» Can we live in peace and do business with our Russian ally who is now bearing the brunt of the war? A portentous question and one to be considered now.
by MAX LERNER
JUST as the destinies of world freedom hinge today largely on continued Russian resistance, no matter how difficult, and on American war production, so there can he little question that in the post-war world the relations of America and Russia will play a shaping role. There is a tendency in some quarters to wrap these future relations of the two countries in the same shrouds of “mystery” with which we have surrounded everything Russian. The beginning of wisdom is to start with the proposition that there is no Russian “mystery.” Both the Russian strength in the past years and the Russian role in the future are subject to rational analysis.
When confronted by the palpable fact of Russian military achievement, we invoke the Russian riddle. We seek refuge, as we have always done, in the theory that the Russians are not part of Western culture, that they are three-quarters Oriental and psychically, as well as geographically, face the East. We believe this despite the fact that Russian intellectual life during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was shot through with avid borrowings from Western European writers; and despite the fact that Marxism, which furnished the stimulus for the Russian Revolution, was a Western movement, rooted deep in German, English, and French intellectual history.
Another component of our attitude toward Russia is our very substantial fear of her power. I have seen this, of course, in Old Guard capitalists and even more in the fascist lunatic fringe. The fear cropped up in American writers even before the Russian Revolution. Henry Adams, for example, in his letters in the 1890’s was obsessed by the coming struggle between Russia and America. This was more probably the expression of his profound dislike and fear than a logical deduction from the “scientific” theories of history on which he prided himself. He was right in seeing Russia as at once feudal and modern; but its feudalism was not that of Mont-Saint-Michel, nor its modernism one he could understand. I suspect that at bottom Adams was a New England aristocrat who felt a horror at contemplating a vast mass-nation. And that fear lingers with us, even though we are ourselves a vast mass-nation. The Russian Revolution only intensified a long-rooted attitude. We still regard the Russians with something of the mingled fear and awe with which a Roman patrician regarded the barbarian tribes. We applaud their strength as we might applaud the strength of barbarian allies. But we look toward the future with the apprehension that one has quite naturally toward barbarian allies after a common victory.
National attitudes shift, not so much by benefit of reason as by the impact of facts. Witness the Anglo-American attitude toward both France and Finland as of 1939 and as of 1942. There have been those who have sought to surround the American mind with a cordon sanitaire to keep it from the infection of the Russian ideologies. Yet see what happened in Britain after Dunkirk and Timoshenko. The example of Britain is well worth mulling over as proof of how much stronger than the propaganda of the word is the propaganda of the deed.
I shall not hang the garland of my praise on Russian military achievement, which does not need it. As I write, the Russian armies under Timoshenko are being pressed back steadily before the overwhelming force of Nazi tanks, planes, infantry. Millions of men have already been lost on both sides, and millions more will be lost before the fortunes of the battle are decided. We do not know how much ground the Russians may still yield, or what industrial strength they may lose as they give way slowly, or how they will bear up against a Japanese attack on the cast if and when it is added to the Nazi attack on the west. Even the military experts, who in the first summer of the Russian war gave the Russians less chance to survive the Hitler thrust than did Hitler himself, are now fearful of prediction.
But certain things are clear: that the Russians have held out longer against the entire massed might of the Nazis than any other nation has or perhaps could; that Hitler has withdrawn every last possible man and war machine from the European continent in order to crack the Russian resistance; that as the Russians yield their industrial centers, their oil fields, their agricultural lands, they will strip them of everything movable and burn everything else to the ground before they leave; that they will not, no matter how hard driven they are, make a separate peace with the enemy; and that they will continue to keep a fighting army intact and a fighting people in cohesion even if they have to move their administrative and industrial centers beyond the Urals.
Whatever the outcome of the immediate battles, therefore, the nature of the Russian military resistance since June 22, 1941, is one of the massive things in history. Our most grudging commentators have now put their imprimatur on the Russian achievement. They are willing to do everything except understand it. They set it down to patriotism (as if each country did not have that), to Oriental fatalism, to Stalinist disregard of life, to the Russian winter. The “secret” of the Russian military resistance is in reality an open secret. I should like to suggest what seem to me three sets of shaping factors.
