The distribution of the world's resources and the settled unity of the peoples of the world are in reality one and the same thing, for behind all modern wars lies a fundamental economic problem. Solve that and wars will very largely cease. In considering, therefore, the preservation of peace, as sought for and emphasized by the United Nations at this time, it becomes immediately apparent that peace, security and world stability are primarily tied up with the economic problem. When there is freedom from want, one of the major causes of war will disappear. Where there is uneven distribution of the world's riches and where there is a situation in which some nations have or take everything and other nations lack the necessities of life, it is obvious that there is a trouble-breeding factor there and that something must be done. Therefore we should deal with world unity and peace primarily from the angle of the economic problem.
With the cessation of World War II came the opportunity to inaugurate a new and better way of life, and to establish that security and peace for which all men ceaselessly long. Three groups immediately appeared in the world:
1. The powerful, reactionary, conservative groups desirous of retaining as much of the past as possible, having great power and no vision.
2. The fanatical ideologists in every country—communistic, democratic and fascist.
3. The inert masses of the people in every land, ignorant for the most part, desiring only peace after storm and security in the place of economic disaster; they are victimised by their rulers, by established old conditions, and kept in the dark as to the truth of the world situation.
All these factors produce the present disorders and condition the deliberations of the United Nations. Though there is no major war, there is no peace, no security and no immediate hope of either.
It is essential for the future happiness and progress of humanity that there should be no return to the old ways, whether political, religious or economic. Therefore, in handling these problems we should search out the wrong conditions which have brought humanity to its present state of almost cataclysmic disaster. These conditions were the result of religious faiths which have not moved forward in their thinking for hundreds of years; of economic systems which lay the emphasis upon the accumulation of riches and material possessions and which leave all the power and the produce of the earth in the hands of a relatively few men, while the rest of humanity struggle for a bare subsistence; and of political regimes run by the corrupt, the totalitarian-minded, the grafters and those who love place and power more than they love their fellowmen.
It is essential that there should be a presentation of these things in terms of the spiritual welfare of humanity and a truer interpretation of the meaning of the word "spiritual". The time is long past when a line of demarcation can be drawn between the religious world and the political or the economic. The reason for the corrupt politics and the greedy ambitious planning of so many of the world's leading men can be found in the fact that spiritually minded men and women have not assumed— as their spiritual duty and responsibility—the leadership of the people. They have left the power in the wrong hands and permitted the selfish and the undesirable to lead.
The word "spiritual" does not belong to the churches or to the world religions. "Pure religion and undefiled" is pure charity and a selfless following of the Christ. The churches are themselves great capitalistic systems particularly the Roman Catholic Church, and show little evidence of the mind that was in Christ. The churches have had their opportunity, but have done little to change men's hearts or to benefit the people. Now, under cyclic law, political ideologies and national and international planning are occupying the attention of the people and everywhere efforts are being made to bring about better human relations. This, in the eyes of the spiritually minded and of the enlightened worker for humanity, is a sign of progress and an indication of the innate divinity in man. That is truly spiritual which properly relates man to man and man to God and which demonstrates in a better world and the expression of the Four Freedoms throughout the planet. For these the spiritual man must work.
The Kingdom of God will inaugurate a world which will be one in which it will be realized that—politically speaking—humanity, as a whole, is of far greater importance than any one nation; it will be a new world order, built upon different principles to those in the past, and one in which men will carry the spiritual vision into their national governments, into their economic planning and into all measures taken to bring about security and right human relations. Spirituality is essentially the establishing of right human relations, the promotion of goodwill and finally the establishing of a true peace on earth, as the result of these two expressions of divinity.
The world today is full of warring voices; everywhere there is an outcry against world conditions; everything is being dragged out into the light of day; abuses are being shouted from the housetops, as the Christ prophesied they would be. The reason for all this outcry, discussion, and noisy criticism is that, as men awaken to the facts and begin to think and plan, they are aware of guilt within themselves; their consciences trouble them; they are conscious of the inequality of opportunity, of the grave abuses, of the entrenched distinctions between man and man, and the factor of racial and national discriminations; they question their own individual goals as well as national planning. The masses of men in every land are beginning to realize that they are largely responsible for what is wrong, and that their inertness and lack of right action and thinking has led to the present unhappy state of world affairs. This constitutes a challenge and no challenge is ever totally welcome.
The awakening of the masses and the determination of the reactionary forces and of the monied interests to preserve the old and fight the new are largely responsible for the present world crisis. The battle between the old, entrenched forces and the emerging, new idealism constitutes the problem today; other factors—though important, individually or nationally—are from the true and spiritual standpoint relatively negligible.
