Friday, April 08, 2011

A historical snippet on international co-operation

One for our quotations page, from US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, in his closing speech to the Bretton Woods Conference in 1946.
There is a curious notion that the protection of national interest and development of international cooperation are conflicting philosophies-that somehow or other men of different nations cannot work together without sacrificing the interests of their particular nation.
. . .
Yet none of us has found any incompatibility between devotion to our own country and joint action. Indeed, we have found on the contrary that the only genuine safeguard for our national interests lies in international cooperation.
As apt today, as then. Read all the context in the chapter on Keynes, in Treasure Islands, which contains this other, more famous quote of his: the aim is to
"drive only the usurious money lenders from the temple of international finance."
That seems a long shot these days.


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