Monday, November 2, 2009

The Strategy of Peace: The Global Challenge

My grandmother gave me some books a couple weeks ago. Among them Senator JFK's The Strategy of Peace. I have begun reading it and will post highlights that I think are still relevant to the way we should look at our world, now 50 years later.

...[W]e move from crisis to crisis for two reasons: first, because we have not yet developed a strategy for peace that is relevant to the new world in which we live; and secondly, because we have not been paying the price which that strategy demands--a price measured not merely in money and military preparedness, but in social inventiveness, in moral stamina, in physical courage. Because that strategy has not been developed nor that price paid, it has not been too difficult to forecast with a reasonable degree of precision where our national fortunes would trend. They would trend in the direction of a slide downhill into dust, dullness, languor, and decay.

At home, we must demonstrate that we can educate our children adequately in a world where ideas and technology are increasing in importance, and where excellence must be nurtured and cherished. Our democracy must demonstrate that it can restructure its urban organization, in the light of the revolutionary enlargement of our population, now increasingly concentrated in metropolitan areas.

The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly. Arouse his will to believe in himself, give him a great goal to believe in, and he will create the means to reach it. This trait of the American character is our greatest single national asset. It is time once more that we rescue it from the sea of fat in which it has been drowning. It is time once more to get on with the business of being true to the work of a Choosing People--a people who voluntarily assume the burden and glory of advancing mankind's best hopes.

Or something like that, eh?
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