MARCH 16, 1946
NEW YORK, Friday—Unless we build a strong United Nations Organization, it is fairly obvious that the USSR, the United States and Great Britain, the three great Allies in the European war, are each going to become the center of a group of nations, each building up its individual power.
Unless the UNO controls the atomic bomb and other weapons of destruction, and it is arranged for all nations to share in scientific discoveries, whether along destructive or constructive lines, there is going to be conspiracy, spying and constant rivalry among these three nations and their satellites. No one of them will be entirely at peace, no matter how much they know, because they will never be sure that one of the others has not discovered something which will put that nation ahead either in the military or the economic field.
The armament race and rivalry in scientific research and in the economic field will mean that the cost of government in the various countries will mount steadily. Instead of having money for constructive purposes such as education, better health, better housing, and more social security for the average man and woman, they will have to pay the cost of the new fears that stalk the world.
That country which can exist on the lowest standard of living will be the country that can exact the most from its people, and therefore may survive the longest. Anyone who has seen the results of war in Europe knows what happens to people who live in constant fear and merely exist in the hope of finding shelter and food and warmth from day to day. That is the kind of existence which stares us in the face unless we learn to work together and live together—unless the world organization, which we all set up and which receives from us all a joint pool of knowledge and power, is successfully maintained and gives us all a sense of security.
I believe that all of us, Great Britain, Russia and the United States, want peace but the old way of counting on our own individual force seems still to have a strong hold on us. We have not worked together enough really to feel that we understand each other. We still question whether our different political and economic systems can exist side by side in the world. We still suspect each other when we belong to different racial and religious groups. We are still loath to give up the old power and attempt to build a new kind of power and security in the world.
I am convinced that this timidity is perhaps the greatest danger today.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1946, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.; REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR PART PROHIBITED.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 16, 1946
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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