Henry A. Wallace
Henry Agard Wallace (* 7. Oktober 1888 bei Orient, Adair County, Iowa; † 18. November 1965 in Danbury, Connecticut) war ein US-amerikanischer Politiker. Zunächst Mitglied der Republikanischen Partei, wechselte er später zu denDemokraten und wurde schließlich zu einem Mitbegründer der Progressiven Partei.
Von März 1933 bis September 1940 war er Landwirtschaftsminister, von Januar 1941 bis Januar 1945 Vizepräsident in der Regierung von Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nach Roosevelts Tod bekleidete er im Kabinett von Harry S. Truman von März 1945 bis September 1946 das Amt des Handelsministers. Wallace trat bei derPräsidentschaftswahl des Jahres 1948 als Kandidat der Progressiven Partei an.
Der auf einer Farm geborene Henry A. Wallace war Sohn des späteren US-Landwirtschaftsministers Henry Cantwell Wallace. Nach seinem College-Abschluss 1910 war er Redakteur der Wallace’s Farmer und publizierte darüber hinaus über die Agrarwissenschaften. Von 1925 bis 1935 war er Mitglied der Theosophischen Gesellschaft Adyar, engagierte sich in derLiberalkatholischen Kirche und kam unter den Einfluss des russischen Malers und Theosophen Nicholas Roerich.
Landwirtschaftsminister 1933 bis 1940[Bearbeiten]
Obgleich seine Familienmitglieder beständig Anhänger der Republikaner gewesen waren und auch er selbst – aus Familientradition – Mitglied dieser Partei war, wechselte Wallace – enttäuscht von der Landwirtschaftspolitik und restriktiven Lohnpolitik der Republikaner – im Jahre 1928 zur Demokratischen Partei. Er war Befürworter von Roosevelts New Deal, zudem ausgewiesener Landwirtschaftsexperte. Nachdem er bei den Wahlen von 1932 entscheidend zum Sieg der Demokratischen Partei in Iowa beigetragen hatte, berief Präsident Roosevelt ihn nach seinem Wahlsieg im Jahre 1933 als Landwirtschaftsminister in sein Kabinett; es war seine Aufgabe, die New-Deal-Politik im Landwirtschaftssektor umzusetzen.
Wallace blieb auf diesem Posten bis zum Jahre 1940 und vertrat die immer wieder kontroverse Diskussionen auslösende Landwirtschaftspolitik der Regierung Roosevelts im gesamten Zeitraum.
Vizepräsident und Handelsminister[Bearbeiten]
Wallace legte das Amt des Landwirtschaftsministers im September 1940 nieder, um als Vizepräsidentschaftskandidat an der Seite Roosevelts bei der Wahl 1940anzutreten. Nach gewonnener Wahl wurde er am 20. Januar 1941 in sein Amt eingeführt. Seine Vizepräsidentschaft war vom Zweiten Weltkrieg dominiert; so saß er wichtigen Arbeitsgruppen und Komitees für ökonomische Kriegsführung und zur Sicherung des Nachschubs für die amerikanischen Truppen vor und unternahm Good-Will-Reisen nach Süd- und Mittelamerika, die zum Kriegseintritt von zwölf Staaten auf Seiten der Alliierten führten.
Vor der Wahl 1944 wurden ihm Sympathien für den Kommunismus (insbesondere fürStalin) vorgeworfen, sodass nicht er, sondern Harry S. Truman als Roosevelts Vizepräsident nominiert wurde. Seine Amtszeit endete turnusgemäß am 20. Januar 1945. Im März 1945 jedoch bestellte Präsident Roosevelt Wallace als Handelsminister in das Regierungskabinett. Als am 12. April 1945 Roosevelt im Amt starb und Truman als neuer Präsident nachrückte, fehlten Wallace nur 82 Tage um selbst Präsident zu werden, denn genau diese Zeitspanne zuvor endete seine Amtsperiode als Stellvertreter des Präsidenten. Im September 1946 wurde er wegen erheblicher Meinungsverschiedenheiten im Bezug auf die Außenpolitik von Präsident Truman aus seinem Ministeramt entlassen.
Präsidentschaftskandidat und späteres Leben[Bearbeiten]
Für die Wahl des Jahres 1948 kandidierte er für die Progressive Partei gegen Präsident Truman und den RepublikanerThomas E. Dewey für das Amt des Präsidenten der USA. Jedoch erhielt Wallace bei dem Urnengang am 2. November 1948 lediglich 2,4 Prozent aller Stimmen und keinen einzigen Wahlmann, da er in keinem Bundesstaat die Stimmenmehrheit errang. Er zog sich daraufhin aus dem politischen Leben zurück und widmete sich bis zu seinem Tod im Jahr 1965 der agrarwissenschaftlichen Forschung.
- Biographie: The Life of Henry A. Wallace: 1888-1965 (engl.)
- Henry A. Wallace Center for Agricultural & Environmental Policy (engl.)
- Literatur von und über Henry A. Wallace im Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek
ssociation in New York City. Also sometimes …
Peter Kuznick, co-author with Oliver Stone of the „Untold History of the United States“, discusses the ’44 Democratic Convention …
Peter Kuznick (co-author with Oliver Stone of the Untold History of the United States): A Wallace Presidency might have prevented …
Henry Wallace warned in 1944: „We must never allow ourselves to be put in a position which is antagonistic to Russia and Asia…
http://thefilmarchive.org/ Henry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 — November 18,
The Price of Free World Victory
Henry A. Wallace
From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 190.
A speech delivered to the Free World Association, New York City, May 8, 1942.
- This is a fight between a slave world and a free world. Just as the United States in 1862 could not remain half slave and half free, so in 1942 the world must make its decision for a complete victory one way or the. other.
- As we begin the final stages of this fight to the death between the free world and the slave world, it is worth while to refresh our minds about the march of freedom for the common man. The idea of freedom—the freedom that we in the United States know and love so well—is derived from the Bible, with its extraordinary emphasis on the dignity of the individual. Democracy is the only true political expression of Christianity.
- The prophets of the Old Testament were the first to preach social justice. But that which was sensed by the prophets many centuries before Christ was not given complete and powerful political expression until our nation was formed as a Federal Union a century and a half ago. Even then the march of the common people had just begun. Most of them did not yet know how to read and write. There were no public schools to which all children could go. Men and women cannot be really free until they have plenty to eat, and time and ability to read and think and talk things over. Down the years, the people of the United States have moved steadily forward in the practice of democracy. Through universal education, they now can read and write and form opinions of their own. They have learned, and are still learning, the art of production—that is, how to make a living. They have learned, and are still learning, the art of self-government.
