[PEN-L:1593] George Kennan

Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu
Wed Dec 16 08:20:06 PST 1998

I don't know if this posting was triggered by it, but on the editorial page of today's Washington Post, Kennan has a column in which he recalls opposing the development of the hydrogen bomb along with Robert Oppenheimer and praising the questions raised by the new German government regarding the "first use" doctrine of NATO with respect to nuclear weapons. I note that Germany's new Foreign Minister is Joschka Fischer, a Green Party member. Barkley Roser On Wed, 16 Dec 1998 11:01:56 -0500 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

> (From the Chomsky archives at http://www.worldmedia.com/archive/)
> Kennan was one of the most intelligent and lucid of US planners, and a
> major figure in shaping the postwar world. His writings are an extremely
> interesting illustration of the dovish position. One document to look at if
> you want to understand your country is Policy Planning Study 23, written by
> Kennan for the State Department planning staff in 1948. Here's some of what
> it says:
> "...we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its
> population....In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy
> and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern
> of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of
> disparity....To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and
> day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on
> our immediate national objectives....We should cease to talk about vague
> and...unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living
> standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to
> have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by
> idealistic slogans, the better."
> Louis Proyect
> (http://www.panix.com/~lnp3/marxism.html)

-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu

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