TRAGEDY AND HOPE Chapters XIX-XX by Dr. Carroll Quigley ISBN 0913022-14-4
XIX. THE NEW ERA XX. TRAGEDY AND HOPE: THE FUTURE IN PERSPECTIVE
CHAPTER XIX: THE NEW ERA, 1957-1964
THE GROWTH OF NUCLEAR STALEMATE
Page 1088 Dulles refused to recognize the right of anyone to be neutral and tried to force all states to join the American side of the Cold War or be condemned to exterior darkness.
Page 1090 The so-called "missile gap" was a mistaken idea for the U.S. was in a condition of "nuclear plenty" and of "overkill capacity" that posed a serious problem for the Soviet Union. It was, strangely enough, just at that time (end of 1957) that two American studies (the Gaither Report and the Special Studies Project of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund) suggested the existence of a missile gap or inferiority in missile capacity of the United States compared to the Soviet Union based on the overemphasis on the "size" of Soviet rocket boosters. In this pleasant period of self-deception, the Soviet Union entered upon an unofficial international suspension of nuclear bomb testing from 1958 until 1961.
Page 1097 As a result of NASA's $5 billion budget, the educational system was brought into the tempestuous atmosphere of the frantic American marketplace and was being ransacked from the highest levels down to high school and even below for talented, trained, or merely eager people. As the demands for such people grew and their remunerations and opportunities increased, the substantial minority who were not talented, trained or eager found fewer and fewer opportunities to make a living and began to sink downward toward a steadily growing lower class of social outcasts and underprivileged, the socially self- perpetuating group of the impoverished.
Page 1098 In 1959, Red China began making increasingly unfavorable comments about Khrushchev's doctrines of "peaceful coexistence with capitalism" and the "inevitable victory of Socialism without war." He ruled out the need for war and the Soviet Union was willing to reach complete disarmament supervised by mutual controls including aerial photography.
Page 1101 As late as 1960, only 38,000 man-days of labor were lost by strikes and lockouts in West Germany compared to almost half a million in the Netherlands, 3 million in the U.K. and 19 million in the U.S. In Germany in 1958, eight great trusts still controlled 75 percent of crude steel production, 80 percent of raw iron, 60 percent of rolled steel, and 36 percent of coal output. The ten percent increase each year in the West German gross national product was something that could not be denied or disbelieved.
Page 1102 In East Germany in 1960, almost a million farmers were forced into less than 20,000 collective farms by methods of violence and social pressure similar to those Stalin had used. And the consequences were similar: agricultural production collapsed. Shortages of food were soon followed by other shortages.
Page 1103 Khrushchev's talk about "peaceful co-existence" was sincere and he sincerely wished to divert the Communist-Capitalist struggle into non-violent areas. Thus he was sincere in his disarmament suggestions.
Page 1105 Metternich said, "A diplomat is a man who never allows himself the pleasure of a triumph," and does so simply because it is to the interest of the stronger that an opponent who recognizes the victor's strength and is reasonable in yielding to it not be overthrown or replaced by another ruler who is too ignorant or too unreasonable to do so.
Page 1108 After Russia backed down on the Cuban missile crisis, the White House received a long and confused letter from Khrushchev whose tone clearly showed his personal panic and, to save his reputation, it was not released to the public. The next morning, the Soviet Foreign Office published a quite different text, suggesting that a deal be made dismantling both the American missile sites in Turkey and the Soviet missile sites in Cuba. To those inside both governments, this was recognized as a Soviet surrender since they knew that the Turkish sites were obsolete and were already scheduled to be dismantled. It was rejected by the White House because it would have represented to the world a surrender of Turkey. Instead, the White House replied to an offer to remove the Russian missiles if we would lift the blockade and promise not to invade Cuba.
THE DISINTEGRATING SUPERBLOCS
LATIN AMERICA: A RACE BETWEEN DISASTER AND REFORM
Page 1109 The Brazilian cost of living rose 40% in 1961, 50% in 1962, and 70% in 1963.
Page 1110 Latin America is not only poverty-ridden but the distribution of wealth and income is so unequal that the most ostentatious luxury exists for a small group side by side with the most degrading poverty for the overwhelming majority. Four fifths of the population of Latin America get about $53 a year, while a mere 100 families own 90% of the native-owned wealth of the whole area and only 30 families own 72% of that wealth. In Brazil, half of all and is owned by 2.6% of the landowners while 22.5% is owned by only 1/2% of the owners. In Latin America, at least two thirds of the land is owned by 10% of the families.
Page 1111 As things stood in 1960, infant mortality varied between 20% and 35% in different countries.
Page 1112 While such conditions may rouse North American to outrage or humanitarian sympathy, no solution can be found by emotion or sentimentality. The problems are not based on lack of anything but on structural weaknesses. Solutions will not rest on anything that can be done to or for individual people but on the arrangements of peoples. Latin American lacks the outlook that will mobilize its resources in constructive rather than destructive directions. Obviously, the birthrate must decrease or the food supply must be increased faster than the population. And some provision must be made to provide peasants with capital and know-how before the great landed estates are divided up among them. A more productive organization of resources should have priority over any effort to raise standards of living.
Page 1113 We hear a great deal about Latin America's need for American capital and American know-how, when in fact the need for these is much less than the need for utilization of Latin America's own capital and know-how. The wealth and income of Latin America, in absolute quantities, is so great and it is so inequitably controlled and distributed that there is an enormous accumulation of incomes, far beyond their consumption needs, in the hands of a small percentage of Latin Americans. Much of these excess incomes are wasted, hoarded, or merely used for wasteful competition in ostentatious social display largely due to the deficiencies of Latin American personalities and character. The solution is not to redistribute incomes but to change the patterns of character and of personality formation so that excess incomes will be used constructively and not wasted.
Page 1114 At least half the value of American aid has been wiped away by the worsening of Latin America's terms of trade which made it necessary for it to pay more and more for its imports at the same time that it got less and less for its exports made worse by much of the available supply of foreign exchange spent for self-indulgent and non constructive spending abroad or simply to hoard their money in New York, London or Switzerland. The solution must be found in more responsible, more public-spirited, and more constructive patterns of outlook, of money flows, and of political and social security. A similar solution must be found for social deficiencies like inadequate housing, education, and social stability.
Page 1115 An Asian despotism is a two-class society in which a lower class consisting of nine tenths of the population supports an upper ruling class consisting of a governing bureaucracy of scribes and priests associated with army leaders, landlords, and moneylenders. The essential character of an Asian despotism rests on the fact that the ruling class has legal claim on the working masses and possesses the power to enforce these claims.
Page 1119 Arabic boys grow up egocentric, self-indulgent, undisciplined, immature, spoiled, subject to waves of emotionalism, whims, passion, and pettiness. Another aspect of Arabic society is its scorn of honest, steady manual work, especially agricultural work. There is a lack of respect for manual work that is so characteristic of the Pakistani-Peruvian axis. The Bedouin outlook include lack of respect for the soil, for vegetation, for most animals, and for outsiders. These attitudes are to be seen constantly as erosion, destruction of vegetation and wild life, personal cruelty and callousness to most living things, including one's fellow man, and a general harshness and indifference to God's creation.
