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been such political "good news" in our time? But there is bad news also. The great darkness could yet consume us. The potential for absorption of these states into the totalitarian camp is there.
The outcome will almost certainly turn on whether or not these nations succeed in establishing sufficiently productive economies. If they become permanently dependent on outside assistance, that assistance is likely more and more to come from the totalitarian nations, and with it the price of internal political influence from the totalitarian camp through the local pro-Moscow, or pro-Peking, communist party.
India is the best current example. Parliamentary democracy is vigorous enough there, but economic incompetence on its part and diplomatic blunders on ours have led to an increasing dependence on Soviet support, which has brought about an open electoral alliance between the Congress Party and the Moscow-oriented communists, an alliance we would have thought worth fighting a war to prevent two decades ago, but which we scarcely notice today.
This alliance would not have come about save for the failure of the Indian economy to prosper and the success of the argument that the cure for the damage done by leftist policies is even more leftist policies. And here is the rub of the bad news: for all the attractions of this variety of socialist politics, it has proved, in almost all its versions, almost the world over, to be a distinctly poor means of producing wealth.
ENORMOUS STAKES India will serve as an example. In the year of its independence, 1947, it produced 1.2 million tons of steel and Japan only 900,000 tons. A quarter-century later, in 1972, India produced 6.8 million tons and Japan 106.8. These outcomes are the results of decisions made by the ruling party of each nation.
The break in Indian growth came precisely in 1962 when the United States, which had been about to finance its largest aid project ever, a steel complex at Bokharo in Eastern India, insisted that it be managed privately. India insisted on a public-sector plant-a plant that would do what the Prime Minister of India wanted done. In the manner of the Aswan Dam (and with as much political impact), the Russians stepped in to finance the public-sector plant. By 1974 this plant had yet to produce sheet steel. For the period 1962–72 Indian steel production grew a bare 1.8 percent per year, while Japanese grew more than 13.4 percent per year.
Granted that much economic policy is concerned with political stability, it remains the case that the relative economic failure accompanying political success in regimes such as that of India sooner or later begins to undermine the very success. Promises are made, and political stability requires some measure of performance. When it is not forthcoming, regimes change. They become less democratic. They become less independent.
Neither development can be welcomed by the United States, India has now exploded a nuclear device. That may well prove the most important event of 1974. Other Third World nations are likely to follow. Hence, political stability in the Third World acquires a meaning it has never in the past had for American strategic thinking, as well as for our general view of world politics.
World society and world organization have evolved to the point where interests are disposed of in international forums to a degree without precedent. Witness the current negotiations at the Law of the Sea Conference. Two thirds of the world is covered by the sea and the United Nations claims the seabed. That seabed, especially around Hawaii, is rich in “manganese nodules”—concentrations of ore which American technology is now able to exploit. At this moment we have complete freedom to commence industrial use of the high seas. This freedom is being challenged, however, and almost certainly some form of international regime is about to be established. It can be a regime that permits American technology to go forward. Or it can assert “internationalized” rights to exploitation. The stakes are enormous.
TO TELL THE TRUTH
What then does the United States do? The United States goes into opposition. A loyal opposition. We are a minority. We are outvoted. This is neither an unprecedented nor an intolerable situation. The question is what do we make of it,
In going into opposition, three central issues commend themselves as points of systematic attack: first, the condition of international liberalism ; second, the world economy; third, the state of political and civil liberties and of the general welfare. The rudiments of these arguments need only be sketched.
It is the peculiar function of "radical” political demands that they bring about an exceptional depreciation of the achievements of liberal process. But the truth is that international liberalism and its processes have enormous recent achievements to their credit. It is time for the United States to start saying so.
One example is the multinational corporation which, combining modern management with liberal trade policies, is arguably the most creative international institution of the 20th century. A less controversial example is the World Health Organization. In 1966 it set out to abolish smallpox, and by the time this article is read, the job will more than likely have been completed—in very significant measure with the techniques of American epidemiologists. Here, as in a very long list of examples that could be cited, a liberal world policy has made national sense.
In 1973 the "planetary product, as estimated by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State, grew at a real rate of 6.8 percent, an astonishing figure. The Third World product expanded by 7.6 percent, no less astonishing
Simultaneously it is to be asserted that these economies do less well than they ought: that the difference is of their own making and no one else's. It is time we asserted that economic growth is governed not by Western or American conspiracies, but by its own laws.
A commentator in The Statesman, Calcutta's most prestigious journal, recently warned:
It would be unwise for policy planners in the developing world to dismiss too easily the premise of a society that worships success: if you are poor you have only yourself to blame. Development is a matter of hard work and discipline. So if you are not developing fast, it is not because the rules of the game are stacked against you or that structural changes are never easy to bring about, but because you are lazy and undisciplined. The general disenchantment with economic aid flows from this. It is difficult for Americans to understand why such substantial flows of food and money have made so little impact.
