Page 4, 2nd August 1946

2nd August 1946
Page 4
Page 4, 2nd August 1946 — QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

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Organisations: Labour Party, Dail
Locations: Paris, Hiroshima, Nuremberg


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By The Editor

Russia's Nazi Technique

VVE attach very great import ance to a report which we publish on our main news page this week on the present condition in Yugoslavia. It seems to us, for example, far more significant than anything talked about in Paris or in Nuremberg. Our correspondent has so faithfully reported what he baw in Yugoslavia that he seems himself to have failed to draw from his findings the great conclusion that stands out a mile in it for the reader. That conclusion is that the Russian satellites have gisen up the original Communist technique in regard to the liquidation of religion and the bourgeoisie and adopted almost point for point the Nazi technique. Strangely enough, it was only after we had leceived the report of our correspondent that we read the views of the New York Times correspondent in Yugoslavia, who wrote in his paper: " The anti-Catholic campaign follows a pattern closely resembling the one inaugurated by Adolf Hitler in Germany, Austria and Yugoslovia before and during rite war," in a sense this may seem like stressing the obvious, yet it is one of those glaring and highly important truths that one does not at first easily gct into focus. The plain fact is that Russia and Russia's instruments arc deliberately using the cry of anti-Fascist denunciation in order to hide the truth that they are expressly choosing and adopting the methods of Nazism in preference to their own clumsier tradition. The same is happening in Poland, where the ground is at present being prepared for Nazi action against the Church and the elimination of the majority party which looks to Christian traditions of freedom. It is not now being disguised that mpg must be taken to avoid another -fiasco" like the recent referendum — and by fiasco is simply meant the opportunity for people to vote against the regime they detest. in Germany, above all, the field is highly suited to continuing the work of Hitler in the interests of Stalin. One often stressed the ideological similarity between Fascism and Communism, but quulilied this by pointing out certain differences in methods of procedure, differences sometimes favourable to Nazism and somethimes favourable to Communism. hut now we begin to understand thc quite careful and deliberate exploitation of the Nazi technique as much better stilted to a more educated population and much more likely to deceive the democratic politicians of the West.

" Genocide 5' at Nuremberg IN this tight it is extraordinarily odd to I cud the closing indictments at Nuremberg. In that court the past is being jridged with great eloquence and admirable clarity. Naeism is demonstrated to the world to be what it was. But the Nazism of to-day, so far front being judged. is among the judges! .Before the war most of us were deceived alxna the real meaning and intention of Nazism, but few surely would have gone so far as to consider Hitler and Co. as suitable judges in a trial for what is now called " genocide." Yet with the example of Nazism under our eyes, we deliberately close them to the continuation ot a totalitarian teehmeirc that is. point for point, imitating that of the Nazis. We ate told that " geno. ride '' is the word used to describe for the future the basic Nazi crime, and that it is defined as follows; " Whoever. while participating in a conspiracy to destroy a national, racial or religious group uaderLakes art attack against the lite. liberty or properly of members of such gi clips." But this is word for word and even more cleanly than it ever appeared before the war in Germany a description of what Russia has done, and is even now actively doing, against the Baltic States, Poland, and thc Balkan countries, as well as against the religious groups in those countries. It couldn't be put more plainly! Yet Russia judges in Nuremberg and the Russian delegation arrives in Paris supported by the satellite ministers of countries acquired by the new crime of " genocide."

Morals and the Atom Bomb SENTENCLi in a report of a Times correspondent in Bikini is of pecu liar lamest to Catholics. It reads: " The tests at Bikini have an undoubted value to naval technology. but their main value to the public is that they restate the ponderous truth of Hiroshima that atomic explosions are so vastly more powerful than any other that they constitute a difference in kind, not merely in degree." Those last words are familiar to Catholic theoloeians, for the commons theological defence of the use of modem armaments in just warfare has rested on the argument that these only differ in degree from the armaments in the past which have commonly been regarded as compatible with a just war. It is therefore very interesting to get from an entirely secular and impaitial expert Source the categorical statement that the atom bomb differs in kind from other weapons. 1r this is the case it will prove hard indeed to defend its legitimate use on the precedents arid punciples of Catholic moral theology. And if he use of the bomb itself is indefensible, what are we to make of any militarism organised in terms of the readiness to into this weapon if necessary in seledelence? These difficulties do not. however, dispose of the counter-argument that it cannot be unjust to take measures to deter a possible enemy from dropping an atom bomb on your own capital city. And should we as Christians be ready to submit to the challenge of a great aggressor Power just because if it comes to a war it will be an atomic once The layman is me equipped to lind the right solution to such problems. but he surely has a right to ask the theologians to guide hirn. for the moral conditions of a just war have been snidely publicised and are known to very many of the faithful.