Page 1120 The ethical sides of Judaism, Christianity and Islam sought to counteract harshness, egocentricity, tribalism, cruelty, scorn of work and one's fellow creatures but these efforts have met with little success.
Page 1122 The method for the reform of Latin America rest in the upper class of that society. Such reform can come about only when the surpluses that accumulate in the hands of the Latin American oligarchy are used to establish more progressive utilization of Latin American resources.
Page 1123 The whole system is full of paradox and contradiction. The obstacle to progress and hope rests in the oligarchy because it controls wealth and power, and also because there is no hope at all unless it changes its ideology.
Page 1124 World War II, by increasing demand for Latin America's mineral and agricultural products, pushed starvation and controversy away from the immediate present. Latin American boomed: the rich got richer; the poor had more children. A few poor became rich, or at least richer. But nothing was done to modify the basic pattern of Latin American power, wealth, and outlook.
Page 1127 Until the 1952 revolution, the Bolivians, mostly of Indian descent, who were treated as second-class persons working as semislaves in the mines or as serfs on the large estates, had a per capita annual outcome of about $100. As might be expected, the majority were illiterate, sullen and discouraged.
Page 1128 The Junta was overthrown in 1952. Paz Estenssoro returned from exile to become president. Pressure from the tin miners and from the peasants forced the new regime to nationalize the mines and to break up many of the large estates. Production costs of tin rose above market price thus wiping out their foreign exchange earnings. Worse, the world price of tin collapsed in 1957. The problems could hardly be handled because of popular pressures in a democratic country to live beyond the country's income. The final collapse did not occur because of the efforts of President Siles and assistance from the United States.
Page 1129 If any proof were needed that radical reform for sharing the wealth of the few among the many poor is not an easy, or feasible method, Bolivia's hard-working Indians, once hopelessly dull, morose, and sullen, are not bright, hopeful, and self-reliant. Even their clothing is gradually shifting from the older funereal black to brighter colors and variety. Few contrasts could be more dramatic than that between the Bolivian revolutionary government (in which a moderate regime was pushed toward radicalism by popular pressures and survived, year after year, with American assistance) and the Guatemala revolution where a Communist-inspired regime tried to lead a rather inert population in the direction of increasing radicalism but was overthrown by direct American action within three years (1951-1954). Guatemala is one of the "banana republics." The retail value of Latin America's part of the world's trade in bananas is several billion dollars a year but Latin America's gets less than 7% of that value. One reason for this is the existence of the United Fruit Company which owns two million acres of plantations in six countries and handles about a third of the world's banana sales. It pays about $145 million a year into the six countries and claims to earn about $26 million profits on its $159 million investment but this profit figure of about 16.6% is undoubtedly far below the true figure. In 1970, 95% of the land held by United Fruit was uncultivated.
Page 1130 Guatemala, like Bolivia, has a population that consists largely of impoverished Indians and mixed bloods (mestizos). From 1931 to 1944 it was ruled by the dictator Jorge Ubico, the last of a long line of corrupt and ruthless tyrants. When he retired to New Orleans in 1944, free elections chose Juan Jose Arevalo (1945-1950) and Jacobo Arbenz Guzman (1950-1954) as presidents. Reform was long overdue and these two administrations tried to provide it, becoming increasingly anti- American and pro-Communist over their nine-year rule. When they began, civil or political rights were almost totally unknown and 142 persons (including corporations) owned 98% of the arable land. Free speech and press, legalized unions, and free elections preceded the work of reform but opposition from the United States began as soon as it became clear that the Land Reform Act of June 1952 would be applied to the United Fruit Company. This act called for redistribution of uncultivated holdings above a fixed acreage or lands of absentee owners, with compensation from the twenty year 3 percent bonds equal to the tax value of the lands. About 400,000 acres of United Fruit lands fell under this law and were distributed by the Arbenz Guzman government to 180,000 peasants. This was declared to be a Communist penetration by Allen Dulles, Director of the CIA, which soon found an American-trained and American-financed Guatemalan Colonel, Carlos Castillo Armas, who was prepared to lead a revolt against Arbenz. With American money and equipment, and even some American "volunteers" to fly "surplus" American planes, Armas mounted an attack of Guatemalan exiles from bases in two adjacent dictatorships, Honduras and Nicaragua." Both these countries are horrible examples of everything a Latin American government should not be, corrupt, tyrannical, cruel, and reactionary, but they won the favor of the United States State Department by echoing American foreign policy at every turn. Nicaragua, often a target of American intervention in the past, was decayed, dirty, and diseased under the twenty-year tyranny of Anastasio Somoza (1936-1956). His assassination handed the country over to be looted by his two sons, one of whom became president while the other served as commander of the National Guard.
Page 1131 From these despotic bases, the CIA-directed assault of Colonel Armas overthrew Arbenz Guzman in 1954 and established in Guatemala a regime similar to that of the Somozas. All civil and political freedoms were overthrown, the land reforms were undone, and corruption reigned. When Armas was assassinated in 1957 and a moderate elected as his successor, the army annulled those elections and held new ones in which one of their own, General Fuentes, was "elected." He liquidated what remained of Guatemala's Socialist experiments by granting these enterprises, at very reasonable prices, to his friends while collecting his own pay of a $1 million a year. Discontent from his associates led to a conservative army revolt but American pressure secured his position. The U.S. could not afford a change of regime since that country was the chief aggressive base for the Cuban exiles' attack on Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in April 1962. The CIA success in attacking "Communist" Guatemala from dictatorial Nicaragua in 1954 was not repeated in its more elaborate attack on "Communist" Cuba from dictatorial Guatemala in 1962. In fact, the Bay of Pigs must stand as the most shameful event in U.S. history since the end of World War II. The causes of the Cuban disaster, if we oversimplify, may be organized in terms of two intersecting factors: 1) the personality deficiencies of the Cubans themselves such as their lack of rationality and self-discipline, their emotionalism and corruptibility; 2) the ignorance and ineptitude of the American State Department which seems incapable of dealing with Latin America in terms of the real problems of the area but instead insists on treating it in terms of America's vision of the world, which is to day, America's political preconceptions and economic interests. Cuba is more Spanish than much of Latin America and only obtained its independence in 1898, two generations later than the rest of Latin America. Then, for over thirty years, until the abrogation of the Platt Amendment in 1934, Cuba was under American occupation or the threat of direct American intervention. It fell under American economic domination by American investments on the island and by becoming deeply involved in the american market, especially for sugar. A local oligarchy of Cubas was built up including an exploitative landlord group that had not existed previously. With the establishment of the Good Neighbor Policy in 1933 and ending the threat of American direct intervention, it became possible for the Cubans to overthrow the tyrannical and bloody rule of General Machado which had lasted for eight years (1925-1933).
