Will Ukraine Wind Up Making Territorial Concessions to Russia?
Foreign Affairs Asks the Experts
AMERICANS seem not to realize what an important place dependent peoples and underdeveloped areas hold in the world today or what urgent problems are raised by their desire for independence and a larger share in the prosperity of our modern age. There is a tendency to consider these as secondary questions, not comparable in importance to the acute political problems of the day. But anyone who has served, as I have, as United States Representative in the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations, wrestling with the problem during more than five crowded years, will know the contrary. The policies which we adopt toward the backward areas of Asia and Africa will have consequences quite as far-reaching and profound as will the more spectacular decisions which we make in the stupendous struggle now raging between Soviet Russia and the free world. On their outcome hangs the future of civilization.
The situation is perilous today in large parts of Asia and in most of Africa because of the conjunction of three poison-breeding factors:
First, a condition of appalling human need. Living standards in most of Asia and Africa are the lowest in the world. In many sections, life expectancy at birth is only 32 years. One out of every three babies dies before reaching its first birthday. Those suffering from malaria in Asia today equal the total population of the Western hemisphere--and every year 3,000,000 of these sufferers die. Tuberculosis, malaria and yaws are rampant: all are controllable diseases. Monstrous illiteracy bars the door to spiritual or technological advance. More people in Asia and Africa are unable to read a word from a printed book or direction than inhabit the whole of Europe and of the United States.
Second, embittering memories of the cruel racial discrimination and exploitation which often accompanied nineteenth century colonialism. These have left livid scars. The feelings of racial inferiority which have been generated offer serious hindrances to Western attempts to build bulwarks for freedom. Racial hatreds have bred among many people in Asia and Africa profound distrust of all white peoples, and in some cases fear of them.
Third, surging forces of nationalism. The earlier conditions which isolated underdeveloped peoples have been largely swept away by modern commerce, the radio and military activities on a world scale. Asia and Africa today, emerging from the primitive conditions which locked them in for centuries, are being confronted with twentieth century problems which they scarcely understand and for which they are quite unprepared. Out of a welter of new conceptions and new aspirations the high explosive of nationalism is emerging. Peoples which have recently achieved independent statehood often remain rabidly nationalistic. Many of them, freed from the fetters of colonialism and awakening to the world around them, are beginning to feel the striking disparity between the peoples of the Western World, in their eyes luxuriating in plenty, and themselves, lacking even the bare essentials of existence. Millions of men and women in the underdeveloped areas of Asia and Africa are asking more and more insistently why they should live as the disinherited of the earth.
It is the conjunction of these three inter-related factors--desperate human need, the feeling of resentment bred by long years of racial discrimination and a new-found and explosive nationalism--that constitutes the problem of underdeveloped areas in Asia and Africa. Even if the Soviet régime collapsed tomorrow this problem would remain, and there could be no assurance of world peace until it had been mastered. For peace depends upon human freedom; and where there are desperate hunger and need, where racial hatreds are deep-rooted, and where peoples quite unprepared for the responsibilities of power acquire it suddenly, genuine freedom is impossible.[i]
In the face of these conditions three major sources of danger of the first magnitude are apparent, and United States policy should be consciously shaped and vigorously implemented to meet and avoid them. I think of Demosthenes' sage advice to the Athenians in 351 B.C. "Shame on you, Athenians," he cried, "for not wishing to understand that in war one must not allow oneself to be at the command of events. One must forestall them."
In the first place, there is the very real danger that the peoples of the underdeveloped areas of Asia and Africa will be successfully penetrated, wooed and won by Soviet agents, and that the vast areas in question will thus be added to the strongholds of Communism. This possibility is indeed beginning to be recognized in the West. To suffering millions of peoples such as these the Communists come falsely offering deliverance. To dependent peoples under alien rule Communist slavemasters talk about the inalienable right of man to be free, and offer to make common cause with them against their foreign rulers. To agricultural peoples, exploited by landlords and money-lenders, they hold out promises of land reform which in practice lead not to individual ownership but to the collective farm. To lowly peoples, some of them actual victims of overbearing white discrimination and others oppressed by fancied grievances, they promise a new world built upon equal rights for all men and women. To peoples closed off from the world by illiteracy and appalling ignorance, they promise education and social advancement. Among the downtrodden and the dispossessed, their intoxicating message kindles exciting hopes for a new world. How are newly awakened and ignorant peoples to know that Soviet promises are false and impossible of fulfillment?
