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Title: The War That Will End War
Author: Wells, H. G. (Herbert George)
Language: English
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                       The War That Will End War

                       The War That Will End War

                              H. G. Wells

                   Author of “Tono-Bungay,” “The New
                     Machiavelli,” “Marriage,” etc.

                                New York
                           Duffield & Company

                             COPYRIGHT 1914
                             BY H. G. WELLS


          I Why Britain went to War                         9

          II The Sword of Peace                            16

          III Hands off the People’s Food                  23

          IV Concerning Mr. Maximilian Craft               32

          V The Most Necessary Measures in the
          World                                            40

          VI The Need of a New Map of Europe               50

          VII The Opportunity of Liberalism                60

          VIII The Liberal Fear of Russia                  69

          IX An Appeal to the American People              80

          X Common Sense and the Balkan States             89

          XI The War of the Mind                           97

                        WHY BRITAIN WENT TO WAR

The cause of a war and the object of a war are not necessarily the same.
The cause of this war was the invasion of Luxemburg and Belgium. We
declared war because we were bound by treaty to declare war. We have
been pledged to protect the integrity of Belgium since the kingdom of
Belgium has existed. If the Germans had not broken the guarantees they
shared with us to respect the neutrality of these little States we
should certainly not be at war at the present time. The fortified
eastern frontier of France could have been held against any attack
without any help from us. We had no obligations and no interests there.
We were pledged to France simply to protect her from a naval attack by
sea, but the Germans had already given us an undertaking not to make
such an attack. It was our Belgian treaty and the sudden outrage on
Luxemburg that precipitated us into this conflict. No Power in the world
would have respected our Flag or accepted our national word again if we
had not fought. So much for the immediate cause of the war.

But now we come to the object of this war. We began to fight because our
honour and our pledge obliged us; but so soon as we are embarked upon
the fighting we have to ask ourselves what is the end at which our
fighting aims. We cannot simply put the Germans back over the Belgian
border and tell them not to do it again. We find ourselves at war with
that huge military empire with which we have been doing our best to keep
the peace since first it rose upon the ruins of French Imperialism in
1871. And war is mortal conflict. We have now either to destroy or be
destroyed. We have not sought this reckoning, we have done our utmost to
avoid it; but now that it has been forced upon us it is imperative that
it should be a thorough reckoning. This is a war that touches every man
and every home in each of the combatant countries. It is a war, as Mr.
Sidney Low has said, not of soldiers but of whole peoples. And it is a
war that must be fought to such a finish that every man in each of the
nations engaged understands what has happened. There can be no
diplomatic settlement that will leave German Imperialism free to explain
away its failure to its people and start new preparations. We have to go
on until we are absolutely done for, or until the Germans as a people
know that they are beaten, and are convinced that they have had enough
of war.

We are fighting Germany. But we are fighting without any hatred of the
German people. We do not intend to destroy either their freedom or their
unity. But we have to destroy an evil system of government and the
mental and material corruption that has got hold of the German
imagination and taken possession of German life. We have to smash the
Prussian Imperialism as thoroughly as Germany in 1871 smashed the rotten
Imperialism of Napoleon III. And also we have to learn from the failure
of that victory to avoid a vindictive triumph.

This Prussian Imperialism has been for forty years an intolerable
nuisance in the earth. Ever since the crushing of the French in 1871 the
evil thing has grown and cast its spreading shadow over Europe. Germany
has preached a propaganda of ruthless force and political materialism to
the whole uneasy world. “Blood and iron,” she boasted, was the cement of
her unity, and almost as openly the little, mean, aggressive statesmen
and professors who have guided her destinies to this present conflict
have professed cynicism and an utter disregard of any ends but
nationally selfish ends, as though it were religion. Evil just as much
as good may be made into a Cant. Physical and moral brutality has indeed
become a cant in the German mind, and spread from Germany throughout the
world. I could wish it were possible to say that English and American
thought had altogether escaped its corruption. But now at last we shake
ourselves free and turn upon this boasting wickedness to rid the world
of it. The whole world is tired of it. And “Gott!”—Gott so perpetually
invoked—Gott indeed must be very tired of it.

This is already the vastest war in history. It is war not of nations,
but of mankind. It is a war to exorcise a world-madness and end an age.

And note how this Cant of public rottenness has had its secret side. The
man who preaches cynicism in his own business transactions had better
keep a detective and a cash register for his clerks; and it is the most
natural thing in the world to find that this system, which is outwardly
vile, is also inwardly rotten. Beside the Kaiser stands the firm of
Krupp, a second head to the State; on the very steps of the throne is
the armament trust, that organised scoundrelism which has, in its
relentless propaganda for profit, mined all the security of
civilisation, brought up and dominated a Press, ruled a national
literature, and corrupted universities.

Consider what the Germans have been, and what the Germans can be. Here
is a race which has for its chief fault docility and a belief in
teachers and rulers. For the rest, as all who know it intimately will
testify, it is the most amiable of peoples. It is naturally kindly,
comfort-loving, child-loving, musical, artistic, intelligent. In
countless respects German homes and towns and countrysides are the most
civilised in the world. But these people did a little lose their heads
after the victories of the sixties and seventies, and there began a
propaganda of national vanity and national ambition. It was organised by
a stupidly forceful statesman, it was fostered by folly upon the throne.
It was guarded from wholesome criticism by an intolerant censorship. It
never gave sanity a chance. A certain patriotic sentimentality lent
itself only too readily to the suggestion of the flatterer, and so there
grew up this monstrous trade in weapons. German patriotism became an
“interest,” the greatest of the “interests.” It developed a vast
advertisement propaganda. It subsidised Navy Leagues and Aerial Leagues,
threatening the world. Mankind, we saw too late, had been guilty of an
incalculable folly in permitting private men to make a profit out of the
dreadful preparations for war. But the evil was started; the German
imagination was captured and enslaved. On every other European country
that valued its integrity there was thrust the overwhelming necessity to
arm and drill—and still to arm and drill. Money was withdrawn from
education, from social progress, from business enterprise, and art and
scientific research, and from every kind of happiness; life was drilled
and darkened.

So that the harvest of this darkness comes now almost as a relief, and
it is a grim satisfaction in our discomforts that we can at last look
across the roar and torment of battlefields to the possibility of an
organised peace.

For this is now a war for peace.

It aims straight at disarmament. It aims at a settlement that shall stop
this sort of thing for ever. Every soldier who fights against Germany
now is a crusader against war. This, the greatest of all wars, is not
just another war—it is the last war! England, France, Italy, Belgium,
Spain, and all the little countries of Europe, are heartily sick of war;
the Tsar has expressed a passionate hatred of war; the most of Asia is
unwarlike; the United States has no illusions about war. And never was
war begun so joyously, and never was war begun with so grim a
resolution. In England, France, Belgium, Russia, there is no thought of

We know we face unprecedented slaughter and agonies; we know that for
neither side will there be easy triumphs or prancing victories. Already,
in that warring sea of men, there is famine as well as hideous butchery,
and soon there must come disease.

Can it be otherwise?

We face, perhaps, the most awful winter that mankind has ever faced.

But we English and our allies, who did not seek this catastrophe, face
it with anger and determination rather than despair.

Through this war we have to march, through pain, through agonies of the
spirit worse than pain, through seas of blood and filth. We English have
not had things kept from us. We know what war is; we have no delusions.
We have read books that tell us of the stench of battlefields, and the
nature of wounds, books that Germany suppressed and hid from her people.
And we face these horrors to make an end of them.

There shall be no more Kaisers, there shall be no more Krupps, we are
resolved. That foolery shall end!

And not simply the present belligerents must come into the settlement.

All America, Italy, China, the Scandinavian Powers, must have a voice in
the final readjustment, and set their hands to the ultimate guarantees.
I do not mean that they need fire a single shot or load a single gun.
But they must come in. And in particular to the United States do we look
to play a part in that pacification of the world for which our whole
nation is working, and for which, by the thousand, men are now laying
down their lives.

                           THE SWORD OF PEACE

Europe is at war!

