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Title: An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation
Author: Veblen, Thorstein, 1857-1929
Language: English
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Published April, 1917:
Reprinted August, 1917.

New edition published by
January, 1919.


It is now some 122 years since Kant wrote the essay, _Zum ewigen
Frieden_. Many things have happened since then, although the Peace to
which he looked forward with a doubtful hope has not been among them.
But many things have happened which the great critical philosopher, and
no less critical spectator of human events, would have seen with
interest. To Kant the quest of an enduring peace presented itself as an
intrinsic human duty, rather than as a promising enterprise. Yet through
all his analysis of its premises and of the terms on which it may be
realised there runs a tenacious persuasion that, in the end, the régime
of peace at large will be installed. Not as a deliberate achievement of
human wisdom, so much as a work of Nature the Designer of
things--_Natura daedala rerum_.

To any attentive reader of Kant's memorable essay it will be apparent
that the title of the following inquiry--On the nature of peace and the
terms of its perpetuation--is a descriptive translation of the caption
under which he wrote. That such should be the case will not, it is
hoped, be accounted either an unseemly presumption or an undue
inclination to work under a borrowed light. The aim and compass of any
disinterested inquiry in these premises is still the same as it was in
Kant's time; such, indeed, as he in great part made it,--viz., a
systematic knowledge of things as they are. Nor is the light of Kant's
leading to be dispensed with as touches the ways and means of
systematic knowledge, wherever the human realities are in question.

Meantime, many things have also changed since the date of Kant's essay.
Among other changes are those that affect the direction of inquiry and
the terms of systematic formulation. _Natura daedala rerum_ is no longer
allowed to go on her own recognizances, without divulging the ways and
means of her workmanship. And it is such a line of extension that is
here attempted, into a field of inquiry which in Kant's time still lay
over the horizon of the future.

The quest of perpetual peace at large is no less a paramount and
intrinsic human duty today than it was, nor is it at all certain that
its final accomplishment is nearer. But the question of its pursuit and
of the conditions to be met in seeking this goal lies in a different
shape today; and it is this question that concerns the inquiry which is
here undertaken,--What are the terms on which peace at large may
hopefully be installed and maintained? What, if anything, is there in
the present situation that visibly makes for a realisation of these
necessary terms within the calculable future? And what are the
consequences presumably due to follow in the nearer future from the
installation of such a peace at large? And the answer to these questions
is here sought not in terms of what ought dutifully to be done toward
the desired consummation, but rather in terms of those known factors of
human behaviour that can be shown by analysis of experience to control
the conduct of nations in conjunctures of this kind.

February 1917



AND PEACE                                                            1

The inquiry is not concerned with the intrinsic merits
of peace or war, 2.

--But with the nature, causes and consequences of the
preconceptions favoring peace or war, 3.

--A breach of the peace is an act of the government,
or State, 3.

--Patriotism is indispensable to furtherance of warlike
enterprise, 4.

--All the peoples of Christendom are sufficiently patriotic, 6.

--Peace established by the State, an armistice--the State
is an instrumentality for making peace, not for perpetuating it, 7.

--The governmental establishments and their powers in all
the Christian nations are derived from the feudal establishments
of the Middle Ages, 9.

--Still retain the right of coercively controlling the actions
of their citizens, 11.

--Contrast of Icelandic Commonwealth, 12.

--The statecraft of the past half century has been
one of competitive preparedness, 14.

--Prussianised Germany has forced the pace in this
competitive preparedness, 20.

--An avowedly predatory enterprise no longer meets
with approval, 21.

--When a warlike enterprise has been entered upon, it
will have the support of popular sentiment even if it
is an aggressive war, 22.

--The moral indignation of both parties to the quarrel
is to be taken for granted, 23.

--The spiritual forces of any Christian nation may be
mobilised for war by either of two pleas: (1) The
preservation or furtherance of the community's material
interests, real or fancied, and (2) vindication of the
National Honour; as perhaps also perpetuation of the
national "Culture," 23.


ON THE NATURE AND USES OF PATRIOTISM                                31

The nature of Patriotism, 31.

--Is a spirit of Emulation, 33.

--Must seem moral, if only to a biased populace, 33.

--The common man is sufficiently patriotic but is hampered
with a sense of right and honest dealing, 38.

--Patriotism is at cross purposes with modern life, 38.

--Is an hereditary trait? 41.

--Variety of racial stocks in Europe, 43.

--Patriotism a ubiquitous trait, 43.

--Patriotism disserviceable, yet men hold to it, 46.

--Cultural evolution of Europeans, 48.

--Growth of a sense of group solidarity, 49.

--Material interests of group falling into abeyance
as class divisions have grown up, until prestige
remains virtually the sole community interest, 51.

--Based upon warlike prowess, physical magnitude and
pecuniary traffic of country, 54.

--Interests of the master class are at cross purposes
with the fortunes of the common man, 57.

--Value of superiors is a "prestige value," 57.

--The material benefits which this ruling class contribute
are: defense against aggression, and promotion of the
community's material gain, 60.

--The common defense is a remedy for evils due to the
patriotic spirit, 61.

--The common defense the usual blind behind which events
are put in train for eventual hostilities, 62.

--All the nations of warring Europe convinced that they
are fighting a defensive war, 62.

--Which usually takes the form of a defense of the National
Honour, 63.

--Material welfare is of interest to the Dynastic statesman
only as it conduces to political success, 64.

--The policy of national economic self-sufficiency, 67.

--The chief material use of patriotism is its use to a
limited number of persons in their quest of private gain, 67.

--And has the effect of dividing the nations on lines of
rivalry, 76.


ON THE CONDITIONS OF A LASTING PEACE                                77

The patriotic spirit of modern peoples is the abiding
source of contention among nations, 77.

--Hence any calculus of the Chances of Peace will be
a reckoning of forces which may be counted on to keep
a patriotic nation in an unstable equilibrium of peace, 78.

--The question of peace and war at large is a question of
peace and war among the Powers, which are of two contrasted
kinds: those which may safely be counted on spontaneously
to take the offensive and those which will fight on provocation, 79.

--War not a question of equity but of opportunity, 81.

--The Imperial designs of Germany and Japan as the prospective
cause of war, 82.

--Peace can be maintained in two ways: submission to
their dominion, or elimination of these two Powers;
No middle course open, 84.

--Frame of mind of states; men and popular sentiment in
a Dynastic State, 84.

--Information, persuasion and reflection will not subdue
national animosities and jealousies; Peoples of Europe
are racially homogeneous along lines of climatic latitude, 88.

--But loyalty is a matter of habituation, 89.

--Derivation and current state of German nationalism, 94.

--Contrasted with the animus of the citizens of a commonwealth,
103;--A neutral peace-compact may be practicable in the
absence of Germany and Japan, but it has no chance in
their presence, 106.

--The national life of Germany: the Intellectuals, 108.

--Summary of chapter, 116.


PEACE WITHOUT HONOUR                                               118

Submission to the Imperial Power one of the conditions
precedent to a peaceful settlement, 118.

--Character of the projected tutelage, 118.

--Life under the _Pax Germanica_ contrasted with
the Ottoman and Russian rule, 124.

--China and biological and cultural success, 130.

--Difficulty of non-resistant subjection is of a psychological
order, 131.

--Patriotism of the bellicose kind is of the nature of
habit, 134.

--And men may divest themselves of it, 140.

--A decay of the bellicose national spirit must be of
the negative order, the disuse of the discipline out
of which it has arisen, 142.

--Submission to Imperial authorities necessitates
abeyance of national pride among the other peoples, 144.

--Pecuniary merits of the projected Imperial dominion, 145.

--Pecuniary class distinctions in the commonwealths and
the pecuniary burden on the common man, 150.

--Material conditions of life for the common man under
the modern rule of big business, 156.

--The competitive régime, "what the traffic will bear,"
and the life and labor of the common man, 158.

--Industrial sabotage by businessmen, 165.

--Contrasted with the Imperial usufruct and its material
advantages to the common man, 174.


PEACE AND NEUTRALITY                                               178

Personal liberty, not creature comforts, the ulterior
springs of action of the common man of the democratic
nations, 178.

--No change of spiritual state to be looked for in the
life-time of the oncoming generation, 185.

--The Dynastic spirit among the peoples of the Empire
will, under the discipline of modern economic conditions,
fall into decay, 187.

--Contrast of class divisions in Germany and England, 192.

--National establishments are dependent for their
continuance upon preparation for hostilities, 196.

--The time required for the people of the Dynastic
States to unlearn their preconceptions will be longer
than the interval required for a new onset, 197.

--There can be no neutral course between peace by
unconditional surrender and submission or peace by
the elimination of Imperial Germany and Japan, 202.

--Peace by submission not practicable for the modern
nations, 203.

--Neutralisation of citizenship, 205.

--Spontaneous move in that direction not to be looked for, 213.

--Its chances of success, 219.

--The course of events in America, 221.


ELIMINATION OF THE UNFIT                                           233

A league of neutrals, its outline, 233.

--Need of security from aggression of Imperial Germany, 234.

--Inclusion of the Imperial States in the league, 237.

--Necessity of elimination of Imperial military clique, 239.

--Necessity of intermeddling in internal affairs of Germany even
if not acceptable to the German people, 240.

--Probability of pacific nations taking measures to insure peace, 244-298.

--The British gentleman and his control of the English government, 244.

--The shifting of control out of the hands of the gentleman into
those of the underbred common man, 251.

--The war situation and its probable effect on popular habits
of thought in England, 252.

--The course of such events and their bearing on the chances
of a workable pacific league, 255.

--Conditions precedent to a successful pacific league
of neutrals, 258.

--Colonial possessions, 259.

--Neutralisation of trade relations, 263.

--Futility of economic boycott, 266.

--The terms of settlement, 269.

--The effect of the war and the chances of the British people
being able to meet the exigencies of peace, 273.

--Summary of the terms of settlement, 280.

--Constitutional monarchies and the British gentlemanly
government, 281.

--The American national establishment, a government
by businessmen, and its economic policy, 292.

--America and the league, 294.


PEACE AND THE PRICE SYSTEM                                         299

The different conceptions of peace, 299.

--Psychological effects of the war, 303.

--The handicraft system and the machine industry,
and their psychological effect on political preconceptions, 306.

--The machine technology and the decay of patriotic loyalty, 310.

--Summary, 313.

--Ownership and the right of contract, 315.

--Standardised under handicraft system, 319.

--Ownership and the machine industry. 320.

--Business control and sabotage, 322.

--Governments of pacific nations controlled by privileged classes, 326.

--Effect of peace on the economic situation, 328.

--Economic aspects of a régime of peace, especially as related
to the development of classes, 330.

--The analogy of the Victorian Peace, 344.

--The case of the American Farmer, 348.

--The leisure class, 350.

--The rising standard of living, 354.

--Culture, 355.

--The eventual cleavage of classes, those who own and those
who do not, 360.

--Conditioned by peace at large, 366.

--Necessary conditions of a lasting peace, 367.





To many thoughtful men ripe in worldly wisdom it is known of a verity
that war belongs indefeasibly in the Order of Nature. Contention, with
manslaughter, is indispensable in human intercourse, at the same time
that it conduces to the increase and diffusion of the manly virtues. So
likewise, the unspoiled youth of the race, in the period of adolescence
and aspiring manhood, also commonly share this gift of insight and back
it with a generous commendation of all the martial qualities; and women
of nubile age and no undue maturity gladly meet them half way.

On the other hand, the mothers of the people are commonly unable to see
the use of it all. It seems a waste of dear-bought human life, with a
large sum of nothing to show for it. So also many men of an elderly
turn, prematurely or otherwise, are ready to lend their countenance to
the like disparaging appraisal; it may be that the spirit of prowess in
them runs at too low a tension, or they may have outlived the more vivid
appreciation of the spiritual values involved. There are many, also,
with a turn for exhortation, who find employment for their best
faculties in attesting the well-known atrocities and futility of war.

Indeed, not infrequently such advocates of peace will devote their
otherwise idle powers to this work of exhortation without stipend or
subsidy. And they uniformly make good their contention that the
currently accepted conception of the nature of war--General Sherman's
formula--is substantially correct. All the while it is to be admitted
that all this axiomatic exhortation has no visible effect on the course
of events or on the popular temper touching warlike enterprise. Indeed,
no equal volume of speech can be more incontrovertible or less
convincing than the utterances of the peace advocates, whether
subsidised or not. "War is Bloodier than Peace." This would doubtless be
conceded without argument, but also without prejudice. Hitherto the
pacifists' quest of a basis for enduring peace, it must be admitted, has
brought home nothing tangible--with the qualification, of course, that
the subsidised pacifists have come in for the subsidy. So that, after
searching the recesses of their imagination, able-bodied pacifists whose
loquacity has never been at fault hitherto have been brought to ask:
"What Shall We Say?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Under these circumstances it will not be out of place to inquire into
the nature of this peace about which swings this wide orbit of opinion
and argument. At the most, such an inquiry can be no more gratuitous and
no more nugatory than the controversies that provoke it. The intrinsic
merits of peace at large, as against those of warlike enterprise, it
should be said, do not here come in question. That question lies in the
domain of preconceived opinion, so that for the purposes of this
inquiry it will have no significance except as a matter to be inquired
into; the main point of the inquiry being the nature, causes and
consequences of such a preconception favoring peace, and the
circumstances that make for a contrary preconception in favor of war.

By and large, any breach of the peace in modern times is an official act
and can be taken only on initiative of the governmental establishment,
the State. The national authorities may, of course, be driven to take
such a step by pressure of warlike popular sentiment. Such, e.g., is
presumed to have been the case in the United States' attack on Spain
during the McKinley administration; but the more that comes to light of
the intimate history of that episode, the more evident does it become
that the popular war sentiment to which the administration yielded had
been somewhat sedulously "mobilised" with a view to such yielding and
such a breach. So also in the case of the Boer war, the move was made
under sanction of a popular war spirit, which, again, did not come to a
head without shrewd surveillance and direction. And so again in the
current European war, in the case, e.g., of Germany, where the
initiative was taken, the State plainly had the full support of popular
sentiment, and may even be said to have precipitated the war in response
to this urgent popular aspiration; and here again it is a matter of
notoriety that the popular sentiment had long been sedulously nursed and
"mobilised" to that effect, so that the populace was assiduously kept in
spiritual readiness for such an event. The like is less evident as
regards the United Kingdom, and perhaps also as regards the other

And such appears to have been the common run of the facts as regards all
the greater wars of the last one hundred years,--what may be called the
"public" wars of this modern era, as contrasted with the "private" or
administrative wars which have been carried on in a corner by one and
another of the Great Powers against hapless barbarians, from time to
time, in the course of administrative routine.

It is also evident from the run of the facts as exemplified in these
modern wars that while any breach of the peace takes place only on the
initiative and at the discretion of the government, or State,[1] it is
always requisite in furtherance of such warlike enterprise to cherish
and eventually to mobilise popular sentiment in support of any warlike
move. Due fomentation of a warlike animus is indispensable to the
procuring and maintenance of a suitable equipment with which eventually
to break the peace, as well as to ensure a diligent prosecution of such
enterprise when once it has been undertaken. Such a spirit of militant
patriotism as may serviceably be mobilised in support of warlike
enterprise has accordingly been a condition precedent to any people's
entry into the modern Concert of Nations. This Concert of Nations is a
Concert of Powers, and it is only as a Power that any nation plays its
part in the concert, all the while that "power" here means eventual
warlike force.

[Footnote 1: A modern nation constitutes a State only in respect of or
with ulterior bearing on the question of International peace or war.]

Such a people as the Chinese, e.g., not pervaded with an adequate
patriotic spirit, comes into the Concert of Nations not as a Power but
as a bone of contention. Not that the Chinese fall short in any of the
qualities that conduce to efficiency and welfare in time of peace, but
they appear, in effect, to lack that certain "solidarity of prowess" by
virtue of which they should choose to be (collectively) formidable
rather than (individually) fortunate and upright; and the modern
civilised nations are not in a position, nor in a frame of mind, to
tolerate a neighbor whose only claim on their consideration falls under
the category of peace on earth and good-will among men. China appears
hitherto not to have been a serviceable people for warlike ends, except
in so far as the resources of that country have been taken over and
converted to warlike uses by some alien power working to its own ends.
Such have been the several alien dynasties that have seized upon that
country from time to time and have achieved dominion by usufruct of its
unwarlike forces. Such has been the nature of the Manchu empire of the
recent past, and such is the evident purpose of the prospective Japanese
usufruct of the same country and its populace. Meantime the Chinese
people appear to be incorrigibly peaceable, being scarcely willing to
fight in any concerted fashion even when driven into a corner by
unprovoked aggression, as in the present juncture. Such a people is very
exceptional. Among civilised nations there are, broadly speaking, none
of that temper, with the sole exception of the Chinese,--if the Chinese
are properly to be spoken of as a nation.

Modern warfare makes such large and direct use of the industrial arts,
and depends for its successful prosecution so largely on a voluminous
and unremitting supply of civilian services and wrought goods, that any
inoffensive and industrious people, such as the Chinese, could doubtless
now be turned to good account by any warlike power that might have the
disposal of their working forces. To make their industrial efficiency
count in this way toward warlike enterprise and imperial dominion, the
usufruct of any such inoffensive and unpatriotic populace would have to
fall into the hands of an alien governmental establishment. And no alien
government resting on the support of a home population trained in the
habits of democracy or given over to ideals of common honesty in
national concerns could hopefully undertake the enterprise. This work of
empire-building out of unwarlike materials could apparently be carried
out only by some alien power hampered by no reserve of scruple, and
backed by a servile populace of its own, imbued with an impeccable
loyalty to its masters and with a suitably bellicose temper, as, e.g.,
Imperial Japan or Imperial Germany.

However, for the commonplace national enterprise the common run will do
very well. Any populace imbued with a reasonable measure of patriotism
will serve as ways and means to warlike enterprise under competent
management, even if it is not habitually prone to a bellicose temper.
Rightly managed, ordinary patriotic sentiment may readily be mobilised
for warlike adventure by any reasonably adroit and single-minded body of
statesmen,--of which there is abundant illustration. All the peoples of
Christendom are possessed of a sufficiently alert sense of nationality,
and by tradition and current usage all the national governments of
Christendom are warlike establishments, at least in the defensive sense;
and the distinction between the defensive and the offensive in
international intrigue is a technical matter that offers no great
difficulty. None of these nations is of such an incorrigibly peaceable
temper that they can be counted on to keep the peace consistently in the
ordinary course of events.

Peace established by the State, or resting in the discretion of the
State, is necessarily of the nature of an armistice, in effect
terminable at will and on short notice. It is maintained only on
conditions, stipulated by express convention or established by custom,
and there is always the reservation, tacit or explicit, that recourse
will be had to arms in case the "national interests" or the punctilios
of international etiquette are traversed by the act or defection of any
rival government or its subjects. The more nationally-minded the
government or its subject populace, the readier the response to the call
of any such opportunity for an unfolding of prowess. The most peaceable
governmental policy of which Christendom has experience is a policy of
"watchful waiting," with a jealous eye to the emergence of any occasion
for national resentment; and the most irretrievably shameful dereliction
of duty on the part of any civilised government would be its eventual
insensibility to the appeal of a "just war." Under any governmental
auspices, as the modern world knows governments, the keeping of the
peace comes at its best under the precept, "Speak softly and carry a big
stick." But the case for peace is more precarious than the wording of
the aphorism would indicate, in as much as in practical fact the "big
stick" is an obstacle to soft speech. Evidently, in the light of recent
history, if the peace is to be kept it will have to come about
irrespective of governmental management,--in spite of the State rather
than by its good offices. At the best, the State, or the government, is
an instrumentality for making peace, not for perpetuating it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Anyone who is interested in the nature and derivation of governmental
institutions and establishments in Europe, in any but the formal
respect, should be able to satisfy his curiosity by looking over the
shoulders of the professed students of Political Science. Quite properly
and profitably that branch of scholarship is occupied with the authentic
pedigree of these institutions, and with the documentary instruments in
the case; since Political Science is, after all, a branch of theoretical
jurisprudence and is concerned about a formally competent analysis of
the recorded legal powers. The material circumstances from which these
institutions once took their beginning, and the exigencies which have
governed the rate and direction of their later growth and mutation, as
well as the _de facto_ bearing of the institutional scheme on the
material welfare or the cultural fortunes of the given community,--while
all these matters of fact may be germane to the speculations of
Political Theory, they are not intrinsic to its premises, to the logical
sequence of its inquiry, or to its theoretical findings. The like is
also true, of course, as regards that system of habits of thought, that
current frame of mind, in which any given institutional scheme
necessarily is grounded, and without the continued support of which any
given scheme of governmental institutions or policy would become
nugatory and so would pass into the province of legal fiction. All these
are not idle matters in the purview of the student of Political Science,
but they remain after all substantially extraneous to the structure of
political theory; and in so far as matters of this class are to be
brought into the case at all, the specialists in the field can not
fairly be expected to contribute anything beyond an occasional _obiter
dictum_. There can be no discourteous presumption, therefore, in
accepting the general theorems of current political theory without
prejudice, and looking past the received theoretical formulations for a
view of the substantial grounds on which the governmental establishments
have grown into shape, and the circumstances, material and spiritual,
that surround their continued working and effect.

By lineal descent the governmental establishments and the powers with
which they are vested, in all the Christian nations, are derived from
the feudal establishments of the Middle Ages; which, in turn, are of a
predatory origin and of an irresponsible character.[2] In nearly all
instances, but more particularly among the nations that are accounted
characteristically modern, the existing establishments have been greatly
altered from the mediaeval pattern, by concessive adaptation to later
exigencies or by a more or less revolutionary innovation. The degree of
their modernity is (conventionally) measured, roughly, by the degree in
which they have departed from the mediaeval pattern. Wherever the
unavoidable concessions have been shrewdly made with a view to
conserving the autonomy and irresponsibility of the governmental
establishment, or the "State," and where the state of national sentiment
has been led to favor this work of conservation, as, e.g., in the case
of Austria, Spain or Prussia, there the modern outcome has been what may
be called a Dynastic State. Where, on the other hand, the run of
national sentiment has departed notably from the ancient holding ground
of loyal abnegation, and has enforced a measure of revolutionary
innovation, as in the case of France or of the English-speaking peoples,
there the modern outcome has been an (ostensibly) democratic
commonwealth of ungraded citizens. But the contrast so indicated is a
contrast of divergent variants rather than of opposites. These two
type-forms may be taken as the extreme and inclusive limits of variation
among the governmental establishments with which the modern world is

[Footnote 2: The partial and dubious exception of the Scandinavian
countries or of Switzerland need raise no question on this head.]

[Footnote 3: Cf., e.g., Eduard Meyer, _England: its political
organisation and development_. ch. ii.]

The effectual difference between these two theoretically contrasted
types of governmental establishments is doubtless grave enough, and for
many purposes it is consequential, but it is after all not of such a
nature as need greatly detain the argument at this point. The two differ
less, in effect, in that range of their functioning which comes in
question here than in their bearing on the community's fortunes apart
from questions of war and peace. In all cases there stand over in this
bearing certain primary characteristics of the ancient régime, which all
these modern establishments have in common, though not all in an equal
degree of preservation and effectiveness. They are, e.g., all vested
with certain attributes of "sovereignty." In all cases the citizen still
proves on closer attention to be in some measure a "subject" of the
State, in that he is invariably conceived to owe a "duty" to the
constituted authorities in one respect and another. All civilised
governments take cognizance of Treason, Sedition, and the like; and all
good citizens are not only content but profoundly insistent on the clear
duty of the citizen on this head. The bias of loyalty is not a matter on
which argument is tolerated. By virtue of this bias of loyalty, or
"civic duty"--which still has much of the color of feudal
allegiance--the governmental establishment is within its rights in
coercively controlling and directing the actions of the citizen, or
subject, in those respects that so lie within his duty; as also in
authoritatively turning his abilities to account for the purposes that
so lie within the governmental discretion, as, e.g., the Common Defense.

These rights and powers still remain to the governmental establishment
even at the widest democratic departure from that ancient pattern of
masterful tutelage and usufruct that marked the old-fashioned
patrimonial State,--and that still marks the better preserved ones among
its modern derivatives. And so intrinsic to these governmental
establishments are these discretionary powers, and by so unfailing a
popular bias are they still accounted a matter of course and of
axiomatic necessity, that they have invariably been retained also among
the attributes of those democratic governments that trace their origin
to a revolutionary break with the old order.

To many, all this will seem a pedantic taking note of commonplaces,--as
if it were worth while remarking that the existing governments are
vested with the indispensable attributes of government. Yet history
records an instance at variance with this axiomatic rule, a rule which
is held to be an unavoidable deliverance of common sense. And it is by
no means an altogether unique instance. It may serve to show that these
characteristic and unimpeachable powers that invest all current
governmental establishments are, after all, to be rated as the marks of
a particular species of governments, and not characteristics of the
genus of governmental establishments at large. These powers answer to an
acquired bias, not to an underlying trait of human nature; a matter of
habit, not of heredity.

Such an historical instance is the so-called Republic, or Commonwealth,
of Iceland--tenth to thirteenth centuries. Its case is looked on by
students of history as a spectacular anomaly, because it admitted none
of these primary powers of government in its constituted authorities.
And yet, for contrast with these matter-of-course preconceptions of
these students of history, it is well to note that in the deliberations
of those ancients who installed the Republic for the management of their
joint concerns, any inclusion of such powers in its competency appears
never to have been contemplated, not even to the extent of its being
rejected. This singularity--as it would be rated by modern statesmen and
students--was in no degree a new departure in state-making on the part
of the founders of the Republic. They had no knowledge of such powers,
duties and accountabilities, except as unwholesome features of a novel
and alien scheme of irresponsible oppression that was sought to be
imposed on them by Harald Fairhair, and which they incontinently made it
their chief and immediate business to evade. They also set up no joint
or collective establishment with powers for the Common Defense, nor does
it appear that such a notion had occurred to them.

In the history of its installation there is no hint that the men who set
up this Icelandic Commonwealth had any sense of the need, or even of the
feasibility, of such a coercive government as would be involved in
concerted preparation for the common defense. Subjection to personal
rule, or to official rule in any degree of attenuation, was not
comprised in their traditional experience of citizenship; and it was
necessarily out of the elements comprised in this traditional experience
that the new structure would have to be built up. The new commonwealth
was necessarily erected on the premises afforded by the received scheme
of use and wont; and this received scheme had come down out of
pre-feudal conditions, without having passed under the discipline of
that régime of coercion which the feudal system had imposed on the rest
of Europe, and so had established as an "immemorial usage" and a "second
nature" among the populations of Christendom. The resulting character of
the Icelandic Commonwealth is sufficiently striking when contrasted with
the case of the English commonwealth of the seventeenth century, or the
later French and American republics. These, all and several, came out of
a protracted experience in feudalistic state-making and State policy;
and the common defense--frequently on the offensive--with its necessary
coercive machinery and its submissive loyalty, consequently would take
the central place in the resulting civic structure.

To close the tale of the Icelandic commonwealth it may be added that
their republic of insubordinate citizens presently fell into default,
systematic misuse, under the disorders brought on by an accumulation of
wealth, and that it died of legal fiction and constitutional formalities
after some experience at the hands of able and ambitious statesmen in
contact with an alien government drawn on the coercive plan. The clay
vessel failed to make good among the iron pots, and so proved its
unfitness to survive in the world of Christian nations,--very much as
the Chinese are today at the mercy of the defensive rapacity of the

     And the mercy that we gave them
   Was to sink them in the sea,
   Down on the coast of High Barbarie.

No doubt, it will be accepted as an axiomatic certainty that the
establishment of a commonwealth after the fashion of the Icelandic
Republic, without coercive authority or provision for the common
defense, and without a sense of subordination or collective
responsibility among its citizens, would be out of all question under
existing circumstances of politics and international trade. Nor would
such a commonwealth be workable on the scale and at the pace imposed by
modern industrial and commercial conditions, even apart from
international jealousy and ambitions, provided the sacred rights of
ownership were to be maintained in something like their current shape.
And yet something of a drift of popular sentiment, and indeed something
of deliberate endeavour, setting in the direction of such a harmless and
helpless national organisation is always visible in Western Europe,
throughout modern times; particularly through the eighteenth and the
early half of the nineteenth centuries; and more particularly among the
English-speaking peoples and, with a difference, among the French. The
Dutch and the Scandinavian countries answer more doubtfully to the same

The movement in question is known to history as the Liberal,
Rationalistic, Humanitarian, or Individualistic departure. Its ideal,
when formulated, is spoken of as the System of Natural Rights; and its
goal in the way of a national establishment has been well characterised
by its critics as the Police State, or the Night-Watchman State. The
gains made in this direction, or perhaps better the inroads of this
animus in national ideals, are plainly to be set down as a shift in the
direction of peace and amity; but it is also plain that the shift of
ground so initiated by this strain of sentiment has never reached a
conclusion and never has taken effect in anything like an effectual
working arrangement. Its practical consequences have been of the nature
of abatement and defection in the pursuit of national ambitions and
dynastic enterprise, rather than a creative work of installing any
institutional furniture suitable to its own ends. It has in effect gone
no farther than what would be called an incipient correction of abuses.
The highest rise, as well as the decline, of this movement lie within
the nineteenth century.

In point of time, the decay of this amiable conceit of _laissez-faire_
in national policy coincides with the period of great advance in the
technology of transport and communication in the nineteenth century.
Perhaps, on a larger outlook, it should rather be said that the run of
national ambitions and animosities had, in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries, suffered a degree of decay through the diffusion of this
sentimental predilection for Natural Liberty, and that this decline of
the manlier aspirations was then arrested and corrected by help of these
improvements in the technological situation; which enabled a closer and
more coercive control to be exercised over larger areas, and at the same
time enabled a more massive aggregate of warlike force to strike more
effectively at a greater distance. This whole episode of the rise and
decline of _laissez-faire_ in modern history is perhaps best to be
conceived as a transient weakening of nationalism, by neglect; rather
than anything like the growth of a new and more humane ideal of national
intercourse. Such would be the appraisal to be had at the hands of those
who speak for a strenuous national life and for the arbitrament of
sportsmanlike contention in human affairs. And the latterday growth of
more militant aspirations, together with the more settled and sedulous
attention to a development of control and of formidable armaments, such
as followed on through the latter half of the nineteenth century, would
then be rated as a resumption of those older aims and ideals that had
been falling somewhat into abeyance in the slack-water days of

There is much to be said for this latter view; and, indeed, much has
been said for it, particularly by the spokesmen of imperialist politics.
This bias of Natural Liberty has been associated in history with the
English-speaking peoples, more intimately and more extensively than with
any other. Not that this amiable conceit is in any peculiar degree a
race characteristic of this group of peoples; nor even that the history
of its rise and decline runs wholly within the linguistic frontiers
indicated by this characterisation. The French and the Dutch have borne
their share, and at an earlier day Italian sentiment and speculation
lent its impulsion to the same genial drift of faith and aspiration.
But, by historical accident, its center of gravity and of diffusion has
lain with the English-speaking communities during the period when this
bias made history and left its impress on the institutional scheme of
the Western civilisation. By grace of what may, for the present purpose,
be called historical accident, it happens that the interval of history
during which the bias of Natural Liberty made visible headway was also a
period during which these English-speaking peoples, among whom its
effects are chiefly visible, were relatively secure from international
disturbance, by force of inaccessibility. Little strain was put upon
their sense of national solidarity or national prowess; so little,
indeed, that there was some danger of their patriotic animosity falling
into decay by disuse; and then they were also busy with other things.
Peaceable intercourse, it is true, was relatively easy, active and
far-reaching--eighteenth and nineteenth centuries--as compared with what
had been the case before that time; but warlike intercourse on such a
scale as would constitute a substantial menace to any large nation was
nearly out of the question, so far as regards the English-speaking
peoples. The available means of aggression, as touches the case of these
particular communities, were visibly and consciously inadequate as
compared with the means of defense. The means of internal or
intra-national control or coercion were also less well provided by the
state of the arts current at that time than the means of peaceable
intercourse. These means of transport and communication were, at that
stage of their development, less well suited for the purposes of
far-reaching warlike strategy and the exercise of surveillance and
coercion over large spaces than for the purposes of peaceable traffic.

But the continued improvement in the means of communication during the
nineteenth century presently upset that situation, and so presently
began to neutralise the geographical quarantine which had hedged about
these communities that were inclined to let well enough alone. The
increasing speed and accuracy of movement in shipping, due to the
successful introduction of steam, as well as the concomitant increasing
size of the units of equipment, all runs to this effect and presently
sets at naught the peace barriers of sea and weather. So also the
development of railways and their increasing availability for strategic
uses, together with the far-reaching coordination of movement made
possible by their means and by the telegraph; all of which is further
facilitated by the increasing mass and density of population.
Improvements in the technology of arms and armament worked to the like
effect, of setting the peace of any community on an increasingly
precarious footing, through the advantage which this new technology gave
to a ready equipment and a rapid mobilisation. The new state of the
industrial arts serviceable for warlike enterprise put an increasingly
heavy premium on readiness for offense or defense, but more particularly
it all worked increasingly to the advantage of the offensive. It put the
Fabian strategy out of date, and led to the doctrine of a defensive

Gradually it came true, with the continued advance in those industrial
arts that lend themselves to strategic uses, and it came also to be
realised, that no corner of the earth was any longer secure by mere
favor of distance and natural difficulty, from eventual aggression at
the hands of any provident and adventurous assailant,--even by help of a
modicum of defensive precaution. The fear of aggression then came
definitively to take the place of international good-will and became the
chief motive in public policy, so fast and so far as the state of the
industrial arts continued to incline the balance of advantage to the
side of the aggressor. All of which served greatly to strengthen the
hands of those statesmen who, by interest or temperament, were inclined
to imperialistic enterprise. Since that period all armament has
conventionally been accounted defensive, and all statesmen have
professed that the common defense is their chief concern. Professedly
all armament has been designed to keep the peace; so much of a shadow of
the peaceable bias there still stands over.

Throughout this latest phase of modern civilisation the avowed fear of
aggression has served as apology, possibly as provocation in fact, to
national armaments; and throughout the same period any analysis of the
situation will finally run the chain of fear back to Prussia as the
putative or actual, center of disturbance and apprehension. No doubt,
Prussian armament has taken the lead and forced the pace among the
nations of Christendom; but the Prussian policy, too, has been
diligently covered with the same decorous plea of needful provision for
the common defense and an unremitting solicitude for international
peace,--to which has been added the canny afterthought of the "defensive

It is characteristic of this era of armed peace that in all these
extensive preparations for breaking the peace any formal avowal of other
than a defensive purpose has at all times been avoided as an
insufferable breach of diplomatic decorum. It is likewise characteristic
of the same era that armaments have unremittingly been increased, beyond
anything previously known; and that all men have known all the while
that the inevitable outcome of this avowedly defensive armament must
eventually be war on an unprecedented scale and of unexampled ferocity.
It would be neither charitable nor otherwise to the point to call
attention to the reflection which this state of the case throws on the
collective sagacity or the good faith of the statesmen who have had the
management of affairs. It is not practicable to imagine how such an
outcome as the present could have been brought about by any degree of
stupidity or incapacity alone, nor is it easier to find evidence that
the utmost sagacity of the statecraft engaged has had the slightest
mitigating effect on the evil consummation to which the whole case has
been brought. It has long been a commonplace among observers of public
events that these professedly defensive warlike preparations have in
effect been preparations for breaking the peace; against which, at
least ostensibly, a remedy had been sought in the preparation of still
heavier armaments, with full realisation that more armament would
unfailingly entail a more unsparing and more disastrous war,--which sums
up the statecraft of the past half century.

Prussia, and afterwards Prussianised Germany, has come in for the
distinction of taking the lead and forcing the pace in this competitive
preparation--or "preparedness"--for war in time of peace. That such has
been the case appears in good part to be something of a fortuitous
circumstance. The season of enterprising force and fraud to which that
country owes its induction into the concert of nations is an episode of
recent history; so recent, indeed, that the German nation has not yet
had time to live it down and let it be forgotten; and the Imperial State
is consequently burdened with an irritably uneasy sense of odium and an
established reputation for unduly bad faith. From which it has followed,
among other things, that the statesmen of the Empire have lived in the
expectation of having their unforgotten derelictions brought home, and
so have, on the one hand, found themselves unable to credit any pacific
intentions professed by the neighboring Powers, while on the other hand
they have been unable to gain credence for their own voluble professions
of peace and amity. So it has come about that, by a fortuitous
conjuncture of scarcely relevant circumstances, Prussia and the Empire
have been thrown into the lead in the race of "preparedness" and have
been led assiduously to hasten a breach which they could ill afford. It
is, to say the least, extremely doubtful if the event would have been
substantially different in the absence of that special provocation to
competitive preparedness that has been injected into the situation by
this German attitude; but the rate of approach to a warlike climax has
doubtless been hastened by the anticipatory policy of preparedness which
the Prussian dynasty has seen itself constrained to pursue. Eventually,
the peculiar circumstances of its case--embarrassment at home and
distaste and discredit abroad--have induced the Imperial State to take
the line of a defensive offense, to take war by the forelock and
retaliate on presumptive enemies for prospective grievances. But in any
case, the progressive improvement in transport and communication, as
well as in the special technology of warfare, backed by greatly enhanced
facilities for indoctrinating the populace with militant
nationalism,--these ways and means, working under the hand of patriotic
statesmen must in course of the past century have brought the peace of
Europe to so precarious a footing as would have provoked a material
increase in the equipment for national defense; which would unavoidably
have led to competitive armament and an enhanced international distrust
and animosity, eventually culminating in hostilities.

       *       *       *       *       *

It may well be that the plea of defensive preparation advanced by the
statesmen, Prussian and others, in apology for competitive armaments is
a diplomatic subterfuge,--there are indications that such has commonly
been the case; but even if it commonly is visibly disingenuous, the need
of making such a plea to cover more sinister designs is itself an
evidence that an avowedly predatory enterprise no longer meets with the
requisite popular approval. Even if an exception to this rule be
admitted in the recent attitude of the German people, it is to be
recalled that the exception was allowed to stand only transiently, and
that presently the avowal of a predatory design in this case was
urgently disclaimed in the face of adversity. Even those who speak most
fluently for the necessity of war, and for its merits as a needed
discipline in the manly virtues, are constrained by the prevailing
sentiment to deprecate its necessity.

Yet it is equally evident that when once a warlike enterprise has been
entered upon so far as to commit the nation to hostilities, it will have
the cordial support of popular sentiment even if it is patently an
aggressive war. Indeed, it is quite a safe generalisation that when
hostilities have once been got fairly under way by the interested
statesmen, the patriotic sentiment of the nation may confidently be
counted on to back the enterprise irrespective of the merits of the
quarrel. But even if the national sentiment is in this way to be counted
in as an incidental matter of course, it is also to be kept in mind in
this connection that any quarrel so entered upon by any nation will
forthwith come to have the moral approval of the community. Dissenters
will of course be found, sporadically, who do not readily fall in with
the prevailing animus; but as a general proposition it will still hold
true that any such quarrel forthwith becomes a just quarrel in the eyes
of those who have so been committed to it.

A corollary following from this general theorem may be worth noting in
the same connection. Any politician who succeeds in embroiling his
country in a war, however nefarious, becomes a popular hero and is
reputed a wise and righteous statesman, at least for the time being.
Illustrative instances need perhaps not, and indeed can not gracefully,
be named; most popular heroes and reputed statesmen belong in this

Another corollary, which bears more immediately on the question in hand,
follows also from the same general proposition: Since the ethical values
involved in any given international contest are substantially of the
nature of afterthought or accessory, they may safely be left on one side
in any endeavour to understand or account for any given outbreak of
hostilities. The moral indignation of both parties to the quarrel is to
be taken for granted, as being the statesman's chief and necessary ways
and means of bringing any warlike enterprise to a head and floating it
to a creditable finish. It is a precipitate of the partisan animosity
that inspires both parties and holds them to their duty of
self-sacrifice and devastation, and at its best it will chiefly serve as
a cloak of self-righteousness to extenuate any exceptionally profligate
excursions in the conduct of hostilities.

Any warlike enterprise that is hopefully to be entered on must have the
moral sanction of the community, or of an effective majority in the
community. It consequently becomes the first concern of the warlike
statesman to put this moral force in train for the adventure on which he
is bent. And there are two main lines of motivation by which the
spiritual forces of any Christian nation may so be mobilised for warlike
adventure: (1) The preservation or furtherance of the community's
material interests, real or fancied, and (2) vindication of the national
honour. To these should perhaps be added as a third, the advancement and
perpetuation of the nation's "Culture;" that is to say, of its habitual
scheme of use and wont. It is a nice question whether, in practical
effect, the aspiration to perpetuate the national Culture is
consistently to be distinguished from the vindication of the national
honour. There is perhaps the distinction to be made that "the
perpetuation of the national Culture" lends a readier countenance to
gratuitous aggression and affords a broader cover for incidental
atrocities, since the enemies of the national Culture will necessarily
be conceived as an inferior and obstructive people, falling beneath the
rules of commonplace decorum.

Those material interests for which modern nations are in the habit of
taking to arms are commonly of a fanciful character, in that they
commonly have none but an imaginary net value to the community at large.
Such are, e.g., the national trade or the increase of the national
territory. These and the like may serve the warlike or dynastic
ambitions of the nation's masters; they may also further the interests
of office-holders, and more particularly of certain business houses or
businessmen who stand to gain some small advantage by help of the powers
in control; but it all signifies nothing more to the common man than an
increased bill of governmental expense and a probable increase in the
cost of living.

That a nation's trade should be carried in vessels owned by its citizens
or registered in its ports will doubtless have some sentimental value to
the common run of its citizens, as is shown by the fact that
disingenuous politicians always find it worth their while to appeal to
this chauvinistic predilection. But it patently is all a completely idle
question, in point of material advantage, to anyone but the owners of
the vessels; and to these owners it is also of no material consequence
under what flag their investments sail, except so far as the government
in question may afford them some preferential opportunity for
gain,--always at the cost of their fellow citizens. The like is equally
true as regards the domicile and the national allegiance of the
businessmen who buy and sell the country's imports and exports. The
common man plainly has no slightest material interest in the nationality
or the place of residence of those who conduct this traffic; though all
the facts go to say that in some puzzle-headed way the common man
commonly persuades himself that it does make some occult sort of
difference to him; so that he is commonly willing to pay something
substantial toward subsidising businessmen of his own nationality, in
the way of a protective tariff and the like.

The only material advantage to be derived from such a preferential trade
policy arises in the case of international hostilities, in which case
the home-owned vessels and merchants may on occasion count toward
military readiness; although even in that connection their value is
contingent and doubtful. But in this way they may contribute in their
degree to a readiness to break off peaceable relations with other
countries. It is only for warlike purposes, that is to say for the
dynastic ambitions of warlike statesmen, that these preferential
contrivances in economic policy have any substantial value; and even in
that connection their expediency is always doubtful. They are a source
of national jealousy, and they may on occasion become a help to military
strategy when this national jealousy eventuates in hostilities.

The run of the facts touching this matter of national trade policy is
something as follows: At the instance of businessmen who stand to gain
by it, and with the cordial support of popular sentiment, the
constituted authorities sedulously further the increase of shipping and
commerce under protection of the national power. At the same time they
spend substance and diplomatic energy in an endeavor to extend the
international market facilities open to the country's businessmen, with
a view always to a preferential advantage in favor of these
businessmen, also with the sentimental support of the common man and at
his cost. To safeguard these commercial interests, as well as
property-holdings of the nation's citizens in foreign parts, the nation
maintains naval, military, consular and diplomatic establishments, at
the common expense. The total gains derivable from these commercial and
investment interests abroad, under favorable circumstances, will never
by any chance equal the cost of the governmental apparatus installed to
further and safeguard them. These gains, such as they are, go to the
investors and businessmen engaged in these enterprises; while the costs
incident to the adventure are borne almost wholly by the common man, who
gets no gain from it all. Commonly, as in the case of a protective
tariff or a preferential navigation law, the cost to the common man is
altogether out of proportion to the gain which accrues to the
businessmen for whose benefit he carries the burden. The only other
class, besides the preferentially favored businessmen, who derive any
material benefit from this arrangement is that of the office-holders who
take care of this governmental traffic and draw something in the way of
salaries and perquisites; and whose cost is defrayed by the common man,
who remains an outsider in all but the payment of the bills. The common
man is proud and glad to bear this burden for the benefit of his
wealthier neighbors, and he does so with the singular conviction that in
some occult manner he profits by it. All this is incredible, but it is
everyday fact.

In case it should happen that these business interests of the nation's
businessmen interested in trade or investments abroad are jeopardised by
a disturbance of any kind in these foreign parts in which these
business interests lie, then it immediately becomes the urgent concern
of the national authorities to use all means at hand for maintaining the
gainful traffic of these businessmen undiminished, and the common man
pays the cost. Should such an untoward situation go to such sinister
lengths as to involve actual loss to these business interests or
otherwise give rise to a tangible grievance, it becomes an affair of the
national honour; whereupon no sense of proportion as between the
material gains at stake and the cost of remedy or retaliation need
longer be observed, since the national honour is beyond price. The
motivation in the case shifts from the ground of material interest to
the spiritual ground of the moral sentiments.

In this connection "honour" is of course to be taken in the euphemistic
sense which the term has under the _code duello_ governing "affairs of
honour." It carries no connotation of honesty, veracity, equity,
liberality, or unselfishness. This national honour is of the nature of
an intangible or immaterial asset, of course; it is a matter of
prestige, a sportsmanlike conception; but that fact must not be taken to
mean that it is of any the less substantial effect for purposes of a
_casus belli_ than the material assets of the community. Quite the
contrary: "Who steals my purse, steals trash," etc. In point of fact, it
will commonly happen that any material grievance must first be converted
into terms of this spiritual capital, before it is effectually turned to
account as a stimulus to warlike enterprise.

Even among a people with so single an eye to the main chance as the
American community it will be found true, on experiment or on review of
the historical evidence, that an offense against the national honour
commands a profounder and more unreserved resentment than any
infraction of the rights of person or property simply. This has latterly
been well shown in connection with the manoeuvres of the several
European belligerents, designed to bend American neutrality to the
service of one side or the other. Both parties have aimed to intimidate
and cajole; but while the one party has taken recourse to effrontery and
has made much and ostentatious use of threats and acts of violence
against person and property, the other has constantly observed a
deferential attitude toward American national self-esteem, even while
engaged on a persistent infraction of American commercial rights. The
first named line of diplomacy has convicted itself of miscarriage and
has lost the strategic advantage, as against the none too adroit finesse
of the other side. The statesmen of this European war power were so ill
advised as to enter on a course of tentatively cumulative intimidation,
by threats and experimentally graduated crimes against the property and
persons of American citizens, with a view to coerce American cupidity
and yet to avoid carrying these manoeuvres of terrorism far enough to
arouse an unmanageable sense of outrage. The experiment has served to
show that the breaking point in popular indignation will be reached
before the terrorism has gone far enough to raise a serious question of
pecuniary caution.

This national honour, which so is rated a necessary of life, is an
immaterial substance in a peculiarly high-wrought degree, being not only
not physically tangible but also not even capable of adequate statement
in pecuniary terms,--as would be the case with ordinary immaterial
assets. It is true, where the point of grievance out of which a question
of the national honour arises is a pecuniary discrepancy, the national
honour can not be satisfied without a pecuniary accounting; but it needs
no argument to convince all right-minded persons that even at such a
juncture the national honour that has been compromised is indefinitely
and indefinably more than what can be made to appear on an accountant's
page. It is a highly valued asset, or at least a valued possession, but
it is of a metaphysical, not of a physical nature, and it is not known
to serve any material or otherwise useful end apart from affording a
practicable grievance consequent upon its infraction.

This national honour is subject to injury in divers ways, and so may
yield a fruitful grievance even apart from offences against the person
or property of the nation's businessmen; as, e.g., through neglect or
disregard of the conventional punctilios governing diplomatic
intercourse, or by disrespect or contumelious speech touching the Flag,
or the persons of national officials, particularly of such officials as
have only a decorative use, or the costumes worn by such officials, or,
again, by failure to observe the ritual prescribed for parading the
national honour on stated occasions. When duly violated the national
honour may duly be made whole again by similarly immaterial
instrumentalities; as, e.g., by recital of an appropriate formula of
words, by formal consumption of a stated quantity of ammunition in the
way of a salute, by "dipping" an ensign, and the like,--procedure which
can, of course, have none but a magical efficacy. The national honour,
in short, moves in the realm of magic, and touches the frontiers of

Throughout this range of duties incumbent on the national defense, it
will be noted, the offenses or discrepancies to be guarded against or
corrected by recourse to arms have much of a ceremonial character.
Whatever may be the material accidents that surround any given concrete
grievance that comes up for appraisal and redress, in bringing the case
into the arena for trial by combat it is the spiritual value of the
offense that is played up and made the decisive ground of action,
particularly in so far as appeal is made to the sensibilities of the
common man, who will have to bear the cost of the adventure. And in such
a case it will commonly happen that the common man is unable, without
advice, to see that any given hostile act embodies a sacrilegious
infraction of the national honour. He will at any such conjuncture
scarcely rise to the pitch of moral indignation necessary to float a
warlike reprisal, until the expert keepers of the Code come in to
expound and certify the nature of the transgression. But when once the
lesion to the national honour has been ascertained, appraised and duly
exhibited by those persons whose place in the national economy it is to
look after all that sort of thing, the common man will be found nowise
behindhand about resenting the evil usage of which he so, by force of
interpretation, has been a victim.



Patriotism may be defined as a sense of partisan solidarity in respect
of prestige. What the expert psychologists, and perhaps the experts in
Political Science, might find it necessary to say in the course of an
exhaustive analysis and definition of this human faculty would
presumably be something more precise and more extensive. There is no
inclination here to forestall definition, but only to identify and
describe the concept that loosely underlies the colloquial use of this
term, so far as seems necessary to an inquiry into the part played by
the patriotic animus in the life of modern peoples, particularly as it
bears on questions of war and peace.

On any attempt to divest this concept of all extraneous or adventitious
elements it will be found that such a sense of an undivided joint
interest in a collective body of prestige will always remain as an
irreducible minimum. This is the substantial core about which many and
divers subsidiary interests cluster, but without which these other
clustering interests and aspirations will not, jointly or severally,
make up a working palladium of the patriotic spirit.

It is true, seen in some other light or rated in some other bearing or
connection, one and another of these other interests, ideals,
aspirations, beatitudes, may well be adjudged nobler, wiser, possibly
more urgent than the national prestige; but in the forum of patriotism
all these other necessaries of human life--the glory of God and the good
of man--rise by comparison only to the rank of subsidiaries,
auxiliaries, amenities. He is an indifferent patriot who will let "life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness" cloud the issue and get in the way
of the main business in hand.

There once were, we are told, many hardy and enterprising spirits banded
together along the Spanish Main for such like ends, just as there are in
our day an even greater number of no less single-minded spirits bent on
their own "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness," according to their
light, in the money-markets of the modern world; but for all their
admirable qualities and splendid achievements, their passionate quest of
these amenities has not entitled these Gentlemen Adventurers to claim
rank as patriots. The poet says:

   "Strike for your altars and your fires!
   Strike for the green graves of your sires!
     God and your native land!"

But, again, a temperate scrutiny of the list of desiderata so enumerated
in the poet's flight, will quickly bring out the fact that any or all of
them might drop out of the situation without prejudice to the plain call
of patriotic duty. In the last resort, when the patriotic spirit falls
back on its naked self alone, it is not reflection on the merits of
these good and beautiful things in Nature that gives him his cue and
enforces the ultimate sacrifice. Indeed it is something infinitely more
futile and infinitely more urgent,--provided only that the man is imbued
with the due modicum of patriotic devotion; as, indeed, men commonly
are. It is not faith, hope or charity that abide as the irreducible
minimum of virtue in the patriot's scheme of things; particularly not
that charity that has once been highly spoken of as being the greatest
of these. It may be that, viewed in the light of reason, as Doctor
Katzenberger would say, patriotic devotion is the most futile thing in
the world; but, for good or ill, the light of reason has nothing to do
with the case,--no more than "The flowers that bloom in the spring."

The patriotic spirit is a spirit of emulation, evidently, at the same
time that it is emulation shot through with a sense of solidarity. It
belongs under the general caption of sportsmanship, rather than of
workmanship. Now, any enterprise in sportsmanship is bent on an
invidious success, which must involve as its major purpose the defeat
and humiliation of some competitor, whatever else may be comprised in
its aim. Its aim is a differential gain, as against a rival; and the
emulative spirit that comes under the head of patriotism commonly, if
not invariably, seeks this differential advantage by injury of the rival
rather than by an increase of home-bred well-being.

Indeed, well-being is altogether out of the perspective, except as
underpinning for an edifice of national prestige. It is, at least, a
safe generalisation that the patriotic sentiment never has been known to
rise to the consummate pitch of enthusiastic abandon except when bent on
some work of concerted malevolence. Patriotism is of a contentious
complexion, and finds its full expression in no other outlet than
warlike enterprise; its highest and final appeal is for the death,
damage, discomfort and destruction of the party of the second part.

It is not that the spirit of patriotism will tolerate no other
sentiments bearing on matters of public interest, but only that it will
tolerate none that traverse the call of the national prestige. Like
other men, the patriot may be moved by many and divers other
considerations, besides that of the national prestige; and these other
considerations may be of the most genial and reasonable kind, or they
may also be as foolish and mischievous as any comprised in the range of
human infirmities. He may be a humanitarian given over to the kindliest
solicitude for the common good, or a religious devotee hedged about in
all his motions by the ever present fear of God, or taken up with
artistic, scholarly or scientific pursuits; or, again, he may be a
spendthrift devotee of profane dissipation, whether in the slums or on
the higher levels of gentility, or he may be engaged on a rapacious
quest of gain, as a businessman within the law or as a criminal without
its benefit, or he may spend his best endeavors in advancing the
interests of his class at the cost of the nation at large. All that is
understood as a matter of course and is beside the point. In so far as
he is a complete patriot these other interests will fall away from him
when the one clear call of patriotic duty comes to enlist him in the
cause of the national prestige. There is, indeed, nothing to hinder a
bad citizen being a good patriot; nor does it follow that a good
citizen--in other respects--may not be a very indifferent patriot.

Many and various other preferences and considerations may coincide with
the promptings of the patriotic spirit, and so may come in to coalesce
with and fortify its driving force; and it is usual for patriotic men to
seek support for their patriotic impulses in some reasoned purpose of
this extraneous kind that is believed to be served by following the call
of the national prestige,--it may be a presumptive increase and
diffusion of culture at large, or the spread and enhancement of a
presumptively estimable religious faith, or a prospective liberation of
mankind from servitude to obnoxious masters and outworn institutions;
or, again, it may be the increase of peace and material well-being among
men, within the national frontiers or impartially throughout the
civilised world. There are, substantially, none of the desirable things
in this world that are not so counted on by some considerable body of
patriots to be accomplished by the success of their own particular
patriotic aspirations. What they will not come to an understanding about
is the particular national ascendency with which the attainment of these
admirable ends is conceived to be bound up.

The ideals, needs and aims that so are brought into the patriotic
argument to lend a color of rationality to the patriotic aspiration in
any given case will of course be such ideals, needs and aims as are
currently accepted and felt to be authentic and self-legitimating among
the people in whose eyes the given patriotic enterprise is to find
favor. So one finds that, e.g., among the followers of Islam, devout and
resolute, the patriotic statesman (that is to say the politician who
designs to make use of the popular patriotic fervor) will in the last
resort appeal to the claims and injunctions of the faith. In a similar
way the Prussian statesman bent on dynastic enterprise will conjure in
the name of the dynasty and of culture and efficiency; or, if worse
comes to worst, an outbreak will be decently covered with a plea of
mortal peril and self-defense. Among English-speaking peoples much is to
be gained by showing that the path of patriotic glory is at the same
time the way of equal-handed justice under the rule of free
institutions; at the same time, in a fully commercialised community,
such as the English-speaking commonly are, material benefits in the way
of trade will go far to sketch in a background of decency for any
enterprise that looks to the enhancement of the national prestige.

But any promise of gain, whether in the nation's material or immaterial
assets, will not of itself carry full conviction to the commonplace
modern citizen; or even to such modern citizens as are best endowed with
a national spirit. By and large, and overlooking that appreciable
contingent of morally defective citizens that is to be counted on in any
hybrid population, it will hold true that no contemplated enterprise or
line of policy will fully commend itself to the popular sense of merit
and expediency until it is given a moral turn, so as to bring it to
square with the dictates of right and honest dealing. On no terms short
of this will it effectually coalesce with the patriotic aspiration. To
give the fullest practical effect to the patriotic fervor that animates
any modern nation, and so turn it to use in the most effective way, it
is necessary to show that the demands of equity are involved in the
case. Any cursory survey of modern historical events bearing on this
point, among the civilised peoples, will bring out the fact that no
concerted and sustained movement of the national spirit can be had
without enlisting the community's moral convictions. The common man must
be persuaded that right is on his side. "Thrice is he armed who knows
his quarrel just." The grounds of this conviction may often be tawdry
enough, but the conviction is a necessary factor in the case.

The requisite moral sanction may be had on various grounds, and, on the
whole, it is not an extremely difficult matter to arrange. In the
simplest and not infrequent case it may turn on a question of equity in
respect of trade or investment as between the citizens or subjects of
the several rival nations; the Chinese "Open Door" affords as sordid an
example as may be desired. Or it may be only an envious demand for a
share in the world's material resources--"A Place in the Sun," as a
picturesque phrase describes it; or "The Freedom of the Seas," as
another equally vague and equally invidious demand for international
equity phrases it. These demands are put forward with a color of
demanding something in the way of equitable opportunity for the
commonplace peaceable citizen; but quite plainly they have none but a
fanciful bearing on the fortunes of the common man in time of peace, and
they have a meaning to the nation only as a fighting unit; apart from
their prestige value, these things are worth fighting for only as
prospective means of fighting. The like appeal to the moral
sensibilities may, again, be made in the way of a call to self-defense,
under the rule of Live and let live; or it may also rest on the more
tenuous obligation to safeguard the national integrity of a weaker
neighbor, under a broader interpretation of the same equitable rule of
Live and let live. But in one way or another it is necessary to set up
the conviction that the promptings of patriotic ambition have the
sanction of moral necessity.

It is not that the line of national policy or patriotic enterprise so
entered upon with the support of popular sentiment need be right and
equitable as seen in dispassionate perspective from the outside, but
only that it should be capable of being made to seem right and equitable
to the biased populace whose moral convictions are requisite to its
prosecution; which is quite another matter. Nor is it that any such
patriotic enterprise is, in fact, entered on simply or mainly on these
moral grounds that so are alleged in its justification, but only that
some such colorable ground of justification or extenuation is necessary
to be alleged, and to be credited by popular belief.

It is not that the common man is not sufficiently patriotic, but only
that he is a patriot hampered with a plodding and uneasy sense of right
and honest dealing, and that one must make up one's account with this
moral bias in looking to any sustained and concerted action that draws
on the sentiment of the common man for its carrying on. But the moral
sense in the case may be somewhat easily satisfied with a modicum of
equity, in case the patriotic bias of the people is well pronounced, or
in case it is reenforced with a sufficient appeal to self-interest. In
those cases where the national fervor rises to an excited pitch, even
very attenuated considerations of right and justice, such as would under
ordinary conditions doubtfully bear scrutiny as extenuating
circumstances, may come to serve as moral authentication for any
extravagant course of action to which the craving for national prestige
may incite. The higher the pitch of patriotic fervor, the more tenuous
and more thread-bare may be the requisite moral sanction. By cumulative
excitation some very remarkable results have latterly been attained
along this line.

       *       *       *       *       *

Patriotism is evidently a spirit of particularism, of aliency and
animosity between contrasted groups of persons; it lives on invidious
comparison, and works out in mutual hindrance and jealousy between
nations. It commonly goes the length of hindering intercourse and
obstructing traffic that would patently serve the material and cultural
well-being of both nationalities; and not infrequently, indeed
normally, it eventuates in competitive damage to both.

All this holds true in the world of modern civilisation, at the same
time that the modern civilised scheme of life is, notoriously, of a
cosmopolitan character, both in its cultural requirements and in its
economic structure. Modern culture is drawn on too large a scale, is of
too complex and multiform a character, requires the cooperation of too
many and various lines of inquiry, experience and insight, to admit of
its being confined within national frontiers, except at the cost of
insufferable crippling and retardation. The science and scholarship that
is the peculiar pride of civilised Christendom is not only
international, but rather it is homogeneously cosmopolitan; so that in
this bearing there are, in effect, no national frontiers; with the
exception, of course, that in a season of patriotic intoxication, such
as the current war has induced, even the scholars and scientists will be
temporarily overset by their patriotic fervour. Indeed, with the best
efforts of obscurantism and national jealousy to the contrary, it
remains patently true that modern culture is the culture of Christendom
at large, not the culture of one and another nation in severalty within
the confines of Christendom. It is only as and in so far as they partake
in and contribute to the general run of Western civilisation at large
that the people of any one of these nations of Christendom can claim
standing as a cultured nation; and even any distinctive variation from
this general run of civilised life, such as may give a "local colour" of
ideals, tastes and conventions, will, in point of cultural value, have
to be rated as an idle detail, a species of lost motion, that serves no
better purpose than a transient estrangement.

