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SOME REQUIRED READING `Must Be Abolished Before They Abolish Us’ AUSTIN This week’s assigned reading on the pending disaster: Bertrand Russell’s statement to the English court on being sentenced to prison Sept. 12 in the court’s effort to prevent a civil disobedience rally against nuclear war called for Sept. 17: “If the Court permits, I should like to make a short statement as to the reasons for my present course. This is my personal statement, but I hope that those who are accused of the same so-called crime will be in sympathy with what I have to say. “It was only step by step and with great reluctance that we were driven to non-violent civil disobedience. “Ever since the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, I have been profoundly troubled by the danger of nuclear war. I began my attempts to warn people by entirely orthodox methods. I expressed my fears in a speech in the House of Lords three months after the bombs were dropped on Japan. I called together scientists of the highest ‘ eminence from all parts of the world and am now Chairman of their periodic meetings. They issue wise and reasoned reports concerning nuclear warfare, its probable disastrous results, and ways of preventing its occurrence, No newspaper notices these reports and they have no effect either on Governments or on public opinion. The popular press minimizes and ridicules the efforts of those working against nuclear warfare, and television with rare exceptions is closed to us. In recent months one television company, and only one, offered me two minutes for general platitudes, but when I said I should wish to speak on Berlin the offer was withdrawn. “It has seemed to some of us that, in a country supposed to be a democracy, the public should know the probable consequences of present Great Power politics in East and West. Patriotism and humanity alike urged us to seek some way of saving our country and the world. No one can desire the slaughter of our families, our friends, our compatriots, and a majority of the human race, in a contest in which there will be only vanquished and no victors. We feel it a profound and inescapable duty to do everything in our power to make the facts known and thereby save at least a thousand million lives. We cannot escape this duty by submitting to orders which, we are convinced, would not be issued if the likelihood and the horror of nuclear war were more generally understood. . . . “Non violent disobedience was forced upon us by the fact that it was more fully reported than any’ other method of making the facts known, and that it caused people to ask what had induced us to adopt such a course of action. We who are here accused are prepared to suffer imprisonment because we believe that this is the most effective way of working for the salvation of our country and the world. If you condemn us you will be helping our cause, and therefore serving humanity. “While life remains to us, we will not cease to do what lies in our power to avert the greatest calamity that has ever threatened mankind.” MESSAGE issued by the 89year-old Russell on entering prison for seven days after he refused to “keep the peace” and call off his campaign against thermonuclear war: “To all, in whatever country, who are still capable of sane thinking or human feeling : “Friends: “The populations of East and West, misled by stubborn governments in search of prestige and by corrupt official experts bent on retaining their posts, tamely acquiesce in . policies which are almost certain to end in nuclear war. There are supposed to be two ‘sides, each professing to stand for a great cause. This is a delu sion. Kennedy and Khrushchev, Adenauer and de Gaulle, Macmillan and Gaitskell, are pursuing a common aim, the ending of human life. You, your families, your friends and your countries are to be exterminated, by the common decision of a few brutal but powerful men. To please these men, all the private affections, all the public hopes, all that has been achieved in art and knowledge and thought, and all that might be achieved hereafter, is to be wiped out forever. Our ruined lifeless planet will continue for countless ages to circle aimlessly around the sun, unredeemed by the joys of loves, the occasional wisdom, and the power to create beauty, which have given value to human life. It is for seeking to prevent this that we are in prison.” THE EARL RUSSELL I. F. Stone, just having returned from Europe, writing in “I. F. Stone’s Weekly” on the temper of the European people under the specter of nuclear warfare: “Everywhere the headlines proclaimed the imminent possibility of war; the editorials discussed it ; the radio was full of it. But in the cafes and on the streets, at the lake and sea fronts, on the Champs Elysee and in Piccadilly at the theatre hour, wherever men gathered for work or holiday, the spectre was pushed aside with the instinct that leads men to ignore what they cannot cure. The contrast between human energy in digging itself out from the debris of one war and its apathy before the threat of a new one carries a message we should not .ignore. Men feel powerless because the obsolete and anarchistic nation state system has made us all prisoners ; the rulers and the ruled alike move compulsively toward disaster, playing out their roles in a dramaturgy which must have an unhappy ending. Without world state and world law, we move to a dead end. The masses feel this, and go about their business as indifferent to the shadow of thermonuclear incineration as they are to the possibility tivism. One of the greatest strengths of the fraternity, Tower said, is that it “exercises the will of the whole,” an observation that tends to confirm our suspicion that Sen. Tower was a member of the young Fabian Society at London School of Economics after all. If in a democracy the will of the majority must prevail, then what is more perfect than 100 percent agreement? he asked. This smacks too much of the corporate state for our liking, we fear, and Sen. Goldwater’s. We Greeks, Tower continued, \(the editor is also a Greek and hence on human values.” But then the senator, who is a lodge member in good standing of the Kappa Sigma Brotherhood, said : “It is important that as Greeks we dispel the notion, that classes exist.” This is an unforgivably redundant remark. The Kappa Sigs we knew in college hardly ever went to class anyway. * ARCHBISHOP ROBERT E. LU-CEY was talking specifically to Catholic journalists at a convention in San Antonio this week, but his message deserves the attention of editors everywhere, be they Methodists, Baptists, high or low humanists, reformed atheists, or evangelical agnostics. “The mission of the Catholic periodical is urgent,” he