Page 1132 The opportunity to begin a series of urgently needed and widely demanded social reforms under Machado's successor, San Martin, was lost when the United States refused to recognize or to assist the new regime. As a result, a ruthless Cuban army sergeant, Fuegencio Batista, was able to overthrow San Martin and begin a ten-year rule through civilian puppets chosen in fraudulent elections, and then directly as president himself. When San Martin was elected president in 1944, he abandoned his earlier reformist ideas and became the first of a series of increasingly corrupt elected regimes over the next eight years. The fourth such election for 1953 was prevented when Batista seized power once again in 1952. The next seven years were filled with Batista's efforts to hold his position by violence and corruption against the rising tide of discontent against his rule. One of the earliest episodes in that tide was an attempted revolt by a handful of youths, led by 26-year-old Fidel Castro in eastern Cuba on July 26, 1953. The failure of the rising gave Castro two years of imprisonment and more than a year of exile but at the end of 1956, he landed with a handful of men to begin guerrilla operations. Batista's regime was so corrupt that many segments of the army and middle class were neutral or favorable to Castro's operations. The necessary arms and financial support came from these groups although the core of the movement was made up of peasants and workers led by young middle-class university students. This Castro uprising was not typical because of Castro's fanatical thirst for power, his ruthless willingness to destroy property or lives in order to weaken the Batista regime, and his double method of operation, from within Cuba rather than from abroad and from a rural base, the peasants, rather than the usual urban base, the army, used by most Latin American rebels. On New Year's day of 1959, Castro marched into Havana. Within two weeks, the supporters of the Batista regime and dissident elements in Castro's movement began to be executed by firing squad. For a year, Castro's government carried on reforms aimed at satisfying the more obvious demands of the dispossessed groups. Military barracks were converted into schools; the militia was permanently established to replace the regular army; rural health centers were set up; a full-scale attack was made on illiteracy; new schools were constructed; urban rents were cut in half; utility rates were slashed; taxes were imposed on the upper classes; the beaches, once reserved for the rich, were opened to all; and a drastic land reform was launched.
Page 1133 These actions were not integrated into any viable economic program but they did spread a sense of well-being in the countryside although they curtailed the building boom in the cities, largely rooted in American investment, and they instigated a flight of the rich from the island to refuge in the U.S. Castro sought to export revolution to the rest of Latin America. Arms and guerrilla fighters were sent, and lost, in unsuccessful efforts to invade Panama, Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Failure of these turned him to methods of more subtle penetration, largely worked by propaganda and the arming and training of small subversive groups, especially where democratic or progressive regimes seemed to be developing as in Venezuela or Colombia. At the same time, an unsuccessful effort was made to persuade all Latin America to form an anti-Yankee front. Although the U.S. had promised in 1959 to follow a policy of non- intervention toward Cuba, these changes within the island and a visit of Soviet Deputy Premier Mikoyan in February 1960 forced a reconsideration of this policy. The Mikoyan agreement promised Cuba petroleum, arms and other needs for its sugar followed by establishment of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in May and with Red China later in the year. The Soviet embassy in Havana became a source of Communist subversion for all Latin America almost at once, while in September Khrushchev and Castro jointly dominated the annual session of the General Assembly of the U.N. in New York. Castro obtained petroleum for Cuban sugar. When he insisted that American-owned refineries in Cuba process this oil, they refused and were at once seized by Castro.
Page 1134 The U.S. struck back by reducing the Cuban sugar quota in the American market which led, step by step, to Castro's sweeping nationalization of foreign-owned factories on the island. The United States retaliated by establishing a series of embargoes on Cuban exports to the U.S. These controversies led Castro into an economic trap similar to that into which Nasser had fallen with Egypt's cotton. Each nationalist leader committed his chief foreign-exchange-earning product (sugar and cotton) to the Soviet Union as payment for Communist (often Czech) arms. This tied these countries to the Soviet Union and deprived them of the chance to use their own source of foreign money for equipment so urgently needed for economic improvement. By December when American diplomatic relations with Cuba were broken off, the Cuban economic decline had begun and soon reached a point where standards of living were at least a third below the Batista level except for some previously submerged groups. At the end of 1960, the Eisenhower Administration decided to use force to remove Castro. This decision was a major error and led to a totally shameful fiasco. The error apparently arose in the CIA and was based on a complete misjudgment of the apparent east with which that agency had overthrown the Arbenz regime in Guatemala in 1954 by organizing a raid of exiles, armed and financed by the CIA, into Guatemala from Nicaragua. The CIA analyzed this apparently successful coup quite incorrectly,since it assumed that Arbenz had been overthrown by the raiding exiles when he had really been destroyed by his own army which used the raid as an excuse and occasion to get rid of him. But on this mistaken basis, the CIA decided to get rid of Castro by a similar raid of Cuban exiles from Guatemala. This decision was worse than a crime; it was stupid. A unilateral, violent attack on a neighboring state with which we were not at war, in an area where we were committed to multilateral and peaceful procedures for settling disputes, was a repudiation of all our idealistic talk about the rights of small nations and our devotion to peaceful procedures that we had been pontificating around the world since 1914. It was a violation of our commitment to non-intervention in the Americas and specifically in Cuba. In sequence to our CIA intervention in Guatemala, it strengthened Latin American picture of the U.S. as indifferent to Latin America's growing demand for social reform. The whole operation, patterned on Hitler's operations to subvert Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 was bungled as Hitler could never have bungled anything. The project was very much a Dulles brothers' job and its execution was largely in the hands of the CIA.
Page 1135 The plan of invasion of Cuba seems to have been drawn on typical Hitler lines: the expeditionary force was to establish a beachhead in Cuba, set up a government on the island, be recognized by the U.S. as the actual government of Cuba, and ask Washington for aid to restore order in the rest of the island which it did not yet control. The CIA assured President Kennedy that if matters were allowed to go on as they were, Castro would be strengthened in power (which was untrue) and that the invasion would be success because of the Cuban people, led by the anti-Castro underground, would rise against him as soon as they heard of the landing. The executive committee of Cuban refugees in the U.S., mostly representatives of the older ruling groups in Cuba, were eager to restore the inequitable economic and social system that had existed before Castro. They were alienated from the most vigorous anti-Castro groups in the Cuban underground who had no desire to turn back the clock to the Batista era. The CIA would not cooperate with the anti- Castro underground because it was opposed to their wish for social and economic reform. Accordingly, the CIA launched the invasion without notifying the Cuban underground. Then the attack was bungled.
Page 1136 This greatly strengthened Castro's prestige in Latin American more than in Cuba itself. This in turn permitted him to survive a deepening wave of passive resistance and sabotage within Cuba itself, chiefly from the peasants to recapture control of the Cuban revolutionary movement.
Page 1138 In May 1961, Castro proclaimed that Cuba would be a socialist state but despite his statements, he was not in any way a convinced Communist or a convinced anything else, but was a power-hungry and emotionally unstable individual, filled with hatred of authority himself, and restless unless he had constant change and megalomaniac satisfactions. His tactical skill, especially in foreign affairs, is remarkable, and shows similarity to Hitler's.
Page 1139 On the whole, the role of the U.S. in Latin America has not been such as to help either patterns or priorities, largely because our concern has been with what seems to be useful or better for us rather than with what would be most helpful to them.
