Monday, February 28, 2011

From that Era -- U.S. would have trouble ruling world

From the October 29, 1953 edition of The Argus-Observer

By Don Lynch

Major Malcolm Rosholt, former Air Force officer in the C-B-I theater in World War II and former Shanghi newspaper publisher, debunked the value of the United Nations in his talk to the Knife and Fork club here Tuesday evening.

He told the crowd he had been re-reading Herodotus and was impressed by how little man’s heart had changed in 2400 years.

“Unless man has a remarkably sudden change of heart we will never have peace of much duration during the next 2400 years,” he said.

I asked him if he thought that with the scientific advancement in weapons, man could survive another 2400 years in a world of conflict.

He expressed the opinion that even though millions of people would be killed quickly in an atomic war, the human race would probably survive.

Then he added, “But it would become necessary for one country to rule the world.”
Sometimes that does appear to be the alternative if the United Nations or its equivalent eventually proves entirely futile.

Who would that nation be?

We know the world would be a tragic place if it were run by Russia. But what of the United States?

Could we actually rule the world intelligently? I doubt it. We have trouble enough trying to harmonize the widely diversified interests of our own nation into enough of a common pattern to govern ourselves. We haven’t done that very well. How could we really rule the world except by brute force, even if it was moderated by some awareness of justice as a principle and the Golden Rule as a desirable ideal?

The Romans were just, according to their own standards, and they were intelligent, but they flubbed the job of world rulership when it was much more simple that it would be now. And although they were rugged where we are soft, they couldn’t maintain enough character to handle their responsibilities.

Things are far more complex, travel at a far faster pace in in our world today. If in the decades ahead, circumstances require us to assume the task of ruling the world, the speed of our physical and moral degeneration will probably make the Romans look slow indeed.

Let’s not kid ourselves that we are qualified to rule the world. Far better to keep talking in the United Nations in the hope, however slim, that the world can find solutions and compromises that are at least temporarily acceptable to the diverse interests of its diverse people.

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