seriously, not because the objections raised are partly responsible for the loss of a subscriber, but because the attitudes expressed are extremely widespread in the United States and deserving, therefore, of extended examination. But if America has been blessed by all this greatness and all this opportunity, her responsibilities are equal to her good fortune. And what shall it profit a man or a nation to pat itself on the back? Who is more entitled to be critical of a country than those who are devoted to the ideals which attended its birth? This reader disagrees with conclusions found in MANAS "as to Messrs. Oppenheimer, Lattimore & Co.," and thinks that MANAS writers, when "bending backward to be 'liberal,' " are "inclined to sound, at times, suspiciously like the starry-eyed egg-heads who are push-overs for mouthing the 'party-line' propaganda, without realizing that they are so nicely falling into line.” Our correspondent also remarks that it seems to be "the fashion among intellectuals to have as their slogan, 'My country, always wrong,' and you seem to have a bit this line, also." Gandhi once wrote that he regarded himself as an Indian patriot, but that his patriotism made him wish to see India become great in order that she might benefit the entire world. Is any other kind of patriotism worthy of attention, these days? Setting aside an initial suspicion of criticisms which so easily embrace the epithets of political name-calling, we should like to consider first the implication or hint that we are occasionally "antiAmerican." When, then, a country like the United States chooses or falls into policies which seem, to some at least, to represent a tragic disregard of such general ideals, shall we then call the citizens who speak out against those policies "eggheads" and "party-liners"? Does Supreme Court Justice William H. Douglas belong in this category? Is Stringfellow Barr a "starry-eyed" visionary? We bow to no one in our admiration of the traditional ideals of American civilization. We regard the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as among the greatest political documents of human history. We like and admire the American people—their independence, their generosity, their courage, and their ingenuity. We think that the great experiment in human freedom brought to birth on the American Continent by the Founding Fathers, nurtured and supported by other great Americans, an incalculable contribution to the world. We think that the Class Struggle of social revolution, imported to these shores by European radicals, an unnecessary and self-defeating dynamic of change for Americans. We think that indigenous socio-political thought such as may be found in the works of Edward Bellamy and Henry George more suited to the problems which have troubled Volume VIII, No. 14 This is by no means a blind endorsement of every sort of sentimental internationalism. But it honors the idea of internationalism, the ideal of the brotherhood of man, and seeks to apply intelligence to the spread of such conceptions, in behalf of the common good. Since publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848, and before, radicals and communists have been pointing to the hunger and misery of the exploited and depressed peoples and classes of the world. Is it weakness of mind to acknowledge the reality of facts which the revolutionaries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been able to work up into impressive documentary support of the greatest social upheaval since the fall of the Roman Empire? There are a thousand million people in Asia who are, so to say, "on the fence" in respect to political ideology. Many of them are watching America to see how seriously the people of the United States take their alleged devotion to the principles of the American Revolution. A thousand million MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 11 "politically immature" people, watching to learn the lessons of contemporary history! Then there is Africa. China is industrializing, India is industrializing, and some day Africa will industrialize. The path chosen by all these millions will undoubtedly be influenced, perhaps in large part determined, by the way in which Americans of this and the next couple of generations use their freedom and their power. It seems to us, then, that this is a time, above all other times, for Americans to be microscopically critical of themselves and their individual and corporate actions. Then there is the question of why some "intellectuals" are so troubled by the events of the American scene as to seem to think that their country is always wrong. Either they are gullible victims of Bad People, or there are better reasons for the tendency they display—reasons worth examining. For example, they may be over-compensating for the apathy which they see all around them. Perhaps they do not fully understand how to overcome the apathy and complacency of their neighbors (who does?), and have allowed their feelings to outrun their educational judgment. Shall we merely call them fools and "egg-heads" and ignore their complaints? Or shall we do what any parent does in relation to excited children—attempt to understand them, enter into their point of view, find what justice there is in how they feel, and help them to gain balance by friendly participation? The division of American culture into alienated intellectuals on the one hand (a tiny minority), and self-satisfied Babbitts on the other, is a gross oversimplification, but there is enough truth in it to bear analysis. One thing is certain: a serious and responsible electorate will never be possible without genuine mutual respect between the various classes or callings. Breadth of mind and tolerance of difference are the first