The monstrous vanity that was begotten by the easy victories of '70 and
'71 has challenged the world, and Germany prepares to reap the harvest
Bismarck sowed. That trampling, drilling foolery in the heart of Europe,
that has arrested civilisation and darkened the hopes of mankind for
forty years. German Imperialism, German militarism, has struck its
inevitable blow. The victory of Germany will mean the permanent
enthronement of the War God over all human affairs. The defeat of
Germany may open the way to disarmament and peace throughout the earth.

To those who love peace there can be no other hope in the present
conflict than the defeat, the utter discrediting of the German legend,
the ending for good and all of the blood and iron superstition, of
Krupp, flag-wagging Teutonic Kiplingism, and all that criminal, sham
efficiency that centres in Berlin. Never was war so righteous as war
against Germany now. Never has any State in the world so clamoured for

But be it remembered that Europe’s quarrel is with the German State, not
with the German people; with a system, and not with a race. The older
tradition of Germany is a pacific and civilising tradition. The
temperament of the mass of German people is kindly, sane and amiable.
Disaster to the German Army, if it is unaccompanied by any such
memorable wrong as dismemberment or intolerable indignity, will mean the
restoration of the greatest people in Europe to the fellowship of
Western nations. The _rôle_ of England in this huge struggle is plain as
daylight. We have to fight. If only on account of the Luxemburg outrage
we have to fight. If we do not fight, England will cease to be a country
to be proud of; it will be a dirt-bath to escape from. But it is
inconceivable that we should not fight. And having fought, then in the
hour of victory it will be for us to save the liberated Germans from
vindictive treatment, to secure for this great people their right, as
one united German-speaking State, to a place in the sun.

First we have to save ourselves and Europe, and then we have to stand
between German on the one hand and the Cossack and revenge on the other.

For my own part, I do not doubt that Germany and Austria are doomed to
defeat in this war. It may not be catastrophic defeat, though even that
is possible, but it is defeat. There is no destiny in the stars and
every sign is false if this is not so.

They have provoked an overwhelming combination of enemies. They have
under-rated France. They are hampered by a bad social and military
tradition. The German is not naturally a good soldier; he is orderly and
obedient, but he is not nimble nor quick-witted; since his sole
considerable military achievement, his not very lengthy march to Paris
in 1870 and '71, the conditions of modern warfare have been almost
completely revolutionised and in a direction that subordinates the
massed fighting of unintelligent men to the rapid initiative of
individualised soldiers. And, on the other hand, since those years of
disaster, the Frenchman has learnt the lesson of humility; he is
prepared now sombrely for a sombre struggle; his is the gravity that
precedes astonishing victories. In the air, in the open field, with guns
and machines, it is doubtful if anyone fully realises the superiority of
his quality to the German. This sudden attack may take him aback for a
week or so, though I doubt even that, but in the end I think he will
hold his own; even without us he will hold his own, and with us then I
venture to prophesy that within three months from now his Tricolour will
be over the Rhine. And even suppose his line gets broken by the first
rush. Even then I do not see how the Germans are to get to Paris or
anywhere near Paris. I do not see how against the strength of the modern
defensive and the stinging power of an intelligent enemy in retreat, of
which we had a little foretaste in South Africa, the exploit of Sedan
can be repeated. A retiring German army, on the other hand, will be far
less formidable than a retiring French army, because it has less “devil”
in it, because it is made up of men taught to obey in masses, because
its intelligence is concentrated in its aristocratic officers, because
it is dismayed when it breaks ranks. The German army is everything the
Conscriptionists dreamt of making our people; it is, in fact, an army
about twenty years behind the requirements of contemporary conditions.

On the Eastern frontier the issue is more doubtful because of the
uncertainty of Russian things. The peculiar military strength of Russia,
a strength it was not able to display in Manchuria, lies in its vast
resources of mounted men. A set invasion of Prussia may be a matter of
many weeks, but the raiding possibilities in Eastern Germany are
enormous. It is difficult to guess how far the Russian attack will be
guided by intelligence, and how far Russia will blunder, but Russia will
have to blunder very disastrously indeed before she can be put upon the
defensive. A Russian raid is far more likely to threaten Berlin than a
German to reach Paris.

Meanwhile there is the struggle on the sea. In that I am prepared for
some rude shocks. The Germans have devoted an amount of energy to the
creation of an aggressive navy that would have been spent more wisely in
consolidating their European position. It is probably a thoroughly good
navy, and ship for ship the equal of our own. But the same lack of
invention, the same relative uncreativeness that has kept the German
behind the Frenchman in things aerial has made him, regardless of his
shallow seas, follow our lead in naval matters, and if we have erred,
and I believe we have erred, in overrating the importance of the big
battleship, the German has at least very obligingly fallen in with our
error. The safest, most effective, place for the German fleet at the
present time is the Baltic Sea. On this side of the Kiel Canal, unless I
overrate the powers of the water-plane, there is no safe harbour for it.
If it goes into port anywhere that port can be ruined, and the
bottled-up ships can be destroyed at leisure by aerial bombs. So that if
they are on this side of the Kiel Canal they must keep the sea and
fight, if we let them, before their coal runs short. Battle in the open
sea in this case is their only chance. They will fight against odds, and
with every prospect of a smashing, albeit we shall certainly have to pay
for that victory in ships and men. In the Baltic we shall not be able to
get at them without the participation of Denmark, and they may have a
considerable use against Russia. But in the end even there mine and
aeroplane and destroyer should do their work.

So I reckon that Germany will be held east and west, and that she will
get her fleet practically destroyed. We ought also to be able to sweep
her shipping off the seas, and lower her flag for ever in Africa and
Asia and the Pacific. All the probabilities, it seems to me, point to
that. There is no reason why Italy should not stick to her present
neutrality, and there is considerable inducement close at hand for both
Denmark and Japan to join in, directly they are convinced of the failure
of the first big rush on the part of Germany. All these issues will be
more or less definitely decided within the next two or three months. By
that time I believe German Imperialism will be shattered, and it may be
possible to anticipate the end of the armaments phase of European
history. France, Italy, England, and all the smaller Powers of Europe
are now pacific countries; Russia, after this huge war, will be too
exhausted for further adventure; a shattered Germany will be a
revolutionary Germany, as sick of uniforms and the Imperialist idea as
France was in 1871, as disillusioned about predominance as Bulgaria is
to-day. The way will be open at last for all these Western Powers to
organise peace. That is why I, with my declared horror of war, have not
signed any of these “stop-the-war” appeals and declarations that have
appeared in the last few days. Every sword that is drawn against Germany
now is a sword drawn for peace.

                      HANDS OFF THE PEOPLE’S FOOD

This is a war-torn article, a convalescent article.

It is characteristic of the cheerful gallantry of the time that after
being left for dead on Saturday evening this article should be able, in
an only very slightly bandaged condition, to take its place in the
firing-line again on Thursday morning.

It was first written late on Friday night; it was written in a mood of
righteous excitement, and it was an extremely ineffective article. In
the night I could not sleep because of its badness, and because I did so
vehemently want it to hit hard and get its effect. I turned out about
two o’clock in the morning and redrafted it, and the next day I wrote it
all over again differently and carefully, and I think better. In the
afternoon it was blown up by the discovery that Mr. Runciman had
anticipated its essential idea. He had brought in, and the House had
passed through all its stages, a Bill to give the Board of Trade power
to requisition and deal with hoarded or reserved food. That was exactly
the demand of my article. My article, about to die, saluted this most
swift and decisive Government of ours....

