thumbnail of Latin American perspectives; La Brea headache
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National Educational radio in cooperation with the Institute on man and science presents a series of talks drawn from the institute's annual conference held recently in Rensselaer Vale New York. The Institute on man and science is a nonprofit educational institution chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The annual assembly of the institute is designed to focus attention on 20th century technology and human relationships resulting from its application keynote speaker for the Institute was the Right Honorable Paul Martin former foreign minister of Canada and now government leader in the Canadian Senate. Mr. Martin's topic was our world situation. Here now is the Right Honorable Paul Martin. First of all may I say that it is a very great pleasure and an honor for me to have been asked to take part
in the opening ceremony of this particular event. When I looked at the program that follows on July the 8th I was quite disturbed to know how I could relate what I was going to say to the theme of the subsequent subjects. But I am happy to note that in the final week of the National Film Board of my country is to send a team of documentary film create hereis to screen and to discuss films on man in his world and the urban crisis and a true political style. I'm able to say therefore that I am perfectly justified in saying something about the world in which we live. And more particularly about some aspects of the world
situation as I see it. How serious it has become something of a platitude to speak of the changing world we live in. And yet I don't know of any better description of the changes that are taking place in that world or the central feature of our contemporary world is one of change one of rapid change drastic change and in many cases desirable and necessary change. And I therefore suggest that if we are to understand our world we must study it from the assumption that change is inevitable. And I well remember that Hagel said that there was a
gradual unfolding of an idea throughout the processes of human history. We must seek to determine what is the real nature of the changes that are taking place and their cause. I also suggest that if we are to build a better world one which is more peaceful one that offers opportunities for personal freedom and a decent scatted of living to all its inhabitants then we must provide for nonviolent change. I'm not thinking of the kind of nonviolence that again he spoke of although I don't disapprove of that. But I'm speaking more thinking more particularly of nonviolence in the context of our contemporary world. We must seek to
construct institutions and devise procedures on both the national and international scene changes that allow change to take place to the maximum possible extent without recourse to war armed insurrection or other forms of violence which cost so much in human misery. The climate of change in which we find ourselves at the moment is not unique. The world has never been static. It has always been in a state of transformation or as the Schoolman of said in a state of flux a state of transforming itself at a faster or slower pace. Those golden periods of apparent stability in the past
to which we sometimes look back nostalgically were largely illusory. In the twenty or thirty years before the First World War for example it was really only Western Europe and North America that were enjoying a relative tranquility. Other parts of the world were in ferment and the ingredients of the great storm which swept the world between 1914 and 18 were in preparation. What is different about today's world however is the effect of the technical logical revolution. It has a mentally accelerated the pace of change and it has brought about the awareness of change to the immediate Daal age of most of the world's people.
For the first few hundred thousand years or so of man's existence he experienced only a few technical logical changes and they were very simple indeed. He took an ordinary sharp stone and fashioned it into a tube. Even that caused fundamental changes in his way of life and put him on the road to our present complex form of human society. Nowadays we introduced every few years technical logical breakthrough which of the capacity to break about to bring about changes in human society have just as great a magnitude as that first ventured into to make. The astounding advances in the science of communications are undoubtedly
one of the most important agents for the transformation of contemporary society. We now have the capacity to put vast numbers of people all over the world in an instant and direct communication with one another. Obviously this development has enormous potential enormous potential for good or for evil. Marshall McLuhan my fellow countrymen make such a high income in the city in the in the United States speaks of the electronic revolution in communication and the suggestion that the result is to produce a global tribal society. If as I suggested a few moments ago we must accept be in a better inevitability of change. What are some of the dangers of the present situation. One of the great dangers it seems to
me lies in the unevenness of the process of change. We have an unbalanced world economic and political structure. Or as Barbara Ward has recently put it we have a lopsided world. One form of imbalanced is that scientific and technical logical advances are obviously running ahead of the social and political adaptation required to control and implement the new technology. The most dramatic example of this is the application of nuclear energy to weapons of mass destruction. So if we do not rapidly devise measures of arms control we run the continuing dreadful risk of nuclear war destroying much of our civilization. And as a former foreign minister in my country I welcome
the agreement of the Soviet Union and the United States to give consideration to serious measures that might limit the present level of armaments particularly in the nuclear field. There is also a very serious imbalance between the affluent groups in our society which are benefiting from the abundance created by the application of science and technology and the under privileged groups which do not. And this is a very real problem even within prosperous societies like those of the United States and Canada. It is a much greater problem on a world scale between the rich and the poor nations. The enormous disparity between rich and poor