So also, the modern state of the industrial arts is of a like
cosmopolitan character, in point of scale, specialisation, and the
necessary use of diversified resources, of climate and raw materials.
None of the countries of Europe, e.g., is competent to carry on its
industry by modern technological methods without constantly drawing on
resources outside of its national boundaries. Isolation in this
industrial respect, exclusion from the world market, would mean
intolerable loss of efficiency, more pronounced the more fully the given
country has taken over this modern state of the industrial arts.
Exclusion from the general body of outlying resources would seriously
cripple any one or all of them, and effectually deprive them of the
usufruct of this technology; and partial exclusion, by prohibitive or
protective tariffs and the like, unavoidably results in a partial
lowering of the efficiency of each, and therefore a reduction of the
current well-being among them all together.

Into this cultural and technological system of the modern world the
patriotic spirit fits like dust in the eyes and sand in the bearings.
Its net contribution to the outcome is obscuration, distrust, and
retardation at every point where it touches the fortunes of modern
mankind. Yet it is forever present in the counsels of the statesmen and
in the affections of the common man, and it never ceases to command the
regard of all men as the prime attribute of manhood and the final test
of the desirable citizen. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that no
other consideration is allowed in abatement of the claims of patriotic
loyalty, and that such loyalty will be allowed to cover any multitude of
sins. When the ancient philosopher described Man as a "political animal,"
this, in effect, was what he affirmed; and today the ancient maxim is as
good as new. The patriotic spirit is at cross purposes with modern life,
but in any test case it is found that the claims of life yield before
those of patriotism; and any voice that dissents from this order of things
is as a voice crying in the wilderness.

       *       *       *       *       *

To anyone who is inclined to moralise on the singular discrepancies of
human life this state of the case will be fruitful of much profound
speculation. The patriotic animus appears to be an enduring trait of
human nature, an ancient heritage that has stood over unshorn from time
immemorial, under the Mendelian rule of the stability of racial types.
It is archaic, not amenable to elimination or enduring suppression, and
apparently not appreciably to be mitigated by reflection, education,
experience or selective breeding.

Throughout the historical period, and presumably through an incalculable
period of the unrecorded past, patriotic manslaughter has consistently
been weeding out of each successive generation of men the most patriotic
among them; with the net result that the level of patriotic ardor today
appears to be no lower than it ever was. At the same time, with the
advance of population, of culture and of the industrial arts, patriotism
has grown increasingly disserviceable; and it is to all appearance as
ubiquitous and as powerful as ever, and is held in as high esteem.

The continued prevalence of this archaic animus among the modern
peoples, as well as the fact that it is universally placed high among
the virtues, must be taken to argue that it is, in its elements, an
hereditary trait, of the nature of an inborn impulsive propensity,
rather than a product of habituation. It is, in substance, not
something that can be learned and unlearned. From one generation to
another, the allegiance may shift from one nationality to another, but
the fact of unreflecting allegiance at large remains. And it all argues
also that no sensible change has taken effect in the hereditary
endowment of the race, at least in this respect, during the period known
by record or by secure inference,--say, since the early Neolithic in
Europe; and this in spite of the fact that there has all this while been
opportunity for radical changes in the European population by
cross-breeding, infiltration and displacement of the several racial
stocks that go to make up this population. Hence, on slight reflection
the inference has suggested itself and has gained acceptance that this
trait of human nature must presumably have been serviceable to the
peoples of the earlier time, on those levels of savagery or of the lower
barbarism on which the ancestral stocks of the European population first
made good their survival and proved their fitness to people that quarter
of the earth. Such, indeed, is the common view; so common as to pass for
matter-of-course, and therefore habitually to escape scrutiny.

Still it need not follow, as more patient reflection will show. All the
European peoples show much the same animus in this respect; whatever
their past history may have been, and whatever the difference in past
experience that might be conceived to have shaped their temperament. Any
difference in the pitch of patriotic conceit and animosity, between the
several nationalities or the several localities, is by no means wide,
even in cases where the racial composition of the population is held to
be very different, as, e.g., between the peoples on the Baltic seaboard
and those on the Mediterranean. In point of fact, in this matter of
patriotic animus there appears to be a wider divergence,
temperamentally, between individuals within any one of these communities
than between the common run in any one community and the corresponding
common run in any other. But even such divergence of individual temper
in respect of patriotism as is to be met with, first and last, is after
all surprisingly small in view of the scope for individual variation
which this European population would seem to offer.

       *       *       *       *       *

These peoples of Europe, all and several, are hybrids compounded out of
the same run of racial elements, but mixed in varying proportions. On
any parallel of latitude--taken in the climatic rather than in the
geometric sense--the racial composition of the west-European population
will be much the same, virtually identical in effect, although always of
a hybrid complexion; whereas on any parallel of longitude--also in the
climatic sense--the racial composition will vary progressively, but
always within the limits of the same general scheme of hybridisation,--the
variation being a variation in the proportion in which the several racial
elements are present in any given case. But in no case does a notable
difference in racial composition coincide with a linguistic or national
frontier. But in point of patriotic animus these European peoples are one
as good as another, whether the comparison be traced on parallels of
latitude or of longitude. And the inhabitants of each national territory,
or of each detail locality, appear also to run surprisingly uniform in
respect of their patriotic spirit.

Heredity in any such community of hybrids will, superficially, appear to
run somewhat haphazard. There will, of course, be no traceable
difference between social or economic classes, in point of heredity,--as
is visibly the case in Christendom. But variation--of an apparently
haphazard description--will be large and ubiquitous among the
individuals of such a populace. Indeed, it is a matter of course and of
easy verification that individual variation within such a hybrid stock
will greatly exceed the extreme differences that may subsist between the
several racial types that have gone to produce the hybrid stock. Such is
the case of the European peoples. The inhabitants vary greatly among
themselves, both in physical and in mental traits, as would be expected;
and the variation between individuals in point of patriotic animus
should accordingly also be expected to be extremely wide,--should, in
effect, greatly exceed the difference, if any, in this respect between
the several racial elements engaged in the European population. Some
appreciable difference in this respect there appears to be, between
individuals; but individual divergence from the normal or average
appears always to be of a sporadic sort,--it does not run on class
lines, whether of occupation, status or property, nor does it run at all
consistently from parent to child. When all is told the argument returns
to the safe ground that these variations in point of patriotic animus
are sporadic and inconsequential, and do not touch the general
proposition that, one with another, the inhabitants of Europe and the
European Colonies are sufficiently patriotic, and that the average
endowment in this respect runs with consistent uniformity across all
differences of time, place and circumstance. It would, in fact, be
extremely hazardous to affirm that there is a sensible difference in the
ordinary pitch of patriotic sentiment as between any two widely diverse
samples of these hybrid populations, in spite of the fact that the
diversity in visible physical traits may be quite pronounced.

In short, the conclusion seems safe, on the whole, that in this respect
the several racial stocks that have gone to produce the existing
populations of Christendom have all been endowed about as richly one as
another. Patriotism appears to be a ubiquitous trait, at least among the
races and peoples of Christendom. From which it should follow, that
since there is, and has from the beginning been, no differential
advantage favoring one racial stock or one fashion of hybrid as against
another, in this matter of patriotic animus, there should also be no
ground of selective survival or selective elimination on this account as
between these several races and peoples. So that the undisturbed and
undiminished prevalence of this trait among the European population,
early or late, argues nothing as to its net serviceability or
disserviceability under any of the varying conditions of culture and
technology to which these Europeans have been subjected, first and last;
except that it has, in any case, not proved so disserviceable under the
conditions prevailing hitherto as to result in the extinction of these
Europeans, one with another.[4]

[Footnote 4: For a more extended discussion of this matter, cf.
_Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution_, ch. i. and
Supplementary Notes i. and ii.]

The patriotic frame of mind has been spoken of above as if it were an
hereditary trait, something after the fashion of a Mendelian unit
character. Doubtless this is not a competent account of the matter; but
the present argument scarcely needs a closer analysis. Still, in a
measure to quiet title and avoid annoyance, it may be noted that this
patriotic animus is of the nature of a "frame of mind" rather than a
Mendelian unit character; that it so involves a concatenation of
several impulsive propensities (presumably hereditary); and that both
the concatenation and the special mode and amplitude of the response are
a product of habituation, very largely of the nature of conventionalised
use and wont. What is said above, therefore, goes little farther than
saying that the underlying aptitudes requisite to this patriotic frame
of mind are heritable, and that use and wont as bearing on this point
run with sufficient uniformity to bring a passably uniform result. It
may be added that in this concatenation spoken of there seems to be
comprised, ordinarily, that sentimental attachment to habitat and custom
that is called love of home, or in its accentuated expression,
home-sickness; so also an invidious self-complacency, coupled with a
gregarious bent which gives the invidious comparison a group content;
and further, commonly if not invariably, a bent of abnegation,
self-abasement, subservience, or whatever it may best be called, that
inclines the bearer unreasoningly and unquestioningly to accept and
serve a prescriptive ideal given by custom or by customary authority.

       *       *       *       *       *

The conclusion would therefore provisionally run to the effect that
under modern conditions the patriotic animus is wholly a disserviceable
trait in the spiritual endowment of these peoples,--in so far as bears
on the material conditions of life unequivocally, and as regards the
cultural interests more at large presumptively; whereas there is no
assured ground for a discriminating opinion as touches its possible
utility or disutility at any remote period in the past. There is, of
course, always room for the conservative estimate that, as the
possession of this spiritual trait has not hitherto resulted in the
extinction of the race, so it may also in the calculable future
continue to bring no more grievous results than a degree of mischief,
without even stopping or greatly retarding the increase of population.

All this, of course, is intended to apply only so far as it goes. It
must not be taken as intending to say any least word in derogation of
those high qualities that inspire the patriotic citizen. In its
economic, biological and cultural incidence patriotism appears to be an
untoward trait of human nature; which has, of course, nothing to say as
to its moral excellence, its aesthetic value, or its indispensability to
a worthy life. No doubt, it is in all these respects deserving of all
the esteem and encomiums that fall to its share. Indeed, its well-known
moral and aesthetic value, as well as the reprobation that is visited on
any shortcomings in this respect, signify, for the purposes of the
present argument, nothing more than that the patriotic animus meets the
unqualified approval of men because they are, all and several, infected
with it. It is evidence of the ubiquitous, intimate and ineradicable
presence of this quality in human nature; all the more since it
continues untiringly to be held in the highest esteem in spite of the
fact that a modicum of reflection should make its disserviceability
plain to the meanest understanding. No higher praise of moral
excellence, and no profounder test of loyalty, can be asked than this
current unreserved commendation of a virtue that makes invariably for
damage and discomfort. The virtuous impulse must be deep-seated and
indefeasible that drives men incontinently to do good that evil may come
of it. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

In the light--and it is a dim and wavering light--of the archaeological
evidence, helped out by circumstantial evidence from such parallel or
analogous instances as are afforded by existing communities on a
comparable level of culture, one may venture more or less confidently on
a reconstruction of the manner of life among the early Europeans, of
early neolithic times and later.[5] And so one may form some conception
of the part played by this patriotic animus among those beginnings,
when, if not the race, at least its institutions were young; and when
the native temperament of these peoples was tried out and found fit to
survive through the age-long and slow-moving eras of stone and bronze.
In this connection, it appears safe to assume that since early neolithic
times no sensible change has taken effect in the racial complexion of
the European peoples; and therefore no sensible change in their
spiritual and mental make-up. So that in respect of the spiritual
elements that go to make up this patriotic animus the Europeans of today
will be substantially identical with the Europeans of that early time.
The like is true as regards those other traits of temperament that come
in question here, as being included among the stable characteristics
that still condition the life of these peoples under the altered
circumstances of the modern age.

[Footnote 5: Cf. _Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution_, as

The difference between prehistoric Europe and the present state of these
peoples resolves itself on analysis into a difference in the state of
the industrial arts, together with such institutional changes as have
come on in the course of working out this advance in the industrial
arts. The habits and the exigencies of life among these peoples have
greatly changed; whereas in temperament and capacities the peoples that
now live by and under the rule of this altered state of the industrial
arts are the same as they were. It is to be noted, therefore, that the
fact of their having successfully come through the long ages of
prehistory by the use of this mental and spiritual endowment can not be
taken to argue that these peoples are thereby fit to meet the exigencies
of this later and gravely altered age; nor will it do to assume that
because these peoples have themselves worked out this modern culture and
its technology, therefore it must all be suitable for their use and
conducive to their biological success. The single object lesson of the
modern urban community, with its endless requirements in the way of
sanitation, police, compulsory education, charities,--all this and many
other discrepancies in modern life should enjoin caution on anyone who
is inclined off-hand to hold that because modern men have created these
conditions, therefore these must be the most suitable conditions of life
for modern mankind.

In the beginning, that is to say in the European beginning, men lived in
small and close groups. Control was close within the group, and the
necessity of subordinating individual gains and preferences to the
common good was enjoined on the group by the exigencies of the case, on
pain of common extinction. The situation and usages of existing Eskimo
villages may serve to illustrate and enforce the argument on this head.
The solidarity of sentiment necessary to support the requisite
solidarity of action in the case would be a prime condition of survival
in any racial stock exposed to the conditions which surrounded these
early Europeans. This needful sense of solidarity would touch not simply
or most imperatively the joint prestige of the group, but rather the
joint material interests; and would enforce a spirit of mutual support
and dependence. Which would be rather helped than hindered by a jealous
attitude of joint prestige; so long as no divergent interests of members
within the group were in a position to turn this state of the common
sentiment to their own particular advantage.

This state of the case will have lasted for a relatively long time; long
enough to have tested the fitness of these peoples for that manner of
life,--longer, no doubt, than the interval that has elapsed since
history began. Special interests--e.g., personal and family
interests--will have been present and active in these days of the
beginning; but so long as the group at large was small enough to admit
of a close neighborly contact throughout its extent and throughout the
workday routine of life, at the same time that it was too small and
feeble to allow any appreciable dissipation of its joint energies in
such pursuit of selfish gains as would run counter to the paramount
business of the common livelihood, so long the sense of a common
livelihood and a joint fortune would continue to hold any particularist
ambitions effectually in check. Had it fallen out otherwise, the story
of the group in question would have been ended, and another and more
suitably endowed type of men would have taken the place vacated by its

With a sensible advance in the industrial arts the scale of operations
would grow larger, and the group more numerous and extensive. The margin
between production and subsistence would also widen and admit additional
scope for individual ambitions and personal gains. And as this process
of growth and increasing productive efficiency went on, the control
exercised by neighborly surveillance, through the sentiment of the
common good as against the self-seeking pursuits of individuals and
sub-groups, would gradually slacken; until by progressive disuse it
would fall into a degree of abeyance; to be called into exercise and
incite to concerted action only in the face of unusual exigencies
touching the common fortunes of the group at large, or on persuasion
that the collective interest of the group at large was placed in
jeopardy in the molestation of one and another of its members from
without. The group's prestige at least would be felt to suffer in the
defeat or discourtesy suffered by any of its members at the hands of any
alien; and, under compulsion of the ancient sense of group solidarity,
whatever material hardship or material gain might so fall to individual
members in their dealings with the alien would pass easy scrutiny as
material detriment or gain inuring to the group at large,--in the
apprehension of men whose sense of community interest is inflamed with a
jealous disposition to safeguard their joint prestige.

With continued advance in the industrial arts the circumstances
conditioning life will undergo a progressive change of such a character
that the joint interest of the group at large, in the material respect,
will progressively be less closely bound up with the material fortunes
of any particular member or members; until in the course of time and
change there will, in effect, in ordinary times be no general and
inclusive community of material interest binding the members together in
a common fortune and working for a common livelihood. As the rights of
ownership begin to take effect, so that the ownership of property and
the pursuit of a livelihood under the rules of ownership come to govern
men's economic relations, these material concerns will cease to be a
matter of undivided joint interest, and will fall into the shape of
interest in severalty. So soon and so far as this institution of
ownership or property takes effect, men's material interests cease to
run on lines of group solidarity. Solely, or almost solely, in the
exceptional case of defense against a predatory incursion from outside,
do the members of the group have a common interest of a material kind.
Progressively as the state of the arts advances, the industrial
organisation advances to a larger scale and a more extensive
specialisation, with increasing divergence among individual interests
and individual fortunes; and intercourse over larger distances grows
easier and makes a larger grouping practicable; which enables a larger,
prompter and more effective mobilisation of forces with which to defend
or assert any joint claims. But by the same move it also follows, or at
least it appears uniformly to have followed in the European case, that
the accumulation of property and the rights of ownership have
progressively come into the first place among the material interests of
these peoples; while anything like a community of usufruct has
imperceptibly fallen into the background, and has presently gone
virtually into abeyance, except as an eventual recourse _in extremis_
for the common defense. Property rights have displaced community of
usufruct; and invidious distinctions as between persons, sub-groups, and
classes have displaced community of prestige in the workday routine of
these peoples; and the distinctions between contrasted persons or
classes have come to rest, in an ever increasing degree, directly or
indirectly, on invidious comparisons in respect of pecuniary standing
rather than on personal affiliation with the group at large.

So, with the advance of the industrial arts a differentiation of a new
character sets in and presently grows progressively more pronounced and
more effectual, giving rise to a regrouping on lines that run regardless
of those frontiers that divide one community from another for purposes
of patriotic emulation. So far as it comes chiefly and typically in
question here, this regrouping takes place on two distinct but somewhat
related principles of contrast: that of wealth and poverty, and that of
master and servant, or authority and obedience. The material interests
of the population in this way come to be divided between the group of
those who own and those who command, on the one hand, and of those who
work and who obey, on the other hand.

Neither of these two contrasted categories of persons have any direct
material interest in the maintenance of the patriotic community; or at
any rate no such interest as should reasonably induce them to spend
their own time and substance in support of the political (patriotic)
organisation within which they live. It is only in so far as one or
another of these interests looks for a more than proportionate share in
any prospective gain from the joint enterprise, that the group or class
in question can reasonably be counted on to bear its share in the joint
venture. And it is only when and in so far as their particular material
or self-regarding interest is reenforced by patriotic conceit, that they
can be counted on to spend themselves in furtherance of the patriotic
enterprise, without the assurance of a more than proportionate share in
any gains that may be held in prospect from any such joint enterprise;
and it is only in its patriotic bearing that the political community
continues to be a joint venture. That is to say, in more generalised
terms, through the development of the rights of property, and of such
like prescriptive claims of privilege and prerogative, it has come
about that other community interests have fallen away, until the
collective prestige remains as virtually the sole community interest
which can hold the sentiment of the group in a bond of solidarity.

To one or another of these several interested groups or classes within
the community the political organisation may work a benefit; but only to
one or another, not to each and several, jointly or collectively. Since
by no chance will the benefit derived from such joint enterprise on the
part of the community at large equal the joint cost; in as much as all
joint enterprise of the kind that looks to material advantage works by
one or another method of inhibition and takes effect, if at all, by
lowering the aggregate efficiency of the several countries concerned,
with a view to the differential gain of one at the cost of another. So,
e.g., a protective tariff is plainly a conspiracy in restraint of trade,
with a view to benefit the conspirators by hindering their competitors.
The aggregate cost to the community at large of such an enterprise in
retardation is always more than the gains it brings to those who may
benefit by it.

In so speaking of the uses to which the common man's patriotic devotion
may be turned, there is no intention to underrate its intrinsic value as
a genial and generous trait of human nature. Doubtless it is best and
chiefly to be appreciated as a spiritual quality that beautifies and
ennobles its bearer, and that endows him with the full stature of
manhood, quite irrespective of ulterior considerations. So it is to be
conceded without argument that this patriotic animus is a highly
meritorious frame of mind, and that it has an aesthetic value scarcely
to be overstated in the farthest stretch of poetic license. But the
question of its serviceability to the modern community, in any other
than this decorative respect, and particularly its serviceability to the
current needs of the common man in such a modern community, is not
touched by such an admission; nor does this recognition of its generous
spiritual nature afford any help toward answering a further question as
to how and with what effect this animus may be turned to account by
anyone who is in position to make use of the forces which it sets free.

Among Christian nations there still is, on the whole, a decided
predilection for that ancient and authentic line of national repute that
springs from warlike prowess. This repute for warlike prowess is what
first comes to mind among civilised peoples when speaking of national
greatness. And among those who have best preserved this warlike ideal of
worth, the patriotic ambition is likely to converge on the prestige of
their sovereign; so that it takes the concrete form of personal loyalty
to a master, and so combines or coalesces with a servile habit of mind.

But peace hath its victories no less renowned than war, it is said; and
peaceable folk of a patriotic temper have learned to make the best of
their meager case and have found self-complacency in these victories of
the peaceable order. So it may broadly be affirmed that all nations look
with complacency on their own peculiar Culture--the organised complex of
habits of thought and of conduct by which their own routine of life is
regulated--as being in some way worthier than the corresponding habits
of their neighbors. The case of the German Culture has latterly come
under a strong light in this way. But while it may be that no other
nation has been so naive as to make a concerted profession of faith to
the effect that their own particular way of life is altogether
commendable and is the only fashion of civilisation that is fit to
survive; yet it will scarcely be an extravagance to assert that in their
own secret mind these others, too, are blest with much the same
consciousness of unique worth. Conscious virtue of this kind is a good
and sufficient ground for patriotic inflation, so far as it goes. It
commonly does not go beyond a defensive attitude, however. Now and
again, as in the latterday German animation on this head, these
phenomena of national use and wont may come to command such a degree of
popular admiration as will incite to an aggressive or proselyting

In all this there is nothing of a self-seeking or covetous kind. The
common man who so lends himself to the aggressive enhancement of the
national Culture and its prestige has nothing of a material kind to gain
from the increase of renown that so comes to his sovereign, his
language, his countrymen's art or science, his dietary, or his God.
There are no sordid motives in all this. These spiritual assets of
self-complacency are, indeed, to be rated as grounds of high-minded
patriotism without afterthought. These aspirations and enthusiasms would
perhaps be rated as Quixotic by men whose horizon is bounded by the main
chance; but they make up that substance of things hoped for that
inflates those headlong patriotic animosities that stir universal

So also, men find an invidious distinction in such matters of physical
magnitude as their country's area, the number of its population, the
size of its cities, the extent of its natural resources, its aggregate
wealth and its wealth per capita, its merchant marine and its foreign
trade. As a ground of invidious complacency these phenomena of physical
magnitude and pecuniary traffic are no better and no worse than such
immaterial assets as the majesty of the sovereign or the perfections of
the language. They are matters in which the common man is concerned
only by the accident of domicile, and his only connection with these
things is an imaginary joint interest in their impressiveness. To these
things he has contributed substantially nothing, and from them he
derives no other merit or advantage than a patriotic inflation. He takes
pride in these things in an invidious way, and there is no good reason
why he should not; just as there is also no good reason why he should,
apart from the fact that the common man is so constituted that he,
mysteriously, takes pride in these things that concern him not.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the several groups or classes of persons within the political
frontiers, whose particular interests run systematically at cross
purposes with those of the community at large under modern conditions,
the class of masters, rulers, authorities,--or whatever term may seem
most suitable to designate that category of persons whose characteristic
occupation is to give orders and command deference,--of the several
orders and conditions of men these are, in point of substantial motive
and interest, most patently at variance with all the rest, or with the
fortunes of the common man. The class will include civil and military
authorities and whatever nobility there is of a prescriptive and
privileged kind. The substantial interest of these classes in the common
welfare is of the same kind as the interest which a parasite has in the
well-being of his host; a sufficiently substantial interest, no doubt,
but there is in this relation nothing like a community of interest. Any
gain on the part of the community at large will materially serve the
needs of this group of personages, only in so far as it may afford them
a larger volume or a wider scope for what has in latterday colloquial
phrase been called "graft." These personages are, of course, not to be
spoken of with disrespect or with the slightest inflection of
discourtesy. They are all honorable men. Indeed they afford the
conventional pattern of human dignity and meritorious achievement, and
the "Fountain of Honor" is found among them. The point of the argument
is only that their material or other self-regarding interests are of
such a nature as to be furthered by the material wealth of the
community, and more particularly by the increasing volume of the body
politic; but only with the proviso that this material wealth and this
increment of power must accrue without anything like a corresponding
cost to this class. At the same time, since this class of the superiors
is in some degree a specialised organ of prestige, so that their value,
and therefore their tenure, both in the eyes of the community and in
their own eyes, is in the main a "prestige value" and a tenure by
prestige; and since the prestige that invests their persons is a shadow
cast by the putative worth of the community at large, it follows that
their particular interest in the joint prestige is peculiarly alert and
insistent. But it follows also that these personages cannot of their own
substance or of their own motion contribute to this collective prestige
in the same proportion in which it is necessary for them to draw on it
in support of their own prestige value. It would, in other words, be a
patent absurdity to call on any of the current ruling classes,
dynasties, nobility, military and diplomatic corps, in any of the
nations of Europe, e.g., to preserve their current dignity and command
the deference that is currently accorded them, by recourse to their own
powers and expenditure of their own substance, without the usufruct of
the commonalty whose organ of dignity they are. The current prestige
value which they enjoy is beyond their unaided powers to create or
maintain, without the usufruct of the community. Such an enterprise does
not lie within the premises of the case.

In this bearing, therefore, the first concern with which these
personages are necessarily occupied is the procurement and retention of
a suitable usufruct in the material resources and good-will of a
sufficiently large and industrious population. The requisite good-will
in these premises is called loyalty, and its retention by the line of
personages that so trade on prestige rests on a superinduced association
of ideas, whereby the national honour comes to be confounded in popular
apprehension with the prestige of these personages who have the keeping
of it. But the potentates and the establishments, civil and military, on
whom this prestige value rests will unavoidably come into invidious
comparison with others of their kind; and, as invariably happens in
matters of invidious comparison, the emulative needs of all the
competitors for prestige are "indefinitely extensible," as the phrase of
the economists has it. Each and several of them incontinently needs a
further increment of prestige, and therefore also a further increment of
the material assets in men and resources that are needful as ways and
means to assert and augment the national honor.

It is true, the notion that their prestige value is in any degree
conditioned by the material circumstances and the popular imagination of
the underlying nation is distasteful to many of these vicars of the
national honour. They will incline rather to the persuasion that this
prestige value is a distinctive attribute, of a unique order, intrinsic
to their own persons. But, plainly, any such detached line of magnates,
notables, kings and mandarins, resting their notability on nothing more
substantial than a slightly sub-normal intelligence and a moderately
scrofulous habit of body could not long continue to command that eager
deference that is accounted their due. Such a picture of majesty would
be sadly out of drawing. There is little conviction and no great dignity
to be drawn from the unaided pronouncement:

   "We're here because,
   We're here because,
   We're here because
   We're here,"

even when the doggerel is duly given the rhetorical benefit of a "Tenure
by the Grace of God." The personages that carry this dignity require the
backing of a determined and patriotic populace in support of their
prestige value, and they commonly have no great difficulty in procuring
it. And their prestige value is, in effect, proportioned to the volume
of material resources and patriotic credulity that can be drawn on for
its assertion. It is true, their draught on the requisite sentimental
and pecuniary support is fortified with large claims of serviceability
to the common good, and these claims are somewhat easily, indeed
eagerly, conceded and acted upon; although the alleged benefit to the
common good will scarcely be visible except in the light of glory shed
by the blazing torch of patriotism.

In so far as it is of a material nature the benefit which the
constituted authorities so engage to contribute to the common good, or
in other words to confer on the common man, falls under two heads:
defense against aggression from without; and promotion of the
community's material gain. It is to be presumed that the constituted
authorities commonly believe more or less implicitly in their own
professions in so professing to serve the needs of the common man in
these respects. The common defense is a sufficiently grave matter, and
doubtless it claims the best affections and endeavour of the citizen;
but it is not a matter that should claim much attention at this point in
the argument, as bearing on the service rendered the common man by the
constituted authorities, taken one with another. Any given governmental
establishment at home is useful in this respect only as against another
governmental establishment elsewhere. So that on the slightest
examination it resolves itself into a matter of competitive patriotic
enterprise, as between the patriotic aspirations of different
nationalities led by different governmental establishments; and the
service so rendered by the constituted authorities in the aggregate
takes on the character of a remedy for evils of their own creation. It
is invariably a defense against the concerted aggressions of other
patriots. Taken in the large, the common defense of any given nation
becomes a detail of the competitive struggle between rival nationalities
animated with a common spirit of patriotic enterprise and led by
authorities constituted for this competitive purpose.

Except on a broad basis of patriotic devotion, and except under the
direction of an ambitious governmental establishment, no serious
international aggression is to be had. The common defense, therefore, is
to be taken as a remedy for evils arising out of the working of the
patriotic spirit that animates mankind, as brought to bear under a
discretionary authority; and in any balance to be struck between the
utility and disutility of this patriotic spirit and of its service in
the hands of the constituted authorities, it will have to be cancelled
out as being at the best a mitigation of some of the disorders brought
on by the presence of national governments resting on patriotic loyalty
at large.

But this common defense is by no means a vacant rubric in any attempted
account of modern national enterprise. It is the commonplace and
conclusive plea of the dynastic statesmen and the aspiring warlords, and
it is the usual blind behind which events are put in train for eventual
hostilities. Preparation for the common defense also appears unfailingly
to eventuate in hostilities. With more or less _bona fides_ the
statesmen and warriors plead the cause of the common defense, and with
patriotic alacrity the common man lends himself to the enterprise aimed
at under that cover. In proportion as the resulting equipment for
defense grows great and becomes formidable, the range of items which a
patriotically biased nation are ready to include among the claims to be
defended grows incontinently larger, until by the overlapping of
defensive claims between rival nationalities the distinction between
defense and aggression disappears, except in the biased fancy of the
rival patriots.

Of course, no reflections are called for here on the current American
campaign of "Preparedness." Except for the degree of hysteria it appears
to differ in no substantial respect from the analogous course of
auto-intoxication among the nationalities of Europe, which came to a
head in the current European situation. It should conclusively serve the
turn for any self-possessed observer to call to mind that all the
civilised nations of warring Europe are, each and several, convinced
that they are fighting a defensive war.

The aspiration of all right-minded citizens is presumed to be "Peace
with Honour." So that first, as well as last, among those national
interests that are to be defended, and in the service of which the
substance and affections of the common man are enlisted under the aegis
of the national prowess, comes the national prestige, as a matter of
course. And the constituted authorities are doubtless sincere and
single-minded in their endeavors to advance and defend the national
honour, particularly those constituted authorities that hold their place
of authority on grounds of fealty; since the national prestige in such a
case coalesces with the prestige of the nation's ruler in much the same
degree in which the national sovereignty devolves upon the person of its
ruler. In so defending or advancing the national prestige, such a
dynastic or autocratic overlord, together with the other privileged
elements assisting and dependent on him, is occupied with his own
interest; his own tenure is a tenure by prestige, and the security of
his tenure lies in the continued maintenance of that popular fancy that
invests his person with this national prestige and so constitutes him
and his retinue of notables and personages its keeper.

But it is uniformly insisted by the statesmen--potentates, notables,
kings and mandarins--that this aegis of the national prowess in their
hands covers also many interests of a more substantial and more tangible
kind. These other, more tangible interests of the community have also a
value of a direct and personal sort to the dynasty and its hierarchy of
privileged subalterns, in that it is only by use of the material forces
of the nation that the dynastic prestige can be advanced and maintained.
The interest of such constituted authorities in the material welfare of
the nation is consequently grave and insistent; but it is evidently an
interest of a special kind and is subject to strict and peculiar
limitations. The common good, in the material respect, interests the
dynastic statesman only as a means to dynastic ends; that is to say,
only in so far as it can be turned to account in the achievement of
dynastic aims. These aims are "The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory," as
the sacred formula phrases the same conception in another bearing.

That is to say, the material welfare of the nation is a means to the
unfolding of the dynastic power; provided always that this material
welfare is not allowed to run into such ramifications as will make the
commonwealth an unwieldy instrument in the hands of the dynastic
statesmen. National welfare is to the purpose only in so far as it
conduces to political success, which is always a question of warlike
success in the last resort. The limitation which this consideration
imposes on the government's economic policy are such as will make the
nation a self-sufficient or self-balanced economic commonwealth. It must
be a self-balanced commonwealth at least in such measure as will make it
self-sustaining in case of need, in all those matters that bear directly
on warlike efficiency.

Of course, no community can become fully self-sustaining under modern
conditions, by use of the modern state of the industrial arts, except by
recourse to such drastic measures of repression as would reduce its
total efficiency in an altogether intolerable degree. This will hold
true even of those nations who, like Russia or the United States, are
possessed of extremely extensive territories and extremely large and
varied resources; but it applies with greatly accentuated force to
smaller and more scantily furnished territorial units. Peoples living
under modern conditions and by use of the modern state of the industrial
arts necessarily draw on all quarters of the habitable globe for
materials and products which they can procure to the best advantage
from outside their own special field so long as they are allowed access
to these outlying sources of supply; and any arbitrary limitation on
this freedom of traffic makes the conditions of life that much harder,
and lowers the aggregate efficiency of the community by that much.
National self-sufficiency is to be achieved only by a degree of economic
isolation; and such a policy of economic isolation involves a degree of
impoverishment and lowered efficiency, but it will also leave the nation
readier for warlike enterprise on such a scale as its reduced efficiency
will compass.

So that the best that can be accomplished along this line by the
dynastic statesmen is a shrewd compromise, embodying such a degree of
isolation and inhibition as will leave the country passably
self-sufficient in case of need, without lowering the national
efficiency to such a point as to cripple its productive forces beyond
what will be offset by the greater warlike readiness that is so
attained. The point to which such a policy of isolation and sufficiency
will necessarily be directed is that measure of inhibition that will
yield the most facile and effective ways and means of warlike
enterprise, the largest product of warlike effectiveness to be had on
multiplying the nation's net efficiency into its readiness to take the

Into any consideration of this tactical problem a certain subsidiary
factor enters, in that the patriotic temper of the nation is always more
or less affected by such an economic policy. The greater the degree of
effectual isolation and discrimination embodied in the national policy,
the greater will commonly be its effect on popular sentiment in the way
of national animosity and spiritual self-sufficiency; which may be an
asset of great value for the purposes of warlike enterprise.

Plainly, any dynastic statesman who should undertake to further the
common welfare regardless of its serviceability for warlike enterprise
would be defeating his own purpose. He would, in effect, go near to
living up to his habitual professions touching international peace,
instead of professing to live up to them, as the exigencies of his
national enterprise now conventionally require him to do. In effect, he
would be _functus officio_.

There are two great administrative instruments available for this work
of repression and national self-sufficiency at the hands of the
imperialistic statesman: the protective tariff, and commercial
subvention. The two are not consistently to be distinguished from one
another at all points, and each runs out into a multifarious convolution
of variegated details; but the principles involved are, after all,
fairly neat and consistent. The former is of the nature of a conspiracy
in restraint of trade by repression; the latter, a conspiracy to the
like effect by subsidised monopoly; both alike act to check the pursuit
of industry in given lines by artificially increasing the cost of
production for given individuals or classes of producers, and both alike
impose a more than proportionate cost on the community within which they
take effect. Incidentally, both of these methods of inhibition bring a
degree, though a less degree, of hardship, to the rest of the industrial

All this is matter of course to all economic students, and it should,
reasonably, be plain to all intelligent persons; but its voluble denial
by interested parties, as well as the easy credulity with which
patriotic citizens allow themselves to accept the sophistries offered in
defense of these measures of inhibition, has made it seem worth while
here to recall these commonplaces of economic science.

The ground of this easy credulity is not so much infirmity of intellect
as it is an exuberance of sentiment, although it may reasonably be
believed that its more pronounced manifestations--as, e.g., the high
protective tariff--can be had only by force of a formidable cooperation
of the two. The patriotic animus is an invidious sentiment of joint
prestige; and it needs no argument or documentation to bear out the
affirmation that its bias will lend a color of merit and expediency to
any proposed measure that can, however speciously, promise an increase
of national power or prestige. So that when the statesmen propose a
policy of inhibition and mitigated isolation on the professed ground
that such a policy will strengthen the nation economically by making it
economically self-supporting, as well as ready for any warlike
adventure, the patriotic citizen views the proposed measures through the
rosy haze of national aspirations and lets the will to believe persuade
him that whatever conduces to a formidable national battle-front will
also contribute to the common good. At the same time all these national
conspiracies in restraint of trade are claimed, with more or less
reason, to inflict more or less harm on rival nationalities with whom
economic relations are curtailed; and patriotism being an invidious
sentiment, the patriotic citizen finds comfort in the promise of
mischief to these others, and is all the more prone to find all kinds of
merit in proposals that look to such an invidious outcome. In any
community imbued with an alert patriotic spirit, the fact that any given
circumstance, occurrence or transaction can be turned to account as a
means of invidious distinction or invidious discrimination against
humanity beyond the national pale, will always go far to procure
acceptance of it as being also an article of substantial profit to the
community at large, even though the slightest unbiased scrutiny would
find it of no ascertainable use in any other bearing than that of
invidious mischief. And whatever will bear interpretation as an
increment of the nation's power or prowess, in comparison with rival
nationalities, will always be securely counted as an item of joint
credit, and will be made to serve the collective conceit as an invidious
distinction; and patriotic credulity will find it meritorious also in
other respects.

So, e.g., it is past conception that such a patent imbecility as a
protective tariff should enlist the support of any ordinarily
intelligent community except by the help of some such chauvinistic
sophistry. So also, the various royal establishments of Europe, e.g.,
afford an extreme but therefore all the more convincing illustration of
the same logical fallacy. These establishments and personages are great
and authentic repositories of national prestige, and they are therefore
unreflectingly presumed by their several aggregations of subjects to be
of some substantial use also in some other bearing; but it would be a
highly diverting exhibition of credulity for any outsider to fall into
that amazing misconception. But the like is manifestly true of
commercial turnover and export trade among modern peoples; although on
this head the infatuation is so ingrained and dogmatic that even a rank
outsider is expected to accept the fallacy without reflection, on pain
of being rated as unsafe or unsound. Such matters again, as the
dimensions of the national territory, or the number of the population
and the magnitude of the national resources, are still and have perhaps
always been material for patriotic exultation, and are fatuously
believed to have some great significance for the material fortunes of
the common man; although it should be plain on slight reflection that
under modern conditions of ownership, these things, one and all, are of
no consequence to the common man except as articles of prestige to
stimulate his civic pride. The only conjuncture under which these and
the like national holdings can come to have a meaning as joint or
collective assets would arise in case of a warlike adventure carried to
such extremities as would summarily cancel vested rights of ownership
and turn them to warlike uses. While the rights of ownership hold, the
common man, who does not own these things, draws no profit from their
inclusion in the national domain; indeed, he is at some cost to
guarantee their safe tenure by their rightful owners.

In so pursuing their quest of the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, by
use of the national resources and by sanction of the national spirit,
the constituted authorities also assume the guardianship of sundry
material interests that are presumed to touch the common good; such as
security of person and property in dealings with aliens, whether at home
or abroad; security of investment and trade, and vindication of their
citizens before the law in foreign parts; and, chiefly and ubiquitously,
furtherance and extension of the national trade into foreign parts,
particularly of the export trade, on terms advantageous to the traders
of the nation.

The last named of these advantages is the one on which stress is apt to
fall in the argument of all those who advocate an unfolding of national
power, as being a matter of vital material benefit to the common man.
The other items indicated above, it is plain on the least reflection,
are matters of slight if any material consequence to him. The common
man--that is ninety-nine and a fraction in one hundred of the nation's
common men--has no dealings with aliens in foreign parts, as capitalist,
trader, missionary or wayfaring man, and has no occasion for security of
person or property under circumstances that raise any remotest question
of the national prowess or the national prestige; nor does he seek or
aspire to trade to foreign parts on any terms, equitable or otherwise,
or to invest capital among aliens under foreign rule, or to exploit
concessions or take orders, for acceptance or delivery; nor, indeed,
does he at all commonly come into even that degree of contact with
abroad that is implied in the purchase of foreign securities. Virtually
the sole occasion on which he comes in touch with the world beyond the
frontier is when, and if, he goes away from home as an emigrant, and so
ceases to enjoy the tutelage of the nation's constituted authorities.
But the common man, in point of fact, is a home-keeping body, who
touches foreign parts and aliens outside the national frontiers only at
the second or third remove, if at all, in the occasional purchase of
foreign products, or in the sale of goods that may find their way abroad
after he has lost sight of them. The exception to this general rule
would be found in the case of those under-sized nations that are too
small to contain the traffic in which their commonplace population are
engaged, and that have neither national prowess nor national prestige to
fall back on in a conceivable case of need,--and whose citizens,
individually, appear to be as fortunately placed in their workday
foreign relations, without a background of prowess and prestige, as the
citizens of the great powers who are most abundantly provided in these

With wholly negligible exceptions, these matters touch the needs or the
sensibilities of the common man only through the channel of the
national honour, which may be injured in the hardships suffered by his
compatriots in foreign parts, or which may, again, be repaired or
enhanced by the meritorious achievements of the same compatriots; of
whose existence he will commonly have no other or more substantial
evidence, and in whose traffic he has no share other than this vicarious
suffering of vague and remote indignity or vainglory by force of the
wholly fortuitous circumstance that they are (inscrutably) his
compatriots. These immaterial goods of vicarious prestige are, of
course, not to be undervalued, nor is the fact to be overlooked or
minimised that they enter into the sum total of the common citizen's
"psychic income," for whatever they may foot up to; but evidently their
consideration takes us back to the immaterial category of prestige
value, from which the argument just now was hopefully departing with a
view to consideration of the common man's material interest in that
national enterprise about which patriotic aspirations turn.

These things, then, are matters in which the common man has an interest
only as they have a prestige value. But there need be no question as to
their touching his sensibilities and stirring him to action, and even to
acts of bravery and self-sacrifice. Indignity or ill treatment of his
compatriots in foreign parts, even when well deserved, as is not
infrequently the case, are resented with a vehemence that is greatly to
the common man's credit, and greatly also to the gain of those patriotic
statesmen who find in such grievances their safest and most reliable raw
materials for the production of international difficulty. That he will
so respond to the stimulus of these, materially speaking irrelevant,
vicissitudes of good or ill that touch the fortunes of his compatriots,
as known to him by hearsay, bears witness, of course, to the high
quality of his manhood; but it falls very far short of arguing that
these promptings of his patriotic spirit have any value as traits that
count toward his livelihood or his economic serviceability in the
community in which he lives. It is all to his credit, and it goes to
constitute him a desirable citizen, in the sense that he is properly
amenable to the incitements of patriotic emulation; but it is none the
less to be admitted, however reluctantly, that this trait of impulsively
vicarious indignation or vainglory is neither materially profitable to
himself nor an asset of the slightest economic value to the community in
which he lives. Quite the contrary, in fact. So also is it true that the
common man derives no material advantage from the national success along
this line, though he commonly believes that it all somehow inures to his
benefit. It would seem that an ingrown bias of community interest,
blurred and driven by a jealously sensitive patriotic pride, bends his
faith uncritically to match his inclination. His persuasion is a work of
preconception rather than of perception.

But the most substantial and most unqualified material benefit currently
believed to be derivable from a large unfolding of national prowess and
a wide extension of the national domain is an increased volume of the
nation's foreign trade, particularly of the export trade. "Trade follows
the Flag." And this larger trade and enhanced profit is presumed to
inure to the joint benefit of the citizens. Such is the profession of
faith of the sagacious statesmen and such is also the unreflecting
belief of the common man.

It may be left an open question if an unfolding of national prowess and
prestige increases the nation's trade, whether in imports or in
exports. There is no available evidence that it has any effect of the
kind. What is not an open question is the patent fact that such an
extension of trade confers no benefit on the common man, who is not
engaged in the import or export business. More particularly does it
yield him no advantage at all commensurate with the cost involved in any
endeavour so to increase the volume of trade by increasing the nation's
power and extending its dominion. The profits of trade go not to the
common man at large but to the traders whose capital is invested; and it
is a completely idle matter to the common citizen whether the traders
who profit by the nation's trade are his compatriots or not.[6]

[Footnote 6: All this, which should be plain without demonstration, has
been repeatedly shown in the expositions of various peace advocates,
typically by Mr. Angell.]

The pacifist argument on the economic futility of national ambitions
will commonly rest its case at this point; having shown as unreservedly
as need be that national ambition and all its works belong of right
under that rubric of the litany that speaks of Fire, Flood and
Pestilence. But an hereditary bent of human nature is not to be put out
of the way with an argument showing that it has its disutilities. So
with the patriotic animus; it is a factor to be counted with, rather
than to be exorcised.

As has been remarked above, in the course of time and change the advance
of the industrial arts and of the institutions of ownership have taken
such a turn that the working system of industry and business no longer
runs on national lines and, indeed, no longer takes account of national
frontiers,--except in so far as the national policies and legislation,
arbitrarily and partially, impose these frontiers on the workings of
trade and industry. The effect of such regulation for political ends is,
with wholly negligible exceptions, detrimental to the efficient working
of the industrial system under modern conditions; and it is therefore
detrimental to the material interests of the common citizen. But the
case is not the same as regards the interests of the traders. Trade is a
competitive affair, and it is to the advantage of the traders engaged in
any given line of business to extend their own markets and to exclude
competing traders. Competition may be the soul of trade, but monopoly is
necessarily the aim of every trader. And the national organisation is of
service to its traders in so far as it shelters them, wholly or partly,
from the competition of traders of other nationalities, or in so far as
it furthers their enterprise by subvention or similar privileges as
against their competitors, whether at home or abroad. The gain that so
comes to the nation's traders from any preferential advantage afforded
them by national regulations, or from any discrimination against traders
of foreign nationality, goes to the traders as private gain. It is of no
benefit to any of their compatriots; since there is no community of
usufruct that touches these gains of the traders. So far as concerns his
material advantage, it is an idle matter to the common citizen whether
he deals with traders of his own nationality or with aliens; both alike
will aim to buy cheap and sell dear, and will charge him "what the
traffic will bear." Nor does it matter to him whether the gains of this
trade go to aliens or to his compatriots; in either case equally they
immediately pass beyond his reach, and are equally removed from any
touch of joint interest on his part. Being private property, under
modern law and custom he has no use of them, whether a national frontier
does or does not intervene between his domicile and that of their owner.

These are facts that every man of sound mind knows and acts on without
doubt or hesitation in his own workday affairs. He would scarcely even
find amusement in so futile a proposal as that his neighbor should share
his business profits with him for no better reason than that he is a
compatriot. But when the matter is presented as a proposition in
national policy and embroidered with an invocation of his patriotic
loyalty the common citizen will commonly be found credulous enough to
accept the sophistry without abatement. His archaic sense of group
solidarity will still lead him at his own cost to favor his trading
compatriots by the imposition of onerous trade regulations for their
private advantage, and to interpose obstacles in the way of alien
traders. All this ingenious policy of self-defeat is greatly helped out
by the patriotic conceit of the citizens; who persuade themselves to see
in it an accession to the power and prestige of their own nation and a
disadvantage to rival nationalities. It is, indeed, more than doubtful
if such a policy of self-defeat as is embodied in current international
trade discriminations could be insinuated into the legislation of any
civilized nation if the popular intelligence were not so clouded with
patriotic animosity as to let a prospective detriment to their foreign
neighbors count as a gain to themselves.

So that the chief material use of the patriotic bent in modern
populations, therefore, appears to be its use to a limited class of
persons engaged in foreign trade, or in business that comes in
competition with foreign industry. It serves their private gain by
lending effectual countenance to such restraint of international trade
as would not be tolerated within the national domain. In so doing it has
also the secondary and more sinister effect of dividing the nations on
lines of rivalry and setting up irreconcilable claims and ambitions, of
no material value but of far-reaching effect in the way of provocation
to further international estrangement and eventual breach of the peace.

How all this falls in with the schemes of militant statesmen, and
further reacts on the freedom and personal fortunes of the common man,
is an extensive and intricate topic, though not an obscure one; and it
has already been spoken of above, perhaps as fully as need be.



The considerations set out in earlier chapters have made it appear that
the patriotic spirit of modern peoples is the abiding source of
contention among nations. Except for their patriotism a breach of the
peace among modern peoples could not well be had. So much will doubtless
be assented to as a matter of course. It is also a commonplace of
current aphoristic wisdom that both parties to a warlike adventure in
modern times stand to lose, materially; whatever nominal--that is to say
political--gains may be made by one or the other. It has also appeared
from these considerations recited in earlier passages that this
patriotic spirit prevails throughout, among all civilised peoples, and
that it pervades one nation about as ubiquitously as another. Nor is
there much evidence of a weakening of this sinister proclivity with the
passage of time or the continued advance in the arts of life. The only
civilized nations that can be counted on as habitually peaceable are
those who are so feeble or are so placed as to be cut off from hope of
gain through contention. Vainglorious arrogance may run at a higher
tension among the more backward and boorish nations; but it is not
evident that the advance guard among the civilised peoples are imbued
with a less complete national self-complacency. If the peace is to be
kept, therefore, it will have to be kept by and between peoples made up,
in effect, of complete patriots; which comes near being a contradiction
in terms. Patriotism is useful for breaking the peace, not for keeping
it. It makes for national pretensions and international jealously and
distrust, with warlike enterprise always in perspective; as a way to
national gain or a recourse in case of need. And there is commonly no
settled demarkation between these two contrasted needs that urge a
patriotic people forever to keep one eye on the chance of a recourse to

Therefore any calculus of the Chances of Peace appears to become a
reckoning of the forces which may be counted on to keep a patriotic
nation in an unstable equilibrium of peace for the time being. As has
just been remarked above, among civilised peoples only those nations can
be counted on consistently to keep the peace who are so feeble or
otherwise so placed as to be cut off from hope of national gain. And
these can apparently be so counted on only as regards aggression, not as
regards the national defense, and only in so far as they are not drawn
into warlike enterprise, collectively, by their more competent
neighbors. Even the feeblest and most futile of them feels in honour
bound to take up arms in defense of such national pretensions as they
still may harbour; and all of them harbour such pretensions. In certain
extreme cases, which it might seem invidious to specify more explicitly,
it is not easy to discover any specific reasons for the maintenance of a
national establishment, apart from the vindication of certain national
pretensions which would quietly lapse in the absence of a national
establishment on whom their vindication is incumbent.

Of the rest, the greater nations that are spoken of as Powers no such
general statement will hold. These are the peoples who stand, in
matters of national concern, on their own initiative; and the question
of peace and war at large is in effect, a question of peace and war
among these Powers. They are not so numerous that they can be sifted
into distinct classes, and yet they differ among themselves in such a
way that they may, for the purpose in hand, fairly be ranged under two
distinguishable if not contrasted heads: those which may safely be
counted on spontaneously to take the offensive, and those which will
fight on provocation. Typically of the former description are Germany
and Japan. Of the latter are the French and British, and less
confidently the American republic. In any summary statement of this kind
Russia will have to be left on one side as a doubtful case, for reasons
to which the argument may return at a later point; the prospective
course of things in Russia is scarcely to be appraised on the ground of
its past. Spain and Italy, being dubious Powers at the best, need not
detain the argument; they are, in the nature of things, subsidiaries who
wait on the main chance. And Austria, with whatever the name may cover,
is for the immediate purpose to be counted under the head of Germany.

There is no invidious comparison intended in so setting off these two
classes of nations in contrast to one another. It is not a contrast of
merit and demerit or of prestige. Imperial Germany and Imperial Japan
are, in the nature of things as things go, bent in effect on a
disturbance of the peace,--with a view to advance the cause of their own
dominion. On a large view of the case, such as many German statesmen
were in the habit of professing in the years preceding the great war, it
may perhaps appear reasonable to say--as they were in the habit of
saying--that these Imperial Powers are as well within the lines of fair
and honest dealing in their campaign of aggression as the other Powers
are in taking a defensive attitude against their aggression. Some sort
of international equity has been pleaded in justification of their
demand for an increased share of dominion. At least it has appeared that
these Imperial statesmen have so persuaded themselves after very mature
deliberation; and they have showed great concern to persuade others of
the equity of their Imperial claim to something more than the law would
allow. These sagacious, not to say astute, persons have not only reached
a conviction to this effect, but they have become possessed of this
conviction in such plenary fashion that, in the German case, they have
come to admit exceptions or abatement of the claim only when and in so
far as the campaign of equitable aggression on which they had entered
has been proved impracticable by the fortunes of war.

With some gift for casuistry one may, at least conceivably, hold that
the felt need of Imperial self-aggrandisement may become so urgent as to
justify, or at least to condone, forcible dispossession of weaker
nationalities. This might, indeed it has, become a sufficiently
perplexing question of casuistry, both as touches the punctilios of
national honour and as regards an equitable division between rival
Powers in respect of the material means of mastery. So in private life
it may become a moot question--in point of equity--whether the craving
of a kleptomaniac may not on occasion rise to such an intolerable pitch
of avidity as to justify him in seizing whatever valuables he can safely
lay hands on, to ease the discomfort of ungratified desire. In private
life any such endeavour to better oneself at one's neighbors' cost is
not commonly reprobated if it takes effect on a decently large scale
and shrewdly within the flexibilities of the law or with the connivance
of its officers. Governing international endeavours of this class there
is no law so inflexible that it can not be conveniently made over to fit
particular circumstances. And in the absence of law the felt need of a
formal justification will necessarily appeal to the unformulated
equities of the case, with some such outcome as alluded to above. All
that, of course, is for the diplomatists to take care of.

But any speculation on the equities involved in the projected course of
empire to which these two enterprising nations are committing themselves
must run within the lines of diplomatic parable, and will have none but
a speculative interest. It is not a matter of equity. Accepting the
situation as it stands, it is evident that any peace can only have a
qualified meaning, in the sense of armistice, so long as there is
opportunity for national enterprise of the character on which these two
enterprising national establishments are bent, and so long as these and
the like national establishments remain. So, taking the peaceable
professions of their spokesmen at a discount of one hundred percent, as
one necessarily must, and looking to the circumstantial evidence of the
case, it is abundantly plain that at least these two imperial Powers may
be counted on consistently to manoeuvre for warlike advantage so long as
any peace compact holds, and to break the peace so soon as the strategy
of Imperial enterprise appears to require it.

There has been much courteous make-believe of amiable and upright
solicitude on this head the past few years, both in diplomatic
intercourse and among men out of doors; and since make-believe is a
matter of course in diplomatic intercourse it is right and seemly, of
course, that no overt recognition of unavowed facts should be allowed
to traverse this run of make-believe within the precincts of diplomatic
intercourse. But in any ingenuous inquiry into the nature of peace and
the conditions of its maintenance there can be no harm in conveniently
leaving the diplomatic make-believe on one side and looking to the
circumstances that condition the case, rather than to the formal
professions designed to mask the circumstances.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chief among the relevant circumstances in the current situation are the
imperial designs of Germany and Japan. These two national establishments
are very much alike. So much so that for the present purpose a single
line of analysis will passably cover both cases. The same line of
analysis will also apply, with slight adaptation, to more than one of
the other Powers, or near-Powers, of the modern world; but in so far as
such is held to be the case, that is not a consideration that weakens
the argument as applied to these two, which are to be taken as the
consummate type-form of a species of national establishments. They are,
between them, the best instance there is of what may be called a
Dynastic State.

Except as a possible corrective of internal disorders and discontent,
neither of the two States "desires" war; but both are bent on dominion,
and as the dominion aimed at is not to be had except by fighting for it,
both in effect are incorrigibly bent on warlike enterprise. And in
neither case will considerations of equity, humanity, decency, veracity,
or the common good be allowed to trouble the quest of dominion. As lies
in the nature of the dynastic State, imperial dominion, in the ambitions
of both, is beyond price; so that no cost is too high so long as
ultimate success attends the imperial enterprise. So much is commonplace
knowledge among all men who are at all conversant with the facts.

To anyone who harbors a lively sentimental prejudice for or against
either or both of the two nations so spoken of, or for or against the
manner of imperial enterprise to which both are committed, it may seem
that what has just been said of them and their relation to the world's
peace runs on something of a bias and conveys something of dispraise and
reprobation. Such is not the intention, however, though the appearance
is scarcely to be avoided. It is necessary for the purposes of the
argument unambiguously to recognise the nature of these facts with which
the inquiry is concerned; and any plain characterisation of the facts
will unavoidably carry a fringe of suggestions of this character,
because current speech is adapted for their reprobation. The point aimed
at is not this inflection of approval or disapproval. The facts are to
be taken impersonally for what they are worth in their causal bearing on
the chance of peace or war; not at their sentimental value as traits of
conduct to be appraised in point of their goodness or expediency.

So seen without prejudice, then, if that may be, this Imperial
enterprise of these two Powers is to be rated as the chief circumstance
bearing on the chances of peace and conditioning the terms on which any
peace plan must be drawn. Evidently, in the presence of these two
Imperial Powers any peace compact will be in a precarious case; equally
so whether either or both of them are parties to such compact or not. No
engagement binds a dynastic statesman in case it turns out not to
further the dynastic enterprise. The question then recurs: How may peace
be maintained within the horizon of German or Japanese ambitions? There
are two obvious alternatives, neither of which promises an easy way out
of the quandary in which the world's peace is placed by their presence:
Submission to their dominion, or Elimination of these two Powers. Either
alternative would offer a sufficiently deterrent outlook, and yet any
project for devising some middle course of conciliation and amicable
settlement, which shall be practicable and yet serve the turn, scarcely
has anything better to promise. The several nations now engaged on a war
with the greater of these Imperial Powers hold to a design of
elimination, as being the only measure that merits hopeful
consideration. The Imperial Power in distress bespeaks peace and

Those advocates, whatever their nationality, who speak for negotiation
with a view to a peace compact which is to embrace these States intact,
are aiming, in effect, to put things in train for ultimate submission to
the mastery of these Imperial Powers. In these premises an amicable
settlement and a compact of perpetual peace will necessarily be
equivalent to arranging a period of recuperation and recruiting for a
new onset of dynastic enterprise. For, in the nature of the case, no
compact binds the dynastic statesman, and no consideration other than
the pursuit of Imperial dominion commands his attention.

There is, of course, no intention to decry this single-mindedness that
is habitually put in evidence by the dynastic statesmen. Nor should it
be taken as evidence of moral obliquity in them. It is rather the result
of a peculiar moral attitude or bent, habitual to such statesmen, and in
its degree also habitual to their compatriots, and is indispensably
involved in the Imperial frame of mind. The consummation of Imperial
mastery being the highest and ubiquitously ulterior end of all
endeavour, its pursuit not only relieves its votaries from the
observance of any minor obligations that run counter to its needs, but
it also imposes a moral obligation to make the most of any opportunity
for profitable deceit and chicanery that may offer. In short, the
dynastic statesman is under the governance of a higher morality, binding
him to the service of his nation's ambition--or in point of fact, to the
personal service of his dynastic master--to which it is his dutiful
privilege loyally to devote all his powers of force and fraud.

Democratically-minded persons, who are not moved by the call of loyalty
to a gratuitous personal master, may have some difficulty in
appreciating the force and the moral austerity of this spirit of
devotion to an ideal of dynastic aggrandisement, and in seeing how its
paramount exigence will set aside all meticulous scruples of personal
rectitude and veracity, as being a shabby with-holding of service due.

To such of these doubters as still have retained some remnants of their
religious faith this attitude of loyalty may perhaps be made
intelligible by calling to mind the analogous self-surrender of the
religious devotee. And in this connection it may also be to the purpose
to recall that in point of its genesis and derivation that unreserved
self-abasement and surrender to the divine ends and guidance, which is
the chief grace and glory of the true believer, is held by secular
students of these matters to be only a sublimated analogue or
counterfeit of this other dutiful abasement that constitutes loyalty to
a temporal master. The deity is currently spoken of as The Heavenly
King, under whose dominion no sinner has a right that He is bound to
respect; very much after the fashion in which no subject of a dynastic
state has a right which the State is bound to respect. Indeed, all these
dynastic establishments that so seek the Kingdom, the Power and the
Glory are surrounded with a penumbra of divinity, and it is commonly a
bootless question where the dynastic powers end and the claims of
divinity begin. There is something of a coalescence.[7]

[Footnote 7: "To us the state is the most indispensable as well as the
highest requisite to our earthly existence.... All individualistic
endeavor ... must be unreservedly subordinated to this lofty claim....
The state ... eventually is of infinitely more value than the sum of all
the individuals within its jurisdiction." "This conception of the state,
which is as much a part of our life as is the blood in our veins, is
nowhere to be found in the English Constitution, and is quite foreign to
English thought, and to that of America as well."--Eduard Meyer,
_England, its Political Organisation and Development and the War against
Germany_, translated by H.S. White. Boston 1916. pp. 30-31.]

The Kaiser holds dominion by divine grace and is accountable to none but
God, if to Him. The whole case is in a still better state of repair as
touches the Japanese establishment, where the Emperor is a lineal
descendant of the supreme deity, Amaterazu (_o mi Kami_), and where, by
consequence, there is no line of cleavage between a divine and a secular
mastery. Pursuant to this more unqualified authenticity of autocratic
rule, there is also to be found in this case a correspondingly
unqualified devotion in the subjects and an unqualified subservience to
dynastic ends on the part of the officers of the crown. The coalescence
of dynastic rule with the divine order is less complete in the German
case, but all observers bear witness that it all goes far enough also in
the German case. This state of things is recalled here as a means of
making plain that the statesmen of these Imperial Powers must in the
nature of the case, and without blame, be drawn out from under the
customary restraint of those principles of vulgar morality that are
embodied in the decalogue. It is not that the subject, or--what comes to
the same thing--the servant of such a dynastic State may not be upright,
veracious and humane in private life, but only that he must not be
addicted to that sort of thing in such manner or degree as might hinder
his usefulness for dynastic purposes. These matters of selfishly
individual integrity and humanity have no weight as against the
exigencies of the dynastic enterprise.

