Peace Through Change: The Risk and Promise for Man’s Future

Peace through Change: The Risk and Promise for Man’s Future
Author(s): Hubert H. Humphrey
Source: Science, New Series, Vol. 175, No. 4023 (Feb. 18, 1972), pp. 716-719 Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science
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Peace throughChange:The Risk and Promise for Man’s Future

Hubert H. Humphrey

The only mistake that history does not forgive in people is to scorn their dreams.-MAURICE SCHUMAN,3 November 1971.

approach,which is not intended to be either exhaustive nor definitive, but rather a means of eliciting your ideas. The approachhas three main parts: (i) a common agendafor science and poli- tics, (ii) new institutional arrange- ments for the production and utiliza- tion of knowledge,and (iii) procedures for stimulatinga similar commitment by other states.

Common Agenda

The present conception of U.S. na- tional interest is too often expressed in terms of militarypower and national

To speak of peace is to speak of
change. One is a part of the other.
Their inseparabilityis rooted in their
common allegiance to the progressive
development of man’s welfare within
a compatible society. A condition of
general peace, where institutions are compassing process whose strength controllable and people comprehensi- comes from wide and solidly based ble, is, in my opinion, an ideal situa-

tion for effecting change. Not only is it ideal, it is a necessarycondition.

As society grows more complex, the

Any other situation would create
over time a perilous limbo between a
repressive sort of inertia and the ex-
tremesof violentoutbreak.Wemay foretheappropriatepoliticaldecisions very well be in that threateningkind are reached, the need is greater than

of impasse today. Peace is shockingly absent when the war in SoutheastAsia continues and is able to snuff out seri- ous effortsfor comprehensivereform in our own society. The desire for change is, I believe, as real as it ever was in the humanmind, but the failure to bring about significantchange frus- trates all of us.

There is, therefore, as much risk in

standing still as there is in moving

destructivelyout of our present posi- tion. What we should be seeking is a

means of moving forward, channeling dynamic conflict into forms of peace-

ful change. This effort will inevitably involve the reduction of human vio-

ever before to have the broadest pos-

sible knowledge base-knowledge ori- ented toward the future rather than

lence and the promotion of man’s de- society. Recognizing the weaknesses

If peaceful change is to be achieved,

This article is taken from Senator Humphrey’s lecture given on 27 December 1971 at the AAAS annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


community will have to provide a more systematic knowledge base. But

political leaders must also be prepared to addressthe issues. Let me offer one

growing masses of the educated young appears to be on the rise. Can means be devised that would more fully match the needs of the formerand the aspira-


a new relationshipmust be established security. Nearly half of all research

between science and politics. Politics at its best under a democratic sys- tem of governmentcan be the vehicle for translatingtensions in our society into social progress. It is an all-en-

and developmentis devoted to perfect- ing means of destruction.Worldwide, the research and developmentdevoted to military purposes probably exceeds $25 billion. Alternativeconceptionsof our long-term interests could lead to a very different pattern of resource allocation. These alternativesmust be worked out in collaboration between the scientific community and political

leaders.In my view, the new directions

would include increased attention to

population, environment and growth, healthandeducation,armscontroland disarmament, a future international system, and conflict situations.

Throughout the world, population

vitality of the political process depends to an increasingdegreeon the effective- ness and equity of the measures de- signed to achieve its basic values. Be-

growth is taking place on an unprece- towardthepast.Sciencecancreatethe dentedscale.Whataretheimplications

knowledgebase, the startingpoint for a close working relationship between science and politics.

The consequencesof science for our age are profound.Increasingly,it is the basis of our technologicalsystems, the most powerful means devised by man for controllinghis environment.