Then I perceived that there were still many things to be said about this
requisitioning of food. The Board of Trade has got its powers, but
apparently they have still to be put into operation. It is extremely
desirable that there should be a strong public opinion supporting and
watching the exercise of these powers, and that they should be applied
at the proper point immediately. The powers Mr. Runciman has secured so
rapidly for the Board of Trade have to be put into operation; there must
be an equally rapid development of local committees and commandos to
carry out his idea. The shortage continues. It is not over. The common
people, who are sending their boys so bravely and uncomplainingly to the
front, must be relieved at once from the intolerable hardships which a
certain section of the prosperous classes, a small section but an
actively mischievous section, is causing them. It is a right; not a
demand for charity. It is ridiculous to treat the problem in any other

So far the poorer English have displayed an amazing and exemplary
patience in this crisis, a humility and courage that make one the
prouder for being also English. Apart from any failure of employment at
the present time, it must be plain to anyone who has watched the present
rise of prices and who knows anything either at first hand of poor
households or by reading such investigations as those of Mrs. Pember
Reeves upon the family budgets of the poor, that the rank and file of
our population cannot now be getting enough to eat. They are suffering
needless deprivation and also they are suffering needless vexation. And
there is no atom of doubt why they are suffering these distresses. It is
that pretentious section of the prosperous classes, the section we might
hit off with the phrase “automobile-driving villadom,” the “Tariff
Reform and damn Lloyd George and Keir Hardie” class, the most pampered
and least public-spirited of any stratum in the community, which has
grabbed at the food; it has given way to an inglorious panic; it has
broken ranks and stampeded to the stores and made the one discreditable
exception in the splendid spectacle of our national solidarity.

While the attention of all decent English folk has been concentrated
upon the preparations for our supreme blow at Prussian predominance in
Europe, villadom has been swarming to the shops, buying up the food of
the common people, carrying it off in the family car (adorned, of
course, with a fluttering little Union Jack); father has given a day
from business, mother has helped, even those shiny-headed nuts, the
sons, have condescended to assist, and now villadom, feeling a little
safer, is ready with the dinner-bell, its characteristic instrument of
music, to maffick at the victories it has done its best to spoil. And
villadom promoted and distended, villadom in luck, turned millionaire,
villadom on a scale that can buy a peerage and write you its
thousands-of-pounds cheque for a showy subscription list, has been true
to its origins. Lord Maffick, emulating Mr. and Mrs. Maffick, swept his
district clean of flour; let the thing go down to history. Lord Maffick
now explains that he bought it to distribute among his poorer
neighbours—that is going to be the stock excuse of these people—but that
sort of buying is just exactly as bad for prices as buying for Lord
Maffick’s personal interior. The sooner that flour gets out of the
houses of Lord Maffick and Horatio Maffick, Esquire, and young Mr.
Maffick and the rest of them, and into the houses of their poorer
neighbours, the better for them and the country. The greatest danger to
England at the present time is neither the German army nor the German
fleet, but this morally rotten section of our community.

Now it is no use scolding these people. It is no use appealing to their
honour and patriotism. Honour they have none, and their idea of
patriotism is to “tax the foreigner,” wave Union Jacks, and clamour for
the application to England of just that universal compulsory service
which leads straight to those crowded, ineffective massacres of common
soldiers that are beginning upon the German war-front. Exhortation may
sway the ninety-and-nine, but the one mean man in the hundred will spoil
the lot. The thing to do now is to get to work at once in every
locality, requisitioning all excessive private stores of food or gold
coins—they can be settled for after the war—not only the stores of the
private food-grabbers, but also the stores of the speculative
wholesalers who are holding up prices to the retail shops. Only in that
way can the operations of this intolerable little minority be completely
checked. Under every county council food committees should be formed at
once to report on the necessities of the general mass and conduct
inquiries into hoarding and the seizure and distribution of hoards,
small and great.

Now this is a public work calling for the most careful and open methods.
Food distribution in England is partly in the hands of great systems of
syndicated shops and partly still in the hands of one-shop local
tradesmen. It is imperative that the brightest light should be kept upon
the operations of both small and large provision dealers. The big firms
are in the control of men whose business successes have received in many
instances marks of the signal favour and trust of our rulers. Lord
Devonport, for example, is a peer; Sir Thomas Lipton is a baronet; they
are not to be regarded as mere private traders, but as men honoured by
association with the hierarchy of our national life on account of their
distinguished share in the public food service. It will help them in
their quasi-public duties to give them the support of our attention. Are
they devoting their enormous economic advantages to keeping prices at a
reasonable level, or are these various systems of syndicated provision
shops also putting things up against the consumer? With concerted action
on the part of these stores the most perfect control of prices is
possible everywhere, except in the case of a few out-of-the-way
villages. Is it being done? Nobody wants to see the names of Lord
Devonport or Sir Thomas Lipton or the various other rich men associated
with them in the food supply flourishing about on royal subscription
lists at the present time; their work lies closer at hand. What we all
want is to feel that they are devoting their utmost resources to the
public food service of which they constitute so important a part. Let me
say at once that I have every reason to believe they are doing it, and
that they are alive to the responsibilities of their positions. But we
must keep the limelight on them and on their less honoured and
conspicuous fellow-merchants. They are playing as important and vital a
part—indeed, they are called upon to play as brave and self-sacrificing
a part—as any general at the front. If they fail us it will be worse
than the loss of many thousands of men in battle. Let us watch them, and
I believe we shall watch them with admiration. But let us watch them.
Let us report their movements, ask them to reassure us, chronicle their
visits to the Board of Trade.

I will not expatiate upon the possible heroisms of the wholesale
provision trade. I do but glance at the possibility of Lord Devonport or
Sir Thomas Lipton, after the war, living, financially ruined, but
glorious, in a little cottage. “I gave back to the people in their hour
of need what I made from them in their hours of plenty,” he would say.
“I have suffered that thousands might not suffer. It is nothing. Think
of the lads who died in Belgium.”

By all accounts, the small one-shop provision dealers are behaving
extremely well. In my own town of Dunmow I know of two little
shopkeepers who have dared to offend important customers rather than
fulfil panic orders. They deserve medals. In poor districts many such
men are giving credit, eking out, tiding over, and all the time running
tremendous risks. Not all heroes are upon the battlefield, and some of
the heroes of this war are now fighting gallantly for our land behind
grocers’ counters and in village general shops, and may end, if not in
the burial trench, in the bankruptcy court. Indeed, many of them are
already on the verge of bankruptcy. The wholesalers have, I know, in
many cases betrayed them, not simply by putting up prices, but by
suddenly stopping customary credits, and this last week has seen some
dismal nights of sleepless worry in the little bedrooms over the
isolated grocery. While we look to the syndicated shops to do their
duty, it is of the utmost importance also that we should not permit a
massacre of the small tradespeople. A catastrophe to the small
shopkeeper at the present time will not only throw a multitude of broken
men upon public resources, but leave a gap in the homely give-and-take
of back-street and village economies that will not be easily repaired.
So that I suggest that the requisitioned stocks of forestalling
wholesalers—there ought to be a great bulk of such food-stuff already in
the hands of the authorities—shall be sold in the first instance at
wholesale prices to the isolated shopkeepers, and not directly to the
public. Only in the event of a local failure of duty should the direct
course be taken.

It must be remembered that the whole of the present stress for food is
an artificial stress due to the vehement selfishness of vulgar-minded
prosperous people and to the base cunning of quite exceptional
merchants. But under the strange and difficult and planless conditions
of to-day quite a few people can start a rush and produce an almost
irresistible pressure. The majority of people who have hoarded and
forestalled have probably done so very unwillingly, because “others will
do it.” They would welcome any authoritative action that would enable
them to disgorge without feeling that somebody else would instantly
snatch what they had surrendered and profit by it. It is for that reason
that we must at once organise the commandeering and requisitioning of
hoards and reserved goods. The mere threat will probably produce a great
relaxation of the situation, but the threat must be carried out to the
point of having everything ready as soon as possible to seize and sell
and distribute. Until that is done this food crisis will wax and wane,
but it will not cease; if we do not carry out Mr. Runciman’s initiatives
with a certain harsh promptness food trouble will be an intermittent
wasting fever in the body politic until the end of the war.

And the business will not be over at the end of the war. The patience of
the common people has been astonishing. In countless homes there must
have been the extremest worry and misery. But except for a few trivial
rows, such as the smashing of the windows of Mr. Moss, at Hitchin, who
was probably not a bit to blame, an attack on a bakery somewhere, and
some not very bad behaviour in the way of threats and demonstrations on
the part of East End Jews, there has been no disorder at all. That is
because the people are full of the first solemnity of war, eagerly
trustful, and still—well nourished.

At the end unless the more prosperous people pull themselves together it
will not be like that.


