Courtesy Reuters

The Age of Revolution

OF THE many roads by which a private citizen may approach consideration of international relations, three are worthy of particular mention: knowledge, emotion, imagination. The last of these--imagination--deserves special thought, for it offers extremely useful help in dealing with a turbulent world, and above all the acutely disturbed new and underdeveloped nations.

Knowledge is the first method of approach; the process for its creation is scholarship. This is the way to develop the specialist, a man who knows a great deal about some aspect of policy in time or space or thought--or all three. Such work is essential to progress in the quest for peace. Without specialists statesmen would lack access to essential knowledge. Not all citizens can be scholars; they have other preoccupations. But all citizens can profit by the research of scholars, for the work of many is summarized and synthesized by secondary writers. Essential knowledge is made available in palatable form, and every citizen should learn as much as possible. Above all, he should think about what he knows. One historical fact, in particular, should enter his consciousness and become firmly fixed: there never was a golden age when men lived happily, securely, without tensions.

When we read history, events are foreshortened. A century or more of progress may be covered in a sentence or two. Thus it seems as though the meaning of events must have been obvious to those who lived among them. But that is a rare occurrence; the normal rule is that only in the long perspective does the significance of the age become clear. A verse in Ecclesiastes reminds us how old is this problem: "For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time." One of the fundamentals a citizen must grasp is that every age has had its problems, its dangers, even its

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