Every state has not only the right but the duty to make adequate provision for its own defense in the way it thinks best, providing it does not do so at the expense of any other state.
Until the last great war, a general expectation of material improvement was an idea peculiar to Western man. Now war and its aftermath have made economic and social progress a political imperative in every quarter of the globe.
I have worked in a very close and cordial way with Norwegian representatives at many international meetings, and the pleasure I felt at those associations was equaled only by the profit I always secured from them.
Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.
As a civilian during the Second War, I was exposed to danger in circumstances which removed any distinction between the man in and the man out of uniform.
As a soldier, I survived World War I when most of my comrades did not.
The life of states cannot, any more than the life of individuals, be conditioned by the force and the will of a unit, however powerful, but by the consensus of a group, which must one day include all states.
We are all descendants of Adam, and we are all products of racial miscegenation.
As for the promotion of peace congresses we have had our meetings and assemblies, but the promotion through them of the determined and effective will to peace displaying itself in action and policy remains to be achieved.
No state, furthermore, unless it has aggressive military designs such as those which consumed Nazi leaders in the thirties, is likely to divert to defense any more of its resources and wealth and energy than seems necessary.
And I have lived since - as you have - in a period of cold war, during which we have ensured by our achievements in the science and technology of destruction that a third act in this tragedy of war will result in the peace of extinction.
The choice, however, is as clear now for nations as it was once for the individual: peace or extinction.
As to the first, I do not know that I have done very much myself to promote fraternity between nations but I do know that there can be no more important purpose for any man's activity or interests.
The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants, and for peace like retarded pygmies.
It has too often been too easy for rulers and governments to incite man to war.
The stark and inescapable fact is that today we cannot defend our society by war since total war is total destruction, and if war is used as an instrument of policy, eventually we will have total war.
The scientific and technological discoveries that have made war so infinitely more terrible for us are part of the same process that has knit us all so much more closely together.
I cannot think of anything more difficult than to say something which would be worthy of this impressive and, for me, memorable occasion, and of the ideals and purposes which inspired the Nobel Peace Award.
We know now that in modern warfare, fought on any considerable scale, there can be no possible economic gain for any side. Win or lose, there is nothing but waste and destruction.
It would be especially tragic if the people who most cherish ideals of peace, who are most anxious for political cooperation on a wider than national scale, made the mistake of underestimating the pace of economic change in our modern world.