From time to time, both science and politics come under attack, as is the case today. I am preparedto acknowl- edge their deficiencies, but we must also recognize their inherent value to

for conflict and development?For any

given level of population,may alterna- tive patterns of distributionhave sig-

nificantly different implications? Since World War II, the labor force in the United States has greatly in- creased in size, and the characterof its

knowledge and skills has undergone substantialchanges. At the same time, there have been importantshifts in the occupationalstructurefrom agriculture to manufacturing,and the service in- dustries have expanded. What are the future implications for peace and se-

velopment. Development essentially in-
volves the achievementof an improved
standardof living and quality of life.
Considered in the broader context, it
is concernedwith all paramountvalues
-political, social, and economic. In
practice, the process is still incomplete;
vast inequalities continue to exist
among nations. A new commitmentis
essentialiftheprocessistocontinue. questionaretobefound.Thescientific theadvancedstates,frustrationofthe

and the strengths, we must face curity of the manpowertrends of the

squarely what is our common chal- lenge: How can science and politics, each with its constructive role, work together more effectively to meet the needs and deal with the conflicts of our own people and of others?

past quarterof a century?
In the developing world, the birth-

A strong new commitment will be tinues to widen, while the world com- necessary if adequate answers to this munity grows smaller. Meanwhile, in

rate remains relatively high, while the standardof social welfare struggles to keep pace. The absolute gap between the have and have-not nations con-

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tions of the latter? What new dimen- sions of educationare essentialto equip our nation’smanpowerto play a more effective role in metropolitanand inter- national institutions, as well as those of a nationalcharacter?

Ourtechnologicalcapacityto modify the environmenthas multiplieda thou-

transfer, whether public or private, constitutes an important source of in- fluence. As technology is diffused among nations, their relations change. In the case of advanced states, the process may reach a point where inter- dependence is maintained by a self- sustaining,reciprocalflow of technol-

agencies to shape world opinion. Pub- lic opinion feeds back to this system

by having some weight, varying in de- gree accordingto the nature of a par- ticular national political system, in the determinationof priorities and of the broad parameterswithin which leaders may act.

Significant functional institutions, such as the internationalmonetarysys- tem, are neverthelessgraduallyemerg-

ing. Multinational corporations are among the most dynamic elements now on the scene. In addition, a large ar- ray of international,nongovernmental

sandfold, but a comprehensiveappreci- ogy which serves the interests of the

ation of how to reshape the country’s capacity to provide for both peaceful change and environmental quality is

lacking.Equallyimportant,whatis the positive contributionof technology to peace and security?Systematicanalysis of the nonmilitaryelementsof strength has not been attempted since the

1940’s. A large number of excellent

specialized studies exist, but it is im- possible without a concerted effort to derive from these the nation’spotential for moving towardits goals. Four areas illustratethe scope of the task.

1) General industrialcapacity: The foundations of national security in the early 20th century-raw materials,

and those of other countries are great, military production facilities-are no there is a certain amount of mutual

manufacturingcapacity,and specialized

longer a sufficientmeasureof potential

power and influence.Are there alterna-

tive patternsof adaptationand develop-

ment to support policies for achieving

security and developmentthat can be worked out in detail and tested?

2) Energy: Energy requirements have mounted in the last two decades and are expected to rise further. En- vironmentalconsiderationscontinue to loom ever larger.What will be the fu- ture energy needs of the United States? Of the world? As choices are made, what balance should be sought from the point of view of national strength? And how are these considerationsaf-

fected by the growth of energy needs in other parts of the world and by the global pattern of energy resource de- velopment?In what sense is energy a

strategic factor in shaping the global environment?

interest.Sharingthe problemshelps to solve them and, in the process, reduces the flash points of tension between na- tions or regions. More account must be taken of this fact in dealing with these urgent national and international needs.

The arms control and disarmament

talks are now in their third decade.

Meanwhile,investmentin weaponssys-

tems has continued apace. Ironically, survival has come to depend on the

tion:Thepostwarworldhasexperienced a revolutionin the means of communi-

cation and transportation. Important

tages to the nuclear age. More funda- mental approaches must be found if the persistent threat to our survival is to be removed.For one thing, a funda- mental rethinkingof the role and func-

participants.This kind of transferhas an importantbearingon the possibilities for peaceful change.

Betterprovisionsfor health and edu-

cation rank near the top of people’s

list of hopes and expectations. While
research has provided the basis for organizations of lesser scope have

major advances in health and learning,
deliveryof servicesin the United States
remains unsatisfactory, and resources
fall significantlyshort of requirements.
Moreover,in many parts of the world
the gap between what is technically
possible and what is actually available
is immense and may be widening. of a regional system is the Common While the differences between our Market. A potentially successful, spe-

health and educational requirements

cialized institutionis the planned U.N. Commission on the Human Environ- ment.

