Essays for the Presidency
A Century's Worth of Candidates and Their Advisers Make Their Cases
Rebooting Republican Foreign Policy
Needed: Less Fox, More Foxes
Getting the GOP's Groove Back
How to Bridge the Republican Foreign Policy Divide
The Clinton Legacy
How Will History Judge the Soft-Power Secretary of State?
Renewing American Leadership
Rising to a New Generation of Global Challenges
Reengaging With the World
A Return to Moral Leadership
Toward a Realistic Peace
Defending Civilization and Defeating Terrorists by Making the International System Work
Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-first Century
An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom
Securing America's Future
A New Realism
A Realistic and Principled Foreign Policy
America's Priorities in the War on Terror
Islamists, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan
Bridges, Bombs, or Bluster?
A Strategy of Partnerships
Foreign Policy for a Democratic President
Campaign 2000: Promoting the National Interest
Campaign 2000: A Republican Foreign Policy
Campaign 2000: New World, New Deal: A Democratic Approach to Globalization
A Republican Looks at Foreign Policy
A Democrat Looks at Foreign Policy
America's First Post-Cold War President
A Republican Looks at Foreign Policy
A Democrat Looks at Foreign Policy
The 1988 Election: U.S. Foreign Policy at a Watershed
American Foreign Policy: The Bush Agenda
The 1988 Election
Foreign Policy and the American Character
After the Election: Foreign Policy Under Reagan II
The First Term: From Carter to Reagan
The First Term: Four More Years: Diplomacy Restored?
The First Term: The Reagan Road to Détente
Beyond Détente: Toward International Economic Security
For a New Policy Balance
The End of Either/Or
Asia After Viet Nam
Policy and the People
The Presidency and the Peace
Two Years of the Peace Corps
U.S. Policy in Latin America
A Democrat Looks at Foreign Policy
Putting First Things First
A Democratic View
The Senate in Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy in Presidential Campaigns
Korea in Perspective
November 1952: Imperatives of Foreign Policy
The Challenge to Americans
The Foreign Policy of the American Communist Party
The Promise of Human Rights
Our Sovereignty: Shall We Use It?
European Legislation for Industrial Peace
Labor Under the Nazis
The Permanent Bases of American Foreign Policy
Political Factors in American Foreign Policy
Some Foreign Problems of the Next Administration
Our Foreign Policy
A Republican View
Our Foreign Policy
A Democratic View
The Senate and Our Foreign Relations
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1921-1924
American Foreign Policy: a Democratic View
American Foreign Policy: a Republican View
American Foreign Policy: a Progressive View
After the Election
Oscar Wilde is said to have observed that America really was discovered by a dozen people before Columbus, but it was always successfully hushed up. I am tempted to feel that way about the Peace Corps; the idea of a national effort of this type had been proposed many times in past years. But in 1960 and 1961 for the first time the idea was joined with the power and the desire to implement it. On November 2, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy proposed a "peace corps" in a campaign speech at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Thirty thousand Americans wrote immediately to support the idea; thousands volunteered to join.
The early days of the Peace Corps were like the campaign days of 1960, but with no election in sight. My colleagues were volunteer workers and a few key officials loaned from other agencies. "I use not only all the brains I have, but all I can borrow," Woodrow Wilson said. So did we. Letters cascaded in from all over the country in what one writer described as "paper tornadoes at the Peace Corps." The elevators to our original two-room office disgorged constant sorties of interested persons, newspaper reporters, job seekers, academic figures and generous citizens offering advice. Everywhere, it seemed, were cameras, coils of cable and commentators with questions.
An organization, we know, gains life through hard decisions, so we hammered out basic policies in long, detailed discussions in which we sought to face up to the practical problems and reach specific solutions before we actually started operations. We knew that a few wrong judgments in the early hours of a new organization's life, especially a controversial government agency, can completely thwart its purposes—even as a margin of error of a thousandth of an inch in the launching of a rocket can send it thousands of miles off course. And we knew the Peace Corps would have only one chance to work. As with the parachute jumper, the chute had to open the first time. We knew, too, that a thousand suspicious eyes were peering over our shoulders. Some were the eyes of friendly critics, but many belonged to unfriendly skeptics. The youthfulness of the new Administration, particularly the President, enhanced the risk; an older leadership would have had greater immunity from charges of "sophomorism."