- If we were to measure freedom by standards of nutrition, education and self-government, we might rank the United States and certain nations of western Europe very high. But this would not be fair to other nations where education has become widespread only in the last twenty years. In many nations, a generation ago, nine out of ten of the people could not read or write. Russia, for example, was changed from an illiterate to a literate nation within one generation and, in the process, Russia’s appreciation of freedom was enormously enhanced. In China, the increase during the past thirty years in the ability of the people to read and write has been matched by their increased interest in real liberty.
- Everywhere, reading and writing are accompanied by industrial progress, and industrial progress sooner or later inevitably brings a strong labor movement. From a long-time and fundamental point of view, there are no backward peoples which are lacking in mechanical sense. Russians, Chinese, and the Indians both of India and the Americas all learn to read and write and operate machines just as well as your children and my children. Everywhere the common people are on the march.
- When the freedom-loving people march—when the farmers have an opportunity to buy land at reasonable prices and to sell the produce of their land through their own organizations, when workers have the opportunity to form unions and bargain through them collectively, and when the children of all the people have an opportunity to attend schools which teach them truths of the real world in which they live—when, these opportunities are open to everyone, then the world moves straight ahead.
- But in countries where the ability to read and write has been recently acquired or where the people have had no long experience in governing themselves on the basis of their own thinking, it is easy for demagogues to arise and prostitute the mind of the common man to their own base ends. Such a demagogue may get financial help from some person of wealth who is unaware of what the end result will be. With this backing, the demagogue may dominate the minds of the people, and, from whatever degree of freedom they have, lead them backward into slavery.
- The march of freedom of the past 150 years bas been a long-drawn-out people’s revolution. In this great revolution of the people, there were the American Revolution of 1775, the French Revolution of 1792, the Latin American revolutions of the Bolivian era, the German Revolution of 1848, and the Russian Revolution of 1917. Each spoke for the common man in terms of blood on the battlefield. Some went to excess. But the significant thing is that the people groped their way to the light. More of them learned to think and work together.
- The people’s revolution aims at peace and not at violence, but if the rights of the common man are attacked, it unleashes the ferocity of a she-bear who has lost a cub. When the Nazi psychologists tell their master Hitler that we in the United States may be able to produce hundreds of thousands of planes, but that we have no will to fight, they are only fooling themselves and him. The truth is that when the rights of the American people are transgressed, as those rights have been transgressed, the American people will fight with a relentless fury which will drive the ancient Teutonic gods back cowering into their caves. The Götterdämmerung has come for Odin and his crew.
- The people are on the march toward even fuller freedom than the most fortunate peoples of the earth have hitherto enjoyed. No Nazi counterrevolution will stop it. The common man will smoke the Hitler stooges out into the open in the United States, in Latin America, and in India. He will destroy their influence. No Lavals, no Mussolinis will be tolerated in a Free World.
- The people, in their millennial and revolutionary march toward manifesting here on earth the dignity that is in every human soul, hold as their credo the Four Freedoms enunciated by President Roosevelt in his message to Congress on January 6, 1941. These Four Freedoms are the very core of the revolution for which the United Nations have taken their stand. We who live in the United States may think there is nothing very revolutionary about freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom from the fear of secret police. But when we begin to think about the significance of freedom from want for the average man, then we know that the revolution of the past 150 years has not been completed, either here in the United States or in any other nation in the world. We know that this revolution cannot stop until freedom from want has actually been attained.
- And now, as we move forward toward realizing the Four Freedoms of this people’s revolution, I would like to speak about four duties. It is my belief that every freedom, every right, every privilege has its price, its corresponding duty without which it cannot be enjoyed. The four duties of the people’s revolution, as I see them today, are these:
- The duty to produce to the limit.
- The duty to transport as rapidly as possible to the field of battle.
- The duty to fight with all that is in us.
- The duty to build a peace—just, charitable and enduring.
The fourth duty is that which inspires the other three.
- We failed in our job after World War I. We did not know how to go about building an enduring worldwide peace. We did not have the nerve to follow through and prevent Germany from rearming. We did not insist that she „learn war no more.“ We did not build a peace treaty on the fundamental doctrine of the people’s revolution. We did not strive wholeheartedly to create a world where there could be freedom from want for all the peoples. But by our very errors we learned much, and after this war we shall be in position to utilize our knowledge in building a world which is economically, politically and, I hope, spiritually sound.
- Modern science, which is a by-product and an essential part of the people’s revolution, has made it technologically possible to see that all of the people of the world get enough to eat. Half in fun and half seriously, I said the other day to Madame Litvinov: „The object of this war is to make sure that everybody in the world has the privilege of drinking a quart of milk a day.“ She replied: „Yes, even half a pint.“ The peace must mean a better standard of living for the common man, not merely in the United States and England, but also in India, Russia, China and Latin America—not merely in the United Nations, but also in Germany and Italy and Japan.
- Some have spoken of the „American Century:“ I say that the century on which we are entering—the century which will come out of this war—can be and must be the century of the common man. Everywhere the common man must learn to build his own industries with his own hands in a practical fashion. Everywhere the common man must learn to increase his productivity so that he and his children can eventually pay to the world community all that they have received. No nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism. The methods of the nineteenth century will not work in the people’s century which is now about to begin. India, China, and Latin America have a tremendous stake in the people’s century. As their masses learn to read and write, and as they become productive mechanics, their standard of living will double and treble. Modern science, when devoted wholeheartedly to the general welfare, has in it potentialities of which we do not yet dream.
- And modern science must be released from German slavery. International cartels that serve American greed and the German will to power must go. Cartels in the peace to come must be subjected to international control for the common man, as well as being under adequate control by the respective home governments. In this way, we can prevent the Germans from again building a war machine while we sleep. With international monopoly pools under control, it will be possible for inventions to serve all the people instead of only the few.
- Yes, and when the time of peace comes, the citizen will again have a duty, the supreme duty of sacrificing the lesser interest for the greater interest of the general welfare. Those who write the peace must think of the whole world. There can be no privileged peoples. We ourselves in the United States are no more a master race than the Nazis. And we can not perpetuate economic warfare without planting the seeds of military warfare.
- If we really believe that we are fighting for a people’s peace, all the rest becomes easy. Production, yes—it will be easy to get production without either strikes or sabotage, production with the wholehearted co-operation between willing arms and keen brains; enthusiasm, zip, energy geared to the tempo of keeping at it everlastingly, day after day. Hitler knows as well as those of us who sit in on the War Production Board meetings that we here in the United States are winning the battle of production.
- I need say little about the duty to fight. Some people declare, and Hitler believes, that the American people have grown soft in the last generation. Hitler agents continually preach in South America that we are cowards, unable to use, like the „brave“ German soldiers, the weapons of modern war. It is true that American youth hates war with a holy hatred. But because of that fact and because Hitler and the German people stand as the very symbol of war, we shall fight with a tireless enthusiasm until war and the possibility of war have been removed from this planet.