For one, mechanization. When I say mechanization, I have in mind Thorstem Veblen’s analysis, written forty years ago in The Theory of Business Enterprise, of the character and discipline of the machine process. The Russians are relatively new to the industrial process and have as yet nothing like the technical capacity for it that the Americans and Germans have, although they are learning with immense rapidity. But they give the machine process full scope. They think in what Veblen called “industrial” rather than “pecuniary” terms; in terms of making goods rather than money; in terms of production rather than price. This is an unpleasant fact which, as a pecuniary and market economy, we do not like to face. Yet if we want to understand what is happening rather than propitiate our own habits, we must confront it.
Another fact is that, with their feeling of being encircled by enemies, the Russians have given pacifism short shrift and have thus turned their knowledge of the industrial arts to the tools of war. Many of the advances in military technology were made by the Russians even before the Germans. Aviation, tanks, parachute troops, flame throwers, anti-tank guns — in all these respects the Russians have not been asleep. We dramatize and isolate the achievement of individual leaders who are, after all, part and outgrowth of the national attention that has been directed in full force toward the arts of military defense.
The second factor is planning. In the narrower sense of administration, as in the narrow sense of technical capacity, the Russians are not as far advanced as we. But they have their own kind of administrative skill, as the American experts on the Harriman and Hopkins missions have testified. Within the limits of a socialist dictatorship there has been a policy of the career open to talent, and there has been the will also to use and organize every ability in the war structure. There can be little doubt, of course, that the purges took a heavy toll of initiative both in technology and administration. But the fund from which these subtractions were made was a large one.
We must not forget the Marxian tradition of social analysis from which Stalin and his subordinates started. For a quarter century Russia has been ruled by men whose lives have been a training in planned action and in the conscious calculation of social forces. These men had once to build a revolutionary machine; they had to start almost at scratch in the economic area and build a new industrialism; they have accordingly learned how to construct a planned military machine within a planned economic machine.
The third factor is the collective tenacity of the Russian people. This antedates the Revolution but was strengthened by it. It is a quality — call it strength or lethargy — that has been at once the despair and the pride of the Russian novelists who have written of the peasant and his ways. The historian may seek to explain it by the fact that, the Russian masses, like the Chinese, have as a people had to adapt themselves to the ebb and flow of invading hordes over their vast central plains, and have thus learned to bide their time and to develop a patience, a resilience, and an impermeable quality that better-protected peoples have not developed. From this flows much of the characteristic affection for “Mother Russia.” From it derives also the continuity between their resistance to Napoleon and to Hitler, between Kutuzov and Stalin. But just as nationalism gave this quality its characteristic nineteenth-century stamp, so twentieth-century socialism has placed its stamp on it today. For socialism gave the people a sense of collective participation in new social construction, a training in community action, a sense of having a stake in what they were defending.
But, I hear the reader asking, if the Russians have these elements of strength, whatever we may think of their sources, are they not dangerous to us? And has not their attitude toward the Western capitalist democracies been all along so hostile as to warrant our fears for the future?
Some sort of case can undoubtedly be made out if you put yourself grimly into the mood of counsel for the prosecution. The calendar of sin, as I have heard it recounted time and again, goes somewhat as follows: The Russians used the Litvinoff policy of collaboration with the democracies to give themselves time to arm. Once Hitler was ready to strike, they dropped it without regret, gobbled up the little countries on their western border, attacked Finland. At the very moment when they were negotiating with a British military mission, they made a cynical pact with Hitler in order to turn the Nazi juggernaut westward. They took a hand in the partition of Poland. They continued to send the Germans the supplies stipulated in the pact, and when the English sent Cripps as ambassador they turned a cold shoulder and refused to listen to his warnings of the impending Nazi attack on Russia. When the attack came they turned to England and America for aid as the price of resistance. When Japan struck at Pearl Harbor, the Russians observed a strict neutrality, although the great Vladivostok base would be invaluable for an attack on Japan. They have made territorial claims for the war’s end, yet Stalin has in his speeches specifically excluded a campaign into Germany itself as part of his war program.
Thus the indictment. It is a tissue of halftruths, colored by animus and ripped out of their context. By the same method a Soviet writer could link together (and some of them have done so) a chain of evidence proving America and England to be the arch-cynics and Machiavellians of modern times, and the great menace to world peace. I shall not try to consider in detail each of the items I have listed. I want rather to break down their larger underlying assumptions into three categories. These are: first, the assumption that Russian policy before 1941 was never anti-fascist but always imperialist and aggressive; second, that in the present struggle Stalin’s acceptance of our aid and the Russian resistance to Germany are wholly opportunist; and third, that in the post-war period Stalin aims at a policy of territory-grabbing and the destruction of the democracies.