Page 1140 Despite the enthusiasm and energy that make it possible for them to overthrow corrupt and tyrannical regimes,it soon becomes clear that they have little idea what to do once they get into power. As a result, they fall under the personal influence of unstable and ignorant men, the Nassers, the Perons, and the Castros who fall back on emotionally charged programs of hatreds and spectacular displays of unconstructive nationalism that waste time and use up resources while the real problems go unsolved. A heavy responsibility rests with the United States for this widespread failure to find solutions to problems all the way from Pakistan to Peru. The basic reason for this is that our policies in this great area have been based on efforts to find solutions to our own problems rather than theirs; to make profits, to increase supplies of necessary raw materials, to fight Hitler, to keep out Communism and prevent the spread of neutralism. The net result is that we are now more hated than the Soviet Union and neutralism reveals itself as clearly as it dares through the whole area.
Page 1141 The sole consequence of the Dulles efforts to do the wrong thing along the Pakistani-Peruvian axis has been to increase what he was seeking to reduce: local political instability, increased Communist and Soviet influence, neutralism, and hatred of the U.S. Although the Dulles period shows most clearly the failures of American foreign policy in Latin America, the situation was the same, both before and since Dulles. American policy has been determined by American needs and desires and not by the problems of Latin Americans. There are four chief periods in U.S. policy in Latin America in the 20th century: 1) a period of investment and interventionism (until 1933) and was basically a period of American imperialism. American money came as investments seeking profits out of the exploitation of the areas resources. There was little respect for the people themselves and intervention by American military and diplomatic forces was always close at hand as a protection for American profits and investments. 2) the Good Neighbor Policy in 1933 reduced intervention while retaining investment. 3) from 1940 until 1947, our efforts to involved the are in our foreign policy against Hitler and Japan; 4) since 1947, against the Soviet Union. Both these efforts have been mistakes.
Page 1142 That this failure continued into the 1960s was clear in Washington's joy at the military coup that ejected the left-of-center Goulart government from Brazil in 1964 for that government, however misdirected and incompetent, at least recognized that there were urgent social and economic problems in Brazil demanding treatment. No real recognition that such problems existed was achieved in Washington until Castro's revolution forced the realization. The formal agreement for the Alliance for Progress aims and attitudes were admirable but required implementation features that were not covered in the Charter itself. "We, the American Republics, hereby proclaim our decision to unite in a common effort to bring our people accelerated economic progress and broader social justice within the framework of personal dignity and personal liberty. Almost two hundred years ago we began in this hemisphere the long struggle for freedom which now inspires people in all parts of the world. Now we must give a new meaning to that revolutionary heritage. For America stands at a turning point in history. The men and women of this hemisphere are reaching for the better life which today's skills have placed within their grasp. They are determined for themselves and their children to have decent and ever more abundant lives, to gain access to knowledge and equal opportunity for all, to end those conditions which benefit the few at the expense of the needs and dignity of the many."
Page 1144 These were fine words but the methods for achieving these desirable goals were only incidentally established in the Charter. On the whole, it cannot be said that it has been a success. It's achievement has been ameliorative rather than structural, and this alone indicates that it has not been a success. For unless there are structural reforms, its economic development will not become self- sustaining or even manage to keep up with the growth of population on the basis of income per capita.
Page 1145 The failure of the Alliance for Progress to achieve what it was touted to achieve was a result that it was not intended primarily to be a method for achieving a better life for Latin Americans but was intended to be a means of implementing American policy in the Cold War. This became clearly evident at the second Punta del Este Conference in 1962 where Washington's exclusive control over the granting of funds was used as a club to force the Latin American states to exclude Cuba from the Organization of American States. The original plan was to cut off Cuba's trade with all Western Hemisphere countries. A two-thirds vote was obtained only after the most intense American "diplomatic" pressure and bribery involving the granting and withholding of American aid to the Alliance. Even at that, six countries, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, representing 70% of Latin America's population refused to vote for the American motions. The aid takes the form not of money which can be used to buy the best goods in the cheapest market but as credits which can be used only in the U.S. Much of these credits goes either to fill the gaps in the budgets or the foreign-exchange balances which provides the maximum of leverage in getting these governments to follow America's lead but provides little or no benefit to the impoverished peoples of the hemisphere.
THE JAPANESE MIRACLE
Page 1148 The post-war agrarian reform redistributed the ownership of land by the government taking all individual land holdings beyond 7.5 acres, all rented land over 2.5 acres, and the land of absentee landlords. The former owners were paid with long-term bonds. In turn, peasants without land or with less than the maximum permitted amount were allowed to buy land from the state on a long-term low-interest- rate basis. Cash rents for land were also lowered. As a result, Japan became a land of peasant owners with about 90% of the cultivated land worked by its owners.
Page 1151 Agrarian reform has driven Communism out of the rural areas and restricted it to the cities, chiefly to student groups.
Page 1153 Under the Czar, Russia produced great surpluses, especially of food.
Page 1159 Previous to the Land Reform Law of 1950, 10% of families owned 53% farm land while 32% owned 78% of the land. This left over two thirds of such families with only 22% of the land. The first stage in agrarian reform had been the "elimination of landlordism." The landlords were eliminated with great brutality in a series of spectacular public trials in which landlords were accused of every crime in the book. At least 3 million were executed and several times that number were imprisoned but the totals may have been much higher. The land thus obtained was distributed to poor peasant families with each obtaining about one-third of an acre. The second stage sought to establish cooperative farming. In effect, it took away from the peasants the lands they had just obtained. The third stage constituting the basic feature of the "Great Leap Forward" merged the 750,000 collective farms into about 26,000 agrarian communes of about 5,000 families each. This was a social rather than simply an agrarian revolution since its aims included the destruction of the family household and the peasant village. All activities of the members, including child rearing, came under the control of the commune.
Page 1160 The Communist government was not involved in corruption, self- enrichment, and calculated inefficiency as earlier Chinese governments were and had both greater power and greater desire to operate a fair rationing system but the fact remains that the inability of communized agricultural system to produce sufficient food surpluses to support a communized industrial system at a high rate of expansion is now confirmed and the need for all Communist regimes to purchase grain from the Western countries confirms that there is something in the Western pattern of living which does provide a bountiful agricultural system.
Page 1164 A source of alienation between Moscow and Peking is concerned with the growing recognition that the Kremlin was being driven toward a policy of peaceful coexistence with the U.S. not as a temporary tactical maneuver (which would have been acceptable to China) but as a semipermanent policy since Marxist-Leninist theory envisioned the advanced capitalist states as approaching a condition of economic collapse from "the internal contradictions of capitalism itself." This crisis would be reflected in two aspects: the continued impoverishment of the working class with the consequent growth of the violence of the class struggle in such countries and increasing violence of the imperialist aggressions of such countries toward each other in struggles to control more backward areas as markets for the industrial products that the continued impoverishment of their own workers made impossible to sell in domestic market. The falseness of these theories was fully evident in the rising standards of living of the advanced industrial countries. This evidence of the errors of Marxist-Leninist theories was increasingly clear to the Kremlin, although it could not be admitted, but it was quite unclear to Peking.
Page 1165 Mao Tse-tung, son of a peasant who became wealthy on speculation and moneylending was born in 1893 in Hunan province.
Page 1168 There are at least half a dozen legal, minor political parties in Red China today (1966). These not only exist and are permitted to participate in the governing process in a very minor way, but they are subject to no real efforts at forcible suppression, although they are subject to persistent, rather gentle, efforts at conversion.