- The American people have always had guts and always will have. You know the story of Bomber Pilot Dixon and Radioman Gene Aldrich and Ordnanceman Tony Pastula—the story which Americans will be telling their children for generations to illustrate man’s ability to master any fate. These men lived for thirty-four days on the open sea in a rubber life raft, eight feet by four feet, with no food but that which they took from the sea and the air with one pocketknife and a pistol. And yet they lived it through and came at last to the beach of an island they did not know. In spite of their suffering and weakness, they stood like men, with no weapon left to protect themselves, and no shoes on their feet or clothes on their backs, and walked in military file because, they said, „if there were Japs, we didn’t want to be crawling.“
- The American fighting men, and all the fighting men of the United Nations, will need to summon all their courage during the next few months. I am convinced that the summer and fall of 1942 will be a time of supreme crisis for us all.
- We must be especially prepared to stifle the fifth columnists in the United States who will try to sabotage not merely our war-material plants, but even more important, our minds. We must be prepared for the worst kind of fifth-column work in Latin America, much of it operating through the agency of governments with which the United States at present is a peace. When I say this, I recognize that the people, both of Latin America and of the nations supporting the agencies through which the fifth columnists work, are overwhelmingly on the side of the democracies. We must expect the offensive against us on the military, propaganda and sabotage fronts, both in the United States and in Latin America, to reach its apex some time during the next few months. But in the case of most of us, the events of the next few months, disturbing though they may be, will only increase our will to bring about complete victory in this war of liberation. Prepared in spirit, we cannot be surprised. Psychological terrorism will fall flat. As we nerve ourselves for the supreme effort in this hemisphere, we must not forget the sublime heroism of the oppressed in Europe and Asia, whether it be in the mountains of Yugoslavia, the factories of Czechoslovakia and France, the farms of Poland, Denmark, Holland and Belgium, among the seamen of Norway, or in the occupied areas of China and the Dutch East Indies. Everywhere the soul of man is letting the tyrant know that slavery of the body does not end resistance.
- There can be no half measures. North, South, East, West and Middle West—the will of the American people is for complete victory.
- No compromise with Satan is possible. We shall not rest until all the victims under the Nazi yoke are freed. We shall fight for a complete peace as well as a complete victory.
- The people’s revolution is on the march, and the devil and all his angels cannot prevail against it. They cannot prevail, for on the side of the people is the Lord.
- He giveth power to the faint; to them that have no might He increaseth strength . . . . They that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint.
- Strong in the strength of the Lord, we who fight in the people’s cause will never stop until that cause is won.
Foundations of the Peace
Henry A. Wallace
A article written for the Atlantic Monthly just prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 179.
- In these days of world crisis, there are many who say, „Let us have no talk of peace until the war is won.“ There are others who have said, „Let us not think of helping to win the war until the details of the peace are completely settled.“ I believe the sensible and constructive course to take is this: Do everything we can to speed our drive for victory, because unless Hitler and his Italian and Japanese partners are defeated there will be only the cold, bleak hopelessness of a new Dark Age. At the same time, think hard and often about the future peace, because unless we and the other democracies have confidence in that peace our resistance to our enemies may not be strong enough to beat them.
- Thinking of the future peace, in other words, is not searching for an escape from the stern realities of the present, not taking refuge in airy castles of our minds. From the practical standpoint of putting first things first, at a time when there are not enough hours in a day and every minute counts, planning for the future peace must of necessity be a part of our all-out war program. More than that, the daily actions being taken now by both Britain and ourselves are determining to a large extent the kind of postwar world we can have later on.
- It seems almost certain that sometime within the next few years another peace will be written. If it should be a Hitler peace, no one but Hitler and his henchmen would be allowed any part in writing it. But if, with this country’s determined participation and support, the Allies are successful, the world will have a second chance to organize its affairs on a basis of human decency and mutual welfare.
- Again, as in 1919, there will be the question of what to do about the world’s armies, the question of machinery to prevent new aggression, the question of what to do about national boundaries. And again, as in 1919, at the roots of all these knotty questions will be the fundamental problem of restoring the world’s trade and of expanding economic activity so as to improve living standards everywhere.
- We are now aware, after our experience of the last twenty-five years, that the most careful delineation of national boundaries is not in itself enough to prevent the world from suffering a repetition of the catastrophe of general war. Nor can this be prevented simply by the establishment of an international league. We know now that the modern world must be recognized for what it is—an economic unit—and that wise arrangements must be made so that trade will be encouraged. The foundations of democracy can be rendered safe only when people everywhere have an opportunity to work and buy and sell with a reasonable assurance that they will be able to enjoy the fruits of their work.
- Actually, the seeds of the present world upheaval were sown in the faulty economic decisions that followed the war of a generation ago. The vast sums of reparations imposed on Germany, however justified they may have been on moral grounds, were an indigestible lump in Europe’s financial stomach. The war debts owed to the United States by the Allies were equally a handicap to trade. All over the world, the old international gold standard had broken down, and nothing effective was done to replace or restore it. Europe was left cut up into many small national units, and each of these units was left free to erect tariff and trade barriers as it pleased. Many nations, including our own, tried to buy as little as possible from the rest of the world and to sell as much as possible. European countries that normally bought wheat and meat from overseas shifted their production policies with a view to becoming self-sufficient in food. This not only lowered their own standard of living, but upset the economies of the exporting countries. The United States, newly become a creditor nation, adopted tariff policies which only a debtor nation could hope to live with, and in so doing helped make it certain that the world would go through hell.
- The dislocations brought by that First World War and by the unwise management of the peace were especially hard on the raw-material producers of the world. Prices of raw materials are extremely sensitive to changes in demand or supply. Therefore, various groups of raw-material producers, including the farmers, found themselves in serious trouble when their supplies were greater than demand. The fall in raw-material’s prices and the resulting lack of purchasing power of the raw-material producers became a serious threat to the well-being of countries everywhere:
- For ten years after the First World War, the deadly economic malady afflicting the world was covered up by the billions in private loans floated by foreign borrowers in the United States. These loans were usually floated at high rates of interest and used for purposes which, for the most part, did not increase the borrowing countries ability to pay either the interest or the principal. Thus they produced a temporary, though basically unsound, prosperity. When the stream of loans suddenly dried up, the flimsiness of this prosperity of gaudy tinsel was revealed, and the whole thing came crashing dawn.
- In very truth this nation, during those early postwar years, was sowing the wind by its policies of isolation, high tariffs, unwise foreign loans, and high-pressure sales abroad. It could not avoid reaping the whirlwind.