In what respects has this array of institutions kept pace with the new

requirements of the postwar period? And in what respects have they lagged behind? How does their present con- dition and their potential for growth relateto our centralconcernfor peace-

ful change and development? Attributesof conflictsituationsvary

widely, but common to all of them is the need for knowledge sufficient for constructiveaction to enable people to deal more predictablywith other peo- ple. What then must be known for

rationality of the adversary,expressed
in terms of a strategy of deterrence.
Now, in a war of hours rather than constructiveaction? Each conflict situ-

months, their destructivecapacity may

be measuredin megatons.New agree- ments are promised as a result of the SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) talks, and these are to be wel- comed. However, nothing is likely to emerge that will substantiallyreduce

ation has a particularsetting in time and space. Each has a unique set of participants for whom the situation has varying degrees of impact. The testimony of many statesmen is that they respondto events. Are there, then, preferredways for them to choose to what they will respond?What can be learned about situationsin which tak- ing the initiative is effective in reduc- ing violent conflict?

3) Communication and transporta- the role of civilian populationsas hos-

new developmentsare expected in the
next two decades. An appreciation-
strategic in scope-of the potential tions of the nation-statemay be re- However, to a degree that sets him

contribution of communications and

transportationto peaceful change and developmentis therefore essential. Are

there credibletechnologicaloptions for meeting the knowledge needs of indi- viduals in a manner that will con-

tribute to peace and development?
4) Technology transfer:Technology

18 FEBRUARY 1972

apart from all other species, man has acquired the power to create his own


Nation-states are still the major

actorsin the internationalsystem.They
have developed an array of instru-
ments to exercise influence within the our parochial perception of reality, system. These include, for example, how can a persistenttendencyto dis- diplomatic services for representation regard the values of the adversarybe and negotiation,as well as information reduced or overcome?

grown up. With the worldwide trend

towardurbanliving, metropolitanareas share common goals, even as they ex-

perience common problems.
Finally, there exist among govern-

ments regional and global institutions. One of the most successful examples

Like other living things, man is a resultof the experienceof his species.

experience. There may be as many viewsof realityastherearemen.Given

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New InstitutionalArrangements

ment commission, whose report on formation will no doubt introduce

Agreement on a common science-

politics agenda for peace and develop- ment is merely a first step. Next it is necessary to provide the institutional capacity to delineate and implement a comprehensiveprogram.The capacity, if it is to be effective, must be con- cerned not only with reliable scientific knowledge, but also with valid infor- mation for political action. For ex- ample, gathering enough knowledge to deal definitivelywith the population problem or the environmental prob- lem may be a long-term undertaking, but the time frame of political leaders

is rather short. Action are taken year by year. An arrangement is needed

which will support both systematic long-term studies and sensible short- term actions. Here an enlightened bureaucracy, which has a somewhat longer perspectivethan the elected offi- cial, has an importantpart to play.

I doubt whether there is a single

solution to providing an adequate in- stitutional framework for peace and

development. Let me instead suggest a numberof complementaryapproaches that may be valuable.

herbicideshas had a significantimpact on Congress and hopefully will have a similar impact on the other two

branchesof government.
What I have in mind is the sort of

some constraintsin independentaction, but it offersat least two advantagesthat

I think have great potential. On the one hand, an open system would in- troduce a badly needed competitive

multiplicity and diversity through element into the crucial process of which can come the balanced conclu- defining what information is impor- sions we need in our future-oriented tant for policy purposes.On the other policies. The job is not for one insti-

tution, any more than it is for one

branchof government.Guidelinesfor

the knowledge required for peaceful change should be a product of repre- sentative thinking.

estimates could help to focus the en-

deavors of Congress and the private sector, thus reducing misdirected ef- forts to a minimum.Those outside the Executive Branch would have the benefit of more informationthan they

Second, Congress should create a
new institution to provide itself and are able to gather and assimilate

the attentive public with open national intelligenceestimates.At present,both

Congress and the public must depend on fragmentary information derived

from personal contacts, committee hearings concerned with particular topics, and selective information “leaked”to the press by the Executive

Branch and by other governments. Facilities for open, systematic analysis and evaluation exist, but their activi- ties are also fragmentary.Among these are the Legislative Reference Bureau

of the Libraryof Congress,the Center

under present procedures. Congress would have a better basis for respond- ing to presidential initiatives. Com- mercialenterprisewould have a better foundationfor its investmentdecisions.

