Free Air


A student mob savagely assaults the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Nanking Government. Thereupon some one rises to point out the contrast with the attitude of the American student to anything more serious than a freshman hazing. The indifference of our college youth to movements and causes that have always stirred the educated youth of other countries is still a source of wonder to foreign visitors.

British undergraduates are said to be much more interested in politics than American, but Great Britain knows the "student mob" as little as we do. The reason may be not in the student but in the environment. Where there is full freedom of speech and opinion there is little inducement for violence.

The historic movements of militant youth--the Young Germany, Young-Italy, Young Hungary of the nineteenth century--were essentially revolutionary movements. The Young Germans who are drawn today to Hitler or the Communists are enlisting for revolution, at least by way of title. The young Camelots du Roi in Paris are out to overthrow the French Republic. In this country we have no such issues to inflame youth. On lesser questions the democratic environment favors a solution by democratic machinery. --New York Times.