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One consequence is, evident. By preventing a world security system, we would have created a new basis for a world system of power politics. This basis would be a balance of power between Russia and the United States. Because the world has become so small and these powers are each so big, this balance of power would appear likely to endure far beyond the end of this century.
It is necessary to see this clearly to consider what it implies. Russia and the United States are the two principal nations today in terms of intrinsic power and must be expected to increase rather than lose their present primacy during the next generation. Both possess huge continental areas; both are largely selfsufficient; both have relatively weak states on their borders; neither could be conquered by anything less than a stupendous effort of most of the rest of the world.
The British Empire, in contrast, is spread over the seven seas. Its heart is in the British Isles, vulnerable to Europe and containing only 45,000,000 people. In industrial production it lags way behind the United States and will soon lag far behind Russia. Although a mighty and influential force in a world of peace, it would be much weaker than these two continental nations in a world geared to war.
France can no longer be measured against these giants. It will be a great many decades before agricultural and divided China could even begin to approach their level of power.
Russia is in a position where she might dominate a large part of Eurasia, a supercontinent which contains seven-eights of the world's people. The United States is in a position to dominate, as far as our people are willing to do so, the two American continents, containing one-eighth of the people of the world.
PART II. LONG-RANGE RESULTS
A quick glance at some long-range considerations may help us to see in better perspective the consequences of the Senate's decision.
This decision will determine whether the basis of future world development is to be international cooperation or interbloc balances. The choice is of the utmost importance to the future of our country and the lives of our children and grandcbildren.
In the present stage of history the world is shrinking fast and the relationships between nations are increasing rapidly. All nations are being forced more closely together, and ahead, however far, looms an eventual world political unity which will match its present economic unity.
One road to this unity is by international evolution on a world-wide scale, Nations would become progressively more interdependent until they finally agreed to set up a world government in which each nation might occupy a position somewhat comparable to that of the States in our Union. The United Nations Organization is clearly one step along this way. It is a road very suitable for America for three reasons:
1. This kind of evolution can be peaceful and in accordance with the interests of all.
2. By following this road, the United States will eventually become one of the most influential and prosperous units in a world government.
3. Even at the end of the road, it will be able to run its internal affairs in its own way.
The other road to world unity is that of evolution by means of regional power blocs and balances of power between them. In the end one of tbe blocs would dominate the others and set up a centralized world government. Rejection of the United Nations Organization would definitely be a step along this way. It is a road very dangerous to America for these reasons:
1. The regional bloc open to our domination is smaller, less powerful and more vulnerable than regional blocs open to the domination of other powers.
2. We could not travel as fast or as far as other powers along this road because we are a democracy and don't believe in dominating other peoples.
3. This kind of evolution leads directly to interbloc wars, that is, to more world wars. If our bloc is less powerful than others, we are not likely to win all these wars.
4. If we don't win them, a centralized world government will ultimately be set by force by some overseas power. Then we will not be able to run our own internal affairs in our own way.
So the choice between these roads of evolution involves peace and war, democratic institutions and ultimately the freedom and liberty of the American people.
Furthermore, a broad view of world geography makes it clear that one thing we Americans must avoid is a world balance of power in which most of the Eastern Hemisphere is arrayed against our smaller and more vulnerable Western Hemisphere. One reason we are fighting this war is to prevent such a balance between the two ends of Eurasia and the Americas. If the Senate votes "Yes"
The most effective way in sight both of avoiding interbloc balances and of preventing any power or combination from consolidating most of the Eastern Hemisphere against the Americas is to set up the United Nations Organization and make it work effectively.
The action of the Security Council, the common interest of the Great Powers in its success, and the teamwork they will develop will work directly to limit domination by these powers over the smaller nations in their regions. Power blocs cannot be consolidated readily when smaller nations can appeal to the Security Council and discuss anything they want before the General Assembly. Hitler has demonstrated how easily such blocs can be built when the only effective obstacle is power politics.