The scientific community would have a better basis for orienting its applied research and technology assessment efforts. Interest groups would have access to a body of authoritativein- formationnot now availableto many of them.

The estimates would focus on par- ticularsituationsof eithera geographic or functional nature involving major

First, for a broad knowledge base,
we need a broad base of scientific in- Kingdom, and the InternationalPeace questions of public policy. Second,

quiry. We have witnessedhow technol- ResearchInstitutein Sweden.In com- ogydevelopswithamomentumallits parison with the secret intelligence-

the estimateswould not present a posi- tiononpolicyissues,butwouldseekto provide concise and authoritativein- formation as a basis for congressional and public discussion. Third, while

for Strategic Studies in the United

own, often with little benefitto society at large. Scientists and politicians, to-

gether and separately,must ask ques- tions before they arrive at answers. Too often official researchpanels have had participantswho know the answer before they study the problem-be- cause they all agree. In most instances under governmental sponsorship, the diversity and confrontation that exist

in public conscience and among poli- tical leaders are not duplicated at the scientific level.

While making as much use as possi- ble of officialinstitutions,our govern- ment should turn more and more to

the unencumbered,independent scien-
tific bodies. Edward David, science unity of the nation. One example edge in relation to a spectrum of adviserto the President,discussedthis amongmanywas project”Camelot”in policy alternatives.
problem with respect to his own com- Latin America. Ostensibly a social The informationwould be stored in mittee, the National Science Founda- science project, the real purpose of computer-based systems. The com- tion, and the National Academy of
Sciences. He found that, despite their
excellence, these institutions did not
quite fit the bill. He stressedthe need

gathering facilities of all major governments, the open capacities for

collection, analysis, and authoritative
synthesis of policy-relevant informa- some estimates might focus on areas

tion is very limited.
While all governmentsdevote sub-

stantial resources to acquiring secret

information,this practiceposes special problemsfor a democracy.On balance, the Executive Branch acquires unin-

tended special advantages.The utility of secret informationcannot be denied,

of potential crisis, others would seek

to give an authoritativeassessmentof

selected long-term developments. An example of the former would be an estimate of the emerging situation in Southeast Asia prepared well before the war broke upon an unprepared world. An example of the latter might

but there are also major disutilities. be an assessmentof the international

Undertakingsmay be initiated which, for lack of full discussion and partici- pation by those with a stake in the outcome, may in the end damage the

implications of changes in population size and quality over the next decade. In either case, the summary estimate would seek to correlateexisting knowl-

the program, to study the possibilities puters would also be capable of pro-

of revolution and the techniques of counterrevolutionunder CIA sponsor- ship, was ultimately disclosed. The

viding assistance in visualizing and

to turn to independent boards of in- result was a general suspicion of cern themselves with domestic as well quiry or research. The AAAS has American social scientists in Latin as internationalsituations.Partof the

shown how effective this kind of ap-

proach can be. One example among many is the AAAS’s herbicide assess-


America and increasedtension in our relations with Latin American.

Open treatmentof policy-relevantin-

public concern and confusion about such problems as poverty, drugs, and crime, I am inclined to believe, stems


hand, the availability of authoritative

simulatingpolicy options.
National estimates ought to con-

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from the lack of regular and authori- national priorities, that affect what is growth vital for the more important tative assessment.Informationand mis- commonly referred to as our national peace and developmentindustries.The informationabound,butobjectiveand security.Theattemptherewouldbeto commissionshouldIbebroadlyrepre- authoritativeestimatesare rare. fortify the constitutional separation sentative of business, labor, science,

By the way of institutionalarrange- of powers and joint participation in and the public. Its primarytask would ments, I visualize a representative decision-making. National security, be not merely to determinewhat the Board of Estimates with a relatively which until now has been a gray zone nature and pattern of growth is likely small, high-caliber professional staff of ambiguity and surrender as far as to be in the years ahead, but to docu- consisting of social advisers who the Congress is concerned, has come ment what is possible and to suggest

would be responsiblefor preparingthe estimates. One of the initial tasks of the staff would be to develop channels of communication with scientists and researchworkersin all fields. Any re- search scientist, area expert, or indi- vidual who felt he had relevantknowl- edge should have an opportunity to contributeto an estimate. There should also be opportunitiesfor criticism of estimatesonce they are issued.

