THE United States is facing the crisis of 1949 with the military equipment of 1950 and the ideological equipment of 1775. America was well armed, philosophically, for the early conflicts with the parliamentary monarchism of Britain and the reactionary absolutism of Metternich. In those times we were able to make the Europeans and the Latin Americans understand us clearly, because we understood ourselves. But between the day of the Monroe Doctrine and the day of the Truman Doctrine, vast changes have taken place in American life. Many of these changes are, or have appeared to be, in conflict with the testament of the Founding Fathers. It can be argued that a revised philosophy is implicit in the major developments of the last half-century; but if this is so, the efforts to make this philosophy explicit have had but poor success. American theory has lagged far behind American practice; often it has seemed that without benefit of philosophy, we are backing tail-first into the future. For our own guidance at home and abroad, and for the enlightenment and inspiration of our neighbors overseas in this new age of conflict, we need to know what kind of country this is and where it is going.

As matters stand, the Europeans must have great difficulty in making us out, when they look this way. For example, the French probably understand well enough what kind of Germany the Russians want; but do the French understand what kind of Germany America wants? Are we sure about this ourselves? Until the time comes when we can speak out of a clear philosophy, the voice of America is bound to be muffled and confused.

It is painful, but it is also very salutary, that in this time of transition the Communists are forcing us to take stock of our position. In the latter half of the eighteenth century, the great majority of our people found themselves in conflict with parliamentary-monarchist theory and with British power. That theory and that power had a strong loyalist following in the American colonies; the crisis here was both domestic and foreign, and out of it came the great burst of creative energy that formulated our early philosophy and established the republic. From that time until the end of World War II, this country did not again experience such a simultaneous domestic and foreign crisis; there was no substantial following within the United States for the power of the Holy Alliance, or of Kaiser William, or of Hitler, or for the philosophies that were represented by these powers. But today we are involved in a crisis both at home and abroad: a rival Power and its official philosophy have expanded threateningly in Europe and Asia, and have gained significant support within the United States. This dual crisis must be met by a reëxamination of our position and a renewal of our pattern of thought.

Seldom if ever in history has a social philosophy been at one and the same time so clearly formulated, so generally accepted as an ideal, and so widely realized in practice, as in America in the first half of the nineteenth century. The new state had arisen out of a revolution against too much government (a "tyranny" that was mild indeed, as compared with the full-blown dictatorships of our own time); and in the pursuit of small trade, small crafts, and above all small farming, a very large proportion of the citizens of the new republic could exercise a great measure of control over their own daily activities, and work out for themselves a substantial measure of what they regarded as the good life.

The typical citizen could be, and wanted above all to be, not so much a participant in any collective as an independent and self-directing individual. This attitude is perfectly reflected in the fact that the first amendments to the Constitution (combining to provide an essentially negative bill of rights, and guaranteeing all citizens against certain forms of interference by the state) were adopted, on popular demand, long before the positive right of participation in the state power was extended to the masses of the (male) citizens through the broadening of the suffrage. Even with this extension of the rights of active citizenship, the increasing popular participation in government was not directed so much toward getting the government to assume new responsibilities as toward checking and restricting the government in its powers and functions. The dominant attitude toward government was essentially negative: decentralization, democracy and individualism were the controlling elements of faith and action -- and individualism was easily the most significant of these, in the daily life of most Americans.

When President Monroe warned the monarchs of Europe, in 1823, against "any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere," both European monarchists and Latin American republicans were reasonably clear as to the system that we on our part would foster and promote, by precept and example if not by other means, in the Western World.

As time passed, the clarity of the American position was somewhat obscured by the expansion of slavery; but at a prodigious cost that institution was abolished, and democracy, decentralization and individualism still remained the essence of American faith and practice. In abolishing slavery, the Civil War prolonged the dominant American tradition; but at the same time the war promoted two other trends that were in conflict with that tradition. For one thing, the necessities of battle required an unwonted concentration of power in the federal government, and the use of that power to accomplish ends desired by the majority of the people certainly did much to diminish the popular suspicion of political power as such. Again, the demands of the armies drove industry forward under forced draft, along a path of quantitative expansion and qualitative change that seems even today to have no end.