Even the choice of a name took on serious overtones. The phrase "Peace Corps" was used in the original San Francisco speech, but many of our advisers disliked it. "Peace," they claimed, was a word the Communists had preëmpted, and "Corps" carried undesirable military connotations. We did not want a name contrived out of initials which a public relations firm might have devised; nor did we want to restrict participation in the program by calling it a "Youth Corps." What we did want was a name which the public at large could grasp emotionally as well as intellectually. Whatever name we did choose, we would give it content by our acts and programs. We wanted it, also, to reflect the seriousness of our objectives. We studied dozens of other names and finally came back to the original. Peace is the fundamental goal of our times. We believed the Peace Corps could contribute to its attainment, for while armaments can deter war, only men can create peace.
The ambitiousness of the name, of course, was only one reason for early skepticism about the Peace Corps. Fears were voiced that it might be a "second children's crusade." I was astonished that a nation so young had become so suspicious of its youth. We had forgotten that Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence at age 33. Forgotten also was the fact that more than half of the world's population is under 26, the age of the average Peace Corps Volunteer. Sixteen of the nations in Africa have heads of state under 45; five have leaders in their thirties.
Of course, youthful enthusiasm and noble purposes were not enough. They had to be combined with hard-headed pragmatism and realistic administration. In the early days of the Peace Corps we were looking for a formula for practical idealism. The formula worked out by experience has "the sweet smell of success" today, but it was far less clear two years ago.
Would enough qualified Americans be willing to serve? Even if they started, would they be able to continue on the job despite frustration, dysentery and boredom? Could Americans survive overseas without special foods and privileges, special housing, automobiles, television and air conditioners? Many Americans thought not. The Washington correspondent of the respected Times of India agreed with them in these words:
When you have ascertained a felt local need, you would need to find an American who can exactly help in meeting it. This implies not only the wherewithal (or what you inelegantly call the "know how") but also a psychological affinity with a strange new people who may be illiterate and yet not lack Wisdom, who may live in hovels and yet dwell in spiritual splendor, who may be poor in worldly wealth and yet enjoy a wealth of intangibles and a capacity to be happy. Would an American young man be in tune with this world he has never experienced before? I doubt it. . . .
One also wonders whether American young men and tender young girls, reared in air-conditioned houses at a constant temperature, knowing little about the severities of nature (except when they pop in and out of cars or buses) will be able to suffer the Indian summer smilingly and, if they go into an Indian village, whether they will be able to sleep on unsprung beds under the canopy of the bejeweled sky or indoors in mud huts, without writing home about it.
At a time when many were saying that Americans had gone soft and were interested mainly in security, pensions and suburbia, the Peace Corps could have been timorous. Possible ways of hedging against an anticipated shortage of applicants could have included low qualification standards, generous inducements to service, cautious programming, a period of duty shorter than two years, an enforced period of enlistment such as the "hitch" in the armed forces, or draft exemption for volunteer service in the Peace Corps. We deliberately chose the risk rather than the hedge in each case and created an obstacle course. The applicant could remove himself any time he realized his motive was less than a true desire for service. This method of self-selection has by now saved us from compounded difficulties abroad.
Our optimism about sufficient recruits was justified. More than 50,000 Americans have applied for the Peace Corps. In the first three months of this year, more Americans applied for the Peace Corps than were drafted for military service. This happened notwithstanding the fact that young men who volunteer for the Peace Corps are liable to service on their return.
Selection was made rigorous. The process was fashioned to include a searchingly thorough application form, placement tests to measure useful skills, language aptitude exams, six to twelve reference inquiries, a suitability investigation and systematic observation of performance during the training program of approximately ten weeks. We invite about one in six applicants to enter training, and about five out of six trainees are finally selected for overseas service.