These considerations may not satisfy all doubters as to the moral
sufficiency of these motives that so suffice to decide the dynastic
statesmen on their enterprise of aggression by force and fraud; but it
should be evident that so long as these statesmen continue in the frame
of mind spoken of, and so long as popular sentiment in these countries
continues, as hitherto, to lend them effectual support in the pursuit of
such Imperial enterprise, so long it must also remain true that no
enduring peace can be maintained within the sweep of their Imperial
ambition. Any peace compact would necessarily be, in effect, an
armistice terminable at will and serving as a season of preparation to
meet a deferred opportunity. For the peaceable nations it would, in
effect, be a respite and a season of preparation for eventual submission
to the Imperial rule.

By advocates of such a negotiated compact of perpetual peace it has been
argued that the populace underlying these Imperial Powers will readily
be brought to realise the futility and inexpediency of such dynastic
enterprise, if only the relevant facts are brought to their knowledge,
and that so these Powers will be constrained to keep the peace by
default of popular support for their warlike projects. What is required,
it is believed by these sanguine persons, is that information be
competently conveyed to the common people of these warlike nations,
showing them that they have nothing to apprehend in the way of
aggression or oppressive measures from the side of their more peaceable
neighbours; whereupon their warlike animus will give place to a
reasonable and enlightened frame of mind. This argument runs tacitly or
explicitly, on the premise that these peoples who have so
enthusiastically lent themselves to the current warlike enterprise are
fundamentally of the same racial complexion and endowed with the same
human nature as their peaceable neighbours, who would be only too glad
to keep the peace on any terms of tolerable security from aggression. If
only a fair opportunity is offered for the interested peoples to come to
an understanding, it is held, a good understanding will readily be
reached; at least so far as to result in a reasonable willingness to
submit questions in dispute to an intelligent canvass and an equitable

Projects for a negotiated peace compact, to include the dynastic States,
can hold any prospect of a happy issue only if this line of argument, or
its equivalent, is pertinent and conclusive; and the argument is to the
point only in so far as its premises are sound and will carry as far as
the desired conclusion. Therefore a more detailed attention to the
premises on which it runs will be in place, before any project of the
kind is allowed to pass inspection.

As to homogeneity of race and endowment among the several nations in
question, the ethnologists, who are competent to speak of that matter,
are ready to assert that this homogeneity goes much farther among the
nations of Europe than any considerable number of peace advocates would
be ready to claim. In point of race, and broadly speaking, there is
substantially no difference between these warring nations, along any
east-and-west line; while the progressive difference in racial
complexion that is always met with along any north-and-south line,
nowhere coincides with a national or linguistic frontier. In no case
does a political division between these nations mark or depend on a
difference of race or of hereditary endowment. And, to give full
measure, it may be added that also in no case does a division of classes
within any one of these nations, into noble and base, patrician and
plebeian, lay and learned, innocent and vicious, mark or rest on any
slightest traceable degree of difference in race or in heritable
endowment. On the point of racial homogeneity there is no fault to find
with the position taken.

If the second postulate in this groundwork of premises on which the
advocates of negotiable peace base their hopes were as well taken there
need be no serious misgiving as to the practicability of such a plan.
The plan counts on information, persuasion and reflection to subdue
national animosities and jealousies, at least in such measure as would
make them amenable to reason. The question of immediate interest on this
head, therefore, would be as to how far this populace may be accessible
to the contemplated line of persuasion. At present they are,
notoriously, in a state of obsequious loyalty to the dynasty,
single-minded devotion to the fortunes of the Fatherland, and
uncompromising hatred of its enemies. In this frame of mind there is
nothing that is new, except the degree of excitement. The animus, it
will be recalled, was all there and on the alert when the call came, so
that the excitement came on with the sweep of a conflagration on the
first touch of a suitable stimulus. The German people at large was
evidently in a highly unstable equilibrium, so that an unexampled
enthusiasm of patriotic self-sacrifice followed immediately on the first
incitement to manslaughter, very much as if the nation had been held
under an hypnotic spell. One need only recall the volume of overbearing
magniloquence that broke out all over the place in that beginning, when
The Day was believed to be dawning.

Such a popular frame of mind is not a transient episode, to be created
at short notice and put aside for a parcel of salutary advice. The
nation that will make such a massive concerted move with the alacrity
shown in this instance must be living in a state of alert readiness for
just such an onset. Yet this is not to be set down as anything in the
way of a racial trait specifically distinguishing the German people from
those other adjacent nationalities that are incapable of a similarly
swift and massive response to the appeal of patriotism. These adjacent
nationalities are racially identical with the German people, but they do
not show the same warlike abandon in nearly the same degree.

But for all that, it is a national trait, not to be acquired or put away
by taking thought. It is just here that the line of definition runs: it
is a national trait, not a racial one. It is not Nature, but it is
Second Nature. But a national trait, while it is not heritable in the
simple sense of that term, has the same semblance, or the same degree,
of hereditary persistence that belongs to the national institutions,
usages, conventionalities, beliefs, which distinguish the given nation
from its neighbors. In this instance it may be said more specifically
that this eager loyalty is a heritage of the German people at large in
the same sense and with the same degree of permanence as the institution
of an autocratic royalty has among them, or a privileged nobility.
Indeed, it is the institutional counterfoil of these establishments. It
is of an institutional character, just as the corresponding sense of
national solidarity and patriotic devotion is among the neighboring
peoples with whom the German nation comes in comparison. And an
institution is an historical growth, with just so much of a character of
permanence and continuity of transmission as is given it by the
circumstances out of which it has grown. Any institution is a product of
habit, or perhaps more accurately it is a body of habits of thought
bearing on a given line of conduct, which prevails with such generality
and uniformity throughout the group as to have become a matter of common

Such an article of institutional furniture is an outcome of usage, not
of reflection or deliberate choice; and it has consequently a character
of self-legitimation, so that it stands in the accredited scheme of
things as intrinsically right and good, and not merely as a shrewdly
chosen expedient _ad interim_. It affords a norm of life, inosculating
with a multiplicity of other norms, with which it goes to make up a
balanced scheme of ends, ways and means governing human conduct; and no
one such institutional item, therefore, is materially to be disturbed,
discarded or abated except at the cost of serious derangement to the
balanced scheme of things in which it belongs as an integral
constituent. Nor can such a detail norm of conduct and habitual
propensity come into bearing and hold its place, except by force of
habituation which is at the same time consonant with the common run of
habituation to which the given community is subject. It follows that
the more rigorous, comprehensive, unremitting and long-continued the
habituation to which a given institutional principle owes its vogue, the
more intimately and definitively will it be embedded in the common sense
of the community, the less chance is there of its intrinsic necessity
being effectually questioned or doubted, and the less chance is there of
correcting it or abating its force in case circumstances should so
change as to make its continued rule visibly inexpedient. Its abatement
will be a work not of deliberation and design, but of defection through

Not that reflection and sane counsel will count for nothing in these
premises, but only that these exertions of intelligence will count for
relatively very little by comparison with the run of habituation as
enforced by the circumstances conditioning any given case; and further,
that wise counsel and good resolutions can take effect in the way of
amending any untoward institutional bent only by way of suitable
habituation, and only at such a rate of change as the circumstances
governing habituation will allow. It is, at the best, slow work to shift
the settled lines of any community's scheme of common sense. Now,
national solidarity, and more particularly an unquestioning loyalty to
the sovereign and the dynasty, is a matter of course and of commonsense
necessity with the German people. It is not necessary to call to mind
that the Japanese nation, which has here been coupled with the German,
are in the same case, only more so.

Doubtless it would be exceeding the premises to claim that it should
necessarily take the German people as long-continued and as harsh a
schooling to unlearn their excess of chauvinism, their servile stooping
to gratuitous authority, and their eager subservience to the dynastic
ambitions of their masters, as that which has in the course of history
induced these habits in them. But it would seem reasonable to expect
that there should have to be some measure of proportion between what it
has cost them in time and experience to achieve their current frame of
mind in this bearing and what it would cost to divest themselves of it.
It is a question of how long a time and how exacting a discipline would
be required so far to displace the current scheme of commonsense values
and convictions in force in the Fatherland as to neutralise their
current high-wrought principles of servility, loyalty and national
animosity; and on the solution of this difficulty appear to depend the
chances of success for any proposed peace compact to which the German
nation shall be made a party, on terms of what is called an "honorable

The national, or rather the dynastic and warlike, animus of this people
is of the essence of their social and political institutions. Without
such a groundwork of popular sentiment neither the national
establishment, nor the social order on which it rests and through which
it works, could endure. And with this underlying national sentiment
intact nothing but a dynastic establishment of a somewhat ruthless
order, and no enduring system of law and order not based on universal
submission to personal rule, could be installed. Both the popular animus
and the correlative coercive scheme of law and order are of historical
growth. Both have been learned, acquired, and are in no cogent sense
original with the German people. But both alike and conjointly have come
out of a very protracted, exacting and consistent discipline of mastery
and subjection, running virtually unbroken over the centuries that have
passed since the region that is now the Fatherland first passed under
the predaceous rule of its Teutonic invaders,--for no part of the
"Fatherland" is held on other tenure than that of forcible seizure in
ancient times by bands of invaders, with the negligible exception of
Holstein and a slight extent of territory adjoining that province to the
south and south-west. Since the time when such peoples as were overtaken
in this region by the Germanic barbarian invasions, and were reduced to
subjection and presently merged with their alien masters, the same
general fashion of law and order that presently grew out of that
barbarian conquest has continued to govern the life of those peoples,
with relatively slight and intermittent relaxation of its rigors.
Contrasted with its beginnings, in the shameful atrocities of the Dark
Ages and the prehistoric phases of this German occupation, the later
stages of this system of coercive law and order in the Fatherland will
appear humane, not to say genial; but as compared with the degree of
mitigation which the like order of things presently underwent elsewhere
in western Europe, it has throughout the historical period preserved a
remarkable degree of that character of arrogance and servility which it
owes to its barbarian and predatory beginnings.

       *       *       *       *       *

The initial stages of this Germanic occupation of the Fatherland are
sufficiently obscure under the cloud of unrecorded antiquity that covers
them; and then, an abundance of obscurantism has also been added by the
vapours of misguided vanity that have surrounded so nearly all
historical inquiry on the part of patriotic German scholars. Yet there
are certain outstanding features in the case, in history and prehistory,
that are too large or too notorious to be set aside or to be covered
over, and these may suffice to show the run of circumstances which have
surrounded the German peoples and shaped their civil and political
institutions, and whose discipline has guided German habits of thought
and preserved the German spirit of loyalty in the shape in which it
underlies the dynastic State of the present day.

Among the most engaging of those fables that make the conventional
background of German history is the academic legend of a free
agricultural village community made up of ungraded and masterless men.
It is not necessary here to claim that such a village community never
played a part in the remoter prehistoric experiences out of which the
German people, or their ruling classes, came into the territory of the
Fatherland; such a claim might divert the argument. But it is
sufficiently patent to students of those matters today that no such
community of free and ungraded men had any part in the Germanic
beginnings; that is to say, in the early experiences of the Fatherland
under German rule. The meager and ambiguous remarks of Tacitus on the
state of domestic and civil economy among the inhabitants of Germany
need no longer detain anyone, in the presence of the available
archaeological and historical evidence. The circumstantial evidence of
the prehistoric antiquities which touch this matter, as well as the
slight allusions of historical records in antiquity, indicate
unambiguously enough that when the Germanic immigrants moved into the
territories of the Fatherland they moved in as invaders, or rather as
marauders, and made themselves masters of the people already living on
the land. And history quite as unambiguously declares that when the
Fatherland first comes under its light it presents a dark and bloody
ground of tumultuous contention and intrigue; where princes and
princelings, captains of war and of rapine as well as the captains of
superstition, spend the substance of an ignominiously sordid and servile
populace in an endless round of mutual raiding, treachery,
assassinations and supersession.

Taken at their face value, the recorded stories of that early time would
leave one to infer that the common people, whose industry supported this
superstructure of sordid mastery, could have survived only by oversight.
But touched as it is with poetic license and devoted to the admirable
life of the master class--admirable in their own eyes and in those of
their chroniclers, as undoubtedly also in the eyes of the subject
populace--the history of that time doubtless plays up the notable
exploits and fortunes of its conspicuous personages, somewhat to the
neglect of the obscure vicissitudes of life and fortune among that human
raw material by use of which the admirable feats of the master class
were achieved, and about the use of which the dreary traffic of greed
and crime went on among the masters.

Of the later history, what covers, say, the last one thousand years,
there is no need to speak at length. With transient, episodic,
interruptions it is for the Fatherland a continuation out of these
beginnings, leading out into a more settled system of subjection and
mastery and a progressively increased scale of princely enterprise,
resting on an increasingly useful and increasingly loyal populace. In
all this later history the posture of things in the Fatherland is by no
means unique, nor is it even strikingly peculiar, by contrast with the
rest of western Europe, except in degree. It is of the same general kind
as the rest of what has gone to make the historical advance of medieval
and modern times; but it differs from the generality in a more sluggish
movement and a more tenacious adherence to what would be rated as the
untoward features of mediaevalism. The approach to a modern scheme of
institutions and modern conceptions of life and of human values has been
slow, and hitherto incomplete, as compared with those communities that
have, for good or ill, gone farthest along the ways of modernity.
Habituation to personal subjection and subservience under the rigorous
and protracted discipline of standardised service and fealty has
continued later, and with later and slighter mitigation, in the
Fatherland; so as better to have conserved the spiritual attitude of the
feudal order. Law and order in the Fatherland has in a higher degree
continued to mean unquestioning obedience to a personal master and
unquestioning subservience to the personal ambitions of the master. And
since freedom, in the sense of discretionary initiative on the part of
the common man, does not fit into the framework of such a system of
dependence on personal authority and surveillance, any degree of such
free initiative will be "licence" in the eyes of men bred into the
framework of this system; whereas "liberty," as distinct from "licence,"
is not a matter of initiative and self-direction, but of latitude in the
service of a master. Hence no degree of curtailment in this delegated
"liberty" will be resented or repudiated by popular indignation, so long
as the master to whom service is due can give assurance that it is
expedient for his purposes.

The age-long course of experience and institutional discipline out of
which the current German situation has come may be drawn schematically
to the following effect: In the beginning a turmoil of conquest, rapine,
servitude, and contention between rival bands of marauders and their
captains, gradually, indeed imperceptibly, fell into lines of settled
and conventionalised exploitation; with repeated interruptions due to
new incursions and new combinations of rapacious chieftains. Out of it
all in the course of time came a feudal régime, under which personal
allegiance and service to petty chiefs was the sole and universal
accredited bond of solidarity. As the outcome of further unremitting
intrigue and contention among feudal chiefs, of high and low degree, the
populace fell into larger parcels, under the hands of feudal lords of
larger dominion, and the bias of allegiance and service came to hold
with some degree of permanence and uniformity, or at least of
consistency, over a considerable reach of country, including its
inhabitants. With the rise of States came allegiance to a dynasty, as
distinguished from the narrower and more ephemeral allegiance to the
semi-detached person of a victorious prince; and the relative permanence
of territorial frontiers under this rule gave room for an effectual
recrudescence of the ancient propensity to a sentimental group
solidarity; in which the accredited territorial limits of the dynastic
dominion served to outline the group that so was felt to belong together
under a joint dispensation and with something of a joint interest in
matters of fame and fortune. As the same notion is more commonly and
more suggestively expressed, a sense of nationality arose within the
sweep of the dynastic rule. This sense of community interest that is
called nationality so came in to reenforce the sense of allegiance to
the dynastic establishment and so has coalesced with it to produce that
high-wrought loyalty to the State, that draws equally on the sentiment
of community interest in the nation and on the prescriptive docility to
the dynastic head. The sense of national solidarity and of feudal
loyalty and service have coalesced, to bring this people to that climax
of patriotic devotion beyond which there lies no greater height along
this way. But this is also as far as the German people have gone; and it
is scarcely to be claimed that the Japanese have yet reached this stage;
they would rather appear to be, essentially, subjects of the emperor,
and only inchoately a Japanese nation. Of the German people it seems
safe to say that they have achieved such a coalescence of unimpaired
feudal fealty to a personal master and a full-blown sense of national
solidarity, without any perceptible slackening in either strand of the
double tie which so binds them in the service of the dynastic State.

Germany, in other words, is somewhat in arrears, as compared with those
Europeans that have gone farthest along this course of institutional
growth, or perhaps rather institutional permutation. It is not that this
retardation of the German people in this matter of national spirit is to
be counted as an infirmity, assuredly not as a handicap in the pursuit
of that national prestige on which all patriotic endeavour finally
converges. For this purpose the failure to distinguish between the
ambitions of the dynastic statesmen and the interests of the
commonwealth is really a prodigious advantage, which their rivals, of
more mature growth politically, have lost by atrophy of this same
dynastic axiom of subservience. These others, of whom the French and the
English-speaking peoples make up the greater part and may be taken as
the typical instance, have had a different history, in part. The
discipline of experience has left a somewhat different residue of habits
of thought embedded in their institutional equipment and effective as
axiomatic premises in their further apprehension of what is worth while,
and why.

It is not that the difference between these two contrasted strains of
the Western civilisation is either profound or very pronounced; it is
perhaps rather to be stated as a difference of degree than of kind; a
retardation of spiritual growth, in respect of the prevalent and
controlling habits of thought on certain heads, in the one case as
against the other. Therefore any attempt to speak with sufficient
definition, so as to bring out this national difference of animus in any
convincing way, will unavoidably have an appearance of overstatement, if
not also of bias. And in any case, of course, it is not to be expected
that the national difference here spoken for can be brought home to the
apprehension of any unspoiled son of the Fatherland, since it does not
lie within that perspective.

It is not of the nature of a divergence, but rather a differential in
point of cultural maturity, due to a differential in the rate of
progression through that sequence of institutional phases through which
the civilised peoples of Europe, jointly and severally, have been led by
force of circumstance. In this movement out of the Dark Ages and onward,
circumstances have fallen out differently for those Europeans that
chanced to live within the confines of the Fatherland, different with
such effect as to have in the present placed these others at a farther
remove from the point of departure, leaving them furnished with less of
that archaic frame of mind that is here in question. Possessed of less,
but by no means shorn of all--perhaps not of the major part--of that
barbaric heritage.

Circumstances have so fallen out that these--typically the French and
the English-speaking peoples--have left behind and partly forgotten that
institutional phase in which the people of Imperial Germany now live and
move and have their being. The French partly because they--that is the
common people of the French lands--entered the procession with a very
substantial lead, having never been put back to a point abreast of their
neighbors across the Rhine, in that phase of European civilisation from
which the peoples of the Fatherland tardily emerged into the feudal age.
So, any student who shall set out to account for the visible lead which
the French people still so obstinately maintain in the advance of
European culture, will have to make up his account with this notable
fact among the premises of his inquiry, that they have had a shorter
course to cover and have therefore, in the sporting phrase, had the
inside track. They measure from a higher datum line. Among the
advantages which so have come, in a sense unearned, to the French
people, is their uninterrupted retention, out of Roman--and perhaps
pre-Roman--times, of the conception of a commonwealth, a community of
men with joint and mutual interests apart from any superimposed
dependence on a joint feudal superior. The French people therefore
became a nation, with unobtrusive facility, so soon as circumstances
permitted, and they are today the oldest "nation" in Europe. They
therefore were prepared from long beforehand, with an adequate principle
(habit of thought) of national cohesion and patriotic sentiment, to make
the shift from a dynastic State to a national commonwealth whenever the
occasion for such a move should arise; that is to say, whenever the
dynastic State, by a suitable conjunction of infirmity and irksomeness,
should pass the margin of tolerance in this people's outraged sense of
national shame. The case of the German people in their latterday
attitude toward dynastic vagaries may afford a term of comparison. These
appear yet incapable of distinguishing between national shame and
dynastic ambition.

By a different course and on lines more nearly parallel with the
life-history of the German peoples, the English-speaking peoples have
reached what is for the present purpose much the same ground as the
French, in that they too have made the shift from the dynastic State to
the national commonwealth. The British started late, but the discipline
of servitude and unmitigated personal rule in their case was relatively
brief and relatively ineffectual; that is to say, as compared with what
their German cousins had to endure and to learn in the like connection.
So that the British never learned the lesson of dynastic loyalty fully
by heart; at least not the populace; whatever may be true for the
privileged classes, the gentlemen, whose interests were on the side of
privilege and irresponsible mastery. Here as in the French case it was
the habits of thought of the common man, not of the class of gentlemen,
that made the obsolescence of the dynastic State a foregone conclusion
and an easy matter--as one speaks of easy achievement in respect of
matters of that magnitude. It is now some two and a half centuries since
this shift in the national point of view overtook the English-speaking
community. Perhaps it would be unfair to say that that period, or that
period plus what further time may yet have to be added, marks the
interval by which German habits of thought in these premises are in
arrears, but it is not easy to find secure ground for a different and
more moderate appraisal.

The future, of course, is not to be measured in terms of the past, and
the tempo of the present and of the calculable future is in many
bearings very different from that which has ruled even in the recent
historical past. But then, on the other hand, habituation always
requires time; more particularly such habituation as is to take effect
throughout a populous nation and is counted on to work a displacement of
a comprehensive institutional system and of a people's outlook on life.

Germany is still a dynastic State. That is to say, its national
establishment is, in effect, a self-appointed and irresponsible
autocracy which holds the nation in usufruct, working through an
appropriate bureaucratic organisation, and the people is imbued with
that spirit of abnegation and devotion that is involved in their
enthusiastically supporting a government of that character. Now, it is
in the nature of a dynastic State to seek dominion, that being the whole
of its nature. And a dynastic establishment which enjoys the unqualified
usufruct of such resources as are placed at its disposal by the
feudalistic loyalty of the German people runs no chance of keeping the
peace, except on terms of the unconditional surrender of all those whom
it may concern. No solemn engagement and no pious resolution has any
weight in the balance against a cultural fatality of this magnitude.

       *       *       *       *       *

This account of the derivation and current state of German nationalism
will of course appear biased to anyone who has been in the habit of
rating German Culture high in all its bearings, and to whom at the same
time the ideals of peace and liberty appeal. Indeed, such a critic,
gifted with the due modicum of asperity, might well be provoked to call
it all a more or less ingenious diatribe of partisan malice. But it can
be so construed only by those who see the question at issue as a point
of invidious distinction between this German animus on the one hand and
the corresponding frame of mind of the neighboring peoples on the other
hand. There may also appear to the captious to be some air of
deprecation about the characterisation here offered of the past history
of political traffic within the confines of the Fatherland. All of
which, of course, touches neither the veracity of the characterisation
nor the purpose with which so ungrateful a line of analysis and
exposition has been entered upon. It is to be regretted if facts that
may flutter the emotions of one and another among the sensitive and
unreflecting can not be drawn into such an inquiry without having their
cogency discounted beforehand on account of the sentimental value
imputed to them. Of course no offense is intended and no invidious
comparison is aimed at.

Even if the point of it all were an invidious comparison it would
immediately have to be admitted that the net showing in favor of these
others, e.g., the French or the English-speaking peoples, is by no means
so unreservedly to their credit as such a summary statement of the
German case might seem to imply. As bearing on the chances of a peace
contingent upon the temper of the contracting nationalities, it is by no
means a foregone conclusion that such a peace compact would hold
indefinitely even if it depended solely on the pacific animus of these
others that have left the dynastic State behind. These others, in fact,
are also not yet out of the woods. They may not have the same gift of
gratuitous and irresponsible truculence as their German cousins, in the
same alarming degree; but as was said in an earlier passage, they too
are ready to fight on provocation. They are patriotic to a degree;
indeed to such a degree that anything which visibly touches the national
prestige will readily afford a _casus belli_. But it remains true that
the popular temper among them is of the defensive order; perhaps of an
unnecessarily enthusiastic defensive order, but after all in such a
frame of mind as leaves them willing to let well enough alone, to live
and let live.

And herein appears to lie the decisive difference between those peoples
whose patriotic affections center about the fortunes of an impersonal
commonwealth and those in whom is superadded a fervent aspiration for
dynastic ascendency. The latter may be counted on to break the peace
when a promising opportunity offers.

The contrast may be illustrated, though not so sharply as might be
desirable, in the different temper shown by the British people in the
Boer war on the one hand, as compared with the popularity of the
French-Prussian war among the German people on the other hand. Both were
aggressive wars, and both were substantially unprovoked. Diplomatically
speaking, of course, sufficient provocation was found in either case, as
how should it not? But in point of substantial provocation and of
material inducement, both were about equally gratuitous. In either case
the war could readily have been avoided without material detriment to
the community and without perceptible lesion to the national honour.
Both were "engineered" on grounds shamelessly manufactured _ad hoc_ by
interested parties; in the one case by a coterie of dynastic statesmen,
in the other by a junta of commercial adventurers and imperialistic
politicians. In neither case had the people any interest of gain or loss
in the quarrel, except as it became a question of national prestige. But
both the German and the British community bore the burden and fought the
campaign to a successful issue for those interested parties who had
precipitated the quarrel. The British people at large, it is true, bore
the burden; which comes near being all that can be said in the way of
popular approval of this war, which political statesmen have since then
rated as one of the most profitable enterprises in which the forces of
the realm have been engaged. On the subject of this successful war the
common man is still inclined to cover his uneasy sense of decency with a
recital of extenuating circumstances. What parallels all this in the
German case is an outbreak of patriotic abandon and an admirable spirit
of unselfish sacrifice in furtherance of the dynastic prestige, an
intoxication of patriotic blare culminating in the triumphant coronation
at Versailles. Nor has the sober afterthought of the past forty-six
years cast a perceptible shadow of doubt across the glorious memory of
that patriotic debauch.

Such is the difference of animus between a body of patriotic citizens in
a modern commonwealth on the one hand and the loyal subjects of a
dynastic State on the other hand. There need be no reflections on the
intrinsic merits of either. Seen in dispassionate perspective from
outside the turmoil, there is not much to choose, in point of sane and
self-respecting manhood, between the sluggish and shamefaced abettor of
a sordid national crime, and a ranting patriot who glories in serving as
cat's-paw to a syndicate of unscrupulous politicians bent on dominion
for dominion's sake. But the question here is not as to the relative
merits or the relative manhood contents of the two contrasted types of
patriot. Doubtless both and either have manhood enough and to spare; at
least, so they say. But the point in question is the simpler and nowise
invidious one, as to the availability of both or either for the
perpetuation of the world's peace under a compact of vigilant
neutrality. Plainly the German frame of mind admits of no neutrality;
the quest of dominion is not compatible with neutrality, and the
substantial core of German national life is still the quest of dominion
under dynastic tutelage. How it stands with the spirit that has
repeatedly come in sight in the international relations of the British
community is a question harder to answer.

It may be practicable to establish a peace of neutrals on the basis of
such national spirit as prevails among these others--the French and
English-speaking peoples, together with the minor nationalities that
cluster about the North Sea--because their habitual attitude is that of
neutrality, on the whole and with allowance for a bellicose minority in
all these countries. By and large, these peoples have come to the
tolerant attitude that finds expression in the maxim, Live and let live.
But they are all and several sufficiently patriotic. It may, indeed,
prove that they are more than sufficiently patriotic for the purposes of
a neutral peace. They stand for peace, but it is "peace with honour;"
which means, in more explicit terms, peace with undiminished national
prestige. Now, national prestige is a very particular commodity, as has
been set out in earlier passages of this inquiry; and a peace which is
to be kept only on terms of a jealous maintenance of the national honour
is likely to be in a somewhat precarious case. If, and when, the
national honour is felt to require an enhanced national ascendancy, the
case for a neutral peace immediately becomes critical. And the greater
the number and diversity of pretensions and interests that are conceived
to be bound up with the national honour, the more unstable will the
resulting situation necessarily be.

The upshot of all this recital of considerations appears to be that a
neutral peace compact may, or it may not, be practicable in the absence
of such dynastic States as Germany and Japan; whereas it has no chance
in the presence of these enterprising national establishments.

No one will be readier or more voluble in exclaiming against the falsity
of such a discrimination as is here attempted, between the democratic
and the dynastic nations of the modern world, than the spokesmen of
these dynastic Powers. No one is more outspoken in professions of
universal peace and catholic amity than these same spokesmen of the
dynastic Powers; and nowhere is there more urgent need of such
professions. Official and "inspired" professions are, of course, to be
overlooked; at least, so charity would dictate. But there have, in the
historic present, been many professions of this character made also by
credible spokesmen of the German, and perhaps of the Japanese, people,
and in all sincerity. By way of parenthesis it should be said that this
is not intended to apply to expressions of conviction and intention that
have come out of Germany these two years past (December 1916). Without
questioning the credibility of these witnesses that have borne witness
to the pacific and genial quality of national sentiment in the German
people, it will yet be in place to recall the run of facts in the
national life of Germany in this historical present and the position of
these spokesmen in the German community.

       *       *       *       *       *

The German nation is of a peculiar composition in respect of its social
structure. So far as bears on the question in hand, it is made up of
three distinctive constituent factors, or perhaps rather categories or
conditions of men. The populace is of course the main category, and in
the last resort always the main and decisive factor. Next in point of
consequence as well as of numbers and initiative is the personnel of the
control,--the ruling class, the administration, the official community,
the hierarchy of civil and political servants, or whatever designation
may best suit; the category comprises that pyramidal superstructure of
privilege and control whereof the sovereign is the apex, and in whom,
under any dynastic rule, is in effect vested the usufruct of the
populace. These two classes or conditions of men, the one of which
orders and the other obeys, make up the working structure of the nation,
and they also between them embody the national life and carry forward
the national work and aim. Intermediate between them, or rather beside
them and overlapping the commissure, is a third category whose life
articulates loosely with both the others at the same time that it still
runs along in a semi-detached way. This slighter but more visible, and
particularly more audible, category is made up of the "Intellectuals,"
as a late, and perhaps vulgar, designation would name them.

These are they who chiefly communicate with the world outside, and at
the same time they do what is academically called thinking. They are in
intellectual contact and communication with the world at large, in a
contact of give and take, and they think and talk in and about those
concepts that go in under the caption of the humanities in the world at
large. The category is large enough to constitute an intellectual
community, indeed a community of somewhat formidable magnitude, taken in
absolute terms, although in percentages of the population at large their
numbers will foot up to only an inconsiderable figure. Their contact
with the superior class spoken of above is fairly close, being a
contact, in the main, of service on the one side and of control on the
other. With the populace their contact and communion is relatively
slight, the give and take in the case being neither intimate nor
far-reaching. More particularly is there a well-kept limit of moderation
on any work of indoctrination or intellectual guidance which this class
may carry down among the people at large, dictated and enforced by
dynastic expediency. This category, of the Intellectuals, is
sufficiently large to live its own life within itself, without drawing
on the spiritual life of the community at large, and of sufficiently
substantial quality to carry its own peculiar scheme of intellectual
conventions and verities. Of the great and highly meritorious place and
work of these Intellectuals in the scheme of German culture it is
needless to speak. What is to the point is that they are the accredited
spokesmen of the German nation in all its commonplace communication with
the rest of civilised Europe.

The Intellectuals have spoken with conviction and sincerity of the
spiritual state of the German people, but in so doing, and in so far as
bears on the character of German nationalism, they have been in closer
contact, intellectually and sympathetically, with the intellectual and
spiritual life of civilised Europe at large than with the movements of
the spirit among the German populace. And their canvassing of the
concepts which so have come under their attention from over the national
frontiers has been carried forward--so far, again, as bears on the
questions that are here in point--with the German-dynastic principles,
logic and mechanism of execution under their immediate observation and
supplying the concrete materials for inquiry. Indeed, it holds true, by
and large, that nothing else than this German-dynastic complement of
ways and means has, or can effectually, come under their observation in
such a degree of intimacy as to give body and definition to the somewhat
abstract theorems on cultural aims and national preconceptions that have
come to them from outside. In short, they have borrowed these
theoretical formulations from abroad, without the concrete apparatus of
ways and means in which these theorems are embodied in their foreign
habitat, and have so found themselves construing these theoretical
borrowings in the only concrete terms of which they have had first-hand
and convincing knowledge. Such an outcome would be fairly unavoidable,
inasmuch as these Intellectuals, however much they are, in the spirit,
citizens of the cosmopolitan republic of knowledge and intelligence,
they are after all, _in propria persona_, immediately and unremittingly
subjects of the German-dynastic State; so that all their detail thinking
on the aims, ways and means of life, in all its civil and political
bearings, is unavoidably shaped by the unremitting discipline of their
workday experience under this dynastic scheme. The outcome has been that
while they have taken up, as they have understood them, the concepts
that rule the civic life of these other, maturer nations, they have
apprehended and developed these theorems of civic life in the terms and
by the logic enforced in that system of control and surveillance known
to them by workday experience,--the only empirical terms at hand.

The apex of growth and the center of diffusion as regards the modern
culture in respect of the ideals and logic of civic life--other phases
of this culture than this its civil aspect do not concern the point here
in question--this apex of growth and center of diffusion lie outside the
Fatherland, in an environment alien to the German institutional scheme.
Yet so intrinsic to the cultural drift of modern mankind are these aims
and this logic, that in taking over and further enriching the
intellectual heritage of this modern world the Intellectuals of the
Fatherland have unavoidably also taken over those conceptions of civil
initiative and masterless self-direction that rule the logic of life in
a commonwealth of ungraded men. They have taken these over and
assimilated them as best their experience would permit. But workday
experience and its exigencies are stubborn things; and in this process
of assimilation of these alien conceptions of right and honest living,
it is the borrowed theorems concerning civic rights and duties that have
undergone adaptation and revision, not the concrete system of ways and
means in which these principles, so accepted, are to be put in practice.
Necessarily so, since in the German scheme of law and order the major
premise is the dynastic State, whereas the major premise of the modern
civilised scheme of civic life is the absence of such an organ. So, the
development and elaboration of these modern principles of civic
liberty--and this elaboration has taken on formidable dimensions--under
the hand of the German Intellectuals has uniformly run out into
Pickwickian convolutions, greatly suggestive of a lost soul seeking a
place to rest. With unquestionably serious purpose and untiring
endeavour, they have sought to embody these modern civilised
preconceptions in terms afforded by, or in terms compatible with, the
institutions of the Fatherland; and they have been much concerned and
magniloquently elated about the German spirit of freedom that so was to
be brought to final and consummate realisation in the life of a free
people. But at no point and in no case have either the proposals or
their carrying out taken shape as a concrete application of the familiar
principle of popular self-direction. It has always come to something in
the way of a concessive or expedient mitigation of the antagonistic
principle of personal authority. Where the forms of self-government or
of individual self-direction have concessively been installed, under the
Imperial rule, they have turned out to be an imitative structure with
some shrewd provision for their coercion or inhibition at the discretion
of an irresponsible authority.

Neither the sound intelligence nor the good faith of these Intellectuals
of the Fatherland is to be impugned. That the--necessarily vague and
circumlocutory--expositions of civic institutions and popular liberty
which they have so often and so largely promulgated should have been
used as a serviceable blind of dynastic statecraft is not to be set down
to their discredit. Circumstances over which they could have no control,
since they were circumstances that shaped their own habits of thought,
have placed it beyond their competence to apprehend or to formulate
these alien principles (habits of thought) concretely in those alien
institutional details and by the alien logic with which they could have
no working acquaintance.

To one and another this conception of cultural solidarity within the
nation, and consequent cultural aliency between nations, due to the
different habits of life and of thought enforced by the two diverse
institutional systems, may be so far unfamiliar as to carry no
conviction. It may accordingly not seem out of place to recall that the
institutional system of any given community, particularly for any
community living under a home-bred and time-tried system of its own,
will necessarily be a balanced system of interdependent and mutually
concordant parts working together in one comprehensive plan of law and
order. Through such an institutional system, as, e.g., the German
Imperial organisation, there will run a degree of logical consistency,
consonant with itself throughout, and exerting a consistent discipline
throughout the community; whereby there is enforced a consistent drift
or bent in the prevalent habits of life, and a correlative bent in the
resulting habits of thought prevalent in the community. It is, in fact,
this possession of a common scheme of use and wont, and a consequent
common outlook and manner of thinking, that constitutes the most
intrinsic bond of solidarity in any nationality, and that finally marks
it off from any other.

It is equally a matter of course that any other given community, living
under the rule of a substantially different, or divergent, system of
institutions, will be exposed to a course of workday discipline running
to a different, perhaps divergent, effect; and that this other community
will accordingly come in for a characteristically different discipline
and fall under the rule of a different commonsense outlook. Where an
institutional difference of this kind is somewhat large and consistent,
so as to amount in effect to a discrepancy, as may fairly be said of the
difference between Imperial Germany and its like on the one hand, and
the English-speaking nations on the other hand, there the difference in
everyday conceptions may readily make the two peoples mutually
unintelligible to one another, on those points of institutional
principle that are involved in the discrepancy. This is the state of the
case as between the German people, including the Intellectuals, and the
peoples against whom their preconceptions of national destiny have
arrayed them. And the many vivid expressions of consternation,
abhorrence and incredulity that have come out of this community of
Intellectuals in the course of the past two years of trial and error,
bear sufficient testimony to the rigorous constraint which these German
preconceptions and their logic exercise over the Intellectuals, no less
than over the populace.

Conversely, of course, it is nearly as impracticable for those who have
grown up under the discipline of democratic institutions to comprehend
the habitual outlook of the commonplace German patriot on national
interests and aims; not quite, perhaps, because the discipline of use
and wont and indoctrination is neither so rigorous nor so consistent in
their case. But there is, after all, prevalent among them a sufficiently
evident logical inability to understand and appreciate the paramount
need of national, that is to say dynastic, ascendancy that actuates all
German patriots; just as these same patriots are similarly unable to
consider national interests in any other light than that of dynastic

Going simply on the face value of the available evidence, any outsider
might easily fall into the error of believing that when the great
adventure of the war opened up before them, as well as when presently
the shock of baffled endeavour brought home its exasperating futility,
the Intellectuals of the Fatherland distinguished themselves above all
other classes and conditions of men in the exuberance of their patriotic
abandon. Such a view would doubtless be almost wholly erroneous. It is
not that the Intellectuals reached a substantially superior pitch of
exaltation, but only that, being trained in the use of language, they
were able to express their emotions with great facility. There seems no
reason to believe that the populace fell short of the same measure in
respect of their prevalent frame of mind.

To return to the workings of the Imperial dynastic State and the forces
engaged. It plainly appears that the Intellectuals are to be counted as
supernumeraries, except so far as they serve as an instrument of
publicity and indoctrination in the hands of the discretionary
authorities. The working factors in the case are the dynastic
organisation of control, direction and emolument, and the populace at
large by use of whose substance the traffic in dynastic ascendancy and
emolument is carried on. These two are in fairly good accord, on the
ancient basis of feudal loyalty. Hitherto there is no evident ground for
believing that this archaic tie that binds the populace to the dynastic
ambitions has at all perceptibly weakened. And the possibility of
dynastic Germany living at peace with the world under any compact,
therefore translates itself into the possibility of the German people's
unlearning its habitual deference and loyalty to the dynasty.

As its acquirement has been a work of protracted habituation, so can its
obsolescence also come about only through more or less protracted
habituation under a system of use and wont of a different or divergent
order. The elements of such a systematic discipline running to an effect
at cross purposes with this patriotic animus are not absent from the
current situation in the Fatherland; the discipline of the modern
industrial system, for instance, runs to such a divergent effect; but
this, and other conceivable forces which may reenforce it, will after
all take time, if they are to work a decisive change in the current
frame of mind of the patriotic German community. During the interval
required for such a change in the national temper, the peace of the
world would be conditioned on the inability of the dynastic State to
break it. So that the chances of success for any neutral peace league
will vary inversely as the available force of Imperial Germany, and it
could be accounted secure only in the virtual elimination of the
Imperial State as a national Power.

If the gradual obsolescence of the spirit of militant loyalty in the
German people, through disuse under a régime of peace, industry, self
government and free trade, is to be the agency by force of which
dynastic imperialism is to cease, the chance of a neutral peace will
depend on the thoroughness with which such a régime of self-direction
can be installed in this case, and on the space of time required for
such obsolescence through disuse. Obviously, the installation of a
workable régime of self-government on peaceable lines would in any case
be a matter of great difficulty among a people whose past experience has
so singularly incapacitated them for self-government; and obviously,
too, the interval of time required to reach secure ground along this
line of approach would be very considerable. Also, in view of these
conditions, obviously, this scheme for maintaining the peace of nations
by a compact of neutrals based on a compromise with an aspiring dynastic
State resolves itself into the second of the two alternatives spoken of
at the outset, viz., a neutral peace based on the elimination of Germany
as a war power, together with the elimination of any materials suitable
for the formation of a formidable coalition. And then, with Imperial
Germany supposedly eliminated or pacified, there would still remain the
Japanese establishment, to which all the arguments pertinent in the case
of Germany will apply without abatement; except that, at least hitherto,
the dynastic statesmen of Japan have not had the disposal of so massive
a body of resources, in population, industry, or raw materials.



The argument therefore turns back to a choice between the two
alternatives alluded to: peace in submission to the rule of the German
dynastic establishment (and to Japan), or peace through elimination of
these enterprising Powers. The former alternative, no doubt, is
sufficiently unattractive, but it is not therefore to be put aside
without a hearing. As goes without saying, it is repugnant to the
patriotic sentiments of those peoples whom the Imperial German
establishment have elected for submission. But if this unreflecting
patriotic revulsion can once be made amenable to reason, there is always
something to be said in favor of such a plan of peaceable submission, or
at least in extenuation of it; and if it is kept in mind that the
ulterior necessity of such submission must always remain in perspective
as a condition precedent to a peaceful settlement, so long as one or
both of these enterprising Powers remains intact, it will be seen that a
sane appraisal of the merits of such a régime of peace is by no means
uncalled for. For neither of these two Powers is there a conclusive
issue of endeavour short of paramount dominion.

       *       *       *       *       *

There should also be some gain of insight and sobriety in recalling that
the Intellectuals of the Fatherland, who have doubtless pondered this
matter longer and more dispassionately than all other men, have spoken
very highly of the merits of such a plan of universal submission to the
rule of this German dynastic establishment. They had, no doubt, been
considering the question both long and earnestly, as to what would, in
the light of reason, eventually be to the best interest of those peoples
whose manifest destiny was eventual tutelage under the Imperial crown;
and there need also be no doubt that in that time (two years past) they
therefore spoke advisedly and out of the fulness of the heart on this
head. The pronouncements that came out of the community of Intellectuals
in that season of unembarrassed elation and artless avowal are doubtless
to be taken as an outcome of much thoughtful canvassing of what had best
be done, not as an enforced compromise with untoward necessities but as
the salutary course freely to be pursued with an eye single to the best
good of all concerned.

It is true, the captious have been led to speak slightingly of the many
utterances of this tenure coming out of the community of Intellectuals,
as, e.g., the lay sermons of Professor Ostwald dating back to that
season; but no unprejudiced reader can well escape the persuasion that
these, as well as the very considerable volume of similar pronouncements
by many other men of eminent scholarship and notable for benevolent
sentiments, are faithfully to be accepted as the expressions of a
profound conviction and a consciously generous spirit. In so speaking of
the advantages to be derived by any subject people from submission to
the German Imperial rule, these Intellectuals are not to be construed as
formulating the drift of vulgar patriotic sentiment among their
compatriots at large, but rather as giving out the deliverances of their
own more sensitive spirit and maturer deliberation, as men who are in a
position to see human affairs and interests in a larger perspective.
Such, no doubt, would be their own sense of the matter.

Reflection on the analogous case of the tutelage exercised by the
American government over the subject Philippinos may contribute to a
just and temperate view of what is intended in the régime of tutelage
and submission so spoken for by the German Intellectuals,--and, it may
be added, found good by the Imperial statesmen. There would, of course,
be the difference, as against the case of the Philippinos, that whereas
the American government is after all answerable, in the last resort and
in a somewhat random fashion, to a popular opinion that runs on
democratic preconceptions, the German Imperial establishment on the
other hand is answerable to no one, except it be to God, who is
conceived to stand in somewhat the relation of a silent partner, or a
minority stockholder in this dynastic enterprise.

Yet it should not be overlooked that any presumptive hard usage which
the vassal peoples might look for at the hands of the German dynasty
would necessarily be tempered with considerations of expediency as
dictated by the exigencies of usufruct. The Imperial establishment has
shown itself to be wise, indeed more wise than amiable, but wise at
least in its intentions, in the use which it has made of subject peoples
hitherto. It is true, a somewhat accentuated eagerness on the part of
the Imperial establishment to get the maximum service in a minimum of
time and at a minimum cost from these subject populations,--as, e.g., in
Silesia and Poland, in Schleswig-Holstein, in Alsace-Lorraine, or in its
African and Oceanic possessions,--has at times led to practices
altogether dubious on humanitarian grounds, at the same time that in
point of thrifty management they have gone beyond "what the traffic will
bear." Yet it is not to be overlooked--and in this connection it is a
point of some weight--that, so far as the predatory traditions of its
statecraft will permit, the Imperial establishment has in all these
matters been guided by a singularly unreserved attention to its own
material advantage. Where its management in these premises has yielded a
less profitable usufruct than the circumstances would reasonably admit,
the failure has been due to an excess of cupidity rather than the

The circumstantial evidence converges to the effect that the Imperial
establishment may confidently be counted on to manage the affairs of its
subject peoples with an eye single to its own material gain, and it may
with equal confidence be counted on that in the long run no unadvised
excesses will be practised. Of course, an excessive adventure in
atrocity and predation, due to such human infirmity in its agents or in
its directorate as has been shown in various recent episodes, is to be
looked for now and again; but these phenomena would come in by way of
fluctuating variations from the authentic routine, rather than as
systematic features of it.

That superfluity of naughtiness that has given character to the current
German Imperial policy in Belgium, e.g., or that similarly has
characterised the dealings of Imperial Japan in Korea during the late
"benevolent assimilation" of that people into Japanese-Imperial
usufruct, is not fairly to be taken to indicate what such an Imperial
establishment may be expected to do with a subject people on a footing
of settled and long-term exploitation. At the outset, in both instances,
the policy of frightfulness was dictated by a well-advised view to
economy of effort in reducing the subject people to an abject state of
intimidation, according to the art of war as set forth in the manuals;
whereas latterly the somewhat profligate excesses of the government of
occupation--decently covered with diplomatic parables on benevolence and
legality--have been dictated by military convenience, particularly by
the need of forced labor and the desirability of a reduced population in
the acquired territory. So also the "personally conducted" dealings with
the Armenians by use of the Turks should probably also best be explained
as an endeavour to reduce the numbers of an undesirable population
beforehand, without incurring unnecessary blame. All these things are,
at the most, misleading indications of what the Imperial policy would be
like under settled conditions and in the absence of insubordination.

By way of contrast, such as may serve to bring the specific traits of
this prospective Imperial tutelage of nations into a better light, the
Ottoman usufruct of the peoples of the Turkish dominions offers an
instructive instance. The Ottoman tutelage is today spoken of by its
apologists in terms substantially identical with the sketches of the
future presented by hopeful German patriots in the early months of the
current war. But as is so frequently the case in such circumstances,
these expressions of the officers have to be understood in a diplomatic
sense; not as touching the facts in any other than a formal way. It is
sufficiently evident that the Ottoman management of its usufruct has
throughout been ill-advised enough persistently to charge more than the
traffic would bear, probably due in great part to lack of control over
its agents or ramifications, by the central office. The Ottoman
establishment has not observed, or enforced, the plain rules of economy
in its utilisation of the subject peoples, and finds itself today
bankrupt in consequence. What may afford more of a parallel to the
prospective German tutelage of the nations is the procedure of the
Japanese establishment in Korea, Manchuria, or China; which is also duly
covered with an ostensibly decent screen of diplomatic parables, but the
nature and purpose of which is overt enough in all respects but the
nomenclature. It is not unlikely that even this Japanese usufruct and
tutelage runs on somewhat less humane and complaisant lines than a
well-advised economy of resources would dictate for the prospective
German usufruct of the Western nations.

There is the essential difference between the two cases that while Japan
is over-populated, so that it becomes the part of a wise government to
find additional lands for occupancy, and that so it is constrained by its
imperial ambitions to displace much of the population in its subject
territories, the Fatherland on the other hand is under-populated--
notoriously, though not according to the letter of the diplomatic
parables on this head--and for the calculable future must continue to be
under-populated; provided that the state of the industrial arts
continues subject to change in the same general direction as hitherto,
and provided that no radical change affects the German birth-rate. So,
since the Imperial government has no need of new lands for occupancy by
its home population, it will presumably be under no inducement to take
measures looking to the partial depopulation of its subject territories.

The case of Belgium and the measures looking to a reduction of its
population may raise a doubt, but probably not a well taken doubt. It is
rather that since it has become evident that the territory can not be
held, it is thought desirable to enrich the Fatherland with whatever
property can be removed, and to consume the accumulated man-power of the
Belgian people in the service of the war. It would appear that it is a
war-measure, designed to make use of the enemy's resources for his
defeat. Indeed, under conditions of settled occupation or subjection,
any degree of such depopulation would entail an economic loss, and any
well-considered administrative policy would therefore look to the
maintenance of the inhabitants of the acquired territories in
undiminished numbers and unimpaired serviceability.

The resulting scheme of Imperial usufruct should accordingly be of a
considerate, not to say in effect humane, character,--always provided
that the requisite degree of submission and subservience ("law and
order") can be enforced by a system of coercion so humane as not to
reduce the number of the inhabitants or materially to lower their
physical powers. Such would, by reasonable expectation, be the character
of this projected Imperial tutelage and usufruct of the nations of
Christendom. In its working-out this German project should accordingly
differ very appreciably from the policy which its imperial ambitions
have constrained the Japanese establishment to pursue in its dealings
with the life and fortunes of its recently, and currently, acquired
subject peoples.

The better to appreciate in some concrete fashion what should, by
reasonable expectation, be the terms on which life might so be carried
on _sub pace germanica_, attention may be invited to certain typical
instances of such peace by abnegation among contemporary peoples.
Perhaps at the top of the list stands India, with its many and varied
native peoples, subject to British tutelage, but, the British apologists
say, not subject to British usufruct. The margin of tolerance in this
instance is fairly wide, but its limits are sharply drawn. India is
wanted and held, not for tribute or revenue to be paid into the Imperial
treasury, nor even for exclusive trade privileges or preferences, but
mainly as a preserve to provide official occupation and emoluments for
British gentlemen not otherwise occupied or provided for; and
secondarily as a means of safeguarding lucrative British investments,
that is to say, investments by British capitalists of high and low
degree. The current British professions on the subject of this
occupation of India, and at times the shamefaced apology for it, is that
the people of India suffer no hardship by this means; the resulting
governmental establishment being no more onerous and no more expensive
to them than any equally, or even any less, competent government of
their own would necessarily be. The fact, however, remains, that India
affords a much needed and very considerable net revenue to the class of
British gentlemen, in the shape of official salaries and pensions, which
the British gentry at large can on no account forego. Narrowed to these
proportions it is readily conceivable that the British usufruct of India
should rest with no extraordinary weight on the Indian people at large,
however burdensome it may at times become to those classes who aspire to
take over the usufruct in case the British establishment can be
dislodged. This case evidently differs very appreciably from the
projected German usufruct of neighboring countries in Europe.

A case that may be more nearly in point would be that of any one of the
countries subject to the Turkish rule in recent times; although these
instances scarcely show just what to expect under the projected German
régime. The Turkish rule has been notably inefficient, considered as a
working system of dynastic usufruct; whereas it is confidently expected
that the corresponding German system would show quite an exceptional
degree of efficiency for the purpose. This Turkish inefficiency has had
a two-fold effect, which should not appear in the German case. Through
administrative abuses intended to serve the personal advantage of the
irresponsible officials, the underlying peoples have suffered a
progressive exhaustion and dilapidation; whereby the central authority,
the dynastic establishment, has also grown progressively, cumulatively
weaker and therefore less able to control its agents; and, in the second
place, on the same grounds, in the pursuit of personal gain, and
prompted by personal animosities, these irresponsible agents have
persistently carried their measures of extortion beyond reasonable
bounds,--that is to say beyond the bounds which a well considered plan
of permanent usufruct would countenance. All this would be otherwise and
more sensibly arranged under German Imperial auspices.

One of the nations that have fallen under Turkish rule--and Turkish
peace--affords a valuable illustration of a secondary point that is to
be considered in connection with any plan of peace by submission. The
Armenian people have in later time come partly under Russian dominion,
and so have been exposed to the Russian system of bureaucratic
exploitation; and the difference between Russian and Turkish Armenia is
instructive. According to all credible--that is unofficial--accounts,
conditions are perceptibly more tolerable in Russian Armenia. Well
informed persons relate that the cause for this more lenient, or less
extreme, administration of affairs under Russian officials is a
selective death rate among them, such that a local official who
persistently exceeds a certain ill-defined limit of tolerance is removed
by what would under other circumstances be called an untimely death. No
adequate remedy has been found, within the large limits which Russian
bureaucratic administration habitually allows itself in questions of
coercion. The Turk, on the other hand, less deterred by considerations
of long-term expediency, and, it may be, less easily influenced by
outside opinion on any point of humanity, has found a remedy in the
systematic extirpation of any village in which an illicit death occurs.
One will incline to presume that on this head the German Imperial
procedure would be more after the Russian than after the Turkish
pattern; although latterday circumstantial evidence will throw some
sinister doubt on the reasonableness of such an expectation.

It is plain, however, that the Turkish remedy for this form of
insubordination is a wasteful means of keeping the peace. Plainly, to
the home office, the High Command, the extinction of a village with its
population is a more substantial loss than the unseasonable decease of
one of its administrative agents; particularly when it is called to mind
that such a decease will presumably follow only on such profligate
excesses of naughtiness as are bound to be inexcusably unprofitable to
the central authority. It may be left an open question how far a
corrective of this nature can hopefully be looked to as applicable, in
case of need, under the projected German Imperial usufruct.

It may, I apprehend, be said without offense that there is no depth of
depravity below the ordinary reach of the Russian bureaucracy; but this
organisation finds itself constrained, after all, to use circumspection
and set some limits on individual excursions beyond the bounds of
decency and humanity, so soon as these excesses touch the common or
joint interest of the organisation. Any excess of atrocity, beyond a
certain margin of tolerance, on the part of any one of its members is
likely to work pecuniary mischief to the rest; and then, the
bureaucratic conduct of affairs is also, after all, in an uncertain
degree subject to some surveillance by popular sentiment at home or
abroad. The like appears not to hold true of the Turkish official
organisation. The difference may be due to a less provident spirit among
the latter, as already indicated. But a different tradition, perhaps an
outgrowth of this lack of providence and of the consequent growth of a
policy of "frightfulness," may also come in for a share in the outcome;
and there is also a characteristic difference in point of religious
convictions, which may go some way in the same direction. The followers
of Islam appear on the whole to take the tenets of their faith at their
face value--servile, intolerant and fanatic--whereas the Russian
official class may perhaps without undue reproach be considered to have
on the whole outlived the superstitious conceits to which they yield an
expedient _pro forma_ observance. So that when worse comes to worst, and
the Turk finds himself at length with his back against the last
consolations of the faith that makes all things straight, he has the
assured knowledge that he is in the right as against the unbelievers;
whereas the Russian bureaucrat in a like case only knows that he is in
the wrong. The last extremity is a less conclusive argument to the man
in whose apprehension it is not the last extremity. Again, there is some
shadow of doubt falls on the question as to which of these is more
nearly in the German Imperial spirit.

On the whole, the case of China is more to the point. By and large, the
people of China, more particularly the people of the coastal-plains
region, have for long habitually lived under a régime of peace by
non-resistance. The peace has been broken transiently from time to time,
and local disturbances have not been infrequent; but, taken by and
large, the situation has habitually been of the peaceful order, on a
ground of non-resisting submission. But this submission has not commonly
been of a whole-hearted kind, and it has also commonly been associated
with a degree of persistent sabotage; which has clogged and retarded the
administration of governmental law and order, and has also been
conducive to a large measure of irresponsible official corruption. The
habitual scheme of things Chinese in this bearing may fairly be
described as a peace of non-resistance tempered with sabotage and
assassination. Such was the late Manchu régime, and there is no reason
in China for expecting a substantially different outcome from the
Japanese invasion that is now under way. The nature of this Japanese
incursion should be sufficiently plain. It is an enterprise in
statecraft after the order of Macchiavelli, Metternich, and Bismarck. Of
course, the conciliatory fables given out by the diplomatic service, and
by the other apologists, are to be taken at the normal discount of
one-hundred percent. The relatively large current output of such fables
may afford a hint as to the magnitude of the designs which the fables
are intended to cover.

The Chinese people have had a more extended experience in peace of this
order than all others, and their case should accordingly be instructive
beyond all others. Not that a European peace by non-resistance need be
expected to run very closely on the Chinese lines, but there should be
a reasonable expectation that the large course of things would be
somewhat on the same order in both cases. Neither the European
traditions and habitual temperament nor the modern state of the
industrial arts will permit one to look for anything like a close
parallel in detail; but it remains true, when all is said, that the
Chinese experience of peace under submission to alien masters affords
the most instructive illustration of such a régime, as touches its
practicability, its methods, its cultural value, and its effect on the
fortunes of the subject peoples and of their masters.

Now, it may be said by way of preliminary generalisation that the
life-history of the Chinese people and their culture is altogether the
most imposing achievement which the records of mankind have to show;
whereas the history of their successive alien establishments of mastery
and usufruct is an unbroken sequence of incredibly shameful
episodes,--always beginning in unbounded power and vainglory, running by
way of misrule, waste and debauchery, to an inglorious finish in abject
corruption and imbecility. Always have the gains in civilisation,
industry and in the arts, been made by the subject Chinese, and always
have their alien masters contributed nothing to the outcome but misrule,
waste, corruption and decay. And yet in the long run, with all this
handicap and misrule, the Chinese people have held their place and made
headway in those things to which men look with affection and esteem when
they come to take stock of what things are worth while. It would be a
hopeless task to count up how many dynasties of masterful barbarians,
here and there, have meanwhile come up and played their ephemeral role
of vainglorious nuisance and gone under in shame and confusion, and
dismissed with the invariable verdict of "Good Riddance!"

It may at first sight seem a singular conjuncture of circumstances, but
it is doubtless a consequence of the same conjuncture, that the Chinese
people have also kept their hold through all history on the Chinese
lands. They have lived and multiplied and continued to occupy the land,
while their successive alien masters have come and gone. So that today,
as the outcome of conquest, and of what would be rated as defeat, the
people continue to be Chinese, with an unbroken pedigree as well as an
unbroken line of home-bred culture running through all the ages of
history. In the biological respect the Chinese plan of non-resistance
has proved eminently successful.

And, by the way, much the same, though not in the same degree, is true
for the Armenian people; who have continued to hold their hill country
through good days and evil, apparently without serious or enduring
reduction of their numbers and without visible lapse into barbarism,
while the successive disconnected dynasties of their conquering rulers
have come and gone, leaving nothing but an ill name. "This fable
teaches" that a diligent attention to the growing of crops and children
is the sure and appointed way to the maintenance of a people and its
culture even under the most adverse conditions, and that eventual death
and shameful destruction inexorably wait on any "ruling race." Hitherto
the rule has not failed. The rule, indeed, is grounded in the heritable
traits of human nature, from which there is no escape.

For its long-term biological success, as well as for the continued
integrity of a people's culture, a peace of non-resistance, under good
or evil auspices, is more to be desired than imperial dominion. But
these things are not all that modern peoples live for, perhaps it is
safe to say that in no case are these chief among the things for which
civilised Europeans are willing to live. They urgently need also freedom
to live their own life in their own way, or rather to live within the
bonds of convention which they have come in for by use and wont, or at
least they believe that such freedom is essential to any life that shall
be quite worth while. So also they have a felt need of security from
arbitrary interference in their pursuit of a livelihood and in the free
control of their own pecuniary concerns. And they want a discretionary
voice in the management of their joint interests, whether as a nation or
in a minor civil group. In short, they want personal, pecuniary and
political liberty, free from all direction or inhibition from without.
They are also much concerned to maintain favorable economic conditions
for themselves and their children. And last, but chiefly rather than
least, they commonly are hide-bound patriots inspired with an
intractable felt need of national prestige.

It is an assemblage of peoples in such a frame of mind to whom the
pacifists are proposing, in effect, a plan for eventual submission to an
alien dynasty, under the form of a neutral peace compact to include the
warlike Powers. There is little likelihood of such a scheme being found
acceptable, with popular sentiment running as it now does in the
countries concerned. And yet, if the brittle temper in which any such
proposal is rejected by popular opinion in these countries today could
be made to yield sufficiently to reflection and deliberate appraisal, it
is by no means a foregone conclusion that its acceptance would not be
the best way out of a critical situation. The cost of disabling and
eliminating the warlike Power whose dominion is feared, or even of
staving off the day of surrender, is evidently serious enough. The
merits of the alternative should be open to argument, and should,
indeed, be allowed due consideration. And any endeavour to present them
without heat should presumably find a hearing. It appears to have been
much of the fault of the pacifists who speak for the Peace League that
they have failed or refused to recognise these ulterior consequences of
the plan which they advocate; so that they appear either not to know
what they are talking about, or to avoid talking about what they know.