Measured in terms of the old American philosophy, by far the most important change that has taken place in American life since the 1860's is not the vast increase in the output of goods (with the accompanying rise in the standard of living), but the shrinkage of individual self-direction in the productive process. This change affected industry first and most profoundly, but more recently it has been extending its effects to agriculture also. Generally, machine industry seems to require that men work in masses and under discipline. For decades now the trend has been to concentrate production in enterprises of increasing size, and to develop and tighten the control of the work-process within each such enterprise: "The technical character of the apparatus itself demands an iron discipline; the movements of the workman must be timed exactly to the movements of the machine."

If large-scale mechanized enterprise is a comparatively recent development in the field of agriculture, it is chiefly the fault of the tilt of the planet: the succession of the seasons requires that each year a number of different types of work shall be done, not simultaneously, but one after another. In nearly all types of manufacture, on the other hand, the work may be split into a number of specialized processes, all of which can operate continuously; and this means, of course, that in industry the various types of specialized machines can be employed steadily throughout the year. The agricultural cycle makes this kind of continuous, parallel operation impossible; generally speaking, the farmer's specialized machines can be used each season for a short time only, and in succession (for example, the gang plow, the seeder, the harvester, the thresher). Thus, much of the fixed capital in mechanized agriculture is bound to be idle for a large part of each year. Yet in spite of all this, the development of large-scale mechanized farms is now proceeding at a rapid rate.

Obviously, only a very limited number of Americans can operate and direct large-scale enterprises in the field of industry and agriculture. Obviously, too, the great and increasing proportion of our people who work in these enterprises are no longer the independent, self-directing Americans of the old philosophy.

These changes that have taken place in recent decades are the source of most of the material power that America now possesses. But they are the source, too, of nearly all of our confusion as to what kind of country this is and ought to be, and as to how its great power ought best to be employed.

II

With the change in character and the expansion in scale of economic enterprise, millions of once independent craftsmen and farmers have become disciplined machine tenders in industry, and have suffered thereby a very fundamental loss. And now a large part of those who continue to work in agriculture may be entering upon a similar change, involving a similar loss.

In a half-century of hasty improvisation, Big Government has developed as in some sense an offset to Big Enterprise -- a new system of national checks and balances. Big Government was to do for the citizen some of the things that he no longer could do for himself. Some think that what the individual has lost to Big Enterprise and Big Government has been made good, or could be, by a rising level of consumption and a shorter working day. Yet it is doubtful whether many thoughtful Americans have come to believe seriously that a man's loss of independence and self-direction as a producer can be compensated by high wages and more free time in which to spend the pay-check. Conscience is still at work here; a deep sense of values is involved -- a sense of what it takes to make the full man. The devotional words in the American vocabulary have not yet become "abundance and leisure;" they are still "freedom," "liberty," "independence," "self-confidence," "self-determination," "individual initiative" -- all words that are drawn from the old philosophy. These words are not mere forms; they are the expression of a warm and deep conviction. What is lacking is any clear idea as to how, and even whether, these values can be preserved in a machine age. Gone, certainly, is any foundation for the belief that if things are left to take their own course, some sort of law of nature will preserve the values of individualism. The dominant trend of the time, in economy and in government, is undoubtedly in the direction of discipline and dependence for the citizen. But is that trend inevitable; is it destined to be all inclusive; or can it be radically modified by taking thought?

The idea of freedom has a vast appeal. One of the strange and startling evidences of this is the fact that freedom is still presented as the ultimate goal of one of the most authoritarian societies that has ever existed on the planet -- the Soviet Union. Marx and Engels saw the society of the future as "a free association of individuals" where production would be organized "on the basis of a free and equal association of producers," and where "the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all." This last phrase appeared in the Communist Manifesto, and the Marxians have therefore had one hundred and one years to work out a convincing plan for the promised transition from the promised revolutionary dictatorship to the promised free society that is said to lie beyond. Yet in the massive Marxian literature, which lays down detailed plans, in advance, for the establishment of dictatorship, there are only the ghostliest suggestions as to how dictatorship is to be disestablished and freedom brought into being.

There has been some tendency to excuse this Communist neglect, on the ground that that which is inevitable does not have to be planned -- though this reasoning would seem to make planning for dictatorship quite as superfluous as planning for the free society to come after. If the excuse of inevitability ever had any validity, in terms of the Communist logic, that validity has been destroyed by several decades of Russian Communist revisionism (a word that the Communists detest, but a process in which they have been engaged, nonetheless). In the course of this process, they have arrived at what might be called a theory of selective inevitability: non-Communists are obliged by the laws of social development to do the self-destroying things that the Communists want them to do, while the Communists are held to be comparatively free to do the self-serving things that they want to do. Of course this leaves the Communist Utopia about as little inevitable as anything could possibly be; and it is one of the most valid criticisms of Communism that it has still produced so little on the subject of its own goal.

In our own society, there is not a shadow of an excuse for failure to maintain and develop an adequate philosophy of ends and means. Without some such guidance, what are we to do, for example, with the grain combine and the mechanical cotton-picker? What are we to do with the wealth of electric power that our rivers can produce? What are we to do with the vast potentialities that atomic energy may offer for the alteration of American life? It is dangerous in the extreme simply to extemporize piecemeal answers at the moment when such practical questions happen to come along.

The more we believe in freedom, the more we need to plan for it -- even to plan how to avoid over-planning. And broad planning is impossible, except in terms of a philosophy.

III

Our principal weakness today is not economic or military but ideological -- not a matter of goods or guns, but of ideas. This is our chief weakness abroad, precisely because it is our chief weakness at home. It is not piecemeal answers that inspire men in "their finest hour;" it is a total conception of the good life -- a conception that has some valid connection with their experience and some valid promise of a fuller realization in the future. Such a conception provides guidance, and inspires maximum effort. But it is startling how often (for example, in "orientation courses" for our soldiers, or in broadcasts to countries overseas) we have felt obliged to turn back a hundred and fifty years and more (to such documents as the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the State Bills of Rights, the first amendments to the Federal Constitution, the writings of the Founding Fathers) for quotable and generally accepted formulations of an American philosophy -- formulations still sound and valid in many ways, but by themselves inadequate for our time.

In this situation, there is urgent need for philosophic reconstruction and renewal. This undertaking has some resemblance, on the one hand, to that of the philosophes of the French Ency-clopaedia, and on the other, to that of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Bill of Rights, or the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. All these monumental achievements were products of collaboration, and a somewhat similar collaborative effort would give the best promise of meeting our present need -- a task for philosophers, in all the eighteenth-century breadth and richness of that term.

Many of the building materials for a philosophic reconstruction are at hand, though in vast disorder. Time presses for results that can be presented, under the finest auspices, to our people and to people overseas. Is it an idle dream that a group of qualified men might sit down together, for a year, or two years, or whatever time it would take, to produce tentative results on two levels: first, to distill and clarify the philosophy that is now embodied piecemeal in American life -- to say what America now is; and second (a far more difficult task) to consider the adequacy of this philosophy for the future -- to suggest what America might become?

It will be said that what is suggested here is an attempt to produce an official American philosophy, even possibly a compulsory one, and that the entire proposal is therefore essentially un-American; but on the contrary, the procedure suggested is entirely unofficial (though if it succeeds, the government will ultimately be affected); and as to uniformity and compulsion, the objective sought is only some such level of voluntary and conscious agreement as the country attained in the early decades of the republic -- when sharp and healthy differences were of course abundant. However, the main emphasis in this paper is upon a fundamental need; if that need is once felt, in all its urgency, a way will be found of meeting it.

The proposed discussion might perhaps be made to revolve around one single proposition: that the end and aim of society and the state ought to be the nurture and wide propagation of a certain kind of man -- the independent and self-directing individual. This proposition is rich in difficulties and rich in promise, and the chief business of the remaining pages of this article will be to examine, very tentatively, a few of the pertinent debits and credits.

IV

Before the Civil War, American political philosophy and American law were in a considerable measure negative in their emphasis; they were concerned largely with the protection of the individual against interference by other individuals, and particularly against interference by the state. Basic to all this was a fundamental theory which accorded in large measure with the conditions of American life at the time -- the theory that if a minimum of negative protection were provided, the individual could and would be able to fend for himself and to stand up on his own feet as an independent and self-directing personality.