Well, the time may have come when it is necessary for Americans to say, “Yes, it is difficult to understand.” And it is time we stated that inequalities in the world may not be so much a matter of condition as of performance. The Israelis, the Nigerians, the Taiwanese do well. It is a good argument.
THE CASE FOR LIBERTY Speaking for political and civil liberty is something that can surely be undertaken by Americans with enthusiasm and zeal. Surely it is not beyond us, when the next Social Report comes along, to ask about conditions in many countries of the Third World of which almost everyone knows, but few have thought it politic to speak of.
It is time that the American spokesman came to be feared in international forums for the truths he might teil. A good many Third World countries would not welcome a sustained comparison between the liberties they provide their own peoples and those which are common in the United States.
For the United States to go into opposition in this manner requires reversal of roles for American spokesmen. In Washington, three decades of habit have created patterns of appeasement so profound as to seem wholly normal. And yet how interesting the results might be. The results, say, of observing the occasion of an Algerian's assuming the presidency of the General Assembly with an informed tribute to the career of the liberator Ahmed Ben Bella, still presumably rotting in an Algerian prison cell. The results of a discourse on the disparities between the (1973) per-capita GNP in Abu Dhabi of $43,000 and that of its neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Yemen, with one-thousandth that.
This need not be a uniformly scornful exercise; anything but. The Third World has more than its share of attractive regimes—Costa Rica, Gambia, Malaysia, to name but three. Half the people in the world who live under a regime of civil liberties live in India. The point is to differentiate, and to turn their own standards against regimes for the moment too much preoccupied with causing difficulties for others, mainly the United States.
It is past time we ceased to apologize for an imperfect democracy. Find its equal. It is time we grew out of our supersensivity about the feelings of new nations. It is time we commenced to treat them as equals, a respect to which they are entitled.
The Third World must feed itself, for example, and this will not be done by suggesting that Americans eat too much. It is one thing to stress what is consumed in the West, another to note what is produced there. In 1973, 17.8 percent of the world's population produced 64.3 percent of its proauct-and not just from taking advantage of cheap raw materials.
In the same way, the Third World has almost everywhere a constitutional heritage of individual liberty, and it needs to be as jealous of that heritage as of the heritage of national independence. It should be a source of renown that India, for one, has done that, and of infamy that so many others have not.
And equality, what of it? Here an act of historical faith is required : what is the record ? The record was stated most succintly by an Israeli socialist who told William F. Buckley, Jr., that those nations which have put liberty ahead of equality have ended up doing better by equality than those with the reverse priority. This is so, and it is something to be shouted to the heavens. This is our case. We are of the liberty party, and it might surprise us what energies might be released were we to unfurl those banners.
To have halted the great totalitarian advance only to be undone by the politics of resentment and the economics of envy would be a poor outcome to the promise of a world society. At the level of world affairs we have learned to deal with communism. Our task is now to learn to deal with socialism. It will not be a less difficult task. It ought to be a profoundly more pleasant one.
U.S. POLICY TOWARD THE UNITED NATIONS Senator Javits. I was going to ask Mr. Moynihan, because of the tendency of people to run rather than read, if he could summarize of how he feels the U.S. policy toward the United Nations ought to be adapted to the present situation which is characterized, without in any way being invidious on the particular item, by the vote on the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States as proposed by President Echeverria of Mexico, whom I have just conferred about that very matter. They voted 120 to 6, the United States being 1 of the 6, and the question would be, should it be our policy to avoid such one-sided votes by abstaining or some other way avoiding such a crushing defeat. I hope very much that we would not avoid it. You are going to be the representative. It is very important that you deal with it. Also what should be the policy of the United States respecting the advocacy of its position in the face of that kind of a situation, which is not uncharacteristic of the United Nations today.
Mr. MOYNIHAN. Exactly. Senator, let me first say that in a world organization such as the U.N., you bring different styles of political and legislative behavior. I mean here to be only descriptive. I think it ought to be understood that there are legislatures around the world in which perfectly competent men, of integrity, men of sincere purpose enact legislation which is seen as stating an ideal goal. That legislation is far from being a statutory requirement which must thereafter most rigorously be adhered to such that it first has to be most meticulously examined. It is rather a version of what things ought to be like. Such legislation says: Let us establish the ideal and hope in time we might attain it. In those situations, in all truth, pronouncements can be more readily accepted by people who do not perhaps intend immediately to adhere to and abide by them.
If you look at the international labor treaties of the ILO, which we have had now for 55 years, I am sorry to say there is almost an inverse relationship between the number of labor treaties that have been ratified in given countries and the standards of labor in the societies involved.
And I think that it probably behooves us to understand this is the style of some countries and it is not ours and maybe there are situations where you have to accept it.
