NOVEMBER 30, 1954
HYDE PARK—I read a very interesting article a few days ago which described an Indian editor's feelings about "the cultural tyranny" in a Communist state. Most of us do not realize that in all public places in those states a loud-speaker blares out Communist suggestions for a better society. The voice, says our Indian reporter, is feminine and sugary and if you are in a railway carriage she tells you not to put your feet out, not to spit, to obey the rules. If you are in the street or road she tells you to stay on your side and not try to pass, to walk on the sidewalks, and to keep your surroundings clean. And so it goes all through the day, in shop or street or railway train.
This regimented, constantly-ordered life must be a considerable strain but it does not seem to upset the gentle Chinese who simply have taken to blowing their vehicle horns constantly to drown out the voice that is always assailing them. The New Delhi editor also remarked that he grew weary of the blue uniform that both men and women wore. The only relief to be found was in the babies whose mothers, being denied the pleasure of pretty things for themselves, lavished their desire for some beauty on the infants in arms, as no one could object to that.
The Indian editor regretted that he found even children's books filled with the kind of propaganda of hate that seems required in a Communist state. There is something very strong, however, about the Chinese character and it may well be that in spite of all this bombardment of the Russians the Chinese will not change.
Somehow, the Chinese have always absorbed those things that have tried to take them over, and it may be that even the Communist hope of taking over the Chinese people may fail as previous efforts at domination have failed.
* * *
I see by the newspapers that the mayor of Bathsheba has been speaking in New York and that he said the town had actually been transformed from the dusty village it once was, into a modern industrial center. He thinks someday this will be a city of 100,000 people and that the whole Negeb will be industrially developed taking on the importance that it had in Biblical times, and perhaps supporting as many as 1,000,000 people.
If these changes can be wrought in Israel, why cannot the Arabs realize that the same could be done in all the Near Eastern countries? Friendship and peace with Israel might easily mean quick access to the kind of know-how which would help bring the Arab countries to a new state of development. Someday this will come to pass in that whole area but it would come to pass more quickly and more efficiently, and with greater benefit to all, if peace could only be established now.