The unity, peace and security of the nations, great and small, are not to be attained by following the guidance of the greedy capitalist or the ambitious in any nation, and yet in many situations that guidance is being accepted. They are not to be gained by the blind following of any ideology, no matter how good it may seem to those conditioned by it; yet there are those who are seeking to impose their particular ideology on the world—and not solely in Russia. They will not be reached by sitting back and leaving the changing of conditions to God or the evolutionary process; yet there are those who make no move to help, even while knowing well the conditions with which the United Nations have to deal.
Unity, peace and security will come through the recognition—intelligently assessed—of the evils which have led to the present world situation, and then through the taking of those wise, compassionate and understanding steps which will lead to the establishing of right human relations, to the substitution of cooperation for the present competitive system, and by the education of the masses in every land as to the nature of true goodwill and its hitherto unused potency. This will mean the deflecting of untold millions of money into right educational systems, instead of their use by the forces of war and their conversion into armies, navies and armaments.
It is this that is spiritual; it is this that is of importance and it is this for which all men must struggle. The spiritual Hierarchy of the planet is primarily interested in finding the men who will work along these lines. It is primarily interested in humanity, realizing that the steps taken by humanity in the immediate future will condition the new age and determine man's destiny. Will it be a destiny of annihilation, of a planetary war, of worldwide famine and pestilence, of nation rising against nation and of the complete collapse of all that makes life worth living? All this can happen unless basic changes are made and made with goodwill and loving understanding. Then, on the other hand, we can have a period (difficult but helpful because educative) of adjustment, of concession and of relinquishment; we can have a period of right recognition of shared opportunity, of a united effort to bring about right human relations, and of an educational process which will train the youth of all nations to function as world citizens and not as nationalistic propagandists. What we need above all to see—as a result of spiritual maturity—is the abolition of those two principles which have wrought so much evil in the world and which are summed up in the two words: Sovereignty and Nationalism.
What at this moment appears to prevent world unity and keeps the United Nations from arriving at those necessary settlements which the man in the street is so eagerly awaiting? The answer is not hard to find and involves all nations: nationalism, capitalism, competition, blind stupid greed. It is an intense emotional nationalism which made the Polish nation so difficult a member of the family of nations; it is materialism and fear, plus a lack of spiritual interest, which makes France so constant an obstructionist and has led her to work against united world action; it is fanatical adherence to an ideology and national immaturity which prompts so much of Russia's activities; it is a rampant capitalism which makes the United States one of the most feared of the nations, plus her gestures of armed power; it is the fast dying imperialism which handicaps Great Britain and a clinging to responsibilities and territories which she is realizing could well be turned over to the United Nations; the hope of Great Britain lies in her socialistic tendencies which enable her to take the "middle path" between the communism of Russia and the capitalism of the United States. It is the smug greed of the nations which escaped the war which is hindering progress; it is the devious actions of the Jews and the hatred which they cultivate which tend also to undermine the hope of peace; it is the chaos in India and China which is complicating the work of the well-intentioned; it is the unchristian and undemocratic treatment of the Negro peoples in the United States and Africa which is contributing to the ferment; it is the blind inertness and lack of interest of the masses of the people which permit the wrong men to be in power; it is fear of the rest of the world which makes the Russian leaders keep their peoples in ignorance of the attitude of other nations on world affairs; it is the wrong use of money which colours the press and the radio in Great Britain and still more in the United States, thus keeping much of the truth from the people; it is the upheaval of labour everywhere which feeds the turmoil and forces unnecessary suffering upon the public; it is powerful, political and international distrust, lying propaganda and the apathy of the churches which still further complicate the problem. It is—above all else—the refusal of that public to face life as it is and to recognize the facts for what they are. The mass of men need arousing to see that good comes to all men alike and not just to a few privileged groups, and to learn also that "hatred ceases not by hatred but that hatred ceases by love". This love is not a sentiment, but practical goodwill, expressing itself through individuals, in communities and among nations.
Such is the sad and sorry picture of the world today and only the blind and the uncaring will deny it. Only a keen realization of the situation and of the sources of the trouble will serve to impulse mankind to take the needed action. But there is another side of the picture and there is that which will balance the evil, though, as yet, it will not completely balance and offset it.
Today men and women everywhere—in high place and in low, in every nation, community and group—are presenting a vision of right human relations which must constitute the standard for the future of mankind. Everywhere they are exposing the evils which must be eliminated and they are educating ceaselessly in the principles of the new age. It is these men who are of importance. In politics there are great and wise statesmen who are endeavouring to guide their people wisely but have as yet too much with which to contend; of these Franklin D. Roosevelt was an outstanding modern example, for he gave of his best and died in the service of humanity. There are enlightened educators, writers and lecturers in every land who are seeking to show the people how practical is the ideal, how available the goodwill in mankind, and how easily applied are these ideals when there are enough men and women of goodwill active in the world to force the issue. This is the factor of importance. There are also scientists, physicians and agriculturists who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of human living; there are churchmen in all the faiths who follow sincerely the footsteps of the Christ (though they are not the leaders) and who repudiate the materialism which has ruined the churches; there are men and women in their untold millions who see truly, think clearly and work hard in their communities to establish right human relations.