- Spokesmen for the isolationist point of view did not support President Roosevelt in his stand for a peace built around freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. They were quick to condemn the President for having joined with Winston Churchill in subscribing to the Atlantic Charter. They saw dangerous foreign entanglements in such, simple words of the President as these: „The co-operation which we seek is the co-operation of free countries, working together in a friendly civilized society.“
- We may wonder whether the long and bitter fight put up by the isolationists in the decade of the twenties to keep the United States from behaving as if it were part of the world is to be renewed when the time comes for building a new peace. What they do will have an important bearing on political alignments in the United States. The injection of such an issue into politics would ordinarily be nothing of which to complain, for surely the people have a right to choose the policies they want the nation to pursue. But the really serious aspect of the matter is that the whole future not only of this country but of human civilization itself may depend on, the ability and willingness of the American people to take the broad view.
- For my part, I believe that the American people have profited from their experiences of the last twenty-five years. I believe that they will perceive, with increasingly clear vision, the place of leadership in the world which the United States can scarcely avoid occupying; and that they will support policies and arrangements for sensible co-operation with other countries.
- One evidence of the more enlightened point of view is found in the wide understanding of the great practical difficulties in the way of this country’s trying to receive billions of dollars in goods and services when the war ends, in exchange for the weapons and food now being shipped abroad under the Lend-lease Act. There seems some merit in the often-heard suggestion that the United States will be well repaid if Britain and the other recipients of lend-lease materials enter genuinely, intelligently and wholeheartedly into co-operative relationships to ensure the world’s economic and social stability after the war.
- The peace aims which Roosevelt and Churchill have enumerated are splendid statements of principle. They open up big fields for exploration. The job now is to work out, as definitely as we can while the war is still in progress, practical ways and means for realizing them.
- Preliminary studies of some of the expected postwar problems already are being made by the Economic Defense Board and the Cabinet departments whose chiefs are members of that board. This is being done in accordance with the Executive Order of July 30, 1941, which directed the Board to „make investigation and advise the President on the relationship of economic defense . . . measures to postwar economic reconstruction and on the steps to be taken to protect the trade position of the United States and to expedite the establishment of sound, peacetime international economic relationships:“
- Now, what must be considered in establishing such „sound relationships“ in peacetime? There are certain basic facts which cannot be ignored. One of these is the universal necessity of access to raw materials and the need for an economic arrangement to protect the raw-material producers of the world from such violent fluctuation in income as took place after World War I. Another is the indispensability of markets for goods produced. A third is the present existence in all countries of tariffs and other barriers to imports. A fourth is the use of gold as a base for national currencies and as a means of settling international trade balances. A fifth is the place of credit in stimulating international trade. A sixth is the close relationship between stable national currencies and the exchange of goods and services. A seventh, and most important of all, is the essential role of adequate purchasing power within the various countries that are trading with each other—for full employment within nations makes broad trade possible with other nations. All these facts and factors are of prime importance in determining the state of the world’s health, and they will naturally form some of the main ingredients of postwar economic planning, if it is to be done an a comprehensive scale.
- Each of these aspects of world trade is a vast subject in itself, and I do not have space here to discuss them all. However, I do wish to point out that basic to any sensible ordering of the world’s economic life is the stabilizing of the production and prices of raw materials.
- During the twenties and thirties, when the raw-material producers were in such frequent trouble, various methods were developed to help them adjust themselves to the painful realities of diminishing demand. There were the Stevenson rubber plan, the Chadbourne sugar arrangement, the beginning of an international wheat agreement, and in the United States an ever-normal granary program. The plight of the producers was so difficult that in most, of these remedies very little effort was made to think about the consumer. More than any of the other plans, the ever-normal granary in this country recognized consumer needs by setting up huge stockpiles of wheat, cotton, and corn. The stated objective was to carry over the surplus from the fat years to the lean years, thus benefiting the producer in the years of overproduction and very low prices and helping the consumer in years when the supplies otherwise would be short and the prices high. As things turned out, our ever-normal granary stocks of corn made possible our quick and heavy shipments of pork and dairy products to Great Britain during this last year. Those of us who formulated the ever-normal granary program had in mind that supplies might eventually be very helpful in case of war. But none of us at that time visualized also how important these supplies might be to the war-stricken territories during the years immediately following the declaration of peace.
- As part of the effort to win the peace, I am hoping that what might be called the „ever-normal granary principle“ can be established for a number of commodities an a world-wide scale. It will be remembered that the fourth point of the eight points agreed upon by Roosevelt and Churchill in the Atlantic Charter mentioned the enjoying by all the states, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access on equal terms to the raw materials of the world. To give this lofty ideal a mare definite substance should be one of our chief objectives in the months that lie immediately ahead. The people of all Europe should feel that there are available, in the United States, in Latin America, and in the British Dominions, tremendous quantities of raw materials which can be used for food, clothing, and shelter within a short time after the war comes to an end.
- Thus far, there have been no definite arrangements between the United States and the British Empire or between the United States and Latin America with regard to handling the raw-material problems of the world in such a way as to make for a just peace. A beginning has been made along this line with the international wheat-agreement meeting which was held in Washington last July. Nothing has yet been signed, but it is apparent that the United States, Argentina, Canada, and Australia, as well as Great Britain, are moving in the direction of a „world ever-normal granary,“ with export quotas and with prices stabilized at a point to be fair to producers and consumers.
- The world cotton problem is similar in some ways to the world wheat problem, but less progress has been made toward orderly marketing arrangements for cotton than for wheat.
- Huge surpluses of both cotton and wheat are piled up in the exporting countries, waiting to be used whenever the stricken countries are able once more to handle them. Of cotton, there is stored in the United States a supply sufficient to take care of the normal needs of all Europe for at least a year. Of wheat, the United States last July 1 had a carryover about four times the normal of the twenties, and it is evident that next July 1 the carryover will be nearly seven times the normal of the twenties. In Canada the situation is somewhat similar; while in Argentina and Australia large surpluses loom for the near future. Four great wheat-exporting nations of the world now have a billion more bushels on hand than they did during the first half of the twenties. This is approximately twice as much wheat as moved in world trade in the years preceding the outbreak of the war. It is enough wheat to feed the entire population of continental Europe for a large part of a year, or to cover the Continent’s import requirements far nearly three years.
- When the curse of the Nazi mailed fist is at last removed from the stricken countries overseas, the first and most pressing need will be action to bring food to the starving and the undernourished. For this purpose the accumulated surplus stocks of wheat and the increased production of other foods far which farmers are now pushing will be enormously helpful. The pity is that there is no practical way to get this food to these people now without helping the Nazis and thus postponing the day of real liberation of these people from the Nazi yoke.