Postponing for the moment the question of the period after the war, how about the first two assumptions? I have no intention of writing a defense of Russia’s foreign policy before June, 1941, or for that matter of its internal policy. For the record it is worth saying that at the time of the purges I felt that, while the intent to clear out Nazi fifth columnists was realistic, Stalin was driven, by the very nature of a dictatorship, to lengths that punished not only treason but also the sort of political opposition that is crucial to liberty. As for the Nazi-Soviet pact, I regarded it as a cold maneuver of power politics, given considerable justification by the treachery of the British and French ruling groups, but likely in the end (even from the Russian view) to be more devastating to anti-fascist opinion and more costly to Russia than it was worth as a maneuver in gaining time.
But, holding these views, I can still hold that Soviet foreign policy in the past has not been such as to warrant American fears in the future. It was “realistic,” yes; but so has been the foreign policy of every other power in the ruthless and anarchic Western state-system of the past generation, with its jungle of fears, hates, and suspicions, and its vicious balance-of-power principle. But it was neither aggressive nor expansive, in the sense that has been given to those terms by Nazi foreign policy. It has often been pointed out, but needs underlining again, that a quarter century of a revolutionary Russian regime has not forced either America or England to add one soldier to its armed forces, while less than a decade of Hitlerism has compelled England to build an air force that operates in four-figure flotillas, and America to undertake the vastest armament program in world history.
Let us remember that the Russian government started with two ruling ideas, which Stalin and his group inherited from Lenin. One was a belief in the inevitability of an attack on Russia by the capitalist powers hostile to it; the second was the dogma that a capitalist government was but the executive committee of its dominant economic class. The rise of Hitler to power in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, taken along with the Marxist theory that fascism was the last-stand expedient of capitalist imperialism, seemed to bear out the first assumption. And it must be said for the Russians that they saw the menace and direction of the fascists better and sooner than anyone else. With Hitler’s assumption of power they directed their entire foreign policy, under Litvinoff’s guidance, to the formation of collective security agreements against fascism.
It is futile to speculate about their sincerity, since one cannot go back to 1937 and 1938 to see whether the Russians would have gone through with their program of international coöperation if the French and British and American governments had been willing to coöperate. One can only say that, if they were insincere, the Commissar of Foreign Affairs did not know it himself, since he would not have been victimized by his policy if he played it with duplicity. One can say that, if they were not sincere, their offer at the crucial moment to aid the Czechs was the sheerest and most senseless adventurism. I know there are some writers whose friendship for the Russian people cannot be questioned and who nevertheless doubt that at the last moment Stalin would have commanded his armies to fight for Czechoslovakia. We shall probably never know, but there is little evidence at present to support this view. What we do know is that for almost a decade, until August, 1939, tlie Russian rulinggroup threw every energy of their foreign policy into the attempt to form with the democracies an iron ring around fascist aggression.
Their mistake came with the Nazi pact. It was a mistake for which the policy of the French, British, and American governments at Munich was partly responsible, but to which also the Russian leaders contributed.
I have spoken above of the dogma that a capitalist government is the executive committee of the business rulers. Stalin and his new advisers may well have believed that the failure of the Molotoff policy at Munich showed that the Marxian theory was after all correct; that the democracies would not pool with Russia their common anti-fascist interests; that even a Popular Front government, like that of Blum, betrayed the Spanish anti-fascists; and that the policy of Chamberlain represented the logic of democratic action. One must remember the intellectual provincialism of both Stalin and Molotoff, and their lack of understanding of the more abiding democratic convictions that were slumbering but not dead in the traditions of England and America. But that did not become clear until Dunkirk. My real count against the Soviet foreign policy is that Dunkirk did not lead the Russians to change their line, and that Stalin did not embrace by act of will what was finally forced on him by act of Hitler and his legions.
My interest in setting down these coordinates by which Russian foreign policy may be plotted is, as I have said, not that of apologia but that of analysis. Mr. Churchill says that the past must be forgotten lest the future be lost. That is a half-truth and a dangerous one. The future is but a projection of past and present, and unless they are understood rationally the future will be muffed. If the Russians showed a criminal opportunism in the past, if they show it today, then they may show it in the future as well.
What of the present? When the Nazi attack on Russia came in June, 1941, it came because Hitler was convinced that there was no hope of Nazi-Soviet cooperation in the war, that he could not count on the resources of Russia without complete mastery over Russia. Stalin could have chosen a policy of cooperation and warded off the attack. That he did not is one answer to the charge of opportunism. Whatever his suspicions of Britain and America, he had learned that a Russian socialist state stood a far better chance of survival in a world organized around a fascist defeat than in a world dominated by a fascist imperium. He made a choice, and the rest is part of the grim record of the past sixteen months.
