|With firmness in the right, as God gives us to see|
the right. -- Abraham Lincoln.
If I were revising or re-writing Union Now, what changes would I make? None in its poem (to follow the chronological order in which its three parts were originally written1), none in its philosophy, and some in its proposal -- even though none even there that I consider to be major changes. I say this at the risk of being considered rigid, and criticized as suffering an acute case of author's pride. Two principles, however, have long guided me, and proved their worth so well that I shall stick to them. One I got from Descartes in my teens and have confirmed from experience, namely, that it is wise never to cease subjecting even one's firmest convictions, conclusions or working hypotheses to reconsideration in the light of greater knowledge, events, failures, shortfalls, and criticism by oneself and others.
To know or feel in my heart that an idea is the offspring of fallacious reasoning, or of ignorance of certain facts, and yet to cling to it because I was the first to be seduced by it, or am publicly identified with it -- this does not appeal to me. I find it more satisfying, and exciting, to keep on guard against one of our common fallacies, which Georges de la Fouchardière pointed out in 1918 to this reader of his column in L'Oeuvre. He wrote that, with ideas as with other property, once we acquire them -- and no matter how we happen to get them -- we defend them with our life's blood, and the devil's readiest weapons, whenever anyone tries to take them from us.
The other guiding principle I got as a boy, when learning to shoot a rifle, and later had hammered into me as a newspaper reporter, namely, the importance of trying always to be accurate. To make a virtue of understatement seems to me as wrong as to practice over-statement (unless humor is one's purpose). The aim should be to hit the target, not to shoot over it, or under. We all need to know the facts just as they are. This requires that they be expressed as accurately as one can humanly present them, neither swollen nor shrunken so as to make the speaker or writer appear the better, or to enable him to "play it safe."
When I say that I would not change any of what I consider to be the fundamentals in Union Now, I would like this statement to be understood as the product of those two guiding thoughts. I would add that although frequent reconsideration of the fundamentals in Union Now in the light of events, criticisms, alternative proposals, and further study, has strengthened my belief in them, this does not mean that if I were re-writing Union Now today it would be the same throughout -- apart from obvious differences between 1960 and 1939. There would be a number of changes, some of which others might consider major. To me they are secondary, and would tend mainly to bring out more clearly and strongly the basic principles of the original, put them in better perspective by more accurate evaluations, and adapt them better to practical application in the present and looming situations.
In the Postwar edition I dealt with nine of these changes in new Chapter 3, "Were I Re-Writing Union Now." I would refer those interested to it -- particularly to understand why I now attach even greater value to individual freedom as the key to peace and to production, and would emphasize even more the importance of power to freedom and peace, and why I now think that free federal principles are likely to spread gradually around the world in a different way than I originally suggested.
Even more now than in 1949, I believe that the immense impulse toward free federation, resulting from the creation of the Atlantic Union, will lead not merely to our Union's expansion through the admission of new member nations, but also to the creation of regional free federations by other nations -- for example, in Southern Asia, among the Arab nations, in Africa and in Latin America, I believe, too, that it will encourage the long suffering Chinese and Russian peoples eventually to transform those dictatorships into free unions themselves. As all these processes gradually develop, as present difficulties are lessened and better means of overcoming them acquired, and as men profit from the incalculable and increasing moral and material power that these Unions of the Free would produce, one could reasonably expect the latter to federate with each other. Or they could be transforming meanwhile the United Nations -- to which they would all belong -- gradually into a federation.
All this is, as the Germans would say, music of the future. But consider how man's scientific and technical development has continued to confirm through both decades since 1939 what Union Now noted then on page 49:
If we compare each decade of the past thirty years with the decade before it, we shall have some clue to the accumulating speed with which the machine will be making our world one during the next decade -- if our failure to provide the machine with a governor does not meanwhile wreck it and us.
If we have the creative imagination needed to keep this factor in mind, we may find that Tennyson's "Parliament of Man," which now seems as far distant as going to the Moon seemed in 1950, may not be in fact so far ahead.
The main change I would make in Union Now relates to the founders, and results from the establishment of NATO since the Postwar edition appeared. This brings us to one of these necessities that keep recurring in human affairs -- the necessity of marrying the ideal and the practical if anything living is to be created in good time -- and the promising progress toward free government in the past to last, and the offspring to flourish. And so I would first emphasize now, even more than in 1939, the principles underlying nuclear union of the free. I would continue to stress the importance of proposing a concrete list of founders. But I would make clearer that it is no hard and fast list, and that adjustments can, and should, be made according to conditions obtaining at the time of action.
The essentials continue to me to be that (a) the nucleus of the Union should be composed of relatively few nations, (b) these should be strong enough in both material and moral power and ties, to assure the Union from the start enough power for it to have a reasonable hope of winning, without war, against dictatorship, depression and disintegration, and (c) the ratio of experienced to inexperienced democratic peoples or "problem" nations among the founders should be great enough to give a stronger guaranty of individual freedom than any practical alternative can.
From the standpoint of experience in free government -- to which I continue to attach decisive importance -- the fifteen founders I suggested in Union Now remain in my opinion the ideal list. I have long believed that one should aim clearly at what one finds to be ideal, and that this aim in itself rules out the possibility of achieving the ideal at the outset. One cannot seek an objective and at the same time have it in hand. To move toward the ideal, and to achieve it completely in the end,2 one must start with less than the ideal, because of the practical considerations that always necessarily affect any attempt to translate thought into action, and turn ideals into realities.
The practical question we must always face in the present enterprise is: Just which of the ideal list of peoples experienced in free government offers the most reasonable hope of forming, with just which other peoples, a sound nuclear Union of the Free at any given time? The answer is bound to vary with conditions prevailing at the time one must answer it.
It was one thing when Hitlerian Germany, militarist Japan and Fascist Italy formed the most imminent danger facing all of the fifteen I nominated as founders in 1939. When Communist Russia made its pact with Nazi Germany and enabled Hitler to conquer all the experienced democracies on the Continent, except Switzerland and Sweden, which dictatorship surrounded, one had to start with the seven English-speaking democracies that remained, if one were to start at all. In these circumstances I proposed in 1940-41 in Union Now with Britain that these seven form a provisional union to meet this emergency. I stressed that this smaller nucleus was meant to grow into the larger Union with the liberation of the other democracies, but the book's title has led many to assume that Union Now aims at an exclusively English-speaking Union -- a project which that book rejected.