said. “Christ’s teaching is timeless but its application is little understood or not sufficiently appreciated. Day in, day out, our ilization faces crises of crucial significance. “And sometimes, week in, week out, our Catholic periodicals mix a that they might be struck down by a motorcar or an incurable disease. Only in England, largely under Russell’s leadership, is there any popular resistance to the oncoming tragedy, but one feels that for all the thousands marching on Aldermaston or sitting in Trafalgar Square, the war machine will not be slowed up. As before World Wars I and II, the thunder of approaching battle is accompanied by the counterpoint of disarmament talks and pacifist agitation but there is little reason to believe these activities will be any more effective now than they were then. There is no common denominator between the pacifist and the statesman ; they live as if in separate worlds, moved by a different logic ; the ruler of a nation is as unable to be sensible and Christian as a bank president is to unlock his vaults and feed the hungry.’ ORMAN COUSINS, editor, in The Saturday Review, Sept. 23: The most significant fact about a world nuclear war is that it has not yet begun. There is no more important fact in the world today than this. The human race has not yet been. decimated. The cities still stand. The incredibly glorious works of the human mind have not yet been pulverized. It is not too late. It is not too lateso long as enough menand this means not just leaders of government but people everywhere are determined to make the cause of meaningful survival their main concern. What you as an individual do in the next few months will have a direct bearing on the question whether nuclear war can be averted and a free America sustained. If you do not involve yourself fully in the great debate over American security and human security, you weaken the vital force that effective survival requires. President Kennedy addressing the United Nations Monday, Sept. 26: “. . . War appeals no longer as a rational alternative. Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional strange and tasteless brew of a little dogma, a little humor, a few stories about parish bazaars and clergy appointments. How badly this brew serves the people with whom those papers are supposed to concern themselves.” Some papers, the archbishop said, too often slant topics away from local situations. “The Catholic editor should ask himself whether there are social evils in the community his paper serves. He should pursue the topic further to find out if Christian principles are being violated. He should use the weight of his paper and the power of his pen to focus the attention of his readers upon these problems. This is the crusading spirit our papers need, not mere news stories about the situation, but an editorial position which is enlightened and, if need be, controversial. “Are our papers tackling the evils which beset us on all sides in our own specific areas?” he asked. “Are they talking about urban problems in the cities and agricultural problems on the farms of their own dioceses? Are they interested in the welfare expenditures in their own cities, counties and states? Are they content with the way their state operates? Are they too timid to point out legislative abuse or governmental dishonesty in their own state? Are they informed, diligent, and able? “Someone,” he said, “may offer the objection that the editor of a diocesan weekly has no special competence in the field of labor-management relations, problems of agriculture, race relations, social justice and internation al relations unless he has had an op … victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer be of concern to great powers alone. For a nuclear disaster, spread by winds and waters and fear, could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to waror war will put an end to mankind. ti . . . Let us join in dismantling the national capacity to wage war. . . . “Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when it may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman, and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, miscalculation, or madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us. . . . “The mere existence of weapons ten million times more destructive than anything the world has ever known, and only minutes away from any target on earthis a source of horror, of discord and distrust. . . . And men no longer pretend that the quest for disarmament is a sign of weaknessfor in a spiralling arms race, a nation’s security may well be shrinking as its arms increase. “For 15 years this organization has sought the reduction and destruction of arms. Now that goal is no longer a dreamit is a practical matter of life and death. The risks inherent in disarmament pale in comparison to the risks inherent in an unlimited arms race. . . . “The events and decisions of the next ten months may well decide the fate of man for the next ten thousand years. There will be no avoiding those events. There will be no appeal from those decisions. And we shall be remembered either as the generation that turned this planet into a flaming pyre or the generation that met its vow ‘to save .succeeding generations from the scourge of war.’ “. . Together we shall save our planetor together we shall perish in its flames.” portunity to do special studies in those fields and consequently it might be well for him to maintain a discreet silence about social problems. “By way of reply,” said the archbishop, “let me point out that most’ of the social injustices of our time are quite obvious to a man who is well read and honest. An editor does not need a degree in sociology to recognize bad housing, starvation wages, the exploitation of farm workers and a hundred other abuses rampant in this region.” A FORT WORTH READER sent us a tear sheet of an advance television schedule on the stations in that area. For Tuesday, Sept. 19, WFAA-TV uled a Bell and Howell documentary. Elsewhere on the page the program was described thusly: “Close Up! begins a documentary season with ‘Walk in My Shoes,’ a program designed to show you what it’s like to live as an American Negro. It’s been handled so there’s little intrusion by either interviewer or narrator. The camera tells this story, as it moves you right along into the several Negro worlds wealthy, middle-class, poor. You’ll see slum dwellers and millionaires, some of whom are extremists and some of whom aren’t. It’s a worthy effort.” When the time came, they showed a cowboy movie. The marketplace of free ideas must have been a little too much for that equally active marketplace, the Dallas News. W.M. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 September 29, 1961 OBSERVER NOTEBOOK