Courtesy Reuters

India in the Modern World

A British View

THOSE who have devoted themselves to studying the attitude of the American people towards the issues now generally described as "imperialism" and "colonialism" will agree on the difficulty of estimating the strength of the interest which they actually possess for the public at large. But no one could avoid the conclusion that in many quarters they do arouse a serious concern. This may at times find expression in an idealism which appears to overlook the realities of the situation, or in terms which suggest that prejudices born of a distant past are being unnecessarily revived. There are occasions when it may be proper to give to arguments so based the answer they invite and indeed deserve. But those are the dialectics of the market place. They do not touch the substance of the problem. That it arouses a genuine concern among many thinking people, who are neither unduly idealistic nor unreasonably prejudiced, is a matter which cannot be disregarded by those who seek a better understanding between the United States and Great Britain -- for it is, of course, the British who fill for Americans the most significant rôle as an "imperialistic" people, and it is Britain which in their view occupies the most conspicuous position as a colonial power.

Though Britain may feel that it is not entirely reasonable that she should be singled out for this rôle, she would be illogical if she failed to appreciate the real cause for America's interest in the matter. The merits of "internationalism" have before now been an issue of purely domestic politics in America; they may become so again; and American party politics is a field from which the British are well advised to stand studiously aloof. But whatever may be the play of domestic forces which will in the end influence America's attitude on the issue of internationalism, there clearly exists today an almost universal feeling that world security can only be achieved in the future by some form

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