With the liberation and victory I returned to the broader original proposal. After the North Atlantic alliance was formed by the United States, Canada, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg, I urged that these seven form the nucleus for an Atlantic Union, too. I supported the Atlantic Union resolutions that were introduced in Congress in the sessions of 1949, 1951 and 1955; they solved the problem of the nucleus by inviting the seven sponsors of the Atlantic alliance to send delegates to a convention which would be authorized to explore how they might best form a union, and to invite "such other democracies" as they thought wise to join them in the work of the convention.
Meanwhile, NATO grew larger, and a variety of other factors made it increasingly difficult to restrict the Convention nucleus to the seven sponsors, and increasingly practical to begin with all the fifteen NATO nations. Although the number -- fifteen -- is the same as Union Now proposed in 1939, the composition is quite different. Of the original Union Now fifteen, the fifteen NATO nations include only eight -- the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. My other seven -- Australia, Eire, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the Union of South Africa -- are replaced in the NATO fifteen by Iceland, Luxemburg, the German Federal Republic, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Turkey. Clearly the last five are much less experienced in free government than are the missing seven of the Union Now list -- with the exception of the Union of South Africa, where a most undemocratic racism has ruled in recent years.
Facing this choice between the "more ideal" and the "more practical," my weighing of the various factors involved leads me to conclude that we should aim now at an Atlantic Union composed of the NATO fifteen. The Atlantic Convention allows this possibility to be explored without further delay. I believe it can work out a plan to federate these fifteen to what I consider a minimum but decisive degree.
If this does not prove possible, one must re-examine the problem -- perhaps even in the Convention -- in the light of the situation then obtaining. Events may make it practical to try to federate a more ideal group more fully. Or they may make it imperative to try to start on a less ideal basis. All that we can be sure of now is that by making the most of the opportunity which the Convention offers, we shall learn more than we could learn otherwise, and be more likely to succeed thereafter.
Having stated this conclusion, I would now give some of the reasoning that has gone into it. To me the important question is this: Is the NATO group sufficiently loaded on the side of democratic experience, and community of background and interest, to make it reasonably possible to federate these nations on a sound free basis? I find the answer is clearly, Yes. The question is one of ratio. So long as the percentage of inexperience and other weakening factors is considerably less than half, or as small as in the present instance, I think it is safe. Perhaps a comparison -- however odious comparisons may be -- will clarify the point.
Much as I applaud the Six Nations of Europe for the Common Market they have achieved, I find that in these Six the ratio of inexperience to experience in free government is dangerously high for sound political union, The three members that have the longest record in stable free government -- those of Benelux -- form only 11 per cent of the total population. In a free federal Union, population is, in final analysis, the long term dominating factor. The twenty million people of Benelux cannot possibly suffice to keep on the side of liberty a union with a total population of 170 millions.
Free government in France has had so checkered a career as to make some doubtful of it, but personally I would readily include France with Benelux, as an experienced democracy. The many and magnificent contributions to freedom the French have made since the 18th century, leave no uncertainty in my mind about them. But when we add the French to Benelux, the combined population of those experienced in freedom remains a minority in the Six Nations. The Germans and Italians would form the majority, with 105 million of its 170 million population. Though they have made very promising progress toward free government in the past century, and particularly since World War II, who can forget how the Italian democracy gave way to Fascist dictatorship in the early 1920s -- or how the German democracy succumbed to a far more sinister dictatorship in 1933?
An individual needs to learn to know his weaknesses and be on guard against them in his own interest; so it is with nations, too. The great majority of Germans and Italians want their present experiment in democracy to succeed. They have suffered much more than the rest of us from dictatorship. And so they have even more reason than I to doubt that a political union of the Six Nations would provide sufficient brakes against a recurrence of dictatorship when it faced such crises as depression or war. Certainly it is not surprising that many people in Benelux and France are reluctant to convert their economic union into a political one. They realize that such a Union, even with federation's checks against majority rule, would expose their heroically won liberties to a government where the majority would be composed of peoples whose efforts to govern themselves in freedom have not yet withstood the strain of any major emergency. This illustration will serve to show why I am chary of any Union where the factor of experience in free government is not very strong from the outset.
But whereas inexperience would dominate from the start in a European Six Nation Union, it would be in a minority in an Atlantic Union. Add Portugal, Greece and Turkey to West Germany and Italy, and still this group would form less than one-third of the population of an Atlantic Union composed of the fifteen NATO nations, which would total 471,000,00 -- with 322,000,000 of them long experienced in free government.
In such an Atlantic Union the United States, Britain and Canada would form more than half (249,000,000) of its total population. The majority of its people from the start would thus contribute to its success the world's longest experience in maintaining stable free government, and a two-party system, on a vast scale of population and area. From the start, too, it would have another advantage -- more than 40 per cent of its population could contribute the long experience in maintaining vast, free federal unions that the United States and Canada have. All this would help assure that the constitution of such a Union would be soundly built -- and that its statesmen could meet the dangers and difficulties of its early, formative years more successfully than a Union of the Six Nations could.
Add to this solid center the experience and varied contributions to free government that Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxemburg and Norway offer, and this core expands into a two-thirds majority of the Union, in number of nations as well as in population -- in both its Senate and House. This would also be the proportion of people and peoples in it who would contribute another important asset to success -- the fact that they had never fought each other for nearly a century and a half. This contrasts sharply with the emotional volcano that may still be smouldering under the European Six, 65,000,000 of whom were fighting the other 105,000,000 less than twenty years ago -- with the majority advantage un the side of the two peoples whose governments attacked, and lost.
This may suffice to show why such an Atlantic Union would inspire more confidence all around -- and confidence is a most important consideration. The factors that cause distrust and fear would insidiously contribute to unsoundness in the drafting of a federal constitution for the European Six, and to friction and weakness in its functioning. The reasons for confidence and faith that come, when this group is broadened into an Atlantic Union, would also work in many ways to assure it the firm constitutional foundation, and the cooperative, give-and-take spirit, that such a venture needs to survive its early years.
