Security for a Failing World
To the great heart of humanity, so prone to miseries and rancors, yet capable of responding to the rhythm of universal love and joy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
STANWOOD COBB is one of the best known writers and educators in the field of the new child training. He was the founder and organizer of the Progressive Education Association of which he was for some years president, and is director of the Chevy Chase Country Day School.
As child and grandchild of literary men and women he early showed a literary bent. He learned to read before he went to school, and at the age of seven read the Bible through from cover to cover.
After graduating from Dartmouth College and teaching for a short time, Stanwood Cobb decided to enter the ministry and studied for two years at Harvard Divinity School. But when an opportunity came to go to Robert College, Constantinople, as instructor he relinquished his clerical plans for the fruitful field of influence with youth, in which work his life has ever since been centered.
This richly formative period in the Orient left permanent effects upon Cobb's temperament and philosophy of life, and gave him a world viewpoint. It has inspired also much of his literary work, as is evident in such books as "The Real Turk," "Ayesha of the Bosphorus," "The Essential Mysticism," and "Simla."
In "SECURITY FOR A FAILING WORLD," the author describes a rapidly growing movement which he vividly contacted while in the East.
Herein we may read the signs of the times
THE need for economic security is the most urgent requirement of our age. — Prestonia Mann Martin.
THE basis of life must be made secure.--Henry Ford.
THE cry today is for order, for order and for security, as a refuge for a disorganized, atomized, self-destructive society. It is the desire for order and security which is behind every movement in the world today. — Dorothy Thompson.
"Man's inventive genius has placed within mankind's reach boundless wealth, sufficient for every inhabitant of this planet to enjoy life without encroaching upon supplies of any of his fellows....
"And yet amidst all this abundance, we are inundated with myriads of starving, ragged people, all because we have not the intelligence to see that the old economic theories have become fallacies...
and that just as our productive methods to which we owe this age of plenty have been revolutionized, so our entire economic system must be reorganized." — Arthur Kitson, British engineer, inventor and economist. Living Age, January, 1934.
THE FUTURE OF MANKIND
"Never before was man more powerful, never did he have more mechanical aids, and never was he less able to see what the morrow would bring forth.... The violent transformations of our material values and of our economic life have found no corresponding developments in respect to new political and moral creations. We look for some kind of redemption. We yearn for new values that will make life worth living....
"You ask what recipe I would recommend. Well, my own private recipe is that we must make every effort not to do anything that could increase the suffering in the world — and at the same time we must try to make the distance that separates men and beasts as wide as possible." — Paul Falery, Living Age, November, 1933.
THE NEW CAPITALISM
"Capitalism itself is not a static concept. It, too, can evolve, is evolving. If it has its faults, it has demonstrated also that it has its virtues. Certainly
under capitalism alone has the paradox we have been considering [want in the midst of plenty] ever existed. Up to the present, depressions have been characterized by want in the midst of want. This depression is characterized by want in the midst of plenty. Plenty is the new factor. If capitalism has been responsible for the want, it is also responsible for the plenty. To change scarcity into potential abundance has been a tremendous feat. Capitalism has achieved it. To make abundance permanent, to distribute it more equitably, are steps that could not even be considered until the fight against scarcity has been won.
"Chronic insufficiency has been changed to actual and potential abundance. All the attitudes which we brought to our economic and social and political thinking have been developed out of a past in which there was not enough to go around. We have out-grown that past. We must begin to think with reference to new actualities." — FromCompulsory Spending," by Julius F. Stone, Relief Administrator for the State of Florida.
THE NEED OF SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
"The spiritual powers of the human heart are the only powers which are destined to banish and exterminate selfishness and greed, hatred and fear, from the soul of man. But who can arouse these dormant powers of the human heart and develop their irresistible force? Not the scientists and engineers,
the leaders of the physical world. We must have similar leaders in the spiritual world. It is the highest mission of our civilization to find and to train such leaders and to aid them in their gigantic task of delivering the soul of man from the demons of materialism. The family and the school, the college and the university, and above all the church are called upon to carry the burdens of this sacred mission. They will receive every aid which science and engineering can give and are already giving today. This is my Message from Science." — Michael Pupin, Scribners, May, 1933.
THE IMPOTENCE OF STATESMANSHIP
"Humanity, whether viewed in the light of man's individual conduct or in the existing relationship between organized communities and nations, has, alas, strayed too far and suffered too great a decline to be redeemed through the unaided efforts of the best among its recognized rulers and statesmen — however disinterested their motives, however concerted their actions, however unsparing in the zeal and devotion to its cause. No scheme which the calculations of the highest statesmanship may yet devise; no doctrine which the most distinguished exponents of economic theory may hope to advance; no principle which the most ardent of moralists may strive to inculcate, can provide, in the last resort, adequate foundations upon which the future of a distracted world can be built.
"No appeal for mutual tolerance which the worldly-wise might raise, however compelling and insistent, can calm its passions or help restore its vigor. Nor would any general scheme of mere organized international cooperation, in whatever sphere of human activity, however ingenious in conception, or extensive in scope, succeed in removing the root cause of the evil that has so rudely upset the equilibrium of present-day society. Not even, I venture to assert, would the very act of devising the machinery required for the political and economical unification of the world — a principle that has been increasingly advocated in recent times--provide in itself the antidote against the poison that is steadily undermining the vigor of organized peoples and nations.
"Little wonder if one of Europe's pre-eminent thinkers, honored for his wisdom and restraint, should have been forced to make so bold an assertion: 'The world is passing through the gravest crisis in the history of civilization.' 'We stand,' writes another, 'before either a world catastrophe, or perhaps before the dawn of a greater era of truth and wisdom. It is in such times,' he adds, 'that religions have perished and are born.'
"Might we not already discern, as we scan the political horizon, the alignment of those forces that are dividing afresh the continent of Europe into camps of potential combatants, determined upon a contest that may mark, unlike the last war, the end of an epoch, a vast epoch, in the history of human
evolution? — Might it not happen that out of this world eruption there may stream forces of such spiritual energy as shall recall, nay eclipse, the splendor of those signs and wonders that accompanied the establishment of the Faith of Jesus Christ? Might there not emerge out of the agony of a shaken world a religious revival of such scope and power as to even transcend the potency of those world-directing forces with which the Religions of the Past have, at fixed intervals and according to an inscrutable Wisdom, revived the fortunes of declining ages and peoples? Might not the bankruptcy of this present, this highly vaunted materialistic civilization, in itself clear away the choking weeds that now hinder the unfoldment and future efflorescence of God's struggling Faith?" — Shoghi Effendi, World Leader of the Bahá'í Movement.