DEMOCRACY IS NOT ENOUGH by John Scott

DEMOCRACY IS NOT ENOUGH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Political Warfare (John Day- 1955) introduced John Scott, journalist and Time correspondent, to the book-reading public with a middle-of-the-road book which probably satisfied the extremists at neither end. Here again, as in the other book, he takes sharp issue with the United States for failing to measure up to the challenge of our role as a major power. This book was made possible by an extensive investigation of underdeveloped nations- Asia, Africa, the Near East, Latin America- and he comes to the conclusion that democracy, USA brand, is inadequate as a political system for his hungry world, and that unless we can develop a new and positive and virile ideology, we may lose that hungry world to Communism. These people must be fed and taught to feed themselves before they will be able to assess the illusion of the Soviet promises. For while Soviet aid totals about half of the USA aid, in absolute terms it is great and growing and the way in which economic aid is given creates an impression of unselfishness that confuses the ultimate issues. Country by country, he highlights the deficiencies; he shows how the bogy of colonialism is still a dominant issue; he studies the reasons back of democracy's failure, where it has been tried in these new nations, and comes up with the conclusion that a kind of dictatorship, with a set of controls, is the answer. Neither democracy nor philanthropy is enough. People are caught in a cycle from which they can be rescued only by capital investment, equipment and know-how which we can best provide. In instance after instance his points seem well taken, his conclusions convincing. And where he seems one-sided in his facts and recommendations (as in the Israeli-Arab controversy), he balances out by the general commonsenseness of his overall view. There's a great deal amount of information packed into the pages, and the Communist challenge, against the picture of their positive results at immense cost in life and suffering, seems all the more menacing, because their evidence of success carries its measure of persuasion, for the hungry peoples of the world.

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 1959
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace