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arms, to bring not merely an expedient truce in Korea but genuine peace in Asia ?
Is it prepared to allow other nations, including those of Eastern Europe, the free choice of their own forms of government?
Is it prepared to act in concert with others upon serious disarmament proposals to be made firmly effective by stringent U. N. control and inspection?
If not, where then is the concrete evidence of the Soviet Union's concern for peace?
The test is clear.
There is, before all peoples, a precious chance to turn the black tide of events. If we failed to strive to seize this chance, the judgment of future ages would be harsh and just.
If we strive but fail and the world remains armed against itself, it at least need be divided no longer in its clear knowledge of who has condemned humankind to this fate.
The purpose of the United States, in stating these proposals, is simple and clear.
These proposals spring, without ulterior purpose or political passion, from our calm conviction that the hunger for just peace is in the hearts of all peoples—those of Russia and of China no less than of our own country.
They conform to our firm faith that God created men to enjoy, not destroy, the fruits of the earth and of their own toil.
They aspire to this: the lifting, from the backs and from the hearts of men, of their burden of arms and of fears, so that they may find before them a golden age of freedom and of peace.
16. THE MORAL INITIATIVE: Address by the Secretary of State,
November 18, 1953 (Excerpts)'
The broad lines of United States foreign policy were set for us, long ago, by our founders. The opening paragraph of the Federalist Papers says that it seems to have been reserved to the American people, by their conduct and example, to show the possibilities of a free society. This opportunity was looked upon as one to use not merely for ourselves but for the benefit of all mankind.
As our people have had that spirit and put it to work, we have gained the satisfaction which comes from creative effort, and we have had an environment of goodwill which has contributed mightily to our security.
The challenge which today stems from Soviet Russia is uniquely formidable. But it is, in modern garb, similar to what our nation faced during its early years. Then Czar Alexander was the world's most powerful ruler, and he and his allied despots of Europe extended
1 Before the Congress of Industrial Organizations, Cleveland, Ohio; Department of State Bulletin, Nov. 30, 1953, pp. 741-744.
2 The Federalist (New York, 1952), p. 3.
their power throughout much of the world—in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. Along our West Coast the Russians both held Alaska and infiltrated south as far as the San Francisco area. It was this menace, primarily as it stemmed from Russia, which led to the pronouncement of the Monroe Doctrine.
That doctrine prevailed. But that was not merely because the words were bold. It was in large part because we showed, in actual works, the superiority of freedom over despotism. Under our free political institutions men were producing fruits so good that others, everywhere, wanted like opportunities for themselves. Despotism fell into a disrepute that was born out of contrast with freedom. Gradually despotism receded; and Russian power withdrew to where it belongs, that is, Russia.
Today, when despotism is again threatening throughout the world, we need to draw on our earlier experience.
The great weakness of despotism has been, is, and always will be, its disregard of the rights of man. Despotism can always be routed if free men exploit that weakness. If our example can illumine again the great advantages of a free society, then Soviet communism will lose its deceptive appeal. Furthermore, it will lose its grip upon the enslaved whom it now holds. The tide of despotism will recede during the second half of this century as it receded during the first half of the preceding century.
You will see that I agree with your President Walter Reuther when he said: “The quest for liberty constitutes the eventual victorious challenge to the totalitarian system.”
This quest for liberty must be simultaneously pursued on three fronts- the home front, the free-world front, and the captive-world front.
On the free-world front the colonial and dependent areas are the field of most dramatic contest. Here the policies of the West and those of Soviet imperialism come into headlong collision.
The Western Powers practiced colonialism, particularly during the 19th century. But it was inevitable that their colonialism would be transitory and self-liquidating, because Western civilization was based on beðief in the spiritual nature of man. Western ascendancy was no mere exhibition of brute force. The West had something to offer that others wanted. That was not shackles, but the moral and economic keys to freedom. For example, missionaries and merchants went everywhere, deterred by no martyrdom and no hardship.
The missionaries brought a concept of the spiritual nature of man that was fresh to much of the world, although it had long ago had its beginning in Judea, where East and West met. It was the same concept that had been politically translated into the Magna Carta, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, and our own Declaration of Independence. Each of these historic pronouncements had universal import and led logically to the pledge by the United Nations Charter to develop self-government and free political institutions among all non-self-governing peoples.
1 See excerpts from President Monroe's message to the Congress, Dec. 2, 1823; Memorandum on the Monroe Doctrine (Department of State publication 37; 1930). 1 Foundations of Leninism (New York, 1932), p. 76, where the Russian verb prokhodit is translated "leads through” rather than "lies through."
Human liberty requires an economic, as well as a political, foundation. These, too, the West supplied as economic pioneers gave worldwide currency to the products of Western inventiveness. They developed forgotten and hidden natural resources throughout the world. They built railroads and ports and works of irrigation. They taught the techniques of their own productivity.
These political and economic tasks must be pursued.
We cannot, however, ignore the hazards created by international communism, which plots to pervert nationalism to its own imperialistic ends.
The Soviet leaders, in mapping their strategy for world conquest. hit on nationalism as a device for absorbing the colonial peoples. Stalin, in his classic lecture on the Foundations of Leninism, says that "the road to victory of the revolution in the West lies through the revolutionary alliance with the liberation movement of the colonies and dependent countries.” 1
There is then outlined a two-phased, and two-faced, program. In the first phase the Communist agitators are to whip up the nationalistic aspirations of the people, so that they will rebel violently against the existing order. Then, before newly won independence can become consolidated and vigorous in its own right, Communists will take over the new government and use this power to “amalgamate” the peoples into the Soviet orbit.
That plot is in active operation. Throughout the newly liberated areas and those which seek liberty, Communists operate, usually disguised as local patriots.
George Washington, in transmitting the proposed Constitution of the United States, said that it would be
obviously impractical to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each (state) and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest.?
It is useful for the members of our free-world society to heed George Washington's advice.
There are some who, having just gained political independence, already stand close to losing it in the way the Communists planned. Some non-self-governing peoples, if they won today what the extremists demand, would find that they had fallen into the Communist trap. This is a time when the development of genuine independence is a task of infinite difficulty and delicacy. Zeal needs to be balanced by patience.
? See Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States (H. Doc. No. 398, 69th Cong., 1st sess.), pp. 1003-1004.
Fortunately, despite the obstacles that communism has created, orderly evolution goes on. Let me give three illustrations.
In Indochina the French made a July 3, 1953, Declaration of Independence for the Associated States of Cambodia, Laos, and VietNam. Today these States and the French are taking practical steps to make that independence a reality. The United States rejoices at this development. At the same time we have pointed out to the leaders of the Associated States that they could scarcely hope to preserve their independence in isolation. Economically, politically, militarily, they would, at first, be weak and dangerously exposed. The French Union, like the British Commonwealth, could be a framework within which independence and interdependence can find voluntary expression.
In the Sudan, the United Kingdom and Egypt this year freely gave up their joint rule so as to provide for the self-determination of the people. The Sudanese are this month holding their first election. They are organizing a legislature which will take over many of the duties wbich the British Governor General had previously carried out. This legislature will rule the country for a period of 3 years. Then a constituent assembly will be elected to determine the future status of the Sudan.
In the Philippines the Communist-inspired Huks have been seeking to destroy civic order.3 Then, last week, came general elections, under conditions of severe strain. Many feared that the Philippine people and their leaders would not be sufficiently vigilant and dedicated to preserve their freedom. The result is a thrilling demonstration of the capacity of the Philippine nation for self-government. There was an orderly change of power which reflects credit upon all concerned. The political independence consummated in 1946, after 50 years of preparation, stood solid against all internal threats.
Externally there is interdependence expressed by the Mutual Defense Pact, which I was privileged to sign for the United States in 1951.
Perhaps some of you feel tbat your government is not pushing political liberty as strongly as it should. I can say to you three things:
First, we are pushing for self-government more than appears on the surface.
Secondly, where we exercise restraint it is because of a reasoned conviction that precipitate action would in fact pot produce independence but only transition to a captivity far worse than present dependence.
1 See Documents on American Foreign Relations, 1959 (New York, 1954), pp. 347-348.
2 Agreement of Feb. 12, 1953; Cmd. 8904. 3 See The Philippines, 1954 (Department of State publication 5508; 1954), · The elections were held Nov. 10, 1953.
5 The Nationalist Party Government and Congress did not replace the Liberal Party Government and Congress until Dec. 30, 1953.
o Infra, pp. 873-875.
Thirdly, we are alert to the possibility that the Communist threat might grow into an excuse for delay, when it is not an honest reason for delay.
There are good and sufficient reasons why the United States desires, in the United Nations and elsewhere, to show unity with its Western allies. But we have not forgotten that we were the first colony to win independence. And we have not given a blank check to any colonial power.
There is no slightest wavering in our conviction that the orderly transition from colonial to self-governing status should be carried resolutely to a completion.
The third front is the captive world front. During the last 10 years 600 million people peacefully won political independence from the West. But, during the same period, a comparable number were impressed into Communist servitude. They too deserve our thoughts.
Most of the captive people are essentially religious and patriotic folk. Very few of them are international Communists. Even in Soviet Russia itself the Communist Party membership is only about 3 percent of the population. The balance, except for a favored few, are the most exploited people in the world today. You, and your fellow workers in the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, know the situation thoroughly.
These newly enslaved nations are being made to serve the ambitions of a small materialistic group which fanatically believes that peace and prosperity require a world of conformity. In that world there are to be no distinctive characteristics of nation, creed, and individuality; there all men, like domesticated animals, are to perform slavishly the acts prescribed by a few rulers who exercise the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Such a system, unless it changes, is doomed ultimately to collapse. The time of collapse depends largely on whether we produce the richer fruits of freedom; whether that is known behind the Iron Curtain; and whether these captive peoples also know that they are not forgotten, that we are not reconciled to their fate, and, above all, that we are not prepared to seek safety for ourselves by a bargain with their masters which will confirm their captivity.
It is not necessary, nor is it desirable, that we should try to foment violent revolution. That would mean only the exposure and massacre of those who most cherish freedom. Nonviolent methods can be more efficacious.
All rulers, however absolute, depend on the productivity of the ruled. You cannot dig coal with bayonets.
Already the Soviet rulers are gravely preoccupied with the mood of the captive workers. The events of last June, in Eastern Germany and East Berlin, showed that the workers were being exploited to the breaking point.
The fact that the Soviet rulers now refuse to meet to discuss European problems ? is not a sign of strength, but of fear. They dare not
1 See infra, pp. 1742–1749. 2 See infra, pp. 1839-1847.