Hubert Humphrey 1948 Convention Speech

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Notes and Memoranda: The Senate on Trial

World Affairs Institute

AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY: THE HARD LESSONS OF WAR AND PEACE Author(s): HUBERT H. HUMPHREY
Source: World Affairs, Vol. 134, No. 3 (Winter, 1971), pp. 193-209 Published by: World Affairs Institute

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY: THE HARD

LESSONS OF WAR AND PEACE By HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

I.

he foreign policy of the United States of the early 1970s continues in a

troubled mood: uneasy, much perplexed, and lacking a general sense of vision. Aside from trying to focus on such critical issues as United

States relationships with Western Europe, the Soviet Union, Viet Nam, China, and theMiddle East, current American foreign policy has permitted the rest of theworld almost to vanish from our horizon. Relationships with India, Pakistan, Africa, Latin America?the whole question ofworld eco

nomic and social development?seem hardly a matter of concern to the present Administration except as they intrude upon the well-being of the

American
Not a few voices welcome this change of national mood. Some of

yesterday s traumatic national worries about global problems now seem muted, even if only temporarily so. There are commentators on all sides calling forAmericans to look inward on themselves and, in effect, to let the

rest of mankind take care of itself. Not for them the insight of Mazzini that

“you cannot, even ifyou would, separate your life from that of humanity; you live in it,by it, for it.”

Historical revisionists seek to provide an intellectual framework for this shifting national temperament. In their view the United States was not

simply thrust unwillingly into the responsible role of providing some world leadership afterWorld War II, nor did it rearm primarily to assist in

keeping world peace. America must first understand, according to this

critique, that itmay have consciously pursued the wrong goals, in the wrong

places and at the wrong times throughout the entire postwar period. Of course, much of .this revisionism tends to downplay or fails tomention the

brutalizing terror imposed on Eastern Europe after 1945.

To a degree, however, these shiftingmoods and judgments are appropri ate to the needs of the hour. The United States is not omniscient nor

omnicompetent in world affairs. Reassessment of America’s foreign policy goals, aspirations, and results must be a continuing element in our national

life,no matter where the chips or blame may fall.We are not immune from

failure. But itwill be the judgment of history not the doubts of statesmen nor instant insights of gloriously unaccountable critics which will provide

the ultimate test formeasuring American successes or failures.
American involvement inViet Nam is the catalyst around which national

questioning of U.S. foreign policy has been revolving. Peace and war remain 193

economy.

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194 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

the main issue facing us, but Viet Nam is the focal point. The War in Vietnam has already marked its quarter century and American involvement now comprises a full decade. It has cost us more than 45,000 American lives,

and almost 300,000 casualties, more than $115 billion of American wealth, and division and discord at home.

We entered the war a confident nation concerned with our ability to

foster peace and security inmany parts of the world; we are leaving it a nation uncertain of ourselves, uncertain of the future, uncertain of our place

in the world. This “coming out of war” is a difficult time: Alexis de Tocqueville called it “the most important time in the life of a country.” On

the other hand, we should not let this period overwhelm our thinking for a questioning mood offers better hope for our future well-being than mere

complacency would.
What have we learned? What lessons have we bought in blood and

treasure in Southeast Asia? What will we think and do now that differs from our posture of a decade ago?

These are not simple questions, and they do not have simple answers. But we do know that the Viet Nam War has caused something to happen in America. It has changed our country and our people. It has forced us to go

against accepted views which hold that failure has to be, in the phrase of Henry Bramford Parker, “the result either of weakness or of an incorrect technique.” It has compelled us to reexamine our role in theworld; to see in historical perspective what we have done; and to ask what are our

responsibilities forpeace and security today and in the future.
Twenty-five years ago America was nearing the end of a bitter and costly

war and looked forward to a new world at peace. The American dream was

of continuing postwar amity and cooperation among wartime allies and of strongmoral limits on the use of power?limits to be observed by all nations. That dream soon faded. We found that only America had the means and

the will to save much of the world either from a new tyranny imposed by

military force, or from the ravages of economic collapse and a widespread poverty of the human spirit. Looking back in retrospect, some commentators have charged that American convictions about the postwar situation were primarily the result of a misguided anticommunist stance. Anticommunism

may, of course, have beclouded some American judgments on foreign

policy. Initially, however, the questions faced by the United States did not simply involve capitalism versus communism. Rather, the fundamental issue

was the unsettling division of Europe along lines hardly satisfactory to

directly concerned parties.
As America faced an increasingly bleak future it resolved, above all, not

to repeat its own mistakes and the mistakes of others of the 1920s and the

1930s. There were many who had heard with astonishment the comments of Neville Chamberlain as Japanese bombs were dropping on Chinese cities:

“If itwas not that China was so far away and the scenes which were taking place were so remote from our everyday consciousness, the sentiments of pity, horror, and indignation which would be aroused by a full observation of those events might yet drive this people to courses which perhaps they

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 195

had never contemplated.” When armed confrontations threatened after 1945, the United States was convinced that it could not sit idly by again, waiting until itwould be dragged once more into costly and deadly wars.

With this conviction, Americans accepted the role of international respon sibility, even though we had no way of forecasting the future.We refused to turn our backs on Europe and other parts of the world that desperately

needed our aid. We were determined to hold off the return of isolation, and we worked diligently to build structures of collective security that would

bring order out of near chaos. This massive effort took us suddenly into a new and often confusing era in our history; we abandoned almost overnight

themost basic tenet of our foreign policy: to beware of entangling alliances.

Our new involvement?including our repudiation of isolationism?was underscored by our leadership in creating the United Nations, in forging the NATO Alliance, and in vast investments in foreign aid. To a significant extent all these developments grew, as Dean Acheson has noted, out of America’s “task and its difficulty?to lead a group of free nations by the

methods of free association.”

our network of commitments stretches around the world, and involves alliances with 43 different nations. In less than three decades?an “instant of time” inman’s history?we grew from provincial state to super

power, with the greatest physical and economic power the world has ever known.

There was no precedent for this development. No other nation has been required to do?and learn?so much in so little time. And I believe that we

met the demands placed upon us with a surprising degree of sophistication and success. We used our resources to bring political stability and economic

recovery to nations ravaged by World War II. We provided a shield of protection behind which other peoples and nations could once again stand

strong and renewed. We met the fierce force of aggression in Korea. We sought to bring stability to the Middle East. We extended our power and resources bit by bit into Southeast Asia until we were engulfed in a strange and cruel war that defied all norms of conventional warfare.

That war inVietnam has brought with it such disillusionment and discord

thatmany Americans of every political persuasion now question anew all United States overseas involvements. At this time of national testing and

trial itwould be inappropriate to scourge ourselves to Xhe point where our national understanding of foreign affairs and our national will are weak ened. On the contrary, I believe we should take to heart the counsel of

Arnold Toynbee in his lectures “Civilization on Trial.” It is always a test of character to be baffled and “up against it,”Mr. Toynbee commented, “but the test is particularly severe when the adversity comes suddenly at the noon of a halcyon day which one has fatuously expected to endure to eternity. In straits like these thewrestler with destiny is tempted to look for bugbears and scapegoats to carry the burden of his own inadequacy. Yet to pass the buck’ in adversity is stillmore dangerous than to persuade oneself

that prosperity is everlasting.” America should not have had scapegoats 25 years ago when charges were thundering in the United States that failures

Today

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196 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

in judgment had “lost China.” Nor should we seek them on the right or left today for any real or imaginary failures on Vietnam.

Above all, we must not let our experience inVietnam obscure the reality that for 25 years we helped preserve the world from a major war; in

particular, from a nuclear holocaust and that Americans have fundamentally

been, asWalter Lippmann once said, “anti-imperialists abroad; that is, they have disliked to see peoples ruled by alien powers.” Sometimes our actions have fallen dismally short of our ideals. On other occasions, as we have tried

to help other societies, we have been too overconfident that our views on democracy, freedom, and justice were the only ones. Despite all our failures, however, for themost part we can be proud of the general purpose and direction of our postwar foreign aspirations and policies.

More immediately, of course, we must put into practice the costly lessons we learned from the sorrow ofVietnam. We have learned above all thatwe must now carefully assess all of our national interests, free from an ideology

of involvement and tested by hard, uncompromising analysis. Underlying all the rhetoric about Vietnam is the belief that we are overcommitted, that there are limits to the use of military power and these limits need to be

defined. We learned that we must not become deeply involved where we have little at stake, or where our own security can be protected by other means than armed intervention.We must exercise that thoughtful discretion which is the better part of valor.

One lesson which we have hopefully not unlearned from our Vietnam

is the usefulness of alliances and continuous consultation with our friends and allies. At times such ties can overcommit a nation and overextend its limited resources. But we must not drown our Vietnam

sorrows through an irrelevant attack on alliances in general, as some would

have us do. Alliances, tempered by good judgment and low commitments, continue to be as useful today as in previous eras when Robert Walpole long ago could claim that “by alliances . . . the equip?se of power ismaintained, and those alarms and apprehensions awarded, which must arise from the vicissitudes of empire and the fluctuations of perpetual conflict.”

There is still a third lesson ofVietnam, a lesson which reflects a new sense in America that we must turn our minds and talents, and direct our

resources, to pressing needs at home. The traditional line dividing domestic

from foreign affairs has become as indistinct as a line drawn through water. This means that our place in the world and the nature of our own society have become indivisible. Our structure of common defense and security could prove to be only a hard outer shell that could collapse on an empty

center unless we bring new strength to areas of our internal life that are threatened on every side?as we see our environment polluted and dam aged, our cities rotting, our systems of education and health care grossly inadequate, our people tornby bitter dissension.

There are growing fears that this new questioning of our involvement in theworld will lead us to another period of isolation; there is the growing feeling that we will abandon our role of international involvement and return to isolation and Fortress America. Our Allies inEurope are especially

experience

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 197

and their fears are fostered by misguided efforts in the United States to regard all of our separate commitments in theworld as indivisible

seeing in our disengagement from Vietnam the threat that we will abandon Europe and theMiddle East as well.

Nothing could be more absurd. Today it is impossible for us to isolate

ourselves physically, politically, or economically from the rest of the world.

The facts of communications, transport, trade, and the travels of our people have ruled that out, not just for now but for all time.

In remarking about the spread of a “neo-isolationist” sentiment in the United States, political observers should not overlook one salient feature:

the antiwar community in America has been more concerned with the damage wrought to U.S. world standing by Vietnam than it has been with turning tail and running away. The debate within theAmerican community

over foreign policy has not focused on rejecting intervention and cooper ation, but on what should be the limits and responsibilities of U.S. power and influence. I believe we can safely argue that traditional American

isolationism will not become rampant, unless our politicians and statesmen

permit a broad failure in our political leadership.
Yet there is a danger of a new moral isolation, brought about inpart by our

failure to see that recovery and prosperity, as found in Europe, does not mean that the job is done. Nor must we permit our weariness with war and

responsibility to trap us into believing that we can now separate ourselves from a deep and lasting involvement in the rest of the world. On the

contrary, we are now fully committed to playing a major role in the future of mankind. Historian John Lukacs declared several years ago that “there is

still evidence that youthfulness, resilience, adaptability and the idealistic inclination?all traditional American characteristics?continue to exist and

that, in their proper context, they may play a beneficent role in the world history of nations.” Vietnam may have somewhat deflated and hurt these

American characteristics but I believe that this role is still in the American

future, not, as some argue, behind us.
We can?and we must?readjust the scale and nature of our involvements,

and manage these changes intelligently. But we must be careful not to act in

haste, not to explore a shortsighted and ultimately futile moral disengage ment from the world. There are equal dangers?of overinvolvement and

blind abstention. We must carefully steer a course between the two, a thought which led Theodore Roosevelt to contend that the people of the United States had no choice about whether to “play a great part in the

world. This has been determined for us by fate, by the march of events. We have to play that part. All that we can decide iswhether we shall play it

well or ill.”What was true yesterday is equally so today.

II.

In recent years, we have seen the development of a central paradox: that

while the United States and the Soviet Union have become more powerful

in strictlymilitary terms, our ability to use this power has become more limited.We must not underestimate the latent power and effects of nuclear

concerned;

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198 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

weapons. They are still of central importance in relations among the major nations of the world. But now, at a time of mutual deterrence, their

mystique is dwindling and other expressions of power are emerging in competition with them.

We are living in a new age of pluralism: The bonds of alliances are

both in theWest and in the Communist world. Sino-Soviet rivalry has become a threat to peace, and firm evidence that the Communist

monolith is no more. The game of world politics now has a host of new players in the developing world. Individual countries are making new

diplomatic approaches and arrangements with little reference to the super powers that once were virtually the sole custodians of security. Even Soviet

military occupation of Czechoslovakia has failed to quash hopeful develop ments in Eastern Europe.

