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And she left I haven't heard from her since. I don't know. Despite this mood toward violence I have a feeling in fact I think I could make it stronger and say I have a conviction that there are years in the making in this world and I could pray that this is the case a revolution I think it could be called that a revolution in the making particularly on the price of the youth of the world but not exclusively. And the youth. Against War and for peace I believe that. Young people are particularly becoming convinced of what older people should have realized long ago that.
You are in the nuclear age is utter madness not folly but madness. It's suicidal and that there must be some destiny for human beings on this planet other than complete self destruction. When I. There's no doubt in my mind either that we are today in an era. Of revolution and revolutionary change and I feel that it's certain that the world all of us know today it will undergo in the years immediately ahead of vast changes. The wreck and unrecognizable world to most of us
nationally and internationally before very long. Well now whether these revolutionary changes that we're that are taking place and will take place in the years immediately ahead will be for good or ill is another question I am certainly not attempting to evaluate but I suppose one could say that it is that it will all come out in the wash of. History when out. Let me turn to how the United Nations fits into this picture. How is this world of ferment. Demand for change and rev a revolutionary change at the. United
Nations and. Immediately the question arises where does the United Nation stand. Revolution is the United Nations a force for change in the world. Or is it a force for the status quo for maintaining things as they are. Well I suppose if the question were put and that way the first inclination would be to say that the United Nations is against radical change revolutionary change. The explanation for this would be that the United Nations is an organization of states it's members states. So I know one hundred twenty
four. Independent states comprising the membership of the United Nations and no one would be inclined to say that states have a stake in the. Status quo by and large not exclusively of course but by and large this would be so or at least it's what change they want to along lines which would be considered favorable to their national interest and representatives who speak in the United Nations or representatives of the governments of these states and therefore they're not speaking for themselves and they're not speaking directly for the peoples of their countries but they're expressing their views and the policies of the governments. They represent
but closer thought and examination of the record of the United Nations. I think this notion of the negative of what might be considered to be the negative attitude of the United Nations toward revolution and revolutionary change would be dispelled because the record would show quite definitely that this is not the case in the. First place. We must consider that the basic objectives of the United Nations. Radical revolutionary in their objectives in their direction
in their scope. I think the record would demonstrate this very very well. Take for example the basic objective of the United Nations seeking. Secure peace in the world. The foundations for lasting peace. One out this implicitly involves. A fundamental change in the attitudes of peoples in the world and conditions in the world of political economic social and psychological attitudes and
conditions of life. Again they are objective of the United Nations which is the second basic objective of improving the. Lot improving the standard of living proof way of life of all peoples all over the world and particularly the objective of seeking to narrow and ultimately close what is now the dangerously widening gap between the poor and the fluent The Haves and Have Nots. It's definitely revolutionary and it's definitely a revolutionary effort in this regard.
One can say that the United Nations has a dream and international dream that it is possible to close this gap that it is possible to do away with this intolerable condition of so many people living at the misery level that. There must be such a distribution of wealth and of productive capacity of technical know how in the world as to begin to close the gap between what we call the developed and the developing countries and peoples.
When I briefly let me turn to some specific examples of where the United Nation stands with regard to the revolutionary process actions in certain specific situations in the world United Nations has shown prompt readiness to accept. Revolutionary change and in some instances not only sympathy for revolutionary causes but active support for them. For example. Think for a moment of the despair of colonialism.
At the time the United Nations came into being. There were 800 million more than 800 million people in Colonial subjection in the world. The charter of the United Nations took a very positive stand on this. It supported strongly aspirations of people all over the world for self-government and independence for it. Correct. The colonial peoples to engage in the struggle to attain their independence and there can be no doubt in my mind that. The effort of the United Nations in this regard has greatly accelerated what is now becoming
the end of colonialism in the world for the great majority of colonial peoples now independent living and independent states having membership in the United Nations sitting side by side with their former colonial rulers. This is primarily why membership of the United Nations has grown from the original 51 of 1945 to the present one hundred twenty four. There are less now in the world than a hundred million colonial people. Algeria the latest example has been. It started in southern Yemen. I think it's certain that the United Nations have given more authority and greater
resources would become an ever greater force for revolutionary change in the world and particularly in certain directions and direction of securing peace and the direction of improving living standards of people all over the world in the direction of human rights and human freedom and human dignity. When I if I could conclude with just a few words about ferment and. Restiveness and even revolution in the United States. I've mentioned the revolt of youth which certainly has been having manifestation and college
campuses all over the country. But I want especially to say a few words about what I refer to as the black revolution in this country. And I one can ask Is this a fight of black Americans a revolution. In fact I think that it is today that what has been known as the struggle of the Negro has now achieved the dimension of a revolutionary movement in its scope and the support of the great numbers of people in the forests and in the insistence of its demand and even. In the willingness of some participants
to show non violent means of achieving their and traditional means employed appeal to the American conscience of Appeals to the public of going to the courts and to the legislatures depending upon the. Law and the administration administrative and the administrations and resorting to force in some instances I think it is properly described today as a revolution a black revolution a revolution of black citizens. We're now at the root of this
revolution is of course obvious. It's American racism. The crux of the problem which is the subject of the revolution is the fact that there is and has always been in this society a duality. There are two American societies one white dominant. The other black. And the subject and the most virulent manifestation of this condition. And the most vicious and the most dangerous I think
