Gordon W. Allport '19, professor of Psychology, Pitirim A. Sorokin, professor of Sociology, and Charles R. Cherington '35, instructor of Government, discussed "America's Role at San Francisco" in a forum sponsored by the Post War Council held last night in a packed Lowell House Junior Common Room.
Concerning the psychological aspects of San Francisco, Professor Allport pointed out that the conference was guided only by the "International facts of life," namely, that the "great powers will always be the great powers" and that any proposal must pass two thirds of the Senate.
Blind Spots Revealed
"The main blind spots in the peace plans," stated the psychologist, "is an immaculate disregard for human nature." There is no mention of children or education, no mention of public opinion or democracy or the Four Freedoms or the common man. Until the politicians at San Francisco realize the importance of human nature, peace plans are doomed to failure."
The political scientist's point of view was expressed by Cherington, who maintained that "Although America is facing a new era, it is still the same old America, a provincial America."
Flexibility of Provincialism
Cherrington remarked that despite its conservative and isolationist aspects in normal times, provincialism in this country has "proved to be an amazingly flexible thing. Coupled with American vitality it can pull us through. Although we cannot destroy provincialism, we can bring it up to date."
Taking an unusual approach to the problem, Professor Sorokin expressed a "cold-blooded" and pessimistic view of the conference. "I don't think it can secure lasting peace,' he stated, "with only D plus and C minus statesmen there."
If the San Francisco conference fails, as Sorokin thinks it will, he predicts that America will become a great, imperialistic empire. "And I wish every success to such an attempt of the United States." declared the explosive sociologist, "because it is better for the United States to be imperialistic than for any other country in the world."
Mentioning that all the delegates at San Francisco are "checking one another," Sorokin ended the forum by stating that despite the "intellectual leadership of Time, Life, and Fortune, I do not expect war to break out between America and Russia. But in our life-time we will not see humanity united.