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October 1983

November 1983

Annual Fund Drive - [The Dining Room]
President's Message (Arlene Woo)
General Membership Meeting - The Legislative Process...
Lush Green Open Spaces or Wall-to-Wall Concrete?
Vote Count News
Arms Control Consensus Report
Dr. Werner Levi's Speech Aids Consensus Deliberations
Two Resign from Honolulu Board
Gold C Values
Frank's Videotapes to Be Shown
Recommended Viewing
UN Decade for Women Nearing End
On the Interim Report of the National Long-Range Planning Committee
An Unwanted Phone
Membership Update
Neighborhood Board Study Committee Seeks More Members (Mildred Walston)
They Have Given Us Their Support - Let's Give Them Our Support

Dr. Werner Levi's Speech Aids Consensus Deliberations

Addressing a completely captivated audience at Honolulu League's September 24th Consensus meeting, Dr. Werner Levi put the arms race in its proper perspective and gave League members the foundation needed to tackle the consensus questionnaire.

Dr. Levi feels that we spend too much time talking about the technicalities of disarmament, nuclear war, and arms control without examining enough the politics of international relations. Interests that countries pursue are political.

Defining power as "the ability to influence someone else's behavior," he said that power is a psychological concept, and that it cannot be predicted nor measured. And while weapons are a very effective means of power, they are by no means the only one. You need to consider the stamina, the morale, the will power of the people as well as the caliber of the officers, etc., and these cannot be measured.

He discussed how our insistence on maintaining ourselves as strong national entities has resulted in the rivalry between nations for goods and values that are in short supply, and in order for each to protect its interests --- the values, goods and resources---, power is absolutely essential. We all need power, and where the two great powers (U.S. and U.S.S.R.) are concerned, each nation has to maximize its power potential. There is no limit to the maximization of power, and thus we have the arms race.


"What is there that Russia cannot get by wheeling and dealing?" he asked. "What does Russia and the United States want now that they cannot get? Surely not more land, or oil" The arms race, he said, is purely a power struggle, just building our potential so that when the time comes when one side wants something that the other wants, or when it doesn't want the other to have something, it will have the power to get it.


Moving on to the relationship between the U.S. and its Western allies, Dr. Levi feels that we are not paying enough attention to their interests and needs. Russia is trying to divide the NATO allies, and "it is our uncleverness rather than Russia's cleverness that is helping to increase our divisiveness." We often don't consult them, and they cannot get over the feeling that we consider them expendable. If NATO and our European allies are important to us, we must understand their fears and their interests.


Dr. Levi feels we should concentrate on the area of reduction of tension, and that 1 President Reagan's rhetoric over the airplane incident only helps to make the Soviets more suspicious of us. "You cannot negotiate arms control on one hand and heat up the air politically at the same time," he argued.


"It is essential that we help the Third World develop as rapidly as possible, not just for humanitarian reasons, but because. at present, they do not have a stake in inter-national society. They have nothing to lose," he said. As soon as you have a stake in something, (in this case society), you want to help preserve it. You do not want to see it destroyed.

Disarmament would free some of the money to be spent on constructive things, like helping the Third World's development, and developing trade and cooperation between nations.


Dr. Levi summarized his speech by saying that a balance of power is not really possible because you cannot measure power. We have a balance of deterrence now---each side knows it cannot use the "ultimate weapon" without destroying oneself. Under the umbrella of deterrence, we can follow political policies that lead to diplomatic cooperation for the satisfaction of our needs.

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