We debated hotly the question of age, and whether or not older people should be eligible. We listened to proposals for an age limit in the thirties and then in the sixties and finally decided to set no upper age limit at all. Our oldest volunteer today happens to be 76, and we have more grandparents than teenagers in the Peace Corps. Some older volunteers have turned out to be rigid and cantankerous in adapting to a standard of living their parents took for granted, but the majority of them make a lot of us in the New Frontier look like stodgy old settlers.
From the beginning we decided that effective volunteers abroad would need systematic administrative support and direction. Leaders of several developing nations, eager to have the assistance of trained manpower, warned against repeating the experiences of other highly motivated volunteer workers who had failed abroad for lack of cohesive leadership. A good program would need good people—not only as Peace Corps Volunteers but as Peace Corps staff members abroad. There was no counterpart in the U. S. Government of civilian leaders serving abroad on a volunteer basis. There was no precedent for what these men would have to do in programming, logistics and personal support for the volunteers in their charge. We needed the ablest of leaders in each position. Could we attract them even though we did not offer post differentials, cost-of-living allowances, commissary or diplomatic privileges?
Fortunately, the answer has been a continuing "yes." The Peace Corps has attracted intelligent and dedicated men to all positions on its overseas team. Ironically, the same critics who once complained that we would unleash hordes of uninstructed adolescents on the world are now complaining that we spend substantial sums to provide instruction and adequate direction.
Some of my colleagues proposed that Peace Corps Volunteers act as technical helpers to I.C.A. technicians, "extra hands" for the more experienced older men. Peace Corps practice has moved in another direction. A natural distinction between the A.I.D. adviser at a high level in government and the Peace Corps Volunteer making his contribution as a "doer" or "worker" at the grass roots soon became apparent. It also became clear that the Peace Corps Volunteer had a new and perhaps unique contribution to make as a person who entered fully into host-country life and institutions, with a host-country national working beside him, and another directing his work. This feature of the Peace Corps contributed substantially to its early support abroad.
Discussion of the possibility that the Peace Corps might be affiliated with the I.C.A. led into the question of its relationship to U. S. political and information establishments overseas. The Peace Corps in Washington is responsible to the Secretary of State. Volunteers and staff abroad are responsible to the American Ambassador. Nevertheless, the Peace Corps maintains a distinction between its functions and those of Embassies, A.I.D. and U.S.I.A. offices. There was a design to this which Secretary Rusk has aptly described: "The Peace Corps is not an instrument of foreign policy, because to make it so would rob it of its contribution to foreign policy." Peace Corps Volunteers are not trained diplomats; they are not propagandists; they are not technical experts. They represent our society by what they are, what they do and the spirit in which they do it. They steer clear of intelligence activity and stay out of local politics. Our strict adherence to these principles has been a crucial factor in the decision of politically uncommitted countries to invite American volunteers into their midst, into their homes and even into their classrooms and schoolyards to teach future generations of national leaders. In an era of sabotage and espionage, intelligence and counter-intelligence, the Peace Corps and its volunteers have earned a priceless yet simple renown: they are trustworthy.
Another contested issue in the early days of the Peace Corps concerned private organizations and universities. We were advised by many to make grants to these institutions, then to leave recruitment, selection, training and overseas programming in their hands. That road would have led to an organization operating very much like the National Science Foundation. For better or worse, the Peace Corps chose not to become a grant-making organization and those decisions which give character to our operations—selection, training, programming, field leadership and so on—are still in our possession.
Nevertheless, the involvement of private organizations and universities has been crucial to the Peace Corps' success. America is a pluralistic society and the Peace Corps expresses its diversity abroad by demonstrating that the public and private sectors can work coöperatively and effectively. We consciously seek contracts with private organizations, colleges and universities to administer our programs. We gain the advantage of expert knowledge, long experience, tested working relationships and often even private material resources. For example, CARE has contributed more than $100,000 worth of equipment to the Peace Corps in Colombia. Initially, there was suspicion by some of these agencies that the Peace Corps, with the resources of the United States taxpayer behind it, would preëmpt their own work abroad. Suspicion has turned into understanding, however, as the United States Government, through the Peace Corps, has facilitated the work of private organizations and has focused new attention on the needs and opportunities for service abroad.
