×
Courtesy Reuters

In foreign affairs today, both policy and performance require more subtlety and sophistication than heretofore. The need arises from no significant change in human relations, for the basic factors in man's relationship to himself and to other men have not altered radically. When we speak of "a new world," "a new age" or employ one of the other current expressions, it brings more confusion than clarity to thought. During my own lifetime I have known the steel age, the air age, the age of science, the age of technology, the atomic age, the space age, or, on different levels, the age of democracy, the age of totalitarianism, the age of capitalism, the age of Communism, the age of peace and the age of war. When ages shoot by at so rapid a clip the concept is worthless, and confusing.

It is indubitable that many physical changes in the world deeply affect our foreign relations. On the other hand, there are equally vital elements of continuity-things which change not at all or very slowly. Science and technology have altered much of our environment, but they have not remade the human mind or spirit.

The charter of UNESCO declares that wars begin in the minds of men. The statement is suggestive, but inaccurate. Many of the things for which men have fought lie deep beneath thought processes; they are not rational at all. A more perceptive statement would have been that wars begin in the hearts of men, using "hearts" in the old-fashioned sense, meaning the passions, the will, the drives, the subconscious, the unconscious-all those forces of which psychoanalysis has made so much and for which it has devised so many terms. The word heart is so employed in the Scriptures over 500 times; again and again it is referred to as the secret hiding place of the decisive impulses that move men. The specific things that men have feared and hated most ardently have changed from time to time and place to

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue