By joining the Big Three, Russia has clearly deviated from its stated principle of equality among nations. Where do the smaller and weaker nations stand against the Big Three — no more than a weakling confronting a wrestler. If Communist Russia were true to principle of absolute equality, it should have sided with the weak nations and insisted that it would not accept any difference in treatment among nations. If men are equal as individuals — that is equal in their rights as human beings — then it follows that all countries, no matter whether they are big or small, are equal in their rights and are entitled to their own healthy and happy life, safe from interference and humiliation.
Russia should have asserted the principle in inter-governmental bodies that all governments — weak and powerful — must have equal voice in protecting their rights. But Russia did not do so, and agreed to settle all important issues through consultations among the Big Three. By its action, Russia demonstrated that its voice must carry greater weight than the voice of smaller countries such as Belgium and Holland. If nations could not have equal rights, how could individuals expect equal treatment? Surely, moral and ethical standards must not differ in their application to individuals and nations. Thus, Russia’s claim of equality has no substance and is mere show.
If a big government deserves preferential treatment, why should an expert technician or trader not have an advantage over an inexperienced technician or trader? Giving preferential treatment to a larger country could in fact be more harmful than allowing an individual to excel because of his special skills. Any inequality which is created can be redressed with Islam’s fine principles as discussed above.
This brings to mind an incident concerning one of India’s leaders when several Indian political leaders gathered to deliberate on some a matters. The late Sir Sikander Hayat Khan and Sir Feroze Khan Noon invited me to take part in the meeting, which was held at Simla and was attended by about seventy or eighty leaders from all over the country. One of the leaders was rather annoyed with the size of the assembly, and said in his speech that such important matters could not conveniently be discussed or settled in large gatherings. He then proposed that only the ‘leaders of leaders’ should meet and let others know of the decision.
This is exactly Russia’s position — that the decisions reached by the Three Big should be accepted by all others who lack the right to participate in these meetings. The sole reason for this is that Russia is a military power, while countries like Belgium, France and Holland are less powerful. If the military might is the only reason for giving weight to Russia’s voice, it seems highly unlikely that Russia would be prepared to accept others in its economic programme. A country that accords little value to other countries’ views concerning peace cannot be expected to provide food and clothing to them. Once its industry advances, Russia can be expected to seek ‘mandates’ over its markets instead of equal participation.
In short, the Soviet Union does not really stand for ‘death to capitalism’ — that is only an illusion in the minds of some people. Its real slogan is: Death to capitalism where individuals own property and long live the state capitalism of Russia. The consequence of this state of affairs can be predicted — it was possible to withstand the power and influence of individual capitalists, but nobody would be able to compete with the state-run capitalism.
It seems that Russia is aware of its basic weakness and tries to shield itself by restricting contacts with foreign countries. In an article published in the June issue of The Soviet Union, Mr. Stephen King- Hall, a member of the British Parliament, reported his impressions based on his recent visit to Russia. He wrote that the Russian Government did not wish that the Russian people should be exposed to Western ideas or thinking. He went on to say that it was only through official channels — not directly — that one could get an idea of the Russian way of life, and that this state of affairs would continue for some time.
Russian isolation was evident during the recent visit of a group of Russian expert who came along with some Americans to this country. The Russians were surprised to find that in India one could travel freely, while in their own country, people had little money to travel on their own. They felt as though they had been transported to a different world. This instance reflected Russia’s lack of exposure to other countries. Obviously, the Russians cannot be kept in ‘cold storage’ indefinitely; one day the wall of isolation would crumble and the world would witness a profound transformation.