privileged and under privileged is to my mind the greatest single factor factor endangering the peace and stability of our work. And yet I must take account of what my friend George Ball has recently written in his very impressive book that this is an exaggeration. George Ball Your ambassador now the United Nations says that it is wrong to emphasise the gap between the developed and the underdeveloped nations as the most important single factory standing in the way of peace in the work. And on reflection I think perhaps I would want not to put it as strongly as that but to say that certainly unless we do find a way of improving the standards of life of the underdeveloped peoples we will create situations that could very well
within certain areas create situations that could have bring about a violation of the peace. It is truly discouraging that two thirds of the world's population still live in countries where the per capita income is in the range of $100 $100 a year or less. When a few countries like our two are in the range of two to three thousand dollars a year and the disparity is growing the industrialized nations continue to achieve higher and higher income levels but the less developed countries make only slight gains or stand still. Now this situation must change. I'm certain it will change. The question is whether by cooperation and strenuous effort on the part of developed and less
developed countries the transformation can take place quickly enough to avert. They very serious situation to world order that is inherent in the existing state of affairs. But thanks to the communications revolution many of the people of the developed countries are aware of the discrepancy between their conditions of life and ours. They have taken the first step toward progress which is discontent with their lot. They know that the technology exists to overcome their economic hardships. They know that we have found that we have food to spare. When they are hungry they are understandably and rightfully impatient to cast off their ancient burdens of poverty ignorance and disease.
And if they despair of accomplishing this within the present framework of national or international order they may simply tear down that framework. The disparities between the rich the poor nations are not of course the only source of tension and strain in the world. Excessive nationalism territorial disputes racialism and the competition of idiology still give rise all to frequently to threats to the peace or outright ruptures of that peace. Sometimes these are reflections of very ancient problems in a modern form. We are all more acutely aware now of the so-called trouble spots of the world. Thanks again to our communications revolution and consequently there is sometimes greater danger of local disputes spreading
and involving outsiders particularly worrying are the situations where several of the factors of friction are combined. Let me illustrate let us look at the situation in the Middle East. Nationalism is at work there and has demonstrated its capacity to act as a constructive force in the remarkable accomplishments of the Jewish people in creating the modern state of Israel. What is really nationalism has come into conflict with the nationalism of the Arab world are with a portion of it because Israel is making full and effective use modern technology it is developing quickly but its Arab neighbors generally are not. So we there have a reflection of the developed and the underdeveloped division of the world. We also have of course an
unresolved territorial dispute between the Arabs and the Israely. Finally we have a tendency for the ideological flavor by reason of the Soviet Union's unequivocal commitment to the Arab side particularly to the United Arab Republic. The net result is a highly inflammable state of affairs. Now I don't propose to examine in detail the specific areas of conflict in the work. In most instances the causes of tension are complicated. My point is simply that we will not make progress in easing tensions or avoiding conflict unless we analyze the causes accurately and realistic. I've not so far mentioned one aspect of the world scene which is current and almost where and it has very current and it has almost universal
press and prevalence of the application. It is a difficult phenomenon to categorize but I think it can best be described as a trend against authority trend against experience if you will in the domestic sphere we see this trend Illustrated most spectacularly by the students revolts against campus authority. There is obviously an anti authoritarian change taking place at a basic level in family life as well as in many of our political and social institutions. The fascinating thing is that so much dissent and protest against authority is occurring in communist countries as well as in the tolerant societies of the West. Even in that set of the law of authoritarian rule the Soviet Union a number of
intellectuals as you know have been quite boldly critical of the S.B. established order students a Poland of Czechoslovakia raised serious challenges to authority in those countries. I wouldn't attempt to prophesies where the student vegetation or other challenges to authority are leading. In our western societies on the world scene however we can take note of certain developments. It is plain that the challenge to the authority of Western colonialism in Asia and Africa has largely succeeded and the transitions to local rule is almost complete. It is also apparent that the head Germany over Eastern Europe established by steadily and slowly but surely giving way to nationalize to national pressure. There are dangers for
the world community I believe when external authority is challenge but as it has been over the past 20 years in the Western colonial empires or more recently in Eastern Europe. But the end result and this is perhaps the important thing. If changes can't be accomplished peacefully. The end result will be a more stable international order. We're still in a transitional phase. Nevertheless many of the new reconstituted nations which are the product of the changes of the last 20 years are now playing a constructive role in world affairs. Tragic exception if you will permit a stranger to say is Vietnam. We must at all costs ensure that there are no more Viet Nam's. So I have been speaking mostly about the difficulties the dangers and the
