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Title: The Great Illusion - A Study of the Relation of Military Power to National Advantage
Author: Angell, Norman, 1872-1967
Language: English
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  The Great Illusion

  The Great Illusion

  A Study of the Relation of
  Military Power
  National Advantage

  Norman Angell

  _Fourth Revised and Enlarged Edition_

  G.P. Putnam's Sons
  New York and London
  The Knickerbocker Press





  GREAT BRITAIN   _William Heinemann_                           _London_
    _First published, November, 1909. Reprinted, April, 1910;
        June, 1910_
    _New Editions: November, 1910; January, 1911; April, 1911;
        May, 1911; reprinted, May, 1911; July, 1911; November,
        1911; January, 1912; April, 1912; September, 1912;
        October, 1912; November, 1912_
  FRANCE    _Hachette et Cie_                                    _Paris_
    "       (_Cheap Popular Edition_) _Nelson_                   _Paris_
  GERMANY   _Dieterichsche Verlags_                            _Leipzig_
    "       (_Cheap Popular Edition_) _Vita: Deutsches Verlag_  _Berlin_
  ITALY     _Associazione della Stampa Periodica Italiana_        _Rome_
    "       (_Cheap Popular Edition_) _Casa Humanitas_
  DENMARK   _E. Jespersens_                                 _Copenhagen_
  SPAIN     _Nelson_                                            _Madrid_
  FINLAND   _W. Soderstrom_                                      _Borga_
  HOLLAND   _A.-W. Sijthoff_                                    _Leyden_
  JAPAN     _Hakubankwan Publishing Co._                         _Tokio_
  NORWAY    _E. Jespersens_                                 _Copenhagen_
  SWEDEN    _P.-A. Norstedt et Soner_                        _Stockholm_
  RUSSIA    _J. Maiewsky_                                       _Moscow_

  CHINA     _Christian Literature Society for China_          _Shanghai_
  BOHEMIA   _English Club_                                      _Prague_
  ARABIC    _Al-Hillal Office_                                   _Cairo_
  URDU     }
  HINDI    }
  BENGALI  }_Brooks_                                            _Madras_
  TAMIL    }

  The Knickerbocker Press, New York


If this, the fourth American edition, is bulkier than its predecessors,
it is chiefly because the events of the last two years throw an
interesting light upon the bearing of the book's main thesis on actual
world problems. I have, therefore, added an appendix dealing with
certain criticisms based upon the nature of the first Balkan War, in the
course of which I attempt to show just how the principles elaborated
here have been working out in European politics.

That American interest in the problems here discussed is hardly less
vital than that of Europe I am even more persuaded than when the first
American edition of this book was issued in 1910. It is certain that
opinion in America will not be equipped for dealing with her own
problems arising out of her relations with the Spanish American states,
with Japan, with the Philippines, unless it has some fair understanding
of the principles with which this book deals. Its general interest even
goes farther than this: no great community like that of modern America
can remain indifferent to the drift of general opinion throughout the
world on matters wrapped up with issues so important as those of war and

That the tangible commercial and business interests of America are
involved in these European events is obvious from the very factors of
financial and commercial interdependence which form the basis of the

That the interests of Americans are inextricably, if indirectly, bound
up with those of Europe, has become increasingly clear as can be proved
by the barest investigation of the trend of political thought in this

The thesis on its economic side is discussed in terms of the gravest
problem which now faces European statesmanship, but these terms are also
the living symbols of a principle of universal application, as true with
reference to American conditions as to European. If I have not
"localized" the discussion by using illustrations drawn from purely
American cases, it is because these problems have not at present, in the
United States, reached the acute stage that they have in Europe, and
illustrations drawn from the conditions of an actual and pressing
problem give to any discussion a reality which to some extent it might
lose if discussed on the basis of more supposititious cases.

It so happens, however, that in the more abstract section of the
discussion embraced in the second part, which I have termed the "Human
Nature of the Case," I have gone mainly to American authors for the
statement of cases based on those illusions with which the book deals.

For this edition I have thought it worth while thoroughly to revise the
whole of the book and to re-write the chapter on the payment of the
French Indemnity, in order to clear up a misunderstanding to which in
its first form it gave rise. Part III has also been re-written, in order
to meet the changed form of criticism which has resulted from the
discussion of this subject during the last year or two.

It is with very great regret that I have seen this book grow in bulk;
but as it constitutes the statement of a thesis still revolutionary, it
has to cover the whole ground of the discussion, sometimes in great
detail. I have, however, adopted an arrangement and method of
presentation by which, I trust, the increase in bulk will not render it
less clear. The general arrangement is as follows:

The Synopsis is a very brief indication of the scope of the whole
argument, which is not that war is impossible, but that it is
futile--useless, even when completely victorious, as a means of securing
those moral or material ends which represent the needs of modern
civilized peoples; and that on a general realization of this truth
depends the solution of the problem of armaments and warfare.

The general economic argument is summarized in Chapter III., Part I.

The moral, psychological, and biological argument is summarized in
Chapter II., Part II.

The practical outcome--what should be our policy with reference to
defence, why progress depends upon the improvement of public opinion and
the best general methods of securing that--is discussed in Part III.

This method of treatment has involved some small repetition of fact
and illustration, but the repetition is trifling in bulk--it does not
amount in all to the value of more than three or four pages--and I have
been more concerned to make the matter in hand clear to the reader than
to observe all the literary canons. I may add that, apart from this, the
process of condensation has been carried to its extreme limit for the
character of data dealt with, and that those who desire to understand
thoroughly the significance of the thesis with which the book deals--it
is worth understanding--had really better read every line of it!

One personal word may perhaps be excused as explaining certain
phraseology, which would seem to indicate that the author is of English
nationality. He happens to be of English birth, but to have passed his
youth and early manhood in the United States, having acquired American
citizenship there. This I hope entitles him to use the collective "we"
on both sides of the Atlantic. I may add that the last fifteen years
have been passed mainly in Europe studying at first hand the problems
here dealt with.

  LONDON, October, 1913.


The present volume is the outcome of a large pamphlet published in
Europe at the end of last year entitled _Europe's Optical Illusion_. The
interest that the pamphlet created and the character of the discussion
provoked throughout Europe persuaded me that its subject-matter was
worth fuller and more detailed treatment than then given it. Herewith
the result of that conviction. The thesis on its economic side is
discussed in the terms of the gravest problem which now faces European
statesmanship, but these terms are also the living symbols of a
principle of universal application, as true with reference to American
conditions as to European. If I have not "localized" the discussion by
using illustrations drawn from purely American cases, it is because
these problems have not at present in the United States reached the
acute stage that they have in Europe, and illustrations drawn from the
conditions of an actual and pressing problem give to any discussion a
reality which to some extent it might lose if discussed on the basis of
more suppositious cases.

It so happens, however, that in the more abstract section of the
discussion embraced in the second part, which I have termed the "Human
Nature of the Case," I have gone mainly to American authors for the
statement of cases based on those illusions with which the book deals.

  PARIS, August, 1910.


What are the fundamental motives that explain the present rivalry of
armaments in Europe, notably the Anglo-German? Each nation pleads the
need for defence; but this implies that someone is likely to attack, and
has therefore a presumed interest in so doing. What are the motives
which each State thus fears its neighbors may obey?

They are based on the universal assumption that a nation, in order to
find outlets for expanding population and increasing industry, or simply
to ensure the best conditions possible for its people, is necessarily
pushed to territorial expansion and the exercise of political force
against others (German naval competition is assumed to be the expression
of the growing need of an expanding population for a larger place in the
world, a need which will find a realization in the conquest of English
Colonies or trade, unless these are defended); it is assumed, therefore,
that a nation's relative prosperity is broadly determined by its
political power; that nations being competing units, advantage, in the
last resort, goes to the possessor of preponderant military force, the
weaker going to the wall, as in the other forms of the struggle for

The author challenges this whole doctrine. He attempts to show that it
belongs to a stage of development out of which we have passed; that the
commerce and industry of a people no longer depend upon the expansion of
its political frontiers; that a nation's political and economic
frontiers do not now necessarily coincide; that military power is
socially and economically futile, and can have no relation to the
prosperity of the people exercising it; that it is impossible for one
nation to seize by force the wealth or trade of another--to enrich
itself by subjugating, or imposing its will by force on another; that,
in short, war, even when victorious, can no longer achieve those aims
for which peoples strive.

He establishes this apparent paradox, in so far as the economic problem
is concerned, by showing that wealth in the economically civilized world
is founded upon credit and commercial contract (these being the
outgrowth of an economic interdependence due to the increasing division
of labor and greatly developed communication). If credit and commercial
contract are tampered with in an attempt at confiscation, the
credit-dependent wealth is undermined, and its collapse involves that of
the conqueror; so that if conquest is not to be self-injurious it must
respect the enemy's property, in which case it becomes economically
futile. Thus the wealth of conquered territory remains in the hands of
the population of such territory. When Germany annexed Alsatia, no
individual German secured a single mark's worth of Alsatian property as
the spoils of war. Conquest in the modern world is a process of
multiplying by _x_, and then obtaining the original figure by dividing
by _x_. For a modern nation to add to its territory no more adds to the
wealth of the people of such nation than it would add to the wealth of
Londoners if the City of London were to annex the county of Hertford.

The author also shows that international finance has become so
interdependent and so interwoven with trade and industry that the
intangibility of an enemy's property extends to his trade. It results
that political and military power can in reality do nothing for trade;
the individual merchants and manufacturers of small nations, exercising
no such power, compete successfully with those of the great. Swiss and
Belgian merchants drive English from the British Colonial market; Norway
has, relatively to population, a greater mercantile marine than Great
Britain; the public credit (as a rough-and-ready indication, among
others, of security and wealth) of small States possessing no political
power often stands higher than that of the Great Powers of Europe,
Belgian Three per Cents. standing at 96, and German at 82; Norwegian
Three and a Half per Cents. at 102, and Russian Three and a Half per
Cents. at 81.

The forces which have brought about the economic futility of military
power have also rendered it futile as a means of enforcing a nation's
moral ideals or imposing social institutions upon a conquered people.
Germany could not turn Canada or Australia into German colonies--_i.e._,
stamp out their language, law, literature, traditions, etc.--by
"capturing" them. The necessary security in their material possessions
enjoyed by the inhabitants of such conquered provinces, quick
inter-communication by a cheap press, widely-read literature, enable
even small communities to become articulate and effectively to defend
their special social or moral possessions, even when military conquest
has been complete. The fight for ideals can no longer take the form of
fight between nations, because the lines of division on moral questions
are within the nations themselves and intersect the political frontiers.
There is no modern State which is completely Catholic or Protestant, or
liberal or autocratic, or aristocratic or democratic, or socialist or
individualist; the moral and spiritual struggles of the modern world go
on between citizens of the same State in unconscious intellectual
co-operation with corresponding groups in other States, not between the
public powers of rival States.

This classification by strata involves necessarily a redirection of
human pugnacity, based rather on the rivalry of classes and interests
than on State divisions. War has no longer the justification that it
makes for the survival of the fittest; it involves the survival of the
less fit. The idea that the struggle between nations is a part of the
evolutionary law of man's advance involves a profound misreading of the
biological analogy.

The warlike nations do not inherit the earth; they represent the
decaying human element. The diminishing rôle of physical force in all
spheres of human activity carries with it profound psychological

These tendencies, mainly the outcome of purely modern conditions (_e.g._
rapidity of communication), have rendered the problems of modern
international politics profoundly and essentially different from the
ancient; yet our ideas are still dominated by the principles and axioms,
images and terminology of the bygone days.

The author urges that these little-recognized facts may be utilized for
the solution of the armament difficulty on at present untried lines--by
such modification of opinion in Europe that much of the present motive
to aggression will cease to be operative, and by thus diminishing the
risk of attack, diminishing to the same extent the need for defence. He
shows how such a political reformation is within the scope of practical
politics, and the methods which should be employed to bring it about.




  CHAPTER                                                   PAGE
    II. THE AXIOMS OF MODERN STATECRAFT                       14
   III. THE GREAT ILLUSION                                    28
    IV. THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF CONFISCATION                     50
     V. FOREIGN TRADE AND MILITARY POWER                      68
    VI. THE INDEMNITY FUTILITY                                88
   VII. HOW COLONIES ARE OWNED                               107
  VIII. THE FIGHT FOR "THE PLACE IN THE SUN."                131



     I. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CASE FOR WAR                       155
    II. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CASE FOR PEACE                     168
   III. UNCHANGING HUMAN NATURE                              198
            PSYCHOLOGICAL RESULTS                            261
            AND ITS CONSEQUENCES                             296



    II. ARMAMENT, BUT NOT ALONE ARMAMENT                     341
    IV. METHODS                                              368

        APPENDIX ON RECENT EVENTS IN EUROPE                  383

       *       *       *       *       *



  CHAPTER I                                                      PAGES

    Where can the Anglo-German rivalry of armaments
    end?--Why peace advocacy fails--Why it deserves
    to fail--The attitude of the peace advocate--The
    presumption that the prosperity of nations depends
    upon their political power, and consequent
    necessity of protection against aggression of
    other nations who would diminish our power to
    their advantage--These the universal axioms of
    international politics                                        3-13


    Are the foregoing axioms unchallengeable?--Some typical
    statements of them--German dreams of conquest--Mr.
    Frederic Harrison on results of defeat of British arms
    and invasion of England--Forty millions starving             14-27


    These views founded on a gross and dangerous
    misconception--What a German victory could and could not
    accomplish--What an English victory could and could not
    accomplish--The optical illusion of conquest--There can
    be no transfer of wealth--The prosperity of the little
    States in Europe--German Three per Cents. at 82 and
    Belgian at 96--Russian Three and a Half per Cents. at
    81, Norwegian at 102--What this really means--If Germany
    annexed Holland, would any German benefit or any
    Hollander?--The "cash value" of Alsace-Lorraine              28-49


    Our present terminology of international politics an
    historical survival--Wherein modern conditions differ
    from ancient--The profound change effected by Division
    of Labor--The delicate interdependence of international
    finance--Attila and the Kaiser--What would happen if a
    German invader looted the Bank of England--German trade
    dependent upon English credit--Confiscation of an
    enemy's property an economic impossibility under modern
    conditions--Intangibility of a community's wealth            50-67


    Why trade cannot be destroyed or captured by a military
    Power--What the processes of trade really are, and how a
    navy affects them--_Dreadnoughts_ and business--While
    _Dreadnoughts_ protect British trade from hypothetical
    German warships, the real German merchant is carrying it
    off, or the Swiss or the Belgian--The "commercial
    aggression" of Switzerland--What lies at the bottom of
    the futility of military conquest--Government brigandage
    becomes as profitless as private brigandage--The real
    basis of commercial honesty on the part of Government        68-87


    The real balance-sheet of the Franco-German War--Disregard
    of Sir Robert Giffen's warning in interpreting the
    figures--What really happened in France and Germany
    during the decade following the war--Bismarck's
    disillusionment--The necessary discount to be given an
    indemnity--The bearing of the war and its result on
    German prosperity and progress                              88-106


    Why twentieth-century methods must differ from
    eighteenth--The vagueness of our conceptions
    of statecraft--How Colonies are "owned"--Some
    little-recognized facts--Why foreigners could not
    fight England for her self-governing Colonies--She
    does not "own" them, since they are masters of their
    own destiny--The paradox of conquest: England in a
    worse position in regard to her own Colonies than in
    regard to foreign nations--Her experience as the oldest
    and most practised colonizer in history--Recent French
    experience--Could Germany hope to do what England
    cannot do                                                  107-130


    How Germany really expands--Where her real Colonies
    are--How she exploits without conquest--What is the
    difference between an army and a police force?--The
    policing of the world--Germany's share of it in the
    Near East                                                  131-151




    The non-economic motives of war--Moral and
    psychological--The importance of these pleas--English,
    German, and American exponents--The biological plea        155-167


    The shifting ground of pro-war arguments--The narrowing
    gulf between the material and moral ideals--The non-rational
    causes of war--False biological analogies--The real law
    of man's struggles: struggle with Nature, not with other
    men--Outline sketch of man's advance and main operating
    factor therein--The progress towards elimination of
    physical force--Co-operation across frontiers and its
    psychological result--Impossible to fix limits of
    community--Such limits irresistibly expanding--Break-up
    of State homogeneity--State limits no longer coinciding
    with real conflicts between men                            168-197


    The progress from cannibalism to Herbert Spencer--The
    disappearance of religious oppression by
    Government--Disappearance of the duel--The Crusaders
    and the Holy Sepulchre--The wail of militarist writers
    at man's drift away from militancy                         198-221


    The confident dogmatism of militarist writers on this
    subject--The facts--The lessons of Spanish America--How
    conquest makes for the survival of the unfit--Spanish
    method and English method in the New World--The virtues
    of military training--The Dreyfus case--The threatened
    Germanization of England--"The war which made Germany
    great and Germans small"                                   222-260


    Diminishing factor of physical force--Though diminishing,
    physical force has always had an important rôle in human
    affairs--What is underlying principle, determining
    advantageous and disadvantageous use of physical
    force?--Force that aids co-operation in accord with
    law of man's advance: force that is exercised for
    parasitism in conflict with such law and disadvantageous
    for both parties--Historical process of the abandonment
    of physical force--The Khan and the London
    tradesman--Ancient Rome and modern Britain--The
    sentimental defence of war as the purifier of human
    life--The facts--The redirection of human pugnacity        261-295


    Why aggression upon a State does not correspond to
    aggression upon an individual--Our changing conception
    of collective responsibility--Psychological progress in
    this connection--Recent growth of factors breaking down
    the homogeneous personality of States                      296-325




    Necessity for defence arises from the existence of a motive
    for attack--Platitudes that everyone overlooks--To
    attenuate the motive for aggression is to undertake a
    work of defence                                            329-340


    Not the facts, but men's belief about facts, shapes their
    conduct--Solving a problem of two factors by ignoring
    one--The fatal outcome of such a method--The German Navy
    as a "luxury"--If both sides concentrate on armament
    alone                                                      341-352


    Men are little disposed to listen to reason, "therefore
    we should not talk reason"--Are men's ideas immutable?     353-367


    Relative failure of Hague Conferences and the cause--Public
    opinion the necessary motive force of national action--That
    opinion only stable if informed--"Friendship" between
    nations and its limitations--America's rôle in the coming
    "Political Reformation"                                    368-382

  APPENDIX ON RECENT EVENTS IN EUROPE                          383-406

  INDEX                                                        407-416





    Where can the Anglo-German rivalry of armaments end?--Why peace
    advocacy fails--Why it deserves to fail--The attitude of the peace
    advocate--The presumption that the prosperity of nations depends
    upon their political power, and consequent necessity of protection
    against aggression of other nations who would diminish our power
    to their advantage--These the universal axioms of international

It is generally admitted that the present rivalry in armaments in
Europe--notably such as that now in progress between England and
Germany--cannot go on in its present form indefinitely. The net result
of each side meeting the efforts of the other with similar efforts is
that at the end of a given period the relative position of each is what
it was originally, and the enormous sacrifices of both have gone for
nothing. If as between England and Germany it is claimed that England is
in a position to maintain the lead because she has the money, Germany
can retort that she is in a position to maintain the lead because she
has the population, which must, in the case of a highly organized
European nation, in the end mean money. Meanwhile, neither side can
yield to the other, as the one so doing would, it is felt, be placed at
the mercy of the other, a situation which neither will accept.

There are two current solutions which are offered as a means of egress
from this _impasse_. There is that of the smaller party, regarded in
both countries for the most part as one of dreamers and doctrinaires,
who hope to solve the problem by a resort to general disarmament, or, at
least, a limitation of armament by agreement. And there is that of the
larger, which is esteemed the more practical party, of those who are
persuaded that the present state of rivalry and recurrent irritation is
bound to culminate in an armed conflict, which, by definitely reducing
one or other of the parties to a position of manifest inferiority, will
settle the thing for at least some time, until after a longer or shorter
period a state of relative equilibrium is established, and the whole
process will be recommenced _da capo_.

This second solution is, on the whole, accepted as one of the laws of
life: one of the hard facts of existence which men of ordinary courage
take as all in the day's work. And in every country those favoring the
other solution are looked upon either as people who fail to realize the
hard facts of the world in which they live, or as people less concerned
with the security of their country than with upholding a somewhat
emasculate ideal; ready to weaken the defences of their own country on
no better assurance than that the prospective enemy will not be so
wicked as to attack them.

To this the virile man is apt to oppose the law of conflict. Most of
what the nineteenth century has taught us of the evolution of life on
the planet is pressed into the service of this struggle-for-life
philosophy. We are reminded of the survival of the fittest, that the
weakest go to the wall, and that all life, sentient and non-sentient, is
but a life of battle. The sacrifice involved in armament is the price
which nations pay for their safety and for their political power. The
power of England has been the main condition of her past industrial
success; her trade has been extensive and her merchants rich, because
she has been able to make her political and military force felt, and to
exercise her influence among all the nations of the world. If she has
dominated the commerce of the world, it is because her unconquered navy
has dominated, and continues to dominate, all the avenues of commerce.
This is the currently accepted argument.

The fact that Germany has of late come to the front as an industrial
nation, making giant strides in general prosperity and well-being, is
deemed also to be the result of _her_ military successes and the
increasing political power which she is coming to exercise in
Continental Europe. These things, alike in England and in Germany, are
accepted as the axioms of the problem, as the citations given in the
next chapter sufficiently prove. I am not aware that a single authority
of note, at least in the world of workaday politics, has ever challenged
or disputed them. Even those who have occupied prominent positions in
the propaganda of peace are at one with the veriest fire-eaters on this
point. Mr. W.T. Stead was one of the leaders of the big navy party in
England. Mr. Frederic Harrison, who all his life had been known as the
philosopher protagonist of peace, declared recently that, if England
allowed Germany to get ahead of her in the race for armaments, "famine,
social anarchy, incalculable chaos in the industrial and financial
world, would be the inevitable result. Britain may live on ... but
before she began to live freely again she would have to lose half her
population, which she could not feed, and all her overseas Empire, which
she could not defend.... How idle are fine words about retrenchment,
peace, and brotherhood, whilst we lie open to the risk of unutterable
ruin, to a deadly fight for national existence, to war in its most
destructive and cruel form." On the other side we have friendly critics
of England, like Professor von Schulze-Gaevernitz, writing: "We want our
[_i.e._ Germany's] navy in order to confine the commercial rivalry of
England within innocuous limits, and to deter the sober sense of the
English people from the extremely threatening thought of attack upon
us.... The German navy is a condition of our bare existence and
independence, like the daily bread on which we depend not only for
ourselves, but for our children."

Confronted by a situation of this sort, one is bound to feel that the
ordinary argument of the pacifist entirely breaks down; and it breaks
down for a very simple reason. He himself accepts the premise which has
just been indicated--viz., that the victorious party in the struggle for
political predominance gains some material advantage over the party
which is conquered. The proposition even to the pacifist seems so
self-evident that he makes no effort to combat it. He pleads his case
otherwise. "It cannot be denied, of course," says one peace advocate,
"that the thief _does_ secure some material advantage by his theft. What
we plead is that if the two parties were to devote to honest labor the
time and energy devoted to preying upon each other, the permanent gain
would more than offset the occasional booty."

Some pacifists go further, and take the ground that there is a conflict
between the natural law and the moral law, and that we must choose the
moral even to our hurt. Thus Mr. Edward Grubb writes:

     Self-preservation is not the final law for nations any more
     than for individuals.... The progress of humanity may demand
     the extinction (in this world) of the individual, and it may
     demand also the example and the inspiration of a martyr nation.
     So long as the Divine providence has need of us, Christian
     faith requires that we shall trust for our safety to the unseen
     but real forces of right dealing, truthfulness, and love; but,
     should the will of God demand it, we must be prepared, as
     Jeremiah taught his nation long ago, to give up even our
     national life for furthering those great ends "to which the
     whole creation moves."

     This may be "fanaticism," but, if so, it is the fanaticism of
     Christ and of the prophets, and we are willing to take our
     places along with them.[1]

The foregoing is really the keynote of much pacifist propaganda. In our
own day, Count Tolstoi has even expressed anger at the suggestion that
any reaction against militarism, on other than moral grounds, can be

The peace advocate pleads for "altruism" in international relationships,
and in so doing admits that successful war may be to the interest,
though the immoral interest, of the victorious party. That is why the
"inhumanity" of war bulks so largely in his propaganda, and why he
dwells so much upon its horrors and cruelties.

It thus results that the workaday world and those engaged in the rough
and tumble of practical politics have come to look upon the peace ideal
as a counsel of perfection, which may one day be attained when human
nature, as the common phrase is, has been improved out of existence, but
not while human nature remains what it is. While it remains possible to
seize a tangible advantage by a man's strong right arm the advantage
will be seized, and woe betide the man who cannot defend himself.

Nor is this philosophy of force either as conscienceless, as brutal, or
as ruthless as its common statement would make it appear. We know that
in the world as it exists to-day, in spheres other than those of
international rivalry, the race is to the strong, and the weak get
scant consideration. Industrialism and commercialism are as full of
cruelties as war itself--cruelties, indeed, that are longer drawn out,
more refined, though less apparent, and, it may be, appealing less to
the common imagination than those of war. With whatever reticence we may
put the philosophy into words, we all feel that conflict of interests in
this world is inevitable, and that what is an incident of our daily
lives should not be shirked as a condition of those occasional titanic
conflicts which mould the history of the world.

The virile man doubts whether he ought to be moved by the plea of the
"inhumanity" of war. The masculine mind accepts suffering, death itself,
as a risk which we are all prepared to run even in the most unheroic
forms of money-making; none of us refuses to use the railway train
because of the occasional smash, to travel because of the occasional
shipwreck, and so on. Indeed, peaceful industry demands a heavier toll
even in blood than does a war, fact which the casualty statistics in
railroading, fishing, mining and seamanship, eloquently attest; while
such peaceful industries as fishing and shipping are the cause of as
much brutality.[2] The peaceful administration of the tropics takes as
heavy a toll in the health and lives of good men, and much of it, as in
the West of Africa, involves, unhappily, a moral deterioration of human
character as great as that which can be put to the account of war.

Beside these peace sacrifices the "price of war" is trivial, and it is
felt that the trustees of a nation's interests ought not to shrink from
paying that price should the efficient protection of those interests
demand it. If the common man is prepared, as we know he is, to risk his
life in a dozen dangerous trades and professions for no object higher
than that of improving his position or increasing his income, why should
the statesman shrink from such sacrifices as the average war demands, if
thereby the great interests which have been confided to him can be
advanced? If it be true, as even the pacifist admits that it may be
true, that the tangible material interests of a nation can be advanced
by warfare; if, in other words, warfare can play some large part in the
protection of the interests of humanity, the rulers of a courageous
people are justified in disregarding the suffering and the sacrifice
that it may involve.

Of course, the pacifist falls back upon the moral plea: we have no
right to take by force. But here again the common sense of ordinary
humanity does not follow the peace advocate. If the individual
manufacturer is entitled to use all the advantages which great financial
and industrial resources may give him against a less powerful
competitor, if he is entitled, as under our present industrial scheme he
is entitled, to overcome competition by a costly and perfected
organization of manufacture, of advertisement, of salesmanship, in a
trade in which poorer men gain their livelihood, why should not the
nation be entitled to overcome the rivalry of other nations by utilizing
the force of its public services? It is a commonplace of industrial
competition that the "big man" takes advantage of _all_ the weaknesses
of the small man--his narrow means, his ill-health even--to undermine
and to undersell. If it were true that industrial competition were
always merciful, and national or political competition always cruel, the
plea of the peace man might be unanswerable; but we know, as a matter of
fact, that this is not the case, and, returning to our starting-point,
the common man feels that he is obliged to accept the world as he finds
it, that struggle and warfare, in one form or another, are among the
conditions of life, conditions which he did not make. Moreover he is not
at all sure that the warfare of arms is necessarily either the hardest
or the most cruel form of that struggle which exists throughout the
universe. In any case, he is willing to take the risks, because he feels
that military predominance gives him a real and tangible advantage, a
material advantage translatable into terms of general social well-being,
by enlarged commercial opportunities, wider markets, protection against
the aggression of commercial rivals, and so on. He faces the risk of war
in the same spirit as that in which a sailor or a fisherman faces the
risk of drowning, or a miner that of the choke damp, or a doctor that of
a fatal disease, because he would rather take the supreme risk than
accept for himself and his dependents a lower situation, a narrower and
meaner existence, with complete safety. He also asks whether the lower
path is altogether free from risks. If he knows much of life he knows
that in very many circumstances the bolder way is the safer way.

That is why it is that the peace propaganda has so signally failed, and
why the public opinion of the countries of Europe, far from restraining
the tendency of their Governments to increase armaments, is pushing them
into still greater expenditure. It is universally assumed that national
power means national wealth, national advantage; that expanding
territory means increased opportunity for industry; that the strong
nation can guarantee opportunities for its citizens that the weak nation
cannot. The Englishman, for instance, believes that his wealth is
largely the result of his political power, of his political domination,
mainly of his sea power; that Germany with her expanding population must
feel cramped; that she must fight for elbow-room; and that if he does
not defend himself he will illustrate that universal law which makes of
every stomach a graveyard. He has a natural preference for being the
diner rather than the dinner. As it is universally admitted that wealth
and prosperity and well-being go with strength and power and national
greatness, he intends, so long as he is able, to maintain that strength
and power and greatness, and not to yield it even in the name of
altruism. And he will not yield it, because should he do so it would be
simply to replace British power and greatness by the power and greatness
of some other nation, which he feels sure would do no more for the
well-being of civilization as a whole than he is prepared to do. He is
persuaded that he can no more yield in the competition of armaments,
than as a business man or as a manufacturer he could yield in commercial
competition to his rival; that he must fight out his salvation under
conditions as he finds them, since he did not make them, and since he
cannot change them.

Admitting his premises--and these premises are the universally accepted
axioms of international politics the world over--who shall say that he
is wrong?



    Are the foregoing axioms unchallengeable?--Some typical statements
    of them--German dreams of conquest--Mr. Frederic Harrison on
    results of defeat of British arms and invasion of England--Forty
    millions starving.

Are the axioms set out in the last chapter unchallengeable?

Is it true that the wealth, prosperity and well-being of a nation depend
upon its military power, or have necessarily anything whatever to do

Can one civilized nation gain moral or material advantage by the
military conquest of another?

Does conquered territory add to the wealth of the conquering nation?

Is it possible for a nation to "own" the territory of another in the way
that a person or corporation would "own" an estate?

Could Germany "take" English trade and Colonies by military force?

Could she turn English Colonies into German ones, and win an overseas
empire by the sword, as England won hers in the past?

Does a modern nation need to expand its political boundaries in order
to provide for increasing population?

If England could conquer Germany to-morrow, completely conquer her,
reduce her nationality to so much dust, would the ordinary British
subject be the better for it?

If Germany could conquer England, would any ordinary German subject be
the better for it?

The fact that all these questions have to be answered in the negative,
and that a negative answer seems to outrage common sense, shows how much
our political axioms are in need of revision.

The literature on the subject leaves no doubt whatever that I have
correctly stated the premises of the matter in the foregoing chapter.
Those whose special vocation is the philosophy of statecraft in the
international field, from Aristotle and Plato, passing by Machiavelli
and Clausewitz down to Mr. Roosevelt and the German Emperor, have left
us in no doubt whatever on the point. The whole view has been admirably
summarized by two notable writers--Admiral Mahan, on the Anglo-Saxon
side, and Baron Karl von Stengel (second German delegate to the First
Hague Conference) on the German. Admiral Mahan says:

     The old predatory instinct that he should take who has the
     power survives ... and moral force is not sufficient to
     determine issues unless supported by physical. Governments are
     corporations, and corporations have no souls; governments,
     moreover, are trustees, and as such must put first the lawful
     interests of their wards--their own people.... More and more
     Germany needs the assured importation of raw materials, and,
     where possible, control of regions productive of such
     materials. More and more she requires assured markets and
     security as to the importation of food, since less and less
     comparatively is produced within her own borders by her rapidly
     increasing population. This all means security at sea.... Yet
     the supremacy of Great Britain in European seas means a
     perpetually latent control of German commerce.... The world has
     long been accustomed to the idea of a predominant naval power,
     coupling it with the name of Great Britain, and it has been
     noted that such power, when achieved, is commonly often
     associated with commercial and industrial predominance, the
     struggle for which is now in progress between Great Britain and
     Germany. Such predominance forces a nation to seek markets,
     and, where possible, to control them to its own advantage by
     preponderant force, the ultimate expression of which is
     possession.... From this flow two results: the attempt to
     possess and the organization of force by which to maintain
     possession already achieved.... This statement is simply a
     specific formulation of the general necessity stated; it is an
     inevitable link in the chain of logical sequences--industrial
     markets, control, navy bases....[3]

But in order to show that this is no special view, and that this
philosophy does indeed represent the general public opinion of Europe,
the opinion of the great mass which prompts the actions of Governments
and explains their respective policies, I take the following from the
current newspapers and reviews ready to my hand:

     It is the prowess of our navy ... our dominant position
     at sea ... which has built up the British Empire and its
     commerce.--London _Times_ leading article.

     Because her commerce is infinitely vulnerable, and because her
     people are dependent upon that commerce for food and the wages
     with which to buy it.... Britain wants a powerful fleet, a
     perfect organization behind the fleet, and an army of defence.
     Until they are provided this country will exist under perpetual
     menace from the growing fleet of German _Dreadnoughts_, which
     have made the North Sea their parade-ground. All security will
     disappear, and British commerce and industry, when no man knows
     what the morrow will bring forth, must rapidly decline, thus
     accentuating British national degeneracy and decadence.--H.W.
     Wilson in the _National Review_, May, 1909.

     Sea-power is the last fact which stands between Germany and the
     supreme position in international commerce. At present Germany
     sends only some fifty million pounds worth, or about a seventh,
     of her total domestic produce to the markets of the world
     outside Europe and the United States.... Does any man who
     understands the subject think there is any power in Germany,
     or, indeed, any power in the world, which can prevent Germany,
     she having thus accomplished the first stage of her work, from
     now closing with Great Britain for her ultimate share of this
     240 millions of overseas trade? Here it is that we unmask the
     shadow which looms like a real presence behind all the moves of
     present-day diplomacy, and behind all the colossal armaments
     that indicate the present preparations for a new struggle for
     sea-power.--Mr. Benjamin Kidd in the _Fortnightly Review_,
     April 1, 1910.

     It is idle to talk of "limitation of armaments" unless the
     nations of the earth will unanimously consent to lay aside all
     selfish ambitions.... Nations, like individuals, concern
     themselves chiefly with their own interests, and when these
     clash with those of others, quarrels are apt to follow. If the
     aggrieved party is the weaker he usually goes to the wall,
     though "right" be never so much on his side; and the stronger,
     whether he be the aggressor or not, usually has his own way. In
     international politics charity begins at home, and quite
     properly; the duty of a statesman is to think first of the
     interests of his own country.--_United Service Magazine_, May,

     Why should Germany attack Britain? Because Germany and Britain
     are commercial and political rivals; because Germany covets
     the trade, the colonies, and the Empire which Britain now
     possesses.--Robert Blatchford, "Germany and England," p. 4.

     Great Britain, with her present population, exists by virtue of
     her foreign trade and her control of the carrying trade of the
     world; defeat in war would mean the transference of both to
     other hands and consequent starvation for a large percentage of
     the wage-earners.--T.G. Martin in the London _World_.

     We offer an enormously rich prize if we are not able to defend
     out shores; we may be perfectly certain that the prize which we
     offer will go into the mouth of somebody powerful enough to
     overcome our resistance and to swallow a considerable portion
     of us up.--The Speaker of the House of Commons in a speech at
     Greystoke, reported by the London _Times_.

     What is good for the beehive is good for the bee. Whatever
     brings rich lands, new ports, or wealthy industrial areas to a
     State enriches its treasury, and therefore the nation at large,
     and therefore the individual.--Mr. Douglas Owen in a letter to
     the _Economist_, May 28, 1910.

     Do not forget that in war there is no such thing as
     international law, and that undefended wealth will be seized
     wherever it is exposed, whether through the broken pane of a
     jeweller's window or owing to the obsession of a humanitarian
     Celt.--London _Referee_, November 14, 1909.

     We appear to have forgotten the fundamental truth--confirmed by
     all history--that the warlike races inherit the earth, and that
     Nature decrees the survival of the fittest in the never-ending
     struggle for existence.... Our yearning for disarmament, our
     respect for the tender plant of Non-conformist conscience, and
     the parrot-like repetition of the misleading formula that the
     "greatest of all British interests is peace" ... must
     inevitably give to any people who covet our wealth and our
     possessions ... the ambition to strike a swift and deadly blow
     at the heart of the Empire--undefended London.--_Blackwood's
     Magazine_, May, 1909.

These are taken from English sources, but there is not a straw to choose
between them and other European opinion on the subject.

Admiral Mahan and the other Anglo-Saxons of his school have their
counterpart in every European country, but more especially in Germany.
Even so "Liberal" a statesman as Baron Karl von Stengel, the German
delegate to the First Hague Peace Conference, lays it down in his book

     Every great Power must employ its efforts towards exercising
     the largest influence possible, not only in European but in
     world politics, and this mainly because economic power depends
     in the last resort on political power, and because the largest
     participation possible in the trade of the world is a vital
     question for every nation.

The writings of such classic authorities as Clausewitz give full
confirmation of this view, while it is the resounding note of most
popular German political literature that deals with "Weltpolitik." Grand
Admiral von Koster, President of the Navy League, writes:

     The steady increase of our population compels us to devote
     special attention to the growth of our overseas interests.
     Nothing but the strong fulfilment of our naval programme can
     create for us that importance upon the free-world-sea which it
     is incumbent upon us to demand. The steady increase of our
     population compels us to set ourselves new goals and to grow
     from a Continental into a world power. Our mighty industry must
     aspire to new overseas conquests. Our world trade--which has
     more than doubled in twenty years, which has increased from
     2500 million dollars to 4000 million dollars during the ten
     years in which our naval programme was fixed, and 3000 million
     dollars of which is sea-borne commerce--only can flourish if we
     continue honorably to bear the burdens of our armaments on
     land and sea alike. Unless our children are to accuse us of
     short-sightedness, it is now our duty to secure our world power
     and position among other nations. We can do that only under the
     protection of a strong German fleet, a fleet which shall
     guarantee us peace with honor for the distant future.

One popular German writer sees the possibility of "overthrowing the
British Empire" and "wiping it from the map of the world in less than
twenty-four hours." (I quote his actual words, and I have heard a
parallel utterance from the mouth of a serious English public man.) The
author in question, in order to show how the thing could come about,
deals with the matter prophetically. Writing from the standpoint of
1911,[4] he admits that--

     At the beginning of the twentieth century Great Britain was a
     free, a rich, and a happy country, in which every citizen, from
     the Prime Minister to the dock-laborer, was proud to be a
     member of the world-ruling nation. At the head of the State
     were men possessing a general mandate to carry out their
     programme of government, whose actions were subject to the
     criticism of public opinion, represented by an independent
     Press. Educated for centuries in self-government, a race had
     grown up which seemed born to rule. The highest triumphs
     attended England's skill in the art of government, in her
     handling of subject peoples.... And this immense Empire, which
     stretched from the Cape to Cairo, over the southern half of
     Asia, over half of North America and the fifth continent, could
     be wiped from the map of the world in less than twenty-four
     hours! This apparently inexplicable fact will be intelligible
     if we keep in sight the circumstances which rendered possible
     the building up of England's colonial power. The true basis of
     her world supremacy was not her own strength, but the maritime
     weakness of all the other European nations. Their almost
     complete lack of naval preparations had given the English a
     position of monopoly which was used by them for the annexation
     of all those dominions which seemed of value. Had it been in
     England's power to keep the rest of the world as it was in the
     nineteenth century, the British Empire might have continued for
     an unlimited time. The awakening of the Continental States to
     their national possibilities and to political independence
     introduced quite new factors into Weltpolitik, and it was only
     a question of time as to how long England could maintain her
     position in the face of the changed circumstances.

And the writer tells how the trick was done, thanks to a fog, efficient
espionage, the bursting of the English war balloon, and the success of
the German one in dropping shells at the correct tactical moment on to
the British ships in the North Sea:

     This war, which was decided by a naval battle lasting a single
     hour, was of only three weeks' duration--hunger forced England
     into peace. In her conditions Germany showed a wise moderation.
     In addition to a war indemnity in accordance with the wealth of
     the two conquered States, she contented herself with the
     acquisition of the African Colonies, with the exception of the
     southern States, which had proclaimed their independence, and
     these possessions were divided with the other two powers of the
     Triple Alliance. Nevertheless, this war was the end of England.
     A lost battle had sufficed to manifest to the world at large
     the feet of clay on which the dreaded Colossus had stood. In a
     night the British Empire had crumbled altogether; the pillars
     which English diplomacy had erected after years of labour had
     failed at the first test.

A glance at any average Pan-Germanist organ will reveal immediately how
very nearly the foregoing corresponds to a somewhat prevalent type of
political aspiration in Germany. One Pan-Germanist writer says:

     "The future of Germany demands the absorption of
     Austria-Hungary, the Balkan States, and Turkey, with the North
     Sea ports. Her realms will stretch towards the east from Berlin
     to Bagdad, and to Antwerp on the west."

For the moment we are assured there is no immediate intention of seizing
the countries in question, nor is Germany's hand actually ready yet to
catch Belgium and Holland within the net of the Federated Empire.

"But," he says, "all these changes will happen within our epoch," and he
fixes the time when the map of Europe will thus be rearranged as from
twenty to thirty years hence.

Germany, according to the writer, means to fight while she has a penny
left and a man to carry arms, for she is, he says, "face to face with a
crisis which is more serious than even that of Jena."

And, recognizing the position, she is only waiting for the moment she
judges the right one to break in pieces those of her neighbors who work
against her.

France will be her first victim, and she will not wait to be attacked.
She is, indeed, preparing for the moment when the allied Powers attempt
to dictate to her.

Germany, it would seem, has already decided to annex the Grand Duchy of
Luxemburg, and Belgium, incidentally with, of course, Antwerp, and will
add all the northern provinces of France to her possessions, so as to
secure Boulogne and Calais.

All this is to come like a thunderbolt, and Russia, Spain, and the rest
of the Powers friendly to England will not dare to move a finger to aid
her. The possession of the coasts of France and Belgium will dispose of
England's supremacy for ever.

In a book on South Africa entitled "Reisen Erlebnisse und
Beobachtungen," by Dr. F. Bachmar, occurs the passage:

     "My second object in writing this book is that it may happen to
     our children's children to possess that beautiful and unhappy
     land of whose final absorption (_gewinnung_) by our Anglo-Saxon
     cousins I have not the least belief. It may be our lot to unite
     this land with the German Fatherland, to be equally a blessing
     to Germany and South Africa."

The necessity for armament is put in other than fictional form by so
serious a writer as Dr. Gaevernitz, Pro-Rector of the University of
Freiburg. Dr. Schulze-Gaevernitz is not unknown in England, nor is he
imbued with inimical feelings towards her. But he takes the view that
the commercial prosperity of Germany depends upon her political

After having described in an impressive way the astonishing growth of
Germany's trade and commerce, and shown how dangerous a competitor
Germany has become for England, he returns to the old question, and asks
what might happen if England, unable to keep down the inconvenient
upstart by economic means, should, at the eleventh hour, try to knock
him down. Quotations from the _National Review_, the _Observer_, the
_Outlook_, the _Saturday Review_, etc., facilitate the professor's
thesis that this presumption is more than a mere abstract speculation.
Granted that they voice only the sentiments of a small minority, they
are, according to our author, dangerous for Germany in this--that they
point to a feasible and consequently enticing solution. The old peaceful
Free Trade, he says, shows signs of senility. A new and rising
Imperialism is everywhere inclined to throw the weapons of political
warfare into the arena of economic rivalry.

How deeply the danger is felt even by those who sincerely desire peace
and can in no sense be considered Jingoes may be judged by the following
from the pen of Mr. Frederic Harrison. I make no apology for giving the
quotations at some length. In a letter to the London _Times_ he says:

     Whenever our Empire and maritime ascendancy are challenged it
     will be by such an invasion in force as was once designed by
     Philip and Parma, and again by Napoleon. It is this certainty
     which compels me to modify the anti-militarist policy which I
     have consistently maintained for forty years past.... To me now
     it is no question of loss of prestige--no question of the
     shrinkage of the Empire; it is our existence as a foremost
     European Power, and even as a thriving nation.... If ever our
     naval defence were broken through, our Navy overwhelmed or even
     dispersed for a season, and a military occupation of our
     arsenals, docks, and capital were effected, the ruin would be
     such as modern history cannot parallel. It would not be the
     Empire, but Britain, that would be destroyed.... The occupation
     by a foreign invader of our arsenals, docks, cities, and
     capital would be to the Empire what the bursting of the boilers
     would be to a _Dreadnought_. Capital would disappear with the
     destruction of credit.... A catastrophe so appalling cannot be
     left to chance, even if the probabilities against its occurring
     were 50 to 1. But the odds are not 50 to 1. No high authority
     ventures to assert that a successful invasion of our country is
     absolutely impossible if it were assisted by extraordinary
     conditions. And a successful invasion would mean to us the
     total collapse of our Empire, our trade, and, with trade, the
     means of feeding forty millions in these islands. If it is
     asked, "Why does invasion threaten more terrible consequences
     to us than it does to our neighbors?" the answer is that the
     British Empire is an anomalous structure, without any real
     parallel in modern history, except in the history of Portugal,
     Venice, and Holland, and in ancient history Athens and
     Carthage. Our Empire presents special conditions both for
     attack and for destruction. And its destruction by an enemy
     seated on the Thames would have consequences so awful to
     contemplate that it cannot be left to be safeguarded by one
     sole line of defence, however good, and for the present hour
     however adequate.... For more than forty years I have raised my
     voice against every form of aggression, of Imperial expansion,
     and Continental militarism. Few men have more earnestly
     protested against postponing social reforms and the well-being
     of the people to Imperial conquests and Asiatic and African
     adventures. I do not go back on a word that I have uttered
     thereon. But how hollow is all talk about industrial
     reorganization until we have secured our country against a
     catastrophe that would involve untold destitution and misery on
     the people in the mass--which would paralyze industry and raise
     food to famine prices, whilst closing our factories and our



    These views founded on a gross and dangerous misconception--What
    a German victory could and could not accomplish--What an English
    victory could and could not accomplish--The optical illusion of
    conquest--There can be no transfer of wealth--The prosperity of the
    little States in Europe--German Three per Cents. at 82 and Belgian
    at 96--Russian Three and a Half per Cents. at 81, Norwegian at
    102--What this really means--If Germany annexed Holland, would
    any German benefit or any Hollander?--The "cash value" of

I think it will be admitted that there is not much chance of
misunderstanding the general idea embodied in the passage quoted at the
end of the last chapter. Mr. Harrison is especially definite. At the
risk of "damnable iteration" I would again recall the fact that he is
merely expressing one of the universally accepted axioms of European
politics, namely, that a nation's financial and industrial stability,
its security in commercial activity--in short, its prosperity and well
being depend, upon its being able to defend itself against the
aggression of other nations, who will, if they are able, be tempted to
commit such aggression because in so doing they will increase their
power, prosperity and well-being, at the cost of the weaker and

I have quoted, it is true, largely journalistic authorities because I
desired to indicate real public opinion, not merely scholarly opinion.
But Mr. Harrison has the support of other scholars of all sorts. Thus
Mr. Spenser Wilkinson, Chichele Professor of Military History at Oxford,
and a deservedly respected authority on the subject, confirms in almost
every point in his various writings the opinions that I have quoted, and
gives emphatic confirmation to all that Mr. Frederic Harrison has
expressed. In his book, "Britain at Bay," Professor Wilkinson says: "No
one thought when in 1888 the American observer, Captain Mahan, published
his volume on the influence of sea-power upon history, that other
nations beside the British read from that book the lesson that victory
at sea carried with it a prosperity and influence and a greatness
obtainable by no other means."

Well, it is the object of these pages to show that this all but
universal idea, of which Mr. Harrison's letter is a particularly vivid
expression, is a gross and desperately dangerous misconception,
partaking at times of the nature of an optical illusion, at times of the
nature of a superstition--a misconception not only gross and universal,
but so profoundly mischievous as to misdirect an immense part of the
energies of mankind, and to misdirect them to such degree that unless we
liberate ourselves from this superstition civilization itself will be

And one of the most extraordinary features of this whole question is
that the absolute demonstration of the falsity of this idea, the
complete exposure of the illusion which gives it birth, is neither
abstruse nor difficult. This demonstration does not repose upon any
elaborately constructed theorem, but upon the simple exposition of the
political facts of Europe as they exist to-day. These facts, which are
incontrovertible, and which I shall elaborate presently, may be summed
up in a few simple propositions stated thus:

1. An extent of devastation, even approximating to that which Mr.
Harrison foreshadows as the result of the conquest of Great Britain,
could only be inflicted by an invader as a means of punishment costly to
himself, or as the result of an unselfish and expensive desire to
inflict misery for the mere joy of inflicting it. Since trade depends
upon the existence of natural wealth and a population capable of working
it, an invader cannot "utterly destroy it," except by destroying the
population, which is not practicable. If he could destroy the population
he would thereby destroy his own market, actual or potential, which
would be commercially suicidal.[6]

2. If an invasion of Great Britain by Germany did involve, as Mr.
Harrison and those who think with him say it would, the "total collapse
of the Empire, our trade, and the means of feeding forty millions in
these islands ... the disturbance of capital and destruction of
credit," German capital would also be disturbed, because of the
internationalization and delicate interdependence of our credit-built
finance and industry, and German credit would also collapse, and the
only means of restoring it would be for Germany to put an end to the
chaos in England by putting an end to the condition which had produced
it. Moreover, because of this delicate interdependence of our
credit-built finance, the confiscation by an invader of private
property, whether stocks, shares, ships, mines, or anything more
valuable than jewellery or furniture--anything, in short, which is bound
up with the economic life of the people--would so react upon the finance
of the invader's country as to make the damage to the invader resulting
from the confiscation exceed in value the property confiscated. So that
Germany's success in conquest would be a demonstration of the complete
economic futility of conquest.

3. For allied reasons, in our day the exaction of tribute from a
conquered people has become an economic impossibility; the exaction of a
large indemnity so costly directly and indirectly as to be an extremely
disadvantageous financial operation.

4. It is a physical and economic impossibility to capture the external
or carrying trade of another nation by military conquest. Large navies
are impotent to create trade for the nations owning them, and can do
nothing to "confine the commercial rivalry" of other nations. Nor can a
conqueror destroy the competition of a conquered nation by annexation;
his competitors would still compete with him--_i.e._, if Germany
conquered Holland, German merchants would still have to meet the
competition of Dutch merchants, and on keener terms than originally,
because the Dutch merchants would then be within the German's customs
lines; the notion that the trade competition of rivals can be disposed
of by conquering those rivals being one of the illustrations of the
curious optical illusion which lies behind the misconception dominating
this subject.

5. The wealth, prosperity, and well-being of a nation depend in no way
upon its political power; otherwise we should find the commercial
prosperity and social well-being of the smaller nations, which exercise
no political power, manifestly below that of the great nations which
control Europe, whereas this is not the case. The populations of States
like Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, are in every way as
prosperous as the citizens of States like Germany, Russia, Austria, and
France. The wealth _per capita_ of the small nations is in many cases in
excess of that of the great nations. Not only the question of the
security of small States, which, it might be urged, is due to treaties
of neutrality, is here involved, but the question of whether political
power can be turned in a positive sense to economic advantage.

6. No other nation could gain any advantage by the conquest of the
British Colonies, and Great Britain could not suffer material damage by
their loss, however much such loss would be regretted on sentimental
grounds, and as rendering less easy a certain useful social co-operation
between kindred peoples. The use, indeed, of the word "loss" is
misleading. Great Britain does not "own" her Colonies. They are, in
fact, independent nations in alliance with the Mother Country, to whom
they are no source of tribute or economic profit (except as foreign
nations are a source of profit), their economic relations being settled,
not by the Mother Country, but by the Colonies. Economically, England
would gain by their formal separation, since she would be relieved of
the cost of their defence. Their "loss" involving, therefore, no change
in economic fact (beyond saving the Mother Country the cost of their
defence), could not involve the ruin of the Empire, and the starvation
of the Mother Country, as those who commonly treat of such a contingency
are apt to aver. As England is not able to exact tribute or economic
advantage, it is inconceivable that any other country, necessarily less
experienced in colonial management, would be able to succeed where
England had failed, especially in view of the past history of the
Spanish, Portuguese, French, and British Colonial Empires. This history
also demonstrates that the position of British Crown Colonies, in the
respect which we are considering, is not sensibly different from that of
the self-governing ones. It is _not_ to be presumed, therefore, that any
European nation, realizing the facts, would attempt the desperately
expensive business of the conquest of England for the purpose of making
an experiment which all colonial history shows to be doomed to failure.

The foregoing propositions traverse sufficiently the ground covered in
the series of those typical statements of policy, both English and
German, from which I have quoted. The simple statement of these
propositions, based as they are upon the self-evident facts of
present-day European politics, sufficiently exposes the nature of those
political axioms which I have quoted. But as men even of the calibre of
Mr. Harrison normally disregard these self-evident facts, it is
necessary to elaborate them at somewhat greater length.

For the purpose of presenting a due parallel to the statement of policy
embodied in the quotations made from the London _Times_ and Mr. Harrison
and others, I have divided the propositions which I desire to
demonstrate into seven clauses, but such a division is quite arbitrary,
and made only in order to bring about the parallel in question. The
whole seven can be put into one, as follows: That as the only possible
policy in our day for a conqueror to pursue is to leave the wealth of a
territory in the complete possession of the individuals inhabiting that
territory, it is a logical fallacy and an optical illusion to regard a
nation as increasing its wealth when it increases its territory; because
when a province or State is annexed, the population, who are the real
and only owners of the wealth therein, are also annexed, and the
conqueror gets nothing. The facts of modern history abundantly
demonstrate this. When Germany annexed Schleswig-Holstein and Alsatia
not a single ordinary German citizen was one _pfennig_ the richer.
Although England "owns" Canada, the English merchant is driven out of
the Canadian markets by the merchant of Switzerland, who does not "own"
Canada. Even where territory is not formally annexed, the conqueror is
unable to take the wealth of a conquered territory, owing to the
delicate interdependence of the financial world (an outcome of our
credit and banking systems), which makes the financial and industrial
security of the victor dependent upon financial and industrial security
in all considerable civilized centres; so that widespread confiscation
or destruction of trade and commerce in a conquered territory would
react disastrously upon the conqueror. The conqueror is thus reduced to
economic impotence, which means that political and military power is
economically futile--that is to say, can do nothing for the trade and
well-being of the individuals exercising such power. Conversely, armies
and navies cannot destroy the trade of rivals, nor can they capture it.
The great nations of Europe do not destroy the trade of the small
nations for their own benefit, because they cannot; and the Dutch
citizen, whose Government possesses no military power, is just as well
off as the German citizen, whose Government possesses an army of two
million men, and a great deal better off than the Russian, whose
Government possesses an army of something like four million. Thus, as a
rough-and-ready though incomplete indication of the relative wealth and
security of the respective States, the Three per Cents. of powerless
Belgium are quoted at 96, and the Three per Cents. of powerful Germany
at 82; the Three and a Half per Cents. of the Russian Empire, with its
hundred and twenty million souls and its four million army, are quoted
at 81, while the Three and a Half per Cents. of Norway, which has not an
army at all (or any that need be considered in this discussion), are
quoted at 102. All of which carries with it the paradox that the more a
nation's wealth is militarily protected the less secure does it

The late Lord Salisbury, speaking to a delegation of business men, made
this notable observation: The conduct of men of affairs acting
individually in their business capacity differs radically in its
principles and application from the conduct of the same men when they
act collectively in political affairs. And one of the most astonishing
things in politics is the little trouble business men take to bring
their political creed into keeping with their daily behavior; how
little, indeed, they realize the political implication of their daily
work. It is a case, indeed, of the forest and the trees.

But for some such phenomenon we certainly should not see the
contradiction between the daily practice of the business world and the
prevailing political philosophy, which the security of property in, and
the high prosperity of, the smaller States involves. We are told by all
the political experts that great navies and great armies are necessary
to protect our wealth against the aggression of powerful neighbors,
whose cupidity and voracity can be controlled by force alone; that
treaties avail nothing, and that in international politics might makes
right, that military and commercial security are identical, that
armaments are justified by the necessity of commercial security; that
our navy is an "insurance," and that a country without military power
with which their diplomats can "bargain" in the Council of Europe is at
a hopeless disadvantage economically. Yet when the investor, studying
the question in its purely financial and material aspect, has to decide
between the great States, with all their imposing paraphernalia of
colossal armies and fabulously costly navies, and the little States,
possessing relatively no military power whatever, he plumps solidly, and
with what is in the circumstances a tremendous difference, in favor of
the small and helpless. For a difference of twenty points, which we find
as between Norwegian and Russian, and fourteen as between Belgian and
German securities, is the difference between a safe and a speculative
one--the difference between an American railroad bond in time of
profound security and in time of widespread panic. And what is true of
the Government funds is true, in an only slightly less degree, of the
industrial securities in the national comparison just drawn.

Is it a sort of altruism or quixotism which thus impels the capitalists
of Europe to conclude that the public funds and investments of powerless
Holland and Sweden (any day at the mercy of their big neighbors) are 10
to 20 per cent. safer than those of the greatest Power of Continental
Europe. The question is, of course, absurd. The only consideration of
the financier is profit and security, and he has decided that the funds
of the undefended nation are more secure than the funds of one defended
by colossal armaments. How does he arrive at this decision, unless it be
through his knowledge as a financier, which, of course, he exercises
without reference to the political implication of his decision, that
modern wealth requires no defence, because it cannot be confiscated?

If Mr. Harrison is right; if, as he implies, a nation's commerce, its
very industrial existence, would disappear if it allowed neighbors who
envied it that commerce to become its superiors in armaments, and to
exercise political weight in the world, how does he explain the fact
that the great Powers of the Continent are flanked by little nations far
weaker than themselves having nearly always a commercial development
equal to, and in most cases greater than theirs? If the common
doctrines be true, the financiers would not invest a dollar in the
territories of the undefended nations, and yet, far from that being the
case, they consider that a Swiss or a Dutch investment is more secure
than a German one; that industrial undertakings in a country like
Switzerland defended by an army of a few thousand men, are preferable in
point of security to enterprises backed by two millions of the most
perfectly trained soldiers in the world. The attitude of European
finance in this matter is the absolute condemnation of the view commonly
taken by the statesman. If a country's trade were really at the mercy of
the first successful invader; if armies and navies were really necessary
for the protection and promotion of trade, the small countries would be
in a hopelessly inferior position, and could only exist on the
sufferance of what we are told are unscrupulous aggressors. And yet
Norway has relatively to population a greater carrying trade than Great
Britain,[8] and Dutch, Swiss, and Belgian merchants compete in all the
markets of the world successfully with those of Germany and France.

The prosperity of the small States is thus a fact which proves a good
deal more than that wealth can be secure without armaments. We have seen
that the exponents of the orthodox statecraft--notably such authorities
as Admiral Mahan--plead that armaments are a necessary part of the
industrial struggle, that they are used as a means of exacting economic
advantage for a nation which would be impossible without them. "The
logical sequence," we are told, is "markets, control, navy, bases." The
nation without political and military power is, we are assured, at a
hopeless disadvantage economically and industrially.[9]

Well, the relative economic situation of the small States gives the lie
to this profound philosophy. It is seen to be just learned nonsense when
we realize that all the might of Russia or Germany cannot secure for the
individual citizen better general economic conditions than those
prevalent in the little States. The citizens of Switzerland, Belgium, or
Holland, countries without "control," or navy, or bases, or "weight in
the councils of Europe," or the "prestige of a great Power," are just as
well off as Germans, and a great deal better off than Austrians or

Thus, even if it could be argued that the security of the small States
is due to the various treaties guaranteeing their neutrality, it cannot
be argued that those treaties give them the political power and
"control" and "weight in the councils of the nations" which Admiral
Mahan and the other exponents of the orthodox statecraft assure us are
such necessary factors in national prosperity.

I want, with all possible emphasis, to indicate the limits of the
argument that I am trying to enforce. That argument is not that the
facts just cited show armaments or the absence of them to be the sole
or even the determining factor in national wealth. It does show that
the security of wealth is due to other things than armaments; that
absence of political and military power is on the one hand no obstacle
to, and on the other hand no guarantee of, prosperity; that the mere
size of the administrative area has no relation to the wealth of those
inhabiting it.

Those who argue that the security of the small States is due to the
international treaties protecting their neutrality are precisely those
who argue that treaty rights are things that can never give security!
Thus one British military writer says:

     The principle practically acted on by statesmen, though, of
     course, not openly admitted, is that frankly enunciated by
     Machiavelli: "A prudent ruler ought not to keep faith when by
     so doing it would be against his interests, and when the
     reasons which made him bind himself no longer exist." Prince
     Bismarck said practically the same thing, only not quite so
     nakedly. The European waste-paper basket is the place to which
     all treaties eventually find their way, and a thing which can
     any day be placed in a waste-paper basket is a poor thing on
     which to hang our national safety. Yet there are plenty of
     people in this country who quote treaties to us as if we could
     depend on their never being torn up. Very plausible and very
     dangerous people they are--idealists too good and innocent for
     a hard, cruel world, where force is the chief law. Yet there
     are some such innocent people in Parliament even at present. It
     is to be hoped that we shall see none of them there in

Major Murray is right to this extent: the militarist view, the view of
those who "believe in war," and defend it even on moral grounds as a
thing without which men would be "sordid," supports this philosophy of
force, which flourishes in the atmosphere which the militarist regimen

But the militarist view involves a serious dilemma. If the security of a
nation's wealth can only be assured by force, and treaty rights are mere
waste paper, how can we explain the evident security of the wealth of
States possessing relatively no force? By the mutual jealousies of those
guaranteeing their neutrality? Then that mutual jealousy could equally
well guarantee the security of any one of the larger States against the
rest. Another Englishman, Mr. Farrer, has put the case thus:

     If that recent agreement between England, Germany, France,
     Denmark, and Holland can so effectively relieve Denmark and
     Holland from the fear of invasion that Denmark can seriously
     consider the actual abolition of her army and navy, it seems
     only one further step to go, for all the Powers collectively,
     great and small, to guarantee the territorial independence of
     each one of them severally.

In either case, the plea of the militarist stands condemned: national
safety can be secured by means other than military force.

But the real truth involves a distinction which is essential to the
right understanding of this phenomenon: the political security of the
small States is _not_ assured; no man would take heavy odds on Holland
being able to maintain complete political independence if Germany cared
seriously to threaten it. But Holland's economic security _is_ assured.
Every financier in Europe knows that if Germany conquered Holland or
Belgium to-morrow, she would have to leave their wealth untouched; there
could be no confiscation. And that is why the stocks of the lesser
States, not in reality threatened by confiscation, yet relieved in part
at least of the charge of armaments, stand fifteen to twenty points
higher than those of the military States. Belgium, politically, might
disappear to-morrow; her wealth would remain practically unchanged.

Yet, by one of those curious contradictions we are frequently meeting in
the development of ideas, while a fact like this is at least
subconsciously recognized by those whom it concerns, the necessary
corollary of it--the positive form of the merely negative truth that a
community's wealth cannot be stolen--is not recognized. We admit that a
people's wealth must remain unaffected by conquest, and yet we are quite
prepared to urge that we can enrich ourselves by conquering them! But if
we must leave their wealth alone, how can we take it?

I do not speak merely of "loot." It is evident, even on cursory
examination, that no real advantage of any kind is achieved for the mass
of one people by the conquest of another. Yet that end is set up in
European politics as desirable beyond all others. Here, for instance,
are the Pan-Germanists of Germany. This party has set before itself the
object of grouping into one great Power all the peoples of the Germanic
race or language in Europe. Were this aim achieved, Germany would become
the dominating Power of the Continent, and might become the dominating
Power of the world. And according to the commonly accepted view, such an
achievement would, from the point of view of Germany, be worth any
sacrifice that Germans could make. It would be an object so great, so
desirable, that German citizens should not hesitate for an instant to
give everything, life itself, in its accomplishment. Very good. Let us
assume that at the cost of great sacrifice, the greatest sacrifice which
it is possible to imagine a modern civilized nation making, this has
been accomplished, and that Belgium and Holland and Germany, Switzerland
and Austria, have all become part of the great German hegemony: _is
there one ordinary German citizen who would be able to say that his
well-being had been increased by such a change_? Germany would then
"own" Holland. _But would a single German citizen be the richer for the
ownership?_ The Hollander, from having been the citizen of a small and
insignificant State, would become the citizen of a very great one.
_Would the individual Hollander be any the richer or any the better?_ We
know that, as a matter of fact, neither the German nor the Hollander
would be one whit the better; and we know also, as a matter of fact,
that in all probability they would be a great deal the worse. We may,
indeed, say that the Hollander would be certainly the worse, in that he
would have exchanged the relatively light taxation and light military
service of Holland for the much heavier taxation and the much longer
military service of the "great" German Empire.

The following, which appeared in the London _Daily Mail_ in reply to an
article in that paper, throws some further light on the points
elaborated in this chapter. The _Daily Mail_ critic had placed
Alsace-Lorraine as an asset in the German conquest worth $330,000,000
"cash value," and added: "If Alsace-Lorraine had remained French, it
would have yielded, at the present rate of French taxation, a revenue of
$40,000,000 a year to the State. That revenue is lost to France, and is
placed at the disposal of Germany."

