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Sees Triumphant U.S. Democracy: Prof. Merriam Optimistic In Time of Crisis

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Sees Triumphant U. S. Democracy

Prof. Merriam Optimistic In Time Of Crisis

In the face of democracy’s greatest ordeal in modern times, America will emerge triumphant to take its place in shaping and maintaining world order, Charles E. Merriam, University of Chicago professor and author, declared here yesterday.

“There is no front page news in the statement that democracy is under fire," Prof. Merriam said in a University American Culture lecture. "It always has been. For a few years after the World war the attacks upon democratic organizations died down and perhaps seemed to some ended, but this was only an intermission—a lull in the storm.”

Can Be Efficient

There is no reason to believe, he said, that democracies are less efficient than autocracies in time of crisis. History furnishes many illustrations, he declared, of inefficient democracies and also of inefficient non-democracies.

“For my part,” he asserted, “I hold that America will work out a program, built upon national unity, which will raise the volume of national production and at the same time raise the standards of living in accordance with the principle of social justice. Our vast resources, dynamic energy, inventiveness and resourcefulness, organizing ability and huge economy with its rich powers of expansion make this a possibility.

“But this is not a task of soft hearts and hands,” he added, “but of hard heads and tough temper. America will maintain its free society, industrial and political, streamlined to meet the changing conditions of modern life.”

Likes ‘Big Stick’

With respect to national defense, Prof. Merriam commented, “Speak softly and carry a big stick Was the old motto of Theodore Roosevelt which still seems good to me. Machiavelli said much earlier, ‘The armed prophets are likely to overcome the prophets who are unarmed'."

Of a possible line of action for the United States, he said, “We must be prepared to co-operate in the organization of a jural order of the world, in an effort to end international anarchy and construct some form of international justice and order. I do not undertake to say what the form of such an association should be, and in any case the end is more important at this moment than the precise delineation of means in a period of transition.

“If America watches the allied powers go down,” he said, “we must then be prepared to take up the burdens of protecting and policing the world of democratic ideals and institutions, along with our national care of industrial and material interests.”