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The large-scale entrance of the United States Government into the field of international cultural relations is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating only from World War II. Much has been said in this brief period about the importance of cultural relations for the resolution of international conflicts and the achievement of American foreign-policy objectives. However, there has been relatively little discussion of cultural relations that has attempted to cut beneath the widely accepted conventions that it is good for people in different countries to know one another personally, and good for the United States if other nations realize that we do indeed have a culture. In particular, one special purpose of cultural relations, and one peculiar and troublesome set of problems which they present, have been given less attention than they merit. These have to do with the role of intellectuals in international affairs, and with some of the special characteristics of the relation between American intellectuals and intellectuals elsewhere.
It was only a few years ago that the East European countries moved back into the field of vision of Western policy. For a decade they were kept outside the scope of our active policy, though not out of our thoughts. Most of the paths we trod toward the East led through a frosty and monotonous political landscape, past a hundred million East Europeans and their capital cities directly to Moscow. These peoples and, as we can now see, their governments, did not voluntarily remain in the background nor renounce their right to shape their own future and their relations with the rest of the world. But as long as only the voice of Moscow was heard in reply to questions asked of them, the countries of the West had no choice but to speak with those whose voice alone mattered.
Franco-German relations are at once much better and much worse than is generally imagined in the United States. Better, because the frigid atmosphere and tensions of 1964-1965 obscure the solidity of the links forged between France and the Federal Republic. Worse, because these tensions are not solely attributable to General de Gaulle but are the expression of a profound divergence in perspective.
By conventionally accepted criteria the Dominican Republic has had a dismal career as an independent state. Wretchedly poor, politically and socially primitive, intellectually and culturally undistinguished, it has been flotsam on the great tides of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, an object not a subject on the international scene.
Australia, an island continent of about three million square miles, inhabited by eleven million people of predominantly West European descent, lies on the southern perimeter of Southeast Asia, which is heavily populated by peoples of diverse racial origins with traditions, cultures and political and economic outlooks differing radically both among themselves and from Australia's.
Any appraisal of the Communist parties in Western Europe must begin with a distinction that may appear semantic but really touches on one of the most exposed nerves of this strange movement which claims a unique understanding of history, indeed the capacity to "make" history, and yet which contemporary history has so badly lacerated. Communism is a factor, sometimes serious, sometimes vestigial in Western Europe today; but "Western European Communism" does not exist. There is no historically evolved fraternity of parties accustomed to mutual exchange and fitting their national particularities into a common strategy, based on a joint analysis of the economic and social terrain that has, since the war, become increasingly integrated.
Nations are inclined to be self-centered, quarrelsome and turbulent. Not all, but many; not always, but much of the time. They are easily carried away by fears, frustrations, presumed necessities or real or fancied offenses. While the resultant antagonisms could formerly be localized in scope and consequence, it has become harder to confine the area of conflict.
In every country, the supreme task of politics is to guarantee the security and peace of that country. Japan is no exception. In its case, however, a fundamental difficulty is that the government and opposition parties are not able easily to find any point of agreement on how the guarantee is to be achieved. This has brought about a political situation peculiar to Japan.
IN the coming decade, the countries of the Middle East and North Africa will unquestionably remain the scene of turmoil, with an ebb and flow of crises and with strained relations with the outside world. However, we should not allow the staccato of crises to obscure the major structural changes which will profoundly alter the area and our relationships with it. Revolution from below, political upheaval and violence are common enough. Occasionally outsiders forget that these are not linked solely to Soviet intrusion but have their roots in the nineteenth century, in the great trauma associated with "the impact of the West." Change has been speeded by the cold war and the willingness of both the Soviet Union and the United States to provide the means. But, domestically, the revolution is fostered, indeed often more effectively fostered, by régimes which are politically conservative than by those which think of themselves as socialist or revolutionary. In the Middle East and North Africa, there is no régime which does not put a considerable part of its effort into creating the potential of revolution. It is universally accepted that no government can survive which does not espouse the cause of modernization.
United STATES policy in Africa has lost much of its credibility for a large part of the African continent. We have held out hope for more than we have, in the event, been able or willing to deliver. Often the promise of brave words was extravagant and unwise; but what is noticed is that it has not been matched by congruent acts. We have seemed to say one thing and do another. For example, to most of Africa the unqualified and warmly welcomed pronouncement of the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs- "The United States stands for self-determination in Africa"-appears to have been disregarded, even repudiated, in practice, with respect to what in African eyes is the acid test of our bona fides, the "white redoubts" in southern Africa. Again, in promising major and growing American aid for a "decade of development" we declared it to be "a primary necessity, opportunity and responsibility of the United States" to help make "a historic demonstration that economic growth and political democracy can go hand in hand" in building "free, stable, and self-reliant countries." This hope has now been substantially dissipated by the evolution of the U.S. aid syndrome in Africa-initial good intentions, objective standards, policies of rewarding merit, yielding to the pressures of the moment, the putting out of fires, the special concern for "bad boys," "problem children" and the crisis-prone, the needs of "containment," the special interest of allies, the U.S. dollar drain, etc.
As part of this effort, conversations have been started in Brussels, on the initiative of the Spanish Government, in order to study the problems faced by the Spanish economy as a result of the operation of the Common Market. On February 9 last, the E.E.C. authorities presented a questionnaire to the Spanish Government asking specifically about important aspects of the relations between the Six and Spain which had been studied in a Spanish report of December 9, 1964. The Spanish Government's answer to the questionnaire was handed to the E.E.C. in June.
Three years ago, the Iranian Government declared that the country would undergo a White Revolution, the purpose of which would be to modernize Iran and render any revolution from below unnecessary. Of the revolutionary measures proclaimed, land reform figured as the most important.