To which I replied:

     Thus, if we take the interest of the "cash value" at the
     present price of money in Germany, Alsace-Lorraine should be
     worth to the Germans about $15,000,000 a year. If we take the
     other figure, $40,000,000. Suppose we split the difference, and
     take, say, 20. Now, if the Germans are enriched by 20 millions
     a year--if Alsace-Lorraine is really worth that income to the
     German people--how much should the English people draw from
     their "possessions"? On the basis of population, somewhere in
     the region of $5,000,000,000; on the basis of area, still
     more--enough not only to pay all English taxes, wipe out the
     National Debt, support the army and navy, but give every family
     in the land a fat income into the bargain. There is evidently
     something wrong.

     Does not my critic really see that this whole notion of
     national possessions benefiting the individual is founded on
     mystification, upon an illusion? Germany conquered France and
     annexed Alsace-Lorraine. The "Germans" consequently "own" it,
     and enrich themselves with this newly acquired wealth. That is
     my critic's view, as it is the view of most European statesmen;
     and it is all false. Alsace-Lorraine is owned by its
     inhabitants, and nobody else; and Germany, with all her
     ruthlessness, has not been able to dispossess them, as is
     proved by the fact that the matricular contribution
     (_matrikularbeitrag_) of the newly acquired State to the
     Imperial treasury (which incidentally is neither 15 millions
     nor 40, but just over five) is fixed on exactly the same scale
     as that of the other States of the Empire. Prussia, the
     conqueror, pays _per capita_ just as much as and no less than
     Alsace, the conquered, who, if she were not paying this
     $5,600,000 to Germany, would be paying it--or, according to my
     critic, a much larger sum--to France; and if Germany did not
     "own" Alsace-Lorraine, she would be relieved of charges that
     amount not to five but many more millions. The change of
     "ownership" does not therefore of itself change the money
     position (which is what we are now discussing) of either owner
     or owned.

     In examining, in the last article on this matter, my critic's
     balance-sheet, I remarked that were his figures as complete as
     they are absurdly incomplete and misleading, I should still
     have been unimpressed. We all know that very marvellous results
     are possible with figures; but one can generally find some
     simple fact which puts them to the supreme test without undue
     mathematics. I do not know whether it has ever happened to my
     critic, as it has happened to me, while watching the gambling
     in the casino of a Continental watering resort, to have a
     financial genius present weird columns of figures, which
     demonstrate conclusively, irrefragably, that by the system
     which they embody one can break the bank and win a million. I
     have never examined these figures, and never shall, for this
     reason: the genius in question is prepared to sell his
     wonderful secret for twenty francs. Now, in the face of that
     fact I am not interested in his figures. If they were worth
     examination they would not be for sale.

     And so in this matter there are certain test facts which upset
     the adroitest statistical legerdemain. Though, really, the
     fallacy which regards an addition of territory as an addition
     of wealth to the "owning" nation is a very much simpler matter
     than the fallacies lying behind gambling systems, which are
     bound up with the laws of chance and the law of averages and
     much else that philosophers will quarrel about till the end of
     time. It requires an exceptional mathematical brain to refute
     those fallacies, whereas the one we are dealing with is due
     simply to the difficulty experienced by most of us in carrying
     in our heads two facts at the same time. It is so much easier
     to seize on one fact and forget the other. Thus we realize that
     when Germany has conquered Alsace-Lorraine she has "captured" a
     province worth, "cash value," in my critic's phrase,
     $330,000,000. What we overlook is that Germany has also
     captured the people who own the property and who continue to
     own it. We have multiplied by _x_, it is true, but we have
     overlooked the fact that we have had to divide by _x_, and that
     the result is consequently, so far as the individual is
     concerned, exactly what it was before. My critic remembered the
     multiplication all right, but he forgot the division. Let us
     apply the test fact. If a great country benefits every time it
     annexes a province, and her people are the richer for the
     widened territory, the small nations ought to be immeasurably
     poorer than the great, instead of which, by every test which
     you like to apply--public credit, amounts in savings banks,
     standard of living, social progress, general
     well-being--citizens of small States are, other things being
     equal, as well off as, or better off than, the citizens of
     great States. The citizens of countries like Holland, Belgium,
     Denmark, Sweden, Norway are, by every possible test, just as
     well off as the citizens of countries like Germany, Austria, or
     Russia. These are the facts which are so much more potent than
     any theory. If it is true that a country benefits by the
     acquisition of territory, and widened territory means general
     well-being, why do the facts so eternally deny it? There is
     something wrong with the theory.

     In every civilized State, revenues which are drawn from a
     territory are expended on that territory, and there is no
     process known to modern government by which wealth may first be
     drawn from a territory into the treasury and then be
     redistributed with a profit to the individuals who have
     contributed it, or to others. It would be just as reasonable to
     say that the citizens of London are richer than the citizens of
     Birmingham because London has a richer treasury; or that
     Londoners would become richer if the London County Council were
     to annex the county of Hertford; as to say that people's wealth
     varies according to the size of the administrative area which
     they inhabit. The whole thing is, as I have called it, an
     optical illusion, due to the hypnotism of an obsolete
     terminology. Just as poverty may be greater in the large city
     than in the small one, and taxation heavier, so the citizens of
     a great State may be poorer than the citizens of a small one,
     as they very often are. Modern government is mainly, and tends
     to become entirely, a matter of administration. A mere
     jugglery with the administrative entities, the absorption of
     small States into large ones, or the breaking up of large
     States into small, is not of itself going to affect the matter
     one way or the other.



    Our present terminology of international politics an historical
    survival--Wherein modern conditions differ from ancient--The
    profound change effected by Division of Labor--The delicate
    interdependence of international finance--Attila and the
    Kaiser--What would happen if a German invader looted the Bank of
    England--German trade dependent upon English credit--Confiscation
    of an enemy's property an economic impossibility under modern
    conditions--Intangibility of a community's wealth.

During the Victorian Jubilee procession an English beggar was heard to

     I own Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Burmah, and the
     Islands of the Far Pacific; and I am starving for want of a
     crust of bread. I am a citizen of the greatest Power of the
     modern world, and all people should bow to my greatness. And
     yesterday I cringed for alms to a negro savage, who repulsed me
     with disgust.

What is the meaning of this?

The meaning is that, as very frequently happens in the history of ideas,
our terminology is a survival of conditions no longer existing, and our
mental conceptions follow at the tail of our vocabulary. International
politics are still dominated by terms applicable to conditions which the
processes of modern life have altogether abolished.

In the Roman times--indeed, in all the ancient world--it may have been
true that the conquest of a territory meant a tangible advantage to the
conqueror; it meant the exploitation of the conquered territory by the
conquering State itself, to the advantage of that State and its
citizens. It not infrequently meant the enslavement of the conquered
people and the acquisition of wealth in the form of slaves as a direct
result of the conquering war. In mediæval times a war of conquest meant
at least immediate tangible booty in the shape of movable property,
actual gold and silver, land parcelled out among the chiefs of the
conquering nation, as it was at the Norman Conquest, and so forth.

At a later period conquest at least involved an advantage to the
reigning house of the conquering nation, and it was mainly the squabbles
of rival sovereigns for prestige and power which produced the wars of
many centuries.

At a still later period, civilization, as a whole--not necessarily the
conquering nation--gained (sometimes) by the conquest of savage peoples,
in that order was substituted for disorder. In the period of the
colonization of newly-discovered land, the preemption of territory by
one particular nation secured an advantage for the citizens of that
nation, in that its overflowing population found homes in conditions
preferable socially, or politically, to the conditions imposed by alien
nations. _But none of these considerations applies to the problem with
which we are dealing._ We are concerned with the case of fully civilized
rival nations in fully occupied territory or with civilizations so
firmly set that conquest could not sensibly modify their character, and
the fact of conquering such territory gives to the conqueror no material
advantage which he could not have had without conquest. And in these
conditions--the realities of the political world as we find it
to-day--"domination," or "predominance of armament," or the "command of
the sea," can do nothing for commerce and industry or general
well-being: England may build fifty _Dreadnoughts_ and not sell so much
as a penknife the more in consequence. She might conquer Germany
to-morrow, and she would find that she could not make a single
Englishman a shilling's worth the richer in consequence, the war
indemnity notwithstanding.

How have conditions so changed that terms which were applicable to the
ancient world--in one sense at least to the mediæval world, and in
another sense still to the world of that political renaissance which
gave to Great Britain its Empire--are no longer applicable in _any_
sense to the conditions of the world as we find them to-day? How has it
become impossible for one nation to take by conquest the wealth of
another for the benefit of the people of the conqueror? How is it that
we are confronted by the absurdity (which the facts of the British
Empire go to prove) of the conquering people being able to exact from
conquered territory rather less than more advantage than it was able to
do before the conquest took place?

I am not at this stage going to pass in review all the factors that have
contributed to this change, because it will suffice for the
demonstration upon which I am now engaged to call attention to a
phenomenon which is the outcome of all those factors and which is
undeniable, and that is, the financial interdependence of the modern
world. But I will forecast here what belongs more properly to a later
stage of this work, and will give just a hint of the forces which are
the result mainly of one great fact--the division of labor intensified
by facility of communication.

When the division of labor was so little developed that every homestead
produced all that it needed, it mattered nothing if part of the
community was cut off from the world for weeks and months at a time. All
the neighbors of a village or homestead might be slain or harassed, and
no inconvenience resulted. But if to-day an English county is by a
general railroad strike cut off for so much as forty-eight hours from
the rest of the economic organism, we know that whole sections of its
population are threatened with famine. If in the time of the Danes,
England could by some magic have killed all foreigners, she would
presumably have been the better off. If she could do the same thing
to-day, half her population would starve to death. If on one side of the
frontier a community is, say, wheat-producing, and on the other
coal-producing, each is dependent for its very existence, on the fact of
the other being able to carry on its labor. The miner cannot in a week
set to and grow a crop of wheat; the farmer must wait for his wheat to
grow, and must meantime feed his family and dependents. The exchange
involved here must go on, and each party have fair expectation that he
will in due course be able to reap the fruits of his labor, or both must
starve; and that exchange, that expectation, is merely the expression in
its simplest form of commerce and credit; and the interdependence here
indicated has, by the countless developments of rapid communication,
reached such a condition of complexity that the interference with any
given operation affects not merely the parties directly involved, but
numberless others having at first sight no connection therewith.

The vital interdependence here indicated, cutting athwart frontiers, is
largely the work of the last forty years; and it has, during that time,
so developed as to have set up a financial interdependence of the
capitals of the world, so complex that disturbance in New York involves
financial and commercial disturbance in London, and, if sufficiently
grave, compels financiers of London to co-operate with those of New York
to put an end to the crisis, not as a matter of altruism, but as a
matter of commercial self-protection. The complexity of modern finance
makes New York dependent on London, London upon Paris, Paris upon
Berlin, to a greater degree than has ever yet been the case in history.
This interdependence is the result of the daily use of those
contrivances of civilization which date from yesterday--the rapid post,
the instantaneous dissemination of financial and commercial information
by means of telegraphy, and generally the incredible increase in the
rapidity of communication which has put the half-dozen chief capitals of
Christendom in closer contact financially, and has rendered them more
dependent the one upon the other than were the chief cities of Great
Britain less than a hundred years ago.

A well-known French authority, writing recently in a financial
publication, makes this reflection:

     The very rapid development of industry has given rise to the
     active intervention therein of finance, which has become its
     _nervus rerum_, and has come to play a dominating rôle. Under
     the influence of finance, industry is beginning to lose its
     exclusively national character to take on a character more and
     more international. The animosity of rival nationalities seems
     to be in process of attenuation as the result of this
     increasing international solidarity. This solidarity was
     manifested in a striking fashion in the last industrial and
     monetary crisis. This crisis, which appeared in its most
     serious form in the United States and Germany, far from being
     any profit to rival nations, has been injurious to them. The
     nations competing with America and Germany, such as England and
     France, have suffered only less than the countries directly
     affected. It must not be forgotten that, quite apart from the
     financial interests involved, directly or indirectly, in the
     industry of other countries, every producing country is at one
     and the same time, as well as being a competitor and a rival, a
     client and a market. Financial and commercial solidarity is
     increasing every day at the expense of commercial and
     industrial competition. This was certainly one of the principal
     causes which a year or two ago prevented the outbreak of war
     between Germany and France _à propos_ of Morocco, and which led
     to the understanding of Algeciras. There can be no doubt, for
     those who have studied the question, that the influence of this
     international economic solidarity is increasing despite
     ourselves. It has not resulted from conscious action on the
     part of any of us, and it certainly cannot be arrested by any
     conscious action on our part.[11]

A fiery patriot sent to a London paper the following letter:

     When the German army is looting the cellars of the Bank of
     England, and carrying off the foundations of our whole national
     fortune, perhaps the twaddlers who are now screaming about the
     wastefulness of building four more _Dreadnoughts_ will
     understand why sane men are regarding this opposition as
     treasonable nonsense.

What would be the result of such an action on the part of a German army
in London? The first effect, of course, would be that, as the Bank of
England is the banker of all other banks, there would be a run on every
bank in England, and all would suspend payment. But London being the
clearing-house of the world, bills drawn thereon but held by foreigners
would not be met; they would be valueless; the loanable value of money
in other centres would be enormously raised, and instruments of credit
enormously depreciated; prices of all kinds of stocks would fall, and
holders would be threatened by ruin and insolvency. German finance would
represent a condition as chaotic as that of England. Whatever advantage
German credit might gain by holding England's gold it would certainly be
more than offset by the fact that it was the ruthless action of the
German Government that had produced the general catastrophe. A country
that could sack bank reserves would be a good one for foreign investors
to avoid: the essential of credit is confidence, and those who repudiate
it pay dearly for their action. The German Generalissimo in London might
be no more civilized than Attila himself, but he would soon find the
difference between himself and Attila. Attila, luckily for him, did not
have to worry about a bank rate and such-like complications; but the
German General, while trying to sack the Bank of England, would find
that his own balance in the Bank of Germany would have vanished into
thin air, and the value of even the best of his investments dwindled as
though by a miracle; and that for the sake of loot, amounting to a few
sovereigns apiece among his soldiery, he would have sacrificed the
greater part of his own personal fortune. It is as certain as anything
can be that, were the German army guilty of such economic vandalism,
there is no considerable institution in Germany that would escape grave
damage--a damage in credit and security so serious as to constitute a
loss immensely greater[12] than the value of the loot obtained. It is
not putting the case too strongly to say that for every pound taken from
the Bank of England German trade would pay many times over. The
influence of the whole finance of Germany would be brought to bear on
the German Government to put an end to a situation ruinous to German
trade, and German finance would only be saved from utter collapse by an
undertaking on the part of the German Government scrupulously to respect
private property, and especially bank reserves. It is true the German
Jingoes might wonder what they had made war for, and this elementary
lesson in international finance would do more than the greatness of the
British navy to cool their blood. For it is a fact in human nature that
men will fight more readily than they will pay, and that they will take
personal risks much more readily than they will disgorge money, or, for
that matter, earn it. "Man," in the language of Bacon, "loves danger
better than travail."

Events which are still fresh in the memory of business men show the
extraordinary interdependence of the modern financial world. A financial
crisis in New York sends up the English bank rate to 7 per cent., thus
involving the ruin of many English businesses which might otherwise have
weathered a difficult period. It thus happens that one section of the
financial world is, against its will, compelled to come to the rescue
of any other considerable section which may be in distress.

From a modern and delightfully lucid treatise on international
finance,[13] I take the following very suggestive passages:

     Banking in all countries hangs together so closely that the
     strength of the best may easily be that of the weakest if
     scandal arises owing to the mistakes of the worst.... Just as a
     man cycling down a crowded street depends for his life not only
     on his skill, but more on the course of the traffic there....
     Banks in Berlin were obliged, from motives of self-protection
     (on the occasion of the Wall Street crisis), to let some of
     their gold go to assuage the American craving for it.... If the
     crisis became so severe that London had to restrict its
     facilities in this respect, other centres, which habitually
     keep balances in London which they regard as so much gold,
     because a draft on London is as good as gold, would find
     themselves very seriously inconvenienced; and it thus follows
     that it is to the interest of all other centres which trade on
     those facilities which London alone gives to take care that
     London's task is not made too difficult. This is especially so
     in the case of foreigners, who keep a balance in London which
     is borrowed. In fact, London drew in the gold required for New
     York from seventeen other countries....

Incidentally it may be mentioned in this connection that German commerce
is in a special sense interested in the maintenance of English credit.
The authority just quoted says:

     It is even contended that the rapid expansion of German trade,
     which pushed itself largely by its elasticity and adaptability
     to the wishes of its customers, could never have been achieved
     if it had not been assisted by the large credit furnished in
     London.... No one can quarrel with the Germans for making use
     of the credit we offered for the expansion of the German trade,
     although their over-extension of credit facilities has had
     results which fall on others besides themselves....

     Let us hope that our German friends are duly grateful, and let
     us avoid the mistake of supposing that we have done ourselves
     any permanent harm by giving this assistance. It is to the
     economic interests of humanity at large that production should
     be stimulated, and the economic interest of humanity at large
     is the interest of England, with its mighty world-wide trade.
     Germany has quickened production with the help of English
     credit, and so has every other economically civilized country
     in the world. It is a fact that all of them, including our own
     colonies, develop their resources with the help of British
     capital and credit, and then do their utmost to keep out our
     productions by means of tariffs, which make it appear to
     superficial observers that England provides capital for the
     destruction of its own business. But in practice the system
     works quite otherwise, for all these countries that develop
     their resources with our money aim at developing an export
     trade and selling goods to us, and as they have not yet reached
     the point of economic altruism at which they are prepared to
     sell goods for nothing, the increase in their production means
     an increasing demand for our commodities and our services. And
     in the meantime the interest on our capital and credit, and the
     profits of working the machinery of exchange, are a comfortable
     addition to our national income.

But what is a further corollary of this situation? It is that Germany is
to-day in a larger sense than she ever was before England's debtor, and
that her industrial success is bound up with English financial security.

What would be the situation in Britain, therefore, on the morrow of a
conflict in which that country was successful?

I have seen mentioned the possibility of the conquest and annexation of
the free port of Hamburg by a victorious British fleet. Let us assume
that the British Government has done this, and is proceeding to turn the
annexed and confiscated property to account.

Now, the property was originally of two kinds: part was private
property, and part was German Government, or rather Hamburg Government,
property. The income of the latter was earmarked for the payment of
interest of certain Government stock, and the action of the British
Government, therefore, renders the stock all but valueless, and in the
case of the shares of the private companies entirely so. The paper
becomes unsaleable. But it is held in various forms--as collateral and
otherwise--by many important banking concerns, insurance companies, and
so on, and this sudden collapse of value shatters their solvency. Their
collapse not only involves many credit institutions in Germany, but, as
these in their turn are considerable debtors of London, English
institutions are also involved. London is also involved in another way.
As explained previously, many foreign concerns keep balances in London,
and the action of the British Government having precipitated a monetary
crisis in Germany, there is a run on London to withdraw all balances. In
a double sense London is feeling the pinch, and it would be a miracle if
already at this point the whole influence of British finance were not
thrown against the action of the British Government. Assume, however,
that the Government, making the best of a bad job, continues its
administration of the property, and proceeds to arrange for loans for
the purpose of putting it once more in good condition after the ravages
of war. The banks, however, finding that the original titles have
through the action of the British Government become waste paper, and
British financiers having already burned their fingers with that
particular class of property, withhold support, and money is only
procurable at extortionate rates of interest--so extortionate that it
becomes quite evident that as a Governmental enterprise the thing could
not be made to pay. An attempt is made to sell the property to British
and German concerns. But the same paralyzing sense of insecurity hangs
over the whole business. Neither German nor British financiers can
forget that the bonds and shares of this property have already been
turned into waste paper by the action of the British Government. The
British Government finds, in fact, that it can do nothing with the
financial world unless first it confirms the title of the original
owners to the property, and gives an assurance that titles to all
property throughout the conquered territory shall be respected. In other
words, confiscation has been a failure.

It would really be interesting to know how those who talk as though
confiscation were still an economic possibility would proceed to effect
it. As material property in the form of that booty which used to
constitute the spoils of victory in ancient times, the gold and silver
goblets, etc., would be quite inconsiderable, and as Britain cannot
carry away sections of Berlin and Hamburg, she could only annex the
paper tokens of wealth--the shares and bonds. But the value of those
tokens depends upon the reliance which can be placed upon the execution
of the contracts which they embody. The act of military confiscation
upsets all contracts, and the courts of the country from which contracts
derive their force would be paralyzed if judicial decisions were thrust
aside by the sword. The value of the stocks and shares would collapse,
and the credit of all those persons and institutions interested in such
property would also be shaken or shattered, and the whole credit system,
being thus at the mercy of alien governors only concerned to exact
tribute, would collapse like a house of cards. German finance and
industry would show a condition of panic and disorder beside which the
worst crises of Wall Street would pale into insignificance. Again, what
would be the inevitable result? The financial influence of London itself
would be thrown into the scale to prevent a panic in which London
financiers would be involved. In other words, British financiers would
exert their influence upon the British Government to stop the process of

But the intangibility of wealth can be shown in yet another fashion. I
once asked an English chartered accountant, very subject to attacks of
Germanophobia, how he supposed the Germans would profit by the invasion
of England, and he had a very simple programme. Admitting the
impossibility of sacking the Bank of England, they would reduce the
British population to practical slavery, and make them work for their
foreign taskmasters, as he put it, under the rifle and lash. He had it
all worked out in figures as to what the profit would be to the
conqueror. Very well, let us follow the process. The population of Great
Britain are not allowed to spend their income, or at least are only
allowed to spend a portion of it, on themselves. Their dietary is
reduced more or less to a slave dietary, and the bulk of what they earn
is to be taken by their "owners." But how is this income, which so
tempts the Germans, created--these dividends on the railroad shares, the
profits of the mills and mines and provision companies and amusement
concerns? The dividends are due to the fact that the population eat
heartily, clothe themselves well, travel on railroads, and go to
theatres and music-halls. If they are not allowed to do these things,
if, in other words, they cannot spend their money on these things, the
dividends disappear. If the German taskmasters are to take these
dividends, they must allow them to be earned. If they allow them to be
earned, they must let the population live as it lived before--spending
their income on themselves; but if they spend their income on
themselves, what is there, therefore, for the taskmasters? In other
words, consumption is a necessary factor of the whole thing. Cut out
consumption, and you cut out the profits. This glittering wealth, which
so tempted the invader, has disappeared. If this is not intangibility,
the word has no meaning. Speaking broadly and generally, the conqueror
in our day has before him two alternatives: to leave things alone, and
in order to do that he need not have left his shores; or to interfere by
confiscation in some form, in which case he dries up the source of the
profit which tempted him.

The economist may object that this does not cover the case of such
profit as "economic rent," and that dividends or profits being part of
exchange, a robber who obtains wealth without exchange can afford to
disregard them; or that the increased consumption of the dispossessed
English community would be made up by the increased consumption of the
"owning" Germans.

If the political control of economic operations were as simple a matter
as in our minds we generally make it, these objections would be sound.
As it is, none of them would in practice invalidate the general
proposition I have laid down. The division of labor in the modern world
is so complex--the simplest operation of foreign trade involving not two
nations merely, but many--that the mere military control of one party to
an operation where many are concerned could ensure neither shifting of
the consumption nor the monopolization of the profit within the limits
of the conquering group.

Here is a German manufacturer selling cinematograph machines to a
Glasgow suburb (which, incidentally, lives by selling tools to Argentine
ranchers, who live by selling wheat to Newcastle boiler-makers).
Assuming even that Germany could transfer the surplus spent in
cinematograph shows to Germany, what assurance has the German
manufacturer in question that the enriched Germans will want
cinematograph films? They may insist upon champagne and cigars, coffee
and Cognac, and the French, Cubans, and Brazilians, to whom this "loot"
eventually goes, may not buy their machinery from Germany at all, much
less from the particular German manufacturer, but in the United States
or Switzerland. The redistribution of the industrial rôles might leave
German industry in the lurch, because at best the military power would
only be controlling one section of a complex operation, one party to it
out of many. When wealth was corn or cattle, the transference by
political or military force of the possessions of one community to
another may have been possible, although even then, or in a slightly
more developed period, we saw the Roman peasantry ruined by the slave
exploitation of foreign territory. How far this complexity of the
international division of labor tends to render futile the other
contrivances of conquest such as exclusive markets, tribute, money
indemnity, etc., succeeding chapters may help to show.



    Why trade cannot be destroyed or captured by a military Power--What
    the processes of trade really are, and how a navy affects
    them--_Dreadnoughts_ and business--While _Dreadnoughts_ protect
    British trade from hypothetical German warships, the real German
    merchant is carrying it off, or the Swiss or the Belgian--The
    "commercial aggression" of Switzerland--What lies at the bottom of
    the futility of military conquest--Government brigandage becomes as
    profitless as private brigandage--The real basis of commercial
    honesty on the part of Government.

Just as Mr. Harrison has declared that a "successful invasion would mean
to the English the total eclipse of their commerce and trade, and with
that trade the means of feeding forty millions in their islands," so I
have seen it stated in a leading English paper that "if Germany were
extinguished to-morrow, the day after to-morrow there is not an
Englishman in the world who would not be the richer. Nations have fought
for years over a city or right of succession. Must they not fight for
1250 million dollars of yearly commerce?"

What does the "extinction" of Germany mean? Does it mean that Britain
shall slay in cold blood sixty or seventy millions of men, women, and
children? Otherwise, even though the fleet and army were annihilated the
country's sixty millions of workers would still remain,--all the more
industrious, as they would have undergone great suffering and
privation--prepared to exploit their mines and workshops with as much
thoroughness and thrift and industry as ever, and consequently just as
much trade rivals as ever, army or no army, navy or no navy.

Even if the British could annihilate Germany, they would annihilate such
an important section of their debtors as to create hopeless panic in
London, and that panic would so react on their own trade that it would
be in no sort of condition to take the place which Germany had
previously occupied in neutral markets, leaving aside the question that
by the act of annihilation a market equal to that of Canada and South
Africa combined would be destroyed.

What does this sort of thing mean? Am I wrong in saying that the whole
subject is overlaid and dominated by a jargon which may have had some
relation to facts at one time, but from which in our day all meaning has

The English patriot may say that he does not mean permanent destruction,
but only temporary "annihilation." (And this, of course, on the other
side, would mean not permanent, but only temporary acquisition of that
1250 millions of trade.)

He might, like Mr. Harrison, put the case conversely--that if Germany
could get command of the sea she could cut England off from its
customers and intercept its trade for her benefit. This notion is as
absurd as the other. It has already been shown that the "utter
destruction of credit" and "incalculable chaos in the financial world,"
which Mr. Harrison foresees as the result of Germany's invasion, could
not possibly leave German finance unaffected. It is a very open question
whether her chaos would not be as great as the English. In any case, it
would be so great as thoroughly to disorganize her industry, and in that
disorganized condition it would be out of the question for her to secure
the markets left unsupplied by England's isolation. Moreover, those
markets would also be disorganized, because they depend upon England's
ability to buy, which Germany would be doing her best to destroy. From
the chaos which she herself had created, Germany could derive no
possible benefit, and she could only terminate financial disorder, fatal
to her own trade, by bringing to an end the condition which had produced
it--that is, by bringing to an end the isolation of Great Britain.

With reference to this section of the subject we can with absolute
certainty say two things: (1) That Germany can only destroy British
trade by destroying British population; and (2) that if she could
destroy that population, which she could not, she would destroy one of
her most valuable markets, as at the present time she sells to it more
than it sells to her. The whole point of view involves a fundamental
misconception of the real nature of commerce and industry.

Commerce is simply and purely the exchange of one product for another.
If the British manufacturer can make cloth, or cutlery, or machinery, or
pottery, or ships cheaper or better than his rivals, he will obtain the
trade; if he cannot, if his goods are inferior or dearer, or appeal less
to his customers, his rivals will secure the trade, and the possession
of _Dreadnoughts_ will make not a whit of difference. Switzerland,
without a single _Dreadnought_, will drive him out of the market even of
his own colonies, as, indeed, she is driving him out.[14] The factors
which really constitute prosperity have not the remotest connection with
military or naval power, all our political jargon notwithstanding. To
destroy the commerce of forty million people Germany would have to
destroy Britain's coal and iron mines, to destroy the energy, character,
and resourcefulness of its population; to destroy, in short, the
determination of forty million people to make their living by the work
of their hands. Were we not hypnotized by this extraordinary illusion,
we should accept as a matter of course that the prosperity of a people
depends upon such facts as the natural wealth of the country in which
they live, their social discipline and industrial character, the result
of years, of generations, of centuries, it may be, of tradition and
slow, elaborate, selective processes; and, in addition to all these
deep-seated elementary factors, upon countless commercial and financial
ramifications--a special technical capacity for such-and-such a
manufacture, a special aptitude for meeting the peculiarities of such
and-such a market, the efficient equipment of elaborately constructed
workshops, the existence of a population trained to given trades--a
training not infrequently involving years, and even generations, of
effort. All this, according to Mr. Harrison, is to go for nothing, and
Germany is to be able to replace it in the twinkling of an eye, and
forty million people are to sit down helplessly because Germany has been
victorious at sea. On the morrow of her marvellous victory Germany is by
some sort of miracle to find shipyards, foundries, cotton-mills, looms,
factories, coal and iron mines, and all their equipment, suddenly
created in order to take the trade that the most successful
manufacturers and traders in the world have been generations in building
up. Germany is to be able suddenly to produce three or four times what
her population has hitherto been able to produce; for she must either do
that or leave the markets which England has supplied heretofore still
available to English effort. What has really fed these forty millions,
who are to starve on the morrow of Germany's naval victory, is the fact
that the coal and iron exported by them have been sent in one form or
another to populations which need those products. Is that need suddenly
to cease, or are the forty millions suddenly to be struck with some sort
of paralysis, that all this vast industry is coming to an end? What has
the defeat of English ships at sea to do with the fact that the Canadian
farmer wants to buy English manufactures and pay for them with his
wheat? It may be true that Germany could stop the importation of that
wheat. But why should she want to do so? How would it benefit her people
to do so? By what sort of miracle is she suddenly to be able to supply
products which have kept forty million people busy? By what sort of
miracle is she suddenly to be able to double her industrial population?
And by what sort of miracle is she to be able to consume the wheat,
because if she cannot take the wheat the Canadian cannot buy her
products? I am aware that all this is elementary, that it is economics
in words of one syllable; but what are the economics of Mr. Harrison and
those who think like him when he talks in the strain of the passage that
I have just quoted?

There is just one other possible meaning that the English patriot may
have in his mind. He may plead that great military and naval
establishments do not exist for the purpose of the conquest of territory
or of destroying a rival's trade, but for "protecting" or indirectly
aiding trade and industry. We are allowed to infer that in some not
clearly defined way a great Power can aid the trade of its citizens by
the use of the prestige which a great navy and a great army bring, and
by exercising bargaining power, in the matter of tariffs, with other
nations. But again the condition of the small nations in Europe gives
the lie to this assumption.

It is evident that the neutral does not buy English products and refuse
Germany's because England has a larger navy. If one can imagine the
representatives of an English and a German firm meeting in the office
of a merchant in Argentina, or Brazil, or Bulgaria, or Finland, both of
them selling cutlery, the German is not going to secure the order
because he is able to show the Argentinian, or the Brazilian, or the
Bulgarian, or the Finn that Germany has twelve _Dreadnoughts_ and
England only eight. The German will take the order if, on the whole, he
can make a more advantageous offer to the prospective buyer, and for no
other reason whatsoever, and the buyer will go to the merchant of any
nation whatever, whether he be German, or Swiss, or Belgian, or British,
irrespective of the armies and navies which may lie behind the
nationality of the seller. Nor does it appear that armies and navies
weigh in the least when it comes to a question of a tariff bargain.
Switzerland wages a tariff war with Germany, and wins. The whole history
of the trade of the small nations shows that the political prestige of
the great ones gives them practically no commercial advantage.

We continually talk as though carrying trade were in some special sense
the result of the growth of a great navy, but Norway has a carrying
trade which, relatively to her population, is nearly three times as
great as Britain's, and the same reasons which would make it impossible
for another nation to confiscate the gold reserve of the Bank of England
would make it impossible for another nation to confiscate British
shipping on the morrow of a British naval defeat. In what way can her
carrying trade or any other trade be said to depend upon military

As I write these lines there comes to my notice a series of articles in
the London _Daily Mail_, written by Mr. F.A. McKenzie, explaining how it
is that England is losing the trade of Canada. In one article he quotes
a number of Canadian merchants:

     "We buy very little direct from England," said Mr. Harry McGee,
     one of the vice-presidents of the company, in answer to my
     questions. "We keep a staff in London of twenty, supervising
     our European purchases, but the orders go mostly to France,
     Germany, and Switzerland, and not to England."

And in a further article he notes that many orders are going to Belgium.
Now the question arises: What more can a navy do that it has not done
for England in Canada? And yet the trade goes to Switzerland and
Belgium. Is England going to protect herself against the commercial
"aggression" of Switzerland by building a dozen more _Dreadnoughts_?
Suppose she could conquer Switzerland and Belgium with her
_Dreadnoughts_, would not the trade of Switzerland and Belgium go on all
the same? Her arms have brought her Canada--but no monopoly of the
Canadian orders, which go, in part, to Switzerland.

If the traders of little nations can snap their fingers at the great war
lords, why do British traders need _Dreadnoughts_? If Swiss commercial
prosperity is secure from the aggression of a neighbor who outweighs
Switzerland in military power a hundred to one, how comes it that the
trade and industry, the very life-bread of her children, as Mr.
Harrison would have us believe, of the greatest nation in history is in
danger of imminent annihilation the moment she loses her military

If the statesmen of Europe would tell us _how_ the military power of a
great nation is used to advance the commercial interest of its citizens,
would explain to us the _modus operandi_, and not refer us to large and
vague phrases about "exercising due weight in the councils of the
nations," we might accept their philosophy. But, until they do so, we
are surely justified in assuming that their political terminology is
simply a survival--an inheritance from a state of things which has, in
fact, passed away.

It is facts of the nature of those I have instanced which constitute the
real protection of the small State, and which are bound as they gain in
general recognition to constitute the real protection from outside
aggression of all States, great or small.

One financial authority from whom I have quoted noted that this
elaborate financial interdependence of the modern world has grown up in
spite of ourselves, "without our noticing it until we put it to some
rude test." Men are fundamentally just as disposed as they were at any
time to take wealth that does not belong to them, which they have not
earned. But their relative interest in the matter has changed. In very
primitive conditions robbery is a moderately profitable enterprise.
Where the rewards of labor, owing to the inefficiency of the means of
production, are small and uncertain, and where all wealth is portable,
raiding and theft offer the best reward for the enterprise of the
courageous; in such conditions the size of man's wealth depends a good
deal on the size of his club and the agility with which he wields it.
But to the man whose wealth so largely depends upon his credit and on
his paper being "good paper" at the bank, dishonesty has become as
precarious and profitless as honest toil was in more primitive times.

The instincts of the business man may, at bottom, be just as predatory
as those of the cattle-lifter or the robber baron, but taking property
by force has become one of the least profitable and the most speculative
forms of enterprise upon which he could engage. The force of commercial
events has rendered the thing impossible. I know that the defender of
arms will reply that it is the police who have rendered it impossible.
This is not true. There were as many armed men in Europe in the days
when the robber baron carried on his occupation as there are in our day.
To say that the policeman makes him impossible is to put the cart before
the horse. What created the police and made them possible, if it was not
the general recognition of the fact that disorder and aggression make
trade impossible?

Just note what is taking place in South America. States in which
repudiation was a commonplace of everyday politics have of recent years
become as stable and as respectable as the City of London, and have come
to discharge their obligations as regularly. These countries were during
hundreds of years a slough of disorder and a never-ending sanguinary
scramble for the spoils, and yet in a matter of fifteen or twenty years
the conditions have radically changed. Does this mean that the nature of
these populations has fundamentally altered in less than a generation?
In that case many a militarist claim must be rejected. There is a
simpler explanation.

These countries, like Brazil and the Argentine, have been drawn into the
circle of international trade, exchange, and finance. Their economic
relationships have become sufficiently extensive and complex to make
repudiation the least profitable form of theft. The financier will tell
you "they cannot afford to repudiate." If any attempt at repudiation
were made, all sorts of property, either directly or indirectly
connected with the orderly execution of Governmental functions, would
suffer, banks would become involved, great businesses would stagger, and
the whole financial community would protest. To attempt to escape the
payment of a single loan would involve the business world in losses
amounting to many times the value of the loan.

It is only where a community has nothing to lose, no banks, no personal
fortunes dependent upon public good faith, no great businesses, no
industries, that the Government can afford to repudiate its obligations
or to disregard the general code of economic morality. This was the case
with Argentina and Brazil a generation ago; it is still the case, to
some extent, with some Central American States to-day. _It is not
because the armies in these States have grown_ that the public credit
has improved. Their armies were greater a generation ago than they are
now. It is because they know that trade and finance are built upon
credit--that is, confidence in the fulfilment of obligations, upon
security of tenure in titles, upon the enforcement of contract according
to law--and that if credit is seriously shaken, there is not a section
of the elaborate fabric which is not affected.

The more our commercial system gains in complication, the more does the
common prosperity of all of us come to depend upon the reliance which
can be placed on the due performance of all contracts. This is the real
basis of "prestige," national and individual; circumstances stronger
than ourselves are pushing us, despite what the cynical critics of our
commercial civilization may say, towards the unvarying observance of
this simple ideal. When we drop back from it--and such relapses occur as
we should expect them to occur, especially in those societies which have
just emerged from a more or less primitive state--punishment is
generally swift and sure.

What was the real origin of the bank crisis of 1907 in the United
States, which had for American business men such disastrous
consequences? It was the loss by American financiers and American
bankers of the confidence of the American public. At bottom there was no
other reason. One talks of cash reserves and currency errors; but
London, which does the banking of the universe, works on the smallest
cash reserve in the world, because, as an American authority has put it,
English bankers work with a "psychological reserve."

I quote from Mr. Withers:

     It is because they (English bankers) are so safe, so straight,
     so sensible, from an American point of view so unenterprising,
     that they are able to build up a bigger credit fabric on a
     smaller gold basis, and even carry this building to a height
     which they themselves have decided to be questionable. This
     "psychological reserve" is the priceless possession that has
     been handed down through generations of good bankers, and every
     individual of every generation who receives it can do something
     to maintain and improve it.

But it was not always thus, and it is merely the many ramifications of
the English commercial and financial world that have brought this about.
In the end the Americans will imitate it, or they will suffer from a
hopeless disadvantage in their financial competition with England.
Commercial development is broadly illustrating one profound truth: that
the real basis of social morality is self-interest. If English banks and
insurance companies have become absolutely honest in their
administration, it is because the dishonesty of any one of them
threatened the prosperity of all.

Must we assume that the Governments of the world, which, presumably, are
directed by men as far-sighted as bankers, are permanently to fall below
the banker in their conception of enlightened self-interest? Must we
assume that what is self-evident to the banker--namely, that the
repudiation of engagements, or any attempt at financial plunder, is
sheer stupidity and commercial suicide--is for ever to remain
unperceived by the ruler? Then, when he realizes this truth, shall we
not at least have made some progress towards laying the foundations for
a sane international polity?

       *       *       *       *       *

The following correspondence, provoked by the first edition of this
book, may throw light on some of the points dealt with in this chapter.
A correspondent of London _Public Opinion_ criticized a part of the
thesis here dealt with as a "series of half-truths," questioning as

     What is "natural wealth," and how can trade be carried on with
     it unless there are markets for it when worked? Would the
     writer maintain that markets cannot be permanently or seriously
     affected by military conquests, especially if conquest be
     followed by the imposition upon the vanquished of commercial
     conditions framed in the interests of the victor?... Germany
     has derived, and continues to derive, great advantages from the
     most-favored-nation clause which she compelled France to insert
     in the Treaty of Frankfurt.... Bismarck, it is true,
     underestimated the financial resilience of France, and was
     sorely disappointed when the French paid off the indemnity with
     such astonishing rapidity, and thus liberated themselves from
     the equally crushing burden of having to maintain the German
     army of occupation. He regretted not having demanded an
     indemnity twice as large. Germany would not repeat the mistake,
     and any country having the misfortune to be vanquished by her
     in future will be likely to find its commercial prosperity
     compromised for decades.

To which I replied:

     Will your correspondent forgive my saying that while he talks
     of half-truths, the whole of this passage indicates the
     domination of that particular half-truth which lies at the
     bottom of the illusion with which my book deals?

     What is a market? Your correspondent evidently conceives it as
     a place where things are sold. That is only half the truth. It
     is a place where things are bought and sold, and one operation
     is impossible without the other, and the notion that one nation
     can sell for ever and never buy is simply the theory of
     perpetual motion applied to economics; and international trade
     can no more be based upon perpetual motion than can
     engineering. As between economically highly-organized nations a
     customer must also be a competitor, a fact which bayonets
     cannot alter. To the extent to which they destroy him as a
     competitor, they destroy him, speaking generally, and largely,
     as a customer.

     The late Mr. Seddon conceived England as making her purchases
     with "a stream of golden sovereigns" flowing from a stock all
     the time getting smaller. That "practical" man, however, who so
     despised "mere theories," was himself the victim of a pure
     theory, and the picture which he conjured up from his inner
     consciousness has no existence in fact. England has hardly
     enough gold to pay one year's taxes, and if she paid for her
     imports in gold she would exhaust her stock in three months;
     and the process by which she really pays has been going on for
     sixty years. She is a buyer just as long as she is a seller,
     and if she is to afford a market to Germany she must procure
     the money wherewith to pay for Germany's goods by selling goods
     to Germany or elsewhere, and if that process of sale stops,
     Germany loses a market, not only the English market, but also
     those markets which depend in their turn upon England's
     capacity to buy--that is to say, to sell, for, again, the one
     operation is impossible without the other.

     If your correspondent had had the whole process in his mind
     instead of half of it, I do not think that he would have
     written the passages I have quoted. In his endorsement of the
     Bismarckian conception of political economy he evidently deems
     that one nation's gain is the measure of another nation's loss,
     and that nations live by robbing their neighbors in a lesser or
     greater degree. This is economics in the style of Tamerlane and
     the Red Indian, and, happily, has no relation to the real facts
     of modern commercial intercourse.

     The conception of one-half of the case only, dominates your
     correspondent's letter throughout. He says, "Germany has
     derived, and continues to derive, great advantage from the
     most-favored-nation clause which she compelled France to insert
     in the Treaty of Frankfurt," which is quite true, but leaves
     out the other half of the truth, somewhat important to our
     discussion--viz., that France has also greatly benefited, in
     that the scope of fruitless tariff war has been by so much

     A further illustration: Why should Germany have been sorely
     disappointed at France's rapid recovery? The German people are
     not going to be the richer for having a poor neighbor--on the
     contrary, they are going to be the poorer, and there is not an
     economist with a reputation to lose, whatever his views of
     fiscal policy, who would challenge this for a moment.

     How would Germany impose upon a vanquished England commercial
     arrangements which would impoverish the vanquished and enrich
     the victor? By enforcing another Frankfurt treaty, by which
     English ports should be kept open to German goods? But that is
     precisely what English ports have been for sixty years, and
     Germany has not been obliged to wage a costly war to effect it.
     Would Germany close her own markets to our goods? But, again,
     that is precisely what she has done--again without war, and by
     a right which we never dream of challenging. How is war going
     to affect the question one way or another? I have been asking
     for a detailed answer to that question from European publicists
     and statesmen for the last ten years, and I have never yet been
     answered, save by much vagueness, much fine phrasing concerning
     commercial supremacy, a spirited foreign policy, national
     prestige, and much else, which no one seems able to define, but
     a real policy, a _modus operandi_, a balance-sheet which one
     can analyze, never. And until such is forthcoming I shall
     continue to believe that the whole thing is based upon an

     The true test of fallacies of this kind is progression. Imagine
     Germany (as our Jingoes seem to dream of her) absolute master
     of Europe, and able to dictate any policy that she pleased. How
     would she treat such a European empire? By impoverishing its
     component parts? But that would be suicidal. Where would her
     big industrial population find their markets?[15] If she set
     out to develop and enrich the component parts, these would
     become merely efficient competitors, and she need not have
     undertaken the costliest war of history to arrive at that
     result. This is the paradox, the futility of conquest--the
     great illusion which the history of our own Empire so well
     illustrates. We British "own" our Empire by allowing its
     component parts to develop themselves in their own way, and in
     view of their own ends, and all the empires which have pursued
     any other policy have only ended by impoverishing their own
     populations and falling to pieces.

     Your correspondent asks: "Is Mr. Norman Angell prepared to
     maintain that Japan has derived no political or commercial
     advantages from her victories, and that Russia has suffered no
     loss from defeat?"

     What I am prepared to maintain, and what the experts know to be
     the truth, is that the Japanese people are the poorer, not the
     richer for their war, and that the Russian people will gain
     more from defeat than they could possibly have gained by
     victory, since defeat will constitute a check on the
     economically sterile policy of military and territorial
     aggrandizement and turn Russian energies to social and economic
     development; and it is because of this fact that Russia is at
     the present moment, despite her desperate internal troubles,
     showing a capacity for economic regeneration as great as, if
     not greater than, that of Japan. This latter country is
     breaking all modern records, civilized or uncivilized, in the
     burdensomeness of her taxation. On the average, the Japanese
     people pay 30 per cent.--nearly one-third--of their net income
     in taxation in one form or another, and so far have they been
     compelled to push the progressive principle that a Japanese
     lucky enough to possess an income of ten thousand a year has to
     surrender over six thousand of it in taxation, a condition of
     things which would, of course, create a revolution in any
     European country in twenty-four hours. And this is quoted as a
     result so brilliant that those who question it cannot be doing
     so seriously![16] On the other side, for the first time in
     twenty years the Russian Budget shows a surplus.

     This recovery of the defeated nation after wars is not even
     peculiar to our generation. Ten years after the Franco-Prussian
     War France was in a better financial position than Germany, as
     she is in a better financial position to-day, and though her
     foreign trade does not show as great expansion as that of
     Germany--because her population remains absolutely stationary,
     while that of Germany increases by leaps and bounds--the French
     people as a whole are more prosperous, more comfortable, more
     economically secure, with a greater reserve of savings, and all
     the moral and social advantages that go therewith, than are the
     Germans. In the same way the social and industrial renaissance
     of modern Spain dates from the day that she was defeated and
     lost her colonies, and it is since her defeat that Spanish
     securities have just doubled in value.[17] It is since England
     added the "gold-fields of the world" to her "possessions" that
     British Consols have dropped twenty points. Such is the outcome
     in terms of social well-being of military success and political



    The real balance-sheet of the Franco-German War--Disregard of Sir
    Robert Giffen's warning in interpreting the figures--What really
    happened in France and Germany during the decade following the
    war--Bismarck's disillusionment--The necessary discount to be
    given an indemnity--The bearing of the war and its result on
    German prosperity and progress.

In politics it is unfortunately true that ten dollars which can be seen
bulk more largely in the public mind than a million which happen to be
out of sight but are none the less real. Thus, however clearly the
wastefulness of war and the impossibility of effecting by its means any
permanent economic or social advantage for the conqueror may be shown,
the fact that Germany was able to exact an indemnity of a billion
dollars from France at the close of the war of 1870-71 is taken as
conclusive evidence that a nation can "make money by war."

In 1872, Sir Robert (then Mr.) Giffen wrote a notable article
summarizing the results of the Franco-German War thus: it meant to
France a loss of 3500 million dollars, and to Germany a total net gain
of 870 millions, a money difference in favor of Germany exceeding in
value the whole amount of the British National Debt!

An arithmetical statement of this kind seems at first sight so
conclusive that those who have since discussed the financial outcome of
the war of 1870 have quite overlooked the fact that, if such a
balance-sheet as that indicated be sound, the whole financial history of
Germany and France during the forty years which have followed the war is

The truth is, of course, that such a balance-sheet is meaningless--a
verdict which does not reflect upon Sir Robert Giffen, because he drew
it up in ignorance of the sequel of the war. It does, however, reflect
on those who have adopted the result shown on such a balance-sheet.
Indeed, Sir Robert Giffen himself made the most important reservations.
He had at least an inkling of the practical difficulties of profiting by
an indemnity, and indicated plainly that the nominal figures had to be
very heavily discounted.

A critic[18] of an early edition of this book seems to have adopted most
of Sir Robert Giffen's figures, disregarding, however, certain of his
reservations, and to this critic I replied as follows:

     In arriving at this balance my critic, like the
     company-promoting genius who promises you 150 per cent. for
     your money, leaves so much out of the account. There are a few
     items not considered, _e.g._ the increase in the French army
     which took place immediately after the war, and as the direct
     result thereof, compelled Germany to increase her army by at
     least one hundred thousand men, an increase which has been
     maintained for forty years. The expenditure throughout this
     time amounts to at least a billion dollars. We have already
     wiped out the "profit," and I have only dealt with one item
     yet--to this we must add,--loss of markets for Germany involved
     in the destruction of so many French lives and so much French
     wealth; loss from the general disturbance throughout Europe,
     and still greater loss from the fact that the unproductive
     expenditure on armaments throughout the greater part of Europe
     which has followed the war, the diversion of energies which is
     the result of it, has directly deprived Germany of large
     markets and by a general check of development indirectly
     deprived her of immense ones.

     But it is absurd to bring figures to bear on such a system of
     bookkeeping as that adopted by my critic. Germany had several
     years' preparation for the war, and has had, as the direct
     result thereof and as an integral part of the general war
     system which her own policy supports, certain obligations
     during forty years. All this is ignored. Just note how the same
     principle would work if applied in ordinary commercial matters;
     because, for instance, on an estate the actual harvest only
     takes a fortnight, you disregard altogether the working
     expenses for the remaining fifty weeks of the year, charge only
     the actual cost of the harvest (and not all of that), deduct
     this from the gross proceeds of the crops, and call the result
     "profit"! Such "finance" is really luminous. Applied by the
     ordinary business man, it would in an incredibly short time put
     his business in the bankruptcy court and himself in gaol!

     But were my critic's figures as complete as they are absurdly
     incomplete and misleading, I should still be unimpressed,
     because the facts which stare us in the face would not
     corroborate his statistical performance. We are examining what
     is from the money point of view the most successful war ever
     recorded in history, and if the general proposition that such a
     war is financially profitable were sound, and if the results of
     the war were anything like as brilliant as they are
     represented, money should be cheaper and more plentiful in
     Germany than in France, and credit, public and private, should
     be sounder. Well, it is the exact reverse which is the case. As
     a net result of the whole thing Germany was, ten years after
     the war, a good deal worse off, financially, than her
     vanquished rival, and was at that date trying, as she is trying
     to-day, to borrow money from her victim. Within twenty months
     of the payment of the last of the indemnity, the bank rate was
     higher in Berlin than in Paris, and we know that Bismarck's
     later life was clouded by the spectacle of what he regarded as
     an absurd miracle: the vanquished recovering more quickly than
     the victor. We have the testimony of his own speeches to this
     fact, and to the fact that France weathered the financial
     storms of 1878-9 a great deal better than did Germany. And
     to-day, when Germany is compelled to pay nearly 4 per cent. for
     money, France can secure it for 3.... We are not for the moment
     considering anything but the money view--the advantages and
     disadvantages of a certain financial operation--and by any test
     that you care to apply, France, the vanquished, is better off
     than Germany, the victor. The French people are as a whole more
     prosperous, more comfortable, more economically secure, with
     greater reserve of savings and all the moral and social
     advantages that go therewith, than are the Germans, a fact
     expressed briefly by French Rentes standing at 98 and German
     Consols at 83. There is something wrong with a financial
     operation that gives these results.

The something wrong, of course, is that in order to arrive at any
financial profit at all essential facts have to be disregarded, those
facts being what necessarily precedes and what necessarily follows a war
of this kind. In the case of highly organized industrial nations like
England and Germany, dependent for the very livelihood of great masses
of their population upon the fact that neighboring nations furnish a
market for their goods, a general policy of "piracy," imposing upon
those neighbors an expenditure which limits their purchasing power,
creates a burden of which the nation responsible for that policy of
piracy pays its part. It is not France alone which has paid the greater
part of the real cost of the Franco-German War, it is Europe--and
particularly Germany--in the burdensome military system and the general
political situation which that war has created or intensified.

But there is a more special consideration connected with the exaction of
an indemnity, which demands notice, and that is the practical difficulty
with regard to the transfer of an immense sum of money outside the
ordinary operations of commerce.

The history of the German experience with the French indemnity suggests
the question whether in every case an enormous discount on the nominal
value of a large money indemnity must not be allowed owing to the
practical financial difficulties of its payment and receipt,
difficulties unavoidable in any circumstances which we need consider.

These difficulties were clearly foreseen by Sir Robert Giffen, though
his warnings, and the important reservations that he made on this point,
are generally overlooked by those who wish to make use of his

These warnings he summarized as follows:

     As regards Germany, a doubt is expressed whether the Germans
     will gain so much as France loses, the capital of the indemnity
     being transferred from individuals to the German Government,
     who cannot use it so profitably as individuals. It is doubted
     whether the practice of lending out large sums, though a
     preferable course to locking them up, will not in the end be

     The financial operations incidental to these great losses and
     expenses seriously affect the money market. They have been a
     fruitful cause, in the first place, of spasmodic disturbance.
     The outbreak of war caused a monetary panic in July, 1870, by
     the anxiety of people who had money engagements to meet to
     provide against the chances of war, and there was another
     monetary crash in September, 1871, owing to the sudden
     withdrawal by the German Government of the money it had to
     receive. The war thus illustrates the tendency of wars in
     general to cause spasmodic disturbance in a market so
     delicately organized as that of London now is.

And it is to be noted in this connection that the difficulties of 1872
were trifling compared to what they would necessarily be in our day. In
1872, Germany was self-sufficing, little dependent upon credit; to-day
undisturbed credit in Europe is the very life-blood of her industry; it
is, in fact, the very food of her people, as the events of 1911 have
sufficiently proved.

It is not generally realized how abundantly the whole history of the
German indemnity bears out Sir Robert Giffen's warning; how this flood
of gold turned indeed to dust and ashes as far as the German nation is

First, anyone familiar with financial problems might have expected that
the receipt of so large a sum of money by Germany would cause prices to
rise and so handicap export trade in competition with France, where the
reverse process would cause prices to fall. This result was, in fact,
produced. M. Paul Beaulieu and M. Léon Say[19] have both shown that this
factor operated through the value of commercial bills of exchange,
giving to the French exporter a bonus and to the German a handicap which
affected trade most perceptibly. Captain Bernard Serrigny, who has
collected in his work a wealth of evidence bearing on this subject,

     The rise in prices influenced seriously the cost of production,
     and the German manufacturers fought, in consequence, at a
     disadvantage with England and France. Finally the goods
     produced at this high cost were thrown upon the home market at
     the moment when the increase in the cost of living was
     diminishing seriously the purchasing power of the bulk of
     consumers. These goods had to compete, not only with home
     over-production due to the failure to sell abroad, but with
     foreign goods, which, despite the tariff, were by their lower
     price able to push their way into the German market, where
     relatively higher prices attracted them. In this competition
     France was particularly prominent. In France the lack of
     metallic money had engendered great financial caution, and had
     considerably lowered prices all around, so that there was a
     general financial and commercial condition very different from
     that in Germany, where the payment of the indemnity had been
     followed by reckless speculation. Moreover, owing to the heavy
     foreign payments made by France, bills drawn on foreign centres
     were at a premium, a premium which constituted a sensible
     additional profit to French exporters, so considerable in
     certain cases that it was worth while for French manufacturers
     to sell their goods at an actual loss in order to realize the
     profit on the bill of exchange. The German market was thus
     being captured by the French at the very moment when the
     Germans supposed they would, thanks to the indemnity, be
     starting out to capture the world.

The German economist Max Wirth ("Geschichte der Handelskrisen")
expressed in 1874 his astonishment at France's financial and industrial
recovery: "The most striking example of the economic force of the
country is shown by the exports, which rose immediately after the
signature of peace, despite a war which swallowed a hundred thousand
lives and more than ten milliards (two billion dollars)." A similar
conclusion is drawn by Professor Biermer ("Fürst Bismarck als
Volkswirt"), who indicates that the Protectionist movement in 1879 was
to a large extent due to the result of the payment of the indemnity.

This disturbance of the balance of trade, however, was only one factor
among several: the financial disorganization, a fictitious expansion of
expenditure creating a morbid speculation, precipitated the worst
financial crisis in Germany which she has known in modern times.
Monsieur Lavisse summarizes the experience thus:

     Enormous sums of money were lost. If one takes the aggregate of
     the securities quoted on the Berlin Bourse, railroad, mining
     and industrial securities generally, it is by thousands of
     millions of marks that one must estimate the value of such
     securities in 1870 and 1871. But a large number of enterprises
     were started in Germany of which the Berlin Bourse knew
     nothing. Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Breslau,
     Stuttgart, had all their local groups of speculative
     securities; hundreds of millions must be added to the thousands
     of millions. These differences did not represent merely a
     transfer of wealth, for a great proportion of the capital sunk
     was lost altogether, having been eaten up in ill-considered and
     unattractive expenditure.... There can be no sort of doubt that
     the money lost in these worthless enterprises constitutes an
     absolute loss for Germany.

The decade from 1870-1880 was for France a great recuperative period,
although for several other nations in Europe it was one of great
depression, notably, after the "boom" of 1872, for Germany. No less an
authority than Bismarck himself testifies to the double fact. We know
that Bismarck was astonished and dismayed by seeing the regeneration of
France after the war taking place more rapidly and more completely than
the regeneration of Germany. This weighed so heavily upon his mind that
in introducing his Protectionist Bill in 1879 he declared that Germany
was "slowly bleeding to death," and that if the present process were
continued she would find herself ruined. Speaking in the Reichstag on
May 2, 1879, he said:

     We see that France manages to support the present difficult
     business situation of the civilized world better than we do;
     that her Budget has increased since 1871 by a milliard and a
     half, and that thanks not only to loans; we see that she has
     more resources than Germany, and that, in short, over there
     they complain less of bad times.

And in a speech two years later (November 29, 1881) he returned to the
same idea:

     It was towards 1877 that I was first struck with the general
     and growing distress in Germany as compared with France. I saw
     furnaces banked, the standard of well-being reduced, and the
     general position of workmen becoming worse and business as a
     whole terribly bad.

In the book from which these extracts are taken[20] the author writes as
an introduction to Bismarck's speeches:

     Trade and industry were in a miserable condition. Thousands of
     workmen were without employment, and in the winter of 1876-77
     unemployment took great proportions, and soup-kitchens and
     State workshops had to be established.

Every author who deals with this period seems to tell broadly the same
tale, however much they may differ in detail. "If only we could get back
to the general position of things before the war," said M. Block in
1879. "But salaries diminish and prices go up."[21]

At the very time that the French millions were raining in upon Germany
(1873) she was suffering from a grave financial crisis, and so little
effect did the transfer of the money have upon trade and finance in
general, that twelve months after the payment of the last of the
indemnity we find the bank rate higher in Berlin than in Paris; and, as
was shown by the German economist Soetbeer, by the year 1878 far more
money was in circulation in France than in Germany.[22] Hans Blum,
indeed, directly ascribed the series of crises between the years 1873
and 1880 to the indemnity: "A burst of prosperity and then ruin for
thousands."[23] Throughout the year 1875 the bank rate in Paris was
uniformly 3 per cent. In Berlin (Preussische Bank, which preceded the
Reichs Bank) it varied from 4 to 6 per cent. A similar difference is
reflected by the fact that, between the years 1872 and 1877, the
deposits in the State savings banks in Germany actually fell by roughly
20 per cent., while in the same period the French deposits _increased_
about 20 per cent.

Two tendencies plainly show the condition of Germany during the decade
which followed the war: the enormous growth of Socialism--relatively
much greater than any which we have ever since seen--and the immense
stimulus given to emigration.

Perhaps no thesis is commoner with the defender of war than this: that,
though one may not be able in a narrow economic sense to justify an
enterprise like that of 1870, the moral stimulus which victory gave to
the German people is accepted as being of incalculable benefit to the
race and the nation. Its alleged effect in bringing about a national
solidarity, in stimulating patriotic sentiment and national pride, in
the wiping out of internal differences and Heaven knows what, are claims
I have dealt with at greater length elsewhere, and I wish only to note
here that all this high-falutin does not stand the test of facts. The
two phenomena just mentioned--the extraordinary progress of Socialism
and the enormous stimulus given to emigration during the years which
immediately followed the war--give the lie to all the claims in
question. In 1872-73, the very years in which the moral stimulus of
victory and the economic stimulus of the indemnity should have kept at
home every able-bodied German, emigration was, relatively to the
population, greater than it has ever been before or since, the figures
for 1872 being 154,000 and for 1873 134,000.[24] And at no period since
the fifties was the internal political struggle so bitter--it was a
period of repression, of prescription on the one side and class-hatred
on the other--"the golden age of the drill-sergeant," some German has
called it.

It will be replied that, after the first decade, Germany's trade has
shown an expansion which has not been shown by that of France. Those who
are hypnotized by this, quietly ignore altogether one great fact or
which has affected both France and Germany, not only since the war, but
during the whole of the nineteenth century, and that factor is that the
population of France, from causes in no way connected with the
Franco-Prussian War, since the tendency was a pronounced one for fifty
years before, is practically quite stationary; while the population of
Germany, also for reasons in no way connected with the war, since the
tendency was also pronounced half a century previously, has shown an
abounding expansion. Since 1875 the population of Germany has increased
by twenty million souls. That of France has not increased at all. Is it
astonishing that the labor of twenty million souls makes some stir in
the industrial world? Is it not evident that the necessity of earning a
livelihood for this increasing population gives to German industry an
expansion outside the limits of her territory which cannot be looked for
in the case of a nation whose social energies are not faced with any
such problem? There is this, moreover, to be borne in mind: Germany has
secured her foreign trade on what are, in the terms of the relative
comfort of her people, hard conditions. In other words, she has secured
that trade by cutting profits, in the way that a business fighting
desperately for life will cut profits, in order to secure orders, and by
making sacrifices that the comfortable business man will not make.
Notwithstanding the fact that France has made no sensational splash in
foreign trade since the war, the standard of comfort among her people
has been rising steadily, and is without doubt generally higher to-day
than is that of the German people. This higher standard of comfort is
reflected in her financial situation. It is Germany, the victor, which
is to-day in the position of a suppliant in regard to France, and it is
revealing no diplomatic secrets to say that, for many years now, Germany
has been employing all the wiles of her diplomacy to obtain the official
recognition of German securities on the French Bourses. France
financially has, in a very real sense, the whip hand.

That is not all. Those who point triumphantly to German industrial
expansion, as a proof of the benefits of war and conquest, ignore
certain facts which cannot be ignored if that argument is to have any
value, and they are these:

1. Such progress is not peculiar to Germany; it is shown in an equal or
greater degree (I am speaking now of the general wealth and social
progress of the average individual citizen) by States that have had no
victorious war--the Scandinavian States, the Netherlands, Switzerland.

2. Even if it were special to Germany, which it is not, we should be
entitled to ask whether certain developments of German political
evolution, which _preceded the war_, and which one may fairly claim have
a more direct and understandable bearing upon industrial progress, are
not a much more appreciable factor in that progress than the war
itself--I refer particularly, of course, to the immense change involved
in the fiscal union of the German States, which was completed before the
Franco-German War of 1870 had been declared; to say nothing of such
other factors as the invention of the Thomas-Gilchrist process which
enabled the phosphoric iron ores of Germany, previously useless, to be

3. The very serious social difficulties (which have, of course, their
economic aspect) that _do_ confront the German people--the intense class
friction, the backwardness of parliamentary government, the survival of
reactionary political ideas, wrapped up with the domination of the
"Prussian ideal"--all difficulties which States whose political
development has been less marked by successful war (the lesser European
States just mentioned, for instance)--are not faced with in the same
degree. These difficulties, special, among the great European nations,
to Germany, are certainly in a large measure a legacy of the
Franco-German War, a part of the general system to which that war gave
rise, the general character of the political union which it provoked.

The general ascription of such real progress as Germany has made to the
effects of the war and nothing else--a conclusion which calmly ignores
factors which have evidently a more direct bearing--is one of those _a
priori_ judgments repeated, parrot fashion, without investigation or
care even by publicists of repute; it is characteristic of the
carelessness which dominates this whole subject. This more general
consideration, which does not properly belong to the special problem of
an indemnity, I have dealt with at greater length in the next section.
The evidence bearing on the particular question, as to whether in
practice the exaction of a large monetary indemnity from a conquered foe
can ever be economically profitable or of real advantage to the
conqueror, is of a simpler character. If we put the question in this
form, "Was the receipt of the indemnity, in the most characteristic and
successful case in history, of advantage to the conqueror?" the reply is
simple enough: all the evidence plainly and conclusively shows that it
was of no advantage; that the conqueror would probably have been better
without it.

Even if we draw from that evidence a contrary conclusion, even if we
conclude that the actual payment of the indemnity was as beneficial as
all the evidence would seem to show it was mischievous; even if we could
set aside completely the financial and commercial difficulties which its
payment seems to have involved; if we ascribe to other causes the great
financial crises which followed that payment; if we deduct no discount
from the nominal value of the indemnity, but assume that every mark and
thaler of it represented its full face value to Germany--even admitting
all this, it is still inevitable that _the direct cost of preparing for
a war and of guarding against a subsequent war of retribution must, from
the nature of the case, exceed the value of the indemnity which can be
exacted_. This is not merely a hypothetical statement, it is a
commercial fact, supported by evidence which is familiar to us all. In
order to avoid repaying, with interest, the indemnity drawn from France,
Germany has had to expend upon armaments a sum of money at least equal
to that indemnity. In order to exact a still larger indemnity from
Great Britain, Germany would have to spend a still larger sum in
preparations, and to guard against repayment would be led into
indefinite expenditure, which has only to go on long enough inevitably
to exceed the very definite indemnity. For, it must be remembered that
the amount of an indemnity extractable from a modern community, of the
credit era, has very definite limits: an insolvent community can pay
more. If the Statesmen of Europe could lay on one side, for a moment,
the irrelevant considerations which cloud their minds, they would see
that the direct cost of acquisition by force must in these circumstances
necessarily exceed in value the property acquired. When the _indirect_
costs are also considered, the balance of loss becomes incalculably

Those who urge that through an indemnity, war can be made to "pay" (and
it is for them that this chapter is written), have before them problems
and difficulties--difficulties of not merely a military, but of a
financial and social character--of the very deepest kind. It was
precisely in this section of the subject that German science failed in
1870. There is no evidence that much progress has been made in the study
of this phase of the problem by either side since the war--indeed, there
is plenty of evidence that it has been neglected. It is time that it was
scientifically and systematically attacked.