In today’s world, power isproving tobe persuasive only to the extent that it is appropriate to local circumstances and the interests of local powers. We

are discovering a new definition of power that goes beyond military might. We have rediscovered the insight of Romano Guardini that power “presup

poses spirit, that reality inman which renders him capable of extricating himself from the immediate context of nature in order to direct it in

freedom.”
The plain fact is that, in the world of today, there is a much greater play

of national capabilities; and they should be concentrated on economic development through multilateral means. We are no longer the only source

of help against threats to the security of Southeast Asia, or against poverty. Hopeful developments there will be lasting only if they spring from efforts

by local countries, and if they command broad popular support.
Our experience in Southeast Asia points to a central dilemma in foreign

policy: the difficulty of reconciling stability with change, not only to resist Communist takeover of underdeveloped nations but to preclude chaos from

spreading so far and fast that the security of our principal allies is

jeopardized.
Today we recognize that the stability of Soviet-American relations is

necessary for the survival of the world. But we also recognize that unless

there can be change in the world?economic, social, and political change within countries and in international society?then stability itselfwill prove

fruitless and self-defeating.
We must findways to promote change within a framework of order, or the

future of theworld will be tyrannized by either anarchy or repression. We can begin by supporting effortswithin Europe to move away from more than twenty years of confrontation to a new European Commonwealth of

Nations embracing the entire Continent.
The United States no longer has the dominating voice in European

politics; nor should we wish it. But we are a European power, deeply involved in providing security and confidence, without which there would

be no hope of change.
All this means, of course, that we must build our policy toward Europe

weakening,

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 199

around reality, not illusion. National sovereignty still remains the heart of

European politics. The gravity of regional institutions and cooperation has

been an astounding postwar phenomenon, but there still is no regional taxing power to raise funds for defense and regional security. Nor are there

regional legislative institutions which reflect the desires of diverse national constituencies. Britain’s entry into the Common Market could inject new life

into the European integration movement. While this would be a most welcome step, it could, particularly if Britain and France assumed a new

joint form of European leadership, create additional complex problems for

U.S. foreign policy.
There has been some movement in the United States today to reduce

sharply and quickly our commitment to NATO, before we work out firm understandings with all nations in Europe?East and West?on the future of

the Continent.
Would this be wise? As I see it,we will not achieve mutual and balanced

force reductions ifwe act first and alone; we will not convince the Soviet Union to accept rules of civilized behavior in Eastern Europe ifwe lose interest in European affairs; we will not reassure our allies that we are con cerned with the future of Europe ifwe are insensitive to their anxieties

and needs.

We must show that our partnership with Europe really means something, and support efforts to resolve the division of the Continent. As an additional

part of the new diplomacy we should encourage our allies in their proposal for a European Security Conference, and realize that this conference can be

part of the political process that may help achieve what we want?troop reductions throughout Europe. We should recognize, of course, that many of our European allies desire a full and realistic settlement of the Berlin question before they will be willing to move ahead with this proposed conference.

We should make consultation, particularly on force levels, a constant on-going effort?with regular meetings at the highest level?not a vehicle for

showmanship and American lecturing to our European allies. Above all, we should be extremely careful in not permitting the consultation mechanism ever to deteriorate to the point where European confidence in the U.S.

nuclear umbrella is either seriously diminished or destroyed.
We should encourage and support bilateral political contacts between our

allies and the nations of theWarsaw Pact, including recent West German efforts to improve relations with the Soviet Union and the Eastern Euro pean States. Both the United States and our European friends must work

for expanded trade and unilateral relations between East and West.
Most importantly of all, we should help tomake the NATO Alliance an international instrument for peaceful engagement, not a rigid institution

committed to the past. With our allies, we can help to liquidate the legacy ofmilitary confrontation. But thiswill require a new American awareness of

Europe’s needs, problems, and hopes. This is at the very heart of the new diplomacy of partnership and reconciliation.

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200 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

III.

Despite their increasing parity in certain areas of nuclear weaponry and defense, it is important not to ignore that the fundamental question before the Soviet Union and the United States now is not who should be

the superior or enforcer, but rather, according to Robert E. Osgood, “how much ofwhat kinds of strategic weapons is enough for assured destruction, with perhaps an extra margin for damage limitation.” We must be continu

ously alert to redefining the boundaries and scope of this question. Congressional limitation of the ABM and declarations on limiting the

involvement of U.S. troops in conflict abroad have also given the nod from the United States for agreements of substance and scope. The details of current Soviet and U.S. proposals cannot be discussed with any accuracy, and I cannot talk about hypotheticals. However, now thatMIRV has begun to be deployed on both Poseidon and Minuteman III, United States and Soviet negotiators must make every effort to reach agreements that are

reciprocal.
I do not think thatwe have the luxury of time or opportunity to reject a

limited ban or curtailment of any system, and insist on a comprehensive

agreement. This would be the ideal. However, we must not reject making some progress ifagreement cannot be reached on all systems.

We have valuable precedents to support Presidential overtures of a conciliatory nature. In 1958 President Eisenhower offered to halt American

testing of nuclear weapons for a period of one year from the beginning of negotiations on a formal treaty if the United Kingdom and the Soviet

Union would follow suit. This mutual moratorium was preserved for nearly

three years.
In 1963 President Kennedy again ordered a halt to testing of nuclear

weapons in the atmosphere and proposed tomaintain the ban so long as the Russians did likewise. They responded, and the result was the historic

Test-Ban Treaty?a proposal I had long urged.
We now have pledges from many countries to adhere to the nuclear

non-proliferation treaty. Of course, we must not ignore that serious obstacles remain before this treaty can go into effect.Many countries, including large ones, have neither signed nor ratified this treaty, largely because they feel its impact is to disarm the unarmed. This feeling can be worked on, no

doubt, and fears alleviated. The difficult problem comes, however, from

those nations which, consciously or unconsciously, wish to keep open their

nuclear
It is important that President Nixon halt deployment of ABM and delay

further deployment of MIRV. Like President Kennedy, he holds in his hands the keys to arms control?or to an uncertain world of mutual terror.

We would run no serious risks; and we could always continue our programs if the Russians failed to respond. I believe that such a moratorium can succeed; and all mankind?all future generations?would forever be in our

debt. But even ifwe do succeed?even ifwe do stop the dangerous and

option.

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 201 destabilizing weapons now being prepared by both sides, therewill be other

in the future.
This prospect increases the importance of the SALT talks.Whether or not

we succeed in stopping the MIRV, the ABM and the SS-9 before it is too late,we must work patiently with the Soviet Union to achieve one common goal: continued survival in a world where nuclear weapons technology itself

is our greatest enemy.
No nation dare ignore that technology has eroded the ground out from

under traditional concepts of security. Today we are faced with a balance of terror. From now on, nations must bare much of their security on greater

political understanding, orwe will have no security at all!
I do not argue that we can trust the Russians in all of our relations with

them.We cannot: they are still not prepared to consider agreements with us or with our allies in many areas of the world in which competition and conflicts of interest could still have deadly consequences. All we have to do

is to look at the sudden rapid growth of Soviet naval power in the

Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and Red Sea to be sufficiently alerted to expanding Russian threats throughout the world. Despite these realities, unless we transform Soviet-American relations in the critical area of nuclear weapons, we may not live to debate other questions of serious but lesser

importance.
This will require a new diplomacy, managed with skill and patience, and

extending far beyond the SALT talks.We must recognize that there is no easy exit from the many dilemmas facing us; we must take full account of the interests of our allies, in Europe and elsewhere; and we must seek ways to turn all aspects of our relationship with the Soviet Union from the sterile

byways of military confrontation into the more hopeful paths of political accommodation. On their part, moreover, the Soviets must not mistake current U.S. disillusion and uncertainty about Vietnam as an opening for them to take a leapfrogging lead in nuclear weaponry. Perhaps the most distinguishing hallmark in the American culture is the ideal of “fair play” for all. The American people react instinctively when this ideal is grossly or seriously violated and they would not tolerate in any manner any inkling that the Soviet Union or any other nation was ever again trying to “pull a fast one” on us.

Mutual trust between Soviet Russia and the United States is a hard goal to pursue but we must work at this night and day. Precisely because our two societies differ in their fundamental concepts of man and community, individual freedom and social justice, the path toward mutual trust is an

unending and perilous one. Long before the world ever heard of Lenin and Stalin, de Toqueville set down some of the differences between our societies. The American and Russian nations, he stated, seemed “marked out by the

will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe . . . the principal instrument of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude.” In the ensuing time since de Toqueville made these reflections, our societies have contin

ued on their diverse, separate development. Over the past decade we have heard arguments advanced that our two countries are “converging” and no

terrifyingweapons

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202 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

doubt there is some truth in this. Our patterns of economic growth, educational structures, and scientific concerns have certain parallel tenden cies. At the same time, however, we will probably continue tomove into the future along the lines of our separate histories, national spirit, and distinc tive political inheritance.

America and Russia, therefore, do view each others intentions and policies from perspectives which are quite different. Yet this should only

compel us to tryharder to understand each other. We could usefully begin annual working meetings at the highest level between American and Russian leaders. And we should expand trade relations, cultural contacts,

and the search for peaceful engagement in many areas of science, com merce, and technology. This must be a part of the new diplomacy.

Americans and Russians do have, we must not forget, one thing in common;

that is, they both recognize the need, in the phrase of .H. Uddell-Hart, for “mutual restraint for mutual security.’, Man, they both insist, must control

both himself and his own destiny?if he is to be fully human. In practice

they differ over what thismeans. But by proceeding on a step-by-step basis,

Russia and the United States have built some elements for integrating trust into their relationships. We must move forward from

IV.

American relations with the Soviet Union are of central importance. But other developments in the 1970s demand our attention; other factors will

influence what the United States can usefully do in the world.

Most important among these is the emergence of China as a major power in Asia. Today, Chinese power is still more psychological than factual, although it is growing. It would be a fatal error ifwe let ignorance and

unreasoning fear in the face of future Chinese military power close the door

to political understandings with Peking.
We must do all we can to end the isolation of China, helping to bring her

into the community of nations, free from paranoia and committed to

respecting the legitimate rights of her neighbors. An isolated China is a danger to all theworld; a China that is involved with the outside world will

still pose problems, and perhaps even threats of a serious nature, but at least

however, here?together.

there will be some hope that accommodation will replace antagonism. The resumption of American-Chinese discussions inWarsaw was

and is a hopeful development. We must exert greater initiatives in the relaxation of

trade and travel restrictions between China and the United States. Cultural exchanges can also serve to broaden the contacts between our peoples.

They are modest beginnings; and theywill not be enough. We must also realize that the legacy of embittered Chinese-American relations will not be overcome in a year, or perhaps even in a decade. But we can do much to come to terms with China, and come to terms with ourselves regarding

a visible in our relations, before China will respond to our efforts. Our

China. Yet itmay well take years before these efforts produce change

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China, Russia,

AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 203

taken in full consultation with our allies?can and should lead to the eventual diplomatic recognition of China. This too must be a

part of the new diplomacy.
President Nixons outstretch to China, now resulting in a hopeful visit, is a

generous gesture, especially coming from a leader whose public career was built on contrary sentiments. No American can fail to applaud Mr. Nixon s

decision and Pekings welcome response to it.At the same time, however, responsible critics are correct in judging that while by itself Mr. Nixon’s move was not unsettling, when linked to his subsequent new international

economic policies, the China move has created certain difficulties for the

United States. Thus, the U.S.-Japanese relationship was badly hurt by the one-two punch of these moves which, to many Japanese, have seemed

directly aimed at them. As with somany other Nixon departures, an initially good move may create more problems forus than it resolves, chiefly because

the Nixon Administration has generally failed to take the follow-through steps necessary tomake the new policy a viable one.

It would be inappropriate to dash cold water on what one hopes and

prays will become a momentous opening for U.S.-China relationships. Yet,

like Russia, China is also a creature of history, possessing its own glorious traditions and philosophy of life.No matter how ruthless communist rule or the “cultural revolution” may have been, these traditions are still imprinted

on the Chinese character.
As nations unfurl dreams of a China open overnight to the world, dreams

which include such things as a market of 800 million Chinese customers, theymight do well to examine the past. Mr. Nixon is not the firstWesterner to reach out to China. Others have tried before, often without success. The

classic example was England’s King George Ill’s proposal for diplomatic

relations. In reply, Emperor Ch’en Leing (1735-95) politely noted that “our ceremonies and codes of laws differ so completely from your own that, even

if your envoy were able to acquire the rudiments of our civilization, you could not possibly transplant our manners and customs to your alien soil. . . . I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country’s manufactures.” Our era is an entirely different one. We may be able to open up respectful and mutually beneficial relations with China. I

have always held this as a high aspiration. Yet ifprogress comes, itwill probably be only through dint of hard efforton the part of both nations. We must therefore not allow our hopes to be ungrounded in reality or otherwise

theymay turn into unfulfilled illusions.
We cannot afford to neglect, further, that our search for a common ground

with China also may involve a search for a tripartite common ground among

initiatives?always

and the United States. This will involve most delicate since in our own national interests we can never permit either of

diplomacy
these great nations to possess a veto over U.S. policy toward the other. They

may at present be geopolitical enemies but thismay not always remain so. Our aim should be to deal with both nations on terms of trust, honor, and

respect.