It will be evident from beforehand that the grave difficulty to be met
in any advocacy of peace on terms of non-resistant subjection to an
alien dynastic rule--"peace at any price"--is a difficulty of the
psychological order. Whatever may be conceived to hold true for the
Chinese people, such submission is repugnant to the sentiments of the
Western peoples. Which in turn evidently is due to the prevalence of
certain habitual preconceptions among modern civilised men,--certain
acquired traits of temper and bias, of the nature of fixed ideas. That
something in the way of a reasonably contented and useful life is
possible under such a régime as is held in prospect, and even some
tolerable degree of well-being, is made evident in the Chinese case. But
the Chinese tolerance of such a régime goes to argue that they are
charged with fewer preconceptions at variance with the exigencies of
life under these conditions. So, it is commonly accepted, and presumably
to be accepted, that the Chinese people at large have little if any
effectual sense of nationality; their patriotism appears to be nearly a
negligible quantity. This would appear to an outsider to have been their
besetting weakness, to which their successful subjection by various and
sundry ambitious aliens has been due. But it appears also to have been
the infirmity by grace of which this people have been obliged to learn
the ways of submission, and so have had the fortune to outlive their
alien masters, all and sundry, and to occupy the land and save the
uncontaminated integrity of their long-lived civilisation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some account of the nature and uses of this spirit of patriotism that is
held of so great account among Western nations has already been set out
in an earlier passage. One or two points in the case, that bear on the
argument here, may profitably be recalled. The patriotic spirit, or the
tie of nationalism, is evidently of the nature of habit, whatever
proclivity to the formation of such a habit may be native to mankind.
More particularly is it a matter of habit--it might even be called a
matter of fortuitous habit--what particular national establishment a
given human subject will become attached to on reaching what is called
"years of discretion" and so becoming a patriotic citizen.

The analogy of the clam may not be convincing, but it may at least serve
to suggest what may be the share played by habituation in the matter of
national attachment. The young clam, after having passed the
free-swimming phase of his life, as well as the period of attachment to
the person of a carp or similar fish, drops to the bottom and attaches
himself loosely in the place and station in life to which he has been
led; and he loyally sticks to his particular patch of ooze and sand
through good fortune and evil. It is, under Providence, something of a
fortuitous matter where the given clam shall find a resting place for
the sole of his foot, but it is also, after all, "his own, his native
land" etc. It lies in the nature of a clam to attach himself after this
fashion, loosely, to the bottom where he finds a living, and he would
not be a "good clam and true" if he failed to do so; but the particular
spot for which he forms this attachment is not of the essence of the
case. At least, so they say.

It may be, as good men appear to believe or know, that all men of sound,
or at least those of average, mind will necessarily be of a patriotic
temper and be attached by ties of loyalty to some particular national
establishment, ordinarily the particular establishment which is formally
identified with the land in which they live; although it is always
possible that a given individual may be an alien in the land, and so may
owe allegiance to and be ruled by a patriotic attachment to another
national establishment, to which the conventionalities governing his
special case have assigned him as his own proper nation. The analogy of
the clam evidently does not cover the case. The patriotic citizen is
attached to his own proper nationality not altogether by the accident of
domicile, but rather by the conventions, legal or customary, which
assign him to this or that national establishment according to certain
principles of use and wont.

Mere legal citizenship or allegiance does not decide the matter either;
at least not by any means unavoidably; as appears in the case of the
Chinese subject under Manchu or Japanese rule; and as appears perhaps
more perspicuously in the case of the "hyphenate" American citizen,
whose formal allegiance is to the nation in whose land he prefers to
live, all the while that his patriotic affection centers on his
spiritual Fatherland in whose fortunes he has none but a non-resident
interest. Indeed, the particular national tie that will bind the
affections--that is to say the effectual patriotic attachment--of any
given individual may turn out on closer scrutiny to be neither that of
domicile or of formal legal allegiance, nor that of putative origin or
pedigree, but only a reflex of certain national animosities; which may
also turn out on examination to rest on putative grounds--as illustrated
by a subsidiary class of hyphenate American citizens whose affections
have come to be bound up in the national fortunes of one foreign Power
for the simple, but sufficient, reason that, on conventional grounds,
they bear malice against another equally foreign Power.

Evidently there is much sophistication, not to say conventionalised
affectation, in all this national attachment and allegiance. It will
perhaps not do to say that it is altogether a matter of sophistication.
Yet it may not exceed the premises to say that the particular choice,
the concrete incidence, of this national attachment is in any given case
a matter of sophistication, largely tempered with fortuity. One is born
into a given nationality--or, in case of dynastic allegiance, into
service and devotion to a (fortuitously) given sovereign--or at least so
it is commonly believed. Still one can without blame, and without
excessive shame, shift one's allegiance on occasion. What is not
countenanced among civilised men is to shift out of allegiance to any
given nationality or dynasty without shifting into the like complication
of gainless obligations somewhere else. Such a shifting of national or
dynastic base is not quite reputable, though it is also not precisely
disreputable. The difficulty in the case appears to be a moral
difficulty, not a mental or a pecuniary one, and assuredly not a
physical difficulty, since the relation in question is not a physical
relation. It would appear to be of the moral order of things, in that
sense of the term in which conventional proprieties are spoken of as
moral. That is to say, it is a question of conforming to current
expectations under a code of conventional proprieties. Like much of the
conventional code of behavior this patriotic attachment has the benefit
of standardised decorum, and its outward manifestations are enjoined by
law. All of which goes to show how very seriously the whole matter is

And yet it is also a matter of common notoriety that large aggregates of
men, not to speak of sporadic individuals, will on occasion shift their
allegiance with the most felicitous effect and with no sensible loss of
self-respect or of their good name. Such a shift is to be seen in
multiple in the German nation within the past half-century, when, for
instance, the Hanoverians, the Saxons, and even the Holsteiners in very
appreciable numbers, not to mention the subjects of minuscular
principalities whose names have been forgotten in the shuffle, all
became good and loyal subjects of the Empire and of the Imperial
dynasty,--good and loyal without reservation, as has abundantly
appeared. So likewise within a similar period the inhabitants of the
Southern States repudiated their allegiance to the Union, putting in its
place an equivalent loyalty to their new-made country; and then, when
the new national establishment slipped out from under their feet they
returned as whole-heartedly as need be to their earlier allegiance. In
each of these moves, taken with deliberation, it is not to be doubted
that this body of citizens have been moved by an unimpeachable spirit of
patriotic honour. No one who is in any degree conversant with the facts
is likely to question the declaration that it would be a perversion, not
to say an inversion, of fact to rate their patriotic devotion to the
Union today lower than that of any other section of the country or any
other class or condition of men.

But there is more, and in a sense worse, to be found along the same
general line of evidence touching this sublimated sentiment of group
solidarity that is called nationalism. The nation, of course, is large;
the larger the better, it is believed. It is so large, indeed, that
considered as a group or community of men living together it has no
sensible degree of homogeneity in any of their material circumstances or
interests; nor is anything more than an inconsiderable fraction of the
aggregate population, territory, industry, or daily life known to any
one of these patriotic citizens except by remote and highly dubious
hearsay. The one secure point on which there is a (constructive)
uniformity is the matter of national allegiance; which grows stronger
and more confident with every increase in aggregate mass and volume. It
is also not doubtful, e.g., that if the people of the British Dominions
in North America should choose to throw in their national lot with the
Union, all sections and classes, except those whose pecuniary interest
in a protective tariff might be conceived to suffer, would presently
welcome them; nor is it doubtful that American nationality would cover
the new and larger aggregate as readily as the old. Much the same will
hold true with respect to the other countries colonised under British
auspices. And there is no conclusive reason for drawing the limit of
admissible national extension at that point.

So much, however, is fairly within the possibilities of the calculable
future; its realisation would turn in great measure on the
discontinuance of certain outworn or disserviceable institutional
arrangements; as, e.g., the remnants of a decayed monarchy, and the
legally protected vested interests of certain business enterprises and
of certain office-holding classes. What more and farther might
practicably be undertaken in this way, in the absence of marplot
office-holders, office-seekers, sovereigns, priests and monopolistic
business concerns sheltered under national animosities and restraints of
trade, would be something not easy to assign a limit to. All the minor
neutrals, that cluster about the North Sea, could unquestionably be
drawn into such a composite nationality, in the absence, or with due
disregard, of those classes, families and individuals whose pecuniary or
invidious gain is dependent on or furthered by the existing division of
these peoples.

The projected defensive league of neutrals is, in effect, an inchoate
coalescence of the kind. Its purpose is the safeguarding of the common
peace and freedom, which is also the avowed purpose and justification of
all those modern nations that have outlived the régime of dynastic
ambition and so of enterprise in dominion for dominion's sake, and have
passed into the neutral phase of nationality; or it should perhaps
rather be said that such is the end of endeavour and the warrant of
existence and power for these modern national establishments in so far
as they have outlived and repudiated such ambitions of a dynastic or a
quasi-dynastic order, and so have taken their place as intrinsically
neutral commonwealths.

It is only in the common defense (or in the defense of the like
conditions of life for their fellowmen elsewhere) that the citizens of
such a commonwealth can without shame entertain or put in evidence a
spirit of patriotic solidarity; and it is only by specious and
sophistical appeal to the national honour--a conceit surviving out of
the dynastic past--that the populace of such a commonwealth can be
stirred to anything beyond a defense of their own proper liberties or
the liberties of like-minded men elsewhere, in so far as they are not
still imbued with something of the dynastic animus and the chauvinistic
animosities which they have formally repudiated in repudiating the
feudalistic principles of the dynastic State.

The "nation," without the bond of dynastic loyalty, is after all a
make-shift idea, an episodic half-way station in the sequence, and
loyalty, in any proper sense, to the nation as such is so much of a
make-believe, that in the absence of a common defense to be safeguarded
any such patriotic conceit must lose popular assurance and, with the
passing of generations, fall insensibly into abeyance as an archaic
affectation. The pressure of danger from without is necessary to keep
the national spirit alert and stubborn, in case the pressure from
within, that comes of dynastic usufruct working for dominion, has been
withdrawn. With further extension of the national boundaries, such that
the danger of gratuitous infraction from without grows constantly less
menacing, while the traditional régime of international animosities
falls more and more remotely into the background, the spirit of
nationalism is fairly on the way to obsolescence through disuse. In
other words, the nation, as a commonwealth, being a partisan
organisation for a defensive purpose, becomes _functa officio_ in
respect of its nationalism and its patriotic ties in somewhat the same
measure as the national coalition grows to such a size that partisanship
is displaced by a cosmopolitan security.

Doubtless the falling into abeyance through disuse of so pleasing a
virtue as patriotic devotion will seem an impossibly distasteful
consummation; and about tastes there is no disputing, but tastes are
mainly creations of habit. Except for the disquieting name of the thing,
there is today little stands in the way of a cosmopolitan order of
human intercourse unobtrusively displacing national allegiance; except
for vested interests in national offices and international
discriminations, and except for those peoples among whom national life
still is sufficiently bound up with dynastic ambition.

In an earlier passage the patriotic spirit has been defined as a sense
of partisan solidarity in point of prestige, and sufficient argument has
been spent in confirming the definition and showing its implications.
With the passing of all occasion for a partisan spirit as touches the
common good, through coalescence of the parts between which partisan
discrepancies have hitherto been kept up, there would also have passed
all legitimate occasion for or provocation to an intoxication of
invidious prestige on national lines,--and there is no prestige that is
not of an invidious nature, that being, indeed, the whole of its nature.
He would have to be a person of praeternatural patriotic sensibilities
who could fall into an emotional state by reason of the national
prestige of such a coalition commonwealth as would be made up, e.g., of
the French and English-speaking peoples, together with those other
neutrally and peaceably inclined European communities that are of a
sufficiently mature order to have abjured dynastic ambitions of
dominion, and perhaps including the Chinese people as well. Such a
coalition may now fairly be said to be within speaking distance, and
with its consummation, even in the inchoate shape of a defensive league
of neutrals, the eventual abeyance of that national allegiance and
national honour that bulks so large in the repertory of current
eloquence would also come in prospect.

All this is by no means saying that love of country, and of use and wont
as it runs in one's home area and among one's own people, would suffer
decay, or even abatement. The provocation to nostalgia would presumably
be as good as ever. It is even conceivable that under such a
(contemplated) régime of unconditional security, attachment to one's own
habitat and social circumstances might grow to something more than is
commonly seen in the precarious situation in which the chances of a
quiet life are placed today. But nostalgia is not a bellicose distemper,
nor does it make for gratuitous disturbance of peaceable alien peoples;
neither is it the spirit in which men lend themselves to warlike
enterprise looking to profitless dominion abroad. Men make patriotic
sacrifices of life and substance in spite of home-sickness rather than
by virtue of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The aim of this long digression has been to show that patriotism, of
that bellicose kind that seeks satisfaction in inflicting damage and
discomfort on the people of other nations, is not of the essence of
human life; that it is of the nature of habit, induced by circumstances
in the past and handed on by tradition and institutional arrangements
into the present; and that men can, without mutilation, divest
themselves of it, or perhaps rather be divested of it by force of
circumstances which will set the current of habituation the contrary

The change of habituation necessary to bring about such a decay of the
bellicose national spirit would appear to be of a negative order, at
least in the main. It would be an habituation to unconditional peace and
security; in other words, to the absence of provocation, rather than a
coercive training away from the bellicose temper. This bellicose temper,
as it affects men collectively, appears to be an acquired trait; and it
should logically disappear in time in the absence of those conditions by
impact of which it has been acquired. Such obsolescence of patriotism,
however, would not therefore come about abruptly or swiftly, since the
patriotic spirit has by past use and wont, and by past indoctrination,
been so thoroughly worked into the texture of the institutional fabric
and into the commonsense taste and morality, that its effectual
obsolescence will involve a somewhat comprehensive displacement and
mutation throughout the range of institutions and popular conceits that
have been handed down. And institutional changes take time, being
creations of habit. Yet, again, there is the qualification to this last,
that since the change in question appears to be a matter, not of
acquiring a habit and confirming it in the shape of an article of
general use and wont, but of forgetting what once was learned, the time
and experience to be allowed for its decay need logically not equal that
required for its acquirement, either in point of duration or in point of
the strictness of discipline necessary to inculcate it.

While the spirit of nationalism is such an acquired trait, and while it
should therefore follow that the chief agency in divesting men of it
must be disuse of the discipline out of which it has arisen, yet a
positive, and even something of a drastic discipline to the contrary
effect need not be altogether ineffectual in bringing about its
obsolescence. The case of the Chinese people seems to argue something of
the sort. Not that the Chinese are simply and neutrally unpatriotic;
they appear also to be well charged with disloyalty to their alien
rulers. But along with a sense of being on the defensive in their common
concerns, there is also the fact that they appear not to be appreciably
patriotic in the proper sense; they are not greatly moved by a spirit
of nationality. And this failure of the national spirit among them can
scarcely be set down to a neutral disuse of that discipline which has on
the other hand induced a militant nationalism in the peoples of
Christendom; it should seem more probable, at least, that this relative
absence of a national ambition is traceable in good part to its having
been positively bred out of them by the stern repression of all such
aspirations under the autocratic rule of their alien masters.

       *       *       *       *       *

Peace on terms of submission and non-resistance to the ordinary
exactions and rulings of those Imperial authorities to whom such
submission may become necessary, then, will be contingent on the virtual
abeyance of the spirit of national pride in the peoples who so are to
come under Imperial rule. A sufficient, by no means necessarily a total,
elimination or decadence of this proclivity will be the condition
precedent of any practicable scheme for a general peace on this footing.
How large an allowance of such animus these prospectively subject
peoples might still carry, without thereby assuring the defeat of any
such plan, would in great measure depend on the degree of clemency or
rigor with which the superior authority might enforce its rule. It is
not that a peace plan of this nature need precisely be considered to
fall outside the limits of possibility, on account of this necessary
condition, but it is at the best a manifestly doubtful matter. Advocates
of a negotiated peace should not fail to keep in mind and make public
that the plan which they advocate carries with it, as a sequel or
secondary phase, such an unconditional surrender and a consequent régime
of non-resistance, and that there still is grave doubt whether the
peoples of these Western nations are at present in a sufficiently
tolerant frame of mind, or can in the calculable future come in for such
a tolerantly neutral attitude in point of national pride, as to submit
in any passable fashion to any alien Imperial rule.

If the spiritual difficulty presented by this prevalent spirit of
national pride--sufficiently stubborn still, however inane a conceit it
may seem on sober reflection--if this animus of factional
insubordination could be overcome or in some passable measure be
conciliated or abated, there is much to be said in favor of such a plan
of peaceable submission to an extraneous and arbitrary authority, and
therefore also for that plan of negotiated peace by means of which
events would be put in train for its realisation.

Any passably dispassionate consideration of the projected régime will
come unavoidably to the conclusion that the prospectively subject
peoples should have no legitimate apprehension of loss or disadvantage
in the material respect. It is, of course, easy for an unreflecting
person to jump to the conclusion that subjection to an alien power must
bring grievous burdens, in the way of taxes and similar impositions. But
reflection will immediately show that no appreciable increase, over the
economic burdens already carried by the populace under their several
national establishments, could come of such a move.

As bearing on this question it is well to call to mind that the
contemplated imperial dominion is designed to be very wide-reaching and
with very ample powers. Its nearest historical analogue, of course, is
the Roman imperial dominion--in the days of the Antonines--and that the
nearest analogue to the projected German peace is the Roman peace, in
the days of its best security. There is every warrant for the
presumption that the contemplated Imperial dominion is to be
substantially all-inclusive. Indeed there is no stopping place for the
projected enterprise short of an all-inclusive dominion. And there will
consequently be no really menacing outside power to be provided against.
Consequently there will be but little provision necessary for the common
defense, as compared, e.g., with the aggregate of such provision found
necessary for self-defense on the part of the existing nations acting in
severalty and each jealously guarding its own national integrity.
Indeed, compared with the burden of competitive armament to which the
peoples of Europe have been accustomed, the need of any armed force
under the new régime should be an inconsiderable matter, even when there
is added to the necessary modicum of defensive preparation the more
imperative and weightier provision of force with which to keep the peace
at home.

Into the composition of this necessary modicum of armed force slight if
any contingents of men would be drawn from the subject peoples, for the
reason that no great numbers would be needed; as also because no devoted
loyalty to the dynasty could reasonably be looked for among them, even
if no positive insecurity were felt to be involved in their employment.
On this head the projected scheme unambiguously commends itself as a
measure of economy, both in respect of the pecuniary burdens demanded
and as regards the personal annoyance of military service.

As a further count, it is to be presumed that the burden of the Imperial
government and its bureaucratic administration--what would be called the
cost of maintenance and repairs of the dynastic establishment and its
apparatus of control--would be borne by the subject peoples. Here again
one is warranted in looking for a substantial economy to be effected by
such a centralised authority, and a consequent lighter aggregate burden
on the subjects. Doubtless, the "overhead charges" would not be reduced
to their practicable minimum. Such a governmental establishment, with
its bureaucratic personnel, its "civil list" and its privileged classes,
would not be conducted on anything like a parsimonious footing. There is
no reason to apprehend any touch of modesty in the exactions of such a
dynastic establishment for itself or in behalf of its underlying
hierarchy of gentlefolk.

There is also to be counted in, in the concrete instance on which the
argument here turns, a more or less considerable burden of contributions
toward the maintenance and augmentation of that culture that has been
the topic of so many encomiums. At this point it should be recalled that
it is the pattern of Periclean Athens that is continually in mind in
these encomiums. Which brings up, in this immediate connection, the
dealings of Periclean Athens with the funds of the League, and the
source as well as the destination of these surplus funds. Out of it all
came the works on the Acropolis, together with much else of intellectual
and artistic life that converged upon and radiated from this Athenian
center of culture. The vista of _Denkmäler_ that so opens to the vision
of a courageous fancy is in itself such a substance of things hoped for
as should stir the heart of all humane persons.[8] The cost of this
subvention of Culture would doubtless be appreciable, but those grave
men who have spent most thought on this prospective cultural gain to be
had from the projected Imperial rule appear to entertain no doubt as to
its being worth all that it would cost.

[Footnote 8: _Denk 'mall_]

Any one who is inclined to rate the prospective pecuniary costs and
losses high would doubtless be able to find various and sundry items of
minor importance to add to this short list of general categories on the
side of cost; but such additional items, not fairly to be included under
these general captions, would after all be of minor importance, in the
aggregate or in detail, and would not appreciably affect the grand
balance of pecuniary profit and loss to be taken account of in any
appraisal of the projected Imperial régime. There should evidently be
little ground to apprehend that its installation would entail a net loss
or a net increase of pecuniary burdens. There is, of course, the
ill-defined and scarcely definable item of expenditure under the general
head of Gentility, Dignity, Distinction, Magnificence, or whatever term
may seem suitable to designate that consumption of goods and services
that goes to maintain the high repute of the Court and to keep the
underlying gentlefolk in countenance. In its pecuniary incidence this
line of (necessary) expenditure belongs under the rubric of Conspicuous
Waste; and one will always have to face the disquieting flexibility of
this item of expenditure. The consumptive demand of this kind is in an
eminent degree "indefinitely extensible," as the phrasing of the
economists would have it, and as various historical instances of courtly
splendor and fashionable magnificence will abundantly substantiate.
There is a constant proclivity to advance this conventional "standard of
living" to the limit set by the available means; and yet these
conventional necessities will ordinarily not, in the aggregate, take up
all the available means; although now and again, as under the _Ancien
Régime_, and perhaps in Imperial Rome, the standard of splendid living
may also exceed the current means in hand and lead to impoverishment of
the underlying community.

An analysis of the circumstances governing this flexibility of the
conventional standard of living and of pecuniary magnificence can not be
gone into here. In the case under consideration it will have to be left
as an indeterminate but considerable item in the burden of cost which
the projected Imperial rule may be counted on to impose on the
underlying peoples. The cost of the Imperial court, nobility, and civil
service, therefore, would be a matter of estimate, on which no close
agreement would be expected; and yet, here as in an earlier connection,
it seems a reasonable expectation that sufficient dignity and
magnificence could be put in evidence by such a large-scale
establishment at a lower aggregate cost than the aggregate of
expenditures previously incurred for the like ends by various nations
working in severalty and at cross purposes.

Doubtless it would be altogether a mistaken view of this production of
dignity by means of a lavish expenditure on superfluities, to believe
that the same principle of economy should apply here as was found
applicable in the matter of armament for defense. With the installation
of a collective national establishment, to include substantially all the
previously competing nations, the need of defensive armament should in
all reason decline to something very inconsiderable indeed. But it would
be hasty to conclude that with the coalescence of these nations under
one paramount control the need of creating notoriety and prestige for
this resulting central establishment by the consumption of decorative
superfluities would likewise decline. The need of such dignity and
magnificence is only in part, perhaps a minor part, of a defensive
character. For the greater part, no doubt, the motive to this
conspicuously wasteful consumption is personal vanity, in Imperial
policy as well as in the private life of fashion,--or perhaps one should
more deferentially say that it is a certain range of considerations
which would be identified as personal vanity in case they were met with
among men beneath the Imperial level. And so far as the creation of this
form of "good-will" by this manner of advertising is traceable to such,
or equivalent, motives of a personal incidence, the provocation to
economy along this line would presumably not be a notable factor in the
case. And one returns perforce to the principle already spoken of above,
that the consumptive need of superfluities is indefinitely extensible,
with the resulting inference that nothing conclusive is to be said as to
the prospective magnitude of this item in the Imperial bill of expense,
or of the consequent pecuniary burdens which it would impose on the
underlying peoples.

       *       *       *       *       *

So far the argument has run on the pecuniary incidence of this projected
Imperial dominion as it falls on the underlying community as a whole,
with no attempt to discriminate between the divergent interests of the
different classes and conditions of men that go to make up any modern
community. The question in hand is a question of pecuniary burdens, and
therefore of the pecuniary interests of these several distinguishable
classes or conditions of men. In all these modern nations that now stand
in the article of decision between peace by submission or a doubtful and
melancholy alternative,--in all of them men are by statute and custom
inviolably equal before the law, of course; they are ungraded and
masterless men before the law. But these same peoples are also alike in
the respect that pecuniary duties and obligations among them are
similarly sacred and inviolable under the dispassionate findings of the
law. This pecuniary equality is, in effect, an impersonal equality
between pecuniary magnitudes; from which it follows that these citizens
of the advanced nations are not ungraded men in the pecuniary respect;
nor are they masterless, in so far as a greater pecuniary force will
always, under this impersonal equality of the law, stand in a relation
of mastery toward a lesser one.

Class distinctions, except pecuniary distinctions, have fallen away. But
all these modern nations are made up of pecuniary classes, differing
from one another by minute gradations in the marginal cases, but
falling, after all, and in the large, into two broadly and securely
distinguishable pecuniary categories: those who have more and those who
have less. Statisticians have been at pains to ascertain that a
relatively very small numerical minority of the citizens in these modern
nations own all but a relatively very small proportion of the aggregate
wealth in the country. So that it appears quite safe to say that in such
a country as America, e.g., something less than ten percent of the
inhabitants own something more than ninety percent of the country's
wealth. It would scarcely be a wild overstraining of its practical
meaning to say that this population is made up of two classes: those who
own the country's wealth, and those who do not. In strict accuracy, as
before the law, this characterisation will not hold; whereas in
practical effect, it is a sufficiently close approximation. This latter
class, who have substantially no other than a fancied pecuniary interest
in the nation's material fortunes, are the category often spoken of as
The Common Man. It is not necessary, nor is it desired, to find a
corresponding designation for the other category, those who own.

The articulate recognition of this division into contrasted pecuniary
classes or conditions, with correspondingly (at least potentially)
divergent pecuniary interests, need imply no degree of approval or
disapproval of the arrangement which is so recognised. The recognition
of it is necessary to a perspicuous control of the argument, as bears on
the possible systematic and inherent discrepancy among these men in
respect of their material interests under the projected Imperial rule.
Substantially, it is a distinction between those who have and those who
have not, and in a question of prospective pecuniary loss the man who
has nothing to lose is differently placed from the one who has. It would
perhaps seem flippant, and possibly lacking in the courtesy due one's
prospective lord paramount, to say with the poet, _Cantabit vacuus coram
latrone viator_.

But the whole case is not so simple. It is only so long as the projected
pecuniary inroad is conceived as a simple sequestration of wealth in
hand, that such a characterisation can be made to serve. The Imperial
aim is not a passing act of pillage, but a perpetual usufruct; and the
whole question takes on a different and more complex shape when it so
touches the enduring conditions of life and livelihood. The citizen who
has nothing, or who has no capitalisable source of unearned income, yet
has a pecuniary interest in a livelihood to be gained from day to day,
and he is yet vulnerable in the pecuniary respect in that his livelihood
may with the utmost facility be laid under contribution by various and
sundry well-tried contrivances. Indeed, the common man who depends for
his livelihood on his daily earnings is in a more immediately
precarious position than those who have something appreciable laid up
against a rainy day, in the shape of a capitalised source of income.
Only that it is still doubtful if his position is precarious in such a
fashion as to lay him open to a notable increase of hardship, or to loss
of the amenities of life, in the same relative degree as his well-to-do

In point of fact it may well be doubted if this common man has anything
to apprehend in the way of added hardship or loss of creature comforts
under the contemplated régime of Imperial tutelage. He would presumably
find himself in a precarious case under the arbitrary and irresponsible
authority of an alien master working through an alien master class. The
doubt which presents itself is as to whether this common man would be
more precariously placed, or would come in for a larger and surer sum of
hard usage and scant living, under this projected order of things, than
what he already is exposed to in his pecuniary relations with his
well-to-do compatriots under the current system of law and order.

Under this current régime of law and order, according to the equitable
principles of Natural Rights, the man without means has no pecuniary
rights which his well-to-do pecuniary master is bound to respect. This
may have been an unintended, as it doubtless was an unforeseen, outcome
of the move out of feudalism and prescriptive rights and immunities,
into the system of individual liberty and manhood franchise; but as
commonly happens in case of any substantial change in the scheme of
institutional arrangements, unforeseen consequences come in along with
those that have been intended. In that period of history when Western
Europe was gathering that experience out of which the current habitual
scheme of law and order has come, the right of property and free
contract was a complement and safeguard to that individual initiative
and masterless equality of men for which the spokesmen of the new era
contended. That it is no longer so at every turn, or even in the main,
in later time, is in great part due to changes of the pecuniary order,
that have come on since then, and that seem not to have cast their
shadow before.

In all good faith, and with none but inconsequential reservations, the
material fortunes of modern civilised men--together with much else--have
so been placed on a pecuniary footing, with little to safeguard them at
any point except the inalienable right of pecuniary self-direction and
initiative, in an environment where virtually all the indispensable
means of pecuniary self-direction and initiative are in the hands of
that contracted category of owners spoken of above. A numerical
minority--under ten percent of the population--constitutes a conclusive
pecuniary majority--over ninety percent of the means--under a system of
law and order that turns on the inalienable right of owners to dispose
of the means in hand as may suit their convenience and profit,--always
barring recourse to illegal force or fraud. There is, however, a very
appreciable margin of legal recourse to force and of legally protected
fraud available in case of need. Of course the expedients here referred
to as legally available force and fraud in the defense of pecuniary
rights and the pursuit of pecuniary gain are not force and fraud _de
jure_ but only _de facto_. They are further, and well known,
illustrations of how the ulterior consequences of given institutional
arrangements and given conventionalised principles (habits of thought)
of conduct may in time come to run at cross purposes with the initial
purpose that led to the acceptance of these institutions and to the
confirmation and standardisation of these habitual norms of conduct. For
the time being, however, they are "fundamentally and eternally right and

Being a pecuniary majority--what may be called a majority of the
corporate stock--of the nation, it is also fundamentally and eternally
right and good that the pecuniary interests of the owners of the
material means of life should rule unabated in all those matters of
public policy that touch on the material fortunes of the community at
large. Barring a slight and intermittent mutter of discontent, this
arrangement has also the cordial approval of popular sentiment in these
modern democratic nations. One need only recall the paramount importance
which is popularly attached to the maintenance and extension of the
nation's trade--for the use of the investors--or the perpetuation of a
protective tariff--for the use of the protected business concerns--or,
again, the scrupulous regard with which such a body of public servants
as the Interstate Commerce Commission will safeguard the legitimate
claim of the railway companies to a "reasonable" rate of earnings on the
capitalised value of the presumed earning-capacity of their property.

       *       *       *       *       *

Again, in view of the unaccustomed freedom with which it is here
necessary to speak of these delicate matters, it may be in place to
disclaim all intention to criticise the established arrangements on
their merits as details of public policy. All that comes in question
here, touching these and the like features of the established law and
order, is the bearing of all this on the material fortunes of the common
man under the current régime, as contrasted with what he would
reasonably have to look for under the projected régime of Imperial
tutelage that would come in, consequent upon this national surrender to
Imperial dominion.

       *       *       *       *       *

In these democratic countries public policy is guided primarily by
considerations of business expediency, and the administration, as well
as the legislative power, is in the hands of businessmen, chosen
avowedly on the ground of their businesslike principles and ability.
There is no power in such a community that can over-rule the exigencies
of business, nor would popular sentiment countenance any exercise of
power that should traverse these exigencies, or that would act to
restrain trade or discourage the pursuit of gain. An apparent exception
to the rule occurs in wartime, when military exigencies may over-rule
the current demands of business traffic; but the exception is in great
part only apparent, in that the warlike operations are undertaken in
whole or in part with a view to the protection or extension of business

National surveillance and regulation of business traffic in these
countries hitherto, ever since and in so far as the modern democratic
order of things has taken effect, has uniformly been of the nature of
interference with trade and investment in behalf of the nation's
mercantile community at large, as seen in port and shipping regulations
and in the consular service, or in behalf of particular favored groups
or classes of business concerns, as in protective tariffs and subsidies.
In all this national management of pecuniary affairs, under modern
democratic principles, the common man comes into the case only as raw
material of business traffic,--as consumer or as laborer. He is one of
the industrial agencies by use of which the businessman who employs him
supplies himself with goods for the market, or he is one of the units
of consumptive demand that make up this market in which the business man
sells his goods, and so "realises" on his investment. He is, of course,
free, under modern principles of the democratic order, to deal or not to
deal with this business community, whether as laborer or as consumer, or
as small-scale producer engaged in purveying materials or services on
terms defined by the community of business interests engaged on so large
a scale as to count in their determination. That is to say, he is free
_de jure_ to take or leave the terms offered. _De facto_ he is only free
to take them--with inconsequential exceptions--the alternative being
obsolescence by disuse, not to choose a harsher name for a distasteful

The general ground on which the business system, as it works under the
over-ruling exigencies of the so-called "big business," so defines the
terms of life for the common man, who works and buys, is the ground
afforded by the principle of "charging what the traffic will bear;" that
is to say, fixing the terms of hiring, buying and selling at such a
figure as will yield the largest net return to the business concerns in
whom, collectively or in severalty, the discretion vests. Discretion in
these premises does not vest in any business concern that does not
articulate with the system of "big business," or that does not dispose
of resources sufficient to make it a formidable member of the system.
Whether these concerns act in severalty or by collusion and conspiracy,
in so defining the pecuniary terms of life for the community at large,
is substantially an idle question, so far as bears on the material
interest of the common man. The base-line is still what the traffic will
bear, and it is still adhered to, so nearly as the human infirmity of
the discretionary captains of industry will admit, whether the due
approximation to this base-line is reached by a process of competitive
bidding or by collusive advisement.

The generalisation so offered, touching the material conditions of life
for the common man under the modern rule of big business, may seem
unwarrantably broad. It may be worth while to take note of more than one
point in qualification of it, chiefly to avoid the appearance of having
overlooked any of the material circumstances of the case. The "system"
of large business, working its material consequences through the system
of large-scale industry, but more particularly by way of the large-scale
and wide-reaching business of trade in the proper sense, draws into the
net of its control all parts of the community and all its inhabitants,
in some degree of dependence. But there is always, hitherto, an
appreciable fraction of the inhabitants--as, e.g., outlying agricultural
sections that are in a "backward" state--who are by no means closely
bound in the orderly system of business, or closely dependent on the
markets. They may be said to enjoy a degree of independence, by virtue
of their foregoing as much as may be of the advantages offered by modern
industrial specialisation. So also there are the minor and interstitial
trades that are still carried on by handicraft methods; these, too, are
still somewhat loosely held in the fabric of the business system. There
is one thing and another in this way to be taken account of in any
exhaustive survey, but the accounting for them will after all amount to
nothing better than a gleaning of remnants and partial exceptions, such
as will in no material degree derange the general proposition in hand.

Again, there runs through the length and breadth of this business
community a certain measure of incompetence or inefficiency of
management, as seen from the point of view of the conceivable perfect
working of the system as a whole. It may be due to a slack attention
here and there; or to the exigencies of business strategy which may
constrain given business concerns to an occasional attitude of "watchful
waiting" in the hope of catching a rival off his guard; or to a lack of
perfect mutual understanding among the discretionary businessmen, due
sometimes to an over-careful guarding of trade secrets or advance
information; or, as also happens, and quite excusably, to a lack of
perfect mutual confidence among these businessmen, as to one another's
entire good faith or good-will. The system is after all a competitive
one, in the sense that each of the discretionary directors of business
is working for his own pecuniary gain, whether in cooperation with his
fellows or not. "An honest man will bear watching." As in other
collusive organisations for gain, confederates are apt to fall out when
it comes to a division of what is in hand. In one way and another the
system is beset with inherent infirmities, which hinder its perfect
work; and in so far it will fall short of the full realisation of that
rule of business that inculcates charging what the traffic will bear,
and also in so far the pressure which the modern system of business
management brings to bear on the common man will also fall short of the
last straw--perhaps even of the next-to-the-last. Again it turns out to
be a question not of the failure of the general proposition as
formulated, but rather as to the closeness of approximation to its
theoretically perfect work. It may be remarked by the way that vigilant
and impartial surveillance of this system of business enterprise by an
external authority interested only in aggregate results, rather than in
the differential gains of the interested individuals, might hopefully
be counted on to correct some of these shortcomings which the system
shows when running loose under the guidance of its own multifarious

On the opposite side of the account, it is also worth noting that, while
modern business management may now and again fall short of what the
traffic will bear, it happens more commonly that its exactions will
exceed that limit. This will particularly be true in businessmen's
dealings with hired labour, as also and perhaps with equally
far-reaching consequences in an excessive recourse to sophistications
and adulterants and an excessively parsimonious provision for the
safety, health or comfort of their customers--as, e.g., in passenger
traffic by rail, water or tramway. The discrepancy to which attention is
invited here is due to a discrepancy between business expediency, that
is expediency for the purpose of gain by a given businessman, on the one
hand, and serviceability to the common good, on the other hand. The
business concern's interest in the traffic in which it engages is a
short-term interest, or an interest in the short-term returns, as
contrasted with the long-term or enduring interest which the community
at large has in the public service over which any such given business
concern disposes. The business incentive is that afforded by the
prospective net pecuniary gain from the traffic, substantially an
interest in profitable sales; while the community at large, or the
common man that goes to make up such a community, has a material
interest in this traffic only as regards the services rendered and the
enduring effects that follow from it.

The businessman has not, or at least is commonly not influenced by, any
interest in the ulterior consequences of the transactions in which he
is immediately engaged. This appears to hold true in an accentuated
degree in the domain of that large-scale business that draws its gains
from the large-scale modern industry and is managed on the modern
footing of corporation finance. This modern fashion of business
organisation and management apparently has led to a substantial
shortening of the term over which any given investor maintains an
effective interest in any given corporate enterprise, in which his
investments may be placed for the time being. With the current practice
of organising industrial and mercantile enterprises on a basis of
vendible securities, and with the nearly complete exemption from
personal responsibility and enduring personal attachment to any one
corporate enterprise which this financial expedient has brought, it has
come about that in the common run of cases the investor, as well as the
directorate, in any given enterprise, has an interest only for the time
being. The average term over which it is (pecuniarily) incumbent on the
modern businessman to take account of the working of any given
enterprise has shortened so far that the old-fashioned accountability,
that once was depended on to dictate a sane and considerate management
with a view to permanent good-will, has in great measure become

By and large, it seems unavoidable that the pecuniary interests of the
businessmen on the one hand and the material interests of the community
on the other hand are diverging in a more and more pronounced degree,
due to institutional circumstances over which no prompt control can be
had without immediate violation of that scheme of personal rights in
which the constitution of modern democratic society is grounded. The
quandary in which these communities find themselves, as an outcome of
their entrance upon "the simple and obvious system of Natural Liberty,"
is shown in a large and instructive way by what is called "labor
trouble," and in a more recondite but no less convincing fashion by the
fortunes of the individual workman under the modern system.

The cost of production of a modern workman has constantly increased,
with the advance of the industrial arts. The period of preparation, of
education and training, necessary to turn out competent workmen, has
been increasing; and the period of full workmanlike efficiency has been
shortening, in those industries that employ the delicate and exacting
processes of the modern technology. The shortening of this working-life
of the workman is due both to a lengthening of the necessary period of
preparation, and to the demand of these processes for so full a use of
the workman's forces that even the beginning of senescence will count as
a serious disability,--in many occupations as a fatal disability. It is
also a well ascertained fact that effectual old age will be brought on
at an earlier period by overwork; overwork shortens the working
life-time of the workman. Thorough speeding-up ("Scientific
Management"?) will unduly shorten this working life-time, and so it may,
somewhat readily, result in an uneconomical consumption of the
community's man-power, by consuming the workmen at a higher rate of
speed, a higher pressure, with a more rapid rate of deterioration, than
would give the largest net output of product per unit of man-power
available, or per unit of cost of production of such man-power.

On this head the guiding incentives of the businessman and the material
interest of the community at large--not to speak of the selfish interest
of the individual workman--are systematically at variance. The cost of
production of workmen does not fall on the business concern which
employs them, at least not in such definite fashion as to make it appear
that the given business concern or businessman has a material interest
in the economical consumption of the man-power embodied in this given
body of employees. Some slight and exceptional qualification of this
statement is to be noted, in those cases where the processes in use are
such as to require special training, not to be had except by a working
habituation to these processes in the particular industrial plant in
question. So far as such special training, to be had only as employees
of the given concern, is a necessary part of the workman's equipment for
this particular work, so far the given employer bears a share and an
interest in the cost of production of the workmen employed; and so far,
therefore, the employer has also a pecuniary interest in the economical
use of his employees; which usually shows itself in the way of some
special precautions being taken to prevent the departure of these
workmen so long as there is a clear pecuniary loss involved in replacing
them with men who have not yet had the special training required.
Evidently this qualifying consideration covers no great proportion of
the aggregate man-power consumed in industrial enterprises under
business management. And apart from the instances, essentially
exceptional, where such a special consideration comes in, the
businessmen in charge will, quite excusably as things go, endeavour to
consume the man-power of which they dispose in the persons of their
employees, not at the rate that would be most economical to the
community at large, in view of the cost of their replacement, nor at
such a rate as would best suit the taste or the viability of the
particular workman, but at such a rate as will yield the largest net
pecuniary gain to the employer.

There is on record an illustrative, and indeed an illustrious, instance
of such cannily gainful consumption of man-power carried out
systematically and with consistently profitable effect in one of the
staple industries of the country. In this typical, though exceptionally
thoroughgoing and lucrative enterprise, the set rule of the management
was, to employ none but select workmen, in each respective line of work;
to procure such select workmen and retain them by offering wages
slightly over the ordinary standard; to work them at the highest pace
and pressure attainable with such a picked body; and to discharge them
on the first appearance of aging or of failing powers. In the rules of
the management was also included the negative proviso that the concern
assumed no responsibility for the subsequent fortunes of discharged
workmen, in the way of pension, insurance or the like.

This enterprise was highly successful and exceedingly profitable, even
beyond the high average of profits among enterprises in the same line of
business. Out of it came one of the greater and more illustrious
fortunes that have been accumulated during the past century; a fortune
which has enabled one of the most impressive and most gracious of this
generation's many impressive philanthropists, never weary in well-doing;
but who, through this cannily gainful consumption of man-power, has been
placed in the singular position of being unable, in spite of avowedly
unremitting endeavour, to push his continued disbursements in the
service of humanity up to the figure of his current income. The case in
question is one of the most meritorious known to the records of modern
business, and while it will conveniently serve to illustrate many an
other, and perhaps more consequential truth come to realisation in the
march of Triumphant Democracy, it will also serve to show the
gainfulness of an unreservedly canny consumption of man-power with an
eye single to one's own net gain in terms of money.

       *       *       *       *       *

Evidently this is a point in the articulation of the modern economic
system where a sufficiently ruthless outside authority, not actuated by
a primary regard for the pecuniary interests of the employers, might
conceivably with good effect enforce a more economical consumption of
the country's man-power. It is not a matter on which one prefers to
dwell, but it can do no harm to take note of the fact for once in a way,
that these several national establishments of the democratic order, as
they are now organised and administered, do somewhat uniformly and
pervasively operate with an effectual view to the advantage of a class,
so far as may plausibly be done. They are controlled by and administered
in behalf of those elements of the population that, for the purpose in
hand, make up a single loose-knit class,--the class that lives by income
rather than by work. It may be called the class of the business
interests, or of capital, or of gentlemen. It all comes to much the
same, for the purpose in hand.

The point in speaking of this contingent whose place in the economy of
human affairs it is to consume, or to own, or to pursue a margin of
profit, is simply that of contrasting this composite human contingent
with the common man; whose numbers account for some nine-tenths or more
of the community, while his class accounts for something less than
one-tenth of the invested wealth, and appreciably less than that
proportion of the discretionary national establishment,--the government,
national or local, courts, attorneys, civil service, diplomatic and
consular, military and naval. The arrangement may be called a
gentlemen's government, if one would rather have it that way; but a
gentleman is necessarily one who lives on free income from invested
wealth--without such a source of free, that is to say unearned, income
he becomes a decayed gentleman. Again, pushing the phrasing back a step
farther toward the ground facts, there are those who would speak of the
current establishments as "capitalistic;" but this term is out of line
in that it fails to touch the human element in the case, and
institutions, such as governmental establishments and their functioning,
are after all nothing but the accustomed ways and means of human
behaviour; so that "capitalistic" becomes a synonym for "businessmen's"
government so soon as it is designated in terms of the driving
incentives and the personnel. It is an organisation had with a view to
the needs of business (i.e. pecuniary) enterprise, and is made up of
businessmen and gentlemen, which comes to much the same, since a
gentleman is only a businessman in the second or some later generation.
Except for the slightly odious suggestion carried by the phrase, one
might aptly say that the gentleman, in this bearing, is only a
businessman gone to seed.

By and large, and taking the matter naively at the simple face value of
the material gain or loss involved, it should seem something of an idle
question to the common man whether his collective affairs are to be
managed by a home-bred line of businessmen and their successive filial
generations of gentlemen, with a view to accelerate the velocity and
increase the volume of competitive gain and competitive spending, on
the one hand, or by an alien line of officials, equally aloof from his
common interests, and managing affairs with a view to the usufruct of
his productive powers in furtherance of the Imperial dominion.

Not that the good faith or the generous intentions of these governments
of gentlemen is questioned or is in any degree questionable; what is
here spoken of is only the practical effect of the policies which they
pursue, doubtless with benevolent intentions and well-placed
complacency. In effect, things being as they are today in the civilised
world's industry and trade, it happens, as in some sort an unintended
but all-inclusive accident, that the guidance of affairs by business
principles works at cross purposes with the material interests of the
common man.

So ungraceful a view of the sacred core of this modern democratic
organisation will need whatever evidence can be cited to keep it in
countenance. Therefore indulgence is desired for one further count in
this distasteful recital of ineptitudes inherent in this institutional
scheme of civilised life. This count comes under the head of what may be
called capitalistic sabotage. "Sabotage" is employed to designate a
wilful retardation, interruption or obstruction of industry by
peaceable, and ordinarily by legally defensible, measures. In its
present application, particularly, there is no design to let the term
denote or insinuate a recourse to any expedients or any line of conduct
that is in any degree legally dubious, or that is even of questionable

Sabotage so understood, as not comprising recourse to force or fraud, is
a necessary and staple expedient of business management, and its
employment is grounded in the elementary and indefeasible rights of
ownership. It is simply that the businessman, like any other owner, is
vested with the right freely to use or not to use his property for any
given purpose. His decision, for reasons of his own, not to employ the
property at his disposal in a particular way at a particular time, is
well and blamelessly within his legitimate discretion, under the rights
of property as universally accepted and defended by modern nations. In
the particular instance of the American nation he is protected in this
right by a constitutional provision that he must not be deprived of his
property without due process of law. When the property at his disposal
is in the shape of industrial plant or industrial material, means of
transportation or stock of goods awaiting distribution, then his
decision not to employ this property, or to limit its use to something
less than full capacity, in the way for which it is adapted, becomes
sabotage, normally and with negligible exceptions. In so doing he
hinders, retards or obstructs the working of the country's industrial
forces by so much. It is a matter of course and of absolute necessity to
the conduct of business, that any discretionary businessman must be free
to deal or not to deal in any given case; to limit or to withhold the
equipment under his control, without reservation. Business discretion
and business strategy, in fact, has no other means by which to work out
its aims. So that, in effect, all business sagacity reduces itself in
the last analysis to a judicious use of sabotage. Under modern
conditions of large business, particularly, the relation of the
discretionary businessman to industry is that of authoritative
permission and of authoritative limitation or stoppage, and on his
shrewd use of this authority depends the gainfulness of his enterprise.

If this authority were exercised with an eye single to the largest and
most serviceable output of goods and services, or to the most economical
use of the country's material resources and man-power, regardless of
pecuniary consequences, the course of management so carried out would be
not sabotage but industrial strategy. But business is carried on for
pecuniary gain, not with an unreserved view to the largest and most
serviceable output or to the economical use of resources. The volume and
serviceability of the output must wait unreservedly on the very
particular pecuniary question of what quantity and what degree of
serviceability will yield the largest net return in terms of price.
Uneconomical use of equipment, labor and resources is necessarily an
everyday matter under these circumstances, as in the duplication of
plant and processes between rival concerns, and in the wasteful use of
all resources that do not involve expenditure on the part of the given

It has been the traditional dogma among economists and publicists in
these modern communities that free competition between the businessmen
in charge will indefeasibly act to bring the productiveness of industry
to the highest practicable pitch and would lead to the most unreserved
and vigilant endeavour to serve the community's material needs at all
points. The reasons for the failure of this genial expectation,
particularly under latterday business management, might be shown in some
detail, if that were needed to enforce the argument as it runs in the
present connection. But a summary indication of the commoner varieties
and effects of sabotage as it is systematically applied in the
businesslike conduct of industry will serve the purpose as well and with
less waste of words and patience.

It is usual to notice, and not unusual to deplore the duplication of
plant and appliances in many lines of industry, due to competitive
management, as in factories engaged in the same class of manufacture, in
parallel or otherwise competing railways and boat lines, in retail
merchandising, and in some degree also in the wholesale trade. The
result, of course, is sabotage; in the sense that this volume of
appliances, materials and workmen are not employed to the best advantage
for the community. One effect of the arrangement is an increased
necessary cost of the goods and services supplied by these means. The
reason for it is competition for gain to be got from the traffic. That
all this is an untoward state of things is recognised on all hands; but
no lively regret is commonly spent on the matter, since it is commonly
recognised that under the circumstances there is no help for it except
at the cost of a more untoward remedy.

The competitive system having been tried and found good--or at least so
it is assumed--it is felt that the system will have to be accepted with
the defects of its qualities. Its characteristic qualities are held to
be good, acceptable to the tastes of modern men whose habits of thought
have been standardised in its terms; and it would be only reluctantly
and by tardy concession that these modern men could bring themselves to
give up that scheme of "Natural Liberty" within the framework of which
runs this competitive system of business management and its wasteful
manifolding of half-idle equipment and nugatory work. The common man, at
the worst, comforts himself and his neighbour with the sage reflection
that "It might have been worse." The businessmen, on the other hand,
have also begun to take note of this systematic waste by duplication
and consequent incompetence, and have taken counsel how to intercept the
waste and divert it to their own profit. The businessmen's remedy is
consolidation of competing concerns, and monopoly control.

To the common man, with his preconceptions on the head of "restraint of
trade," the proposed remedy seems more vicious than the evil it is
designed to cure. The fault of the remedy plainly is not that the
mismanagement of affairs due to competitive business can not be
corrected by recourse to monopoly, but only that the community, it is
presumed, would still suffer all the burdens and discomforts of the
régime of competition and sabotage, with, possibly, further
inconveniences and impositions at the hands of the businesslike
monopoly; which, men are agreed, may fairly be depended on to use its
advantage unsparingly under the business principle of charging what the
traffic will bear.

There is also this other singular phenomenon in this modern industrial
world, that something not very far short of one-half the industrial
equipment systematically lies idle for something approaching one-half
the time, or is worked only to one-half its capacity half the time; not
because of competition between these several industrial concerns, but
because business conditions will not allow its continued productive use;
because the volume of product that would be turned out if the equipment
were working uninterruptedly at its full capacity could not be sold at
remunerative prices. From time to time one establishment and another
will shut down during a period of slack times, for the same reason.

This state of things is singular only as seen from the point of view of
the community's material interest, not that it is in any degree
unfamiliar or that any serious fault is found with the captains of
industry for so shutting off the industrial process and letting the
industrial equipment lie waste. As all men know, the exigencies of
business will not tolerate production to supply the community's needs
under these circumstances; although, as is equally notorious, these
slack times, when production of goods is unadvisable on grounds of
business expediency, are commonly times of wide-spread privation, "hard
times," in the community at large, when the failure of the supply is
keenly felt.

It is not that the captains of industry are at fault in so failing, or
refusing, to supply the needs of the community under these
circumstances, but only that they are helpless under the exigencies of
business. They can not supply the goods except for a price, indeed not
except for a remunerative price, a price which will add something to the
capital values which they are venturing in their various enterprises. So
long as the exigencies of price and of pecuniary gain rule the case,
there is manifestly no escaping this enforced idleness of the country's
productive forces.

It may not be out of place also to remark, by way of parenthesis, that
this highly productive state of the industrial arts, which is embodied
in the industrial plant and processes that so are systematically and
advisedly retarded or arrested under the rule of business, is at the
same time the particular pride of civilised men and the most tangible
achievement of the civilised world.

A conservative estimate of this one item of capitalistic sabotage could
scarcely appraise it at less than a twenty-five percent reduction from
the normally possible productive capacity of the community, at an
average over any considerable period; and a somewhat thorough review of
the pertinent facts would probably persuade any impartial observer that,
one year with another, such businesslike enforced idleness of plant and
personnel lowers the actual output of the country's industry by
something nearer fifty percent of its ordinary capacity when fully
employed. To many, such an assertion may seem extravagant, but with
further reflection on the well-known facts in the case it will seem less
so in proportion as the unfamiliarity of it wears off.

However, the point of attention in the case is not the precise, nor the
approximate, percentages of this arrest and retardation, this partial
neutralisation of modern improvements in the industrial arts; it is only
the notorious fact that such arrest occurs, systematically and
advisedly, under the rule of business exigencies, and that there is no
corrective to be found for it that will comport with those fundamental
articles of the democratic faith on which the businessmen necessarily
proceed. Any effectual corrective would break the framework of
democratic law and order, since it would have to traverse the
inalienable right of men who are born free and equal, each freely to
deal or not to deal in any pecuniary conjuncture that arises.

But it is at the same time plain enough that this, in the larger sense
untoward, discrepancy between productive capacity and current productive
output can readily be corrected, in some appreciable degree at least, by
any sufficient authority that shall undertake to control the country's
industrial forces without regard to pecuniary profit and loss. Any
authority competent to take over the control and regulate the conduct of
the community's industry with a view to maximum output as counted by
weight and tale, rather than by net aggregate price-income over
price-cost, can readily effect an appreciable increase in the effectual
productive capacity; but it can be done only by violating that
democratic order of things within which business enterprise runs. The
several belligerent nations of Europe are showing that it can be done,
that the sabotage of business enterprise can be put aside by
sufficiently heroic measures. And they are also showing that they are
all aware, and have always been aware, that the conduct of industry on
business principles is incompetent to bring the largest practicable
output of goods and services; incompetent to such a degree, indeed, as
not to be tolerable in a season of desperate need, when the nation
requires the full use of its productive forces, equipment and man-power,
regardless of the pecuniary claims of individuals.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, the projected Imperial dominion is a power of the character
required to bring a sufficient corrective to bear, in case of need, on
this democratic situation in which the businessmen in charge necessarily
manage the country's industry at cross purposes with the
community's--that is the common man's--material interest. It is an
extraneous power, to whom the continued pecuniary gain of these nations'
businessmen is a minor consideration, a negligible consideration in case
it shall appear that the Imperial usufruct of the underlying nation's
productive forces is in any degree impaired by the businessmen's
management of it for their own net gain. It is difficult to see on what
grounds of self-interest such an Imperial government could consent to
tolerate the continued management of these underlying nations'
industries on business principles, that is to say on the principle of
the maximum pecuniary gain to the businesslike managers; and recent
experience seems to teach that no excessive, that is to say no
inconvenient, degree of consideration for vested rights, and the like,
would long embarrass the Imperial government in its administration of
its usufruct.

It should be a reasonable expectation that, without malice and with an
unprejudiced view to its own usufruct of these underlying countries, the
Imperial establishment would take due care that no systematically, and
in its view gratuitously, uneconomical methods should continue in the
ordinary conduct of their industry. Among other considerations of weight
in this connection is the fact that a contented, well-fed, and not
wantonly over-worked populace is a valuable asset in such a case.
Similarly, by contraries, as an asset in usufruct to such an alien
power, a large, wealthy, spendthrift, body of gentlefolk, held in high
esteem by the common people, would have but a slight value, conceivably
even a negative value, in such a case. A wise administration would
presumably look to their abatement, rather than otherwise. At this point
the material interest of the common man would seem to coincide with that
of the Imperial establishment. Still, his preconceived notions of the
wisdom and beneficence of his gentlefolk would presumably hinder his
seeing the matter in that reasonable light.

Under the paramount surveillance of such an alien power, guided solely
by its own interest in the usufruct of the country and its population,
it is to be presumed that class privileges and discrimination would be
greatly abated if not altogether discontinued. The point is in some
doubt, partly because this alien establishment whose dominion is in
question is itself grounded in class prerogatives and discrimination,
and so, not improbably, it would carry over into its supervision of the
underlying nations something of a bias in favor of class privileges. And
a similar order of things might also result by choice of a class-system
as a convenient means of control and exploitation. The latter
consideration is presumably the more cogent, since the Imperial
establishment in question is already, by ancient habit, familiar with
the method of control by class and privilege; and, indeed, unfamiliar
with any other method. Such a government, which governs without
effectual advice or formal consent of the governed, will almost
necessarily rest its control of the country on an interested class, of
sufficient strength and bound by sufficiently grave interest to abet the
Imperial establishment effectually in all its adventures and

But such a privileged order, that is to be counted in to share dynastic
usufruct and liabilities, in good days and evil, will be of a
feudalistic complexion rather than something after the fashion of a
modern business community doing business by investment and pecuniary
finesse. It would still be a reasonable expectation that discrimination
between pecuniary classes should fall away under this projected alien
tutelage; more particularly all such discrimination as is designed to
benefit any given class or interest at the cost of the whole, as, e.g.,
protective tariffs, monopolistic concessions and immunities, engrossing
of particular lines of material resources, and the like.

The character of the economic policy to be pursued should not be
difficult of apprehension, if only these underlying peoples are
conceived as an estate in tail within the dynastic line of descent. The
Imperial establishment which so is prospectively to take over the
surveillance of these modern peoples under this projected enterprise in
dominion, may all the more readily be conceived as handling its new and
larger resources somewhat unreservedly as an estate to be administered
with a shrewd eye to the main chance, since such has always been its
relation to the peoples and territories whose usufruct it already
enjoys. It is only that the circumstances of the case will admit a freer
and more sagacious application of those principles of usufruct that lie
at the root of the ancient Culture of the Fatherland.

       *       *       *       *       *

This excessively long, and yet incomplete, review of the presumptive
material advantages to accrue to the common man under a régime of peace
by unconditional surrender to an alien dynasty, brings the argument
apparently to the conclusion that such an eventuality might be fortunate
rather than the reverse; or at least that it has its compensations, even
if it is not something to be desired. Such should particularly appear to
be the presumption in case one is at all inclined to make much of the
cultural gains to be brought in under the new régime. And more
particularly should a policy of non-resistant submission to the
projected new order seem expedient in view of the exceedingly high, not
to say prohibitive, cost of resistance, or even of materially retarding
its fulfillment.



Considered simply on the face of the tangible material interests
involved, the choice of the common man in these premises should seem
very much of a foregone conclusion, if he could persuade himself to a
sane and perspicuous consideration of these statistically apparent
merits of the case alone. It is at least safely to be presumed that he
has nothing to lose, in a material way, and there is reason to look for
some slight gain in creature comforts and in security of life and limb,
consequent upon the elimination, or at least the partial
disestablishment, of pecuniary necessity as the sole bond and criterion
of use and wont in economic concerns.

But man lives not by bread alone. In point of fact, and particularly as
touches the springs of action among that common run that do not
habitually formulate their aspirations and convictions in extended and
grammatically defensible documentary form, and the drift of whose
impulses therefore is not masked or deflected by the illusive
consistencies of set speech,--as touches the common run, particularly,
it will hold true with quite an unacknowledged generality that the
material means of life are, after all, means only; and that when the
question of what things are worth while is brought to the final test, it
is not these means, nor the life conditioned on these means, that are
seen to serve as the decisive criterion; but always it is some
ulterior, immaterial end, in the pursuit of which these material means
find their ulterior ground of valuation. Neither the overt testimony nor
the circumstantial evidence to this effect is unequivocal; but seen in
due perspective, and regard being had chiefly to the springs of
concerted action as shown in any massive movement of this common run of
mankind, there is, after all, little room to question that the things
which commend themselves as indefeasibly worth while are the things of
the human spirit.

These ideals, aspirations, aims, ends of endeavour, are by no means of a
uniform or homogeneous character throughout the modern communities,
still less throughout the civilised world, or throughout the checkered
range of classes and conditions of men; but, with such frequency and
amplitude that it must be taken as a major premise in any attempted
insight into human behaviour, it will hold true that they are of a
spiritual, immaterial nature.

The caution may, parenthetically, not be out of place, that this
characterisation of the ulterior springs of action as essentially not of
the nature of creature comforts, need be taken in no wider extension
than that which so is specifically given it. It will be found to apply
as touches the conduct of the common run; what modification of it might
be required to make it at all confidently applicable to the case of one
and another of those classes into whose scheme of life creature comforts
enter with more pronounced effect may be more of a delicate point. But
since it is the behaviour, and the grounds of behaviour, of the common
run that are here in question, the case of their betters in this respect
may conveniently be left on one side.