Those who wish well for Europe will encourage the study, for it can have
but one result: to show that less and less can war be made to pay; that
all those forces of our world which daily gain in strength make it, as
a commercial venture, more and more preposterous. The study of this
department of international polity will tend to the same result as the
study of any of its facets: the undermining of those beliefs which have
in the past so often led to, and are to-day so often claimed as the
motives likely to lead to, war between civilized peoples.



    Why twentieth-century methods must differ from eighteenth--The
    vagueness of our conceptions of statecraft--How Colonies are
    "owned"--Some little recognized facts--Why foreigners could not
    fight England for her self-governing Colonies--She does not "own"
    them, since they are masters of their own destiny--The paradox
    of conquest: England in a worse position in regard to her own
    Colonies than in regard to foreign nations--Her experience as the
    oldest and most practised colonizer in history--Recent French
    experience--Could Germany hope to do what England cannot do?

The foregoing chapters dispose of the first six of the seven
propositions outlined in Chapter III. There remains the seventh, dealing
with the notion that in some way England's security and prosperity would
be threatened by a foreign nation "taking our Colonies from us"--a thing
which we are assured her rivals are burning to do, as it would involve
the "breaking up of the British Empire" to their advantage.

Let us try to read some meaning into a phrase which, however childish it
may appear on analysis, is very commonly in the mouths of those who are
responsible for British political ideas.

In this connection it is necessary to point out--as, indeed, it is in
every phase of this problem of the relationship of States--that the
world has moved, that methods have changed. It is hardly possible to
discuss this matter of the necessary futility of military force in the
modern world for ten minutes without it being urged that as England has
acquired her Colonies by the sword, it is evident that the sword may do
a like service for modern States desiring Colonies. About as reasonably
could one say that, as certain tribes and nations in the past enriched
themselves by capturing slaves and women among neighboring tribes, the
desire to capture slaves and women will always be an operative motive in
warfare between nations, as though slavery had not been put economically
out of court by modern industrial methods, and as though the change in
social methods had not put the forcible capture of women out of court.

What was the problem confronting the merchant adventurer of the
sixteenth century? There were newly-discovered foreign lands containing,
as he believed, precious metals and stones and spices, and inhabited by
savages or semi-savages. If other traders got those stones, it was quite
evident that he could not. His colonial policy, therefore, had to be
directed to two ends: first, such effective political occupation of the
country that he could keep the savage or semi-savage population in
check, and could exploit the territory for its wealth; and, secondly,
such arrangements as would prevent other nations from searching for
this wealth in precious metals, spices, etc., since, if they obtained
it, he could not.

That is the story of the French and Dutch in India, and of the Spanish
in South America. But as soon as there grew up in those countries an
organized community living in the country itself, the whole problem
changed. The Colonies, in this later stage of development, have a value
to the Mother Country mainly as a market and a source of food and raw
material, and if their value in those respects is to be developed to the
full, they inevitably become self-governing communities in greater or
less degree, and the Mother Country exploits them exactly as she
exploits any other community with which she may be trading. Germany
might acquire Canada, but it could no longer be a question of her taking
Canada's wealth in precious metals, or in any other form, to the
exclusion of other nations. Could Germany "own" Canada, she would have
to "own" it in the same way that Britain does; the Germans would have to
pay for every sack of wheat and every pound of beef that they might buy,
just as though Canada "belonged" to England or to anybody else. Germany
could not have even the meagre satisfaction of Germanizing these great
communities, for one knows that they are far too firmly "set." Their
language, law, morals, would have to be, after German conquest, what
they are now. Germany would find that the German Canada was pretty much
the Canada that it is now--a country where Germans are free to go and
do go; a field for Germany's expanding population.

As a matter of fact, Germany feeds her expanding population from
territories like Canada and the United States and South America without
sending its citizens there. The era of emigration from Germany has
stopped, because the compound steam-engine has rendered emigration
largely unnecessary. And it is the developments which are the necessary
outcome of such forces, that have made the whole colonial problem of the
twentieth century radically different from that of the eighteenth or

I have stated the case thus: No nation could gain any advantage by the
conquest of the British Colonies, and Great Britain could not suffer
material damage by their "loss," however much this would be regretted on
sentimental grounds, and as rendering less easy a certain useful social
co-operation between kindred peoples. For the British Colonies are, in
fact, independent nations in alliance with the Mother Country, to whom
they are no source of tribute or economic profit (except in the way that
foreign nations are), their economic relations being settled not by the
Mother Country, but by the Colonies. Economically, England would gain by
their formal separation, since she would be relieved of the cost of
their defence. Their loss, involving, therefore, no change in economic
fact (beyond saving the Mother Country the cost of their defence), could
not involve the ruin of the Empire and the starvation of the Mother
Country, as those who commonly treat of such a contingency are apt to
aver. As England is not able to exact tribute or economic advantage, it
is inconceivable that any other country, necessarily less experienced in
colonial management, would be able to succeed where England had failed,
especially in view of the past history of the Spanish, Portuguese,
French, and British Colonial Empires. This history also demonstrates
that the position of British Crown Colonies, in the respect which we are
considering, is not sensibly different from that of the self-governing
ones. It is not to be presumed, therefore, that any European nation
would attempt the desperately expensive business of the conquest of
England, for the purpose of making an experiment with her Colonies which
all colonial history shows to be doomed to failure.

What are the facts? Great Britain is the most successful colonizing
nation in the world, and the policy into which her experience has driven
her is that outlined by Sir C.P. Lucas, one of the greatest authorities
on colonial questions. He writes, speaking of the history of the British
Colonies on the American continent, thus:

     It was seen--but it might not have been seen had the United
     States not won their independence--that English colonists, like
     Greek Colonies of old, go out on terms of being equal, not
     subordinate, to those who are left behind; that when they have
     effectively planted another and a distant land, they must,
     within the widest limits, be left to rule themselves; that,
     whether they are right, or whether they are wrong--more,
     perhaps, when they are wrong than when they are right--they
     cannot be made amenable by force; that mutual good feeling,
     community of interest, and abstention from pressing rightful
     claims to their logical conclusion, can alone hold together a
     true Colonial Empire.

But what in the name of common sense is the advantage of conquering them
if the only policy is to let them do as they like, "whether they are
right, or whether they are wrong--more, perhaps, when they are wrong
than when they are right"? And what avails it to conquer them if they
cannot be made amenable to force? Surely this makes the whole thing a
_reductio ad absurdum_. Were a Power like Germany to use force to
conquer Colonies, she would find out that they were not amenable to
force, and that the only working policy was to let them do exactly as
they did before she conquered them, and to allow them, if they
chose--and many of the British Colonies do so choose--to treat the
Mother Country absolutely as a foreign country. There has recently been
going on in Canada a discussion as to the position which that Dominion
should hold with reference to the British in the event of war, and
that discussion has made Canada's position quite plain. It has been
summarized thus: "We must always be free to give or refuse support."[25]

Could a foreign nation say more? In what sense does England "own" Canada
when Canadians must always be free to give or refuse their military
support to England; and in what way does Canada differ from a foreign
nation while England may be at war when Canada can be at peace? Mr.
Asquith formally endorses this conception.[26]

This shows clearly that no Dominion is held to be bound by virtue of its
allegiance to the Sovereign of the British Empire to place its forces at
his disposition, no matter how real may be the emergency. If it should
not desire so to do, it is free to refuse so to do. This is to convert
the British Empire into a loose alliance of independent Sovereign
States, which are not even bound to help each other in case of war. The
military alliance between Austria and Germany is far more stringent than
the tie which unites, for purposes of war, the component parts of the
British Empire.

One critic, commenting on this, says:

     Whatever language is used to describe this new movement of
     Imperial defence, it is virtually one more step towards
     complete national independence on the part of the Colonies. For
     not only will the consciousness of the assumption of this task
     of self-defence feed with new vigor the spirit of nationality,
     it will entail the further power of full control over foreign
     relations. This has already been virtually admitted in the case
     of Canada, now entitled to a determinant voice in all treaties
     or other engagements in which her interests are especially
     involved. The extension of this right to the other colonial
     nations may be taken as a matter of course. Home rule in
     national defence thus established reduces the Imperial
     connection to its thinnest terms.[27]

Still more significant, perhaps, is the following emphatic declaration
from Mr. Balfour himself. Speaking in London, on November 6, 1911, he

     We depend as an Empire upon the co-operation of absolutely
     independent Parliaments. I am not talking as a lawyer; I am
     talking as a politician. I believe from a legal point of view
     that the British Parliament is supreme over the Parliament of
     Canada or Australasia or the Cape or South Africa, but in fact
     they are independent Parliaments, absolutely independent, and
     it is our business to recognize that and to frame the British
     Empire upon the co-operation of absolutely independent

Which means, of course, that England's position with regard to Canada
or Australia is just England's position with regard to any other
independent State; that she has no more "ownership" in Australia than
she has in Argentina. Indeed, facts of very recent English history have
established quite incontrovertibly this ridiculous paradox: England has
more influence--that is to say, a freer opportunity of enforcing her
point of view--with foreign nations than with her own Colonies. Indeed,
does not Sir C. P. Lucas's statement that "whether they are right or
wrong--still more, perhaps, when they are wrong," they must be left
alone, necessarily mean that her position with the Colonies is weaker
than her position with foreign nations? In the present state of
international feeling an English Statesman would never dream of
advocating that she should submit to foreign nations when they are
wrong. Recent history is illuminating on this point.

What were the larger motives that pushed England into war with the Dutch
Republics? To vindicate the supremacy of the British race in South
Africa, to enforce British ideals as against Boer ideals, to secure the
rights of British Indians and other British subjects, to protect the
native against Boer oppression, to take the government of the country
generally from a people whom, at that date, she was apt to describe as
"inherently incapable of civilization." What, however, is the outcome of
spending a billion and a quarter of dollars upon the accomplishment of
these objects? The present Government of the Transvaal is in the hands
of the Boer party.[29] England has achieved the union of South Africa in
which the Boer element is predominant. Britain has enforced against the
British Indian in the Transvaal and Natal the same Boer regulations
which were one of her grievances before the war, and the Houses of
Parliament have ratified an Act of Union in which the Boer attitude with
reference to the native is codified and made permanent. Sir Charles
Dilke, in the debate in the House of Commons on the South African Bill,
made this quite clear. He said: "The old British principle in South
Africa, as distinct from the Boer principle, in regard to the treatment
of natives, was equal rights for all civilized men. At the beginning of
the South African War the country was told that one of its main objects,
and certainly that the one predominant factor in any treaty of peace,
would be the assertion of the British principle as against the Boer
principle. Now the Boer principle dominates throughout the whole of
South Africa." Mr. Asquith, as representing the British Government,
admitted that this was the case, and that "the opinion of this country
is almost unanimous in objecting to the color bar in the Union
Parliament." He went on to say that "the opinion of the British
Government and the opinion of the British people must not be allowed to
lead to any interference with a self-governing Colony." So that, having
expended in the conquest of the Transvaal a greater sum than Germany
exacted from France at the close of the Franco-Prussian War, England has
not even the right to enforce her views on those whose contrary views
were the _casus belli_!

A year or two since there was in London a deputation from the British
Indians in the Transvaal pointing out that the regulations there deprive
them of the ordinary rights of British citizens. The British Government
informed them that the Transvaal being a self-governing Colony, the
Imperial Government could do nothing for them.[30] Now, it will not be
forgotten that, at a time when Britain was quarrelling with Paul Krüger,
one of the liveliest of her grievances was the treatment of British
Indians. Having conquered Krüger, and now "owning" his country, do the
British themselves act as they were trying to compel Paul Krüger as a
foreign ruler to act? They do not. They (or rather the responsible
Government of the Colony, with whom they dare not interfere, although
they were ready enough to make representations to Krüger) simply and
purely enforce his own regulations. Moreover, the Australian
Commonwealth and British Columbia have since taken the view with
reference to British Indians which President Krüger took, and which view
England made almost a _casus belli_. Yet in the case of her Colonies she
does absolutely nothing.

So the process is this: The Government of a foreign territory does
something which we ask it to cease doing. The refusal of the foreign
Government constitutes a _casus belli_. We fight, we conquer, and the
territory in question becomes one of our Colonies, and we allow the
Government of that Colony to continue doing the very thing which
constituted, in the case of a foreign nation, a _casus belli_.

Do we not, taking the English case as typical, arrive, therefore, at the
absurdity I have already indicated--_that we are in a worse position to
enforce our views in our own territory--that is to say, in our
Colonies--than in foreign territory_?

Would England submit tamely if a foreign Government should exercise
permanently gross oppression on an important section of her citizens?
Certainly she would not. But when the Government exercising that
oppression happens to be the Government of her own Colonies she does
nothing, and a great British authority lays it down that, even more
when the Colonial Government is wrong than when it is right, must she do
nothing, and that, though wrong, the Colonial Government cannot be
amenable to force. Nor can it be said that Crown Colonies differ
essentially in this matter from self-governing dominions. Not only is
there an irresistible tendency for Crown Colonies to acquire the
practical rights of self-governing dominions, but it has become a
practical impossibility to disregard their special interests. Experience
is conclusive on this point.

I am not here playing with words or attempting to make paradoxes. This
_reductio ad absurdum_--the fact that when she owns a territory she
renounces the privilege of using force to ensure observance of her
views--is becoming more and more a commonplace of British colonial

As to the fiscal position of the Colonies, that is precisely what their
political relation is in all but name; they are foreign nations. They
erect tariffs against Great Britain; they exclude large sections of
British subjects absolutely (practically speaking, no British Indian is
allowed to set foot in Australia, and yet British India constitutes the
greater part of the British Empire), and even against British subjects
from Great Britain vexatious exclusion laws are enacted. Again the
question arises: Could a foreign country do more? If fiscal preference
is extended to Great Britain, that preference is not the result of
British "ownership" of the Colonies, but is the free act of the colonial
legislators, and could as well be made by any foreign nation desiring
to court closer fiscal relations with Great Britain.[31]

Is it conceivable that Germany, if the real relations between Great
Britain and her Colonies were understood, would undertake the costliest
war of conquest in history in order to acquire an absurd and profitless
position from which she could not exact even the shadow of a material

It may be pleaded that Germany might on the morrow of conquest attempt
to enforce a policy which gave her a material advantage in the Colonies,
such as Spain and Portugal attempted to create for themselves. But in
that case, is it conceivable that Germany, without colonial experience,
would be able to enforce a policy which Great Britain was obliged to
abandon a hundred years ago? Is it imaginable that, if Great Britain has
been utterly unable to carry out a policy by which the Colonies shall
pay anything resembling tribute to the Mother Country, Germany, without
experience, and at an enormous disadvantage in the matter of language,
tradition, racial tie, and the rest, would be able to make such a policy
a success? Surely, if the elements of this question were in the least
understood in Germany, such a preposterous notion could not be
entertained for a moment.

Does anyone seriously pretend that the present system of British
Colony-holding is due to British philanthropy or high-mindedness? We all
know, of course, that it is simply due to the fact that the older system
of exploitation by monopoly broke down. It was a complete social,
commercial, and political failure long before it was abolished by law.
If England had persisted in the use of force to impose a disadvantageous
situation on the Colonies, she would have followed in the trail of
Spain, Portugal, and France, and she would have lost her Colonies, and
her Empire would have broken up.

It took England anything from two to three centuries to learn the real
colonial policy, but it would not take so long in our day for a
conqueror to realize the only situation possible between one great
community and another. European history, indeed, has recently furnished
a striking illustration of how the forces which compel the relationship,
which England has adopted towards her Colonies, are operative, even in
the case of quite small Colonies, which could not be termed "great
communities." Under the Méline régime in France, less than twenty years
ago, a highly Protectionist policy, somewhat corresponding to the old
English colonial monopoly system, was enforced in the case of certain
French Colonies. None of these Colonies was very considerable--indeed,
they were all quite small--and yet the forces which they represented in
the matter of the life of France have sufficed to change radically the
attitude of the French Government in the matter of the policy which less
than twenty years ago was imposed on them. In _Le Temps_ of April 5,
1911, appeared the following:

     Our Colonies can consider yesterday a red-letter day. The
     debate in the Chamber gives hope that the stifling fiscal
     policy imposed on them heretofore is about to be very greatly
     modified. The Tariff Commission of the Chamber has hitherto
     been a very citadel of the blindest type of Protectionism in
     this matter. M. Thierry is the present President of this
     Commission, and yet it is from him that we learn that a new era
     in the Colonies is about to be inaugurated. It is a very great
     change, and one that may have incalculable consequences in the
     future development of our Colonial Empire.

     The Customs Law of 1892 committed two injustices with regard to
     our possessions. The first was that it obliged the Colonies to
     receive, free of duty, goods coming from France, while it taxed
     colonial goods coming into France. Now, it is impossible to
     imagine a treaty of that kind being passed between two free
     countries, and if it was passed with the Colonies, it was
     because these Colonies were weak, and not in the position to
     defend themselves _vis-à-vis_ the Mother Country.... The
     Minister of the Colonies himself, animated by a newer and
     better spirit, which we are so happy to see appear in our
     treatment of colonial questions, has promised to give all his
     efforts towards terminating the present bad system.

     A further defect of the law of 1892 is that all the Colonies
     have been subjected to the same fiscal arrangement, as though
     there could be anything in common between countries separated
     by the width of the whole globe. Happily the policy was too
     outrageous ever to be put into full execution. Certain of our
     African Colonies[32] were tied by international treaties at the
     time that the law was voted, so that the Government was
     compelled to make exceptions. But Monsieur Méline's idea at
     this period was to bring all the Colonies under one fiscal
     arrangement imposed by the Mother Country, just as soon as the
     international treaty should have expired. The exceptions have
     thus furnished a most useful demonstration as to the results
     which flow from the two systems; the fiscal policy imposed by
     the Mother Country in view merely of its own immediate
     interest, and the fiscal policy framed to some extent by the
     Colony in view of its own special interests. Well, what is the
     result? It is this. That those Colonies which have been free to
     frame their own fiscal policy have enjoyed undeniable
     prosperity, while those which have been obliged to submit to
     the policy imposed by another country have been sinking into a
     condition of veritable ruin; they are faced by positive
     disaster! Only one conclusion is possible. Each Colony must be
     free to make those arrangements which in its view are suited to
     its local conditions. That is not at all what M. Méline
     desired, but it is what experience imposes.... It is not merely
     a matter of injustice. Our policy has been absurd. What is it
     that France desires in her Colonies? An addition of wealth and
     power to the Mother Country. But if we compel the Colonies to
     submit to disadvantageous fiscal arrangements, which result in
     their poverty, how can they possibly be a source of wealth and
     power to the Mother Country? A Colony which can sell nothing is
     a Colony which can buy nothing: it is a customer lost to French

Every feature of the foregoing is significant and pregnant: this change
of policy is not taking place because France is unable to impose
force--she is perfectly able to do so; speaking in practical terms, the
Colonies have no physical force whatever to oppose to her--but this
change is taking place because the imposition of force, even when
completely successful and unchallenged, is economically futile. The
object at which France is striving can be obtained in one way only: by
an arrangement which is mutually advantageous, arrived at by the free
consent of both parties, the establishment of a relationship which
places a Colony fiscally, economically, on the footing of a foreign
country. France is now in process of doing exactly what England has done
in the case of her Colonies: she is undoing the work of conquest,
surrendering bit by bit the right to impose force, because force fails
in its object.

Perhaps the most significant feature of all in the French experience is
this: that it has taken less than twenty years for the old colonial
system, even in the case of small and relatively powerless Colonies, to
break down entirely. How long would a Power like Germany be able to
impose the old policy of exploitation on great and powerful communities,
a hundred times greater than the French Colonies, even supposing that
she could ever "conquer" them?[33]

Yet so little is the real relationship of modern Colonies understood,
that I have heard it mentioned in private conversation by an English
public man, whose position was such, moreover, as to enable him to give
very great effect to his opinion, that one of the motives pushing
Germany to war was the projected capture of South Africa, in order to
seize the gold-mines, and by means of a tax of 50 per cent. on their
output, secure for herself one of the chief sources of gold in the

One heard a good deal at the outbreak of the South African War of the
part that the gold-mines played in precipitating that conflict. Alike in
England and on the Continent, it was generally assumed that Great
Britain was "after the gold-mines." A long correspondence took place in
the London _Times_ as to the real value of the mines, and speculation as
to the amount of money which it was worth Great Britain's while to spend
in their "capture." Well, now that England has won the war, how many
gold-mines has she captured? In other words, how many shares in the
gold-mines does the British Government hold? How many mines have been
transferred from their then owners to the British Government, as the
result of British victory? How much tribute does the Government of
Westminster exact as the result of investing two hundred and fifty
millions in the enterprise?

The fact is, of course, that the British Government does not hold a
cent's worth of the property. The mines belong to the shareholders and
to no one else, and in the conditions of the modern world it is not
possible for a Government to "capture" so much as a single dollar's
worth of such property as the result of a war of conquest.

Supposing that Germany or any other conqueror were to put on the output
of the mines a duty of 50 per cent. What would she get, and what would
be the result? The output of the South African mines to-day is, roughly,
$150,000,000 a year, so that she would get about $75,000,000 a year.[34]
The annual total income of Germany is calculated at something like
$15,000,000,000, so that a tribute of $75,000,000 would hold about the
same proportion to Germany's total income that, say, fifteen cents a day
would to a man in receipt of $10,000 a year. It would represent, say,
the expenditure of a man with an income of $2000 or $2500 a year upon,
say, his evening cigars. Could one imagine such a householder in his
right mind committing burglary and murder in order to economize a dollar
a week? Yet that would be the position of the German Empire entering
upon a great and costly war for the purpose of exacting $75,000,000 a
year from the South African mines; or, rather, the situation for the
German Empire would be a great deal worse than that. For this
householder having committed burglary and murder for the sake of his
dollar a week (the German Empire, that is, having entered into one of
the most frightful wars of history to exact its tribute of seventy-five
millions) would then find that in order to get this dollar he had to
jeopardize many of the investments upon which the bulk of his income
depended. On the morrow of imposing a tax of fifty per cent. on the
mines there would be such a slump in a class of security now dealt in by
every considerable stock exchange in the world that there would hardly
be a considerable business firm in Europe unaffected thereby. In
England, they know of the difficulty that a relatively mild fiscal
attack, delivered rather for social and moral than economic reasons,
upon a class of property like the brewing trade provokes. What sort of
outcry, therefore, would be raised throughout the world when every South
African mining share in the world lost at one stroke half its value, and
a great many of them lost all their value? Who would invest money in the
Transvaal at all if property were to be subject to that sort of shock?
Investors would argue that though it be mines to-day, it might be other
forms of property to-morrow, and South Africa would find herself in the
position of being able hardly to borrow a quarter for any purpose
whatsoever, save at usurious and extortionate rates of interest. The
whole of South African trade and industry would, of course, feel the
effect, and South Africa as a market would immediately begin to dwindle
in importance. Those businesses bound up with South African affairs
would border on the brink of ruin, and many of them topple over. Is that
the way efficient Germany would set about the development of her
newly-acquired Empire? She would soon find that she had a ruined Colony
on her hands. If in South Africa the sturdy Dutch and English stock did
not produce a George Washington with a better material and moral case
for independence than George Washington ever had, then history has no
meaning. If it costs England a billion and a quarter to conquer Dutch
South Africa, what would it cost Germany to conquer Anglo-Dutch South
Africa? Such a policy could not, of course, last six months, and Germany
would end by doing what Great Britain has ended by doing--she would
renounce all attempt to exact a tribute or commercial advantage other
than that which is the result of free co-operation with the South
African people. In other words, she would learn that the policy which
Great Britain has adopted was not adopted by philanthropy, but in the
hard school of bitter experience. Germany would see that the last word
in colonial statesmanship is to exact nothing from your Colonies, and
where the greatest colonial power of history has been unable to follow
any other policy, a poor intruder in the art of colonial administration
would not be likely to prove more successful, and she, too, would find
that the only way to treat Colonies is to treat them as independent or
foreign territories, and the only way to own them is to make no attempt
at exercising any of the functions of ownership. All the reasons which
gave force to this principle in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
have been reinforced a hundredfold by the modern contrivances of credit
and capital, quick communication, popular government, popular press, the
conditions and cost of warfare--the whole weight, indeed, of modern
progress. It is not a question here of theorizing, of the erection of an
elaborate thesis, nor is it a question of arguing what the relations of
Colonies ought to be. The differences between the Imperialist and the
Anti-imperialist do not enter into the discussion at all. It is simply a
question of what the unmistakable outstanding facts of experience have
taught, and we all know, Imperialists and their opponents alike, that
whatever the relations with the Colonies are to be, that relationship
must be fixed by the free consent of the Colonies, by their choice, not
ours. Sir J.R. Seeley notes in his book, "The Expansion of England,"
that because the early Spanish Colonies were in a true sense of the word
"possessions," Britons acquired the habit of talking of "possessions"
and "ownership," and their ideas of colonial policy were vitiated during
three centuries, simply by the fatal hypnotism of an incorrect word. Is
it not time that we shook off the influence of those disastrous words?
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, are not "possessions."
They are no more possessions than is Argentina or Brazil, and the nation
which conquered England, which even captured London, would be hardly
nearer to the conquest of Canada or Australia than if it happened to
occupy Constantinople or St. Petersburg. Why, therefore, do we tolerate
the loose talk which assumes that the master of London is also master of
Montreal, Vancouver, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Melbourne, and Sydney?
Have we not had about enough of this ignorant chatter, which is
persistently blind to the simplest and most elementary facts of the
case? And have not the English, of all people of the world, a most
direct interest in aiding the general realization of these truths in
Europe? Would not that general realization add immensely to the security
of their so-called Empire?



    How Germany really expands--Where her real Colonies are--How she
    exploits without conquest--What is the difference between an army
    and a police force?--The policing of the world--Germany's share of
    it in the Near East.

What is the practical outcome of the situation which the facts detailed
in the last chapter make plain? Must nations like Germany conclude that,
because there can be no duplication of the fight for empty territory
which took place between European nations in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, and because talk of the German conquest of British
Colonies is childish nonsense, Germany must therefore definitely
surrender any hope of expansion, and accept a secondary position because
she happens to have "come too late into the world"? Are Germans with all
their activities and scientific thoroughness, and with such a lively
sense of the difficulty of finding room in the world for the additional
million of Germans every year quietly to accept the _status quo_?

If our thoughts were not so distorted by misleading political imagery,
it is doubtful whether it would ever occur to us that such a "problem"

When one nation, say England, occupies a territory, does it mean that
that territory is "lost" to Germans? We know this to be an absurdity.
Germany does an enormous and increasing trade with the territory that
has been pre-empted by the Anglo-Saxon race. Millions of Germans in
Germany gain their livelihood by virtue of German enterprise and German
industry in Anglo-Saxon countries--indeed, it is the bitter and growing
complaint of Englishmen that they are being driven out of these
territories by the Germans; that where originally British shipping was
universal in the East,[35] German shipping is now coming to occupy the
prominent place; that the trade of whole territories which Englishmen
originally had to themselves is now being captured by Germans, and this
not merely where the fiscal arrangements are more or less under the
control of the British Government, as in the Crown Colonies, but in
those territories originally British but now independent, like the
United States, as well as in those territories which are in reality
independent, though nominally still under British control, like
Australia and Canada.

Moreover, why need Germany occupy the extraordinary position of phantom
"ownership," which England occupies, in order to enjoy all the real
benefits which in our day result from a Colonial Empire? More Germans
have found homes in the United States in the last half-century than have
Englishmen in all their Colonies. It is calculated that between ten and
twelve millions of the population of the United States are of direct
German descent It is true, of course, that Germans do not live under
their flag, but it is equally true that they do not regret that fact,
but rejoice in it! The majority of German emigrants do not desire that
the land to which they go shall have the political character of the land
which they leave behind. The fact that in adopting the United States
they have shed something of the German tradition and created a new
national type, partaking in part of the English and in part of the
German, is, on the whole, very much to their advantage--and incidentally
to ours.

Of course it is urged that, despite all this, the national sentiment
will always desire, for the overflow of its population, territories in
which that nation's language, law, and literature reign. But how far is
that aspiration one of those purely political aspirations still
persisting, it is true, but really the result of the momentum of old
ideas, the outcome of facts long since passed away, and destined to
disappear as soon as the real facts have been absorbed by the general

Thus a German will shout patriotically, and, if needs be, embroil his
country in a war for an equatorial or Asiatic colony; the truth being
that he does not think about the matter seriously. But if he and his
family have to emigrate, he _does_ think about it seriously, and then it
is another matter; he does not choose Equatorial Africa or China; he
goes to the United States, which he knows to be a far better country in
which to make his home than the Cameroons or Kiau Chau could ever be.
Indeed, in England's own case, are not certain foreign countries much
more her real colonies for her children of the future than certain
territory under her own flag? Will not her children find better and more
congenial conditions, more readily build real homes, in Pennsylvania,
which is "foreign," than in Bombay, which is "British"?

Of course, if by sheer military conquest it were possible to turn a
United States or even a Canada into a real Germany--of German language,
law, literature--the matter would assume another aspect. But the facts
dealt with in the last chapter show that the day is past for conquest in
that form. Quite other means must be employed. The German conqueror of
the future would have to say with Napoleon: "I come too late. The
nations are too firmly set." Even when the English, the greatest
colonizers of the world, conquer a territory like the Transvaal or the
Orange Free State, they have no resort, having conquered it, but to
allow its own law, its own literature, its own language to have free
play, just as though the conquest had never taken place. This was even
the case with Quebec more than one hundred years ago, and Germany will
have to be guided by a like rule. On the morrow of conquest she would
have to proceed to establish her real ascendancy by other than military
means--a thing she is free to do to-day, if she can. It cannot
throughout this discussion be too often repeated that the world has been
modified, and that what was possible to the Canaanites and the Romans,
and even to the Normans, is no longer possible to us. The edict can no
longer go forth to "slay every male child" that is born into the
conquered territory, in order that the race may be exterminated.
Conquest in this sense is impossible. The most marvellous colonial
history in the world--British colonial history--demonstrates that in
this field physical force is no longer of avail.

And Germans are beginning to realize it. "We must resign ourselves in
all clearness and calm to the fact that there is no possibility of
acquiring Colonies suitable for emigration," writes Dr. P. Rohrbach. He

     But if we cannot have such Colonies, it by no means follows
     that we cannot obtain the advantages, if only to a limited
     extent, which make these Colonies desirable. It is a mistake to
     regard the mere possession of extensive trans-oceanic
     territories, even when they are able to absorb a part of the
     national surplus of population, as necessarily a direct
     increase of power. Australia, Canada, and South Africa do not
     increase the power of the British Empire because they are
     British possessions, nor yet because they are peopled by a few
     million British emigrants and their descendants, but because by
     trade with them the wealth and with it the defensive strength
     of the Mother Country are increased. Colonies which do not
     produce that result have but little value; and countries which
     possess this importance for a nation, even though they are not
     its Colonies, are in this decisive point a substitute for
     colonial possessions in the ordinary sense.[36]

In fact the misleading political imagery to which I referred a few pages
back has gone far to destroy our sense of reality and sense of
proportion in the matter of political control of foreign territory, a
fact which the diplomatic turmoil of 1911 most certainly illustrated. I
had occasion at the time to emphasize it in the following terms:

     The Press of Europe and America is very busy discussing the
     lessons of the diplomatic conflict which has just ended, and
     the military conflict which has just begun. And the outstanding
     impression which one gets from most of these essays in high
     politics--whether French, Italian, or British--is that we have
     been and still are witnessing part of a great world movement,
     the setting in motion of Titanic forces "deep-set in primordial
     needs and impulses."

     For months those in the secrets of the Chancelleries have
     spoken with bated breath--as though in the presence of some
     vision of Armageddon. On the strength of this mere talk of war
     by the three nations, vast commerical interests have been
     embarrassed, fortunes have been lost and won on the Bourses,
     banks have suspended payment, some thousands have been ruined;
     while the fact that the fourth and fifth nations have actually
     gone to war has raised all sorts of further possibilities of
     conflict, not alone in Europe, but in Asia, with remoter danger
     of religious fanaticism and all its sequelæ. International
     bitterness and suspicion in general have been intensified, and
     the one certain result of the whole thing is that immense
     burdens will be added in the shape of further taxation for
     armaments to the already heavy ones carried by the five or six
     nations concerned. For two or three hundred millions of people
     in Europe, life, which with all the problems of high prices,
     labor wars, unsolved social difficulties, is none too easy as
     it is, will be made harder still.

     The needs, therefore, that can have provoked a conflict of
     these dimensions must be "primordial" indeed. In fact one
     authority assures us that what we have seen going on is "the
     struggle for life among men"--that struggle which has its
     parallel in the whole of sentient existence.

     Well, I put it to you, as a matter worth just a moment or two
     of consideration, that this conflict is about nothing of the
     sort; that it is about a perfectly futile matter, one which the
     immense majority of the German, English, French, Italian, and
     Turkish people could afford to treat with the completest
     indifference. For, to the vast majority of these 250,000,000
     people more or less, it does not matter two straws whether
     Morocco or some vague African swamp near the Equator is
     administered by German, French, Italian, or Turkish officials,
     so long as it is well administered. Or rather one should go
     further: if French, German, or Italian colonization of the past
     is any guide, the nation which wins in the contest for
     territory of this sort has added a wealth-draining incubus.

     This, of course, is preposterous; I am losing sight of the need
     for making provision for the future expansion of the race, for
     each party to "find its place in the sun"; and Heaven knows

The European Press was full of these phrases at the time, and I
attempted to weigh their real meaning by a comparison of French and
German history in the matter of national "expansion" during the last
thirty or forty years.

     France has got a new empire, we are told; she has won a great
     victory; she is growing and expanding and is richer by
     something which her rivals are the poorer for not having.

     Let us assume that she makes the same success of Morocco that
     she has made of her other possessions, of, say, Tunis, which
     represents one of the most successful of those operations of
     colonial expansion which have marked her history during the
     last forty years. What has been the precise effect on French

     In thirty years, at a cost of many millions (it is part of
     successful colonial administration in France never to let it be
     known what the Colonies really cost), France has founded in
     Tunis a Colony, in which to-day there are, excluding soldiers
     and officials, about 25,000 genuine French colonists; just the
     number by which the French population in France--the real
     France--is diminishing every year! And the value of Tunis as a
     market does not even amount to the sum which France spends
     directly on its occupation and administration, to say nothing
     of the indirect extension of military burdens which its
     conquest involved; and, of course, the market which it
     represents would still exist in some form, though England--or
     even Germany--administered the country.

     In other words, France loses every year in her home population
     a Colony equivalent to Tunis--if we measure Colonies in terms
     of communities made up of the race which has sprung from the
     Mother Country. And yet, if once in a generation her rulers and
     diplomats can point to 25,000 Frenchmen living artificially
     and exotically under conditions which must in the long-run be
     inimical to their race, it is pointed to as "expansion" and as
     evidence that France is maintaining her position as a Great
     Power. In a few years, as history goes, unless there is some
     complete change in tendencies, which at present seem as strong
     as ever, the French race, as we know it, will have ceased to
     exist, swamped without the firing, may be, of a single shot, by
     the Germans, Belgians, English, Italians, and Jews. There are
     to-day more Germans in France than there are Frenchmen in all
     the Colonies that France has acquired in the last half-century,
     and German trade with France outweighs enormously the trade of
     France with all French Colonies. France is to-day a better
     Colony for the Germans than they could make of any exotic
     Colony which France owns.

     "They _tell_ me," said a French Deputy recently (in a not quite
     original _mot_), "that the Germans are at Agadir. I _know_ they
     are in the Champs-Elysées." Which, of course, is in reality a
     much more serious matter.

     On the other side we are to assume that Germany has during the
     period of France's expansion,--since the war--not expanded at
     all. That she has been throttled and cramped--that she has not
     had her place in the sun; and that is why she must fight for it
     and endanger the security of her neighbors.

     Well, I put it to you again that all this in reality is false:
     that Germany has not been cramped or throttled; that, on the
     contrary, as we recognize when we get away from the mirage of
     the map, her expansion has been the wonder of the world. She
     has added twenty millions to her population--one-half the
     present population of France--during a period in which the
     French population has actually diminished. Of all the nations
     in Europe, she has cut the biggest slice in the development of
     world trade, industry, and influence. Despite the fact that she
     has not "expanded" in the sense of mere political dominion, a
     proportion of her population, equivalent to the white
     population of the whole Colonial British Empire, make their
     living, or the best part of it, from the development and
     exploitation of territory outside her borders. These facts are
     not new, they have been made the text of thousands of political
     sermons preached in England itself during the last few years;
     but one side of their significance seems to have been missed.

     We get, then, this: On the one side a nation extending
     enormously its political dominion, and yet diminishing in
     national force--if by national force we mean the growth of a
     sturdy, enterprising, vigorous people. (I am not denying that
     France is both wealthy and comfortable, to a greater degree it
     may be than her rival; but that is another story.) On the other
     side, we get immense expansion expressed in terms of those
     things--a growing and vigorous population, and the possibility
     of feeding them--and yet the political dominion, speaking
     practically, has hardly been extended at all.

     Such a condition of things, if the common jargon of high
     politics means anything, is preposterous. It takes nearly all
     meaning out of most that we hear about "primordial needs" and
     the rest of it.

     As a matter of fact, we touch here one of the vital confusions,
     which is at the bottom of most of the present political trouble
     between nations, and shows the power of the old ideas and the
     old phraseology.

     In the days of the sailing ship and the lumbering wagon
     dragging slowly over all but impassable roads, for one country
     to derive any considerable profit from another it had
     practically to administer it politically. But the compound
     steam-engine, the railway, the telegraph, have profoundly
     modified the elements of the whole problem. In the modern world
     political dominion is playing a more and more effaced rôle as a
     factor in commerce; the non-political factors have in practice
     made it all but inoperative. It is the case with every modern
     nation, actually, that the outside territories which it
     exploits most successfully are precisely those of which it does
     not "own" a foot. Even with the most characteristically
     colonial of all--Great Britain--the greater part of her
     overseas trade is done with countries which she makes no
     attempt to "own," control, coerce, or dominate--and
     incidentally she has ceased to do any of those things with her

     Millions of Germans in Prussia and Westphalia derive profit or
     make their living out of countries to which their political
     dominion in no way extends. The modern German exploits South
     America by remaining at home. Where, forsaking this principle,
     he attempts to work through political power, he approaches
     futility. German Colonies are Colonies _pour rire_. The
     Government has to bribe Germans to go to them; her trade with
     them is microscopic; and if the twenty millions who have been
     added to Germany's population since the war had had to depend
     on their country's political conquest, they would have had to
     starve. What feeds them are countries which Germany has never
     "owned," and never hopes to "own": Brazil, Argentina, the
     United States, India, Australia, Canada, Russia, France, and
     England. (Germany, which never spent a mark on its political
     conquest, to-day draws more tribute from South America than
     does Spain, which has poured out mountains of treasure and
     oceans of blood in its conquest.) These are Germany's real
     Colonies. Yet the immense interests which they represent, of
     really primordial concern to Germany, without which so many of
     her people would be actually without food, are for the
     diplomats and the soldiers quite secondary ones; the immense
     trade which they represent owes nothing to the diplomat, to
     Agadir incidents, to _Dreadnoughts_: it is the unaided work of
     the merchant and the manufacturer. All this diplomatic and
     military conflict and rivalry, this waste of wealth, the
     unspeakable foulness which Tripoli is revealing, are reserved
     for things which both sides to the quarrel could sacrifice, not
     merely without loss, but with profit. And Italy, whose
     statesmen have been faithful to all the old "axioms" (Heaven
     save the mark!) will discover it rapidly enough. Even her
     defenders are ceasing now to urge that she can possibly derive
     any real benefit from this colossal ineptitude.

     Is it not time that the man in the street--verily, I believe,
     less deluded by diplomatic jargon than his betters, less the
     slave of an obsolete phraseology--insisted that the experts in
     the high places acquired some sense of the reality of things,
     of proportions, some sense of figures, a little knowledge of
     industrial history, of the real processes of human

But are we to assume that the extension of a European nation's authority
overseas can never be worth while; or that it could, or should, never be
the occasion for conflict between nations; or that the rôle of, say,
England in India or Egypt, is neither useful nor profitable?

In the second part of this book I have attempted to uncover the general
principle--which sadly needs establishing in politics--serving to
indicate clearly the advantageous and disadvantageous employment of
force. Because force plays an undoubted rôle in human development and
co-operation, it is sweepingly concluded that military force and the
struggle between groups must always be a normal feature of human

To a critic, who maintained that the armies of the world were necessary
and justifiable on the same grounds as the police forces of the world
("Even in communities such as London, where, in our civic capacity, we
have nearly realized all your ideals, we still maintain and are
constantly improving our police force"), I replied:

     When we learn that London, instead of using its police for the
     running in of burglars and "drunks," is using them to lead an
     attack on Birmingham for the purpose of capturing that city as
     part of a policy of "municipal expansion," or "Civic
     Imperialism," or "Pan-Londonism," or what not; or is using its
     force to repel an attack by the Birmingham police acting as the
     result of a similar policy on the part of the Birmingham
     patriots--when that happens you can safely approximate a police
     force to a European army. But until it does, it is quite
     evident that the two--the army and the police force--have in
     reality diametrically opposed rôles. The police exist as an
     instrument of social co-operation; the armies as the natural
     outcome of the quaint illusion that though one city could never
     enrich itself by "capturing" or "subjugating" another, in some
     unexplained way one country can enrich itself by capturing or
     subjugating another.

In the existing condition of things in England this illustration covers
the whole case; the citizens of London would have no imaginable interest
in "conquering" Birmingham, or _vice versa_. But suppose there arose in
the cities of the North such a condition of disorder that London could
not carry on its ordinary work and trade; then London, if it had the
power, _would_ have an interest in sending its police into Birmingham,
presuming that this could be done. The citizens of London would have a
tangible interest in the maintenance of order in the North--they would
be the richer for it.

Order was just as well maintained in Alsace-Lorraine before the German
conquest as it was after, and for that reason Germany has not benefited
by the conquest. But order was not maintained in California, and would
not have been as well maintained under Mexican as under American rule,
and for that reason America has benefited by the conquest of California.
France has benefited by the conquest of Algeria, England by that of
India, because in each case the arms were employed not, properly
speaking, for conquest at all, but for police purposes, for the
establishment and maintenance of order; and, so far as they achieved
that object, their rôle was a useful one.

How does this distinction affect the practical problem under discussion?
Most fundamentally. Germany has no need to maintain order in England,
nor England in Germany, and the latent struggle therefore between these
two countries is futile. It is not the result of any inherent necessity
of either people; it is the result merely of that woeful confusion which
dominates statecraft to-day, and it is bound, so soon as that confusion
is cleared up, to come to an end.

Where the condition of a territory is such that the social and economic
co-operation of other countries with it is impossible, we may expect the
intervention of military force, not as the result of the "annexationist
illusion," but as the outcome of real social forces pushing to the
maintenance of order. That is the story of England in Egypt, or, for
that matter, in India. But foreign nations have no need to maintain
order in the British Colonies, nor in the United States; and though
there might be some such necessity in the case of countries like
Venezuela, the last few years have taught us that by bringing these
countries into the great economic currents of the world, and so setting
up in them a whole body of interests in favor of order, more can be done
than by forcible conquest. We occasionally hear rumors of German designs
in Brazil and elsewhere, but even the modicum of education possessed by
the average European statesman makes it plain to him that these nations
are, like the others, "too firmly set" for military occupation and
conquest by an alien people.

It is one of the humors of the whole Anglo-German conflict that so much
has the British public been concerned with the myths and bogies of the
matter that it seems calmly to have ignored the realities. While even
the wildest Pan-German has never cast his eyes in the direction of
Canada, he has cast them, and does cast them, in the direction of Asia
Minor; and the political activities of Germany may centre on that area,
for precisely the reasons which result from the distinction between
policing and conquest, which I have drawn. German industry is coming to
have dominating interests in the Near East, and as those interests--her
markets and investments--increase, the necessity for better order in,
and the better organization of, those territories increases in
corresponding degree. Germany may need to police Asia Minor.

What interest have we in attempting to prevent her? It may be urged that
she would close the markets of those territories against us. But even if
she attempted it, which she is never likely to do, a Protectionist Asia
Minor organized with German efficiency would be better from the point of
view of trade than a Free Trade Asia Minor organized _à la Turque_.
Protectionist Germany is one of the best markets in Europe. If a second
Germany were created in the Near East, if Turkey had a population with
the German purchasing power and the German tariff, the markets would be
worth some two hundred to two hundred and fifty millions instead of some
fifty to seventy-five. Why should we try to prevent Germany increasing
our trade?

It is true that we touch here the whole problem of the fight for the
open door in the undeveloped territories. But the real difficulty in
this problem is not the open door at all, but the fact that Germany is
beating England--or England fears she is beating her in those
territories where she has the same tariff to meet that Germany has, or
even a smaller one; and that she is even beating England in the
territories that the English already "own"--in their Colonies, in the
East, in India. How, therefore, would England's final crushing of
Germany in the military sense change anything? Suppose England crushed
her so completely that she "owned" Asia Minor and Persia as completely
as she owns India or Hong Kong, would not the German merchant continue
to beat her even then, as he is beating her now, in that part of the
East over which she already holds political sway? Again, how would the
disappearance of the German navy affect the problem one way or the

Moreover, in this talk of the open door in the undeveloped territories,
we again seem to lose all our sense of proportion. English trade is in
relative importance first with the great nations--the United States,
France, Germany, Argentina, South America generally--after that with the
white Colonies; after that with the organized East; and last of all, and
to a very small extent, with the countries concerned in this squabble
for the open door--territories in which the trade really is so small as
hardly to pay for the making and upkeep of a dozen battleships.

When the man in the street, or, for that matter, the journalistic
pundit, talks commercial diplomacy, his arithmetic seems to fall from
him. Some years since the question of the relative position of the
three Powers in Samoa exercised the minds of these wiseacres, who got
fearfully warlike both in England and in the United States. Yet the
trade of the whole island is not worth that of an obscure Massachusetts
village, and the notion that naval budgets should be increased to
"maintain our position," the notion that either of the countries
concerned should really think it worth while to build so much as a
single battleship the more for such a purpose, is not throwing away a
sprat to catch a whale, but throwing away a whale to catch a sprat--and
then not catching it. For even when you _have_ the predominant political
position, even when you _have_ got your extra _Dreadnought_ or extra
dozen _Dreadnoughts_, it is the more efficiently organized nation on the
commercial side that will take the trade. And while England is getting
excited over the trade of territories that matter very little, rivals,
including Germany, will be quietly walking off with the trade that
_does_ matter, will be increasing their hold upon such markets as the
United States, Argentina, South America, and the lesser Continental

If we really examined these questions without the old meaningless
prepossessions, we should see that it is more to the general interest to
have an orderly and organized Asia Minor under German tutelage than to
have an unorganized and disorderly one which should be independent.
Perhaps it would be best of all that Great Britain should do the
organizing, or share it with Germany, though England has her hands full
in that respect--Egypt and India are problems enough. Why should
England forbid Germany to do in a small degree what she has done in a
large degree? Sir Harry H. Johnston, in the _Nineteenth Century_ for
December, 1910, comes a great deal nearer to touching the real kernel of
the problem that is preoccupying Germany than any of the writers on the
Anglo-German conflict of whom I know. As the result of careful
investigation, he admits that Germany's real objective is not, properly
speaking, England or England's Colonies at all, but the undeveloped
lands of the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, down even to the
mouth of the Euphrates. He adds that the best informed Germans use this
language to him:

     In regard to England, we would recall a phrase dropped by
     ex-President Roosevelt at an important public speech in London,
     a phrase which for some reason was not reported by the London
     Press. Roosevelt said that the best guarantee for Great Britain
     on the Nile is the presence of Germany on the Euphrates.
     Putting aside the usual hypocrisies of the Teutonic peoples,
     you know that this is so. You know that we ought to make common
     cause in our dealing with the backward races of the world. Let
     Britain and Germany once come to an agreement in regard to the
     question of the Near East, and the world can scarcely again be
     disturbed by any great war in any part of the globe, if such a
     war is contrary to the interests of the two Empires.

Such, declares Sir Harry, is German opinion. And in all human
probability, so far as sixty-five million people can be said to have
the same opinion, he is absolutely right.

It is because the work of policing backward or disorderly populations is
so often confused with the annexationist illusion that the danger of
squabbles in the matter is a real one. Not the fact that England is
doing a real and useful work for the world at large in policing India
creates jealousy of her work there, but the notion that in some way she
"possesses" this territory, and draws tribute and exclusive advantage
therefrom. When Europe is a little more educated in these matters, the
European populations will realize that they have no primordial interest
in furnishing the policemen. German public opinion will see that, even
if such a thing were possible, the German people would gain no advantage
by replacing England in India, especially as the final result of the
administrative work of Europe in the Near and Far East will be to make
populations like those of Asia Minor in the last resort their own
policemen. Should some Power, acting as policeman, ignoring the lessons
of history, try again the experiment tried by Spain in South America and
later by England in North America, should she try to create for herself
exclusive privileges and monopolies, the other nations have means of
retaliation apart from the military ones--in the numberless instruments
which the economic and financial relationships of nations furnish.





    The non-economic motives of war--Moral and psychological--The
    importance of these pleas--English, German, and American
    exponents--The biological plea.

Perhaps the commonest plea urged in objection to the case presented in
the first part of this book is that the real motives of nations in going
to war are not economic at all; that their conflicts arise from moral
causes, using that word in its largest sense; that they are the outcome
of conflicting views of rights; or that they arise from, not merely
non-economic, but also non-rational causes--from vanity, rivalry, pride
of place, the desire to be first, to occupy a great situation in the
world, to have power or prestige; from quick resentment of insult or
injury; from temper; the unreasoned desire, which comes of quarrel or
disagreement, to dominate a rival at all costs; from the "inherent
hostility" that exists between rival nations; from the contagion of
sheer passion, the blind strife of mutually hating men; and generally
because men and nations always have fought and always will, and because,
like the animals in Watt's doggerel, "it is their nature to."

An expression of the first point of view is embodied in the criticism of
an earlier edition of this book, in which the critic says:

     The cause of war is spiritual, not material.... The great wars
     arose from conflicts as to rights, and the dangerous causes of
     war are the existence of antagonistic ideas of rights or
     righteousness.... It is for moral ideas that men are most ready
     to make sacrifices.[37]

A similar criticism is made by Admiral Mahan.[38]

In the same way the London _Spectator_ while admitting the truth of the
principles outlined in the first part of this book, deems that such
facts do not seriously affect the basic cause of war:

     Just as individuals quarrel among themselves, and fight as
     bitterly as the police and the law courts will allow them, not
     because they think it will make them rich, but because their
     blood is up, and they want to stand up for what they believe to
     be their rights, or to revenge themselves for wrongs done to
     them, as they think, by their fellows, so nations will fight,
     even though it is demonstrable that they will get no material
     gain thereby.... They want sometimes freedom, sometimes power.
     Sometimes a passion for expansion or dominion comes over them.
     Sometimes they seem impelled to fight for fighting's sake, or,
     as their leaders and rhetoricians vaguely say, to fulfil their
     destinies.... Men fight sometimes for the love of fighting,
     sometimes for great and noble causes, and sometimes for bad
     causes, but practically never with an account-book and a
     balance-sheet in their hands.

I desire to give every possible weight to this plea, and not to shirk a
detail of it, and I think that the pages that follow cover every one of
the points here raised. But there is a whole school of philosophy which
goes much farther than the _Spectator_. The view just cited rather
implies that though it is a fact that men settle their differences by
force and passion, instead of by reason, it is a regrettable fact. But
the school to which I refer urges that men should be encouraged to
fight, and that war is the preferable solution. War, declare these
philosophers, is a valuable discipline for the nations, and it is not
desirable to see human conflict shifted from the plane of physical
force. They urge that humanity will be permanently the poorer when, as
one of them has put it, the great struggles of mankind become merely the
struggles of "talk and money-bags."

Parenthetically, it should be pointed out that the matter has a good
deal more than academic interest. This philosophy constitutes a constant
element of resistance to that reform of political thought and tradition
in Europe which must be the necessary precedent of a sounder condition.
Not merely, of course, do international situations become infinitely
more dangerous when you get, on both sides of the frontier, a general
"belief in war for war's sake," but a tendency is directly created to
discredit the use of patience, a quality as much needed in the
relationship of nations as in that of individuals; and further there is
a tendency to justify political action making for war as against action
that might avoid it. All these pleas, biological and otherwise, are
powerful factors in creating an atmosphere and temperament in Europe
favorable to war and unfavorable to international agreement. For, be it
noted, this philosophy is not special to any one country: one finds it
plentifully expressed in England and America, as well as in France and
Germany. It is a European doctrine, part of that "mind of Europe," of
which someone has spoken, that, among other factors, determines the
character of European civilization generally.

This particular point of view has received a notable re-statement quite
recently[39] from General Bernhardi, a distinguished cavalry General,
and probably the most influential German writer on current strategical
and tactical problems, in his book, "Deutschland und der nächste
Krieg."[40] He therein gives very candid expression to the opinion that
Germany must, regardless of the rights and interests of other peoples,
fight her way to predominance. One of the chapters is headed, "The Duty
to Make War." He describes the peace movement in Germany as "poisonous,"
and proclaims the doctrine that the duties and tasks of the German
people cannot be fulfilled save by the sword. "The duty of
self-assertion is by no means exhausted in the mere repelling of
hostile attacks. It includes the need of securing to the whole people,
which the State embraces, the possibility of existence and development."
It is desirable, declares the author, that conquest shall be effected by
war, and not by peaceful means; Silesia would not have had the same
value for Prussia if Frederick the Great had obtained it from an
Arbitration Court. The attempt to abolish war is not only "immoral and
unworthy of humanity," it is an attempt to deprive man of his highest
possession--the right to stake physical life for ideal ends. The German
people "must learn to see that the maintenance of peace cannot be, and
must never be, the goal of policy."

Similar efforts are being made in England by English writers to secure
the acceptance of this doctrine of force. Many passages almost
duplicating those of Bernhardi, or at least extolling the general
doctrine of force, may be found in the writings of such Anglo-Saxon
authors as Admiral Mahan and Professor Spenser Wilkinson.[41]

A scientific color is often given to the philosophy of force, as
expressed by the authors just referred to, by an appeal to evolutionary
and biological laws.

It is urged that the condition of man's advance in the past has been the
survival of the fit by struggle and warfare, and that in that struggle
it is precisely those endowed with combativeness and readiness to fight
who have survived. Thus the tendency to combat is not a mere human
perversity, but is part of the self-protective instinct rooted in a
profound biological law--the struggle of nations for survival.

This point of view is expressed by S.R. Steinmetz in his "Philosophie
des Krieges." War, according to this author, is an ordeal instituted by
God, who weighs the nations in its balance. It is the essential function
of the State, and the only function in which peoples can employ all
their powers at once and convergently. No victory is possible save as
the resultant of a totality of virtues; no defeat for which some vice or
weakness is not responsible. Fidelity, cohesiveness, tenacity, heroism,
conscience, education, inventiveness, economy, wealth, physical health
and vigor--there is no moral or intellectual point of superiority that
does not tell when "God holds His assizes, and hurls the peoples one
upon another" (Die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht); and Dr.
Steinmetz does not believe that in the long-run chance and luck play any
part in apportioning the issues.

It is urged that international hostility is merely the psychological
stimulus to that combativeness which is a necessary element of
existence, and that though, like other elemental instincts--our animal
appetites, for instance--it may in some of its manifestations be ugly
enough, it makes for survival, and is to that extent a part of the great
plan. Too great a readiness to accept the "friendly assurances" of
another nation and an undue absence of distrust would, in accordance
with a sort of Gresham's Law in international relationships, make
steadily for the disappearance of the humane and friendly communities in
favor of the truculent and brutal. If friendliness and good-feeling
towards other nations led us to relax our self-defensive efforts, the
quarrelsome communities would see, in this slackening, an opportunity to
commit aggression, and there would be a tendency, therefore, for the
least civilized to wipe out the most. Animosity and hostility between
nations is a corrective of this sentimental slackness, and to that
extent it plays a useful rôle, however ugly it may appear--"not pretty,
but useful, like the dustman." Though the material and economic motives
which prompt conflict may no longer obtain, other than economic motives
will be found for collision, so profound is the psychological stimulus

Some such view as this has found lurid expression in the recent work of
an American soldier, Homer Lea.[42] The author urges not only that war
is inevitable, but that any systematic attempt to prevent it is merely
an unwise meddling with the universal law.

     National entities, in their birth, activities, and death, are
     controlled by the same laws that govern all life--plant,
     animal, or national--the law of struggle, the law of survival.
     These laws, so universal as regards life and time, so
     unalterable in causation and consummation, are only variable in
     the duration of national existence as the knowledge of and
     obedience to them is proportionately true or false. Plans to
     thwart them, to shortcut them, to circumvent, to cozen, to
     deny, to scorn and violate them, is folly such as man's conceit
     alone makes possible. Never has this been tried--and man is
     ever at it--but what the end has been gangrenous and fatal.

     In theory international arbitration denies the inexorability of
     natural laws, and would substitute for them the veriest
     Cagliostroic formulas, or would, with the vanity of Canute, sit
     down on the ocean-side of life and command the ebb and flow of
     its tides to cease.

     The idea of international arbitration as a substitute for
     natural laws that govern the existence of political entities
     arises not only from a denial of their fiats and an ignorance
     of their application, but from a total misconception of war,
     its causes, and its meaning.

Homer Lea's thesis is emphasized in the introduction to his work,
written by another American soldier, General John P. Storey:

     A few idealists may have visions that with advancing
     civilization war and its dread horrors will cease. Civilization
     has not changed human nature. The nature of man makes war
     inevitable. Armed strife will not disappear from the earth
     until human nature changes.

"Weltstadt und Friedensproblem," the book of Professor Baron Karl von
Stengel, a jurist who was one of Germany's delegates at the First Hague
Peace Conference, contains a chapter entitled "The Significance of War
for Development of Humanity," in which the author says:

     War has more often facilitated than hindered progress. Athens
     and Rome, not only in spite of, but just because of their many
     wars, rose to the zenith of civilization. Great States like
     Germany and Italy are welded into nationalities only through
     blood and iron.

     Storm purifies the air and destroys the frail trees, leaving
     the sturdy oaks standing. War is the test of a nation's
     political, physical, and intellectual worth. The State in which
     there is much that is rotten may vegetate for a while in peace,
     but in war its weakness is revealed.

     Germany's preparations for war have not resulted in economic
     disaster, but in unexampled economic expansion, unquestionably
     because of our demonstrated superiority over France. It is
     better to spend money on armaments and battleships than luxury,
     motormania, and other sensual living.

We know that Moltke expressed a similar view in his famous letter to
Bluntschli. "A perpetual peace," declared the Field-Marshal, "is a
dream, and not even a beautiful dream. War is one of the elements of
order in the world, established by God. The noblest virtues of men are
developed therein. Without war the world would degenerate and disappear
in a morass of materialism."[43]

At the very time that Moltke was voicing this sentiment, a precisely
similar one was being voiced by no less a person than Ernest Renan. In
his "La Réforme Intellectuelle et Morale" (Paris: Lévy, 1871, p. 111) he

     If the foolishness, negligence, idleness, and short-sightedness
     of States did not involve their occasional collision, it is
     difficult to imagine the degree of degeneracy to which the
     human race would descend. War is one of the conditions of
     progress, the sting which prevents a country from going to
     sleep, and compels satisfied mediocrity itself to awaken from
     its apathy. Man is only sustained by effort and struggle. The
     day that humanity achieves a great pacific Roman Empire, having
     no external enemies, that day its morality and its intelligence
     will be placed in the very greatest peril.

In our own times a philosophy not very dissimilar has been voiced in the
public declarations of ex-President Roosevelt. I choose a few phrases
from his speeches and writings, at random:

     We despise a nation, just as we despise a man, who submits to
     insult. What is true of a man ought to be true of a nation.[44]

     We must play a great part in the world, and especially ...
     perform those deeds of blood, of valor, which above everything
     else bring national renown.

     We do not admire a man of timid peace.

     By war alone can we acquire those virile qualities necessary to
     win in the stern strife of actual life.

     In this world the nation that is trained to a career of
     unwarlike and isolated ease is bound to go down in the end
     before other nations which have not lost the manly and
     adventurous qualities.[45]

Professor William James covers the whole ground of these claims in the
following passage:

     The war party is assuredly right in affirming that the martial
     virtues, although originally gained by the race through war,
     are absolute and permanent human goods. Patriotic pride and
     ambition in their military form are, after all, only
     specifications of a more universal and enduring competitive
     passion.... Pacifism makes no converts from the military party.
     The military party denies neither the bestiality, nor the
     horror, nor the expense; it only says that these things tell
     but half the story. It only says that war is worth these
     things; that, taking human nature as a whole, war is its best
     protection against its weaker and more cowardly self, and that
     mankind cannot afford to adopt a peace economy.... Militarism
     is the great preserver of our ideals of hardihood, and human
     life without hardihood would be contemptible.... This natural
     feeling forms, I think, the innermost soul of army writings.
     Without any exception known to me, militarist authors take a
     highly mystical view of their subject, and regard war as a
     biological or sociological necessity.... Our ancestors have
     bred pugnacity into our bone and marrow and thousands of years
     of peace won't breed it out of us.[46]

Even famous English clergymen have voiced the same view. Charles
Kingsley, in his defence of the Crimean War as a "just war against
tyrants and oppressors," wrote: "For the Lord Jesus Christ is not only
the Prince of Peace, He is the Prince of War, too. He is the Lord of
Hosts, the God of armies, and whoever fights in a just war against
tyrants and oppressors is fighting on Christ's side, and Christ is
fighting on his side. Christ is his captain and his leader, and he can
be in no better service. Be sure of it, for the Bible tells you so."[47]

Canon Newbolt, Dean Farrar, and the Archbishop of Armagh, have all
written not dissimilarly.

The whole case may be summarized thus:

1. Nations fight for opposing conceptions of right: it is the moral
conflict of men.

2. They fight from non-rational causes of a lower kind: from vanity,
rivalry, pride of place, the desire to occupy a great situation in the
world, or from sheer hostility to dissimilar people--the blind strife of
mutually hating men.

3. These causes justify war, or render it inevitable. The first is
admirable in itself, the second is inevitable, in that the peoples
readiest to fight, and showing most energy in fighting, replace the more
peacefully inclined, and the warlike type tends thus permanently to
survive; "the warlike nations inherit the earth."

Or it may be put deductively, thus: Since struggle is the law of life,
and a condition of survival as much with nations as with other
organisms, pugnacity, which is merely intense energy in struggle, a
readiness to accept struggle in its acutest form, must necessarily be a
quality marking those individuals successful in the vital contests. It
is this deep-seated, biological law which renders impossible the
acceptance by mankind of the literal injunction to turn the other cheek
to the smiter, or for human nature ever to conform to the ideal implied
in that injunction; since, were it accepted, the best men and
nations--in the sense of the kindliest and most humane--would be placed
at the mercy of the most brutal, who, eliminating the least brutal,
would stamp the survivors with their own brutality and re-establish the
militarist virtues. For this reason a readiness to fight, which means
the qualities of rivalry and pride and combativeness, hardihood,
tenacity, and heroism--what we know as the manly qualities--must in any
case survive as the race survives, and, since this stands in the way of
the predominance of the purely brutal, it is a necessary part of the
highest morality.

Despite the apparent force of these propositions, they are founded upon
a gross misreading of certain facts, and especially upon a gross
misapplication of a certain biological analogy.



    The shifting ground of pro-war arguments--The narrowing gulf
    between the material and moral ideals--The non-rational causes of
    war--False biological analogies--The real law of man's struggle:
    struggle with Nature, not with other men--Outline sketch of man's
    advance and main operating factor therein--The progress towards
    elimination of physical force--Co-operation across frontiers
    and its psychological result--Impossible to fix limits of
    community--Such limits irresistibly expanding--Break up of
    State homogeneity--State limits no longer coinciding with real
    conflicts between men.

Those who have followed at all closely the peace advocacy of the last
few years will have observed a curious shifting of ground on the part of
its opponents. Until quite recently, most peace advocacy being based on
moral, not material grounds, pacifists were generally criticized as
unduly idealistic, sentimental, oblivious to the hard necessities of men
in a hard world of struggle, and disposed to ask too much of human
nature in the way of altruistic self-sacrifice on behalf of an
idealistic dogma. We were given to understand that while peace might
represent a great moral ideal, man's evil passions and cupidity would
always stand in the way of its achievement. The citations I have given
in Chapter II. of the first part of this book prove sufficiently, I
think, that this was, until quite recently, overwhelmingly the point of
view of those who defended war as an unavoidable part of human struggle.

During the last few years, however, the defence of war has been made for
the most part on very different grounds. Peace, we are told by those who
oppose the pacifist movement, may embody the material interests of men,
but the spiritual nature of mankind will stand in the way of its ever
being achieved! Pacifism, far from being branded as too idealistic and
sentimental, is now scorned as "sordidly material."