(It should also be noted that the factor of experience would be increased by the first nations that were admitted to the Atlantic Union, once it was established. I would hope that these would include Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Austria, Eire, Sweden, Switzerland, and some of the stabler Latin American Republics. Their admission, and that of others, would, of course, also strengthen the Union in other ways.)
With such a strong nucleus, and in such a favorable climate, the problem which Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey present should not be dangerously difficult. In fact, one could reasonably hope that an Atlantic federal union with them would suffice to remove all real danger from the problem, and lessen its intrinsic difficulties considerably. Its solution thus would add considerable elements of strength and stability to the union. In all these five peoples, except Portugal, free government has made very promising progress in recent years against great odds. Membership in an Atlantic Union would lessen these odds. It would not only remove negative factors but provide the positive conditions and incentive needed to speed the solid growth of free government in these nations, and assure its success.
And what great possibilities they offer! Think of hitching securely to the star of freedom-and-union, or adding to it: ... the astonishing energies of the Germans -- everlastingly resurgent, from the days of Julius Caesar down to the swift recovery we ourselves witnessed after both World Wars.... the mixture of poetry, philosophy and power that produced such giants as Beethoven, Braun, Bunsen, Charlemagne, Clausewitz, Daimler, Diesel, Duerer, Einstein, Goethe, Helmholtz, Heine, the I. G. Farben, Kant, Koch, Luther, Mommsen, Mozart, Ranke, Schiller, Schubert ...
... And adding the rare qualities which the people of Italy have shown in so many fields (for so many centuries since the rise of Rome, resurgent in the glories of medieval Florence, Venice, Genoa, and then of the Risorgimento), and in the geniuses they gave mankind, -- Bruno, Caesar, Cavour, Cicero, Columbus, Dante, la Duse, Fabius, Ferrero, Galileo, Garibaldi, and the Grachii, Horace, Leonardo, Machiavelli Marconi, Marcus Aurelius, Petrarch, Pliny the Elder and Younger, Raphael, St. Francis d'Assisi, Savonarola, Titian, Virgil, Volta ...
... And adding the fabulous creative abilities of the people of Greece -- long dormant but still fertile -- who gave us heroes of the stature of Aeschylus, Alexander, Archimedes, Aristides, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Euclid, Euripides, Herodotus, Hippocrates, Homer, Leonidas, Miltiades, Pericles, Phidias, Pindar, Plato, Praxiteles, Pythagoras, Sappho, Socrates, Sophocles, Thucydides, Xenophon ...
... And adding the less known (to the West) but obvious abilities that enabled the Turks to create an empire which stretched from Persia to Morocco, from Mecca to Vienna, and to maintain it -- despite all its conflicting religions and medley of peoples, and without benefit of railway, steamship or telegraph -- much longer3 than the empires of Britain and France have survived, and to hold for centuries the name of the "Grand Turk," and give such proofs of it as Mohammed the Conqueror and Suleiman the Magnificcnt, Sinan the architect and Sudi the scholar, and, in our day, Ataturk, Ismet Inonu, Halidé Edib and Ahmed Emin Yalman ...
... And adding, too, the venturing spirit that has slept so long among the Portuguese since the years when Vasco da Gama sailed first to India, and Magellan's expedition sailed round the planet -- but that Atlantic Union could well awaken ...
One needs but thus skim the surface to see how great a rebirth is possible in these five peoples alone when Union of the Free rekindles those who led the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Discovery; those whose Athens first sowed the seed of the West, and whose Ataturk, linking Europe and Asia, led in the westernizing movement that has now swept through all Islam, and in the emancipation of women that has advanced so far in Asia and Africa. Here are potentialities to fire the imagination -- mighty intangibles that freedom-and-union would harness together, and would also unite with all that the Americans, British, French, Belgians, Canadians, Dutch and Scandinavians have to contribute. These things of the spirit, when touched by the magical power that union adds, will -- if we are right in our faith that puts man and his soul above matter -- soon replace the losses in relative material power that Atlantica has suffered since 1939.
To harness securely to freedom the five peoples of NATO who are least experienced in maintaining democratic government would in itself be justification enough for Atlantic Union, if only because it would turn us to the task we have too long overlooked -- that of learning by experience how to teach better to others the best knowhow we have to teach, namely democratic government. This is the hardest technique to teach because it is the hardest for men to learn. Soviet Russia and China can teach the knowhows in technology and science in which we have put our pride and concentrated our Point Four programs, to our increasing danger. We have already so perfected these techniques that it is infinitely easier to teach people how to operate and make the most complicated (and destructive) machines than to govern themselves freedom. That the latter should be -- at best -- so much harder to teach and to learn may seem a paradox. Yet it is self-evident that man (whom we so often call "little") is a far more powerful and unpredictable atom than the atoms that make our bombs or intercontinental missiles and sputniks, since it is self-evident that it is man who created all these wonders, and weapons.
Man can accurately foretell what atoms will do under given conditions, but no atom and no man can predict what this or that human individual will do, can do -- how feeble or how great he will prove at the test, of what base clay he is really made, or of what divine spirit. And so it is a far harder and worthier achievement for man to govern himself than for him to govern matter, dictate to atoms, or even to other men. It is also a much more rewarding achievement.
The acme of this achievement is not for Robinson Crusoe to govern himself on a lonely island, but for millions of Robinson Crusoes to govern themselves together in freedom.
Each civil liberty democracy has gained its strength by proving capable of doing what the people of Soviet Russia have not yet begun to do. All these democracies are living proof that their citizens can govern themselves on a basis of individual freedom and equality -- that it is possible for men to achieve this marvel: Establish and maintain a system whereby each of these unpredictable individuals of incalculable potential power for both evil and good is helping govern all the others, while being governed equally at the same time by each and all of them.4
In comparison to this marvel, how petty and pitiful is the spectacle of one man governing other men by terror and force, even though the dictator keeps hundreds of millions of his fellow-men in enslavement, much as a scientist keeps in subjection a myriad of atoms ... bloodless, mindless, heartless, soul-less atoms.