The question in hand touches the behavior of the common man, taken in
the aggregate, in face of the quandary into which circumstances have led
him; since the question of what these modern peoples will do is after
all a question of what the common man in the aggregate will do, of his
own motion or by persuasion. His betters may be in a position to guide,
persuade, cajole, mislead, and victimise him; for among the many
singular conceits that beset the common man is the persuasion that his
betters are in some way better than he, wiser, more beneficent. But the
course that may so be chosen, with or without guidance or persuasion
from the superior classes, as well as the persistence and energy with
which this course is pursued, is conditioned on the frame of mind of the
common run.

Just what will be the nature and the concrete expression of these ideal
aspirations that move the common run is a matter of habitual
preconceptions; and habits of thought vary from one people to another
according to the diversity of experience to which they have been
exposed. Among the Western nations the national prestige has come to
seem worth while as an ulterior end, perhaps beyond all else that is
comprised in the secular scheme of things desirable to be had or to be
achieved. And in the apprehension of such of them as have best preserved
the habits of thought induced by a long experience in feudal subjection,
the service of the sovereign or the dynasty still stands over as the
substantial core of the cultural scheme, upon which sentiment and
endeavour converge. In the past ages of the democratic peoples, as well
as in the present-day use and wont among subjects of the dynastic
States--as e.g., Japan or Germany--men are known to have resolutely
risked, and lost, their life for the sake of the sovereign's renown, or
even to save the sovereign's life; whereas, of course, even the
slightest and most nebulous reflection would make it manifest that in
point of net material utility the sovereign's decease is an idle matter
as compared with the loss of an able-bodied workman. The sovereign may
always be replaced, with some prospect of public advantage, or failing
that, it should be remarked that a regency or inter-regnum will commonly
be a season of relatively economical administration. Again, religious
enthusiasm, and the furtherance of religious propaganda, may come to
serve the same general purpose as these secular ideals, and will perhaps
serve it just as well. Certain "principles," of personal liberty and of
opportunity for creative self-direction and an intellectually worthy
life, perhaps may also become the idols of the people, for which they
will then be willing to risk their material fortune; and where this has
happened, as among the democratic peoples of Christendom, it is not
selfishly for their own personal opportunity to live untroubled under
the light of these high principles that these opinionated men are ready
to contend, but rather impersonally for the human right which under
these principles is the due of all mankind, and particularly of the
incoming and of later generations.

On these and the like intangible ends the common man is set with such
inveterate predilection that he will, on provocation, stick at nothing
to put the project through. For such like ends the common man will lay
down his life; at least, so they say. There may always be something of
rhetorical affectation in it all; but, after all, there is sufficient
evidence to hand of such substance and tenacity in the common man's hold
on these ideal aspirations, on these idols of his human spirit, as to
warrant the assertion that he is, rather commonly, prepared to go to
greater lengths in the furtherance of these immaterial gains that are to
inure to someone else than for any personal end of his own, in the way
of creature comforts or even of personal renown.

For such ends the common man, in democratic Christendom is, on
provocation, willing to die; or again, the patient and perhaps more
far-seeing common man of pagan China is willing to live for these idols
of an inveterate fancy, through endless contumely and hard usage. The
conventional Chinese preconceptions, in the way of things that are worth
while in their own right, appear to differ from those current in the
Occident in such a way that the preconceived ideal is not to be realised
except by way of continued life. The common man's accountability to the
cause of humanity, in China, is of so intimately personal a character
that he can meet it only by tenaciously holding his place in the
sequence of generations; whereas among the peoples of Christendom there
has arisen out of their contentious past a preconception to the effect
that this human duty to mankind is of the nature of a debt, which can be
cancelled by bankruptcy proceedings, so that the man who unprofitably
dies fighting for the cause has thereby constructively paid the
reckoning in full.

Evidently, if the common man of these modern nations that are
prospectively to be brought under tutelage of the Imperial government
could be brought to the frame of mind that is habitual with his Chinese
counterpart, there should be a fair hope that pacific counsels would
prevail and that Christendom would so come in for a régime of peace by
submission under this Imperial tutelage. But there are always these
preconceptions of self-will and insubordination to be counted with
among these nations, and there is the ancient habit of a contentious
national solidarity in defense of the nation's prestige, more urgent
among these peoples than any sentiment of solidarity with mankind at
large, or any ulterior gain in civilisation that might come of continued
discipline in the virtues of patience and diligence under distasteful

The occidental conception of manhood is in some considerable measure
drawn in negative terms. So much so that whenever a question of the
manly virtues comes under controversy it presently appears that at least
the indispensable minimum, and indeed the ordinary marginal modicum, of
what is requisite to a worthy manner of life is habitually formulated in
terms of what not. This appearance is doubtless misleading if taken
without the universally understood postulate on the basis of which
negative demands are formulated. There is a good deal of what would be
called historical accident in all this. The indispensable demands of
this modern manhood take the form of refusal to obey extraneous
authority on compulsion; of exemption from coercive direction and
subservience; of insubordination, in short. But it is always understood
as a matter of course that this insubordination is a refusal to submit
to irresponsible or autocratic rule. Stated from the positive side it
would be freedom from restraint by or obedience to any authority not
constituted by express advice and consent of the governed. And as near
as it may be formulated, when reduced to the irreducible minimum of
concrete proviso, this is the final substance of things which neither
shame nor honour will permit the modern civilised man to yield. To no
arrangement for the abrogation of this minimum of free initiative and
self-direction will he consent to be a party, whether it touches the
conditions of life for his own people who are to come after, or as
touches the fortunes of such aliens as are of a like mind on this head
and are unable to make head against invasion of these human rights from

As has just been remarked, the negative form so often taken by these
demands is something of an historical accident, due to the fact that
these modern peoples came into their highly esteemed system of Natural
Liberty out of an earlier system of positive checks on self-direction
and initiative; a system, in effect, very much after the fashion of that
Imperial jurisdiction that still prevails in the dynastic States--as,
e.g., Germany or Japan--whose projected dominion is now the immediate
object of apprehension and repugnance. How naively the negative
formulation gained acceptance, and at the same time how intrinsic to the
new dispensation was the aspiration for free initiative, appears in the
confident assertion of its most genial spokesman, that when these
positive checks are taken away, "The simple and obvious system of
Natural Liberty establishes itself of its own accord."

The common man, in these modern communities, shows a brittle temper when
any overt move is made against this heritage of civil liberty. He may
not be altogether well advised in respect of what liberties he will
defend and what he will submit to; but the fact is to be counted with in
any projected peace, that there is always this refractory residue of
terms not open to negotiation or compromise. Now it also happens, also
by historical accident, that these residual principles of civil liberty
have come to blend and coalesce with a stubborn preconception of
national integrity and national prestige. So that in the workday
apprehension of the common man, not given to analytic excursions, any
infraction of the national integrity or any abatement of the national
prestige has come to figure as an insufferable infringement on his
personal liberty and on those principles of humanity that make up the
categorical articles of the secular creed of Christendom. The fact may
be patent on reflection that the common man's substantial interest in
the national integrity is slight and elusive, and that in sober common
sense the national prestige has something less than a neutral value to
him; but this state of the substantially pertinent facts is not greatly
of the essence of the case, since his preconceptions in these premises
do not run to that effect, and since they are of too hard and fast a
texture to suffer any serious abatement within such a space of time as
can come in question here and now.

       *       *       *       *       *

The outlook for a speedy settlement of the world's peace on a plan of
unconditional surrender to the projected Imperial dominion seems
unpromisingly dubious, in view of the stubborn temper shown by these
modern peoples wherever their preconceived ideas of right and honest
living appear to be in jeopardy; and the expediency of entering into any
negotiated compact of diplomatic engagements and assurances designed to
serve as groundwork to an eventual enterprise of that kind must
therefore also be questionable in a high degree. It is even doubtful if
any allowance of time can be counted on to bring these modern peoples to
a more reasonable, more worldly-wise, frame of mind; so that they would
come to see their interest in such an arrangement, or would divest
themselves of their present stubborn and perhaps fantastic prejudice
against an autocratic régime of the kind spoken for. At least for the
present any such hope of a peaceable settlement seems illusive. What
may be practicable in this way in the course of time is of course still
more obscure; but argument on the premises which the present affords
does not point to a substantially different outcome in the calculable

For the immediate future--say, within the life-time of the oncoming
generation--the spiritual state of the peoples concerned in this
international quandary is not likely to undergo so radical a change as
to seriously invalidate an argument that proceeds on the present lie of
the land in this respect. Preconceptions are a work of habit impinging
on a given temperamental bent; and where, as in these premises, the
preconceptions have taken on an institutionalised form, have become
conventionalised and commonly accepted, and so have been woven into the
texture of popular common sense, they must needs be a work of protracted
and comprehensive habituation impinging on a popular temperamental bent
of so general a prevalence that it may be called congenital to the
community at large. A heritable bent pervading the group within which
inheritance runs, does not change, so long as the racial complexion of
the group remains passably intact; a conventionalised, commonly
established habit of mind will change only slowly, commonly not without
the passing of at least one generation, and only by grace of a
sufficiently searching and comprehensive discipline of experience. For
good or ill, the current situation is to be counted on not to lose
character over night or with a revolution of the seasons, so far as
concerns these spiritual factors that make or mar the fortunes of

At the same time these spiritual assets, being of the nature of habit,
are also bound to change character more or less radically, by insensible
shifting of ground, but incontinently,--provided only that the
conditions of life, and therefore the discipline of experience, undergo
any substantial change. So the immediate interest shifts to the
presumptive rate and character of those changes that are in prospect,
due to the unremitting change of circumstances under which these modern
peoples live and to the discipline of which they are unavoidably
exposed. For the present and for the immediate future the current state
of things is a sufficiently stable basis of argument; but assurance as
to the sufficiency of the premises afforded by the current state of
things thins out in proportion as the perspective of the argument runs
out into the succeeding years. The bearing of it all is two-fold, of
course. This progressive, cumulative habituation under changing
circumstances affects the case both of those democratic peoples whose
fortunes are in the hazard, and also of those dynastic States by whom
the projected enterprise in dominion is to be carried into effect.

       *       *       *       *       *

The case of the two formidable dynastic States whose names have been
coupled together in what has already been said is perhaps the more
immediately interesting in the present connection. As matters stand, and
in the measure in which they continue so to stand, the case of these is
in no degree equivocal. The two dynastic establishments seek dominion,
and indeed they seek nothing else, except incidentally to and in
furtherance of the main quest. As has been remarked before, it lies in
the nature of a dynastic State to seek dominion, that being the whole of
its nature in so far as it runs true to form. But a dynastic State, like
any other settled, institutionalised community of men, rests on and
draws its effectual driving force from the habit of mind of its
underlying community, the common man in the aggregate, his
preconceptions and ideals as to what things are worth while. Without a
suitable spiritual ground of this kind such a dynastic State passes out
of the category of formidable Powers and into that of precarious

In both of the two States here in question the dynastic establishment
and its bodyguard of officials and gentlefolk may be counted on to
persevere in the faith that now animates them, until an uneasy
displacement of sentiment among the underlying populace may in time
induce them judiciously to shift their footing. Like the ruling classes
elsewhere, they are of a conservative temper and may be counted on so to
continue. They are also not greatly exposed to the discipline of
experience that makes for adaptive change in habits of life, and
therefore in the correlated habits of thought. It is always the common
man that is effectually reached by any exacting or wide-reaching change
in the conditions of life. He is relatively unsheltered from any forces
that make for adaptive change, as contrasted with the case of his
betters; and however sluggish and reluctant may be his response to such
discipline as makes for a displacement of outworn preconceptions, yet it
is always out of the mass of this common humanity that those movements
of disaffection and protest arise, which lead, on occasion, to any
material realignment of the institutional fabric or to any substantial
shift in the line of policy to be pursued under the guidance of their

The common mass of humanity, it may be said in parenthesis, is of course
not a homogeneous body. Uncommon men, in point of native gifts of
intelligence, sensibility, or personal force, will occur as frequently,
in proportion to the aggregate numbers, among the common mass as among
their betters. Since in any one of these nations of Christendom, with
their all-inclusive hybridisation, the range, frequency and amplitude of
variations in hereditary endowment is the same throughout all classes.
Class differentiation is a matter of habit and convention; and in
distinction from his betters the common man is common only in point of
numbers and in point of the more general and more exacting conditions to
which he is exposed. He is in a position to be more hardly ridden by the
discipline of experience, and is at the same time held more consistently
to such a body of preconceptions, and to such changes only in this body
of preconceptions, as fall in with the drift of things in a larger mass
of humanity. But all the while it is the discipline which impinges on
the sensibilities of this common mass that shapes the spiritual attitude
and temper of the community and so defines what may and what may not be
undertaken by the constituted leaders. So that, in a way, these dynastic
States are at the mercy of that popular sentiment whose creatures they
are, and are subject to undesired changes of direction and efficiency in
their endeavors, contingent on changes in the popular temper; over which
they have only a partial, and on the whole a superficial control.

A relatively powerful control and energetic direction of the popular
temper is and has been exercised by these dynastic establishments, with
a view to its utilisation in the pursuit of the dynastic enterprise; and
much has visibly been accomplished in that way; chiefly, perhaps, by
military discipline in subordination to personal authority, and also by
an unsparing surveillance of popular education, with a view to fortify
the preconceptions handed down from the passing order as well as to
eliminate all subversive innovation. Yet in spite of all the
well-conceived and shrewdly managed endeavors of the German Imperial
system in this direction, e.g., there has been evidence of an obscurely
growing uneasiness, not to say disaffection, among the underlying mass.
So much so that hasty observers, and perhaps biased, have reached the
inference that one of the immediate contributory causes that led to the
present war was the need of a heroic remedy to correct this untoward
drift of sentiment.

For the German people the government of the present dynastic incumbent
has done all that could (humanly speaking) be expected in the way of
endeavoring to conserve the passing order and to hold the popular
imagination to the received feudalistic ideals of loyal service. And yet
the peoples of the Empire are already caught in the net of that newer
order which they are now endeavoring to break by force of arms. They are
inextricably implicated in the cultural complex of Christendom; and
within this Western culture those peoples to whom it fell to lead the
exodus out of the Egypt of feudalism have come quite naturally to set
the pace in all the larger conformities of civilised life. Within the
confines of Christendom today, for good or ill, whatever usage or
customary rule of conduct falls visibly short of the precedent set by
these cultural pioneers is felt to fall beneath the prescriptive
commonplace level of civilisation. Failure to adopt and make use of
those tried institutional expedients on which these peoples of the
advance guard have set their mark of authentication is today
presumptively a mistake and an advantage foregone; and a people who are
denied the benefit of these latterday ways and means of civic life are
uneasy with a sense of grievance at the hands of their rulers. Besides
which, the fashion in articles of institutional equipage so set by the
authentic pioneers of culture has also come to be mandatory, as a
punctilio of the governmental proprieties; so that no national
establishment which aspires to a decorous appearance in the eyes of the
civilised world can longer afford to be seen without them. The forms at
least must be observed. Hence the "representative" and
pseudo-representative institutions of these dynastic States.

These dynastic States among the rest have partly followed the dictates
of civilised fashion, partly yielded to the, more or less intelligent,
solicitations of their subjects, or the spokesmen of their subjects, and
have installed institutional apparatus of this modern pattern--more in
point of form than of substance, perhaps. Yet in time the adoption of
the forms is likely to have an effect, if changing circumstances favor
their taking effect. Such has on the whole been the experience of those
peoples who have gone before along this trail of political advance. As
instance the growth of discretionary powers under the hands of
parliamentary representatives in those cases where the movement has gone
on longest and farthest; and these instances should not be considered
idle, as intimations of what may presumptively be looked for under the
Imperial establishments of Germany or Japan. It may be true that
hitherto, along with the really considerable volume of imitative
gestures of discretionary deliberation delegated to these parliamentary
bodies, they have as regards all graver matters brought to their notice
only been charged with a (limited) power to talk. It may be true that,
for the present, on critical or weighty measures the parliamentary
discretion extends no farther than respectfully to say: "_Ja wohl_!" But
then, _Ja wohl_ is also something; and there is no telling where it may
all lead to in the long course of years. One has a vague apprehension
that this "_Ja wohl_!" may some day come to be a customarily necessary
form of authentication, so that with-holding it (_Behüt' es Gott_!) may
even come to count as an effectual veto on measures so pointedly
neglected. More particularly will the formalities of representation and
self-government be likely to draw the substance of such like "free
institutions" into the effectual conduct of public affairs if it turns
out that the workday experiences of these people takes a turn more
conducive to habits of insubordination than has been the case hitherto.

Indications are, again, not wanting, that even in the Empire the
discipline of workday experience is already diverging from that line
that once trained the German subjects into the most loyal and unrepining
subservience to dynastic ambitions. Of course, just now, under the
shattering impact of warlike atrocities and patriotic clamour, the
workday spirit of insubordination and critical scrutiny is gone out of
sight and out of hearing.

Something of this inchoate insubordination has showed itself repeatedly
during the present reign, sufficient to provoke many shrewd protective
measures on the side of the dynastic establishment, both by way of
political strategy and by arbitrary control. Disregarding many minor and
inconsequential divisions of opinion and counsel among the German people
during this eventful reign, the political situation has been moving on
the play of three, incipiently divergent, strains of interest and
sentiment: (a) the dynasty (together with the Agrarians, of whom in a
sense the dynasty is a part); (b) the businessmen, or commercial
interest (including investors); and (c) the industrial workmen.
Doubtless it would be easier to overstate than to indicate with any nice
precision what has been the nature, and especially the degree, of this
alienation of sentiment and divergence of conscious interest among these
several elements. It is not that there has at any point been a
perceptible faltering in respect of loyalty to the crown as such. But
since the crown belongs, by origin, tradition, interest and spiritual
identity, in the camp of the Agrarians, the situation has been such as
would inevitably take on a character of disaffection toward the dynastic
establishment, in the conceivable absence of that strong surviving
sentiment of dynastic loyalty that still animates all classes and
conditions of men in the Fatherland. It would accordingly, again, be an
overstatement to say that the crown has been standing precariously at
the apex of a political triangle, the other two corners of which are
occupied by these two divided and potentially recalcitrant elements of
the body politic, held apart by class antipathy and divergent pecuniary
interest, and held in check by divided counsels; but something after
that fashion is what would have resulted under similar conditions of
strain in any community where the modern spirit of insubordination has
taken effect in any large measure.

Both of these elements of incipient disturbance in the dynastic economy,
the modern commercial and working classes, are creatures of the new era;
and they are systematically out of line with the received dynastic
tradition of fealty, both in respect of their pecuniary interests and in
respect of that discipline of experience to which their workday
employment subjects them. They are substantially the same two classes or
groupings that came forward in the modernisation of the British
community, with a gradual segregation of interest and a consequent
induced solidarity of class sentiment and class animosities. But with
the difference that in the British case the movement of changing
circumstances was slow enough to allow a fair degree of habituation to
the altered economic conditions; whereas in the German case the move
into modern economic conditions has been made so precipitately as to
have carried the mediaeval frame of mind over virtually intact into this
era of large business and machine industry. In the Fatherland the
commercial and industrial classes have been called on to play their part
without time to learn their lines.

The case of the English-speaking peoples, who have gone over this course
of experience in more consecutive fashion than any others, teaches that
in the long run, if these modern economic conditions persist, one or the
other or both of these creatures of the modern era must prevail, and
must put the dynastic establishment out of commission; although the
sequel has not yet been seen in this British case, and there is no
ground afforded for inference as to which of the two will have the
fortune to survive and be invested with the hegemony. Meantime the
opportunity of the Imperial establishment to push its enterprise in
dominion lies in the interval of time so required for the discipline of
experience under modern conditions to work out through the growth of
modern habits of thought into such modern (i.e. civilised) institutional
forms and such settled principles of personal insubordination as will
put any effectual dynastic establishment out of commission. The same
interval of time, that must so be allowed for the decay of the dynastic
spirit among the German people under the discipline of life by the
methods of modern trade and industry, marks the period during which no
peace compact will be practicable, except with the elimination of the
Imperial establishment as a possible warlike power. All this, of
course, applies to the case of Japan as well, with the difference that
while the Japanese people are farther in arrears, they are also a
smaller, less formidable body, more exposed to outside forces, and their
mediaevalism is of a more archaic and therefore more precarious type.

What length of time will be required for this decay of the dynastic
spirit among the people of the Empire is, of course, impossible to say.
The factors of the case are not of a character to admit anything like
calculation of the rate of movement; but in the nature of the factors
involved it is also contained that something of a movement in this
direction is unavoidable, under Providence. As a preliminary
consideration, these peoples of the Empire and its allies, as well as
their enemies in the great war, will necessarily come out of their
warlike experience in a more patriotic and more vindictive frame of mind
than that in which they entered on this adventure. Fighting makes for
malevolence. The war is itself to be counted as a set-back. A very large
proportion of those who have lived through it will necessarily carry a
warlike bent through life. By that much, whatever it may count for, the
decay of the dynastic spirit--or the growth of tolerance and equity in
national sentiment, if one chooses to put it that way--will be retarded
from beforehand. So also the Imperial establishment, or whatever is left
of it, may be counted on to do everything in its power to preserve the
popular spirit of loyalty and national animosity, by all means at its
disposal; since the Imperial establishment finally rests on the
effectual body of national animosity. What hindrance will come in from
this agency of retardation can at least vaguely be guessed at, in the
light of what has been accomplished in that way under the strenuously
reactionary rule of the present reign.

Again, there is the chance, as there always is a chance of human folly,
that the neighboring peoples will undertake, whether jointly or
severally, to restrict or prohibit trade relations between the people of
the Empire and their enemies in the present war; thereby fomenting
international animosity, as well as contributing directly to the
economic readiness for war both on their own part and on that of the
Empire. This is also, and in an eminent degree, an unknown factor in the
case, on which not even a reasonable guess can be made beforehand. These
are, all and several, reactionary agencies, factors of retardation,
making for continuation of the current international situation of
animosity, distrust, chicane, trade rivalry, competitive armament, and
eventual warlike enterprise.

       *       *       *       *       *

To offset these agencies of conservatism there is nothing much that can
be counted on but that slow, random, and essentially insidious working
of habituation that tends to the obsolescence of the received
preconceptions; partly by supplanting them with something new, but more
effectually by their falling into disuse and decay. There is, it will
have to be admitted, little of a positive character that can be done
toward the installation of a régime of peace and good-will. The
endeavours of the pacifists should suffice to convince any dispassionate
observer of the substantial futility of creative efforts looking to such
an end. Much can doubtless be done in the way of precautionary measures,
mostly of a negative character, in the way especially of removing
sources of infection and (possibly) of so sterilising the apparatus of
national life that its working shall neither maintain animosities and
interests at variance with the conditions of peace nor contribute to
their spread and growth.

There is necessarily little hope or prospect that any national
establishment will contribute materially or in any direct way to the
obsolescence of warlike sentiments and ambitions; since such
establishments are designed for the making of war by keeping national
jealousies intact, and their accepted place in affairs is that of
preparation for eventual hostilities, defensive or offensive. Except for
the contingency of eventual hostilities, no national establishment could
be kept in countenance. They would all fall into the decay of desuetude,
just as has happened to the dynastic establishments among those peoples
who have (passably) lost the spirit of dynastic aggression.

The modern industrial occupations, the modern technology, and that
modern empirical science that runs so close to the frontiers of
technology, all work at cross purposes with the received preconceptions
of the nationalist order; and in a more pronounced degree they are at
cross purposes with that dynastic order of preconceptions that converges
on Imperial dominion. The like is true, with a difference, of the ways,
means and routine of business enterprise as it is conducted in the
commercialised communities of today. The working of these agencies runs
to this effect not by way of deliberate and destructive antagonism, but
almost wholly by force of systematic, though unintended and incidental,
neglect of those values, standards, verities, and grounds of
discrimination and conviction that make up the working realities of the
national spirit and of dynastic ambition. The working concepts of this
new, essentially mechanistic, order of human interests, do not
necessarily clash with those of the old order, essentially the order of
personages and personalities; the two are incommensurable, and they are
incompatible only in the sense and degree implied in that state of the
case. The profoundest and most meritorious truths of dynastic politics
can on no provocation and by no sleight of hand be brought within the
logic of that system of knowledge and appraisal of values by which the
mechanistic technology proceeds. Within the premises of this modern
mechanistic industry and science all the best values and verities of the
dynastic order are simply "incompetent, irrelevant and impertinent."

There is accordingly no unavoidable clash and no necessary friction
between the two schemes of knowledge or the two habits of mind that
characterise the two contrasted cultural eras. It is only that a given
individual--call him the common man--will not be occupied with both of
these incommensurable systems of logic and appreciation at the same time
or bearing on the same point; and further that in proportion as his
waking hours and his mental energy are fully occupied within the lines
of one of these systems of knowledge, design and employment, in much the
same measure he will necessarily neglect the other, and in time he will
lose proficiency and interest in its pursuits and its conclusions. The
man who is so held by his daily employment and his life-long attention
within the range of habits of thought that are valid in the mechanistic
technology, will, on an average and in the long run, lose his grip on
the spiritual virtues of national prestige and dynastic primacy; "for
they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they
are spiritually discerned."

Not that the adepts in this modern mechanistic system of knowledge and
design may not also be very good patriots and devoted servants of the
dynasty. The artless and, on the whole, spontaneous riot of dynastic
avidity displayed to the astonished eyes of their fellow craftsmen in
the neutral countries by the most eminent scientists of the Fatherland
during the early months of the war should be sufficient warning that the
archaic preconceptions do not hurriedly fly out of the window when the
habits of thought of the mechanistic order come in at the door. But with
the passage of time, pervasively, by imperceptible displacement, by the
decay of habitual disuse, as well as by habitual occupation with these
other and unrelated ways and means of knowledge and belief, dynastic
loyalty and the like conceptions in the realm of religion and magic pass
out of the field of attention and fall insensibly into the category of
the lost arts. Particularly will this be true of the common man, who
lives, somewhat characteristically, in the mass and in the present, and
whose waking hours are somewhat fully occupied with what he has to do.

With the commercial interests the Imperial establishment can probably
make such terms as to induce their support of the dynastic enterprise,
since they can apparently always be made to believe that an extension of
the Imperial dominion will bring correspondingly increased opportunities
of trade. It is doubtless a mistake, but it is commonly believed by the
interested parties, which is just as good for the purpose as if it were
true. And it should be added that in this, as in other instances of the
quest of larger markets, the costs are to be paid by someone else than
the presumed commercial beneficiaries; which brings the matter under the
dearest principle known to businessmen: that of getting something for
nothing. It will not be equally easy to keep the affections of the
common man loyal to the dynastic enterprise when he begins to lose his
grip on the archaic faith in dynastic dominion and comes to realise that
he has also--individually and in the mass--no material interest even in
the defense of the Fatherland, much less in the further extension of
Imperial rule.

But the time when this process of disillusionment and decay of ideals
shall have gone far enough among the common run to afford no secure
footing in popular sentiment for the contemplated Imperial
enterprise,--this time is doubtless far in the future, as compared with
the interval of preparation required for a new onset. Habituation takes
time, particularly such habituation as can be counted on to derange the
habitual bent of a great population in respect of their dearest
preconceptions. It will take a very appreciable space of time even in
the case of a populace so accessible to new habits of thought as the
German people are by virtue of their slight percentage of illiteracy,
the very large proportion engaged in those modern industries that
constantly require some intelligent insight into mechanistic facts, the
density of population and the adequate means of communication, and the
extent to which the whole population is caught in the web of
mechanically standardised processes that condition their daily life at
every turn. As regards their technological situation, and their exposure
to the discipline of industrial life, no other population of nearly the
same volume is placed in a position so conducive to a rapid acquirement
of the spirit of the modern era. But, also, no other people comparable
with the population of the Fatherland has so large and well-knit a body
of archaic preconceptions to unlearn. Their nearest analogue, of course,
is the Japanese nation.

In all this there is, of course, no inclination to cast a slur on the
German people. In point of racial characteristics there is no difference
between them and their neighbours. And there is no reason to question
their good intentions. Indeed, it may safely be asserted that no people
is more consciously well-meaning than the children of the Fatherland. It
is only that, with their archaic preconceptions of what is right and
meritorious, their best intentions spell malevolence when projected into
the civilised world as it stands today. And by no fault of theirs. Nor
is it meant to be intimated that their rate of approach to the accepted
Occidental standard of institutional maturity will be unduly slow or
unduly reluctant, so soon as the pertinent facts of modern life begin
effectively to shape their habits of thought. It is only that, human
nature--and human second nature--being what it always has been, the rate
of approach of the German people to a passably neutral complexion in
matters of international animosity and aggression must necessarily be
slow enough to allow ample time for the renewed preparation of a more
unsparing and redoubtable endeavour on the part of the Imperial

What makes this German Imperial establishment redoubtable, beyond
comparison, is the very simple but also very grave combination of
circumstances whereby the German people have acquired the use of the
modern industrial arts in the highest state of efficiency, at the same
time that they have retained unabated the fanatical loyalty of feudal
barbarism.[9] So long, and in so far, as this conjunction of forces
holds there is no outlook for peace except on the elimination of
Germany as a power capable of disturbing the peace.

[Footnote 9: For an extended discussion of this point, see _Imperial
Germany and the Industrial Revolution_, especially ch. v. and vi.]

It may seem invidious to speak so recurrently of the German Imperial
establishment as the sole potential disturber of the peace in Europe.
The reason for so singling out the Empire for this invidious
distinction--of merit or demerit, as one may incline to take it--is that
the facts run that way. There is, of course, other human material, and
no small volume of it in the aggregate, that is of much the same
character, and serviceable for the same purposes as the resources and
man-power of the Empire. But this other material can come effectually
into bearing as a means of disturbance only in so far as it clusters
about the Imperial dynasty and marches under his banners. In so speaking
of the Imperial establishment as the sole enemy of a European peace,
therefore, these outlying others are taken for granted, very much as one
takes the nimbus for granted in speaking of one of the greater saints of

       *       *       *       *       *

So the argument returns to the alternative: Peace by unconditional
surrender and submission, or peace by elimination of Imperial Germany
(and Japan). There is no middle course apparent. The old-fashioned--that
is to say nineteenth-century--plan of competitive defensive armament and
a balance of powers has been tried, and it has not proved to be a
success, even so early in the twentieth century. This plan offers a
substitute (_Ersatz_) for peace; but even as such it has become
impracticable. The modern, or rather the current late-modern, state of
the industrial arts does not tolerate it. Technological knowledge has
thrown the advantage in military affairs definitively to the offensive,
particularly to the offensive that is prepared beforehand with the
suitable appliances and with men ready matured in that rigorous and
protracted training by which alone they can become competent to make
warlike use of these suitable appliances provided by the modern
technology. At the same time, and by grace of the same advance in
technology, any well-designed offensive can effectually reach any given
community, in spite of distance or of other natural obstacles. The era
of defensive armaments and diplomatic equilibration, as a substitute for
peace, has been definitively closed by the modern state of the
industrial arts.

Of the two alternatives spoken of above, the former--peace by submission
under an alien dynasty--is presumably not a practicable solution, as has
appeared in the course of the foregoing argument.

The modern nations are not spiritually ripe for it. Whether they have
reached even that stage of national sobriety, or neutrality, that would
enable them to live at peace among themselves after elimination of the
Imperial Powers is still open to an uneasy doubt. It would be by a
precarious margin that they can be counted on so to keep the peace in
the absence of provocation from without the pale. Their predilection for
peace goes to no greater lengths than is implied in the formula: Peace
with Honour; which assuredly does not cover a peace of non-resistance,
and which, in effect, leaves the distinction between an offensive and a
defensive war somewhat at loose ends. The national prestige is still a
live asset in the mind of these peoples; and the limit of tolerance in
respect of this patriotic animosity appears to be drawn appreciably
closer than the formula cited above would necessarily presume. They will
fight on provocation, and the degree of provocation required to upset
the serenity of these sportsmanlike modern peoples is a point on which
the shrewdest guesses may diverge. Still, opinion runs more and more
consistently to the effect that if these modern--say the French and the
English-speaking--peoples were left to their own devices the peace might
fairly be counted on to be kept between them indefinitely, barring
unforeseen contingencies.

Experience teaches that warlike enterprise on a moderate scale and as a
side interest is by no means incompatible with such a degree of neutral
animus as these peoples have yet acquired,--e.g., the Spanish-American
war, which was made in America, or the Boer war, which was made in
England. But these wars, in spite of the dimensions which they presently
took on, were after all of the nature of episodes,--the one chiefly an
extension of sportsmanship, which engaged the best attention of only the
more sportsmanlike elements, the other chiefly engineered by certain
business interests with a callous view to getting something for nothing.
Both episodes came to be serious enough, both in their immediate
incidence and in their consequences; but neither commanded the
deliberate and cordial support of the community at large. There is a
meretricious air over both; and there is apparent a popular inclination
to condone rather than to take pride in these _faits accomplis_. The one
excursion was a product of sportsmanlike bravado, fed on boyish
exuberance, fomented for mercenary objects by certain business interests
and place-hunting politicians, and incited by meretricious newspapers
with a view to increase their circulation. The other was set afoot by
interested businessmen, backed by politicians, seconded by newspapers,
and borne by the community at large, in great part under
misapprehension and stung by wounded pride.

Opinions will diverge widely as to the chances of peace in a community
of nations among whom episodes of this character, and of such
dimensions, have been somewhat more than tolerated in the immediate
past. But the consensus of opinion in these same countries appears to be
setting with fair consistency to the persuasion that the popular spirit
shown in these and in analogous conjunctures in the recent past gives
warrant that peace is deliberately desired and is likely to be
maintained, barring unforeseen contingencies.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the large, the measures conducive to the perpetuation of peace, and
necessary to be taken, are simple and obvious; and they are largely of a
negative character, exploits of omission and neglect. Under modern
conditions, and barring aggression from without, the peace is kept by
avoiding the breaking of it. It does not break of itself,--in the
absence of such national establishments as are organised with the sole
ulterior view of warlike enterprise. A policy of peace is obviously a
policy of avoidance,--avoidance of offense and of occasion for

What is required to insure the maintenance of peace among pacific
nations is the neutralisation of all those human relations out of which
international grievances are wont to arise. And what is necessary to
assure a reasonable expectation of continued peace is the neutralisation
of so much of these relations as the patriotic self-conceit and
credulity of these peoples will permit. These two formulations are by no
means identical; indeed, the disparity between what could advantageously
be dispensed with in the way of national rights and pretensions, and
what the common run of modern patriots could be induced to relinquish,
is probably much larger than any sanguine person would like to believe.
It should be plain on slight reflection that the greater part, indeed
substantially the whole, of those material interests and demands that
now engage the policy of the nations, and that serve on occasion to set
them at variance, might be neutralised or relinquished out of hand,
without detriment to any one of the peoples concerned.

The greater part of these material interests over which the various
national establishments keep watch and hold pretensions are, in point of
historical derivation, a legacy from the princely politics of what is
called the "Mercantilist" period; and they are uniformly of the nature
of gratuitous interference or discrimination between the citizens of the
given nation and outsiders. Except (doubtfully) in the English case,
where mercantilist policies are commonly believed to have been adopted
directly for the benefit of the commercial interest, measures of this
nature are uniformly traceable to the endeavours of the crown and its
officers to strengthen the finances of the prince and give him an
advantage in warlike enterprise. They are kept up essentially for the
same eventual end of preparation for war. So, e.g., protective tariffs,
and the like discrimination in shipping, are still advocated as a means
of making the nation self-supporting, self-contained, self-sufficient;
with a view to readiness in the event of hostilities.

A nation is in no degree better off in time of peace for being
self-sufficient. In point of patent fact no nation can be industrially
self-sufficient except at the cost of foregoing some of the economic
advantages of that specialisation of industry which the modern state of
the industrial arts enforces. In time of peace there is no benefit
comes to the community at large from such restraint of trade with the
outside world, or to any class or section of the community except those
commercial concerns that are favored by the discrimination; and these
invariably gain their special advantage at the cost of their
compatriots. Discrimination in trade--export, import or shipping--has no
more beneficial effect when carried out publicly by the national
authorities than when effected surreptitiously and illegally by a
private conspiracy in restraint of trade within a group of interested
business concerns.

Hitherto the common man has found it difficult to divest himself of an
habitual delusion on this head, handed down out of the past and
inculcated by interested politicians, to the effect that in some
mysterious way he stands to gain by limiting his own opportunities. But
the neutralisation of international trade, or the abrogation of all
discrimination in trade, is the beginning of wisdom as touches the
perpetuation of peace. The first effect of such a neutral policy would
be wider and more intricately interlocking trade relations, coupled with
a further specialisation and mutual dependence of industry between the
several countries concerned; which would mean, in terms of international
comity, a lessened readiness for warlike operations all around.

It used to be an argument of the free-traders that the growth of
international commercial relations under a free-trade policy would
greatly conduce to a spirit of mutual understanding and forbearance
between the nations. There may or may not be something appreciable in
the contention; it has been doubted, and there is no considerable
evidence to be had in support of it. But what is more to the point is
the tangible fact that such specialisation of industry and consequent
industrial interdependence would leave all parties to this relation less
capable, materially and spiritually, to break off amicable relations. So
again, in time of peace and except with a view to eventual hostilities,
it would involve no loss, and presumably little pecuniary gain, to any
country, locality, town or class, if all merchant shipping were
registered indiscriminately under neutral colors and sailed under the
neutral no-man's flag, responsible indiscriminately to the courts where
they touched or where their business was transacted.

Neither producers, shippers, merchants nor consumers have any slightest
interest in the national allegiance of the carriers of their freight,
except such as may artificially be induced by discriminatory shipping
regulations. In all but the name--in time of peace--the world's merchant
shipping already comes near being so neutralised, and the slight further
simplification required to leave it on a neutral peace footing would be
little else than a neglect of such vexatious discrimination as is still
in force. If no nation could claim the allegiance, and therefore the
usufruct, of any given item of merchant shipping in case of eventual
hostilities, on account of the domicile of the owners or the port of
registry, that would create a further handicap on eventual warlike
enterprise and add so much to the margin of tolerance. At the same time,
in the event of hostilities, shipping sailing under the neutral no-man's
flag and subject to no national allegiance would enjoy such immunities
as still inure to neutral shipping. It is true, neutrality has not
carried many immunities lately.

Cumulatively effective usage and the exigencies of a large, varied,
shifting and extensive maritime trade have in the course of time
brought merchant shipping to something approaching a neutral footing.
For most, one might venture to say for virtually all, routine purposes
of business and legal liability the merchant shipping comes under the
jurisdiction of the local courts, without reservation. It is true, there
still are formalities and reservations which enable questions arising
out of incidents in the shipping trade to become subject of
international conference and adjustment, but they are after all not such
as would warrant the erection of national apparatus to take care of them
in case they were not already covered by usage to that effect. The
visible drift of usage toward neutralisation in merchant shipping, in
maritime trade, and in international commercial transactions, together
with the similarly visible feasibility of a closer approach to
unreserved neutralisation of this whole range of traffic, suggests that
much the same line of considerations should apply as regards the
personal and pecuniary rights of citizens traveling or residing abroad.
The extreme,--or, as seen from the present point of view, the
ultimate--term in the relinquishment of national pretensions along this
line would of course be the neutralisation of citizenship.

This is not so sweeping a move as a patriotically-minded person might
imagine on the first alarm, so far as touches the practical status of
the ordinary citizen in his ordinary relations, and particularly among
the English-speaking peoples. As an illustrative instance, citizenship
has sat somewhat lightly on the denizens of the American republic, and
with no evident damage to the community at large or to the inhabitants
in detail. Naturalisation has been easy, and has been sought with no
more eagerness, on the whole, than the notably low terms of its
acquirement would indicate. Without loss or discomfort many law-abiding
aliens have settled in this country and spent the greater part of a
life-time under its laws without becoming citizens, and no one the worse
or the wiser for it. Not infrequently the decisive inducement to
naturalisation on the part of immigrant aliens has been, and is, the
desirability of divesting themselves of their rights of citizenship in
the country of their origin. Not that the privilege and dignity of
citizenship, in this or in any other country, is to be held of little
account. It is rather that under modern civilised conditions, and among
a people governed by sentiments of humanity and equity, the stranger
within our gates suffers no obloquy and no despiteful usage for being a
stranger. It may be admitted that of late, with the fomentation of a
more accentuated nationalism by politicians seeking a _raison d'être_,
additional difficulties have been created in the way of naturalisation
and the like incidents. Still, when all is told of the average American
citizen, _qua_ citizen, there is not much to tell. The like is true
throughout the English-speaking peoples, with inconsequential allowance
for local color. A definitive neutralisation of citizenship within the
range of these English-speaking countries would scarcely ripple the
surface of things as they are--in time of peace.

All of which has not touched the sore and sacred spot in the received
scheme of citizenship and its rights and liabilities. It is in the event
of hostilities that the liabilities of the citizen at home come into the
foreground, and it is as a source of patriotic grievance looking to
warlike retaliation that the rights of the citizen abroad chiefly come
into the case.

If, as was once, almost inaudibly, hinted by a well-regarded statesman,
the national establishment should refuse to jeopardise the public peace
for the safeguarding of the person and property of citizens who go out
_in partes infidelium_ on their own private concerns, and should so
leave them under the uncurbed jurisdiction of the authorities in those
countries into which they have intruded, the result might in many cases
be hardship to such individuals. This would, of course, be true almost
exclusively of such instances only as occur in such localities as are,
temporarily or permanently, outside the pale of modern law and order.
And, it may be in place to remark, instances of such hardship, with the
accompanying hazard of national complications, would, no doubt, greatly
diminish in frequency consequent upon the promulgation of such a
disclaimer of national responsibility for the continued well-being of
citizens who so expatriate themselves in the pursuit of their own
advantage or amusement. Meantime, let it not seem inconsiderate to
recall that to the community at large the deplorable case of such
expatriates under hardship involves no loss or gain in the material
respect; and that, except for the fortuitous circumstance of his being a
compatriot, the given individual's personal or pecuniary fortune in
foreign parts has no special claim on his compatriots' sympathy or
assistance; from which it follows also that with the definitive
neutralisation of citizenship as touches expatriates, the sympathy which
is now somewhat unintelligently confined to such cases, on what may
without offense be called extraneous grounds, would somewhat more
impartially and humanely extend to fellowmen in distress, regardless of
nativity or naturalisation.

What is mainly to the point here, however, is the fact that if
citizenship were so neutralised within the range of neutral countries
here contemplated, one further source of provocation to international
jealousy and distrust would drop out of the situation. And it is not
easy to detect any element of material loss involved in such a move. In
the material respect no individual would be any the worse off, with the
doubtful and dubious exception of the expatriate fortune-hunter, who
aims to fish safely in troubled waters at his compatriots' expense. But
the case stands otherwise as regards the balance of immaterial assets.
The scaffolding of much highly-prized sentiment would collapse, and the
world of poetry and pageantry--particularly that of the tawdrier and
more vendible poetry and pageantry--would be poorer by so much. The Man
Without a Country would lose his pathetic appeal, or would at any rate
lose much of it. It may be, of course, that in the sequel there would
result no net loss even in respect of these immaterial assets of
sentimental animation and patriotic self-complacency, but it is after
all fairly certain that something would be lost, and it is by no means
clear what if anything would come in to fill its place.

An historical parallel may help to illustrate the point. In the movement
out of what may be called the royal age of dynasties and chivalric
service, those peoples who have moved out of that age and out of its
spiritual atmosphere have lost much of the conscious magnanimity and
conviction of merit that once characterised that order of things, as it
still continues to characterise the prevalent habit of mind in the
countries that still continue under the archaic order of dynastic
mastery and service. But it is also to be noted that these peoples who
so have moved out of the archaic order appear to be well content with
this change of spiritual atmosphere, and they are even fairly well
persuaded, in the common run, that the move has brought them some net
gain in the way of human dignity and neighbourly tolerance, such as to
offset any loss incurred on the heroic and invidious side of life. Such
is the tempering force of habit. Whereas, e.g., on the other hand, the
peoples of these surviving dynastic States, to which it is necessary
continually to recur, who have not yet moved out of that realm of
heroics, find themselves unable to see anything in such a prospective
shift but net loss and headlong decay of the spirit; that modicum of
forbearance and equity that is requisite to the conduct of life in a
community of ungraded masterless men is seen by these stouter stomachs
as a loosening of the moral fiber and a loss of nerve.

       *       *       *       *       *

What is here tentatively projected under the phrase, "neutralization of
citizenship," is only something a little more and farther along the same
general line of movement which these more modern peoples have been
following in all that sequence of institutional changes that has given
them their present distinctive character of commonwealths, as contrasted
with the dynastic States of the mediaeval order. What may be in
prospect--if such a further move away from the mediaeval landmarks is to
take effect--may best be seen in the light of the later moves in the
same direction hitherto, more particularly as regards the moral and
aesthetic merits at large of such an institutional mutation. As touches
this last previous shifting of ground along this line, just spoken of,
the case stands in this singular but significant posture, in respect of
the spiritual values and valuations involved: These peoples who have,
even in a doubtful measure, made this transition from the archaic
institutional scheme, of fealty and dynastic exploit and coercion, to
the newer scheme of the ungraded commonwealth, are convinced, to the
point of martyrdom, that anything like a return to the old order is
morally impossible as well as insufferably shameful and irksome; whereas
those people, of the retarded division of the race, who have had no
experience of this new order, are equally convinced that it is all quite
incompatible with a worthy life.

Evidently, there should be no disputing about tastes. Evidently, too,
these retarded others will not move on into the later institutional
phase, of the ungraded commonwealth, by preconceived choice; but only,
if at all, by such schooling of experience as will bring them insensibly
to that frame of mind out of which the ideal of the ungraded
commonwealth emerges by easy generalisation of workday practice.
Meantime, having not yet experienced that phase of sentiment and opinion
on civic rights and immunities that is now occupied by their
institutionally maturer neighbours, the subjects of the Imperial
Fatherland, e.g., in spite of the most laudable intentions and the best
endeavour, are, by failure of this experience, unable to comprehend
either the ground of opposition to their well-meaning projects of
dominion or the futility of trying to convert these their elder brothers
to their own prescriptive acceptation of what is worth while. In time,
and with experience, this retarded division of Christendom may come to
the same perspective on matters of national usage and ideals as has been
enforced on the more modern peoples by farther habituation. So, also, in
time and with experience, if the drift of circumstance shall turn out to
set that way, the further move away from mediaeval discriminations and
constraint and into the unspectacular scheme of neutralisation may come
to seem as right, good and beautiful as the democratic commonwealth now
seems to the English-speaking peoples, or as the Hohenzollern Imperial
State now seems to the subjects of the Fatherland. There is, in effect,
no disputing about tastes.

There is little that is novel, and nothing that is to be rated as
constructive innovation, in this sketch of what might not inaptly be
called peace by neglect. The legal mind, which commonly takes the
initiative in counsels on what to do, should scarcely be expected to
look in that direction for a way out, or to see its way out in that
direction in any case; so that it need occasion no surprise if the many
current projects of pacification turn on ingenious and elaborate
provisions of apparatus and procedure, rather than on that simpler line
of expedients which the drift of circumstance, being not possessed of a
legal mind, has employed in the sequence of institutional change
hitherto. The legal mind that dominates in the current deliberations on
peace is at home in exhaustive specifications and meticulous
demarkations, and it is therefore prone to seek a remedy for the burden
of supernumerary devices by recourse to further excesses of regulation.

This trait of the legal mind is not a bad fault at the worst, and the
quality in which this defect inheres is of the greatest moment in any
project of constructive engineering on the legal and political plane.
But it is less to the purpose, indeed it is at cross purposes, in such a
conjuncture as the present; when the nations are held up in their quest
of peace chiefly by an accumulation of institutional apparatus that has
out-stayed its usefulness. It is the fortune even of good institutions
to become imbecile with the change of conditioning circumstances, and it
then becomes a question of their disestablishment, not of their
rehabilitation. If there is anywhere a safe negative conclusion, it is
that an institution grown mischievous by obsolescence need not be
replaced by a substitute.

Instances of such mischievous institutional arrangements, obsolete or in
process of obsolescence, would be, e.g., the French monarchy of the
ancient régime, the Spanish Inquisition, the British corn laws and the
"rotten boroughs," the Barbary pirates, the Turkish rule in Armenia, the
British crown, the German Imperial Dynasty, the European balance of
powers, the Monroe Doctrine. In some sense, at least in the sense and
degree implied in their selective survival, these various articles of
institutional furniture, and many like them, have once presumably been
suitable to some end, in the days of their origin and vigorous growth;
and they have at least in some passable fashion met some felt want; but
if they ever had a place and use in the human economy they have in time
grown imbecile and mischievous by force of changing circumstances, and
the question is not how to replace them with something else to the same
purpose after their purpose is outworn. A man who loses a wart off the
end of his nose does not apply to the _Ersatz_ bureau for a convenient

Now, a large proportion, perhaps even substantially the whole, of the
existing apparatus of international rights, pretensions,
discriminations, covenants and provisos, visibly fall in that class, in
so far as concerns their material serviceability to the nation at large,
and particularly as regards any other than a warlike purpose, offensive
or defensive. Of course, the national dignity and diplomatic punctilio,
and the like adjuncts and instrumentalities of the national honour, all
have their prestige value; and they are not likely to be given up out of
hand. In point of fact, however solicitous for a lasting peace these
patriotically-minded modern peoples may be, it is doubtful if they could
be persuaded to give up any appreciable share of these appurtenances of
national jealousy even when their retention implies an imminent breach
of the peace. Yet it is plain that the peace will be secure in direct
proportion to the measure in which national discrimination and prestige
are allowed to pass into nothingness and be forgot.

       *       *       *       *       *

By so much as it might amount to, such neutralisation of outstanding
interests between these pacific nations should bring on a degree of
coalescence of these nationalities. In effect, they are now held apart
in many respects by measures of precaution against their coming to a
common plan of use and wont. The degree of coalescence would scarcely be
extreme; more particularly it could not well become onerous, since it
would rest on convenience, inclination and the neglect of artificial
discrepancies. The more intimate institutions of modern life, that
govern human conduct locally and in detail, need not be affected, or not
greatly affected, for better or worse. Yet something appreciable in that
way might also fairly be looked for in time.

The nature, reach and prescriptive force of this prospective coalescence
through neutralisation may perhaps best be appreciated in the light of
what has already come to pass, without design or mandatory guidance, in
those lines of human interest where the national frontiers interpose no
bar, or at least no decisive bar, whether by force of unconcern or
through impotence. Fashions of dress, equipage and decorous usage, e.g.,
run with some uniformity throughout these modern nations, and indeed
with some degree of prescriptive force. There is, of course, nothing
mandatory, in the simpler sense, about all this; nor is the degree of
conformity extreme or uniform throughout. But it is a ready-made
generalisation that only those communities are incorporated in this
cosmopolitan coalescence of usage that are moved by their own
incitement, and only so far as they have an effectually felt need of
conformity in these premises. It is true, a dispassionate outsider, if
such there be, would perhaps be struck by the degree of such painstaking
conformity to canons of conduct which it frequently must cost serious
effort even to ascertain in such detail as the case calls for.
Doubtless, or at least presumably, conformity under the jurisdiction of
the fashions, and in related provinces of decorum, is obligatory in a
degree that need not be looked for throughout the scheme of use and wont
at large, even under the advisedly established non-interference of the
authorities. Still, on a point on which the evidence hitherto is
extremely scant it is the part of discretion to hold no settled opinion.

A more promising line of suggestion is probably that afforded by the
current degree of contact and consistency among the modern nations in
respect of science and scholarship, as also in the aesthetic or the
industrial arts. Local color and local pride, with one thing and another
in the way of special incitement or inhibition, may come in to vary the
run of things, or to blur or hinder a common understanding and mutual
furtherance and copartnery in these matters of taste and intellect. Yet
it is scarcely misleading to speak of the peoples of Christendom as one
community in these respects. The sciences and the arts are held as a
joint stock among these peoples, in their elements, and measurably also
in their working-out. It is true, these interests and achievements of
the race are not cultivated with the same assiduity or with identical
effect throughout; but it is equally true that no effectual bar could
profitably be interposed, or would be tolerated in the long run in this
field, where men have had occasion to learn that unlimited collusion is
more to the purpose than a clannish discrimination.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is, no doubt, beyond reasonable hope that these democratic peoples
could be brought forthwith to concerted action on the lines of such a
plan of peace by neutralisation of all outstanding national pretensions.
Both the French and the English-speaking peoples are too eagerly set on
national aims and national prestige, to allow such a plan to come to a
hearing, even if something of the kind should be spoken for by their
most trusted leaders. By settled habit they are thinking in terms of
nationality, and just now they are all under the handicap of an inflamed
national pride. Advocacy of such a plan, of course, does not enter
seriously into the purpose of this inquiry; which is concerned with the
conditions under which peace is sought today, with the further
conditions requisite to its perpetuation, and with the probable effects
of such a peace on the fortunes of these peoples in case peace is
established and effectually maintained.

It is a reasonable question, and one to which a provisional answer may
be found, whether the drift of circumstances in the present and for the
immediate future may be counted on to set in the direction of a
progressive neutralisation of the character spoken of above, and
therefore possibly toward a perpetuation of that peace that is to follow
the present season of war. So also is it an open and interesting
question whether the drift in that direction, if such is the set of it,
can be counted on to prove sufficiently swift and massive, so as not to
be overtaken and overborne by the push of agencies that make for
dissension and warlike enterprise.

Anything like a categorical answer to these questions would have to be a
work of vaticination or of effrontery,--possibly as much to the point
the one as the other. But there are certain conditions precedent to a
lasting peace as the outcome of events now in train, and there are
certain definable contingencies conditioned on such current facts as the
existing state of the industrial arts and the state of popular
sentiment, together with the conjuncture of circumstances under which
these factors will come into action.

The state of the industrial arts, as it bears on the peace and its
violation, has been spoken of above. It is of such a character that a
judiciously prepared offensive launched by any Power of the first rank
at an opportune time can reach and lay waste any given country of the
habitable globe. The conclusive evidence of this is at hand, and it is
the major premise underlying all current proposals and projects of
peace, as well as the refusal of the nations now on the defensive to
enter into negotiations looking to an "inconclusive peace." This state
of the case is not commonly recognised in so many words, but it is well
enough understood. So that all peace projects that shall hope to find a
hearing must make up their account with it, and must show cause why they
should be judged competent to balk any attempted offensive. In an
inarticulate or inchoate fashion, perhaps, but none the less with
ever-increasing certitude and increasing apprehension, this state of the
case is also coming to be an article of popular "knowledge and belief,"
wherever much or little thought is spent on the outlook for peace. It
has already had a visible effect in diminishing the exclusiveness of
nationalities and turning the attention of the pacific peoples to the
question of feasible ways and means of international cooperation in case
of need; but it has not hitherto visibly lessened the militant spirit
among these nations, nor has it lowered the tension of their national
pride, at least not yet; rather the contrary, in fact.

The effect, upon the popular temper, of this inchoate realisation of the
fatality that so lies in the modern state of the industrial arts, varies
from one country to another, according to the varying position in which
they are placed, or in which they conceive themselves to be placed.
Among the belligerent nations it has put the spur of fear to their need
of concerted action as well as to their efforts to strengthen the
national defense. But the state of opinion and sentiment abroad in the
nation in time of war is no secure indication of what it will be after
the return to peace. The American people, the largest and most
immediately concerned of the neutral nations, should afford more
significant evidence of the changes in the popular attitude likely to
follow from a growing realisation of this state of the case, that the
advantage has passed definitively to any well prepared and resolute
offensive, and that no precautions of diplomacy and no practicable
measures of defensive armament will any longer give security,--provided
always that there is anywhere a national Power actuated by designs of
imperial dominion.

It is, of course, only little by little that the American people and
their spokesmen have come to realise their own case under this
late-modern situation, and hitherto only in an imperfect degree. Their
first response to the stimulus has been a display of patriotic
self-sufficiency and a move to put the national defense on a
war-footing, such as would be competent to beat off all aggression.
Those elements of the population who least realise the gravity of the
situation, and who are at the same time commercially interested in
measures of armament or in military preferment, have not begun to shift
forward beyond this position of magniloquence and resolution; nor is
there as yet much intimation that they see beyond it, although there is
an ever-recurring hint that they in a degree appreciate the practical
difficulty of persuading a pacific people to make adequate preparation
beforehand, in equipment and trained man-power, for such a plan of
self-sufficient self-defense. But increasingly among those who are, by
force of temperament or insight or by lack of the pecuniary and the
placeman's interest, less confident of an appeal to the nation's
prowess, there is coming forward an evident persuasion that warlike
preparations--"preparedness"--alone and carried through by the Republic
in isolation, will scarcely serve the turn.

There are at least two lines of argument, or of persuasion, running to
the support of such a view; readiness for a warlike defense, by
providing equipment and trained men, might prove a doubtfully effectual
measure even when carried to the limit of tolerance that will always be
reached presently in any democratic country; and then, too, there is
hope of avoiding the necessity of such warlike preparation, at least in
the same extreme degree, by means of some practicable working
arrangement to be effected with other nations who are in the same case.
Hitherto the farthest reach of these pacific schemes for maintaining the
peace, or for the common defense, has taken the shape of a projected
league of neutral nations to keep the peace by enforcement of specified
international police regulations or by compulsory arbitration of
international disputes. It is extremely doubtful how far, if at all,
popular sentiment of any effectual force falls in with this line of
precautionary measures. Yet it is evident that popular sentiment, and
popular apprehension, has been stirred profoundly by the events of the
past two years, and the resulting change that is already visible in the
prevailing sentiment as regards the national defense would argue that
more far-reaching changes in the same connection are fairly to be looked
for within a reasonable allowance of time.

In this American case the balance of effectual public opinion hitherto
is to all appearance quite in doubt, but it is also quite unsettled. The
first response has been a display of patriotic emotion and national
self-assertion. The further, later and presumably more deliberate,
expressions of opinion carry a more obvious note of apprehension and
less of stubborn or unreflecting national pride. It may be too early to
anticipate a material shift of base, to a more neutral, or less
exclusively national footing in matters of the common defense.

The national administration has been moving at an accelerated rate in
the direction not of national isolation and self-reliance resting on a
warlike equipment formidable enough to make or break the peace at
will--such as the more truculent and irresponsible among the politicians
have spoken for--but rather in the direction of moderating or curtailing
all national pretensions that are not of undoubted material consequence,
and of seeking a common understanding and concerted action with those
nationalities whose effectual interests in the matters of peace and war
coincide with the American. The administration has grown visibly more
pacific in the course of its exacting experience,--more resolutely, one
might even say more aggressively pacific; but the point of chief
attention in all this strategy of peace has also visibly been shifting
somewhat from the maintenance of a running equilibrium between
belligerents and a keeping of the peace from day to day, to the ulterior
and altogether different question of what is best to be done toward a
conclusive peace at the close of hostilities, and the ways and means of
its subsequent perpetuation.

This latter is, in effect, an altogether different question from that of
preserving neutrality and amicable relations in the midst of importunate
belligerents, and it may even, conceivably, perhaps not unlikely, come
to involve a precautionary breach of the current peace and a taking of
sides in the war with an urgent view to a conclusive outcome. It would
be going too far to impute to the administration, at the present stage,
such an aggressive attitude in its pursuit of a lasting peace as could
be called a policy of defensive offense; but it will shock no one's
sensibilities to say that such a policy, involving a taking of sides and
a renouncing of national isolation, is visibly less remote from the
counsels of the administration today than it has been at any earlier

In this pacific attitude, increasingly urgent and increasingly
far-reaching and apprehensive, the administration appears to be speaking
for the common man rather than for the special interests or the
privileged classes. Such would appear, on the face of the returns, to be
the meaning of the late election. It is all the more significant on that
account, since in the long run it is after all the common man that will
have to pass on the expediency of any settled line of policy and to bear
the material burden of carrying it into effect.

It may seem rash to presume that a popularly accredited administration
in a democratic country must approximately reflect the effectual changes
of popular sentiment and desire. Especially would it seem rash to anyone
looking on from the point of view of an undemocratic nation, and
therefore prone to see the surface fluctuations of excitement and
shifting clamor. But those who are within the democratic pale will know
that any administration in such a country, where official tenure and
continued incumbency of the party rest on a popular vote,--any such
administration is a political organisation and is guided by political
expediency, in the tawdry sense of the phrase. Such a political
situation has the defects of its qualities, as has been well and
frequently expounded by its critics, but it has also the merits of its
shortcomings. In a democracy of this modern order any incumbent of high
office is necessarily something of a politician, quite indispensably so;
and a politician at the same time necessarily is something of a
demagogue. He yields to the popular drift, or to the set of opinion and
demands among the effective majority on whom he leans; and he can not
even appear to lead, though he may surreptitiously lead opinion in
adroitly seeming to reflect it and obey it. Ostensible leadership, such
as has been staged in this country from time to time, has turned out to
be ostensible only. The politician must be adroit; but if he is also to
be a statesman he must be something more. He is under the necessity of
guessing accurately what the drift of events and opinion is going to be
on the next reach ahead; and in taking coming events by the forelock he
may be able to guide and shape the drift of opinion and sentiment
somewhat to his own liking. But all the while he must keep within the
lines of the long-term set of the current as it works out in the habits
of thought of the common man.