In our "talent search" we went to government, academic life, business, the bar, the medical profession and every other walk of life where leadership was available. We deliberately recruited as many Negroes and representatives of other minority groups as possible for jobs in every echelon. We knew that Negroes would not ordinarily apply for high-level policy jobs, so we decided to seek them out. Today 7.4 percent of our higher echelon positions are filled by Negroes as compared to .8 percent for other government agencies in similar grades; 24 percent of our other positions are filled by Negroes, compared to a figure for government agencies in general of 5.5 percent.
How big should the Peace Corps be? Everyone was asking this question and everyone had an answer. Advice ranged from 500 to 1,000,000. There were strong voices raised in support of "tentative pilot projects," looking to a Peace Corps of less than 1,000. However, Warren W. Wiggins, an experienced foreign-aid expert, took a broader view. He pointed out that ultra-cautious programming might produce prohibitive per capita costs, fail even to engage the attention of responsible foreign officials (let alone have an impact) and fail to attract the necessary American talent and commitment. Furthermore, when the need was insatiable why should we try to meet it with a pittance?
There were also arguments in those early days about "saturation" of the foreign country, either in terms of jobs or the psychological impact of the American presence. I have since noticed that the same arguments made about a 500-1,000 man program in 1961 were also made about our plans to expand to 5,000 volunteers (March 1963), to 10,000 volunteers (March 1964) and to 13,000 (September 1964). I am not suggesting that the Peace Corps should continue to grow indefinitely. But I am proposing that much time and energy are wasted in theoretical musings, introspections and worries about the future. Peace Corps Volunteers are a new type of overseas American. Who is to say now how many of them will be welcome abroad next year, or in the next decade? Our country and our times have had plenty of experience with programs that were too little, too late.
The question of the health of the volunteers concerned us from the beginning. The Peace Corps represents the largest group of Americans who have ever tried to live abroad "up country." Even in World War II our troops were generally in organized units where safe food and water could be provided and medical care was at hand. This would not be the case for the Peace Corps. And an incapacitated volunteer would probably be worse than no volunteer at all. How could we reduce the risks to a rational level? The Surgeon General studied the problem at our request. We then worked out a solution by which preventive health measures are provided by public health doctors assigned to the Peace Corps, while much of the actual medical care is handled by doctors of the host country. Of the first 117 volunteers returned to the United States, only 20 came back for medical reasons (21 returned for compassionate reasons, 71 failed to adjust to overseas living and 5 died or were killed in accidents). Our medical division's work is already showing up in the pages of scientific and medical journals. As an example, we recently decided to use large injections of gamma globulin as a preventive for hepatitis, which has presented one of the worst health problems for Americans overseas. Since then, there has not been a single case of infectious hepatitis reported among those who received the large injection in time.
Many of the original doubts and criticisms of the Peace Corps have not materialized. On the other hand, substantive problems have emerged which were little discussed or expected two years ago. One of the most difficult is the provision of adequate language training. This was foreseen, but most observers thought that the exotic languages such as Thai, Urdu, Bengali and Twi would give us our main problem, while Spanish and French speakers could be easily recruited or quickly trained. The opposite has been true. The first volunteers who arrived in Thailand in January 1962 made a great impression with what observers described as "fluent" Thai. As the volunteers were the first to point out, their Thai was not actually fluent, but their modest achievement was tremendously appreciated. Since then, of course, a large proportion of the volunteers there have become truly fluent.
On the other hand, a considerable number of volunteers going to Latin America and to French Africa have been criticized for their mediocre language fluency. Expectations are high in these countries and halting Spanish or French is not enough. We have learned that America contains rather few French-speaking bus mechanics, Spanish-speaking hydrologists or math-science teachers who can exegete theorems in a Latin American classroom. Can we devise more effective and intensive language training, particularly for farmers, craftsmen, construction foremen, well drillers and other Americans who never before have needed a second language? Should we take skilled people and teach them languages, or take people with language abilities and teach them skills?