Too long our aim has been centered on releasing the energy that lies in atoms. Too long have we neglected the field where our greatest genius lies, that of releasing the far greater energy that comes from freeing men from the prejudice, and ignorance, and fear, and lack of faith in themselves and their fellows, that has kept so much of humanity, through so much of its history, from gaining for themselves and all mankind, living and unborn, the unbelievable rewards that have always followed the Union of Free Men.
The danger to freedom in our success in teaching underdeveloped peoples to industrialize and arm themselves, while failing to teach them democratic government, should be evident enough in Japan's swift rise to Pearl Harbor, and Russia's to Sputnik. The first necessity is to make clear to the new nations why freedom is the key to peace; why the institutions of individual liberty give the strongest human guarantees against war -- and particularly against the surprise attack which atomic weapons make everyone fear -- whereas the institutions of dictatorship are loaded for war and treacherous attack; and why individual liberty is also the key to the productive power the new nations seek. All this is not so hard to prove,5 but the 1960 United Nations Assembly makes it only too evident that our official spokesmen have failed to persuade the new nations that the peace and prosperity they desire should lead them, because of the nature of the institutions involved, to help strengthen those of civil liberty in the great powers, not those of dictatorship.
Freedom requires a political ability that the human race all too evidently is slow to acquire. It is so hard for people to govern themselves with equal individual liberty that I find only about one-eighth of mankind has succeeded in doing this as independent nations, even fairly well, for so short a period as fifty years. Ominously, while the world's population has been "exploding" in numbers, this small, fairly "free" fraction has grown even smaller in the past decade, since 1950 it has shrunk from one-seventh of humanity to one-eighth. Half of that eighth is supplied by the United States -- and its shortcomings, particularly on the racial side, are obvious. The other half, no less imperfect, is weakly divided into a dozen sovereign nations: The United Kingdom, Prance, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Some of these have been practicing freedom for many generations; others, you may say, hardly meet my low fifty-year test. If you find other nations that you think meet them all, you can add them to your list; the fraction will remain small. We have already noted that by no means all the members of NATO meet this test. And even the NATO fifteen put together have a population of only 471,000,000 -- or one-sixth of the 2,850,000,000 persons now6 on earth.
At best, one must agree that, for the great bulk of humanity, individual liberty is very young indeed, is in a very vulnerable minority in a huge mass long habituated to despotism. One must agree, too, that modern techniques in mass deception, mass subjugation and mass destruction fearfully increase the danger to the one-eighth of mankind who have governed themselves with a fair degree of equal individual freedom for the past fifty years. If you agree that freedom makes for peace and production, then you must conclude that the present danger to the tiny free minority is a danger to all mankind, too.
So hard it is for men to practice the free way of life that individual liberty, to rise at all and to survive long enough for men to become conditioned to it from childhood, hitherto required the protection of inanimate Nature. So ill-adapted is it to making war, and so vulnerable to attack do its philosophy and institutions make it, that freedom, to grow up at all, needed such defenses as the mountains of Switzerland, the lowlands of Holland, the English Channel and the oceans of America.
With the development of the jet plane, the guided missile, the atomic bomb, nothing in Nature remains now to protect liberty anywhere -- nothing but the best in human nature, the wisdom, courage, kindness and spirit that give freedom the power that lies in Union of the Free.
The protection that Nature no longer gives, the peoples most experienced in freedom must themselves provide, both to defend their own liberty and to shield nascent liberty in other countries long enough for it to take root.
If we agree that the freest nation is the least aggressive and the most productive, the problem of peace, both on its political and economic sides, boils down to the question: How to put more and more of the world's power under freedom? How to put enough moral and material power behind it soon enough to eliminate present dangers, and long enough to enable the host of young nations to develop themselves educationally, industrially, and politically, and to permit freedom to spread and grow all over the world?
To abolish the United Nations veto or try to change the United Nations into a world government now is clearly no answer to this problem. Such policies merely shift to the seven-eighths of mankind, who are inexperienced in freedom, more voice in the control of the power that the free eighth now divide.
Nor can the problem be answered by the free militarizing themselves as they are now doing, giving the government more and more power over the citizen, resorting in peacetime to propaganda, spying and secrecy -- going, in short, the way of dictatorship.
In the game with dictatorship that we must win, freedom obliges the free to play with cards face up against an opponent whose cards are face down. To govern ourselves freely we must know what our government is doing. But there is no way whereby we can keep an eye on it without everyone on earth -- and the Kremlin first of all -- knowing everything we learn. We can know what the Canadians, British, French and other democratic governments are doing because their people have institutions like ours for keeping tabs on their governments. But none of us can know what is happening under the Communist dictatorship any more than can its slaves.
And so the free must win in a game for keeps, where the cards of Uncle Sam, John Bull, Marianne de France are face up on the table, with the searchlight of the press and opposition parties playing not only on the cards but up the sleeves of the players and under their part of the table to make sure that nothing phony is going on -- and trying ... vainly ... to reach the other end of the table where the master of the Kremlin sits with his cards hidden in his hand.
There is only one possible way to win in such a game, and that is to have so strong a hand that no dictator can challenge it. Clearly freedom can not hold such a hand while its cards are divided as they are now.
How can the free gain such a hand? There is only one way: By ceasing to leave freedom's cards divided among fifteen "sovereign" players. By ceasing to play their aces and trumps against each other. By putting their cards together in one hand, played by a Federal Union government representing all the free.
In other terms, the answer is that of Union Now: Federate the freest fraction of mankind in a Great Union of the Free, and thereafter extend this federal relationship to other nations as rapidly as this proves practicable, until the whole world is thus eventually governed by freedom and union.
No halfway Union, whether in powers or members, will answer the problem of giving freedom decisive power without sacrificing liberty in the process.
Only by fully federating all the free fraction can the free gain the decisive power they need, morally, militarily, politically, to save themselves and world peace. The post- war Union Now pointed out in 1949:
Such is the power that freedom produces through union that this small minority need only federate for their Union to hold all four aces, and the joker -- the hand that can be played face up, and win.
The ace of clubs, or armed power: Union would make them far stronger in land power, give freedom the bulk of the world's air power, 91 per cent of the world's naval tonnage, 100 per cent atomic power, and strategic bases all over the globe.