I do not desire, in calling attention to this fact, merely to score a
cheap jibe. I want, on the contrary, to do every justice to the point of
view of those who urge that moral motives push men into war. I have
never, indeed, taken the ground that the defender of war is morally
inferior to the defender of peace, or that much is to be gained by
emphasizing the moral superiority of the peace ideal. Too often has it
been assumed in pacifist advocacy that what is needed in order to clear
up the difficulties in the international field, is a better moral tone,
a greater kindliness, and so forth--for that assumption ignores the fact
that the emotion of humanity repelling it from war may be more than
counteracted by the equally strong moral emotion that we connect with
patriotism. The patriot admits that war may occasion suffering, but
urges that men should be prepared to endure suffering for their country.
As I pointed out in the first chapter of this book, the pacifist appeal
to humanity so often fails because the militarist pleads that he too is
working and suffering for humanity.

My object in calling attention to this unconscious shifting of ground,
on the part of the advocate of war, is merely to suggest that the growth
of events during the last generation has rendered the economic case for
war practically untenable, and has consequently compelled those who
defend war to shift their defence. Nor, of course, am I urging that the
sentimental defence of war is a modern doctrine--the quotations made in
the last chapter show that not to be the case--but merely that greater
emphasis is now placed upon the moral case.

Thus, writing in 1912, Admiral Mahan criticizes this book as follows:

     The purpose of armaments, in the minds of those maintaining
     them, is not primarily an economical advantage, in the sense of
     depriving a neighboring State of its own, or fear of such
     consequences to itself through the deliberate aggression of a
     rival having that particular end in view.... The fundamental
     proposition of the book is a mistake. Nations are under no
     illusion as to the unprofitableness of war in itself.... The
     entire conception of the work is itself an illusion, based upon
     a profound misreading of human action. To regard the world as
     governed by self-interest only is to live in a non-existent
     world, an ideal world, a world possessed by an idea much less
     worthy than those which mankind, to do it bare justice,
     persistently entertains.[48]

Yet hardly four years previously Admiral Mahan had himself outlined the
elements of international politics as follows:

     It is as true now as when Washington penned the words, and will
     always be true, that it is vain to expect nations to act
     consistently from any motive other than that of interest. This
     under the name of Realism is the frankly avowed motive of
     German statecraft. It follows from this directly that the study
     of interests--international interest--is the one basis of
     sound, of provident, policy for statesmen....

     The old predatory instinct, that he should take who has the
     power, survives ... and moral force is not sufficient to
     determine issues unless supported by physical. Governments are
     corporations, and corporations have no souls ... they must put
     first the rival interests of their own wards ... their own
     people. Commercial and industrial predominance forces a nation
     to seek markets, and, where possible, to control them to its
     own advantage by preponderating force, the ultimate expression
     of which is possession ... an inevitable link in a chain of
     logical sequences: industry, markets, control, navy bases.[49]

Admiral Mahan, it is true, anticipates this criticism by pleading the
complex character of human nature (which no one denies). He says:
"Bronze is copper, and bronze is tin." But he entirely overlooks the
fact that if one withholds copper or one withholds tin it is no longer
bronze. The present author has never taken the ground that all
international action can be explained in the terms of one narrow motive,
but he does take the ground that if you can profoundly modify the
bearing of a constituent, as important as the one to which Admiral Mahan
has himself, in his own work, attributed such weight, you will
profoundly modify the whole texture and character of international
relations. Thus, even though it were true that the thesis here
elaborated were as narrowly economic as the criticism I have quoted
would imply, it would, nevertheless, have, on Admiral Mahan's own
showing, a very profound bearing on the problems of international

Not only do the principles elaborated here postulate no such narrow
conception of human motive, but it is essential to realize that you
cannot separate a problem of interest from a problem of right or
morality in the absolute fashion that Admiral Mahan would imply, because
right and morality connote the protection and promotion of the general

A nation, a people, we are given to understand, have higher motives than
money or "self-interest." What do we mean when we speak of the money of
a nation, or the self-interest of a community? We mean--and in such a
discussion as this can mean nothing else--better conditions for the
great mass of the people, the fullest possible lives, the abolition or
attenuation of poverty and of narrow circumstances; that the millions
shall be better housed and clothed and fed, more capable of making
provision for sickness and old age, with lives prolonged and
cheered--and not merely this, but also that they shall be better
educated, with character disciplined by steady labor and a better use of
leisure; a general social atmosphere which shall make possible family
affection, individual dignity and courtesy and the graces of life, not
only among the few, but among the many.

Now, do these things constitute, as a national policy, an inspiring aim,
or not? They are, speaking in terms of communities, pure
self-interest--bound up with economic problems, with money. Does Admiral
Mahan mean us to take him at his word when he would attach to such
efforts the same discredit that one implies in talking of a mercenary
individual? Would he have us believe that the typical great movements of
our time--Socialism, Trades Unionism, Syndicalism, Insurance Acts, Land
Reforms, Old Age Pensions, Charity Organization, improved
Education--bound up as they all are with economic problems--are not the
objects which, more and more, are absorbing the best activities of

In the pages which follow, I have attempted to show that the activities
which lie outside the range of these things--the religious wars,
movements like those which promoted the Crusades, or the sort of
tradition which we associate with the duel (which has, in fact,
disappeared from Anglo-Saxon society)--do not, and cannot, any longer
form part of the impulse creating the long-sustained conflicts between
large groups which a European war implies. I have attempted roughly to
indicate certain processes at work; to show, among other things, that
in the changing character of men's ideals there is a distinct narrowing
of the gulf which is supposed to separate ideal and material aims. Early
ideals, whether in the field of politics or religion, are generally
dissociated from any aim of general well-being. In early politics,
ideals are concerned simply with personal allegiance to some dynastic
chief, a feudal lord, or a monarch; the well-being of a community does
not enter into the matter at all. Later the chief must embody in his
person that well-being, or he does not obtain the allegiance of a
community of any enlightenment; later, the well-being of the community
becomes the end in itself, without being embodied in the person of an
hereditary chief, so that the people realize that their efforts, instead
of being directed to the protection of the personal interests of some
chief, are as a matter of fact directed to the protection of their own
interests, and their altruism has become communal self-interest, since
the self-sacrifice of the community for the sake of the community is a
contradiction in terms. In the religious sphere a similar development
has occurred. Early religious ideals have no relation to the material
betterment of mankind. The early Christian thought it meritorious to
live a sterile life at the top of a pillar, eaten by vermin, just as the
Hindoo saint to-day thinks it meritorious to live an equally sterile
life upon a bed of spikes. But as the early Christian ideal progressed,
sacrifices having no end connected with the betterment of mankind lost
their appeal. Our admiration now goes, not to the recluse who does
nothing for mankind, but rather to the priest who gives his life to
bring a ray of comfort to a leper settlement. The Christian saint who
would allow the nails of his fingers to grow through the palms of his
clasped hands would excite, not our admiration, but our revolt. More and
more is religious effort being subjected to this test: Does it make for
the improvement of society? If not, it stands condemned. Political
ideals are inevitably undergoing a similar development, and will be more
and more subjected to a similar test.[50]

I am aware that very often at present they are not thus tested.
Dominated as our political thought is by Roman and feudal
imagery--hypnotized by symbols and analogies which the necessary
development of organized society has rendered obsolete--the ideals even
of democracies are still often pure abstractions, divorced from any aim
calculated to advance the moral or material betterment of mankind. The
craze for sheer size of territory, the mere extent of administrative
area, is still deemed a thing deserving immense, incalculable

Even these ideals, however, firmly set as they are in our language and
tradition, are rapidly yielding to the necessary force of events. A
generation ago it would have been inconceivable that a people or a
monarch should calmly see part of its country secede and establish
itself as a separate political entity without attempting to prevent it
by force of arms. Yet this is what happened, a year or two ago, in the
Scandinavian peninsula. For forty years Germany has added to her own
difficulties and to those of the European situation for the purpose of
including Alsace and Lorraine in its Federation, but even there, obeying
the tendency which is world-wide, an attempt has been made to create a
constitutional and autonomous government. The history of the British
Empire for fifty years has been a process of undoing the work of
conquest. Colonies are now neither colonies nor possessions; they are
independent States. England, which for centuries has made such
sacrifices to retain Ireland, is now making great sacrifices in order to
make her secession workable. To each political arrangement, to each
political ideal, the final test will be applied: does it, or does it
not, make for the widest interests of the mass of the people involved?

It is true that those who emphasize the psychological causes of war
might rejoin with another distinction. They might urge that, though the
questions dividing nations had more or less their origin in an economic
problem, the economic question becomes itself a moral question, a
question of right. It was not the few pence of the tax on tea that the
Colonies fought about, but the question of right which its payment
involved. So with nations. War, ineffective to achieve an economic end,
unprofitable in the sense that the cost involved in the defence of a
given economic point exceeds the monetary value of that point, will
still be fought because a point, trifling in the economic sense, is all
important from the point of view of right; and though there is no real
division of interests between nations, though those interests are in
reality interdependent, minor differences provoking a sudden and
uncontrolled flash of temper suffice to provoke war. War is the outcome
of the "hot fits" of men, "of the devil that is in them."

Although militarist literature on this, as on most similar points, shows
flagrant contradictions, even that literature is against the view that
war is the outcome of the sheer sudden temper of nations. Most of the
popular, and all of the scientific, militarist writers take the contrary
view. Mr. Blatchford and his school normally represent a typical
militarist policy, like that of Germany, as actuated by a cold, deep,
Machiavellian, unsentimental, calculated opportunism, as diverse from a
wild, irrational explosion of feeling as possible. Mr. Blatchford

     German policy, based upon the teachings of Clausewitz, may be
     expressed in two questions, the questions laid down by
     Clausewitz: "Is it expedient to do this? Have we the power to
     do it?" If it will benefit the Fatherland to break up the
     British Empire, then it is expedient to break up the British
     Empire. Clausewitz taught Germany that "war is a part of
     policy." He taught that policy is a system of bargaining or
     negotiating, backed by arms. Clausewitz does not discuss the
     moral aspect of war; he deals with power and expediency. His
     pupils take his lead. They do not read poems on the blessings
     of peace; they do not spend ink on philanthropic theories.

All the more scientific writers, without an exception, so far as I am
aware, repudiate its "accidental" character. They one and all, from
Grotius to Von der Goltz, take the view that it results from definite
and determinable laws, like all the great processes of human

Von der Goltz ("On the Conduct of War") says:

     One must never lose sight of the fact that war is the
     consequence and continuation of policy. One will act on the
     defensive strategically or rest on the defensive according as
     the policy has been offensive or defensive. An offensive and
     defensive policy is in its turn indicated by the line of
     conduct dictated historically. We see this very clearly in
     antiquity by the example furnished us in the Persians and
     Romans. In their wars we see the strategical rôle following
     the bend of the historical rôle. The people which in its
     historical development has arrived at the stage of inertia, or
     even retrogression, will not carry on a policy of offence, but
     merely one of defence; a nation in that situation will wait to
     be attacked, and its strategy will consequently be defensive,
     and from a defensive strategy will follow necessarily a
     defensive tactic.

Lord Esher has expressed a like thought.[51]

But whether wars result from sheer temper, national "hot fits," or not,
it is quite certain that the lengthy preparation for war, the condition
of armed peace, the burden of armaments which is almost worse than an
occasional war, does not result therefrom.

The paraphernalia of war in the modern world cannot be improvised on the
spur of the moment to meet each gust of ill-feeling, and be dropped when
it is over. The building of battleships, the discussion of budgets and
the voting of them, the training of armies, the preparation of a
campaign, are a long business, and more and more in our day does each
distinctive campaign involve a special and distinctive preparation. The
pundits declare that the German battleships have been especially built
with a view to work in the North Sea. In any case, we know that the
conflict with Germany has been going on for ten years. This is surely a
rather prolonged "hot fit." The truth is that war in the modern world is
the outcome of armed peace, and involves, with all its elaborate
machinery of yearly budgets, and slowly built warships and forts, and
slowly trained armies, fixity of policy and purpose extending over
years, and sometimes generations. Men do not make these sacrifices month
after month, year after year, pay taxes, and upset Governments and fight
in Parliament for a mere passing whim; and as conflicts necessarily
become more scientific, we shall in the nature of things be forced to
prepare everything more thoroughly, and have clearer and sounder ideas
as to their essence, their cause, and their effects, and to watch more
closely their relation to national motive and policy. The final
justification for all these immense, humdrum, workaday sacrifices must
be more and more national well-being.

This does not imply, as some critics allege, the conclusion that an
Englishman is to say: "Since I might be just as well off under the
Germans, let them come"; but that the German will say: "Since I shall be
no better off for the going, I will not go."

Indeed, the case of the authorities cited in the preceding chapter is
marked by a false form of statement. Those who plead for war on moral
grounds say: "War will go on because men will defend their ideals,
moral, political, social, and religious." It should be stated thus: "War
will go on because men will always attack the spiritual possessions of
other men," because, of course, the necessity for defence arises from
the fact that these possessions are in danger of attack.

Put in the second form, however, the case breaks down almost of itself.
The least informed of us realizes that the whole trend of history is
against the tendency for men to attack the ideals and the beliefs of
other men. In the religious domain that tendency is plain, so much so
that the imposition of religious ideals or beliefs by force has
practically been abandoned in Europe, and the causes which have wrought
this change of attitude in the European mind are just as operative in
the field of politics.

Those causes have been, in the religious field, of a twofold nature,
both having direct bearing on the problem with which we are dealing. The
first cause is that at which I have already hinted, the general shifting
of the ideals from sterile aims to those concerned with the improvement
of society; the second one being that development of communication which
has destroyed the spiritual homogeneity of States.

A given movement of religious opinion is not confined to one State,
transforming it completely, while another current of opinion transforms
completely in another sense another State; but it goes on piecemeal,
_pari passu_, in the various States. Very early in the religious
development of Europe there ceased to be such a thing as a purely
Catholic or a purely Protestant State: the religious struggle went on
inside the political frontiers--between the people of the same State.
The struggle of political and social ideas must take a like course.
Those struggles of ideas will be carried out, not between States, but
between different groups in the same State, those groups acting in
intellectual co-operation with corresponding groups in other States.
This intellectual co-operation across frontiers is a necessary outcome
of the similar economic co-operation athwart frontiers which the
physical division of labor, owing to the development of communication,
has set up. It has become impossible for the army of a State to embody
the fight for an ideal, for the simple reason that the great moral
questions of our time can no longer be postulated in national terms.
What follows will make this plain.

There remains a final moral claim for war: that it is a needed moral
discipline for nations, the supreme test for the survival of the

In the first chapter of this section, I have pointed out the importance
of this plea in determining the general character of European public
opinion, on which alone depends the survival or the disappearance of the
militarist regimen. Yet in strict logic there is no need to rebut this
claim in detail at all, for only a small fraction of those who believe
in it have the courage of their convictions.

The defender of large armaments always justifies his position on the
ground that such armaments ensure peace. _Si vis pacem_, etc. As between
war and peace he has made his choice, and he has chosen, as the definite
object of his endeavors, peace. Having directed his efforts to secure
peace, he must accept whatever disadvantages there may lie in that
state. He is prepared to admit that, of the two states, peace is
preferable, and it is peace towards which our efforts should be
directed. Having decided on that aim, what utility is there in showing
that it is an undesirable one?

We must, as a matter of fact, be honest for our opponent. We must assume
that in an alternative, where his action would determine the issue of
war or peace, he will allow that action to be influenced by the general
consideration that war might make for the moral advantage of his
country. More important even than this consideration is that of the
general national temper, to which his philosophy, however little in
keeping with his professed policy and desire, necessarily gives rise.
For these reasons it is worth while to consider in detail the biological
case which he presents.

The illusion underlying that case arises from the indiscriminate
application of scientific formulæ.

Struggle is the law of survival with man, as elsewhere, but it is the
struggle of man with the universe, not man with man. Dog does not eat
dog--even tigers do not live on one another. Both dogs and tigers live
upon their prey.

It is true that as against this it is argued that dogs struggle with one
another for the same prey--if the supply of food runs short the weakest
dog, or the weakest tiger, starves. But an analogy between this state
and one in which co-operation is a direct means of increasing the supply
of food, obviously breaks down. If dogs and tigers were groups,
organized on the basis of the division of labor, even the weak dogs and
tigers could, conceivably, perform functions which would increase the
food supply of the group as a whole, and, conceivably, their existence
would render the security of that supply greater than would their
elimination. If to-day a territory like England supports in comfort, a
population of 45,000,000, where in other times rival groups, numbering
at most two or three millions, found themselves struggling with one
another for a bare subsistence, the greater quantity of food and the
greater security of the supply is not due to any process of elimination
of Wessex men by Northumbrian men, but is due precisely to the fact that
this rivalry has been replaced by common action against their prey, the
forces of nature. The obvious facts of the development of communities
show that there is a progressive replacement of rivalry by co-operation,
and that the vitality of the social organism increases in direct ratio
to the efficiency of the co-operation, and to the abandonment of the
rivalry, between its parts.[52]

All crude analogies between the processes of plant and animal survival
and social survival are vitiated, therefore, by disregarding the dynamic
element of conscious co-operation.

That mankind as a whole represents the organism and the planet the
environment, to which he is more and more adapting himself, is the only
conclusion that consorts with the facts. If struggle between men is the
true reading of the law of life, those facts are absolutely
inexplicable, for he is drifting away from conflict, from the use of
physical force, and towards co-operation. This much is unchallengeable,
as the facts which follow will show.

But in that case, if struggle for extermination of rivals between men is
the law of life, mankind is setting at naught the natural law, and must
be on the way to extinction.

Happily the natural law in this matter has been misread. The individual
in his sociological aspect is not the complete organism. He who attempts
to live without association with his fellows dies. Nor is the nation the
complete organism. If Britain attempted to live without co-operation
with other nations, half the population would starve. The completer the
co-operation the greater the vitality; the more imperfect the
co-operation the less the vitality. Now, a body, the various parts of
which are so interdependent that without co-ordination vitality is
reduced or death ensures, must be regarded, in so far as the functions
in question are concerned, not as a collection of rival organisms, but
as one. This is in accord with what we know of the character of living
organisms in their conflict with environment. The higher the organism,
the greater the elaboration and interdependence of its part, the
greater the need for co-ordination.[53]

If we take this as the reading of the biological law, the whole thing
becomes plain; man's irresistible drift away from conflict and towards
co-operation is but the completer adaptation of the organism (man) to
its environment (the planet, wild nature), resulting in a more intense

The psychological development involved in man's struggle along these
lines may best be stated by an outline sketch of the character of his

When I kill my prisoner (cannibalism was a very common characteristic of
early man), it is in "human nature" to keep him for my own larder
without sharing him. It is the extreme form of the use of force, the
extreme form of human individualism. But putrefaction sets in before I
can consume him (it is as well to recall these real difficulties of the
early man, because, of course, "human nature does not change"), and I am
left without food.

But my two neighbors, each with his butchered prisoner, are in a similar
difficulty, and though I could quite easily defend my larder, we deem it
better on the next occasion to join forces and kill one prisoner at a
time. I share mine with the other two; they share theirs with me. There
is no waste through putrefaction. It is the earliest form of the
surrender of the use of force in favor of co-operation--the first
attenuation of the tendency to act on impulse. But when the three
prisoners are consumed, and no more happen to be available, it strikes
us that on the whole we should have done better to make them catch game
and dig roots for us. The next prisoners that are caught are not
killed--a further diminution of impulse and the factor of physical
force--they are only enslaved, and the pugnacity which in the first case
went to kill them is now diverted to keeping them at work. But the
pugnacity is so little controlled by rationalism that the slaves starve,
and prove incapable of useful work. They are better treated; there is a
diminution of pugnacity. They become sufficiently manageable for the
masters themselves, while the slaves are digging roots, to do a little
hunting. The pugnacity recently expended on the slaves is redirected to
keeping hostile tribes from capturing them--a difficult matter, because
the slaves themselves show a disposition to try a change of mastership.
They are bribed into good behavior by better treatment: a further
diminution of force, a further drift towards co-operation; they give
labor, we give food and protection. As the tribes enlarge, it is found
that those have most cohesion where the position of slaves is recognized
by definite rights and privileges. Slavery becomes serfdom or villeiny.
The lord gives land and protection, the serf labor and military service:
a further drift from force, a further drift towards co-operation,
exchange. With the introduction of money even the form of force
disappears: the laborer pays rent and the lord pays his soldiers. It is
free exchange on both sides, and economic force has replaced physical
force. The further the drift from force towards simple economic interest
the better the result for the effort expended. The Tartar khan, who
seizes by force the wealth in his State, giving no adequate return, soon
has none to seize. Men will not work to create what they cannot enjoy,
so that, finally, the khan has to kill a man by torture in order to
obtain a sum which is the thousandth part of what a London tradesman
will spend to secure a title carrying no right to the exercise of force
from a Sovereign who has lost all right to the use or exercise of
physical force, the head of the wealthiest country in the world, the
sources of whose wealth are the most removed from any process involving
the exercise of physical force.

But while this process is going on inside the tribe, or group, or
nation, force and hostility as between differing tribes or nations
remain; but not undiminished. At first it suffices for the fuzzy head of
a rival tradesman to appear above the bushes for primitive man to want
to hit it. He is a foreigner: kill him. Later, he only wants to kill him
if he is at war with his tribe. There are periods of peace: diminution
of hostility. In the first conflicts all of the other tribe are
killed--men, women, and children. Force and pugnacity are absolute. But
the use of slaves, both as laborers and as concubines, attentuates
this; there is a diminution of force. The women of the hostile tribe
bear children by the conqueror: there is a diminution of pugnacity. At
the next raid into the hostile territory it is found that there is
nothing to take, because everything has been killed or carried off. So
on later raids the conqueror kills the chiefs only (a further diminution
of pugnacity, a further drift from mere impulse), or merely dispossesses
them of their lands, which he divides among his followers (Norman
Conquest type). We have already passed the stage of extermination.[54]
The conqueror simply absorbs the conquered--or the conquered absorbs
the conqueror, whichever you like. It is no longer the case of one
gobbling up the other. Neither is gobbled. In the next stage we do not
even dispossess the chiefs--a further sacrifice of physical force--we
merely impose tribute. But the conquering nation soon finds itself in
the position of the khan in his own State--the more he squeezes the less
he gets, until, finally, the cost of getting the money by military means
exceeds what is obtained. It was the case of Spain in Spanish
America--the more territory she "owned" the poorer she became. The wise
conqueror, then, finds that better than the exaction of tribute is an
exclusive market--old English colonial type. But in the process of
ensuring exclusiveness more is lost than is gained: the colonies are
allowed to choose their own system--further drift from the use of force,
further drift from hostility and pugnacity. Final result: complete
abandonment of physical force, co-operation on basis of mutual profit
the only relationship, with reference not merely to colonies which have
become in fact foreign States, but also to States foreign in name as
well as in fact. We have arrived not at the intensification of the
struggle between men, but at a condition of vital dependence upon the
prosperity of foreigners. Could England by some magic kill all
foreigners, half the British population would starve. This is not a
condition making indefinitely for hostility to foreigners; still less
is it a condition in which such hostility finds its justification in any
real instinct of self-preservation or in any deep-seated biological law.
With each new intensification of dependence between the parts of the
organism must go that psychological development which has marked every
stage of the progress in the past, from the day that we killed our
prisoner in order to eat him, and refused to share him with our fellow,
to the day that the telegraph and the bank have rendered military force
economically futile.

But the foregoing does not include all the facts, or all the factors. If
Russia does England an injury--sinks a fishing fleet in time of peace,
for instance--it is no satisfaction to Englishmen to go out and kill a
lot of Frenchmen or Irishmen. They want to kill Russians. If, however,
they knew a little less geography--if, for instance, they were Chinese
Boxers, it would not matter in the least which they killed, because to
the Chinaman all alike are "foreign devils"; his knowledge of the case
does not enable him to differentiate between the various nationalities
of Europeans. In the case of a wronged negro in the Congo the collective
responsibility is still wider; for a wrong inflicted by one white man he
will avenge himself on any other--American, German, English, French,
Dutch, Belgian, or Chinese. As our knowledge increases, our sense of the
collective responsibility of outside groups narrows. But immediately we
start on this differentiation there is no stopping. The English yokel is
satisfied if he can "get a whack at them foreigners"--Germans will do
if Russians are not available. The more educated man wants Russians; but
if he stops a moment longer, he will see that in killing Russian
peasants he might as well be killing so many Hindoos, for all they had
to do with the matter. He then wants to get at the Russian Government.
But so do a great many Russians--Liberals, Reformers, etc. He then sees
that the real conflict is not English against Russians at all, but the
interest of all law-abiding folk--Russian and English alike--against
oppression, corruption, and incompetence. To give the Russian Government
an opportunity of going to war would only strengthen its hands against
those with whom he was in sympathy--the Reformers. As war would increase
the influence of the reactionary party in Russia, it would do nothing to
prevent the recurrence of such incidents, and so quite the wrong party
would suffer. Were the real facts and the real responsibilities
understood, a Liberal people would reply to such an aggression by taking
every means which the social and economic relationship of the two States
afforded to enable Russian Liberals to hang a few Russian Admirals and
establish a Russian Liberal Government. In any case, the realization of
the fact attenuates hostility. In the same way, as they become more
familiar with the facts, the English will attenuate their hostility to
"Germans." An English patriot recently said, "We must smash
Prussianism." The majority of Germans are in cordial agreement with him,
and are working to that end. But if England went to war for that
purpose, Germans would be compelled to fight for Prussianism. War
between States for a political ideal of this kind is not only futile, it
is the sure means of perpetuating the very condition which it would
bring to an end. International hostilities repose for the most part upon
our conception of the foreign State, with which we are quarrelling, as a
homogeneous personality, having the same character of responsibility as
an individual, whereas the variety of interests, both material and
moral, regardless of State boundaries, renders the analogy between
nations and individuals an utterly false one.

Indeed, when the co-operation between the parts of the social organism
is as complete as our mechanical development has recently made it, it is
impossible to fix the limits not merely of the economic interests, but
of the moral interest of the community, and to say what is one community
and what is another. Certainly the State limits no longer define the
limits of the community; and yet it is only the State limits which
international antagonism predicates. If the Louisiana cotton crop fails,
a part of Lancashire starves. There is closer community of interest in a
vital matter between Lancashire and Louisiana than between Louisiana
and, say, Iowa, parts of the same State. There is much closer
intercommunication between Britain and the United States in all that
touches social and moral development than between Britain and, say,
Bengal, part of the same State. An English nobleman has more community
of thought and feeling with a European continental aristocrat (will
marry his daughter, for instance) than he would think of claiming with
such "fellow" British countrymen as a Bengal Babu, a Jamaica negro, or
even a Dorset yokel. A professor at Oxford will have closer community of
feeling with a member of the French Academy than with, say, a
Whitechapel publican. One may go further, and say that a British subject
of Quebec has closer contact with Paris than with London; the British
subject of Dutch-speaking Africa with Holland than with England; the
British subject of Hong Kong with Pekin than with London; of Egypt, with
Constantinople than with London, and so on. In a thousand respects,
association cuts across State boundaries, which are purely conventional,
and renders the biological division of mankind into independent and
warring States a scientific ineptitude.

Allied factors, introduced by the character of modern intercourse, have
already gone far to render territorial conquest futile for the
satisfaction of natural human pride and vanity. Just as in the economic
sphere, factors peculiar to our generation have rendered the old analogy
between States and persons a false one, so do these factors render the
analogy in the sentimental sphere a false one. While the individual of
great possessions does in fact obtain, by reason of his wealth, a
deference which satisfies his pride and vanity, the individual of the
great nation has no such sentimental advantage as against the citizen of
the small nation. No one thinks of respecting the Russian mujik because
he belongs to a great nation, or despising a Scandinavian or Belgian
gentleman because he belongs to a small one; and any society will accord
prestige to the nobleman of Norway, Holland, Belgium, Spain, or even
Portugal, which it refuses to an American "Climber." The nobleman of any
country will marry the noblewoman of another more readily than a woman
from a lower class of his own country. The prestige of the foreign
country rarely counts for anything in the matter, when it comes to the
real facts of everyday life, so shallow is the real sentiment which now
divides States. Just as in material things community of interest and
relationship cut clear across State boundaries, so inevitably will the
psychic community of interest come so to do.

Just as, in the material domain, the real biological law, which is
association and co-operation between individuals of the same species in
the struggle with their environment, has pushed men in their material
struggle to conform with that law, so will it do so in the sentimental
sphere. We shall come to realize that the real psychic and moral
divisions are not as between nations, but as between opposing
conceptions of life. Even admitting that man's nature will never lose
the combativeness, hostility, and animosity which are so large a part of
it (although the manifestations of such feelings have so greatly changed
within the historical period as almost to have changed in character),
what we shall see is the diversion of those psychological qualities to
the real, instead of the artificial, conflict of mankind. We shall see
that at the bottom of any conflict between the armies or Governments of
Germany and England lies not the opposition of "German" interests to
"English" interests, but the conflict in both States between democracy
and autocracy, or between Socialism and Individualism, or reaction and
progress, however one's sociological sympathies may classify it. That is
the real division in both countries, and for Germans to conquer English,
or English Germans, would not advance the solution of such a conflict
one iota; and as such conflict becomes more acute, the German
individualist will see that it is more important to protect his freedom
and property against the Socialist and trade unionist, who can and do
attack them, than against the British Army, which cannot. In the same
way the British Tory will be more concerned with what Mr. Lloyd George's
Budgets can do than with what the Germans can do.[55] From the
realization of these things to the realization on the part of the
British democrat that what stands in the way of his securing for social
expenditure enormous sums, that now go to armaments, is mainly a lack of
co-operation between himself and the democrats of a hostile nation who
are in a like case, is but a step, and a step that, if history has any
meaning, is bound shortly to be taken. When it is taken, property,
capital, Individualism will have to give to its international
organization, already far-reaching, a still more definite form, in which
international differences will play no part. And when that condition is
reached, both peoples will find inconceivable the idea that artificial
State divisions (which are coming more and more to approximate to mere
administrative divisions, leaving free scope within them or across them
for the development of genuine nationality) could ever in any way define
the real conflicts of mankind.

There remains, of course, the question of time; that these developments
will take "thousands" or "hundreds" of years. Yet the interdependence of
modern nations is the growth of little more than fifty years. A century
ago England could have been self-supporting, and little the worse for
it. One must not overlook the Law of Acceleration. The age of man on the
earth is placed variously at from thirty thousand to three hundred
thousand years. He has in some respects developed more in the last two
hundred years than in all the preceding ages. We see more change now in
ten years than originally in ten thousand. Who shall foretell the
developments of a generation?



    The progress from cannibalism to Herbert Spencer--The disappearance
    of religious oppression by government--Disappearance of the
    duel--The Crusaders and the Holy Sepulchre--The wail of militarist
    writers at man's drift away from militancy.

All of us who have had occasion to discuss this subject are familiar
with the catch-phrases with which the whole matter is so often
dismissed. "You cannot change human nature," "What man always has been
during thousands of years, he always will be," are the sort of dicta
generally delivered as self-evident propositions that do not need
discussion. Or if, in deference to the fact that very profound changes,
in which human nature is involved, _have_ taken place in the habits of
mankind, the statement of the proposition is somewhat less dogmatic, we
are given to understand that any serious modification of the tendency to
go to war can only be looked for in "thousands of years."

What are the facts? They are these:

That the alleged unchangeability of human nature in this matter is not
borne out; that man's pugnacity though not disappearing, is very
visibly, under the forces of mechanical and social development, being
transformed and diverted from ends that are wasteful and destructive to
ends that are less wasteful, which render easier that co-operation
between men in the struggle with their environment which is the
condition of their survival and advance; that changes which, in the
historical period, have been extraordinarily rapid are necessarily
quickening--quickening in geometrical rather than in arithmetical ratio.

With very great courtesy, one is impelled to ask those who argue that
human nature in all its manifestations must remain unchanged how they
interpret history. We have seen man progress from the mere animal
fighting with other animals, seizing his food by force, seizing also by
force his females, eating his own kind, the sons of the family
struggling with the father for the possession of the father's wives; we
have seen this incoherent welter of animal struggle at least partly
abandoned for settled industry, and partly surviving as a more organized
tribal warfare or a more ordered pillaging, like that of the Vikings and
the Huns; we have seen even these pillagers abandon in part their
pillaging for ordered industry, and in part for the more ceremonial
conflict of feudal struggle; we have seen even the feudal conflict
abandoned in favor of dynastic and religious and territorial conflict,
and then dynastic and religious conflict abandoned. There remains now
only the conflict of States, and that, too, at a time when the character
and conception of the State are being profoundly modified.

Human nature may not change, whatever that vague phrase may mean; but
human nature is a complex factor. It includes numberless motives, many
of which are modified in relation to the rest as circumstances change;
so that the manifestations of human nature change out of all
recognition. Do we mean by the phrase that "human nature does not
change" that the feelings of the paleolithic man who ate the bodies of
his enemies and of his own children are the same as those of a Herbert
Spencer, or even of the modern New Yorker who catches his subway train
to business in the morning? If human nature does not change, may we
therefore expect the city clerk to brain his mother and serve her up for
dinner, or suppose that Lord Roberts or Lord Kitchener is in the habit,
while on campaign, of catching the babies of his enemies on spear-heads,
or driving his motor-car over the bodies of young girls, like the
leaders of the old Northmen in their ox-wagons.

What _do_ these phrases mean? These, and many like them, are repeated in
a knowing way with an air of great wisdom and profundity by journalists
and writers of repute, and one may find them blatant any day in our
newspapers and reviews; yet the most cursory examination proves them to
be neither wise nor profound, but simply parrot-like catch-phrases which
lack common sense, and fly in the face of facts of everyday experience.

The truth is that the facts of the world as they stare us in the face
show that, in our common attitude, we not only overlook the
modifications in human nature, which have occurred historically since
yesterday--occurred even in our generation--but we also ignore the
modification of human nature which mere differences of social habit and
custom and outlook effect. Take the case of the duel. Even educated
people in Germany, France, and Italy, will tell you that it is "not in
human nature" to expect a man of gentle birth to abandon the habit of
the duel; the notion that honorable people should ever so place their
honor at the mercy of whoever may care to insult them is, they assure
you, both childish and sordid. With them the matter will not bear

Yet the great societies which exist in England, North America,
Australia--the whole Anglo-Saxon world, in fact--have abandoned the
duel, and we cannot lump the whole Anglo-Saxon race as either sordid or

That such a change as this, which must have conflicted with human
pugnacity in its most insidious form,--pride and personal vanity, the
traditions of an aristocratic status, every one of the psychological
factors now involved in international conflict--has been effected in our
own generation should surely give pause to those who dismiss as
chimerical any hope that rationalism will ever dominate the conduct of

Discussing the impossibility of allowing arbitration to cover all causes
of difference, Mr. Roosevelt remarked, in justification of large
armaments: "We despise a nation, just as we despise a man, who fails to
resent an insult."[56] Mr. Roosevelt seems to forget that the duel with
us is extinct. Do _we_, the English-speaking people of the world, to
whom presumably Mr. Roosevelt must have been referring, despise a man
who fails to resent an insult by arms? Would we not, on the contrary,
despise the man who should do so? Yet so recent is this charge that it
has not yet reached the majority of Europeans.

The vague talk of national honor, as a quality under the especial
protection of the soldier, shows, perhaps more clearly than aught else,
how much our notions concerning international politics have fallen
behind the notions that dominate us in everyday life. When an individual
begins to rave about his honor, we may be pretty sure he is about to do
some irrational, most likely some disreputable deed. The word is like an
oath, serving with its vague yet large meaning to intoxicate the fancy.
Its vagueness and elasticity make it possible to regard a given
incident, at will, as either harmless or a _casus belli_. Our sense of
proportion in these matters approximates to that of the schoolboy. The
passing jeer of a foreign journalist, a foolish cartoon, is sufficient
to start the dogs of war baying up and down the land.[57] We call it
"maintaining the national prestige," "enforcing respect," and I know not
what other high-sounding name. It amounts to the same thing in the end.

The one distinctive advance in civil society achieved by the Anglo-Saxon
world is fairly betokened by the passing away of this old notion of a
peculiar possession in the way of honor, which has to be guarded by
arms. It stands out as the one clear moral gain of the nineteenth
century; and, when we observe the notion resurging in the minds of men,
we may reasonably expect to find that it marks one of those reversions
in development which so often occur in the realm of mind as well as in
that of organic forms.

Two or three generations since, this progress, even among Anglo-Saxons,
towards a rational standard of conduct in this matter, as between
individuals, would have seemed as unreasonable as do the hopes of
international peace in our day. Even to-day the continental officer is
as firmly convinced as ever that the maintenance of personal dignity is
impossible save by the help of the duel. He will ask in triumph, "What
will you do if one of your own order openly insults you? Can you
preserve your self-respect by summoning him to the police-court?" And
the question is taken as settling the matter offhand.

The survival, where national prestige is concerned, of the standards of
the _code duello_ is daily brought before us by the rhetoric of the
patriots. Our army and our navy, not the good faith of our statesmen,
are the "guardians of our national honor." Like the duellist, the
patriot would have us believe that a dishonorable act is made honorable
if the party suffering by the dishonor be killed. The patriot is careful
to withdraw from the operation of possible arbitration all questions
which could affect the "national honor." An "insult to the flag" must be
"wiped out in blood." Small nations, which in the nature of the case
cannot so resent the insults of great empires, have apparently no right
to such a possession as "honor." It is the peculiar prerogative of
world-wide empires. The patriots who would thus resent "insults to the
flag" may well be asked whether they would condemn the conduct of the
German lieutenant who kills the unarmed civilian in cold blood "for the
honor of the uniform."

It does not seem to have struck the patriot that, as personal dignity
and conduct have not suffered but been improved by the abandonment of
the principle of the duel, there is little reason to suppose that
international conduct, or national dignity, would suffer by a similar
change of standards.

The whole philosophy underlying the duel, where personal relations are
concerned, excites in our day the infinite derision of all Anglo-Saxons.
Yet these same Anglo-Saxons maintain it as rigorously as ever in the
relations of States.

Profound as is the change involved in the Anglo-Saxon abandonment of the
duel, a still more universal change, affecting still more nearly our
psychological impulses, has been effected within a relatively recent
historical period. I refer to the abandonment, by the Governments of
Europe, of their right to prescribe the religious belief of their
citizens. For hundreds of years, generation after generation, it was
regarded as an evident part of a ruler's right and duty to dictate what
his subjects should believe.

As Lecky has pointed out, the preoccupation which, for numberless
generations, was the centre round which all other interests revolved has
simply and purely disappeared; coalitions which were once the most
serious occupation of statesmen now exist only in the speculations of
the expounders of prophecy. Among all the elements of affinity and
repulsion that regulate the combinations of nations, dogmatic influences
which were once supreme can scarcely be said to exist. There is a change
here reaching down into the most fundamental impulses of the human mind.
"Until the seventeenth century every mental discussion, which philosophy
pronounces to be essential to legitimate research, was almost uniformly
branded as a sin, and a large proportion of the most deadly intellectual
vices were deliberately inculcated as virtues."

Anyone who argued that the differences between Catholics and Protestants
were not such as force could settle, and that the time would come when
man would realize this truth, and regard a religious war between
European States as a wild and unimaginable anachronism, would have been
put down as a futile doctrinaire, completely ignoring the most
elementary facts of "unchanging human nature."

There is one striking incident of the religious struggle of States which
illustrates vividly the change which has come over the spirit of man.
For nearly two hundred years Christians fought the Infidel for the
conquest of the Holy Sepulchre. All the nations of Europe joined in this
great endeavor. It seemed to be the one thing which could unite them,
and for generations, so profound was the impulse which produced the
movement, the struggle went on. There is nothing in history, perhaps,
quite comparable to it. Suppose that during this struggle one had told a
European statesman of that age that the time would come when, assembled
in a room, the representatives of a Europe, which had made itself the
absolute master of the Infidel, could by a single stroke of the pen
secure the Holy Sepulchre for all time to Christendom, but that, having
discussed the matter cursorily twenty minutes or so, they would decide
that on the whole it was not worth while! Had such a thing been told to
a mediæval statesman, he would certainly have regarded the prophecy as
that of a madman. Yet this, of course, is precisely what has taken

A glance over the common incidents of Europe's history will show the
profound change which has visibly taken place, not only in the minds,
but in the hearts of men. Things which even in our stage of civilization
would no longer be possible, owing to that change in human nature which
the military dogmatist denies, were commonplace incidents with our
grandfathers. Indeed, the modifications in the religious attitude just
touched on assuredly arise from an emotional as much as from an
intellectual change. A theology which could declare that the unborn
child would suffer eternal torment in the fires of hell for no crime,
other than that of its conception, would be in our day impossible on
merely emotional grounds.[59] What was once deemed a mere truism would
now be viewed with horror and indignation. Again, as Lecky says, "For a
great change has silently swept over Christendom. Without disturbance,
an old doctrine has passed away from among the realizations of mankind."

Not only in the religious sphere do we see this progress. In a
civilization, which was in many respects an admirable one, it was
possible for 400 slaves to be slaughtered because one of them had
committed some offence; for a lady of fashion to gratify a momentary
caprice by ordering a slave to be crucified; and, a generation or two
since, for whole populations to turn torture into a public amusement[60]
and a public festival; for kings, historically yesterday, to assist
personally at the tortures of persons accused of witchcraft. It is
related by Pitcairn, in his "Criminal Trials of Scotland," that James I.
of Scotland personally presided over the tortures of one, Dr. Fian,
accused of having caused a storm at sea. The bones of the prisoner's
legs were broken into small pieces in the boot, and it was the King
himself who suggested the following variation and witnessed the
execution of it: the nails of both hands were seized by a pair of
pincers and torn from the fingers, and into the bleeding stump of each
finger two needles were thrust up to their heads!

Does anyone seriously contend that the conditions of modern life have
not modified psychology in these matters? Does anyone seriously deny
that our wider outlook, which is the result of somewhat larger
conceptions and wider reading, has wrought such a change that the
repetition of things like these in London, or in Edinburgh, or in
Berlin, has become impossible?

Or, is it seriously argued that we may witness a repetition of these
events, that we are quite capable at any moment of taking pleasure in
burning alive a beautiful child? Does the Catholic or the Protestant
really stand in danger of such things from his religious rival? If human
nature is unchanged by the progress of ideas, then he does, and Europe's
general adoption of religious freedom is a mistake, and each sect should
arm against the other in the old way, and the only real hope of
religious peace and safety is in the domination of an absolutely
universal Church. This was, indeed, the plea of the old inquisitor, just
as it is the plea of the _Spectator_ to-day, that the only hope of
political peace is in the domination of an absolutely universal power:

     There is only one way to end war and preparation for war, and
     that is, as we have said, by a universal monarchy. If we can
     imagine one country--let us say Russia for the sake of
     argument--so powerful that she could disarm the rest of the
     world, and then maintain a force big enough to forbid any Power
     to invade the rights of any other Power ... no doubt we should
     have universal peace.[61]

This dictum recalls one, equally emphatic, once voiced by a colleague of
the late Procurator of the Holy Synod in Russia, who said:

     There is only one way to ensure religious peace in the State,
     to compel all in that State to conform to the State religion.
     Those that will not conform must, in the interests of peace, be
     driven out.

Mr. Lecky, who of all authors has written most suggestively, perhaps, on
the disappearance of religious persecution, has pointed out that the
strife between opposing religious bodies arose out of a religious spirit
which, though often high-minded and disinterested (he protests with
energy against the notion that persecution as a whole was dictated by
interested motives), was unpurified by rationalism; and he adds that the
irrationality which once characterized the religious sentiment has now
been replaced by the irrationality of patriotism. Mr. Lecky says:

     If we take a broad view of the course of history, and examine
     the relations of great bodies of men, we find that religion
     and patriotism are the chief moral influences to which they
     have been subjected, and that the separate modifications and
     mutual interaction of these two agents may almost be said to
     constitute the moral history of mankind.

Is it to be expected that the rationalization and humanization which
have taken place in the more complex domain of religious doctrine and
belief will not also take place in the domain of patriotism? More
especially, as the same author points out, since it was the necessities
of material interest which brought about the reform in the first domain,
and since "not only does interest, as distinct from passion, gain a
greater empire with advancing civilization, but passion itself is mainly
guided by its power."

Have we not abundant evidence, indeed, that the passion of patriotism,
as divorced from material interest, is being modified by the pressure of
material interest? Are not the numberless facts of national
interdependence, which I have indicated here, pushing inevitably to that
result? And are we not justified in concluding that, just as the
progress of rationalism has made it possible for the various religious
groups to live together, to exist side by side without physical
conflict; just as there has been in that domain no necessary choice
between universal domination or unending strife, so in like manner will
the progress of political rationalism mark the evolution of the
relationship of political groups; that the struggle for domination will
cease because it will be realized that physical domination is futile,
and that instead of either universal strife or universal domination
there will come, without formal treaties or Holy Alliances, the general
determination for each to go his way undisturbed in his political
allegiance, as he is now undisturbed in his religious allegiance?

Perhaps the very strongest evidence that the whole drift of human
tendencies is away from such conflict as is represented by war between
States is to be found in the writings of those who declare war to be
inevitable. Among the writers quoted in the first chapter of this
section, there is not one who, if his arguments are examined carefully,
does not show that he realizes, consciously, or subconsciously, that
man's disposition to fight, far from being unchanged, is becoming
rapidly enfeebled. Take, for instance, one of the latest works voicing
the philosophy that war is inevitable; that, indeed, it is both wicked
and childish to try to prevent it.[62] Notwithstanding that the
inevitability of war is the thesis of his book, Homer Lea entitles the
first section "The Decline of Militancy," and shows clearly, in fact,
that the commercial activities of the world lead directly away from war.

     Trade, ducats, and mortgages are regarded as far greater assets
     and sources of power than armies or navies. They produce
     national effeminacy and effeteness.

Now, as this tendency is common to all nations of Christendom--indeed,
of the world--since commercial and industrial development is
world-wide, it necessarily means, if it is true of any one nation, that
the world as a whole is drifting away from the tendency to warfare.

A large part of Homer Lea's book is a sort of Carlylean girding at what
he terms "protoplasmic gourmandizing and retching" (otherwise the busy
American industrial and social life of his countrymen). He declares
that, when a country makes wealth, production, and industries its sole
aim, it becomes "a glutton among nations, vulgar, swinish, arrogant";
"commercialism, having seized hold of the American people, overshadows
it, and tends to destroy not only the aspirations and world-wide career
open to the nation, but the Republic itself." "Patriotism in the true
sense" (_i.e._, the desire to go and kill other people) Homer Lea
declares almost dead in the United States. The national ideals, even of
the native-born American, are deplorably low:

     There exists not only individual prejudice against military
     ideals, but public antipathy; antagonism of politicians,
     newspapers, churches, colleges, labor unions, theorists, and
     organized societies. They combat the military spirit as if it
     were a public evil and a national crime.

In that case, what, in the name of all that is muddleheaded, becomes of
the "unchanging tendency towards warfare"? What is all this curious
rhetoric of Homer Lea's (and I have dealt with him at some length,
because his principles if not his language are those which characterize
much similar literature in England, France, Germany, and the continent
of Europe generally) but an admission that the whole tendency is not, as
he would have us believe, towards war, but away from it? Here is an
author who tells us that war is to be forever inevitable, and in the
same breath that men are rapidly conceiving not only a "slothful
indifference" to fighting, but a profound antipathy to the military

Of course, Homer Lea implies that this tendency is peculiar to the
American Republic, and is for that reason dangerous to his country; but,
as a matter of fact, Homer Lea's book might be a free translation of
much nationalist literature of either France or Germany.[63] I cannot
recall a single author of either of the four great countries who,
treating of the inevitability of war, does not bewail the falling away
of his own country from the military ideal, or, at least, the tendency
so to fall away. Thus the English journalist reviewing in the _Daily
Mail_ Homer Lea's book cannot refrain from saying:

     Is it necessary to point out that there is a moral in all this
     for us as well as for the American? Surely almost all that Mr.
     Lea says applies to Great Britain as forcibly as to the United
     States. We too have lain dreaming. We have let our ideals
     tarnish. We have grown gluttonous, also.... Shame and folly are
     upon us as well as upon our brethren. Let us hasten with all
     our energy to cleanse ourselves of them, that we can look the
     future in the face without fear.

Exactly the same note dominates the literature of an English protagonist
like Mr. Blatchford, the militarist socialist. He talks of the "fatal
apathy" of the British people. "The people," he says, breaking out in
anger at the small disposition they show to kill other people, "are
conceited, self-indulgent, decadent, and greedy. They will shout for the
Empire, but they will not fight for it."[64] A glance at such
publications as _Blackwood's_, the _National Review_, the London
_Spectator_, the London _World_, will reveal precisely similar

Of course, Mr. Blatchford declares that the Germans are very different,
and that what Mr. Lea (in talking of _his_ country) calls the
"gourmandizing and retching" is not at all true of Germany. As a matter
of fact, however, the phrase I have quoted might have been "lifted" from
the work of any average Pan-German, or even from more responsible
quarters. Have Mr. Blatchford and Mr. Lea forgotten that no less a
person than Prince von Bülow, in a speech made in the Prussian Diet,
used almost the words I have quoted from Mr. Blatchford, and dwelt at
length on the self-indulgence and degeneracy, the rage for luxury, etc.,
which possess modern Germany, and told how the old qualities which had
marked the founders of the Empire were disappearing?[65]

Indeed, do not a great part of the governing classes of Germany almost
daily bewail the infiltration of anti-militarist doctrines among the
German people, and does not the extraordinary increase in the Socialist
vote justify the complaint?

A precisely analogous plea is made by the Nationalist writer in France
when he rails at the pacifist tendencies of _his_ country, and points to
the contrasting warlike activities of neighbouring nations. A glance at
a copy of practically any Nationalist or Conservative paper in France
will furnish ample evidence of this. Hardly a day passes but that the
_Echo de Paris_, _Gaulois_, _Figaro_, _Journal des Débats_, _Patrie_, or
_Presse_, sounds this note, while one may find it rampant in the works
of such serious writers as Paul Bourget, Faguet, Le Bon, Barrès,
Brunetière, Paul Adam, to say nothing of more popular publicists like
Deroulède, Millevoye, Drumont, etc.

All these advocates of war, therefore--American, English, German,
French--are at one in declaring that foreign countries are very warlike,
but that their own country, "sunk in sloth," is drifting away from war.
As presumably they know more of their own country than of others, their
own testimony involves mutual destruction of their own theories. They
are thus unwilling witnesses to the truth, which is that we are all
alike--English, Americans, Germans, French--losing the psychological
impulse to war, just as we have lost the psychological impulse to kill
our neighbors on account of religious differences, and (at least in the
case of the Anglo-Saxon) to kill our neighbors in duels for some cause
of wounded vanity.

How, indeed, could it be otherwise? How can modern life, with its
overpowering proportion of industrial activities and its infinitesimal
proportion of military ones, keep alive the instincts associated with
war as against those developed by peace?

Not only evolution, but common sense and common observation, teaches us
that we develop most those qualities which we exercise most, which serve
us best in the occupation in which we are most engaged. A race of seamen
is not developed by agricultural pursuits, carried on hundreds of miles
from the sea.

Take the case of what is reputed (quite wrongly, incidentally) to be the
most military nation in Europe--Germany. The immense majority of adult
Germans--practically, all who make up what we know as Germany--have
never seen a battle, and in all human probability never will see one. In
forty years eight thousand Germans have been in the field about twelve
months--against naked blacks.[66] So that the proportion of warlike
activities to peaceful activities works out at one to hundreds of
thousands. I wish it were possible to illustrate this diagrammatically;
but it could not be done in this book, because, if a single dot the size
of a full-stop were to be used to illustrate the expenditure of time in
actual war, I should have to fill most of the book with dots to
illustrate the time spent by the balance of the population in peace

In that case, how can we possibly expect to keep alive warlike
qualities, when all our interests and activities--all our environments,
in short--are peace-like?

In other words, the occupations which develop the qualities of industry
and peace are so much in excess of those which would develop the
qualities we associate with war that that excess has almost now passed
beyond any ordinary means of visual illustration, and has entirely
passed beyond any ordinary human capacity fully to appreciate. Peace is
with us now nearly always; war is with us rarely, yet we are told that
it is the qualities of war which will survive, and the qualities of
peace which will be subsidiary.

I am not forgetting, of course, the military training, the barrack life
which is to keep alive the military tradition. I have dealt with that
question in the next chapter. It suffices for the moment to note that
that training is defended on the grounds (notably among those who would
introduce it into England)--(1) that it ensures peace; (2) that it
renders a population more efficient in the arts of peace--that is to
say, perpetuates that condition of "slothful ease" which we are told is
so dangerous to our characters, in which we are bound to lose the
"warlike qualities," and which renders society still more
"gourmandizing" in Mr. Lea's contemptuous phrase, still more "Cobdenite"
in Mr. Leo Maxse's. One cannot have it both ways. If long-continued
peace is enervating, it is mere self-stultification to plead for
conscription on the ground that it will still further prolong that
enervating condition. If Mr. Leo Maxse sneers at industrial society and
the peace ideal--"the Cobdenite ideal of buying cheap and selling
dear"--he must not defend German conscription (though he does) on the
ground that it renders German commerce more efficient--that, in other
words, it advances that "Cobdenite ideal." In that case, the drift away
from war will be stronger than ever. Perhaps some of all this
inconsistency was in Mr. Roosevelt's mind when he declared that by "war
alone" can man develop those manly qualities, etc. If conscription
really does prolong peace and increase our aptitude for the arts of
peace, then conscription itself is but a factor in man's temperamental
drift away from war, in the change of his nature towards peace.

It is not because man is degenerate or swinish or gluttonous (such
language, indeed, applied as it is by Mr. Lea to the larger and better
part of the human race, suggests a not very high-minded ill-temper at
the stubbornness of facts which rhetoric does not affect) that he is
showing less and less disposition to fight, but because he is condemned
by the real "primordial law" to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow,
and his nature in consequence develops those qualities which the bulk of
his interests and capacities demand and favor.

Finally, of course, we are told that even though these forces are at
work, they must take "thousands of years" to operate. This dogmatism
ignores the Law of Acceleration, as true in the domain of sociology as
in that of physics, which I have touched on at the close of the
preceding chapter. The most recent evidence would seem to show that man
as a fire-using animal dates back to the Tertiary epoch--say, three
hundred thousand years. Now, in all that touches this discussion, man in
Northern Europe (in Great Britain, say) remained unchanged for two
hundred and ninety-eight thousand of those years. In the last two
thousand years he changed more than in the two hundred and ninety-eight
thousand preceding, and in one hundred he has changed more, perhaps,
than in the preceding two thousand. The comparison becomes more
understandable if we resolve it into hours. For, say, fifty years the
man was a cannibal savage or a wild animal, hunting other wild animals,
and then in the space of three months he became John Smith of Des
Moines, attending church, passing laws, using the telephone, and so on.
That is the history of European mankind. And in the face of it, the
wiseacres talk sapiently, and lay it down as a self-evident and
demonstrable fact that inter-State war, which, by reason of the
mechanics of our civilization, accomplishes nothing and can accomplish
nothing, will forever be unassailable because, once man has got the
habit of doing a thing, he will go on doing it, although the
reason which in the first instance prompted it has long since
disappeared--because, in short, of the "unchangeability of human



    The confident dogmatism of militarist writers on this subject--The
    facts--The lessons of Spanish America--How conquest makes for the
    survival of the unfit--Spanish method and English method in the New
    World--The virtues of military training--The Dreyfus case--The
    threatened Germanization of England--"The war which made Germany
    great and Germans small."

The militarist authorities I have quoted in the preceding chapter admit,
therefore, and admit very largely, man's drift, in a sentimental sense,
away from war. But that drift, they declare, is degeneration; without
those qualities which "war alone," in Mr. Roosevelt's phrase, can
develop, man will "rot and decay."

This plea is, of course, directly germane to our subject. To say that
the qualities which we associate with war, and nothing else but war, are
necessary to assure a nation success in its struggles with other nations
is equivalent to saying that those who drift away from war will go down
before those whose warlike activity can conserve those qualities
essential to survival; and this is but another way of saying that men
must always remain warlike if they are to survive, that the warlike
nations inherit the earth; that men's pugnacity, therefore, is the
outcome of the great natural law of survival, and that a decline of
pugnacity marks in any nation a retrogression and not an advance in its
struggle for survival. I have already indicated (Chapter II., Part II.)
the outlines of the proposition, which leaves no escape from this
conclusion. This is the scientific basis of the proposition voiced by
the authorities I have quoted--Mr. Roosevelt, Von Moltke, Renan,
Nietzsche, and various of the warlike clergy[68]--and it lies at the
very bottom of the plea that man's nature, in so far as it touches the
tendency of men as a whole to go to war, does not change; that the
warlike qualities are a necessary part of human vitality in the struggle
for existence; that, in short, all that we know of the law of evolution
forbids the conclusion that man will ever lose this warlike pugnacity,
or that nations will survive other than by the struggle of physical

The view is best voiced, perhaps, by Homer Lea, whom I have already
quoted. He says, in his "Valor of Ignorance":

     As physical vigor represents the strength of man in his
     struggle for existence, in the same sense military vigor
     constitutes the strength of nations; ideals, laws,
     constitutions are but temporary effulgences [P. 11]. The
     deterioration of the military force and the consequent
     destruction of the militant spirit have been concurrent with
     national decay [P. 24]. International disagreements are ... the
     result of the primordial conditions that sooner or later cause
     war ... the law of struggle, the law of survival, universal,
     unalterable ... to thwart them, to short-cut them, to
     circumvent them, to cozen, to deny, to scorn, to violate them,
     is folly such as man's conceit alone makes possible....
     Arbitration denies the inexorability of natural laws ... that
     govern the existence of political entities [Pp. 76, 77]. Laws
     that govern the militancy of a people are not of man's framing,
     but follow the primitive ordinances of nature that govern all
     forms of life, from simple protozoa, awash in the sea, to the
     empires of man.[69]

I have already indicated the grave misconception which lies at the
bottom of the interpretation of the evolutionary law here indicated.
What we are concerned with now is to deal with the facts on which this
alleged general principle is inductively based. We have seen from the
foregoing chapter that man's nature certainly does change; the next step
is to show, from the facts of the present-day world, that the warlike
qualities do not make for survival, that the warlike nations do not
inherit the earth.

Which are the military nations? We generally think of them in Europe as
Germany and France, or perhaps also Russia, Austria, and Italy.
Admittedly (_vide_ all the English and American military pundits and
economists) England is the least militarized nation in Europe, the
United States perhaps in the world. It is, above all, Germany that
appeals to us as the type of the military nation, one in which the stern
school of war makes for the preservation of the "manly and adventurous

The facts want a little closer examination. What is a career of
unwarlike ease, in Mr. Roosevelt's phrase? In the last chapter we saw
that during the last forty years eight thousand out of sixty million
Germans have been engaged in warfare during a trifle over a year, and
that against Hottentots or Hereros--a proportion of war days per German
to peace days per German which is as one to some hundreds of thousands.
So that if we are to take Germany as the type of the military nation,
and if we are to accept Mr. Roosevelt's dictum that by war alone can we
acquire "those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of
actual life," we shall nevertheless be doomed to lose them, for under
conditions like those of Germany how many of us can ever see war, or can
pretend to fall under its influence? As already pointed out, the men who
really give the tone to the German nation, to German life and
conduct--that is to say, the majority of adult Germans--have never seen
a battle and never will see one. France has done much better. Not only
has she seen infinitely more actual fighting, but her population is much
more militarized than that of Germany, 50 per cent. more, in fact,
since, in order to maintain from a population of forty millions the same
effective military force as Germany does with sixty millions, 1-1/2 per
cent. of the French population is under arms as against 1 per cent. of
the German.[70]

Still more military in organization and in recent practical experience
is Russia, and more military than Russia is Turkey, and more military
than Turkey as a whole are the semi-independent sections of Turkey,
Arabia, and Albania, and then, perhaps, comes Morocco.

On the Western Hemisphere we can draw a like table as to the "warlike,
adventurous, manly, and progressive peoples" as compared with the
"peaceful, craven, slothful, and decadent." The least warlike of all,
the nation which has had the least training in war, the least experience
of it, which has been the least purified by it, is Canada. After that
comes the United States, and after that the best--(excuse me, I mean, of
course, the worst--_i.e._, the least warlike)--of the Spanish American
republics like Brazil and Argentina; while the most warlike of all, and
consequently the most "manly and progressive," are the "Sambo"
republics, like San Domingo, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Venezuela. They
are always fighting. If they cannot manage to get up a fight between one
another, the various parties in each republic will fight between
themselves. Here we get the real thing. The soldiers do not pass their
lives in practising the goose-step, cleaning harness, pipeclaying belts,
but in giving and taking hard pounding. Several of these progressive
republics have never known a year since they declared their independence
from Spain in which they have not had a war. And quite a considerable
proportion of the populations spend their lives in fighting. During the
first twenty years of Venezuela's independent existence she fought no
less than one hundred and twenty important battles, either with her
neighbors or with herself, and she has maintained the average pretty
well ever since. Every election is a fight--none of your
"mouth-fighting," none of your craven talking-shops for them. Good,
honest, hard, manly knocks, with anything from one to five thousand
dead and wounded left on the field. The presidents of these strenuous
republics are not poltroons of politicians, but soldiers--men of blood
and iron with a vengeance, men after Mr. Roosevelt's own heart, all
following "the good old rule, the simple plan." These are the people who
have taken Carlyle's advice to "shut up the talking-shops." _They_ fight
it out like men; _they_ talk with Gatling-guns and Mausers. Oh, they are
a very fine, manly, military lot! If fighting makes for survival, they
should completely oust from the field Canada and the United States, one
of which has never had a real battle for the best part of its hundred
years of craven, sordid, peaceful life, and the other of which Homer Lea
assures us is surely dying, because of its tendency to avoid fighting.

Mr. Lea does not make any secret of the fact (and if he did, some of his
rhetoric would display it) that he is out of sympathy with predominant
American ideals. He might emigrate to Venezuela, or Colombia, or
Nicaragua. He would be able to prove to each military dictator in turn
that, in converting the country into a shambles, far from committing a
foul crime for which such dictators should be, and are, held in
execration by civilized men the world over, they are, on the contrary,
but obeying one of God's commands in tune with all the immutable laws of
the universe. I desire to write in all seriousness, but, to one who
happens to have seen at first hand something of the conditions which
arise from a real military conception of civilization, it is very
difficult. How does Mr. Roosevelt, who declares that "by war alone can
we acquire those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife
of actual life"; how does Von Stengel, who declares that "war is a test
of a nation's health, political, physical, and moral"; how do our
militarists, who infer that the military state is so much finer than the
Cobdenite one of commercial pursuits; how does M. Ernest Renan, who
declares that war is the condition of progress, and that under peace we
should sink to a degree of degeneracy difficult to realize; and how do
the various English clergymen who voice a like philosophy reconcile
their creed with military Spanish America? How can they urge that
non-military industrialism, which, with all its shortcomings, has on the
Western Continent given us Canada and the United States, makes for
decadence and degeneration, while militarism and the qualities and
instincts that go with it have given us Venezuela and San Domingo? Do we
not all recognize that industrialism--Mr. Lea's "gourmandizing and
retching" notwithstanding--is the one thing which will save these
military republics; that the one condition of their advance is that they
shall give up the stupid and sordid gold-braid militarism and turn to
honest work?

If ever there was a justification for Herbert Spencer's sweeping
generalization that "advance to the highest forms of man and society
depends on the decline of militancy and the growth of industrialism,"
it is to be found in the history of the South and Central American
Republics. Indeed, Spanish America at the present moment affords more
lessons than we seem to be drawing, and, if militancy makes for advance
and survival, it is a most extraordinary thing that all who are in any
way concerned with those countries, all who live in them and whose
future is wrapped up in them, can never sufficiently express their
thankfulness that at last there seems to be a tendency with some of them
to get away from the blood and valor nonsense which has been their curse
for three centuries, and to exchange the military ideal for the
Cobdenite one of buying cheap and selling dear which excites so much

Some years ago an Italian lawyer, a certain Tomasso Caivano, wrote a
letter detailing his experiences and memories of twenty years' life in
Venezuela and the neighboring republics, and his general conclusions
have for this discussion a direct relevancy. As a sort of farewell
exhortation to the Venezuelans, he wrote:

     The curse of your civilization is the soldier and the soldier's
     temper. It is impossible for two of you, still less for two
     parties, to carry on a discussion without one wanting to fight
     the other about the matter in hand. You regard it as a
     derogation of dignity to consider the point of view of the
     other side, and to attempt to meet it, if it is possible to
     fight about it. You deem that personal valor atones for all
     defects. The soldier of evil character is more considered
     amongst you than the civilian of good character, and military
     adventure is deemed more honorable than honest labor. You
     overlook the worst corruption, the worst oppression, in your
     leaders if only they gild it with military fanfaronade and
     declamation about bravery and destiny and patriotism. Not until
     there is a change in this spirit will you cease to be the
     victims of evil oppression. Not until your general
     populace--your peasantry and your workers--refuse thus to be
     led to slaughter in quarrels of which they know and care
     nothing, but into which they are led because they also prefer
     fighting to work--not until all this happens will those
     beautiful lands which are among the most fertile on God's earth
     support a happy and prosperous people living in contentment and
     secure possession of the fruits of their labor.[71]

Spanish America seems at last in a fair way to throwing off the
domination of the soldier and awakening from these nightmares of
successive military despotisms tempered by assassination, though, in
abandoning, in Signor Caivano's words, "military adventure for honest
labor," she will necessarily have less to do with those deeds of blood
and valor of which her history has been so full. But those in South
America who matter are not mourning. Really they are not.[72]

The situation can be duplicated absolutely on the other side of the
hemisphere. Change a few names, and you get Arabia or Morocco. Listen to
this from a recent London _Times_ article:[73]

     The fact is that for many years past Turkey has almost
     invariably been at war in some part or other of Arabia.... At
     the present moment Turkey is actually conducting three separate
     small campaigns within Arabia or upon its borders, and a fourth
     series of minor operations in Mesopotamia. The last-named
     movement is against the Kurdish tribes of the Mosul
     district.... Another, and more important, advance is against
     the truculent Muntefik Arabs of the Euphrates delta.... The
     fourth, and by far the largest, campaign is the unending
     warfare in the province of Yemen, north of Aden, where the
     Turks have been fighting intermittently for more than a decade.
     The peoples of Arabia are also indulging in conflict on their
     own account. The interminable feud between the rival potentates
     of Nedjd, Ibn Saud of Riadh and Ibn Rashid of Hail, has broken
     out afresh, and the tribes of the coastal province of El Katar
     are supposed to have plunged into the fray. The Muntefik Arabs,
     not content with worrying the Turks, are harrying the
     territories of Sheikh Murbarak of Koweit. In the far south the
     Sultan of Shehr and Mokalla, a feudatory of the British
     Government, is conducting a tiny war against a hostile tribe in
     the mysterious Hadramaut. In the west the Beduin are
     spasmodically menacing certain sections of the Hedjaz Railway,
     which they very much dislike.... Ten years ago the Ibn Rashids
     were nominally masters of a great deal of Arabia, and grew so
     aggressive that they tried to seize Koweit. The fiery old
     Sheikh of Koweit marched against them, and alternately won and
     lost. He had his revenge. He sent an audacious scion of the Ibn
     Sauds to the old Wahabi capital of Riadh, and by a remarkable
     stratagem the youth captured the stronghold with only fifty
     men. The rival parties have been fighting at intervals ever

And so on and so on to the extent of a column. So that what Venezuela
and Nicaragua are to the American Continent, Arabia, Albania, Armenia,
Montenegro, and Morocco are to the Eastern Hemisphere. We find exactly
the same rule--that just as one gets away from militancy one gets
towards advance and civilization; as men lose the tendency to fight they
gain the tendency to work, and it is by working with one another, and
not by fighting against each other, that men advance.

