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I've mentioned the story before I think it's worth repeating again that after the Second World War a famous English journalist conducted a tour of Southeast Asia to gauge the reaction of the populace there to do the dropping of the atomic bomb and they found something extraordinary. He found that the reactions were pretty much what he expected except for one everybody in Asia without exception whom he had interviewed was convinced that we had dropped the atomic bomb on Japan rather than on Germany because the Japanese were yellow and the Germans were white. Now you could talk from today don't Doomsday and show that this is irrational. Sure it's irrational but all movements of revolutionary ferment are irrational or if you decide to call irrational something which is based upon intuition rather than purely cold logic. But the people there were convinced of this. Therefore Tuesday
when it became possible for the enemies of our Western civilization or those who were the detractors of our Western Civilization to take pictures as they can still do unfortunately almost every day of the week. Are American troops in full battle regalia standing guard over a school in Mississippi or a school in Arkansas or a school in Chicago or a school in Orange County or a school someplace else. Maybe the troops haven't gotten to some of these places but they are there perhaps figuratively not literally and flash this as they have done throughout the sections of the world where people are of a different color and say Here is the vaunted American democracy. It's a great democracy if you're white and if you're middle class and if you happen to be of the right social conditioning. But if you are unfortunately of the wrong skin color then you are told to go and live elsewhere. Nothing so completely feeds the image in the stereotype
of the American monster in terms of rejection of real human equality than this kind of propaganda which is a propaganda. Than this kind of portrayal of so much of what goes on in this country. And this too by the way and unfortunately from my vantage point I don't have enough time to do that this too is an integral part of the total world revolution that I speak of. This this equation of poverty plus exhilaration equals dynamite is as true for the United States as it is for other parts of the world particularly as it relates to parts of our population which in the past have not entered into the affluent segment of it which have been denied political and economic and social equality and who are showing the same form of rebellious spirit added to an action Visa V the American established institutions as other peoples of the world are shown in there in their areas as well as. Their needs in other words the needs to come into being some
kind of empathy some kind of understand some kind of human relationship as among one people to another which shows clearly that we understand the revolution that is going on and want to become an integral part of it rather than become known and stamped as the counter revolutionary force in the world. And sometimes this can be done so simply and sometimes this can be done so terribly. It's frightening. And again I tell you this next story or two not in terms of emphasizing that the concept of the ugly American because I think in many ways we've we've we've learned our lessons from the ugly American period. And fortunately from a from a national interest point of view the Chinese and Russians have blundered at least as badly and oftentimes more or more in even more terrible fashion and we have. But still the stories
that are available and the stories like your return all indicate how we have often missed the boat on the simplest and yet the most difficult of all levels of communication that one group of human beings to another. One of my pet stories that I tell wherever I have a chance to tell it because it indicates this need so so bad. It is the story of the time when Ghana became a new nation. And people from all over the world sent representatives and delegates to Ghana at the time. And we sent our then vice president and I'm tempted to make the side hold because then they'll be the man for equal time then Vice President Richard Nixon. Who delivered a marvelous address. Spoke well was well received with articulate showed signs of a new Richard Nixon and couldn't resist and was completely forgotten. The Russians sent a team of
agricultural experts. Who worked for Guard who were pretty well received and set up some very fruitful agricultural arrangements and treaties with the people of Ghana. But the British of all people stole the show and they stole the show in a fascinating fashion. They sent one of their grand duchesses to Ghana. And as I remarked wasn't even a pretty grand duchess because I think pretty grand duchess has unfortunately gone out of style in England but they did send the Grand Duchess and everybody in Ghana knew why and everybody realized that everybody appreciated it. You see the people of Ghana almost all of the tribes and the people of God are organized along matriarchal lines. And when the British sent Duchess they were doing something very simple they were telling the people of Ghana we're sending a representative who will take cognizance of your organization of society your mores of your values of your judgments and we hold out a hand of
friendship by recognizing the reality. Of your social organization. Now it seems to me that somewhere within the depths of our State Department we could have found one cultural anthropologist who would have said to the State Department look here's how Ghana is organized friendly showing a little respect for somebody other somebody else's organizational community. And if you don't want to send Eleanor Roosevelt there must be some woman in the Republican administration who can go over and represent the United States of America. And I don't think we meant any evil and we didn't commit. But it's the it's I think it's almost like in deference. Which we have developed as we have grown more powerful and more affluent to other segments of world civilization which stood in the way and even more troubling aspect of indifference.