Such foresight and flexibility is necessary to continued survival, but
flexibility of convictions alone does not meet the requirements. Indeed,
it has been tried. It is only the minor politicians--the most numerous
and long-lived, it is true--who can hold their place in the crevices of
the party organisation, and get their livelihood from the business of
party politics, without some power of vision and some hazard of
forecast. It results from this state of the case that the drift of
popular sentiment and the popular response to the stimulus of current
events is reflected more faithfully and more promptly by the short-lived
administrations of a democracy than by the stable and formally
irresponsible governmental establishments of the older order. It should
also be noted that these democratic administrations are in a less
advantageous position for the purpose of guiding popular sentiment and
shaping it to their own ends.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, it happens that at no period within the past half-century has the
course of events moved with such celerity or with so grave a bearing on
the common good and the prospective contingencies of national life as
during the present administration. This apparent congruity of the
administration's policy with the drift of popular feeling and belief
will incline anyone to put a high rating on the administration's course
of conduct, in international relations as well as in national measures
that have a bearing on international relations, as indicating the course
taken by sentiment and second thought in the community at large,--for,
in effect, whether or not in set form, the community at large reflects
on any matters of such gravity and urgency as to force themselves upon
the attention of the common man.

Two main lines of reflection have visibly been enforced on the
administration by the course of events in the international field. There
has been a growing apprehension, mounting in the later months to
something like the rank of a settled conviction, that the Republic has
been marked down for reduction to a vassal state by the dynastic Empire
now engaged with its European adversaries. In so saying that the
Republic has been marked down for subjection it is not intended to
intimate that deliberate counsel has been had by the Imperial
establishment on that prospective enterprise; still less that a
resolution to such effect, with specification of ways and means, has
been embodied in documentary form and deposited for future reference in
the Imperial archives. All that is intended, and all that is necessary
to imply, is that events are in train to such effect that the
subjugation of the American republic will necessarily find its place in
the sequence presently, provided that the present Imperial adventure is
brought to a reasonably auspicious issue; though it does not follow that
this particular enterprise need be counted on as the next large
adventure in dominion to be undertaken when things again fall into
promising shape. This latter point would, of course, depend on the
conjuncture of circumstances, chief of which would have to be the
exigencies of imperial dominion shaping the policy of the Empire's
natural and necessary ally in the Far East. All this has evidently been
coming more and more urgently into the workday deliberations of the
American administration. Of course, it is not spoken of in set terms to
this effect in official utterances, perhaps not even within doors; that
sort of thing is not done. But it can do no harm to use downright
expressions in a scientific discussion of these phenomena, with a view
to understanding the current drift of things in this field.

Beyond this is the similar apprehension, similarly though more slowly
and reluctantly rising to the level of settled conviction, that the
American commonwealth is not fit to take care of its own case
single-handed. This apprehension is enforced more and more unmistakably
with every month that passes on the theatre of war. And it is reenforced
by the constantly more obvious reflection that the case of the American
commonwealth in this matter is the same as that of the democratic
countries of Europe, and of the other European colonies. It is not, or
at least one may believe it is not yet, that in the patriotic
apprehension of the common man, or of the administration which speaks
for him, the resources of the country would be inadequate to meet any
contingencies of the kind that might arise, whether in respect of
industrial capacity or in point of man-power, if these resources were
turned to this object with the same singleness of purpose and the same
drastic procedure that marks the course of a national establishment
guided by no considerations short of imperial dominion. The doubt
presents itself rather as an apprehension that the cost would be
extravagantly high, in all respects in which cost can be counted; which
is presently seconded, on very slight reflection and review of
experience, by recognition of the fact that a democracy is, in point of
fact, not to be persuaded to stand under arms interminably in mere
readiness for a contingency, however distasteful the contingency may be.

In point of fact, a democratic commonwealth is moved by other interests
in the main, and the common defense is a secondary consideration, not a
primary interest,--unless in the exceptional case of a commonwealth so
placed under the immediate threat of invasion as to have the common
defense forced into the place of paramount consequence in its workday
habits of thought. The American republic is not so placed. Anyone may
satisfy himself by reasonable second thought that the people of this
nation are not to be counted on to do their utmost in time of peace to
prepare for war. They may be persuaded to do much more than has been
their habit, and adventurous politicians may commit them to much more
than the people at large would wish to undertake, but when all is done
that can be counted on for a permanency, up to the limit of popular
tolerance, it would be a bold guess that should place the result at more
than one-half of what the country is capable of. Particularly would the
people's patience balk at the extensive military training requisite to
put the country in an adequate position of defense against a sudden and
well-prepared offensive. It is otherwise with a dynastic State, to the
directorate of which all other interests are necessarily secondary,
subsidiary, and mainly to be considered only in so far as they are
contributory to the nation's readiness for warlike enterprise.

America at the same time is placed in an extra-hazardous position,
between the two seas beyond which to either side lie the two Imperial
Powers whose place in the modern economy of nations it is to disturb the
peace in an insatiable quest of dominion. This position is no longer
defensible in isolation, under the later state of the industrial arts,
and the policy of isolation that has guided the national policy hitherto
is therefore falling out of date. The question is as to the manner of
its renunciation, rather than the fact of it. It may end in a defensive
copartnership with other nations who are placed on the defensive by the
same threatening situation, or it may end in a bootless struggle for
independence, but the choice scarcely extends beyond this alternative.
It will be said, of course, that America is competent to take care of
itself and its Monroe doctrine in the future as in the past. But that
view, spoken for cogently by thoughtful men and by politicians looking
for party advantage, overlooks the fact that the modern technology has
definitively thrown the advantage to the offensive, and that intervening
seas can no longer be counted on as a decisive obstacle. On this latter
head, what was reasonably true fifteen years ago is doubtful today, and
it is in all reasonable expectation invalid for the situation fifteen
years hence.

The other peoples that are of a neutral temper may need the help of
America sorely enough in their endeavours to keep the peace, but
America's need of cooperation is sorer still, for the Republic is coming
into a more precarious place than any of the others. America is also, at
least potentially, the most democratic of the greater Powers, and is
handicapped with all the disabilities of a democratic commonwealth in
the face of war. America is also for the present, and perhaps for the
calculable future, the most powerful of these greater Powers, in point
of conceivably available resources, though not in actually available
fighting-power; and the entrance of America unreservedly into a neutral
league would consequently be decisive both of the purposes of the league
and of its efficiency for the purpose; particularly if the
neutralisation of interests among the members of the league were carried
so far as to make withdrawal and independent action disadvantageous.

On the establishment of such a neutral league, with such neutralisation
of national interests as would assure concerted action in time of
stress, the need of armament on the part of the American republic would
disappear, at least to the extent that no increase of armed force would
be advisable. The strength of the Republic lies in its large and varied
resources and the unequalled industrial capacity of its population,--a
capacity which is today seriously hampered by untoward business
interests and business methods sheltered under national discrimination,
but which would come more nearly to its own so soon as these national
discriminations were corrected or abrogated in the neutralisation of
national pretensions. The neutrally-minded countries of Europe have been
constrained to learn the art of modern war, as also to equip themselves
with the necessary appliances, sufficient to meet all requirements for
keeping the peace through such a period as can or need be taken into
account,--provided the peace that is to come on the conclusion of the
present war shall be placed on so "conclusive" a footing as will make it
anything substantially more than a season of recuperation for that
warlike Power about whose enterprise in dominion the whole question
turns. Provided that suitably "substantial guarantees" of a reasonable
quiescence on the part of this Imperial Power are had, there need be no
increase of the American armament. Any increased armament would in that
case amount to nothing better than an idle duplication of plant and
personnel already on hand and sufficient to meet the requirements.

To meet the contingencies had in view in its formation, such a league
would have to be neutralised to the point that all pertinent national
pretensions would fall into virtual abeyance, so that all the necessary
resources at the disposal of the federated nations would automatically
come under the control of the league's appointed authorities without
loss of time, whenever the need might arise. That is to say, national
interests and pretensions would have to give way to a collective control
sufficient to insure prompt and concerted action. In the face of such a
neutral league Imperial Japan alone would be unable to make a really
serious diversion or to entertain much hope of following up its quest of
dominion. The Japanese Imperial establishment might even be persuaded
peaceably to let its unoffending neighbours live their own life
according to their own light. It is, indeed, possibly the apprehension
of some such contingency that has hurried the rapacity of the Island
Empire into the headlong indecencies of the past year or two.



It may seem early (January 1917) to offer a surmise as to what must be
the manner of league into which the pacific nations are to enter and by
which the peace will be kept, in case such a move is to be made. But the
circumstances that are to urge such a line of action, and that will
condition its carrying out in case it is entered on, have already come
into bearing and should, on the whole, no longer be especially obscure
to anyone who will let the facts of the case rather than his own
predilections decide what he will believe. By and large, the pressure of
these conditioning circumstances may be seen, and the line of least
resistance under this pressure may be calculated, with due allowance of
a margin of error owing to unknown contingencies of time and minor

Time is of the essence of the case. So that what would have been
dismissed as idle vapour two years ago has already become subject of
grave deliberation today, and may rise to paramount urgency that far
hence. Time is needed to appreciate and get used to any innovation of
appreciable gravity, particularly where the innovation depends in any
degree on a change in public sentiment, as in this instance. The present
outlook would seem to be that no excess of time is allowed in these
premises; but it should also be noted that events are moving with
unexampled celerity, and are impinging on the popular apprehension with
unexampled force,--unexampled on such a scale. It is hoped that a
recital of these circumstances that provoke to action along this line
will not seem unwarrantably tedious, and that a tentative definition of
the line of least resistance under pressure of these circumstances may
not seem unwarrantably presumptuous.

The major premise in the case is the felt need of security from
aggression at the hands of Imperial Germany and its auxiliary Powers;
seconded by an increasingly uneasy apprehension as to the prospective
line of conduct on the part of Imperial Japan, bent on a similar quest
of dominion. There is also the less articulate apprehension of what, if
anything, may be expected from Imperial Russia; an obscure and scarcely
definable factor, which comes into the calculation chiefly by way of
reenforcing the urgency of the situation created by the dynastic
ambitions of these other two Imperial States. Further, the pacific
nations, the leading ones among them being the French and
English-speaking peoples, are coming to recognise that no one among them
can provide for its own security single-handed, even at the cost of
their utmost endeavour in the way of what is latterly called
"preparedness;" and they are at the same time unwilling to devote their
force unreservedly to warlike preparation, having nothing to gain. The
solution proposed is a league of the pacific nations, commonly spoken of
at the present stage as a league to enforce peace, or less ambitiously
as a league to enforce arbitration. The question being left somewhat at
loose ends, whether the projected league is to include the two or three
Imperial Powers whose pacific intentions are, euphemistically, open to

Such is the outline of the project and its premises. An attempt to fill
in this outline will, perhaps, conduce to an appreciation of what is
sought and of what the conditioning circumstances will enforce in the
course of its realisation. As touches the fear of aggression, it has
already been indicated, perhaps with unnecessary iteration, that these
two Imperial Powers are unable to relinquish the quest of dominion
through warlike enterprise, because as dynastic States they have no
other ulterior aim; as has abundantly appeared in the great volume of
expository statements that have come out of the Fatherland the past few
years, official, semi-official, inspired, and spontaneous. "Assurance of
the nation's future" is not translatable into any other terms. The
Imperial dynasty has no other ground to stand on, and can not give up
the enterprise so long as it can muster force for any formidable
diversion, to get anything in the way of dominion by seizure, threat or

This is coming to be informally and loosely, but none the less
definitively, realised by the pacific nations; and the realisation of it
is gaining in clearness and assurance as time passes. And it is backed
by the conviction that, in the nature of things, no engagement on the
part of such a dynastic State has any slightest binding force, beyond
the material constraint that would enforce it from the outside. So the
demand has been diplomatically phrased as a demand for "substantial
guarantees." Any gain in resources on the part of these Powers is to be
counted as a gain in the ways and means of disturbing the peace, without

The pacific nations include among them two large items, both of which
are indispensable to the success of the project, the United States and
the United Kingdom. The former brings in its train, virtually without
exception or question, the other American republics, none of which can
practicably go in or stay out except in company and collusion with the
United States. The United Kingdom after the same fashion, and with
scarcely less assurance, may be counted on to carry the British
colonies. Evidently, without both of these groups the project would not
even make a beginning. Beyond this is to be counted in as elements of
strength, though scarcely indispensable, France, Belgium, the
Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. The other west-European
nations would in all probability be found in the league, although so far
as regards its work and its fortunes their adhesion would scarcely be a
matter of decisive consequence; they may therefore be left somewhat on
one side in any consideration of the circumstances that would shape the
league, its aims and its limitations. The Balkan states, in the wider
acceptance, they that frequent the Sign of the Double Cross, are
similarly negligible in respect of the organisation of such a league or
its resources and the mutual concessions necessary to be made between
its chief members. Russia is so doubtful a factor, particularly as
regards its place and value in industry, culture and politics, in the
near future, as to admit nothing much more than a doubt on what its
relation to the situation will be. The evil intentions of the
Imperial-bureaucratic establishment are probably no more to be
questioned than the good intentions of the underlying peoples of Russia.
China will have to be taken in, if for no other reason than the use to
which the magnificent resources of that country would be turned by its
Imperial neighbour in the absence of insurmountable interference from
outside. But China will come in on any terms that include neutrality and

The question then arises as to the Imperial Powers whose dynastic
enterprise is primarily to be hedged against by such a league.
Reflection will show that if the league is to effect any appreciable
part of its purpose, these Powers will also be included in the league,
or at least in its jurisdiction. A pacific league not including these
Powers, or not extending its jurisdiction and surveillance to them and
their conduct, would come to the same thing as a coalition of nations in
two hostile groups, the one standing on the defensive against the
warlike machinations of the other, and both groups bidding for the favor
of those minor Powers whose traditions and current aspirations run to
national (dynastic) aggrandizement by way of political intrigue. It
would come to a more articulate and accentuated form of that balance of
power that has latterly gone bankrupt in Europe, with the most corrupt
and unreliable petty monarchies of eastern Europe vested with a casting
vote; and it would also involve a system of competitive armaments of the
same general character as what has also shown itself bankrupt. It would,
in other words, mean a virtual return to the _status quo ante_, but with
an overt recognition of its provisional character, and with the lines of
division more sharply drawn. That is to say, it would amount to
reinstating the situation which the projected league is intended to
avert. It is evidently contained in the premises that the projected
league must be all-inclusive, at least as regards its jurisdiction and
surveillance. The argument will return to this point presently.

The purpose of the projected league is peace and security, commonly
spoken of under patriotic preconceptions as "national" peace and
security. This will have to mean a competent enforcement of peace, on
such a footing of overmastering force at the disposal of the associated
pacific nations as to make security a matter of ordinary routine. It is
true, the more genial spokesmen of the project are given to the view
that what is to come of it all is a comity of neutral nations, amicably
adjusting their own relations among themselves in a spirit of peace and
good-will. But this view is over-sanguine, in that it overlooks the
point that into this prospective comity of nations Imperial Germany (and
Imperial Japan) fit like a drunken savage with a machine gun. It also
overlooks the patent fatality that these two are bound to come into a
coalition at the next turn, with whatever outside and subsidiary
resources they can draw on; provided only that a reasonable opening for
further enterprise presents itself. The league, in other terms, must be
in a position to enforce peace by overmastering force, and to anticipate
any move at cross purposes with the security of the pacific nations.

This end can be reached by either one of two ways. If the dynastic
States are left to their own devices, it will be incumbent on the
associated nations to put in the field a standing force sufficient to
prevent a recourse to arms; which means competitive armament and
universal military rule. Or the dynastic States may be taken into
partnership and placed under such surveillance and constraint as to
practically disarm them; which would admit virtual disarmament of the
federated nations. The former arrangement has nothing in its favour,
except the possibility that no better or less irksome arrangement can be
had under existing circumstances; that is to say that the pacific
nations may not be able to bring these dynastic states to terms of
disarmament under surveillance. They assuredly can not except by force;
and this is the precise point on which the continued hostilities in
Europe turn today. In diplomatic parable the German Imperial spokesmen
say that they can accept (or as they prefer to phrase it, grant) no
terms that do not fully safeguard the Future of the Fatherland; and in
similarly diplomatic parable the spokesmen of the Entente insist that
Prussian militarism must be permanently put out of commission; but it
all means the same thing, viz. that the Imperial establishment is to be
(or is not to be) disabled beyond the possibility of its entering on a
similar warlike enterprise again, when it has had time for recuperation.
The dynastic statesmen, and the lay subjects of the Imperial
establishment, are strenuously set on securing a fair opportunity for
recuperation and a wiser endeavour to achieve that dominion which the
present adventure promises to defeat; while the Entente want no
recurrence, and are persuaded that a recurrence can be avoided only on
the footing of a present collapse of the Imperial power and a
scrupulously enforced prostration of it henceforth.

Without the definitive collapse of the Imperial power no pacific league
of nations can come to anything much more than armistice. On the basis
of such a collapse the league may as well administer its affairs
economically by way of an all-around reduction of armaments, as by the
costlier and more irksome way of "preparedness." But a sensible
reduction of armaments on the part of the neutral nations implies
disarmament of the dynastic States. Which would involve a neutral
surveillance of the affairs of these dynastic States in such detail and
with such exercise of authority as would reduce their governments to the
effective status of local administrative officials. Out of which, in
turn, would arise complications that would lead to necessary
readjustments all along the line. It would involve the virtual, if not
also the formal, abolition of the monarchy, since the monarchy has no
other use than that of international war and intrigue; or at least it
would involve the virtual abrogation of its powers, reducing it to the
same status of _faineantise_ as now characterises the British crown.
Evidently this means a serious intermeddling in the domestic concerns
and arrangements of the Fatherland, such as is not admissible under the
democratic principle that any people must be left free to follow their
own inclinations and devices in their own concerns; at the same time
that this degree of interference is imperative if the peace is to be
kept on any other footing than that of eternal vigilance and superior
armed force, with a people whose own inclinations and devices are of the
kind now grown familiar in the German case,--all of which also applies,
with accentuation, in the case of Imperial Japan.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some such policy of neutral surveillance in the affairs of these peoples
whose pacific temper is under suspicion, is necessarily involved in a
plan to enforce peace by concert of the pacific nations, and it will
necessarily carry implications and farther issues, touching not only
these supposedly recalcitrant peoples, but also as regards the pacific
nations themselves. Assuming always that the prime purpose and
consistent aim of the projected league is the peace and security of
those pacific nations on whose initiative it is to be achieved, then it
should be reasonable to assume that the course of procedure in its
organisation, administration and further adaptations and adjustments
must follow the logic of necessities leading to that end. He who wills
the end must make up his account with the means.

The end in this case is peace and security; which means, for practical
purposes, peace and good-will. Ill-will is not a secure foundation of
peace. Even the military strategists of the Imperial establishment
recommend a programme of "frightfulness" only as a convenient military
expedient, essentially a provisional basis of tranquility. In the long
run and as a permanent peace measure it is doubtless not to the point.
Security is finally to be had among or between modern peoples only on
the ground of a common understanding and an impartially common basis of
equity, or something approaching that basis as nearly as circumstances
will permit. Which means that in so far as the projected peace-compact
is to take effect in any enduring way, and leave the federated nations
some degree of freedom from persistent apprehension and animosity, as
well as from habitual insecurity of life and limb, the league must not
only be all-inclusive, but it must be inclusively uniform in all its
requirements and regulations.

The peoples of the quondam Imperial nations must come into the league on
a footing of formal equality with the rest. This they can not do without
the virtual abdication of their dynastic governmental establishments and
a consequent shift to a democratic form of organisation, and a formal
abrogation of class privileges and prerogatives.

However, a virtual abdication or cancelment of the dynastic rule, such
as to bring it formally into the same class with the British crown,
would scarcely meet the requirements in the case of the German Imperial
establishment; still more patently not in the case of Imperial Japan.
If, following the outlines of the decayed British crown, one or the
other of these Imperial establishments were by formal enactment reduced
to a state of nominal desuetude, the effect would be very appreciably
different from what happens in the British community, where the crown
has lost its powers by failure of the requisite subordination on the
part of the people, and not by a formal abdication of rights. In the
German case, and even more in the Japanese case, the strength of the
Imperial establishment lies in the unimpaired loyalty of the populace;
which would remain nearly intact at the outset, and would thin out only
by insensible degrees in the sequel; so that if only the Imperial
establishment were left formally standing it would command the fealty of
the common run in spite of any formal abrogation of its powers, and the
course of things would, in effect, run as before the break. In effect,
to bring about a shift to a democratic basis the dynastic slate would
have to be wiped very clean indeed. And this shift would be
indispensable to the successful conduct of such a pacific league of
nations, since any other than an effectually democratic national
establishment is to be counted on unfailingly to intrigue for dynastic
aggrandizement, through good report and evil.

In a case like that of Imperial Germany, with its federated States and
subsidiaries, where royalty and nobility still are potent preconceptions
investing the popular imagination, and where loyal abnegation in the
presence of authority still is the chief and staple virtue of the common
man,--in all such cases virtual abdication of the dynastic initiative
under constitutional forms can be had only by a formal and scrupulously
complete abrogation of all those legal and customary arrangements on
which this irresponsible exercise of authority has rested and through
which it has taken effect. Neutralisation in these instances will mean
reduction to an unqualified democratic footing; which will, at least at
the outset, not be acceptable to the common people, and will be wholly
intolerable to the ruling classes. Such a régime, therefore, while it is
indispensable as a working basis for a neutral league of peace, would
from the outset have to be enforced against the most desperate
resistance of the ruling classes, headed by the dynastic statesmen and
warlords, and backed by the stubborn loyalty of the subject populace. It
would have to mean the end of things for the ruling classes and the most
distasteful submission to an alien scheme of use and wont for the
populace. And yet it is also an indispensable element in any scheme of
pacification that aims at permanent peace and security. In time, it may
well be believed, the people of the Fatherland might learn to do well
enough without the gratuitous domination of their ruling classes, but at
the outset it would be a heartfelt privation.

It follows that a league to enforce peace would have to begin its régime
with enforcing peace on terms of the unconditional surrender of the
formidable warlike nations; which could be accomplished only by the
absolute and irretrievable defeat of these Powers as they now stand. The
question will, no doubt, present itself, Is the end worth the cost? That
question can, of course, not be answered in absolute terms, inasmuch as
it resolves itself into a question of taste and prepossession. An answer
to it would also not be greatly to the purpose here, since it would have
no particular bearing on the course of action likely to be pursued by
these pacific nations in their quest of a settled peace. It is more to
the point to ask what is likely to be the practical decision of these
peoples on that head when the question finally presents itself in a
concrete form.

Again it is necessary to call to mind that any momentous innovation
which rests on popular sentiment will take time; that consequently
anything like a plébiscite on the question today would scarcely give a
safe index of what the decision is likely to be when presently put to
the test; and that as things go just now, swiftly and urgent, any
time-allowance counts at something more than its ordinary workday
coefficient. What can apparently be said with some degree of confidence
is that just now, during these two years past, sentiment has been moving
in the direction indicated, and that any growing inclination of the kind
is being strongly reenforced by a growing realisation that nothing but
heroic remedies will avail at this juncture. If it comes to be currently
recognised that a settled peace can be had only at the cost of
eradicating privilege and royalty from the warlike nations, it would
seem reasonable to expect, from their present state of mind, that the
pacific nations will scarcely hesitate to apply that remedy,--provided
always that the fortunes of war fall out as that measure would require,
and provided also that the conflict lasts long enough and severe enough
to let them make up their mind to anything so drastic.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a certain side issue bearing on this question of the ulterior
probabilities of popular sentiment and national policy as to what is to
be done with the warlike nations in the event that the allied nations
who fight for neutrality have the disposal of such matters. This side
issue may seem remote, and it may not unlikely be overlooked among the
mass of graver and more tangible considerations. It was remarked above
that the United Kingdom is one of the two chief pillars of the projected
house of peace; and it may be added without serious fear of
contradiction or annoyance that the United Kingdom is also the one among
these pacific nations that comes nearest being capable, in the event of
such an emergency, to take care of its own case single-handed. For
better or worse, British adhesion to the project is indispensable, and
the British are in a position virtually to name their own terms of
adhesion. The British commonwealth--a very inclusive phrase in this
connection--must form the core of the pacific league, if any, and
British sentiment will have a very great place in the terms of its
formation and in the terms which it will be inclined to offer the
Imperial coalition at the settlement.

Now, it happens that the British community entered on this war as a
democratic monarchy ruled and officered by a body of gentlemen--doubtless
the most correct and admirable muster of gentlemen, of anything approaching
its volume, that the modern world can show. But the war has turned out not
to be a gentlemen's war. It has on the contrary been a war of technological
exploits, reenforced with all the beastly devices of the heathen. It is a
war in which all the specific traits of the well-bred and gently-minded man
are a handicap; in which veracity, gallantry, humanity, liberality are
conducive to nothing but defeat and humiliation. The death-rate among the
British gentlemen-officers in the early months, and for many months, ran
extravagantly high, for the most part because they were gallant
gentlemen as well as officers imbued with the good, old class spirit of
_noblesse oblige_, that has made half the tradition and more than half
the working theory of the British officer in the field,--good, but old,
hopelessly out of date. That generation of officers died, for the most
part; being unfit to survive or to serve the purpose under these modern
conditions of warfare, to which their enemy on the other hand had
adapted themselves with easy facility from beforehand. The gentlemanly
qualifications, and the material apparatus of gentility, and, it will
perhaps have to be admitted, the gentlemen, have fallen into the
background, or perhaps rather have measurably fallen into abeyance,
among the officers of the line. There may be more doubt as to the state
of things in respect of the gentility of the staff, but the best that
can confidently be said is that it is a point in doubt.

It is hoped that one may say without offense that in the course of time
the personnel has apparently worked down to the level of vulgarity
defined by the ways and means of this modern warfare; which means the
level on which runs a familiar acquaintance with large and complex
mechanical apparatus, railway and highway transport and power,
reenforced concrete, excavations and mud, more particularly mud,
concealment and ambush, and unlimited deceit and ferocity. It is not
precisely that persons of pedigree and gentle breeding have ceased to
enter or seek entrance to employment as officers, still less that
measures have been taken to restrain their doing so or to eliminate from
the service those who have come into it--though there may present itself
a doubt on this point as touches the more responsible discretionary
positions--but only that the stock of suitable gentlemen, uncommonly
large as it is, has been overdrawn; that those who have latterly gone
into service, or stayed in, have perforce divested themselves of their
gentility in some appreciable measure, particularly as regards class
distinction, and have fallen on their feet in the more commonplace role
of common men.

Serviceability in this modern warfare is conditioned on much the same
traits of temperament and training that make for usefulness in the
modern industrial processes, where large-scale coordinations of movement
and an effective familiarity with precise and far-reaching mechanical
processes is an indispensable requirement,--indispensable in the same
measure as the efficient conduct of this modern machine industry is
indispensable. But the British gentleman, in so far as he runs true to
type, is of no use to modern industry; quite the contrary, in fact.
Still, the British gentleman is, in point of heredity, the same thing
over again as the British common man; so that, barring the misdirected
training that makes him a gentleman, and which can largely be undone
under urgent need and pressure, he can be made serviceable for such uses
as the modern warfare requires. Meantime the very large demand for
officers, and the insatiable demand for capable officers, has brought
the experienced and capable common man into the case and is in a fair
way to discredit gentility as a necessary qualification of field

But the same process of discredit and elimination is also extending to
the responsible officials who have the administration of things in hand.
Indeed, the course of vulgarisation among the responsible officials has
now been under way for some appreciable time and with very perceptible
effect, and the rate of displacement appears to be gathering velocity
with every month that passes. Here, as in the field operations, it also
appears that gentlemanly methods, standards, preconceptions, and
knowledge of men and things, is no longer to the purpose. Here, too, it
is increasingly evident that this is not a gentlemen's war. And the
traditional qualifications that have sufficed in the past, at least to
the extent of enabling the British management to "muddle through," as
they are proudly in the habit of saying,--these qualifications are of
slight account in this technological conjuncture of the nation's
fortunes. It would perhaps be an under-statement to say that these
gentlemanly qualifications are no longer of any account, for the purpose
immediately in hand, and it would doubtless not do to say that they are
wholly and unreservedly disserviceable as things run today; but captious
critics might find at least a precarious footing of argument on such a

Through the course of the nineteenth century the British government had
progressively been taking on the complexion of a "gentlemen's
agreement;" a government by gentlemen, for gentlemen, and of gentlemen,
too, beyond what could well be alleged in any other known instance,
though never wholly so. No government could be a government of gentlemen
exclusively, since there is no pecuniary profit in gentlemen as such,
and therefore no object in governing them; more particularly could there
never be any incentive in it for gentlemen, whose livelihood is, in the
nature of the case, drawn from some one else. A gentlemen's government
can escape death by inanition only in so far as it serves the material
interest of its class, as contrasted with the underlying population from
which the class draws its livelihood. This British arrangement of a
government by prudent and humane gentlemen with a view to the
conservation of that state of things that best conduced to the material
well-being of their own class, has on the whole had the loyal support of
the underlying populace, with an occasional floundering protest. But
the protest has never taken the shape of an expressed distrust of
gentlemen, considered as the staple ways and means of government; nor
has the direction of affairs ever descended into the hands of any other
or lower class or condition of men.

On the whole, this British arrangement for the control of national
affairs by a body of interested gentlemen-investors has been, and
perhaps still is, just as well at home in the affectionate
preconceptions of the nineteenth-century British as the corresponding
German usufruct by self-appointed swaggering aristocrats has been among
the underlying German population, or as the American arrangement of
national control by business men for business ends. The British and the
American arrangements run very much to the same substantial effect, of
course, inasmuch as the British gentlemen represent, as a class, the
filial generations of a business community, and their aims and standards
of conduct continue to be such as are enforced by the pecuniary
interests on which their gentility is conditioned. They continue to draw
the ways and means of a worthy life from businesslike arrangements of a
"vested" character, made and provided with a view to their nourishment
and repose. Their resulting usufruct of the community's productive
efforts rests on a vested interest of a pecuniary sort, sanctioned by
the sacred rights of property; very much as the analogous German
dynastic and aristocratic usufruct rests on personal prerogative,
sanctioned by the sacred rights of authentic prescription, without
afterthought. The two, it will be noted are very much alike, in effect,
"under the skin." The great distinguishing mark being that the German
usufructuary gentlemen are, in theory at least, gentlemen-adventurers of
prowess and proud words, whose place in the world's economy it is to
glorify God and disturb the peace; whereas their British analogues are
gentlemen-investors, of blameless propriety, whose place it is more
simply to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

All this arrangement of a usufruct with a view to the reputable
consumption of the community's superfluous production has had the
cordial support of British sentiment, perhaps fully as cordial as the
German popular subservience in the corresponding German scheme; both
being well embedded in the preconceptions of the common man. But the war
has put it all to a rude test, and has called on the British gentlemen's
executive committee to take over duties for which it was not designed.
The exigencies of this war of technological exploits have been almost
wholly, and very insistently, of a character not contemplated in the
constitution of such an executive committee of gentlemen-investors
designed to safeguard class interests and promote their pecuniary class
advantage by a blamelessly inconspicuous and indirect management of
national affairs. The methods are of the class known colloquially among
the vulgar-spoken American politicians as "pussyfooting" and
"log-rolling"; but always with such circumstance of magnitude,
authenticity and well-bred deference to precedent, as to give the
resulting routine of subreption, trover and conversion, an air not only
of benevolent consideration but of austere morality.

But the most austere courtesy and the most authentically dispassionate
division of benefits will not meet the underbred exigencies of a war
conducted on the mechanistic lines of the modern state of the industrial
arts. So the blameless, and for the purpose imbecile, executive
committee of gentlemen-investors has been insensibly losing the
confidence and the countenance of the common man; who, when all is said,
will always have to do what is to be done. The order of gentlemanly
parleying and brokery has, therefore, with many apprehensions of
calamity, been reluctantly and tardily giving ground before something
that is of a visibly underbred order. Increasingly underbred, and
thereby insensibly approaching the character of this war situation, but
accepted with visible reluctance and apprehension both by the ruling
class and by the underlying population. The urgent necessity of going to
such a basis, and of working out the matter in hand by an unblushing
recourse to that matter-of-fact logic of mechanical efficiency, which
alone can touch the difficulties of the case, but which has no respect
of persons,--this necessity has been present from the outset and has
been vaguely apprehended for long past, but it is only tardily and after
the chastening of heavy penalties on this gentlemanly imbecility that a
substantial move in that direction has been made. It has required much
British resolution to overcome the night-fear of going out into the
unhallowed ground of matter-of-fact, where the farthest earlier
excursions of the governmental agencies had taken them no farther than
such financial transactions as are incident to the accomplishment of
anything whatever in a commercial nation. And then, too, there is a
pecuniary interest in being interested in financial transactions.

This shifting of discretionary control out of the hands of the gentlemen
into those of the underbred common run, who know how to do what is
necessary to be done in the face of underbred exigencies, may
conceivably go far when it has once been started, and it may go forward
at an accelerated rate if the pressure of necessity lasts long enough.
If time be given for habituation to this manner of directorate in
national affairs, so that the common man comes to realise how it is
feasible to get along without gentlemen-investors holding the
discretion, the outcome may conceivably be very grave. It is a point in
doubt, but it is conceivable that in such a case the gentlemanly
executive committee administering affairs in the light of the
gentlemanly pecuniary interest, will not be fully reinstated in the
discretionary control of the United Kingdom for an appreciable number of
years after the return of peace. Possibly, even, the régime may be
permanently deranged, and there is even a shadowy doubt possible to be
entertained as to whether the vested pecuniary rights, on which the
class of gentlemen rests, may not suffer some derangement, in case the
control should pass into the hands of the underbred and unpropertied for
so long a season as to let the common man get used to thinking that the
vested interests and the sacred rights of gentility are so much ado
about nothing.

Such an outcome would be extreme, but as a remote contingency it is to
be taken into account. The privileged classes of the United Kingdom
should by this time be able to see the danger there may be for them and
their vested interests, pecuniary and moral, in an excessive
prolongation of the war; in such postponement of peace as would afford
time for a popular realisation of their incompetence and
disserviceability as touches the nation's material well-being under
modern conditions. To let the nation's war experience work to such an
outcome, the season of war would have to be prolonged beyond what either
the hopes or the fears of the community have yet contemplated; but the
point is after all worth noting, as being within the premises of the
case, that there is herein a remote contingency of losing, at least for
a time, that unformulated clause in the British constitution which has
hitherto restricted the holding of responsible office to men of pedigree
and of gentle breeding, or at least of very grave pecuniary weight; so
grave as to make the incumbents virtual gentlemen, with a virtual
pedigree, and with a virtual gentleman's accentuated sense of class
interest. Should such an eventuality overtake British popular sentiment
and belief there is also the remote contingency that the rights of
ownership and investment would lose a degree of sanctity.

It seems necessary to note a further, and in a sense more improbable,
line of disintegration among modern fixed ideas. Among the best
entrenched illusions of modern economic preconceptions, and in economic
as well as legal theory, has been the indispensability of funds, and the
hard and fast limitation of industrial operations by the supply or
with-holding of funds. The war experience has hitherto gone tentatively
to show that funds and financial transactions, of credit, bargain, sale
and solvency, may be dispensed with under pressure of necessity; and
apparently without seriously hindering that run of mechanical fact, on
which interest in the present case necessarily centers, and which must
be counted on to give the outcome. Latterly the case is clearing up a
little further, on further experience and under further pressure of
technological exigencies, to the effect that financial arrangements are
indispensable in this connection only because and in so far as it has
been arranged to consider them indispensable; as in international trade.
They are an indispensable means of intermediation only in so far as
pecuniary interests are to be furthered or safeguarded in the
intermediation. When, as has happened with the belligerents in the
present instance, the national establishment becomes substantially
insolvent, it is beginning to appear that its affairs can be taken care
of with less difficulty and with better effect without the use of
financial expedients. Of course, it takes time to get used to doing
things by the more direct method and without the accustomed
circumlocution of accountancy, or the accustomed allowance for profits
to go to interested parties who, under the financial régime, hold a
power of discretionary permission in all matters that touch the use of
the industrial arts. Under these urgent material exigencies, investment
comes to have much of the appearance of a gratuitous drag and drain on
the processes of industry.

Here, again, is a sinister contingency; sinister, that is, for those
vested rights of ownership by force of which the owners of "capital" are
enabled to permit or withhold the use of the industrial arts by the
community at large, on pain of privation in case the accustomed toll to
the owners of capital is not paid. It is, of course, not intended to
find fault with this arrangement; which has the sanction of "time
immemorial" and of a settled persuasion that it lies at the root of all
civilised life and intercourse. It is only that in case of extreme need
this presumed indispensable expedient of industrial control has broken
down, and that experience is proving it to be, in these premises, an
item of borrowed trouble. Should experience continue to run on the same
lines for an appreciable period and at a high tension, it is at least
conceivable that the vested right of owners to employ unlimited sabotage
in the quest of profits might fall so far into disrepute as to leave
them under a qualified doubt on the return of "normal" conditions. The
common man, in other words, who gathers nothing but privation and
anxiety from the owners' discretionary sabotage, may conceivably stand
to lose his preconception that the vested rights of ownership are the
cornerstone of his life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

       *       *       *       *       *

The considerations recited in this lengthy excursion on the war
situation and its probable effects on popular habits of thought in the
United Kingdom go to say that when peace comes to be negotiated, with
the United Kingdom as the chief constituent and weightiest spokesman of
the allied nations and of the league of pacific neutrals, the
representatives of British aims and opinions are likely to speak in a
different, chastened, and disillusioned fashion, as contrasted with what
the British attitude was at the beginning of hostilities. The
gentlemanly British animus of arrogant self-sufficiency will have been
somewhat sobered, perhaps somewhat subdued. Concession to the claims and
pretensions of the other pacific nations is likely to go farther than
might once have been expected, particularly in the way of concession to
any demand for greater international comity and less international
discrimination; essentially concession looking to a reduction of
national pretensions and an incipient neutralisation of national
interests. Coupled with this will presumably be a less conciliatory
attitude toward the members of the dynastic coalition against whom the
war has been fought, owing to a more mature realisation of the
impossibility of a lasting peace negotiated with a Power whose
substantial core is a warlike and irresponsible dynastic establishment.
The peace negotiations are likely to run on a lower level of diplomatic
deference to constituted authorities, and with more of a view to the
interests and sentiments of the underlying population, than was evident
in the futile negotiations had at the outbreak of hostilities. The
gentle art of diplomacy, that engages the talents of exalted personages
and well-bred statesmen, has been somewhat discredited; and if it turns
out that the vulgarisation of the directorate in the United Kingdom and
its associated allies and neutrals will have time to go on to something
like dominance and authenticity, then the deference which the spokesmen
of these nations are likely to show for the prescriptive rights of
dynasty, nobility, bureaucracy, or even of pecuniary aristocracy, in the
countries that make up the party of the second part, may be expected to
have shrunk appreciably, conceivably even to such precarious dimensions
as to involve the virtual neglect or possible downright abrogation of
them, in sum and substance.

Indeed, the chances of a successful pacific league of neutrals to come
out of the current situation appear to be largely bound up with the
degree of vulgarisation due to overtake the several directorates of the
belligerent nations as well as the popular habits of thought in these
and in the neutral countries, during the further course of the war. It
is too broad a generalisation, perhaps, to say that the longer the war
lasts the better are the chances of such a neutral temper in the
interested nations as will make a pacific league practicable, but the
contrary would appear a much less defensible proposition. It is, of
course, the common man that has the least interest in warlike
enterprise, if any, and it is at the same time the common man that bears
the burden of such enterprise and has also the most immediate interest
in keeping the peace. If, slowly and pervasively, in the course of hard
experience, he learns to distrust the conduct of affairs by his betters,
and learns at the same move to trust to his own class to do what is
necessary and to leave undone what is not, his deference to his betters
is likely to suffer a decline, such as should show itself in a somewhat
unguarded recourse to democratic ways and means.

In short, there is in this progressive vulgarisation of effectual use
and wont and of sentiment, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, some
slight ground for the hope, or the apprehension, that no peace will be
made with the dynastic Powers of the second part until they cease to be
dynastic Powers and take on the semblance of democratic commonwealths,
with dynasties, royalties and privileged classes thrown in the discard.

This would probably mean some prolongation of hostilities, until the
dynasties and privileged classes had completely exhausted their
available resources; and, by the same token, until the privileged
classes in the more modern nations among the belligerents had also been
displaced from direction and discretion by those underbred classes on
whom it is incumbent to do what is to be done; or until a juncture were
reached that comes passably near to such a situation. On the contingency
of such a course of events and some such outcome appears also to hang
the chance of a workable pacific league. Without further experience of
the futility of upper-class and pecuniary control, to discredit
precedent and constituted authority, it is scarcely conceivable, e.g.,
that the victorious allies would go the length of coercively discarding
the German Imperial dynasty and the kept classes that with it constitute
the Imperial State, and of replacing it with a democratic organisation
of the people in the shape of a modern commonwealth; and without a
change of that nature, affecting that nation and such of its allies as
would remain on the map, no league of pacific neutrals would be able to
manage its affairs, even for a time, except on a war-footing that would
involve a competitive armament against future dynastic enterprises from
the same quarter. Which comes to saying that a lasting peace is possible
on no other terms than the disestablishment of the Imperial dynasty and
the abrogation of all feudalistic remnants of privilege in the
Fatherland and its allies, together with the reduction of those
countries to the status of commonwealths made up of ungraded men.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is easy to speculate on what the conditions precedent to such a
pacific league of neutrals must of necessity be; but it is not therefore
less difficult to make a shrewd guess as to the chances of these
conditions being met. Of these conditions precedent, the chief and
foremost, without which any other favorable circumstances are
comparatively idle, is a considerable degree of neutralisation,
extending to virtually all national interests and pretensions, but more
particularly to all material and commercial interests of the federated
peoples; and, indispensably and especially, such neutralisation would
have to extend to the nations from whom aggression is now apprehended,
as, e.g., the German people. But such neutralisation could not
conceivably reach the Fatherland unless that nation were made over in
the image of democracy, since the Imperial State is, by force of the
terms, a warlike and unneutral power. This would seem to be the
ostensibly concealed meaning of the allied governments in proclaiming
that their aim is to break German militarism without doing harm to the
German people.

As touches the neutralisation of the democratically rehabilitated
Fatherland, or in default of that, as touches the peace terms to be
offered the Imperial government, the prime article among the
stipulations would seem to be abolition of all trade discrimination
against Germany or by Germany against any other nationality. Such
stipulation would, of course, cover all manner of trade
discrimination,--e.g., import, export and excise tariff, harbor and
registry dues, subsidy, patent right, copyright, trade mark, tax
exemption whether partial or exclusive, investment preferences at home
and abroad,--in short it would have to establish a thoroughgoing
neutralisation of trade relations in the widest acceptation of the term,
and to apply in perpetuity. The like applies, of course, to all that
fringe of subsidiary and outlying peoples on whom Imperial Germany
relies for much of its resources in any warlike enterprise. Such a move
also disposes of the colonial question in a parenthesis, so far as
regards any special bond of affiliation between the Empire, or the
Fatherland, and any colonial possessions that are now thought desirable
to be claimed. Under neutralisation, colonies would cease to be
"colonial possessions," being necessarily included under the general
abrogation of commercial discriminations, and also necessarily exempt
from special taxation or specially favorable tax rates.

Colonies there still would be, though it is not easy to imagine what
would be the meaning of a "German Colony" in such a case. Colonies would
be free communities, after the fashion of New Zealand or Australia, but
with the further sterilisation of the bond between colony and mother
country involved in the abolition of all appointive offices and all
responsibility to the crown or the imperial government. Now, there are
no German colonies in this simpler British sense of the term, which
implies nothing more than community of blood, institutions and language,
together with that sense of solidarity between the colony and the mother
country which this community of pedigree and institutions will
necessarily bring; but while there are today no German colonies, in the
sense of the term so given, there is no reason to presume that no such
German colonies would come into bearing under the conditions of this
prospective régime of neutrality installed by such a pacific league,
when backed by the league's guarantee that no colony from the Fatherland
will be exposed to the eventual risk of coming under the discretionary
tutelage of the German Imperial establishment and so falling into a
relation of step-childhood to the Imperial dynasty.

As is well known, and as has by way of superfluous commonplace been set
forth by a sometime Colonial Secretary of the Empire, the decisive
reason for there being no German colonies in existence is the
consistently impossible colonial policy of the German government,
looking to the usufruct of the colonies by the government, and the fear
of further arbitrary control and nepotic discrimination at the pleasure
of the self-seeking dynastic establishment. It is only under Imperial
rule that no German colony, in this modern sense of the term, is
possible; and only because Imperial rule does not admit of a free
community being formed by colonists from the Fatherland; or of an
ostensibly free community of that kind ever feeling secure from
unsolicited interference with its affairs.

The nearest approach to a German Colony, as contrasted with a "Colonial
Possession," hitherto have been the very considerable, number of
escaped German subjects who have settled in English-speaking or
Latin-speaking countries, particularly in North and South America. And
considering that the chief common trait among them is their successful
evasion of the Imperial government's heavy hand, they show an admirable
filial piety toward the Imperial establishment; though troubled with no
slightest regret at having escaped from the Imperial surveillance and no
slightest inclination to return to the shelter of the Imperial tutelage.
A colloquialism--"hyphenate"--has latterly grown up to meet the need of
a term to designate these evasive and yet patriotic colonists. It is
scarcely misleading to say that the German-American hyphenate, e.g., in
so far as he runs true to form, is still a German subject with his
heart, but he is an American citizen with his head. All of which goes to
argue that if the Fatherland were to fall into such a state of
democratic tolerance that no recidivist need carry a defensive hyphen to
shield him from the importunate attentions of the Imperial government,
German colonies would also come into bearing; although, it is true, they
would have no value to the German government.

In the Imperial colonial policy colonies are conceived to stand to their
Imperial guardian or master in a relation between that of a step-child
and that of an indentured servant; to be dealt with summarily and at
discretion and to be made use of without scruple. The like attitude
toward colonies was once familiar matter-of-course with the British and
Spanish statesmen. The British found the plan unprofitable, and also
unworkable, and have given it up. The Spanish, having no political
outlook but the dynastic one, could of course not see their way to
relinquish the only purpose of their colonial enterprise, except in
relinquishing their colonial possessions. The German (Imperial) colonial
policy is and will be necessarily after the Spanish pattern, and
necessarily, too, with the Spanish results.

Under the projected neutral scheme there would be no colonial policy,
and of course, no inducement to the acquisition of colonies, since
there would be no profit to be derived, or to be fancied, in the case.
But while no country, as a commonwealth, has any material interest in
the acquisition or maintenance of colonies, it is otherwise as regards
the dynastic interests of an Imperial government; and it is also
otherwise, at least in the belief of the interested parties, as regards
special businessmen or business concerns who are in a position to gain
something by help of national discrimination in their favor. As regards
the pecuniary interests of favored businessmen or business concerns, and
of investors favored by national discrimination in colonial relations,
the case falls under the general caption of trade discrimination, and
does not differ at all materially from such expedients as a protective
tariff, a ship subsidy, or a bounty on exports. But as regards the
warlike, that is to say dynastic, interest of an Imperial government the
case stands somewhat different.

Colonial Possessions in such a case yield no material benefit to the
country at large, but their possession is a serviceable plea for warlike
preparations with which to retain possession of the colonies in the face
of eventualities, and it is also a serviceable means of stirring the
national pride and keeping alive a suitable spirit of patriotic
animosity. The material service actually to be derived from such
possessions in the event of war is a point in doubt, with the
probabilities apparently running against their being of any eventual net
use. But there need be no question that such possessions, under the hand
of any national establishment infected with imperial ambitions, are a
fruitful source of diplomatic complications, excuses for armament,
international grievances, and eventual aggression. A pacific league of
neutrals can evidently not tolerate the retention of colonial
possessions by any dynastic State that may be drawn into the league or
under its jurisdiction, as, e.g., the German Empire in case it should be
left on an Imperial footing. Whereas, in case the German peoples are
thrown back on a democratic status, as neutralised commonwealths without
a crown or a military establishment, the question of their colonial
possessions evidently falls vacant.

As to the neutralisation of trade relations apart from the question of
colonies, and as bears on the case of Germany under the projected
jurisdiction of a pacific league of neutrals, the considerations to be
taken account of are of much the same nature. As it would have to take
effect, e.g., in the abolition of commercial and industrial
discriminations between Germany and the pacific nations, such
neutralisation would doubtless confer a lasting material benefit on the
German people at large; and it is not easy to detect any loss or
detriment to be derived from such a move so long as peace prevails.
Protective, that is to say discriminating, export, import, or excise
duties, harbor and registry dues, subsidies, tax exemptions and trade
preferences, and all the like devices of interference with trade and
industry, are unavoidably a hindrance to the material interests of any
people on whom they are imposed or who impose these disabilities on
themselves. So that exemption from these things by a comprehensive
neutralisation of trade relations would immediately benefit all the
nations concerned, in respect of their material well-being in times of
peace. There is no exception and no abatement to be taken account of
under this general statement, as is well known to all men who are
conversant with these matters.

But it is otherwise as regards the dynastic interest in the case, and as
regards any national interest in warlike enterprise. It is doubtless
true that all restraint of trade between nations, and between classes or
localities within the national frontiers, unavoidably acts to weaken and
impoverish the people on whose economic activities this restraint is
laid; and to the extent to which this effect is had it will also be true
that the country which so is hindered in its work will have a less
aggregate of resources to place at the disposal of its enterprising
statesmen for imperialist ends. But these restraints may yet be useful
for dynastic, that is to say warlike, ends by making the country more
nearly a "self-contained economic whole." A country becomes a
"self-contained economic whole" by mutilation, in cutting itself off
from the industrial system in which industrially it belongs, but in
which it is unwilling nationally to hold its place. National frontiers
are industrial barriers. But as a result of such mutilation of its
industrial life such a country is better able--it has been believed--to
bear the shock of severing its international trade relations entirely,
as is likely to happen in case of war.

In a large country, such as America or Russia, which comprises within
its national boundaries very extensive and very varied resources and a
widely distributed and diversified population, the mischief suffered
from restraints of trade that hinder industrial relations with the world
at large will of course be proportionately lessened. Such a country
comes nearer being a miniature industrial world; although none of the
civilised nations, large or small, can carry on its ordinary industrial
activities and its ordinary manner of life without drawing on foreign
parts to some appreciable extent. But a country of small territorial
extent and of somewhat narrowly restricted natural resources, as, e.g.,
Germany or France, can even by the most drastic measures of restraint
and mutilation achieve only a very mediocre degree of industrial
isolation and "self-sufficiency,"--as has, e.g., appeared in the present
war. But in all cases, though in varying measure, the mitigated
isolation so enforced by these restraints on trade will in their degree
impair the country's industrial efficiency and lower the people's
material well-being; yet, if the restrictions are shrewdly applied this
partial isolation and partial "self-sufficiency" will go some way toward
preparing the nation for the more thorough isolation that follows on the
outbreak of hostilities.

The present plight of the German people under war conditions may serve
to show how nearly that end may be attained, and yet how inadequate even
the most unreserved measures of industrial isolation must be in face of
the fact that the modern state of the industrial arts necessarily draws
on the collective resources of the world at large. It may well be
doubted, on an impartial view, if the mutilation of the country's
industrial system by such measures of isolation does not after all
rather weaken the nation even for warlike ends; but then, the
discretionary authorities in the dynastic States are always, and it may
be presumed necessarily, hampered with obsolete theories handed down
from that cameralistic age, when the little princes of the Fatherland
were making dynastic history. So, e.g., the current, nineteenth and
twentieth century, economic policy of the Prussian-Imperial statesmen is
still drawn on lines within which Frederick II, called the Great, would
have felt well at home.

Like other preparation for hostilities this reduction of the country to
the status of a self-contained economic organisation is costly, but
like other preparation for hostilities it also puts the nation in a
position of greater readiness to break off friendly relations with its
neighbors. It is a war measure, commonly spoken for by its advocates as
a measure of self-defense; but whatever the merits of the
self-defenders' contention, this measure is a war measure. As such it
can reasonably claim no hearing in the counsels of a pacific league of
neutrals, whose purpose it is to make war impracticable. Particularly
can there be no reasonable question of admitting a policy of trade
discrimination and isolation on the part of a nation which has, for
purposes of warlike aggression, pursued such a policy in the past, and
which it is the immediate purpose of the league to bind over to keep the

There has been a volume of loose talk spent on the justice and
expediency of boycotting the trade of the peoples of the Empire after
the return of peace, as a penalty and as a preventive measure designed
to retard their recovery of strength with which to enter on a further
warlike enterprise. Such a measure would necessarily be somewhat futile;
since "Business is business," after all, and the practical limitations
imposed on an unprofitable boycott by the moral necessity to buy cheap
and sell dear that rests on all businessmen would surreptitiously
mitigate it to the point of negligibility. It is inconceivable--or it
would be inconceivable in the absence of imbecile politicians and
self-seeking businessmen--that measures looking to the trade isolation
of any one of these countries could be entertained as a point of policy
to be pursued by a league of neutrals. And it is only in so far as
patriotic jealousy and vindictive sentiments are allowed to displace the
aspiration for peace and security, that such measures can claim
consideration. Considered as a penalty to be imposed on the erring
nations who set this warlike adventure afoot, it should be sufficiently
plain that such a measure as a trade boycott could not touch the chief
offenders, or even their responsible abettors. It would, rather, play
into the hands of the militarist interests by keeping alive the spirit
of national jealousy and international hatred, out of which wars arise
and without which warlike enterprise might hopefully be expected to
disappear out of the scheme of human intercourse. The punishment would
fall, as all economic burdens and disabilities must always fall, on the
common man, the underlying population.

The chief relation of this common run, this underlying population of
German subjects, to the inception and pursuit of this Imperial warlike
enterprise, is comprised in the fact that they are an underlying
population of subjects, held in usufruct by the Imperial establishment
and employed at will. It is true, they have lent themselves unreservedly
to the uses for which the dynasty has use for them, and they have
entered enthusiastically into the warlike adventure set afoot by the
dynastic statesmen; but that they have done so is their misfortune
rather than their fault. By use and wont and indoctrination they have
for long been unremittingly, and helplessly, disciplined into a spirit
of dynastic loyalty, national animosity and servile abnegation; until it
would be nothing better than a pathetic inversion of all the equities of
the case to visit the transgressions of their masters upon the common
run; whose fault lies, after all, in their being an underlying
population of subjects, who have not had a chance to reach that
spiritual level on which they could properly be held accountable for the
uses to which they are turned. It is true, men are ordinarily punished
for their misfortunes; but the warlike enterprise of the Imperial
dynasty has already brought what might fairly be rated as a good measure
of punishment on this underlying populace, whose chief fault and chief
misfortune lies in an habitual servile abnegation of those traits of
initiative and discretion in man that constitute him an agent
susceptible of responsibility or retribution.

It would be all the more of a pathetic mockery to visit the
transgressions of their masters on these victims of circumstance and
dynastic mendacity, since the conventionalities of international equity
will scarcely permit the high responsible parties in the case to be
chastised with any penalty harsher than a well-mannered figure of
speech. To serve as a deterrent, the penalty must strike the point where
vests the discretion; but servile use and wont is still too well intact
in these premises to let any penalty touch the guilty core of a
profligate dynasty. Under the wear and tear of continued war and its
incident continued vulgarisation of the directorate and responsible
staff among the pacific allies, the conventional respect of persons is
likely to suffer appreciable dilapidation; but there need be no
apprehension of such a loss of decent respect for personages as would
compromise the creature comforts of that high syndicate of personages on
whose initiative the Fatherland entered upon this enterprise in

Bygone shortcomings and transgressions can have no reasonable place in
the arrangements by which a pacific league of neutrals designs to keep
the peace. Neither can bygone prerogatives and precedents of
magnificence and of mastery, except in so far as they unavoidably must
come into play through the inability of men to divest themselves of
their ingrained preconceptions, by virtue of which a Hohenzollern or a
Hapsburger is something more formidable and more to be considered than a
recruiting sergeant or a purveyor of light literature. The league can do
its work of pacification only by elaborately forgetting differences and
discrepancies of the kind that give rise to international grievances.
Which is the same as saying that the neutralisation of national
discriminations and pretensions will have to go all the way, if it is to
serve. But this implies, as broadly as need be, that the pacific nations
who make the league and provisionally administer its articles of
agreement and jurisdiction, can not exempt themselves from any of the
leveling measures of neutralisation to which the dynastic suspects among
them are to be subject. It would mean a relinquishment of all those
undemocratic institutional survivals out of which international
grievances are wont to arise. As a certain Danish adage would have it,
the neutrals of the league must all be shorn over the same comb.

       *       *       *       *       *

What is to be shorn over this one comb of neutralisation and democracy
is all those who go into the pacific league of neutrals and all who come
under its jurisdiction, whether of their own choice or by the
necessities of the case. It is of the substance of the case that those
peoples who have been employed in the campaigns of the German-Imperial
coalition are to come in on terms of impartial equality with those who
have held the ground against them; to come under the jurisdiction, and
prospectively into the copartnery, of the league of neutrals--all on the
presumption that the Imperial coalition will be brought to make peace on
terms of unconditional surrender.

Let it not seem presumptuous to venture on a recital of summary
specifications intended to indicate the nature of those concrete
measures which would logically be comprised in a scheme of pacification
carried out with such a view to impartial equality among the peoples who
are to make up the projected league. There is a significant turn of
expression that recurs habitually in the formulation of terms put forth
by the spokesmen of the Entente belligerents, where it is insisted that
hostilities are carried on not against the German people or the other
peoples associated with them, but only against the Imperial
establishments and their culpable aids and abettors in the enterprise.
So it is further insisted that there is no intention to bring pains and
penalties on these peoples, who so have been made use of by their
masters, but only on the culpable master class whose tools these peoples
have been. And later, just now (January 1917), and from a responsible
and disinterested spokesman for the pacific league, there comes the
declaration that a lasting peace at the hands of such a league can be
grounded only in a present "peace without victory."

The mutual congruity of these two declarations need not imply collusion,
but they are none the less complementary propositions and they are none
the less indicative of a common trend of convictions among the men who
are best able to speak for those pacific nations that are looked to as
the mainstay of the prospective league. They both converge to the point
that the objective to be achieved is not victory for the Entente
belligerents but defeat for the German-Imperial coalition; that the
peoples underlying the defeated governments are not to be dealt with as
vanquished enemies but as fellows in undeserved misfortune brought on by
their culpable masters; and that no advantage is designed to be taken of
these peoples, and no gratuitous hardship to be imposed on them. Their
masters are evidently to be put away, not as defeated antagonists but as
a public nuisance to be provided against as may seem expedient for the
peace and security of those nations whom they have been molesting.

Taking this position as outlined, it should not be extremely difficult
to forecast the general line of procedure which it would logically
demand,--barring irrelevant regard for precedents and overheated
resentment, and provided that the makers of these peace terms have a
free hand and go to their work with an eye single to the establishment
of an enduring peace. The case of Germany would be typical of all the
rest; and the main items of the bill in this case would seem logically
to run somewhat as follows:

(1) The definitive elimination of the Imperial establishment, together
with the monarchical establishments of the several states of the Empire
and the privileged classes;

(2) Removal or destruction of all warlike equipment, military and naval,
defensive and offensive;

(3) Cancelment of the public debt, of the Empire and of its
members--creditors of the Empire being accounted accessory to the
culpable enterprise of the Imperial government;

(4) Confiscation of such industrial equipment and resources as have
contributed to the carrying on of the war, as being also accessory;

(5) Assumption by the league at large of all debts incurred, by the
Entente belligerents or by neutrals, for the prosecution or by reason of
the war, and distribution of the obligation so assumed, impartially
among the members of the league, including the peoples of the defeated

(6) Indemnification for all injury done to civilians in the invaded
territories; the means for such indemnification to be procured by
confiscation of all estates in the defeated countries exceeding a
certain very modest maximum, calculated on the average of property
owned, say, by the poorer three-fourths of the population,--the kept
classes being properly accounted accessory to the Empire's culpable

The proposition to let the war debt be shared by all members of the
league on a footing of impartial equality may seem novel, and perhaps
extravagant. But all projects put forth for safeguarding the world's
peace by a compact among the pacific nations run on the patent, though
often tacit, avowal that the Entente belligerents are spending their
substance and pledging their credit for the common cause. Among the
Americans, the chief of the neutral nations, this is coming to be
recognised more and more overtly. So that, in this instance at least, no
insurmountable reluctance to take over their due share of the common
burden should fairly be looked for, particularly when it appears that
the projected league, if it is organised on a footing of neutrality,
will relieve the republic of virtually all outlay for their own defense.

