Chapter 2: Civilization and peace
As noted in the Introduction, in his Farewell Address to the United States Congress on April 19, 1951, General Douglas MacArthur quoted himself on the occasion of Japan’s surrender on the battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, stating: Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found in so far as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, Leagues of Nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. He went on to argue that with the advent of nuclear weapons, the “utter destructiveness of war now blocks out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door.” For MacArthur, the ever-present threat of the scourge of war could largely be attributed to humankind’s fundamental moral shortcomings.
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