We still need more volunteers, especially those who combine motivation and special skills. The person with a ready motivation for Peace Corps service tends to be the liberal arts student in college, the social scientist, the person with "human relations" interests. The developing countries need and want a great many Americans with this background, but they also want engineers, agronomists, lathe operators and geologists. We cannot make our maximum contribution if we turn down requests for skills which we have difficulty finding. There are presently 61 engineers in the Peace Corps, 30 geologists and 236 nurses, respectable numbers considering the ready availability of generously paying jobs in the domestic economy. But requests still far outnumber the supply.
Other industrialized countries may soon supplement our efforts by providing volunteers to developing countries with languages and skills we lack. The motivation to serve is not distinctively American, and half a dozen industrialized nations have established equivalents of the Peace Corps within the past few months. These programs grew out of an International Conference on Human Skills organized by the Peace Corps and held in Puerto Rico last October. The 43 countries represented at the meeting voted unanimously to establish an International Peace Corps Secretariat to help spread the concept of voluntarism as a tool of economic and social transformation. The response to this initiative is a reflection of the innate vitality of the Peace Corps idea.
We face increasingly difficult choices as we grow. Should we concentrate in the future on the countries where we now have programs and resist expanding to new areas? We are already committed to programs in 47 nations. Should we favor a program where there are relatively stable social conditions, good organization and effective leadership? Or should we take greater risks and commit our resources in a more fluid and disorganized situation, usually in a poorer country, where the Peace Corps might make a crucial difference or find a great opportunity? Where should we draw the line between adequate material support to the volunteers and the perils of providing them with too many material goods? Where is the equilibrium between safeguarding the volunteer's health and morale and protecting the Peace Corps' declared purpose that he should live as does his co-worker in the host country, without special luxury or advantage?
When is a particular program completed? In Nigeria the answer is relatively easy. That country's coördinated educational development plan projects a need for 815 foreign teachers in 1965, 640 in 1966, 215 in 1968 and none in 1970. By then enough Nigerians will have been trained to fill their own classrooms. Progress may not follow so fine a plan, but the Peace Corps can look ahead to a day when its academic, teaching work in Nigeria will be done.
The answer is not so simple in Colombia, where volunteers are working on community development in 92 rural towns. There is no lack of change and progress: the Colombian Government has trebled its own commitment of resources and staff to this progressive community development program. Scores of individual communities have already learned how to organize to transform their future. When volunteer John Arango organized the first town meeting in Cutaru almost two years ago, for example, not one soul showed up. Twenty months later almost every citizen turns out for these meetings. The townsmen have changed an old jail into a health clinic; they have drained the nearby swamps; they have rebuilt wharves on the river; they have cleared stumps out of the channel to make it navigable; and they are now building the first 18 of 72 do-it-yourself houses designed by the volunteer.
John Arango's Colombian co-worker is equally responsible for the results in Cutaru. In community development, particularly, the ability of the host organization to provide able counterparts is crucial to a program's success. I might also mention that host countries have in every case made voluntary contributions to the Peace Corps programs. In Africa alone, they have supported the program to the value of $2,500,000. During and after the Puerto Rico conference, three countries in Latin America announced plans to establish home-grown Peace Corps organizations; when implemented these will help solve the shortage of counterparts. We believe North American and Latin American volunteers will complement one another and increase the total effectiveness.
The first "replacement group" in the Peace Corps is about to complete training for service in Colombia. Should we send these volunteers to fill the shoes of their predecessors in the villages which are now moving ahead, albeit shakily? Or should we send the volunteers to new communities where nothing has been done? We know that more is needed than two years of work by a North American and his Colombian co-workers to effect self-perpetuating change. On the other hand, we do not want the volunteer to become a crutch in a community's life. Some of the new volunteers in Colombia will, therefore, try to follow through with their predecessor's work, but others will take on villages where no American has served. In the meantime we are planning to study what happens in those towns where volunteers are not replaced.