problems of the rapidly changing world situation. In fact however there are many encouraging things happening in the world and I certainly do not want to give the impression that I am a pessimist. On the contrary I am optimistic that the challenges of our situation can be met. I said that the disparity between rich and poor nations was the greatest single factor in my judgment and danger in the peace and stability of the world. Perhaps as I indicated I would revise that view of the power structure somewhat. The hopeful part of the picture is that this problem is so widely recognized and now so much is being done. The total flow of funds from the developing from the developed to the developing countries is now about six and a half billion dollars a
year. This is not enough and there is but an unfortunate tendency for the net flow recently to level off. But it is nevertheless a remarkable achievement in human relations that people in the richer countries should have accepted to such an extent an obligation to help their poor fellow human being. This situation is not at all a hopeless one as far as my country is concerned. We are increasing our aid to developing countries and we fully intend to achieve the target of devoting 1 percent of our national gross product to this purpose in the very near future. The recognition of an obligation to help the people of the developing countries is but one example of a growing sense of brotherhood I
believe and universalism which is a very real feature of our work shows up in many fields. The ecumenical movement among the churches are a markable development which shows promise of bringing a man who worship God by different rites into close spiritual communion. I was surprised this morning. I happen to be a Catholic to learn that a Catholic priest was speaking in the local Presbyterian church. Sure that couldn't of happened a very long time ago. Those students who seem to have so many things to protest and rebel against and apparently at least one common positive approach and that is their concern for their fellow man all over the world. That is a tremendous achievement for human society.
Despite the persistence of nationalism there is a growing spirit of internationalism in the world. There are institutions that serve to break down the barriers of race language in India ology. There is an increasing body of international law. These hopeful trends are apparent in the United Nations. The existence of itself being a significant step forward in Man's Search for a peaceful and just world order. The United Nations admittedly is an imperfect institution and its accomplishments in preserving peace and security have so far been modest. Its failures are not the fault of the organization. They are the results of antagonisms and suspicions among the great powers. All of them without exception are the pursuit of narrow
or impractical Amos by certain smaller powers. In short the organization reflects simply the imperfection of its member governments. It remains a potentially great vehicle for the aspirations of mankind. And if we did not have such a worldwide organization we would have to create one. We must continue therefore to have faith in its potential and to persist in improving its effectiveness. I would like to remind you of some advance of the past few months which seem to me to give evidence that we are making progress. In February the second United Nations Conference on Trade and Development met in New Delhi. It carried a further step forward the process of defining the needs of the developing countries of the world and committing to develop members to action to meet those needs.
In April there was a United Nations conference on human rights in Tehran. The conference concluded that since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were adopted 20 years ago substantial progress has been made in defining standards for the enjoyment and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In May the United States and North Viet Nam agreed to have talks in Paris about the de-escalation of the war in Vietnam and possibly to end the fighting in June. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a draft treaty designed to prevent further put differentiation of nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union and the United States have agreed to begin discussions that might make it unnecessary for them to
pursue their intentions with regard to an anti ballistic missile program. Surely Mr Chairman ladies and Jackson these events ought to give all of us renewed confidence that man is a rational being can work out peaceful methods of solving the problems of the world and that our international institutions are achieving some progress toward a peaceful stable world order. You've heard the Right Honorable Paul Martin government leader in the Canadian Senate as he gave the keynote address at the annual conference of the Institute on man and science. Our next program from this conference will present two responses to Mr. Martin's remarks. The speakers will be Albert G Wilson an astrophysicist at the Douglas Aircraft Research Laboratory and Harold Wilson United States army attached to the Continental Army command. These lectures
Series
Latin American perspectives
Episode
La Brea headache
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/500-6688mp67
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-6688mp67).
Description
Episode Description
This program focuses on Peru's "La Brea headache."
Other Description
A series of comment and analysis about current affairs in Latin American countries.
Date
1968-05-06
Topics
Global Affairs
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:27:30
Embed Code
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Credits
Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-3-31 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:21
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Citations
Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; La Brea headache,” 1968-05-06, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-6688mp67.
MLA: “Latin American perspectives; La Brea headache.” 1968-05-06. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-6688mp67>.
APA: Latin American perspectives; La Brea headache. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-6688mp67