requirements of mutual respect. Let us turn, now, to "Messrs. Oppenheimer, Lattimore & Co.” We have made no careful study of Lattimore's career, so that we have no first-hand opinions concerning his political alliances, but we are Volume VIII, No. 14 considerably impressed by the fact that the critics who have been determined to "get" him have been unable, despite endless funds and numerous skilled researchers, to convict Lattimore of anything in the courts. Meanwhile, we have read some of Lattimore's essays on the Far East, coming away from his work convinced that he is a man deeply concerned with justice and the rights of exploited human beings. It is the most trivial of misfortunes that such concerns are superficially and mechanically reflected in communist propaganda. If there ever comes a time when no man or writer can give passionate attention to injustice without earning for himself the communist label, on that day the price of avoiding this label will have become far too high. It is our impression, moreover, after reading Lattimore's Ordeal by Slander, that the United States will be the loser if Lattimore's voice and other voices like his are successfully suppressed. Our respect for Robert Oppenheimer—a respect which is very great—grows from what he has written concerning the meaning of science to the modern world, and not from his contribution to the manufacture of the atomic bomb. His personal biography, supplied by himself in his reply to the charges of the Atomic Energy Commission, reveals him as a talented and sensitive man, painfully troubled by matters which the great majority are content to regard with complacency. It is to the everlasting shame of the United States that the bewilderments of this man in the face of world unrest and impending disaster have been sufficient to discredit him before large numbers of the unthinking public. Within the past few months MANAS has several times given attention to the action of the AEC Personnel Security Board in respect to Dr. Oppenheimer. Our first notice was in the issue of May 5, 1954, when we asked: Do we really want a government composed of men to whom it would never occur to question the use of an atom bomb or an H-bomb on moral grounds? Do we want officials and workers who never succumb to a generous impulse, who never wonder about the hunger and poverty in the world, and what may be done about it . . . ? MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 12 After the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Oppenheimer said: "I wish I knew whether we have done the worst or the best thing that men have ever accomplished. . . .” What would you think of a man in Oppenheimer's position who failed to ask himself such questions? Other references to the Oppenheimer case appeared in MANAS for Oct. 20, 1954, and then there was the quotation from the Murrow interview on television (March 2, 1955) . Perhaps the most interesting thing about the AEC Personnel Security Board Hearings on Oppenheimer was noted by Waldo Frank in his Nation analysis of the transcript. Frank shows how plain it is that the men who conducted the hearings did their best to keep all humanitarian feeling out of the testimony. When scientists and others spoke of their apprehensions for "the future of civilization" because of the H-bomb— apprehensions identical with those of Oppenheimer—they were prevented from expressing themselves to the extent that they wished. Oppenheimer's real offense, Frank demonstrates, was his humanity: His character is the issue. And the problems involved belong to politics, history, sociology, psychology, ethics, religion. They are never pursued [in the hearings] beyond a superficial range within the reach of a schoolboy. . . . The board doesn't believe that he [Oppenheimer] has lost the motives which made him champion Spain [the cause of the Loyalists against Franco], although he may have outgrown a particular method of expressing these motives. These are unforgivable; these make him a risk. Another reference to the hearings in MANAS for Oct. 20 called attention to Joseph and Stewart Alsop's article, "We Accuse!", in the October Harper's, later enlarged to a book-length pamphlet, in which the Alsops examine the testimony and compare the treatment of Oppenheimer by the United States to what France did to Captain Dreyfus. Interestingly enough, while Waldo Frank speaks appreciatively of We Accuse as the work of "courageous political journalists," he returns to the subject of Oppenheimer (in the Nation for March 5) to examine one aspect of his defense by the Alsops. Volume VIII, No. 14 The Washington columnists, he finds, label every instance of Oppenheimer's youthful interest in "radical" ideas as "folly.” Frank objects: As if the creative, erring potency of youth could be brushed off as a children's disease, a kind of measles, from which maturity recovers! Jefferson was the man who declared for the healthfulness of revolution every thirty years. He would have said of the young Oppenheimer: "He is noble in his dissenting, generous in his seeking, free in his adventuring. In his naive faith in a governmental system that would enforce freedom by police methods, he is wrong. But such mistaking is part of the experience of creation.” If the Alsops with their complacent assumption that dissent from the American way of life is folly—nothing but folly— represent the tradition of Jefferson today, we must acknowledge its decay. There is more on Oppenheimer by Frank that deserves close attention: Here was a youth whose conscience and awakening sense of responsibility to his fellow-men involved him obliquely in a world revolution in the early stages of which, two decades later, we are still witnessing and living—with almost no public word to identify