My point, Ladies and Gentlemen, is that the period you have been growing up in has been a period of almost permanent revolution. It is a period in which almost two-thirds of mankind have been committed to remaking his life. It is therefore a period that is charged with great turbulence. To be revolutionary is in fact to be normal. It is a period that has caused some anxiety to those who think they have our best wishes at heart.
Naturally, in a case like this, people are unsure of the choices they are going to make. We have seen this in the cold war; we have seen the effects which this fear has had on certain colonial politicians who are quick to shout subversion when they mean radical process of thinking. We have not only seen ‘friends’ in the Western world trying to blackmail this process of thought; there have been voices too trying to point out that this thought is natural. I quote here from Mr. George Kenan, the very great American diplomat addressing his own nation on this question:
“Some of us seem to believe that no country can have anything to do with Moscow, even in the most normal ways, without at once losing its independence. Such a view exaggerates the sinisterness of Moscow’s immediate purposes which actually embrace a number of quite normal elements. It also involves an underestimation of the talent of Asian and African statesmen for seeing through the more dangerous long-term aspirations of international communism and protecting their countries against them. Left to themselves, many of these statesmen would surprise us, I am sure, by their ability to take the measure of Moscow’s motives and methods and to find resources of their own with which to protect the integrity of their national life”.
This attitude which Mr. Kenan exposes here suggests that certain Western countries have an inherent contempt for the Afro-Asian states. It is contempt because it suggests that these men, like children playing with fire, have got to be protected from themselves. Friendship with equality can hardly be based on such an assumption. It is an attitude which also suggests fear: a fear that the West cannot compete effectively with the East or anywhere else in the Kingdom of Morality.