Of course, there is, in all this, no temerarious intention to offer
advice as to what should be done by those who have it to do, or even to
sketch the necessary course which events are bound to take. As has been
remarked in another passage, that would have to be a work of prophesy or
of effrontery, both of which, it is hoped, lie equally beyond the
horizon of this inquiry; which is occupied with the question of what
conditions will logically have to be met in order to an enduring peace,
not what will be the nature and outcome of negotiations entered into by
astute delegates pursuing the special advantage, each of his own nation.
And yet the peremptory need of reaching some practicable arrangement
whereby the peace may be kept, goes to say that even the most astute
negotiations will in some degree be controlled by that need, and may
reasonably be expected to make some approach to the simple and obvious
requirements of the situation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Therefore the argument returns to the United Kingdom and the probable
limit of tolerance of that people, in respect of what they are likely to
insist on as a necessary measure of democratisation in the nations of
the second part, and what measure of national abnegation they are likely
to accommodate themselves to. The United Kingdom is indispensable to the
formation of a pacific league of neutrals. And the British terms of
adhesion, or rather of initiation of such a league, therefore, will have
to constitute the core of the structure, on which details may be
adjusted and to which concessive adjustments will have to be made by all
the rest. This is not saying that the projected league must or will be
dominated by the United Kingdom or administered in the British interest.
Indeed, it can not well be made to serve British particular interests in
any appreciable degree, except at the cost of defeat to its main
purpose; since the purposes of an enduring peace can be served only by
an effectual neutralisation of national claims and interests. But it
would mean that the neutralisation of national interests and
discriminations to be effected would have to be drawn on lines
acceptable to British taste in these matters, and would have to go
approximately so far as would be dictated by the British notions of what
is expedient, and not much farther. The pacific league of neutrals would
have much of a British air, but "British" in this connection is to be
taken as connoting the English-speaking countries rather than as
applying to the United Kingdom alone; since the entrance of the British
into the league would involve the entrance of the British colonies, and,
indeed, of the American republic as well.

The temper and outlook of this British community, therefore, becomes a
matter of paramount importance in any attempted analysis of the
situation resulting after the war, or of any prospective course of
conduct to be entered on by the pacific nations. And the question
touches not so much the temper and preconceptions of the British
community as known in recent history, but rather as it is likely to be
modified by the war experience. So that the practicability of a neutral
league comes to turn, in great measure, on the effect which this war
experience is having on the habits of thought of the British people, or
on that section of the British population which will make up the
effectual majority when the war closes. The grave interest that attaches
to this question must serve as justification for pursuing it farther,
even though there can be no promise of a definite or confident answer to
be found beforehand.

Certain general assertions may be made with some confidence. The
experiences of the war, particularly among the immediate participants
and among their immediate domestic connections--a large and increasing
proportion of the people at large--are plainly impressing on them the
uselessness and hardship of such a war. There can be no question but
they are reaching a conviction that a war of this modern kind and scale
is a thing to be avoided if possible. They are, no doubt, willing to go
to very considerable lengths to make a repetition of it impossible, and
they may reasonably be expected to go farther along that line before
peace returns. But the lengths to which they are ready to go may be in
the way of concessions, or in the way of contest and compulsion. There
need be no doubt but a profound and vindictive resentment runs through
the British community, and there is no reason to apprehend that this
will be dissipated in the course of further hostilities; although it
should fairly be expected to lose something of its earlier exuberant
malevolence and indiscrimination, more particularly if hostilities
continue for some time. It is not too much to expect, that this popular
temper of resentment will demand something very tangible in the way of
summary vengeance on those who have brought the hardships of war upon
the nation.

The manner of retribution which would meet the popular demand for
"justice" to be done on the enemy is likely to be affected by the
fortunes of war, as also the incidence of it. Should the governmental
establishment and the discretion still vest in the gentlemanly classes
at the close of hostilities, the retribution is likely to take the
accustomed gentlemanly shape of pecuniary burdens imposed on the people
of the defeated country, together with diplomatically specified
surrender of territorial and colonial possessions, and the like; such as
to leave the _de facto_ enemy courteously on one side, and to yield
something in the way of pecuniary benefit to the gentlemen-investors in
charge, and something more in the way of new emoluments of office to the
office-holding class included in the same order of gentlemen. The
retribution in the case would manifestly fall on the underlying
population in the defeated country, without seriously touching the
responsible parties, and would leave the defeated nation with a new
grievance to nourish its patriotic animosity and with a new incentive
to a policy of watchful waiting for a chance of retaliation.

But it is to be noted that under the stress of the war there is going
forward in the British community a progressive displacement of
gentlemanly standards and official procedure by standards and procedure
of a visibly underbred character, a weakening of the hold of the
gentlemanly classes on the control of affairs and a weakening of the
hold which the sacred rights of property, investment and privilege have
long had over the imagination of the British people. Should hostilities
continue, and should the exigencies of the war situation continue to
keep the futility of these sacred rights, as well as the fatuity of
their possessors, in the public eye, after the same fashion as hitherto,
it would not be altogether unreasonable to expect that the discretion
would pass into the hands of the underbred, or into the hands of men
immediately and urgently accountable to the underbred. In such a case,
and with a constantly growing popular realisation that the directorate
and responsible enemy in the war is the Imperial dynasty and its
pedigreed aids and abettors, it is conceivable that the popular
resentment would converge so effectually on these responsible
instigators and directors of misfortune as to bring the incidence of the
required retribution effectually to bear on them. The outcome might, not
inconceivably, be the virtual erasure of the Imperial dynasty, together
with the pedigreed-class rule on which it rests and the apparatus of
irresponsible coercion through which it works, in the Fatherland and in
its subsidiaries and dependencies.

With a sufficiently urgent realisation of their need of peace and
security, and with a realisation also that the way to avoid war is to
avoid the ways and means of international jealousy and of the national
discriminations out of which international jealousy grows, it is
conceivable that a government which should reflect the British temper
and the British hopes might go so far in insisting on a neutralisation
of the peoples of the Fatherland as would leave them without the
dynastic apparatus with which warlike enterprise is set afoot, and so
leave them also perforce in a pacific frame of mind. In time, in the
absence of their dearly beloved leavings of feudalism, an enforced
reliance on their own discretion and initiative, and an enforced respite
from the rant and prance of warlike swagger, would reasonably be
expected to grow into a popular habit. The German people are by no means
less capable of tolerance and neighbourly decorum than their British or
Scandinavian neighbours of the same blood,--if they can only be left to
their own devices, untroubled by the maggoty conceit of national

There is no intention herewith to express an expectation that this
out-and-out neutralisation of the Fatherland's international relations
and of its dynastic government will come to pass on the return of peace,
or that the German people will, as a precaution against recurrent
Imperial rabies, be organised on a democratic pattern by constraint of
the pacific nations of the league. The point is only that this measure
of neutralisation appears to be the necessary condition, in the absence
of which no such neutral league can succeed, and that so long as the war
goes on there is something of a chance that the British community may in
time reach a frame of mind combining such settled determination to
safeguard the peace at all costs, with such a degree of disregard for
outworn conventions, that their spokesmen in the negotiations may push
the neutralisation of these peoples to that length.

The achievement of such an outcome would evidently take time as well as
harsh experience, more time and harsher experience, perhaps, than one
likes to contemplate.

Most men, therefore, would scarcely rate the chance of such an outcome
at all high. And yet it is to be called to mind that the war has lasted
long and the effect of its demands and its experience has already gone
far, and that the longer it lasts the greater are the chances of its
prolongation and of its continued hardships, at least to the extent that
with every month of war that passes the prospect of the allied nations
making peace on any terms short of unconditional surrender grows less.
And unconditional surrender is the first step in the direction of an
unconditional dispossession of the Imperial establishment and its war
prophets,--depending primarily on the state of mind of the British
people at the time. And however unlikely, it is also always possible, as
some contend, that in the course of further war experience the common
man in the Fatherland may come to reflect on the use and value of the
Imperial establishment, with the result of discarding and disowning it
and all its works. Such an expectation would doubtless underrate the
force of ancient habit, and would also involve a misapprehension of the
psychological incidence of a warlike experience. The German people have
substantially none of those preconceptions of independence and
self-direction to go on, in the absence of which an effectual revulsion
against dynastic rule can not come to pass.

Embedded in the common sense of the British population at large is a
certain large and somewhat sullen sense of fair dealing. In this they
are not greatly different from their neighbours, if at all, except that
the body of common sense in which this British sense of fair dealing
lies embedded is a maturer fashion of common sense than that which
serves to guide the workday life of many of their neighbours. And the
maturity in question appears to be chiefly a matter of their having
unlearned, divested themselves of, or been by force of disuse divested
of, an exceptionally large proportion of that burden of untoward
conceits which western Europe, and more particularly middle Europe, at
large has carried over from the Middle Ages. They have had time and
occasion to forget more of what the exigencies of modern life make it
expedient to have forgotten. And yet they are reputed slow,
conservative. But they have been well placed for losing much of what
would be well lost.

Among other things, their preconception of national animosity is not
secure, in the absence of provocation. They are now again in a position
to learn to do without some of the useless legacy out of the
past,--useless, that is, for life as it runs today, however it may be
rated in the setting in which it was all placed in that past out of
which it has come. And the question is whether now, under the pressure
of exigencies that make for a disestablishment of much cumbersome
inherited apparatus for doing what need not be done, they will be ruled
by their sense of expediency and of fair dealing to the extent of
cancelling out of their own scheme of life so much of this legacy of
conventional preconceptions as has now come visibly to hinder their own
material well-being, and at the same time to defeat that peace and
security for which they have shown themselves willing to fight. It is,
of course, a simpler matter to fight than it is to put away a
preconceived, even if it is a bootless, superstition; as, e.g., the
prestige of hereditary wealth, hereditary gentility, national
vainglory, and perhaps especially national hatred. But if the school is
hard enough and the discipline protracted enough there is no reason in
the nature of things why the common run of the British people should not
unlearn these futilities that once were the substance of things under an
older and outworn order. They have already shown their capacity for
divesting themselves of outworn institutional bonds, in discarding the
main substance of dynastic rule; and when they now come to face the
exigencies of this new situation it should cause no great surprise if
they are able to see their way to do what further is necessary to meet
these exigencies.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the hands of this British commonwealth the new situation requires the
putting away of the German Imperial establishment and the military
caste; the reduction of the German peoples to a footing of unreserved
democracy with sufficient guarantees against national trade
discriminations; surrender of all British tutelage over outlying
possessions, except what may go to guarantee their local autonomy;
cancelment of all extra-territorial pretensions of the several nations
entering into the league; neutralisation of the several national
establishments, to comprise virtual disarmament, as well as cancelment
of all restrictions on trade and of all national defense of
extra-territorial pecuniary claims and interests on the part of
individual citizens. The naval control of the seas will best be left in
British hands. No people has a graver or more immediate interest in the
freedom and security of the sea-borne trade; and the United Kingdom has
shown that it is to be trusted in that matter. And then it may well be
that neither the national pride nor the apprehensions of the British
people would allow them to surrender it; whereas, if the league is to
be formed it will have to be on terms to which the British people are
willing to adhere. A certain provision of armed force will also be
needed to keep the governments of unneutral nations in check,--and for
the purpose in hand all effectively monarchical countries are to be
counted as congenitally unneutral, whatever their formal professions and
whether they are members of the league or not. Here again it will
probably appear that the people of the United Kingdom, and of the
English-speaking countries at large, will not consent to this armed
force and its discretionary use passing out of British hands, or rather
out of French-British hands; and here again the practical decision will
have to wait on the choice of the British people, all the more because
the British community has no longer an interest, real or fancied, in the
coercive use of this force for their own particular ends. No other power
is to be trusted, except France, and France is less well placed for the
purpose and would assuredly also not covet so invidious an honour and so
thankless an office.

       *       *       *       *       *

The theory, i.e. the logical necessities, of such a pacific league of
neutral nations is simple enough, in its elements. War is to be avoided
by a policy of avoidance. Which signifies that the means and the motives
to warlike enterprise and warlike provocation are to be put away, so far
as may be. If what may be, in this respect, does not come up to the
requirements of the case, the experiment, of course, will fail. The
preliminary requirement,--elimination of the one formidable dynastic
State in Europe,--has been spoken of. Its counterpart in the Far East
will cease to be formidable on the decease of its natural ally in
Central Europe, in so far as touches the case of such a projected
league. The ever increasingly dubious empire of the Czar would appear to
fall in the same category. So that the pacific league's fortunes would
seem to turn on what may be called its domestic or internal

Now, the means of warlike enterprise, as well as of unadvised
embroilment, is always in the last analysis the patriotic spirit of the
nation. Given this patriotic spirit in sufficient measure, both the
material equipment and the provocation to hostilities will easily be
found. It should accordingly appear to be the first care of such a
pacific league to reduce the sources of patriotic incitement to the
practicable minimum. This can be done, in such measure as it can be done
at all, by neutralisation of national pretensions. The finished outcome
in this respect, such as would assure perpetual peace among the peoples
concerned, would of course be an unconditional neutralisation of
citizenship, as has already been indicated before. The question which,
in effect, the spokesmen for a pacific league have to face is as to how
nearly that outcome can be brought to pass. The rest of what they may
undertake, or may come to by way of compromise and stipulation, is
relatively immaterial and of relatively transient consequence.

A neutralisation of citizenship has of course been afloat in a somewhat
loose way in the projects of socialistic and other "undesirable"
agitators, but nothing much has come of it. Nor have specific projects
for its realisation been set afoot. That anything conclusive along that
line could now be reached would seem extremely doubtful, in view of the
ardent patriotic temper of all these peoples, heightened just now by the
experience of war. Still, an undesigned and unguided drift in that
direction has been visible in all those nations that are accounted the
vanguard among modern civilised peoples, ever since the dynastic rule
among them began to be displaced by a growth of "free" institutions,
that is to say institutions resting on an accepted ground of
insubordination and free initiative.

The patriotism of these peoples, or their national spirit, is after all
and at the best an attenuated and impersonalised remnant of dynastic
loyalty, and it amounts after all, in effect, to nothing much else than
a residual curtailment or partial atrophy of that democratic habit of
mind that embodies itself in the formula: Live and let live. It is, no
doubt, both an ancient and a very meritorious habit. It is easily
acquired and hard to put away. The patriotic spirit and the national
life (prestige) on which it centers are the subject of untiring eulogy;
but hitherto its encomiasts have shown no cause and put forward no claim
to believe that it all is of any slightest use for any purpose that does
not take it and its paramount merit for granted. It is doubtless a very
meritorious habit; at least so they all say. But under the circumstances
of modern civilised life it is fruitful of no other net material result
than damage and discomfort. Still it is virtually ubiquitous among
civilised men, and in an admirable state of repair; and for the
calculable future it is doubtless to be counted in as an enduring
obstacle to a conclusive peace, a constant source of anxiety and
unremitting care.

The motives that work out through this national spirit, by use of this
patriotic ardor, fall under two heads: dynastic ambition, and business
enterprise. The two categories have the common trait that neither the
one nor the other comprises anything that is of the slightest material
benefit to the community at large; but both have at the same time a
high prestige value in the conventional esteem of modern men. The
relation of dynastic ambition to warlike enterprise, and the uses of
that usufruct of the nation's resources and man-power which the nation's
patriotism places at the disposal of the dynastic establishment, have
already been spoken of at length above, perhaps at excessive length, in
the recurrent discussion of the dynastic State and its quest of dominion
for dominion's sake. What measures are necessary to be taken as regards
the formidable dynastic States that threaten the peace, have also been
outlined, perhaps with excessive freedom.

But it remains to call attention to that mitigated form of dynastic rule
called a constitutional monarchy. Instances of such a constitutional
monarchy, designed to conserve the well-beloved abuses of dynastic rule
under a cover of democratic formalities, or to bring in effectual
democratic insubordination under cover of the ancient dignities of an
outworn monarchical system,--the characterisation may run either way
according to the fancy of the speaker, and to much the same practical
effect in either case,--instances illustrative of this compromise
monarchy at work today are to be had, as felicitously as anywhere, in
the Balkan states; perhaps the case of Greece will be especially
instructive. At the other, and far, end of the line will be found such
other typical instances as the British, the Dutch, or, in pathetic and
droll miniature, the Norwegian.

There is, of course, a wide interval between the grotesque effrontery
that wears the Hellenic crown and the undeviatingly decorous
self-effacement of the Dutch sovereign; and yet there is something of a
common complexion runs through the whole range of establishments, all
the way from the quasi-dynastic to the pseudo-dynastic. For reasons
unavoidable and persistent, though not inscribed in the constituent law,
the governmental establishment associated with such a royal concern will
be made up of persons drawn from the kept classes, the nobility or
lesser gentlefolk, and will be imbued with the spirit of these "better"
classes rather than that of the common run.

With what may be uncanny shrewdness, or perhaps mere tropismatic
response to the unreasoned stimulus of a "consciousness of kind," the
British government--habitually a syndicate of gentlefolk--has uniformly
insisted on the installation of a constitutional monarchy at the
formation of every new national organisation in which that government
has had a discretionary voice. And the many and various constitutional
governments so established, commonly under British auspices in some
degree, have invariably run true to form, in some appreciable degree.
They may be quasi-dynastic or pseudo-dynastic, but at this nearest
approach to democracy they always, and unavoidably, include at least a
circumlocution office of gentlefolk, in the way of a ministry and court
establishment, whose place in the economy of the nation's affairs it is
to adapt the run of these affairs to the needs of the kept classes.

There need be no imputation of sinister designs to these gentlefolk, who
so are elected by force of circumstances to guard and guide the nation's
interests. As things go, it will doubtless commonly be found that they
are as well-intentioned as need be. But a well-meaning gentleman of good
antecedents means well in a gentlemanly way and in the light of good
antecedents. Which comes unavoidably to an effectual bias in favor of
those interests which honorable gentlemen of good antecedents have at
heart. And among these interests are the interests of the kept classes,
as contrasted with that common run of the population from which their
keep is drawn.

Under the auspices, even if they are only the histrionic and decorative
auspices, of so decorous an article of institutional furniture as
royalty, it follows of logical necessity that the personnel of the
effectual government must also be drawn from the better classes, whose
place and station and high repute will make their association with the
First Gentleman of the Realm not too insufferably incongruous. And then,
the popular habit of looking up to this First Gentleman with that
deference that royalty commands, also conduces materially to the
attendant habitual attitude of deference to gentility more at large.

Even in so democratic a country, and with so exanimate a crown as is to
be found in the United Kingdom, the royal establishment visibly, and
doubtless very materially, conduces to the continued tenure of the
effectual government by representatives of the kept classes; and it
therefore counts with large effect toward the retardation of the
country's further move in the direction of democratic insubordination
and direct participation in the direction of affairs by the underbred,
who finally pay the cost. And on the other hand, even so moderately
royal an establishment as the Norwegian has apparently a sensible effect
in the way of gathering the reins somewhat into the hands of the better
classes, under circumstances of such meagerness as might be expected to
preclude anything like a "better" class, in the conventional acceptation
of that term. It would appear that even the extreme of pseudo-dynastic
royalty, sterilised to the last degree, is something of an effectual
hindrance to democratic rule, and in so far also a hindrance to the
further continued neutralisation of nationalist pretensions, as also an
effectual furtherance of upper-class rule for upper-class ends.

Now, a government by well-meaning gentlemen-investors will, at the
nearest, come no nearer representing the material needs and interests of
the common run than a parable comes to representing the concrete facts
which it hopes to illuminate. And as bears immediately on the point in
hand, these gentlemanly administrators of the nation's affairs who so
cluster about the throne, vacant though it may be of all but the bodily
presence of majesty, are after all gentlemen, with a gentlemanly sense
of punctilio touching the large proprieties and courtesies of political
life. The national honor is a matter of punctilio, always; and out of
the formal exigencies of the national honor arise grievances to be
redressed; and it is grievances of this character that commonly afford
the formal ground of a breach of the peace. An appeal on patriotic
grounds of wounded national pride, to the common run who have no trained
sense of punctilio, by the gentlemanly responsible class who have such a
sense, backed by assurances that the national prestige or the national
interests are at stake, will commonly bring a suitable response. It is
scarcely necessary that the common run should know just what the stir is
about, so long as they are informed by their trusted betters that there
is a grievance to redress. In effect, it results that the democratic
nation's affairs are administered by a syndicate composed of the least
democratic class in the population.

Excepting what is to be excepted, it will commonly hold true today that
these gentlemanly governments are conducted in a commendably clean and
upright fashion, with a conscious rectitude and a benevolent intention.
But they are after all, in effect, class governments, and they
unavoidably carry the bias of their class. The gentlemanly officials and
law-givers come, in the main, from the kept classes, whose living comes
to them in the way of income from investments, at home or in foreign
parts, or from an equivalent source of accumulated wealth or official
emolument. The bias resulting from this state of the case need not be of
an intolerant character in order to bring its modicum of mischief into
the national policy, as regards amicable relations with other
nationalities. A slight bias running on a ground of conscious right and
unbroken usage may go far. So, e.g., anyone of these gentlemanly
governments is within its legitimate rights, or rather within its
imperative duty, in defending the foreign investments of its citizens
and enforcing due payment of its citizens' claims to income or principal
of such property as they may hold in foreign parts; and it is within its
ordinary lines of duty in making use of the nation's resources--that is
to say of the common man and his means of livelihood--in enforcing such
claims held by the investing classes. The community at large has no
interest in the enforcement of such claims; it is evidently a class
interest, and as evidently protected by a code of rights, duties and
procedure that has grown out of a class bias, at the cost of the
community at large.

This bias favoring the interests of invested wealth may also, and indeed
it commonly does, take the aggressive form of aggressively forwarding
enterprise in investment abroad, particularly in commercially backward
countries abroad, by extension of the national jurisdiction and the
active countenancing of concessions in foreign parts, by subventions,
or by creation of offices to bring suitable emoluments to the younger
sons of deserving families. The protective tariffs to which recourse is
sometimes had, are of the same general nature and purpose. Of course, it
is in this latter, aggressive or excursive, issue of the well-to-do bias
in favor of investment and invested wealth that its most pernicious
effect on international relations is traceable.

Free income, that is to say income not dependent on personal merit or
exertion of any kind, is the breath of life to the kept classes; and as
a corollary of the "First Law of Nature," therefore, the invested wealth
which gives a legally equitable claim to such income has in their eyes
all the sanctity that can be given by Natural Right. Investment--often
spoken of euphemistically as "savings"--is consequently a meritorious
act, conceived to be very serviceable to the community at large, and
properly to be furthered by all available means. Invested wealth is so
much added to the aggregate means at the community's disposal, it is
believed. Of course, in point of fact, income from investment in the
hands of these gentlefolk is a means of tracelessly consuming that much
of the community's yearly product; but to the kept classes, who see the
matter from the point of view of the recipient, the matter does not
present itself in that light. To them it is the breath of life. Like
other honorable men they are faithful to their bread; and by authentic
tradition the common man, in whose disciplined preconceptions the kept
classes are his indispensable betters, is also imbued with the
uncritical faith that the invested wealth which enables these betters
tracelessly to consume a due share of the yearly product is an addition
to the aggregate means in hand.

The advancement of commercial and other business enterprise beyond the
national frontiers is consequently one of the duties not to be
neglected, and with which no trifling can be tolerated. It is so bound
up with national ideals, under any gentlemanly government, that any
invasion or evasion of the rights of investors in foreign parts, or of
other business involved in dealings with foreign parts, immediately
involves not only the material interest of the nation but the national
honour as well. Hence international jealousies and eventual embroilment.

The constitutional monarchy that commonly covers a modern democratic
community is accordingly a menace to the common peace, and any pacific
league of neutrals will be laying up trouble and prospective defeat for
itself in allowing such an institution to stand over in any instance.
Acting with a free hand, if such a thing were possible, the projected
league should logically eliminate all monarchical establishments,
constitutional or otherwise, from among its federated nations. It is
doubtless not within reason to look for such a move in the negotiations
that are to initiate the projected league of neutrals; but the point is
called to mind here chiefly as indicating one of the difficult passages
which are to be faced in any attempted formation of such a league, as
well as one of the abiding sources of international irritation with
which the league's jurisdiction will be burdened so long as a decisive
measure of the kind is not taken.

The logic of the whole matter is simple enough, and the necessary
measures to be taken to remedy it are no less simple--barring
sentimental objections which will probably prove insuperable. A
monarchy, even a sufficiently inane monarchy, carries the burden of a
gentlemanly governmental establishment--a government by and for the
kept classes; such a government will unavoidably direct the affairs of
state with a view to income on invested wealth, and will see the
material interests of the country only in so far as they present
themselves under the form of investment and business enterprise designed
to eventuate in investment; these are the only forms of material
interest that give rise to international jealousies, discriminations and
misunderstanding, at the same time that they are interests of
individuals only and have no material use or value to the community at
large. Given a monarchical establishment and the concomitant gentlemanly
governmental corps, there is no avoiding this sinister prime mover of
international rivalry, so long as the rights of invested wealth continue
in popular apprehension to be held inviolable.

Quite obviously there is a certain _tu quoque_ ready to the hand of
these "gentlemen of the old school" who see in the constitutional
monarchy a God-given shelter from the unreserved vulgarisation of life
at the hands of the unblest and unbalanced underbred and underfed. The
formally democratic nations, that have not retained even a
pseudo-dynastic royalty, are not much more fortunately placed in respect
of national discrimination in trade and investment. The American
republic will obviously come into the comparison as the type-form of
economic policy in a democratic commonwealth. There is little to choose
between the economic policy pursued by such republics as France or
America on the one side and their nearest counterparts among the
constitutional monarchies on the other. It is even to be admitted out of
hand that the comparison does no credit to democratic institutions as
seen at work in these republics. They are, in fact, somewhat the crudest
and most singularly foolish in their economic policy of any peoples in
Christendom. And in view of the amazing facility with which these
democratic commonwealths are always ready to delude themselves in
everything that touches their national trade policies, it is obvious
that any league of neutrals whose fortunes are in any degree contingent
on their reasonable compliance with a call to neutralise their trade
regulations for the sake of peace, will have need of all the persuasive
power it can bring to bear.

However, the powers of darkness have one less line of defense to shelter
them and their work of malversation in these commonwealths than in the
constitutional monarchies. The American national establishment, e.g.,
which may be taken as a fairly characteristic type-form in this bearing,
is a government of businessmen for business ends; and there is no tabu
of axiomatic gentility or of certified pedigree to hedge about this
working syndicate of business interests. So that it is all nearer by one
remove to the disintegrating touch of the common man and his commonplace
circumstances. The businesslike régime of these democratic politicians
is as undeviating in its advocacy and aid of enterprise in pursuit of
private gain under shelter of national discrimination as the
circumstances will permit; and the circumstances will permit them to do
much and go far; for the limits of popular gullibility in all things
that touch the admirable feats of business enterprise are very wide in
these countries. There is a sentimental popular belief running to the
curious effect that because the citizens of such a commonwealth are
ungraded equals before the law, therefore somehow they can all and
several become wealthy by trading at the expense of their neighbours.

Yet, the fact remains that there is only the one line of defense in
these countries where the business interests have not the countenance of
a time-honored order of gentlefolk, with the sanction of royalty in the
background. And this fact is further enhanced by one of its immediate
consequences. Proceeding upon the abounding faith which these peoples
have in business enterprise as a universal solvent, the unreserved
venality and greed of their businessmen--unhampered by the gentleman's
_noblesse oblige_--have pushed the conversion of public law to private
gain farther and more openly here than elsewhere. The outcome has been
divers measures in restraint of trade or in furtherance of profitable
abuses, of such a crass and flagrant character that if once the popular
apprehension is touched by matter-of-fact reflection on the actualities
of this businesslike policy the whole structure should reasonably be
expected to crumble. If the present conjuncture of circumstances should,
e.g., present to the American populace a choice between exclusion from
the neutral league, and a consequent probable and dubious war of
self-defense, on the one hand; as against entrance into the league, and
security at the cost of relinquishing their national tariff in restraint
of trade, on the other hand, it is always possible that the people might
be brought to look their protective tariff in the face and recognise it
for a commonplace conspiracy in restraint of trade, and so decide to
shuffle it out of the way as a good riddance. And the rest of the
Republic's businesslike policy of special favors would in such a case
stand a chance of going in the discard along with the protective tariff,
since the rest is of substantially the same disingenuous character.

Not that anyone need entertain a confident expectation of such an
exploit of common sense on the part of the American voters. There is
little encouragement for such a hope in their past career of gullibility
on this head. But this is again a point of difficulty to be faced in
negotiations looking to such a pacific league of neutrals. Without a
somewhat comprehensive neutralisation of national trade regulations, the
outlook for lasting peace would be reduced by that much; there would be
so much material for international jealousy and misunderstanding left
standing over and requiring continued readjustment and compromise,
always with the contingency of a breach that much nearer. The
infatuation of the Americans with their protective tariff and other
businesslike discriminations is a sufficiently serious matter in this
connection, and it is always possible that their inability to give up
this superstition might lead to their not adhering to this projected
neutral league. Yet it is at least to be said that the longer the time
that passes before active measures are taken toward the organisation of
such a league--that is to say, in effect, the longer the great war
lasts--the more amenable is the temper of the Americans likely to be,
and the more reluctantly would they see themselves excluded. Should the
war be protracted to some such length as appears to be promised by
latterday pronunciamentos from the belligerents, or to something
passably approaching such a duration; and should the Imperial designs
and anomalous diplomacy of Japan continue to force themselves on the
popular attention at the present rate; at the same time that the
operations in Europe continue to demonstrate the excessive cost of
defense against a well devised and resolute offensive; then it should
reasonably be expected that the Americans might come to such a
realisation of their own case as to let no minor considerations of trade
discrimination stand in the way of their making common cause with the
other pacific nations.

It appears already to be realised in the most responsible quarter that
America needs the succor of the other pacific nations, with a need that
is not to be put away or put off; as it is also coming to be realised
that the Imperial Powers are disturbers of the peace, by force of their
Imperial character. Of course, the politicians who seek their own
advantage in the nation's embarrassment are commonly unable to see the
matter in that light. But it is also apparent that the popular sentiment
is affected with the same apprehension, more and more as time passes and
the aims and methods of the Imperial Powers become more patent.

Hitherto the spokesmen of a pacific federation of nations have spoken
for a league of such an (indeterminate) constitution as to leave all the
federated nations undisturbed in all their conduct of their own affairs,
domestic or international; probably for want of second thought as to the
complications of copartnership between them in so grave and unwonted an
enterprise. They have also spoken of America's share in the project as
being that of an interested outsider, whose interest in any
precautionary measures of this kind is in part a regard for his own
tranquility as a disinterested neighbour, but in greater part a humane
solicitude for the well-being of civilised mankind at large. In this
view, somewhat self-complacent it is to be admitted, America is
conceived to come into the case as initiator and guide, about whom the
pacific nations are to cluster as some sort of queen-bee.

Now, there is not a little verisimilitude in this conception of America
as a sort of central office and a tower of strength in the projected
federation of neutral nations, however pharisaical an appearance it may
all have in the self-complacent utterances of patriotic Americans. The
American republic is, after all, the greatest of the pacific nations of
Christendom, in resources, population and industrial capacity; and it is
also not to be denied that the temper of this large population is, on
the whole, as pacific as that of any considerable people--outside of
China. The adherence of the American republic would, in effect, double
the mass and powers of the projected league, and would so place it
beyond all hazard of defeat from without, or even of serious outside
opposition to its aims.

Yet it will not hold true that America is either disinterested or
indispensable. The unenviable position of the indispensable belongs to
the United Kingdom, and carries with it the customary suspicion of
interested motives that attaches to the stronger party in a bargain. To
America, on the other hand, the league is indispensable, as a refuge
from otherwise inevitable dangers ahead; and it is only a question of a
moderate allowance of time for the American voters to realise that
without an adequate copartnership with the other pacific nations the
outlook of the Republic is altogether precarious. Single-handed, America
can not defend itself, except at a prohibitive cost; whereas in
copartnership with these others the national defense becomes a virtually
negligible matter. It is for America a choice between a policy of
extravagant armament and aggressive diplomacy, with a doubtful issue, on
the one side, and such abatement of national pretensions as would
obviate bootless contention, on the other side.

Yet, it must be admitted, the patriotic temper of the American people is
of such a susceptible kind as to leave the issue in doubt. Not that the
Americans will not endeavor to initiate some form of compact for the
keeping of the peace, when hostilities are concluded; barring unforeseen
contingencies, it is virtually a foregone conclusion that the attempt
will be made, and that the Americans will take an active part in its
promotion. But the doubt is as to their taking such a course as will
lead to a compact of the kind needed to safeguard the peace of the
country. The business interests have much to say in the counsels of the
Americans, and these business interests look to short-term
gains--American business interests particularly--to be derived from the
country's necessities. It is likely to appear that the business
interests, through representatives in Congress and elsewhere, will
disapprove of any peace compact that does not involve an increase of the
national armament and a prospective demand for munitions and an
increased expenditure of the national funds.

With or without the adherence of America, the pacific nations of Europe
will doubtless endeavour to form a league or alliance designed to keep
the peace. If America does not come into the arrangement it may well
come to nothing much more than a further continued defensive alliance of
the belligerent nations now opposed to the German coalition. In any case
it is still a point in doubt whether the league so projected is to be
merely a compact of defensive armament against a common enemy--in which
case it will necessarily be transient, perhaps ephemeral--or a more
inclusive coalition of a closer character designed to avoid any breach
of the peace, by disarmament and by disallowance and disclaimer of such
national pretensions and punctilio as the patriotic sentiment of the
contracting parties will consent to dispense with. The nature of the
resulting peace, therefore, as well as its chances of duration, will in
great measure be conditioned on the fashion of peace-compact on which it
is to rest; which will be conditioned in good part on the degree in
which the warlike coalition under German Imperial control is effectually
to be eliminated from the situation as a prospective disturber of the
peace; which, in turn, is a question somewhat closely bound up with the
further duration of the war, as has already been indicated in an earlier



Evidently the conception of peace on which its various spokesmen are
proceeding is by no means the same for all of them. In the current
German conception, e.g., as seen in the utterances of its many and
urgent spokesmen, peace appears to be of the general nature of a truce
between nations, whose God-given destiny it is, in time, to adjust a
claim to precedence by wager of battle. They will sometimes speak of it,
euphemistically, with a view to conciliation, as "assurance of the
national future," in which the national future is taken to mean an
opportunity for the extension of the national dominion at the expense of
some other national establishment. In the same connection one may recall
the many eloquent passages on the State and its paramount place and
value in the human economy. The State is useful for disturbing the
peace. This German notion may confidently be set down as the lowest of
the current conceptions of peace; or perhaps rather as the notion of
peace reduced to the lowest terms at which it continues to be
recognisable as such. Next beyond in that direction lies the notion of
armistice; which differs from this conception of peace chiefly in
connoting specifically a definite and relatively short interval between
warlike operations.

The conception of peace as being a period of preparation for war has
many adherents outside the Fatherland, of course. Indeed, it has
probably a wider vogue and a readier acceptance among men who interest
themselves in questions of peace and war than any other. It goes hand in
hand with that militant nationalism that is taken for granted,
conventionally, as the common ground of those international relations
that play a part in diplomatic intercourse. It is the diplomatist's
_métier_ to talk war in parables of peace. This conception of peace as a
precarious interval of preparation has come down to the present out of
the feudal age and is, of course, best at home where the feudal range of
preconceptions has suffered least dilapidation; and it carries the
feudalistic presumption that all national establishments are competitors
for dominion, after the scheme of Macchiavelli. The peace which is had
on this footing, within the realm, is a peace of subjection, more or
less pronounced according as the given national establishment is more or
less on the militant order; a warlike organisation being necessarily of
a servile character, in the same measure in which it is warlike.

In much the same measure and with much the same limitations as the
modern democratic nations have departed from the feudal system of civil
relations and from the peculiar range of conceptions which characterise
that system, they have also come in for a new or revised conception of
peace. Instead of its being valued chiefly as a space of time in which
to prepare for war, offensive or defensive, among these democratic and
provisionally pacific nations it has come to stand in the common
estimation as the normal and stable manner of life, good and commendable
in its own right. These modern, pacific, commonwealths stand on the
defensive, habitually. They are still pugnaciously national, but they
have unlearned so much of the feudal preconceptions as to leave them in
a defensive attitude, under the watch-word: Peace with honour. Their
quasi-feudalistic national prestige is not to be trifled with, though it
has lost so much of its fascination as ordinarily not to serve the
purposes of an aggressive enterprise, at least not without some shrewd
sophistication at the hands of militant politicians and their diplomatic
agents. Of course, an exuberant patriotism may now and again take on the
ancient barbarian vehemence and lead such a provisionally pacific nation
into an aggressive raid against a helpless neighbour; but it remains
characteristically true, after all, that these peoples look on the
country's peace as the normal and ordinary course of things, which each
nation is to take care of for itself and by its own force.

The ideal of the nineteenth-century statesmen was to keep the peace by a
balance of power; an unstable equilibrium of rivalries, in which it was
recognised that eternal vigilance was the price of peace by
equilibration. Since then, by force of the object-lesson of the
twentieth-century wars, it has become evident that eternal vigilance
will no longer keep the peace by equilibration, and the balance of power
has become obsolete. At the same time things have so turned that an
effective majority of the civilised nations now see their advantage in
peace, without further opportunity to seek further dominion. These
nations have also been falling into the shape of commonwealths, and so
have lost something of their national spirit.

With much reluctant hesitation and many misgivings, the statesmen of
these pacific nations are accordingly busying themselves with schemes
for keeping the peace on the unfamiliar footing of a stable equilibrium;
the method preferred on the whole being an equilibration of
make-believe, in imitation of the obsolete balance of power. There is a
meticulous regard for national jealousies and discriminations, which it
is thought necessary to keep intact. Of course, on any one of these
slightly diversified plans of keeping the peace on a stable footing of
copartnery among the pacific nations, national jealousies and national
integrity no longer have any substantial meaning. But statesmen think
and plan in terms of precedent; which comes to thinking and planning in
terms of make-believe, when altered circumstances have made the
precedents obsolete. So one comes to the singular proposal of the
statesmen, that the peace is to be kept in concert among these pacific
nations by a provision of force with which to break it at will. The
peace that is to be kept on this footing of national discriminations and
national armaments will necessarily be of a precarious kind; being, in
effect, a statesmanlike imitation of the peace as it was once kept even
more precariously by the pacific nations in severalty.

Hitherto the movement toward peace has not gone beyond this conception
of it, as a collusive safeguarding of national discrepancies by force of
arms. Such a peace is necessarily precarious, partly because armed force
is useful for breaking the peace, partly because the national
discrepancies, by which these current peace-makers set such store, are a
constant source of embroilment. What the peace-makers might logically be
expected to concern themselves about would be the elimination of these
discrepancies that make for embroilment. But what they actually seem
concerned about is their preservation. A peace by collusive neglect of
those remnants of feudalistic make-believe that still serve to divide
the pacific nations has hitherto not seriously come under advisement.

Evidently, hitherto, and for the calculable future, peace is a relative
matter, a matter of more or less, whichever of the several working
conceptions spoken of above may rule the case. Evidently, too, a peace
designed to strengthen the national establishment against eventual war,
will count to a different effect from a collusive peace of a defensive
kind among the pacific peoples, designed by its projectors to conserve
those national discrepancies on which patriotic statesmen like to dwell.
Different from both would be the value of a peace by neglect of such
useless national discriminations as now make for embroilment. A
protracted season of peace should logically have a somewhat different
cultural value according to the character of the public policy to be
pursued under its cover. So that a safe and sane conservation of the
received law and order should presumably best be effected under cover of
a collusive peace of the defensive kind, which is designed to retain
those national discrepancies intact that count for so much in the
national life of today, both as a focus of patriotic sentiment and as an
outlet for national expenditures. This plan would involve the least
derangement of the received order among the democratic peoples, although
the plan might itself undergo some change in the course of time.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the singularities of the latterday situation, in this connection,
and brought out by the experiences of the great war, is a close
resemblance between latterday warlike operations and the ordinary
processes of industry. Modern warfare and modern industry alike are
carried on by technological processes subject to surveillance and
direction by mechanical engineers, or perhaps rather experts in
engineering science of the mechanistic kind. War is not now a matter of
the stout heart and strong arm. Not that these attributes do not have
their place and value in modern warfare; but they are no longer the
chief or decisive factors in the case. The exploits that count in this
warfare are technological exploits; exploits of technological science,
industrial appliances, and technological training. As has been remarked
before, it is no longer a gentlemen's war, and the gentleman, as such,
is no better than a marplot in the game as it is played.

Certain consequences follow from this state of the case. Technology and
industrial experience, in large volume and at a high proficiency, are
indispensable to the conduct of war on the modern plan, as well as a
large, efficient and up-to-date industrial community and industrial
plant to supply the necessary material of this warfare. At the same time
the discipline of the campaign, as it impinges on the rank and file as
well as on the very numerous body of officers and technicians, is not at
cross purposes with the ordinary industrial employments of peace, or not
in the same degree as has been the case in the past, even in the recent
past. The experience of the campaign does not greatly unfit the men who
survive for industrial uses; nor does it come in as a sheer interruption
of their industrial training, or break the continuity of that range of
habits of thought which modern industry of the technological order
induces; not in the same degree as was the case under the conditions of
war as carried on in the nineteenth century. The cultural, and
particularly the technological, incidence of this modern warfare should
evidently be appreciably different from what has been experienced in the
past, and from what this past experience has induced students of these
matters to look for among the psychological effects of warlike

It remains true that the discipline of the campaign, however impersonal
it may tend to become, still inculcates personal subordination and
unquestioning obedience; and yet the modern tactics and methods of
fighting bear somewhat more on the individual's initiative, discretion,
sagacity and self-possession than once would have been true. Doubtless
the men who come out of this great war, the common men, will bring home
an accentuated and acrimonious patriotism, a venomous hatred of the
enemies whom they have missed killing; but it may reasonably be doubted
if they come away with a correspondingly heightened admiration and
affection for their betters who have failed to make good as foremen in
charge of this teamwork in killing. The years of the war have been
trying to the reputation of officials and officers, who have had to meet
uncharted exigencies with not much better chance of guessing the way
through than their subalterns have had.

By and large, it is perhaps not to be doubted that the populace now
under arms will return from the experience of the war with some net gain
in loyalty to the nation's honour and in allegiance to their masters;
particularly the German subjects,--the like is scarcely true for the
British; but a doubt will present itself as to the magnitude of this net
gain in subordination, or this net loss in self-possession. A doubt may
be permitted as to whether the common man in the countries of the
Imperial coalition, e.g., will, as the net outcome of this war
experience, be in a perceptibly more pliable frame of mind as touches
his obligations toward his betters and subservience to the irresponsible
authority exercised by the various governmental agencies, than he was at
the outbreak of the war. At that time, there is reason to believe, there
was an ominous, though scarcely threatening, murmur of discontent
beginning to be heard among the working classes of the industrial towns.
It is fair to presume, however, that the servile discipline of the
service and the vindictive patriotism bred of the fight should combine
to render the populace of the Fatherland more amenable to the
irresponsible rule of the Imperial dynasty and its subaltern royal
establishments, in spite of any slight effect of a contrary character
exercised by the training in technological methods and in self-reliance,
with which this discipline of the service has been accompanied. As to
the case of the British population, under arms or under compulsion of
necessity at home, something has already been said in an earlier
passage; and much will apparently depend, in their case, on the further
duration of the war. The case of the other nationalities involved, both
neutrals and belligerents, is even more obscure in this bearing, but it
is also of less immediate consequence for the present argument.

       *       *       *       *       *

The essentially feudal virtues of loyalty and bellicose patriotism would
appear to have gained their great ascendency over all men's spirit
within the Western civilisation by force of the peculiarly consistent
character of the discipline of life under feudal conditions, whether in
war or peace; and to the same uniformity of these forces that shaped the
workday habits of thought among the feudal nations is apparently due
that profound institutionalisation of the preconceptions of patriotism
and loyalty, by force of which these preconceptions still hold the
modern peoples in an unbreakable web of prejudice, after the conditions
favoring their acquirement have in great part ceased to operate. These
preconceptions of national solidarity and international enmity have come
down from the past as an integral part of the unwritten constitution
underlying all these modern nations, even those which have departed most
widely from the manner of life to which the peoples owe these ancient
preconceptions. Hitherto, or rather until recent times, the workday
experience of these peoples has not seriously worked at cross purposes
with the patriotic spirit and its bias of national animosity; and what
discrepancy there has effectively been between the discipline of workday
life and the received institutional preconceptions on this head, has
hitherto been overborne by the unremitting inculcation of these virtues
by interested politicians, priests and publicists, who speak habitually
for the received order of things.

That order of things which is known on its political and civil side as
the feudal system, together with that era of the dynastic States which
succeeds the feudal age technically so called, was, on its industrial or
technological side, a system of trained man-power organised on a plan of
subordination of man to man. On the whole, the scheme and logic of that
life, whether in its political (warlike) or its industrial doings,
whether in war or peace, runs on terms of personal capacity, proficiency
and relations. The organisation of the forces engaged and the
constraining rules according to which this organisation worked, were of
the nature of personal relations, and the impersonal factors in the case
were taken for granted. Politics and war were a field for personal
valor, force and cunning, in practical effect a field for personal force
and fraud. Industry was a field in which the routine of life, and its
outcome, turned on "the skill, dexterity and judgment of the individual
workman," in the words of Adam Smith.

The feudal age passed, being done to death by handicraft industry,
commercial traffic, gunpowder, and the state-making politicians. But the
political States of the statemakers, the dynastic States as they may
well be called, continued the conduct of political life on the personal
plane of rivalry and jealousy between dynasties and between their
States; and in spite of gunpowder and the new military engineering,
warfare continued also to be, in the main and characteristically, a
field in which man-power and personal qualities decided the outcome, by
virtue of personal "skill, dexterity and judgment." Meantime industry
and its technology by insensible degrees underwent a change in the
direction of impersonalisation, particularly in those countries in which
state-making and its warlike enterprise had ceased, or were ceasing, to
be the chief interests and the controlling preconception of the people.

The logic of the new, mechanical industry which has supplanted
handicraft in these countries, is a mechanistic logic, which proceeds in
terms of matter-of-fact strains, masses, velocities, and the like,
instead of the "skill, dexterity and judgment" of personal agents. The
new industry does not dispense with the personal agencies, nor can it
even be said to minimise the need of skill, dexterity and judgment in
the personal agents employed, but it does take them and their attributes
for granted as in some sort a foregone premise to its main argument. The
logic of the handicraft system took the impersonal agencies for granted;
the machine industry takes the skill, dexterity and judgment of the
workmen for granted. The processes of thought, and therefore the
consistent habitual discipline, of the former ran in terms of the
personal agents engaged, and of the personal relations of discretion,
control and subordination necessary to the work; whereas the
mechanistic logic of the modern technology, more and more consistently,
runs in terms of the impersonal forces engaged, and inculcates an
habitual predilection for matter-of-fact statement, and an habitual
preconception that the findings of material science alone are

In those nations that have made up the advance guard of Western
civilisation in its movement out of feudalism, the disintegrating effect
of this matter-of-fact animus inculcated by the later state of the
industrial arts has apparently acted effectively, in some degree, to
discredit those preconceptions of personal discrimination on which
dynastic rule is founded. But in no case has the discipline of this
mechanistic technology yet wrought its perfect work or come to a
definitive conclusion. Meantime war and politics have on the whole
continued on the ancient plane; it may perhaps be fair to say that
politics has so continued because warlike enterprise has continued still
to be a matter of such personal forces as skill, dexterity and judgment,
valor and cunning, personal force and fraud. Latterly, gradually, but
increasingly, the technology of war, too, has been shifting to the
mechanistic plane; until in the latest phases of it, somewhere about the
turn of the century, it is evident that the logic of warfare too has
come to be the same mechanistic logic that makes the modern state of the
industrial arts.

What, if anything, is due by consequence to overtake the political
strategy and the political preconceptions of the new century, is a
question that will obtrude itself, though with scant hope of finding a
ready answer. It may even seem a rash, as well as an ungraceful,
undertaking to inquire into the possible manner and degree of
prospective decay to which the received political ideals and virtues
would appear to be exposed by consequence of this derangement of the
ancient discipline to which men have been subjected. So much, however,
would seem evident, that the received virtues and ideals of patriotic
animosity and national jealousy can best be guarded against untimely
decay by resolutely holding to the formal observance of all outworn
punctilios of national integrity and discrimination, in spite of their
increasing disserviceability,--as would be done, e.g., or at least
sought to be done, in the installation of a league of neutral nations to
keep the peace and at the same time to safeguard those "national
interests" whose only use is to divide these nations and keep them in a
state of mutual envy and distrust.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those peoples who are subject to the constraining governance of this
modern state of the industrial arts, as all modern peoples are in much
the same measure in which they are "modern," are, therefore, exposed to
a workday discipline running at cross purposes with the received law and
order as it takes effect in national affairs; and to this is to be added
that, with warlike enterprise also shifted to this same
mechanistic-technological ground, war can no longer be counted on so
confidently as before to correct all the consequent drift away from the
ancient landmarks of dynastic, pseudo-dynastic, and national enterprise
in dominion.

As has been noted above, modern warfare not only makes use of, and
indeed depends on, the modern industrial technology at every turn of the
operations in the field, but it draws on the ordinary industrial
resources of the countries at war in a degree and with an urgency never
equalled. No nation can hope to make a stand in modern warfare, much
less to make headway in warlike enterprise, without the most
thoroughgoing exploitation of the modern industrial arts. Which
signifies for the purpose in hand that any Power that harbors an
imperial ambition must take measures to let its underlying population
acquire the ways and means of the modern machine industry, without
reservation; which in turn signifies that popular education must be
taken care of to such an extent as may be serviceable in this manner of
industry and in the manner of life which this industrial system
necessarily imposes; which signifies, of course, that only the
thoroughly trained and thoroughly educated nations have a chance of
holding their place as formidable Powers in this latterday phase of
civilisation. What is needed is the training and education that go to
make proficiency in the modern fashion of technology and in those
material sciences that conduce to technological proficiency of this
modern order. It is a matter of course that in these premises any
appreciable illiteracy is an intolerable handicap. So is also any
training which discourages habitual self-reliance and initiative, or
which acts as a check on skepticism; for the skeptical frame of mind is
a necessary part of the intellectual equipment that makes for advance,
invention and understanding in the field of technological proficiency.

But these requirements, imperatively necessary as a condition of warlike
success, are at cross purposes with that unquestioning respect of
persons and that spirit of abnegation that alone can hold a people to
the political institutions of the old order and make them a willing
instrument in the hands of the dynastic statesmen. The dynastic State is
apparently caught in a dilemma. The necessary preparation for warlike
enterprise on the modern plan can apparently be counted on, in the long
run, to disintegrate the foundations of the dynastic State. But it is
only in the long run that this effect can be counted on; and it is
perhaps not securely to be counted on even in a moderately long run of
things as they have run hitherto, if due precautions are taken by the
interested statesmen,--as would seem to be indicated by the successful
conservation of archaic traits in the German peoples during the past
half century under the archaising rule of the Hohenzollern. It is a
matter of habituation, which takes time, and which can at the same time
be neutralised in some degree by indoctrination.

Still, when all is told, it will probably have to be conceded that,
e.g., such a nation as Russia will fall under this rule of inherent
disability imposed by the necessary use of the modern industrial arts.
Without a fairly full and free command of these modern industrial
methods on the part of the Russian people, together with the virtual
disappearance of illiteracy, and with the facile and far-reaching system
of communication which it all involves, the Russian Imperial
establishment would not be a formidable power or a serious menace to the
pacific nations; and it is not easy to imagine how the Imperial
establishment could retain its hold and its character under the
conditions indicated.

The case of Japan, taken by itself, rests on somewhat similar lines as
these others. In time, and in this case the time-allowance should
presumably not be anything very large, the Japanese people are likely to
get an adequate command of the modern technology; which would, here as
elsewhere, involve the virtual disappearance of the present high
illiteracy, and the loss, in some passable measure, of the current
superstitiously crass nationalism of that people. There are indications
that something of that kind, and of quite disquieting dimensions, is
already under way; though with no indication that any consequent
disintegrating habits of thought have yet invaded the sacred close of
Japanese patriotic devotion.

Again, it is a question of time and habituation. With time and
habituation the emperor may insensibly cease to be of divine pedigree,
and the syndicate of statesmen who are doing business under his
signature may consequently find their measures of Imperial expansion
questioned by the people who pay the bills. But so long as the Imperial
syndicate enjoy their present immunity from outside obstruction, and can
accordingly carry on an uninterrupted campaign of cumulative predation
in Korea, China and Manchuria, the patriotic infatuation is less likely
to fall off, and by so much the decay of Japanese loyalty will be
retarded. Yet, even if allowed anything that may seem at all probable in
the way of a free hand for aggression against their hapless neighbours,
the skepticism and insubordination to personal rule that seems
inseparable in the long run from addiction to the modern industrial arts
should be expected presently to overtake the Japanese spirit of loyal
servitude. And the opportunity of Imperial Japan lies in the interval.
So also does the menace of Imperial Japan as a presumptive disturber of
the peace at large.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the cost of some unavoidable tedium, the argument as regards these
and similar instances may be summarised. It appears, in the (possibly
doubtful) light of the history of democratic institutions and of modern
technology hitherto, as also from the logical character of this
technology and its underlying material sciences, that consistent
addiction to the peculiar habits of thought involved in its carrying on
will presently induce a decay of those preconceptions in which dynastic
government and national ambitions have their ground. Continued addiction
to this modern scheme of industrial life should in time eventuate in a
decay of militant nationalism, with a consequent lapse of warlike
enterprise. At the same time, popular proficiency in the modern
industrial arts, with all that that implies in the way of intelligence
and information, is indispensable as a means to any successful warlike
enterprise on the modern plan. The menace of warlike aggression from
such dynastic States, e.g., as Imperial Germany and Imperial Japan is
due to their having acquired a competent use of this modern technology,
while they have not yet had time to lose that spirit of dynastic loyalty
which they have carried over from an archaic order of things, out of
which they have emerged at a very appreciably later period (last half of
the nineteenth century) than those democratic peoples whose peace they
now menace. As has been said, they have taken over this modern state of
the industrial arts without having yet come in for the defects of its
qualities. This modern technology, with its underlying material
sciences, is a novel factor in the history of human culture, in that
addiction to its use conduces to the decay of militant patriotism, at
the same time that its employment so greatly enhances the warlike
efficiency of even a pacific people, at need, that they can not be
seriously molested by any other peoples, however valorous and numerous,
who have not a competent use of this technology. A peace at large among
the civilised nations, by loss of the militant temper through addiction
to this manner of arts of peace, therefore, carries no risk of
interruption by an inroad of warlike barbarians,--always provided that
those existing archaic peoples who might pass muster as barbarians are
brought into line with the pacific nations on a footing of peace and
equality. The disparity in point of outlook as between the resulting
peace at large by neglect of bootless animosities, on the one hand, and
those historic instances of a peaceable civilisation that have been
overwhelmed by warlike barbarian invasions, on the other hand, should be

       *       *       *       *       *

It is always possible, indeed it would scarcely be surprising to find,
that the projected league of neutrals or of nations bent on peace can
not be brought to realisation at this juncture; perhaps not for a long
time yet. But it should at the same time seem reasonable to expect that
the drift toward a peaceable settlement of national discrepancies such
as has been visible in history for some appreciable time past will, in
the absence of unforeseen hindrances, work out to some such effect in
the course of further experience under modern conditions. And whether
the projected peace compact at its inception takes one form or another,
provided it succeeds in its main purpose, the long-term drift of things
under its rule should logically set toward some ulterior settlement of
the general character of what has here been spoken of as a peace by
neglect or by neutralisation of discrepancies.

It should do so, in the absence of unforeseen contingencies; more
particularly if there were no effectual factor of dissension included in
the fabric of institutions within the nation. But there should also,
e.g., be no difficulty in assenting to the forecast that when and if
national peace and security are achieved and settled beyond recall, the
discrepancy in fact between those who own the country's wealth and those
who do not is presently due to come to an issue. Any attempt to forecast
the form which this issue is to take, or the manner, incidents,
adjuncts and sequelae of its determination, would be a bolder and a more
ambiguous, undertaking. Hitherto attempts to bring this question to an
issue have run aground on the real or fancied jeopardy to paramount
national interests. How, if at all, this issue might affect national
interests and international relations, would obviously depend in the
first instance on the state of the given national establishment and the
character of the international engagements entered into in the formation
of this projected pacific league. It is always conceivable that the
transactions involving so ubiquitous an issue might come to take on an
international character and that they might touch the actual or fanciful
interests of these diverse nations with such divergent effect as to
bring on a rupture of the common understanding between them and of the
peace-compact in which the common understanding is embodied.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the beginning, that is to say in the beginnings out of which this
modern era of the Western civilisation has arisen, with its scheme of
law and custom, there grew into the scheme of law and custom, by settled
usage, a right of ownership and of contract in disposal of
ownership,--which may or may not have been a salutary institutional
arrangement on the whole, under the circumstances of the early days.
With the later growth of handicraft and the petty trade in Western
Europe this right of ownership and contract came to be insisted on,
standardised under legal specifications, and secured against molestation
by the governmental interests; more particularly and scrupulously among
those peoples that have taken the lead in working out that system of
free or popular institutions that marks the modern civilised nations. So
it has come to be embodied in the common law of the modern world as an
inviolable natural right. It has all the prescriptive force of legally
authenticated immemorial custom.

Under the system of handicraft and petty trade this right of property
and free contract served the interest of the common man, at least in
much of its incidence, and acted in its degree to shelter industrious
and economical persons from hardship and indignity at the hands of their
betters. There seems reason to believe, as is commonly believed, that so
long as that relatively direct and simple scheme of industry and trade
lasted, the right of ownership and contract was a salutary custom, in
its bearing on the fortunes of the common man. It appears also, on the
whole, to have been favorable to the fuller development of the
handicraft technology, as well as to its eventual outgrowth into the new
line of technological expedients and contrivances that presently gave
rise to the machine industry and the large-scale business enterprise.

The standard theories of economic science have assumed the rights of
property and contract as axiomatic premises and ultimate terms of
analysis; and their theories are commonly drawn in such a form as would
fit the circumstances of the handicraft industry and the petty trade,
and such as can be extended to any other economic situation by shrewd
interpretation. These theories, as they run from Adam Smith down through
the nineteenth century and later, appear tenable, on the whole, when
taken to apply to the economic situation of that earlier time, in
virtually all that they have to say on questions of wages, capital,
savings, and the economy and efficiency of management and production by
the methods of private enterprise resting on these rights of ownership
and contract and governed by the pursuit of private gain. It is when
these standard theories are sought to be applied to the later situation,
which has outgrown the conditions of handicraft, that they appear
nugatory or meretricious. The "competitive system" which these standard
theories assume as a necessary condition of their own validity, and
about which they are designed to form a defensive hedge, would, under
those earlier conditions of small-scale enterprise and personal contact,
appear to have been both a passably valid assumption as a premise and a
passably expedient scheme of economic relations and traffic. At that
period of its life-history it can not be said consistently to have
worked hardship to the common man; rather the reverse. And the common
man in that time appears to have had no misgivings about the excellence
of the scheme or of that article of Natural Rights that underlies it.

This complexion of things, as touches the effectual bearing of the
institution of property and the ancient customary rights of ownership,
has changed substantially since the time of Adam Smith. The "competitive
system," which he looked to as the economic working-out of that "simple
and obvious system of natural liberty" that always engaged his best
affections, has in great measure ceased to operate as a routine of
natural liberty, in fact; particularly in so far as touches the fortunes
of the common man, the impecunious mass of the people. _De jure_, of
course, the competitive system and its inviolable rights of ownership
are a citadel of Natural Liberty; but _de facto_ the common man is now,
and has for some time been, feeling the pinch of it. It is law, and
doubtless it is good law, grounded in immemorial usage and authenticated
with statute and precedent. But circumstances have so changed that this
good old plan has in a degree become archaic, perhaps unprofitable, or
even mischievous, on the whole, and especially as touches the conditions
of life for the common man. At least, so the common man in these modern
democratic and commercial countries is beginning to apprehend the

Some slight and summary characterisation of these changing circumstances
that have affected the incidence of the rights of property during modern
times may, therefore, not be out of place; with a view to seeing how far
and why these rights may be due to come under advisement and possible
revision, in case a state of settled peace should leave men's attention
free to turn to these internal, as contrasted with national interests.

Under that order of handicraft and petty trade that led to the
standardisation of these rights of ownership in the accentuated form
which belongs to them in modern law and custom, the common man had a
practicable chance of free initiative and self-direction in his choice
and pursuit of an occupation and a livelihood, in so far as rights of
ownership bore on his case. At that period the workman was the main
factor in industry and, in the main and characteristically, the question
of his employment was a question of what he would do. The material
equipment of industry--the "plant," as it has come to be called--was
subject of ownership, then as now; but it was then a secondary factor
and, notoriously, subsidiary to the immaterial equipment of skill,
dexterity and judgment embodied in the person of the craftsman. The body
of information, or general knowledge, requisite to a workmanlike
proficiency as handicraftsman was sufficiently slight and simple to fall
within the ordinary reach of the working class, without special
schooling; and the material equipment necessary to the work, in the way
of tools and appliances, was also slight enough, ordinarily, to bring it
within the reach of the common man. The stress fell on the acquirement
of that special personal skill, dexterity and judgment that would
constitute the workman a master of his craft. Given a reasonable measure
of pertinacity, the common man would be able to compass the material
equipment needful to the pursuit of his craft, and so could make his way
to a livelihood; and the inviolable right of ownership would then serve
to secure him the product of his own industry, in provision for his own
old-age and for a fair start in behalf of his children. At least in the
popular conception, and presumably in some degree also in fact, the
right of property so served as a guarantee of personal liberty and a
basis of equality. And so its apologists still look on the institution.