I find myself enthusiastic for this war against Prussian militarism. We
are, I believe, assisting at the end of a vast, intolerable oppression
upon civilisation. We are fighting to release Germany and all the world
from the superstition that brutality and cynicism are the methods of
success, that Imperialism is better than free citizenship and conscripts
better soldiers than free men.

And I find another writer who is also being, he declares, patriotically
British. Indeed, he waves the Union Jack about to an extent from which
my natural modesty recoils. Because you see I am English-cum-Irish, and
save for the cross of St. Andrew that flag is mine. To wave it about
would, I feel, be just vulgar self-assertion. He, however, is not
English. He assumes a variety of names, and some are quite lovely old
English names. But his favourite name is Craft, Maximilian Craft—and I
understand he was born a Kraft. He shoves himself into the affairs of
this country with an extraordinary energy; he takes possession of my
Union Jack as if St. George was his father. At present he is advising me
very actively how to conduct this war, and telling me exactly what I
ought to think about it. He is, in fact, the English equivalent of those
professors of Welt Politik who have guided the German mind to its
present magnificent display of shrewd, triumphant statecraft. I suspect
him of a distant cousinship with Professor Delbruck. And he is urging
upon our attention now a magnificent _coup_, with which I will shortly

In appearance Kraft is by no means completely anglicised himself. He is
a large-faced creature with enormous long features and a woolly head; he
is heavy in build and with a back slightly hunched; he lisps slightly
and his manner is either insolently contemptuous or aggressively
familiar. He thinks all born Englishmen, as distinguished from the
naturalised Englishmen, are also born fools. Always his manner is
pervaded by a faint flavour of astonishment at the born foolishness of
the born Englishmen. But he thinks their Empire a marvellous accident, a
wonderful opportunity—for cleverer people.

So, with a kind of disinterested energy, he has been doing his best to
educate Englishmen up to their Imperial opportunities, to show them how
to change luck into cunning, take the wall of every other breed and
swagger foremost in the world. He cannot understand that English blood
does not warm to such ambitions. When he has wealth it is his nature to
show it in watch-chains and studs and signet-rings; if he had a wife she
would dazzle in diamonds; the furniture of his flat is wonderfully
“good,” all picked English pieces and worth no end; he thinks it is just
dulness and poorness of spirit that disregards these things. He came to
England to instruct us in the arts of Empire, when he found that already
there was a glut of his kind of wisdom in the German universities. For
years until this present outbreak I have followed his career with silent
interest rather than affection. And the first thing he undertook to
teach us was, I remember, Tariff Reform, “taxing the foreigner.”
Limitless wealth you get, and you pay nothing. You get a huge national
income in imported goods, and also, as your tariff prevents importation,
you develop a tremendous internal trade. Two birds (in quite opposite
directions) with the same stone. It seemed just plain common sense to
him. Anyhow, he felt sure it was good enough for the born English....

He is still a little incredulous of our refusal to accept that
delightful idea. Meanwhile his kind have dominated the more docile
German intelligence altogether. They have listened to the whisper of
Welt Politik, or at least their rulers have attended; they have sown
exasperation on every frontier, taken the wall, done all the showily
aggressive and successful things. They were the pupils he should have
taught. A people at once teachable and spirited. Almost tearfully Kraft
has asked us to mark that glorious progress of a once philosophical,
civilised, and kindly people. And indeed we have had to mark it and
polish our weapons, and with a deepening resentment get more and more
weapons, and keep our powder dry, when we would have been far rather
occupied with other things.

But amazingly enough we would not listen to his suggestion of universal
service. Kraft and his kind believe in numbers. Even the Boer War could
not shake his natural aptitude for political arithmetic. He has tried to
bring the situation home to us by diagrams, showing us enormous figures,
colossal soldiers to represent the German forces and tiny little British
men, smaller than the army figures for Bulgaria and for Servia. He does
not understand that there can be too many soldiers on a field of battle;
he could as soon believe that one could have too much money. And so he
thinks the armies of Russia _must_ be more powerful than the French.
When I deny that superiority—as I do—he simply notes the fact that I am
unable to count.

And when it comes to schemes of warfare then a kind of delirium of
cunning descends upon Kraft. He is full of devices such as we poor fools
cannot invent; sudden attacks without a declaration of war, vast schemes
for spy systems and assassin-like disguises, the cowing of a country by
the wholesale shooting of uncivil non-combatants, breaches of
neutrality, national treacheries, altered dispatches, forged letters,
diplomatic lies, a perfect world-organisation of Super-sneaks. Our poor
cousin, Michael, the German, has listened to such wisdom only too
meekly. Poor Michael, with his honest blue eyes wonder-lit, has tried
his best to be a very devil, and go where Kraft’s cousin, Bernhardi, the
military “expert,” has led him. (So far it has led him into the ditches
of Liège and the gorges of the Ardennes and much hunger and dirt and
blood.) And Kraft over here has watched with an intolerable envy Berlin
lying and bullying and being the very Superman of Welt Politik. He has
been talking, writing, praying us to do likewise, to strike suddenly
before war was declared at the German fleet, to outrage the neutrality
of Denmark, to seize Holland, to do something nationally dishonest and
disgraceful. Daily he has raged at our milk and water methods. At times
we have seemed to him more like a lot of Woodrow Wilsons than reasonable
sane men.

And he is still at it.

Only a few days ago I took up the paper that has at last moved me to the
very plain declarations of this article. It was an English daily paper,
and Kraft was telling us, as usual, and with his usual despairful sense
of our stupidity, how to conduct this war. And what he said was
this—that we have to starve Germany—not realising that with her choked
railways and her wasted crops Germany may be trusted very rapidly to
starve herself—and that, if we do not prevent them, foodstuffs will go
into Germany by way of Holland and Italy. So he wants us to begin at
once a hostile blockade of Holland and Italy, or better, perhaps, to
send each of these innocent and friendly countries an ultimatum
forthwith. He wants it done at once, because otherwise the Berlin
Krafts, some Delbruck or Bernhardi, or that egregious young statesman,
the Crown Prince, may persuade the Prussians to get in their ultimatum
first. Then we should have no chance of doing anything internationally
idiotic at all, unless, perhaps, we seized a port in Norway. It might be
rather a fine thing, he thinks upon reflection, to seize a port in

Now let us English make it clear, once for all, to the Krafts and other
kindred patriotic gentlemen from abroad who are showing us the really
artful way to do things, that this is not our way of doing things. Into
this war we have gone with clean hands—to end the reign of brutal and
artful internationalism for ever. Our hearts are heavy at the task
before us, but our intention is grim. We mean to conquer. We are
prepared for every disaster, for intolerable stresses, for bankruptcy,
for hunger, for anything but defeat. Now that we have begun to fight we
will fight if needful until the children die of famine in our homes, we
will fight though every ship we have is at the bottom of the sea. We
mean to fight this war to its very finish, and that finish we are
absolutely resolved must be the end of Kraftism in the world. And we
will come out of this war with hands as clean as they are now, unstained
by any dirty tricks in field or council chamber, neutralities respected
and treaties kept. Then we will reckon once for all with Kraft and with
his friends and supporters, the private dealers in armaments, and with
all this monstrous, stupid brood of villainy that has brought this vast
catastrophe upon the world.

I say this plainly now for myself and for thousands of silent plain men,
because the sooner Kraft realises how we feel in this matter the better
for him. He betrays at times a remarkable persuasion that at the final
settling up of things he will make himself invaluable to us. At
diplomacy he knows he shines. Then the lisping whisper has its use, and
the studied insolence. Finish the fighting, and then leave it to him. He
really believes the born English will. He does not understand in the
slightest degree the still passion of our streets. There never was less
shouting and less demonstration in England, and never was England so
quietly intent. This war is not going to end in diplomacy; it is going
to end diplomacy. It is quite a different sort of war from any that have
gone before it. At the end there will be no Conference of Europe on the
old lines at all, but a Conference of the World. It will be a Conference
for Kraft to laugh at. He will run about button-holing people about it;
almost spitting in their faces with the eagerness of his derisive
whispers. It will conduct its affairs with scandalous publicity and a
deliberate simplicity. It will be worse than Woodrow Wilson. And it will
make a peace that will put an end to Kraft and the spirit of Kraft and
Kraftism and the private armament firms behind him for evermore.