Security, happiness and peaceful relations are desired by all. Until, however, the Great Powers, in collaboration with the little nations, have solved the economic problem and have realized that the resources of the earth belong to no one nation but to humanity as a whole, there will be no peace. The oil of the world, the mineral wealth, the wheat, the sugar and the grains belong to all men everywhere. They are essential to the daily living of the everyday man.
The true problem of the United Nations is a twofold one: it involves the right distribution of the world's resources so that there may be freedom from want, and it involves also the bringing about of a true equality of opportunity and of education for all men everywhere. The nations which have a wealth of resources are not owners; they are custodians of the world's riches and hold them in trust for their fellowmen. The time will inevitably come when—in the interest of peace and security—the capitalists in the various nations will be forced to realize this and will also be forced to substitute the principle of sharing for the ancient principle (which has hitherto governed them) of greedy grabbing.
There was a time—a hundred years or more ago—when a just distribution of the world's wealth would have been impossible. That is not true today. Statistics exist; computations have been made; investigation has penetrated into every field of the earth's resources and these investigations, computations and statistics have been published and are available to the public. The men in power in every nation know well exactly what food, minerals, oil and other necessities are available for worldwide use upon just and equitable lines. But these commodities are reserved by the nations involved as "talking and bargaining points". The problem of distribution is no longer difficult once the food of the world is freed from politics and from capitalism; it must also be remembered that the means of distribution by sea, rail and air are adequate.
None of this will, however, take place until the United Nations begin to talk in terms of humanity as a whole and not in terms of boundaries, of technical objectives and fears, in terms of the bargaining value of oil, as in the Near East, or in the language of mistrust and suspicion. Russia distrusts the capitalism of the United States and—to a lesser degree—that of Great Britain; South America is rapidly learning to mistrust the United States on the ground of imperialism; both Great Britain and the United States mistrust Russia, on the basis of her spoken word, her use of the veto and her ignorance of western idealism.
Yet it must be remembered that there are statesmen in Great Britain, the United States and Russia who are endeavouring to work for the common man and to speak on his behalf in the conclaves of the nations. As yet selfish opposition has rendered their work futile and the monied interests in many countries have negated their efforts. Russia has no monied interests, but she has vast resources in men and arms and these she plays off against the capitalistic interests. Thus the war goes on, and the man in the street waits hopelessly for a decision which will lead to peace—a peace based on security and right human relations.
To further complicate the problem, it must be borne in mind that the East and the West approach life from different angles. The Eastern approach is negative and subjective; the Western is positive and scientific and, therefore, objective. This is further complicated by the fact that western Europe and eastern Europe look at life and the modern problems from different angles; this makes cooperation difficult and definitely complicates the problems confronting the United Nations. Church and State are not in sympathy; capital and labour carry on a constant war; the man in the street pays the price and waits for justice and freedom.
There is no counsel of perfection to give the world or any solution which will carry immediate relief. To the spiritual leaders of the race certain lines of action seem right and to guarantee constructive attitudes.
1. The United Nations, through its Assembly and Committees, must be supported; there is as yet no other organization to which man can hopefully look. Therefore, he must support the United Nations but, at the same time, let this group of world leaders know what is needed.
2. The general public in every nation must be educated in right human relations. Above all else, the children and the youth of the world must be taught goodwill to all men everywhere, irrespective of race or creed.
3. Time must be given for the needed adjustments and humanity must learn to be intelligently patient; humanity must face with courage and optimism the slow process of building the new civilization.
4. An intelligent and cooperative public opinion must be developed in every land and the doing of this constitutes a major spiritual duty. This will take much time but if the men of goodwill and if the spiritual people of the world will become genuinely active, it can be done in twenty-five years.
5. The world economic council (or whatever body represents the resources of the world) must free itself from fraudulent politics, capitalistic influence and its devious scheming; it must set the resources of the earth free for the use of humanity. This will be a lengthy task but it will be possible when world need is better appreciated. An enlightened public opinion will make the decisions of the economic council practical and possible. Sharing and cooperation must be taught instead of greed and competition.
6. There must be freedom to travel everywhere in any direction and in any country; by means of this free intercourse, members of the human family may get to know each other and to appreciate each other; passports and visas should be discontinued because they are symbols of the great heresy of separateness.
7. The men of goodwill everywhere must be mobilized and set to work; it is upon their efforts that the future of humanity depends; they exist in their millions everywhere and—when organized and mobilized—represent a vast section of the thinking public.