Conference method.—Turning to the more immediate future, an over-all international organization will confer on the United States an influence and a position of leadership in world aaffirs which it could not have in any power politics system. For the following reasons, the United States stands to gain more than any other nation by the method of international conference:
i. We have in this hemisphere 20 neighbor republics, most of whom have interests parallel with ours in world affairs. Nine of them are tiny states in the Caribbean and Central America, so bound to us by economic and financial ties and so subject to our influence that we can count on their votes when we seriously want them. As there are only some 60 sovereign states in the world, we can start off with a large number of votes in international conferences.
2. The United States is so largely self-sufficient and so relatively secure that it has fewer ambitions at the expense of smaller states than any other Great Power. Our people, moreover, are opposed to using our power against smaller states in any way that seems flagrantly unfair. Consequently, the small nations of Europe and Asia feel that the United States is relatively disinterested where they are concerned and is usually seeking ends which are for the general good. So many of them follow our lead in international conferences.
3. Because we have no fear of our neighbors in this hemisphere and are separated by oceans from the Eastern Hemisphere, our interests tend to parallel world interests in the greater part of the earth. For example, we are seeking now security and prosperity for the entire globe.
4. Finally, our wealth and industrial capacity count heavily in any conference. In power politics they have to be geared to forceful politics to be equally effective.
All these assets give the United States today an unparalleled position for leadership in international conferences and organizations. Most of these assets would be thrown away if the Senate voted instead for power politics unlimited.
Russia.-The shape of things to come during the rest of this century depends very largely upon the relations between the two intrinsically most powerful nations, the United States and Russia. The immediate difficulties which now beset these relations do not alter this basic situation.
Because they are in different continents and each possesses a huge area, rich resources and a large degree of self-sufficiency, neither needs to take anything from the other. Moreover, they have not now, and they have not had before, any basic conflict of national interest such as both have had with Germany and Japan.
In considering the position of Russia, it is necessary to realize that she has been evolving since 1917 more rapidly than any other great nation. She will be transformed further by the war, by its development of patriotism and nationalism, by the new importance of the Red Army, by its travels abroad, and by the knowledge of many of her people that their victory is largely due to aid from the capitalist West.
After the war another fundamental transformation will take place. Until now, Russia's internal economy and standard of living have had to be sacrificed to the desperate need to build up her war capacity, first against the feared threat of a capitalist coalition, later against the evident threat of Nazi Germany, International security will mean for Russia her first real chance to concentrate her energies on internal welfare.
When victory has come, Russia will hold a dominant position in much of Europe and Asia. But, unlike Germany and Japan, she has no compelling need for empire-building. Each of them was clearly destined to shrink in importance as the United States and Russia developed unless they could, before it was too late, build up vast power blocs by war. Russia, with her great area and huge resources, is not driven to that course to maintain her world position. She can maintain it through peace and international security and gain immensely thereby in living standards and internal prosperity, welfare, and progress.
If the United States and Russia can work together inside the United Nations Security Organization, it will mean two things in their relationship:
1. Their possibilities of cooperation will be developed to a maximum. This means that their possibilities of conflict will be reduced to a minimum. Partnership and the pursuit of a common interest in world security will increase mutual confidence and minimize existing differences, while American money and materials will help rebuild Russian industries and develop a mutually profitable trade. Since the existence of the Organization will limit power politics, it will limit actions by either power outsde its borders which might cause dangerous conflicts of interest.
2. This relationship will deflect the dynamic evolution of Russia to a direction closer to our own. It will thus decrease the gap that has existed between the political and social structures of the intrinsically most powerful states, and in turn facilitate their future collaboration.
British Commonwealth.–Our ties with the British Commonwealth now override in importance and intimacy those with any other nation. We complement each other in security; the United States is the central powerhouse of the combination and the British have the positions and bases from which our power can be exerted overseas. During this war, in combined staffs and combined operations, we have learned how easily and intimately we can work together.
Before the war more th'in a third of our total foreign trade was with the British. In the dark hours of the war, we learned how the British Isles guarded our Atlantic shores, and the vital importance of Australia to our Pacific campaign. Our forces have since been scrambled beneath unified commands on seas and fronts all over the world. After the war we will have a unique opportunity to continue this collaboration as a solid guaranty of our joint security, peace, and well-being.