It is becoming increasingly apparent how heavily the Soviet Union is building its hopes today upon taking over, one by one, the underdeveloped areas of Asia and Africa. Stalin, the arch enemy of human freedom, pours out propaganda inciting Asian and other dependent peoples to rise against their governments. With the same cruelty with which he has already stripped the satellite states of every vestige of freedom, he waits to enslave them all in the name of "freedom."
There is another danger looming further in the future--in the world of the coming century. The problem of American security does not end with countering the Soviet enterprise. We decisively overthrew German militarism in 1918, but after its defeat it was followed by Nazism and Fascism, and now, by way of Russia, comes a no less monstrous threat to civilization. It will be repelled. But after the defeat of Soviet Communism will these restless areas be swept by some other ideology still more perilous, built upon equally alluring but equally hollow promises? If we allow these peoples, now entering upon a new period of their history and fast acquiring new forms of power, to remain in the grip of hunger, of chronic and preventable disease that saps their strength, of ignorance and illiteracy that shuts out hope, we have only ourselves to blame if in the twenty-first century we reap the whirlwind. Let us pause to remember that the whites constitute a decided minority race in the world, and that, however successfully power may be curbed for a time by political institutions or popular ignorance, the decisive strength ultimately rests in the hands of the people.
Whether or not the world is to have peace during the twenty-first century depends upon how effectively we work during this century--before we have lost the chance, as we have for the present in China--to assist the needy peoples of the earth to lift themselves out of the bondage of poverty, ignorance and disease.
A third pending danger raises immediate issues, and it is high time that the free peoples of the world devote close attention to them. The growing demand among newly awakened peoples for immediate political independence is producing ominous cleavages among nations and peoples which must stand strongly together if the attack now being made on human freedom on a world scale is to be successfully defeated.
International cleavages other than that between the Soviet Union and the free world are often evident in the debates of the United Nations; and if they are allowed to persist and deepen, they bode ill not only for the United Nations but for the cause of world peace itself. Acute disputes over tense political issues can usually be tided over, and with time may eventually be healed: political pressures constantly shift with changing events. But not so with innate prejudices and complexes acquired by individuals perhaps in childhood as a result of past discriminations or exploitation by alien races. Such groupings of weaker peoples against the Great Powers as are due to unhappy experiences in colonial days or to the poison of racial discrimination too often rest upon such inherent prejudice; and these may produce more dangerous cleavages than those resulting from political issues.
Significant tide-rips on the surface now and again reveal the deep-moving currents. In the General Assembly in Paris last November and December one felt the power of such currents in the debates of the Fourth Committee, where the representatives of some 60 nations deal with problems of trusteeship and dependent peoples. Of these 60 nations, eight administer the territories of dependent peoples and are responsible for their governance. Some 50 carry no such responsibility, although within the borders of many of them there live primitive peoples whose life is much the same as that of peoples in non-self-governing areas. In the Fourth Committee, consequently, in spite of support from some delegations representing non-administering countries, the eight administering Powers can be hopelessly outvoted. Often the administering Powers are urged by the majority to carry out policies which the majority would refuse to carry out in relation to their own peoples.
The issues that come to the surface in the debates in the Fourth Committee are basic. Certain peoples, isolated from the busy pathways of mankind, lack the modern resources, training and experience to govern themselves competently or to defend themselves against attack by a possible aggressor. Leading Western nations, with or without right, have entered the territories of many of these peoples in the past and successfully established control and government over them. Under the system of national sovereignty as developed in international law they consider today that their right to control and rule these people is legally and constitutionally unassailable.
