StR,-I have no wish to prolong this correspondence, but since the Editor hiniklf has re-entered the lists, I must in fairness point out that that is where I came in with my first letter. I feel that he, being somewhat hypnotised by Douglas Hyde's " inside information " and the current war-psychosis, is, in company with most other journalists, Catholic and non-Catholic, here and in the U.S.A., ignoring the real issues at stake.
Of course armed revolution plays its part in Communist tactics, but only where other more dangerous because less obvious methods are impracticable-in such economically and politically backward countries as China (where many other factors have also to be taken into account), as Malaya, where the native population has been oppressed by foreign exploitation, and as Greece, where, in a state of post-war chaos, a reactionary regime (for so it seems to the Communists) is set up and supported by foreign intervention. But these civil wars will not become international conflagrations unless we help them on.
In the more advanced countries, Communist practice should by now be well known the Tactics of Disruption in the Trade Unions, which have been given timely exposure in the T.U.C. pamphlet of that name; the spider-and-fly tactics towards Social Democrats, etc.; vilification of the opposition. By these means it is expected to get the people to rise up and rally to the Communist flag-but bloodshed is quite unnecessary, control of the Press. radio and police being the modem -weapons. Tanks. gunsand even atom bombs-are there in case of emergency, but they will not need to be used unless we, by pointing a pistol at the Communist's head, provoke him to draw his own trigger. Unredeemed human nature is highly inflammable material, and commonsense alone should prevent us from playing with fire.
By any standard Christian, humanitanan or purely practical modem warfare is unthinkable and preparation for it to be condemned. Our best defence, as I said earlier, is to understand Marxism thoroughly and to concentrate on the removal of the causes of Cornmunism, i.e. social and economic injustice. By preparing for war, we are merely playing into the hands of the Communists. The teaching of recent popes, particularly our present Holy Father, on the subject of war is quite clear, and it is time Catholics sat up and took notice.
I would ask the Editor why he did not devote more than a few lines at the bottom of a page to what should have been top-headline news with editorial comment the editorial of Osservatore Romano on Holy Saturday, a long report of which has just come into my hands via the American Catholic Worker. I quote Della Torre: " it is impossible to paralyse an idea with violence, destroy it by force, drown it in blood . . . Communism one defeats by prayer and demonstration with works that social justice has no need to deny God in order to activate itself (italics mine). . . . A war and a defeated Russia would force it to mark time, not to give up . if one should think of Soviet liquidation to liquidate Communism, one would fall into unpardonable equi
vocation. . ." There is a great deal more food for thought in this editorial of the semi-official Vatican newspaper.
61 Giisson Road, Cambridge.
[We thought it was common ground among thinking Christians that Communism as such could not be defeated by war. The point has been made again and again in our columns. Quit; different is die question of Communist States having recourse to the threats and methods of war either to spread their Communism or increase their power at the expense of others. This recourse to war (International or civil) is as old as man, and we recommend our correspondent to study again the Pope's Allocution last Christmas for the Catholic reaction to it. This correspondence can now close.-Editor, Cal