Nor have either the Russian leaders or the Russian people since June, 1941, acted like men engaged in a cynical adventure, seeking only the first chance to disengage themselves regardless of their allies. The newspapermen who have watched the Russian people fighting, and the members of the American and British missions who have negotiated with the leaders, have come away with a striking unanimity of feeling, impressed not only by their efficiency and their fighting qualities but also by their sincerity. These men are all hardheaded, most of them conservatives and men of affairs — Eden, Beaverbrook, Cripps, Davies, Hopkins, Harriman, Batt, Burns, Churchill, Willkie. They are not men easily to be taken in.
Our army leaders complain that the Russian military is secretive about its strength and preparations and plans. But in the face of the fact that our own military plans leaked out in our isolationist press just before Pearl Harbor, and that even some of the War Department staff needed ever more peremptory orders from the President before carrying out his directives for lend-lease aid to Russia, one cannot be wholly shocked by the Russian secretiveness.
Increasingly our eyes turn to the post-war period. If the Nazis win, a democratic America and a socialist Russia will both have hard sledding. What the historians say of the victory of the German barbarians over the Roman Empire — that they wTere overwhelmed by the civilization they conquered — would not in this instance apply. The new barbarians have coldly estimated for themselves this civilization of ours, and as they have sought to destroy it in war, they would seek to finish the job in peace.
But what if we win, as most signs now indicate we shall? Do we want Russia to be part of that victory? I believe that the large majority of the British and American people do. But there are still powerful minority groups that fear it — some of them even more than they desire it. This is the striking paradox that Ambassador Litvinoff has noted in his speeches and conversations. By asking Americans to make up their minds whether they want Russia to beat the Nazis or not, he has put his finger on the deep ambivalence of American opinion. And it is a confusion that extends even to many who sincerely desire a Russian victory but cannot rid themselves of the disquieting fear of its consequences.
This fear may best be summed up by two questions that are being asked today wherever groups of Americans meet for discussion. In the past year scarcely a lecture audience that I have faced has failed to put these questions to me. One is: Will a Russian victory lead to the Bolshevizing of Europe? The second is: Will there be another war for world mastery between Russia and the democracies?
Neither question can, of course, be answered with any finality. But I should like to suggest some considerations that guide me in my own answers. The first is the fact that the Russia that emerges from this war, even on the assumption of victory, will be an exhausted Russia. Most estimates set the Russian military casualties of all descriptions so far at approximately five million. If the remainder of the Russian war maintains the length and severity of the past year, as is likely, the total losses may come close to double that figure. Allowing for the wounded who recover and the prisoners who are restored, the loss is still tragically large. Add to this the results of German terrorism and Russian guerrilla warfare upon its civilian population. Remember that the manpower lost will have been the flower of Russian youth. Remember also the industrial destruction that the Nazi ravages plus the Russian scorched-earth policy wall have effected. Surely we may say that it will take Russia at least a generation to get back on its feet. Surely those who think of such a nation starting an aggressive adventure after this war are speaking with a tragic hyperbole. Not that the Russians need or want our pity. Their leaders have known from the beginning that they would have to take account not only of civil war, but also of the attacks of those who would not tolerate a strong socialist state as part of the balance of power.
There is a related consideration. Litvinoff has told us, with a twist of irony, that the Russians claim no monopoly of the military operations against the Nazis on the Continent. What that means in effect is, “If you fear our power in Germany, why not get to Berlin first?” When Stalin in his speeches excluded the aim of seeking German conquests, his reassurances were addressed as much to the American and British governments as to the German people. Nor would it be cynical to suggest that the Anglo-American general staffs mean to take the Russians at their word, and that their anxiety eventually to create a second front flows not only from a desire to divert Nazi strength from Russia but also from a very understandable desire to pre-empt the occupation of Germany as quickly as possible. We must remember also that the Anglo-American armies which occupy the Continent in the end will be a force far fresher and less exhausted than the Russians, with a far greater and a steadily mounting production potential behind them. Whether he betrayed the Revolution or not, Stalin is no revolutionary adventurer, but one of the men who come after a revolution to consolidate it. His natural conservatism will be fortified by the need Russia will have of getting back on its feet.