At which I imagine the head of Kraft going down between his shoulders
and his large hands going out like the wings of a cherub. “Englishmen!
Liberals! Fools! Incurable! How can such things be? It is not how things
are done.”

It is how they are going to be done if this world is to be worth living
in at all after this war. When we fight Berlin, Kraft, we fight
_you_.... An absolute end to you. Yes.


In this smash-up of empires and diplomacy, this utter disaster of
international politics, certain things which would have seemed
ridiculously Utopian a few weeks ago have suddenly become reasonable and
practicable. One of these, a thing that would have seemed fantastic
until the very moment when we joined issue with Germany and which may
now be regarded as a sober possibility, is the absolute abolition
throughout the world of the manufacture of weapons for private gain.
Whatever may be said of the practicability of national disarmament,
there can be no dispute not merely of the possibility but of the supreme
necessity of ending for ever the days of private profit in the
instruments of death. That is the real enemy. That is the evil thing at
the very centre of this trouble.

At the very core of all this evil that has burst at last in world
disaster lies this Kruppism, this sordid enormous trade in the
instruments of death. It is the closest, most gigantic organisation in
the world. Time after time this huge business, with its bought
newspapers, its paid spies, its agents, its shareholders, its insane
sympathisers, its vast ramification of open and concealed associates,
has defeated attempts at pacification, has piled the heap of explosive
material higher and higher—the heap that has toppled at last into this
bloody welter in Belgium, in which the lives of four great nations are
now being torn and tormented and slaughtered and wasted beyond counting,
beyond imagining. I dare not picture it—thinking now of who may read.

So long as the unstable peace endured, so long as the Emperor of the
Germans and the Krupp concern and the vanities of Prussia hung together,
threatening but not assailing the peace of the world, so long as one
could dream of holding off the crash and saving lives, so long was it
impossible to bring this business to an end or even to propose plainly
to bring this business to an end. It was still possible to argue that to
be prepared for war was the way to keep the peace. But now everyone
knows better. The war has come. Preparation has exploded. Outrageous
plunder has passed into outrageous bloodshed. All Europe is in revolt
against this evil system. There is no going back now to peace; our men
must die, in heaps, in thousands; we cannot delude ourselves with dreams
of easy victories; we must all suffer endless miseries and anxieties;
scarcely a human affair is there that will not be marred and darkened by
this war. Out of it all must come one universal resolve: that this
iniquity must be plucked out by the roots. Whatever follies still lie
ahead for mankind this folly at least must end. There must be no more
buying and selling of guns and warships and war-machines. There must be
no more gain in arms. Kings and Kaisers must cease to be the commercial
travellers of monstrous armament concerns. With the _Goeben_ the Kaiser
has made his last sale. Whatever arms the nations think they need they
must make for themselves and give to their own subjects. Beyond that
there must be no making of weapons in the earth.

This is the clearest common sense. I do not need to argue what is
manifest, what every German knows, what every intelligent educated man
in the world knows. The Krupp concern and the tawdry Imperialism of
Berlin are linked like thief and receiver; the hands of the German
princes are dirty with the trade. All over the world statecraft and
royalty have been approached and touched and tainted by these vast
firms, but it is in Berlin that the corruption has centred, it is from
Berlin that the intolerable pressure to arm and still to arm has come,
it is at Berlin alone that the evil can be grappled and killed. Before
this there was no reaching it. It was useless to dream even of
disarmament while these people could still go on making their material
uncontrolled, waiting for the moment of national passion, feeding the
national mind with fears and suspicions through their subsidised Press.
But now there is a new spirit in the world. There are no more fears; the
worst evil has come to pass. The ugly hatreds, the nourished
misconceptions of an armed peace, begin already to give place to the
mutual respect and pity and disillusionment of a universally disastrous
war. We can at last deal with Krupps and the kindred firms throughout
the world as one general problem, one worldwide accessible evil.

Outside the circle of belligerent States, and the States which, like
Denmark, Italy, Rumania, Norway and Sweden, must necessarily be invited
to take a share in the final re-settlement of the world’s affairs, there
are only three systems of Powers which need be considered in this
matter, namely, the English and Spanish-speaking Republics of America
and China. None of these States is deeply involved in the armaments
trade, several of them have every reason to hate a system that has
linked the obligation to deal in armaments with every loan. The United
States of America is now, more than ever it was, an anti-militarist
Power, and it is not too much to say that the Government of the United
States of America holds in its hand the power to sanction or prevent
this most urgent need of mankind. If the people of the United States
will consider and grasp this tremendous question now; if they will make
up their minds now that there shall be no more profit made in America or
anywhere else upon the face of the earth in raw material; if they will
determine to put the vast moral, financial and material influence the
States will be able to exercise at the end of this war in the scale
against the survival of Kruppism, then it will be possible to finish
that vile industry for ever. If, through a failure of courage or
imagination, they will not come into this thing, then I fear if it may
be done. But I misjudge the United States if, in the end, they abstain
from so glorious and congenial an opportunity.

Let me set out the suggestion very plainly. All the plant for the making
of war material throughout the world must be taken over by the
Government of the State in which it exists; every gun factory, every
rifle factory, every dockyard for the building of warships. It may be
necessary to compensate the shareholders more or less completely; there
may have to be a war indemnity to provide for that, but that is a
question of detail. The thing is the conversion everywhere of
arms-making into a State monopoly, so that nowhere shall there be a
ha’porth of avoidable private gain in it. Then, and then only, will it
become possible to arrange for the gradual dismantling of this industry
which is destroying humanity, and the reduction of the armed forces of
the world to reasonable dimensions. I would carry this suppression down
even to the restriction of the manufacture and sale of every sort of
gun, pistol, and explosive. They should be made only in Government
workshops and sold only in Government shops; there should not be a
single rifle, not a Browning pistol, unregistered, unrecorded, and
untraceable in the world. But that may be a counsel of perfection. The
essential thing is the world suppression of this abominable traffic in
the big gear of war, in warships and great guns.

With this corruption cleared out of the way, with the armaments
commercial traveller flung down the back-stairs he has haunted for so
long—and flung so hard that he will be incapacitated for ever—it will
become possible to consider a scheme for the establishment of the peace
of the world. Until that is done any such scheme will remain an idle
dream. But him disposed of, the way is open for the association of armed
nations, determined to stamp out at once every recrudescence of
aggressive war. They will not be totally disarmed Powers. It is no good
to disarm while any one single Power is still in love with the dream of
military glory. It is no good to disarm while the possibility of war
fever is still in the human blood. The intelligence of the whole world
must watch for febrile symptoms and prepare to allay them. But after
this struggle one may count on the pacific intentions of at least the
following States: The British Empire, France, Italy, and all the minor
States of the north and west; the United States has always been a
pacific Power; Japan has had its lesson and is too impoverished for
serious hostilities; China has never been aggressive; Germany also,
unless this war leads to intolerable insults and humiliations for the
German spirit, will be war-sick. The Spanish and Portuguese-speaking
Republics of America are too busy developing materially to dream of war
on the modern scale, and the same may presently be true of the Greek,
Latin and Slav communities of south-east Europe if, as I hope and
believe, this war leads to the rational rearrangement of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. 1915 will indeed find this world a strangely
tamed and reasonable world.

There is only one doubtful country, Russia, and for my own part I do not
believe in the wickedness and I doubt the present power of that
stupendous barbaric State. Finland and a renascent Polish kingdom at
least will be weight on the side of peace. It will be indeed the phase
of supreme opportunity for peace. If there is courage and honesty enough
in men, I believe it will be possible to establish a world council for
the regulation of armaments as the natural outcome of this war. First,
the trade in armaments must be absolutely killed. And then the next
supremely important measure to secure the peace of the world is the
neutralisation of the sea.

