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NOT even the most casual reader of the public prints of recent months and years could be unaware of the growing chorus of warnings from qualified scientists as to what industrial man is now doing-by overpopulation, by plundering of the earth's resources, and by a precipitate mechanization of many of life's processes-to the intactness of the natural environment on which his survival depends. "For the first time in the history of mankind," U.N. Secretary-General U Thant wrote, "there is arising a crisis of worldwide proportions involving developed and developing countries alike- the crisis of human environment. ... It is becoming apparent that if current trends continue, the future of life on earth could be endangered."
Protest against the war in Vietnam became, along with marijuana and long hair, the symbol of the Revolt of Youth in America of the sixties. To be sure, the Revolt of Youth was far from a universal phenomenon among young people. Many millions continued going about the business of studying, staking out a life's work for themselves, launching a family-or fighting in the Vietnamese jungles. To a large extent, this was a revolt of the best educated, the most articulate, the most self-confident and self-conscious. In short, it was a revolt of the élite among youth. The rebels gained influence far beyond their numbers precisely because "The Establishment" was more interested in the escapades of élite youth than in the activities of, say, the blue-collar young. Youthful dissenters and revolutionaries benefited in this way from precisely the élite status they claimed to be rejecting.
China's emergence as a nuclear power poses new and important issues for U.S. strategic and arms-control policy. How one assesses the "China problem," and the alternative means to cope with it, has a direct bearing on what the American position should be on key questions in the U.S.-Soviet Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) during the months and years ahead. It will certainly influence-directly or indirectly-major decisions of the United States and the Soviet Union on whether to build or forgo new weapons systems.
After more than 50 years of Zionist activities-among them many decades over the international diplomatic front-and on looking back on the experiences gained in the 20 years of the existence of the state of Israel, I am beginning to have doubts as to whether the establishment of the state of Israel as it is today, a state like all other states in structure and form, was the fullest accomplishment of the Zionist idea and its twofold aim: to save Jews suffering from discrimination and persecution by giving them the opportunity for a decent and meaningful life in their own homeland; second, to ensure the survival of the Jewish people against the threat of disintegration and disappearance in those parts of the world where they enjoy full equality of rights. In expressing and explaining these thoughts, I want to make it clear that I have no doubt as to the historical justification and moral validity of Zionism. The concentration of a large part of the Jewish people in their own national home, where they are masters of their destiny, seems to me to be the only way to solve what has been called for centuries "the Jewish problem."
Official anniversaries are for the Soviets not merely occasions to celebrate and eulogize a famous man or event. They are also-if not mainly- occasions for that self-congratulation of which the Soviet régime has made such a rite, and against which the most uninhibited patriotic oratory on a similar occasion in the United States would appear a pallid understatement. In fact, the U.S.S.R. celebrates its thanksgiving several times a year. In speeches and editorials the pretext for the celebration is usually disposed of in the first few sentences and perhaps reverted to again at the very end. In between (and it is usually at length) the listener or reader is treated to production figures then and now, to assurances about the invincible might of the Soviet Union, and yet of its peaceful intentions, of the startling achievements of Soviet science. . . .
Editor's Note: This article by Victor Chernov, Lenin's fellow revolutionary and political rival, appeared in Foreign Affairs March 15, 1924, following Lenin's death on January 21 of that year. It is reprinted here on the 100th anniversary of Lenin's birth.
The debate over Laos, almost as intense if not as bitter as the Vietnam debate, has done more than clarify the nature of the American involvement in that patchwork kingdom which has played a secondary but significant role in the Vietnam war while also engaging in its own struggle to survive as a unitary nation. The Senate's dual actions in prohibiting the use of ground combat troops in both Laos and Thailand, and in curbing the right of the President to make a "national commitment" to any country without prior Congressional approval, have temporarily satisfied the common determination to avoid "another Vietnam." But the fundamental problem of how American policy should be made and conducted in Southeast Asia has only begun to be reëxamined.
More than ten years have passed since Fidel Castro entered Havana in triumph. It is almost as long since the Alliance for Progress was proclaimed. A great deal has changed in this period, both in Latin America and in the United States. Much has happened in the hemisphere; more has failed to happen.
It is common ground that something roughly describable as "re- Stalinization" has been taking place in the Soviet Union over the past five years. More precisely, the present leaders are re-Stalinizing in the sense that they are consolidating the Stalinist institutions (a little shaken by Khrushchev's various reorganizations); preserving the rule of Stalin's chosen personnel ; restoring the rigor of his doctrines; putting a stop to the exposure of any more indecent facts of Soviet history; and tightening up the ideological and political disciplines required by his system. They are not reinstituting (and are occasionally and mildly deploring) those elements of Stalin's technique which were directed to terrorizing the party apparatus itself. Nor are they practicing indiscriminate repression against the population. Stalin, to atomize society and build his new system on its ruins, relied on creating total insecurity among friend and foe alike. The present rulers have neither the need, nor the will, to do this: only their critics have anything to fear from them. Stalin revolutionized a society; the present-day "Stalinists" wish to consolidate the new one. The aim is different: but above all the mood is different-a timid (though sometimes panicky) mediocrity has replaced a raging will.
Nonalignment emerged and developed in the years of the dominant bipolar pattern of great-power relations. It was a product of the rising tensions of the cold war and a reaction against the alignments formed at the end of the Second World War, when the split between East and West converted allies into rivals and then into enemies. It was the result of the desire to stay out of the developing conflict and have no part in the new alliances which later formalized the postwar division of the world. This desire was prompted not only by lack of affinity for the causes of the split, but also by the determination to preserve as much freedom of behavior in international relations as possible.
Twelve hundred miles south of Suez a struggle to control the farther entrance to the Red Sea is well underway. Though naturally overshadowed by the Arab-Israeli conflict to which it is not unrelated, the contest to the south involves substantial issues for great and small powers alike, who look to the future of the African Horn and the Red Sea basin. More than this, the problem of Eritrea, together with the related question of French Djibouti's future, is an intriguing one which, for all its complexities, recorded in past United Nations resolutions and every kind of East-West, North-South compromise, still may prove soluble short of major war. For the armed struggle along the Red Sea's southern rim is thus far a conflict of subdued violence and muted, if bizarre, ramifications.
Virtually last among the world's major industrial nations-but by no means least-the United States has now agreed to offer some form of tariff preferences to imports from developing countries. President Nixon's Latin American policy address last October, followed by his statement on November 10, signaled what amounts to a major shift in U.S. policy by calling for a broad system of generalized preferences, with the proviso that if this cannot be achieved, the United States may extend regional preferences to Latin America alone.