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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 1955)

Text of a commencement speech delivered at the New School for Social Research on June 7, 1955 by George F. Kennan.

Observations of foreign labor movements are influenced by the national orientation and training of the observer and the degree to which his explorations are pursued under the official mantle of state. Thus the bias of American collective-bargaining experience, combined with the attitudes and feelings that the issue of communism generates in Americans, can easily influence perceptions of Italian collective bargaining.

We shall need gyroscopic balance to continue our economic reconstruction and at the same time emerge safely from hostile assaults, recognizably ourselves, honor sustained, upholding the blessings of liberty for our own posterity with exemplary poise for the rest of our harrowed world.

For more than two years the Moscow press and economic journals have been publishing a spate of articles on recent Soviet achievements in the manufacture of modern types of industrial machinery and the introduction of more mechanized and automatic processes. ... Doubtless the articles contain a goodly portion of exaggerated claims and statements. But they also appear to present evidence of considerable genuine technological progress, which it would not be wise to ignore.

George Washington's America started a chain reaction the end of which has not yet been reached. The American Republic, which Washington did so much to create, showed itself to be so enduring and successful that it became an example for many other nations to imitate. Hence it can be held that George Washington, the eighteenth-century Virginia planter, is more than a national American figure. He may be truly regarded as a giant in the history of human freedom.

The Philippine government is currently devoting a large portion of its attention to a program of rural development. President Magsaysay, who was elected largely on the basis of his promise to improve living conditions in the rural areas, has made rural development the keystone of his administration's program. Actually, certain rural development projects, such as building artesian wells, were initiated by the Quirino administration, but they have been continued and supplemented by the present regime.

The prospects for Brazil are uncertain. Foreign capital is badly needed. But there is not consensus in Brazil on the desirability of private foreign investment. In this situation the only certainty for importers of long-term capital is the uncertainty of governmental policy ... The real question, therefore, is whether general agreement can be reached among the warring interest groups to institute the appropriate remedies. In brief, failing political stability, Brazil cannot hope for an early solution of her economic problems.

Review of book by Gabriel A. Almond. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1954. xix & 415 pp.

Review of book by Robert R. Bowie and Carl J. Friedrich. Boston: Little, Brown. 1954. 888 pp.

Review of book by Oscar Handlin. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1954. x & 244 pp.

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