“You’re in a terrible spot. It’s too late for you to retreat but too soon to act. All you can do is witness. You’re in the miserable position of an infant who cannot return to the mother’s womb, but neither can he run around and act. All an infant can do is witness and listen to the stupendous tales of action being told to him. You are at that precise point now. You cannot go back to the womb of your old world, but you cannot act with power either. For you there is only witnessing acts of power and listening to tales of power.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Hanging Humanity

n

I encountered this wonderful quote in an odd and special book. It is from a speech that was given by Dwight Eisenhower shortly after he took office in 1953. In the book the speech was referred to as the “Cross of Iron” speech, though online I found it as the “Chance for Peace” speech (though it seems to be referenced with both names).

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms in not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.  We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Because the quote is obviously insightful & direct I was surprised (and slightly disappointed) to find that the speech draws an unbalanced picture that promotes a political agenda. In my mind it is an immoral speech – as it subverts a higher intellectual truth to a lesser social need. I believe that it exemplifies a kind of subtle compromise which can go unnoticed at first but slowly festers and eventually manifests as destruction.

This entry was posted in Expanding, inside, Quality. You are welcome to add your comment

Leave a Reply

  • Inside

  • Subscribe via Email