It will lie in the power of England, France, Russia, Italy, Japan and
the United States, if Germany and Austria are shattered in this war, to
forbid the further building of any more ships of war at all; to
persuade, and if need be, to oblige the minor Powers to sell their
navies and to refuse the seas to armed ships not under the control of
the confederation. To launch an armed ship can be made an invasion of
the common territory of the world. This will be an open possibility in
1915. It will remain an open possibility until men recover from the
shock of this conflict. As that begins to be forgotten so this will
cease to be a possibility again—perhaps for hundreds of years. Already
human intelligence and honesty have contrived to keep the great American
lakes and the enormous Canadian frontier disarmed for a century. Warlike
folly has complained of that, but it has never been strong enough to
upset it. What is possible on that scale is possible universally, so
soon as the armament trader is put out of mischief. And with the
Confederated Peace Powers keeping the seas and guaranteeing the peaceful
freedom of the seas to all mankind, treating the transport of armed men
and war material, except between one detached part of a State and
another, as contraband, and impartially blockading all belligerents,
those who know best the significance of the sea power will realise best
the reduction in the danger of extensive wars on land.

This is no dream. This is the plain common sense of the present

It may be urged that this is a premature discussion, that this war is
still undecided. But, indeed, there can be no decision to this war for
France and England at any rate but the defeat of Germany, the
abandonment of German militarism, the destruction of the German fleet,
and the creation of this opportunity. Nothing short of that is
tolerable; we must fight on to extinction rather than submit to a
dishonouring peace in defeat or to any premature settlement. The fate of
the world under triumphant Prussianism and Kruppism for the next two
hundred years is not worth discussing. There is no conceivable
conclusion to this war but submission at Berlin. There is no reasonable
course before us now but to give all our strength for victory and the
establishment of victory. The end must be victory or our effacement.
What will happen after our effacement is for the Germans to consider.

A war that will merely beat Germany a little and restore the hateful
tensions of the last forty years is not worth waging. As an end to all
our effort it will be almost as intolerable as defeat. Yet unless a body
of definite ideas is formed and promulgated now things may happen so.
And so now, while there is yet time, the Liberalism of France and
England must speak plainly and make its appeal to the Liberalism of all
the world, not to share our war indeed, but to share the great ends for
which we are so gladly waging this war. For, indeed, sombrely enough
England and France and Belgium and Russia are glad of this day. The age
of armed anxiety is over. Whatever betide, it must be an end. And there
is no way of making it an end but through these two associated
decisions, the abolition of Kruppism and the neutralisation of the sea.

                    THE NEED OF A NEW MAP OF EUROPE

At the moment of writing the war has not lasted many days, great battles
by land and sea alike impend, and yet I find my steadfast anticipation
that Prussianism, Bernhardi-ism, the whole theory and practice of the
Empire of the Germans, is a rotten and condemned thing, has already
strengthened to an absolute conviction. Unforeseen accidents may happen.
I say nothing of the sea, but the general and ultimate result seems to
me now as certain as the rising of to-morrow’s sun. I do not know how
much slaughter lies before Europe before Germany realises that she is
fool-led and fool-poisoned. I do not know how long the swaggering
Prussian officer will be able to drive his crowded men to massacre
before they revolt against him, nor do I know how far the inflated
vanity of Berlin has made provision for defeat. Germany on the defensive
for all we can tell may prove a very stubborn thing, and Russia’s
strength may be, and I think is, overestimated. All that may delay, but
it will not alter the final demonstration that Prussianism, as Mr.
Belloc foretold so amazingly, took its mortal wound at the first onset
before the trenches of Liège. We begin a new period of history.

It is not Germany that has been defeated; Germany is still an
unconquered country. Indeed, now it is a released country. It is a
country glorious in history and with a glorious future. But never more
after this war has ended will it march to the shout of the Prussian
drill sergeant and strive to play bully to the world. The legend of
Prussia is exploded. Its appeal was to one coarse criterion, success,
and it has failed. Nevermore will the harshness of Berlin overshadow the
great and friendly civilisation of Southern and Western Germany. The
work before a world in arms is to clean off the Prussian blue from the
life and spirit of mankind.

No European Power has any real quarrel with Germany. Our quarrel is with
the Empire of the Germans, not with a people but with an idea. Let us in
all that follows keep that clearly in our minds. It may be that the
German repulse at Liège was but the beginning of a German disaster as
great as that of France in 1871. It may be that Germany has no second
plan if her first plan fails; that she will go to pieces after her first
defeat. It seems to me that this is so—I risk the prophecy, and I would
have us prepare ourselves for the temptations of victory. And so to
begin with, let us of the liberal faith declare our fixed, unalterable
conviction that it will be a sin to dismember Germany or to allow any
German-speaking and German-feeling territory to fall under a foreign
yoke. Let us English make sure of ourselves in that matter. There may be
restorations of alien territory—Polish, French, Danish, Italian, but we
have seen enough of racial subjugation now to be sure that we will
tolerate no more of it. From the Rhine to East Prussia and from the
Baltic to the southern limits of German-speaking Austria, the Germans
are one people. Let us begin with the resolution to permit no new
bitterness of “conquered territories” to come into existence to disturb
the future peace of Europe. Let us see to it that at the ultimate
settlement the Germans, however great his overthrow may be, are all left
free men.

When the Prussians invaded Luxemburg they tore up the map of Europe. To
the redrawing of that map a thousand complex forces will come. There
will be much attempted over-reaching in the business and much greed. Few
will come to negotiations with simple intentions. In a wrangle all sorts
of ugly and stupid things may happen. It is for us English to get a head
in that matter, to take counsel with ourselves and determine what is
just; it is for us, who are in so many ways detached from and
independent of the national passions of the Continent, not to be cunning
or politic, but to contrive as unanimous a purpose as possible now, so
that we may carry this war to its end with a clear conception of its
end, and to use the whole of our strength to make an enduring peace in
Europe. That means that we have to re-draw the map so that there shall
be, for just as far as we can see ahead, as little cause for warfare
among us Western nations as possible. That means that we have to redraw
it justly. And very extensively.

Is that an impossible proposal? I think not. There are, indeed, such
things as non-irritating frontiers. Witness the frontiers of Canada.
Certain boundaries have served in Europe now for the better part of a
hundred years, and grow less amenable to disturbance every year. Nobody,
for example, wants to use force to readjust the mutual frontiers in
Europe of Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, and none
of these Powers desire now to acquire the foreign possessions of any
other of the group. They are Powers permanently at peace. Will it not be
possible now to make so drastic a readjustment as to secure the same
practical contentment between all the European Powers? Is not this war
that crowning opportunity? It seems to me that in this matter it behoves
us to form an opinion sane and definite enough to meet the sudden
impulses of belligerent triumph and override the secret counsels of
diplomacy. It is a thing to do forthwith. Let us decide what we are
going on fighting for, and let us secure it and settle it. It is not an
abstract interesting thing to do; it is the duty of every English
citizen now to study this problem of the map of Europe, so that we can
make an end for ever to that dark game of plots and secret treaties and
clap-trap synthetic schemes that has wasted the forces of civilisation
(and made the fortunes of the Krupp family) in the last forty years. We
are fighting now for a new map of Europe if we are fighting for anything
at all. I could imagine that new map of Europe as if it were the flag of
the allies who now prepare to press the Germans back towards their
proper territory.

In the first place, I suggest that France must recover Lorraine, and
that Luxemburg must be linked in closer union with Belgium. Alsace, it
seems to me, should be given a choice between France and an entry into
the Swiss Confederation. It would possibly choose France. Denmark should
have again the distinctly Danish part of her lost provinces restored to
her. Trieste and Trent, and perhaps also Pola, should be restored to
Italy. This will re-unite several severed fragments of peoples to their
more congenial associates. But these are minor changes compared with the
new developments that are now, in some form, inevitable in the East of
Europe, and for those we have to nerve our imaginations, if this vast
war and waste of men is to end in an enduring peace. The break-up of the
Austrian Empire has hung over Europe like a curse for forty years. Let
us break it up now and have done with it. What is to become of the
non-German regions of Austria-Hungary? And what is to happen upon the
Polish frontier of Russia?