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204 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

We see today the rising of a new Asia. We must therefore continuously

remind ourselves that the primary responsibility for security and develop ment inAsia rests with the Asian nations themselves.

They must take the lead. It is theywho best understand themselves?their past and their hopes for the future.We should be prepared to cooperate?to
be a helpful partner, not a dominating force.We do have an interest in

Asia?but we are not an Asian power. We are a Pacific power.
Chief among these Asian nations is Japan, with whom we have strong ties. These ties must be continued and expanded as the best hope of

promoting development and stability in Asia without holding the ring ourselves.

Japan is uniquely situated. She is the most powerful Asian country?not in military might nor in nuclear weapons, but in economic strength; she has a

thorough knowledge of the Asian continent and its diverse cultures, wide

spread trading partnerships, and an inventive approach to new problems. These qualities enhance Japan’s ability to play a leading role in helping Asia

to enter a new era of political, social, and economic development.
Recent U.S. policies and hints toward Japan have been quite discourag

ing. President Nixon’s economic controls have dealt a harsh blow to Japan’s economy and his failure to signal Prime Minister Sato about America’s overtures to China was at best inept diplomacy. Defense Secretary Laird’s ambiguous statements on Japan’s possible nuclear future have left confusion

in their wake, despite the clear comment by Japanese leaders that the nuclear option will not be taken. With Japan considerably confused by

recent U.S. policies, it could well begin to look inward to find ways for protecting its own national interests. Already both China and South Korea

have expressed alarm at this Japenese self-questioning and ifwrong turns are taken by Japan, the ill-conceived manner inwhich Mr. Nixon made his

moves could have very serious repercussions onAsia’s future.

America should continue, particularly during this period of transition, to be directly concerned with Asian affairs.We seek an early end to the Vietnam war; but we cannot ignore the real problems that will continue in

Southeast Asia once we are gone fromVietnam. Without becoming an Asian power, deeply enmeshed in the politics and problems of that continent, we can and should support hopeful efforts by local peoples to work out then

own destiny.
In September 1968 at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, I gave

my views on Southeast Asia in a speech entitled “The New Strategy for Peace.” I believe whatever role we play in Southeast Asia should carefully follow three guidelines: self-help, regional and multilateral assistance, and

selective American involvement.
First, local countries must manifest a willingness to help themselves, both

to provide security and to undertake economic and social development; and

they must have the courage to organize their own affairs in ways that will provide them with a stable basis for governing.

Second, primary responsibility forhelping individual nations provide for

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 205

their security and economic development should restwith the nations in the area and with multilateral and regional organizations.

Third, American help should be selective and carefully measured. Our

effortsmust be justified by our own interests and responsibilities; and they

should be concentrated on economic development through multilateral means. We are no longer the only source of help against threats to the

security of Southeast Asia, or against poverty. Hopeful developments there will be lasting only if they spring from effortsby local countries, and if they

command broad popular support.
V.

Elsewhere in theworld the dilemma of change versus order will be even

more difficult to resolve, yet more pressing, as population growth, poverty, and unrest disrupt whole continents.

There are more than a billion people in the world today in countries where the average annual income per person is less than 100 dollars. Hundreds of millions live on less than fifty dollars a year. Evidence has

shown us that poverty and deprivation, coupled with the beginning of education and hope, create a revolution of rising expectations. And people all over theworld are “in touch.” The transistor radio and communications satellite will make this even more so in the immediate future.

The man in Korea, or Guatemala, or Zambia knows what modern society can mean to his family. He knows what the United States has. He knows about our wealth. He knows about the vast resources at our command, and at the command of other fortunate nations. This knowledge helps towiden even further the growing gap between the “have” and “have not” peoples of the earth. Inequality is polarizing the world between north and south, rich and poor, white and non-white. This is a recipe for strife,both between the world’s divided halves, and throughout the developing world. “Where there is constant want there is no peace.”

As an American I take pride in the well-being and relative affluence we have been able to create for an increasing number of citizens. But I also feel

shame at the hunger, poverty, and deprivation which surrounds this pros perous island of theWestern world.

There are voices, even in America, which tell us to deny that these problems exist or thatwe can do little or nothing to solve them. There are voices of despair, worn out and exhausted. They would deny the America which James Russell Lowell spoke about a century ago:

She that lifts up the manhood of the poor,

She of the open soul and open door,
With room about her hearth for all mankind.

It is impossible to deny that critics of American foreign aid and of international multilateral assistance do not have considerable merit in their charges. Too much has been attempted and too quickly. We were once told that long-range planning, five-year plans, infrastructure development and loans, not grants, would magically result inworld development, especially in

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206 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

Latin America. This has not proven the case, chiefly because, I believe,

development programs have rarely succeeded in democratically educating

all the people in developing countries to participate in the development process. But ifmany development and foreign assistance programs have not matched their aspirations, this does not mean they have been total failures. Their contributions to social and economic development have been im

mense. We must continuously correct their failures and move into the future.

Today our material contribution to the developing world is far below the scant one percent of GNP proposed for development aid by the United Na tions Conference on Trade and Development. Our foreign aid has dropped to a postwar low.We have fallen behind many of our European allies. The search for peace is more than withdrawing from Vietnam. Pope Paul reminded us that “development is the new name forpeace.”

By ignoring this fact,we are taking a tremendous risk.We are trying to have the best of all possible worlds?rightly giving up unilateral American peacekeeping, but at the same time turning our backs on the need for economic development. This will notwork; itwill only be self-defeating. Let us face the problem squarely; either we will take a strong lead in the development of the poorer half of the world, or one day its great social and economic problems will engulf us all as surely as would a nuclear war. We

must choose our weapons to secure the peace: ideas and resources today, or guns and troops tomorrow.

We Americans, as part of our responsibility to mankind, must commit ourselves anew to economic and social development, including control of the

growth of population. Our commitment should be to nation-building?and not to buying favors in the developed world. Our interest is in having

nations that are independent and secure?and thereby free to pursue their own development within the community of nations. But to do this effective lywe must channel an increasing flow of aid through multilateral institu

tions. This will place heavy demands upon the United Nations and other

organizations like theWorld Bank to support regional efforts for develop ment in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Currently we spend too much time chiding these organizations rather than supporting them. I am well aware of theirweaknesses, especially such institutions as the Inter-American Development Bank which must become

more responsive to political and administrative realities in both the United States and Latin America if it is to accomplish the herculean tasks before it. I am also conscious that, except perhaps for theWorld Bank, many of the

international and regional institutions often remain insensitive to the prob lems of others outside their purview or regions.

Yet some of the fault with these organizations and institutions rests with theUnited States. At present we pay too little attention to these institutions,

often regarding them as poor relations. Yet formany nations, and inmany parts of the world, only institutions like the UN can provide the help that is needed, free from complications of superpower relations or national self

interest.

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 207

This applies to peacekeeping as well. If American peacekeeping is to be curtailed, that does not mean that there can be no peacekeeping. It must be

done by the United Nations or by regional groups. Only this can help to prevent the drift of disordered change into open conflict.

The basis of any system of peacekeeping must be a commitment to

noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries. But this policy will

only work if it is respected by all states?large and small?and only if there is an effective instrument in the United Nations to serve the interests,

not of individual states, but of peace itself.

This means that pledges to recognize the sovereignty and internal politics of other nations must be backed up by United Nations forces which can

patrol borders and supervise free elections. This will require the commit ment of many nations; the United States must be prominent among them.

VI.

Finally, for us to understand our future role in the world, we need to change many of our basic ideas about the world, and learn about other nations, other peoples, other cultures, as we have never done before.

In the past quarter century, we have had a foreign policy for the whole world with a half-world understanding. We know much about Europe; we

know far less about Asia; and we are almost totally ignorant about the developing areas of theworld. Indeed, would we have become involved in Vietnam, ifwe had known more about it?There has been and continues to be a “knowledge gap” that threatens our very survival?a glaring gap in

knowledge about the world we live in. Yet, we have made commitments? and commitments without knowledge are dangerous.

For many years the message of the American Revolution was a beacon of hope for all mankind. Then, what we had to say was welcomed by champions of freedom around theworld. But today our ideals are not alone;

theymust compete in a freemarketplace with a host of others. For too long our isolation from the rest of theworld allowed us to think thatwe were the center of it.

Too often our schools are so intent on teaching the myths of American destiny that they ignore the billions of other people who find us as foreign as we find them. Too often our newspapers and television only report events in other lands that directly affect us, or translate events in American terms

even at the price of gross distortion.
We are part of the English-speaking world, and value the role of this

language in communications and the spread of ideas. But our failure to emphasize the importance forAmericans to learn other languages has done

much to isolate us from a true knowledge of other peoples, and has led us to

expect everyone to understand our mother tongue.
We know little even about our two closest neighbors, Canada and Mexico,

and few of us understand French or Spanish, even though these languages are spoken by many of our own people and by those on our borders.

Like other great nations before us, we have too often suffered from the

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208 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

myopia of power, imputing to others attitudes about the world that they do not share, and often, in our zeal, imposing our cultural ideas where they are not wanted.

We see others mimicking our material advances?from the automobile to indoor plumbing?but fail to realize that superiority on the assembly line

may not mean superiority inway of life.
This is called the “American challenge”?a challenge to resist unwanted

influences coming from this country. But I say that this is really a challenge to us. We must break with the tradition that leads great nations to practice cultural imperialism. We must show that we can be involved in the world,

without trying to dominate it. Is this possible? I believe it is.
This is a challenge to know ourselves?what is best in our tradition and what would benefit from an infusion of the ideas and experience of others. And it is a challenge to listen intently; to still the cry of our own desires

long enough to hear what others may have to tell us.

This is a challenge to our schools, our universities, and the media, to help us with the new education in world citizenship that we need so urgently.

Only with a better public understanding of the world and its problems can we build a broad-based involvement of our people in the foreign policy of

America?involvement that is necessary if our foreign policy is to serve our nations needs.

It is a challenge to all of us to abandon that element of self-righteousness

that has stigmatized much of our foreign policy?the tendency to substitute moralisms formoraliy, and legalisms for the rule of law.We need to gain a

new perspective on the world and the history of our involvement in it, see ing ourselves neither as saviors uniquely endowed with good, nor as villains

possessed by evil.
We can no longer see all the world as divided between friends and

enemies. We have had a unique experience; we still have much to offer to others; but we will benefit no one?least of all ourselves?if we corrupt our view of the world and all of our foreign policy dilemmas into a simple,

misleading, and often dangerous choice between right and wrong.
The challenge^to our understanding of the world and of ourselves does not mean thatwe must shy away frommaking available to others what we do

have to offer, both in resources and in experience. It is one thing to give freely ofwhat we have; it is quite another to demand that our ways prevail.

This can be our contribution to the search forways to promote stability and ordered change, development and peace, without recourse to fire and sword. Itmay win us few friends; but it should also make us fewer enemies.

We are in a new age of revolution?in political relations, technology, education, and rising expectations. We have come to regard these revolu tions as commonplace, as the destiny of mankind, in coming years. Yet at the same time, we have too often attempted to contain the effects of revolution, by increasing the commitment of American power, often without

much thought about our basic interests in security.
As we have become more involved in theworld, we have permitted an

increasing division between the ideals of our society and the facts of our

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 209

power. We have not always understood that the aspirations of other peoples often follow a tradition thatwe ourselves began. We must findways of being involved in the world that will protect our security, without stifling the legitimate desires of people who strive for their freedom and personal fulfillment.

We must seek peace, without prohibiting change. We must be patient, not

expecting a new world at peace to emerge in a day, a year, or perhaps even in this decade. With Alfred North Whitehead we must be ready to sense

that progress does not come from mere technique or from apocalyptic

aspirations, but that it “consists inmodifying the laws of nature so that the Republic on Earth may conform to that society to be discerned ideally by

the divination of wisdom.”

As we move into tomorrow, we must inspire a new generation of Americans with the hope that our ideals can once again be the cornerstone of our involvement in theworld, not ignoring the continuing facts of power, but not letting them destroy the human dimension of our policy. We must

place greater emphasis on human and personal values?having enough to eat, being able to learn, living free of fear.

I believe we can do it. I believe we can make our ideals powerful again.

My optimism forAmerica, while tempered by the harsh reality of our national experience since 1945, continues unabated. I have great faith in the

coming generation of Americans?it is not afraid of its humanity. Much of our contemporary young American generation has been born into un precedented affluence, yet ithas values which mirror St. Francis ofAssisi.

I do not think it iswrong to think of nations and people in terms of the Spirit, in terms of things that are not mercurial. It ismy view that what this nation is longing for today more than anything else is not just a better economy. I think what it is longing for, above all, is a sense of its compassion, of a justice itbelieves it could have, of a sense of fellowship. It

wants uplift, not scolding.
I think the people of this land want somebody to call the best from them.

And I have never believed that we can get the best out of anybody by telling them only of their failures.

We must also appeal to their hopes and their aspirations. I appeal today to young and old alike to believe that, out of what we have learned, out

of this unbelieveable tragedy of war and suffering,we are a wiser people. I am not sure, but I have the right to believe, and I shall.