In a very appreciable degree this complexion of things and of popular
conceptions has changed since then; although, as would be expected, the
change in popular conceptions has not kept pace with the changing
circumstances. In all the characteristic and controlling lines of
industry the modern machine technology calls for a very considerable
material equipment; so large an equipment, indeed, that this plant, as
it is called, always represents a formidable amount of invested wealth;
and also so large that it will, typically, employ a considerable number
of workmen per unit of plant. On the transition to the machine
technology the plant became the unit of operation, instead of the
workman, as had previously been the case; and with the further
development of this modern technology, during the past hundred and fifty
years or so, the unit of operation and control has increasingly come to
be not the individual or isolated plant but rather an articulated group
of such plants working together as a balanced system and keeping pace in
common, under a collective business management; and coincidently the
individual workman has been falling into the position of an auxiliary
factor, nearly into that of an article of supply, to be charged up as an
item of operating expenses. Under this later and current system,
discretion and initiative vest not in the workman but in the owners of
the plant, if anywhere. So that at this point the right of ownership has
ceased to be, in fact, a guarantee of personal liberty to the common
man, and has come to be, or is coming to be, a guarantee of dependence.
All of which engenders a feeling of unrest and insecurity, such as to
instill a doubt in the mind of the common man as to the continued
expediency of this arrangement and of the prescriptive rights of
property on which the arrangement rests.

There is also an insidious suggestion, carrying a sinister note of
discredit, that comes in from ethnological science at this point; which
is adapted still further to derange the common man's faith in this
received institution of ownership and its control of the material
equipment of industry. To students interested in human culture it is a
matter of course that this material equipment is a means of utilising
the state of the industrial arts; that it is useful in industry and
profitable to its owners only because and in so far as it is a creation
of the current technological knowledge and enables its owner to
appropriate the usufruct of the current industrial arts. It is likewise
a matter of course that this technological knowledge, that so enables
the material equipment to serve the purposes of production and of
private gain, is a free gift of the community at large to the owners of
industrial plant; and, under latterday conditions, to them exclusively.
The state of the industrial arts is a joint heritage of the community at
large, but where, as in the modern countries, the work to be done by
this technology requires a large material equipment, the usufruct of
this joint heritage passes, in effect, into the hands of the owners of
this large material equipment.

These owners have, ordinarily, contributed nothing to the technology,
the state of the industrial arts, from which their control of the
material equipment of industry enables them to derive a gain. Indeed, no
class or condition of men in the modern community--with the possible
exception of politicians and the clergy--can conceivably contribute less
to the community's store of technological knowledge than the large
owners of invested wealth. By one of those singular inversions due to
production being managed for private gain, it happens that these
investors are not only not given to the increase and diffusion of
technological knowledge, but they have a well-advised interest in
retarding or defeating improvements in the industrial arts in detail.
Improvements, innovations that heighten productive efficiency in the
general line of production in which a given investment is placed, are
commonly to be counted on to bring "obsolescence by supersession" to the
plant already engaged in that line; and therefore to bring a decline in
its income-yielding capacity, and so in its capital or investment value.

Invested capital yields income because it enjoys the usufruct of the
community's technological knowledge; it has an effectual monopoly of
this usufruct because this machine technology requires large material
appliances with which to do its work; the interest of the owners of
established industrial plant will not tolerate innovations designed to
supersede these appliances. The bearing of ownership on industry and on
the fortunes of the common man is accordingly, in the main, the bearing
which it has by virtue of its monopoly control of the industrial arts,
and its consequent control of the conditions of employment and of the
supply of vendible products. It takes effect chiefly by inhibition and
privation; stoppage of production in case it brings no suitable profit
to the investor, refusal of employment and of a livelihood to the
workmen in case their product does not command a profitable price in the

The expediency of so having the nation's industry managed on a footing
of private ownership in the pursuit of private gain, by persons who can
show no equitable personal claim to even the most modest livelihood, and
whose habitual method of controlling industry is sabotage--refusal to
let production go on except it affords them an unearned income--the
expediency of all this is coming to be doubted by those who have to pay
the cost of it. And it does not go far to lessen their doubts to find
that the cost which they pay is commonly turned to no more urgent or
useful purpose than a conspicuously wasteful consumption of
superfluities by the captains of sabotage and their domestic

This may not seem a veracious and adequate account of these matters; it
may, in effect, fall short of the formulation: The truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth; nor does the question here turn on its
adequacy as a statement of fact. Without prejudice to the question of
its veracity and adequacy, it is believed to be such an account of these
matters as will increasingly come easy and seem convincing to the common
man who, in an ever increasing degree, finds himself pinched with
privation and insecurity by a run of facts which will consistently bear
this construction, and who perforce sees these facts from the prejudiced
standpoint of a loser. To such a one, there is reason to believe, the
view so outlined will seem all the more convincing the more attentively
the pertinent facts and their bearing on his fortunes are considered.
How far the contrary prejudice of those whose interest or training
inclines them the other way may lead them to a different construction of
these pertinent facts, does not concern the present argument; which has
to do with this run of facts only as they bear on the prospective frame
of mind of that unblest mass of the population who will have opportunity
to present their proposals when peace at large shall have put national
interests out of their preferential place in men's regard.

At the risk of what may seem an excessively wide digression, there is
something further to be said of the capitalistic sabotage spoken of
above. The word has by usage come to have an altogether ungraceful air
of disapproval. Yet it signifies nothing more vicious than a deliberate
obstruction or retardation of industry, usually by legitimate means, for
the sake of some personal or partisan advantage. This morally colorless
meaning is all that is intended in its use here. It is extremely common
in all industry that is designed to supply merchantable goods for the
market. It is, in fact, the most ordinary and ubiquitous of all
expedients in business enterprise that has to do with supplying the
market, being always present in the businessman's necessary
calculations; being not only a usual and convenient recourse but quite
indispensable as an habitual measure of business sagacity. So that no
personal blame can attach to its employment by any given businessman or
business concern. It is only when measures of this nature are resorted
to by employees, to gain some end of their own, that such conduct
becomes (technically) reprehensible.

Any businesslike management of industry is carried on for gain, which is
to be got only on condition of meeting the terms of the market. The
price system under which industrial business is carried on will not
tolerate production in excess of the market demand, or without due
regard to the expenses of production as determined by the market on the
side of the supplies required. Hence any business concern must adjust
its operations, by due acceleration, retardation or stoppage, to the
market conditions, with a view to what the traffic will bear; that is to
say, with a view to what will yield the largest obtainable net gain. So
long as the price system rules, that is to say so long as industry is
managed on investment for a profit, there is no escaping this necessity
of adjusting the processes of industry to the requirements of a
remunerative price; and this adjustment can be taken care of only by
well-advised acceleration or curtailment of the processes of industry;
which answers to the definition of sabotage. Wise business management,
and more particularly what is spoken of as safe and sane business
management, therefore, reduces itself in the main to a sagacious use of
sabotage; that is to say a sagacious limitation of productive processes
to something less than the productive capacity of the means in hand.

       *       *       *       *       *

To anyone who is inclined to see these matters of usage in the light of
their history and to appraise them as phenomena of habituation,
adaptation and supersession in the sequence of cultural proliferation,
there should be no difficulty in appreciating that this institution of
ownership that makes the core of the modern institutional structure is
a precipitate of custom, like any other item of use and wont; and that,
like any other article of institutional furniture, it is subject to the
contingencies of supersession and obsolescence. If prevalent habits of
thought, enforced by the prevalent exigencies of life and livelihood,
come to change in such a way as to make life under the rule imposed by
this institution seem irksome, or intolerable, to the mass of the
population; and if at the same time things turn in such a way as to
leave no other and more urgent interest or exigency to take precedence
of this one and hinder its being pushed to an issue; then it should
reasonably follow that contention is due to arise between the unblest
mass on whose life it is a burden and the classes who live by it. But it
is, of course, impossible to state beforehand what will be the precise
line of cleavage or what form the division between the two parties in
interest will take. Yet it is contained in the premises that, barring
unforeseen contingencies of a formidable magnitude, such a cleavage is
due to follow as a logical sequel of an enduring peace at large. And it
is also well within the possibilities of the case that this issue may
work into an interruption or disruption of the peace between the

In this connection it may be called to mind that the existing
governmental establishments in these pacific nations are, in all cases,
in the hands of the beneficiary, or kept classes,--beneficiaries in the
sense in which a distinction to that effect comes into the premises of
the case at this point. The responsible officials and their chief
administrative officers,--so much as may at all reasonably be called the
"Government" or the "Administration,"--are quite invariably and
characteristically drawn from these beneficiary classes; nobles,
gentlemen, or business men, which all comes to the same thing for the
purpose in hand; the point of it all being that the common man does not
come within these precincts and does not share in these counsels that
assume to guide the destiny of the nations.

Of course, sporadically and ephemerally, a man out of the impecunious
and undistinguished mass may now and again find his way within the
gates; and more frequently will a professed "Man of the People" sit in
council. But that the rule holds unbroken and inviolable is sufficiently
evident in the fact that no community will let the emoluments of office
for any of its responsible officials, even for those of a very scant
responsibility, fall to the level of the habitual livelihood of the
undistinguished populace, or indeed to fall below what is esteemed to be
a seemly income for a gentleman. Should such an impecunious one be
thrown up into a place of discretion in the government, he will
forthwith cease to be a common man and will be inducted into the rank of
gentleman,--so far as that feat can be achieved by taking thought or by
assigning him an income adequate to a reputably expensive manner of
life. So obvious is the antagonism between a vulgar station in life and
a position of official trust, that many a "selfmade man" has advisedly
taken recourse to governmental position, often at some appreciable cost,
from no apparent motive other than its known efficacy as a Levitical
corrective for a humble origin. And in point of fact, neither here nor
there have the underbred majority hitherto learned to trust one of their
own kind with governmental discretion; which has never yet, in the
popular conviction, ceased to be a perquisite of the gently-bred and the

Let it be presumed that this state of things will continue without
substantial alteration, so far as regards the complexion of the
governmental establishments of these pacific nations, and with such
allowance for overstatement in the above characterisation as may seem
called for. These governmental establishments are, by official position
and by the character of their personnel, committed more or less
consistently to the maintenance of the existing law and order. And
should no substantial change overtake them as an effect of the war
experience, the pacific league under discussion would be entered into by
and between governments of this complexion. Should difficulties then
arise between those who own and those who do not, in any one of these
countries, it would become a nice question whether the compact to
maintain the peace and national integrity of the several nations
comprised in the league should be held to cover the case of internal
dissensions and possible disorders partaking of the character of revolt
against the established authorities or against the established
provisions of law. A strike of the scope and character of the one
recently threatened, and narrowly averted, on the American railroads,
e.g., might easily give rise to disturbances sufficiently formidable to
raise a question of the peace league's jurisdiction; particularly if
such a disturbance should arise in a less orderly and less isolated
country than the American republic; so as unavoidably to carry the
effects of the disturbance across the national frontiers along the lines
of industrial and commercial intercourse and correlation. It is always
conceivable that a national government standing on a somewhat
conservative maintenance of the received law and order might feel itself
bound by its conception of the peace to make common cause with the
keepers of established rights in neighboring states, particularly if
the similar interests of their own nation were thought to be placed in
jeopardy by the course of events.

Antecedently it seems highly probable that the received rights of
ownership and disposal of property, particularly of investment, will
come up for advisement and revision so soon as a settled state of peace
is achieved. And there should seem to be little doubt but this revision
would go toward, or at least aim at the curtailment or abrogation of
these rights; very much after the fashion in which the analogous vested
rights of feudalism and the dynastic monarchy have been revised and in
great part curtailed or abrogated in the advanced democratic countries.
Not much can confidently be said as to the details of such a prospective
revision of legal rights, but the analogy of that procedure by which
these other vested rights have been reduced to a manageable disability,
suggests that the method in the present case also would be by way of
curtailment, abrogation and elimination. Here again, as in analogous
movements of disuse and disestablishment, there would doubtless be much
conservative apprehension as to the procuring of a competent substitute
for the supplanted methods of doing what is no longer desirable to be
done; but here as elsewhere, in a like conjuncture, the practicable way
out would presumably be found to lie along the line of simple disuse and
disallowance of class prerogative. Taken at its face value, without
unavoidable prejudice out of the past, this question of a substitute to
replace the current exploitation of the industrial arts for private gain
by capitalistic sabotage is not altogether above a suspicion of

Yet it is not to be overlooked that private enterprise on the basis of
private ownership is the familiar and accepted method of conducting
industrial affairs, and that it has the sanction of immemorial usage, in
the eyes of the common man, and that it is reenforced with the urgency
of life and death in the apprehension of the kept classes. It should
accordingly be a possible outcome of such a peace as would put away
international dissension, that the division of classes would come on in
a new form, between those who stand on their ancient rights of
exploitation and mastery, and those who are unwilling longer to submit.
And it is quite within the possibilities of the case that the division
of opinion on these matters might presently shift back to the old
familiar ground of international hostilities; undertaken partly to put
down civil disturbances in given countries, partly by the more archaic,
or conservative, peoples to safeguard the institutions of the received
law and order against inroads from the side of the iconoclastic ones.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the apprehension of those who are speaking for peace between the
nations and planning for its realisation, the outlook is that of a
return to, or a continuance of, the state of things before the great war
came on, with peace and national security added, or with the danger of
war eliminated. Nothing appreciable in the way of consequent innovation,
certainly nothing of a serious character, is contemplated as being among
the necessary consequences of such a move into peace and security.
National integrity and autonomy are to be preserved on the received
lines, and international division and discrimination is to be managed as
before, and with the accustomed incidents of punctilio and pecuniary
equilibration. Internationally speaking, there is to dawn an era of
diplomacy without afterthought, whatever that might conceivably mean.

There is much in the present situation that speaks for such an
arrangement, particularly as an initial phase of the perpetual peace
that is aimed at, whatever excursive variations might befall presently,
in the course of years. The war experience in the belligerent countries
and the alarm that has disturbed the neutral nations have visibly raised
the pitch of patriotic solidarity in all these countries; and patriotism
greatly favors the conservation of established use and wont; more
particularly is it favorable to the established powers and policies of
the national government. The patriotic spirit is not a spirit of
innovation. The chances of survival, and indeed of stabilisation, for
the accepted use and wont and for the traditional distinctions of class
and prescriptive rights, should therefore seem favorable, at any rate in
the first instance.

Presuming, therefore, as the spokesmen of such a peace-compact are
singularly ready to presume, that the era of peace and good-will which
they have in view is to be of a piece with the most tranquil decades of
the recent past, only more of the same kind, it becomes a question of
immediate interest to the common man, as well as to all students of
human culture, how the common man is to fare under this régime of law
and order,--the mass of the population whose place it is to do what is
to be done, and thereby to carry forward the civilisation of these
pacific nations. It may not be out of place to recall, by way of
parenthesis, that it is here taken for granted as a matter of course
that all governmental establishments are necessarily conservative in all
their dealings with this heritage of culture, except so far as they may
be reactionary. Their office is the stabilisation of archaic
institutions, the measure of archaism varying from one to another.

With due stabilisation and with a sagacious administration of the
established scheme of law and order, the common man should find himself
working under conditions and to results of the familiar kind; but with
the difference that, while legal usage and legal precedent remain
unchanged, the state of the industrial arts can confidently be expected
to continue its advance in the same general direction as before, while
the population increases after the familiar fashion, and the investing
business community pursues its accustomed quest of competitive gain and
competitive spending in the familiar spirit and with cumulatively
augmented means. Stabilisation of the received law and order will not
touch these matters; and for the present it is assumed that these
matters will not derange the received law and order. The assumption may
seem a violent one to the students of human culture, but it is a simple
matter of course to the statesmen.

To this piping time of peace the nearest analogues in history would seem
to be the Roman peace, say, of the days of the Antonines, and passably
the British peace of the Victorian era. Changes in the scheme of law and
order supervened in both of these instances, but the changes were, after
all, neither unconscionably large nor were they of a subversive nature.
The scheme of law and order, indeed, appears in neither instance to have
changed so far as the altered circumstances would seem to have called
for. To the common man the Roman peace appears to have been a peace by
submission, not widely different from what the case of China has
latterly brought to the appreciation of students. The Victorian peace,
which can be appreciated more in detail, was of a more genial character,
as regards the fortunes of the common man. It started from a reasonably
low level of hardship and _de facto_ iniquity, and was occupied with
many prudent endeavours to improve the lot of the unblest majority; but
it is to be admitted that these prudent endeavours never caught up with
the march of circumstances. Not that these prudent measures of
amelioration were nugatory, but it is clear that they were not an
altogether effectual corrective of the changes going on; they were, in
effect, systematically so far in arrears as always to leave an uncovered
margin of discontent with current conditions. It is a fact of history
that very appreciable sections of the populace were approaching an
attitude of revolt against what they considered to be intolerable
conditions when that era closed. Much of what kept them within bounds,
that is to say within legal bounds, was their continued loyalty to the
nation; which was greatly, and for the purpose needfully, reenforced by
a lively fear of warlike aggression from without. Now, under the
projected _pax orbis terrarum_ all fear of invasion, it is hopefully
believed, will be removed; and with the disappearance of this fear
should also disappear the drag of national loyalty on the counsels of
the underbred.

If this British peace of the nineteenth century is to be taken as a
significant indication of what may be looked for under a régime of peace
at large, with due allowance for what is obviously necessary to be
allowed for, then what is held in promise would appear to be an era of
unexampled commercial prosperity, of investment and business enterprise
on a scale hitherto not experienced. These developments will bring their
necessary consequences affecting the life of the community, and some of
the consequences it should be possible to foresee. The circumstances
conditioning this prospective era of peace and prosperity will
necessarily differ from the corresponding circumstances that
conditioned the Victorian peace, and many of these points of difference
it is also possible to forecast in outline with a fair degree of
confidence. It is in the main these economic factors going to condition
the civilisation of the promised future that will have to be depended on
to give the cue to any student interested in the prospective unfolding
of events.

The scheme of law and order governing all modern nations, both in the
conduct of their domestic affairs and in their national policies, is in
its controlling elements the scheme worked out through British (and
French) experience in the eighteenth century and earlier, as revised and
further accommodated in the nineteenth century. Other peoples,
particularly the Dutch, have of course had their part in the derivation
and development of this modern scheme of institutional principles, but
it has after all been a minor part; so that the scheme at large would
not differ very materially, if indeed it should differ sensibly, from
what it is, even if the contribution of these others had not been had.
The backward nations, as e.g., Germany, Russia, Spain, etc., have of
course contributed substantially nothing but retardation and
maladjustment to this modern scheme of civil life; whatever may be due
to students resident in those countries, in the way of scholarly
formulation. This nineteenth century scheme it is proposed to carry over
into the new era; and the responsible spokesmen of the projected new
order appear to contemplate no provision touching this scheme of law and
order, beyond the keeping of it intact in all substantial respects.

When and in so far as the projected peace at large takes effect,
international interests will necessarily fall somewhat into the
background, as being no longer a matter of precarious equilibration,
with heavy penalties in the balance; and diplomacy will consequently
become even more of a make-believe than today--something after the
fashion of a game of bluff played with irredeemable "chips." Commercial,
that is to say business, enterprise will consequently come in for a more
undivided attention and be carried on under conditions of greater
security and of more comprehensive trade relations. The population of
the pacified world may be expected to go on increasing somewhat as in
the recent past; in which connection it is to be remarked that not more
than one-half, presumably something less than one-half, of the available
agricultural resources have been turned to account for the civilised
world hitherto. The state of the industrial arts, including means of
transport and communication, may be expected to develop farther in the
same general direction as before, assuming always that peace conditions
continue to hold. Popular intelligence, as it is called,--more properly
popular education,--may be expected to suffer a further advance;
necessarily so, since it is a necessary condition of any effectual
advance in the industrial arts,--every appreciable technological advance
presumes, as a requisite to its working-out in industry, an augmented
state of information and of logical facility in the workmen under whose
hands it is to take effect.

Of the prescriptive rights carried over into the new era, under the
received law and order, the rights of ownership alone may be expected to
have any material significance for the routine of workday life; the
other personal rights that once seemed urgent will for everyday purposes
have passed into a state of half-forgotten matter-of-course. As now, but
in an accentuated degree, the rights of ownership will, in effect,
coincide and coalesce with the rights of investment and business
management. The market--that is to say the rule of the price-system in
all matters of production and livelihood--may be expected to gain in
volume and inclusiveness; so that virtually all matters of industry and
livelihood will turn on questions of market price, even beyond the
degree in which that proposition holds today. The progressive extension
and consolidation of investments, corporate solidarity, and business
management may be expected to go forward on the accustomed lines, as
illustrated by the course of things during the past few decades. Market
conditions should accordingly, in a progressively increased degree, fall
under the legitimate discretionary control of businessmen, or syndicates
of businessmen, who have the disposal of large blocks of invested
wealth,--"big business," as it is called, should reasonably be expected
to grow bigger and to exercise an increasingly more unhampered control
of market conditions, including the money market and the labor market.

With such improvements in the industrial arts as may fairly be expected
to come forward, and with the possible enhancement of industrial
efficiency which should follow from a larger scale of organisation, a
wider reach of transport and communication, and an increased
population,--with these increasing advantages on the side of productive
industry, the per-capita product as well as the total product should be
increased in a notable degree, and the conditions of life should
possibly become notably easier and more attractive, or at least more
conducive to efficiency and personal comfort, for all concerned. Such
would be the first and unguarded inference to be drawn from the premises
of the case as they offer themselves in the large; and something of that
kind is apparently what floats before the prophetic vision of the
advocates of a league of nations for the maintenance of peace at large.
These premises, and the inferences so drawn from them, may be further
fortified and amplified in the same sense on considering that certain
very material economies also become practicable, and should take effect
"in the absence of disturbing causes," on the establishment of such a
peace at large. It will of course occur to all thoughtful persons that
armaments must be reduced, perhaps to a minimum, and that the cost of
these things, in point of expenditures as well as of man-power spent in
the service, would consequently fall off in a corresponding measure. So
also, as slight further reflection will show, would the cost of the
civil service presumably fall off very appreciably; more particularly
the cost of this service per unit of service rendered. Some such climax
of felicities might be looked for by hopeful persons, in the absence of
disturbing causes.

Under the new dispensation the standard of living, that is to say the
standard of expenditure, would reasonably be expected to advance in a
very appreciable degree, at least among the wealthy and well-to-do; and
by pressure of imitative necessity a like effect would doubtless also be
had among the undistinguished mass. It is not a question of the standard
of living considered as a matter of the subsistence minimum, or even a
standard of habitually prevalent creature comfort, particularly not
among the wealthy and well-to-do. These latter classes have long since
left all question of material comfort behind in their accepted standards
of living and in the continued advance of these standards. For these
classes who are often spoken of euphemistically as being "in easy
circumstances," it is altogether a question of a standard of reputable
expenditure, to be observed on pain of lost self-respect and of lost
reputation at large. As has been remarked in an earlier passage, wants
of this kind are indefinitely extensible. So that some doubt may well be
entertained as to whether the higher productive efficiency spoken of
will necessarily make the way of life easier, in view of this need of a
higher standard of expenditure, even when due account is taken of the
many economies which the new dispensation is expected to make

One of the effects to be looked for would apparently be an increased
pressure on the part of aspiring men to get into some line of business
enterprise; since it is only in business, as contrasted with the
industrial occupations, that anyone can hope to find the relatively
large income required for such an expensive manner of life as will bring
any degree of content to aspirants for pecuniary good repute. So it
should follow that the number of businessmen and business concerns would
increase up to the limit of what the traffic could support, and that the
competition between these rival, and in a sense over-numerous, concerns
would push the costs of competition to the like limit. In this respect
the situation would be of much the same character as what it now is,
with the difference that the limit of competitive expenditures would be
rather higher than at present, to answer to the greater available margin
of product that could be devoted to this use; and that the competing
concerns would be somewhat more numerous, or at least that the aggregate
expenditure on competitive enterprise would be somewhat larger; as,
e.g., costs of advertising, salesmanship, strategic litigation,
procuration of legislative and municipal grants and connivance, and the

It is always conceivable, though it may scarcely seem probable, that
these incidents of increased pressure of competition in business traffic
might eventually take up all the slack, and leave no net margin of
product over what is available under the less favorable conditions of
industry that prevail today; more particularly when this increased
competition for business gains is backed by an increased pressure of
competitive spending for purposes of a reputable appearance. All this
applies in retail trade and in such lines of industry and public service
as partakes of the nature of retail trade, in the respect that
salesmanship and the costs of salesmanship enter into their case in an
appreciable measure; this is an extensive field, it is true, and
incontinently growing more extensive with the later changes in the
customary methods of marketing products; but it is by no means anything
like the whole domain of industrial business, and by no means a field in
which business is carried on without interference of a higher control
from outside its own immediate limits.

All this generously large and highly expensive and profitable field of
trade and of trade-like industry, in which the businessmen in charge
deal somewhat directly with a large body of customers, is always subject
to limitations imposed by the condition of the market; and the condition
of the market is in part not under the control of these businessmen, but
is also in part controlled by large concerns in the background; which in
their turn are after all also not precisely free agents; in fact not
much more so than their cousins in the retail trade, being confined in
all their motions by the constraint of the price-system that dominates
the whole and gathers them all in its impersonal and inexorable net.

There is a colloquial saying among businessmen, that they are not doing
business for their health; which being interpreted means that they are
doing business for a price. It is out of a discrepancy in price, between
purchase and sale, or between transactions which come to the same result
as purchase and sale, that the gains of business are drawn; and it is in
terms of price that these gains are rated, amassed and funded. It is
necessary, for a business concern to achieve a favorable balance in
terms of price; and the larger the balance in terms of price the more
successful the enterprise. Such a balance can not be achieved except by
due regard to the conditions of the market, to the effect that dealings
must not go on beyond what will yield a favorable balance in terms of
price between income and outgo. As has already been remarked above, the
prescriptive and indispensable recourse in all this conduct of business
is sabotage, limitation of supply to bring a remunerative price result.

The new dispensation offers two new factors bearing on this businesslike
need of a sagacious sabotage, or rather it brings a change of
coefficients in two factors already familiar in business management: a
greater need, for gainful business, of resorting to such limitation of
traffic; and a greater facility of ways and means for enforcing the
needed restriction. So, it is confidently to be expected that in the
prospective piping time of peace the advance in the industrial arts will
continue at an accelerated rate; which may confidently be expected to
affect the practicable increased production of merchantable goods; from
which it follows that it will act to depress the prices of these goods;
from which it follows that if a profitable business is to be done in the
conduct of productive industry a greater degree of continence than
before will have to be exercised in order not to let prices fall to an
unprofitable figure; that is to say, the permissible output must be held
short of the productive capacity of such industry by a wider margin than
before. On the other hand, it is well known out of the experience of the
past few decades that a larger coalition of invested capital,
controlling a larger proportion of the output, can more effectually
limit the supply to a salutary maximum, such as will afford reasonable
profits. And with the new dispensation affording a freer scope for
business enterprise on conditions of greater security, larger coalitions
than before are due to come into bearing. So that the means will be at
hand competently to meet this more urgent need of a stricter limitation
of the output, in spite of any increased productive capacity conferred
on the industrial community by any conceivable advance in the industrial
arts. The outcome to be looked for should apparently be such an
effectual recourse to capitalistic sabotage as will neutralise any added
advantage that might otherwise accrue to the community from its
continued improvements in technology.

In spite of this singularly untoward conjuncture of circumstances to be
looked for, there need be no serious apprehension that capitalistic
sabotage, with a view to maintaining prices and the rate of profits,
will go all the way, to the result indicated, at least not on the
grounds so indicated alone. There is in the modern development of
technology, and confidently to be counted on, a continued flow of new
contrivances and expedients designed to supersede the old; and these are
in fact successful, in greater or less measure, in finding their way
into profitable use, on such terms as to displace older appliances,
underbid them in the market, and render them obsolete or subject to
recapitalisation on a lowered earning-capacity. So far as this
unremitting flow of innovations has its effect, that is to say so far as
it can not be hindered from having an effect, it acts to lower the
effectual cost of products to the consumer. This effect is but a partial
and somewhat uncertain one, but it is always to be counted in as a
persistent factor, of uncertain magnitude, that will affect the results
in the long run.

As has just been spoken of above, large coalitions of invested wealth
are more competent to maintain, or if need be to advance, prices than
smaller coalitions acting in severalty, or even when acting in
collusion. This state of the case has been well illustrated by the very
successful conduct of such large business organisations during the past
few decades; successful, that is, in earning large returns on the
investments engaged. Under the new dispensation, as has already been
remarked, coalitions should reasonably be expected to grow to a larger
size and achieve a greater efficiency for the same purpose.

The large gains of the large corporate coalitions are commonly ascribed
by their promoters, and by sympathetic theoreticians of the ancient
line, to economies of production made practicable by a larger scale of
production; an explanation which is disingenuous only so far as it needs
be. What is more visibly true on looking into the workings of these
coalitions in detail is that they are enabled to maintain prices at a
profitable, indeed at a strikingly profitable, level by such a control
of the output as would be called sabotage if it were put in practice by
interested workmen with a view to maintain wages. The effects of this
sagacious sabotage become visible in the large earnings of these
investments and the large gains which, now and again, accrue to their
managers. Large fortunes commonly are of this derivation.

In cases where no recapitalisation has been effected for a considerable
series of years the yearly earnings of such businesslike coalitions have
been known to approach fifty percent on the capitalised value. Commonly,
however, when earnings rise to a striking figure, the business will be
recapitalised on the basis of its earning-capacity, by issue of a stock
dividend, by reincorporation in a new combination with an increased
capitalisation, and the like. Such augmentation of capital not unusually
has been spoken of by theoretical writers and publicists as an increase
of the community's wealth, due to savings; an analysis of any given case
is likely to show that its increased capital value represents an
increasingly profitable procedure for securing a high price above cost,
by stopping the available output short of the productive capacity of the
industries involved. Loosely speaking, and within the limits of what the
traffic will bear, the gains in such a case are proportioned to the
deficiency by which the production or supply under control falls short
of productive capacity. So that the capitalisation in the case comes to
bear a rough proportion to the material loss which this organisation of
sabotage is enabled to inflict on the community at large; and instead of
its being a capitalisation of serviceable means of production it may,
now and again, come to little else than a capitalisation of chartered

Under the new dispensation of peace and security at large this manner of
capitalisation and business enterprise might reasonably be expected to
gain something in scope and security of operation. Indeed, there are few
things within the range of human interest on which an opinion may more
confidently be formed beforehand. If the rights of property, in their
extent and amplitude, are maintained intact as they are before the law
today, the hold which business enterprise on the large scale now has on
the affairs and fortunes of the community at large is bound to grow
firmer and to be used more unreservedly for private advantage under the
new conditions contemplated.

The logical result should be an accelerated rate of accumulation of the
country's wealth in the hands of a relatively very small class of
wealthy owners, with a relatively inconsiderable semi-dependent middle
class of the well-to-do, and with the mass of the population even more
nearly destitute than they are today. At the same time it is scarcely to
be avoided that this wholly dependent and impecunious mass of the
population must be given an appreciably better education than they have
today. The argument will return to the difficulties that are liable to
arise out of this conjuncture of facts, in the way of discontent and
possible disturbance.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meantime, looking to the promise of the pacific future in the light of
the pacific past, certain further consequences, particularly
consequences of the economic order, that may reasonably be expected to
follow will also merit attention. The experience of the Victorian peace
is almost as pointed in its suggestion on this head as if it had been an
experiment made _ad hoc_; but with the reservation that the scale of
economic life, after all, was small in the Victorian era, and its pace
was slack, compared with what the twentieth century should have to offer
under suitable conditions of peace and pecuniary security. In the light
of this most instructive modern instance, there should appear to be in
prospect a growth of well-bred families resting on invested wealth and
so living on unearned incomes; larger incomes and consequently a more
imposingly well-bred body of gentlefolk, sustained and vouched for by a
more munificent expenditure on superfluities, than the modern world has
witnessed hitherto. Doubtless the resulting growth of gentlemen and
gentlewomen would be as perfect after their kind as these unexampled
opportunities of gentle breeding might be expected to engender; so that
even their British precursors on the trail of respectability would fall
somewhat into insignificance by comparison, whether in respect of
gentlemanly qualities or in point of cost per unit.

The moral, and even more particularly the aesthetic, value of such a
line of gentlefolk, and of the culture which they may be expected to
place on view,--this cultural side of the case, of course, is what one
would prefer to dwell on, and on the spiritual gains that might be
expected to accrue to humanity at large from the steady contemplation of
this meritorious respectability so displayed at such a cost.

But the prosaic necessity of the argument turns back to the economic and
civil bearing of this prospective development, this virtual bifurcation
of the pacified nation into a small number of gentlemen who own the
community's wealth and consume its net product in the pursuit of
gentility, on the one hand, and an unblest mass of the populace who do
the community's work on a meager livelihood tapering down toward the
subsistence minimum, on the other hand. Evidently, this prospective
posture of affairs may seem "fraught with danger to the common weal," as
a public spirited citizen might phrase it. Or, as it would be expressed
in less eloquent words, it appears to comprise elements that should
make for a change. At the same time it should be recalled, and the
statement will command assent on slight reflection, that there is no
avoiding substantially such a posture of affairs under the promised
régime of peace and security, provided only that the price-system stands
over intact, and the current rights of property continue to be held
inviolate. If the known principles of competitive gain and competitive
spending should need enforcement to that effect by an illustrative
instance, the familiar history of the Victorian peace is sufficient to
quiet all doubts.

Of course, the resulting articulation of classes in the community will
not be expected to fall into such simple lines of sheer contrast as this
scheme would indicate. The class of gentlefolk, the legally constituted
wasters, as they would be rated from the economic point of view, can not
be expected personally to take care of so large a consumption of
superfluities as this posture of affairs requires at their hands. They
would, as the Victorian peace teaches, necessarily have the assistance
of a trained corps of experts in unproductive consumption, the first and
most immediate of whom would be those whom the genial phrasing of Adam
Smith designates "menial servants." Beyond these would come the
purveyors of superfluities, properly speaking, and the large, indeed
redundant, class of tradespeople of high and low degree,--dependent in
fact but with an illusion of semi-dependence; and farther out again the
legal and other professional classes of the order of stewards, whose
duty it will be to administer the sources of income and receive,
apportion and disburse the revenues so devoted to a traceless

There would, in other words, be something of a "substantial middle
class," dependent on the wealthy and on their expenditure of wealth, but
presumably imbued with the Victorian middle-class illusion that they are
of some account in their own right. Under the due legal forms and
sanctions this, somewhat voluminous, middle-class population would
engage in the traffic which is their perquisite, and would continue to
believe, in some passable fashion, that they touch the substance of
things at something nearer than the second remove. They would in great
part appear to be people of "independent means," and more particularly
would they continue in the hope of so appearing and of some time making
good the appearance. Hence their fancied, and therefore their
sentimental, interest would fall out on the side of the established law
and order; and they would accordingly be an element of stability in the
commonwealth, and would throw in their weight, and their voice, to
safeguard that private property and that fabric of prices and credit
through which the "income stream" flows to the owners of preponderant
invested wealth.

Judged on the state of the situation as it runs in our time, and
allowing for the heightened efficiency of large-scale investment and
consolidated management under the prospective conditions of added
pecuniary security, it is to be expected that the middle-class
population with "independent means" should come in for a somewhat meager
livelihood, provided that they work faithfully at their business of
managing pecuniary traffic to the advantage of their pecuniary
betters,--meager, that is to say, when allowance is made for the
conventionally large expenditure on reputable appearances which is
necessarily to be included in their standard of living. It lies in the
nature of this system of large-scale investment and enterprise that the
(pecuniarily) minor agencies engaged on a footing of ostensible
independence will come in for only such a share in the aggregate gains
of the community as it is expedient for the greater business interests
to allow them as an incentive to go on with their work as purveyors of
traffic to these greater business interests.

The current, and still more this prospective, case of the
quasi-self-directing middle class may fairly be illustrated by the case
of the American farmers, of the past and present. The American farmer
rejoices to be called "The Independent Farmer." He once was independent,
in a meager and toil-worn fashion, in the days before the price-system
had brought him and all his works into the compass of the market; but
that was some time ago. He now works for the market, ordinarily at
something like what is called a "living wage," provided he has
"independent means" enough to enable him by steady application to earn a
living wage; and of course, the market being controlled by the paramount
investment interests in the background, his work, in effect, inures to
their benefit; except so much as it may seem necessary to allow him as
incentive to go on. Also of course, these paramount investment interests
are in turn controlled in all their manoeuvres by the impersonal
exigencies of the price-system, which permits no vagaries in violation
of the rule that all traffic must show a balance of profit in terms of

The Independent Farmer still continues to believe that in some occult
sense he still is independent in what he will do and what not; or
perhaps rather that he can by shrewd management retain or regain a
tolerable measure of such independence, after the fashion of what is
held to have been the posture of affairs in the days before the coming
of corporation finance; or at least he believes that he ought to have,
or to regain or reclaim, some appreciable measure of such independence;
which ought then, by help of the "independent means" which he still
treasures, to procure him an honest and assured livelihood in return for
an honest year's work. Latterly he, that is the common run of the
farmers, has been taking note of the fact that he is, as he apprehends
it, at a disadvantage in the market; and he is now taking recourse to
concerted action for the purpose of what might be called "rigging the
market" to his own advantage. In this he overlooks the impregnable
position which the party of the second part, the great investment
interests, occupy; in fact, he is counting without his host. Hitherto he
has not been convinced of his own helplessness. And with a fine fancy he
still imagines that his own interest is on the side of the propertied
and privileged classes; so that the farmer constituency is the chief
pillar of conservative law and order, particularly in all that touches
the inviolable rights of property and at every juncture where a division
comes on between those who live by investment and those who live by
work. In pecuniary effect, the ordinary American farmer, who legally
owns a moderate farm of the common sort, belongs among those who work
for a livelihood; such a livelihood as the investment interests find it
worth while to allow him under the rule of what the traffic will bear;
but in point of sentiment and class consciousness he clings to a belated
stand on the side of those who draw a profit from his work.

So it is also with the menial servants and the middle-class people of
"independent means," who are, however, in a position to see more clearly
their dependence on the owners of predominant wealth. And such, with a
further accentuation of the anomaly, may reasonably be expected to be
the further run of these relations under the promised régime of peace
and security. The class of well-kept gentlefolk will scarcely be called
on to stand alone, in case of a division between those who live by
investment and those who live by work; inasmuch as, for the calculable
future, it should seem a reasonable expectation that this very
considerable fringe of dependents and pseudo-independents will abide by
their time-tried principles of right and honest living, through good
days and evil, and cast in their lot unreservedly with that reputable
body to whom the control of trade and industry by investment assigns the
usufruct of the community's productive powers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Something has already been said of the prospective breeding of pedigreed
gentlefolk under the projected régime of peace. Pedigree, for the
purpose in hand, is a pecuniary attribute and is, of course, a product
of funded wealth, more or less ancient. Virtually ancient pedigree can
be procured by well-advised expenditure on the conspicuous amenities;
that is to say pedigree effectually competent as a background of current
gentility. Gentlefolk of such syncopated pedigree may have to walk
circumspectly, of course; but their being in this manner put on their
good behavior should tend to heighten their effectual serviceability as
gentlefolk, by inducing a single-mindedness of gentility beyond what can
fairly be expected of those who are already secure in their tenure.

Except conventionally, there is no hereditary difference between the
standard gentlefolk and, say, their "menial servants," or the general
population of the farms and the industrial towns. This is a
well-established commonplace among ethnological students; which has, of
course, nothing to say with respect to the conventionally distinct lines
of descent of the "Best Families." These Best Families are nowise
distinguishable from the common run in point of hereditary traits; the
difference that makes the gentleman and the gentlewoman being wholly a
matter of habituation during the individual's life-time. It is something
of a distasteful necessity to call attention to this total absence of
native difference between the well-born and the common, but it is a
necessity of the argument in hand, and the recalling of it may,
therefore, be overlooked for once in a way. There is no harm and no
annoyance intended. The point of it all is that, on the premises which
this state of the case affords, the body of gentlefolk created by such
an accumulation of invested wealth will have no less of an effectual
cultural value than they would have had if their virtually ancient
pedigree had been actual.

At this point, again, the experience of the Victorian peace and the
functioning of its gentlefolk come in to indicate what may fairly be
hoped for in this way under this prospective régime of peace at large.
But with the difference that the scale of things is to be larger, the
pace swifter, and the volume and dispersion of this prospective leisure
class somewhat wider. The work of this leisure class--and there is
neither paradox nor inconsistency in the phrase--should be patterned on
the lines worked out by their prototypes of the Victorian time, but with
some appreciable accentuation in the direction of what chiefly
characterised the leisure class of that era of tranquility. The
characteristic feature to which attention naturally turns at this
suggestion is the tranquility that has marked that body of gentlefolk
and their code of clean and honest living. Another word than
"tranquility" might be hit upon to designate this characteristic animus,
but any other word that should at all adequately serve the turn would
carry a less felicitous suggestion of those upper-class virtues that
have constituted the substantial worth of the Victorian gentleman. The
conscious worth of these gentlefolk has been a beautifully complete
achievement. It has been an achievement of "faith without works," of
course; but, needless to say, that is as it should be, also of course.
The place of gentlefolk in the economy of Nature is tracelessly to
consume the community's net product, and in doing so to set a standard
of decent expenditure for the others emulatively to work up to as near
as may be. It is scarcely conceivable that this could have been done in
a more unobtrusively efficient manner, or with a more austerely virtuous
conviction of well-doing, than by the gentlefolk bred of the Victorian
peace. So also, in turn, it is not to be believed that the prospective
breed of gentlefolk derivable from the net product of the pacific
nations under the promised régime of peace at large will prove in any
degree less effective for the like ends. More will be required of them
in the way of a traceless consumption of superfluities and an unexampled
expensive standard of living. But this situation that so faces them may
be construed as a larger opportunity, quite as well as a more difficult

A theoretical exposition of the place and cultural value of a leisure
class in modern life would scarcely be in place here; and it has also
been set out in some detail elsewhere.[10] For the purpose in hand it
may be sufficient to recall that the canons of taste and the standards
of valuation worked out and inculcated by leisure-class life have in all
ages run, with unbroken consistency, to pecuniary waste and personal
futility. In its economic bearing, and particularly in its immediate
bearing on the material well-being of the community at large, the
leadership of the leisure class can scarcely be called by a less
derogatory epithet than "untoward." But that is not the whole of the
case, and the other side should be heard. The leisure-class life of
tranquility, running detached as it does above the turmoil out of which
the material of their sustenance is derived, enables a growth of all
those virtues that mark, or make, the gentleman; and that affect the
life of the underlying community throughout, pervasively, by imitation;
leading to a standardisation of the everyday proprieties on a
presumably, higher level of urbanity and integrity than might be
expected to result in the absence of this prescriptive model.

[Footnote 10: Cf. _The Theory of the Leisure Class_, especially ch.
v.-ix. and xiv.]

_Integer vitae scelerisque purus_, the gentleman of assured station
turns a placid countenance to all those petty vexations of breadwinning
that touch him not. Serenely and with an impassive fortitude he faces
those common vicissitudes of life that are impotent to make or mar his
material fortunes and that can neither impair his creature comforts nor
put a slur on his good repute. So that without afterthought he deals
fairly in all everyday conjunctures of give and take; for they are at
the most inconsequential episodes to him, although the like might spell
irremediable disaster to his impecunious counterfoil among the common
men who have the community's work to do. In short, he is a gentleman, in
the best acceptation of the word,--unavoidably, by force of
circumstance. As such his example is of invaluable consequence to the
underlying community of common folk, in that it keeps before their eyes
an object lesson in habitual fortitude and visible integrity such as
could scarcely have been created except under such shelter from those
disturbances that would go to mar habitual fortitude and integrity.
There can be little doubt but the high example of the Victorian
gentlefolk has had much to do with stabilising the animus of the British
common man on lines of integrity and fair play. What else and more in
the way of habitual preconceptions he may, by competitive imitation, owe
to the same high source is not immediately in question here.

       *       *       *       *       *

Recalling once more that the canon of life whereby folk are gentlefolk
sums itself up in the requirements of pecuniary waste and personal
futility, and that these requirements are indefinitely extensible, at
the same time that the management of the community's industry by
investment for a profit enables the owners of invested wealth to divert
to their own use the community's net product, wherewith to meet these
requirements, it follows that the community at large which provides this
output of product will be allowed so much as is required by their
necessary standard of living,--with an unstable margin of error in the
adjustment. This margin of error should tend continually to grow
narrower as the businesslike management of industry grows more efficient
with experience; but it will also continually be disturbed in the
contrary sense by innovations of a technological nature that require
continual readjustment. This margin is probably not to be got rid of,
though it may be expected to become less considerable under more settled

It should also not be overlooked that the standard of living here spoken
of as necessarily to be allowed the working population by no means
coincides with the "physical subsistence minimum," from which in fact it
always departs by something appreciable. The necessary standard of
living of the working community is in fact made up of two
distinguishable factors: the subsistence minimum, and the requirements
of decorously wasteful consumption--the "decencies of life." These
decencies are no less requisite than the physical necessaries, in point
of workday urgency, and their amount is a matter of use and wont. This
composite standard of living is a practical minimum, below which
consumption will not fall, except by a fluctuating margin of error; the
effect being the same, in point of necessary consumption, as if it were
all of the nature of a physical subsistence minimum.

Loosely speaking, the arrangement should leave nothing appreciable over,
after the requirements of genteel waste and of the workday standard of
consumption have been met. From which in turn it should follow that the
rest of what is comprised under the general caption of "culture" will
find a place only in the interstices of leisure-class expenditure and
only at the hands of aberrant members of the class of the gently-bred.
The working population should have no effectual margin of time, energy
or means for other pursuits than the day's work in the service of the
price-system; so that aberrant individuals in this class, who might by
native propensity incline, e.g., to pursue the sciences or the fine
arts, should have (virtually) no chance to make good. It would be a
virtual suppression of such native gifts among the common folk, not a
definitive and all-inclusive suppression. The state of the case under
the Victorian peace may, again, be taken in illustration of the point;
although under the presumably more effectual control to be looked for in
the pacific future the margin might reasonably be expected to run
somewhat narrower, so that this virtual suppression of cultural talent
among the common men should come nearer a complete suppression.

The working of that free initiative that makes the advance of
civilisation, and also the greater part of its conservation, would in
effect be allowed only in the erratic members of the kept classes; where
at the same time it would have to work against the side-draught of
conventional usage, which discountenances any pursuit that is not
visibly futile according to some accepted manner of futility. Now under
the prospective perfect working of the price-system, bearers of the
banners of civilisation could effectually be drawn only from the kept
classes, the gentlefolk who alone would have the disposal of such free
income as is required for work that has no pecuniary value. And
numerically the gentlefolk are an inconsiderable fraction of the
population. The supply of competently gifted bearers of the community's
culture would accordingly be limited to such as could be drawn by
self-selection from among this inconsiderable proportion of the
community at large.

It may be recalled that in point of heredity, and therefore in point of
native fitness for the maintenance and advance of civilisation, there is
no difference between the gentlefolk and the populace at large; or at
least there is no difference of such a nature as to count in abatement
of the proposition set down above. Some slight, but after all
inconsequential, difference there may be, but such difference as there
is, if any, rather counts against the gentlefolk as keepers of the
cultural advance. The gentlefolk are derived from business; the
gentleman represents a filial generation of the businessman; and if the
class typically is gifted with any peculiar hereditary traits,
therefore, they should presumably be such as typically mark the
successful businessman--astute, prehensile, unscrupulous. For a
generation or two, perhaps to the scriptural third and fourth
generation, it is possible that a diluted rapacity and cunning may
continue to mark the businessman's well-born descendants; but these are
not serviceable traits for the conservation and advancement of the
community's cultural heritage. So that no consideration of special
hereditary fitness in the well-born need be entertained in this

As to the limitation imposed by the price-system on the supply of
candidates suited by native gift for the human work of civilisation; it
would no doubt, be putting the figure extravagantly high to say that the
gentlefolk, properly speaking, comprise as much as ten percent of the
total population; perhaps something less than one-half of that
percentage would still seem a gross overstatement. But, to cover loose
ends and vagrant cases, the gentlefolk may for the purpose be credited
with so high a percentage of the total population. If ten percent be
allowed, as an outside figure, it follows that the community's
scientists, artists, scholars, and the like individuals given over to
the workday pursuits of the human spirit, are by conventional
restriction to be drawn from one-tenth of the current supply of persons
suited by native gift for these pursuits. Or as it may also be
expressed, in so far as the projected scheme takes effect it should
result in the suppression of nine (or more) out of every ten persons
available for the constructive work of civilisation. The cultural
consequences to be looked for, therefore, should be quite markedly of
the conservative order.

Of course, in actual effect, the retardation or repression of
civilisation by this means, as calculated on these premises, should
reasonably be expected to count up to something appreciably more than
nine-tenths of the gains that might presumably be achieved in the
conceivable absence of the price-system and the régime of investment.
All work of this kind has much of the character of teamwork; so that the
efforts of isolated individuals count for little, and a few working in
more or less of concert and understanding will count for proportionally
much less than many working in concert. The endeavours of the
individuals engaged count cumulatively, to such effect that doubling
their forces will more than double the aggregate efficiency; and
conversely, reducing the number will reduce the effectiveness of their
work by something more than the simple numerical proportion. Indeed, an
undue reduction of numbers in such a case may lead to the total defeat
of the few that are left, and the best endeavours of a dwindling remnant
may be wholly nugatory. There is needed a sense of community and
solidarity, without which the assurance necessary to the work is bound
to falter and dwindle out; and there is also needed a degree of popular
countenance, not to be had by isolated individuals engaged in an
unconventional pursuit of things that are neither to be classed as
spendthrift decorum nor as merchantable goods. In this connection an
isolated one does not count for one, and more than the critical minimum
will count for several per capita. It is a case where the "minimal dose"
is wholly inoperative.

There is not a little reason to believe that consequent upon the
installation of the projected régime of peace at large and secure
investment the critical point in the repression of talent will very
shortly be reached and passed, so that the principle of the "minimal
dose" will come to apply. The point may readily be illustrated by the
case of many British and American towns and neighbourhoods during the
past few decades; where the dominant price-system and its commercial
standards of truth and beauty have over-ruled all inclination to
cultural sanity and put it definitively in abeyance. The cultural, or
perhaps the conventional, residue left over in these cases where
civilisation has gone stale through inefficiency of the minimal dose is
not properly to be found fault with; it is of a blameless character,
conventionally; nor is there any intention here to cast aspersion on the
desolate. The like effects of the like causes are to be seen in the
American colleges and universities, where business principles have
supplanted the pursuit of learning, and where the commercialisation of
aims, ideals, tastes, occupations and personnel is following much the
same lines that have led so many of the country towns effectually
outside the cultural pale. The American university or college is coming
to be an outlier of the price-system, in point of aims, standards and
personnel; hitherto the tradition of learning as a trait of
civilisation, as distinct from business, has not been fully displaced,
although it is now coming to face the passage of the minimal dose. The
like, in a degree, is apparently true latterly for many English, and
still more evidently for many German schools.

In these various instances of what may be called dry-rot or local blight
on the civilised world's culture the decline appears to be due not to a
positive infection of a malignant sort, so much as to a failure of the
active cultural ferment, which has fallen below the critical point of
efficacy; perhaps through an unintended refusal of a livelihood to
persons given over to cultivating the elements of civilisation; perhaps
through the conventional disallowance of the pursuit of any other ends
than competitive gain and competitive spending. Evidently it is
something much more comprehensive in this nature that is reasonably to
be looked for under the prospective régime of peace, in case the
price-system gains that farther impetus and warrant which it should come
in for if the rights of ownership and investment stand over intact, and
so come to enjoy the benefit of a further improved state of the
industrial arts and a further enlarged scale of operation and enhanced
rate of turnover.

       *       *       *       *       *

To turn back to the point from which this excursion branched off. It has
been presumed all the while that the technological equipment, or the
state of the industrial arts, must continue to advance under the
conditions offered by this régime of peace at large. But the last few
paragraphs will doubtless suggest that such a single-minded addiction to
competitive gain and competitive spending as the stabilised and
amplified price-system would enjoin, must lead to an effectual
retardation, perhaps to a decline, of those material sciences on which
modern technology draws; and that the state of the industrial arts
should therefore cease to advance, if only the scheme of investment and
businesslike sabotage can be made sufficiently secure. That such may be
the outcome is a contingency which the argument will have to meet and to
allow for; but it is after all a contingency that need not be expected
to derange the sequence of events, except in the way of retardation.
Even without further advance in technological expedients or in the
relevant material sciences, there will still necessarily ensue an
effectual advance in the industrial arts, in the sense that further
organisation and enlargement of the material equipment and industrial
processes on lines already securely known and not to be forgotten must
bring an effectually enhanced efficiency of the industrial process as a

In illustration, it is scarcely to be assumed even as a tentative
hypothesis that the system of transport and communication will not
undergo extension and improvement on the lines already familiar, even in
the absence of new technological contrivances. At the same time a
continued increase of population is to be counted on; which has, for the
purpose in hand, much the same effect as an advance in the industrial
arts. Human contact and mutual understanding will necessarily grow wider
and closer, and will have its effect on the habits of thought prevalent
in the communities that are to live under the promised régime of peace.
The system of transport and communication having to handle a more
voluminous and exacting traffic, in the service of a larger and more
compact population, will have to be organised and administered on
mechanically drawn schedules of time, place, volume, velocity, and
price, of a still more exacting accuracy than hitherto. The like will
necessarily apply throughout the industrial occupations that employ
extensive plant or processes, or that articulate with industrial
processes of that nature; which will necessarily comprise a larger
proportion of the industrial process at large than hitherto.

As has already been remarked more than once in the course of the
argument, a population that lives and does its work, and such play as is
allowed it, in and by an exactingly articulate mechanical system of this
kind will necessarily be an "intelligent" people, in the colloquial
sense of the word; that is to say it will necessarily be a people that
uses printed matter freely and that has some familiarity with the
elements of those material sciences that underlie this mechanically
organised system of appliances and processes. Such a population lives by
and within the framework of the mechanistic logic, and is in a fair way
to lose faith in any proposition that can not be stated convincingly in
terms of this mechanistic logic. Superstitions are liable to lapse by
neglect or disuse in such a community; that is to say propositions of a
non-mechanistic complexion are liable to insensible disestablishment in
such a case; "superstition" in these premises coming to signify whatever
is not of this mechanistic, or "materialistic" character. An exception
to this broad characterisation of non-mechanistic propositions as
"superstition" would be matters that are of the nature of an immediate
deliverance of the senses or of the aesthetic sensibilities.

By a simile it might be said that what so falls under the caption of
"superstition" in such a case is subject to decay by inanition. It
should not be difficult to conceive the general course of such a decay
of superstitions under this unremitting discipline of mechanistic habits
of life. The recent past offers an illustration, in the unemotional
progress of decay that has overtaken religious beliefs in the more
civilised countries, and more particularly among the intellectually
trained workmen of the mechanical industries. The elimination of such
non-mechanistic propositions of the faith has been visibly going on, but
it has not worked out on any uniform plan, nor has it overtaken any
large or compact body of people consistently or abruptly, being of the
nature of obsolescence rather than of set repudiation. But in a slack
and unreflecting fashion the divestment has gone on until the aggregate
effect is unmistakable.

A similar divestment of superstitions is reasonably to be looked for
also in that domain of preconceptions that lies between the supernatural
and the mechanistic. Chief among these time-warped preconceptions--or
superstitions--that so stand over out of the alien past among these
democratic peoples is the institution of property. As is true of
preconceptions touching the supernatural verities, so here too the
article of use and wont in question will not bear formulation in
mechanistic terms and is not congruous with that mechanistic logic that
is incontinently bending the habits of thought of the common man more
and more consistently to its own bent. There is, of course, the
difference that while no class--apart from the servants of the
church--have a material interest in the continued integrity of the
articles of the supernatural faith, there is a strong and stubborn
material interest bound up with the maintenance of this article of the
pecuniary faith; and the class in whom this material interest vests are
also, in effect, invested with the coercive powers of the law.

The law, and the popular preconceptions that give the law its binding
force, go to uphold the established usage and the established
prerogatives on this head; and the disestablishment of the rights of
property and investment therefore is not a simple matter of obsolescence
through neglect. It may confidently be counted on that all the apparatus
of the law and all the coercive agencies of law and order, will be
brought in requisition to uphold the ancient rights of ownership,
whenever any move is made toward their disallowance or restriction. But
then, on the other hand, the movement to disallow or diminish the
prerogatives of ownership is also not to take the innocuous shape of
unstudied neglect. So soon, or rather so far, as the common man comes to
realise that these rights of ownership and investment uniformly work to
his material detriment, at the same time that he has lost the "will to
believe" in any argument that does not run in terms of the mechanistic
logic, it is reasonable to expect that he will take a stand on this
matter; and it is more than likely that the stand taken will be of an
uncompromising kind,--presumably something in the nature of the stand
once taken by recalcitrant Englishmen in protest against the
irresponsible rule of the Stuart sovereign. It is also not likely that
the beneficiaries under these proprietary rights will yield their ground
at all amicably; all the more since they are patently within their
authentic rights in insisting on full discretion in the disposal of
their own possessions; very much as Charles I or James II once were
within their prescriptive right,--which had little to say in the

Even apart from "time immemorial" and the patent authenticity of the
institution, there were and are many cogent arguments to be alleged in
favor of the position for which the Stuart sovereigns and their
spokesmen contended. So there are and will be many, perhaps more, cogent
reasons to be alleged for the maintenance of the established law and
order in respect of the rights of ownership and investment. Not least
urgent, nor least real, among these arguments is the puzzling question
of what to put in the place of these rights and of the methods of
control based on them, very much as the analogous question puzzled the
public-spirited men of the Stuart times. All of which goes to argue that
there may be expected to arise a conjuncture of perplexities and
complications, as well as a division of interests and claims. To which
should be added that the division is likely to come to a head so soon as
the balance of forces between the two parties in interest becomes
doubtful, so that either party comes to surmise that the success of its
own aims may depend on its own efforts. And as happens where two
antagonistic parties are each convinced of the justice of its cause, and
in the absence of an umpire, the logical recourse is the wager of

Granting the premises, there should be no reasonable doubt as to this
eventual cleavage between those who own and those who do not; and of the
premises the only item that is not already an accomplished fact is the
installation of peace at large. The rest of what goes into the argument
is the well-known modern state of the industrial arts, and the equally
well-known price-system; which, in combination, give its character to
the modern state of business enterprise. It is only an unusually broad
instance of an institutional arrangement which has in the course of time
and changing conditions come to work at cross purposes with that
underlying ground of institutional arrangements that takes form in the
commonplace aphorism, Live and let live. With change setting in the
direction familiar to all men today, it is only a question of limited
time when the discrepancy will reach a critical pass, and the
installation of peace may be counted on to hasten this course of things.

That a decision will be sought by recourse to forcible measures, is also
scarcely open to question; since the established law and order provides
for a resort to coercion in the enforcement of these prescriptive
rights, and since both parties in interest, in this as in other cases,
are persuaded of the justice of their claims. A decision either way is
an intolerable iniquity in the eyes of the losing side. History teaches
that in such a quarrel the recourse has always been to force.

History teaches also, but with an inflection of doubt, that the outworn
institution in such a conjuncture faces disestablishment. At least, so
men like to believe. What the experience of history does not leave in
doubt is the grave damage, discomfort and shame incident to the
displacement of such an institutional discrepancy by such recourse to
force. What further appears to be clear in the premises, at least to the
point of a strong presumption, is that in the present case the decision,
or the choice, lies between two alternatives: either the price-system
and its attendant business enterprise will yield and pass out; or the
pacific nations will conserve their pecuniary scheme of law and order at
the cost of returning to a war footing and letting their owners preserve
the rights of ownership by force of arms.

The reflection obviously suggests itself that this prospect of
consequences to follow from the installation of peace at large might
well be taken into account beforehand by those who are aiming to work
out an enduring peace. It has appeared in the course of the argument
that the preservation of the present pecuniary law and order, with all
its incidents of ownership and investment, is incompatible with an
unwarlike state of peace and security. This current scheme of
investment, business, and sabotage, should have an appreciably better
chance of survival in the long run if the present conditions of warlike
preparation and national insecurity were maintained, or if the projected
peace were left in a somewhat problematical state, sufficiently
precarious to keep national animosities alert, and thereby to the
neglect of domestic interests, particularly of such interests as touch
the popular well-being. On the other hand, it has also appeared that the
cause of peace and its perpetuation might be materially advanced if
precautions were taken beforehand to put out of the way as much as may
be of those discrepancies of interest and sentiment between nations and
between classes which make for dissension and eventual hostilities.

So, if the projectors of this peace at large are in any degree inclined
to seek concessive terms on which the peace might hopefully be made
enduring, it should evidently be part of their endeavours from the
outset to put events in train for the present abatement and eventual
abrogation of the rights of ownership and of the price-system in which
these rights take effect. A hopeful beginning along this line would
manifestly be the neutralisation of all pecuniary rights of citizenship,
as has been indicated in an earlier passage. On the other hand, if peace
is not desired at the cost of relinquishing the scheme of competitive
gain and competitive spending, the promoters of peace should logically
observe due precaution and move only so far in the direction of a
peaceable settlement as would result in a sufficiently unstable
equilibrium of mutual jealousies; such as might expeditiously be upset
whenever discontent with pecuniary affairs should come to threaten this
established scheme of pecuniary prerogatives.








*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation" ***

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