This brings us to the second question, whether a war between Russia and the capitalist democracies is inevitable. Those who hold that it is, base their answer on the ideological clash between the two. To start with, it is worth noting that the rise of the Nazi system has, by giving an example of a real “ war against the West,” shaken the assumption that the democratic and Marxian traditions are really polar opposites. The whole question was canvassed with admirable wisdom and objectivity by Professor Ralph Barton Perry in his striking letter to the New York Times of July 12, 1942.
But putting that question aside, it is not true that all wars are ideological wars or that all ideological conflicts must lead to war. The history of warfare has shown that two nations with the same ideologies can fight, and that nations with divergent ideologies can remain at peace. It is only when a governing group (as with the Nazis) holds an ideology which by its very nature pushes toward an imperium over other peoples that an ideological war becomes inevitable. I know that the American people have been troubled by the crusading of the Comintern and the blundering seesawing of Communist Party politics here. But we have, on a different plane, our own groups who preach that this must be an “American century.”One of the catastrophic fallacies of our age is likely to be the dogma that America cannot be convinced of its own democratic doctrine without imposing it on the rest of the world, or that Russia cannot be convinced of its own socialist doctrine without doing the same.
The ideological differences, of course, may fan the flames produced by genuine clashes of interests. But if we follow the balance-ofpower doctrine of the latter-day “realists” and say, as Nicholas Spykman has said, that a strong Germany must be preserved as a counterbalance against a victorious Russia, then we shall justify the suspicions the Russian leaders already have of us, and our ideological differences will come in to feed the flames of conflict.
There remains the contention that, without overt moves by Russia, the shattered and chaotic countries of the Continent may of their own accord turn to Bolshevism, particularly because of Communist activity and the prestige of Russian arms. Certainly that is a possibility. But it could happen only on the condition that we botch badly our job in the transition period after the war. If we leave rancorin the wake of ouroccupying armies, if we use the force of our arms to put into power governments composed of narrow army cliques, labor-hating industrialists, feudal landowners, clerical reactionaries, then we shall most certainly be digging the grave of European democracy. If, on the other hand, we pursue the task of rehabilitation
with wisdom, and aid the strong potential forces of progressivism to rebuild their own governments, then there can be no question of Bolshevism sweeping over Europe.
We must remember that our own democracy, and our practice of it both here and in occupied Europe, will be on trial. If we show that democracy can be both firm and generous, that it can allow for both effectiveness and freedom, then what will sweep over Europe will be the image of American democracy — just as the idea of liberty swept over the Latin-American world after the effective establishment of our Constitution. But if by our stupidity we leave an ideological vacuum in Europe, then almost anything will flow into that vacuum. And the likelihood is that it will be not Communism but some new form of fascism.
But can we work out with Russia a modus vivendi during the transition period? Let me say first that there is nothing now discernible in Russian post-war aims that needs to clash fatally with those expressed by Vice President Wallace, Under Secretary Welles, or Mr. Milo Perkins; and certainly nothing that should clash fatally with the post-war aims formulated by the British Labor Party conferences.
I do not mean that there are no grave problems that will strain our capacity for solution. Obviously, there will be difficult territorial problems. Poland, for one, will want a restitution of its pre-war boundaries; nor is it likely that the Russians will accede, partly on military grounds and partly on historical, remembering as they do their loss of territory to the Poles after the Russian Revolution. We must guard here against a too simple pursuit of the doctrine of the restoration of the territorial status quo. During the transition period the emphasis must be, not on territorial boundary lines, but on the building of new progressive governments and the creation of the conditions of economic survival by regional European federations. If both Russia and the democracies take this broader attitude, the territorial problems are by no means insoluble.
There will, of course, be grave problems in the formation of the new governments of Europe. Everything depends here on the question of what groups it is that make the decisions among the United Nations, If our groups act in the spirit of Vice President Wallace’s speech, there will be no difficulty. But if they act in the spirit of the past AngloAmerican policy toward the anti-fascist government of Spain, the future will be dark. And, let it be remembered, there will be problems of this sort in the Far East as well as in Europe.
There will be economic problems to be faced. The machinery of rehabilitation now being prepared will have to be applied to the ravaged portions of Russia as well as elsewhere. Russia will need not only food but machines and machine tools for rebuilding her industry. She wall be able, unlike other countries, to send us in return part of her huge natural wealth. This will, of course, mean a form of barter: by its nature as a socialist dictatorship Russia organizes its trade under a state trust. I do not underestimate the difficulties that will occur when a capitalist democracy seeks to do business with a socialist dictatorship. But our manufacturers have done business satisfactorily with the Soviet government in the past. And even the economic theorists who five years ago were saying that extensive trade between America and Russia would be dogged by foreign exchange difficulties now speak in a different vein. As for the problems of financing trade, Mr. Herbert Feis, Economic Adviser of the State Department, has said in an article in Fortune that we must expect financing operations to take place directly between government boards in most countries after the war.