Not in not and in difference in terms of thinking things out because I think the American people have legitimately earned a reputation as being open hearted and warm hearted handed and quite generous anytime a situation arises of this kind. But I am again reminded of the fact that there was a time not too many years ago really when a major famine struck in India and. A great debate took place in the American Congress. Should we loan money then they should we send money in the issue we do something about in the After all Nehru is a socialist and everybody knows that if you're a socialist you're really a communist in the making and can we afford to give funds to a socialist and so on them alive and then somehow or other the Russians dumped a great deal of food and into and the minute the Russians dumped food into the air we of course had a reactors in great magnanimity and an extraordinary generosity.
We decided almost immediately to ship a tremendous tremendous amount of good beef into India only of course when design allowed. So again again the generous the generous impulse was there. And when I say that there's a callousness. I mean this in the literal sense of the word. We have become someone of our than ourselves. We have become so concerned about leading the good life that we forget not only the fact that others do not yet have as good life but that how paradoxical this is that others are striving for a kind of existence. Which is based upon the ideas which we unleashed into the world into the 18th century but which when we now see others trying to live up to these ideas we find ourselves so terribly uncomfortable about. This colonial revolution is remaking the face of three continents
and it is being done by young men and young women who are going to continue this kind of thing. And we are faced constantly with the need to realize just how deeply committed they are and how in Abbottabad this revolution is and how in eggs or a bowl its march shall be. There was a third impulse yet that I want to mention briefly. And this is the fact that in almost all of these areas all of these areas. Any kind of economic organization of society perforce has to be a collectivist. There is almost no place in the world where free enterprise as we understand it stands a chance not for ideological reasons but again for the simple fact that in most of the world economics isn't in any way a regenerative process it isn't a rebuilding process. It's a process which is starting de novo with economic Genesis.
Every man of every political shade and every political leaning in almost every part of the world is aware of the fact that the only way that an economic system can begin to operate in these remote sections of the world which for hundreds of years have been totally removed from anything akin to the industrial revolution is through the state's rapid. After the state develops the economic system there are then many differences of opinion but that the major force in the economic system has to be the state is almost beyond the bed in almost every one of these areas that I have been speaking of. And yet if we weren't so it's so tragic we would have the comical situation of American congressional meetings one upon another where you hear the same height Acme phrases. How can we give aid to country X Country X doesn't have a free enterprise system. How can we give aid to Countrywide. There are obviously people there who are running running the mines and they are not part of a free enterprise system but
the mines are owned by the state and I sometimes wonder. What the reaction must be. People who are desperately trying and striving to build new societies where men can come into into a pattern of life which gives them dignity to to human existence struggling almost pitifully to take out of the earth and from and from the resources around them the wherewithal to create some kind of living and to listen to speeches which are which are then wired to them with and reported to them which seem to be dealing with the world of others in Wonderland make believe situation rather than the real world that exists there. So that Americans must be made aware that back to that part of this polonium revolution will be an insistence upon a collective form of economics at least for a long time to come. And the level of the technological revolution. I don't think really that very much has to be said except the very very obvious
namely that the advent of atomic energy atomic power has rendered obsolete the formally vital factors of time and space. Although some of our political confrères and some of our political contemporaries still speak in yearning and stands it terms of a fortress America which can isolate itself from the world because we have a Pacific Ocean on one side and Atlantic Ocean on the other side. The rest of us who are alive to the realities of the world know of course that this is a meaningless factor by now that it takes less time for ICBMs to arrive from Europe than it used to take to take a train trip from New York to Boston. And that does speak in terms of the visions of the world by by the fact that we have oceans on either side of us is just utter nonsense. Also. And I just state this that I don't want to discuss it. Also the advent of atomic energy. Means
literally. Literally. That war as a means of resolving international conflict is obsolete. And if we don't realize this then we must also come to our aid an additional realization that unless war becomes obsolete mankind becomes obsolete. There is no future possible in the literal sense of the word. Wherein a resolution of major international conflicts will be by war because any war which is going to be the last resort of international resolution first with atomic weapons must bring in its wake if not the total decimation of mankind. Enough of the decimation to make any future civilization meaningless in terms of even the use of that word civilization. But there is one very important thing to remember about the technological revolution and it is this that as a result of its advent.