- Besides food, the devastated regions will have urgent need of other materials and equipment to assist in their reconstruction. Homes, factories, office buildings, schools, churches, highways, railroads, bridges, have been destroyed in large numbers. In the tremendous job of rebuilding. which must be undertaken, the United States and the other countries of the Western Hemisphere can play a vital part. Meanwhile, both strategy and humanity will be served if we take every opportunity to let the people of the occupied countries know that we intend to stand behind them in their efforts to get back on their feet. That will give them something to which to cling during their months or years of misery and will speed the day of a Nazi collapse and the emancipation of the world.
- The democratic countries are in splendid position to organize themselves for rapid relief work as soon as peace comes. I am confident that we can do this job and do it well. But we must be looking ahead to the longer future and laying plans on more than just a temporary basis.
- It is now clear that by the end of the war the non-Axis nations will have a greater production of raw materials, a greater output of manufactured products, and a greater number of skilled workers than ever before. Nearly half of their production may be going to the British and American governments by the time Hitler is overthrown. If two such customers were to drop out of the market abruptly; it would break everyone. Businessmen know this.
- We in the democracies must begin to realize, therefore, that if we can afford tremendous sums of money to win the war, we can afford to invest whatever amount it takes to win the peace. If that necessity were accepted today, both here and in England, we could be writing a very important part of the peace now. Both nations could be making contracts with producers of raw materials throughout the world for delivery of their goods during the war and for several years beyond the armistice at reasonable prices and not at inflated prices. That would sharply reduce the cost of winning the war and give more assurance than any other single action that business is not, going to be allowed to collapse after the fighting is over. There would be no better use to which this country’s gold could be put than in making such purchases. Many of the goods bought in this manner for postwar delivery would have to be sold on credit by the British and ourselves for reconstruction within the devastated nations.
- Just as individuals here and in England are being encouraged to build up future purchasing power for themselves through defense bonds and other devices, so raw-material-producing countries would by means of such a plan as this be accumulating purchasing power in the form of gold. This gold could be used in the future for buying the finished goods of Europe and America.
- Not only would the gold which these countries would thereby obtain make it possible for them to buy finished goods of Europe and America, but it could also be used in part to provide much needed strength for their currency and banking systems, and make it possible for them progressively to relax the stringent exchange controls, import quotas, and clearing arrangements which serve so effectively to restrict the flow of goods from country to country. Without adequate gold reserve and with out the ability to obtain the kind of credit which can be utilized to pay for imports, a country is greatly handicapped in its conduct of foreign trade, and, in order to prevent its currency from depreciating in the foreign-exchange market and its credit from deteriorating, finds itself forced to adopt illiberal trade policies and severe restrictions on its imports. With increased gold holdings countries will be able to pursue more effectively a policy of stable foreign exchange and liberal trade practices.
- If we get the right kind of peace, we are sure to see the whole world within a few years operating on a much higher level of production than ever before and this would of course mean a greater world market for raw materials.
- Given the right kind of peace, this prospect of greater world trade is certain to materialize, for it rests on the sure prospect of continued industrialization everywhere. The process of industrialization is the way to attain higher standards of living. Everywhere there are communities that must increase their proportion of people engaged in industry and reduce the number of people engaged in the production of farm products. Even in the United States there are many areas where we want to see as soon as possible a shift in the degree of industrialization. Communities that are now only forty percent industrial could, in the course of the next ten years, become perhaps fifty percent industrial. Similarly, there are many communities in southern Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific countries where that kind of shift would be of tremendous value from the standpoint of raising living standards. For every unit of gain in per capita living standards that a shift to a higher proportion of industrialization would mean in the United States, it would mean proportionately a much greater gain in the countries where industrialization is just begun. One of the difficult problems which we have to face is the need for helping numerous countries shift to increased industrialization without encouraging them to resort to high tariff schedules to accomplish that end.
- Fortunately, in many cases the low level of industrialization is not a result of circumstances for which there is no remedy, but a consequence of the scarcity of capital and lack of proper technicians. It should be possible with intelligent effort to help those countries get both. Such growth in industrialization will assure the raw-material countries, which will be exchanging present production for gold, a continued market for their raw materials far into the future.
- Some such program as here suggested might be worked out in collaboration with the British, and the democracies of Europe and Latin America, and put into effect boldly long before we come to an armistice. Probably the English-speaking peoples of the world will have to take the lead in underwriting world prosperity for a generation to come. They must begin now to prove by their actions that they are as interested in winning the peace as they are in winning the war. If this long-term, businesslike purchase of raw materials were working within six months, it would be worth a thousand blueprints at the peace conference. It is one of the ways in which we can build up morale for the struggle ahead. It is one of the ways in which we can build an economic future solid enough to be worth fighting for.
- The overthrow of Hitler is only half the battle; we must build a world in which our human and material resources are used to the utmost if we are to win a complete victory. This principle should be fundamental as the world moves to reorganize its affairs. Ways must be found by which the potential abundance of the world can be translated into real wealth and a higher standard of living. Certain minimum standards of food clothing, and shelter ought to be established, and arrangements ought to be made to guarantee that no one should fall below those standards.
- In this country we have already made a start in this direction. Through the food-stamp plan, the cotton-stamp plan, the school-lunch program, the low-cost-milk program, and the homemade-mattress program, the abundance of the farms is being put to use instead of being allowed to go to waste. Similar programs are in effect in greater or less degree in a number of South American countries, notably Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Chile. In England, the government is subsidizing consumption of certain foods so as to make sure that the population is as well nourished as possible during the time of stress, and to keep the prices as near as possible to the prewar level. Among the kinds of food subsidized are flour, bread, meat, tea, oatmeal, milk, and orange juice.
- Is it not time to recognize that minimum standards of nutrition are as important for growing children as minimum standards of education? Is it not just as important that children should have sound and healthy bodies as that they should have trained minds? If we can afford $100 a year to educate a child, can’t we afford $15 or $20 a year to keep that child physically fit for study?
- If there is general recognition of this principle, then vast new markets for the world’s production can be opened up. Perhaps the various countries can do still more than they have already done with relief distribution programs based primarily on their own domestic products. In certain instances these could be supplemented with foreign-grown products. For example, we could exchange our pork and lard and flour for South America’s tropical fruits and cocoa. In terms of the residual balance, the cost of such a program may be less than the financial loss coming from demoralized raw-material markets, needy producers and hungry consumers.
- In the field of food, minimum standards would mean that vastly increased quantities of dairy products, poultry products, meat, fruits, and vegetables would have to be produced. This would mean a shift from the production of staples such as wheat.
- Perhaps the heavily populated countries of Europe can reorganize their own agriculture along those lines. This would mean a higher standard of living for their own people, and would restore to producing countries elsewhere the job of producing the wheat that is needed.
