Myopic warriors, fighting only to win the immediate engagement, usually find when the battle smoke clears that theirs is a hollow triumph because no one has made sane preparation for the peace. Isolationists like. Chicago's Hutchins hold on this basis that America is not mentally mature enough to make entry in the War worth the cost--that we will make our high-flown pledges meaningless by again torpedoing the peace conference and by again helping create an economic situation in which the vanquished must starve or resort to arms.
The best answers to these cynics are the Roosevelt-Churchill Atlantic Charter which in Article IV pledges a workable post war world economy and the meeting next month in Washington of Vice-President Wallace with Sir Leith-Ross which will give substance to that pledge. Plans will be made to prevent the raw materials of the world from being monopolized by the powerful victors to the exclusion of others; and preparations will be made for transferring post-war Europe from a war to a peace footing. An accumulation of resources will prevent hunger and economic collapse from undermining the peace settlement.
The primary effect of Wallace's conference will be to boost morale in the Nazi-conquered countries. In America it will increase confidence that Rossevelt's promises will mean more than the Fourteen Points in making the peace. Verbose and eloquent promises are easy to forget and to misinterpret--clear, factual agreements publicly issued are hard for even the European masters of verbal gymnastics to pervert. Therefore, the proposals of Wallace and Leith-Ross, if sufficiently just, widely enough publicized, and actually carried out, may mean that the war will not inevitably result in an economically unworkable Europe. With freedom of access to markets and raw materials open to nations large or small, political boundaries will be less important and autonomy for small cultural blocs an economic possibility. The fight for lebensraum finally may be ended.