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To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
The Crimson believes that we should call for peace on the basis of a stalemate abroad, and devote ourselves to revolution "in the broad sense of the word" in this country.
The Axis push into the Balkans which continues even with the temporary Italian set-back, the numerous agreements signed during the past few weeks with like minded or weaker states, the nightly bombings of enemy cities, and the increased Japanese pressure, on Indo China and the East Indies, certainly do not constitute a stalemate. This is movement, and movement on the whole favorable to the Axis Powers.
It is agreed that England needs American aid to win the war. But the government and the people of this country are opposed to another expeditionary force, and Britain does not seem to require one and has not asked for one. It is more probable that units of the American fleet and air force will be used to aid in a tighter blockade of the continent.
We are told that any further aid to England without involving ourselves in a bloody invasion of Germany would be dishonest to England! The government of this nation has made its position in regard to aid to England reasonably clear. It has denied the intention of sending an expeditionary force. We are not misleading England. Indeed, a number of British spokesmen are opposed to an American overseas force. They fear that it would reduce our productive capacity, and they call for aid in material rather than in men. To term our present method of aid to Britain dishonest is patently false.
It should be obvious that we cannot call for "the best possible peace with Germany-yes, even a peace leaving Hitler in control of the continent." We cannot have such a peace because we can place no reliance on Hitler's word. Peace was attempted by Chamberlain and Daladier, and they failed. Events since Munich have served only to emphasize the untrustworthiness of Axis diplomacy. Mankind has faced this same problem at other times. The classic example is Napoleon. England signed a peace with him in March, 1802. That peace was formally breached fourteen months later, but it had never been a true peace. It was only a partial truce. Even if Hitler sincerely wanted peace, it is doubtful whether he could maintain it. The German and English attitudes and ways of life are too opposed, at present, to be reconciled for any length of time. Furthermore, the Axis philosophy, government, and economy is based on war. It must expand to survive, and it will do both until it is destroyed.
You seem to feel that the continent will satisfy the Axis, and that it will take years to organize that territory. Both of these notions are false. The Axis Powers have made it apparent that they want direct control of a larger part of the globe, and a voice in the control of the rest of it. As to the organization of the conquered territory, this is accomplished both during and between campaigns.
Even if a truce could be obtained in Europe, the Axis power and the threat of that power would remain. We would need a large army and navy, and increased production for war. We would be faced with renewed totalitarian propaganda, Bund activity, and all the rest of it throughout this hemisphere.
The glaring misconceptions of the editorial result from the fact that its author thinks solely in terms of economics. What are the economic and ideological arguments for intervention? They are, he says, 'stripped to their bare essentials," straight imperialism-our foreign trade- seven per cent of our national income. One may picture American leaders shouting in unison: "Get in there boys and fight like the devil for that big, juicy seven per cent!" Any consideration of a free intellectual life, the kind of life that Harvard and other great American universities uphold today, any regard for religious liberty for which this country stands four-square, any consideration of a democratic government limited by law is simply evaded. The United States is viewed as an economic entity, headed for the classical type of imperialism. This is the bare essential, we are told, and freedom of thought, religious and political liberty become, by implication, inessential. These things are words. Words by means of which selfish individuals lead youths to disaster and imperialist war. These inessentials are evidently to be replaced in "an America prosperous and busy" by the happy spirits of Marx and Lenin working through the agency of certain enlightened economists. For who can doubt your conclusion that "an American prosperous and busy is an America invincible and free?" By the same reasoning, any prosperous and busy tyranny from ancient Babylon to present day Russia may be termed "invincible and free." Modern Holland was prosperous and busy. She was not invincible, and her prosperity and freedom are lost. Since lent of invincibility and freedom? Edwin L. Popper '3
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