For the period since the Civil War, and especially for the years since the great crash of 1929, there is a vast mass of new evidence, on the levels of both fact and theory. In vital and economic statistics, in laws and court decisions, in the programs of organized labor, of organized farmers, and of both political parties, in the declarations of the New Deal and the Fair Deal, in the proposals respecting human rights presented by the United States to the United Nations, evidence will be found of the diminishing importance of small-scale undertakings, of the wholesale development of large private enterprise, of the vast expansion of governmental activity -- and of the coexistence of three sets of ideas which correspond in some degree with the three sets of facts just mentioned. The first of these sets of ideas constitutes the old and well-formulated philosophy of individualism, which persists from the early decades of the republic; the second is the doctrine of competitive capitalism, now badly crisscrossed and confused by ideas favorable to large combinations of capital and even to monopoly; the third is a jumble of all sorts of notions centering largely on the achievement of mass objectives through the agency of the state. These three sets of ideas overlap, compete and conflict, in a bewildering variety of ways, but in recent years the victories have gone most of all to the ideas that are least systematic of all -- those of the new stateism. In this growth of a more positive attitude toward government, the United States already shares to a limited degree in a trend that is much farther advanced in Britain and in Western Europe -- the trend toward Democratic Socialism -- and in this, some basis might be found for a common understanding with these European countries. Indeed, it appears that if the voice of America should speak in terms of the new stateism, the majority of our European neighbors would understand us fairly well. But is this trend toward Democratic Socialism predetermined, here and abroad? If the question lies within the range of conscious and deliberate choice, has that choice been taken by our people? Or is the decision still to be made?

It has been suggested that the chief business of society and the state ought to be the nurture of independent and self-directing individuals. Not only under Communism, but in a lesser degree under Socialism and capitalism as well, the trend of the times would seem to be rather in the opposite direction -- but is that trend inevitable?

Something of a case can be made for the idea that the major movements of historical change are not specifically inevitable, but that there exists at any given time a certain variety of possibilities and a certain range of free selection. Most men, when they are faced with specific personal situations, have the feeling of being restricted within certain limits, and at the same time the feeling of being free and self-directed within those limitations; the one feeling appears to have exactly as much validity as the other. It is certainly true that many major historical trends have not been, as such, the subject of conscious choice on the part of the millions of men whose lives are affected by them; and such trends therefore have the appearance of being "inevitable." Yet it is arguable that this appearance is superficial, and that each "inevitable" trend is in part the result of innumerable individual choices in matters of detail -- choices made freely, within limits, by men who neither foresee nor desire the major result to which they are thus themselves contributing.

Probably most of our people would agree that there is a great and irreducible difference between a society that attaches primary importance to the independence and self-determination of the individual, and a society that is built essentially on the discipline and dependence of a large majority of its members. If faced with a broad choice between the former society and the latter, most of our people would almost certainly choose the former. Not only that, but they would be prepared to make great sacrifices in support of their choice. Yet the choice hardly presents itself in this form, but rather in the form of innumerable opportunities to make minor decisions which cumulate (in obscurity) to produce the great decision.

One of the minor choices which is offered an innumerable number of times is the choice between a less efficient method of production and a more efficient one (efficiency being measured here exclusively in terms of output). "Technology solves its problems with a beautiful perfection; it offers self-evident and self-demonstrating truth; its contributions have an immediate value that usually wins acceptance without argument." It is essentially the character of the tools, rather than the character of their ownership, that produces mass organization and mass discipline in an industrial society; in both Pittsburgh and Magnitogorsk, the forces of technology operate to this end. Technological advance tends not only to require mass organization and mass discipline within each plant, but to produce an increasingly complex web of connections between plant and plant, region and region; and both by disciplining the worker on the job and by surrounding him with forces and problems with which he feels unable to deal, machine industry seems to prepare the worker to appeal to the state for help, and to accept the discipline of the state. In a society that is to a significant extent industrialized, people who are not themselves subjected to the disciplinary training of machine work are nevertheless faced with the vast complexities of a machine-based culture; and more and more they too tend to turn to the state for help. The line of descent is clear: technology is the father of Great Enterprise and the grandfather of Great Government.

V

Today there is hardly a man in the United States who does not believe that within recent decades it has become necessary for the Government to do much more for the people than it did a hundred years ago. Yet there still persists here, and perhaps much more vigorously here than in any other great country, a vigorous individualism and a strong and wholesome fear of all great concentrations of power, whether in private or public hands. If the fundamental objective were agreed upon, and kept steadily in mind -- the nurture of a certain kind of man -- might there not be hope of at least a partial reconciliation of the old individualism with the new stateism of today? Could not the beginnings of a reconciliation be made by recognizing as fundamental the difference between government action which is designed to build up the independence and self-sufficiency of the individual citizen, and government action which tends to establish permanent discipline and dependence? The government policy that contributes to the desired type of personality may be either negative or positive, depending on the nature of the concrete problem involved in each particular case. The suggested test of policy is the contribution that it makes to the desired end -- not some abstract theory that state action as such is either good or bad. In many instances, the test would be exceedingly difficult to apply in practice; but in our time the suggested principle might prove far more valuable as a guide to action than either the pure (and now unattainable) individualism of the horse-and-buggy past, or the indiscriminate stateism that may well be in the making for the future.