Here again the United Nations Organization provides the best mechanism for concerting our power and policies and simultaneously obtaining world-wide support for goals we seek in common-security, peace and prosperity on a worldwide scale. An attempt to base our partnership on an Anglo-American alliance instead would inevitably tend to create counter alliances between other nations. that course, if we reject the cooperative system she is now ready to accept and thereby determine that the world is to work that way.
China.--The future of the Pacific depends largely on the future of China. The world security organization offers the best means visible for limiting the play of power politics and foreign pressures inside China and enabling her to evolve peacefully into a modern industrialized state. Special treaties for such a purpose between the principal Pacific nations are unlikely to produce this result, as the failure of the Nine Power Treaty of 1922 showed. If the Senate votes "No".
Rejection of the United Nations Organization by the Senate would open an era of power politics checked only by available power and self-interest. And the sentiment in America which was reflected in the Senate's decision would grow as the ugly shape of the post-war
world the Senate had chosen became more and more clear. Our influence in Europe and Asia would then be undermined in any case. Developments at home, the antagonism of the other powers -and the consequences of the policies they would pursue would all tend to force us to retreat toward isolation, leaving the future of Eurasia primarily to the decision of others. Here are some of the logical consequences we should have to expect :
Under these conditions, Russia would be thrown back upon power politics for her security and, at the same time, placed in position where she could capitalize them to the full. In Europe and the Middle East, she would be at one end of a balance of power with Britain. In the Far East, as well as in the world as a whole, she would be at one end of a balance of power with the United States. In this situation, and faced with American antagonism instead of cooperation, her only reasonable course would be to take full advantage of the balance of power game. A fundamental feature of that is expansion of power at the expense of rivals. We could reproach neither her leaders nor her people for following 2. ECONOMIC If the Senate votes "Yes"
Success in that course, which would then appear necessary for her own security no matter how costly, would have world-wide consequences. It could be based upon Russia's great intrinsic strength, her rapid postwar growth in industrial production and manpower, her unique strategic position in Eurasia and the absence of any comparable power on that continent.
One apparent means to such success, under these conditions, could be expansion of Russian influence and control outward in the Eastern Hemisphere. This could exert a mounting pressure on the British Empire and might ultimately limit Britain's capacity to pursue an independent policy. Such expansion in the Far East would be facilitated by instability and divisions in China and a common land frontier which extends most of the way across Asia.
Consequently, if the Senate decides on that kind of world, the logical tendency will be toward the eventual creation overseas of a power grouping likely to include the greater part of the Eastern Hemisphere. The world could move a long steps toward forcible political unity in that way.
It seems clear that the United States would not join this kind of system unless compelled to by overwhelming force. How many of our American neighbors would remain with us would depend upon how for inter-American solodarity could be maintained in that kind of world.
So, if the Senate votes “no," it will set in motion forces of power polities which would tend to create exactly the type of world system most dangerous to our future, an eventual world balance of power between two great regional blocs. We, with perhaps most of the Western Hemisphere, would be arrayed against most of the Eastern. On our side would be less than one-eighth of the world's people by existing count. On theirs would be the greater part of seveneighths, who are now only beginning to undergo the expansion of population and power which accompanies the industrial revolution.
Those who would like to vote “no” should first weigh the long-range conse quences for our country.
Within the framework of the United Nations Organization world economic development, like world political development, will proceed on a broad international basis.
American economic policy has long sought a world-wide market. This objective has been approached in our most favored nation treaties and in our reciprocal trade agreements. We know that in cur situation this is the way to get the greatest expansion of our foreign trade and consequently the widest employment and the highest standard of living. Some reasons are:
1. The region open to us in an exclusive system does not have enough population or buying power to serve as an adequate market. In 1938, for instance, Latin America bought only 16 percent of our exports. Canada bought more than 15 percent, but much of our Canadian market would be lost if the British Commonwealth formed an exclusive trading bloc. To trade as we wish, in order to create enough jobs at home, we must have a fair access to the markets of the world.