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American Foreign Policy: The Hard Lessons of War and Peace

World Affairs Institute

AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY: THE HARD LESSONS OF WAR AND PEACE Author(s): HUBERT H. HUMPHREY
Source: World Affairs, Vol. 134, No. 3 (Winter, 1971), pp. 193-209 Published by: World Affairs Institute

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY: THE HARD

LESSONS OF WAR AND PEACE By HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

I.

he foreign policy of the United States of the early 1970s continues in a

troubled mood: uneasy, much perplexed, and lacking a general sense of vision. Aside from trying to focus on such critical issues as United

States relationships with Western Europe, the Soviet Union, Viet Nam, China, and theMiddle East, current American foreign policy has permitted the rest of theworld almost to vanish from our horizon. Relationships with India, Pakistan, Africa, Latin America?the whole question ofworld eco

nomic and social development?seem hardly a matter of concern to the present Administration except as they intrude upon the well-being of the

American
Not a few voices welcome this change of national mood. Some of

yesterday s traumatic national worries about global problems now seem muted, even if only temporarily so. There are commentators on all sides calling forAmericans to look inward on themselves and, in effect, to let the

rest of mankind take care of itself. Not for them the insight of Mazzini that

“you cannot, even ifyou would, separate your life from that of humanity; you live in it,by it, for it.”

Historical revisionists seek to provide an intellectual framework for this shifting national temperament. In their view the United States was not

simply thrust unwillingly into the responsible role of providing some world leadership afterWorld War II, nor did it rearm primarily to assist in

keeping world peace. America must first understand, according to this

critique, that itmay have consciously pursued the wrong goals, in the wrong

places and at the wrong times throughout the entire postwar period. Of course, much of .this revisionism tends to downplay or fails tomention the

brutalizing terror imposed on Eastern Europe after 1945.

To a degree, however, these shiftingmoods and judgments are appropri ate to the needs of the hour. The United States is not omniscient nor

omnicompetent in world affairs. Reassessment of America’s foreign policy goals, aspirations, and results must be a continuing element in our national

life,no matter where the chips or blame may fall.We are not immune from

failure. But itwill be the judgment of history not the doubts of statesmen nor instant insights of gloriously unaccountable critics which will provide

the ultimate test formeasuring American successes or failures.
American involvement inViet Nam is the catalyst around which national

questioning of U.S. foreign policy has been revolving. Peace and war remain 193

economy.

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194 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

the main issue facing us, but Viet Nam is the focal point. The War in Vietnam has already marked its quarter century and American involvement now comprises a full decade. It has cost us more than 45,000 American lives,

and almost 300,000 casualties, more than $115 billion of American wealth, and division and discord at home.

We entered the war a confident nation concerned with our ability to

foster peace and security inmany parts of the world; we are leaving it a nation uncertain of ourselves, uncertain of the future, uncertain of our place

in the world. This “coming out of war” is a difficult time: Alexis de Tocqueville called it “the most important time in the life of a country.” On

the other hand, we should not let this period overwhelm our thinking for a questioning mood offers better hope for our future well-being than mere

complacency would.
What have we learned? What lessons have we bought in blood and

treasure in Southeast Asia? What will we think and do now that differs from our posture of a decade ago?

These are not simple questions, and they do not have simple answers. But we do know that the Viet Nam War has caused something to happen in America. It has changed our country and our people. It has forced us to go

against accepted views which hold that failure has to be, in the phrase of Henry Bramford Parker, “the result either of weakness or of an incorrect technique.” It has compelled us to reexamine our role in theworld; to see in historical perspective what we have done; and to ask what are our

responsibilities forpeace and security today and in the future.
Twenty-five years ago America was nearing the end of a bitter and costly

war and looked forward to a new world at peace. The American dream was

of continuing postwar amity and cooperation among wartime allies and of strongmoral limits on the use of power?limits to be observed by all nations. That dream soon faded. We found that only America had the means and

the will to save much of the world either from a new tyranny imposed by

military force, or from the ravages of economic collapse and a widespread poverty of the human spirit. Looking back in retrospect, some commentators have charged that American convictions about the postwar situation were primarily the result of a misguided anticommunist stance. Anticommunism

may, of course, have beclouded some American judgments on foreign

policy. Initially, however, the questions faced by the United States did not simply involve capitalism versus communism. Rather, the fundamental issue

was the unsettling division of Europe along lines hardly satisfactory to

directly concerned parties.
As America faced an increasingly bleak future it resolved, above all, not

to repeat its own mistakes and the mistakes of others of the 1920s and the

1930s. There were many who had heard with astonishment the comments of Neville Chamberlain as Japanese bombs were dropping on Chinese cities:

“If itwas not that China was so far away and the scenes which were taking place were so remote from our everyday consciousness, the sentiments of pity, horror, and indignation which would be aroused by a full observation of those events might yet drive this people to courses which perhaps they

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 195

had never contemplated.” When armed confrontations threatened after 1945, the United States was convinced that it could not sit idly by again, waiting until itwould be dragged once more into costly and deadly wars.

With this conviction, Americans accepted the role of international respon sibility, even though we had no way of forecasting the future.We refused to turn our backs on Europe and other parts of the world that desperately

needed our aid. We were determined to hold off the return of isolation, and we worked diligently to build structures of collective security that would

bring order out of near chaos. This massive effort took us suddenly into a new and often confusing era in our history; we abandoned almost overnight

themost basic tenet of our foreign policy: to beware of entangling alliances.

Our new involvement?including our repudiation of isolationism?was underscored by our leadership in creating the United Nations, in forging the NATO Alliance, and in vast investments in foreign aid. To a significant extent all these developments grew, as Dean Acheson has noted, out of America’s “task and its difficulty?to lead a group of free nations by the

methods of free association.”

our network of commitments stretches around the world, and involves alliances with 43 different nations. In less than three decades?an “instant of time” inman’s history?we grew from provincial state to super

power, with the greatest physical and economic power the world has ever known.

There was no precedent for this development. No other nation has been required to do?and learn?so much in so little time. And I believe that we

met the demands placed upon us with a surprising degree of sophistication and success. We used our resources to bring political stability and economic

recovery to nations ravaged by World War II. We provided a shield of protection behind which other peoples and nations could once again stand

strong and renewed. We met the fierce force of aggression in Korea. We sought to bring stability to the Middle East. We extended our power and resources bit by bit into Southeast Asia until we were engulfed in a strange and cruel war that defied all norms of conventional warfare.

That war inVietnam has brought with it such disillusionment and discord

thatmany Americans of every political persuasion now question anew all United States overseas involvements. At this time of national testing and

trial itwould be inappropriate to scourge ourselves to Xhe point where our national understanding of foreign affairs and our national will are weak ened. On the contrary, I believe we should take to heart the counsel of

Arnold Toynbee in his lectures “Civilization on Trial.” It is always a test of character to be baffled and “up against it,”Mr. Toynbee commented, “but the test is particularly severe when the adversity comes suddenly at the noon of a halcyon day which one has fatuously expected to endure to eternity. In straits like these thewrestler with destiny is tempted to look for bugbears and scapegoats to carry the burden of his own inadequacy. Yet to pass the buck’ in adversity is stillmore dangerous than to persuade oneself

that prosperity is everlasting.” America should not have had scapegoats 25 years ago when charges were thundering in the United States that failures

Today

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196 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

in judgment had “lost China.” Nor should we seek them on the right or left today for any real or imaginary failures on Vietnam.

Above all, we must not let our experience inVietnam obscure the reality that for 25 years we helped preserve the world from a major war; in

particular, from a nuclear holocaust and that Americans have fundamentally

been, asWalter Lippmann once said, “anti-imperialists abroad; that is, they have disliked to see peoples ruled by alien powers.” Sometimes our actions have fallen dismally short of our ideals. On other occasions, as we have tried

to help other societies, we have been too overconfident that our views on democracy, freedom, and justice were the only ones. Despite all our failures, however, for themost part we can be proud of the general purpose and direction of our postwar foreign aspirations and policies.

More immediately, of course, we must put into practice the costly lessons we learned from the sorrow ofVietnam. We have learned above all thatwe must now carefully assess all of our national interests, free from an ideology

of involvement and tested by hard, uncompromising analysis. Underlying all the rhetoric about Vietnam is the belief that we are overcommitted, that there are limits to the use of military power and these limits need to be

defined. We learned that we must not become deeply involved where we have little at stake, or where our own security can be protected by other means than armed intervention.We must exercise that thoughtful discretion which is the better part of valor.

One lesson which we have hopefully not unlearned from our Vietnam

is the usefulness of alliances and continuous consultation with our friends and allies. At times such ties can overcommit a nation and overextend its limited resources. But we must not drown our Vietnam

sorrows through an irrelevant attack on alliances in general, as some would

have us do. Alliances, tempered by good judgment and low commitments, continue to be as useful today as in previous eras when Robert Walpole long ago could claim that “by alliances . . . the equip?se of power ismaintained, and those alarms and apprehensions awarded, which must arise from the vicissitudes of empire and the fluctuations of perpetual conflict.”

There is still a third lesson ofVietnam, a lesson which reflects a new sense in America that we must turn our minds and talents, and direct our

resources, to pressing needs at home. The traditional line dividing domestic

from foreign affairs has become as indistinct as a line drawn through water. This means that our place in the world and the nature of our own society have become indivisible. Our structure of common defense and security could prove to be only a hard outer shell that could collapse on an empty

center unless we bring new strength to areas of our internal life that are threatened on every side?as we see our environment polluted and dam aged, our cities rotting, our systems of education and health care grossly inadequate, our people tornby bitter dissension.

There are growing fears that this new questioning of our involvement in theworld will lead us to another period of isolation; there is the growing feeling that we will abandon our role of international involvement and return to isolation and Fortress America. Our Allies inEurope are especially

experience

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 197

and their fears are fostered by misguided efforts in the United States to regard all of our separate commitments in theworld as indivisible

seeing in our disengagement from Vietnam the threat that we will abandon Europe and theMiddle East as well.

Nothing could be more absurd. Today it is impossible for us to isolate

ourselves physically, politically, or economically from the rest of the world.

The facts of communications, transport, trade, and the travels of our people have ruled that out, not just for now but for all time.

In remarking about the spread of a “neo-isolationist” sentiment in the United States, political observers should not overlook one salient feature:

the antiwar community in America has been more concerned with the damage wrought to U.S. world standing by Vietnam than it has been with turning tail and running away. The debate within theAmerican community

over foreign policy has not focused on rejecting intervention and cooper ation, but on what should be the limits and responsibilities of U.S. power and influence. I believe we can safely argue that traditional American

isolationism will not become rampant, unless our politicians and statesmen

permit a broad failure in our political leadership.
Yet there is a danger of a new moral isolation, brought about inpart by our

failure to see that recovery and prosperity, as found in Europe, does not mean that the job is done. Nor must we permit our weariness with war and

responsibility to trap us into believing that we can now separate ourselves from a deep and lasting involvement in the rest of the world. On the

contrary, we are now fully committed to playing a major role in the future of mankind. Historian John Lukacs declared several years ago that “there is

still evidence that youthfulness, resilience, adaptability and the idealistic inclination?all traditional American characteristics?continue to exist and

that, in their proper context, they may play a beneficent role in the world history of nations.” Vietnam may have somewhat deflated and hurt these

American characteristics but I believe that this role is still in the American

future, not, as some argue, behind us.
We can?and we must?readjust the scale and nature of our involvements,

and manage these changes intelligently. But we must be careful not to act in

haste, not to explore a shortsighted and ultimately futile moral disengage ment from the world. There are equal dangers?of overinvolvement and

blind abstention. We must carefully steer a course between the two, a thought which led Theodore Roosevelt to contend that the people of the United States had no choice about whether to “play a great part in the

world. This has been determined for us by fate, by the march of events. We have to play that part. All that we can decide iswhether we shall play it

well or ill.”What was true yesterday is equally so today.

II.

In recent years, we have seen the development of a central paradox: that

while the United States and the Soviet Union have become more powerful

in strictlymilitary terms, our ability to use this power has become more limited.We must not underestimate the latent power and effects of nuclear

concerned;

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198 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

weapons. They are still of central importance in relations among the major nations of the world. But now, at a time of mutual deterrence, their

mystique is dwindling and other expressions of power are emerging in competition with them.

We are living in a new age of pluralism: The bonds of alliances are

both in theWest and in the Communist world. Sino-Soviet rivalry has become a threat to peace, and firm evidence that the Communist

monolith is no more. The game of world politics now has a host of new players in the developing world. Individual countries are making new

diplomatic approaches and arrangements with little reference to the super powers that once were virtually the sole custodians of security. Even Soviet

military occupation of Czechoslovakia has failed to quash hopeful develop ments in Eastern Europe.

