Letter: A consensus for peace on earth

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The Independent Online
Sir: Corelli Barnett is no doubt distinguished as a historian, but the ability to look back dispassionately does not seem to go with being able to look forward with hope or generosity of spirit (letters, 29 and 31 December).

A nation is no more an island - even when it lives on one - than a man; and the pursuit of self-interest inevitably involves co-operation in relation to issues that are also of concern to one's neighbours - none of whom are now far countries of which we know little.

The practice of realpolitik has brought us to our present pass and it is surely time to realise that our long-term self-interest lies in being prepared to act morally in a world context while there remains a consensus among men and nations of goodwill to establish peace on earth.

Yours faithfully,

JOHN A. DAVIS

Cambridge

4 January

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