it for us. He studies Sanskrit, not for "distraction," as the Alsops absurdly claim; he associates with radicals, not because he "had no better standards for practical political judgment than a visiting Martian.” (His standards surely were at least as good as those of the "practical men" who plunged us into endemic war.) Oppenheimer reads the Upanishads because he already knows that a political movement whose aims imply a mature human world must know mankind at deeper than political levels; because he senses that there are scriptures which cast more penetrant light into social movements than a hundred manuals of economics. He soon learns that the crude communism of Russia fails of this basic premise of comprehension. But if this had meant that his past impulse to change the world was "folly" and dead, he would have spiritually died—and become thereby acceptable to the Admiral Strausses. There is no evidence of this. But he remained unclear, and it was this unclarity, matched by that of the war years, that got him by as a public servant. Because he loves his country, he accepts the chance to serve it. But the result is a weapon that can destroy not Hitler but man. Oppenheimer feels justified in making the Bomb at his country's command and for his country's defense. But in his MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 13 work on an instrument that has already poisoned the air, he shares and feels that he shares—the original sin of the age which produced not only the science behind the Bomb but the false values and conflicts which might move men to explode it. . . . The complexities of this ethical problem cannot be touched on here. The point is that Oppenheimer was moved by it; and that, because he was moved, the "Inquisition" damned him. The point is, further, that such agencies as the one over which Admiral Strauss presides inevitably draw men of his kind to do their potentially genocidal work—and inevitably exclude men of Oppenheimer's kind, who are alive enough to feel scruples. . . . Since this is an occasion for "going on record," we might as well go on record regarding "socialism," also, for an interest in socialism is the offense of many of the "intellectuals" of whom our correspondent disapproves. We have no significant criticism to offer of the major social objectives of the socialist movement. Rather, the chief objection to political socialism, at the present time, is that modern European culture and modern American culture are lacking in the discipline and moral temper that would be necessary to a successful enterprise in collectivist economics. When enough people lose the acquisitive motive in their daily activities and find production for use the only reasonable excuse for "working," some kind of socialism will result as a natural consequence of the change in attitude. Until that time, attempts to force socialism upon whole populations are likely to end in the same sort of Party Dictatorship as has overtaken Russia. There is nothing wrong with sharing the goods of this world (Imagine having to sound "apologetic" about this idea!), so long as the sharing is really done at the will of the people who share. Morally, the great religious teachers of the world have all been socialists: Buddha, Jesus, Plato—the ethics preached by these men took for granted the abandonment of the vice of possessiveness. And in a population where possessiveness was no longer important, socialism would be the most efficient method of meeting common economic needs. Political activity—by political activity we mean action for political power—can never create any good of itself. Intelligent politics may devise the best means for practical expression of the cultural advance of a people or nation, but can contribute little or nothing to the advance itself, which results from educational and moral growth. It is inevitably true, however, that such great social movements as socialism have been profoundly educational in connection with their political activities. The moral ideal of socialism, moreover, has been sufficient to make Gandhi and Nehru largely socialist in their approach to economic problems, and to inspire some of the greatest men of the West to lifelong labors in behalf of their fellows. To fail to recognize this would be to remain invincibly ignorant of the tremendous force behind the communist movement which, even if it turns this energy to a betrayal of human freedom, still claims the allegiance of many who are unable to feel the importance of political freedom—mainly, perhaps, because they have never experienced it. In conclusion, we reprint from last week's MANAS Robert M. Hutchins' concluding remarks on the "newer orthodoxy" in the United States, which seem a proper response to the present-day attitude toward "liberals" and "intellectuals": If, for example, we say that rumor and gossip are an inadequate basis on which to condemn a man or a group, we are told that of course we are right, but that in this case the rumor and the gossip are so widely believed that people would think bad thoughts of us if we insisted on proof. So it comes to this: We must ourselves adopt an un-American attitude because if we don't we may be regarded as un-American by those who have an admittedly un-American attitude. We are all dedicated to the great American tradition, but the battle cry of the Republic is, what will people say? Perhaps we ought to add, to be sure the record is kept straight, that the foregoing is by no stretch of the imagination to be taken as a political sentiment. Volume VIII, No. 14 MANAS Reprint April 6, 1955 ...
http://manasjournal.mrwconnected.info/pdf_library/VolumeVIII_1955/VIII-14.pdf - [detail] - [similar]
PREV NEXT
Powered by Hyper Estraier 1.4.13, with 2096 documents and 94562 words.