Page 1170 French expenditure of $7 billion and about 100,000 lives during the eight-year struggle ended at Geneva in 1954. The Geneva agreements provided that all foreign military forces, except a French training group, be withdrawn from Laos. When the Pathet Lao showed increased strength in the elections of May 1958, the anti-Communist group combined to oust Premier Phouma and put in the pro-Western Sananikone. This government was then ejected and replaced by a Right-wing military junta led by General Nosavan in 1960; but within seven months a new coup led by Kong Le brought Phouma back to office. Four months later, Nosavan once again replaced Phouma by military force. The Communist countries refused to recognize this change and increased their supplies to the Pathet Lao by Soviet airlift.
Page 1172 The Geneva agreement of 1954 had recognized the Communist government of North Vietnam dividing the country at the 17th parallel but this imaginary line could not keep discontent or Communist guerrillas out of South Vietnam so long as the American-sponsored southern government carried on its tasks with corruption, favoritism and arbitrary despotism. These growing characteristics of the South Vietnam government centered around the antics of the Diem family. President Diem's brother Nhu was the actual power in the government heading up a semi-secret political organization that controlled all military and civil appointments. On the Diem family team were three other brothers, including the Catholic Archbishop of Vietnam, the country's ambassador to London, and the political boss of central Vietnam who had his own police force. While the country was in its relentless struggle with the Vietcong Communist guerrillas who lurked in jungle areas, striking without warning at peasant villages that submitted to the established government or did not cooperate with the rebels, the Diem family tyranny was engaged in such pointless tasks as crushing Saigon high school agitations by secret police raids or efforts to persecute the overwhelming Buddhist majority and to extend favors to the Roman Catholics who were less than 10% of the population. When Diem became president in 1955, after the deposition of the pro-French Emperor Bao Dai, the country had just received 800,000 refugees from North Vietnam which the Geneva conference had yielded to Ho Chi Minh's communists, the overwhelming majority of which were Roman Catholics, raising their number to over a million in a population of 14 million. Nevertheless, Diem made these Catholics the chief basis of his power, chiefly recruiting the refugees into various police forces dominated by the Diem family.
Page 1173 By 1955, these were already beginning to persecute the Buddhist majority, at first by harassing their religious festivals and parades but later with brutal assaults on their meetings. An attempted coup by army units was crushed and the Diem rule became increasingly arbitrary. American military assistance tried to curtail the depredations of the Communist guerrillas. The intensity of the guerrilla attacks steadily increased following Diem's re-election with 88% of the vote. American intervention was also stepped up and gradually began to shift from a purely advisory and training role to increasingly direct participation in the conflict. From 1961 onward, American casualties averaged about one dead a week, year after year. The Communist guerrilla casualties were reported to be about 500 per week but this did not seem to diminish their total number or relax their attacks. These guerrilla attacks consisted of rather purposeless destruction of peasant homes and villages, apparently designed to convince the natives of the impotence of the government and the advisability of cooperating with the rebels. To stop these depredations, the government undertook the gigantic task of organizing the peasants into "agrovilles" or "strategic hamlets" which were to be strongly defended residential centers entirely enclosed behind barricades. The process, it was said, would also improve the economic and social welfare of the people to give them a greater incentive to resist the rebels. There was considerable doubt about the effectiveness of the reform aspect of this process and some doubt about the defence possibilities of the scheme as a whole. Most observers felt that very little American economic aid ever reached the village level but instead was lost on much higher levels. By the summer of 1963, guerrillas were staging successful attacks on the strategic hamlets and the need for a more active policy became acute.
Page 1175 This final crisis in the story of the Diem family and its henchmen arose from religious persecution of the Buddhists under the guise of maintaining political order. On November 1, 1963, an American-encouraged military coup led by General Minh overthrew the Diem family. A new government with a Buddhist premier calmed down the domestic crisis but was no more able to suppress guerrilla activities.
THE ECLIPSE OF COLONIALISM
Page 1178 The massive economic mobilization for World War II showed clearly that there could be an equally massive post-war mobilization of resources for prosperity.
Page 1184 It is usually not recognized that the whole economic expansion of Western society rests upon a number of psychological attitudes that are prerequisites to the system as we have it but are not often stated explicitly. Two of these may be identified as: 1) future preference and 2) infinitely expandable material demand. In a sense, these are contradictory since the former implies that Western economic man will make almost any sacrifice in the present for the same of some hypothetical benefit in the future while the latter implies almost insatiable demand in the present. Nonetheless, both are essential features of the overwhelming Western economic system. Future preference came out of the Christian outlook and especially the Puritan tradition which was prepared to accept almost any kind of sacrifice in the temporal world for the sake of future eternal salvation, willing to restrict their enjoyment of income for the sake of capital accumulation. The mass production of this new industrial system was able to continue and to accelerate to the fantastic rate of the 20th century so that today, the average middle-class family of suburbia has a schedule of future material demands which is limitless. Without these two psychological assumptions, the Western economy would break down or would never have started. At present, future preference may be breaking down and infinitely expanding material demand may soon follow it in the weakening process. If so, the American economy will collapse unless it finds new psychological foundations.
Page 1187 In Asia, as is traditional along the Pakistani-Peruvian axis, the structure of societies had been one in which a coalition of army, bureaucracy, landlords, and moneylenders have exploited a great mass of peasants by extortion of taxes, rents, low wages, and high interest rates in a system of such persistence that its basic structure goes back to the Bronze Age empires before 1000 B.C.
CHAPTER XX: TRAGEDY AND HOPE, THE FUTURE IN PERSPECTIVE
THE UNFOLDING OF TIME
Page 1200 Weapons will continue to be expensive and complex. This means that they will increasingly be the tools of professionalized, if not mercenary, forces. All of past history shows that the shift from a mass army of citizen-soldiers to a smaller army of professional fighters leads, in the long run, to a decline of democracy.
Page 1204 When Khrushchev renounced the use of both nuclear war and conventional violence, and promised to defeat the West by peaceful competition, he was convinced that the Soviet Union could out-perform the U.S. because it could, in his opinion, overcome the American lead in the race for economic development that the Socialist way of life would become the model for emulation by the uncommitted nations.
Page 1213 In other economies, when additional demands are presented to the economy, less resources are available for alternative uses. But in the American system, as it now stands, additional new demands usually lead to increased resources becoming available for alternative purposes, notably consumption. Thus if the Soviet Union embraced a substantial increase in space activity, the resources available for raising Russian levels of consumption would be reduced while in America, any increases in the space budget makes levels of consumption also rise.
