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Hamilton Fish Armstrong underwent a serious operation almost immediately after he laid down the editorship of this magazine with the 50th Anniversary Issue last October. He died in April. He was our friend, our mentor, and the principal source of the ideals we strive to continue. We have asked three friends and associates to write of him, and we conclude with an excerpt from one of his own early articles. It sums up what he stood for.
I Believe the United States is facing a national energy emergency. It arises from our extravagant and wasteful use of energy and from a shift in the sources of fuels. Per capita consumption is three times that of Western Europe, and we may ask ourselves whether our greater use enriches the quality of life by any such margin. Our cars are twice as heavy and use twice as much fuel as European cars which run about the same mileage each year, and the ratio is getting worse because of the sharp drop in fuel economy on recent models of American cars, owing to emission controls and air conditioners. We keep our houses and buildings too hot and use large amounts of fuel in air-conditioning everything. We have not given a thought to fuel conservation and efficiency since the days of rationing in World War II-an era which only 30 percent (those over 45) of the population can remember. These are some of the reasons why with six percent of the world's population the United States uses 33 percent of the world's energy-and why Europe and Japan are unlikely to be sympathetic to our plight as we ask them to share with us their traditional supply sources in the Middle East.
The multitude of articles, news reports and commentaries on the energy "crisis" in recent months have been chiefly concerned with four basic issues: (1) a growing (and by implication, a worrisome) oil "shortage" in the United States and the industrial world; (2) an intimate (and by implication, an unholy) alliance between the major oil companies and the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) at the expense of the consuming public; (3) an increasing (and by implication, an undesirable) redistribution of oil revenues through higher oil prices in favor of producing countries, giving them significant (and by implication, excessive) controls over future oil supply and foreign exchange reserves; and (4) a need for concerted action (and by implication, "drastic measures") on the part of the oil-short countries vis-à-vis the "oil cartel."
Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being." He bears "a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations." And states have "the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other states or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction."
America was thrust into the world some 30 years ago. That jolting experience generated in America a degree of unity concerning foreign affairs unusual for a democratic and pluralist society. Largely as a consequence of that shock, America's foreign policy came to enjoy for a quarter of a century the advantage of broad popular support and of a seeming sense of direction.
Well in evidence in Herodotus and Thucydides, the idea that peoples have an aggregate moral character and political temperament is one of the foundations of Western statecraft. It appears in a modern version in Machiavelli, who asserts that prediction of human events, for the purpose of making foreign policy, is facilitated if one observes that "nations preserve for a long time the same character, ever exhibiting the same disposition to avarice, or bad faith, or to some other special vice or virtue." At its worst, the "national character" approach consists of a litany of ethnocentric stereotypes which tells us more about the prejudices of the observer than about the characteristics of the observed. At its best, as in Tocqueville's analysis of the character of Americans, it seeks to derive from historical experience and observable cultural patterns features which are likely to have a lasting effect on the formation of habits and beliefs in the political realm.
I Recently attended a round-table discussion of distinguished and imaginative Latin American leaders during which two speakers berated various countries for lack of "political will." In the first instance, what the United States needed to do to demonstrate its political will was to provide tariff preferences for imports of manufactured goods from less- developed countries. In the second case, political will was needed for Latin America to achieve an integrated, Hemisphere-wide, common market. To repeat: the speakers were men of substantial intellect.
"Deficit" seems to be the word for Europe these days. The Community of the Nine, so we are told, has a democratic deficit, a social deficit, a deficit of visionary power and, most noticeably, a deficit of unified political will in world affairs. It is hard to deny that there is a great deal of truth to such jeremiads. The Community does indeed find itself in the awkward position of being neither here nor there. Its member-states no longer possess a number of important political instruments; collective tools have not yet been fashioned. Clearly, the evolution of joint political institutions has not reached the point where they match the problems in the world.
A New and contentious concept has seeped into the transatlantic dialogue in recent times. It has been suggested that the United States may "decouple" itself from its strategic commitment to Western Europe in the future, or perhaps is in the process of doing so now. The codification of mutual deterrence in the SALT agreements of a year ago, combined with the earlier loss of U.S. nuclear superiority, is seen as having considerably eroded the remaining credibility of the American nuclear guarantee to Europe. Some go further to find in the agreements an implicit understanding between the two superpowers that neither will henceforth initiate the use of nuclear weapons in any circumstances short of the direct defense of its own territory. Arid even thoughtful Europeans who still observe the litany of faith in the nuclear guarantee do so with diminished conviction and look for opportunities through coöperative European actions to compensate for a substantial degree of American disengagement.[i]
The fruits of détente in Europe are now being gathered. West German Chancellor Willy Brandt has completed his triad of treaties with former enemies in Moscow, Warsaw and East Berlin, The accord on West Berlin has confirmed that city's status and removed it, for the present at least, as a possible flashpoint of war. President Richard Nixon has made his voyage to Moscow to proclaim with the Soviet leaders a new era in Soviet-American relations, on which the return visit now sets its seal. Visions of sugarplums dance in the heads of Soviet planners and Western businessmen. Détente, of course, does not have the same purposes for all concerned, and some may find its fruits bitter or the sugarplums unripe. Nevertheless, as all prepare to sit down together in Helsinki at a conference on security and coöperation, the cold war seems far away.
On March 31 of this year, Robert McNamara completed the first five years of his ten-year term as President of the World Bank Group. He has almost doubled in real terms the volume of lending by the Bank Group. He has more than doubled the size of the professional staff. He has changed the administrative structure. He has improved the relations of the Bank Group with the other international and national aid agencies. He has given the developing member-countries significant new help in their efforts to reduce their birth rates and to reconcile economic growth with the protection of their environment. He has set new criteria for lending.
As a European, and particularly as a Briton, I had the unusual good fortune to come first to Asia by way of America. The African and Indian friendships formed during college days at Oxford whetted my appetite for an understanding of the non-white world, but only when I arrived at Berkeley for a postgraduate year did I enter the life of the Chinese, the Japanese, the Filipinos, the Indonesians-who were there by the score, sharing with me the experience of being a foreign student in the United States.