But during the last 100 years a new social consciousness has arisen throughout the world, a deepening sense of the sanctity of the human rights which must lie at the foundation of any lasting world order. As a result, men and women everywhere are questioning the right of one people to govern and control another people without its consent; and the challenge is being pressed not only by dependent peoples but also by many sovereign nations which themselves possess no colonial territories. However strongly entrenched in law and in constitutional theory may be the right of colonial Powers to rule alien peoples, there is a growing tendency in the public mind to shift the issue from constitutional to moral considerations.
Within recent years, then, the march toward political independence has been assuming dramatic proportions. Moved by a complex of motives and forces, hastened by the pressures of world opinion, the great colonial Powers today are in numerous instances giving up former possessions or putting a time limit on the continuance of their rule. Since the Second World War some 500,000,000 people--a fifth of the entire population of the world --have won political independence.
But with independence come new problems; and genuine freedom is not to be had until a way can be found to solve them. Examples of this abound. As a result of the vote of the General Assembly in 1949, Libya has now become a "united independent and sovereign state," and the former occupying Powers, Great Britain and France, have transferred all their governmental powers to the new Libyan Government as from December 24, 1951. Free and democratic national elections have already been held there and a new constitution has been inaugurated.
But independence carries with it responsibilities. Defense calls for large outlays of money. Necessary buildings and public works cost large sums of money. So do adequate educational programs and public health measures. So do schools and hospitals and training institutions for indigenous schoolteachers and doctors and nurses. In Libya, thus far, the necessary revenues have for the most part come out of the treasuries of the administering Powers, Great Britain and France. Libya itself lacks sufficient revenues. The United Nations budget is not large enough to support the necessary expenditures. For the time being, Great Britain and France have promised to make good the deficits in the Libyan budget. During the current year the United Nations is advancing to Libya more than $1,000,000 in technical assistance; the United States is advancing about $1,500,000. But the question remains how the Libyan people will in the long run meet the necessary costs of economic and social and educational advancement. Whence will come the money?
Or take another example. In 1950 the people of the former Italian colony of Somaliland were put under trusteeship under Italian administration in accordance with the 1949 vote of the General Assembly and were promised their political independence at the end of ten years. The civil expenditures in Somaliland for the past year were almost double the amounts of receipts derived from the territory itself. Local receipts totaled $4,616,850, while civil expenditures amounted to $8,463,140. The difference is made up by a direct contribution from the administering authority. The Government of Italy also assumed all obligations relating to the security corps. Also, it is worth noting that about 75 percent of the direct and indirect taxes in Somaliland are paid by Italians.
Experts doubt whether Somaliland can ever be a viable state, supporting a high or even moderate level of government services. They question whether the country possesses sufficient natural resources or enough possibilities of industrial development ever to produce the revenues necessary for an adequately governed self-sufficient state. In 1960, Italy, the administering Power, steps out. What then?
Problems such as these face us today in many similar areas. Men and women are questioning the right of any nation to govern an alien people against their will, but they forget that the maintenance of independence and the development of economic and industrial resources cost money and require trained personnel. Where are these to come from? Surely the answer is not simple abandonment of the countries in question. Underdeveloped peoples cannot be left to live on in ignorance and want even if they would. In many of the underdeveloped areas in Asia and Africa we today have perhaps our last opportunity to meet these problems with humane and Christian solutions. If we fail, can we be surprised if Communism moves in?
Underlying the debates in the Fourth Committee is the effort on the part of many of the non-administering Powers to widen the scope of international accountability for the government of dependent peoples beyond the point specifically agreed to by the eight administering Powers in 1945 when the Charter was written and the international trusteeship system set up. How far can a system of international accountability for the government of dependent peoples be pushed? In other words, have the representatives of the 60 nations which are members of the United Nations the power to require the administering states to adopt such specific policies in the government of their dependent peoples as the Fourth Committee may decide upon by a majority vote?