Earlier I mentioned there has been a change in the nature of comment and criticism about the Peace Corps. In the beginning, the doubters worried about the callowness of youth and the ability of mortals to make any good idea work. The more recent criticism is more sophisticated and more substantive. Eric Sevareid recently observed: "While the Corps has something to do with spot benefits in a few isolated places, whether in sanitizing drinking water or building culverts, its work has, and can have, very little to do with the fundamental investments, reorganizations and reforms upon which the true and long-term economic development of backward countries depends." Mr. Sevareid acknowledges that "giving frustrated American youth a sense of mission and adding to our supply of comprehension of other societies fatten the credit side of the ledger." He adds: "If fringe benefits were all the Corps' originators had in mind, then this should be made clear to the country." I do not agree with him that the second and third purposes of the Peace Corps Act—representing America abroad in the best sense and giving Americans an opportunity to learn about other societies—are "fringe benefits." Fulton Freeman, the United States Ambassador in Colombia, believes the whole Peace Corps program could be justified by its creation of a new American resource in the volunteers who are acquiring language skills and intensive understanding of a foreign society. Former volunteers will be entering government service (150 have already applied to join U.S.I.A.), United Nations agencies, academic life, international business concerns and a host of other institutions which carry on the business of the United States throughout the world. Others will return to their homes, capable of exerting an enlightened influence in the communities where they settle. Many trite euphemisms of the ignorant and ready panaceas of the uninformed will clash immediately with the harsh facts that volunteers have learned to live with abroad.
Is the second purpose of the Peace Corps Act—to be a good representative of our society—a "fringe benefit"? Peace Corps Volunteers are reaching the people of foreign countries on an individual basis at a different level from the influence of most Americans abroad. The Peace Corps Volunteer lives under local laws, buys his supplies at local stores and makes his friends among local people. He leaves to the diplomat and the technicians the complex tools which are peculiarly their own while he sets out to work in the local environment as he finds it.
I am not suggesting that life for the volunteer is always hard. A visiting Ghanaian said: "The Peace Corps teachers in my country don't live so badly. After all, they live as well as we do." I agree that this is not so bad; nor is our objective discomfort for discomfort's sake, but rather a willingness to share the life of another people, to accept sacrifice when sacrifice is necessary and to show that material privilege has not become the central and indispensable ingredient in an American's life. It is interesting to note that the happiest volunteers are usually those with the most difficult living conditions.
Although I disagree with Mr. Sevareid's emphasis in dismissing two of the three purposes of the Peace Corps Act as "fringe benefits," he does get to the heart of an important question when he compares the direct economic impact of the Peace Corps to fundamental investments, reorganizations and economic development. The Peace Corps' contribution has been less in direct economic development than in social development—health, education, construction and community organization. We are convinced that economic development directly depends on social development. In his valedictory report this past April as head of the Economic Commission for Latin America, Raul Prebisch observed that there are not "grounds for expecting that economic development will take place first and be followed in the natural course of events by social development. Both social and economic development must be achieved in measures that require the exercise of rational and deliberate action. . . . There can be no speed-up in economic development without a change in the social structure." While they have their differences, Theodore W. Schultz and J. Kenneth Galbraith have no disagreement on the essential role of social development in economic progress. In contrast, some who argue from the European-North American experience overlook the vital need for social development which had already been substantially achieved in the countries of the Atlantic community. This is the basic difference between the problem of the Marshall Plan, which was concerned with economic reconstruction in societies with abundant social resources, and the problem of forced-draft economic development in much of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Notwithstanding the Peace Corps' primary emphasis on social development, volunteers are making a direct economic contribution in a variety of situations. They are helping to organize farmers' coöperatives in Chile, Ecuador and Pakistan; credit unions and savings and loan associations in Latin America; demonstration farms in the Near East. A group of volunteers in the Punjab sparked the creation of a poultry industry of some economic significance (using ground termite mounds for protein feed). These are "grass roots" projects. More of them will someday cause us to look back and wonder why it took so long to discover that people—human hands and enthusiasms—are an essential part of the relationship of mutual assistance which we must establish with our neighbors abroad.
The Peace Corps is not a "foreign aid" agency. Two of the three purposes of the Peace Corps as defined in the Act deal with understanding, not economic assistance. Moreover, our financial investment is in the volunteer who brings his skills and knowledge home with him. Seventy-five percent of the Peace Corps' appropriated funds enters the economy of the United States; of the remaining 25 percent, more than half (57 percent) is spent on American citizens, the Peace Corps Volunteers themselves.