In today’s world, power isproving tobe persuasive only to the extent that it is appropriate to local circumstances and the interests of local powers. We

are discovering a new definition of power that goes beyond military might. We have rediscovered the insight of Romano Guardini that power “presup

poses spirit, that reality inman which renders him capable of extricating himself from the immediate context of nature in order to direct it in

freedom.”
The plain fact is that, in the world of today, there is a much greater play

of national capabilities; and they should be concentrated on economic development through multilateral means. We are no longer the only source

of help against threats to the security of Southeast Asia, or against poverty. Hopeful developments there will be lasting only if they spring from efforts

by local countries, and if they command broad popular support.
Our experience in Southeast Asia points to a central dilemma in foreign

policy: the difficulty of reconciling stability with change, not only to resist Communist takeover of underdeveloped nations but to preclude chaos from

spreading so far and fast that the security of our principal allies is

jeopardized.
Today we recognize that the stability of Soviet-American relations is

necessary for the survival of the world. But we also recognize that unless

there can be change in the world?economic, social, and political change within countries and in international society?then stability itselfwill prove

fruitless and self-defeating.
We must findways to promote change within a framework of order, or the

future of theworld will be tyrannized by either anarchy or repression. We can begin by supporting effortswithin Europe to move away from more than twenty years of confrontation to a new European Commonwealth of

Nations embracing the entire Continent.
The United States no longer has the dominating voice in European

politics; nor should we wish it. But we are a European power, deeply involved in providing security and confidence, without which there would

be no hope of change.
All this means, of course, that we must build our policy toward Europe

weakening,

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 199

around reality, not illusion. National sovereignty still remains the heart of

European politics. The gravity of regional institutions and cooperation has

been an astounding postwar phenomenon, but there still is no regional taxing power to raise funds for defense and regional security. Nor are there

regional legislative institutions which reflect the desires of diverse national constituencies. Britain’s entry into the Common Market could inject new life

into the European integration movement. While this would be a most welcome step, it could, particularly if Britain and France assumed a new

joint form of European leadership, create additional complex problems for

U.S. foreign policy.
There has been some movement in the United States today to reduce

sharply and quickly our commitment to NATO, before we work out firm understandings with all nations in Europe?East and West?on the future of

the Continent.
Would this be wise? As I see it,we will not achieve mutual and balanced

force reductions ifwe act first and alone; we will not convince the Soviet Union to accept rules of civilized behavior in Eastern Europe ifwe lose interest in European affairs; we will not reassure our allies that we are con cerned with the future of Europe ifwe are insensitive to their anxieties

and needs.

We must show that our partnership with Europe really means something, and support efforts to resolve the division of the Continent. As an additional

part of the new diplomacy we should encourage our allies in their proposal for a European Security Conference, and realize that this conference can be

part of the political process that may help achieve what we want?troop reductions throughout Europe. We should recognize, of course, that many of our European allies desire a full and realistic settlement of the Berlin question before they will be willing to move ahead with this proposed conference.

We should make consultation, particularly on force levels, a constant on-going effort?with regular meetings at the highest level?not a vehicle for

showmanship and American lecturing to our European allies. Above all, we should be extremely careful in not permitting the consultation mechanism ever to deteriorate to the point where European confidence in the U.S.

nuclear umbrella is either seriously diminished or destroyed.
We should encourage and support bilateral political contacts between our

allies and the nations of theWarsaw Pact, including recent West German efforts to improve relations with the Soviet Union and the Eastern Euro pean States. Both the United States and our European friends must work

for expanded trade and unilateral relations between East and West.
Most importantly of all, we should help tomake the NATO Alliance an international instrument for peaceful engagement, not a rigid institution

committed to the past. With our allies, we can help to liquidate the legacy ofmilitary confrontation. But thiswill require a new American awareness of

Europe’s needs, problems, and hopes. This is at the very heart of the new diplomacy of partnership and reconciliation.

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200 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

III.

Despite their increasing parity in certain areas of nuclear weaponry and defense, it is important not to ignore that the fundamental question before the Soviet Union and the United States now is not who should be

the superior or enforcer, but rather, according to Robert E. Osgood, “how much ofwhat kinds of strategic weapons is enough for assured destruction, with perhaps an extra margin for damage limitation.” We must be continu

ously alert to redefining the boundaries and scope of this question. Congressional limitation of the ABM and declarations on limiting the

involvement of U.S. troops in conflict abroad have also given the nod from the United States for agreements of substance and scope. The details of current Soviet and U.S. proposals cannot be discussed with any accuracy, and I cannot talk about hypotheticals. However, now thatMIRV has begun to be deployed on both Poseidon and Minuteman III, United States and Soviet negotiators must make every effort to reach agreements that are

reciprocal.
I do not think thatwe have the luxury of time or opportunity to reject a

limited ban or curtailment of any system, and insist on a comprehensive

agreement. This would be the ideal. However, we must not reject making some progress ifagreement cannot be reached on all systems.

We have valuable precedents to support Presidential overtures of a conciliatory nature. In 1958 President Eisenhower offered to halt American

testing of nuclear weapons for a period of one year from the beginning of negotiations on a formal treaty if the United Kingdom and the Soviet

Union would follow suit. This mutual moratorium was preserved for nearly

three years.
In 1963 President Kennedy again ordered a halt to testing of nuclear

weapons in the atmosphere and proposed tomaintain the ban so long as the Russians did likewise. They responded, and the result was the historic

Test-Ban Treaty?a proposal I had long urged.
We now have pledges from many countries to adhere to the nuclear

non-proliferation treaty. Of course, we must not ignore that serious obstacles remain before this treaty can go into effect.Many countries, including large ones, have neither signed nor ratified this treaty, largely because they feel its impact is to disarm the unarmed. This feeling can be worked on, no

doubt, and fears alleviated. The difficult problem comes, however, from

those nations which, consciously or unconsciously, wish to keep open their

nuclear
It is important that President Nixon halt deployment of ABM and delay

further deployment of MIRV. Like President Kennedy, he holds in his hands the keys to arms control?or to an uncertain world of mutual terror.

We would run no serious risks; and we could always continue our programs if the Russians failed to respond. I believe that such a moratorium can succeed; and all mankind?all future generations?would forever be in our

debt. But even ifwe do succeed?even ifwe do stop the dangerous and

option.

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 201 destabilizing weapons now being prepared by both sides, therewill be other

in the future.
This prospect increases the importance of the SALT talks.Whether or not

we succeed in stopping the MIRV, the ABM and the SS-9 before it is too late,we must work patiently with the Soviet Union to achieve one common goal: continued survival in a world where nuclear weapons technology itself

is our greatest enemy.
No nation dare ignore that technology has eroded the ground out from

under traditional concepts of security. Today we are faced with a balance of terror. From now on, nations must bare much of their security on greater

political understanding, orwe will have no security at all!
I do not argue that we can trust the Russians in all of our relations with

them.We cannot: they are still not prepared to consider agreements with us or with our allies in many areas of the world in which competition and conflicts of interest could still have deadly consequences. All we have to do

is to look at the sudden rapid growth of Soviet naval power in the

Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and Red Sea to be sufficiently alerted to expanding Russian threats throughout the world. Despite these realities, unless we transform Soviet-American relations in the critical area of nuclear weapons, we may not live to debate other questions of serious but lesser

importance.
This will require a new diplomacy, managed with skill and patience, and

extending far beyond the SALT talks.We must recognize that there is no easy exit from the many dilemmas facing us; we must take full account of the interests of our allies, in Europe and elsewhere; and we must seek ways to turn all aspects of our relationship with the Soviet Union from the sterile

byways of military confrontation into the more hopeful paths of political accommodation. On their part, moreover, the Soviets must not mistake current U.S. disillusion and uncertainty about Vietnam as an opening for them to take a leapfrogging lead in nuclear weaponry. Perhaps the most distinguishing hallmark in the American culture is the ideal of “fair play” for all. The American people react instinctively when this ideal is grossly or seriously violated and they would not tolerate in any manner any inkling that the Soviet Union or any other nation was ever again trying to “pull a fast one” on us.

Mutual trust between Soviet Russia and the United States is a hard goal to pursue but we must work at this night and day. Precisely because our two societies differ in their fundamental concepts of man and community, individual freedom and social justice, the path toward mutual trust is an

unending and perilous one. Long before the world ever heard of Lenin and Stalin, de Toqueville set down some of the differences between our societies. The American and Russian nations, he stated, seemed “marked out by the

will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe . . . the principal instrument of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude.” In the ensuing time since de Toqueville made these reflections, our societies have contin

ued on their diverse, separate development. Over the past decade we have heard arguments advanced that our two countries are “converging” and no

terrifyingweapons

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202 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

doubt there is some truth in this. Our patterns of economic growth, educational structures, and scientific concerns have certain parallel tenden cies. At the same time, however, we will probably continue tomove into the future along the lines of our separate histories, national spirit, and distinc tive political inheritance.

America and Russia, therefore, do view each others intentions and policies from perspectives which are quite different. Yet this should only

compel us to tryharder to understand each other. We could usefully begin annual working meetings at the highest level between American and Russian leaders. And we should expand trade relations, cultural contacts,

and the search for peaceful engagement in many areas of science, com merce, and technology. This must be a part of the new diplomacy.

Americans and Russians do have, we must not forget, one thing in common;

that is, they both recognize the need, in the phrase of .H. Uddell-Hart, for “mutual restraint for mutual security.’, Man, they both insist, must control

both himself and his own destiny?if he is to be fully human. In practice

they differ over what thismeans. But by proceeding on a step-by-step basis,

Russia and the United States have built some elements for integrating trust into their relationships. We must move forward from

IV.

American relations with the Soviet Union are of central importance. But other developments in the 1970s demand our attention; other factors will

influence what the United States can usefully do in the world.

Most important among these is the emergence of China as a major power in Asia. Today, Chinese power is still more psychological than factual, although it is growing. It would be a fatal error ifwe let ignorance and

unreasoning fear in the face of future Chinese military power close the door

to political understandings with Peking.
We must do all we can to end the isolation of China, helping to bring her

into the community of nations, free from paranoia and committed to

respecting the legitimate rights of her neighbors. An isolated China is a danger to all theworld; a China that is involved with the outside world will

still pose problems, and perhaps even threats of a serious nature, but at least

however, here?together.

there will be some hope that accommodation will replace antagonism. The resumption of American-Chinese discussions inWarsaw was

and is a hopeful development. We must exert greater initiatives in the relaxation of

trade and travel restrictions between China and the United States. Cultural exchanges can also serve to broaden the contacts between our peoples.

They are modest beginnings; and theywill not be enough. We must also realize that the legacy of embittered Chinese-American relations will not be overcome in a year, or perhaps even in a decade. But we can do much to come to terms with China, and come to terms with ourselves regarding

a visible in our relations, before China will respond to our efforts. Our

China. Yet itmay well take years before these efforts produce change

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China, Russia,

AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 203

taken in full consultation with our allies?can and should lead to the eventual diplomatic recognition of China. This too must be a

part of the new diplomacy.
President Nixons outstretch to China, now resulting in a hopeful visit, is a

generous gesture, especially coming from a leader whose public career was built on contrary sentiments. No American can fail to applaud Mr. Nixon s

decision and Pekings welcome response to it.At the same time, however, responsible critics are correct in judging that while by itself Mr. Nixon’s move was not unsettling, when linked to his subsequent new international

economic policies, the China move has created certain difficulties for the

United States. Thus, the U.S.-Japanese relationship was badly hurt by the one-two punch of these moves which, to many Japanese, have seemed

directly aimed at them. As with somany other Nixon departures, an initially good move may create more problems forus than it resolves, chiefly because

the Nixon Administration has generally failed to take the follow-through steps necessary tomake the new policy a viable one.

It would be inappropriate to dash cold water on what one hopes and

prays will become a momentous opening for U.S.-China relationships. Yet,

like Russia, China is also a creature of history, possessing its own glorious traditions and philosophy of life.No matter how ruthless communist rule or the “cultural revolution” may have been, these traditions are still imprinted

on the Chinese character.
As nations unfurl dreams of a China open overnight to the world, dreams

which include such things as a market of 800 million Chinese customers, theymight do well to examine the past. Mr. Nixon is not the firstWesterner to reach out to China. Others have tried before, often without success. The

classic example was England’s King George Ill’s proposal for diplomatic

relations. In reply, Emperor Ch’en Leing (1735-95) politely noted that “our ceremonies and codes of laws differ so completely from your own that, even

if your envoy were able to acquire the rudiments of our civilization, you could not possibly transplant our manners and customs to your alien soil. . . . I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country’s manufactures.” Our era is an entirely different one. We may be able to open up respectful and mutually beneficial relations with China. I

have always held this as a high aspiration. Yet ifprogress comes, itwill probably be only through dint of hard efforton the part of both nations. We must therefore not allow our hopes to be ungrounded in reality or otherwise

theymay turn into unfulfilled illusions.
We cannot afford to neglect, further, that our search for a common ground

with China also may involve a search for a tripartite common ground among

initiatives?always

and the United States. This will involve most delicate since in our own national interests we can never permit either of

diplomacy
these great nations to possess a veto over U.S. policy toward the other. They

may at present be geopolitical enemies but thismay not always remain so. Our aim should be to deal with both nations on terms of trust, honor, and

respect.

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204 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

We see today the rising of a new Asia. We must therefore continuously

remind ourselves that the primary responsibility for security and develop ment inAsia rests with the Asian nations themselves.