The contest takes many different forms. Last November, in the opening days of the session, the Fourth Committee voted to grant hearings to representatives of the Ewe people, dwelling within the trust territories of French and British Togoland in West Africa. Since these representatives were invited to present their views in a controversy involving an international trust territory, there seemed little question as to the Fourth Committee's competence. In fact, the United Kingdom representative at the very outset spoke in favor of the invitation. This, however, was followed by a resolution similarly to grant a hearing to chiefs of the Herero, Nama and Damara tribes dwelling in South West Africa. South West Africa is not a trust territory but a mandated territory, set up by the League of Nations under the administration of the South African Union. Ever since the creation of the international trusteeship system the South African Union had steadily refused to put South West Africa under trusteeship in spite of repeated recommendations by the General Assembly. The representative of the Union Government strongly protested that since South West Africa is not a trust territory the adoption of the resolution would be an unconstitutional intervention in the Union's domestic affairs and thus a violation of its Charter rights. Others took a contrary view. When the resolution was passed, the Union delegation withdrew from the Fourth Committee and boycotted its further proceedings.
After this episode, there came severe criticism of British rule in British Honduras from the representative of Guatemala; and this in turn was followed by critical references by Greece to British rule in Cyprus and by Yemen to British administration in Aden. These speeches provoked strong British protests. There followed an attempt on the part of the Arab group to question French rule in Morocco. French Morocco is neither a trust territory nor is it under mandate. The representative of Iraq charged that the "lamentable position of Morocco" was basically due to the policy of colonialism pursued by France there. Every manifestation of nationalism, he asserted, was being harshly and strongly suppressed. The French representative protested that under the provisions of the Charter the proceeding lacked any constitutional validity; and he walked out of the Committee.
In debating the legality of the proceedings most of the non-administering Powers took the position that the Fourth Committee was entirely competent to discuss political matters and political aspects not only in trust territories but in all non-self-governing territories as well, and a resolution to that effect was introduced. Running through many minds was the position strongly taken by certain non-administering Powers the preceding year that the Fourth Committee is competent by its vote to determine the specific policies which "the administering authorities are under a clear obligation to implement." Dark clouds began to gather over the Fourth Committee. Would it split into irreconcilable factions? In the end, the Iraq representative agreed not to press the matter to a vote and the French representative returned to the Fourth Committee. But none could fail to realize the deep-seated animosities becoming manifest. Intense emotions had been aroused; far-reaching issues were at stake.
The seriousness of these incidents of last November must not be overmagnified. But their significance must certainly be fully appraised: every flier must know the air currents upon which he depends. Storm signals are appearing in many quarters. Cleavages such as those described can easily and quickly develop into acute political tensions. Indeed, this seems already to be happening in many important areas of the world. It is clearly urgent for the United States to develop and follow a carefully planned policy rather than to allow the situation to drift toward catastrophe.
Concrete examples of present trends are constantly manifesting themselves. The Arab peoples are at present inflamed with ill-feeling against France because of the charges of French ill treatment made by representatives of indigenous Moslem peoples in North Africa. Whatever the facts may be, the Arab resentment, based on a widespread belief by Arab peoples of French suppression and "colonialism," is an undeniable fact. Now the Middle Eastern bloc, supported by a large number of Latin American states, is able, together with the Soviet bloc, to control a majority of votes in the General Assembly. During the recent Paris session of the General Assembly the Arab states sought to place a discussion of French rule in North Africa on the agenda. France strenuously objected and succeeded in winning enough support successfully to resist the Arab move. Failing to gain their end, either in the Fourth Committee or in the plenary sessions of the General Assembly, the Arab group next made a determined move to have the Tunisian question placed upon the agenda of the Security Council, meeting in New York in April 1952. On both occasions the United States was placed in an exceedingly difficult position. The often declared policy of the United States in both the General Assembly and the Security Council has been consistently in favor of allowing full freedom of discussion. Yet application of that principle in these two particular situations would risk the alienation of France, whose military assistance is of key importance in the world struggle for human freedom. By our failure to apply it we damaged the friendship for us of the Arab and Middle Eastern peoples, whose support is also vital for the protection of American interests and the preservation of peace. The dilemma for the United States is unhappily one that is becoming increasingly frequent and acute.
