The Cold War
Professor Lipson writes:
David Riesman and Michael Maccoby have addressed themselves to a large canvas, and they have used a broad brush; but their paint is much too thin. Let me point out some examples of what seems to be their misconception of the nature and subject matter of strategic thought and of the cold war. In making these comments, I shall pass over the “whither America?” parts of the article; the knack of building an “inductive” generalization upon a single item of evidence, presenting the generalization and exhibiting the item as if only illustrative; and such odd indicators of the authors’ attitudes as the urban fear of the yokel, implied in their comment about “backwoods reactionaries,” and the muted Anglophilia.
The authors’ argument on the cold war seems to rest chiefly on three dubious assumptions:
(a) That the main issue of United States national security is the debate between a war party and a peace party, in which the war party is concerned with death and destruction and the peace party is concerned with life, liberty, and the pacific settlement of outstanding issues.
(b) That armament is the great problem to which disarmament is the great solution.
(c) That the relevant characteristics of the Soviet Union and the United States are so nearly symmetrical as to justify the use of mirror imagery.
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