is the ghetto of the American urban centers. This means that the problem is no longer and I think indeed that it never was a problem essentially of the south of Southern prejudice. It is very definitely a national problem. I think it is most certainly our number one national problem and I think it poses the most difficult situation and the most dangerous situation for this nation since the Civil War. You see. What is particularly. Significant and vital in this context and
it is the fact of separation and. The psychology which that separation and genders and develops the black man in the ghetto. I was no contact with the white community and vice versa except during the working day and then leaving at the end of which she returns to the ghetto and is in a society which is entirely black except for the shopkeepers and the police. And so he knows he separate separated and in a separate community when out when that realisation comes. And this is of course the underlying condition which makes it possible for some incident to set off riots and
spontaneous eruptions. But in that condition it's inevitable that I counter white racism but develop and become a saying black racism involving ultimately and Matej and even hate of the white population. And this I submit has very ominous implications for the future of. Racial harmony in this country. You see we hear a lot about black power but what is the genesis and the dynamic of black power status that the black man in the ghetto realizing that he's. Confined there
because it isn't wanted in the white society separated that he's given inferior treatment there that he is deprived and sees him self in a black community and it's inevitable even as a matter of survival that in this black community he will increasingly demand control of that community and he's bound to get it if the communities remain separate because the white dominant community cannot expect to have it both ways. They cannot keep a black citizen separate and in the second class deprived condition. And at the same time continue much
longer to control his public affairs to control his government by the establishment to control his destiny and in fact his life. And so. Black Power militant movements is the inevitable answer. Well now let me point out that in this situation a very great danger is for one thing. There have been signs that the desperation and bitterness can become so blind. And so great that you can develop as it was indicated in some of the riots last year a
virtual mirror of us. Heading back blindly complete cynicism destroy everything even one's own community because of the hopelessness hopelessness and despair. And secondly it must be pointed out that there could be very great danger lurking ahead far greater danger than anything that has happened. That's because the eruptions that have occurred thus far have been essentially spontaneous. They have not been organized premeditated planned but they could become planned and you could have in this country a condition of chronic racial strife and even chronic guerrilla
warfare in the urban jungles glass and concrete jungles which are so vulnerable to this sort of thing as was demonstrated in the recent tragedy and craven that the cost to the society would be very high. I think and and leave A and unbearably high kind of what are the what is the solution in such a situation. Well there are those who say and you need not identify them. That answer is above all to maintain law and order. Use police force to the full extent necessary in order to maintain law and order in order to cope with this problem and at the same time to continue what is essentially the traditional approach to the problem and dealing with it gradually with palliatives
by what I call the Band-Aid approach for the elimination of cancer. And it won't work. It would not suffice. It's good lead only to very great danger. Because I think this is in its insistent demand a revolutionary movement and force. In one sense would be met by more force it would escalate. Indeed it could escalate to such a point that this could become in the cities at least essentially and a police state which would be ruinous for everyone. No the solution I think is not there though. No one. Can argue against the maintenance of law and order. But that isn't going to solve the problem of our cities. In my view only one way to solve that problem and that is by a massive effort of
unprecedented scale on the part of government at all levels nation state and local to transform the black ghettos in which most black men live. From areas of confinement to areas of free choice in other words to make this an open society in which every person can live as he pleases. In which every person has an opportunity on the basis of his marriage an ability to find his place in the mainstream of the life of the society. And this can be done only by amassing a will and determination to do it because basically it means purging the society of racism. Now I should end by saying Just one word about where I stand on the problem.
I could be called I think. And integrations would support black power and black militancy as necessary in order to achieve integration. I would say then that the ghetto which is unfortunate could be used as a means of inducing the society to transform it from a ghetto to an area of free choice and the reason I'm for integration is because I don't think there is any other sensible answer to this problem. Because if separation continues there will be chronic racial war. And personally I'm for integration because I am an American. I feel that I have a stake in this society in the same way that every American whatever his color I was a
steak that my ancestors contributed as I have in my own little way to the development of this country to its strength and power and prestige. And I dare for. My right to being an American citizen on the same basis as every American is a birthright. I like AC which I'm entitled and for which I would like to fight with all the strength and ability that I can muster because I do not intend to give up easily what I consider to be my right and the right of my children and my children's children. And this is why I take this stand. I have always taken for Gratian. And if it takes a revolution to achieve it. Well then let's have a revolution.
Dr. Ralph J bunch speaking at the twenty sixth annual Institute on world affairs. It's topic in keeping with this institute central theme of revolution was ferment and revolution in the world as viewed at the United Nations. This is James H Mason speaking inviting you to join us next week on the series for another presentation from the Institute on world affairs. This program was produced by the Department of Telecommunications and film at San Diego State College. This is the national educational radio network.
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Revolution: 20th century phenomenon
Episode Number
#1 (Reel 2)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Social Issues
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-13-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:03
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Chicago: “Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #1 (Reel 2),” 1969-01-16, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2023,
MLA: “Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #1 (Reel 2).” 1969-01-16. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2023. <>.
APA: Revolution: 20th century phenomenon; #1 (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