The ace of spades, or productive power: Tangled up though they are with their tariffs and currencies, the free seventh has long out-produced all the rest of the world -- and how freedom's production would soar if the free nations all had one currency and formed one free-trade market as the forty-eight United States do!
The ace of diamonds, or raw material power ...
The ace of hearts, or moral power: This Union would unite all the peoples toward whom the rest of humanity has long looked for refuge from oppression, and leadership toward liberty. Union, by giving it every ace, would add irresistible power to freedom's appeal.
All four aces, and the joker, too -- the Union's power to grow: The Union need only admit other nations to it as they proved their freedom to keep on increasing its overwhelming power.
Never was so great an opportunity offered to a free people as that which history offers now to the citizens of the United States.
In 1952 General Eisenhower confirmed this in his NATO report: "Visible and within our grasp we have the possibility of building such military, economic and moral strength as the Communist world would never dare challenge." And he added: "Then the Atlantic Community will have proved worthy of its history and its God-given endowments. We shall have proved our union the world's most potent influence toward peace."
We put our trust, however, in alliance, not in union. So did he as President, although in the same report he had said: "Peacetime coalitions throughout history have been weak and notoriously inefficient."
The resulting weakness has led us inevitably to begin turning down our cards, too, little by little. Let us fool ourselves no longer. As the U-2 spy plane affair showed all the world so luridly, we are copying dictatorship when we seek strength by spying, secrecy, giving more power to the Executive, making the people depend blindly on the Government.
True, one must fight fire with fire at times -- but one can burn oneself badly that way. Must we burn ourselves worse than with the U-2 before we fight fire with less dangerous means?
With the Soviet space-ship orbiting above every 91 minutes as I write, some may fear that the proverbial power that lies in union can no longer give freedom the unchallengeable hand that was in our grasp in 1952. If so, it is still true that the more strength we gain that way the safer we shall be. For my part, I believe that we can still thus gain the unbeatable hand we need ... but we have no time to lose.
Armed power was about the only important thing in which the combined strength of the dictatorships, compared to that of the democracies, was relatively high before World War II, as reflected in the tables in Union Now. The fact that nations so poor and so weak in so many other respects should be so heavily and expensively armed by dictatorship, while democracy kept the richest and strongest peoples from spending relatively so much on arming, tells its own story. And the tragic story began six months after Union Now appeared. Today, armed power is still, significantly, the thing that dictatorship has built up out of all proportion to its strength in other respects, the thing in which it is in relatively the best position to challenge the NATO fifteen now. So much more is kept secret now than then, that it seems useless to try to pin any comparison of relative strength down to figures. Two great differences with 1939 need to be noted: a) atomic, missile, air and submarine power has grown so enormously on both sides that b) there is now much stronger agreement all round that each is able to destroy the other, no matter who starts, and that therefore a "balance of terror" has been reached which serves as a powerful deterrent to war. The point was well put by Dr. Harold C. Urey, the atomic scientist who won the Nobel Prize, when he said at the University of Southern California on August 10, 1960:
At present, estimates have been made that there exist stored within the various countries of the world explosives equivalent to the order of ten tons of TNT for every man, woman and child on the surface of the earth. Never before have men stored such enormous quantities of explosives. Rockets have been developed capable of delivering hydrogen bombs one-third of the way around the earth, and there is no certainty that the end is in sight at all.
What I wish to emphasize is that the magnitude of these changes is so great that it involves a change in the quality of the modern world. For the first time in history, no country is large enough to maintain within its border a relatively secure heartland which can be regarded as free from attack.
It is often stated that the idea of overwhelming strength on the part of the democracies of the world as opposed to the Communist bloc is impossible since both sides have atomic and hydrogen bombs, and this makes any disparity in military strength impossible. I think this is true, or that it will be true in a short time.
But it is also stated, and I believe correctly, that neither side can use these immensely powerful weapons for they will surely destroy both sides in a major conflict. I rather think that this is understood by the people of the United States and those who represent us in Washington. I also think that it is realized by the Soviet Union. It is not so certain that Communist China appreciates the situation, but it is to be hoped that she will before long. As a practical matter of pursuing the policies of these individual groups, it is not possible to use these great weapons.
All of us, therefore, must fall back on something else. In fact, it appears that the Soviet Union is actively pursuing a policy of disruption in any part of the world where it can exert influence -- Cuba, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East -- and attempts are made to promote disorder and misunderstanding in Europe and between Europe and the United States. In other words it is pursuing other means of waging modern conflict than the use of atomic bombs. This means that the West must strengthen its means of waging its war along similar lines. The Union of the democratic countries of the West in a Federal Government would promote great strength along these other lines.
Before considering the non-military power factors in the problem, let us note that Atlantic Union would greatly strengthen the position of the free as regards atomic and other modern weapons. It would do this in at least four ways.
First, Union - would give Atlantica two tremendous strategic advantages: 1) Its territory and industrial and military centers would be much more widely dispersed than those of the United States or Soviet Russia, and 2) it would have dependable bases much nearer to Communism's citadel than the United States has, or than the Kremlin has to the Union's citadel in North America. True, the United States now has bases in Western Europe, but whether these can be used at the showdown is very doubtful. This doubt is inherent in the alliance system. It had been increased by agreements that give each country, on whose soil these bases are situated a veto over American use of certain weapons. The uncertainty is growing greater in Britain as a result of the rise of unilateral atomic disarmament, anti-American and neutralist sentiment, particularly in the left wing of the Labor Party. It is growing in France, as a result of President de Gaulle's "nationalistic" policies. The uncertainty regarding American bases in Europe inevitably encourages Communist aggression. Merely by replacing this doubt with certainty, Atlantic Union would immensely strengthen Freedom's hand while saving at least $10 billions a year7 -- and discouraging the Kremlin and Peking from risking atomic war.
Experience shows that dictators are highly unlikely to attack unless they believe they have a good chance to win not merely the opening battle but the war, without suffering more destruction themselves than the prize is worth. The present "balance of terror" already acts as powerful deterrent; the more impossible we make it for Moscow to wipe out our means of devastating retaliation to any attack it launches, the stronger this deterrent becomes. Those who still fear that the Kremlin would attack this gigantic, widely dispersed Union, should fear even more that it will attack the United States, or any European Union.
