[PEN-L:1593] George Kennan

Brad De Long delong at econ.Berkeley.EDU
Wed Dec 16 09:03:46 PST 1998

>(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

Kennan's position was not the "dovish" position. The "dovish" position was held by those who took human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization seriously.

The passage quoted from Kennan is *attacking* the "dovish" position within the Truman Administration. It is not an illustration of the dovish position.

Brad DeLong

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