- I do not mean to imply that I consider such mechanism as the food-and-cotton-stamp plans the final answer to the problem of assuring an economy of abundance. In that part of the world where democracy and capitalism prevail, the permanent answer lies in finding ways to make our system of production and exchange work more effectively and more consistently. That can be done by removing trade barriers, and enlarging markets; by stimulating and guiding investments where they can be productive; by reducing—through appropriate fiscal policy and social-security program—the inequalities in incomes, so that a higher and more stable demand for consumers‘ goods will be attained; by applying advanced techniques and skills to the development of undeveloped areas; by re-equipping our own industrial and transportation system; and by providing to those people in greatest need better housing, schooling, and recreation.
- Most people do not want charity. They want paying jobs. They will be able to have paying jobs, with few interruptions, if prices, production, and purchasing power can be held in balance with one another, and the economic machine can be kept running steadily and smoothly. This is the challenge to the leaders of industry, agriculture, labor, and government. It is a challenge to the highest statesmanship of our own and other nations. Of course there are difficulties and obstacles. Only by recognizing and studying obstacles can they be surmounted.
- A „new order“ is truly waiting to be created—not the „new order“ which the Nazis talk about and which would cloak the new form of slavery they would impose, but a new order of democracy where security, stability, efficiency, and widely distributed abundance would prevail.
- Many persons in the United States are deeply disturbed over the heavy government borrowing and the drastic shifts in our economy made necessary by the defense program. They fear an end of the war almost as much as the war itself, because they believe the return of peace would bring another bad depression. But one of the hopeful signs for the future is the very fact that the possibility of depression is so widely recognized. This increases the chance that action will be taken in time to prevent it or at least to cushion the shock. The basis for such action can best be laid now, while the war is still in progress. It must be laid, at least in part, in the plans for expanding and regularizing world trade, world production, world consumption. This is the new frontier, which Americans in the middle of the twentieth century find beckoning them on.
The Danger of American Fascism
Henry A. Wallace
- An article in the New York Times, April 9, 1944.
From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 259.
- An article in the New York Times, April 9, 1944.
text century of the comman man:
- On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request from The New York Times to write a piece answering the following questions:
- What is a fascist?
- How many fascists have we?
- How dangerous are they?
- A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.
- The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.
- The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
- If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
- American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.
- The European brand of fascism will probably present its most serious postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war has been to raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries much faster than the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin American countries tell the people that the reason their wages will not buy as much in the way of goods is because of Yankee imperialism. The fascists in Latin America learn to speak and act like natives. Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns are all too often ready to let the Germans have Latin American markets, provided the American companies can work out an arrangement which will enable them to charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States. Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it will be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause us much more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War II. The military and landowning cliques in many South American countries will find it attractive financially to work with German fascist concerns as well as expedient from the standpoint of temporary power politics.
- Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself.
- Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after „the present unpleasantness“ ceases:
- The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic groups. Likewise, many people whose patriotism is their proudest boast play Hitler’s game by retailing distrust of our Allies and by giving currency to snide suspicions without foundation in fact.
- The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.
- Several leaders of industry in this country who have gained a new vision of the meaning of opportunity through co-operation with government have warned the public openly that there are some selfish groups in industry who are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some temporary advantage. We all know the part that the cartels played in bringing Hitler to power, and the rule the giant German trusts have played in Nazi conquests. Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself.
- It has been claimed at times that our modern age of technology facilitates dictatorship. What we must understand is that the industries, processes, and inventions created by modern science can be used either to subjugate or liberate. The choice is up to us. The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. It was Mussolini’s vaunted claim that he „made the trains run on time.“ In the end, however, he brought to the Italian people impoverishment and defeat. It was Hitler’s claim that he eliminated all unemployment in Germany. Neither is there unemployment in a prison camp.
- Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity to „make the trains run on time.“ It must develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels. As long as scientific research and inventive ingenuity outran our ability to devise social mechanisms to raise the living standards of the people, we may expect the liberal potential of the United States to increase. If this liberal potential is properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the United States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.
- The worldwide, agelong struggle between fascism and democracy will not stop when the fighting ends in Germany and Japan. Democracy can win the peace only if it does two things:
- Speeds up the rate of political and economic inventions so that both production and, especially, distribution can match in their power and practical effect on the daily life of the common man the immense and growing volume of scientific research, mechanical invention and management technique.
- Vivifies with the greatest intensity the spiritual processes which are both the foundation and the very essence of democracy.
- The moral and spiritual aspects of both personal and international relationships have a practical bearing which so-called practical men deny. This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy. Until democracy in effective enthusiastic action fills the vacuum created by the power of modern inventions, we may expect the fascists to increase in power after the war both in the United States and in the world.
- Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.
- It should also be evident that exhibitions of the native brand of fascism are not confined to any single section, class or religion. Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or religion. It may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac. It is an infectious disease, and we must all be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and the pretension of invidious distinction. But if we put our trust in the common sense of common men and „with malice toward none and charity for all“ go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail.
Henry A. Wallace
Speech delivered by radio on the 86th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s birth, December 28, 1942.
From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 200.
- For the people of the United States, the war is entering its grimmest phase. At home, we are beginning at last to learn what war privations mean. Abroad, our boys in ever-greater numbers are coming to grips with the enemy. Yet, even while warfare rages on, and we of the United Nations are redoubling our great drive for victory, there is dawning the hope of that day of peace, however distant, when the lights will go on again all over the world.
- Adolf Hitler’s desperate bid for a Nazi world order has reached and passed its highest point and is on its way to its ultimate downfall. The equally sinister threat of world domination by the Japanese is doomed eventually to fail. When the Hitler regime finally collapses and the Japanese war lords are smashed, an entirely new phase of world history will be ushered in. The task of our generation—the generation which President Roosevelt once said has a „rendezvous with destiny“—is so to organize human affairs that no Adolf Hitler, no power-hungry warmongers, whatever their nationality, can ever again plunge the whole world into war and bloodshed.
- The situation in the world today is parallel in some ways to that in the United States just before the adoption of the Constitution, when it was realized that the Articles of Confederation had failed and that some stronger union was needed.
- Today, measured by travel time, the whole world is actually smaller than was our little country then. When George Washington was inaugurated, it took seven days to go by horse-drawn vehicle from Mount Vernon to New York. Now Army bombers are flown from the United States to China and India in less than three days.
- It is in this suddenly-shrunken world that the United Nations, like our thirteen American States in 1787, soon will be faced with a fundamental choice. We know now that the League of Nations, like our own union under the Articles of Confederation, was not strong enough. The League never had American support, and at critical moments it lacked the support of some of its own members. The League finally disintegrated under the successive blows of worldwide economic depression and a second World War. Soon the nations of the world will have to face this question: Shall the world’s affairs be so organized as to prevent a repetition of these twin disasters—the bitter woe of depression and the holocaust of war?
- It is especially appropriate to discuss this subject on this particular date, because it is the birthday of Woodrow Wilson, who gave up his health and eventually his life in the first attempt, a generation ago, to preserve the world’s peace through united world action. At that time, there were many who said that Wilson had failed. Now we know that it was the world that failed, and the suffering and war of the last few years are the penalty it is paying for its failure.