They must take the lead. It is theywho best understand themselves?their past and their hopes for the future.We should be prepared to cooperate?to
be a helpful partner, not a dominating force.We do have an interest in

Asia?but we are not an Asian power. We are a Pacific power.
Chief among these Asian nations is Japan, with whom we have strong ties. These ties must be continued and expanded as the best hope of

promoting development and stability in Asia without holding the ring ourselves.

Japan is uniquely situated. She is the most powerful Asian country?not in military might nor in nuclear weapons, but in economic strength; she has a

thorough knowledge of the Asian continent and its diverse cultures, wide

spread trading partnerships, and an inventive approach to new problems. These qualities enhance Japan’s ability to play a leading role in helping Asia

to enter a new era of political, social, and economic development.
Recent U.S. policies and hints toward Japan have been quite discourag

ing. President Nixon’s economic controls have dealt a harsh blow to Japan’s economy and his failure to signal Prime Minister Sato about America’s overtures to China was at best inept diplomacy. Defense Secretary Laird’s ambiguous statements on Japan’s possible nuclear future have left confusion

in their wake, despite the clear comment by Japanese leaders that the nuclear option will not be taken. With Japan considerably confused by

recent U.S. policies, it could well begin to look inward to find ways for protecting its own national interests. Already both China and South Korea

have expressed alarm at this Japenese self-questioning and ifwrong turns are taken by Japan, the ill-conceived manner inwhich Mr. Nixon made his

moves could have very serious repercussions onAsia’s future.

America should continue, particularly during this period of transition, to be directly concerned with Asian affairs.We seek an early end to the Vietnam war; but we cannot ignore the real problems that will continue in

Southeast Asia once we are gone fromVietnam. Without becoming an Asian power, deeply enmeshed in the politics and problems of that continent, we can and should support hopeful efforts by local peoples to work out then

own destiny.
In September 1968 at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, I gave

my views on Southeast Asia in a speech entitled “The New Strategy for Peace.” I believe whatever role we play in Southeast Asia should carefully follow three guidelines: self-help, regional and multilateral assistance, and

selective American involvement.
First, local countries must manifest a willingness to help themselves, both

to provide security and to undertake economic and social development; and

they must have the courage to organize their own affairs in ways that will provide them with a stable basis for governing.

Second, primary responsibility forhelping individual nations provide for

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 205

their security and economic development should restwith the nations in the area and with multilateral and regional organizations.

Third, American help should be selective and carefully measured. Our

effortsmust be justified by our own interests and responsibilities; and they

should be concentrated on economic development through multilateral means. We are no longer the only source of help against threats to the

security of Southeast Asia, or against poverty. Hopeful developments there will be lasting only if they spring from effortsby local countries, and if they

command broad popular support.
V.

Elsewhere in theworld the dilemma of change versus order will be even

more difficult to resolve, yet more pressing, as population growth, poverty, and unrest disrupt whole continents.

There are more than a billion people in the world today in countries where the average annual income per person is less than 100 dollars. Hundreds of millions live on less than fifty dollars a year. Evidence has

shown us that poverty and deprivation, coupled with the beginning of education and hope, create a revolution of rising expectations. And people all over theworld are “in touch.” The transistor radio and communications satellite will make this even more so in the immediate future.

The man in Korea, or Guatemala, or Zambia knows what modern society can mean to his family. He knows what the United States has. He knows about our wealth. He knows about the vast resources at our command, and at the command of other fortunate nations. This knowledge helps towiden even further the growing gap between the “have” and “have not” peoples of the earth. Inequality is polarizing the world between north and south, rich and poor, white and non-white. This is a recipe for strife,both between the world’s divided halves, and throughout the developing world. “Where there is constant want there is no peace.”

As an American I take pride in the well-being and relative affluence we have been able to create for an increasing number of citizens. But I also feel

shame at the hunger, poverty, and deprivation which surrounds this pros perous island of theWestern world.

There are voices, even in America, which tell us to deny that these problems exist or thatwe can do little or nothing to solve them. There are voices of despair, worn out and exhausted. They would deny the America which James Russell Lowell spoke about a century ago:

She that lifts up the manhood of the poor,

She of the open soul and open door,
With room about her hearth for all mankind.

It is impossible to deny that critics of American foreign aid and of international multilateral assistance do not have considerable merit in their charges. Too much has been attempted and too quickly. We were once told that long-range planning, five-year plans, infrastructure development and loans, not grants, would magically result inworld development, especially in

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206 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

Latin America. This has not proven the case, chiefly because, I believe,

development programs have rarely succeeded in democratically educating

all the people in developing countries to participate in the development process. But ifmany development and foreign assistance programs have not matched their aspirations, this does not mean they have been total failures. Their contributions to social and economic development have been im

mense. We must continuously correct their failures and move into the future.

Today our material contribution to the developing world is far below the scant one percent of GNP proposed for development aid by the United Na tions Conference on Trade and Development. Our foreign aid has dropped to a postwar low.We have fallen behind many of our European allies. The search for peace is more than withdrawing from Vietnam. Pope Paul reminded us that “development is the new name forpeace.”

By ignoring this fact,we are taking a tremendous risk.We are trying to have the best of all possible worlds?rightly giving up unilateral American peacekeeping, but at the same time turning our backs on the need for economic development. This will notwork; itwill only be self-defeating. Let us face the problem squarely; either we will take a strong lead in the development of the poorer half of the world, or one day its great social and economic problems will engulf us all as surely as would a nuclear war. We

must choose our weapons to secure the peace: ideas and resources today, or guns and troops tomorrow.

We Americans, as part of our responsibility to mankind, must commit ourselves anew to economic and social development, including control of the

growth of population. Our commitment should be to nation-building?and not to buying favors in the developed world. Our interest is in having

nations that are independent and secure?and thereby free to pursue their own development within the community of nations. But to do this effective lywe must channel an increasing flow of aid through multilateral institu

tions. This will place heavy demands upon the United Nations and other

organizations like theWorld Bank to support regional efforts for develop ment in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Currently we spend too much time chiding these organizations rather than supporting them. I am well aware of theirweaknesses, especially such institutions as the Inter-American Development Bank which must become

more responsive to political and administrative realities in both the United States and Latin America if it is to accomplish the herculean tasks before it. I am also conscious that, except perhaps for theWorld Bank, many of the

international and regional institutions often remain insensitive to the prob lems of others outside their purview or regions.

Yet some of the fault with these organizations and institutions rests with theUnited States. At present we pay too little attention to these institutions,

often regarding them as poor relations. Yet formany nations, and inmany parts of the world, only institutions like the UN can provide the help that is needed, free from complications of superpower relations or national self

interest.

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 207

This applies to peacekeeping as well. If American peacekeeping is to be curtailed, that does not mean that there can be no peacekeeping. It must be

done by the United Nations or by regional groups. Only this can help to prevent the drift of disordered change into open conflict.

The basis of any system of peacekeeping must be a commitment to

noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries. But this policy will

only work if it is respected by all states?large and small?and only if there is an effective instrument in the United Nations to serve the interests,

not of individual states, but of peace itself.

This means that pledges to recognize the sovereignty and internal politics of other nations must be backed up by United Nations forces which can

patrol borders and supervise free elections. This will require the commit ment of many nations; the United States must be prominent among them.

VI.

Finally, for us to understand our future role in the world, we need to change many of our basic ideas about the world, and learn about other nations, other peoples, other cultures, as we have never done before.

In the past quarter century, we have had a foreign policy for the whole world with a half-world understanding. We know much about Europe; we

know far less about Asia; and we are almost totally ignorant about the developing areas of theworld. Indeed, would we have become involved in Vietnam, ifwe had known more about it?There has been and continues to be a “knowledge gap” that threatens our very survival?a glaring gap in

knowledge about the world we live in. Yet, we have made commitments? and commitments without knowledge are dangerous.

For many years the message of the American Revolution was a beacon of hope for all mankind. Then, what we had to say was welcomed by champions of freedom around theworld. But today our ideals are not alone;

theymust compete in a freemarketplace with a host of others. For too long our isolation from the rest of theworld allowed us to think thatwe were the center of it.

Too often our schools are so intent on teaching the myths of American destiny that they ignore the billions of other people who find us as foreign as we find them. Too often our newspapers and television only report events in other lands that directly affect us, or translate events in American terms

even at the price of gross distortion.
We are part of the English-speaking world, and value the role of this

language in communications and the spread of ideas. But our failure to emphasize the importance forAmericans to learn other languages has done

much to isolate us from a true knowledge of other peoples, and has led us to

expect everyone to understand our mother tongue.
We know little even about our two closest neighbors, Canada and Mexico,

and few of us understand French or Spanish, even though these languages are spoken by many of our own people and by those on our borders.

Like other great nations before us, we have too often suffered from the

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208 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY

myopia of power, imputing to others attitudes about the world that they do not share, and often, in our zeal, imposing our cultural ideas where they are not wanted.

We see others mimicking our material advances?from the automobile to indoor plumbing?but fail to realize that superiority on the assembly line

may not mean superiority inway of life.
This is called the “American challenge”?a challenge to resist unwanted

influences coming from this country. But I say that this is really a challenge to us. We must break with the tradition that leads great nations to practice cultural imperialism. We must show that we can be involved in the world,

without trying to dominate it. Is this possible? I believe it is.
This is a challenge to know ourselves?what is best in our tradition and what would benefit from an infusion of the ideas and experience of others. And it is a challenge to listen intently; to still the cry of our own desires

long enough to hear what others may have to tell us.

This is a challenge to our schools, our universities, and the media, to help us with the new education in world citizenship that we need so urgently.

Only with a better public understanding of the world and its problems can we build a broad-based involvement of our people in the foreign policy of

America?involvement that is necessary if our foreign policy is to serve our nations needs.

It is a challenge to all of us to abandon that element of self-righteousness

that has stigmatized much of our foreign policy?the tendency to substitute moralisms formoraliy, and legalisms for the rule of law.We need to gain a

new perspective on the world and the history of our involvement in it, see ing ourselves neither as saviors uniquely endowed with good, nor as villains

possessed by evil.
We can no longer see all the world as divided between friends and

enemies. We have had a unique experience; we still have much to offer to others; but we will benefit no one?least of all ourselves?if we corrupt our view of the world and all of our foreign policy dilemmas into a simple,

misleading, and often dangerous choice between right and wrong.
The challenge^to our understanding of the world and of ourselves does not mean thatwe must shy away frommaking available to others what we do

have to offer, both in resources and in experience. It is one thing to give freely ofwhat we have; it is quite another to demand that our ways prevail.

This can be our contribution to the search forways to promote stability and ordered change, development and peace, without recourse to fire and sword. Itmay win us few friends; but it should also make us fewer enemies.

We are in a new age of revolution?in political relations, technology, education, and rising expectations. We have come to regard these revolu tions as commonplace, as the destiny of mankind, in coming years. Yet at the same time, we have too often attempted to contain the effects of revolution, by increasing the commitment of American power, often without

much thought about our basic interests in security.
As we have become more involved in theworld, we have permitted an

increasing division between the ideals of our society and the facts of our

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AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 209

power. We have not always understood that the aspirations of other peoples often follow a tradition thatwe ourselves began. We must findways of being involved in the world that will protect our security, without stifling the legitimate desires of people who strive for their freedom and personal fulfillment.

We must seek peace, without prohibiting change. We must be patient, not

expecting a new world at peace to emerge in a day, a year, or perhaps even in this decade. With Alfred North Whitehead we must be ready to sense

that progress does not come from mere technique or from apocalyptic

aspirations, but that it “consists inmodifying the laws of nature so that the Republic on Earth may conform to that society to be discerned ideally by

the divination of wisdom.”

As we move into tomorrow, we must inspire a new generation of Americans with the hope that our ideals can once again be the cornerstone of our involvement in theworld, not ignoring the continuing facts of power, but not letting them destroy the human dimension of our policy. We must

place greater emphasis on human and personal values?having enough to eat, being able to learn, living free of fear.

I believe we can do it. I believe we can make our ideals powerful again.

My optimism forAmerica, while tempered by the harsh reality of our national experience since 1945, continues unabated. I have great faith in the

coming generation of Americans?it is not afraid of its humanity. Much of our contemporary young American generation has been born into un precedented affluence, yet ithas values which mirror St. Francis ofAssisi.

I do not think it iswrong to think of nations and people in terms of the Spirit, in terms of things that are not mercurial. It ismy view that what this nation is longing for today more than anything else is not just a better economy. I think what it is longing for, above all, is a sense of its compassion, of a justice itbelieves it could have, of a sense of fellowship. It

wants uplift, not scolding.
I think the people of this land want somebody to call the best from them.

And I have never believed that we can get the best out of anybody by telling them only of their failures.

We must also appeal to their hopes and their aspirations. I appeal today to young and old alike to believe that, out of what we have learned, out

of this unbelieveable tragedy of war and suffering,we are a wiser people. I am not sure, but I have the right to believe, and I shall.

