MacArthur was right; war must end!

MacArthur was right; war must end!
--
from the Weekly People, October 24, 1970

In spite of his background as a militarist, the late General Douglas MacArthur revealed common sense and some degree of humanity on two occasions. Raised by a father who was a big military figure in his time, and having attended West Point, MacArthur was apparently one of the last men from whom one could expect a word of wisdom in relation to nuclear war.

A militarist, who was at home with Republican nuclear-bomb advocates, General MacArthur was apparently enough of a realist to recognize the fact that war would one day have to cease if mankind is to survive. In a June 1, 1961, address at Michigan State University, the general said with respect to another global war: "If you lose, you are annihilated. If you win, you stand only to lose. No longer does it [global war] possess even the chance of the winner of [a] duel. It contains now only the germs of double suicide." MacArthur's 1961 statements are almost identical to those he made on Jan. 26, 1955, when he said "War has become a Frankenstein to destroy both sides."

In view of the tense world situation we are living in today, where the world's markets are at stake, along with its wealth in an imperialist "chess game" between U.S. capitalism and Soviet State despotism, these statements by General MacArthur are most apropos to the chaos at hand. Indeed the struggle in Southeast Asia and the crisis in the Middle East, which is at the crossroads of ruling-class commerce, could ignite the beginning of the end.

Going farther, General MacArthur, in his 1955 address, cited the contention (made by President Eisenhower among others) that the condition of world tension and war preparations must go on for 50 years or more, and asked: "With what at the end?" Continuing on with this subject, the general said that this is but passing along to those who follow the search for a final solution. "And at the end, the problem will be exactly the same as that which we face now." "Sooner or later," he said, "if the world is to survive, the decision to outlaw war must be reached. We are in a new era. The old methods and solutions no longer suffice. We must have new thoughts, new ideas, new concepts, just as did our / venerated forefathers when they faced^" a new world. We must break out of the strait jacket of the past."

Although the words were pregnant with meaning, General MacArthur never went beyond them. Today, the situation among the world's ruling-class powers is much more tense. War is an oddity in nature. It is a contradiction that a species should war with its own kind, for it had to live in cooperative harmony in order to survive. There were wars among primitive people, but they had their origin in struggles over limited hunting grounds needed for survival. Only with the advent of private property did the phenomenon known as war take on the characteristics of looting and conquering. The greatest wars have taken place with the property system's greatest economic development. This tremendous economic development brought forth the prospect, warned against by General MacArthur and others, including the WEEKLY PEOPLE, that the ruling classes may destroy mankind itself.

We can build a world of peace, plenty and freedom, or tolerate the destruction of civilization and of ourselves by the ruling classes. Our choice is one of tak ing action to build that better world or of being inactive while the capitalist and despotic destroyers end the world for themselves and us.