It also beħooves other nations, however, to understand our position in these matters and in particular to be interested enough in us to know that when we take exceptions, and we are sticky and we are hard to convince on things like this, it comes out of what to us is honorable, political, legislative tradition. You do it; you do not say, well, somebody is going to do it some day. You understand that you should do it right here and now. It is perfectly clear that actions of the last General Assembly produced the impression of the nontotalitarian nations of the world divided with respect to economic cooperation, when in fact that division does not exist in practice. Our relations with Mexico are close; regarded as indispensable by both of us. It seems to me that nobody was the better off for having brought it down to who said yes and who said no. As much as possible the avoidance of that kind of situation where the things that the United States must take exception to were the lesser part of the charter and certainly not essential to it; the things with which we agreed were certainly important and the largest part of the subject.
Consider some of the things we took issue with, as for example, this question of the right to nationalize foreign properties. I was in India when this issue was being argued and you learn a little bit about the problems here.
Now, the Government of India has a meticulous record of compensating anybody who for whatever reason has their government taken over, their property taken over by the government. India is a country which operates under a legal system very similar to our own. The decisions of the Supreme Court two blocks away from here are cited every day in the Supreme Court of India. They are just as careful in this matter as we would be ourselves. Yet, as a matter of principle, they did not want to have to say in writing that they would in fact do what in fact they did do; such is sensitivity.
Now, I think I can understand how they might not wish to feel obliged to behave the way in fact they intend to behave. But now that the poorest nations of the world have gone on record as not being responsible for compensation of foreign investments that are expropriated, or nationalized, they must now face the fact that the new, the oil-rich nations with enormous resources to invest and looking for investment, know this. Where are those investments going? Are they going to the poorest countries that need them? Or are they coming to the industrial nations which certainly can use investments but are not at the same level of necessity. They are coming to the latter, and why are they? Because the investments elsewhere are risky. And why are they risky? Did not the U.N. design a big charter saying you have no international obligations for recompense? Whose interest was that? Was it in the interest of the poorest countires to go on record in such a way that investment will avoid them? I do not think it was. And whose investment? The investment of that same Third World.
I think a little more time to argue that case may have persuaded a lot of people that maybe last year was not the best year to enact something like that and maybe a vote is not the best way to decide it. Yet it is behind us. All I would say, having gotten it out of their system, let us hope we can proceed on issues Secretary Kissinger talked about, which involve specific and real problems with real countries and real solutions. Not consensus voting.
Senator JAVITS. I am sure it will interest all of us to know that is exactly the line I took with the President of Mexico.
Mr. MOYNIHAN. Did you?
Senator JAVITS. And I did not find it a bit unreceptive; everybody had their say, made their declaration. Interestingly enough it seems generally agreed that no company and no investor is going to go in or stay out of a country because of its expropriation prospects, because if they think they are going to be expropriated, as you have said, they are not going to go in at all. So, it is strictly academic.
DEALING POSITIVELY WITH ECONOMIC PROBLEMS
One last thing, and that is the negative side. We need a positive side, too, do you not agree, in terms of what we are prepared to do in the world to close the gap, which is widening instead of closing, between the developing and developed, and how to deal with the fourth world problems of those who have no resources, no bauxite, no copper, no manganese, no oil—about 40 nations, with a billion people and also to deal with the threat to world commerce of an engrossment of particular commodities on the OPEC model, a threat thereafter, of shattering the world's economy, enormously increased over what it already is because of the OPEC trust operation.
Would you not, one, agree that that is your major problem of the affirmative side, and two, any other thought you wish to express realizing, as Senator Case has so properly said, that you are the servant essentially of the President and that you should not in any way prejudice your opportunity to serve him faithfully.
Mr. MOYxIiAN. Thank you for saying that, Senator. If I were to ask what the most pressing problems the U.N. faces I would always end up with nuclear proliferation. I start out with nuclear proliferation. I think it is such a great problem we perhaps do not want to think about. Yet it is there and the International Atomic Energy Agency is important to the Security Council as far as I am concerned. But on this other matter, which is certainly the matter we will be talking about most, could I cite a comment which Ambassador Scali made to the committee in the hearings on the U.N. when he said that it is possible to mistake what is said at the United Nations for what is caused by the United Nations. United Nations did not cause those things to be said. It is a forum in which they are said. So why get mad at the U.N.? People go there and say things they think and come to conclusions they have reached elsewhere. We easily overlook things the U.N. has done.
NO COMPROMISE ON FACTS
One of the great problems we have in reaching international agreement is that while people can compromise on principles, it is very hard to compromise on facts. I mean you can give a little on what you think is right and I can give a little on what I think is right. But the question is whether it is the 10:30 in the morning or 4 o'clock in the afternoon; if we do not agree on that, we have nowhere to go.
Now, a year ago the head of UNCTAD appointed a committee of economists headed by a colleague of mine, Henry Houthakker of the Department of Economics at Harvard. It had representatives from Britain, from Nigeria, from Jamaica, from Algeria, from many such countries. Such list of people, economists, sat down to take on this issue of the deterioration of the terms of trade as between manu