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The War on Poverty

Duke University School of Law

The War on Poverty
Author(s): Hubert H. Humphrey
Source: Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 31, No. 1, Antipoverty Programs (Winter, 1966), pp. 6-17
Published by: Duke University School of Law
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THEWAR ON POVERTY HUBERTHHH.UMPHREY*

I

THE PROBLEM

In today’s America there is a paradox in the midst of plenty.
On the one hand we have the highest standard of living the world has ever

known. Our standard of living keeps going up; income per capita keeps climbing. According to the Council of Economic Advisers the gross national product for 1964

was 628.7 billion dollars. The President’s Economic Report for I966 states that the gross national product increased by $47 billion in 1965. The value of the nation’s outputofgoodsandservicesrosemorethanone-thirdfromI960throughI965. The rate of unemployment dropped from 6.6 per cent in December 1960 to 4.I per cent in December i965 and is now below 4.0 per cent. During this last year corporate profits, after taxes, were twenty per cent above the 1964 level. 2.2 million people moved above the poverty line in 1965.

But there also exists what Michael Harrington has called “the other America”– an America in which one-fifth of our nation lives-an America in which 32,000,000 of our citizens live without adequate education, housing, or medical care.

Nearly fifteen million of those living in abject poverty are children. It is an

America in which some of these children cannot go to school because they have

neither clothes nor shoes; some, when they arrive in school, are crippled in per-

formance by hunger, illness, or physical affliction, social deprivation, or racial dis- crimination.

It is an America of bewilderment, suspicion, depression,and despair.

For the first time in our history we have the ability to rid our society of this other America. In his State of the Union message in 1964 President Johnson stated, “. . . we have the power to strike away the barriers to full participation in

our society. Having the power we have the duty ….”
Because of the enormous productive capacity and current explosion of knowledge

and researchstatistics,we have the resourcesto wage an all out war on poverty. America has continually made attempts to improve the lot of its poor. In the recent past we have had the “New Deal” and the “Fair Deal.” In nearly every gen-

eration we have had social reform legislation working to mitigate the harshness of poverty. Edgar May states in his book The Wasted Americans2 that prior to the

*Vice Presidentof the United States.
1 MICHAEHLARRINGTOTNH,EOTHERAMERICA(I962). 2EDGARMAY,THEWASTEDAMERICANS

(I964).

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THEWARONPOVERTY

7

war on povertythe welfareprogramsof the past were basicallyoutgrowthsof two

opposingviewson poverty:
The first one, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard,considerher ways and be wise.”

(Proverbs6:6)
The second,”And if thy brotherbe waxen poor and fallen in decaywith thee,

thenthoushaltrelievehim. Yea,thoughhebeastrangerorasojournert,hathe

maylivewiththee.” (Leviticus25:35)
In Americait has been the philosophyof the formerratherthan the latterthat

mostoften prevailed.
While JeremyBenthamwould have been comfortablein our own time, with his

views on the necessityof housesof industry,insurance,educationand healthcare, it was the ideas of the severeEnglish Poor Laws which were importedand gen- erallyupheldby the colonists. The AmericanPuritansregardedpovertyas a sin, a sign of moralbankruptcy.Debtors’prisonsand punitiveworkhousesreflectedthis

philosophyof the causationof poverty.
But by the nineteenthcenturya growingnumberof peopleneededsubstantial

and long term help. Factorswere being injectedinto the equationof poverty whichseriouslylimitedanindividual’scontroloverhisown destiny.

Theconceptoffreeagency-thatis,freedom,withinlimits,tomakethoseessential choiceswhichwill shapeone’sown life-has beenbasicto the Americanphilosophy.

But by the Civil War,the factorywas appearingthroughoutsomesectionsof the country. This was to alterradicallythe degreeto whichmanyworkerscontrolled

their own destiny. In postwaryearsthe factorysystemmoved from textilesand consumergoodsto heavyindustry. With this camenot only the unparalleledpros-

perityofourowntime,butmoreimmediatelyt,hedevelopmentofalargelaboring

classthatlivedso closeto destitutionthatthe slightestdropin employmentbrought

mass For this industrial life at best was
suffering. growing proletariat, marginal.

And the impersonalnatureof the forcesthat determinedemploymentand wage levels seemedto inject a deterministicelementinto the workers’lives that robbed themof substantiaclontrolovertheirveryexistence.

These conditionsmotivatedsocial reformersto instigateprivatecharitiesand local and statewelfareprogramsof unevenvalue. The “go to the ant”theoryof the socialDarwinistsrepresentedthe oppositereactionto the same stimulus.

While socialDarwinismis deservedlydiscreditedtoday,in that we see poverty as a conditionwhich might overwhelmanyonedue to forcesbeyondhis control, the nationalportraitof the poor is still that of the I930s-middle class individuals

lackingmoney.
Butthepovertywhichwe arecombatingtodayis notmerelythelackof material

goods. Poverty today is a culture, an institution, a way of life. Id. at 2.

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8 LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS

The impoverished man is the unskilled worker-the man whose job opportunities are shrinking. In the last four years, our economy has created over three times as many jobs for people in the field of education as it has for factory hands.

He is the skilled worker replaced by automation and cybernation.

He is the sick, the disabled, the aged.

He is the school dropout,the illiterate. While our statisticson housing and health have not shown conclusive correlation with poverty causation, the most basic and most substantiatedfactor is known. That is education. The factor most common to almost all the unemployed and under-employedis lack of basic education.4

He is the small farm owner, the tenant farmer, the farm worker, the migrant worker.

He is the victim of race prejudice.
He is the man who for reasons beyond his control cannot help himself.

He is the man engulfed by poverty, a vicious cycle out of which it is incredibly difficult for him, his children, and his grandchildren to escape.

A decent standard of living cannot be had without money; money is gained

through employment; a job requires education; and education takes money. Lack of education means no employment; unemployment means lack of funds for education of the children of the unemployed. It also means living in conditions of social as well as physical deprivation,which too often result in children entering school with such crushing handicaps that their eventual failure is assured.

Hence poverty is passed on from generation to generation with almost genetic certainty.

But as the forces of government and private philanthropy try to break this cycle of tragedy, the elimination of one of the component parts seems to demand as a

prerequisitethe elimination of another.
The impoverished man is all too often one who for reasons beyond his control

cannot help himself.

II APPROACHES

A balanced attack on poverty must provide at least four somewhat distinct

remedies: job creation, job preparation, transfer payments, and equal employment

opportunity.
First, aggregate demand must be maintained at a high level. A downturn in our

economic growth rate would undo all the other programs which might be conducted. Educating and training men for jobs that do not exist is futile.

Since passage of the Employment Act of I946,5it has been recognized explicitly

See Cohen, A National Program for the Improvement of Welfare Services and the Reduction ol Welfare Dependency, in POVERTYIN AMERICA 279-80 (Gordon ed. I965).

6 60 Stat. 23, as amended, I5 U.S.C. ?? 1021-24 (I964).

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THE WAR ON POVERTY

9

that the federalgovernmenthas a primaryresponsibilityfor maintainingaggregate demand. This act not only made mandatorythe annualEconomicReportof the

Presidentand createdthe powerfulCouncilof EconomicAdvisersand the Joint EconomicCommitteeof Congressb,utalsovestedinthefederalgovernmentspecific

responsibilityfor maintainingemployment,production,and purchasingpower. In

the it is a that the economic rateremainat followingdiscussion, prerequisite growth

an acceptablelevel.
But economicgrowth,thoughessential,is not enough. It is no help to someone

not in the labormarketto havea boomingeconomy;or if new jobsbeingcreated are of a technicalnaturefor which one is not equipped;or if one is in a group which societywould rathernot have work (e.g., the aged, or women with small children);or if one is sickor disabled;or if by reasonof raceor colorone is denied a job for which he is qualified. Otherbasicapproachesare neededto meet these

typesof problems.
The secondapproachin combatingpovertyfocusesnot upon the creationof

jobs but upon the educationand trainingof men for jobs. Such programsas the

Job Corps,6 the Neighborhood Youth Corps,7 the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 (MDTA),8 and the VocationalEducationAct of I963?are

examplesof this approach.
The third approachrelies upon transferpaymentsto personsin need. Some

groupswill be out of work temporarilyin the most healthyof economies;others

will be unemployedfor long periods;othergroupssocietyprefersto remainoutside the laborforce; othersmust have the effectsof povertyameliorated.Hence there

exist transferpayments,e.g., aid to the unemployedwith children,hospitaland doctorcarefor the aged,SocialSecurity,andrentsupplements.

Finally,even thougha job may existfor one who is qualified,he might be forced into the ranksof the or madeto hold a beneathhis or

unemployed job
abilityby discriminationon the basisof his race,color,religion,sex, or national

origin. The Council of EconomicAdvisersreportedin 1965that if Negroes had

receivedthe same averagepay as whites having the same education,the personal income of Negroes and of the nation would be $I2.8 billion higher. If Negroes hadthesameeducationaalttainmentsaswhiteworkers,andearnedthesamepayand experiencedthe sameunemploymentas whites,theirpersonalincome-and thatof the nation-would be $20.6 billion higher. Finally, if Negroes were affordedthe same educationalbenefitsas whites and job discriminationceased,the total gross nationalproductwould riseby an estimated$23billion.

Provided for by the Economic Opportunity Act of I964, tit. I, pt. A., 78 Stat. 508, 42 U.S.C. ?? 27II-20 (1964).

778 Stat. 512, 42 U.S.C. ?? 2731-36 (I964).
8 76 Stat. 23, as amended, 42 U.S.C. ?? 2571-2620 (1964).

77 Stat. 411, as amended, 20 U.S.C. ?? i5aa, bb, aaa, 35-35n (I964).

qualifications

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IO0 LAW ANDCONTEMPORARYPROBLEMS

In moral terms, discrimination is indefensible. In economic terms, its terrible cost hurts the entire nation.

We have then, the issues of job creation, job preparation,transfer payments, and job discrimination. Within these guidelines, some of the recent antipoverty pro- grams should be reviewed before analyzing in more detail the Economic Oppor-

tunity Act of i964.10
Due in part to the massive dislocation caused by the depressionof the I930s, efforts

of the past centered primarily upon the device of transfer payments. And today these are essential to meet the needs of many groups within our society. But Social

Security, unemployment compensation, public assistance,old age and medical bene- fits, while necessary,do not eliminate the root causes of poverty.

It should be observed parenthetically, however, that one measure of the past,

the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of I94411-the “G.I. Bill”-by paying veterans to go to school, provides an interesting model for future programs aimed at other groups in our population.

The Area Redevelopment Act12in I96I marked a turning point in our approach to poverty, since it focused upon the elimination of poverty rather than the ameliora-

tion of some of its effects. In this act, structural unemployment was attacked in a novel way. Loans, grants, and technical aid were extended to communities classified

as depressed.
Two recent programs are patterned on this general idea. The Appalachian

Regional Development Act of i96513is based on the notion that the states and the

federal government should join as partners to encourage private industry to invest in an area of the country that has historically lagged behind the rest of the nation in economic development. The administration of the program is housed in a Commission which is composed of representativesof the governors of the eleven states that comprise the regional and federal representatives. While the federal gov- ernment has a fifty-one per cent majority vote in the Commission, no program can be commenced in a state without the state’sprior approval.

The aims of the program are to build nearly 3,500miles of highway in Appalachia to promote mobility and commercial access, to establish health facilities, and to develop conservation of land, water, and timber resources. The Commission is also authorized to build community educational and health facilities which will then be operated with funds from the Office of Economic Opportunity.

The Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 was again aimed at structuralunemployment, but this time the focus was not upon job creation but job preparation. Here the impact of automation and other forces in the job market

10
“1Ch. 268, 58 Stat. 284 (now 38 U.S.C. ?? 1801-25 (I964)).

78 Stat. 508, 42 U.S.C. ? 2701-98I (1964).

12
is 79 Stat. 5, 40 U.S.C.A. App. A (Supp. 1965).

75 Stat. 47 (196I), as amended, 42 U.S.C. S? 2501-25 (1964).

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THE WAR ON POVERTY II

on young people and displaced older workers was ameliorated by vocational training

and retraining.
The Vocational Education Act of 1963is of a similar nature. Though not aimed

at precisely the same group, it is designed to attack the problem of structural un-

employment by providing vocational training for young people.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of I965’4 and the Higher Educa-

tion Act of I96515are of great significance, not only because of the groups they im- mediately affect, but also in terms of the precedent set for federal aid to, and

responsibility for, education. Under the former, the federal government is author- ized to make grants to states which have school districts with large numbers of children from low-income families. Subject to the approval of state and federal educational agencies, grants may be used in any way the school district feels proper.

The Higher Education Act of I965 authorizes federal scholarships for college

students, federally guaranteed low interest loans, aid to small colleges and other

community service programs, and special grants for college libraries.
In keeping with the dominant direction of recent antipoverty legislation, most attention has been paid those acts relating to job creation and job preparationrather

than transfer payments. But one vitally needed form of transfer payment passed last year. Known popularly as medicare, this program is aimed at the rapidly

increasing percentage of our population over sixty-five. Administered by the Social Security Administration, the act allows the federal government to cover most hos- pital and nursing home costs, diagnostic studies, and home health-carevisits for those over sixty-five.