Take the progression away from militancy, and it gives us a table
something like this:

  Arabia and Morocco.
  Turkish territory as a whole.
  The more unruly Balkan States. Montenegro.
  Spain. Italy. Austria.
  Scandinavia. Holland. Belgium.
  The United States.

Do Mr. Roosevelt, Admiral Mahan, Baron von Stengel, Marshal von Moltke,
Mr. Homer Lea, and the English clergymen seriously argue that this list
should be reversed, and that Arabia and Turkey should be taken as the
types of progressive nations, and England and Germany and Scandinavia as
the decadent?

It may be urged that my list is not absolutely accurate, in that
England, having fought more little wars (though the conflict with the
Boers, waged with a small, pastoral people, shows how a little war may
drain a great country), is more militarized than Germany, which has not
been fighting at all. But I have tried in a very rough fashion to arrive
at the degree of militancy in each State, and the absence of actual
fighting in the case of Germany (as in that of the smaller States) is
balanced by the fact of the military training of her people. As I have
indicated, France is more military than Germany, both in the extent to
which her people are put through the mill of universal military
training, and by virtue of the fact that she has done so much more small
fighting than Germany (Madagascar, Tonkin, Africa, etc.); while, of
course, Turkey and the Balkan States are still more military in both
senses--more actual fighting, more military training.

Perhaps the militarist will argue that, while useless and unjust wars
make for degeneration, just wars are a moral regeneration. But did a
nation, group, tribe, family, or individual ever yet enter into a war
which he did not think just? The British, or most of them, believed the
war against the Boers just, but most of the authorities in favor of war
in general, outside of Great Britain, believed it unjust. Nowhere do you
find such deathless, absolute, unwavering belief in the justice of war
as in those conflicts which all Christendom knows to be at once unjust
and unnecessary. I refer to the religious wars of Mohammedan fanaticism.

Do you suppose that when Nicaragua goes to war with San Salvador, or
Costa Rica or Colombia with Peru, or Peru with Chili, or Chili with
Argentina, they do not each and every one of them believe that they are
fighting for immutable and deathless principles? The civilization of
most of them is, of course, as like as two peas, and there is no more
reason, except their dislike of rational thought and hard work, why they
should fight with one another, than that Illinois should fight with
Indiana, despite Homer Lea's fine words as to the primordial character
of national differences; to one another they are as alike, and whether
San Salvador beats Costa Rica or Costa Rica, San Salvador, does not, so
far as essentials are concerned, matter a continental. But their
rhetoric of patriotism--the sacrifice, and the deathless glory, and the
rest of it--is often just as sincere as ours. That is the tragedy of it,
and it is that which gives to the solution of the problem in Spanish
America its real difficulty.

But even if we admit that warfare _à l'espagnole_ may be degrading, and
that just wars are ennobling and necessary to our moral welfare, we
should nevertheless be condemned to degeneracy and decline. A just war
implies that someone must act unjustly towards us, but as the general
condition improves--as it is improving in Europe as compared with
Central and South America, or Morocco, or Arabia--we shall get less and
less "moral purification"; as men become less and less disposed to make
unjustifiable attacks, they will become more and more degenerate. In
such incoherence are we landed by the pessimistic and impossible
philosophy that men will decay and die unless they go on killing each

What is the fundamental error at the base of the theory that war makes
for the survival of the fit--that warfare is any necessary expression of
the law of survival? It is the illusion induced by the hypnotism of a
terminology which is obsolete. The same factor which leads us so astray
in the economic domain leads us astray in this also.

Conquest does not make for the elimination of the conquered; the weakest
do not go to the wall, though that is the process which those who adopt
the formula of evolution in this matter have in their minds.

Great Britain has conquered India. Does that mean that the inferior race
is replaced by the superior? Not the least in the world; the inferior
race not only survives, but is given an extra lease of life by virtue
of the conquest. If ever the Asiatic threatens the white race, it will
be thanks in no small part to the work of race conservation which
England's conquests in the East have involved. War, therefore, does not
make for the elimination of the unfit and the survival of the fit. It
would be truer to say that it makes for the survival of the unfit.

What is the real process of war? You carefully select from the general
population on both sides the healthiest, sturdiest, the physically and
mentally soundest, those possessing precisely the virile and manly
qualities which you desire to preserve, and, having thus selected the
élite of the two populations, you exterminate them by battle and
disease, and leave the worst of both sides to amalgamate in the process
of conquest or defeat--because, in so far as the final amalgamation is
concerned, both processes have the same result--and from this amalgam of
the worst of both sides you create the new nation or the new society
which is to carry on the race. Even supposing the better nation wins,
the fact of conquest results only in the absorption of the inferior
qualities of the beaten nation--inferior presumably because beaten, and
inferior because we have killed off their selected best and absorbed the
rest, since we no longer exterminate the women, the children, the old
men, and those too weak or too feeble to go into the army.[74]

You have only to carry on this process long enough and persistently
enough to weed out completely from both sides the type of man to whom
alone we can look for the conservation of virility, physical vigor, and
hardihood. That such a process did play no small rôle in the
degeneration of Rome and the populations on which the crux of the Empire
reposed there can hardly be any reasonable doubt. And the process of
degeneration on the part of the conqueror is aided by this additional
factor: If the conqueror profits much by his conquest, as the Romans in
one sense did, it is the conqueror who is threatened by the enervating
effect of the soft and luxurious life; while it is the conquered who is
forced to labor for the conqueror, and learns in consequence those
qualities of steady industry which are certainly a better moral training
than living upon the fruits of others, upon labor extorted at the
sword's point. It is the conqueror who becomes effete, and it is the
conquered who learns discipline and the qualities making for a
well-ordered State.

To say of war, therefore, as does Baron von Stengel, that it destroys
the frail trees, leaving the sturdy oaks standing, is merely to state
with absolute confidence the exact reverse of the truth; to take
advantage of loose catch-phrases, which by inattention not only distort
common thought in these matters, but often turn the truth upside down.
Our everyday ideas are full of illustrations of the same thing. For
hundreds of years we talked of the "riper wisdom of the ancients,"
implying that this generation is the youth in experience, and that the
early ages had the accumulated experience--the exact reverse, of course,
of the truth. Yet "the learning of the ancients" and "the wisdom of our
forefathers" was a common catch-phrase, even in the British Parliament,
until an English country parson killed this nonsense by ridicule.[75]

I do not urge that the somewhat simple, elementary, selective process
which I have described accounts in itself for the decadence of military
Powers. That is only a part of the process; the whole of it is somewhat
more complicated, in that the process of elimination of the good in
favor of the bad is quite as much sociological as biological; that is to
say, if during long periods a nation gives itself up to war, trade
languishes, the population loses the habit of steady industry,
government and administration become corrupt, abuses escape punishment,
and the real sources of a people's strength and expansion dwindle. What
has caused the relative failure and decline of Spanish, Portuguese, and
French expansion in Asia and the New World, and the relative success of
English expansion therein? Was it the mere hazards of war which gave to
Great Britain the domination of India and half of the New World? That is
surely a superficial reading of history. It was, rather, that the
methods and processes of Spain, Portugal, and France were military,
while those of the Anglo-Saxon world were commercial and peaceful. Is it
not a commonplace that in India, quite as much as in the New World, the
trader and the settler drove out the soldier and the conqueror? The
difference between the two methods was that one was a process of
conquest, and the other of colonizing, or non-military administration
for commercial purposes. The one embodied the sordid Cobdenite idea,
which so excites the scorn of the militarists, and the other the lofty
military ideal. The one was parasitism; the other co-operation.[76]

Those who confound the power of a nation with the size of its army and
navy are mistaking the check-book for the money. A child, seeing its
father paying bills in checks, assumes that you need only plenty of
check-books in order to have plenty of money; it does not see that for
the check-book to have power there must be unseen resources on which to
draw. Of what use is domination unless there be individual capacity,
social training, industrial resources, to profit thereby? How can you
have these things if energy is wasted in military adventure? Is not the
failure of Spain explicable by the fact that she failed to realize this
truth? For three centuries she attempted to live upon conquest, upon the
force of her arms, and year after year got poorer in the process and her
modern social renaissance dates from the time when she lost the last of
her American colonies. It is since the loss of Cuba and the Philippines
that Spanish national securities have doubled in value. (At the outbreak
of the Hispano-American War Spanish Fours were at 45; they have since
touched par.) If Spain has shown in the last decade a social
renaissance, not shown perhaps for a hundred and fifty years, it is
because a nation still less military than Germany, and still more purely
industrial, has compelled Spain once and for all to surrender all dreams
of empire and conquest. The circumstances of the last surrender are
eloquent in this connection as showing how even in warfare itself the
industrial training and the industrial tradition--the Cobdenite ideal of
militarist scorn--are more than a match for the training of a society in
which military activities are predominant. If it be true that it was the
German schoolmaster who conquered at Sedan, it was the Chicago merchant
who conquered at Manila. The writer happens to have been in touch both
with Spaniards and Americans at the time of the war, and well remembers
the scorn with which the Spaniards referred to the notion that the
Yankee pork-butchers could possibly conquer a nation of their military
tradition, and to the idea that tradesmen would ever be a match for the
soldiery and pride of old Spain. And French opinion was not so very
different.[77] Shortly after the war I wrote in an American journal as

     Spain represents the outcome of some centuries devoted mainly
     to military activity. No one can say that she has been
     unmilitary or at all deficient in those qualities which we
     associate with soldiers and soldiering. Yet, if such qualities
     in any way make for national efficiency, for the conservation
     of national force, the history of Spain is absolutely
     inexplicable. In their late contest with America, Spaniards
     showed no lack of the distinctive military virtues. Spain's
     inferiority--apart from deficiency of men and money--was
     precisely in those qualities which industrialism has bred in
     the unmilitary American. Authentic stories of wretched
     equipment, inadequate supplies, and bad leadership show to what
     depths of inefficiency the Spanish service, military and naval,
     had fallen. We are justified in believing that a much smaller
     nation than Spain, but one possessing a more industrial and
     less military training, would have done much better, both as
     regards resistance to America and the defence of her own
     colonies. The present position of Holland in Asia seems to
     prove this. The Dutch, whose traditions are industrial and
     non-military for the most part, have shown greater power and
     efficiency as a nation than the Spanish, who are more numerous.

     Here, as always, it is shown that, in considering national
     efficiency, even as expressed in military power, the economic
     problem cannot be divorced from the military, and that it is a
     fatal mistake to suppose that the power of a nation depends
     solely upon the power of its public bodies, or that it can be
     judged simply from the size of its army. A large army may,
     indeed, be a sign of a national--that is, military--weakness.
     Warfare in these days is a business like other activities, and
     no courage, no heroism, no "glorious past," no "immortal
     traditions," will atone for deficient rations and fraudulent
     administration. Good civilian qualities are the ones that will
     in the end win a nation's battles. The Spaniard is the last one
     in the world to see this. He talks and dreams of Castilian
     bravery and Spanish honor, and is above shopkeeping details....
     A writer on contemporary Spain remarks that any intelligent
     middle-class Spaniard will admit every charge of incompetence
     which can be brought against the conduct of public affairs.
     "Yes, we have a wretched Government. In any other country
     somebody would be shot." This is the hopeless military creed:
     killing somebody is the only remedy.

Here we see a trace of that intellectual legacy which Spain has left to
the New World, and which has stamped itself so indelibly on the history
of Spanish America. On a later occasion in this connection I wrote as

     To appreciate the outcome of much soldiering, the condition in
     which persistent military training may leave a race, one should
     study Spanish America. Here we have a collection of some score
     of States, all very much alike in social and political make-up.
     Most of the South American States so resemble one another in
     language, laws, institutions, that to an outsider it would seem
     not to matter a straw under which particular six-months-old
     republic one should live; whether one be under the Government
     of the pronunciamento-created President of Colombia, or under
     that of the President of Venezuela, one's condition would
     appear to be much the same. Apparently no particular country
     has anything which differentiates it from another, and,
     consequently, anything to protect against the other. Actually,
     the Governments might all change places and the people be none
     the wiser. Yet, so hypnotized, are these little States by the
     "necessity for self-protection," by the glamour of armaments,
     that there is not one without a relatively elaborate and
     expensive military establishment to protect it from the rest.

     No conditions seem so propitious for a practical confederation
     as those of Spanish America; with a few exceptions, the virtual
     unity of language, laws, general race-ideals, would seem to
     render protection of frontiers supererogatory. Yet the citizens
     give untold wealth, service, life, and suffering to be
     protected against a Government exactly like their own. All this
     waste of life and energy has gone on without it ever occurring
     to one of these States that it would be preferable to be
     annexed a thousand times over, so trifling would be the
     resulting change in their condition, than continue the
     everlasting and futile tribute of blood and treasure. Over some
     absolutely unimportant matter--like that of the Patagonian
     roads, which nearly brought Argentina and Chili to grips the
     other day--as much patriotic devotion will be expended as ever
     the Old Guard lavished in protecting the honor of the Tricolor.
     Battles will be fought which will make all the struggles in
     South Africa appear mean in comparison. Actions in which the
     dead are counted in thousands will excite no more comment in
     the world than that produced by a skirmish in Natal, in which a
     score of yeomen are captured and released.[78]

In the decade since the foregoing was written things have enormously
improved in South America. Why? For the simple reason, as pointed out in
Chapter V. of the first part of this book, that Spanish America is being
brought more and more into the economic movement of the world; and with
the establishment of factories, in which large capital has been sunk,
banks, businesses, etc., the whole attitude of mind of those interested
in these ventures is changed. The Jingo, the military adventurer, the
fomentor of trouble, are seen for what they are--not as patriots, but as
representing exceedingly mischievous and maleficent forces.

This general truth has two facets: if long warfare diverts a people from
the capacity for industry, so in the long run economic pressure--the
influences, that is, which turn the energies of people to preoccupation
with social well-being--is fatal to the military tradition. Neither
tendency is constant; warfare produces poverty; poverty pushes to thrift
and work, which result in wealth; wealth creates leisure and pride and
pushes to warfare.

Where Nature does not respond readily to industrial effort, where it is,
at least apparently, more profitable to plunder than to work, the
military tradition survives. The Beduin has been a bandit since the time
of Abraham, for the simple reason that the desert does not support
industrial life nor respond to industrial effort. The only career
offering a fair apparent return for effort is plunder. In Morocco, in
Arabia, in all very poor pastoral countries, the same phenomenon is
exhibited; in mountainous countries which are arid and are removed from
the economic centres, _idem_. The same may have been to some extent the
case in Prussia before the era of coal and iron; but the fact that
to-day 99 per cent. of the population is normally engaged in trade and
industry, and 1 per cent. only in military preparation, and some
fraction too small to be properly estimated engaged in actual war, shows
how far she has outgrown such a state--shows, incidentally, what little
chance the ideal and tradition represented by 1 per cent. or some
fractional percentage has against interests and activities represented
by 99 per cent. The recent history of South and Central America, because
it is recent, and because the factors are less complicated, illustrates
best the tendency with which we are dealing. Spanish America inherited
the military tradition in all its vigor. As I have already pointed out,
the Spanish occupation of the American Continent was a process of
conquest rather than of colonizing; and while the mother country got
poorer and poorer by the process of conquest, the new countries also
impoverished themselves in adherence to the same fatal illusion. The
glamour of conquest was, of course, Spain's ruin. So long as it was
possible for her to live on extorted bullion, neither social nor
industrial development seemed possible. Despite the common idea to the
contrary, Germany has known how to keep this fatal hypnotism at bay,
and, far from allowing her military activities to absorb her industrial,
it is precisely the military activities which are in a fair way now to
being absorbed by the industrial and commercial, and her world commerce
has its foundation, not in tribute or bullion exacted at the sword's
point, but in sound and honest exchange. So that to-day the legitimate
commercial tribute which Germany, who never sent a soldier there, exacts
from Spanish America is immensely greater than that which goes to Spain,
who poured out blood and treasure during three centuries on these
territories. In this way, again, do the warlike nations inherit the

If Germany is never to duplicate Spain's decadence, it is precisely
because (1) she has never had, historically, Spain's temptation to live
by conquest, and (2) because, having to live by honest industry, her
commercial hold, even upon the territories conquered by Spain, is more
firmly set than that of Spain herself.

How may we sum up the whole case, keeping in mind every empire that ever
existed--the Assyrian, the Babylonian, the Mede and Persian, the
Macedonian, the Roman, the Frank, the Saxon, the Spanish, the
Portuguese, the Bourbon, the Napoleonic? In all and every one of them
we may see the same process, which is this: If it remains military it
decays; if it prospers and takes its share of the work of the world it
ceases to be military. There is no other reading of history.

That history furnishes no justification for the plea that pugnacity and
antagonism between nations is bound up in any way with the real process
of national survival, shows clearly enough that nations nurtured
normally in peace are more than a match for nations nurtured normally in
war; that communities of non-military tradition and instincts, like the
Anglo-Saxon communities of the New World, show elements of survival
stronger than those possessed by communities animated by the military
tradition, like the Spanish and Portuguese nations of the New World;
that the position of the industrial nations in Europe as compared with
the military gives no justification for the plea that the warlike
qualities make for survival. It is clearly evident that there is no
biological justification in the terms of man's political evolution for
the perpetuation of antagonism between nations, nor any justification
for the plea that the diminution of such antagonism runs counter to the
teachings of the "natural law." There is no such natural law; in
accordance with natural laws, men are being thrust irresistibly towards
co-operation between communities and not towards conflict.

There remains the argument that, though the conflict itself may make for
degeneration, the preparation for that conflict makes for survival, for
the improvement of human nature. I have already touched upon the
hopeless confusion which comes of the plea that, while long-continued
peace is bad, military preparations find justification in that they
insure peace.

Almost every defence of militarism includes a sneer at the ideal of
peace because it involves the Cobdenite state of buying cheap and
selling dear. But, with equal regularity, the advocate of the military
system goes on to argue for great armaments, not as a means of promoting
war, that valuable school, etc., but as the best means of securing
peace; in other words, that condition of "buying cheap and selling dear"
which but a moment before he has condemned as so defective. As though to
make the stultification complete, he pleads for the peace value of
military training, on the ground that German commerce has benefited from
it--that, in other words, it has promoted the "Cobdenite ideal." The
analysis of the reasoning, as has been brilliantly shown by Mr. John M.
Robertson,[79] gives a result something like this: (1) War is a great
school of morals, therefore we must have great armaments to insure
peace; (2) to secure peace engenders the Cobdenite ideal, which is bad,
therefore we should adopt conscription, (_a_) because it is the best
safeguard of peace, (_b_) because it is a training for commerce--the
Cobdenite ideal.

Is it true that barrack training--the sort of school which the
competition of armaments during the last generation has imposed on the
people of Continental Europe--makes for moral health? Is it likely that
a "perpetual rehearsal for something never likely to come off, and when
it comes off is not like the rehearsal," should be a training for life's
realities? Is it likely that such a process would have the stamp and
touch of closeness to real things? Is it likely that the mechanical
routine of artificial occupations, artificial crimes, artificial
virtues, artificial punishments should form any training for the battle
of real life?[80] What of the Dreyfus case? What of the abominable
scandals that have marked German military life of late years? If peace
military training is such a fine school, how could the London _Times_
write thus of France after she had submitted to a generation of a very
severe form of it:

     A thrill of horror and shame ran through the whole civilized
     world outside France when the result of the Rennes
     Court-Martial became known.... By their (the officers') own
     admission, whether flung defiantly at the judges, their
     inferiors, or wrung from them under cross-examination,
     Dreyfus's chief accusers were convicted of gross and
     fraudulent illegalities which, anywhere, would have sufficed,
     not only to discredit their testimony--had they any serious
     testimony to offer--but to transfer them speedily from the
     witness-box to the prisoner's dock.... Their vaunted honor
     "rooted in dishonor stood." ... Five judges out of the seven
     have once more demonstrated the truth of the astounding axiom
     first propounded during the Zola trial, that "military justice
     is not as other justice." ... We have no hesitation in saying
     that the Rennes Court-Martial constitutes in itself the
     grossest, and, viewed in the light of the surrounding
     circumstances, the most appalling prostitution of justice which
     the world has witnessed in modern times.... Flagrantly,
     deliberately, mercilessly trampled justice underfoot.... The
     verdict, which is a slap in the face to the public opinion of
     the civilized world, to the conscience of humanity.... France
     is henceforth on her trial before history. Arraigned at the bar
     of a tribunal far higher than that before which Dreyfus stood,
     it rests with her to show whether she will undo this great
     wrong and rehabilitate her fair name, or whether she will stand
     irrevocably condemned and disgraced by allowing it to be
     consummated. We can less than ever afford to underrate the
     forces against truth and justice.... Hypnotized by the wild
     tales perpetually dinned into all credulous ears of an
     international "syndicate of treason," conspiring against the
     honor of the army and the safety of France, the conscience of
     the French nation has been numbed, and its intelligence
     atrophied.... Amongst those statesmen who are in touch with the
     outside world in the Senate and Chamber there must be some that
     will remind her that nations, no more than individuals, cannot
     bear the burden of universal scorn and live.... France cannot
     close her ears to the voice of the civilized world, for that
     voice is the voice of history.[81]

And what the _Times_ said then all England was saying, and not only all
England, but all America.

And has Germany escaped a like condemnation? We commonly assume that the
Dreyfus case could not be duplicated in Germany. But this is not the
opinion of very many Germans themselves. Indeed, just before the Dreyfus
case reached its crisis, the Kotze scandal--in its way just as grave as
the Dreyfus affair, and revealing a moral condition just as
serious--prompted the London _Times_ to declare that "certain features
of German civilization are such as to make it difficult for Englishmen
to understand how the whole State does not collapse from sheer
rottenness." If that could be said of the Kotze affair, what shall be
said of the state of things which has been revealed by Maximilien Harden
among others?

Need it be said that the writer of these lines does not desire to
represent Germans as a whole as more corrupt than their neighbors? But
impartial observers are not of opinion, and very many Germans are not of
opinion, that there has been either economic, social, or moral advantage
to the German people from the victories of 1870 and the state of
regimentation which the sequel has imposed. This is surely evidenced by
the actual position of affairs in the German Empire, the complex
difficulty with which the German people are now struggling, the growing
discontent, the growing influence of those elements which are nurtured
in discontent, the growth on one side of radical intransigence and on
the other of almost feudal autocracy, the failure to effect normally and
easily those democratic developments which have been effected in almost
every other European State, the danger for the future which such a
situation represents, the precariousness of German finance, the
relatively small profit which her population as a whole has received
from the greatly increased foreign trade--all this, and much more,
confirms that view. England has of late seemed to have been affected
with the German superstition. With the curious perversity that marks
"patriotic" judgments, the whole tendency of the English has been to
make comparisons with Germany to the disadvantage of themselves and of
other European countries. Yet if Germans themselves are to be believed,
much of that superiority which the English see in Germany is as purely
non-existent as the phantom German war-balloon to which the British
Press devoted serious columns, to the phantom army corps in Epping
Forest, to the phantom stories of arms in London cellars, and to the
German spy which English patriots see in every Italian waiter.[82]

Despite the hypnotism which German "progress" seems to exercise on the
minds of English Jingoes, the German people themselves, as distinct
from the small group of Prussian Junkers, are not in the least enamored
of it, as is proved by the unparalleled growth of the social-democratic
element, which is the negation of military imperialism, and which, as
the figures in Prussia prove, receives support not from one class of the
population merely, but from the mercantile, industrial, and professional
classes as well. The agitation for electoral reform in Prussia shows how
acute the conflict has become; on the one side the increasing democratic
element showing more and more of a revolutionary tendency, and on the
other side the Prussian autocracy showing less and less disposition to
yield. Does anyone really believe that the situation will remain there,
that the Democratic parties will continue to grow in numbers and be
content for ever to be ridden down by the "booted Prussian," and that
German democracy will indefinitely accept a situation in which it will
be always possible--in the words of the Junker, von Oldenburg, member of
the Reichstag--for the German Emperor to say to a Lieutenant, "Take ten
men and close the Reichstag"?

What must be the German's appreciation of the value of military victory
and militarization when, mainly because of it, he finds himself engaged
in a struggle which elsewhere less militarized nations settled a
generation since? And what has the English defender of the militarist
regimen, who holds the German system up for imitation, to say of it as a
school of national discipline, when the Imperial Chancellor himself
defends the refusal of democratic suffrage like that obtaining in
England on the ground that the Prussian people have not yet acquired
those qualities of public discipline which make it workable in

Yet what Prussia, in the opinion of the Chancellor, is not yet fit for,
Scandinavian nations, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, have fitted
themselves for without the aid of military victory and subsequent
regimentation. Did not someone once say that the war had made Germany
great and Germans small?

When we ascribe so large a measure of Germany's social progress (which
no one, so far as I know, is concerned to deny) to the victories and
regimentation, why do we conveniently overlook the social progress of
the small States which I have just mentioned, where such progress on the
material side has certainly been as great as, and on the moral side
greater than, in Germany? Why do we overlook the fact that, if Germany
has done well in certain social organizations, Scandinavia and
Switzerland have done better? And why do we overlook the fact that, if
regimentation is of such social value, it has been so completely
inoperative in States which are more highly militarized even than
Germany--in Spain, Italy, Austria, Turkey, and Russia?

But even assuming--a very large assumption--that regimentation has
played the rôle in German progress which English Germano-maniacs would
have us believe, is there any justification for supposing that a like
process would be in any way adaptable to English conditions social,
moral, material, and historical?

The position of Germany since the war of 1870--what it has stood for in
the generation since victory, and what it stood for in the generations
that followed defeat--furnishes a much-needed lesson as to the outcome
of the philosophy of force. Practically all impartial observers of
Germany are in agreement with Mr. Harbutt Dawson when he writes as

     It is questionable whether unified Germany counts as much
     to-day as an intellectual and moral agent in the world as when
     it was little better than a geographical expression.... Germany
     has at command an apparently inexhaustible reserve of physical
     and material force, but the real influence and power which it
     exerts is disproportionately small. The history of civilization
     is full of proofs that the two things are not synonymous. A
     nation's mere force is, on ultimate analysis, its sum of brute
     strength. This force may, indeed, go with intrinsic power, yet
     such power can never depend permanently on force, and the test
     is easy to apply.... No one who genuinely admires the best in
     the German character, and who wishes well to the German people,
     will seek to minimize the extent of the loss which would appear
     to have befallen the old national ideals; hence the discontent
     of the enlightened classes with the political laws under which
     they live--a discontent often vague and indefinite, the
     discontent of men who do not know clearly what is wrong or what
     they want, but feel that a free play is denied them which
     belongs to the dignity and worth and essence of human

"Is there a German culture to-day?" asks Fuchs.[84] "We Germans are able
to perfect all works of civilizing power as well as, and indeed better
than, the best in other nations. Yet nothing that the heroes of labor
execute goes beyond our own border." And the most extraordinary thing is
that those who do not in the least deny this condition to which Germany
has fallen--who, indeed, exaggerate it, and ask us with triumph to look
upon the brutality of German method and German conception--ask us to go
and follow Germany's example!

Most British pro-armament agitation is based upon the plea that Germany
is dominated by a philosophy of force. They point to books like those of
General Bernhardi, idealizing the employment of force, and then urge a
policy of replying by force--and force only--which would, of course,
justify in Germany the Bernhardi school, and by the reaction of opposing
forces stereotype the philosophy in Europe and make it part of the
general European tradition. England stands in danger of becoming
Prussianized by virtue of the fact of fighting Prussianism, or rather by
virtue of the fact that, instead of fighting it with the intellectual
tools that won religious freedom in Europe, she insists upon confining
her efforts to the tools of physical force.

Some of the acutest foreign students of English progress--men like
Edmond Demolins--ascribe it to the very range of qualities which the
German system is bound to crush; their aptitude for initiative, their
reliance upon their own efforts, their sturdy resistance to State
interference (already weakening), their impatience with bureaucracy and
red tape (also weakening), all of which is wrapped up with general
rebelliousness to regimentation.

Though the English base part of the defence of armaments on the plea
that, economic interest apart, they desire to live their own life in
their own way, to develop in their own fashion, do they not run some
danger that with this mania for the imitation of German method they may
Germanize England, though never a German soldier land on their soil?

Of course, it is always assumed that, though the English may adopt the
French and German system of conscription, they could never fall a victim
to the defects of those systems, and that the scandals which break out
from time to time in France and Germany could never be duplicated by
_their_ barrack system, and that the military atmosphere of their own
barracks, the training in their own army, would always be wholesome.
But what do even its defenders say?

Mr. Blatchford himself says:[85]

     Barrack life is bad. Barrack life will always be bad. It is
     never good for a lot of men to live together apart from home
     influences and feminine. It is not good for women to live or
     work in communities of women. The sexes react upon each other;
     each provides for the other a natural restraint, a wholesome
     incentive.... The barracks and the garrison town are not good
     for young men. The young soldier, fenced and hemmed in by a
     discipline unnecessarily severe, and often stupid, has at the
     same time an amount of license which is dangerous to all but
     those of strong good sense and strong will. I have seen clean,
     good, nice boys come into the Army and go to the devil in less
     than a year. I am no Puritan. I am a man of the world; but any
     sensible and honest man who has been in the Army will know at
     once that what I am saying is entirely true, and is the truth
     expressed with much restraint and moderation. A few hours in a
     barrack-room would teach a civilian more than all the soldier
     stories ever written. When I joined the Army I was unusually
     unsophisticated for a boy of twenty. I had been brought up by a
     mother. I had attended Sunday-school and chapel. I had lived a
     quiet, sheltered life, and I had an astonishing amount to
     learn. The language of the barrack-room shocked me, appalled
     me. I could not understand half I heard; I could not credit
     much that I saw. When I began to realize the truth, I took my
     courage in both hands and went about the world I had come into
     with open eyes. So I learnt the facts, but I must not tell



    Diminishing factor of physical force--Though diminishing, physical
    force has always had an important rôle in human affairs--What is
    underlying principle, determining advantageous and disadvantageous
    use of physical force?--Force that aids co-operation in accord
    with law of man's advance: force that is exercised for
    parasitism in conflict with such law and disadvantageous for
    both parties--Historical process of the abandonment of physical
    force--The Khan and the London tradesman--Ancient Rome and modern
    Britain--The sentimental defence of war as the purifier of human
    life--The facts--The redirection of human pugnacity.

Despite the general tendency indicated by the facts dealt with in the
preceding chapter, it will be urged (with perfect justice) that, though
the methods of Anglo-Saxondom as compared with those of the Spanish,
Portuguese, and French Empires, may have been mainly commercial and
industrial rather than military, war was a necessary part of expansion;
that but for some fighting the Anglo-Saxons would have been ousted from
North America or Asia, or would never have gained a footing there.

Does this, however, prevent us establishing, on the basis of the facts
exposed in the preceding chapter, a general principle sufficiently
definite to serve as a practical guide in policy, and to indicate
reliably a general tendency in human affairs? Assuredly not. The
principle which explains the uselessness of much of the force exerted by
the military type of empire, and justifies in large part that employed
by Britain, is neither obscure nor uncertain, although empiricism, rule
of thumb (which is the curse of political thinking in our days, and more
than anything else stands in the way of real progress), gets over the
difficulty by declaring that no principle in human affairs can be pushed
to its logical or theoretical conclusion; that what may be "right in
theory" is wrong in practice.

Thus Mr. Roosevelt, who expresses with such admirable force and vigor
the average thoughts of his hearers or readers, takes generally this
line: We must be peaceful, but not too peaceful; warlike, but not too
warlike; moral, but not too moral.[87]

By such verbal mystification we are encouraged to shirk the rough and
stony places along the hard road of thinking. If we cannot carry a
principle to its logical conclusion, at what point are we to stop? One
will fix one and another will fix another with equal justice. What is it
to be "moderately" peaceful, or "moderately" warlike? Temperament and
predilection can stretch such limitations indefinitely. This sort of
thing only darkens counsel.

If a theory is right, it can be pushed to its logical conclusion;
indeed, the only real test of its value is that it _can_ be pushed to
its logical conclusion. If it is wrong in practice, it is wrong in
theory, for the right theory will take cognizance of all the facts, not
only of one set.

In Chapter II. of this part (pp. 186-192), I have very broadly indicated
the process by which the employment of physical force in the affairs of
the world has been a constantly diminishing factor since the day that
primitive man killed his fellow-man in order to eat him. Yet throughout
the whole process the employment of force has been an integral part of
progress, until even to-day in the most advanced nations force--the
police-force--is an integral part of their civilization.

What, then, is the principle determining the advantageous and the
disadvantageous employment of force?

Preceding the outline sketch just referred to is another sketch
indicating the real biological law of man's survival and advance; the
key to that law is found in co-operation between men and struggle with
nature. Mankind as a whole is the organism which needs to co-ordinate
its parts in order to insure greater vitality by better adaptation to
its environment.

Here, then, we get the key: force employed to secure completer
co-operation between the parts, to facilitate exchange, makes for
advance; force which runs counter to such co-operation, which attempts
to replace the mutual benefit of exchange by compulsion, which is in any
way a form of parasitism, makes for retrogression.

Why is the employment of force by the police justified? Because the
bandit refuses to co-operate. He does not offer an exchange; he wants to
live as a parasite, to take by force, and give nothing in exchange. If
he increased in numbers, co-operation between the various parts of the
organism would be impossible; he makes for disintegration. He must be
restrained, and so long as the police use their force in such restraint
they are merely insuring co-operation. The police are not attempting to
settle things by force; they are preventing things from being settled in
that way.

Now, suppose that this police-force becomes the army of a political
Power, and the diplomats of that Power say to a smaller one: "We
outnumber you; we are going to annex your territory, and you are going
to pay us tribute." And the smaller Power says: "What are you going to
give us for that tribute?" And the larger replies: "Nothing. You are
weak; we are strong; we gobble you up. It is the law of life; always has
been--always will be to the end."

Now that police-force, become an army, is no longer making for
co-operation; it has simply and purely taken the place of the bandits;
and to approximate such an army to a police-force, and to say that
because both operations involve the employment of force they both stand
equally justified, is to ignore half the facts, and to be guilty of
those lazy generalizations which we associate with savagery.[88]

But the difference is more than a moral one. If the reader will again
return to the little sketch referred to above, he will probably agree
that the diplomats of the larger Power are acting in an extraordinarily
stupid fashion. I say nothing of their sham philosophy (which happens,
however, to be that of European statecraft to-day), by which this
aggression is made to appear in keeping with the law of man's struggle
for life, when, as a matter of fact, it is the very negation of that
law; but we know _now_ that they are taking a course which gives the
least result, even from _their_ point of view, for the effort expended.

Here we get the key also to the difference between the respective
histories of the military empires, like Spain, France, and Portugal, and
the more industrial type, like England, which has been touched upon in
the preceding chapter. Not the mere hazard of war, not a question of
mere efficiency in the employment of force, has given to Great Britain
influence in half a world, and taken it from Spain, but a radical,
fundamental difference in underlying principles however imperfectly
realized. England's exercise of force has approximated on the whole to
the rôle of police; Spain's to that of the diplomats of the
supposititious Power just referred to. England's has made for
co-operation; Spain's for the embarrassment of co-operation. England's
has been in keeping with the real law of man's struggle; Spain's in
keeping with the sham law which the "blood and iron" empiricists are
forever throwing at our heads. For what has happened to all attempts to
live on extorted tribute? They have all failed--failed miserably and
utterly[89]--to such an extent that to-day the exaction of tribute has
become an economic impossibility.

If, however, our supposititious diplomats, instead of asking for
tribute, had said: "Your country is in disorder; your police-force is
insufficient; our merchants are robbed and killed; we will lend you
police and help you to maintain order; you will pay the police their
just wage, and that is all;" and had honestly kept to this office, their
exercise of force would have aided human co-operation, not checked it.
Again, it would have been a struggle, not against man, but against the
use of force; the "predominant Power" would have been living, not on
other men, but by more efficient organization of man's fight with

That is why, in the first section of this book, I have laid emphasis on
the truth that the justification of past wars has no bearing on the
problem which confronts us: the precise degree of fighting which was
necessary a hundred and fifty years ago is a somewhat academic problem.
The degree of fighting which is necessary to-day is the problem which
confronts us, and a great many factors have been introduced into it
since England won India and lost part of North America. The face of the
world has changed, and the factors of conflict have changed radically:
to ignore that is to ignore facts and to be guided by the worst form of
theorizing and sentimentalism--the theorizing that will not recognize
the facts. England does not need to maintain order in Germany, nor
Germany in France; and the struggle between those nations is no part of
man's struggle with nature--has no justification in the real law of
human struggle; it is an anachronism; it finds its justification in a
sham philosophy that will not bear the test of facts, and, responding to
no real need and achieving no real purpose, is bound with increasing
enlightenment to come to an end.

I wish it were not everlastingly necessary to reiterate the fact that
the world has moved. Yet for the purposes of this discussion it is
necessary. If to-day an Italian warship were suddenly to bombard
Liverpool without warning, the Bourse in Rome would present a condition,
and the bank-rate in Rome would take a drop that would ruin tens of
thousands of Italians--do far more injury, probably, to Italy than to
England. Yet if five hundred years ago Italian pirates had landed from
the Thames and sacked London itself, not an Italian in Italy would have
been a penny the worse for it.

Is it seriously urged that in the matter of the exercise of physical
force, therefore, there is no difference in these two conditions: and is
it seriously urged that the psychological phenomena which go with the
exercise of physical force are to remain unaffected?

The preceding chapter is, indeed, the historical justification of the
economic truths established in the first section of this book in the
terms of the facts of the present-day world, which show that the
predominating factor in survival is shifting from the physical to the
intellectual plane. This evolutionary process has now reached a point in
international affairs which involves the complete economic futility of
military force. In the last chapter but one I dealt with the
psychological consequence of this profound change in the nature of man's
normal activities, showing that his nature is coming more and more to
adapt itself to what he normally and for the greater part of his
life--in most cases all his life--is engaged in, and is losing the
impulses concerned with an abnormal and unusual occupation.

Why have I presented the facts in this order, and dealt with the
psychological result involved in this change before the change itself? I
have adopted this order of treatment because the believer in war
justifies his dogmatism for the most part by an appeal to what he
alleges is the one dominating fact of the situation--_i.e._, that human
nature is unchanging. Well, as will be seen from the chapter on that
subject, that alleged fact does not bear investigation. Human nature is
changing out of all recognition. Not only is man fighting less, but he
is using all forms of physical compulsion less, and as a very natural
result is losing those psychological attributes that go with the
employment of physical force. And he is coming to employ physical force
less because accumulated evidence is pushing him more and more to the
conclusion that he can accomplish more easily that which he strives for
by other means.

Few of us realize to what extent economic pressure--and I use that term
in its just sense, as meaning, not only the struggle for money, but
everything implied therein, well-being, social consideration, and the
rest--has replaced physical force in human affairs. The primitive mind
could not conceive a world in which everything was not regulated by
force: even the great minds of antiquity could not believe the world
would be an industrious one unless the great mass were made industrious
by the use of physical force--_i.e._, by slavery. Three-fourths of those
who peopled what is now Italy in Rome's palmiest days were slaves,
chained in the fields when at work, chained at night in their
dormitories, with those who were porters chained to the doorways. It was
a society of slavery--fighting slaves, working slaves, cultivating
slaves, official slaves, and Gibbon adds that the Emperor himself was a
slave, "the first slave to the ceremonies he imposed." Great and
penetrating as were many of the minds of antiquity, none of them show
much conception of any condition of society in which the economic
impulse could replace physical compulsion.[90] Had they been told that
the time would come when the world would work very much harder under
the impulse of an abstract thing known as economic interest, they would
have regarded such a statement as that of a mere sentimental theorist.
Indeed, one need not go so far: if one had told an American slaveholder
of sixty years ago that the time would come when the South would produce
more cotton under the free pressure of economic forces than under
slavery, he would have made a like reply. He would probably have
declared that "a good cowhide whip beats all economic pressure"--pretty
much the sort of thing that one may hear from the mouth of the average
militarist to-day. Very "practical" and virile, of course, but it has
the disadvantage of not being true.

The presumed necessity for physical compulsion did not stop at slavery.
As we have already seen, it was accepted as an axiom in statecraft that
men's religious beliefs had to be forcibly restrained, and not merely
their religious belief, but their very clothing; and we have hundreds of
years of complicated sumptuary laws, hundreds of years, also, of
forcible control or, rather, the attempted forcible control of prices
and trade, the elaborate system of monopolies, absolute prohibition of
the entrance into the country of certain foreign goods, the violation of
which prohibition was treated as a penal offence. We had even the use of
forced money, the refusal to accept which was treated as a penal
offence. In many countries for years it was a crime to send gold abroad,
all indicating the domination of the mind of man by the same curious
obsession that man's life must be ruled by physical force, and it is
only very slowly and very painfully that we have arrived at the truth
that men will work best when left to unseen and invisible forces. A
world in which physical force was withdrawn from the regulation of men's
labor, faith, clothes, trade, language, travel, would have been
absolutely inconceivable to even the best minds during the three or four
thousand years of history which mainly concern us. What is the central
explanation of the profound change involved here--the shifting of the
pivot in all human affairs, in so far as they touch both the individual
and the community, from physical ponderable forces to economic
imponderable forces? It is surely that, strange as it may seem, the
latter forces accomplish the desired result more efficiently and more
readily than do the former, which even when they are not completely
futile are in comparison wasteful and stultifying. It is the law of the
economy of effort. Indeed, the use of physical force usually involves in
those employing it the same limitation of freedom (even if in lesser
degree) as that which it is desired to impose. Herbert Spencer
illustrates the process in the following suggestive passage:

     The exercise of mastery inevitably entails on the master
     himself some sort of slavery more or less pronounced. The
     uncultured masses and even the greater part of the cultured
     will regard this statement as absurd, and though many who have
     read history with an eye to essentials rather than to
     trivialities know that this is a paradox in the right
     sense--that is, true in fact though not seeming true--even
     they are not fully conscious of the mass of evidence
     establishing it, and will be all the better for having
     illustrations recalled. Let me begin with the earliest and
     simplest which serves to symbolize the whole.

     Here is a prisoner, with his hands tied and a cord round his
     neck (as suggested by figures in Assyrian bas-reliefs), being
     led home by his savage conqueror, who intends to make him a
     slave. The one you say is captive and the other free. Are you
     quite sure the other is free? He holds one end of the cord and,
     unless he means his captive to escape, he must continue to be
     fastened by keeping hold of the cord in such way that it cannot
     easily be detached. He must be himself tied to the captive
     while the captive is tied to him. In other ways his activities
     are impeded and certain burdens are imposed on him. A wild
     animal crosses the track and he cannot pursue. If he wishes to
     drink of the adjacent stream he must tie up his captive, lest
     advantage be taken of his defenceless position. Moreover, he
     has to provide food for both. In various ways he is no longer,
     then, completely at liberty; and these worries adumbrate in a
     simple manner the universal truth that the instrumentalities by
     which the subordination of others is effected themselves
     subordinate the victor, the master, or the ruler.[91]

Thus it comes that all nations attempting to live by conquest end by
being themselves the victims of a military tyranny precisely similar to
that which they hope to inflict; or, in other terms, that the attempt to
impose by force of arms a disadvantageous commercial situation to the
advantage of the conqueror ends in the conqueror's falling a victim to
the very disadvantages from which he hoped by a process of spoliation
to profit.

But the truth that economic force always in the long run outweighs
physical or military force is illustrated by the simple fact of the
universal use of money--the fact that the use of money is not a thing
which we choose or can shake off, but a thing imposed by the operation
of forces stronger than our volition, stronger than the tyranny of the
cruellest tyrant who ever reigned by blood and iron. I think it is one
of the most astounding things, to the man who takes a fairly fresh mind
to the study of history, that the most absolute despots--men who can
command the lives of their subjects with a completeness and a
nonchalance of which the modern Western world furnishes no
parallel--cannot command money. One asks oneself, indeed, why such an
absolute ruler, able as he is by the sheer might of his position and by
the sheer force of his power to take everything that exists in his
kingdom, and able as he is to exact every sort and character of service,
needs money, which is the means of obtaining goods or services by a
freely consented exchange. Yet, as we know, it is precisely, in ancient
as in modern times, the most absolute despot who is often the most
financially embarrassed.[92] Is not this a demonstration that in reality
physical force is operative in only very narrow limits? It is no mere
rhetoric, but the cold truth, to say that under absolutism it is a
simple thing to get men's lives, but often impossible to get money. And
the more, apparently, that physical force was exercised, the more
difficult did the command of money become. And for a very simple
reason--a reason which reveals in rudimentary form that principle of the
economic futility of military power with which we are dealing. The
phenomenon is best illustrated by a concrete case. If one go to-day into
one of the independent despotisms of Central Asia one will find
generally a picture of the most abject poverty. Why? Because the ruler
has absolute power to take wealth whenever he sees it, to take it by any
means whatever--torture, death--up to the completest limit of
uncontrolled physical force. What is the result? The wealth is not
created, and torture itself cannot produce a thing which is
non-existent. Step across the frontier into a State under British or
Russian protection, where the Khan has some sort of limits imposed on
his powers. The difference is immediately perceptible: evidence of
wealth and comfort in relative profusion, and, other things being equal,
the ruler, whose physical force over his subjects is limited, is a great
deal richer than the ruler whose physical force over his subjects is
unlimited. In other words, the farther one gets away from physical
force, in the acquisition of wealth, the greater is the result for the
effort expended. At the one end of the scale you get the despot in rags,
exercising sway over what is probably a potentially rich territory,
reduced to having to kill a man by torture in order to obtain a sum
which at the other end of the scale a London tradesman will spend on a
restaurant dinner for the purpose of sitting at table with a duke--or
the thousandth part of the sum which the same tradesman will spend in
philanthropy or otherwise, for the sake of acquiring an empty title from
a monarch who has lost all power of exercising any physical force

Which process, judged by all things that men desire, gives the better
result, the physical force of blood and iron which we see, or the
intellectual or psychic force which we cannot see? The principle which
operates in the limited fashion which I have indicated, operates with no
less force in the larger domain of modern international politics. The
wealth of the world is not represented by a fixed amount of gold or
money now in the possession of one Power, and now in the possession of
another, but depends on all the unchecked multiple activities of a
community for the time being. Check that activity, whether by imposing
tribute, or disadvantageous commercial conditions, or an unwelcome
administration which sets up sterile political agitation, and you get
less wealth--less wealth for the conqueror, as well as less for the
conquered. The broadest statement of the case is that all
experience--especially the experience indicated in the last
chapter--shows that in trade by free consent, carrying mutual benefit,
we get larger results for effort expended than in the exercise of
physical force, which attempts to exact advantage for one party at the
expense of the other. I am not arguing over again the thesis of the
first part of this book; but, as we shall see presently, the general
principle of the diminishing factor of physical force in the affairs of
the world carries with it a psychological change in human nature which
modifies radically our impulses to sheer physical conflict. What it is
important just now to keep in mind, is the incalculable intensification
of this diminution of physical force by our mechanical development. The
principle was obviously less true for Rome than it is for Great Britain
or America: Rome, however imperfectly, lived largely by tribute. The
sheer mechanical development of the modern world has rendered tribute in
the Roman sense impossible. Rome did not have to create markets and find
a field for the employment of her capital. We do. What result does this
carry? Rome could afford to be relatively indifferent to the prosperity
of her subject territory. We cannot. If the territory is not prosperous
we have no market, and we have no field for our investments, and that is
why we are checked at every point from doing what Rome was able to do.
You can to some extent exact tribute by force; you cannot compel a man
to buy your goods by force if he does not want them, and has not got the
money to pay for them. Now, the difference which we see here has been
brought about by the interaction of a whole series of mechanical
changes--printing, gunpowder, steam, electricity, improved means of
communication. It is the last-named which has mainly created the fact
of credit. Now, credit is merely an extension of the use of money, and
we can no more shake off the domination of the one than we can that of
the other. We have seen that the bloodiest despot is himself the slave
of money, in the sense that he is compelled to employ it. In the same
way no physical force can, in the modern world, set at nought the force
of credit.[93] It is no more possible for a great people of the modern
world to live without credit than without money, of which it is a part.
Do we not here get an illustration of the fact that intangible economic
forces are setting at nought the force of arms?

One of the curiosities of this mechanical development, with its
deep-seated psychological results, is the general failure to realize the
real bearings of each step therein. Printing was regarded, in the first
instance, as merely a new-fangled process which threw a great many
copying scribes and monks out of employment. Who realized that in the
simple invention of printing there was the liberation of a force greater
than the power of kings? It is only here and there that we find an
isolated thinker having a glimmering of the political bearing of such
inventions of the conception of the great truth that the more man
succeeds in his struggle with nature, the less must be the rôle of
physical force between men, for the reason that human society has
become, with each success in the struggle against nature, a completer
organism. That is to say, that the interdependence of the parts has
been increased, and that the possibility of one part injuring another
without injury to itself, has been diminished. Each part is more
dependent on the other parts, and the impulses to injury, therefore,
must in the nature of things be diminished. And that fact must, and
does, daily redirect human pugnacity. And it is noteworthy that perhaps
the best service which the improvement of the instruments of man's
struggle with nature performs is the improvement of human relations.
Machinery and the steam-engine have done something more than make
fortunes for manufacturers: they have abolished human slavery, as
Aristotle foresaw they would. It was impossible for men in the mass to
be other than superstitious and irrational until they had the printed
book.[94] "Roads that are formed for the circulation of wealth become
channels for the circulation of ideas, and render possible that
simultaneous action upon which all liberty depends." Banking done by
telegraphy concerns much more than the stockbroker: it demonstrates
clearly and dramatically the real interdependence of nations, and is
destined to transform the mind of the statesman. Our struggle is with
our environment, not with one another; and those who talk as though
struggle between the parts of the same organism must necessarily go on,
and as though impulses which are redirected every day can never receive
the particular redirection involved in abandoning the struggle between
States, ignorantly adopt the formula of science, but leave half the
facts out of consideration. And just as the direction of the impulses
will be changed, so will the character of the struggle be changed; the
force which we shall use for our needs will be the force of
intelligence, of hard work, of character, of patience, self-control, and
a developed brain, and pugnacity and combativeness which, instead of
being used up and wasted in world conflicts of futile destructiveness,
will be, and are being, diverted into the steady stream of
rationally-directed effort. The virile impulses become, not the tyrant
and master, but the tool and servant of the controlling brain.

The conception of abstract imponderable forces by the human mind is a
very slow process. All man's history reveals this. The theologian has
always felt this difficulty. For thousands of years men could only
conceive of evil as an animal with horns and a tail, going about the
world devouring folk; abstract conceptions had to be made understandable
by a crude anthropomorphism. Perhaps it is better that humanity should
have some glimmering of the great facts of the universe, even though
interpreted by legends of demons, and goblins, and fairies, and the
rest; but we cannot overlook the truth that the facts are distorted in
the process, and our advance in the conception of morals is marked
largely by the extent to which we can form an abstract conception of the
fact of evil--none the less a fact because unembodied--without having to
translate it into a non-existent person or animal with a forked tail.

As our advance in the understanding of morality is marked by our
dropping these crude physical conceptions, is it not likely that our
advance in the understanding of those social problems, which so nearly
affect our general well-being, will be marked in like manner?

Is it not somewhat childish and elementary to conceive of force only as
the firing off of guns and the launching of _Dreadnoughts_, of struggle
as the physical struggle between men, instead of the application of
man's energies to his contest with the planet? Is not the time coming
when the real struggle will inspire us with the same respect and even
the same thrill as that now inspired by a charge in battle; especially
as the charges in battle are getting very out of date, and are shortly
to disappear from our warfare? The mind which can only conceive of
struggle as bombardment and charges is, of course, the Dervish mind. Not
that Fuzzy-Wuzzy is not a fine fellow. He is manly, sturdy, hardy, with
a courage, and warlike qualities generally, which no European can equal.
But the frail and spectacled English official is his master, and a few
score of such will make themselves the masters of teeming thousands of
Sudanese; the relatively unwarlike Englishman is doing the same thing
all over Asia, and he is doing it simply by virtue of superior brain
and character, more thought, more rationalism, more steady and
controlled hard work. The American is doing the same in the Philippines.
It may be said that it is superior armament which does it. But what is
the superior armament but the result of superior thought and work? And
even without the superior armament the larger intelligence would still
do it; for what the Englishman and American do, the Roman did of old,
with the same arms as the inhabitants of his vassal worlds. Force is
indeed the master, but it is the force of intelligence, character, and

I can imagine the contempt with which the man of physical force greets
the foregoing. To fight with words, to fight with talk! No, not words,
but ideas. And something more than ideas. Their translation into
practical effort, into organization, into the direction and
administration of organization, into the strategy and tactics of human

What, indeed, is modern warfare in its highest phases but this? Is it
not altogether out of date and ignorant to picture soldiering as riding
about on horseback, bivouacking in forests, sleeping in tents, and
dashing gallantly at the head of shining regiments in plumes and
breastplates, and pounding in serried ranks against the equally serried
ranks of the cruel foe, storming breaches as the "war," in short, of Mr.
Henty's books for boys? How far does such a conception correspond to the
reality--to the German conception? Even if the whole picture were not
out of date, what proportion of the most military nation would ever be
destined to witness it or to take part in it? Not one in ten thousand.
What is the character even of military conflict but, for the most part,
years of hard and steady work, somewhat mechanical, somewhat divorced
from real life, but not a whit more exciting? That is true of all ranks;
and in the higher ranks of the directing mind war has become an almost
purely intellectual process. Was it not the late W.H. Steevens who
painted Lord Kitchener as the sort of man who would have made an
admirable manager of Harrod's Stores; who fought all his battles in his
study, and regarded the actual fighting as the mere culminating incident
in the whole process, the dirty and noisy part of it, which he would
have been glad to get away from?

The real soldiers of our time--those who represent the brain of the
armies--have a life not very different from that of men of any
intellectual calling; much less of physical strife than is called for in
many civil occupations; less than falls to the lot of engineers,
ranchers, sailors, miners, and so on. Even with armies the pugnacity
must be translated into intellectual and not into physical effort.[95]

The very fact that war was long an activity which was in some sense a
change and relaxation from the more intellectual strife of peaceful
life, in which work was replaced by danger, thought by adventure,
accounted in no small part for its attraction for men. But, as we have
seen, war is becoming as hopelessly intellectual and scientific as any
other form of work: officers are scientists, the men are workmen, the
army is a machine, battles are "tactical operations," the charge is
becoming out of date; a little while and war will become the least
romantic of all professions.

In this domain, as in all others, intellectual force is replacing sheer
physical force, and we are being pushed by the necessities even of this
struggle to be more rational in our attitude to war, to rationalize our
study of it; and as our attitude generally becomes more scientific, so
will the purely impulsive element lose its empire over us. That is one
factor; but, of course, there is the greater one. Our respect and
admiration goes in the long run, despite momentary setbacks, to those
qualities which achieve the results at which we are all, in common,
aiming. If those results are mainly intellectual, it is the intellectual
qualities that will receive the tribute of our admiration. We do not
make a man President because he holds the light-weight boxing
championship, and nobody knows or cares whether Mr. Wilson or Mr. Taft
would be the better man at golf. But in a condition of society in which
physical force was still the determining factor it would matter all in
the world, and even when other factors had obtained considerable weight,
as during the Middle Ages, physical combat went for a great deal: the
knight in his shining armor established his prestige by his prowess in
arms, and the vestige of this still remains in those countries that
retain the duel. To some small extent--a very small extent--a man's
dexterity with sword and pistol will affect his political prestige in
Paris, Rome, Budapest, or Berlin. But these are just interesting
vestiges, which in the case of Anglo-Saxon societies have disappeared
entirely. My commercial friend who declares that he works fifteen hours
a day mainly for the purpose of going one better than his commercial
rival across the street, must beat that rival in commerce, not in arms;
it would satisfy no pride of either to "have it out" in the back garden
in their shirt-sleeves. Nor is there the least danger that one will
stick a knife into the other.

Are all these factors to leave the national relationship unaffected?
Have they left it unaffected? Does the military prowess of Russia or of
Turkey inspire any particular satisfaction in the minds of the
individual Russian or of the individual Turk? Does it inspire Europe
with any especial respect? Would not most of us just as soon be a
non-military American as a military Turk? Do not, in short, all the
factors show that sheer physical force is losing its prestige as much in
the national as in the personal relationship?

I am not overlooking the case of Germany. Does the history of Germany,
during the last half-century, show the blind instinctive pugnacity which
is supposed to be so overpowering an element in international
relationship as to outweigh all question of material interest? Does the
commonly accepted history of the trickery and negotiation which preceded
the 1870 conflict, the cool calculation of those who swayed Germany's
policy during those years, show that subordination to the blind lust for
battle which the militarist would persuade us is always to be an element
in our international conflict? Does it not, on the contrary, show that
German destinies were swayed by very cool and calculating motives of
interest, though interest interpreted in terms of political and economic
doctrines which the development of the last thirty years or so has
demonstrated to be obsolete? Nor am I overlooking the "Prussian
tradition," the fact of a firmly entrenched, aristocratic status, the
intellectual legacy of pagan knighthood and Heaven knows what else. But
even a Prussian Junker becomes less of an energumen as he becomes more
of a scientist,[96] and although German science has of late spent its
energies in somewhat arid specialization, the influence of more
enlightened conceptions in sociology and statecraft must sooner or later
emerge from any thoroughgoing study of political and economic problems.
Of course, there are survivals of the old temper, but can it seriously
be argued that, when the futility of physical force to accomplish those
ends towards which we are all striving is fully demonstrated, we shall
go on maintaining war as a sort of theatrical entertainment? Has such a
thing ever happened in the past, when our impulses and "sporting"
instincts came into conflict with our larger social and economic

All this, in other words, involves a great deal more than the mere
change in the character of warfare. It involves a fundamental change in
our psychological attitude thereto. Not only does it show that on every
side, even the military side, conflict must become less impulsive and
instinctive, more rational and sustained, less the blind strife of
mutually hating men, and more and more the calculated effort to a
definite end; but it will affect the very well-springs of much of the
present defence of war.

Why is it that the authorities I have quoted in the first chapter of
this section--Mr. Roosevelt, Von Moltke, Renan, and the English
clergymen--sing the praises of war as such a valuable school of
morals?[97] Do these war advocates urge that war itself is desirable?
Would they urge going to war unnecessarily or unjustly merely because it
is good for us? Emphatically no. Their argument, in the last analysis,
resolves itself into this: that war, though bad, has redeeming
qualities, as teaching staunchness, courage, and the rest. Well, so has
cutting our legs off, or an operation for appendicitis. Whoever
composed epics on typhoid fever or cancer? Such advocates might object
to the efficient policing of a town because, if it was full of
cut-throats, the inhabitants would be taught courage. One can almost
imagine this sort of teacher pouring scorn upon those weaklings who want
to call upon the police for protection, and saying, "Police are for
sentimentalists and cowards and men of slothful ease. What will become
of the strenuous life if you introduce police?"[98]

The whole thing falls to the ground; and if we do not compose poems
about typhoid it is because typhoid does not attract us and war does.
That is the bottom of the whole matter, and it simplifies things a great
deal to admit honestly that while no one is thrilled by the spectacle of
disease, most of us are thrilled by the spectacle of war--that while
none of us are fascinated by the spectacle of a man struggling with a
disease, most of us are by the spectacle of men struggling with one
another in war. There is something in warfare, in its story and in its
paraphernalia, which profoundly stirs the emotions and sends the blood
tingling through the veins of the most peaceable of us, and appeals to I
know not what remote instincts, to say nothing of our natural admiration
for courage, our love of adventure, of intense movement and action. But
this romantic fascination resides to no small extent in that very
spectacular quality of which modern conditions are depriving war.

As we become a little more educated, we realize that human psychology is
a complex and not a simple thing; that because we yield ourselves to
the thrill of the battle spectacle we are not bound to conclude that the
processes behind it, and the nature behind it, are necessarily all
admirable; that the readiness to die is not the only test of virility or
a fine or noble nature.

In the book to which I have just referred (Mr. Steevens' "With Kitchener
to Khartoum") one may read the following:

     And the Dervishes? The honor of the fight must still go with
     the men who died. Our men were perfect, but the Dervishes were
     superb--beyond perfection. It was their largest, best, and
     bravest army that ever fought against us for Mahdism, and it
     died worthily for the huge empire that Mahdism won and kept so
     long. Their riflemen, mangled by every kind of death and
     torment that man can devise, clung round the black flag and the
     green, emptying their poor, rotten home-made cartridges
     dauntlessly. Their spearmen charged death every minute
     hopelessly. Their horsemen led each attack, riding into the
     bullets till nothing was left.... Not one rush, or two, or ten,
     but rush on rush, company on company, never stopping, though
     all their view that was not unshaken enemy was the bodies of
     the men who had rushed before them. A dusky line got up and
     stormed forward: it bent, broke up, fell apart, and
     disappeared. Before the smoke had cleared another line was
     bending and storming forward in the same track.... From the
     green army there now came only death-enamored desperadoes,
     strolling one by one towards the rifles, pausing to take a
     spear, turning aside to recognize a corpse, then, caught by a
     sudden jet of fury, bounding forward, checking, sinking limply
     to the ground. Now under the black flag in a ring of bodies
     stood only three men, facing the three thousand of the Third
     Brigade. They folded their arms about the staff and gazed
     steadily forward. Two fell. The last Dervish stood up and
     filled his chest; he shouted the name of his God and hurled his
     spear. Then he stood quite still, waiting. It took him full; he
     quivered, gave at the knees, and toppled with his head on his
     arms and his face towards the legions of his conquerors."

Let us be honest. Is there anything in European history--Cambronne, the
Light Brigade, anything you like--more magnificent than this? If we are
honest we shall say, No.

But note what follows in Mr. Steevens' narrative. What sort of nature
should we expect those savage heroes to display? Cruel, perhaps; but at
least loyal. They will stand by their chief. Men who can die like that
will not betray him for gain. They are uncorrupted by commercialism.
Well, a few chapters after the scene just described, one may read this:

     As a ruler the Khalifa finished when he rode out of Omdurman.
     His own pampered Baggara horsemen killed his herdsmen and
     looted the cattle that were to feed them. Somebody betrayed the
     position of the reserve camels.... His followers took to
     killing one another.... The whole population of the Khalifa's
     capital was now racing to pilfer the Khalifa's grain....
     Wonderful workings of the savage mind! Six hours before they
     were dying in regiments for their master; now they were looting
     his corn. Six hours before they were slashing our wounded to
     pieces; now they were asking us for coppers.

This difficulty with the soldier's psychology is not special to
Dervishes or to savages. An able and cultivated British officer writes:

     Soldiers as a class are men who have disregarded the civil
     standard of morality altogether. They simply ignore it. It is
     no doubt why civilians fight shy of them. In the game of life
     they do not play the same rules, and the consequence is a good
     deal of misunderstanding, until finally the civilian says he
     will not play with Tommy any more. In soldiers' eyes lying,
     theft, drunkenness, bad language, etc., are not evils at all.
     They steal like jackdaws. As to language, I used to think the
     language of a merchant ship's forecastle pretty bad, but the
     language of Tommies, in point of profanity and in point of
     obscenity, beats it hollow. This department is a speciality of
     his. Lying he treats with the same large charity. To lie like a
     trooper is quite a sound metaphor. He invents all sorts of
     elaborate lies for the mere pleasure of inventing them.
     Looting, again, is one of his preferred joys, not merely
     looting for profit, but looting for the sheer fun of the

(Please, please, dear reader, do not say that I am slandering the
British soldier. I am quoting a British officer, and a British officer,
moreover, who is keenly in sympathy with the person that he has just
been describing.) He adds:

     Are thieving, and lying, and looting, and bestial talk very bad
     things? If they are, Tommy is a bad man. But for some reason or
     other, since I got to know him, I have thought rather less of
     the iniquity of these things than I did before.

I do not know which of the two passages that I have quoted is the more
striking commentary on the moral influence of military training; that
such training should have the effect which Captain March Phillips
describes, or (as Mr. J.A. Hobson in his "Psychology of Jingoism" says)
that the second judgment should be given by a man of sterling character
and culture--the judgment, that thieving, and lying, and looting, and
bestial talk do not matter. Which fact constitutes the severer
condemnation of the ethical atmosphere of militarism and military
training? Which is the more convincing testimony to the corrupting
influences of war?[100]

To do the soldiers justice, they very rarely raise this plea of war
being a moral training-school. "War itself," said an officer on one
occasion, "is an infernally dirty business. But somebody has got to do
the dirty work of the world, and I am glad to think that it is the
business of the soldier to prevent rather than to make war."

