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Problems of Humanity - Chapter IV - The Problem of the Racial Minorities
The Minorities

There are both national and international minorities. In the international situation there are powerful majorities - the Big Three, the Big Four or the Big Five and numerous smaller nations, demanding equal rights, equal votes and equal position. These smaller nations are afraid of the more powerful nations and of their ability to enforce their will. They are afraid of exploitation by some powerful nation or amalgamation of nations, distrustful of favors and support because of future claimed indebtedness, and unable to enforce their will or express their desires because of military weakness and political impotence. You have, therefore, in the world today great and influential nations such as the U.S.S.R., the British Commonwealth of Nations and the United States of America; you have also powers which have been great and then forfeited all right to recognition; you have other powers, such as France and Spain, who are secondary in influence, but resent it greatly, and finally many small nations each with its own individual life, civilization and culture. All of these without exception are characterized by a spirit of nationalism, by a determination to hold on to what is or has been their own at any cost, and all possessing an historical past and local tradition which condition their thinking; all have their own developed or developing culture and all are bound together by what we call modern civilization. It is a civilization at present founded on materialism and one [92] which has signally failed to instill into men a true sense of values - the values which alone can bind humanity together and bring to an end the great heresy of separateness.

All these nations, great and small, have suffered cruelly during the years of war (1914-1945) and are doomed still to suffer through the years of immediate adjustment. Some have suffered more than others and have the opportunity to demonstrate a resultant purification, if they so choose. Others chose an easy way during the war and abstained from taking sides, losing thereby a great spiritual opportunity, based upon the principle of sharing; they will need to learn the lessons of pain in other ways and more slowly; nations in the western hemisphere have not suffered in any acute manner, for their territories have been spared, and their civilian populations have lived in comfort, ease and plenty; they too have lost something and will also need to learn in other ways humanity's great lesson of identification and non-separateness.

Great and small today face a new world; great and small have lost faith in the old ways, and few really wish to see the old manner of life restored; all the nations, great and small, are fighting diplomatically, politically and economically for all they can get for themselves; distrust and criticism are widespread; there is no true sense of security, especially among the minorities. Some of the great nations, with a sound realization that there is no peace for the world unless there is justice for all, are struggling to create an organization which will give place and opportunity to all nations but their efforts are largely based on a selfish common sense; they are founded also upon the knowledge that material security and a sufficiency of material supplies must be the result of a compromise between that which has been and the - as yet - impossible vision of the [93] idealist. Their objectives, however, are still material, physical and tangible and are presented idealistically but with selfish motives. This is, however, a great step forward. The ideal is universally recognized even if it remains as yet a dream.

As we face the world picture today, we must see it in its true colors and must realize that if the best possible steps, spiritual and material, were to be taken for the smallest and least important of the minorities, it would create a situation which would completely reverse world politics and usher in an entirely new and more enlightened cultural and civilized age. This, however, is not likely to happen; so close are the interlocking selfish interests that the use of a system of perfect justice and fairness in any one case would upset major material interests, infringe the so-called rights of powerful nations, encroach on settled boundaries and outrage powerful groups even in most distant lands.

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