It is important to note, too, that both strategic advantages which Atlantic Union brings would increase as it admitted other nations to it -- and we have already seen that one could hope for the first of these to include far-flung countries from all around the globe.8
Secondly, Atlantic Union would immensely and immediately advance Atlantic development of all modern weapons. It would do this also in two ways. First, it would eliminate the shocking waste of money and time, and of scientific and engineering minds and knowledge that is inevitable in the present system, or in any alternative short of Atlantic federation. The latest example of this financial waste is the current decision of President de Gaulle to spend $2.4 billion more on arming France atomically. It seems to me idle to single him out for censure because of this, or to blame him alone for "excessive nationalism," or as being "obsessed" with the idea of French "grandeur." It was no less wasteful and nationalistic for Britain to make its own atomic bombs. The-primary responsibility for all this, however, lies not in London or Paris, but in Washington. It set the nationalistic example, and by its policy of not sharing its secrets with its friends it practically forced these proud powers to take the course they took. If the situation were reversed, and France were in our position and the United States and Britain were in that of France, would not we and the British insist as strongly as President de Gaulle does on having our own atomic bombs, and an equal voice with France on world policy?
My own view is that President de Gaulle's "excessive nationalism" results, in last analysis, from his believing, not that this is wiser for France than an Atlantic Union, but that nationalism and "power politics" are in control in Washington, and therefore the only realistic policy for France is to follow suit. I believe that this assumption is based on a profound misconception of the American people, but I can understand why this view of the United States is widely held in West Europe. One of the strong driving forces behind many supporters of European Union is the belief that, to stand up to Washington, one must have power, and the only way to get enough power to deal with it as an equal is to federate Western Europe. Because of this reasoning, European Union is often urged as an essential first step to Atlantic Union, if not the only way, to bring the United States in.
During the war, General de Gaulle had no little cause to conclude that, in last analysis, only power counts with Washington and London. Commenting on the absence of his government at Yalta -- where Roosevelt and Churchill went to accommodate a dictator who had gained his power by atrocious purges - I wrote in the March 1945 Federal Union World:
In 1939 when France was heavily armed it had a full voice in Big Power meetings. Now it is weak, and snubbed. Though much of the war is being fought on its soil, decisions of vital interest to it are taken without consulting it. The lesson is plain to every Frenchman ... if you would have the position you had before, then arm, arm, arm ... If you cannot equal the U.S. in power, you can hope to equal Britain. It does not matter what you do to gain power ... if the end result is to give you great armed power, then Uncle Sam and John Bull will come knocking deferentially at your door. That is the lesson Yalta teaches, and to peace it is poison.
The Yalta poison is still working.
Even worse than the waste of money our atomic policy has caused, is the waste of time, knowledge, scientists technicians, and prestige. We have deprived the best scientists and engineers in Western Europe of facts and techniques we have learned, and have diverted many of them into trying to learn secrets which the less scrupulous Communists already know. By Union we would have had them helping push forward the frontiers of science. We thus contributed heavily to Moscow's gaining the prestige Sputnik gave it. If we are making the British and French learn the hard way some of our "secrets," they are making us learn just as wastefully certain secrets they have each discovered. Atlantic Union would reverse this idiotic policy. It would pool all of Atlantica's secrets and scientists. These are by no means limited to the Americans, British and French; witness the part that Danes, Germans, Italians and others played in the atomic breakthrough. The gain that would result for all of us from positively uniting our best scientific and engineering knowledge and brains is incalculable.
Thirdly, Atlantic Union would assure better security for our secrets than present United States policy, which was adopted primarily for reasons of security. Once all the secrets of the Americans, British, French and other members of an Atlantic Union were transferred to the Union government, there would no longer be the danger of leaks in this or that nation there is now. All the people of the Union would have a voice in determining policy in this field, but their national governments would no longer have anything to do with it -- no more than the Tennessee state government now has any control over atomic plants on its territory, or any knowledge of Washington's secrets. The security advantages of Atlantic Union were pointed out by Dr. Urey long before Soviet Russia learned our atomic secrets. He wrote in the July 1947 Freedom & Union:
We would not give the atomic secrets to France, to England, to Holland, any more than we give our present secrets to the state of Illinois. There might be citizens of other countries (in the Union) who would know these secrets, but if so, they would be controlled by law, just as are the citizens of the state of Illinois at present.
Before the Fuchs case proved him right, Dr. Urey went on to warn: "There are people in England, France, Denmark, who know a great deal about our atomic secrets. We have no control over their actions by any legal methods." The Union plan, he continued, "would replace the situation in which we have no legal control over people who know atomic bomb secrets, with one in which some sort of control would be set up, and thus from the standpoint of military secrets, the situation would be improved." Whatever leaks might occur through Union, he added, "would not be as important as the greatly increased military strength of such a federal union."
Fourthly, Atlantic Union would ease the problem of securing atomic agreement with the nations outside the Union, particularly Russia. Here again the Union would be much better off than is the United States today. It would need merely to admit other nations to it to extend its Atomic Authority's jurisdiction. As this increased its gigantic power in every field, the Kremlin's position would be made so weak that it might well prefer to reach atomic agreement with the Union soon after its creation, just as it buried the hatchet with Hitler when it felt relatively weak.
Fifthly, Atlantic Union would reduce the number of atomic powers from four to two, and end the danger of Germany entering that club.
Meanwhile, the "balance of terror," while requiring the free to keep up their guard militarily, makes the non-military factors in power all the more important.
Atlantica clearly does not have the same degree of non-military material power that Union Now showed in Chapter V9 it had in 1939. Nor does the addition of Western Germany, Italy, and the other NATO countries suffice to compensate for all the material power lost. Even so, I am convinced that the NATO fifteen, by federating their strength, would still gain material power, to an overwhelming degree, compared to the combined strength of Russia and China, and moral power even more.
