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EX-SENATOR WILLIAM BENTON, Connecticut Democrat, board chairman of Encyclopedia Britannica and Muzak Corp., in PRINTERS’ INK:

GET into politics. You owe it to your community and to your country. in a world where politics is increasingly determinant. Traditionally, our businessmen have avoided and even scorned close participation in political life. They have adopted political attitudes from the viewpoint of their narrow business interests, such as on tariffs or taxes. They have moved in aggressively only where they have a dollar-and-cents stake in franchises, or utility rates, or public contracts. Most have dodged direct and personal political responsibility. They must dodge no longer. They are now desperately needed in big-time politics. The next time the Republicans take over, let us have more businessmen with political savvy and experience, ready and willing for public office. Ditto with the Democrats. Businessmen will enjoy politics. Politics can be even more interesting, and far more satisfying, than making money.


University of Chicago Economics Professor D. GALE JOHNSON, after a five-week tour of Russian farms, in the NEW YORK TIMES Magazine : is no question that the JL changes in agricultural policy since 1953 have increased farm incomes. But compared to the American farmer the rewards received by the Russian peasant are meager indeed. The Russian peasant has his small, modest house and sufficient food to eat — and that is about all. If any of the members of a farm village [owns] a car, this fact [is] pointed to with pride.

Clothing is adequate, but nothing more. The houses are very simply furnished, with one stove supplying heat and providing space for cooking. The Russian peasant probably has a better diet than the urban worker. Each member of a collective farm has a small plot ranging in size from 0.6 to 1.5 acres. More than half the milk, fruits and vegetables of the Soviet Union is produced on these small plots.

A striking feature of both the collective and state farms that we visited was the large amount of labor used. Any farm job takes about five times as much labor as we use in the United States, and the farm population is increasing instead of declining as in the U.S.

Labor is lavished on livestock. For example, one woman is assigned to care for ten cows. This is all she does, spending her time feeding, cleaning and watching. In [the U.S.] the care of ten cows would constitute one of a number of chores to be done in a few minutes each morning and night.

At the farms we visited I believe we were given accurate information. For proper appraisal, however, we should have had more basic economic data than the Russians were willing to provide. Quite early in our trip we asked for. and were promised, data on grain and livestock production, prices, payments for machine-tractor station services, farm employment and farm income. These were never given to us.

The Russians appear to be quite eager to exchange delegations in many fields. We should allow and even encourage such exchanges, but only if certain conditions are met. First the [U.S.] groups must be allowed to see what they want to see as well as what the Russians want to show them.

Second, the Russians should be asked in advance for the economic and other data required for an evaluation of what is to be seen. Meeting these conditions would go a long way in giving evidence that the Russians really want to have a free interchange of ideas and information between their country and ours.


The middle-of-the-road PARIS-PRESSE-L’INTRANSIGEANT:

TWICE the United States has saved France from the menace of a totalitarian regime. Without America, we would probably know the Nazi regime. Without the maintenance of American troops in Europe, we would probably be under the regime of Eastern Europe. However, from [respected novelists] to the intellectual “mandarins”‘ of the Left Bank, a majority of French writers have returned from the U.S. with severe, if not cruel, reports. An America which was our ally, but with a power that was supposedly equal to ours, was a friend to us. An America which is too strong provokes withdrawal and suspicion.

If the behavior of the Americans has been largely due to an intelligently conceived notion of their own interests, that does not detract from the nobility and generosity of certain acts. Can one imagine a European power, say England, France or Germany, coming to the aid of allies or ruined adversaries, and distributing to them considerable sums to put their economies back on their feet? The United States sees other nations more as partners than as competitors. Even if we judge severely certain aspects of U.S. protectionist policies, let’s remember what difficulty metropolitan

France, for fear of eventual competition, has in admitting that its own territories of the French Union should industrialize.

American workers and farmers know the highest standard of living in the world and this, by itself, illustrates the worth of a system of free enterprise and an enlightened and dynamic capitalism. There is no doubt that if the move ments of men were free, in no time American consulates would be besieged by workers the world over. Supposing that the Soviet government would open its frontiers to immigrants, how many would be ready to take their passports to Moscow? There you have an irrefutable testimony to the success of American democracy.


The weekly COMMONWEAL :

WE hear, ad nauseam, from certain vociferous patriots, that God is on “our” side. From the speeches of some politicians one gathers the impression that religion, along with NATO, should be cultivated as a potent instrument in the cold war. and that the Almighty has enlisted in the army of the “free world” for the duration.

From the speeches of certain Christians (many of them Catholics), on the other hand, one gathers the impression that “Americanism” is a kind of fifth mark of the Church, that God has endowed this nation with superior wisdom and virtue, and that the advance of His kingdom is made to the tune of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” In this view, to be anti-American is to be somehow antireligious, and “Americanism” is spoken of in the reverent tones that should be reserved for the expounding of revealed truths.

Obviously, in the general sense of seeking the common good, of serving the ends of justice and charity, religion should make men good citizens; in the sense that religion teaches men a legitimate love for their native land it makes them patriots. But religion does not make men “patriots” in any narrow or nationalistic sense. Religion does not make men defenders of the status quo or of any particular form of government; it does not make them “safe” or “re spectable”—or even good security risks. Indeed, in the view of a nationalistic “patriotism,” it may make men suspect, for religious men should be the troubled conscience of their society, who say nay when other men want to hear aye.

Religion has nothing essential to do with “Americanism.” Religion must never be tied to the service of any particular nationalism and to make religion the servant and guarantor of some particular ”patriotism” is to betray the transcendental vocation of religion.

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