Not that I am concerned to deny that we owe a great deal to the soldier.
I do not know even why we should deny that we owe a great deal to the
Viking. Neither the one nor the other was in every aspect despicable.
Both have bequeathed a heritage of courage, sturdiness, hardihood, and a
spirit of ordered adventure; the capacity to take hard knocks and to
give them; comradeship and rough discipline--all this and much more. It
is not true to say of any emotion that it is wholly and absolutely good,
or wholly and absolutely bad. The same psychological force which made
the Vikings destructive and cruel pillagers made their descendants
sturdy and resolute pioneers and colonists; and the same emotional force
which turns so much of Africa into a sordid and bloody shambles would,
with a different direction and distribution, turn it into a garden. Is
it for nothing that the splendid Scandinavian race, who have converted
their rugged and rock-strewn peninsula into a group of prosperous and
stable States, which are an example to Europe, and have infused the
great Anglo-Saxon stock with something of their sane but noble idealism,
have the blood of Vikings in their veins? Is there no place for the free
play of all the best qualities of the Viking and the soldier in a world
still sadly in need of men with courage enough, for instance, to face
the truth, however difficult it may seem, however unkind to our pet

There is not the least necessity for the peace advocate to ignore facts
in this matter. The race of man loves a soldier just as boys love the
pirate, and many of us, perhaps to our great advantage, remain in part
boys our lives through. But as, growing out of boyhood, we regretfully
discover the sad fact that we cannot be pirates, that we cannot even
hunt Indians, nor be scouts, nor even trappers, so surely the time has
come to realize that we have grown out of soldiering. The romantic
appeal of the ventures of the old Vikings, and even later of
piracy,[101] was as great as that of war. Yet we superseded the Viking,
and we hanged the pirate, though I doubt not we loved him while we
hanged him; and I am not aware that those who urged the suppression of
piracy were vilified, except by the pirates, as maudlin sentimentalists,
who ignored human nature, or, in Homer Lea's phrase, as "half-educated,
sick-brained visionaries, denying the inexorability of the primordial
law of struggle." Piracy interfered seriously with the trade and
industry of those who desired to earn for themselves as good a living as
they could get, and to obtain from this imperfect world all that it had
to offer. Piracy was magnificent, doubtless, but it was not business. We
are prepared to sing about the Viking, but not to tolerate him on the
high seas; and some of us who are quite prepared to give the soldier his
due place in poetry and legend and romance, quite prepared to admit,
with Mr. Roosevelt and Von Moltke and the rest, the qualities which
perhaps we owe to him, and without which we should be poor folk indeed,
are nevertheless inquiring whether the time has not come to place him
(or a good portion of him) gently on the poetic shelf with the Viking;
or at least to find other fields for those activities which, however
much we may be attracted by them, have in their present form little
place in a world in which, though, as Bacon has said, men like danger
better than travail, travail is bound, alas!--despite ourselves--to be
our lot.



    Why aggression upon a State does not correspond to aggression
    upon an individual--Our changing conception of collective
    responsibility--Psychological progress in this connection--Recent
    growth of factors breaking down the homogeneous personality of

Despite the common idea to the contrary, we dearly love an
abstraction--especially, apparently, an abstraction which is based on
half the facts. Whatever the foregoing chapters may have proved, they
have at least proved this: that the character of the modern State, by
virtue of a multitude of new factors which are special to our age, is
essentially and fundamentally different from that of the ancient. Yet
even those who have great and justified authority in this matter will
still appeal to Aristotle's conception of the State as final, with the
implication that everything which has happened since Aristotle's time
should be calmly disregarded.

What some of those things are, the preceding chapters have indicated:
First, there is the fact of the change in human nature itself, bound up
with the general drift away from the use of physical force--a drift
explained by the unromantic fact that physical force does not give so
much response to expended effort as do other forms of energy. There is
an interconnection of psychological and purely mechanical development in
all this which it is not necessary to disentangle here. The results are
evident enough. Very rarely, and to an infinitesimal extent, do we now
employ force for the achievement of our ends. There is still a factor,
however, which remains to be considered, and which has perhaps a more
direct bearing on the question of continued conflict between nations
than any of the other factors.

Conflicts between nations and international pugnacity generally imply a
conception of a State as a homogeneous whole, having the same sort of
responsibility that we attach to a person who, hitting us, provokes us
to hit back. Now only to a very small and rapidly diminishing extent can
a State be regarded as such a person. There may have been a
time--Aristotle's time--when this was possible; but it is now
impossible. Yet the fine-spun theories on which are based the necessity
for the use of force, as between nations, and the proposition that the
relationship of nations can only be determined by force, and that
international pugnacity will always be expressed by a physical struggle
between nations, all arise from this fatal analogy, which in truth
corresponds to very few of the facts.

Thus Professor Spenser Wilkinson, whose contributions to this subject
have such deserved weight, implies that what will permanently render
the abandonment of force between nations impossible is the principle
that "the employment of force for the maintenance of right is the
foundation of all civilized human life, for it is the fundamental
function of the State, and apart from the State there is no
civilization, no life worth living.... The mark of the State is
sovereignty, or the identification of force and right, and the measure
of the perfection of the State is furnished by the completeness of this

This, whether true or not, is irrelevant to the matter in hand.
Professor Spenser Wilkinson attempts to illustrate his thesis by quoting
a case which would seem to imply that those who take their stand against
the necessity of armaments do so on the ground that the employment of
force is wicked. There may be those who do this, but it is not necessary
to introduce the question of right. If means other than force give the
same result more easily, with less effort to ourselves, why discuss the
abstract right? When Professor Spenser Wilkinson reinforces the appeal
to this irrelevant abstract principle by a case which, while apparently
relevant, is in truth irrelevant, he has successfully confused the whole
issue. After quoting three verses from the fifth chapter of Matthew, he

     There are those who believe, or fancy they believe, that the
     words I have quoted involve the principle that the use of force
     or violence between man and man or between nation and nation
     is wicked. To the man who thinks it right to submit to any
     violence or be killed rather than use violence in resistance I
     have no reply to make; the world cannot conquer him, and fear
     has no hold upon him. But even he can carry out his doctrine
     only to the extent of allowing himself to be ill-treated, as I
     will now convince him. Many years ago the people of Lancashire
     were horrified by the facts reported in a trial for murder. In
     a village on the outskirts of Bolton lived a young woman, much
     liked and respected as a teacher in one of the Board-schools.
     On her way home from school she was accustomed to follow a
     footpath through a lonely wood, and here one evening her body
     was found. She had been strangled by a ruffian who had thought
     in this lonely place to have his wicked will of her. She had
     resisted successfully, and he had killed her in the struggle.
     Fortunately the murderer was caught, and the facts ascertained
     from circumstantial evidence were confirmed by his confession.
     Now the question I have to ask the man who takes his stand on
     the passage quoted from the Gospel is this: "What would have
     been your duty had you been walking through that wood and came
     upon the girl struggling with the man who killed her?" This is
     the crucial factor which, I submit, utterly destroys the
     doctrine that the use of violence is in itself wrong. The right
     or wrong is not in the employment of force, but simply in the
     purpose for which it is used. What the case establishes, I
     think, is that to use violence in resistance to violent wrong
     is not only right, but necessary.

The above presents, very cleverly, the utterly false analogy with which
we are dealing. Professor Spenser Wilkinson's cleverness, indeed, is a
little Machiavellian, because he approximates non-resisters of a very
extreme type to those who advocate agreement among nations in the matter
of armaments--a false approximation, for the proportion of those who
advocate the reduction of armaments on such grounds is so small that
they can be disregarded in this discussion. A movement which is
identified with some of the acutest minds in European affairs cannot be
disposed of by associating it with such a theory. But the basis of the
fallacy is in the approximation of a State to a person. Now a State is
not a person, and is becoming less so every day, and the difficulty,
which Professor Spenser Wilkinson indicates, is a doctrinaire
difficulty, not a real one. Professor Wilkinson would have us infer that
a State can be injured or killed in the same simple way in which it is
possible to kill or injure a person, and that because there must be
physical force to restrain aggression upon persons, there must be
physical force to restrain aggression upon States; and because there
must be physical force to execute the judgment of a court of law in the
case of individuals, there must be physical force to execute the
judgment rendered by a decision as to differences between States. All of
which is false, and arrived at by approximating a person to a State, and
disregarding the numberless facts which render a person different from a

How do we know that these difficulties are doctrinaire ones? It is the
British Empire which supplies the answer. The British Empire is made up
in large part of practically independent States, and Great Britain not
only exercises no control over their acts, but has surrendered in
advance any intention of employing force concerning them.[103] The
British States have disagreements among themselves. They may or may not
refer their differences to the British Government, but if they do, is
Great Britain going to send an army to Canada, say, to enforce her
judgment? Everyone knows that that is impossible. Even when one State
commits what is in reality a serious breach of international comity on
another, not only does Great Britain refrain from using force herself,
but so far as she interferes at all, it is to prevent the employment of
physical force. For years now British Indians have been subjected to
most cruel and unjust treatment in the State of Natal.[104] The British
Government makes no secret of the fact that she regards this treatment
as unjust and cruel; were Natal a foreign State, it is conceivable that
she would employ force, but, following the principle laid down by Sir
C.P. Lucas, "whether they are right or whether they are wrong, more
perhaps when they are wrong than when they are right, they cannot be
made amenable by force," the two States are left to adjust the
difficulty as best they may, without resort to force. In the last resort
the British Empire reposes upon the expectation that its Colonies will
behave as civilized communities, and in the long run the expectation is,
of course, a well-founded one, because, if they do not so behave,
retribution will come more surely by the ordinary operation of social
and economic forces than it could come by any force of arms.

The case of the British Empire is not an isolated one. The fact is that
most of the States of the world maintain their relations one with
another without any possibility of a resort to force; half the States of
the world have no means of enforcing by arms such wrongs as they may
suffer at the hands of other States. Thousands of Englishmen, for
instance, make their homes in Switzerland, and it has happened that
wrongs have been suffered by Englishmen at the hands of the Swiss
Government. Would, however, the relations between the two States, or the
practical standard of protection of British subjects in Switzerland, be
any the better were Switzerland the whole time threatened by the might
of Great Britain? Switzerland knows that she is practically free from
the possibility of the exercise of that force, but this has not
prevented her from behaving as a civilized community towards British

What is the real guarantee of the good behavior of one State to another?
It is the elaborate interdependence which, not only in the economic
sense, but in every sense, makes an unwarrantable aggression of one
State upon another react upon the interests of the aggressor.
Switzerland has every interest in affording an absolutely secure asylum
to British subjects; that fact, and not the might of the British Empire,
gives protection to British subjects in Switzerland. Where, indeed, the
British subject has to depend upon the force of his Government for
protection it is a very frail protection indeed, because in practice the
use of that force is so cumbersome, so difficult, so costly, that any
other means are to be preferred to it. When the traveller in Greece had
to depend upon British arms, great as was relatively the force of those
arms, it proved but a very frail protection. In the same way, when
physical force was used to impose on the South American and Central
American States the observance of their financial obligations, such
efforts failed utterly and miserably--so miserably that Great Britain
finally surrendered any attempt at such enforcement. What other means
have succeeded? The bringing of those countries under the influence of
the great economic currents of our time, so that now property is
infinitely more secure in Argentina than it was when British gunboats
were bombarding her ports. More and more in international relationship
is the purely economic motive--and the economic motive is only one of
several possible ones--being employed to replace the use of physical
force. Austria, the other day, was untouched by any threat of the
employment of the Turkish army when the annexation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina was consummated, but when the Turkish population enforced a
very successful commercial boycott of Austrian goods and Austrian ships,
Austrian merchants and public opinion made it quickly plain to the
Austrian Government that pressure of this nature could not be

I anticipate the plea that while the elaborate interconnection of
economic relations renders the employment of force as between nations
unnecessary in so far as their material interests are concerned, those
forces cannot cover a case of aggression upon what may be termed the
moral property of nations. A critic of the first edition of this
book[105] writes:

     The State is the only complete form in which human society
     exists, and there are a multitude of phenomena which will be
     found only as manifestations of human life in the form of a
     society united by the political bond into a State. The products
     of such society are law, literature, art, and science, and it
     has yet to be shown that apart from that form of society known
     as the State, the family or education or development of
     character is possible. The State, in short, is an organism or
     living thing which can be wounded and can be killed, and like
     every other living thing requires protection against wounding
     and destruction.... Conscience and morals are products of
     social and not of individual life, and to say that the sole
     purpose of the State is to make possible a decent livelihood is
     as though a man should say that the sole object of human life
     is to satisfy the interests of existence. A man cannot live any
     kind of life without food, clothing, and shelter, but that
     condition does not abolish or diminish the value of the life
     industrial, the life intellectual, or the life artistic. The
     State is the condition of all these lives, and its purpose is
     to sustain them. That is why the State must defend itself. In
     the ideal, the State represents and embodies the whole people's
     conception of what is true, of what is beautiful, and of what
     is right, and it is the sublime quality of human nature that
     every great nation has produced citizens ready to sacrifice
     themselves rather than submit to an external force attempting
     to dictate to them a conception other than their own of what is

One is, of course, surprised to see the foregoing in the London _Morning
Post_; the concluding phrase would justify the present agitation in
India or in Egypt or Ireland against British rule. What is that
agitation but an attempt on the part of the peoples of those provinces
to resist "an external force attempting to dictate to them a conception
other than their own of what is right"? Fortunately, however, for
British Imperialism, a people's conception of "what is true, of what is
beautiful, and of what is right," and their maintenance of that
conception, need not necessarily have anything whatever to do with the
particular administrative conditions under which they may live--the only
thing that a conception of a "State" predicates. The fallacy which runs
through the whole passage just quoted, and which makes it, in fact,
nonsense, is the same fallacy which dominates the quotation that I have
made from Professor Spenser Wilkinson's book, "Britain at Bay"--namely,
the approximation of a State to a person, the assumption that the
political delimitation coincides with the economic and moral
delimitation, that in short a State is the embodiment of "the whole
people's conception of what is true, etc." A State is nothing of the
sort. Take the British Empire. This State embodies not a homogeneous
conception, but a series of often absolutely contradictory conceptions
of "what is true, etc."; it embodies the Mohammedan, the Buddhist, the
Copt, the Catholic, the Protestant, the Pagan conceptions of right and
truth. The fact which vitiates the whole of this conception of a State
is that the frontiers which define the State do not coincide with the
conception of any of those things which the London _Morning Post_ critic
has enumerated; there is no such thing as British morality as opposed to
French or German morality, or art or industry. One may, indeed, talk of
an English conception of life, because that is a conception of life
peculiar to England, but it would be opposed to the conception of life
in other parts of the same State, in Ireland, in Scotland, in India, in
Egypt, in Jamaica. And what is true of England is true of all the great
modern States. Every one of them includes conceptions absolutely opposed
to other conceptions in the same State, but many of them absolutely
agree with conceptions in foreign States. The British State includes, in
Ireland, a Catholic conception in cordial agreement with the Catholic
conception in Italy, but in cordial disagreement with the Protestant
conception in Scotland, or the Mohammedan conception in Bengal. The
real divisions of all those ideals, which the critic enumerates, cut
right across State divisions, disregarding them entirely. Yet, again, it
is only the State divisions which military conflict has in view.

What was one of the reasons leading to the cessation of religious wars
between States? It was that religious conceptions cut across the State
frontiers, so that the State ceased to coincide with the religious
divisions of Europe, and a condition of things was brought about in
which a Protestant Sweden was allied with a Catholic France. This
rendered the conflict absurd, and religious wars became an anachronism.

Is not precisely the same thing taking place with reference to the
conflicting conceptions of life which now separate men in Christendom?
Have not we in America the same doctrinal struggle which is going on in
France and Germany and Great Britain? To take one instance--social
conflict. On the one side in each case are all the interests bound up
with order, authority, individual freedom, without reference to the
comfort of the weak, and on the other the reconstruction of human
society along hitherto untried lines. These problems are for most men
probably--are certainly coming to be, if they are not now--much more
profound and fundamental than any conception which coincides with or can
be identified with State divisions. Indeed, what are the conceptions of
which the divisions coincide with the political frontiers of the British
Empire, in view of the fact that that Empire includes nearly every race
and nearly every religion under the sun? It may be said, of course, that
in the case of Germany and Russia we have an autocratic conception of
social organization as compared with a conception based on individual
freedom in England and America. Both Mr. Hyndman and Mr. Blatchford seem
to take this view. "To me," says the former, "it is quite evident that
if we Socialists were to achieve success we should at once be liable to
attack from without by the military Powers," an opinion which calmly
overlooks the fact that Socialism and anti-militarism have gone much
farther and are far better organized in the "military" States than they
are in England, and that the military Governments have all their work
cut out as it is to keep those tendencies in check within their own
borders, without quixotically undertaking to perform the same service in
other States.

This conception of the State as the political embodiment of homogeneous
doctrine is due in large part not only to the distortion produced by
false analogy, but to the survival of a terminology which has become
obsolete, and, indeed, the whole of this subject is vitiated by those
two things. The State in ancient times was much more a personality than
it is to-day, and it is mainly quite modern tendencies which have broken
up its doctrinal homogeneity, and that break-up has results which are of
the very first importance in their bearing upon international pugnacity.
The matter deserves careful examination. Professor William McDougal, in
his fascinating work, "An Introduction to Social Psychology," says in
the chapter on the instinct of pugnacity:

     The replacement of individual by collective pugnacity is most
     clearly illustrated by barbarous peoples living in small,
     strongly organized communities. Within such communities
     individual combat and even expressions of personal anger may be
     almost completely suppressed, while the pugnacious instinct
     finds itself in perpetual warfare between communities whose
     relations remain subject to no law. As a rule no material
     benefit is gained, and often none is sought, in these tribal
     wars.... All are kept in constant fear of attack, whole
     villages are often exterminated, and the population is in this
     way kept down very far below the limit at which any pressure on
     the means of subsistence could arise. This perpetual warfare,
     like the squabbles of a roomful of quarrelsome children, seems
     to be almost wholly and directly due to the uncomplicated
     operation of the instinct of pugnacity. No material benefits
     are sought; a few heads and sometimes a slave or two are the
     only trophies gained, and if one asks an intelligent chief why
     he keeps up this senseless practice, the best reason he can
     give is that unless he does so his neighbors will not respect
     him and his people, and will fall upon them and exterminate

Now, how does such hostility as that indicated in this passage differ
from the hostility which marks international differences in our day? In
certain very evident respects. It does not suffice that the foreigner
should be merely a foreigner for us to want to kill him: there must be
some conflict of interest. The English are completely indifferent to
the Scandinavian, the Belgian, the Dutchman, the Spaniard, the Austrian,
and the Italian, and are supposed for the moment to be greatly in love
with the French. The German is the enemy. But ten years ago it was the
Frenchman who was the enemy, and Mr. Chamberlain was talking of an
alliance with the Germans--England's natural allies, he called
them--while it was for France that he reserved his attacks.[106] It
cannot be, therefore, that there is any inherent racial hostility in
English national character, because the Germans have not changed their
nature in ten years, nor the French theirs. If to-day the French are
England's quasi-allies and the Germans her enemies, it is simply because
their respective interests or apparent interests have modified in the
last ten years, and their political preferences have modified with them.
In other words, national hostilities follow the exigencies of real or
imagined political interests. Surely the point need not be labored,
seeing that England has boxed the compass of the whole of Europe in her
likes and dislikes, and poured her hatred upon the Spaniards, the Dutch,
the Americans, the Danes, the Russians, the Germans, the French, and
again the Germans, all in turn. The phenomenon is a commonplace of
individual relationship: "I never noticed his collars were dirty till
he got in my way," said someone of a rival.

The second point of difference with Professor McDougal's savage is that
when we get to grips our conflict does not include the whole tribe; we
do not, in the Biblical fashion, exterminate men, women, children, and
cattle. Enough of the old Adam remains for us to detest the women and
children, so that an English poet could write of the "whelps and dams of
murderous foes"; but we no longer slaughter them.[107]

But there is a third fact which we must note--that Professor McDougal's
nation was made up of a single tribe entirely homogeneous. Even the fact
of living across a river was sufficient to turn another tribe into
foreigners and to involve a desire to kill them. The development from
that stage to the present has involved, in addition to the two factors
just enumerated, this: we now include as fellow-countrymen many who
would under the old conception necessarily be foreigners, and the
process of our development, economic and otherwise, has made of
foreigners, between whom, in Homer Lea's philosophy, there should exist
this "primordial hostility leading inevitably to war," one State from
which all conflict of interest has disappeared entirely. The modern
State of France includes what were, even in historical times, eighty
separate and warring States, since each of the old Gallic cities
represented a different State. In England people have come to regard as
fellow-citizens between whom there can be no sort of conflict of
interest scores of tribes that spent their time mutually throat-cutting
at no very distant period, as history goes. Anyone, particularly
Americans, can recognize, indeed, that profound national differences
like those which exist between the Welshman and the Englishman, or the
Scotsman and the Irishman, need involve not only no conflict of
interest, but even no separate political existence.

One has heard in recent times of the gradual revival of Nationalism, and
it is commonly argued that the principle of Nationality must stand in
the way of co-operation between States. But the facts do not justify
that conclusion for a moment. The formation of States has disregarded
national divisions altogether. If conflicts are to coincide with
national divisions, Wales should co-operate with Brittany and Ireland
against Normandy and England; Provence and Savoy with Sardinia
against--I do not know what French province, because in the final
rearrangement of European frontiers races and provinces have become so
inextricably mixed, and have paid so little regard to "natural" and
"inherent" divisions, that it is no longer possible to disentangle them.

In the beginning the State is a homogeneous tribe or family, and in the
process of economic and social development these divisions so far break
down that a State may include, as the British State does, not only half
a dozen different races in the mother country, but a thousand different
races scattered over various parts of the earth--white, black, yellow,
brown, copper-colored. This, surely, is one of the great sweeping
tendencies of history--a tendency which operates immediately any
complicated economic life is set up. What justification have we,
therefore, for saying dogmatically that a tendency to co-operation,
which has swept before it profound ethnic differences, social and
political divisions, which has been constant from the dawn of men's
attempts to live and labor together, is to stop at the wall of modern
State divisions, which represent none of the profound divisions of the
human race, but mainly mere administrative convenience, and embody a
conception which is being every day profoundly modified?

Some indication of the processes involved in this development has
already been given in the outline sketch in Chapter II. of this section,
to which the reader may be referred. I have there attempted to make
plain that _pari passu_ with the drift from physical force towards
economic inducement goes a corresponding diminution of pugnacity, until
the psychological factor which is the exact reverse of pugnacity comes
to have more force even than the economic one. Quite apart from any
economic question, it is no longer possible for any government to order
the extermination of a whole population, of the women and children, in
the old Biblical style. In the same way, the greater economic
interdependence which improved means of communication have provoked must
carry with it a greater moral interdependence, and a tendency which has
broken down profound national divisions, like those which separated the
Celt and the Saxon, will certainly break down on the psychological side
divisions which are obviously more artificial.

Among the multiple factors which have entered into the great sweeping
tendency just mentioned are one or two which stand out as most likely to
have immediate effect on the breakdown of a purely psychological
hostility embodied by merely State divisions. One is that lessening of
the reciprocal sentiment of collective responsibility which the complex
heterogeneity of the modern State involves. What do I mean by this sense
of collective responsibility? To the Chinese Boxer all Europeans are
"foreign devils"; between Germans, English, Russians, there is little
distinction, just as to the black in Africa there is little
differentiation between the various white races. Even the yokel in
England talks of "them foreigners." If a Chinese Boxer is injured by a
Frenchman, he kills a German, and feels himself avenged--they are all
"foreign devils." When an African tribe suffers from the depredations
of a Belgian trader, the next white man who comes into its territory,
whether he happens to be an Englishman or a Frenchman, loses his life;
the tribesmen also feel themselves avenged. But if the Chinese Boxer had
our clear conception of the different European nations, he would feel no
psychological satisfaction in killing a German because a Frenchman had
injured him. There must be in the Boxer's mind some collective
responsibility as between the two Europeans, or in the negro's mind
between the two white men, in order to obtain this psychological
satisfaction. If that collective responsibility does not exist, the
hostility to the second white man, in each case, is not even raised.

Now, our international hostilities are largely based on the notion of a
collective responsibility in each of the various States against which
our hostility is directed, which does not, in fact, exist. There is at
the present moment great ill-feeling in England against "the German."
Now, "the German" is a non-existent abstraction. Englishmen are angry
with the German because he is building warships, conceivably directed
against them; but a great many Germans are as much opposed to that
increase of armament as are the English, and the desire of the yokel to
"have a go at them Germans" depends absolutely upon a confusion just as
great as--indeed, greater than--that which exists in the mind of the
Boxer, who cannot differentiate between the various European peoples.
Mr. Blatchford commenced that series of articles which has done so much
to accentuate this ill-feeling with this phrase:

     Germany is deliberately preparing to destroy the British Empire;

and later in the articles he added:

     Britain is disunited; Germany is homogeneous. We are
     quarrelling about the Lords' Veto, Home Rule, and a dozen other
     questions of domestic politics. We have a Little Navy Party, an
     Anti-Militarist Party; Germany is unanimous upon the question
     of naval expansion.

It would be difficult to pack a more dangerous untruth into so few
lines. What are the facts? If "Germany" means the bulk of the German
people, Mr. Blatchford is perfectly aware that he is not telling the
truth. It is not true to say of the bulk of the German people that they
are deliberately preparing to destroy the British Empire. The bulk of
the German people, if they are represented by any one party at all, are
represented by the Social Democrats, who have stood from the first
resolutely against any such intention. Now the facts have to be
misstated in this way in order to produce that temper which makes for
war. If the facts are correctly stated, no such temper arises.

What has a particularly competent German to say to Mr. Blatchford's
generalization? Mr. Fried, the editor of _Die Friedenswarte_, writes:

     There is no one German people, no single Germany.... There are
     more abrupt contrasts between Germans and Germans than between
     Germans and Indians. Nay, the contradistinctions within Germany
     are greater than those between Germans and the units of any
     other foreign nation whatever. It might be possible to make
     efforts to promote good understanding between Germans and
     Englishmen, between Germans and Frenchmen, to organize visits
     between nation and nation; but it will be forever impossible to
     set on foot any such efforts at an understanding between German
     Social Democrats and Prussian Junkers, between German
     Anti-Semites and German Jews.[108]

The disappearance of most international hostility depends upon nothing
more intricate than the realization of facts which are little more
complex than the geographical knowledge which enables us to see that the
anger of the yokel is absurd when he pummels a Frenchman because an
Italian has swindled him.

It may be argued that there never has existed in the past this
identification between a people and the acts of its Government which
rendered the hatred of one country for another logical, yet that hatred
has arisen. That is true; but certain new factors have entered recently
to modify this problem. One is that never in the history of the world
have nations been so complex as they are to-day; and the second is that
never before have the dominating interests of mankind so completely cut
across State divisions as they do to-day. The third factor is that never
before has it been possible, as it is possible by our means of
communication to-day, to offset a solidarity of classes and ideas
against a presumed State solidarity.

Never at any stage of the world's development has there existed, as
exists to-day, the machinery for embodying these interests and class
ideas and ideals which cut across frontiers. It is not generally
understood how many of our activities have become international. Two
great forces have become internationalized: Capital on the one hand,
Labor and Socialism on the other.

The Labor and Socialist movements have always been international, and
become more so every year. Few considerable strikes take place in any
one country without the labor organizations of other countries
furnishing help, and very large sums have been contributed by the labor
organizations of various countries in this way.

With reference to capital, it may almost be said that it is organized so
naturally internationally that formal organization is not necessary.
When the Bank of England is in danger, it is the Bank of France which
comes automatically to its aid, even in a time of acute political
hostility. It has been my good fortune in the last ten years to discuss
these matters with financiers on one side and labor leaders on the
other, and I have always been particularly struck by the fact that I
have found in these two classes precisely the same attitude of
internationalization. In no department of human activity is
internationalization so complete as in finance. The capitalist has no
country, and he knows, if he be of the modern type, that arms and
conquests and jugglery with frontiers serve no ends of his, and may very
well defeat them. But employers, as apart from capitalists, are also
developing a strong international cohesive organization. Among the
Berlin despatches in the London _Times_ of April 18, 1910, I find the
following concerning a big strike in the building trade, in which nearly
a quarter of a million men went out. Quoting a writer in the _North
German Gazette_, the correspondent says:

     The writer lays stress upon the efficiency of the employers'
     arrangements. He says, in particular, that it will probably be
     possible to extend the lock-out to industries associated with
     the building industry, especially the cement industry, and that
     the employers are completing a ring of cartel treaties, which
     will prevent German workmen from finding employment in
     neighboring countries, and will insure for German employers all
     possible support from abroad. It is said that Switzerland and
     Austria were to conclude treaties yesterday on the same
     conditions as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, and France, and
     that Belgium and Italy would come in, so that there will be
     complete co-operation on the part of all Germany's neighbors
     except Russia. In the circumstances the men's organs rather
     overlabor the point when they produce elaborate evidence of
     premeditation. The _Vorwärts_ proves that the employers have
     long been preparing for "a trial of strength," but that is
     admitted. The official organ of the employers says, in so many
     words, that any intervention is useless until "the forces have
     been measured in open battle."

Have not these forces begun already to affect the psychological domain
with which we are now especially dealing? Do we place national vanity,
for instance, on the same plane as individual vanity? Have we not
already realized the absurdity involved?

I have quoted Admiral Mahan as follows:

     That extension of national authority over alien communities,
     which is the dominant note in the world politics of to-day,
     dignifies and enlarges each State and each citizen that enters
     its fold.... Sentiment, imagination, aspiration, the
     satisfaction of the rational and moral faculties in some object
     better than bread alone, all must find a part in a worthy
     motive. Like individuals, nations and empires have souls as
     well as bodies. Great and beneficent achievement ministers to
     worthier contentment than the filling of the pocket.

Whatever we may think of the individuals who work disinterestedly for
the benefit of backward and alien peoples, and however their lives may
be "dignified and enlarged" by their activities, it is surely absurd to
suppose that other individuals, who take no part in their work and who
remain thousands of miles from the scene of action, can possibly be
credited with "great and beneficent achievement."

A man who boasts of his possessions is not a very pleasant or admirable
type, but at least his possessions are for his own use and do bring a
tangible satisfaction, materially as well as sentimentally. His is the
object of a certain social deference by reason of his wealth--a
deference which has not a very high motive, if you will, but the outward
and visible signs of which are pleasing to a vain man. But is the same
in any sense true, despite Admiral Mahan, of the individual of a big
State as compared to the individual of a small one? Does anyone think of
paying deference to the Russian _mujik_ because he happens to belong to
one of the biggest empires territorially? Does anyone think of despising
an Ibsen or a Björnsen, or any educated Scandinavian or Belgian or
Hollander, because they happen to belong to the smallest nations in
Europe? The thing is absurd, and the notion is simply due to
inattention. Just as we commonly overlook the fact that the individual
citizen is quite unaffected materially by the extent of his nation's
territory, that the material position of the individual Dutchman as a
citizen of a small State will not be improved by the mere fact of the
absorption of his State by the German Empire, in which case he will
become the citizen of a great nation, so in the same way his moral
position remains unchanged; and the notion that an individual Russian is
"dignified and enlarged" each time that Russia conquers some new Asiatic
outpost, or Russifies a State like Finland, or that the Norwegian would
be "dignified" were his State conquered by Russia and he became a
Russian, is, of course, sheer sentimental fustian of a very mischievous
order. This is the more emphasized when we remember that the best men of
Russia are looking forward wistfully, not to the enlargement, but to the
dissolution, of the unwieldy giant--"stupid with the stupidity of
giants, ferocious with their ferocity"--and the rise in its stead of a
multiplicity of self-contained, self-knowing communities, "whose members
will be united together by organic and vital sympathies, and not by
their common submission to a common policeman."

How small and thin a pretence is all the talk of national prestige when
the matter is tested by its relation to the individual is shown by the
commonplaces of our everyday social intercourse. In social consideration
everything else takes precedence of nationality, even in those circles
where Chauvinism is a cult. British Royalty is so impressed with the
dignity which attaches to membership of the British Empire that its
Princes will marry into the royal houses of the smallest and meanest
States in Europe, while they would regard marriage with a British
commoner as an unheard-of _mésalliance_. This standard of social
judgment so marks all the European royalties that at the present time
not one ruler in Europe belongs, properly speaking, to the race which he
rules. In all social associations an analogous rule is followed. In our
"selectest" circles an Italian, Rumanian, Portuguese, or even Turkish
noble, is received where an American tradesman would be taboo.

This tendency has struck almost all authorities who have investigated
scientifically modern international relations. Thus Mr. T. Baty, the
well-known authority on international law, writes as follows:

     All over the world society is organizing itself by strata. The
     English merchant goes on business to Warsaw, Hamburg, or
     Leghorn; he finds in the merchants of Italy, Germany, and
     Russia the ideas, the standard of living, the sympathies, and
     the aversions which are familiar to him at home. Printing and
     the locomotive have enormously reduced the importance of
     locality. It is the mental atmosphere of its fellows, and not
     of its neighborhood, which the child of the younger generation
     is beginning to breathe. Whether he reads the _Revue des Deux
     Mondes_ or _Tit-Bits_, the modern citizen is becoming at once
     cosmopolitan and class-centred. Let the process work for a few
     more years; we shall see the common interests of cosmopolitan
     classes revealing themselves as far more potent factors than
     the shadowy common interests of the subjects of States. The
     Argentine merchant and the British capitalist alike regard the
     Trade Union as a possible enemy--whether British or Argentine
     matters to them less than nothing. The Hamburg docker and his
     brother of London do not put national interests before the
     primary claims of caste. International class feeling is a
     reality, and not even a nebulous reality; the nebula has
     developed centres of condensation. Only the other day Sir W.
     Runciman, who is certainly not a Conservative, presided over a
     meeting at which there were laid the foundations of an
     International Shipping Union, which is intended to unite
     ship-owners of whatever country in a common organization. When
     it is once recognized that the real interests of modern people
     are not national, but social, the results may be

As Mr. Baty points out, this tendency, which he calls "stratification,"
extends to all classes:

     It is impossible to ignore the significance of the
     International Congresses, not only of Socialism, but of
     pacificism, of esperantism, of feminism, of every kind of art
     and science, that so conspicuously set their seal upon the
     holiday season. Nationality as a limiting force is breaking
     down before cosmopolitanism. In directing its forces into an
     international channel, Socialism will have no difficulty
     whatever[110].... We are, therefore, confronted with a coming
     condition of affairs in which the force of nationality will be
     distinctly inferior to the force of class-cohesion, and in
     which classes will be internationally organized so as to wield
     their force with effect. The prospect induces some curious

We have here, at present in merely embryonic form, a group of motives
otherwise opposed, but meeting and agreeing upon one point: the
organization of society on other than territorial and national
divisions. When motives of such breadth as these give force to a
tendency, it may be said that the very stars in their courses are
working to the same end.





    Necessity for defence arises from the existence of a motive for
    attack--Platitudes that everyone overlooks--To attenuate the motive
    for aggression is to undertake a work of defence.

The general proposition embodied in this book--that the world has passed
out of that stage of development in which it is possible for one
civilized group to advance its well-being by the military domination of
another--is either broadly true or broadly false. If it is false, it
can, of course, have no bearing upon the actual problems of our time,
and can have no practical outcome; huge armaments tempered by warfare
are the logical and natural condition.

But the commonest criticism this book has had to meet is that, though
its central proposition is in essence sound, it has, nevertheless, no
practical value, because--

     1. Armaments are for defence, not for aggression.

     2. However true these principles may be, the world does not
     recognize them and never will, because men are not guided by

As to the first point. It is probable that, if we really understood
truths which we are apt to dismiss as platitudes, many of our problems
would disappear.

To say, "We must take measures for defence" is equivalent to saying,
"Someone is likely to attack us," which is equivalent to saying,
"Someone has a motive for attacking us." In other words, the basic fact
from which arises the necessity for armaments, the ultimate explanation
of European militarism, is _the force of the motive making for
aggression_. (And in the word "aggression," of course, I include the
imposition of superior force by the _threat_, or implied threat, of its
use, as well as by its actual use.)

That motive may be material or moral; it may arise from real conflict of
interest, or a purely imaginary one; but with the disappearance of
prospective aggression disappears also the need for defence.

The reader deems these platitudes beside the mark?

I will take a few sample criticisms directed at this book. Here is the
London _Daily Mail_:

     The bigger nations are armed, not so much because they look for
     the spoils of war, as because they wish to prevent the horrors
     of it; arms are for defence.[111]

And here is the London _Times_:

     No doubt the victor suffers, but who suffers most, he or the

The criticism of the _Daily Mail_ was made within three months of a
"raging and tearing" big navy campaign, all of it based on the
assumption that Germany _was_ "looking for the spoils of war," the
English naval increase being thus a direct outcome of such motives.
Without it, the question of English increase would not have arisen.[113]
The only justification for the clamor for increase was that England was
liable to _attack_; every nation in Europe justifies its armaments in
the same way; every nation consequently believes in the universal
existence of this motive for attack.

The _Times_ has been hardly less insistent than the _Mail_ as to the
danger from German aggression; but its criticism would imply that the
motive behind that prospective aggression is not a desire for any
political advantage or gain of any sort. Germany apparently recognizes
aggression to be, not merely barren of any useful result whatsoever, but
burdensome and costly into the bargain; she is, nevertheless, determined
to enter upon it in order that though she suffer, someone else will
suffer more![114]

In common with the London _Daily Mail_ and the London _Times_, Admiral
Mahan fails to understand this "platitude," which underlies the relation
of defence to aggression.

Thus in his criticism of this book, he cites the position of Great
Britain during the Napoleonic era as proof that commercial advantage
goes with the possession of preponderant military power in the following

     Great Britain owed her commercial superiority then to the armed
     control of the sea, which had sheltered her commerce and
     industrial fabric from molestation by the enemy.

_Ergo_, military force has commercial value, a result which is arrived
at by this method: in deciding a case made up of two parties you ignore

England's superiority was not due to the employment of military force,
but to the fact that she was able to prevent the employment of military
force against her; and the necessity for so doing arose from Napoleon's
motive in threatening her. But for the existence of this motive to
aggression--moral or material, just or mistaken--Great Britain, without
any force whatsoever, would have been more secure and more prosperous
than she was; she would not have been spending a third of her income in
war, and her peasantry would not have been starving.

Of a like character to the remark of the _Times_ is the criticism of the
_Spectator_, as follows:

     Mr. Angell's main point is that the advantages customarily
     associated with national independence and security have no
     existence outside the popular imagination.... He holds that
     Englishmen would be equally happy if they were under German
     rule, and that Germans would be equally happy if they were
     under English rule. It is irrational, therefore, to take any
     measures for perpetuating the existing European order, since
     only a sentimentalist can set any value on its maintenance....
     Probably in private life Mr. Angell is less consistent and less
     inclined to preach the burglar's gospel that to the wise man
     _meum_ and _tuum_ are but two names for the same thing. If he
     is anxious to make converts, he will do well to apply his
     reasoning to subjects that come nearer home, and convince the
     average man that marriage and private property are as much
     illusions as patriotism. If sentiment is to be banished from
     politics, it cannot reasonably be retained in morals.

As the reply to this somewhat extraordinary criticism is directly
germane to what it is important to make clear, I may, perhaps, be
excused for reproducing my letter to the _Spectator_, which was in part
as follows:

     How far the foregoing is a correct description of the scope and
     character of the book under review may be gathered from the
     following statement of fact. My pamphlet does _not_ attack the
     sentiment of patriotism (unless a criticism of the duellist's
     conception of dignity be considered as such); it simply does
     not deal with it, as being outside the limits of the main
     thesis. I do _not_ hold, and there is not one line to which
     your reviewer can point as justifying such a conclusion, that
     Englishmen would be equally happy if they were under German
     rule. I do not conclude that it is irrational to take measures
     for perpetuating the existing European order. I do _not_
     "expose the folly of self-defence in nations." I do _not_
     object to spending money on armaments at this juncture. On the
     contrary, I am particularly emphatic in declaring that while
     the present philosophy is what it is, we are bound to maintain
     our relative position with other Powers. I admit that so long
     as there is danger, as I believe there is, from German
     aggression, we must arm. I do _not_ preach a burglar's gospel,
     that _meum_ and _tuum_ are the same thing, and the whole
     tendency of my book is the exact reverse: it is to show that
     the burglar's gospel--which is the gospel of statecraft as it
     now stands--is no longer possible among nations, and that the
     difference between _meum_ and _tuum_ must necessarily, as
     society gains in complication, be given a stricter observance
     than it has ever heretofore been given in history. I do _not_
     urge that sentiment should be banished from politics, if by
     sentiment is meant the common morality that guides us in our
     treatment of marriage and of private property. The whole tone
     of my book is to urge with all possible emphasis the exact
     reverse of such a doctrine; to urge that the morality which has
     been by our necessities developed in the society of individuals
     must also be applied to the society of nations as that society
     becomes by virtue of our development more interdependent.

     I have only taken a small portion of your reviewer's article
     (which runs to a whole page), and I do not think I am
     exaggerating when I say that nearly all of it is as untrue and
     as much a distortion of what I really say as the passage from
     which I have quoted. What I do attempt to make plain is that
     the necessity for defence measures (which I completely
     recognize and emphatically counsel) implies on the part of
     someone a motive for aggression, and that the motive arises
     from the (at present) universal belief in the social and
     economic advantages accruing from successful conquest.

     I challenged this universal axiom of statecraft and attempted
     to show that the mechanical development of the last thirty or
     forty years, especially in the means of communication, had
     given rise to certain economic phenomena--of which re-acting
     bourses and the financial interdependence of the great economic
     centres of the world are perhaps the most characteristic--which
     render modern wealth and trade intangible in the sense that
     they cannot be seized or interfered with to the advantage of a
     military aggressor, the moral being, not that self-defence is
     out of date, but that aggression is, and that when aggression
     ceases, self-defence will be no longer necessary. I urged,
     therefore, that in these little-recognized truths might
     possibly be found a way out of the armament _impasse_; that if
     the accepted motive for aggression could be shown to have no
     solid basis, the tension in Europe would be immensely relieved,
     and the risk of attack become immeasurably less by reason of
     the slackening of the motive for aggression. I asked whether
     this series of economic facts--so little realized by the
     average politician in Europe, and yet so familiar to at least a
     few of the ablest financiers--did not go far to change the
     axioms of statecraft, and I urged re-consideration of such in
     the light of these facts.

     Your reviewer, instead of dealing with the questions thus
     raised, accuses me of "attacking patriotism," of arguing that
     "Englishmen would be equally happy under German rule," and much
     nonsense of the same sort, for which there is not a shadow of
     justification. Is this serious criticism? Is it worthy of the

To the foregoing letter the _Spectator_ critic rejoins as follows:

     If Mr. Angell's book had given me the same impression as that
     which I gain from his letter, I should have reviewed it in a
     different spirit. I can only plead that I wrote under the
     impression which the book actually made on me. In reply to his
     "statement of fact," I must ask your leave to make the
     following corrections: (1) Instead of saying that, on Mr.
     Angell's showing, Englishmen would be "equally happy" under
     German rule, I ought to have said that they would be equally
     well off. But on his doctrine that material well-being is "the
     very highest" aim of a politician, the two terms seem to be
     interchangeable. (2) The "existing European order" rests on the
     supposed economic value of political force. In opposition to
     this Mr. Angell maintains "the economic futility of political
     force." To take measures for perpetuating an order founded on a
     futility does seem to me "irrational." (3) I never said that
     Mr. Angell objects to spending money on armaments "while the
     present philosophy is what it is." (4) The stress laid in the
     book on the economic folly of patriotism, as commonly
     understood, does seem to me to suggest that "sentiment should
     be banished from politics." But I admit that this was only an
     inference, though, as I still think, a fair inference. (5) I
     apologize for the words "the burglar's gospel." They have the
     fault, incident to rhetorical phrases, of being more telling
     than exact.

This rejoinder, as a matter of fact, still reveals the confusion which
prompted the first criticism. Because I urged that Germany could do
England relatively little harm, since the harm which she inflicted would
immediately react on German prosperity, my critic assumes that this is
equivalent to saying that Englishmen would be as happy or as prosperous
under German rule. He quite overlooks the fact that if Germans are
convinced that they will obtain no benefit by the conquest of the
English they will not attempt that conquest, and there will be no
question of the English living under German rule either less or more
happily or prosperously. It is not a question of Englishmen saying, "Let
the German come," but of the German saying, "Why should we go?" As to
the critic's second point, I have expressly explained that not the
rival's real interest but what he deems to be his real interest must be
the guide to conduct. Military force is certainly economically futile,
but so long as German policy rests on the assumption of the supposed
economic value of military force, England must meet that force by the
only force that can reply to it.

Some years ago the bank in a Western mining town was frequently
subjected to "hold-ups," because it was known that the great mining
company owning the town kept large quantities of gold there for the
payment of its workmen. The company, therefore, took to paying its
wages mainly by check on a San Francisco bank, and by a simple system of
clearances practically abolished the use of gold in considerable
quantities in the mining town in question. The bank was never attacked

Now, the demonstration that gold had been replaced by books in that bank
was as much a work of defence as though the bank had spent tens of
thousands of dollars in constructing forts and earthworks, and mounting
Gatling guns around the town. Of the two methods of defence, that of
substituting checks for gold was infinitely cheaper, and more effective.

Even if the inferences which the _Spectator_ reviewer draws were true
ones, which for the most part they are not, he still overlooks one
important element. If it were true that the book involves the "folly of
patriotism," how is that in any way relevant to the discussion, since I
also urge that nations are justified in protecting even their follies
against the attack of other nations? I may regard the Christian
Scientists, or the Seventh Day Adventists, or the Spiritualists, as very
foolish people, and to some extent mischievous people; but were an Act
of Parliament introduced for their suppression by physical force, I
should resist such an act with all the energy of which I was capable. In
what way are the two attitudes contradictory? They are the attitudes, I
take it, of educated men the world over. The fact has no importance, and
it hardly bears on this subject, but I regard certain English
conceptions of life bearing on matters of law, and social habit, and
political philosophy, as infinitely preferable to the German, and if I
thought that such conceptions demanded defence indefinitely by great
armaments this book would never have been written. But I take the view
that the idea of such necessity is based on a complete illusion, not
only because as a matter of present-day fact, and even in the present
state of political philosophy, Germany has not the least intention of
going to war with us to change our notions in law or literature, art or
social organization, but also because if she had any such notion it
would be founded upon illusions which she would be bound sooner or later
to shed, because German policy could not indefinitely resist the
influence of a general European attitude on such matters any more than
it has been possible for any great and active European State to stand
outside the European movement which has condemned the policy of
attempting to impose religious belief by the physical force of the
State. And I should regard it as an essential part of the work of
defence to aid in the firm establishment of such a European doctrine, as
much a part of the work of defence as it would be to go on building
battleships until Germany had subscribed to it.

A great part of the misconception just dealt with arises from a hazily
conceived fear that ideas like those embodied in this book must
attenuate our energy of defence, and that we shall be in a weaker
position relatively to our rivals than we were before. But this
overlooks the fact that if the progress of ideas weakens our energies
of defence, it also weakens our rival's energy of attack, and the
strength of our relative positions is just what it was originally, with
this exception: that we have taken a step towards peace instead of a
step towards war, to which the mere piling up of armaments, unchecked by
any other factor, must in the end inevitably lead.

But there is one aspect of this failure to realize the relation of
defence to aggression, which brings us nearer to considering the bearing
of these principles upon the question of practical policy.



    Not the facts, but men's belief about facts, shapes their
    conduct--Solving a problem of two factors by ignoring one--The
    fatal outcome of such a method--The German Navy as a "luxury"--If
    both sides concentrate on armament alone.

"Not the facts, but men's opinions about the facts, are what matter,"
one thinker has remarked. And this is because men's conduct is
determined, not necessarily by the right conclusion from facts, but the
conclusion they believe to be right.

When men burned witches, their conduct was exactly what it would have
been if what they believed to be true _had_ been true. The truth made no
difference to their behavior, so long as they could not see the truth.
And so in politics. As long as Europe is dominated by the old beliefs,
those beliefs will have virtually the same effect in politics as though
they were intrinsically sound.

And just as in the matter of burning witches a change of behavior was
the outcome of a change of opinion, in its turn the result of a more
scientific investigation of the facts, so in the same way a change in
the political conduct of Europe can only come about as the result of a
change of thought; and that change of thought will not come about so
long as the energies of men in this matter are centred only upon
perfecting instruments of warfare. It is not merely that better ideas
can only result from more attention being given to the real meaning of
facts, but that the direct tendency of war preparation--with the
suspicion it necessarily engenders and the ill-temper to which it almost
always gives rise--is to create both mechanical and psychological checks
to improvement of opinion and understanding. Here, for instance, is
General von Bernhardi, who has just published his book in favor of war
as the regenerator of nations, urging that Germany should attack certain
of her enemies before they are ready to attack her. Suppose the others
reply by increasing their military force? It suits Bernhardi entirely.
For what is the effect of this increase on the minds of Germans possibly
disposed to disagree with Bernhardi? It is to silence them and to
strengthen Bernhardi's hands. His policy, originally wrong, has become
relatively right, because his arguments have been answered by force. For
the silence of his might-be critics will still further encourage those
of other nations who deem themselves threatened by this kind of opinion
in Germany to increase their armaments; and these increases will still
further tend to strengthen Bernhardi's school, and still further silence
his critics. The process by which force tends to crush reason is,
unhappily, cumulative and progressive. The vicious circle can only be
broken by the introduction somewhere of the factor of reason.

And this is precisely, my critics urge, why we need do nothing but
concentrate on the instruments of force!

The all but invariable attitude adopted by the man in the street in this
whole discussion is about as follows:

"What, as practical men, we have to do, is to be stronger than our
enemy; the rest is theory, and does not matter."

Well, the inevitable outcome of such an attitude is catastrophe. It
leads us not toward, but away from, solution.

In the first edition of this book I wrote:

     Are we immediately to cease preparation for war, since our
     defeat cannot advantage our enemy nor do us in the long run
     much harm? No such conclusion results from a study of the
     considerations elaborated here. It is evident that so long as
     the misconception we are dealing with is all but universal in
     Europe, so long as the nations believe that in some way the
     military and political subjugation of others will bring with it
     a tangible material advantage to the conqueror, we all do, in
     fact, stand in danger from such aggression. Not his interest,
     but what he deems to be his interest, will furnish the real
     motive of our prospective enemy's action. And as the illusion
     with which we are dealing does, indeed, dominate all those
     minds most active in European politics, we (in England) must,
     while this remains the case, regard an aggression, even such as
     that which Mr. Harrison foresees, as within the bounds of
     practical politics. (What is not within the bounds of
     possibility is the extent of devastation which he foresees as
     the result of such attack, which, I think, the foregoing pages
     sufficiently demonstrate.)

     On this ground alone I deem that England, or any other nation,
     is justified in taking means of self-defence to prevent such
     aggression. This is not, therefore, a plea for disarmament
     irrespective of the action of other nations. So long as current
     political philosophy in Europe remains what it is, I would not
     urge the reduction of the British war budget by a single

I see no reason to alter a word of this. But if preparation of the
machinery of war is to be the only form of energy in this matter--if
national effort is to neglect all other factors whatsoever--more and
more will sincere and patriotic men have doubts as to whether they are
justified in co-operating in further piling up the armaments of any
country. Of the two risks involved--the risk of attack arising from a
possible superiority of armament on the part of a rival, and the risk of
drifting into conflict because, concentrating all our energies on the
mere instrument of combat, we have taken no adequate trouble to
understand the facts of this case--it is at least an arguable
proposition that the second risk is the greater. And I am prompted to
this expression of opinion without surrendering one iota of a lifelong
and passionate belief that a nation attacked should defend itself to the
last penny and to the last man.

In this matter it seems fatally easy to secure either one of two kinds
of action: that of the "practical man" who limits his energies to
securing a policy which will perfect the machinery of war and disregard
anything else; or that of the Pacifist, who, persuaded of the brutality
or immorality of war, is apt to deprecate effort directed at
self-defence. What is needed is the type of activity which will include
both halves of the problem: provision for education, for a Political
Reformation in this matter, _as well as_ such means of defence as will
meantime counterbalance the existing impulse to aggression. To
concentrate on either half to the exclusion of the other half is to
render the whole problem insoluble.

What must inevitably happen if the nations take the line of the
"practical man," and limit their energies simply and purely to piling up

A British critic once put to me what he evidently deemed a poser: "Do
you urge that we shall be stronger than our enemy, or weaker?"

To which I replied: "The last time that question was asked me was in
Berlin, by Germans. What would you have had me reply to those
Germans?"--a reply which, of course, meant this: In attempting to find
the solution of this question in terms of one party, you are attempting
the impossible. The outcome will be war, and war would not settle it. It
would all have to be begun over again.

The British Navy League catechism says: "Defence consists in being so
strong that it will be dangerous for your enemy to attack you."[115] Mr.
Churchill, even, goes farther than the Navy League, and says: "The way
to make war impossible is to make victory certain."

The Navy League definition is at least possible of application to
practical politics, because rough equality of the two parties would make
attack by either dangerous. Mr. Churchill's principle is impossible of
application to practical politics, because it could only be applied by
one party, and would, in the terms of the Navy League principle, deprive
the other party of the right of defence. As a matter of simple fact,
both the British Navy League, by its demand for two ships to one, and
Mr. Churchill, by his demand for certain victory, deny in this matter
Germany's right to defend herself; and such denial is bound, on the part
of a people animated by like motives to themselves, to provoke a
challenge. When the British Navy League says, as it does, that a
self-respecting nation should not depend upon the goodwill of foreigners
for its safety, but upon its own strength, it recommends Germany to
maintain her efforts to arrive at some sort of equality with England.
When Mr. Churchill goes farther, and says that a nation is entitled to
be so strong as to make victory over its rivals certain, he knows that
if Germany were to adopt his own doctrine, its certain outcome would be

In anticipation of such an objection, Mr. Churchill says that
preponderant power at sea is a luxury to Germany, a necessity to
Britain; that these efforts of Germany are, as it were, a mere whim in
no way dictated by the real necessities of her people, and having
behind them no impulse wrapped up with national needs.[116]

If that be the truth, then it is the strongest argument imaginable for
the settlement of this Anglo-German rivalry by agreement: by bringing
about that Political Reformation of Europe which it is the object of
these pages to urge.

Here are those of the school of Mr. Churchill who say: The danger of
aggression from Germany is so great that England must have an enormous
preponderance of force--two to one; so great are the risks Germany is
prepared to take, that unless victory on the English side is certain she
will attack. And yet, explain this same school, the impulse which
creates these immense burdens and involves these immense risks is a mere
whim, a luxury; the whole thing is dissociated from any real national

If that really be the case, then, indeed, is it time for a campaign of
Education in Europe; time that the sixty-five millions, more or less, of
hard-working and not very rich people, whose money support alone makes
this rivalry possible, learned what it is all about. This "whim" has
cost the two nations, in the last ten years, a sum larger than the
indemnity France paid to Germany. Does Mr. Churchill suppose that these
millions know, or think, this struggle one for a mere luxury, or whim?
And if they did know, would it be quite a simple matter for the German
Government to keep up the game?

But those who, during the last decade in England, have in and out of
season carried on this active campaign for the increase of British
armaments, do _not_ believe that Germany's action is the result of a
mere whim. They, being part of the public opinion of Europe, subscribe
to the general European doctrine that Germany is pushed to do these
things by real national necessities, by her need for expansion, for
finding food and livelihood for all these increasing millions. And if
this is so, the English are asking Germany, in surrendering this
contest, to betray future German generations--wilfully to withhold from
them those fields which the strength and fortitude of this generation
might win. If this common doctrine is true, the English are asking
Germany to commit national suicide.[117]

Why should it be assumed that Germany will do it? That she will be less
persistent in protecting her national interest, her posterity, be less
faithful than the British themselves to great national impulses? Has not
the day gone by when educated men can calmly assume that any Englishman
is worth three foreigners? And yet such an assumption, ignorant and
provincial as we are bound to admit it to be, is the only one that can
possibly justify this policy of concentrating upon armament alone.

Even Admiral Fisher can write:

     The supremacy of the British Navy is the best security for the
     peace of the world.... If you rub it in, both at home and
     abroad, that you are ready for instant war, with every unit of
     your strength in the first line and waiting to be first in, and
     hit your enemy in the belly and kick him when he is down, and
     boil your prisoners in oil (if you take any), and torture his
     women and children, then people will keep clear of you.

Would Admiral Fisher refrain from taking a given line merely because,
if he took it, someone would "hit him in the belly," etc.? He would
repudiate the idea with the utmost scorn, and probably reply that the
threat would give him an added incentive to take the line in question.
But why should Admiral Fisher suppose that he has a monopoly of courage,
and that a German Admiral would act otherwise than he? Is it not about
time that each nation abandoned the somewhat childish assumption that it
has a monopoly of the courage and the persistence in the world, and that
things which would never frighten or deter it will frighten and deter
its rivals?

Yet in this matter the English assume either that the Germans will be
less persistent than they, or that in this contest their backs will
break first. A coadjutor of Lord Roberts is calmly talking of a Naval
Budget of 400 or 500 million dollars, and universal service as well, as
a possibility of the all but immediate future.[118] If England can stand
that now, why should not Germany, who is, we are told, growing
industrially more rapidly than the English, be able to stand as much?
But when she has arrived at that point, the English, at the same rate,
must have a naval budget of anything from 750 to 1000 million dollars, a
total armament budget of something in the region of 1250 millions. The
longer it goes on, the worse will be England's relative position,
because she has imposed on herself a progressive handicap.

The end can only be conflict, and already the policy of precipitating
that conflict is raising its head.

Sir Edmund C. Cox writes in the premier English review, the _Nineteenth
Century_, for April, 1910:

     Is there no alternative to this endless yet futile competition
     in shipbuilding? Yes, there is. It is one which a Cromwell, a
     William Pitt, a Palmerston, a Disraeli, would have adopted long
     ago. This is that alternative--the only possible conclusion. It
     is to say to Germany: "All that you have been doing constitutes
     a series of unfriendly acts. Your fair words go for nothing.
     Once for all, you must put an end to your warlike preparations.
     If we are not satisfied that you do so, we shall forthwith sink
     every battleship and cruiser which you possess. The situation
     which you have created is intolerable. If you determine to
     fight us, if you insist upon war, war you shall have; but the
     time shall be of our choosing and not of yours, and that time
     shall be now." And that is where the present policy, the sheer
     bulldog piling up of armaments without reference to or effort
     towards a better political doctrine in Europe, inevitably



    Men are little disposed to listen to reason, "therefore we
    should not talk reason"--Are men's ideas immutable?

We have seen, therefore--

     1. That the need for defence arises from the existence of a
     motive for attack.

     2. That that motive is, consequently, part of the problem of

     3. That, since as between the advanced peoples we are dealing
     with in this matter, one party is as able in the long run to
     pile up armaments as the other, we cannot get nearer to
     solution by armaments alone; we must get at the original
     provoking cause--the motive making for aggression.

     4. That if that motive results from a true judgment of the
     facts; if the determining factor in a nation's well-being and
     progress is really its power to obtain by force advantage over
     others, the present situation of armament rivalry tempered by
     war is a natural and inevitable one.

     5. That if, however, the view is a false one, our progress
     towards solution will be marked by the extent to which the
     error becomes generally recognized in international public

That brings me to the last entrenchment of those who actively or
passively oppose propaganda looking towards reform in this matter.

As already pointed out, the last year or two has revealed a suggestive
shifting of position on the part of such opposition. The original
position of the defenders of the old political creeds was that the
economic thesis here outlined was just simply wrong; then, that the
principles themselves were sound enough, but that they were irrelevant,
because not interests, but ideals, constituted the cause of conflict
between nations. In reply to which, of course, came the query, What
ideals, apart from questions of interest, lie at the bottom of the
conflict which is the most typical of our time--what ideal motive is
Germany, for instance, pursuing in its presumed aggression upon England?
Consequently that position has generally been abandoned. Then we were
told that men don't act by logic, but passion. Then the critics were
asked how they explained the general character of _la haute politique_,
its cold intrigues and expediency, the extraordinary rapid changes in
alliances and _ententes_, all following exactly a line of passionless
interest reasoned, though from false premises, with very great logic
indeed; and were asked whether all experience does not show that, while
passion may determine the energy with which a given line of conduct is
pursued, the direction of that line of conduct is determined by
processes of another kind: John, seeing James, his life-long and
long-sought enemy, in the distance, has his hatred passionately stirred,
and harbors thoughts of murder. As he comes near he sees that it is not
James at all, but a quiet and inoffensive neighbor, Peter. John's
thoughts of murder are appeased, not because he has changed his nature,
but because the recognition of a simple fact has changed the direction
of his passion. What we in this matter hope to do is to show that the
nations are mistaking Peter for James.

Well, the last entrenchment of those who oppose the work is the dogmatic
assertion that though we are right as to the material fact, its
demonstration can never be made; that this political reformation of
Europe the political rationalists talk about is a hopeless matter; it
implies a change of opinion so vast that it can only be looked for as
the result of whole generations of educative processes.

Suppose this were true. What then? Will you leave everything severely
alone, and leave wrong and dangerous ideas in undisturbed possession of
the political field?

This conclusion is not a policy; it is Oriental fatalism--"Kismet," "the
will of Allah."

Such an attitude is not possible among men dominated by the traditions
and the impulses of the Western world. We do not let things slide in
this way; we do not assume that as men are not guided by reason in
politics, therefore we shall not reason about politics. The time of
statesmen is absorbed in the discussion of these things. Our press and
literature are deeply concerned in them. The talk and thought of men are
about them. However little they may deem reason to affect the conduct of
men, they go on reasoning. And progress in conduct is determined by the
degree of understanding which results.

It is true that physical conflict marks the point at which the reason
has failed; men fight when they have not been able to "come to an
understanding" in the common phrase, which is for once correct. But is
this a cause for deprecating the importance of clear understanding? Is
it not, on the contrary, precisely why our energies should be devoted to
improving our capacity for dealing with these things by reason, rather
than by physical force?

Do we not inevitably arrive at the destination to which every road in
this discussion leads? However we may start, with whatever plan, however
elaborated or varied, the end is always the same--the progress of man in
this matter depends upon the degree to which his ideas are just; man
advances by the victories of his mind and character. Again we have
arrived at the region of platitude. But also again it is one of those
platitudes which most people deny. Thus the London _Spectator_:

     For ourselves, as far as the main economic proposition goes, he
     preaches to the converted.... If nations were perfectly wise
     and held perfectly sound economic theories, they would
     recognize that exchange is the union of forces, and that it is
     very foolish to hate or be jealous of your co-operators.... Men
     are savage, bloodthirsty creatures ... and when their blood is
     up will fight for a word or a sign, or, as Mr. Angell would put
     it, for an illusion.

Criticism at the other end of the journalistic scale--that, for
instance, from Mr. Blatchford--is of an exactly similar character. Mr.
Blatchford says:

     Mr. Angell may be right in his contention that modern war is
     unprofitable to both belligerents. I do not believe it, but he
     may be right. But he is wrong if he imagines that his theory
     will prevent European war. To prevent European wars it needs
     more than the truth of his theory: it needs that the war lords
     and diplomatists and financiers and workers of Europe shall
     believe the theory.... So long as the rulers of nations believe
     that war may be expedient (see Clausewitz), and so long as they
     believe they have the power, war will continue.... It will
     continue until these men are fully convinced that it will bring
     no advantage.

Therefore, argues Mr. Blatchford, the demonstration that war will not
bring advantage is futile.

I am not here, for the purpose of controversy, putting an imaginary
conclusion into Mr. Blatchford's mouth. It is the conclusion that he
actually does draw. The article from which I have quoted was intended to
demonstrate the futility of books like this. It was by way of reply to
an early edition of this one. In common with the other critics, he must
have known that this is not a plea for the impossibility of war (I have
always urged with emphasis that our ignorance on this matter makes war
not only possible, but extremely likely), but for its futility. And the
demonstration of its futility is, I am now told, in itself futile!

I have expanded the arguments of this and others of my critics thus:

    The war lords and diplomats are still wedded to the old
        false theories; _therefore_ we shall leave those
        theories undisturbed, and generally deprecate discussion
        of them.

    Nations do not realize the facts; _therefore_ we should
        attach no importance to the work of making them known.

    These facts profoundly affect the well-being of European
        peoples; _therefore_ we shall not systematically
        encourage the efficient study of them.

    If they were generally known, the practical outcome would be
        that most of our difficulties herein would disappear;
        _therefore_ anyone who attempts to make them known is an
        amiable sentimentalist, a theorist, and so on, and so on.

    "Things do not matter so much as people's opinions about
        things"[119]; _therefore_ no effort shall be directed to
        a modification of opinion.

    The only way for these truths to affect policy, to become
        operative in the conduct of nations, is to make them
        operative in the minds of men; _therefore_ discussion of
        them is futile.

    Our troubles arise from the wrong ideas of nations;
        _therefore_ ideas do not count--they are "theories."

    General conception and insight in this matter is vague and
        ill-defined, so that action is always in danger of being
        decided by sheer passion and irrationalism; _therefore_
        we shall do nothing to render insight clear and

    The empire of sheer impulse, of the non-rational, is
        strongest when associated with ignorance (_e.g._,
        Mohammedan fanaticism, Chinese Boxerism), and only yields
        to the general progress of ideas (_e.g._, sounder
        religious notions sweeping away the hate and horrors of
        religious persecution); _therefore_ the best way to
        maintain peace is to pay no attention to the progress of
        political ideas.

    The progress of ideas has completely transformed religious
        feeling in so far as it settles the policy of one
        religious group in relation to another; _therefore_ the
        progress of ideas will never transform patriotic feeling,
        which settles the policy of one political group in
        relation to another.