There will, finally, be problems of power politics in the transition period and the post-war world. The Russians are realists in foreign affairs. They understand that even within the United Nations framework the smaller nations will tend to form blocs around the dominant powers. Leaving aside China as not developed enough industrially to count in the first group, this leaves three great powers: America, Britain, and Russia. One cannot blame the Russians if they look with some apprehension toward being outvoted two to one on crucial issues. In the area of power politics within the United Nations there lies a greater danger than is generally understood. But it is not an insoluble one, as the history of the great American state blocs and their power politics in our own history testifies.
I have set down these difficulties as candidly as I know how. It is one thing to say there will be conflicts of interest. It is quite another to say they will lead to war. Adapting Clausewitz’s famous dictum about war, one may define war as the continuation of social conflict by the ultimate means. Conflict there will be; but if we organize the future with sanity and good will, and if we dedicate ourselves sincerely to an enduring peace, there need be no greater danger of the use of ultimate means between America and Russia than between America and any other great power in the United Nations.
It will be apparent from what I have said that the prime condition for avoiding a conflict in the future is the continuance of the framework of the LTnited Nations and the conception of the people’s century in the post-war world. It will be apparent also that, without this and related conditions, the end of the war may lead only to new wars in an incalculably grim and protracted merry-go-round.
What are these related essential conditions? To start with, neither America nor Russia can afford after the transition period to abdicate the tasks of world cooperation; neither can afford to return to its traditional isolationism. For us the roots of isolationism were a horror of European entanglements; for Russia they were the fear of capitalist encirclement. Whatever the roots, the consequences of abdication would be catastrophic to both. But neither can America or Russia afford to regard the problem of post-war reconstruction as its own prerogative or monopoly. We have made a good start during the conduct of the war in the creation of mechanisms for consultation among the United Nations, and in the exchange of views by the mixed commissions of military, technical, industrial, and labor representatives. To continue by planned habit what we have begun by improvisation and necessity is the task of the future.
But this will do little good unless we make certain that neither in Russia on the one hand, nor in Britain and America on the other, will scope be given to the groups and ideas whose dominant trend is imperialistic. This will be difficult. In each of these nations the imperialist impulse is far from dead. Russia will have to observe in its practice what it has professed in its diplomacy: that if states are to move toward socialism, it must be by their own internal impulsions and not by revolutionary propaganda from the Comintern. England will have to understand that the war was not fought to restore the status quo of power in England and the Far East. America and England both will have to check the hostility of their Old Guard toward Russia, and check also the expansionist impulses and the missionary zeal of the New Guard who feel that the world will not be safe until all of it is converted to their own conception of democracy and “free enterprise.” The very enumeration of these attitudes will indicate how powerful are the groups in this country that hold them.
To achieve world order without demanding world uniformity and without dictating the internal structure of nations is not an easy thing. Of the Four Freedoms, the one that most concerns our foreign policy is freedom from fear of international anarchy. With respect to the others, while we must do everything we can to liberate the progressive forces in the world, there is room and to spare in the century to come for each nation and each federation to work out for itself its own economy, its own polity, its own culture, its own ethos. The revolutionary possibilities that technology and education have put within our reach will have to be organized by each people in its own fashion. I am convinced that in the eventual amalgam that gives its character to the coming century America and Russia wall each have a great shaping hand. But each can do that best by following the lines of its own deepest urges and traditions.
In looking toward Russia and the future, the crucial question is not whether we are as individuals pro-Russian or anti-Russian. The crucial question is whether, as a people, we can possibly afford to exclude so important and creative a force as the Russian people from our calculations of the world that is in the making. There is something dying in our world. It is the idea of state irresponsibility for the welfare of the people, and the correlative idea of an unplanned and chaotic system of power politics. There is something being born in our world. It is the idea that men are brothers more than they are enemies — the idea of a framework of united peoples determined to organize a people’s century. Nor is that framework one that needs to be spun out of our innards. The habits of common action that are now being forged on the battlegrounds, in the factories and schools, even in the concentration camps all over the world in the struggle against a common enemy, must not be broken. If we extend them into the future we can win that future.