First, then, I would suggest that the three fragments of Poland should
be reunited, and that the Tsar of Russia should be crowned King of
Poland. I propose then we define that as our national intention, that we
use all the liberalising influence this present war will give us in
Russia to that end. And secondly, I propose that we set before ourselves
as our policy the unification of that larger Rumania which includes
Transylvania, and the gathering together into a confederation of the
Swiss type of all the Servian and quasi-Servian provinces of the
Austrian Empire. Let us, as the price greater Servia will pay for its
unity, exact the restoration to Bulgaria of any Bulgarian-speaking
districts that are now under Servian rule; let us save Scutari from the
iniquity of a nose-slashing occupation by Montenegrins and try to effect
another Swiss confederation of the residual Bohemian, Slavic and
Hungarian fragments. I am convinced that the time has come for the
substitution of Swiss associations for the discredited Imperialisms and
kingdoms that have made Europe unstable for so long. Every emperor and
every king, we now perceive, means a national ambition more organic,
concentrated and dangerous than is possible under Republican conditions.
Our own peculiar monarchy is the one exception that proves this rule.
There is no reason why we should multiply these centres of aggression.

Probably neither Bulgaria nor Servia would miss their kings very keenly,
and anyhow, I do not see any need for more of these irritating
ambition-pimples upon the fair face of the world. Let us cease to give
indigestible princes to the new States that we Schweitzerize. Albania,
particularly, with its miscellaneous tribes has certainly no use for
monarchy, and the suggestion that has been made for its settlement, as a
confederation of small tribal cantons is the only one I have ever heard
that seemed to contain a ray of hope for that distracted patch of earth.
There is certainly no reason why these people should be exploited by
Italy, since Italy can claim a more legitimate gratification. There, in
a paragraph, is a sketch of the map of Europe that may emerge from the
present struggle. It is my personal idea of our purpose in this war.

Quite manifestly in all these matters I am a fairly ignorant person.
Quite manifestly this is crude stuff. And I admit a certain sense of
presumptuous absurdity as I sit here before the map of Europe like a
carver before a duck and take off a slice here and decide on a cut
there. None the less it is what everyone of us has to do. I intend to go
on redrawing the map of Europe with every intelligent person I meet. We
are all more or less ignorant; it is unfortunate but it does not alter
the fact that we cannot escape either decisions or passive acquiescences
in these matters. If we do not do our utmost to understand the new map,
if we make no decisions, then still cruder things will happen; Europe
will blunder into a new set of ugly complications and prepare a still
more colossal Armageddon than this that is now going on. No one, I hope,
will suggest after this war that we should still leave things to the
diplomatists. Yet the alternative to you and me is diplomacy. If you
want to see where diplomacy and Welt Politik have landed Europe after
forty years of anxiety and armament, you must go and look into the
ditches of Liège. These bloody heaps are the mere first samples of the
harvest. The only alternative to diplomacy is outspoken intelligence,
yours and mine and every articulate person’s. We have all of us to
undertake this redrawing of the map of Europe, in the measure of our
power and capacity. That our power and capacity are unhappily not very
considerable does not absolve us. It is for us to secure a lasting
settlement of all the European frontiers if we can. If we common
intelligent people at large do not secure that, nobody will.

If we have no intentions with regard to the map of Europe, we shall soon
be going on with the war for nothing in particular. The Prussian spirit
has broken itself beyond repair, and the north coast of France and the
integrity of Belgium are saved. All the fighting that is still to come
will only be the confirmation and development of that. If we have no
further plan before us our task is at an end. If that is all, we may
stand aside now with a good conscience and watch a slower war drag to an
evil end. Left to herself a victorious Russia is far more likely to help
herself to East Prussia and set to work to Russianise its inhabitants
than to risk an indigestion of more Poles; Italy may go into Albania and
a new conflict with Servia; it is even conceivable that France may be
ungenerous. She will have a good excuse for being ungenerous. Meanwhile,
German-speaking populations will find themselves under instead of upper
dogs in half the provinces of Austria-Hungary; mischievous little kings,
with chancellors and national policies and ambitions all complete, will
rise and fluctuate and fall upon that slippery soil, and a bloody and
embittered Germany, continually stung by the outcries of her subject
kindred, will sit down grimly to grow a new generation of soldiers and
prepare for her revenge....

That is why I think we liberal English should draw our new map of Europe
now, first of all on paper and then upon the face of the earth.

We ought to draw that map now, and propagate the idea of it, and make it
our national purpose, and call the intelligence and consciences of the
United States and France and Scandinavia to our help. Openly and plainly
we ought to discuss and decide and tell the world what we mean to do.
The reign of brutality, cynicism, and secretive treachery is shattered
in Europe. Over the ruins of the Prussian War-Lordship, reason, public
opinion, justice, international good faith and good intentions will be
free to come back and rule the destinies of man. But things will not
wait for reason and justice, if just and reasonable men have neither
energy nor unity.


The opportunity of Liberalism has come at last, an overwhelming
opportunity. The age of militarism has rushed to its inevitable and yet
surprising climax. The great soldier empire, made for war, which has
dominated Europe for forty years has pulled itself up by the roots and
flung itself into the struggle for which it was made. Whether it win or
lose, it will never put itself back again. All Europe, following that
lead, is a-field for war. The good harvests stand neglected, the
factories are idle, a thin, uncertain trickle of paper money replaces
the chinking flow of commerce; whichever betide, defeat or deadlock, the
capitalist military civilisation uproots itself and ends. The war may
burn itself out more quickly than those who regard its immensity think,
but the war itself is the mere smash of the thing. The reality is the
uprooting, the incurable dislocation.

Trying to map and measure that dislocation is rather like one’s first
effort to think in sun’s distances. It is to transfer one’s mind to a
new and overwhelming scale. Never did any time carry so swift a burthen
of change as this time. It is manifest that in a year or so the world of
men is going to alter more than it has altered in the last century and a
half, more indeed than it ever altered before these last centuries since
history began. Think of the mere geographical dislocation. There is
scarcely a country in Europe that will not emerge from this struggle
with entirely fresh frontiers, sovereign powers will vanish from the
map, new sovereign powers will come. In the disorders that are upon us
and of which this war itself is the mere preliminary phase in uniform,
inevitably there must be social reconstruction. Who can doubt it? Who
can doubt the break-up of confidence and usage that is in progress?
Plainly you can see famine coming—in France, in Germany, in Russia. Does
anyone suppose that those sham efficient Germans have fully worked out
the care and feeding of the madly distended hosts they have hurled at
France? Does anyone dream that they have reckoned for a check and halt?
Does anyone imagine their sanitary arrangements are perfect? There will
be pestilence. And can one believe that whatever feats of financial
fiction we contrive, _their_ financial crash can be staved off, and that
the bankers of Hamburg and Frankfort are likely to be shovelling gold
next January in a still methodical world? The German State machine has
probably already done all that it was ever made to do. It stands now
exhausted amidst the turmoil of its consequences. Its mobilization
arrangements are said to have been astonishingly complete. Ten million
men for and against have been got into the field—with ammunition.
Prussian Germany has carried out its arrangements and committed the
business to Gott. German foresight has exhausted itself. If Gott fail
Germany, I do not believe that Germany has the remotest idea what to do
next. For the most part those millions will never get home any more.
They will certainly never get back to their work again, because it will
have disappeared.

When I think of European statecraft presently trying to put all these
things back again I am reminded of a story of a friend whose neighbour
tried to cut his throat and then repented. He came round to her with a
towel about his neck making peculiar noises. It was a distressing but
illuminating experience for her. She was a plucky and resourceful woman,
and she did her best. “There was such a lot of it,” she said. “I hadn’t
an idea things were packed so tight in us.”