What, in short, does the argument of my critics amount to? This: that so
slow, so stupid is the world that, though the facts may be
unassailable, they will never be learned within any period that need
concern us.

Without in the least desiring to score off my critics, and still less to
be discourteous, I sometimes wonder it has never struck them that in the
eyes of the profane this attitude of theirs must appear really as a most
colossal vanity. "We" who write in newspapers and reviews understand
these things; "we" can be guided by reason and wisdom, but the common
clay will not see these truths for "thousands of years." I talk to the
converted (so I am told) when my book is read by the editors and
reviewers. _They_, of course, can understand; but the notion that mere
diplomats and statesmen, the men who make up Governments and nations,
should ever do so is, of course, quite too preposterous.

Personally, however flattering this notion might be, I have never been
able to feel its soundness. I have always strongly felt the precise
opposite--namely, that what is plain to me will very soon be equally
plain to my neighbor. Possessing, presumably, as much vanity as most, I
am, nevertheless, absolutely convinced that simple facts which stare an
ordinary busy man of affairs in the face are not going to be for ever
hid from the multitude. Depend upon it, if "we" can see these things, so
can the mere statesmen and diplomats and those who do the work of the

Moreover, if what "we" write in reviews and books does not touch men's
reasons, does not affect their conduct, why do we write at all?

We do _not_ believe it impossible to change or form men's ideas; such a
plea would doom us all to silence, and would kill religious and
political literature. "Public Opinion" is not external to men; it is
made by men; by what they hear and read and have suggested to them by
their daily tasks, and talk and contact.

If it _were_ true, therefore, that the difficulties in the way of
modifying political opinion were as vast as my critics would have us
believe, that would not affect our conduct; the more they emphasize
those difficulties, the more they emphasize the need for effort on our

But it is not true that a change such as that involved here necessarily
"takes thousands of years." I have already dealt with the plea, but
would recall only one incident that I have cited: a scene painted by a
Spanish artist of the Court and nobles and populace in a great European
city, gathered on a public holiday as for a festival to see a beautiful
child burned to death for a faith that, as it plaintively said, it had
sucked in with its mother's milk.

How long separates us from that scene? Why, not the lives of three
ordinarily elderly people. And how long after that scene--which was not
an isolated incident of uncommon kind, but a very everyday matter,
typical of the ideas and feelings of the time at which it was
enacted--was it before the renewal of such became a practical
impossibility? It was not a hundred years. It was enacted in 1680, and
within the space of a short lifetime the world knew that never again
would a child be burned alive as the result of a legal condemnation by a
duly constituted Court, and as a public festival, witnessed by the King
and the nobles and the populace, in one of the great cities of Europe.

Or, do those who talk of "unchanging human nature" and "thousands of
years" really plead that we are in danger of a repetition of such a
scene? In that case our religious toleration is a mistake. Protestants
stand in danger of such tortures, and should arm themselves with the old
armory of religious combat--the rack, the thumbscrew, the iron maiden,
and the rest--as a matter of sheer protection.

"Men are savage, bloodthirsty creatures, and will fight for a word or a
sign," the _Spectator_ tells us, when their patriotism is involved.
Well, until yesterday, it was as true to say that of them when their
religion was involved. Patriotism is the religion of politics. And as
one of the greatest historians of religious ideas has pointed out,
religion and patriotism are the chief moral influences moving great
bodies of men, and "the separate modifications and mutual interaction of
these two agents may almost be said to constitute the moral history of

But is it likely that a general progress which has transformed religion
is going to leave patriotism unaffected; that the rationalization and
humanization which have taken place in the more complex domain of
religious doctrine and belief will not also take place in the domain of
politics? The problem of religious toleration was beset with
difficulties incalculably greater than any which confront us in this
problem. Then, as now, the old order was defended with real
disinterestedness; then it was called religious fervor; now it is called
patriotism. The best of the old inquisitors were as disinterested, as
sincere, as single-minded, as are doubtless the best of the Prussian
Junkers, the French Nationalists, the English militarists. Then, as now,
the progress towards peace and security seemed to them a dangerous
degeneration, the break-up of faiths, the undermining of most that holds
society together. Then, as now, the old order pinned its faith to the
tangible and visible instruments of protection--I mean the instruments
of physical force. And the Catholic, in protecting himself by the
Inquisition against what he regarded as the dangerous intrigues of the
Protestant, was protecting what he regarded not merely as his own social
and political security, but the eternal salvation, he believed, of
unborn millions of men. Yet he surrendered such instruments of defence,
and finally Catholic and Protestant alike came to see that the peace and
security of both were far better assured by this intangible thing--the
right thinking of men--than by all the mechanical ingenuity of prisons
and tortures and burnings which it was possible to devise. In like
manner will the patriot come finally to see that better than
_Dreadnoughts_ will be the recognition on his part and on the part of
his prospective enemy, that there is no interest, material or moral, in
conquest and military domination.

And that hundred years which I have mentioned as representing an
apparently impassable gulf in the progress of European ideas, a period
which marked an evolution so great that the very mind and nature of men
seemed to change, was a hundred years without newspapers--a time in
which books were such a rarity that it took a generation for one to
travel from Madrid to London; in which the steam printing-press did not
exist, nor the railroad, nor the telegraph, nor any of those thousand
contrivances which now make it possible for the words of an American
statesman spoken to-day to be read by the millions of Europe to-morrow
morning--to do, in short, more in the way of the dissemination of ideas
in ten months than was possible then in a century.

When things moved so slowly, a generation or two sufficed to transform
the mind of Europe on the religious side. Why should it be impossible to
change that mind on the political side in a generation, or half a
generation, when things move so much more quickly? Are men less disposed
to change their political than their religious opinions? We all know
that _not_ to be the case. In every country in Europe we find political
parties advocating, or at least acquiescing in, policies which they
strenuously opposed ten years ago. Does the evidence available go to
show that the particular side of politics with which we are dealing is
notably more impervious to change and development than the rest--less
within the reach and influence of new ideas?

I must risk here the reproach of egotism and bad taste to call attention
to a fact which bears more directly on that point, perhaps, than any
other that could be cited.

It is some fifteen years since it first struck me that certain economic
facts of our civilization--facts of such visible and mechanical nature
as reacting bourses and bank rate-movements, in all the economic
capitals of the world, and so on--would soon force upon the attention of
men a principle which, though existing for long past in some degree in
human affairs, had not become operative to any extent. Was there any
doubt as to the reality of the material facts involved? Circumstances of
my occupation happily furnished opportunities of discussing the matter
thoroughly with bankers and statesmen of world-wide authority. There was
no doubt on that score. Had we yet arrived at the point at which it was
possible to make the matter plain to general opinion? Were politicians
too ill-educated on the real facts of the world, too much absorbed in
the rough-and-tumble of workaday politics to change old ideas? Were
they, and the rank and file, still too enslaved by the hypnotism of an
obsolete terminology to accept a new view? One could only put it to a
practical test. A brief exposition of the cardinal principles was
embodied in a brief pamphlet and published obscurely without
advertisement, and bearing, necessarily, an unknown name. The result
was, under the circumstances, startling, and certainly did not justify
in the least the plea that there exists universal hostility to the
advance of political rationalism. Encouragement came from most
unlooked-for quarters: public men whose interests have been mainly
military, alleged Jingoes, and even from soldiers. The more considerable
edition has appeared in English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish,
Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Erdu, Persian, and Hindustani, and
nowhere has the Press completely ignored the book. Papers of Liberal
tendencies have welcomed it everywhere. Those of more reactionary
tendencies have been much less hostile than one could have

Does such an experience justify that universal rebelliousness to
political rationalism on which my critics for the most part found their
case? My object in calling attention to it is evident. If this is
possible as the result of the effort of a single obscure person working
without means and without leisure, what could not be accomplished by an
organization adequately equipped and financed? Mr. Augustine Birrell
says somewhere: "Some opinions, bold and erect as they may still stand,
are in reality but empty shells. One shove would be fatal. Why is it not

If little apparently has been done in the modification of ideas in this
matter, it is because little relatively has been attempted. Millions of
us are prepared to throw ourselves with energy into that part of
national defence which, after all, is a makeshift, into agitation for
the building of _Dreadnoughts_ and the raising of armies, the things in
fact which can be seen, where barely dozens will throw themselves with
equal ardor into that other department of national defence, the only
department which will really guarantee security, but by means which are
invisible--the rationalization of ideas.



    Relative failure of Hague Conferences and the cause--Public opinion
    the necessary motive force of national action--That opinion only
    stable if informed--"Friendship" between nations and its
    limitations--America's rôle in the coming "Political Reformation."

Much of the pessimism as to the possibility of any progress in this
matter is based on the failure of such efforts as Hague Conferences.
Never has the contest of armament been so keen as when Europe began to
indulge in Peace Conferences. Speaking roughly and generally, the era of
great armament expansion dates from the first Hague Conference.

Well, the reader who has appreciated the emphasis laid in the preceding
pages on working through the reform of ideas will not feel much
astonishment at the failure of efforts such as these. The Hague
Conferences represented an attempt not to work through the reform of
ideas, but to modify by mechanical means the political machinery of
Europe, without reference to the ideas which had brought it into

Arbitration treaties, Hague Conferences, International Federation
involve a new conception of relationship between nations. But the
ideals--political, economical, and social--on which the old conceptions
are based, our terminology, our political literature, our old habits of
thought, diplomatic inertia, which all combine to perpetuate the old
notions, have been left serenely undisturbed. And surprise is expressed
that such schemes do not succeed.

French politics have given us this proverb, "I am the leader, therefore
I follow." This is not mere cynicism, but expresses in reality a
profound truth. What is a leader or a ruler in a modern parliamentary
sense? He is a man who holds office by virtue of the fact that he
represents the mean of opinion in his party. Initiative, therefore,
cannot come from him until he can be sure of the support of his
party--that is, until the initiative in question represents the common
opinion of his party. The author happened to discuss the views embodied
in this book with a French parliamentary chief, who said in effect: "Of
course you are talking to the converted, but I am helpless. Suppose that
I attempted to embody these views before they were ready for acceptance
by my party. I should simply lose my leadership in favor of a man less
open to new ideas, and the prospect of their acceptance would not be
increased, but diminished. Even if I were not already converted, it
would be no good trying to convert me. Convert the body of the party and
its leaders will not need conversion."

And this is the position of every civilized government, parliamentary or
not. The struggle for religious freedom was not gained by agreements
drawn up between Catholic States and Protestant States, or even between
Catholic bodies and Protestant bodies. No such process was possible, for
in the last resort there was no such thing as an absolutely Catholic
State or an absolutely Protestant one. Our security from persecution is
due simply to the general recognition of the futility of the employment
of physical force in a matter of religious belief. Our progress towards
political rationalism will take place in like manner.

There is no royal road of this kind to a better state. It seems decreed
that we shall not permanently achieve improvement which we as
individuals have not paid for in the coin of hard thinking.

Nothing is easier to achieve in international politics than academic
declarations in favor of Peace. But governments being trustees have a
first duty in the interests of their wards, or what they conceive to be
such interests, and they disregard what is still looked upon as a
conception having its origin in altruistic and self-sacrificing motives.
"Self-sacrifice" is the last motive governments can allow themselves to
consider. They are created to protect, not to sacrifice, the interests
of which they are placed in charge.

It is impossible for governments to base their normal policies on
conceptions which are in advance of the general standard of the
political opinion of the people from whom they derive their power. The
average man will, it is true, quite readily subscribe abstractly to a
peace ideal, just as he will subscribe abstractly to certain religious
ideals--to take no thought for the morrow, not to save up treasure upon
earth--without the faintest notion of making them a guide of conduct,
or, indeed, of seeing how they _can_ be a guide of conduct. At peace
meetings he will cheer lustily and sign petitions, because he believes
Peace to be a great moral idea, and that armies, like the Police, are
destined to disappear one day--on about the same day in his belief--when
the nature of man shall have been altered.

One may be able fully to appreciate this attitude of the "average
sensual man" without doubting the least in the world the sincerity,
genuineness, wholeheartedness of these emotional movements in favor of
peace, which from time to time sweep over a country (as on the occasion
of the Taft-Grey exchange of views on arbitration). But what it is
necessary to emphasize, what cannot be too often reiterated, is that
these movements, however emotional and sincere, are not movements which
can lead to breaking up the intellectual basis of the policy which
produces armaments in the Western World. These movements embrace only
one section of the factors making for peace--the moral and the
emotional. And while those factors have immense power, they are
uncertain and erratic in their operation, and when the shouting dies and
there is a natural reaction from emotion, and it is a question once more
of doing the humdrum week-day work of the world, of pushing our
interests, of finding markets, of achieving the best possible generally
for our nation as against other nations, of preparing for the future, of
organizing one's efforts, the old code of compromise between the ideal
and the necessary will be as operative as ever. So long as his notions
of what war can accomplish in an economic or commercial sense remain
what they are, the average man will not deem that his prospective enemy
is likely to make the peace ideal a guide of conduct. Incidentally he
would be right. At the bottom of his mind--and I say this not lightly
and as a guess, but as an absolute conviction after very close
observation--the ideal of peace is conceived as a demand that he weaken
his own defences on no better assurance than that his prospective rival
or enemy will be well-behaved and not wicked enough to attack him.

It appeals to him as about equivalent to asking that he shall not lock
his doors because to suppose people will rob him is to have a low view
of human nature!

Though he believes his own position in the world (as a colonial Power,
etc.) to be the result of the use of force by himself, of his readiness
to seize what could be seized, he is asked to believe that foreigners
will not do in the future what he himself has done in the past. He finds
this difficult to swallow.

Save in his Sunday moods, the whole thing makes him angry. It appeals to
him as "unfair," in that he is asked by his own countrymen to do
something that they apparently do not ask of foreigners; it appears to
him as unmanly, in that he is asked to surrender the advantage which his
strength has secured him in favor of a somewhat emasculate ideal.

The patriot feels that his moral intention is every bit as sincere as
that of the pacifist--that, indeed, patriotism is a finer moral ideal
than pacifism. The difference between the pacifist and the advocate of
_real-politik_ is an intellectual and not a moral one at all, and the
assumption of superior morality which the former sometimes makes does
the cause which he has at heart infinite harm. Until the pacifist can
show that the employment of military force fails to secure material
advantage, the common man will, in ordinary times, continue to believe
that the militarist has a moral sanction as great as that underlying

It may seem gratuitously ungracious to suggest that the very elevation
which has marked peace propaganda in the past should have been the very
thing that has sometimes stood in the way of its success. But such a
phenomenon is not new in human development. There was as much good
intention in the world of religious warfare and oppression as there is
in ours. Indeed, the very earnestness of the men who burnt, tortured,
and imprisoned and stamped out human thought with the very best motives,
was precisely the factor which stood in the way of improvement.

Improvement came finally, not from better intention, but from an acuter
use of the intelligence of men, from hard mental work.

So long as we assume that high motive, a better moral tone is all that
is needed in international relations, and that an understanding of these
problems will in some wonderful way come of itself, without hard and
systematic intellectual effort, we shall make little headway.

Good feeling and kindliness and a ready emotion are among the most
precious things in life, but they are qualities possessed by some of the
most retrograde nations in the world, because in them they are not
coupled with the homely quality of hard work, in which one may include
hard thinking. This last is the real price of progress, and we shall
make none of worth unless we pay it.

A word or two as to the rôle of "friendship" in international relations.
Courtesy and a certain measure of good faith are essential elements
wherever civilized men come in direct contact; without them organized
society would go to pieces. But these invaluable elements never yet of
themselves settled real differences; they merely render the other
factors of adjustment possible. Why should one expect courtesy and
good-fellowship to settle grave political differences between English
and Germans when they altogether fail to settle such differences between
English and English? What should we say of a statesman professing to be
serious who suggested that all would be well between President Wilson
and the lobbyists concerning the tariff, between the Democrats and
Republicans on protection, between the millionaire and the day laborer
on the question of the income tax, and a thousand and one other
things--that all these knotty problems would disappear, if only the
respective protagonists could be persuaded to take lunch together? Is it
not a little childish?

Yet I am bound to admit that a whole school of persons who deal with
international problems would have us believe that all international
differences would disappear if only we could have enough junketings,
dinner-parties, exchange visits of clergymen, and what not. These things
have immense use in so far as they facilitate discussion and the
elucidation of the policy in which the rivalry has its birth, and to
that extent only. But if they are not vehicles of intellectual
comprehension, if the parties go away with as little understanding of
the factors and nature of international relationship as they had before
such meetings took place, they have served no purpose whatsoever.

The work of the world does not get done merely by being good friends
with everybody; the problems of international diplomacy are not to be
solved merely by a sort of international picnic; that would make the
world too easy a place to live in.

However ungracious it may seem, it is nevertheless dangerous to allow to
go unchallenged the notion that the cultivation of "friendship and
affection" between nations, irrespective of the other factors affecting
their relationship, can ever seriously modify international politics.
The matter is of grave importance, because so much good effort is spent
in putting the cart before the horse, and attempting to create an
operative factor out of a sentiment that can never be constant and
positive one way or the other, since it must in the nature of things be
largely artificial. It is a psychological impossibility in any ordinary
workaday circumstances to have any special feeling of affection for a
hundred or sixty or forty millions of people, composed of infinitely
diverse elements, good, bad, and indifferent, noble and mean, pleasing
and unpleasing, whom, moreover, we have never seen and never shall see.
It is too large an order. We might as well be asked to entertain
feelings of affection for the Tropic of Capricorn. As I have already
hinted, we have no particular affection for the great mass of our own
countrymen--your lobbyist enthusiast for Mr. Wilson, your railroad
striker for the employer of labor, your Suffragette for your
anti-Suffragette, and so on _ad infinitum_. Patriotism has nothing to do
with it. The patriot is often the person who had the heartiest
detestation for a large mass of his fellow-countrymen. Consider any
anti-administration literature. As an English instance a glance at Mr.
Leo Maxse's monthly masterpieces of epithet-making, or at what the
pan-Germans have to say of their own Empire and Government ("poltroons
in the pay of the English" is a choice tit-bit I select from one German
newspaper), will soon convince one.

Why, therefore, should we be asked to entertain for foreigners a
sentiment we do not give to our own people? And not only to entertain
that sentiment, but to make (always in the terms of the present
political beliefs) great sacrifices on behalf of it!

Need it be said that I have not the least desire to deprecate sincere
emotion as a factor in progress? Emotion and enthusiasm form the divine
stimulus without which no great things would be achieved; but emotion
divorced from mental and moral discipline is not the kind on which wise
men will place a very high value. Some of the intensest emotion of the
world has been given to some of the worst possible objects. Just as in
the physical world, the same forces--steam, gunpowder, what you
will--which, controlled and directed may do an infinitely useful
work--may, uncontrolled, cause accidents and catastrophes of the gravest

Nor is it true that the better understanding of this matter is beyond
the great mass of men, that sounder ideas depend upon the comprehension
of complex and abstruse points, correct judgment in intricate matters of
finance or economics. Things which seem in one stage of thought obscure
and difficult are cleared up merely by setting one or two crooked facts
straight. The rationalists, who a generation or two ago struggled with
such things as the prevalent belief in witchcraft, may have deemed that
the abolition of superstitions of this kind would take "thousands of

Lecky has pointed out that during the eighteenth century many judges in
Europe--not ignorant men, but, on the contrary, exceedingly
well-educated men, trained to sift evidence--were condemning people to
death by hundreds for witchcraft. Acute and educated men still believed
in it; its disproof demanded a large acquaintance with the forces and
processes of physical nature, and it was generally thought that, while a
few exceptional intelligences here and there would shake off these
beliefs, they would remain indefinitely the possessions of the great
mass of mankind.

What has happened? A schoolboy to-day would scout the evidence which, on
the judgment of very learned men, sent thousands of poor wretches to
their doom in the eighteenth century. Would the schoolboy necessarily be
more learned or more acute than those judges? They probably knew a great
deal about the science of witchcraft, were more familiar with its
literature, with the arguments which supported it, and they would have
hopelessly worsted any nineteenth-century schoolboy in any argument on
the subject. The point is, however, that the schoolboy would have two or
three essential facts straight, instead of getting them crooked.

All the fine theories about the advantages of conquest, of territorial
aggrandizement, so learnedly advanced by the Mahans and the von
Stengels; the immense value which the present-day politician attaches to
foreign conquest, all these absurd rivalries aiming at "stealing" one
another's territory, will be recognized as the preposterous illusions
that they are by the younger mind, which really sees the quite plain
fact that the citizen of a small State is just as well off as the
citizen of a great. From that fact, which is not complex or difficult
in the least, will emerge the truth that modern government is a matter
of administration, and that it can no more profit a community to annex
other communities, than it could profit London to annex Manchester.
These things will not need argument to be clear to the schoolboy of the
future--they will be self-evident, like the improbability of an old
woman causing a storm at sea.

Of course, it is true that many of the factors bearing on this
improvement will be indirect. As our education becomes more rational in
other fields, it will make for understanding in this; as the visible
factors of our civilization make plain--as they are making plainer every
day--the unity and interdependence of the modern world, the attempt to
separate those interdependent activities by irrelevant divisions must
more and more break down. All improvement in human co-operation--and
human co-operation is a synonym for civilization--must help the work of
those laboring in the field of international relationship. But again I
would reiterate that the work of the world does not get itself done. It
is done by men; ideas do not improve themselves, they are improved by
the thought of men; and it is the efficiency of the conscious effort
which will mainly determine progress.

When all nations realize that if England can no longer exert force
towards her Colonies, others certainly could not; that if a great modern
Empire cannot usefully employ force as against communities that it
"owns," still less can we employ it usefully against communities that
we do not "own"; when the world as a whole has learned the real lesson
of British Imperial development, not only will that Empire have achieved
greater security than it can achieve by battleships, but it will have
played a part in human affairs incomparably greater and more useful than
could be played by any military "leadership of the human race," that
futile duplication of the Napoleonic rôle, which Imperialists of a
certain school seem to dream for us.

It is to Anglo-Saxon practice, and to Anglo-Saxon experience, that the
world will look as a guide in this matter. The extension of the
dominating principle of the British Empire to European society as a
whole is the solution of the international problem which this book
urges. That extension cannot be made by military means. The English
conquest of great military nations is a physical impossibility, and it
would involve the collapse of the principle upon which the Empire is
based if it were. The day for progress by force has passed; it will be
progress by ideas or not at all.

Because these principles of free human co-operation between communities
are, in a special sense, an Anglo-Saxon development, it is upon us that
there falls the responsibility of giving a lead. If it does not come
from us, who have developed these principles as between all the
communities which have sprung from the Anglo-Saxon race, can we ask to
have it given elsewhere? If we have not faith in our own principles, to
whom shall we look?

English thought gave us the science of political economy; Anglo-Saxon
thought and practice must give us another science, that of International
Polity--the science of the political relationship of human groups. We
have the beginnings of it, but it sadly needs systemization--recognition
by those intellectually equipped to develop it and enlarge it.

The developments of such a work would be in keeping with the
contributions which the practical genius and the positive spirit of the
Anglo-Saxon race have already made to human progress.

I believe that, if the matter were put efficiently before them with the
force of that sane, practical, disinterested labor and organization
which have been so serviceable in the past in other forms of
propaganda--not only would they prove particularly responsive to the
labor, but Anglo-Saxon tradition would once more be associated with the
leadership in one of those great moral and intellectual movements which
would be so fitting a sequel to our leadership in such things as human
freedom and parliamentary government. Failing such effort and such
response, what are we to look for? Are we, in blind obedience to
primitive instinct and old prejudices, enslaved by the old catchwords
and that curious indolence which makes the revision of old ideas
unpleasant, to duplicate indefinitely on the political and economic side
a condition from which we have liberated ourselves on the religious
side? Are we to continue to struggle, as so many good men struggled in
the first dozen centuries of Christendom--spilling oceans of blood,
wasting mountains of treasure--to achieve what is at bottom a logical
absurdity; to accomplish something which, when accomplished, can avail
us nothing, and which, if it could avail us anything, would condemn the
nations of the world to never-ending bloodshed and the constant defeat
of all those aims which men, in their sober hours, know to be alone
worthy of sustained endeavor?





At the outbreak of the Balkan War "The Great Illusion" was subjected to
much criticism, on the ground that the war tended to disprove its
theses. The following quotations, one from Mr. Churchill, the First Lord
of the Admiralty, and the other from the English _Review of Reviews_,
are typical of many others.

Mr. Churchill said, in a speech at Sheffield:

     Whether we blame the belligerents or criticise the powers, or
     sit in sackcloth and ashes ourselves is absolutely of no
     consequence at the present moment....

     We have sometimes been assured by persons who profess to know
     that the danger of war has become an illusion.... Well, here is
     a war which has broken out in spite of all that rulers and
     diplomatists could do to prevent it, a war in which the Press
     has had no part, a war which the whole force of the money power
     has been subtly and steadfastly directed to prevent, which has
     come upon us, not through the ignorance or credulity of the
     people, but, on the contrary, through their knowledge of their
     history and their destiny, and through their intense
     realization of their wrongs and of their duties, as they
     conceived them, a war which from all these causes has burst
     upon us with all the force of a spontaneous explosion, and
     which in strife and destruction has carried all before it. Face
     to face with this manifestation, who is the man bold enough to
     say that force is never a remedy? Who is the man who is foolish
     enough to say that martial virtues do not play a vital part in
     the health and honor of every people? (Cheers.) Who is the man
     who is vain enough to suppose that the long antagonisms of
     history and of time can in all circumstances be adjusted by
     the smooth and superficial conventions of politicians and

The London _Review of Reviews_ said in an article on "The Débâcle of
Norman Angell":

     Mr. Norman Angell's theory was one to enable the citizens of
     this country to sleep quietly, and to lull into false security
     the citizens of all great countries. That is undoubtedly the
     reason why he met with so much success.... It was a very
     comfortable theory for those nations which have grown rich and
     whose ideals and initiative have been sapped by overmuch
     prosperity. But the great delusion of Norman Angell, which led
     to the writing of "The Great Illusion," has been dispelled for
     ever by the Balkan League. In this connection it is of value to
     quote the words of Mr. Winston Churchill, which give very
     adequately the reality as opposed to theory.

In reply to these and similar criticisms I wrote several articles in the
London Press, from which the following few pages are selected.

What has Pacifism, Old or New, to say now?

Is War impossible?

Is it unlikely?

Is it futile?

Is not force a remedy, and at times the only remedy?

Could any remedy have been devised on the whole as conclusive and
complete as that used by the Balkan peoples?

Have not the Balkan peoples redeemed War from the charges too readily
brought against it as simply an instrument of barbarism?

Have questions of profit and loss, economic considerations, anything
whatever to do with this war?

Would the demonstration of its economic futility have kept the peace?

Are theories and logic of the slightest use, since force alone can
determine the issue?

Is not war therefore inevitable and must we not prepare diligently for

I will answer all these quite simply and directly without casuistry or
logic-chopping and honestly desiring to avoid paradox and "cleverness."
Nor will these quite simple answers be in contradiction to anything that
I have written, nor will they invalidate any of the principles I have
attempted to explain.

My answers may be summarized thus:

     (1) This war has justified both the Old Pacifism and the New.
     By universal admission events have proved that the Pacifists
     who opposed the Crimean War were right and their opponents
     wrong. Had public opinion given more consideration to those
     Pacifist principles, this country would not have "backed the
     wrong horse" and this war, two wars which have preceded it and
     many of the abominations of which the Balkan peninsula has been
     the scene during the last 60 years might have been avoided. In
     any case Great Britain would not now carry upon her shoulders
     the responsibility of having during half a century supported
     the Turk against the Christian and of having tried uselessly to
     prevent what has now taken place--the break-up of the Turk's
     rule in Europe.

     (2) War is not impossible, and no responsible Pacifist ever
     said it was; it is not the likelihood of war which is the
     illusion, but its benefits.

     (3) It is likely or unlikely according as the parties to a
     dispute are guided by wisdom or folly.

     (4) It _is_ futile and force is no remedy.

     (5) Its futility is proven by the war waged daily by the Turks
     as conquerors, during the last 400 years. And if the Balkan
     peoples choose the less evil of two kinds of war and will use
     their victory to bring a system based on force and conquest to
     an end, we who do not believe in force and conquest will
     rejoice in their action and believe it will achieve immense
     benefits. But if instead of using their victory to eliminate
     force, they in their turn pin their faith to it, continue to
     use it the one against the other and to exploit by its means
     the populations they rule; if they become not the organizers of
     social co-operation among the Balkan populations, but merely,
     like the Turks, their conquerors and "owners," then they in
     their turn will share the fate of the Turks.

     (6) The fundamental causes of this war are economic in the
     narrower, as well as in the larger sense of the term; in the
     first because conquest was the Turk's only trade--he desired to
     live out of taxes wrung from a conquered people, to exploit
     them as a means of livelihood, and this conception was at the
     root of most of Turkish misgovernment. And in the larger sense
     its cause is economic because in the Balkans, remote
     geographically from the main drift of European economic
     development, there has not grown up that interdependent social
     life, the innumerable contacts which in the rest of Europe have
     done so much to attenuate primitive religious and racial

     (7) A better understanding by the Turk of the real nature of
     civilized government, of the economic futility of conquest, of
     the fact that a means of livelihood (an economic system) based
     upon having more force than someone else and using it
     ruthlessly against him is an impossible form of human
     relationship bound to break down, _would_ have kept the peace.

     (8) If European statecraft had not been animated by false
     conceptions, largely economic in origin, based upon a belief in
     the necessary rivalry of states, the advantages of preponderant
     force and conquest, the Western nations could have composed
     their quarrels and ended the abominations of the Balkan
     peninsula long ago--even in the opinion of the _Times_. And it
     is our own false statecraft--that of Great Britain--which has a
     large part of the responsibility for this failure of European
     civilization. It has caused us to sustain the Turk in Europe,
     to fight a great and popular war with that aim, and led us into
     treaties which, had they been kept, would have obliged us to
     fight to-day on the side of the Turk against the Balkan States.

     (9) If by "theories" and "logic" is meant the discussion of and
     interest in principles, the ideas that govern human
     relationship, they are the only things that can prevent future
     wars, just as they were the only things that brought religious
     wars to an end--a preponderant power "imposing" peace playing
     no rôle therein. Just as it was false religious theories which
     made the religious wars, so it is false political theories
     which make the political wars.

     (10) War is only inevitable in the sense that other forms of
     error and passion--religious persecution for instance--are
     inevitable; they cease with better understanding, as the
     attempt to impose religious belief by force has ceased in

     (11) We should not prepare for war; we should prepare to
     prevent war; and though that preparation may include
     battleships and conscription, those elements will quite
     obviously make the tension and danger greater unless there is
     also a better European opinion.

These summarized replies need a little expansion.

Had we thrashed out the question of war and peace as we must finally, it
would hardly be necessary to explain that the apparent paradox in Answer
No. 4 (that war is futile, and that this war will have immense benefits)
is due to the inadequacy of our language, which compels us to use the
same word for two opposed purposes, not to any real contradiction of

We called the condition of the Balkan peninsula "Peace" until the attack
was made on Turkey merely because the respective Ambassadors still
happened to be resident in the capitals to which they were accredited.

Let us see what "Peace" under Turkish rule really meant and who is the
real invader in this war. Here is a very friendly and impartial
witness--Sir Charles Elliot--who paints for us the character of the Turk
as an "administrator":

     The Turk in Europe has an overweening sense of his superiority,
     and remains a nation apart, mixing little with the conquered
     populations, whose customs and ideas he tolerates, but makes
     little effort to understand. The expression, indeed, "Turkey in
     Europe" means indeed no more than "England in Asia," if used as
     a designation for India.... The Turks have done little to
     assimilate the people whom they have conquered, and still less,
     been assimilated by them. In the larger part of the Turkish
     dominions, the Turks themselves are in a minority.... The Turks
     certainly resent the dismemberment of their Empire, but not in
     the sense in which the French resent the conquest of
     Alsace-Lorraine by Germany. They would never use the word
     "Turkey" or even its oriental equivalent, "The High Country" in
     ordinary conversation. They would never say that Syria and
     Greece are parts of Turkey which have been detached, but merely
     that they are tributaries which have become independent,
     provinces once occupied by Turks where there are no Turks now.
     As soon as a province passes under another Government, the
     Turks find it the most natural thing in the world to leave it
     and go somewhere else. In the same spirit the Turk talks quite
     pleasantly of leaving Constantinople some day, he will go over
     to Asia and found another capital. One can hardly imagine
     Englishmen speaking like that of London, but they might
     conceivably speak so of Calcutta.... The Turk is a conqueror
     and nothing else. The history of the Turk is a catalogue of
     battles. His contributions to art, literature, science, and
     religion, are practically nil. Their desire has not been to
     instruct, to improve, hardly even to govern, but simply to
     conquer.... The Turk makes nothing at all; he takes whatever he
     can get, as plunder or pillage. He lives in the houses which he
     finds, or which he orders to be built for him. In unfavorable
     circumstances he is a marauder. In favorable, a _Grand
     Seigneur_ who thinks it his right to enjoy with grace and
     dignity all that the world can hold, but who will not lower
     himself by engaging in art, literature, trade, or manufacture.
     Why should he, when there are other people to do these things
     for him. Indeed, it may be said that he takes from others even
     his religion, clothes, language, customs; there is hardly
     anything which is Turkish and not borrowed. The religion is
     Arabic; the language half Arabic and Persian; the literature
     almost entirely imitative; the art Persian or Byzantine; the
     costumes, in the Upper Classes and Army mostly European. There
     is nothing characteristic in manufacture or commerce, except an
     aversion to such pursuits. In fact, all occupations, except
     agriculture and military service are distasteful to the true
     Osmanli. He is not much of a merchant. He may keep a stall in a
     bazaar, but his operations are rarely undertaken on a scale
     which merits the name of commerce or finance. It is strange to
     observe how, when trade becomes active in any seaport, or upon
     the railway lines, the Osmanli retires and disappears, while
     Greeks, Armenians, and Levantines thrive in his place. Neither
     does he much affect law, medicine or the learned professions.
     Such callings are followed by Moslems but they are apt to be
     of non-Turkish race. But though he does none of these things
     ... the Turk is a soldier. The moment a sword or rifle is put
     into his hands, he instinctively knows how to use it with
     effect, and feels at home in the ranks or on a horse. The
     Turkish Army is not so much a profession or an institution
     necessitated by the fears and aims of the Government as the
     quite normal state of the Turkish nation.... Every Turk is a
     born soldier, and adopts other pursuits chiefly because times
     are bad. When there is a question of fighting, if only in a
     riot, the stolid peasant wakes up and shows surprising power of
     finding organization and expedients, and alas! a surprising
     ferocity. The ordinary Turk is an honest and good-humored soul,
     kind to children and animals, and very patient; but when the
     fighting spirit comes on him, he becomes like the terrible
     warriors of the Huns or Genghis Khan, and slays, burns, and
     ravages without mercy or discrimination.[122]

Such is the verdict of an instructed, travelled, and observant English
author and diplomatist, who lived among these people for many years and
who learned to like them, who studied them and their history. It does
not differ, of course, appreciably, from what practically every student
of the Turk has discovered: the Turk is the typical conqueror. His
nation has lived by the sword and to-day he is dying by the sword,
because the sword, the mere exercise of force by one man or group of men
upon another, conquest in other words, is an impossible form of human

In order to maintain this evil form of relationship--its evil and
futility constitute the whole basis of the principles I have attempted
to illustrate--he has not even observed the rough chivalry of the
brigand. The brigand, though he might knock men on the head, will
refrain from having his force take the form of butchering women and
disembowelling children. Not so the Turk. His attempt at Government will
take the form of the obscene torture of children, of a bestial ferocity
which is not a matter of dispute or exaggeration, but a thing to which
scores, hundreds, thousands even of credible European witnesses have
testified. "The finest gentleman, sir, that ever butchered a woman or
burned a village," is the phrase that _Punch_ most justly puts into the
mouth of the defender of our traditional Turcophil policy.

This condition is "Peace" and the act which would put a stop to it is
"War"! It is the inexactitude and inadequacy of our language which
create much of the confusion of thought in this matter; we have the same
term for action destined to achieve a given end and for counter-action
destined to prevent it.

Yet we manage in other than the international field, in civil matters,
to make the thing clear enough.

Once an American town was set on fire by incendiaries and was threatened
with destruction. In order to save at least a part of it the authorities
deliberately burned down a block of buildings in the pathway of the
fire. Would those incendiaries be entitled to say that the town
authorities were incendiaries also and "believed in setting fire to
towns"? Yet this is precisely the point of view of those who tax
Pacifists with approving war because they approve the measure aimed at
bringing it to an end.

Put it another way. You do not believe that force should determine the
transfer of property or conformity to a creed, and I say to you: "Hand
me your purse and conform to my creed or I kill you." You say: "Because
I do not believe that force should settle these matters, I shall try to
prevent it settling them; therefore if you attack I shall resist; if I
did not I should be allowing force to settle them." I attack; you resist
and disarm me and say: "My force having neutralized yours and, the
equilibrium being now established, I will hear any reasons you may have
to urge for my paying you money or any argument in favor of your creed.
Reason, understanding, adjustment shall settle it." You would be a
Pacifist. Or, if you deem that that word connotes non-resistance, though
to the immense bulk of Pacifists it does not, you would be an
Anti-bellicist, to use a dreadful word coined by M. Emile Faguet in the
discussion of this matter. If however you said: "Having disarmed you and
established the equilibrium, I shall now upset it in my favor by taking
your weapon and using it against you unless you hand me _your_ purse and
subscribe to _my_ creed. I do this because force alone can determine
issues and because it is a law of life that the strong should eat up the
weak," you would then be a Bellicist.

In the same way, when we prevent the brigand from carrying on his
trade--taking wealth by force--it is not because we believe in force as
a means of livelihood, but precisely because we do not. And if, in
preventing the brigand from knocking out brains, we are compelled to
knock out his brains, is it because we believe in knocking out people's
brains? Or would we urge that to do so is the way to carry on a trade or
to govern a nation or that it could be the basis of human relationship?

In every civilized country, the basis of the relationship on which the
community rests is this: no individual is allowed to settle his
differences with another by force. But does this mean that if one
threatens to take my purse, I am not allowed to use force to prevent it?
That if he threatens to kill me, I am not to defend myself, because "the
individual citizens are not allowed to settle their differences by
force"? It is _because_ of that, because the act of self-defence is an
attempt to prevent the settlement of a difference by force, that the law
justifies it.[123]

But the law would not justify me if, having disarmed my opponent, having
neutralized his force by my own and re-established the social
equilibrium, I immediately proceeded to upset it by asking him for his
purse on pain of murder. I should then be settling the matter by
force--I should then have ceased to be a Pacifist and have become a

For that is the difference between the two conceptions; the Bellicist
says: "Force alone can settle these matters; it is the final appeal,
therefore fight it out; let the best man win. When you have preponderant
strength, impose your view; force the other man to your will; not
because it is right, but because you are able to do so." It is the
"excellent policy" which Lord Roberts attributes to Germany and

We Anti-bellicists take an exactly contrary view. We say: "To fight it
out settles nothing, since it is not a question of who is stronger, but
of whose view is best and, as that is not always easy to establish, it
is of the utmost importance in the interest of all parties, in the long
run, to keep force out of it."

The former is the policy of the Turks. They have been obsessed with the
idea that, if only they had enough of physical force ruthlessly
exercised, they could solve the whole question of government, of
existence for that matter, without troubling about social adjustment,
understanding, equity, law, commerce; that "blood and iron" were all
that was needed. The success of that policy can now be judged.

Good or evil will come of the present war according as the Balkan States
are on the whole guided by the Bellicist or by the opposed principle.
If, having now momentarily eliminated force as between themselves, they
re-introduce it; if the strongest, presumably Bulgaria,[124] adopts Lord
Roberts's "excellent policy" of striking because she has the
preponderant force, enters upon a career of conquest of other members of
the Balkan League and of the populations of the conquered territories
and uses them for exploitation by military force--why then there will be
no settlement and this war will have accomplished nothing save futile
waste and slaughter. For they will have taken under a new flag, the
pathway of the Turk to savagery, degeneration, death.

If on the other hand they are guided more by the Pacifist principle, if
they believe that co-operation among States is better than conflict, if
they believe that the common interest of all in good Government is
greater than the special interest of anyone in conquest, that the
understanding of human relationships, the capacity for the organization
of society are the means by which men progress and not the imposition of
force by one man or group upon another, why, they will have taken the
pathway to better civilization. But then they will have disregarded Lord
Roberts's advice.

This distinction between the two systems, far from being a matter of
abstract theory of metaphysics or logic-chopping, is just the difference
which distinguishes the Anglo-Saxon from the Turk, which distinguishes
America from Turkey. The Turk has as much physical vigor as the
American, is as virile, manly, and military. The Turk has the same raw
materials of Nature, soil, and water. There is no difference in the
capacity for the exercise of physical force--or if there is, the
difference is in favor of the Turk. The real difference is a difference
of ideas, of mind, outlook on the part of the individuals composing the
respective societies; the Turk has one general conception of human
society and the code and principles upon which it is founded, mainly a
Militarist one; the American has another, mainly a Pacifist one. And
whether the European society as a whole is to drift towards the Turkish
ideal or towards the Anglo-Saxon ideal will depend upon whether it is
animated mainly by the Pacifist or mainly by the Bellicist doctrine; if
the former, it will stagger blindly like the Turk along the path to
barbarism; if the latter, it will take a better road.

In dealing with answer No. 4 I have shown how the ambiguity of
terms[125] used leads us so much astray in our notions of the real rôle
of force in human relationships. But there is a curious phenomenon of
thought which explains perhaps still more how misconceptions grow up on
this subject and that is the habit of thinking of a war which, of
course, must include two parties in terms solely of one party at a time.
Thus one critic[126] is quite sure that because the Balkan peoples
"recked nothing of financial disaster," economic considerations have had
nothing to do with their war--a conclusion which seems to be arrived at
by the process of judgment just indicated: to find the cause of
conditions produced by two parties you shall rigorously ignore one. For
there is a great deal of internal evidence for believing that the writer
of the article in question would admit very readily that the efforts of
the Turk to wring taxes out of the conquered peoples--not in return for
a civilized administration, but simply as the means of livelihood, of
turning conquest into a trade--had a very great deal to do in explaining
the Turk's presence there at all and the Christian's desire to get rid
of him; while the same article specifically states that the mutual
jealousies of the great Powers, based on a desire to "grab" (an economic
motive), had a great deal to do with preventing a peaceful settlement of
the difficulties. Yet "economics" have nothing to do with it!

I have attempted elsewhere to make these two points--that it is on the
one hand the false economics of the Turks and on the other hand the
false economics of the Powers of Europe, coloring the policy and
statecraft of both, which have played an enormous, in all human
probability, a determining rôle in the immediate cause of the war; and,
of course, a further and more remote cause of the whole difficulty is
the fact that the Balkan peoples, never having been subjected to the
discipline of that complex social life which arises from trade and
commerce have not, or at least not so completely, outgrown those
primitive racial and religious hostilities which at one time in Europe
as a whole provoked conflicts like that now raging in the Balkans. The
following article which appeared[127] at the outbreak of the war may
summarise some of the points with which we have been dealing:--

     "Polite and good-natured people think it rude to say 'Balkans'
     if a Pacifist be present. Yet I never understood why, and I
     understand now less than ever. It carries the implication that
     because war has broken out that fact disposes of all objection
     to it. The armies are at grips, therefore peace is a mistake.
     Passion reigns in the Balkans, therefore passion is preferable
     to reason.

     "I suppose cannibalism and infanticide, polygamy, judicial
     torture, religious persecution, witchcraft, during all the
     years we did these 'inevitable' things, were defended in the
     same way, and those who resented all criticism of them pointed
     in triumph to the cannibal feast, the dead child, the maimed
     witness, the slain heretic, or the burned witch. But the fact
     did not prove the wisdom of those habits, still less their
     inevitability; for we have them no more.

     "We are all agreed as to the fundamental cause of the Balkan
     trouble: the hate born of religious, racial, national, and
     linguistic differences; the attempt of an alien conqueror to
     live parasitically upon the conquered, and the desire of
     conqueror and conquered alike to satisfy in massacre and
     bloodshed the rancor of fanaticism and hatred.

     "Well, in these islands, not so very long ago, those things
     were causes of bloodshed; indeed, they were a common feature of
     European life. But if they are inevitable in human
     relationship, how comes it that Adana is no longer duplicated
     by St. Bartholomew; the Bulgarian bands by the vendetta of the
     Highlander and the Lowlander; the struggle of the Slav and
     Turk, Serb and Bulgar, by that of Scots and English, and
     English and Welsh? The fanaticism of the Moslem to-day is no
     more intense than that of Catholic and heretic in Rome, Madrid,
     Paris, and Geneva at a time which is only separated from us by
     the lives of three or four elderly men. The heretic or infidel
     was then in Europe also a thing unclean and horrifying,
     exciting in the mind of the orthodox a sincere and honest
     hatred and a (very largely satisfied) desire to kill. The
     Catholic of the 16th century was apt to tell you that he could
     not sit at table with a heretic because the latter carried with
     him a distinctive and overpoweringly repulsive odor. If you
     would measure the distance Europe has travelled, think what
     this means: all the nations of Christendom united in a war
     lasting 200 years for the capture of the Holy Sepulchre; and
     yet, when in our day their representatives, seated round a
     table, could have had it for the asking, they did not deem it
     worth the asking, so little of the ancient passion was there
     left. The very nature of man seemed to be transformed. For,
     wonderful though it be that orthodox should cease killing
     heretic, infinitely more wonderful still is it that he should
     cease wanting to kill him.

     "Just as most of us are certain that the underlying causes of
     this conflict are 'inevitable' and 'inherent in unchanging
     human nature,' so are we certain that so _un_-human a thing as
     economics can have no bearing on it.

     "Well, I will suggest that the transformation of the
     heretic-hating and heretic-killing European is due mainly to
     economic forces; that it is because the drift of those forces
     has to so great a degree left the Balkans, where until
     yesterday the people lived a life little different from that
     which they lived in the time of Abraham, unaffected that war is
     now raging; that economic factors of a more immediate kind form
     a large part of the provoking cause of that war; and that a
     better comprehension by great nations of Europe of certain
     economic facts of their international relationship is essential
     before much progress towards solution can be made.

     "But then by 'economics' of course I mean, not a merchant's
     profit or a money-lender's interest, but the method by which
     men earn their bread, which must also mean the kind of life
     they lead.

     "We generally think of the primitive life of man--that of the
     herdsman or the tent liver--as something idyllic. The picture
     is as far as possible from the truth. Those into whose lives
     economics do not enter, or enter very little--that is to say,
     those who, like the Congo cannibal, or the Red Indian, or the
     Bedouin, do not cultivate, or divide their labor, or trade, or
     save, or look to the future, have shed little of the primitive
     passions of other animals of prey, the tigers and the wolves,
     who have no economics at all, and have no need to check an
     impulse or a hate. But industry, even of the more primitive
     kind, means that men must divide their labor, which means that
     they must put some sort of reliance upon one another; the thing
     of prey becomes a partner, and the attitude towards it changes.
     And as this life becomes more complex, as the daily needs and
     desires push men to trade and barter, that means building up a
     social organization, rules and codes and courts to enforce
     them; as the interdependence widens and deepens it necessarily
     means the cessation of certain hostilities. If the neighboring
     tribe wants to trade with you it must not kill you; if you want
     the services of the heretic you must not kill him, you must
     keep your obligation towards him, and mutual good faith is
     death to long-sustained hatreds.

     "You cannot separate the moral from the social and economic
     development of a people. The great service of a complex social
     and industrial organization, which is built up by the desire of
     men for better material conditions, is not that it 'pays,' but
     that it makes a more interdependent human society, and that it
     leads men to recognize what is the best relationship among
     them. The fact of recognizing that some act of aggression is
     causing stocks to fall is not important because it may save
     Oppenheim's or Solomon's money but because it is a
     demonstration that we are dependent upon some community on the
     other side of the world, that their damage is our damage, and
     that we have an interest in preventing it. It teaches us, as
     only some such simple and mechanical means can teach, the
     lesson of human fellowship.

     "It is by such means as this that Western Europe has in some
     measure, within its respective political frontiers, learned
     that lesson. Each nation has learned, within its own confines
     at least, that wealth is made by work, not robbery; that,
     indeed, general robbery is fatal to prosperity; that government
     consists not merely in having the power of the sword but in
     organizing society--in 'knowing how,' which means the
     development of ideas; in maintaining courts; in making it
     possible to run railways, post-offices, and all the
     contrivances of a complex society.

     "Now rulers did not create these things; it was the daily
     activities of the people, born of their desires and made
     possible by the circumstances in which they lived, by the
     trading and the mining and the shipping which they carried on,
     that made them. But the Balkans have been geographically
     outside the influence of European industrial and commercial
     life. The Turk has hardly felt it at all. He has learned none
     of the social and moral lessons which interdependence and
     improved communications have taught the Western European, and
     it is because he had not learned these lessons, because he is a
     soldier and a conqueror to an extent and completeness that
     other nations of Europe lost a generation or two since, that
     the Balkanese are fighting and that war is raging.

     "Not merely in this larger sense, but in the more immediate,
     narrower sense, are the fundamental causes of this war

     "This war arises, as the past wars against the Turkish
     conqueror have arisen, from the desire of the Christian peoples
     on whom he lives to shake off this burden. "To live upon their
     subjects is the Turks' only means of livelihood," says one
     authority. The Turk is an economic parasite and the healthy
     economic organism must end by rejecting him.

     "The management of society, simple and primitive even as that
     of the Balkan mountains, needs some effort and work and
     capacity for administration; otherwise even rudimentary
     economic life cannot be carried on. The Turkish system, founded
     on the sword and nothing else ('the finest soldier in Europe'),
     cannot give that small modicum of energy or administrative
     capacity. The one thing he knows is brute force; but it is not
     by the strength of his muscles that an engineer runs a
     machine, but by knowing how. The Turk cannot build a road or
     make a bridge or administer a post-office or found a court of
     law. And these things are necessary. He will not let them be
     done by the Christian, who, because he did not belong to the
     conquering class, has had to work and has consequently come to
     possess whatever capacity for work and administration the
     country can show, because to do so would be to threaten the
     Turk's only trade. In the Turk granted the Christians equal
     political rights they would inevitably 'run the country.' And
     yet the Turk himself cannot do it; and he will not let others
     do it, because to do so would be to threaten his supremacy.

     "The more the use of force fails, the more, of course, does he
     resort to it and that is why many of us who do not believe in
     force and desire to see it disappear from the relationship not
     merely of religious but of political groups, might conceivably
     welcome this war of the Balkan Christians, in so far as it is
     an attempt to resist the use of force in those relationships.
     Of course, I do not try to estimate the 'balance of
     criminality.' Right is not all on one side--it never is. But
     the broad issue is clear and plain. And only those concerned
     with the name rather than the thing, with nominal and verbal
     consistency rather than realities, will see anything
     paradoxical or contradictory in Pacifist approval of Christian
     resistance to the use of Turkish force.

     "One fact stands out incontrovertibly from the whole weary
     muddle. It is quite clear that the inability to act in concert
     arises from the fact that in the international sphere the
     European is still dominated by illusions which he has dropped
     when he deals with home politics. The political faith of the
     Turk, which he would never think of applying at home as among
     the individuals of his nation, he applies pure and unalloyed
     when he comes to deal with foreigners as nations. The economic
     conception--using the term in that wider sense which I have
     indicated earlier in this article--which guides his individual
     conduct is the antithesis of that which guides his national

     "While the Christian does not believe in robbery inside the
     frontier, he does without; while within the State he realizes
     that it is better for each to observe the general code, so that
     civilized society can exist, than for each to disregard it, so
     that society goes to pieces; while within the State he realizes
     that government is a matter of administration, not the seizure
     of property; that one town does not add to its wealth by
     'capturing' another, that indeed one community cannot 'own'
     another--while, I say, he believes all these things in his
     daily life at home, he disregards them all when he comes to the
     field of international relationship, _la haute politique_. To
     annex some province by a cynical breach of treaty obligation
     (Austria in Bosnia, Italy in Tripoli) is regarded as better
     politics than to act loyally with the community of nations to
     enforce their common interest in order and good government. In
     fact, we do not believe that there can be a community of
     nations, because, in fact, we do not believe that their
     interests are common, but rival; like the Turk, we believe that
     if you do not exercise force upon your 'rival' he will exercise
     it upon you; that nations live upon one another, not by
     co-operation with one another--and it is for this reason
     presumably that you must 'own' as much of your neighbors as
     possible. It is the Turkish conception from beginning to end.

     "It is because these false beliefs prevent the nations of
     Christendom acting loyally the one to the other, because each
     is playing for its own hand, that the Turk, with hint of some
     sordid bribe, has been able to play off each against the other.

     "This is the crux of the matter. When Europe can honestly act
     in common on behalf of common interests some solution can be
     found. And the capacity of Europe to act in harmony will not be
     found as long as the accepted doctrines of European statecraft
     remain unchanged, as long as they are dominated by existing


[1] "The True Way of Life" (Headley Brothers, London), p. 29. I am aware
that many modern pacifists, even of the English school, to which these
remarks mainly apply, are more objective in their advocacy than Mr.
Grubb, but in the eyes of the "average sensual man" pacificism is still
deeply tainted with this self-sacrificing altruism (see Chapter III.,
Part III.), notwithstanding the admirable work of the French pacifist

[2] The _Matin_ newspaper recently made a series of revelations, in
which it was shown that the master of a French cod-fishing vessel had,
for some trivial insubordinations, disembowelled his cabin-boy alive,
and put salt into the intestines, and then thrown the quivering body
into the hold with the cod-fish. So inured were the crew to brutality
that they did not effectively protest, and the incident was only brought
to light months later by wine-shop chatter. The _Matin_ quotes this as
the sort of brutality that marks the Newfoundland cod-fishing industry
in French ships.

Again, the German Socialist papers have recently been dealing with what
they term "The Casualties of the Industrial Battlefield," showing that
the losses from industrial accidents since 1871--the loss of life during
peace, that is--have been enormously greater than the losses due to the
Franco-Prussian War.

[3] "The Interest of America in International Conditions." New York:
Harper & Brothers.

[4] That is to say, all this was to have taken place before 1911 (the
book appeared some years ago). This has its counterpart in the English
newspaper feuilleton which appeared some years ago entitled, "The German
Invasion of 1910."

[5] See letter to the _Matin_, August 22, 1908.

[6] In this self-seeking world, it is not reasonable to assume the
existence of an inverted altruism of this kind.

[7] This is not the only basis of comparison, of course. Everyone who
knows Europe at all is aware of the high standard of comfort in all the
small countries--Scandinavia, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland. Mulhall, in
"Industries and Wealth of Nations" (p. 391), puts the small States of
Europe with France and England at the top of the list, Germany _sixth_,
and Russia, territorially and militarily the greatest of all, at the
very end. Dr. Bertillon, the French statistician, has made an elaborate
calculation of the relative wealth of the individuals of each country.
The middle-aged German possesses (on the established average) nine
thousand francs ($1800); the Hollander _sixteen thousand_ ($3200). (See
_Journal_, Paris, August 1, 1910).

[8] The figures given in the "Statesman's Year-Book" show that,
proportionately to population, Norway has nearly three times the
carrying trade of England.

[9] See citation, pp. 14-15.

[10] Major Stewart Murray, "Future Peace of the Anglo-Saxons." London:
Watts and Co.

[11] _L'Information_, August 22, 1909.

[12] Very many times greater, because the bullion reserve in the Bank of
England is relatively small.

[13] Hartley Withers, "The Meaning of Money." Smith, Elder and Co.,

[14] See pp. 75-76.

[15] See note concerning French colonial policy, pp. 122-124.

[16] Summarizing an article in the _Oriental Economic Review_, the San
Francisco _Bulletin_ says: "Japan at this moment seems to be finding out
that 'conquered' Korea in every real sense belongs to the Koreans, and
that all that Japan is getting out of her war is an additional burden of
statesmanship and an additional expense of administration, and an
increased percentage of international complication due to the extension
of the Japanese frontier dangerously close to her Continental rivals,
China and Russia. Japan as 'owner' of Korea is in a worse position
economically and politically than she was when she was compelled to
treat with Korea as an independent nation." The _Oriental Economic
Review_ notes that "the Japanese hope to ameliorate the Korean situation
through the general intermarriage of the two peoples; but this means a
racial advance, and through it closer social and economic relations than
were possible before annexation, and would probably have been easier of
accomplishment had not the destruction of Korean independence embittered
the people."

[17] Spanish Four per Cents. were 42-1/2 during the war, and just prior
to the Moroccan trouble, in 1911, had a free market at 90 per cent.

F.C. Penfold writes in the December (1910) _North American Review_ as
follows: "The new Spain, whose motive force springs not from the
windmills of dreamy fiction, but from honest toil, is materially better
off this year than it has been for generations. Since the war Spanish
bonds have practically doubled in value, and exchange with foreign money
markets has improved in corresponding ratio. Spanish seaports on the
Atlantic and Mediterranean teem with shipping. Indeed, the nature of the
people seems changing from a _dolce far niente_ indolence to
enterprising thrift."

[18] London _Daily Mail_, December 15, 1910.

[19] "Traité de Science des Finances," vol. ii., p. 682.

[20] "Die Wirtschafts Finanz und Sozialreform im Deutschen Reich."
Leipzig, 1882.

[21] "La Crise Économique," _Revue des Deux Mondes_, March 15, 1879.

[22] Maurice Block, "La Crise Économique," _Revue des Deux Mondes_,
March 15, 1879. See also "Les Conséquences Économiques de la Prochaine
Guerre," Captaine Bernard Serrigny. Paris, 1909. The author says (p.
127): "It was evidently the disastrous financial position of Germany,
which had compelled Prussia at the outbreak of the war to borrow money
at the unheard-of price of 11 per cent., that caused Bismarck to make
the indemnity so large a one. He hoped thus to repair his country's
financial situation. Events cruelly deceived him, however. A few months
after the last payment of the indemnity the gold despatched by France
had already returned to her territory, while Germany, poorer than ever,
was at grips with a crisis which was to a large extent the direct result
of her temporary wealth."

[23] "Das Deutsche Reich zur Zeit Bismarcks."

[24] The figures of German emigration are most suggestive in this
connection. Although they show great fluctuation, indicating their
reaction to many factors, they always appear to rise after the wars.
Thus, after the wars of the Duchies they doubled, for the five years
preceding the campaigns of 1865 they averaged 41,000, and after those
campaigns rose suddenly to over 100,000. They had fallen to 70,000 in
1869, and then rose to 154,000 in 1872, and what is more remarkable
still, the emigration did not come from the conquered provinces, from
Schleswig-Holstein, Alsace or Lorraine, but from Prussia! While not for
a moment claiming that the effect of the wars is the sole factor in this
fluctuation, the fact of emigration as bearing on the general claim made
for successful war demands the most careful examination. See
particularly, "L'Émigration Allemande," _Revue des Deux Mondes_,
January, 1874.

[25] The Montreal _Presse_, March 27, 1909.

[26] Speech, House of Commons, August 26, 1909. The New York papers of
November 16, 1909, report the following from Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the
Dominion Parliament during the debate on the Canadian Navy: "If now we
have to organize a naval force, it is because we are growing as a
nation--it is the penalty of being a nation. I know of no nation having
a sea-coast of its own which has no navy, except Norway, but Norway will
never tempt the invader. Canada has its coal-mines, its gold-mines, its
wheat-fields, and its vast wealth may offer a temptation to the

[27] The recent tariff negotiations between Canada and the United States
were carried on directly between Ottawa and Washington, without the
intervention of London. Canada regularly conducts her tariff
negotiations, even with other members of the British Empire. South
Africa takes a like attitude. The _Volkstein_ of July 10, 1911, says:
"The Union constitution is in full accord with the principle that
neutrality is permissible in the case of a war in which England and
other independent States of the Empire are involved.... England, as well
as South Africa, would best be served by South Africa's neutrality"
(quoted in _Times_, July 11, 1911). Note the phrase "independent States
of the Empire."

[28] _Times_, November 7, 1911.

[29] The London _World_, an Imperialist organ, puts it thus: "The
electoral process of reversing the results of the war is completed in
South Africa. By the result of last week's contests Mr. Merriman has
secured a strong working majority in both Houses. The triumph of the
Bond at Cape Town is no less sweeping than was that of Het Volk at
Pretoria. The three territories upon which the future of the
subcontinent depends are linked together under Boer supremacy ... the
future federated or uniformed system will be raised upon a Dutch basis.
If this was what we wanted, we might have bought it cheaper than with
two hundred and fifty millions of money and twenty thousand lives."

[30] A Bill has been introduced into the Indian Legislative Council
enabling the Government to prohibit emigration to any country where the
treatment accorded to British Indian subjects was not such as met with
the approval of the Governor-General. "As just treatment for free
Indians has not been secured," says the London _Times_, "prohibition
will undoubtedly be applied against Natal unless the position of free
Indians there is ameliorated."

[31] Britain's total overseas trade for 1908 was $5,245,000,000, of
which $3,920,000,000 was with foreigners, and $1,325,000,000 with her
own possessions. And while it is true that with some of her Colonies
Britain has as much as 52 per cent. of their trade--_e.g._,
Australia--it also happens that some absolutely foreign countries do a
greater percentage even of their trade with Britain than do her
Colonies. Britain possesses 38 per cent. of Argentina's foreign trade,
but only 36 per cent. of Canada's, although Canada has recently given
her a considerable preference.

[32] West Africa and Madagascar.

[33] It is a little encouraging, perhaps, for those of us who are doing
what we may towards the dissemination of saner ideas, that an early
edition of this book seems to have played some part in bringing about
the change in French colonial policy here indicated. The French Colonial
Ministry, for the purpose of emphasizing the point of view mentioned in
_Le Temps_ article, on two or three occasions called pointed attention
to the first French edition of this book. In the official report of the
Colonial Budget for 1911, a large part of this chapter is reprinted. In
the Senate (see _Journal Officiel de la République Française_, July 2,
1911) the Rapporteur again quoted from this book at length, and devoted
a great part of his speech towards emphasizing the thesis here set out.

[34] A financier to whom I showed the proofs of this chapter notes here:
"If such a tax were imposed the output would be _nil_."

[35] A correspondent sent me some interesting and significant details of
the rapid strides made by Germany in Egypt. It had already been stated
that a German newspaper would appear in October, 1910, and that the
official notices of the mixed courts have been transferred from the
local French newspapers to the German _Egyptischer Nachrichten_. During
the years 1897-1907, German residents in Egypt increased by 44 per
cent., while British residents increased by only 5 per cent. Germany's
share of the Egyptian imports during the period 1900-1904 was
$3,443,880, but by 1909 this figure reached $5,786,355. The latest
German undertaking in Egypt was the foundation of the Egyptische
Hypotheken Bank, in which all the principal joint-stock banks of Germany
were interested. Its capital was to be $2,500,000 and the six directors
included three Germans, one Austrian, and two Italians.

Writing of "Home Sickness among the Emigrants" (the _London World_, July
19, 1910), Mr. F.G. Aflalo said:

"The Germans are, of all nations, the least troubled with this weakness.
Though far more warmly attached to the hearth than their neighbors
across the Rhine, they feel exile less. Their one idea is to evade
conscription, and this offers to all continental nations a compensation
for exile, which to the Englishman means nothing. I remember a colony of
German fishermen on Lake Tahoe, the loveliest water in California, where
the pines of the Sierra Nevada must have vividly recalled their native
Harz. Yet they rejoiced in the freedom of their adopted country, and
never knew a moment's regret for the Fatherland."

[36] According to a recent estimate, the Germans in Brazil now number
some four hundred thousand, the great majority being settled in the
southern states of Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, and Santa Catharina, while
a small number are found in Sao Paulo and Espirito Santo in the north.
This population is, for the most part, the result of natural increase,
for of late years emigration thither has greatly declined.

In Near Asia, too, German colonization is by no means of recent origin.
There are in Transcaucasia agricultural settlements established by
Würtemberg farmers, whose descendants in the third generation live in
their own villages and still speak their native language. In Palestine,
there are the German Templar Colonies on the coast, which have prospered
so well as to excite the resentment of the natives.

[37] London _Morning Post_, February 1, 1912.

[38] _North American Review_, March, 1912. See also citation, p. 15.

[39] April, 1912.

[40] "Germany and the Next War," by Gen. Friedrich von Bernhardi.
London: Edwin Arnold, 1912.

[41] See, notably, the article from Admiral Mahan, "The Place of Power
in International Relations," in the _North American Review_ for January,
1912; and such books of Professor Wilkinson's as "The Great
Alternative," "Britain at Bay," "War and Policy."

[42] "The Valor of Ignorance." Harpers.

[43] For an expression of these views in a more definite form, see
Ratzenhofer's "Die Sociologische Erkenntniss," pp. 233, 234. Leipzig:
Brockhaus, 1898.

[44] Speech at Stationer's Hall, London, June 6, 1910.

[45] "The Strenuous Life." Century Co.

[46] _McClure's Magazine_, August, 1910.

[47] Thomas Hughes, in his preface to the first English edition of "The
Bigelow Papers," refers to the opponents of the Crimean War as a "vain
and mischievous clique, who amongst us have raised the cry of peace."
See also Mr. J.A. Hobson's "Psychology of Jingoism," p. 52. London:
Grant Richards.

[48] _North American Review_, March, 1912.

[49] "The Interest of America in International Conditions." New York:
Harper & Brothers.

[50] It is related by Critchfield, in his work on the South American
Republics, that during all the welter of blood and disorder which for a
century or more marked the history of those countries, the Roman
Catholic priesthood on the whole maintained a high standard of life and
character, and continued, against all discouragement, to preach
consistently the beauties of peace and order. However much one may be
touched by such a spectacle, and pay the tribute of one's admiration to
these good men, one cannot but feel that the preaching of these high
ideals did not have any very immediate effect on the social progress of
South America. What has effected this change? It is that those countries
have been brought into the economic current of the world; the bank and
factory and railroad have introduced factors and motives of a quite
different order from those urged by the priest, and are slowly winning
those countries from military adventure to honest work, a thing which
the preaching of high ideals failed to do.