The addition of Germany and Italy to the Union Now group increases, of course, the relative world power of Atlantica in the Chapter V measurements that concern manufacturing, transportation and finance. The losses are mainly in raw materials, area and population; they result from the transformation of the Belgian, British, Dutch and French Empires into more than thirty new sovereign nations. These losses, however, are more apparent than real, for the simple reason that, if these peoples are to raise their standards as they wish, the great bulk of their products must be exchanged in Atlantica for the latter's manufactured goods and stored capital. This is inevitable for the coming years, at least (and Atlantic Union would make it inevitable indefinitely), because only Atlantica has the surplus financial and manufacturing power they need, and the merchant marine to carry their goods to market and bring back their purchases.
The low living standards and other domestic needs of Russia and China will not permit them for a number of years to do more than score economic propaganda points such as they have made in Cuba. They can make a showing in a few commodities in a few countries, but if this ever led all -- or many of -- the new countries to turn, like Castro and Lumumba, their hands to the Communist empires for salvation, and their backs to Atlantica, they would soon learn to their grief what a mirage Russia and China really present. Atlantica has the further immense advantage that nearly all the leaders of these new countries were educated in America, Britain and France, and speak -- and what is more important -- think in English or French. Add Spanish and Portuguese, and all these considerations apply also to Latin America. All this immense raw material power is so much, by the nature of the situation, on the side of Atlantica, that it could lose this only by continuing the folly of the past twenty years.
These realities belie the apparent changes that national independence has introduced into the picture as presented in 1939. Because of this, and because figures for Soviet Russia and China are always doubtful and propagandistic and completely lacking on some things (such as -- significantly -- gold), it has not seemed to me worthwhile to revise now in detail the tables in Chapter V. Moreover, I think that the basic points in that chapter can be proved without revising its tables, and that the space can be better used to do two things that I did not develop there. These are the fact (which I have already touched on) that the strength that union brings is far greater than the sum of its parts and -- particularly -- the fact that the power that the mere act of union gives the free would daunt the Communists much more than superiority in material power.
Rate freedom's existing power as you will, by federating it politically and economically we would make it much greater than that of the United States alone. Mr. K could no longer hope to surpass it by 1970, or 2000. Moreover, in that period federation would immensely stimulate the growth of freedom's power in every field -- not only in per capita production and standards of living, but on the political, military, scientific, educational and moral sides. These factors are so interrelated that, when combined the Federal Union way, their power becomes immensely greater than by any other combination of them. Federation raises their power as a straight flush does that of five cards.
You may think that instead of five aces -- as in 1939 and 1949 -- freedom now holds only an ace, king, queen, jack and ten. If those cards are combined the alliance or confederation way, in different "sovereign" suits, you have only a "straight," which is not too hard to beat in the poker game the world is in.
If, however, all five cards belong to the same suit, this one change, which seems so slight, makes the hand 255 times stronger -- an unbeatable royal flush. Similarly, when freedom's power is no longer divided among different nations but united in one Atlantic Federal Union, its hand becomes unbeatable.
The Atlantic community has not yet begun to gain the strength that comes from organic Union. Here is our vast reservoir of unused power. It costs us nothing to harness this power -- except the loss of prejudices and ideas that are contrary to our basic free principles. The power Atlantica would gain is not only the cheapest, but the kind that would most impress Moscow, and Peking, for three reasons:
First, the Communists have made a fetish of unity, They have carried their "monolithic" unity to the extreme of tyranny. They bank on this extreme unity, which is inherent in Communism, and on the extreme disunity which they believe is inherent in free enterprise and individual liberty, to deliver our grandchildren to their system. The glasses that we Atlanticans wear magnify for us even microscopic dangers and difficulties to freedom in union -- but those that the Communists wear magnify immensely in their eyes the proverbial strength and other advantages that Atlantic Union would bring us.
Secondly, the Communists know that they cannot possibly begin to compete with us in the kind of power that union brings. For one thing, they have already practically exhausted this resource, which we Atlanticans have hardly started to harness. They have carried unity to such extremes that the Kremlin is now trying to decentralize industry to some degree to increase efficiency. And they know that whereas the assets they had, or have, are relatively half-developed, the nations of Atlantica include the most highly-developed ones on earth; they have the kind of assets whose power can be most quickly multiplied by the inherent magic of union.
Atlantic Union would most impress the Communists because, thirdly, it would come with the force of surprise as would nothing else we could do. One reason why may suffice. The creation of this Union by common agreement would prove that a basic Marxist dogma is unfounded. The Communists believe that "greed for profits" must inevitably drive the capitalist countries into cut-throat competition and conflict for markets. This has all too often been true, but the Thirteen States, by their great experiment in Federal Union, proved that free enterprise states can -- by applying between them their basic principles instead of sacrificing them -- create a much richer common market. From it everyone benefits, by the elimination of trade barriers and other nationalistic rivalry, and by the continued competition of free enterprise. The latter requires that the competition be the peaceful, healthy one between citizens or corporations. The unhealthy, war-producing competition of nations results from the doctrine of national sovereignty -- not from the principles of capitalism. The latter are, in fact, contrary to that doctrine.
By taking the road to Atlantic Federation we knock out this keystone of Communist ideology. We prove that "St." Lenin and "St." Marx were completely wrong in their teachings on this essential point. We cannot deliver a blow that is more bewildering and devastating to the Marxists, inside and outside Russia, than this is.
The downgrading of Stalin opened a door to revolution in Eastern Europe. But he was attacked for the terroristic means he employed (and that are inevitable in the Communist system) -- not for error in his Marxist thinking. All that Mr. Khrushchev did was to slap Stalin's bloody hands. Atlantic Union, by peacefully uniting the capitalist nations, would hit straight at the heart of Leninism and Marxism.
When Chairman Khrushchev made his first visit to the United States, the type of American mind that counts on Sears Roebuck catalogs rather than on Whitman's "By Blue Ontario's Shore" to impress revolutionists, fondly believed that the sight of our many material achievements would daunt Mr. K. The event confirmed instead what I wrote in the September Freedom & Union just before he came:
More probably it will be a stimulating challenge to him. Why? Because he has what we do not seem to have any more at the top levels -- the revolutionist's standard of values, which ranks idea-power far above material power. The revolutionist is a man who believes his idea is so powerful that he is willing to tackle incredible material odds.