Page 1214 It does this because increased space expenditures provide purchasing power for consumption that makes available previously unused resources out of the unused American productive capacity. This unused capacity exists in the American economy because the structure of our economic system is such that it channels flows of funds into the production of additional capacity (investment) without any conscious planning process or any real desire by anyone to increase our productive capacity. It does this because certain institutions in our system (such as insurance, retirement funds,social security payments, undistributed corporate profits and such) and certain individuals who personally profit by the flow of funds not theirs into investment continue to operate to increase investment even when they have no real desire to increase productive capacity (and indeed many decry it). In the Soviet Union, on the contrary, resources are allotted to the increase of productive capacity by a conscious planning process and at the cost of reducing the resources available in their system for consumption or for the government (largely defence). Thus the meaning of "costs" and the limitations on ability to mobilize economic resources are entirely different in our system from the Soviet system and most others. In the Soviet economy, "costs" are real costs, measurable in terms of the allotment of scarce resources that could have been used otherwise. In the American system, "costs" are fiscal or financial limitations that have little connection with the use of scarce resources or even with the use of available (and therefore not scarce) resources. The reason for this is that in the American economy, the fiscal or financial limit is lower than the limit established by real resources and therefore, since the financial limits act as the restraint on our economic activities, we do not get to the point where our activities encounter the restraints imposed by the limits of real resources (except rarely and briefly in terms of technically trained manpower, which is our most limited resource). These differences between the Soviet and American economies are: 1) the latter has built-in, involuntary, institutionalized investment which the former lacks; 2) the latter has fiscal restraints at a much lower level of economic activity which the Soviet system also lacks. Thus greater activity in defence in the USSR entails real costs since it puts pressure on the ceiling established by limited real resources while greater activity in the American defence or space effort releases money into the system which presses upward on the artificial financial ceiling, pressing it upward closer to the higher, and remote, ceiling established by the real resources limit of the American economy. This makes available the unused productive capacity that exists in our system between the financial ceiling and the real resources ceiling; it not only makes these unused resources available for the government sector of the economy from which the expenditure was directly made but also makes available portions of these released resources for consumption and additional capital investment.
Page 1215 For this reason, government expenditures in the U.S. for things like defence or space may entail no real costs at all in terms of the economy as a whole. In fact, if the volume of unused capacity brought into use by expenditures for these things (that is, defence and so on) is greater than the resources necessary to satisfy the need for which the expenditure was made, the volume of unused resources made available for consumption or investment will be greater than the volume of resources used in the governmental expenditure and this additional government effort will cost nothing at all in real terms, but will entail "negative" real costs. (Our wealth will be increased by making the effort). The basis for this strange, and virtually unique, situation is to be found in the large amount of unused productive capacity in the U.S. even in our most productive years. In the second quarter of 1962, our productive system was running at a very high level of prosperity, yet it was functioning about 12% below capacity, which represented a loss of $73 billion annually. In this way, in the whole period from the beginning of 1953 to the middle of 1962, our productive system operated at $387 billion below capacity. Thus if the system had operated near capacity, our defence effort over the nine years would have cost us nothing, in terms of loss of goods or capacity. This unique character in the American economy rests on the fact that the utilization of resources follows flow lines in the economy that are not everywhere reflected by corresponding flow lines of claims on wealth (that is, money). In general, in our economy the lines of flow of claims on wealth are such that they provide a very large volume of savings and a rather large volume of investment, even when no one really wants new productive capacity; they also provide an inadequate flow of consumer purchasing power, in terms of flows, or potential flows, of consumer goods; but they provide very limited, sharply scrutinized and often misdirected flows of funds for the use of resources to fulfill the needs of the government sector of our trisectored economy. As a result, we have our economy distorted resource-utilization patterns, with overinvestment in many areas, overstuffed consumers in one place and impoverished consumers in another place, a drastic undersupply of social services, and widespread social needs for which public funds are lacking. In the Soviet Union, money flows follow fairly well the flows of real goods and resources, but, as as result, pressures are directly on resources. These pressures mean that saving and investment conflict directly with consumption and government services (including defence), putting the government under severe direct strains, as the demands for higher standards of living cannot be satisfied except by curtailing investment, defence, space, or other government expenditures.
Page 1216 Many countries of the world are worse off the Soviet Union because their efforts to increase consumers' goods may well require investment based on savings that must be accumulated at the expense of consumption. As a chief consequence of these conditions, the contrast between the "have" nations and the "have-not" nations will become even wider. This would be of little great importance to the rest of the world were it not that the peoples of the backward areas, riding the "crisis of rising expectations" are increasingly unwilling to be ground down in poverty as their predecessors were. At the same time, the Superpower stalemate increases the abilities of these nations to be neutral, to exercise influence out of all relationship to their actual powers, and to act, sometimes, in an irresponsible fashion. These neutrals and other peoples of backward areas have acute problems. Solutions do exist but the underdeveloped nations are unlikely to find them.
Page 1221 A growing lowest social class of the social outcasts (the Lumpenproletariat) has reappeared. This group of rejects from the bourgeois industrial society provide one of our most intractable future problems because they are gathered in urban slums, have political influence, and are socially dangerous. In the U.S. where these people congregate in the largest cities and are often Negroes or Latin Americans, they are regarded as a racial or economic problem, but they are really an educational and social problem for which economic or racial solutions would help little. This group is most numerous in the more advanced industrial areas and now forms more than 20% of the American population. Since they are a self-perpetuating group and have many children, they are increasing in numbers faster than the rest of the population.
Page 1229 The pattern of outlook on which the tradition of the West is based has six parts: 1) There is truth, a reality (thus the West rejects skepticism, solipsism and nihilism) 2) No person, group, or organization has the whole picture of the truth (thus there is no absolute or final authority.) 3) Every person of goodwill has some aspect of the truth, some vision of it from the angle of his own experience. 4) Through discussion, the aspects of the truth held by many can be pooled and arranged to form a consensus closer to the truth than any of the sources that contributed to it. 5) This consensus is a temporary approximation of the truth which new experiences make it necessary to reformulate. 6) Thus Western man's picture of the truth advances closer and closer to the whole truth without ever reaching it. This methodology of the West is basic to the success, power and wealth of Western Civilization.
Page 1231 To the West, in spite of all its aberrations, the greatest sin from Lucifer to Hitler, has been pride, especially in the form of intellectual arrogance, and the greatest virtue has been humility, especially in the intellectual form which concedes that opinions are always subject to modification by new experiences, new evidence, and the opinions of our fellow men. The most triumphant of these aspects is science, whose method is a perfect example of the Western tradition. The scientist goes eagerly to work each day because he has the humility to know that he does not have any final answers and must work to modify and improve the answers he has. He publishes his opinions and research reports or exposes these in scientific gatherings so that they may be subjected to the criticism of his colleagues and thus gradually play a role in formulating the constantly unfolding consensus that is science. That is what science is, "a consensus unfolding in time by a cooperative effort in which each works diligently seeking the truth and submits his work to the discussion and critique of his fellows to make a new, slightly improved, temporary consensus."
THE UNITED STATES AND THE MIDDLE-CLASS CRISIS
Page 1234 American society in the 1920s was largely middle-class. Its values and aspirations were middle-class and power or influence within it was in the hands of middle-class people. Most defenders of bourgeois America saw the country in middle- class terms and looked forward to a not remote future in which everyone would be middle-class except for a small shiftless minority of no importance. America was regarded as a ladder of opportunity. Wealth, power, prestige and respect were all obtained by the same standard, based on money. This in turn was based on a pervasive emotional insecurity that sought relief in the ownership and control of material possessions.
