Morals in the West - Page 5


In "Sociology" (p.157), Samuel Konig writes: "The developed lands comprise 25% of the world's population and own 85% of its capital assets; leaving 15% for the remaining 75% of humanity. The lapse of time only widens this gap. In affluent lands themselves, wealth is the property of a minority only. A U.S. Senate Committee in 1946 affirmed that 5% of America's great industrial concerns owned 80% of American industrial capital, controlling 60% of the total work force and drawing 80% of the total industrial profits."
The world president of the United Nations' "Farming and Agricultural Organization" says in an article entitled "Hungry Man" (by Jose de Castro, No. 8, p.24): "Today two thirds of the inhabitants of the earth live in constant hunger ; and about 1,500 million people live on the subsistence level, suffering constantly from this most horrible of social ills."
Savagery in a Civilized Age
Some sociologists held that war is inseparable from human life, which "was from its inception cruel, brutal and nasty." Other sociologists and psychologists deny this, holding that war can be removed from human life, since bloodshed is caused by ethical derailments, social disorders and economic disruptions; and is not an ineradicable ingredient in human nature. Instruction and education in basic truths, and an equitable ordering of social conditions, can remove the causes of war. The terrible and irreparable damage which war brings down on the devoted heads of innocent millions can thus be averted, they say.
The matchless triumphs of science and technology have made the 20th century a bloody holocaust. It is stamped as the age of greed, ambition, insurrection, violence, and of history's most inhuman wars. A glance over the first 75 years of the 20th century is enough to make manifest that in that short time our advanced and civilized peoples have perpetrated more crimes than in the whole previous course of human history.
The West possesses industrial techniques and atom bombs. Its knowledge drives man through mud and blood. It turns once fertile lands to deserts. The cry of the oppressed rises to high heaven, bewailing the West's weakness of thought and decline in morals.
The aftermath of two world wars between imperialist powers pursuing conflicting material interests has been dire for all mankind. No excuse can wash the grime of wickedness, heartlessness and cruelty from this century's warmongers' garments.
World War I lasted 1'565 days. Nine million died. Twenty-two million were maimed and left unemployable for life. Such are the statistics of casualties on the actual battlefield. The number of deaths and injuries caused in crowded cities as a side-effect of the fighting is incalculable. The cost of that war is reckoned as more than $400,000,000,000.
The Carnegie Peace Trust, in its report "The Twentieth-Century World", claims that that same sum could have built, at prices of that date, a decent house for every family in England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Russia, the United States, Canada, and Australia. The survivors weep, like Rachel for her children, "for they are not", and will not be comforted. Its ravages were not repaired before World War II broke out.
Statistics say that in World War million were killed; 20 million lost a limb; 17 million liters of blood were spilt; 12 million children were born deformed; 13,000 primary and secondary schools, 6,000 universities and 8,000 science laboratories were destroyed; 319 thousand million bullets were fired.
In 1945 America dropped two small atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Hiroshima 70,000 people were vaporized and 70,000 others crippled. In Nagasaki 40,000 died and 40,000 were maimed. Buildings were laid flat. Nor were innocent babes or animals spared. Within five days Japan surrendered unconditionally.
World press reports said that after the war Russian artificial-limb factories placed an order with their American counterparts for 4 million feet, to fit out those who had lost a foot in the war, since such levels of production were beyond the means of their own industrial installations. If so many feet were needed in Russia, how many irreparable injuries must have occurred amongst her people, and how many in other lands, for which no statistics can ever be affirmed?
The August 1945 bombs held 235 units of uranium, and 239 of plutonium, the equivalent of 335,000 units of T.N.T. An average atom bomb of today is 5,000 times more powerful, and a hydrogen bomb 5 million times more destructive than an atom bomb. Yet one atom bomb would suffice to flatten a city like New York, Paris, London or Moscow. They no longer need manned planes. Guided missiles can deliver them right on target 2,000 miles away.
The seismographic echoes of one such explosion can be recorded 7,000 miles from its center. The Nobel Prize-winning U.S. chemist, Dr. Linus Pauling, says that in the first hour of a new war 10,000 megaton bombs would wipe out 175 million inhabitants of densely populated lands. The U.S.A. had a stockpile of 24,000; the U.S.S.R. 80,000; England 15,000, at the moment he was writing.
A future war, U.S. Army General Neumann writes, will claim as its victims not so much soldiers as civilians. Entire communities, women and children included, will perish. Our physicists have taken war out of human hands and transferred it to fighting machines, which make no distinctions of age or sex, belligerent or non-belligerent. The new theatre of conflict will not be a field of battle or a fortress, but those cities and villages in which manufacturing and commercial centers exist. On these would hail down flying missiles filled with explosives, incendiary devices, poison gas, and disease-bearing bacteria.
These two wars have cast all humanity into the vortex of self-destruction. But their horrors have not had the slightest effect on the moral attitudes of the West, nor changed its intoxication with affluence and alcohol —witness the many regional wars today which might at any moment coalesce into one total war of world annihilation. Civilized nations use their mental, physical and financial powers, not for the proper ends of peace and prosperity for all, but to prepare and stockpile the instruments for everyone's destruction.
Bertrand Russell writes: "Governments competing in sending astronauts to the moon and beyond will between them destroy this world. In past ages sheer want drove tribes to attack their neighbors for the scanty supplies available. Today affluent societies commit suicide in competitive insanity."
The "Economic Record" reckons that 400 billion dollars were spent on armaments in the first half of the 20th century —enough to feed every human stomach for the same period and simultaneously provide housing for one-third of humanity—all this in a world where two-thirds of the population live barely at subsistence level in illiteracy and indigence.
The W.F.T.U. estimates that 70% of the world's working personnel are on jobs which have some connection with armament manufacture.
So terrible are modern weapons that a Third World War would leave neither victor nor vanquished, but only a funeral for all humanity.
Sociologist Petrim A. Sorokin writes: "The key question of our day is not the superiority of capitalism or communism, nationalism or internationalism, but the replacement of a materialist culture by a superior philosophy of life. In World Wars I and II, each side claimed that peace would ensue if its rival group were wiped out.
In World War I the Allies blamed Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany ; while he held that the suppression of England was necessary for world peace. In World War II differing views held that peace could only come by Hitler's resignation or death; by Churchill's removal ; by Mussolini's never having been born ; by Hirohito ceasing to be the deified ruler of Japan; by Trotsky replacing Stalin in Russia. Yet now that all these persons are departed, the fever of crisis and war still inflames the world ; and men's hearts fail them for fear. For it was not the individual Kaiser Wilhelm, or Hitler, or Mussolini, or Churchill, or Stalin who caused the 20th century's troubles.

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