- When we think of Woodrow Wilson, we know him not only for his effort to build a permanent peace but for the progressive leadership he gave our country in the years before that First World War. The „New Freedom“ for which Wilson fought was the forerunner of the Roosevelt „New Deal“ of 1933 and of the worldwide new democracy which is the goal of the United Nations in this present struggle.
- Wilson, like Jefferson and Lincoln before him, was interested first and always in the welfare of the common man. And so the ideals of Wilson and the fight he made for them are an inspiration to us today as we take up the torch he laid down.
- Resolved as we are to fight on to final victory in this worldwide people’s war, we are justified in looking ahead to the peace that will inevitably come. Indeed, it would be the height of folly not to prepare for peace, just as in the years prior to December 7, 1941, it would have been the height of folly not to prepare for war.
- As territory previously overrun by the Germans and the Japs is reoccupied by the forces of the United Nations, measures of relief and rehabilitation will have to be undertaken. Later, out of the experience of these temporary measures of relief, there will emerge the possibilities and the practicalities of more permanent reconstruction.
- We cannot now blueprint all the details, but we can begin now to think about some of the guiding principles of this worldwide new democracy we of the United Nations hope to build.
- Two of these principles must be liberty and unity or, in other words, home rule and centralized authority, which for more than 150 years have been foundation stones of our American democracy and our American union.
- When Woodrow Wilson proposed the League of Nations, it became apparent that these same principles of liberty and unity—of home rule and centralized authority—needed to be applied among the nations if a repetition of the First World War was to be prevented. Unfortunately, the people of the United States were not ready. They believed in the doctrine of liberty in international affairs, but they were not willing to give up certain of their international rights and to shoulder certain international duties, even though other nations were ready to take such steps. They were in the position of a strong, well-armed pioneer citizen who thought he could defend himself against robbers without going to the expense and bother of joining with his neighbors in setting up a police force to uphold civil law. They stood for decency in international affairs, but in the world of practical international politics the net effect of their action or lack of action was anarchy and the loss of millions of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in a second World War.
- The sturdy pioneer citizen, proud of his own strength and independence, needed to be robbed and beaten only once by bandits to be ready to co-operate with his law-abiding neighbors. I believe the United States also has learned her lesson and that she is willing to assume a responsibility proportionate to her strength. England, Russia, China and most of the other United Nations are perhaps even more eager than the United States to go beyond the Charter which they have signed as a declaration of principles. The United Nations, like the United States 155 years ago, are groping for a formula which will give the greatest possible liberty without producing anarchy and at the same time will not give so many rights to each member nation as to jeopardize the security of all.
- Obviously the United Nations must first have machinery which can disarm and keep disarmed those parts of the world which would break the peace. Also there must be machinery for preventing economic warfare and enhancing economic peace among nations. Probably there will have to be an international court to make decisions in cases of dispute. And an international court presupposes some kind of world council, so that whatever world system evolves will have enough flexibility to meet changing circumstances as they arise.
- As a practical matter, we may find that the regional principle is of considerable value in international affairs. For example, European countries, while concerned with the problems of Pan America, should not have to be preoccupied with them; likewise Pan America, whileconcerned, should not have to be preoccupied with the problems of Europe. Purely regional problems ought to be left in regional hands. This would leave to any federated world organization problems involving broad principles and those practical matters which affect countries of different regions or which affect the whole world.
- The aim would be to preserve the liberty, equality, security and unity of the United Nations—liberty in a political sense, equality of opportunity in international trade, security against war and business depression due to international causes, and unity of purpose in promoting the general welfare of the world.
- In other words, the aim would be the maximum of home rule that can be maintained along with the minimum of centralized authority that must come into existence to give the necessary protection. We in the United States must remember this: If we are to expect guarantees against military or economic aggression from other nations, we must be willing to give guarantees that we will not be guilty of such aggression ourselves. We must recognize, for example, that it is perfectly justifiable for a debtor, pioneer nation to build up its infant industries behind a protective tariff, but a creditor nation can be justified in such policies only from the standpoint of making itself secure in case of war.
- A special problem that will face the United Nations immediately upon the attainment of victory over either Germany or Japan will be what to do with the defeated nation. Revenge for the sake of revenge would be a sign of barbarism. But this time we must make absolutely sure that the guilty leaders are punished, that the defeated nation realizes its defeat and is not permitted to rearm. The United Nations must back up military disarmament with psychological disarmament—supervision, or at least inspection, of the school systems of Germany and Japan, to undo so far as possible the diabolical work of Hitler and the Japanese war lords in poisoning the minds of the young.
- Without doubt, in the building of a new and enduring peace, economic reconstruction will play an all-important role. Unless there is careful planning in advance, the return of peace can in a few years bring a shock even worse than the shock of war.
- The magnitude of the problem here in the United States, for example, is indicated by the probability that in the peak year of the war we shall be spending something like ninety billion dollars of public funds in the war effort, whereas two years later we may be spending less than twenty billion dollars for military purposes. In the peak year of the war effort, it is probable that we shall have around ten million men in the armed services and twenty million additional men and women producing war goods for the armed services. It would seem that within the first two years after the peace at least fifteen million of these thirty million men and women will be seeking jobs different from those which they had when peace came.
- Our expenditures have been going at a rate fully seven times as great as in World War I and the conversion of our industry to wartime uses has been far more complete. Thousands of thoughtful businessmen and economists, remembering what happened after the last war, being familiar with the fantastic figures of this war, and knowing the severity of the shock to come, have been greatly disturbed. Some have concerned themselves with plans to get over the first year. Others have given thought to the more distant future.
- It should be obvious to practically everyone that, without well-planned and vigorous action, a series of economic storms will follow this war. These will take the farm of inflation and temporary scarcities, followed by surpluses, crashing prices, unemployment, bankruptcy and in some cases violent revolution. If there is lack of well-planned and vigorous action, it is quite conceivable that the human misery in certain countries after the war may be even greater than during the war.
- It is true that in the long run any nation, like any individual, must follow the principle of self-help, must look to its own efforts to raise its own living standards. But it is also true that stronger nations, like our own, can provide guidance, technical advice and in some cases capital investment to help those nations which are just starting on the path of industrialization. Our experience with the Philippines is a case in point.