In sum, there is developing a deepening and immensely dangerous cleavage in the councils of the world organization. On the one hand are the "colonial" or administering group--the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand--representing the culture of the Græco-Roman world and of Western Europe, possessing great military strength and a wealth of strategic bases, and ripe in experience in dealing with indigenous and underdeveloped peoples. On the other hand are the non-administering group, composed of some 50 nations, the larger part of them comparatively weak militarily and inexperienced in problems of colonial rule, many of them newcomers to the family of nations. In view of this developing cleavage what shall be the position of the United States? The question keeps arising in one concrete form or another in the various organs of the United Nations and particularly in the Fourth Committee and in the Trusteeship Council.
The problem raises issues in many fields. It touches one of the monumental facts of our time--the progressive shift of power in world politics, from Europe to America and perhaps in coming years from America to Asia. The great nineteenth-century arsenals of power--Great Britain and France, and with them Belgium and the Netherlands--are today being forced into second place. Not unnaturally, nevertheless, their attitudes, reactions and habits of thought are still in large measure based upon outlived nineteenth-century balances of power. On the other hand, in this new twentieth-century world many hitherto weak people are tasting new-found power. The Russian people have stepped to the front of the world stage. China and Japan have each to be reckoned with; and India with her 350,000,000 awakening people is a potential dynamo of power either for or against the Western World. In such a time of transition there is need for the older possessors of power to be alert to understand swiftly changing conditions and to realize that they can no longer afford to base their policies and decisions upon purely material factors or assumed superiority of race. Equally there is need for those peoples which are exercising newly acquired power to recognize the responsibilities which go with membership in the community of nations in the twentieth century.
World peace can be built only upon human freedom. Yet at present some 200,000,000 people do not govern themselves. What is the solution of this paradox?
The easy but superficial answer is prompt independence for all. This, the answer which the Soviets beguilingly espoused at San Francisco when the United Nations Charter was being framed in 1945, carries an instant emotional appeal to almost everyone. It wins support in every General Assembly--particularly among the Latin American groups and those Middle Eastern states which have achieved their independence after long years of struggle. And we Americans, perhaps more than any other people, believe that freedom is the rock upon which all human progress must be built. Without it, we know, democracy cannot exist and stable world peace cannot be attained.
Under its Charter, the United Nations is consecrated to the task of assisting all non-self-governing peoples in their progressive development toward independence or self-government. This is the avowed purpose of every people outside the Soviet ring. Since the setting up of the United Nations, as has already been pointed out, some 500,000,000 people have acquired political independence. Seven new nations of Asia--India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Burma, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Indonesia-- have come into existence. To these must be added Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel in the Middle East; and in Africa, Libya, which was given independence last December. Somaliland, Nepal, the new states of Indo-China and others stand in the offing.
But what many fail to understand is that political independence is not synonymous with human freedom. In 1783 the wresting of American independence from the British Crown was only the first step toward freedom. There had to be many more steps. There had to be a constitutional bill of rights to guarantee freedom of speech and of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom from illegal process. Thereafter it took the people of the independent nation many years of sustained effort to build the social and cultural foundations necessary to establish American freedom and make it reasonably secure. And still we are in the process of building. As we move forward we continually gain new vision and adopt new goals.
Genuine freedom cannot be achieved by a mere political grant or by a military victory. It comes only as adequate political, economic, social and educational foundations can be made ready. In Somaliland, for instance, unless the people can learn, through actual experience and training, what majority rule by secret ballot means and accept the responsibilities that must go with democracy; unless the local revenues can be increased through rapid agricultural or industrial development to pay for sorely needed schools and teachers and hospitals and doctors, there will be no genuine individual human freedom there ten years from now. Political independence is a notable step along the way. But surely it is only a step, and in no sense the goal itself. Men can be as effectively manacled by economic and social forms of servitude as by political oppression. Among the peoples living in many primitive parts of Asia and Africa the real problems therefore go far deeper than political status. In such areas genuine solutions can come only through steady processes of education and training in the fundamentals upon which successful self-government must be built.