If the recent history of American government swarms with conflicting actions that contribute sometimes to individualism and sometimes to a cumulative stateism, it is partly because of a lack of understanding of the effect that given concrete measures will produce, but still more because of obscurity and indecision respecting the major end to be sought. A vast confusion lies hidden within such terms as the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the welfare state, the social-service state.

If the major objective of society and the state were the nurture and propagation of independent and responsible individuals, the method of production that yields the maximum in goods would not necessarily be the method to be preferred. If personality is the end, the maximizing of production is desirable in the degree in which it serves that end, and in that degree only. The interest of the producers, as well as that of the consumers, must be considered: the adoption of a new technique may result in a larger output of goods, but in human terms this advantage may be more than offset by the damaging conditions which the new technique imposes upon the worker. If the producer feels strongly enough about it, he may refuse to accept mechanization and consolidation, or he may insist upon some humane compromise; and in this fight for life, the state may give him invaluable support if the nature of the issue is widely understood and the democratic process is effectively employed.

All this is not simply a set of speculations, afloat in the air; it rests on millions of items of evidence. The chief surviving centers of fundamental self-determination in America today are the individual farm and the individual household. The vigorous persistence of these institutions as centers of production is of course due in part to inertia and in part to special technical situations; in the case of the household, it is obviously due in some degree also to the ties of the family. But for anyone who wants to consider it, there is a great mass of evidence that this persistence is also due, in part, to the deliberate choice of innumerable human beings who prefer to cook their own meals and to sow and harvest their own crops. It is a primary fact that hundreds of millions of people, in this country and in other countries, want to make their own decisions, on the land, and that still larger numbers want the home to be something much more than a biological bedroom. If this were not the case, large-scale farming and barracks living would have developed far more rapidly than they have to date.

The spirit of independence in these two institutions is so powerful that even the greatest of the dictatorships has had to compromise with it. Soviet Russia never succeeded in developing communal living to any great dimensions. Again, the mass of Soviet agriculture is not organized in the ideal Communist pattern (the great state farm, or "grain factory") but in small peasant collectives which have in a limited degree the aspect of producers' coöperatives, and leave the peasant a little less subject to authority than is the worker in Soviet industry.

Government may act, in America, not to destroy but to save the individual farm and the individual household. Government loans may aid in the purchase or building of homes. Government hydroelectric plants may help to maintain the economic significance of the household by supplying power to thousands of electric ranges, dish washers and washing machines. Government loans may help to establish and maintain individual farms, as may government projects for irrigation and drainage; and in some cases the dams and canals may themselves be transferred in the course of time to the farmers of the community. Government loans on the most liberal terms may be made available to groups of small farmers, for investment in large and complex machines which no one of these farmers could purchase independently or employ economically; and these machines may then be used, up to their capacity, on one farm after another, within the coöperating group. These farms, so operated, may not be quite so efficient as large mechanized farms with hired labor; but through an entirely voluntary association, with state assistance, the participating farmers will have salvaged a large measure of the life that they want, and democratic society will have preserved in active form some of the individualistic spirit that it must have to survive.

There is no reason given in the law of nature why the new mechanical cotton-picker must run wild through the agriculture of the South, converting millions of independent cultivators into day laborers; men made this machine, and men can control it, if they know what it is that they want and have the will to act. If men ran from the enemy in battle, as they run from "inevitable economic trends," where would bombed London be today?

In industry the path is much more obscure than in agriculture; it is in industry that the advantages of mechanization and consolidation are most apparent, and it is here, of course, that mass organization and mass discipline have advanced at maximum speed. But even here a path might perhaps be found, if it were once recognized that the most important end-product of the industrial system is not a certain quantity of goods but a certain quality of personality. This is a problem that cannot be solved simply in terms of maximizing the output of goods and raising the general level of consumption. In an industrialized society, it requires also that a substantial proportion of those engaged in machine production shall maintain some degree of individuality and self-direction within the work process itself. Perhaps there is no solution for this problem; perhaps the age of robots is upon us. But one may believe that the current trend is in that direction and still refuse to accept the outcome as inevitable.

