non-existent. . . . I do not find in our public opinion, official or private,
any comprehension of the true nature of the problem. Our reactions
seem to me to be impulsive and emotional, wholly lacking either that
intellectual content or that idealism which alone would justify the risks
which would be involved. . . .
"The goal of our policy seems to be to regain the power to make over
again the same mistakes." We should not go into war to "repress a
revolt which the policies of the democratic powers have made inevitable,
and which a continuance of those policies will make recurrent".
Senator Burton K. Wheeler foresaw: "If the U. S. gets into another
world war, we will come out . . . with an absolute loss of democracy.
" France and England . . . having refused to make concessions to what
was then a democratic Germany . . . now say, 'We want you to save us
again'. There will be terrific propaganda in the United States of America to get us into that war. It isn't a fight between dictators and democracies over there at all. It is an economic fight, a fight over trade
opportunities. It isn't our fight. I am not so worried about the loss of
our exports as I am about the loss of our sanity." August, 1939.
As if to justify this, Presidents Seymour and Conant sounded off at the
opening of the academic year 1939-40 on the note morality and religion (cf
Bul #16), which was taken up in academic centers of less prestige and soon was
chorused up and down the land. It was as if the program outlined by Rogerson
was being guided by some central agency. The alumni, led by the most prosperous with Wall Street or Washington-Whitehall connections, came rapidly.
It took more time for the faculty to realize how their trustees and foundation
directors stood and to learn which side their bread was buttered on, but by the
fall of 1940 they were worked up to a proper moralistic state of hysterical hate.
By mid-winter the undergraduates were coming rapidly, but some of them were
still only half-baked.
The propagandist must always accent ideologies. It's the evil in other men
coming out on the surface that he combats. He does it for their good. We don't
hate the Germans until we get a little scared that we can't lick them. At first
it is only their vicious beliefs, later their gangster leaders, finally it's every blessed
Hun whom we would exterminate. The sequence is always the same. It's the
reverse of how our theories, ideologies, philosophies of democracy or morality
or whatnot are formed. Man behaves in certain ways. We observe the acts of
others. We are envious, jealous, or don't approve. We formulate codes. Soon