In his Lenin, David Shub writes: "Isolated from events in Russia, deserted by many of his early followers, struggling to pay his modest living expenses, seeking in vain to rally Socialists of other lands to his slogan of international civil war, Lenin, at the end of 1916, was hitting the bottom rung of his ladder. Never did his words seem to attract fewer followers."
Utter weakness on his side, plus the fact that on the other side all the armed power of Russia was mobilized under the Czar, did not suffice to daunt Lenin -- and ten months later he was in control of Russia. This is the kind of spirit that has been glorified in Russia, not merely by propaganda but by what it has achieved before the eyes of living men. It is bound to affect particularly the values and judgments of those who have reached the top, as has Mr. K, by their natural aggressiveness, ruthlessness.
We Americans once put will power and political ideas far above material strength ... back in the days when Tom Paine wrote of a ragged militia confronting all the armed might of Great Britain: "We have it in our power to begin the world over again," and James Wilson told his fellow-delegates at the 1787 Convention, "we are laying the foundations for a building, which is to last for ages." But we have drifted so far from this "Common Sense" of 1776 that our hopes of impressing Mr. K are now put in electric kitchens rather than in electrifying thought and action.10
The best proof of the decisive strength that still lies for Atlantica in Union may be found in Moscow's reactions to the steps already taken in this direction. In 1948, our atomic monopoly, plus our superior sea and air power, plus the contrast between our intact industrial plant and the devastation the war still left in Russia -- all this did not keep Moscow from daring to blockade Berlin then. But when that led us to form the Atlantic alliance in 1949, even this "notoriously inefficient" type of unity (to quote again General Eisenhower's 1952 NATO report) caused Stalin himself to abandon that blockade, immediately. Moscow, moreover, left Berlin tranquil for the next ten years. When we moved to strengthen Atlantic unity still more by admitting the German Federal Republic to NATO, and permitting it to rearm, Moscow made all manner of threats to prevent this, but when this was carried through in 1955, the Kremlin -- where Mr. Khrushchev was then in power with Mr. Bulganin -- promptly withdrew from Austria.
No other moves we have made since the war have brought such important -- and unilateral -- concessions as did these, the only important steps to strengthen Atlantic unity that we have taken in those fifteen years.
Surely this is proof enough that the power that union brings Atlantica impresses Moscow more than any other power we can get. It should also suffice to reassure those who agree that Union would put overwhelming power behind freedom, but who fear it would make Communism's future so hopeless that the Kremlin would seek to block it by "getting tough," or even by launching a preventive war. The fact is that, whether or not the "balance of terror" suffices to deter attack -- and it will not if by continued disunion we let that balance become too unfavorable -- Atlantic Union is our surest hope not merely to prevent war, but to put, and keep, the Communist empires in a conciliatory mood.
When we see a man with a whip and a chair alone in a cage of lions, we are amazed that these kings of the jungle haven't sense enough to unite their immensely superior strength against the tamer, who exploits their common inner weakness to their humiliation. Similarly, we can count on the Communists to see how overwhelmingly powerful the Sovereign Nations of Atlantica would be if only they united, and to be amazed that we haven't sense enough to see this ourselves. They have seen us act so senselessly so long in the name of freedom that one can hardly blame them for concluding that we are no more intelligent than the animals our nations put their pride in-lions, eagles, fighting cocks. The most convinced Communists will probably be the last to believe that we free Atlanticans are really capable of being rational men. And so, whatever Mr. K may rule the Kremlin, he cannot but believe that all he needs to do is bluff with a whip, flourish an empty chair, and toss us -- when we all growl in too ominous a chorus -- enough raw meat to keep our "Sovereign Nations" snarling at each other. In other words, if the animals of the Atlantic jungle should show any symptoms of common sense, the Communist leaders, though inwardly aware that this -- if continued -- would mean the end of their dreams, could not believe that it could possibly continue, if they tossed us in time a juicy concession. Communists simply cannot remain true to Communist thinking and believe that capitalist peoples can really organically unite. And the success they have thus far had in checking Atlantic unification by quick concessions must strengthen them in this belief.
Why did Moscow drop the Berlin blockade when we made the Atlantic alliance? To remove our incentive to unite further. And it worked. Instead of moving on toward Union, we Atlanticans were soon growling at each other over Korea, China, Indo-China. No wonder Premier Malenkov chortled on August 8, 1953: "If today, in conditions of tension in international relations, the North Atlantic bloc is rent by internal strife and contradictions, the lessening of this tension may lead to its disintegration." A little later he was thrown out by Mr. Khrushchev -- but not his lion-tamer strategy. For when the Atlantic Sovereign Nations began to think enough like men to strengthen NATO with West Germany in 1955, his successor tossed them the Soviet withdrawal from Austria. This worked so well that Atlantica, instead of uniting effectively, within a year was near "its disintegration" over Suez.
To folksy Mr. K, this must have confirmed the wisdom not only of Marxist thinking but of the old Russian custom of throwing meat to the wolves. Folk memories of Russians run to wolves rather than lions. That is another reason to believe that concessions will be the Russian response when they find the lions of the Atlantic jungle gaining the degree of intelligence the wolves of the steppes show by hunting in packs.
If an Atlantic Convention moves boldly toward Union the intra-Atlantic tensions and difficulties that stand in the way will still encourage Moscow to continue a conciliatory policy, aimed at increasing the obstacles and lessening incentive to unite, rather than to risk a warlike attitude that would increase that incentive and lessen the difficulties facing Union. It will take time to make an Atlantic Union, and in the earlier stages success is bound to seem most problematical; when the Rubicon is crossed it will seem insignificant compared to the mountains ahead. As Atlantica advances toward Union, success will always remain in doubt. This will help keep Moscow trying to stop it with bigger and better concessions. One can be sure that through the Convention stage, and even more during the stage of ratifying a Union constitution, we Atlanticans will ourselves give plenty of reason to believe that we will never be men enough to achieve Union without war. And so our doubts, and their wishful thinking, will combine to lead the Communists to destruction. Once Atlantic Union confronts them -- a fait accompli that proves that Marx's basic belief about us was false -- they will be as helplessly vulnerable as the trainer who suddenly finds that his whip, his chair and his chunk of meat no longer work.
Contents -- Chapter 1 -- Chapter 3