Consider, for example, the possibilities for the future that may lie hidden in the employment of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. If the output of goods alone is considered, this new source of power may only strengthen the prevailing trend toward concentration, mass organization and mass discipline -- under either private or public direction. But if some thought is given to the making of men, as well as the making of goods, a quite different result is conceivable. "The unique mobility of atomic fuel," the ease of transporting such material, may perhaps make possible the establishment of small and widely scattered prime movers, to generate and distribute cheap electric power to innumerable industrial undertakings of the smallest size. Under such conditions, a share of industrial production could be recaptured by village shops, and even by farmers working with small power machines in the winter season.

However, it goes without saying that under any conceivable condition much of the work of industry cannot possibly be decentralized in this way, but must be carried on in large plants, by large groups of interdependent machines and large forces of operatives. It is here that the problem of maintaining the individuality of the worker arises in its most acute form. The issue cannot be reduced to an immediate conflict over wages and hours, and an ultimate conflict over the ownership of the machines. These are matters of enormous importance, but concentration on them, to the exclusion of the work process itself, is evidence of intellectual poverty on the part of all concerned. Even if nationalization should solve all the problems of maximum output and equitable distribution (it is doubtful indeed that it could), it might still leave the work of production a deforming and deadly routine. There is reason to believe that state management might well tighten this routine. The problem of humanizing the work process in machine industry is one for which no one has yet found an adequate solution; but perhaps the most hopeful prospect lies in the development of labor participation in management, with special emphasis on the smallest functional division of the plant, where the issues are simplest and the worker is best able to deal with them (a Jeffersonian principle in a new setting). Such arrangements, coupled with piece-rate wages and profit-sharing, might do something to give the individual worker a sense of vital participation in the day's work. But no such system as this will develop widely unless the workers press for it earnestly, and unless the managers and owners welcome the compromise and help to bring it into vigorous life.

If in the machine age the philosophy of individualism is to be preached, with full effect, to our people, the practice of individualism must be accessible to them -- even in the factory.

VI

The Soviet Union is challenging the United States to renew and develop for our time the magnificent inheritance of western individualism -- an inheritance that has come to us out of the faith and morals of Christianity, the rationalism of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, the English gift for compromise, the liberty of the democratic revolutions, and the ancestral independence of the farms and shops and homes of America.

If this renewal can be brought about, our people will feel a new strength and a new sense of purpose and direction. This country can have again, in Europe, an even greater moral influence than it had a century and a half ago; perhaps it can even extend that influence to Asia and Africa, where Communism ought not to be the only accessible philosophy of change, in societies that have got to be remade.

If we can first learn it, we can teach the new individualism overseas by precept, and above all by example. We can encourage it by special forms of economic aid and by the temperate use of our influence with foreign governments. But for the advancement of this cause, force is a doubtful and dangerous instrument. No man can be compelled by force to think and live as an individualist; but certainly men can be forced to live as Communists, and the blackest danger of all is that in time (where all the modern armament of indoctrination and suppression is in the hands of the Party) men can probably be forced not only to live but to think as Communists.

The individualist is powerfully tempted to try by force to dash these instruments of indoctrination and suppression from the hands of the dictators; but he knows, too, the danger to individualism of war-discipline at home, and the measureless difficulty of bringing his philosophy to life abroad after another great conflict. In this dilemma, he will hardly initiate the use of force, and only as a last resort will he respond with force to such an initiative. Certainly he can have no easy answer to the problem of our relations with the Soviet Union; yet he would feel that we must press consistently one policy or the other: "Live and let live," or "Kill or be killed." On balance, he would say that for years to come we should strive to maintain a predominance of power, while at the same time attempting through a long series of adjustments of current issues to convince the veiled prophets of the Kremlin that compromise and stabilization, not crisis and conflict, can set the norm of our relations. Even against the light of their revelation, we might possibly convert them thus, in the long run, into nonpractising World Revolutionists.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now
  • GEROID TANQUARY ROBINSON, since 1946 Director of the Russian Institute, Columbia University; chief, U.S.S.R. Division, Research and Analysis Branch, O.S.S., 1941-45; author of "Rural Russia Under the Old Régime" and other works
  • More By Geroid Tanquary Robinson