A Jamaican radio commentator recently asserted that "a great distance between people is the best creator of good will. Jumble people up together on a sort of temporary basis of gratitude on one side and condescension on the other, and you'll have everyone at each other's throat in no time." If I believed this were inevitable, regardless of the attitude, preparation and mode of life of volunteers, I would advocate disbanding the Peace Corps—as well as most other programs overseas. But I have greater faith in the universality of men's aspirations and of men's ability to respect each other when they know each other. It is the American who lives abroad in isolation and the thoughtless tourist who create distrust and dislike.
I believe the Peace Corps is also having more impact than we may realize on our own society and among our own people. To take an example of the Peace Corps' impact on an institution, the President of the State University of Iowa, Virgil M. Hancher, recently observed:
The Peace Corps project (training Volunteers for Indonesia) is already having salutary effects upon this University, and these seem likely to be residual. The members of our faculty are having to come together across disciplines. They are having to think through old problems of education freshly and to tackle new ones. Along with the trainees, they are learning—learning how to teach languages in the new method, how to teach new languages, how to teach area studies better, and how to adapt old and test new methods. The project is deepening the international dimension of the State University of Iowa. This international dimension is being shared, in various ways, with the people of the state, the eastern area in particular.
American schools and students may soon benefit from the Peace Corps' initiative in another fashion. Two countries, Ghana and Argentina, have expressed interest in making the Peace Corps a two-way street by sending volunteer teachers of special competence to interested American high schools or colleges. Ghana would provide experts in African history and Argentina teachers of Spanish. Other countries may follow suit.
Our own Peace Corps Volunteers are being changed in other ways in the acquisition of languages and expertise. They will be coming home more mature, with a new outlook toward life and work. Like many other Americans, I have wondered whether our contemporary society, with its emphasis on the organizational man and the easy life, can continue to produce the self-reliance, initiative and independence that we consider to be part of our heritage. We have been in danger of losing ourselves among the motorized toothbrushes, tranquilizers and television commercials. Will Durant once observed that nations are born stoic and die epicurean; we have been in danger of this happening to us. The Peace Corps is truly a new frontier in the sense that it provides the challenge to self-reliance and independent action which the vanished frontier once provided on our own continent. Sharing in the progress of other countries helps us to rediscover ourselves at home.
The influence of the Peace Corps idea might be described as a series of widening circles, like the expanding rings from a stone thrown into a pond. The inner, most sharply defined circle represents the immediate effect of the program—accomplishments abroad in social and economic development, skills, knowledge, understanding, institution-building, a framework for coöperative effort with private organizations, research and experiment in "overseas Americanship," language training and improvements in health.
The second ring moving outward on the water might be the Peace Corps' influence on our society, on institutions and people, on the creation of a new sense of participation in world events, an influence on the national sense of purpose, self-reliance and an expanded concept of volunteer service in time of peace.
There is still a wider circle and, being farthest from the splash, the hardest to make out clearly. Perhaps I can explain it by describing the relationships I see between the Peace Corps and our American Revolution. The Revolution placed on our citizens the responsibility for reordering their own social structure. It was a triumph over the idea that man is incompetent or incapable of shaping his destiny. It was our declaration of the irresistible strength of a universal idea connected with human dignity, hope, compassion and freedom. The idea was not simply American, of course, but arose from a confluence of history, geography and the genius of a resolute few at Philadelphia.
We still have our vision, but our society has been drifting away from the world's majority: the young and raw, the colored, the hungry and the oppressed. The Peace Corps is helping to put us again where we belong. It is our newest hope for rejoining the majority of the world without at the same time betraying our cultural, historic, political and spiritual ancestors and allies. As Pablo Casals, the renowned cellist and democrat, said of the Peace Corps last year: "This is new, and it is also very old. We have come from the tyranny of the enormous, awesome, discordant machine, back to a realization that the beginning and the end are man—that it is man who is important, not the machine, and that it is man who accounts for growth, not just dollars and factories. Above all, that it is man who is the object of all our efforts."