When we undertook the administration of the Philippine Islands in 1898, we did not, in spite of insistent Filipino demands, give them independence for almost half a century. Instead we sent among them armies of schoolteachers and doctors and road-builders. We helped them to learn the meaning of democracy in action. We gave them practical experience in the exasperating art of self-government. Even today we must continue to assist them as they learn to stand alone.
The premature grant of political independence, before a people have had adequate economic and social preparation, can do them untold harm. Indigenous leaders who are not subject to the restraint of the civic standards that come with popular education can exploit their compatriots as ruthlessly as aliens, or even more so. Nor is the cause of international peace served by giving full independence to a people who are not able to defend themselves. Large parts of Asia and Africa which today possess immense natural resources and exceedingly valuable strategic bases are inhabited by people quite unable to hold their own against lawless aggressors armed with twentieth-century weapons.
If we are to build for human welfare and for the peace of the world our course is, therefore, clearly marked. We must stimulate and help the peoples in all underdeveloped areas, self-governing as well as non-self-governing, to construct the kind of economic and social and educational foundations necessary to prepare them for maintaining their political freedom and to qualify them for increasing self-government. Only thus can we rid ourselves of the inherent dangers now existing in every underdeveloped country--dangers due to Communist infiltration, to the possible rise and spread among such peoples in the future of ideologies even more devastating than Communism, to deepening cleavages among those who must stand together if peace is to be stabilized in the world. Only thus do we make our own freedom.
Many will ask why we should force a twentieth-century culture upon peoples who through the centuries have developed their own cultures and found happiness in them. Would it not make for the happiness of all to leave them unmolested in their own ways of life? The answer is that we in fact have no choice. No one can stay the hand of advancing cultures--least of all in an age when insistent commercial and military demands knit all peoples into an inescapable unity. Western Samoa during the whole of the second half of the nineteenth century struggled to preserve its indigenous culture and to remain in isolation from Western civilization. The effort was of no avail. Other attempts tell the same story. In the shrunken world of the twentieth century no people can successfully isolate their native culture behind a Chinese wall. Each people has contributions of incalculable value to make to the human race. The conditions of our twentieth century demand that every people make its own contributions and share the differing cultures of others.
What, specifically, is to be our American policy in face of this increasing demand for independence regardless, as it were, of consequences? We cannot afford to abandon our West European and British Commonwealth allies. Neither can we afford to turn our backs on the struggle for human freedom or sacrifice the good will of smaller nations composed of virile peoples bent on making their way in the world. Because of its wealth, its military power and its traditional stand for democracy and human rights, the United States finds itself today in a strategic position to exercise a high leadership. It must rise above partisan politics. It must play no favorites. It must give convincing evidence of its determination to utilize its power and its resources for the protection of human rights everywhere. It must give groups of opposing forces to understand that its assistance can be counted on only in so far as the course and policy pursued is one for human welfare. The day of military alliances for purely selfish interests and national aggrandizement is past.
The American policy toward the problem of independence must be based, then, upon recognition of the inherent human right of every people to freedom, and thus to eventual independence or self-government. With this right, however, go very definite responsibilities. Until a people is prepared and ready to assume these responsibilities, the grant of political independence may do them and the cause of peace more harm than good. In other words, American policy must affirm the right and capacity of all peoples to work toward self-government or independence; but it must also take account of the fact that all are not as yet equally ready to shoulder the resulting responsibilities.
The task of building adequate economic, social and educational foundations in underdeveloped territories must be pushed with all speed. It is a monumental task. But the great fact is that the free peoples of the world are coming to comprehend ever more clearly the underlying issues and are concentrating more of their energies on developing methods for constructive progress. Measurable advances are being made both by the United Nations and by the coördinated efforts of individual states. The Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the U. N. Technical Assistance Board, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO, the Commission on Human Rights and other U.N. organs and specialized agencies--all are making their distinctive contribution.