It will be through the steady, consistent and organized work of the men of goodwill throughout the world that world unity will be brought about. At present, [Page 178] such men are only in process of organizing and are apt to feel that the work to be done is so stupendous and the forces arrayed against them are so great that their—at present—isolated efforts are useless to break down the barriers of greed and hate with which they are confronted. They realize that there is as yet no systemized spread of the principle of goodwill which holds the solution to the world problem; they have as yet no idea of the numerical strength of those who are thinking as they do. They ask themselves the same questions which are agitating the minds of men everywhere: How can order be restored? How can there be fair distribution of the world's resources? How can the Four Freedoms become factual and not just beautiful dreams? How can true religion be resurrected and the ways of true spiritual living govern the hearts of men? How can a true prosperity be established which will be the result of unity, peace and plenty?
There is only one true way and there are indications that it is a way towards which many millions of people are turning. Unity and right human relations—individual, communal, national and international—can be brought about by the united action of the men and women of goodwill in every country.
These men and women of goodwill must be found and organized and thus discover their numerical potency—for it is there. They must form a world group, standing for right human relations and educating the public in the nature and power of goodwill. They will thus create a world public opinion which will be so forceful and so outspoken on the side of human welfare that leaders, statesmen, politicians, businessmen and churchmen will be forced to listen and comply. Steadily and regularly, the general public must be taught an internationalism and a world unity which is based on simple goodwill and on cooperative interdependence.
This is no mystical or impractical program; it does not work through the processes of exposing, undermining or attack; it emphasizes the new politics, i.e., politics which are based upon the principle of bringing about right human relations. Between the exploited and the exploiting, the warmongers and the pacifists, the masses and the rulers, this group of men of goodwill will stand in their organized millions, taking no side, demonstrating no partisan spirit, fomenting no political or religious disturbance and feeding no hatreds. They will not be a negative body but a positive group, interpreting the meaning of right human relations, standing for the oneness of humanity and for practical, but not theoretical, brotherhood. The propagation of these ideas by all available means and the spread of the principle of goodwill will produce a powerful organized international group. Public opinion will be forced to recognize the potency of the movement; eventually the numerical strength of the men and women of goodwill in the world will be so great that they will influence world events. Their united voice will be heard on behalf of right human relations.
This movement is already gathering momentum. In many lands this plan for the formation of a group of people who are trained in goodwill and who possess clear insight into the principles which should govern human relations in world affairs is already past the blueprint stage. The nucleus for this work is present today. Their functions might be summarized as follows:
1. To restore world confidence by letting it be known how much goodwill—organized and unorganized—there is in the world today.
2. To educate the masses in the principles and the practice of goodwill. The word "goodwill" is largely [Page 180] used at this time by all parties and groups, national and international.
3. To synthesize and coordinate into one functioning whole all the men and women of goodwill in the world who will recognize these principles as their personal directing ideal, and who will endeavour to apply them to current world or national events.
4. To create mailing lists in every country of the men and women of goodwill who can be counted upon to stand for world unity, right human relations and who will try—in their own lands—to reach others with this idea, through the medium of the press, the lecture platform and the radio. Eventually this world group should have its own newspaper or magazine, through means of which the educational process can be intensified and goodwill be found to be a universal principle and technique.
5. To provide in every country and eventually in every large city, a central bureau where information will be available concerning the activities of the men and women of goodwill all over the world; of those organizations, groups and parties who are also working along similar lines of international understanding and right human relations. Thus many will find those who will cooperate with them in their particular endeavour to promote world unity.
6. To work, as men and women of goodwill, with all groups who have a world programme which tends to heal world differences and national quarrels and to end racial distinctions. When such groups are found to work constructively and are free from scurrilous attack or aggressive modes of action, and actuated by goodwill to all men and are free from an aggressive nationalism and partisanship, then the cooperation of the men of goodwill can be offered and freely given.
It takes no great effort of the imagination to see that, if this work of spreading goodwill and educating public opinion in its potency is pursued, and if the men of goodwill can be discovered in all lands and organized, that (even in five years' time) much good can be accomplished. Thousands can be gathered into the ranks of the men of goodwill. This is the initial task. The power of such a group, backed by public opinion, will be tremendous. They can accomplish phenomenal results.
How to use the weight of that goodwill and how to employ the will to establish right human relations will grow gradually out of the work accomplished and meet the need of the world situation. The trained use of power on the side of goodwill and on behalf of right human relations will be demonstrated as possible, and the present unhappy state of world affairs can be changed. This will be done, not through the usual war like measures of the past or the enforced will of some aggressive or wealthy group, but through the weight of a trained public opinion—an opinion which will be based on goodwill, on an intelligent understanding of the needs of humanity, on a determination to bring about right human relations and on the recognition that the problems with which humanity is today confronted can be solved through goodwill.
[PROBLEMS OF HUMANITY, 1947, pp. 167-181]