- Speak Truth to Power Stephen Cary et al Central Problem The basic reason for our failure lies in the nature of our present commitment to

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“Speak Truth to Power,” Stephen Cary et al. Central Problem: “The basic reason for our failure lies in the nature of our present commitment to violence. The basic assumption upon which United States foreign policy rests is that our national interest can best be served by military preparedness against a Soviet threat on the one hand, and by constructive and world-wide economic, political, and social programs on the other. The most common image used to suggest an adequate American policy is that of a wall of military power as a shield against communism, behind which the work of democracy, in raising the level of life and educating the minds of men, can be carried on. Our material strength must provide the basis of security so that men may have a chance to grow and develop.” Intent: “We have here attempted to analyze our reasons, and without denying the value of proposals that might ease present tensions, to suggest another and less widely considered alternative built on a different assumption, namely, that military power in today's world is incompatible with freedom, incapable of providing security, and ineffective in dealing with evil.” Grounding ideal: “Our truth is an ancient one: that love endures and overcomes; that hatred destroys; that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden. This truth, fundamental to the position which rejects reliance on the method of war, is ultimately a religious perception, a belief that stands outside of history.” Throughout, the writers contest that violent means not only clash with, but also undermine the pursuit of peaceful ends, e.g., “This is an appealing image, reflecting both our peaceful intentions and our high aspirations, but we believe it is false and illusory…We believe these two aims have become mutually exclusive, and that a willingness to resort to organized mass violence under any circumstances requires a commitment that condemns all other desires and considerations to relative ineffectiveness.” This is because: 1) recourse to total war demands strict measures to insure internal security – this entails the sacrifice of liberty, especially those surrounding dissent, 2) war demands the “highest possible degree of national unity,” which impels the pursuit of “mass mind” and opens the door to “emotional engineering,” and 3) military requirements profoundly change American values and culture, moving away from self-determination, individualism and the valuation of rights and liberties – society is “organized like an army itself.” These domestic consequences are mirrored by developments blocking constructive programs in foreign policy. The committee here largely refers to the need to support the self- emancipation and determination of foreign peoples (particularly in light of decolonization). For them, our sympathies must remain “with the oppressed.” Also, “The United Nations was originally conceived of as a world forum for the peaceful settlement of disputes, with eventual forces of its own to back its
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decisions. As the power struggle has developed, the United States has sought to
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course 790 376 taught by Professor Murphy during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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- Speak Truth to Power Stephen Cary et al Central Problem The basic reason for our failure lies in the nature of our present commitment to

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