Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 5 No. 2 | Summer 1983 (Seattle) /// Issue 4 of 24 /// Master# 4 of 24

missiles, everything in all the skills of communication and exchange. An End of Glaciation /return, in my conclusion, to the most sensitive, and the most significant, issue of all. How do we put the causes of freedom and of peace back together? This cannot be done by provocative interventions in the affairs of other nations. And it certainly cannot be done by the old strategy of Cold War “ linkage.” If we look forward to democratic renewal on the other side of our common world, then this strategy is plainly counter-productive. No-one will ever obtain civil or trade union rights in the East because the West is pressing missiles against their borders. On the contrary, this only enhances the security operations and the security-minded ideology of their rulers. The peoples of the East, as of the West, will obtain their own rights and liberties for themselves and in their own way —^as the Portuguese, Spanish, Greek and Polish people have shown us. What is needed, from and for all of us, is a space free of Cold War crisis in which we can move. There might, however, be a very different kind of citizen’s linkage in which, as part of the people’s detente, the movement for peace in the West and for freedom in the East recognized each other as natural allies. For this to be possible, we in the West must move first. As the military pressure upon the East begins to relax, so the old double-bind would begin to lose its force. And the Western peace movement (which can scarcely be cast convincingly by Soviet ideologists as an agent of Western imperialism) should press steadily upon the state structures of the East demands for greater openness of exchange, both of persons and of ideas. A transcontinental discourse must begin to flow, in both directions, with the peace movement — a movement of unofficial persons with a code of conduct which disallows the pursuit of political advantage for either “ side” — as the conduit. We cannot be content to criticize nuclear missiles. We have to be, in every moment, critics also of the adversary posture of the powers. For we are threatened, not only by weapons, but by the ideological and security structures which divide our continent and which turn us into adversaries. So that the concession which the peace movement asks of the Soviet state is — not so much these SS-20s and those Backfire bombers — but its assistance in commencing to tear these structures down. And in good time one might look forward to a further change, in the Soviet Union itself, as the long-outworn ideology and structures inherited from Stalin’s time gave way before internal pressures for a Soviet renewal. It is optimistic to suppose so. Yet this is the only way in which the Cold War could be brought to an end. I have also conceded that an end of glaciation — with new and turbulent torrents across the East-West divide — will entail new risks. We have observed this for a year as the Polish crisis has unfolded. To those who have been habituated to Cold War stasis this looks like dangerous “ instability” . Yet I will argue, against these critics, that in such an emergency the peace movement itself may prove to be the strongest force making for stability. Only a non-aligned peace movement could moderate this great social transition, enabling our political cultures to grow back together, and restraining both NATO and Warsaw power rulers from intervening to check the change or from seeking to gain advantage from the discomforture of the other side. The peace movement must say — and has already been saying — “ Let Poland be Polish and let Greece by Greek!” We may be living now, and in the next few years, in the very eye of crisis. The Cold War road-show, which each year enlarges, is now lurching towards its terminus. But in this moment changes have arisen in our continent, of scarcely more than one year’s growth, which signify a challenge to the Cold War itself. These are not “ political” changes, in the usual sense. They cut through the flesh of politics down to the human bone. What I have proposed is improbable. But, if it commenced, it might gather pace with astonishing rapidity. There would not be decades of detente, as the glaciers slowly melt. There would be very rapid and unpredictable changes; nations would become unglued from their alliances; there would be sharp conflicts within nations; there would be successive risks. We could roll up the map of the Cold War, and travel without maps fora while. I do not mean that Russia would become a Western democracy, nor that the West would go Communist. Immense differences in social system would remain. I mean only that the flow of political and intellectual discourse, and of human exchange, would resume across the whole continent. The blocs would discover that they had forgotten what their adversary posture was about. We do not live in ordinary times. To work to bring the Cold War to an end is not one among three dozen things which we must remember to do. It must be, for tens of thousands of us in Europe in this decade, the first thing we must do; and it must inform everything we do. Our species has been favored on this planet, although we have not always been good caretakers of our globe’s resources. Our stay here, in the spaces of geological time, has been brief. No-one can tell us our business. But I think it is something more than to consume as much as we can and then blow the place up. We have, if not a duty, then a need, deeply engraved within our culture, to pass the place on no worse than we found it. Those of us who do not expect an after-life may see in this our only immortality: to pass on the succession of life, the succession of culture. It may even be that we are happier when we are engaged in matters larger than our own wants and ourselves. We did not choose to live in this time. But there is no way of getting out of it. And it has given to us as significant a cause as has ever been known, a moment of opportunity which might never be renewed. The opportunity is now, when there is already an enhanced consciousness of danger informing millions. We can match this crisis only by a summoning of resources to a height like that of the greatest religious or political movement’s of Europe’s past. I think, once again, of 1944 and of the crest of the Resistance. There must be that kind of spirit abroad in Europe once more. But this time it must arise not in the wake of war and repression, but before these take place. Five minutes afterwards, and it will be too late. Humankind must at last grow up. 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