Ireland and U.N.O.

'Film: Ireland's decision to apply to A join U.N.O. should have been unanhnously supported in the Dail is a sign of the country's political maturity. There is very much to be said against this decision. as a very strong 1C ucr ii IhL: imat3.1 hiclepelOrie,11 Shows, yet in a case of this kind it is eminently &enable that a nation should be united in its final choice of the lesser of two evils It is another instance of the old problem so familiar to Catholics, whether it is better to join a body or party of wheel one largely disapproves in order to help steer it from within to better things for itself and for the community generally or whether to remain free to criticise and denounce, and act independeutly. Such a choice has to be made in each case after the most careful sorvey of the possibilities either way. Ins the case of U.N.O. we think that it still lies in the power of the majority of the nations which belong to it to evolve it towards the ideals originally laid down, and this is the plea being so strongly pressed by Dr. Evalt. In these conditions the addition of another rightminded nation is to be highly welcomed. May Ireland inspire the others of a like mind with herself to stand courageously for the only political cause which in the end can save our civilisation!

At a more fundamental level the decision in a sense reVel-SC3 the equally unanimous Irish decision to remain neutral during the war. But the change is logical, for Ireland's present choice is to co-operate in the attempt to make war impossible except by full moral and legal judgment against the aggressor and thus. in effect, avoid any one nation or set of nations claiming on their own behalf the right to make such it judgment and expecting that everyone will agree with them.

Theology in India and Palestine

THE time is well past when critics

of Britain, within the country or outside it, can continue to blame her for the unsettlement of Indian affairs. Indeed, the story of the recent and protracted negotiations, now driving once again on to a rock, is the best evidence of British goodwill towards India and the world to-day and of the nature of the diffiaulties with which her rule in the more recent past has been faced. In a sense the same fundamental evil is being met with both in India and in Palestine. It is the evil of any race, community or nation arrogating to itself an absolute sovereignty—a doctrine that came in with the RelormaLion. The Christian doctrine of the sovereignty of God was very much more than a form of words. Common acceptance of this truth, while in practice often disregarded, did shape men's minds towards a realisation that there could be no peaceful and orderly human progress save by the readiness to give and take. In other words, the theological truth of all men's sinfulness and great imperfection in the light of God's truth and perfection cosies

sposided very closely to secular commonsense which makes it manifest that in most disputes both sides are partly wrong and must in the common interest forego a measure of their claims, The alternative is the disaster of stagnation, anarchy, conflict and war, by which no one is helped.

This is not to say that all disputants are equally wrong, but that even where one has a belief, indeed a knowledge, of being in the right an a vital issue, it may still be well, in view of the total imperfection of one's burean position, to yield to the degree of right in the other party's position. Such yielding is likely to provide a fresh standpoint front which both sides can advance again in their own common interest and that of others.

In India at least Britain has provided the opportunity for this, but she can do no more if the rival patties insist on maintaining positions, indefensible in theology and cotnmonsense, and, in this instance, calculated to injure their own common ideal of freeing India.

The By-Elections THE recent trio of by-elections indiA rates the beginnings of the restoration of fluidity to the electorate. We too easily overlook how decisive for party fortune is the vote of that section of the population which is (or considers itself above) the working class level, however skilled, and has not yet grown into the status of " gentry," however small. It is to-day a tepidly increasing class, and its vote probably proved decisive not only in the last election, but in the two previous ones. It would take very little for this class to swing back to Conservatism and ensure the defeat or Labour. But as this tendency begins to show itself, so will there be a reaction he the Labour Party itself with an increase of pressure from the Left Wing to counter by propaganda and disguised force the expression of a free choice at the next General Election.

Thus we may expect a much more fluid situate:es to develop than seemed possible a year ago. Socialism sounds very jolly as a conveniently-assimilated political came by an electorate tired of war and tired of the unsatisfactory compromise between capitalism and the demands of the technocratic State. Better go the whole hog while we are about it—especially when to the left of the " whole hog " there is something else so alien that the whole hog is made respectable by comparison. But Socialism in practice means the denial to the individual of much which, in this country above all countries, he consIders his right.

It may he that this developing situaeon will opens the field for influencing the main body of Labour with ideas corresponding to Christian democracy on the Continent. If so, there will be a political opportunity for. Christians which they should be organising themselves to seize,

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