Courtesy Reuters

Austria Holds on

IF THE occupation armies in Europe are compared with a lance, the point of the lance is in Austria. You cannot simply cut the shaft of this lance; the point must first be withdrawn. Today, point and shaft both remain. There will be no real peace in any part of this area so long as there are troops in Austria.

Peace cannot be restored in fragments; this is now so clear as to need no further demonstration. Such progress as has been made has been the result chiefly of concessions by the west. The troops of the western Powers have been brought home from Italy, but the Russian troops have been left in strategic positions in central and eastern Europe.

To "make peace" means to restore normal conditions in the world. But it seldom is possible to resume peaceful pursuits at the point where they were dropped. Thus to normalize conditions means more than to restore things as they were. The world agrees, for example, that the abolition of Nazism and the prevention of aggression are essential for peace. But what conditions should the victorious Powers create in the countries for which they are responsible in order to make these objectives likely of attainment?

In the western view, for instance, aggression remains a possibility so long as democracy is absent: a government which can act independently of the will of the people slips easily into the paths set by its own ambition. In the view of the east, on the other hand, the possibility of conflict lies in a lack of social progress. Communism holds that not dictators but capitalists, i.e. the exponents of private enterprise, are responsible for unrest and wars. Which, then, are to be taken as the decisive factors of peace and progress ? Are they democracy and freedom in the body politic? Or are they the nationalization of industry and social-economic equality? Is America the ideal state which reconstruction efforts should emulate -- or England, or France?

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