Similarly, the users of these esti-

tional programs and participating di-
rectly in the diplomatic process. At
present, we are inadequatelyequipped
with research and development capac-
would be available to examine the ity and commitment to deal with other nations, the commitment of the

material from which it derived. such problem areas as conflict resolu- United States to strengthen its capac-

A system of open national estimates tion, population, and the environment, ity for peaceful change may be could make an essential contribution all of which are candidates for our aborted. The United States may exer-

mates in Congress and among the public should be expected to contrib-

StimulatingReciprocal Action by Other Nations

ute to the process. If a policy-maker questioned a finding, the opportunity

Without complementary action by

participantsin the policy process free to make his own unique contribution.

not be left wholly to chance or “con- ventional wisdom,” as is too often the case at present. With the creation of an effective, constructive capacity for peaceful change, the self-interest of other nations can be expected to

Third, as congressional sources of information are expanded and modi- fied, so must the institutional nature of the congressional process mature.

adaptation.Science does not have the

corporativeintegrationthat the govern- ment has developedover the years, but

a conscious reorderingof priorities in that area should be the main focus of reform. For much of the redirec- tion, the impetus may have to come from Congress. For Congress to pro- vide this force, it will need to resort to a revampingof its own system.

Certain congressional practices and facilities need to be updated. For a

more detailed blueprint of reform, I have proposed that there be estab- lished a citizen’s committee to study Congress. At the same time I have proposed that a joint committee on national security be established to study in an integrated way some of the urgent issues, such as defense, arms control, foreign development,and

18 FEBRUARY 1972

useful. It may be especiallyhelpful in the realm of possibility that system- arranging preventive talks which atic study and analysis would not

help to keep conflict from coming to demonstratethe feasibility of creating a head. From time to time a single new complementary capabilities for

individual whose integrity is respected peace and development?

largely under the purview of the Ex- ecutive Branch. The Congress has moved gradually into this area, but never in a clear, formalized manner. The joint committee would give de- pendable definition to the kind of re- form and policies that our government should be instituting.

Fourth, I can envisage the creation of a series of national institutes of

peace and development,charged with initiating new domestic and interna-

what is preferable.With such an anal- ysis, enterprises and urban centers could more readily appreciatethe op- portunities opening for them. Cities, for example, could begin to plan for their growth on the basis of peace and developmentindustriesin contrastwith the past, when many have had to rely on weapons production and mili- tary installations.

common agenda.
The commitmentcannot be stressed

cise leadershipin the undertaking,but a reciprocal response from others is vital.

to strengtheningthe now frayed links
between public participation, political
action, researchand development,and
the allocation of resources. Attention
would be directed to common objec-
tives, while leaving each of the various strengthened. This conclusion flows to peaceful, constructive change need

Private capacity to promote ini-

The goal of stimulating other na- tions to commit talent and resources

tiativesin internationalaffairsshouldbe

from a study project with which I
was associated that surveyed the ac-
tivities of 500 organizationsand con-
ducted interviews with leaders in all
walks of life. Private diplomacy that
is not burdened by the traditional in-
Science and government can only ,flexibility of government is one im- lead them to respond. Moreover, in work effectively together if there is a portant area for new initiatives. It strengtheningour capacity for peace- parallel and complementarystructural has played a relatively important role ful change we need not rely on the in Vietnam,but it could be even more power of example alone. Is it beyond

can, by moving back and forth between adversaries,play a catalytic role.

With the building of a system of world education, the commitment I

am talking about would be self-per- petuating.This might take the form of a multicentered world university, as advocated by Harold Lasswell, or of a world system of research centers, as suggestedby Carl Kaysen, which in time might acquirea teachingfunction.

Fifth, I believe a joint commission created by Congress and the Execu- tive Branch may be needed to begin

In conclusion, let me enlarge on the challenge posed at the outset. Let us agree to commit our energy and talent:
I to the goal of peace and develop- ment;

– to a common agenda for science

and politics in supportof that goal;
– to the creation of the institutional

capacity essential for the production and utilization of knowledge in the

pursuitof that goal;

I and finally, by example and design, to inducing other nations to establish

now to identify the





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