Page 1235 Years ago in Europe, the risks (and rewards) of commercial enterprise, well reflected in the fluctuating fortunes of figures such as Antonio in The Merchant of Venice were extreme. A single venture could ruin a merchant or make him rich. This insecurity was increased by the fact that the prevalent religion of the day disapproved of what he was doing, seeking profits or taking interest, and he could see no way of providing religious services to the town dwellers because of the intimate association of the ecclesiastical system with the existing arrangement of rural landholding.
Page 1236 Credit became more important than intrinsic personal qualities, and credit was based on the appearance of things, especially the appearances of the external material accessories of life. Old values such as future preference or self-discipline, remained, but were redirected. Future preference ceased to be transcendental in its aim and became secularized.
Page 1237 Middle-class self-discipline and future preference provided the savings and investment without which any innovation - no matter how appealing in theory - would be set aside and neglected. The middle-class character is psychic insecurity founded on lack of secure social status. The cure for such insecurity became insatiable material acquisition. From this flowed attributes of future preference, self-discipline, social conformity, infinitely expandable material demand, and a general emphasis on externalized impersonal values. The urge to seek truth or to help others are not really compatible with the middle-class values.
Page 1238 One of the chief changes, fundamental to the survival of the middle-class outlook, was a change in society's basic conception of human nature. This had two parts to it. The traditional Christian attitude was that human nature was essentially good and that it was formed and modified by social pressures and training. The "goodness" of human nature was based on the belief that it was a kind of weaker copy of God's nature. In this Western point of view, evil and sin were negative qualities; they arose from an absence of good, not from the presence of evil. Thus sin was the failure to do the right thing, not doing the wrong thing. Opposed to this view was another which received its most explicit formulation by the Persian Zoroaster in the seventh century B.C. It came in through the Persian influence on the Hebrews, especially during the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews, in the sixth century and more fully through the Greek rationalist tradition from Pythagoras to Plato. The general distinction of this point of view from Zoroaster to William Golding (in Lord of the Flies) is that the world and the flesh are positive evils and that man, in at least this physical part of his nature, is essentially evil. As a consequence, he must be disciplined totally to prevent him from destroying himself and the world. In this view, the devil is a force, or being, of positive malevolence and man, by himself, is incapable of good and is, accordingly, not free. He can be saved in eternity by God's grace alone and he can get through this temporal world only by being subjected to a regime of total despotism.
The contrasts can be summed up thus: Orthodox; Puritan. Evil is an absence of Good; Evil is a positive entity. Man is basically good; Man is basically evil. Man is free; Man is a slave of his nature. Man can contribute to his salvation by good works; Man can be saved only by God. Self-discipline is necessary to guide or direct; Discipline must be external and total. Truth found from experience and revelation interpreted by tradition; Truth is found by rational deduction from revelation. Luther, Calvin, Thomas Hobbes, Blaise Pascal and others believed that truth was to be found in rational deduction from a few basic revealed truths in sharp contrast with the orthodox point of view still represented by the Anglican and Roman churches which saw men as largely free in a universe whose rules were to be found by tradition and consensus.
Page 1240 The Puritan point of view led directly to mercantilism which regarded political-economic life as a struggle to the death in a world where there not sufficient wealth or space for different groups. To them, wealth was limited to a fixed amount and one man's gain was someone else's loss. That meant that the basic struggles of this world were irreconcilable and must be fought to a finish. This as part of the Puritan belief that nature was evil and that a state of nature was a jungle of violent conflicts. One large change was the Community of Interests which rejected mercantilism's insistence on limited wealth and the basic incompatibility of interests for the more optimistic belief that all parties could somehow adjust their interests within a community in which all would benefit mutually. Above all, the middle-class which dominated the country in the first half of the 20th century were a small group of aristocrats. Below were the petty bourgeoisie who had middle-class aspirations. Below these two were two lower classes: the workers and the Lumpenproletariat.
Page 1242 In America, as elsewhere, aristocracy represents money and position grown old, and is organized in terms of families rather than of individuals. Traditionally it was made up of those families who had money, position,and social prestige for so long that they never had to think about these and,above all, never had to impress any other person with the fact that they had them. They accepted these attributes of family membership as a right and an obligation. Since they had no idea that these could be lost, they were self-assured, natural but distant. Their manners were gracious but impersonal. Their chief characteristic was the assumption that their family position had obligations. This "noblesse oblige" led them to participate in school sports (even if they lacked obvious talent) to serve their university (usually a family tradition) in any helpful way, and to offer their services to their local community, their state, and their country as an obligation.
Page 1243 Another good evidence of class may be seen in the treatment given to servants who work in one's home: the lower classes treat these as equals, the middle-classes treat them as inferiors, while the aristocrats treat them as equals or even superiors. On the whole, the number of aristocratic families in the U.S. is very few, with a couple in each of the older states. A somewhat larger group of semi- aristocrats consists of those like the Lodges, Rockefellers, or Kennedys,who are not yet completely aristocratic either because they are not, in generations, far enough removed from money-making, or because of the persistence of a commercial or business tradition in the family. The second most numerous group in the U.S. is the petty bourgeoisie, including millions of persons who regard themselves as middle-class and are under all the middle-class anxieties and pressures but often earn less money than unionized laborers. As a result of these things, they are often very insecure, envious, filled with hatreds, and are generally the chief recruits for any Radical Right, Fascist, or hate campaigns against any group that is different or which refuses to conform to middle-class values. Made up of clerks, shopkeepers, and vast numbers of office workers in business, government, finance and education, these tend to regard their white collar status as the chief value in life, and live in an atmosphere of envy, pettiness, insecurity, and frustration. They form the major portion of the Republican Party's supporters in the towns of America, as they did for the Nazis in Germany thirty years ago.
Page 1244 Eisenhower himself was repelled by the Radical Right whose impetus had been a chief element in his election although the lower- middle-class had preferred Senator Taft as their leader. Eisenhower however had been preferred by the Eastern Establishment of old Wall Street, Ivy League, semi-aristocratic Anglophiles whose real strength rested in their control of eastern financial endowments operating from foundations, academic halls, and other tax-exempt refuges. As we have said, this Eastern Establishment was really above parties. They had been the dominant element in both parties since 1900 and practiced the political techniques of J.P. Morgan.
Page 1245 They were, as we have said, Anglophile, cosmopolitan, Ivy League, internationalist, astonishingly liberal, patrons of the arts, and relatively humanitarian. All these things made them anathema to the lower-middle-class and petty-bourgeois groups who supplied the votes in Republican electoral victories but found it so difficult to control nominations (especially in presidential elections) because the big money necessary for nominating in a Republican convention was allied to Wall Street and to the Eastern Establishment. The ability of the latter to nominate Eisenhower over Taft in 1952 was a bitter pill to the radical bourgeoisie. Kennedy was an Establishment figure. His introduction to the Establishment arose from his support in Britain. His acceptance into the English Establishment opened its American branch as well. Another indication of this connection was the large number of Oxford-trained men appointed to office by President Kennedy.