2. Nations like Britain which depend for their existence upon imports and which normally import more than they export have a better bargaining position than we have in creating closed-trade systems. Russia, where the state handles foreign trade, is also much better geared for that kind of cutthroat, dog-eat-dog competition.
3. Because of our democracy and our people's point of view we cannot use power politics and threats as effectively as other Great Powers to secure exclusive economic advantages.
Acceptance of the United Nations Organization by the Senate will fix the trend of world economic development in the way we want to see it go. It will give us a full opportunity to employ the leadership we can have in international conferences and our present paramount position in production and wealth to guide the trend that way. Comprehensive machinery for that purpose will be created in the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. Already it is clear that if the Organization works successfully in the security field, the latter Council will fairly soon surpass the Security Council in the scope of its activities and the points at which it touches the interests of mankind.
Many economists believe that the United States must export $10,000,000,000 worth of goods a year and import an equal amount in order to have full employment and freedom from want at home. This can be done only by trading on a world-wide basis; under equal conditions for all, and improving progressively by international action economic conditions throughout the world.
There is another side to the economic picture, the cost of armaments and preparations for war, and the taxes with which they burden the people at home.
The Great Powers will have far less need of huge armaments if they seek common security together than they will if each seeks security by itself. They will not be under an unrelenting pressure to prepare for the next war. So there will be a definite tendency, becoming stronger as stabiļity is restored, toward a reduction of armament costs.
The Security Council, moreover, will have the responsibility for formulating plans for establishing a system of regulation of armaments. Its military staff committee will have the duty of assisting and advising the Security Council on all questions relating to this question.
We are all a little soured at this point about armament limitation, because between the wars it weakened us and our Allies. That result came from going about it in the wrong way. Forty million Frenchmen have been proved right in their insistence that before there could be disarmament, there must be security. But the objective of the new Organization is security on a world-wide scale. If it succeeds, it appears inevitable that reduction of armaments will follow. Even more important than the direct savings made by such reduction may be the diminishing need of all great nations to gear their economies to the requirements of total war.
By setting up the United Nations Organization we set the world stage for the widest possible markets, the greatest possible employment, and the highest possible living standards. If the Senate votes "No"
If the Senate rejects the United Nations Organization, these benefits will not be achieved. The whole economic development of the world would proceed, instead, in a way directly contrary to American policy and interests.
For a time this situation might be obscured by the needs of countries shattered by tbe war for American economic assistance. But when they get on their feet it would follow inexorably beneath the pressure of power politics unlimited.
If the postwar world is to be based politically not on cooperation but upon conflicts and balances between the Great Powers, the same thing will happen in the economic field. The recession of the United States toward political isolation would mean a large degree of economic isolation as well.
Just as progress in the expansion of trade on an international basis will generate further progress, restriction of trade by the creation of regional systems would generate further restrictions. The economic effect in the United States would be progressive, because restricted markets mean less freedom of enterprise, less production, less employment, higher costs, and a lower standard of living. Furthermore, it would decrease the capacity of our economic system to meet the interest charges on the national debt and simultaneously to meet the heavy costs of preparation for war in a power-politics world.
We cannot sell a quarter of $10,000,000,000 worth of goods to Latin America, plus the additional meager markets we might obtain in regional economic areas controlled by other Powers. The British Empire and much of Western Europe would become a sterling area and buy British instead of American. The Commonwealth used to take two-fifths of our exports before the war. It won't buy anything like that amount from us if the Senate makes its only hope of survival the consolidation of a regional bloc.
We have hopes of a great expansion of future trade with Russia and with China. But Russia would not want to depend, except temporarily, upon American exports if we were at opposite ends of a world balance of power. Instead, if she followed the rules of that game, she would seek to weaken us by manoeuvers in economic policy in other markets which private industry cannot match. If we are to live in that kind of relationship, she can undersell our products whenever she wants, and charge off the loss to her budget.
An unstable China won't be the great market we hope to find in a stabilized China which is able to build up essential industries and communications. In the former, moreover, trade would tend to follow political penetration.