That which it took the people of England a hundred years to do it took us 50 years to do the Russians 30 years to do. It would take the Chinese and others much less time to accomplish. Not because they're wise or. Not because they're brighter not because they're more diligent not because they're more dedicated but simply because they are the natural inheritors of the Industrial Revolution as we have come to learn perhaps even painfully. There are no industrial secrets or atomic secrets. It's just a question of time and putting it to work. And we have already seen that. People is bad when we say they are incapable of industrial growth have shown has shown us up as a simply as that. Everybody in America knew that whereas the Germans were wise scientifically the Russians were a bunch of Strafford paper characters who could never make any advances and so we were convinced of course that when the first Russian advances were made in science it was a result of the German
scientists they captured and for many Americans it still difficult to realize that there can exist in the Soviet Union an extraordinary collection of bright people who could produce within an atomic world. And today we are just now really becoming conscious of the fact that the Chinese AI capable of harnessing the industrial revolution of our day. Even if they didn't have expatriates there from Cal Tech you know for at least a year and I'm happy with how the only reason the Chinese can do anything is because of the of the disaffection of some of the people who are Caltech the fact that they left Caltech to go back there as a result of the hounding of the McCarthy guys. This is something that they forgot to throw into the story. But we couldn't conceive of the fact that maybe the Chinese are really capable of making guns and putting together ICBMs that throwing together factories and the like they are and they're doing it. And so in ten years from now. At at the most in 10
years from now. The technological revolution will have brought China not only into the 20th century but right into the hearts and guts of the 20th century. Which leads me to what I still think is the most interesting of all the revolutions that's taking part in the contemporary world and one in which we are least likely to understand and one which is ultimately from my point of view the most important and the most paradox. Or at least a half a century. We have presented. Ourselves to the world. As the great defender of quote democracy in close quarters and particularly to me as the defender of the faith the religious as well as the political against the militant atheistic communist world.
In fact if I had a dollar for each time we have been warned about the quote communist menace close quote I could retire for life and I could even come here free of charge and not have to worry when they're about honorariums like just the fact I could take everybody here and treat them for a lovely lovely vacation in Hawaii. At least. And I don't want to in any way demean or denigrate the communist menace or threat but I'd like to place it in perspective. I'm not at all concerned about the threat of the Soviet Union in terms of its military power. Not that it doesn't have military power but at least we have a counter-terror of power so that if we if we must get into a Gotterdammerung situation if there's any consolation they destroy us we can destroy them as well. But the Soviets are not going to win the world nor the Chinese by military power. I respect their economic system but I don't feel threatened by it.
In the old Las Vegas terminology I'm willing to give them cards and spades and any kind of economic competition and I'm sure that we can our produce them and with a little wisdom and justice even have better distribution of the products in our society or in any other society. The real threat of Communism does not derive their force from its military posture nor its economic posture but strangely from of all places from a moral vantage point. Because they are prompt and the pitch and the key and the delivery of the communist parties both Chinese and Soviet although certainly much more from the Soviets and the Chinese. Is not US is not that they are the greatest power in the world because of their military. Not the greatest power in the world because of their economic systems all they speak of this in vaunted terms. Their real approach is that unlike the Western powers which have grown and decadent and in different cultures. They the
communists represent a Maro order of the future where all of the yearnings and ambitions and aspirations and desires of this revolutionary ferment the revolutionary spirit. Have been encompassed and have become a part of my life. So that they come to section at the section of the section of the world they say yes in the 18th and the 19th and early 20th centuries the Americans and the British make great contributions to the world. But that day they're played out. They have they've had their day and we give them credit for what they have done and they do and we appreciate their contribution. But. Who is that that senses the desires for the future of the present and Vietnam of the present in Afghanistan and the work on the streets of Chalet is that the American who lives out there someplace or is a we who have worked with you in Contributor towards Europe and who have had a dream with you of this brave new world. And their answer always there's obviously an answer to this rhetorical question that the
real future lies with the calmness and that the revolution that is taking place in this world. Is is somehow or other to be associated with the calmness. And here you see is where I think we have failed tragic and by far the greatest failure of American policy in the 20th century is that we have succumbed to the bait thrown out by the Russians and the Communists. And allowed them to become the revolutionary symbol of our century. We have reached a point where this business of militant atheism or militant materialism as opposed to spirituality has been turned almost inside out. Our attitude has been it's just the balls of others as I've written about it so often is let's take money out of it out of our pockets and dump it in Asia or dump it in Africa dump it someplace else and say the people here we've given you money we've given your food you're starving please come forward and outside