Special mention should be made of two laws not usually associated with poverty but which have a direct bearing upon the problem. The Civil Rights Act of I96416 and the Voting Rights Act of I96517 help to assure that all levels of government will be responsive to the needs of all groups in our society, and that there will be equal opportunity for jobs on the basis of merit rather than race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Since the incidence of poverty falls with undeserved severity upon various minority groups, especially the Negro American, the discrimination in em- ployment and lack of power over government which has caused this disparity in job opportunity must be ended. The Civil Rights Act of I964 and the Voting Rights Act of I965 do not guarantee this result but do establish these objectives as national policy and establish the framework of law whereby they can be realized.

III
THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT OF I964

The legislation which most clearly reflects the philosophical trend of present

14 79 Stat. 27 (codified in scatteredsections of 20 U.S.C.A. (Supp. 1965)). 16 79 Stat. 1219, 20 U.S.C.A. ?? o00oI-44 (Supp. 1965).
1s 78 Stat. 241, 42 U.S.C. ?? 1971, I975a-d, 200oa to h-6 (I964).
1779 Stat. 437, 42 U.S.C.A. ?? I97I, 1973-73P (Supp. I965).

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I2 LAW ANDCONTEMPORARYPROBLEMS

thinking-i.e., achieving the proper balance between job preparation,job creation, and transfer payments-is the Economic Opportunity Act of i964.18 Here, the older dominance of transfer payments is modified by an increased emphasis upon

job preparationand, to a lesser extent, job creation.
The objective of the Economic Opportunity Act of I964 is to further the policy

of this country in eliminating “the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty . . . by opening to everyone the opportunity for education and training, the opportunity to work, and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity.”19

While the budget given the Office of Economic Opportunity in fiscal I966 only amounts to a little over $1.5 billion, as opposed to the many billions of dollars spent

on poverty in other federal programs, the Economic Opportunity Act charges the Directorof the Officeof EconomicOpportunitywith overallresponsibilityfor advising thePresidentonthetotalwaronpoverty. Asaresult,theimpactoftheinstitutions created by the Economic Opportunity Act upon the philosophy of the total war on

poverty will be greater than its budget, when compared with budgets of the 200-odd other federal programs, would indicate. To aid in this coordination, the act also

created the Economic Opportunity Council.
An Information Center to help in the effective coordination of the various anti-

povertyprogramshasbeenestablished. The Centercollects,analyzes,correlates,and makes available in one place to public officials and interested private institutions current information on the program.

To eliminate poverty, quite obviously something more than a bigger relief check is needed. A far-sighted remedial approach to exterminate the conditions which

cause poverty is required if its deadly cycle is to be broken. A basic cause of poverty is lack of proper education.

A student who leaves school before receiving a high school diploma will be in

serious trouble in obtaining and keeping adequate employment. Several reasons result in a student’s leaving school. One important reason is that our school pro-

gram has all too often failed to prepare our young people in the primary grades with those tools necessaryto continue in school at secondaryand college levels.

Due in part to our increased knowledge of intelligence and intelligence testing,

we now know that the intelligence quotient is not the completely static thing we once thought, but is at least somewhat elastic and can be especially affected by proper stimulation before a child is six. Children who come from culturally deprived

families often have no familiarity with pencils, crayons, writing paper, books, or complete sentences. These children are in serious trouble before they enter the

first grade. The chance to provide that vital stimulation which may be necessary to ensure their eventual graduation from high schools may be irrevocablylost before the student ever reaches school, the way our educational system is now established.

s78 Stat. 508, 42 U.S.C. ?? 2701-981 (1964).
19 Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, ? 2, 78 Stat. 508, 42 U.S.C. ? 2701 (I964).

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THE WAR ON POVERTY

I3

To help correct this deficiency, Operation Head Start was launched last summer

by the Office of Economic Opportunity. Special programs were developed to provide enough background for pre-schoolchildren from culturally deprived homes to permit them to enter first grade at least on a closer level of equality with their classmates

than would have been the case without the program. Head Start will now operate year round, and will involve the parents of the participating children so that all the growth of the children will not be negated by poor home environment.

During fiscal years 1965 and 1966, there were 371 Head Start programs involving 149,028 children at a cost to OEO of $6I,I35,185.

Many youngsters have not been able to stay in school for financial reasons. With a lack of education and lack of job skills these youngsters soon become a statistic in

the unemployment figures. To help these young people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two the Economic Opportunity Act of i964 established the Job Corps.

TherearethreetypesofJobCorpscenters. First,theconservationcenters,which are located in our national parks and forests. These Corpsmen divide their time between conservation work and basic academic instruction. They also receive coun- seling in work attitudes and general, psychological guidance.

Second, the men’s urban centers, varying in size from I,ooo to nearly 3,000 stu- dents. Here Corpsmen receive academic instruction and vocational training. At Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, for example, courses are offered in such fields as retail merchandising and health services. At Camp Parks, in California, Corpsmen are receiving instruction in such diverse fields as welding, electronics,office management, culinary arts, and television production.

Third, the women’s centers, accommodating about three hundred young women each are located in urban areas. The women receive academic and vocational train- ing along with instruction in home management skills and child care.

As of January I966 there were I7,190 youths in eighty-four Job Corps centers.

To help young people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two who remain at home,theEconomicOpportunityActof1964establishedtheNeighborhoodYouth Corps, administered by the Department of Labor. Those enrollees who are in school spend a maximum of fifteen hours per week in the program. Those that have dropped out of school or who have finished school spend as much as thirty-two hours per week in the program and are limited to an enrollment period of six months. If they return to school, however, they may continue in the Corps. En- rollees receive specialized academic instruction, vocational guidance and counselling in an effort to help them understand the need for proper work attitudes.

In fiscal year 1965, 642 projects were approved for 278,426 participants; in fiscal

1966, 798 projects were approved for 238,805 participants at a cost of $153,502,759. For those high school students who show promise of an ability to do advanced

work, but do not have the necessary achievement level or skills to gain admission

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I4

LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS

to college, the Office of Economic Opportunity developed and administers Upward

Bound as part of the Community Action Program (CAP).
There are two programsfor those who are in college or are working toward gradu-

ate degrees. One, the Work Study program, established by the Economic Op-

portunity Act of 1964,provides job opportunities for those college students who need asourceofincomeinordertocontinuetheireducation. TheHigherEducationAct

of I965, mentioned previously, is a second source of assistance for college students. Other approaches to the elimination of poverty have been instituted by the

Economic Opportunity Act of I964.
Under this act, rural families may obtain loans which enable them to refinance

their farms and improve their homesites. In fiscal i965, 11,I04 loans were made to

individuals totalling $I8,733,800. To date, fiscal 1966 has seen 6,537 loans totalling

$II,057,747.
To assist the very small businessman, the act established a Small Business Loan

program, aimed generally at those businessmen whose operations are too small or whose credit is not sufficientto meet the demands of the usual small business loan. Not only is the businessman aided by the loan, but it is hoped that it will enable him to expand and create new jobs for the community’s unemployed. In fiscal I965 through January I966, 832 loans totalling $10,I74,269 have been made.

For heads of families who are out of work the act established the Work Experi- ence program. Although this does not give the high level of technical training that is offered by the MDTA program, it does enable participantsto qualify for income- producing jobs. From this point the individual may wish to enter the MDTA pro-

gram for advanced training. In fiscal year I965 through January 1966, 218 projects had been approvedfor 107,I62participants,at a cost of $I50,705,612.

The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 also created VISTA, a domestic Peace Corps,tohelpcommunitiescombatpoverty. Therearenow2,073volunteerswork- ing at sixty urban and 153 rural projects,including work with migrants, Indians, the mentally retarded,and the Job Corps, in Appalachia and in urban areas.

Finally, the act created the Community Action Program, funded and directed

by the Office of Economic Opportunity. This program representsa departurefrom previous methods of coping with the problem. It is the so-called “umbrella ap-

proach,” in which all antipoverty social welfare programs (hopefully, both state and federal) are administered on a community-wide basis by a single agency. This agency is composed of all elements to be formed within the community-the social welfare agencies, the elected officials,the business leaders, and most important of all, the members of the target groups.

The typical community action program might include a vocational education program, Head Start for pre-school children, literacy training, social work, a Foster Grandparentsproject,andpart-timeworkforneedycollegestudents. Thereare872

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THE WAR ON POVERTY

15

grantees, including 623 community action agencies, 130 state and II9 university community action organizations. Some grantees have a contract which provides for

only one service, such as Head Start, or perhaps a literacy program with an Indian tribe. Others include a battery of operations under the community action umbrella.

Over the last two years, the 872 grantees have received 1,703 grants totalling

$313,568,566-$152,I10,309in fiscal i965, and $161,458,257in fiscal 1966. These figures include grants to twenty-seven institutions for administration of Upward Bound

projects at a cost of $3,236,634to OEO. It also includes twenty projects to provide legal services to the poor at a cost of $I,481,436; twenty-two Foster Grandparents projects funded at a cost of $2,800,000;and the operating cost of Head Start, quoted above.

The impoverished, as stated in the Economic Opportunity Act of i964,20 must have as large a voice in the program as is feasible. The statutory requirement of participationby the poor has been criticized at both extremes.

On the one hand, critics have said that the poor would not respond, would not participate. The most recent facts belie this. A recent analysis of the New York, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, Kansas City, and San Francisco boards,

representing sixty-two per cent of all grantees, indicates that 27.5 per cent of board members are poor.

On the other hand, conservative critics have feared that participation of the poor was an invitation to anarchy. This too has been disproved by time, with harmonious relations generally existing between all elements on the various boards.

The poor get into board positions in a wide variety of ways, demonstrating the flexibility and range of choice OEO wisely leaves to the local community action

agencies. Of course some get there by ordinary, routine appointment processes. But for others the road to a share in community power is more interesting.

For example, in Philadelphia, the first step for a poor person to become one of the twelve on the thirty-one-member Philadelphia Anti-Poverty Action Committee (PAAC) istorunforofficeinhisneighborhood,justashewouldifhewererunning

for political office. Twelve poverty neighborhoods each elect twelve-member com- munity action councils, with all residents eligible to vote. One of the twelve elected leadersof each council is then named to the PAAC Board.

In Detroit, each of the four poverty areas has an advisory council which elects four persons to the city’s governing board. The sixteen so chosen join with twenty-

three representativesof private and public agencies (including the mayor), religious organizations, minority groups, business and unions to run the community action agency.

In Louisiana, the thirteen representativesof the poor on the twenty-seven-member board of the six-parish Acadiana Neuf, Inc., are elected at “town meetings” in the

poverty pockets.
‘ Sec. 202(a)(3), 78 Stat. 516, 42 U.S.C. ? 2782(a)(3) (1964).

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i6 LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS

In Taney County, Missouri, poor persons on the board were elected by mailed ballots.

These examples show the local imagination and creativity which OEO deliberate-

ly encourages. As more and more of the expected total of 2,000 community action

agencies come into being, there is likely to be more and more experimentation. The administratorsof OEO want it to continue because they believe that neither

their experts nor the leaders of any local community have found (or can find) the one best way to give power to the poor which will be best for all communities.

The administration’s”war on poverty” has had its critics. Some of the criticism

isjustified. Wehavelearnedmuchbywide-rangingprograms,someofwhichwere frankly experimental. Mistakes have been made. We must now benefit by those mistakes and heed those critics whose criticism has been constructive.

However, much of the criticism has not been of this variety. Some would abolish the “war on poverty” because a simple solution to the problem has not been

found in the year following passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of I964. It would be as logical, and as constructive, to propose that all research on cancer be

discontinued since a complete cure or preventive has not yet been found, in spite of the millions of dollars spent on research.

Industry,labor,the universities,and all levels of government must push on in our

attempt to fashion new weapons to destroy an old adversary.
A generation ago, the American author Thomas Wolfe expressed tde goal for

which we work: “To every man his chance, to every man regardlessof his birth, his

shining golden opportunity-to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make

him-this . .. is the promise of America.”
For that part of our population which needs direct aid-the aged, mothers who

head families, the sick, the unemployed-increased transfer payments adequate to permit them to carry on decent lives for themselves and their families.

For children, adequate preparationthat will permit them to participatein school with their classmateson the basis of equality.

For young people who have dropped out of school and too often out of society,

basic education and vocational training coupled with personal guidance to bring them back.

For everyone, an education limited only by one’s ability to learn.

For the worker automated out of a job, retraining and possible relocation.

For the rural poor, regional development to provide jobs and training to permit their realization.

For all minority groups, the right to an education which will permit them to

compete for jobs on an equal basis with anyone; the right to participatein all levels of government to ensure that its powers will be fairly used; the right to be able to

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THE WAR ON POVERTY

17

spend one’s income on adequate housing of his choice; the right to fulfillment rather than the right only to opportunity made unreachable by factors beyond an indi- vidual’s control.

For all the people, a relationshipbetween government and private industry which

ensures a vibrantly growing economy which can provide not only the goods and services, but also the jobs necessary to permit all to share in the abundance of this

land.
These are the goals of the “war on poverty.”

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