- The suggestions I have made with a view to promoting development and encouraging higher standards of living are necessarily fragmentary at this time. But in some quarters, either knowingly or unknowingly, they have been grossly distorted and misrepresented. During the recent political campaign one member of Congress seeking re-election made the flat statement that I was in favor of having American farmers give away a quart of milk a day to every inhabitant of the world. In other quarters these suggestions have been referred to by such terms as „utopian,“ „soggy sentimentality,“ and the „dispensing of milk and honey.“ But is it „utopian“ to foresee that South America, Asia and Africa will in the future experience a development of industry and agriculture comparable to what has been experienced in the past in Europe and North America? Is it „soggy sentimentality“ to hold out hope to those millions in Europe, and Asia fighting for the cause of human freedom—our freedom? Is it the „dispensing of milk and honey“ to picture to their minds the, possible blessings of a higher standard of living when the war is over and their own productivity has increased?
- Among the self-styled „realists“ who are trying to scare the American people by spreading worry about „misguided idealists“ giving away our products are some whose policies caused us to give away billions of dollars of stuff in the decade of the twenties. Their high tariff prevented exchange of our surplus for goods. And so we exchanged our surplus for bonds of very doubtful value. Our surplus will be far greater than ever within a few years after this war comes to an end. We can be decently human and really hardheaded if we exchange our postwar surplus for goods, for peace and for improving the standard of living of so-called backward peoples. We can get more for our surplus production in this way than by any high-tariff, penny-pinching, isolationist policies which hide under the cloak of one hundred percent Americanism.
- Self-interest alone should be sufficient to make the United States deeply concerned with the contentment and well-being of the other peoples of the world. Such contentment will be an important contribution to world peace, for it is only when other peoples are prosperous and economically productive that we can find export markets among them for the products of our factories and our farms.
- A world family of nations cannot be really healthy unless the various nations in that family are getting along well in their own internal affairs. The first concern of each nation must be the well-being of its own people. That is as true of the United States as of any other nation.
- During the war, we have full employment here in the United States, and the problem is not to find jabs for the workers but to find workers for the jobs. After the war, it will be vital to make sure that another period of unemployment does not come on. With this end in view, the suggestion has been made that Congress should formally recognize the maintenance of full employment as a declared national policy, just as it now recognizes as national policies the right of farmers to parity of income with other groups and the right of workers to unemployment insurance and old-age annuities.
- Full employment is vital not only to city, prosperity but to farm prosperity as well. Nothing contributes more to stable farm prosperity than the maintenance of full employment in the cities, and the assurance that purchasing power for both farm and factory products will always be adequate.
- Maintenance of full employment and the highest possible level of national income should be the joint responsibility of private business and of government. It is reassuring to know that business groups in contact with government agencies already are assembling facts, ideas and plans that will speed up the shift from a government-financed war program to a privately financed program of peacetime activity.
- This shift must be made as secure against mischance as if it were a wartime campaign against the enemy. We cannot afford either a speculative boom or its inevitable bust. In the war we use tanks, planes, guns and ships in great volume and of most effective design. Their equivalents in the defense against postwar economic chaos will be less spectacular, but equally essential. We must keep prices in control. We must have continuity in the flow of incomes to consumers and from consumers to the industries of city and farm. We must have a national system of job placement. We must have definite plans for the conversion of key industries to peacetime work.
- When the war is over, the more quickly private enterprise gets back into peacetime production and sells its goods to peacetime markets here and abroad, the more quickly will the level of government wartime expenditures be reduced. No country needs deficit spending when private enterprise, either through its own efforts or in co-operation with government, is able to maintain full employment. Let us hope that the best thought of both business and government can be focused on this problem which lies at the heart of our American democracy and our American way of life.
- The war has brought forth a new type of industrialist who gives much promise for the future. The type of business leader I have in mind has caught a new vision of opportunities in national and international projects. He is willing to co-operate with the people’s government in carrying out socially desirable programs. He conducts these programs on the basis of private enterprise, and for private profit, while putting into effect the people’s standards as to wages and working conditions. We shall need the best efforts of such men as we tackle the economic problem of the peace.
- This problem is well recognized by the average man on the street, who sums it up in a nutshell like this: If everybody can be given a job in war work now, why can’t everybody have a job in peacetime production later on? He will demand an answer, and the returning soldier and sailor will demand an answer. This will be the test of statesmanship on the home front, just as ability to co-operate with other nations for peace and improved living standards will be the test of statesmanship on the international front.
- How thrilling it will be when the world can move ahead into a new day of peaceful work, developing its resources and translating them as never before into goods that can be consumed and enjoyed! But this new day will not come to pass unless the people of the United Nations give wholehearted support to an effective program of action. The war will have been fought in vain if we in the United States, for example, are plunged into bitter arguments over our part in the peace, or over such fictitious questions as government versus business. Such bitterness would only confuse us and cloud our path. How much more sensible it would be if our people could be supplied with the facts and then, through orderly discussion, could arrive at a common understanding of what needs to be done.
- I have heard the fear expressed that after the war the spirit of self-sacrifice which now animates so many of our people will disappear, that cold and blind selfishness will supplant the spirit which makes our young men willing to go thousands of miles from home to fight—and die if need be—for freedom. Those who have this fear think that a return of blind selfishness will keep the nations of the world from joining to prevent a repetition of this disaster.
- We should, approach the whole question, not emotionally from the standpoint of either sacrifice or selfishness, but objectively from & standpoint of finding the common meeting ground on which the people of the world can stand. This meeting ground, after all, should not be hard to find-it is the security of the plain folks against depression and against war. To unite against these two evils is not really a sacrifice at all, but only a common-sense facing of the facts of the world in which we live.
- Now at last the nations of the world have a second chance to erect a lasting structure of peace—a structure such as that which Woodrow Wilson sought to build but which crumbled away because the world was not yet ready. Wilson himself foresaw that it was certain to be rebuilt some day. This is related by Josephus Daniels in his book, The Life of Woodrow Wilson, as follows:
- „Wilson never knew defeat, for defeat never comes to any man until he admits it. Not long before the close of his life Woodrow Wilson said to a friend: ‚Do not trouble about the things we have fought for. They are sure to prevail. They are only delayed. With the quaintness which gave charm to his sayings he added: ‚And I will make this concession to Providence—it may come in a better way than we propose.‘ „
- And now we of this generation, trusting in Providence to guide our steps, go forward to meet the challenge of our day. For the challenge we all face is the challenge of the new democracy. In the new democracy, there will be a place for everyone—the worker, the farmer, the businessman, the housewife, the doctor, the salesman, the teacher, the student, the store clerk, the taxi driver, the preacher, the engineer—all the millions who make up our modern world. This new democracy will give us freedom such as we have never known, but only if as individuals we perform our duties with willing hearts. It will be an adventure in sharing—sharing of duties and responsibilities, and sharing of the joy that can come from the give-and-take of human contacts and fruitful daily living. Out of it, if we all do our part, there will be new opportunity and new security for the common man—that blend of liberty and unity which is the bright goal of millions who are bravely offering up their lives on the battle fronts of the world.
mehr Texte: http://newdeal.feri.org/wallace/docs.htm