Page 1246 In the minds of the ill-informed, the political struggle in the U.S. has always been viewed as a struggle between Republicans and Democrats at the ballot box in November. Wall Street long ago had seen that the real struggle was in the nominating conventions. This realization was forced upon the petty-bourgeois supporters of Republican candidates by their inability to nominate their congressional favorites. Just as they reached this conclusion, the new wealth appeared in the political picture, sharing petty-bourgeois suspicions of the East, big cities, Ivy League universities, foreigners, intellectuals, workers and aristocrats. By the 1964 election, the major political issue in the country was the financial struggle behind the scenes between the old wealth, civilized and cultured in foundations, and the new wealth, virile and uninformed, arising from the flowing profits of government-dependent corporations in the West and Southwest. At issue here was the whole future face of America, for the older wealth stood for values and aims close to the Western traditions of diversity, tolerance, human rights and values, freedom, and the rest of it, while the newer wealth stood for the narrow and fear-racked aims of petty-bourgeois insecurity and egocentricity. The nominal issues between them, such as that between internationalism and unilateral isolationism (which its supporters preferred to rename "nationalism") were less fundamental than they seemed, for the real issue was the control of the Federal government's tremendous power to influence the future of America by spending of government funds. The petty bourgeois and new wealth groups wanted to continue that spending into the industrial-military complex, such as defence and space, while the older wealth and non-bourgeois groups wanted to direct it toward social diversity and social amelioration for the aged and the young, for education, for social outcasts, and for protecting national resources for future use.
Page 1247 The outcome of this struggle, which still goes on, is one in which civilized people can afford to be optimistic. For the newer wealth is unbelievably ignorant and misinformed. The National parties and their presidential candidates, with the Eastern Establishment assiduously fostering the process behind the scenes, moved closer together and nearly met in the center with almost identical candidates and platforms although the process was concealed, as much as possible, by the revival of obsolescent or meaningless war cries and slogans.
Page 1248 The two parties should be almost identical so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. The policies that are vital and necessary for America are no longer subjects of significant disagreement, but are disputable only in details of procedure, priority, or method: we must remain strong, continue to function as a great World power in cooperation with other Powers, avoid high-level war, keep the economy moving, help other countries do the same, provide the basic social necessities for all our citizens, open up opportunities for social shifts for those willing to work to achieve them, and defend the basic Western outlook of diversity, pluralism, cooperation,and the rest of it, as already described. Either party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it every four years by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies. The capture of the Republican National Party by the extremist elements of the Republican National Party in 1964 and their effort to elect Barry Goldwater with the petty-bourgeois extremists alone, was only a temporary aberration on the American political scene and arose from the fact that President Johnson had pre-empted all the issues so that it was hardly worthwhile for the Republicans to run a real contestant against him. Thus Goldwater was able to take control of the party by default. The virulence behind the Goldwater campaign, however, had nothing to do with default or lack of intensity. Quite the contrary. His most ardent supporters were of the extremist petty-bourgeois mentality driven to near hysteria by the disintegration of the middle-class and the steady rise to prominence of everything they considered anathema: Catholics, Negroes, immigrants, intellectuals, aristocrats, scientists, and educated men generally, cosmopolitans and internationalists and, above all, liberals who accept diversity ad a virtue. This disintegration of the middle classes had a variety of causes, some of them intrinsic, many of them accidental, a few of them obvious, but many of them going deeply into the very depths of social existence. All these causes acted to destroy the middle-class by acting to destroy the middle-class outlook.
Page 1250 In the earlier period, even down to 1940, literature's attack on the middle-class outlook was direct and brutal, from such works as Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" or Frank Norris's "The Pit," both dealing with the total corruption of of personal integrity in the meatpacking and wheat markets. These early assaults were aimed at the commercialization of life under bourgeois influence and were fundamentally reformist in outlook because they assumed that the evils of the system could somehow be removed. By the 1920s, the attack was much more total and saw the problem in moral terms so fundamental that no remedial action was possible. Only complete rejection of middle- class values could remove the corruption of human life seen by Sinclair Lewis in Babbitt or Main Street.
Page 1252 The Puritan point of view of man as a creature of total depravity without hope of redemption which in the period 1550-1650 justified despotism in a Puritan context, now may be used, with petty-bourgeois support, to justify a new despotism to preserve, by force instead of conviction, petty-bourgeois values in a system of compulsory conformity. George Orwell's 1984 has given us the picture of this system as Hitler's Germany showed us its practical operation. Barry Goldwater's defeat moved the possibility so far into the future that the steady change in social conditions makes it remote indeed.
Page 1253 For generations, even in fairly rich families, the indoctrination continued because of emphasis on thrift and restraints on consumption. By 1937, the world depression showed that the basic economic problems were not saving and investment but distribution and consumption. Thus there appeared a growing readiness to consume, spurred on my new sales techniques, installment selling and the extension of credit from the productive side to the consumption side of the economic process. As a result, an entirely new phenomenon appeared in middle-class families, the practice of living up to, or even beyond, their incomes - an unthinkable scandal in any 19th century bourgeois family.
Page 1255 Middle-class marriages were usually based on middle-class values of economic security and material status rather than on love. More accurately, middle-class marriages were based on these material considerations in fact, while everyone concerned pretended that they were based on Romantic love. Even when the marriage becomes a success, in the sense that it persists, it is never total and merely means that the marriage becomes an enslaving relationship to the husbands and a source of disappointment and frustration to the wives.
Page 1300 In the old days, the merchant bankers of London controlled fairly well the funds that were needed for almost any enterprise to become a substantial success. Today, much larger funds are available from many diverse sources, from abroad, from government sources, from insurance and pension funds, from profits from other enterprises. These are no longer held under closely associated controls and are much more impersonal and professional in their disposal so that on the whole, an energetic man (or a group with a good idea) can get access to larger funds today, and can do so without anyone much caring if he accepts the established social precedents.
Page 1303 Lycurgus renounced social change in prehistoric Sparta only by militarizing the society.
Page 1310 Tragedy and Hope? The tragedy of the period covered by this book is obvious but the hope may seem dubious to many. Only the passage of time will show if the hope I seem to see in the future is actually there or is the result of mis-observation and self-deception. The historian has difficulty distinguishing the features of the present and generally prefers to restrict his studies to the past,where the evidence is more freely available and where perspective helps him to interpret the evidence. Thus the historian speaks with decreasing assurance about the nature and significance of events as they approach his own day. The time covered by this book seems to this historian to fall into three periods: the 19th century from 1814 to 1895; the 20th century after World War II, and a long period of transition from 1895 to 1950. The 20th century is utterly different from the 19th century and the age of transition between the two was one of the most awful periods in all human history. Two terrible wars sandwiching a world economic depression revealed man's real inability to control his life by nineteenth century techniques of laissez-faire, materialism, competition, selfishness, nationalism, violence, and imperialism. These characteristics of late nineteenth-century life culminated in World War II in which more than 50 million persons were killed, most of them by horrible deaths. The hope of the twentieth century rests on the recognition that war and depression are man-made, and needless. They can be avoided in the future by turning from the 19th century characteristics just mentioned and going back to other characteristics that our Western society has always regarded as virtues: generosity, compassion, cooperation, rationality, and foresight, and finding an increased role in human life for love, spirituality, charity, and self-discipline. On the whole, we do know now that we can avoid continuing the horrors of 1914-1945 and on that basis alone we maybe optimistic over our ability to go back to the tradition of our Western society and to resume its development along its old patterns of Inclusive Diversity.
Send a comment to John Turmel