[51] "To-day and To-morrow," p. 63. John Murray.

[52] Since the publication of the first edition of this book there has
appeared in France an admirable work by M.J. Novikow, "Le Darwinisme
Social" (Felix Alcan, Paris), in which this application of the Darwinian
theory to sociology is discussed with great ability, and at great length
and in full detail, and the biological presentation of the case, as just
outlined, has been inspired in no small part by M. Novikow's work. M.
Novikow has established in biological terms what, previous to the
publication of his book, I attempted to establish in economic terms.

[53] Co-operation does not exclude competition. If a rival beats me in
business, it is because he furnishes more efficient co-operation than I
do; if a thief steals from me, he is not co-operating at all, and if he
steals much will prevent my co-operation. The organism (society) has
every interest in encouraging the competitor and suppressing the

[54] Without going to the somewhat obscure analogies of biological
science, it is evident from the simple facts of the world that, if at
any stage of human development warfare ever did make for the survival of
the fit, we have long since passed out of that stage. When we conquer a
nation in these days, we do not exterminate it: we leave it where it
was. When we "overcome" the servile races, far from eliminating them, we
give them added chances of life by introducing order, etc., so that the
lower human quality tends to be perpetuated by conquest by the higher.
If ever it happens that the Asiatic races challenge the white in the
industrial or military field, it will be in large part thanks to the
work of race conservation, which has been the result of England's
conquest in India, Egypt, and Asia generally, and her action in China
when she imposed commerical contact on the Chinese by virtue of military
power. War between people of roughly equal development makes also for
the survival of the unfit, since we no longer exterminate and massacre a
conquered race, but only their best elements (those carrying on the
war), and because the conqueror uses up _his_ best elements in the
process, so that the less fit of both sides are left to perpetuate the
species. Nor do the facts of the modern world lend any support to the
theory that preparation for war under modern conditions tends to
preserve virility, since those conditions involve an artificial barrack
life, a highly mechanical training favorable to the destruction of
initiative, and a mechanical uniformity and centralization tending to
crush individuality, and to hasten the drift towards a centralized
bureaucracy, already too great.

[55] One might doubt, indeed, whether the British patriot has really the
feeling against the German that he has against his own countrymen of
contrary views. Mr. Leo Maxse, in the _National Review_ for February,
1911, indulges in the following expressions, applied, not to Germans,
but to English statesmen elected by a majority of the English people:
Mr. Lloyd George is a "fervid Celt animated by passionate hatred of all
things English"; Mr. Churchill is simply a "Tammany Hall politician,
without, however, a Tammany man's patriotism." Mr. Harcourt belongs to
"that particular type of society demagogue who slangs Peers in public
and fawns upon them in private." Mr. Leo Maxse suggests that some of the
Ministers should be impeached and hanged. Mr. McKenna is Lord Fisher's
"poll-parrot," and the House of Commons is the "poisonous Parliament of
infamous memory," in which Ministers were supported by a vast _posse
comitatus_ of German jackals.

[56] Speech at Stationers' Hall, London, June 6, 1910.

[57] I have in mind here the ridiculous furore that was made by the
British Jingo Press over some French cartoons that appeared at the
outbreak of the Boer War. It will be remembered that at that time France
was the "enemy," and Germany was, on the strength of a speech by Mr.
Chamberlain, a quasi-ally. Britain was at that time as warlike towards
France as she is now towards Germany. And this is only ten years ago!

[58] In his "History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of
Rationalism in Europe," Lecky says: "It was no political anxiety about
the balance of power, but an intense religious enthusiasm that impelled
the inhabitants of Christendom towards the site which was at once the
cradle and the symbol of their faith. All interests were then absorbed,
all classes were governed, all passions subdued or colored, by religious
fervor. National animosities that had raged for centuries were pacified
by its power. The intrigues of statesmen and the jealousies of kings
disappeared beneath its influence. Nearly two million lives are said to
have been sacrificed in the cause. Neglected governments, exhausted
finances, depopulated countries, were cheerfully accepted as the price
of success. No wars the world had ever before seen were so popular as
these, which were at the same time the most disastrous and the most

[59] "Be assured," writes St. Augustine, "and doubt not that not only
men who have obtained the use of their reason, but also little children
who have begun to live in their mother's womb and there died, or who,
having been just born, have passed away from the world without the
Sacrament of Holy Baptism, must be punished by the eternal torture of
undying fire." To make the doctrine clearer, he illustrates it by the
case of a mother who has two children. Each of these is but a lump of
perdition. Neither has ever performed a moral or immoral act. The mother
overlies one, and it perishes unbaptized. It goes to eternal torment.
The other is baptized and saved.

[60] This appears sufficiently from the seasons in which, for instance,
_autos da fé_ in Spain took place. In the Gallery of Madrid there is a
painting by Francisco Rizzi representing the execution, or rather the
procession to the stake, of a number of heretics during the fêtes that
followed the marriage of Charles II., and before the King, his bride,
and the Court and clergy of Madrid. The great square was arranged like a
theatre, and thronged with ladies in Court dress. The King sat on an
elevated platform, surrounded by the chief members of the aristocracy.

Limborch, in his "History of the Inquisition," relates that among the
victims of one _auto da fé_ was a girl of sixteen, whose singular beauty
struck all who saw her with admiration. As she passed to the stake she
cried to the Queen: "Great Queen, is not your presence able to bring me
some comfort under my misery? Consider my youth, and that I am condemned
for a religion which I have sucked in with my mother's milk."

[61] _Spectator_, December 31, 1910.

[62] See quotations, pp. 161-162, from Homer Lea's book, "The Valor of

[63] Thus Captain d'Arbeux ("L'Officier Contemporaine," Grasset, Paris,
1911) laments "la disparition progressive de l'idéal de revanche," a
military deterioration which is, he declares, working the country's
ruin. The general truth of all this is not affected by the fact that
1911, owing to the Moroccan conflict and other matters, saw a revival of
Chauvinism, which is already spending itself. The _Matin_, December,
1911, remarks: "The number of candidates at St. Cyr and St. Maixent is
decreasing to a terrifying degree. It is hardly a fourth of what it was
a few years ago.... The profession of arms has no longer the attraction
that it had."

[64] "Germany and England," p. 19.

[65] See the first chapter of Mr. Harbutt Dawson's admirable work, "The
Evolution of Modern Germany." T. Fisher Unwin, London.

[66] I have excluded the "operations" with the Allies in China. But they
only lasted a few weeks. And were they war? This illustration appears in
M. Novikow's "Le Darwinisme Social."

[67] The most recent opinion on evolution would go to show that
environment plays an even larger rôle in the formation of character than
selection (see Prince Kropotkin's article, _Nineteenth Century_, July,
1910, in which he shows that experiment reveals the direct action of
surroundings as the main factor of evolution). How immensely, therefore,
must our industrial environment modify the pugnacious impulse of our

[68] See citations, pp. 161-166, notably Mr. Roosevelt's dictum: "In
this world the nation that is trained to a career of unwarlike and
isolated ease is bound to go down in the end before other nations which
have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities." This view is even
emphasized in the speech which Mr. Roosevelt recently delivered at the
University of Berlin (see London _Times_, May 13, 1910). "The Roman
civilization," declared Mr. Roosevelt--perhaps, as the _Times_ remarks,
to the surprise of those who have been taught to believe that
_latifundia perditere Romam_--"went down primarily because the Roman
citizen would not fight, because Rome had lost the fighting edge." (See
footnote, p. 237.)

[69] "The Valor of Ignorance." Harpers.

[70] See M. Messimy's Report on the War Budget for 1908 (annexe 3, p.
474). The importance of these figures is not generally realized.
Astonishing as the assertion may sound, conscription in Germany is not
universal, while it is in France. In the latter country every man of
every class actually goes through the barracks, and is subjected to the
real discipline of military training; the whole training of the nation
is purely military. This is not the case in Germany. Very nearly half of
the young men of the country are not soldiers. Another important point
is that the part of the German nation which makes up the country's
intellectual life escapes the barracks. To all practical purposes very
nearly all young men of the better class enter the army as one year
volunteers, by which they escape more than a few weeks of barracks, and
even then escape its worst features. It cannot be too often pointed out
that intellectual Germany has never been subjected to real barrack
influence. As one critic says: "The German system does not put this
class through the mill," and is deliberately designed to save them from
the grind of the mill. France's military activities since 1870 have, of
course, been much greater than those of Germany--Tonkin, Madagascar,
Algeria, Morocco. As against these, Germany has had only the Hereros
campaign. The percentages of population given above, in the text,
require modification as the Army Laws are modified, but the relative
positions in Germany and France remain about the same.

[71] _Vox de la Naçión_, Caracas, April 22, 1897.

[72] Even Mr. Roosevelt calls South American history mean and bloody. It
is noteworthy that, in his article published in the _Bachelor of Arts_
for March, 1896, Mr. Roosevelt, who lectured Englishmen so vigorously on
their duty at all costs not to be guided by sentimentalism in the
government of Egypt, should write thus at the time of Mr. Cleveland's
Venezuelan message to England: "Mean and bloody though the history of
the South American republics has been, it is distinctly in the interest
of civilization that ... they should be left to develop along their own
lines.... Under the best of circumstances, a colony is in a false
position; but if a colony is a region where the colonizing race has to
do its work by means of other and inferior races, the condition is much
worse. There is no chance for any tropical colony owned by a Northern

[73] June 2, 1910.

[74] See an article by Mr. Vernon Kellogg in the _Atlantic Monthly_,
July, 1913. Seeley says: "The Roman Empire perished for want of men."
One historian of Greece, discussing the end of the Peloponnesian wars,
said: "Only cowards remain, and from their broods came the new

Three million men--the élite of Europe--perished in the Napoleonic wars.
It is said that after those wars the height standard of the French adult
population fell abruptly 1 inch. However that may be, it is quite
certain that the physical fitness of the French people was immensely
worsened by the drain of the Napoleonic wars, since, as the result of a
century of militarism, France is compelled every few years to reduce the
standard of physical fitness in order to keep up her military strength,
so that now even three-feet dwarfs are impressed.

[75] I think one may say fairly that it _was_ Sydney Smith's wit rather
than Bacon's or Bentham's wisdom which killed this curious illusion.

[76] See the distinction established at the beginning of the next

[77] M. Pierre Loti, who happened to be at Madrid when the troops were
leaving to fight the Americans, wrote: "They are, indeed, still the
solid and splendid Spanish troops, heroic in every epoch; one needs only
to look at them to divine the woe that awaits the American shopkeepers
when brought face to face with such soldiers." He prophesied _des
surprises sanglantes_. M. Loti is a member of the French Academy.

[78] See also letter quoted, pp. 230-231.

[79] "Patriotism and Empire." Grant Richards.

[80] "For permanent work the soldier is worse than useless; his whole
training tends to make him a weakling. He has the easiest of lives; he
has no freedom and no responsibility. He is, politically and socially, a
child, with rations instead of rights--treated like a child, punished
like a child, dressed prettily and washed and combed like a child,
excused for outbreaks of naughtiness like a child, forbidden to marry
like a child, and called "Tommy" like a child. He has no real work to
keep him from going mad except housemaid's work" ("John Bull's Other
Island"). All those familiar with the large body of French literature,
dealing with the evils of barrack-life, know how strongly that criticism
confirms Mr. Bernard Shaw's generalization.

[81] September 11, 1899.

[82] Things must have reached a pretty pass in England when the owner of
the _Daily Mail_ and the patron of Mr. Blatchford can devote a column
and a half over his own signature to reproaching in vigorous terms the
hysteria and sensationalism, of his own readers.

[83] The _Berliner Tageblatt_ of March 14, 1911, says: "One must admire
the consistent fidelity and patriotism of the English race, as compared
with the uncertain and erratic methods of the German people, their
mistrust, and suspicion. In spite of numerous wars, bloodshed, and
disaster, England always emerges smoothly and easily from her military
crises and settles down to new conditions and surroundings in her usual
cool and deliberate manner.... Nor can one refrain from paying one's
tribute to the sound qualities and character of the English aristocracy,
which is always open to the ambitious and worthy of other classes, and
thus slowly but surely widens the sphere of the middle classes by whom
they are in consequence honored and respected--a state of affairs
practically unknown in Germany, but which would be to our immense

[84] "Der Kaiser und die Zukunft des Deutschen Volkes."

[85] See also the confirmatory verdict of Captain March Phillips, quoted
on p. 291.

[86] "My Life in the Army," p. 119.

[87] I do not think this last generalization does any injustice to the
essay, "Latitude and Longitude among Reformers" ("Strenuous Life," pp.
41-61. The Century Company).

[88] See for further illustration of the difference and its bearing in
practical politics Chapter VIII., Part I., "The Fight for the Place in
the Sun."

[89] See Chapter VII., Part I.

[90] Aristotle did, however, have a flash of the truth. He said: "If the
hammer and the shuttle could move themselves, slavery would be

[91] "Facts and Comments," p. 112.

[92] Buckle ("History of Civilization") points out that Philip II., who
ruled half the world and drew tribute from the whole of South America,
was so poor that he could not pay his personal servants or meet the
daily expenses of the Court!

[93] I mean by credit all the mechanism of exchange which replaces the
actual use or metal, or notes representing it.

[94] Lecky ("Rationalism in Europe," p. 76) says: "Protestantism could
not possibly have existed without a general diffusion of the Bible, and
that diffusion was impossible until after the two inventions of paper
and printing.... Before those inventions, pictures and material images
were the chief means of religious instruction." And thus religious
belief became necessarily material, crude, anthropomorphic.

[95] "Battles are no longer the spectacular heroics of the past. The
army of to-day and to-morrow is a sombre gigantic machine devoid of
melodramatic heroics ... a machine that it requires years to form in
separate parts, years to assemble them together, and other years to make
them work smoothly and irresistibly" (Homer Lea in "The Valor of
Ignorance," p. 49).

[96] General von Bernhardi, in his work on cavalry, deals with this very
question of the bad influence on tactics of the "pomp of war," which he
admits must disappear, adding very wisely: "The spirit of tradition
consists not in the retention of antiquated forms, but in acting in that
spirit which in the past led to such glorious success." The plea for the
retention of the soldier because of his "spirit" could not be more
neatly disposed of. See p. 111 of the English edition of Bernhardi's
work (Hugh Rees, London).

[97] See quotations, pp. 161-166.

[98] The following letter to the _Manchester Guardian_, which appeared
at the time of the Boer War, is worth reproduction in this connection:

"SIR,--I see that 'The Church's Duty in regard to War' is to be
discussed at the Church Congress. This is right. For a year the heads of
our Church have been telling us what war is and does--that it is a
school of character; that it sobers men, cleans them, strengthens them,
knits their hearts; makes them brave, patient, humble, tender, prone to
self-sacrifice. Watered by 'war's red rain,' one Bishop tells us, virtue
grows; a cannonade, he points out, is an 'oratorio'--almost a form of
worship. True; and to the Church men look for help to save their souls
from starving for lack of this good school, this kindly rain, this
sacred music. Congresses are apt to lose themselves in wastes of words.
This one must not, surely cannot, so straight is the way to the goal. It
has simply to draft and submit a new Collect for war in our time, and to
call for the reverent but firm emendation, in the spirit of the best
modern thought, of those passages in Bible and Prayer-Book by which even
the truest of Christians and the best of men have at times been blinded
to the duty of seeking war and ensuing it. Still, man's moral nature
cannot, I admit, live by war alone; nor do I say with some that peace is
wholly bad. Even amid the horrors of peace you will find little shoots
of character fed by the gentle and timely rains of plague and famine,
tempest and fire; simple lessons of patience and courage conned in the
schools of typhus, gout, and stone; not oratorios, perhaps, but homely
anthems and rude hymns played on knife and probe in the long winter
nights. Far from me to 'sin our mercies,' or to call mere twilight dark.
Yet dark it may become; for remember that even these poor makeshift
schools of character, these second-bests, these halting substitutes for
war--remember that the efficiency of every one of them, be it hunger,
accident, ignorance, sickness, or pain, is menaced by the intolerable
strain of its struggles with secular doctors, plumbers, inventors,
schoolmasters, and policemen. Every year thousands who would once have
been braced and steeled by manly tussles with small-pox or diphtheria
are robbed of that blessing by the great changes made in our drains.
Every year thousands of women and children must go their way bereft of
the rich spiritual experience of the widow and the orphan."

[99] Captain March Phillips, "With Remington." Methuen. See pp. 259-60
for Mr. Blatchford's confirmation of this verdict.

[100] And here as to the officers--again not from me but from a very
Imperialist and militarist quarter--the London _Spectator_ (November 25,
1911), says: "Soldiers might be supposed to be free from pettiness
because they are men of action. But we all know that there is no
profession in which the leaders are more depreciated by one another than
in the profession of arms."

[101] Professor William James says: "Greek history is a panorama of war
for war's sake ... of the utter ruin of a civilization which in
intellectual respects was perhaps the highest the earth has ever seen.
The wars were purely piratical. Pride, gold, women, slaves, excitement
were their only motives."--_McClure's Magazine_, August, 1910.

[102] "Britain at Bay." Constable and Co.

[103] See quotation from Sir C.P. Lucas, p. 111-12.

[104] See details on this matter given in Chapter VII., Part I.

[105] London _Morning Post_, April 21, 1910. I pass over the fact that
to cite all this as a reason for armaments is absurd. Does the _Morning
Post_ really suggest that the Germans are going to attack England
because they don't like the English taste in art, or music, or cooking?
The notion that preferences of this sort need the protection of
_Dreadnoughts_ is surely to bring the whole thing within the domain of
the grotesque.

[106] I refer to the remarkable speech in which Mr. Chamberlain notified
France that she must "mend her manners or take the consequences" (see
London daily papers between November 28 and December 5, 1899).

[107] Not that a very great period separates us from such methods.
Froude quotes Maltby's Report to Government as follows: "I burned all
their corn and houses, and committed to the sword all that could be
found. In like manner I assailed a castle. When the garrison
surrendered, I put them to the misericordia of my soldiers. They were
all slain. Thence I went on, sparing none which came in my way, which
cruelty did so amaze their fellows that they could not tell where to
bestow themselves." Of the commander of the English forces at Munster we
read: "He diverted his forces into East Clanwilliam, and harassed the
country; killed all mankind that were found therein ... not leaving
behind us man or beast, corn or cattle ... sparing none of what quality,
age, or sex soever. Beside many burned to death, we killed man, woman,
child, horse, or beast or whatever we could find."

[108] In "The Evolution of Modern Germany" (Fisher Unwin, London) the
same author says: "Germany implies not one people, but many peoples ...
of different culture, different political and social institutions ...
diversity of intellectual and economic life.... When the average
Englishman speaks of Germany he really means Prussia, and consciously or
not he ignores the fact that in but few things can Prussia be regarded
as typical of the whole Empire."

[109] "International Law." John Murray, London.

[110] Lord Sanderson, dealing with the development of international
intercourse in an address to the Royal Society of Arts (November 15,
1911), said: "The most notable feature of recent international
intercourse, he thought, was the great increase in international
exhibitions, associations, and conferences of every description and on
every conceivable subject. When he first joined the Foreign Office,
rather more than fifty years ago, conferences were confined almost
entirely to formal diplomatic meetings to settle some urgent territorial
or political question in which several States were interested. But as
time had passed, not only were the number and frequency of political
conferences increased, but a host of meetings of persons more or less
official, termed indiscriminately conferences and congresses, had come
into being."

[111] January 8, 1910.

[112] March 10, 1910.

[113] "The German Government is straining every nerve, with the zealous
support of its people, to get ready for a fight with this country"
(_Morning Post_, March 1, 1912). "The unsatiated will of the armed State
will, when an opportunity offers, attack most likely its most satiated
neighbors without scruple, and despoil them without ruth" (Dr. Dillon,
_Contemporary Review_, October, 1911).

[114] I have shown in a former chapter (Chapter VI., Part II.) how these
international hatreds are not the cause of conflict, but the outcome of
conflicts or presumed conflicts of policy. If difference of national
psychology--national "incompatibility of temper"--were the cause, how
can we explain the fact that ten years since the English were still
"hating all Frenchmen like the devil," and talking of alliance with the
Germans? If diplomatic shuffling had pushed England into alliance with
the Germans against the French, it would never have occurred to the
people that they had to "detest the Germans."

[115] The German Navy Law in its preamble might have filched this from
the British Navy League catechism.

[116] In an article published in 1897 (January 16) the London
_Spectator_ pointed out the hopeless position Germany would occupy if
England cared to threaten her. The organ, which is now apt to resent the
increased German Navy as implying aggression upon England, then wrote as
follows: "Germany has a mercantile marine of vast proportions. The
German flag is everywhere. But on the declaration of war the whole of
Germany's trading ships would be at our mercy. Throughout the seas of
the world our cruisers would seize and confiscate German ships. Within
the first week of the declaration of war Germany would have suffered a
loss of many million pounds by the capture of her ships. Nor is that
all. Our Colonies are dotted with German trading-houses, who, in spite
of a keen competition, do a great deal of business.... We should not, of
course, want to treat them harshly; but war must mean for them the
selling of their businesses for what they would fetch and going home to
Germany. In this way Germany would lose a hold upon the trade of the
world which it has taken her many years of toil to create.... Again,
think of the effect upon Germany's trade of the closing of all her
ports. Hamburg is one of the greatest ports of the world. What would be
its condition if practically not a single ship could leave or enter it?
Blockades are no doubt very difficult things to maintain strictly, but
Hamburg is so placed that the operation would be comparatively easy. In
truth the blockade of all the German ports on the Baltic or the North
Sea would present little difficulty.... Consider the effect on Germany
if her flag were swept from the high seas and her ports blockaded. She
might not miss her colonies, for they are only a burden, but the loss of
her sea-borne trade would be an equivalent to an immediate fine of at
least a hundred million sterling. In plain words, a war with Germany,
even when conducted by her with the utmost wisdom and prudence, must
mean for her a direct loss of a terribly heavy kind, and for us
virtually no loss at all." This article is full of the fallacies which I
have endeavored to expose in this book, but it logically develops the
notions which are prevalent in both England and Germany; and yet Germans
have to listen to an English Minister of Marine describing their Navy as
a luxury!

[117] Here is the real English belief in this matter: "Why should
Germany attack Britain? Because Germany and Britain are commercial and
political rivals; because Germany covets the trade, the Colonies, and
the Empire which Britain now possesses.... As to arbitration, limitation
of armament, it does not require a very great effort of the imagination
to enable us to see that proposal with German eyes. Were I a German, I
should say: 'These islanders are cool customers. They have fenced in all
the best parts of the globe, they have bought or captured fortresses and
ports in five continents, they have gained the lead in commerce, they
have a virtual monopoly of the carrying trade of the world, they hold
command of the seas, and now they propose that we shall all be brothers,
and that nobody shall fight or steal any more,'" (Robert Blatchford,
"Germany and England," pp. 4-13).

[118] "Facts and Fallacies." An answer to "Compulsory Service," by
Field-Marshal Earl Roberts, V.C., K.G.

[119] Discussing the first edition of this book, Sir Edward Grey said:
"True as the statement in that book may be, it does not become an
operative motive in the minds and conduct of nations until they are
convinced of its truth and it has become a commonplace to them"
(Argentine Centenary Banquet, May 20, 1910).

[120] Lecky, "History of the Progress of Rationalism in Europe."

[121] I do not desire in the least, of course, to create the impression
that I regard the truths here elaborated as my "discovery," as though no
one had worked in this field before. Properly speaking, there is no such
thing as priority in ideas. The interdependence of peoples was
proclaimed by philosophers three thousand years ago. The French school
of pacifists--Passy, Follin, Yves Guyot, de Molinari, and Estournelles
de Constant--have done splendid work in this field; but no one of them,
so far as I know, has undertaken the work of testing in detail the
politico-economic orthodoxy by the principle of the economic futility of
military force; by bringing that principle to bear on the everyday
problems of European statecraft. If there is such an one--presenting the
precise notes of interrogation which I have attempted to present here--I
am not aware of it. This does not prevent, I trust, the very highest
appreciation of earlier and better work done in the cause of peace
generally. The work of Jean de Bloch, among others, though covering
different ground from this, possesses an erudition and bulk of
statistical evidence to which this can make no claim. The work of J.
Novikow, to my mind the greatest of all, has already been touched upon.

[122] "Turkey in Europe," pp. 88-9 and 91-2.

It is significant, by the way, that the "born soldier" has now been
crushed by a non-military race whom he has always despised as having no
military tradition. Capt. F.W. von Herbert ("Bye Paths in the Balkans")
wrote (some years before the present war): "The Bulgars, as Christian
subjects of Turkey exempt from military service, have tilled the ground
under stagnant and enfeebling peace conditions, and the profession of
arms is new to them."

"Stagnant and enfeebling peace conditions" is, in view of subsequent
events, distinctly good.

[123] I dislike to weary the reader with such damnable iteration, but
when a British Cabinet Minister is unable in this discussion to
distinguish between the folly of a thing and its possibility, one _must_
make the fundamental point clear.

[124] This Appendix was written before the Balkan States fell to
fighting one another. It is scarcely necessary to point out that the
events of the last few days (early summer 1913) lend significance to the
argument in the text.

[125] See p. 390.

[126] _Review of Reviews_, November, 1912.

[127] In the _Daily Mail_, to whose Editor I am indebted for permission
to reprint it.


  Acceleration, Law of, relation to sociology, 197, 220
  Adam, Paul, advocate of war, 216
  Aflalo, F.G., home-sickness among emigrants, 132, 133
  Africa, South: gold-mines of, as motive of Boer War, 125;
    position of trade in, in event of war, 126
  Alsace-Lorraine, annexation of, 45-49
  America. _See_ United States
  America, South: financial development of, 78, 245;
    folly of aggression in States of, 244;
    British methods of enforcing financial obligations in, 303
  Annexation: of Alsace-Lorraine and value of, to Germany, 45-49;
    Alsace-Lorraine, financial aspect, 98;
    Bosnia and Herzegovina, effect on Austria, 303
  Arabia and internal wars, 232
  Argentine international trade, 78
  Aristotle: on slavery, 269;
    the State, 296
  Armagh, Archbishop of, advocate of war, 166
  Armament, Armaments:
    _United Service Magazine_ quoted on limitations of, 18;
    Bernhardi school, 257;
    motives of, 330;
    justification of, 344
  Asia Minor: protection of German interest in, 147;
    benefit of, to Britain if under German tutelage, 149
  Asquith, Mr.: on Canadian Navy, 113;
    "color problem," 116, 117
  Austria, annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 303
  _Autos da fé_ in Spain, 208

  Bachmar, Dr. F., on union of Germany and South Africa, 24
  Bacon on nature of man, 58
  Balfour, Mr. A.J., on independence of the Colonies, 114-115
  Bank of England: position of, if Germany invaded England, 56-57;
    helped by Bank of France, 318
  Banking: Withers on interdependence necessary in, 59-61.
    _See also_ Finance
  Barracks, Mr. R. Blatchford on moral influence of, 259-260
  Barrès, M., advocate of war, 216
  Baty, Mr. T., social "stratification" and business, 323-325
  Beaulieu, Paul, on French indemnity, 94
  Belgium economic security, 43-44
  _Berliner Tageblatt_, 255
  Bernhardi: on defence of war, 158-159;
    war advocates and school of, 257;
    on tactics and "pomp of war," 285;
    policy of, 342
  Bertillon, Dr., on relative individual wealth in nations, 36
  Biermer, Professor, on Protectionist movement in Germany, 95
  Birrell, Mr. Augustine, 367
  Bismarck: and Machiavelli's dictum as to policy of a prudent
          ruler, 41;
    and the French indemnity, 91;
    his surprise at the recuperation of France after the war, 96-97
  Blatchford, Mr. Robert, 18, 177, 178, 215, 216, 259-260, 316, 349, 357
  Block, Maurice, on French indemnity, 98
  Blum, Hans, 98
  Boer War: motives of, 115;
    results of, 116;
    cost of, 128
  Bosnia and Herzegovina. _See_ Austria
  Bourget, Paul, advocate of war, 216
  Brazil, international trade of, 78
  Britain: possibility of being "wiped out" in twenty-four hours, 21-22;
    conquest of, a physical impossibility, 30;
    Sir C.P. Lucas's policy of colonial government, 111;
    position of, with regard to "ownership" of Colonies, 115;
    attitude of, with regard to German trade in Asia Minor, 147-148;
    Prussianization of, 258;
    contrast between, and Ancient Rome, 276;
    position of, with regard to her independent States, 300-301;
    cause of hostility towards Germany, 315;
    what the world has to learn from Imperial development of, 380-381;
    the real exemplar of the nations, 380-382
  Brunetière, advocate of war, 216
  Bülow, Prince von, on Germany's "rage for luxury," etc., 215-216

  Caivano, Tomasso, 230-231
  Canada: English merchant in, 35;
    England's trade with, 75;
    effect of acquisition of, by Germany, 109;
    the question of "ownership" of, 112;
    Sir Wilfrid Laurier on Canadian Navy, 113;
    war record, 227
  Capital. _See_ Finance
  Catholics and Protestants, 205
  Chamberlain, Mr. Joseph, 310
  Charles II. of Spain, 208
  Churchill, Mr. Winston; dictum of, on war, 345-346;
    on German Navy "luxury," 346-348
  Colonies: no advantage gained by conquest of, 32-33, 109-111;
    commercial value of, 107;
    Sir C.P. Lucas on Britain's policy of colonial government, 111-112;
    and national independence, 112;
    _Volkstein_ on colonial neutrality in warfare, 114;
    Britain's "ownership" of, 115;
    administrative weaknesses of, 117-119;
    fiscal position of, 119-121;
    false policy of conquest of, 121;
    Méline régime and advantages of independent administration
          of French, 123-124;
    impossibility of "possession" of, 135;
    how Germany exploits her, 135;
    economic retribution on, 301-302
  Colonies, Crown, 33, 111-119
  Commerce: definition of, 71;
    deterioration of international incident to war, 240.
    _See also_ Trade
  Community, what constitutes well-being of a, 173-175
  Competition: methods of industrial, 11;
    impossibility of destruction of, 31-34;
    and co-operation, 185
  Confiscation, the impossibility of, 63-64
  Conqueror, policy of, in regard to wealth and territory, 34-36
  Conquest: _Blackwood's Magazine_ in defence of, 19-20;
    impossibility of, from point of view of trade, 30-31;
    of Colonies, no advantages gained by, 32-33;
    alleged benefits of, disproved by prosperity of small States, 39-40;
    no advantage gained by, in modern warfare, 44-45, 110;
    advantage of, in ancient and medieval times, 51-54;
    alleged benefits of, disproved, 99-101;
    unable to change national character of conquered territory, 135-136;
    inadequate value of present methods of, 135;
    lessening rôle of, in commerce, 139-143;
    paradox of London police force applied in relation to, 144;
    where it has benefited nations, 145;
    effect of co-operation as a factor against, 195;
    enervating effects of, on Romans, 238;
    Spain ruined by glamour of, 242-247;
    co-operation taking place of, 244-248;
    changed nature of, 283;
    warlike nations the victims of, 272;
    logical absurdity of, summed up, 378-382.
    _See also_ War
  Conscription: and the peace ideal, 219;
    in France and Germany, comparison between, 225-226;
    how it might work in England, 258-260
  Co-operation and competition, 185-186;
    the effects of, in international relations, 194;
    taking place of conquest, 247-249;
    advantages of, allied to force, 265-266;
    of States and Nationalism, 312
  Courtesy in international relations, 374
  Cox, Sir Edmund C., 351
  Credit: in its relation to war, 30-31;
    definition of, 277
  Critics, arguments of, against "The Great Illusion," 358-359
  Cuba, War of, financial effect of, to Spain, 241

  _Daily Mail_, 45-49, 214-215, 253, 330
  D'Arbeux, Captain, 214
  Dawson, Harbutt, 256
  Defence: Navy League on, 345;
    the necessity of, 346;
    problem of, considered, 353
  Demolins, Edmond, 258
  Déroulède, advocate of war, 216
  Dervishes, appreciation of, as fighters, 289;
    W.H. Steevens quoted on, 289-290
  Despot, financial embarrassment of the, 273-274
  Despotism, the reasons for poverty of, 274
  Dilke, Sir Charles, 116
  Domination. _See_ Conquest
  Dreyfus case, _Times_ quoted on, 250-252
  Duel, survival and abandonment of, 201-204

  Economics. _See_ Finance
  Emigration, statistics of, for Germany, 100
  Emotion, need for the control of, 377
  Empiricism the curse of political thinking, 262
  England. _See_ Britain
  Environment, the rôle of, in the formation of character, 218

  Faguet, advocate of war, 216
  Farrar, Dean, advocate of war, 166
  Farrer, 42
  Fian, Dr., 208
    interdependence of credit-built position of, on German invasion, 31;
    investment secure in small States, 36, 37, 38, 39, 42, 43;
    in its relation to industry, 54-56;
    position of Bank of England on German invasion, 56-58;
    effect on bank rate of financial crisis in New York, 58-59;
    effect of repudiation in South American States, 77-78;
    why repudiation is unprofitable, 78-79;
    cause of bank crisis in United States, 79;
    Withers's appreciation of English bankers, 80;
    Lavisse on Germany's financial crisis, 96;
    the meaning of "the money of a nation," 172;
    physical force replaced by economic pressure, 269;
    economic and physical force in their relation to money, 273;
    British methods of enforcing financial obligations in South
          America, 303;
    organization of capital, 318;
    Bank of England helped by Bank of France, 318;
    internationalization of, 318-319;
    why a Western bank ceased to be robbed, 337-338;
    _Spectator_ quoted on economic interdependence, 356-357.
    _See also_ Wealth
  Fisher, Admiral, 350
  Fleet. _See_ Navy
  Force: the diminishing factor of, 185, 263;
    co-operation and the advantage of, 263;
    justification of, by police, 264-265;
    replaced by economic pressure, 269;
    in its relation to slavery, 269-270;
    the general domination of, 270-271;
    Herbert Spencer quoted on limitation implied by physical, 271-272;
    difference between economic and physical, 273-275
  France: Max Wirth on her position ftper Franco-German War, 95;
    Bismarck on, 97-98;
    standard of comfort in, higher than in Germany, 101;
    financial superiority of, 102;
    colonial administration of the Méline régime, 121-124;
    supposed benefit of "expansion" to, 139-143;
    a more military nation than Germany, 225-226;
    conscription in, 226;
    physical results of Napoleonic wars in, 238;
    cause of failure of expansion in Asia, 240;
    stigmatized by _Times_ in Dreyfus case, 250-252;
    Mr. Chamberlain on, 310;
    position of the statesman in, 370
  Franco-German War: position of France after, 95-99;
    Bismarck on, 97-98;
    alleged benefit of, to Germany, 99;
    some difficulties resulting from, in Germany, 100-106;
    no advantage gained by, to Germany, 252-253
  Fried, A., 316-317
  Friendship in international relations, 374;
    general question of, 374-377
  Froude, 311

  Gaevernitz. _See_ Schulze-Gaevernitz
  Germany: Mr. Harrison on effect of military predominance of, 6;
    Dr. Schulze-Gaevernitz on German Navy, 6;
    R. Blatchford on German attack, 18;
    Admiral von Koster on overseas interest of, 20-21;
    future demands of, with regard to Europe, 23;
    aims of Pan-Germanists, 43-44;
    the position of German citizen if Germany "owned" Holland, 44;
    value of Alsace-Lorraine to, 45-49;
    Withers quoted on commerce of, and English credit, 59;
    false theory of annihilation of, explained, 69;
    Lavisse on financial crisis in, 96;
    economic effect of aforesaid crisis, 97-99;
    progress of Socialism in, after war of 1870, 99;
    emigration statistics in, 100;
    financial position in regard to France, 102;
    political evolution of, before the war, 102;
    social difficulties in, resulting from Franco-German War, 103;
    failure of war from point of view of annexation and indemnity, 104;
    and the acquisition of Canada, 109-110;
    the case of colonial conquest, 118-121;
    if Germany had conducted the Boer War, 126-127;
    trade of, with occupied territory, 132;
    trade in Egypt, statistics of, 132;
    benefits of "ownership," fallacy of, 133;
    growth and expansion of, 140-143;
    methods of colonial exploitation, 140-142;
    protection of interests in Asia Minor, 147;
    commercial supremacy of, in undeveloped territory, 147-148;
    Sir H. Johnston on Germany's real object of conquest, 150;
    burden of Alsace-Lorraine, 176;
    R. Blatchford on policy of, 178;
    R. Blatchford in defence of, 215;
    "rage for luxury" in, 216;
    reputed military character of, disproved on investigation, 217-218;
    as type of a military nation, 225-226;
    conscription in, 225-226;
    wisdom of, in avoiding war, 226;
    Kotze scandal in, 252;
    no advantage gained by war of 1870, 252;
    growth of social democratic movement in, 254;
    _Berliner Tageblatt_ in praise of England as compared with, 255;
    progress owing to regimentation, 255-256;
    Mr. Harbutt Dawson on unified, 256-257;
    false idea of British hostility to, 310;
    cause of British hostility towards, 315;
    R. Blatchford on warlike preparations of, to destroy Britain, 316;
    Mr. Fried on heterogeneous nature of, 316-317;
    _North German Gazette_ on strikes in,
      and effects of co-operation, 319-320;
    _Morning Post_ on German aggression, 331;
    Mr. Churchill and German defence, 346;
    _Spectator_ on position of, if attacked by Britain, 347;
    Mr. Blatchford on reasons for attack by, 349;
    Sir E.C. Cox on British policy with regard to, 351;
    Anglo-German banquets, futility of, towards mutual
          understanding, 375
  Giffen, Sir Robert, on cost of Franco-German War, 88, 93, 94
  Goltz, von der, 178-179
  "Great Illusion, The," history of, 365-366
  Grey, Sir Edward, 358
  Grubb, Mr. Edward, 7

  Hague Conferences, cause of failures of, 368
  Hamburg, annexation of, by Britain and probable result, 61-62
  Harrison, Mr. Frederic:
    quoted on effect of Germany's predominance in military power, 6;
    quoted on naval defence and effect of invasion by Germany, 26-27;
    theories challenged, 28-33
  Holland: economic security of, on invasion, 42-43;
    the case of the Hollander if Germany "owned" Holland, 44;
    greatness of, compared to Prussia, 255
  Holy Sepulchre, fights between Infidels and Christians for, 206
  Honour: Mr. Roosevelt on national, 202;
    consideration of general question of, 202-204
  Human nature: alleged unchangeability of, 198-200;
    changes of manifestations in, 200, 201, 219, 220, 221, 361, 362-363
  Hyndman, Mr. H.M., 308

  Ideas, rationalization of, 367
  Indemnity; Sir R. Giffen quoted on, from Franco-German War, 91;
    cost of same considered in detail, 88-91;
    practical difficulties of, 90-92;
    doubtful advantage of, to conqueror, 100-104;
    problems of, not sufficiently studied, 105
  Individual, false analogy between nation and, 193, 297-301
  Industrialism, cruelties of, 9, 10
  Industry, relation of, to finance, 54-56
  _L'Information_, 56
  Intercommunication of States, 193-194
  Interdependence: plea of, against war, 30-31;
    theory of, explained, 34-35;
    development of, 54-55;
    evolution of, 76-77;
    diminution of physical force owing to, 277-279;
    the vital necessity of, 379
  International politics, obsolete conception of,
    Admiral Mahan on elements of, 170, 171, 172
  Investment. _See_ Finance

  James I. of Scotland, 208
  James, Professor William, 165, 294
  Japan, position of, as "owner" of Korea, 86
  Johnston, Sir Harry H., 150

  Kidd, Benjamin, 17, 18
  Kingsley, Charles, 165
  Kitchener, Lord, 200;
    W.H. Steevens' description of, 282
  Korea, position of Japan as "owner" of, 86
  Koster, Admiral von, 20, 21
  Kotze scandal, the, and "rottenness" of German civilization,
          _Times_ on, 252
  Kropotkin, Prince, 218

  Labour: division of, explained from point of view of conquest, 53;
    in the modern world, 66
  Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, 113
  Lavisse, 96
  Law of Acceleration. _See_ Acceleration, Law of
  Law, natural, of man in relation to strife, 185
  Lea, General Homer, 161, 212, 213, 234, 282
  Lecky, 206, 210, 278, 377
  Limborch, 208
  Loti, Pierre, 242
  Lucas, Sir C.P., 111

  Machiavelli, 41
  McDougal, Professor W., 308, 311
  McKenzie, F.A., 75
  Mahan, Admiral: quoted on international relations, 15, 16;
    quoted in criticism of "The Great Illusion," 170;
    quoted on elements of international politics, 171;
    quoted on world-politics, 320
  _Manchester Guardian_ and peace, 287-288
  Mankind: biological development of, 186;
    progress of, from barbarity to civilization, 199;
    psychological change in, 217;
    reasons for indisposition to fight in, 220;
    process of civilization of, 219-221;
    attitude of "average sensual man" towards peace, 371-372
  Martin, T.G., 18
  _Matin, Le_, 9, 10, 214
  Maxse, Leo, 196, 219
  Méline régime, the, in French Colonies, 121
  Merchant adventurer, the case of, in sixteenth century, 108-109
  Militarists, views of, on war, 178-179
  Military force: when and where it may be necessary, 146;
    not essential to national efficiency, 243
  Military support of Colonies.
    _See_ Colonies
  Military training, its influence on peace, 218-219
  Moltke, von, 163
  Money. _See_ Finance
  _Morning Post_, 304, 331
  Mulhall on comparative standard of comfort in European countries, 36
  Murray, Major, 41

  Napoleonic wars, results of, 238
  Nation, Nations:
    falseness of analogy between individual and a, 193, 297-299;
    honour of, 202;
    why warlike, do not inherit the earth, 224;
    warlike and unwarlike, 225, 227, 234;
    Canada least warlike, 234;
    power of a, not dependent on its army and navy, 240-241;
    reason for decay of military, 247-248;
    complexity of, 317-318;
    _Spectator_ on economic theories of, 319
  National efficiency, relation to military power, 244
  Nationalism and the co-operation of States, 312-313
  Navy, British: _Times_ on powers of, 17;
    H.W. Wilson on necessity for powerful, 17;
    Admiral Fisher on supremacy of, 350
  Northmen methods, 200
  Norway: the carrying trade of, 74;
    no temptation to invade, Sir Wilfrid Laurier on, 113
  Novikow, J., Darwinian theory of, 184

  Owen, Mr. Douglas, 19
  "Ownership." _See_ Possession

  Pacifists: pleas of, 6, 7, 10-12;
    case of, 168;
    patriots and, 373
  Pan-Germanists, aims of, 44
  Patriots: Patriotism, national honour and, 204;
    modification of aims of, owing to interdependence, 211;
    General Lea on extinction of, in United States, 213;
    the religion of politics, 362;
    pacifists and, 373, 376
  Peace: why propaganda has given small results, 10-12;
    psychological case for, 168-169;
    qualities necessary to preserve, 217;
    occupations which tend towards, 218-219;
    military training and, 219;
    attitude of "average sensual man" towards, 371-372
  Penfold, F. C, 87
  Philippines, financial effect of loss of, to Spain, 241
  Phillips, Captain March, 291
  Pitcairn, 208
  Police Force,
    London, paradox of, applied in relation to conquest, 144, 145, 264
  Politics, obsolete terminology of, 76
  Portugal, cause of failure of expansion in Asia, 239-240
  Possession: Sir J.R. Seeley on, 129;
    fallacious theory considered from German point of view, 133-134
  Printing: results of invention of, 277-279;
    power of, 364
  Prussia: cause of prosperity of, 246;
    agitation for electoral reform in, 254
  _Public Opinion_, 81-87
  Pugnacity: irrational nature of, 187-189;
    Professor William McDougal on, 308-309

  _Referee_, 19
  Regimentation, Germany's progress owing to, 255-256
  Religion: early ideals of, 174-175;
    Critchfield on influence
      of Catholic priests in South American Republics, 175;
    struggles of, and the State, 181-182, 205-206, 207;
    beliefs no longer enforced by Government, 205;
    Lecky on wars of, 206-211;
    freedom of opinion in, 212;
    reason of cessation of wars of, 307;
    relation to politics of, 362-363
  Renan, Ernest, 164-229
  Repudiation. _See_ Finance
  Revenue, State, what becomes of, 48
  Rizzi, Francisco, 208
  Robertson, John M., 249
  Rohrbach, Dr. P., 136
  Roman civilization: Mr. Roosevelt on, 223;
    Sir J.R. Seeley on downfall and decay of, 237
  Rome, Ancient: Sir J.R. Seeley on downfall and decay of, 237;
    slave society of, 269;
    contrast between, and Britain, 276
  Roosevelt, Mr., 164, 201, 202, 222, 229, 231, 234, 262

  Salisbury, Lord, 36
  Samoa, the case of the Powers, 149
  Sanderson, Lord, 324
  Schulze-Gaevernitz, Prof. von, 6
  Sea-Power, overseas trade, Benjamin Kidd on, 17-18.
    _See also_ British Navy
  Seeley, Sir J.R., 129, 237
  Shaw, G.B., 250
  Slavery, Slaves: society of, in Rome, 268;
    its relation to physical force, 269-270
  Socialism, progress of, in Germany after War of 1870, 99
  Soetbeer, 98
  Soldier: R. Blatchford on character of, 259-260;
    Captain March Phillips on, 291-292;
    _Spectator_ on, 264;
    our debt to the, 293;
    boyish appeal of the, 293-294;
    the "poetic shelf" for the, 295
  Spain: F.C. Penfold on progress of, since war, 87;
    failure of expansion of, in Asia, 240-241;
    Pierre Loti quoted in praise of troops, 242;
    military virtues of, 242;
    ruin of, by conquest, 246
  Spanish American. _See_ America, South
  _Spectator_, 156, 209, 210, 292, 333-337, 347, 356
  Spencer, Herbert, 271-272
  State, States: analogy between individuals in, 194-195;
    division of, in relation to conflict, 196;
    ancient and modern, character of, 296;
    false analogy between, and a person, 298-301;
    independent nature of, 300-301;
    _Morning Post_ on the organism of, 304;
    heterogeneous elements of, 306;
    Professor McDougal on pugnacity of barbarous, 308-309;
    definition of, 313;
    reasons for lessening "rôle" of hostility among, 313-314;
    position of citizen of small, if he became citizen of a
          large, 321-322
  States small: as prosperous as the Great Powers, 32, 40;
    investments secure in, 36, 37, 41;
    cause of prosperity of, 42-43
  Statesmen: Major Murray on methods of, with regard to treaties, 41;
    Leo Maxse on character of English, 196
  Steevens, W.H., 282, 289, 290, 291
  Steinmetz, S.R., 160
  Stengel, Baron von, 20, 162, 229
  Story, General John P., 162
  Switzerland: the commercial power of, 75;
    compared to Prussia, 255;
    position of British subject in, if threatened by Britain, 302

  _Temps, Le_, 122
  Territorial independence, Farrer on, 42
  _Times_, the, 17, 232, 250, 252, 319, 331
  Trade: T.G. Martin on Britain's carrying, 18;
    Admiral von Koster quoted on German overseas, 20-21;
    impossible to capture, by military conquest, 30-33;
    statistics of Britain's overseas, 120;
    diminishing factor of physical force in, 275-276.
    _See also_ Competition, Commerce, Industry
    treatment of British Indian in, before and after the war, 117-119;
    gold-mines of, as motives for Boer War, 125-127;
    national character of, still unchanged, 135
  Treasury, Mr. D. Owen on what enriches, 19
  Treaties, Major Stuart Murray on futility of, 41
  Tribute, exaction of, an economic impossibility, 31
  Tripoli, ineptitude of Italy in, 143

  United States: Germans in, 133;
    General Lea and _Daily Mail_ on national ideals in, 214
  _United Service Magazine_, 18

  Venezuela: warlike character of, 227;
    Caivano on natives of, 230-231
  Viking, the, our debt to, 293
  _Volkstein_, 114

  War: the case of, from militarist point of view, 6;
    cost of Franco-German War, 88-91;
    Bernhardi in defence of, 158;
    S.R. Steinmetz on the nature of, 160;
    General Homer Lee in defence of, 161-162;
    General Storey in defence of, 162;
    Baron von Stengel in defence of, 163;
    Moltke in defence of, 163;
    Roosevelt in defence of, 164-223;
    Professor James in defence of, 165;
    famous clergyman in defence of, 165-166;
    defence of, summarized, 166-167;
    the reason for, 177;
    Von der Goltz on nature of, 178;
    result of armed peace, 179;
    justification of defender of, 182;
    and the natural law of man, 185;
    the irrational aspect of, 191;
    _Spectator_ on means to an end, 209-210;
    Procurator of Russian Holy Synod on, 210;
    General Lea on its relation to commercial activities, 212;
    Captain d'Arbeux on military deterioration, 214;
    prominent advocates of, 216;
    pleas of military authorities, 223;
    General Homer Lea on military spirit, 223-224;
    advocates of, criticized, 229-230;
    the curse of, in South American Republics, 230;
    the question of just and unjust, 235-236;
    fundamental error of, 236;
    real process of, 237;
    Baron von Stengel's dictum, 238-239;
    national deterioration owing to, 239;
    effects of prolonged warfare, 245;
    changed nature of, 267;
    not now a physical but an intellectual pursuit, 281-282;
    General Homer Lea on nature of modern battles, 282;
    Bernhardi on tactics and "pomp of war," 285;
    radical change in methods of, 284-285;
    pleas of militarists analyzed, 286-287;
    _Manchester Guardian_ on moral influence of, 287;
    emotional appeal of, 288;
    Mr. Churchill on, 346.
    _See also_ Conquest
  Wealth: _Referee_ on, in time of war, 19;
    national, not dependent on its political power, 32;
    policy of conqueror with regard to, 33-34;
    the question of, in international politics, 36-39,
    intangibility of, 64.
    _See also_ Finance
  Wilkinson, Professor, 29, 298-299
  Wilson, H.W., 17
  Wirth, Max, 95
  Witchcraft: belief in, 341;
    Lecky on, 377-378;
    folly of, from modern point of view, 378
  Withers, Hartley, 59
  _World_, the, 116

       *       *       *       *       *

_By the Same Author_

  The Great Illusion

  A Study of the Relation of Military Power in Nations to their
  Economic and Social Advantages. 12mo. $1.00 _net_

  Arms and Industry

  A Study of the Foundations of International Polity

_In Preparation:_

  The Citizen and Society

  First Principles of their Relationship

       *       *       *       *       *



  ="New York Times," March 12, 1911.=

    "A book which has compelled thought; a book full of real ideas
    deserves the welcome it has received. The author is enjoying the
    almost unlimited praise of his contemporaries, expressed or
    indicated by many men of eminence and influence, by countless
    reviewers who have lately hungered for a hero to worship.

    "Moreover ... it certainly makes for genuine æsthetic pleasure, and
    that is all most of us ask of a book."

  ="The Evening Post," Chicago (Mr. Floyd Dell), February 17, 1911.=

    "The book, being read, does not simply satisfy curiosity; it
    disturbs and amazes. It is not, as one would expect, a striking
    expression of some familiar objections to war. It is instead--it
    appears to be--a new contribution to thought, a revolutionary work
    of the first importance, a complete shattering of conventional
    ideas about international politics; something corresponding to the
    epoch-making 'Origin of Species' in the realm of biology.

    "All of this it appears to be. One says 'appears,' not because the
    book fails completely to convince, but because it convinces so
    fully. The paradox is so perfect there must be something wrong
    about it!...

    "At first glance the statement which forms the basis of the book
    looks rather absurd, but before it is finished it seems a
    self-evident proposition. It is certainly a proposition which, if
    proved, will provide a materialistic common-sense basis for

    "There is subject-matter here for ironic contemplation. Mr. Angell
    gives the reader no chance to imagine that these things 'just
    happened.' He shows why they happened and had to happen....

    "One returns again and again to the arguments, looking to find some
    fallacy in them. Not finding them, one stares wonderingly ahead
    into the future, where the book seems to cast its portentous

  ="Boston Herald," January 21, 1911.=

    "This is an epoch-making book, which should be in the hands of
    everyone who has even the slightest interest in human progress....
    His criticism is not only masterly--it is overwhelming; for though
    controversy will arise on some of the details, the main argument is
    irrefutable. He has worked it out with a grasp of the evidence and
    a relentlessness of logic that will give life and meaning to his
    book for many a year to come."

  ="Life" (New York).=

    "An inquiry into the nature and history of the forces that have
    shaped and are shaping our social development that throws more
    light upon the meaning and the probable outcome of the so-called
    'war upon war' than all that has been written and published upon
    both sides put together. The incontrovertible service that Mr.
    Angell has rendered us in 'The Great Illusion' is to have
    introduced intellectual order into an emotional chaos."


  ="Daily Mail."=

    "No book has attracted wider attention or has done more to
    stimulate thought in the present century than 'The Great Illusion.'
    Published obscurely, and the work of an unknown writer, it
    gradually forced its way to the front.... Has become a significant
    factor in the present discussion of armaments and arbitration."


    "No piece of political thinking has in recent years more stirred
    the world which controls the movement of politics.... A fervour, a
    simplicity, and a force which no political writer of our generation
    has equalled ... rank its author, with Cobden, among the greatest
    of our pamphleteers, perhaps the greatest since Swift."

  ="Edinburgh Review."=

    "Mr. Angell's main thesis cannot be disputed, and when the facts
    ... are fully realized, there will be another diplomatic revolution
    more fundamental than that of 1756."

  ="Daily News."=

    "So simple were the questions he asked, so unshakable the facts of
    his reply, so enormous and dangerous the popular illusion which he
    exposed, that the book not only caused a sensation in reading
    circles, but also, as we know, greatly moved certain persons
    high-placed in the political world.

    "The critics have failed to find a serious flaw in Norman Angell's
    logical, coherent, masterly analysis."

  =Sir Frank Lascelles (formerly British Ambassador at Berlin) in
  Speech at Glasgow, January 29, 1912.=

    "While I was staying with the late King, his Majesty referred me to
    a book which had then been published by Norman Angell, entitled
    'The Great Illusion.' I read the book, and while I think that at
    present it is not a question of practical politics, I am convinced
    that it will change the thought of the world in the future."

  =R.A. Scott James in "The Influence of the Press."=

    "Norman Angel in recent years has done more probably than any other
    European to frustrate war, to prove that it is unprofitable. He was
    probably the guiding spirit behind the diplomacy which checked the
    Great Powers from rushing into the Balkan conflict."

  =J.W. Graham, M.A., in "Evolution and Empire."=

    "Norman Angell has placed the world in his debt and initiated a new
    epoch of thought.... It is doubtful whether since the 'Origin of
    Species' so many bubbles have been burst, and so definitely plain a
    step in thought been made, by any single book."

  =Mr. Harold Begbie in the "Daily Chronicle."=

    "A new idea is suddenly thrust upon the minds of men.... It is
    hardly an exaggeration to say that this book does more to fill the
    mind with the intolerable weight of war, to convince the reasonable
    mind ... than all the moral and eloquent appeals of Tolstoy.... The
    wisest piece of writing on the side of peace extant in the world

  ="Birmingham Post."=

    "'The Great Illusion,' by sheer force, originality, and
    indisputable logic, has won its way steadily forward, and made its
    author a person to be quoted by statesmen and diplomatists not only
    in England, but in France, Germany, and America."

  ="Glasgow News."=

    "If only for the daring with which Mr. Angell's extraordinary book
    declares that the accepted ideas are so much moonshine, it would be
    a work to attract attention. When we add that Mr. Angell makes out
    a decidedly brilliant and arresting case for his contention, we
    have said sufficient to indicate that it is worth perusal by the
    most serious type of reader."


  =W.M. Hughes, Acting Premier of Australia, in a letter to the
  "Sydney Telegraph."=

    "It is a great book, a glorious book to read. It is a book pregnant
    with the brightest promise to the future of civilized man.
    Peace--not the timid, shrinking figure of The Hague, cowering under
    the sinister shadow of six million bayonets--appears at length as
    an ideal possible of realization in our own time."

  =Sir George Reid, Australian High Commissioner in London (Sphinx
  Club Banquet, May 5, 1911).=

    "I regard the author of this book as having rendered one of the
    greatest services ever rendered by the writer of a book to the
    human race. Well, I will be very cautious indeed--one of the
    greatest services which any author has rendered during the past
    hundred years."


  =M. Anatole France in "The English Review," August, 1913.=

    "One cannot weigh too deeply the reflections of this ably reasoned

  ="La Petite République" (M. Henri Turot), 17 Décembre, 1910.=

    "J'estime, pour ma part, 'La Grande Illusion' doit avoir, au point
    de vue de la conception moderne de l'économie politique
    internationale, un retentissement égal à celui qu'eut, en matière
    biologique, la publication, par Darwin, de 'l'Origine des espèces.'

    "C'est que M. Norman Angell joint à l'originalité de la pensée le
    courage de toutes les franchises, qu'il unit à une prodigieuse
    érudition la lucidité d'esprit et la méthode qui font jaillir la
    loi scientifique de l'ensemble des événements observés."

  ="Revue Bleu," Mai, 1911.=

    "Fortement étayées, ses propositions émanent d'un esprit
    singulièrement réaliste, également informé et clairvoyant, qui met
    une connaissance des affaires et une dialectique concise au service
    d'une conviction, aussi passionnée que généreuse."

  =M. Jean Jaurès, during debate in French Chamber of Deputies,
  January 13, 1911; see Journal Officiel, 14 Janvier, 1911.=

    "Il a paru, il y a peu de temps, un livre anglais de M. Norman
    Angell, 'La Grande Illusion,' qui a produit un grand effet en
    Angleterre. Dans les quelques jours que j'ai passés de l'autre côté
    du détroit, j'ai vu, dans les réunions populaires, toutes les fois
    qu'il était fait mention de ce livre, les applaudissements


  ="Kölnische Zeitung."=

    "Never before has the peace question been dealt with by so bold,
    novel, and clear a method; never before has the financial
    interdependence of nations been shown with such precision.... It is
    refreshing to have demonstrated in this unsentimental, practical
    way the fact that as our financial interdependence increases war as
    a business venture necessarily becomes more and more unprofitable."

  ="Der Turmer" (Stuttgart).=

    "This demonstration should clear the air like a thunderstorm.... It
    is not because the book brilliantly expresses what are in many
    respects our own views that we urge its importance, but because of
    its unanswerable demonstration of the futility of military power in
    the economic field."

  ="Königsberger Allgemeine Zeitung."=

    "This book proves absolutely that conquest as a means of material
    gain has become an impossibility.... The author shows that the
    factors of the whole problem have been profoundly modified within
    the past forty years."

  ="Ethische Kultur" (Berlin).=

    "Never has militarism been combated by economic weapons with the
    skill shown by Norman Angell.... So broad and comprehensive a grasp
    of the moral as well as the economic force, that the book is a real
    pleasure to read.... The time was ripe for a man with this keenness
    of vision to come forward and prove in this flawless way that
    military power has nothing to do with national prosperity."

  =Professor Karl von Bar, the authority on International and
  Criminal Law, Privy Councillor, etc.=

    "Particularly do I agree with the author in these two points: (1)
    That in the present condition of organized society the attempt of
    one nation to destroy the commerce or industry of another must
    damage the victor more perhaps than the vanquished; and (2) that
    physical force is a constantly diminishing factor in human affairs.
    The rising generation seems to be realizing this more and more."

  =Dr. Friedrich Curtius.=

    "The book will, I hope, convince everyone that in our time the
    attempt to settle industrial and commercial conflicts by arms is an
    absurdity.... I doubt, indeed, whether educated folks in Germany
    entertain this 'illusion' ... or the idea that colonies or wealth
    can be 'captured.' ... A war dictated by a moral idea, the only one
    we can justify, is inconceivable as between England and Germany."

  =Dr. Wilhelm Ostwald, who has occupied chairs in several German
  Universities, as well as at Harvard and Columbia.=

    "From the first line to the last 'The Great Illusion' expresses my
    own opinions."

  =Dr. Sommer, Member of the Reichstag.=

    "A most timely work, and one which everyone, be he statesman or
    political economist, should study ... especially if he desires to
    understand a peace ideal which is practical and realizable....
    Without agreeing on all points, I admit gladly the force and
    suggestiveness of the thesis.... We on our side should make it our
    business, as you should on yours, to render it operative, to use
    the means, heretofore unrealized, of joint work for civilization.
    In rendering possible such joint work, Norman Angell's book must
    take a foremost place."

  =Dr. Max Nordau.=

    "If the destiny of people were settled by reason and interest, the
    influence of such a book would be decisive.... The book will
    convince the far-seeing minority, who will spread the truth, and
    thus slowly conquer the world."

  =Dr. Albert Suedekum, Member of the Reichstag, author of several
  works on municipal government, editor of Municipal Year-Books, etc.=

    "I consider the book an invaluable contribution to the better
    understanding of the real basis of international peace."

  =Dr. Otto Mugdan, Member of the Reichstag, Member of the National
  Loan Commission, Chairman of the Audit Commission, etc.=

    "The demonstration of the financial interdependence of modern
    civilized nations, and the economic futility of conquest, could not
    be made more irrefutably."

  =Professor A. von Harder.=

    "I agree that it is a mistake to wait for action as between
    governments; far better, as Jaurès proved the other day in the
    French Chamber, for the peoples to co-operate.... The book should
    be widely circulated in Germany, where so many are still of opinion
    that heavy armaments are an absolute necessity for self-defence."


  ="American Journal of Political Economy."=

    "The best treatise yet written on the economic aspect of war."

  ="American Political Science Review."=

    "It may be doubted whether within its entire range the peace
    literature of the Anglo-Saxon world has ever produced a more
    fascinating or significant study."

  ="Economist" (London).=

    "Nothing has ever been put in the same space so well calculated to
    set plain men thinking usefully on the subject of expenditure on
    armaments, scare and war.... The result of the publication of this
    book has been within the past month or two quite a number of rather
    unlikely conversions to the cause of retrenchment."

  ="Investors' Review" (London), November 12, 1910.=

    "No book we have read for years has so interested and delighted
    us.... He proceeds to argue, and to prove, that conquests do not
    enrich the conqueror under modern conditions of life.... The style
    in which the book is written--sincere, transparent, simple, and now
    and then charged with fine touches of ironic humour--make it very
    easy to read."

  ="Economic Review" (London).=

    "Civilization will some day acknowledge a deep debt of gratitude to
    Mr. Norman Angell for the bold and searching criticism of the
    fundamental assumptions of modern diplomacy contained in his
    remarkable book.... He has laid his fingers upon some very vital
    facts, to which even educated opinion has hitherto been blind."

  ="Journal des Economistes."=

    "Son livre sera beaucoup lu, car il est aussi agréable que profond,
    et il donnera beaucoup à réfléchir."

  ="Export" (Organ des Centralvereins für Handelsgeographie).=

    "By reason of its statement of the case against war in terms of
    practical politics and commercial advantage (=Real-und
    Handelspolitikers=), the keenness and the mercilessness of the
    logic by which the author explodes the errors and the illusions of
    the war phantasists ... the sense of reality, the force with which
    he settles accounts point by point with the militarists, this book
    stands alone. It is unique."

  ="The Western Mail."=

    "A novel, bold, and startling theory."


  ="Army and Navy Journal" (N.Y.), October 5, 1910.=

    "If all anti-militarists could argue for their cause with the
    candour and fairness of Norman Angell we should welcome them, not
    with 'bloody hands to hospitable graves,' but to a warm and cheery
    intellectual comradeship. Mr. Angell has packed away in his book
    more common sense than peace societies have given birth to in all
    the years of their existence...."

  ="United Service Magazine" (London), May, 1911.=

    "It is an extraordinarily clearly written treatise upon an
    absorbingly interesting subject, and it is one which no thinking
    soldier should neglect to study.... Mr. Angell's book is much to be
    commended in this respect. It contains none of the nauseating
    sentiment which is normally parasitic to 'peace' literature. The
    author is evidently careful to take things exactly as he conceives
    them to be, and to work out his conclusions without 'cleverness'
    and unobscured by technical language. His method is to state the
    case for the defence (of present-day 'militarist' statecraft), to
    the best of his ability in one chapter, calling the best witnesses
    he can find and putting their views from every standpoint so
    clearly that even one who was beforehand quite ignorant of the
    subject cannot fail to understand. Mr. Angell's book is one which
    all citizens would do well to read, and read right through. It has
    the clearness of vision and the sparkling conciseness which one
    associates with Swift at his best."

  ="The Army Service Corps Quarterly" (Aldershot, England), April,

    "The ideas are so original and clever, and in places are argued
    with so much force and common sense, that they cannot be pushed
    aside at once as preposterous.... There is food here for profound
    study.... Above all, we should encourage the sale of 'The Great
    Illusion' abroad, among nations likely to attack us, as much as

  ="War Office Times" (London).=

    "Should be read by everyone who desires to comprehend both the
    strength and the weakness of this country."

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's notes:

    Punctuation has been normalized.

    On page 33 "be yond" changed to "beyond."
      "... beyond saving the Mother Country...."

    On page 72 "such and-such" changed to "such-and-such."

    On page 190 "reationship" changed to "relationship."
      "... on basis of mutual profit the only relationship...."

    On page 202 "porportion" changed to "proportion."
      "Our sense of proportion in these matters...."

    On page 241 "real ze" changed to "realize."
      "... by the fact that she failed to realize this truth...."

    On page 267 "anchronism" changed to "anachronism."
      "... it is an anachronism; it finds its justification in...."

    On page 317 "indentification" changed to "identification."
      "... identification between a people and the acts...."

    On page 340 "orginally" changed to "originally."
      "... our relative positions is just what it was originally...."

    On page 359 "fanticism" changed to "fanaticism."
      "... Mohammedan fanaticism, Chinese Boxerism...."

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