the United Nations and be with us in any crisis. And if they don't then they're a bunch of ungrateful as Selby's and somehow or other you can't trust those foreigners because here we've done all these things for them and somehow or other they don't respond to them. And the Russians and luckily from our point of view the Chinese have not been anywhere successful and have adopted a much simpler attitude. They haven't poured anywhere as much money and they haven't quite anywhere as much force but they have done something else. They have attempted to convince mankind that in its march towards us revolutionary fulfillment of its goals and ambitions the symbol of that revolution are the Russians and the Communists and the symbol of the counterrevolution has become the United States of America. And what an extraordinary turn of events. Yes this is I think undoubtedly the most disastrous fact. Of the 20th century. Because we were born in revolution we were steeped in
revolution. We were proud throughout the whole of the 18th century to be a counter the revolutionary symbol of a greater and better a newer world. We taught our children to rejoice with any kind of despotism felt any place in the world. We now have allowed ourselves to become associated. With the idea of counter revolution. And we have allowed the communists to get away with the nice trick of the 20th century to eat Krait communism with this revolution that's taking place in the world. Now this revolution my friends is going to go. Nothing is going to stop it. There isn't anything that we can do to stop the armored growth of men who want to free themselves from the subjugation of the past to building create a new and better world for themselves. But the thing that we face as Americans and the understanding of this revolution is that either this revolution is going to become
identified with the values and morals and the judgments of what we have come to call Western civilization or to become identified with what the communists called their civilization. And to the degree that we have become identified with every force standing in the way of revolution to that degree do we bury ourselves in the future in a way that may yet become irretrievable. It is tragic. And it is more than tragic. It's almost it's almost beyond belief. That we never allowed ourselves to be our public relations if you will. It's such a simple thing and such a delicate thing in such an important thing and yet it's fallen by the wayside in all of our attempts to relate to the rest of mankind. We have for a hundred years or more. Brought to the world an understanding of human dignity human
equality and and human relationships and we have let it all go by the boards because of our indifference to other kinds of people in the world who perhaps are not very much like us. Every single time we allow ourselves to be quite a revolution in Vietnam in Colombia in Venezuela in the Dominican Republic any place with the word communism that's precisely what the communists want the United States to do. If we had written the script for them we couldn't have written it any better for them. Because that is the communist hope that every man who is moving in this revolutionary ferment towards the future will come to identify communism with that revolution. So see in communism the way to fulfill that revolution. And every time we say to the world a revolution can succeed only if we control it and only if it's made up of leading anti communist Chiang Kai shek sickman really was yeah man the like. Who
represent all of the forces against which the revolution is taking place so long as we identify revolutions as being communistic and anti revolutionary forces as being Western democratic. To that degree we kill ourselves off slowly and painfully and we will wake up one day isolated from the rest of all of them. I think too. That it's unfortunate. But indicative of how deeply this is eaten into our marrow. When we realize that any number of times in the last 10 years major American. Polling institutions and and journalistic institutions such as The New York Times have gone to the American public as the Times once did it with unidentified sections of the Declaration of Independence. And asked Americans to identify it and have Americans identify the Declaration of Independence as
communist propaganda. When we have reached that stage we're in a very sad plight. And I don't think that I can in any way. Offer a message of bombastic optimism and hollow hope in what really becomes very very solemn days for the American republic. And it is no accident at all that in the streets of the United States there are so many tens and tens and tens of thousands equally alienated equally dissatisfied equally frustrated people who see in the breakdown of the American revolutionary tradition a breakdown of their own hopes of the future. It's no accident that we see this in the street and it's no accident that the same people who yell more and more to rather than try to establish law and justice are also the same people who have no patience for a policy overseas which shows sympathy and understanding towards others.
I can't in any way offer as I said a message. Past a cup them isn't and yet perhaps because I'm only myself and reflect my own upbringing and my own orientation. I do say one thing about the immediate future which has some hope attached to it. And it's totally irrational. And it's totally illogical. And it's entirely intuitive and perhaps it's almost a statement of desperation. But I remain convinced if perhaps for no other reason then I have to remain convinced that there is in freedom a seed of renewed life. That there is in freedom a power to achieve. Reno Justice I believe that tyranny carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction. And I still feel that if we become intelligent enough.
To use our intelligence. And if we become creative enough to use our powers of creativity. And if we become aware enough to become cognizant of the real world rather than retreat to the fantasies and imagery of a world made up only of good guys or bad guys. That somehow. Someway. And I can't define for you. But somewhere there was still arise from within the body politic of America and from the body politic of Western civilization. The answer to the challenges of our times. Which is within the framework of an American vital democratic revolutionary answer to the fulfillment of the aims hopes yearnings and aspirations of all of today's men. Thank you for
Revolution: 20th century phenomenon
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#4 (Reel 2)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 69-13-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Chicago: “Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #4 (Reel 2),” 1969-01-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 17, 2022,
MLA: “Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #4 (Reel 2).” 1969-01-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 17, 2022. <>.
APA: Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #4 (Reel 2). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from