In the Course of Current Events


To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

The CRIMSON, I believe, has never assumed the crusading cross, but yet it has always been ready to advocate a just cause and to defend a sound one. It has shown this of late in several instances, but none has been so indicative or so laudable as its consistent plea for a course in current events.

It is becoming an increasingly popular custom to point out with horror the lack of interest that college undergraduates show in the political and social movements of America. Look at the Spanish students, they say, who were the spark of every really important revolution in good Alfonso's glorious reign. Spanish politicians were careful to have these firebrands on the right side. Look at the English youth, they say, who eat, sleep and talk politics, and who could save the nation with a plan of their own before breakfast and still have time to settle the Indian question before lunch.

Compared with these paragons of political virtue, we ignorant Americans show up pretty sorrowfully. Our idea of a social upheaval is being bounced from a Copley-Plaza "deb" dance. Former generations say that there is no "up-and-go" to us; we may possibly think well, but we never do or say anything about it.

But lack of interest is largely lack of information. We can't be expected to be wildly enthusiastic about a question of which we know nothing. We are starved for want of any knowledge of current events.

The newspapers can't give it to us. They may be able to hand us the skeleton of dates and facts, but how can we ascertain from these the underlying causes of any one event and realize its possible effect on us as individuals or as a nation? How can we grasp the significance of this Chino-Japanese war from a mere report of the capture of a new unpronounceable town? How can we ever be expected to be of any use in promoting world peace if we don't know the history and the doings and the hopes of an organization like the League of Nations?

But if we're given a current-events course, we'll fill the lecture-hall to the doors. And there is hope for a rebirth of interest in the world's doings. One has only to be witness to the hush of curious concern that falls over the History I assembled multitude when the lecturer draws a parallel to the Middle Ages from some recent world-event. Beverley M. Bowie '35.