Perhaps the most profound and baffling problem of all among underdeveloped peoples is the issue of racial discrimination. One thing we know. Brazen racial discrimination undermines the position of the white man in the world community. Change will come; and it is greatly to the interest of the white race to help to guide rather than to impede that change.
As a matter of fact, experience over many years has shown that when colonial administration is based upon the exploitation of human beings, it has bred only difficulties and well-nigh insuperable problems. On the other hand, when colonial administration came to be based upon the conception of sharing common problems and common fortunes, stable and reasonably satisfactory solutions have generally been reached. One thinks of New Zealanders and Maoris, of Americans and Filipinos. Wise administration recognizes the oneness of the human race.
It is along this pathway that the United States, acting through the United Nations and other carefully coördinated enterprises, must push forward. During the current year the total program of the United States in technical assistance, excluding its contribution to the United Nations, amounts to more than $200,000,000. This amount should be substantially increased. At the same time we must keep in mind that assistance programs cannot be rammed down the throats of undesiring recipients. At least one non-Communist country has refused the offer of American technical assistance because it fears or misunderstands our motives. Also, innovations may arouse the opposition of tribal chiefs or the holders of vested rights. Again, old-time subsistence economies, easygoing and never exacting, often have a greater appeal than increased revenues. Progress as it is conceived of in our Western cultures is not necessarily coveted by every people, particularly if it involves the abandonment of ancestral ways of life.
The building of economic foundations for freedom clearly involves more than handing out dollars or pounds or francs in backward areas. Like all effective work for human progress it requires a deep understanding of the people concerned, tempered with infinite patience and wisdom. It will not succeed unless wrought with an abiding faith in the dignity and worth of every personality, regardless of the color of his skin or his unfamiliarity with formal education.
Probably the most necessary foundation for human freedom, particularly among primitive and tribal peoples, lies in the field of education. "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free," wrote Thomas Jefferson, "it expects what never was and never will be." In Asia, Africa and the South Pacific, many peoples still lack any comprehension of what human progress outside their own static cultures means. In the weird Cargo Cult of the South Pacific, for example, one gains a glimpse of the thought processes of the primitive mind. Among the peoples of some of the islands runs an unquestioning belief in magic, in the power of the fetish, in unholy spells. Struck with the utterly inexplicable power of foreigners to produce as from the skies inexhaustible supplies of ships and guns and food and kerosene stoves and machine monsters of indescribable power, certain South Pacific peoples under the spell of the Cargo Cult, perhaps touched by a misunderstood conception of sacrifice gained from Christian missions, will take a sudden decision to destroy everything they possess--to tear down their houses, burn their pathetic belongings, chop down their trees and root up their gardens, in a fine gesture of faith and hope that their gods or ancestors will thus be induced to send to them, too, even as do the foreign gods to their followers, miraculous machines and a wealth of food.
As a general rule, there is an intense eagerness in underdeveloped areas for modern schooling. In most such areas it is far easier to get children to come to school than it is to provide sufficient schools and trained teachers to teach them. An educational program based upon the use of foreign teachers for a population running into millions or even tens of millions is manifestly impracticable; there are not enough foreign teachers to be had. The solution must be adequate training schools where indigenous teachers can be trained.
Plainly the problem of independence and the development of underdeveloped areas in Asia and Africa cannot be solved in a night, but will require endless effort along a hundred different fronts. It falls into two parts, distinct but inseparable. Freedom involves not only the absence of political oppression but also the emancipation of men and women from the shackles of hunger, disease and ignorance. Both are necessary. Victory in one field contributes to victory in the other. But both must progress together. If we recognize this and act upon it, Soviet Communism will not win. Neither authoritarianism nor ruthless dictatorship can ever permanently prevail. Free men working together throughout the world for human freedom possess matchless power. Today they are uniting as never before. Their power is unconquerable.
[i] Some of the material forming the basis for this article was used in a speech before the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston, April 9, 1952 (Proceedings, v. 81, no. 6).