Ferguson: Airpower and our future (3-18-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (March 18, 1943)


Ferguson: Airpower and our future

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, but as I listened to Maj. Alexander Seversky on “The Future of Airpower,” I felt all shriveled up inside. Perhaps, I felt, the life of a beetle under its rock wouldn’t be so bad.

Certainly, in the kind of a future he pictured, human life isn’t going to be so good. With every major nation straining every facility to outdo the others in manufacture of bigger planes and bombs, it will be impossible and rather silly to boast about progress.

The technicians are valuable in such times as these, and I suppose we’d be sunk without them. I only hope, however, there will be ways to make them pipe down when the worst is over.

Is God just an old word we remember out of a Book? Perhaps, as Leslie D. Weatherhead, the great British preacher whose books are published in our country by Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, says in This Is the Victory:

We had better not think of God at all until we can base our actions upon His plans.

After the war, what will we do with these horrible toys we’ve played with? What direction will humanity take? Toward bigger and more awful wars, or toward the building of some mechanism for peace?

Dr. Weatherhead continues:

The invention of the airplane is without moral significance. Everything depends upon the use we make of it. We can take little pride in the annihilation of distance and the ingenuity of men when we think of the errand of the bombing airplane. A good man on horseback is a better symbol of progress than a bad man in a plane. Civilization is a vast and complicated structure. We cannot build it on physical force. That is too shaky. When spiritual responsibility does not keep pace with material discovery and invention, true progress ceases.

To that can we not all say a loud “Amen”?


Wow very much they sky is falling reaction. They would have been amazed to see the true impact of the plane on social change.


Reminds me of how some people reacted to cell-phones with “sort of wireless download/e-mailing” in the 1980s (“I don’t want to be reachable/ letters are better”).


And a few still think that (I admit I miss getting letters more than e-mails).