It is characteristic of such times as this—that much in the world, and,
more particularly, much in the minds of men, much that has seemed as
invincible as the mountains and as deeply rooted as the sea, magically
loses its solidity, fades, changes, vanishes. When one looked at the map
of Europe a month ago most of the lines of its frontiers seemed almost
as stable as the coastlines. Now they waver under one’s eyes. When one
thought of the heritage of the Crown Prince of Germany, it seemed as
fixed as a constellation, and now in a little while it may be worth as
little as a bloody rag in the trenches of Liège. In little things as in
great, one is suddenly confronted by undreamt-of instabilities. The
Reform Club, which has been a cheerful and refreshing trickle of gold to
me for years, now yields me reluctantly for my cheque two inartistic
pound notes. My other club has ceased the kindly custom of cashing
cheques altogether. One is glad that poor Bagehot did not live to see
this day. Each day now I marvel to wake and find I have still a
banker.... And I perceive too, that if presently my banker dissolved
into the rest of this dissolving world—a thing I should have thought an
unendurable calamity a month ago—I shall laugh and go on.... Ideas that
have ruled life as though they were divine truths are being chased and
slaughtered in the streets. The rights of property, for example, the
sturdy virtues of individualism, all toleration for the rewards of
abstinence, vanished last week suddenly amidst the execrations of
mankind upon a hurrying motor-car loaded with packages of sugar and
flour. They bolted, leaving Socialism and Collectivism in possession.
The State takes over flour mills and the food supply, not merely for
military purposes, but for the general welfare of the community. The
State controls the railways with a sudden complete disregard of
shareholders. There is not even a letter to the _Times_ to object. If
the State sees fit to keep its hold upon these things for good, or
loosens its hold only to improve its grip, I question if there is very
much left in the minds of men, even after the mere preliminary sweeping
of the last two weeks, to dispute possession. Society as we knew it a
year ago has indeed already broken up; it has lost all real cohesion;
only the absence of any attraction elsewhere keeps us bunched together.
We keep our relative positions because there is nowhither to stampede.
Dazed, astonished people fill the streets; and we talk of the national
calm. The more intelligent men thrown out of their jobs make for the
recruiting offices, because they have nothing else to do; we talk of the
magnificent response to Lord Kitchener’s appeal. Everybody is offering
services. Everybody is looking for someone to tell him what to do. It is
not organisation; it is the first phase of dissolution.

I am not writing prophecies now, and I am not “displaying imagination.”
I am just running as hard as I can by the side of the marching facts,
and pointing to them. Institutions and conventions crumble about us, and
release to unprecedented power the two sorts of rebel that ordinary
times suppress, will and ideas.

The character of the new age that must come out of the catastrophes of
this epoch will be no mechanical consequence of inanimate forces. Will
and ideas will take a larger part in this _swirl_-ahead than they have
even taken in any previous collapse. No doubt the mass of mankind will
still pour along the channels of chance, but the desire for a new world
of a definite character will be a force, and if it is multitudinously
unanimous enough, it may even be a guiding force, in shaping the new
time. The common man and base men are scared to docility. Rulers,
pomposities, obstructives are suddenly apologetic, helpful, asking for
help. This is a time of incalculable plasticity. For the men who know
what they want, the moment has come. It is the supreme opportunity, the
test or condemnation of constructive liberal thought in the world.

Now what does Liberalism mean to do? It has always been alleged against
Liberalism that it is carpingly critical, disorganised, dispersed,
impracticable, fractious, readier to “resign” and “rebel” than help.
That is the common excuse of all modern autocracies, bureaucracies, and
dogmatisms. Are they right? Is Liberal thought in this world-crisis
going to present the spectacle of a swarm of little wrangling men swept
before the mindless besom of brute accident, or shall we be able in this
vast collapse or re-birth of the world, to produce and express ideas
that will rule? Has it all been talk? Or has it been planning? Is the
new world, in fact, to be shaped by the philosophers or by the Huns?

First, as to peace. Do Liberals realise that now is the time to plan the
confederation and collective disarmament of Europe, now is the time to
re-draw the map of Europe so that there may be no more rankling sores or
unsatisfied national ambitions? Are the Liberals as a body going to cry
“Peace! Peace!” and leave the questions alone, or are they going to take
hold of them? If Liberalism throughout the world develops no plan of a
pacified world until the diplomatists get to work, it will be too late.
Peace may come to Europe this winter as swiftly and disastrously as the

And next, as to social reconstruction. Do Liberals realise that the
individualist capitalist system is helpless _now_? It may be picked up
unresistingly. It is stunned. A new economic order may be improvised and
probably will in some manner be improvised in the next two or three
years. What are the intentions of Liberalism? What will be the
contribution of Liberalism? One poor Liberal, I perceive, is possessed,
to the exclusion of every other consideration, by the idea that we were
not _legally_ bound to fight for Belgium. A pretty point, but a petty
one. Liberalism is something greater than unfavourable comment on the
deeds of active men. Let us set about defining our intentions. Let us
borrow a little from the rash vigour of the types that have contrived
this disaster. Let us make a truce of our finer feelings and control our
dissentient passions. Let us re-draw the map of Europe boldly, as we
mean it to be re-drawn, and let us re-plan society as we mean it to be
reconstructed. Let us get to work while there is still a little time
left to us. Or while our futile fine intelligences are busy, each with
its particular exquisitely-felt point, the Northcliffes and the
diplomatists, the Welt-Politik whisperers, and the financiers, and
militarists, the armaments interests, and the Cossack Tsar, terrified by
the inevitable red dawn of leaderless social democracy, by the beginning
of the stupendous stampede that will follow this great jar and
displacement, will surely contrive some monstrous blundering settlement,
and the latter state of this world will be worse than the former.

Now is the opportunity to do fundamental things that will otherwise not
get done for hundreds of years. If Liberals throughout the world—and in
this matter the Liberalism of America is a stupendous possibility—will
insist upon a World conference at the end of this conflict, if they
refuse all partial settlements and merely European solutions, they may
re-draw every frontier they choose, they may reduce a thousand chafing
conflicts of race and language and government to a minimum, and set up a
Peace League that will control the globe. The world will be ripe for it.
And the world will be ripe, too, for the banishment of the private
industry in armaments and all the vast corruption that entails from the
earth for ever. It is possible now to make an end to Kruppism. It may
never be possible again. Henceforth let us say weapons must be made by
the State, and only by the State; there must be no more private profit
in blood. That is the second great possibility for Liberalism, linked to
the first. And, thirdly, we may turn our present social necessities to
the most enduring social reorganization; with an absolute minimum of
effort now, we may help to set going methods and machinery that will put
the feeding and housing of the population and the administration of the
land out of the reach of private greed and selfishness for ever.

                       THE LIBERAL FEAR OF RUSSIA

It is evident that there is a very considerable dread of the power and
intentions of Russia in this country. It is well that the justification
of this dread should be discussed now, for it is likely to affect the
attitude of British and American Liberalism very profoundly, both
towards the continuation of the war and towards the ultimate settlement.

It is, I believe, an exaggerated dread arising out of our extreme
ignorance of Russian realities. English people imagine Russia to be more
purposeful than she is, more concentrated, more inimical to Western
civilisation. They think of Russian policy as if it were a diabolically
clever spider in a dark place. They imagine that the tremendous
unification of State and national pride and ambition which has made the
German Empire at last insupportable, may presently be repeated upon an
altogether more gigantic scale, that Pan-Slavism will take the place of
Pan-Germanism, as the ruling aggression of the world.

This is a dread due, I am convinced, to fundamental misconceptions and
hasty parallelisms. Russia is not only the vastest country in the world,
but the laxest; she is incapable of that tremendous unification. Not for
two centuries yet, if ever, will it be necessary for a reasonably united
Western Europe to trouble itself, once Prussianism has been disposed of,
about the risk of definite aggression from the East. I do not think it
will ever have to trouble itself.

Socially and politically, Russia is an entirely unique structure. It is
the fashion to talk of Russia as being “in the fourteenth century,” or
“in the sixteenth century.” As a matter of fact, Russia, like everything
else, is in the twentieth century, and it is quite impossible to find in
any other age a similar social organisation. In bulk, she is barbaric.
Between eighty and ninety per cent. of her population is living at a
level very little above the level of those agricultural Aryan races who
were scattered over Europe before the beginning of written history. It
is an illiterate population. It is superstitious in a primitive way,
conservative and religious in a primitive way, it is incapable of
protecting itself in the ordinary commerce of modern life; against the
business enterprise of better educated races it has no weapon but a
peasant’s poor cunning. It is, indeed, a helpless, unawakened mass.
Above these peasants come a few millions of fairly well-educated and
actively intelligent people. They are all that corresponds in any way to
a Western community such as ours. Either they are officials, clerical or
lay, in the great government machine that was consolidated chiefly by
Peter the Great to control the souls and bodies of the peasant mass, or
they are private persons more or less resentfully entangled in that
machine. At the head of this structure, with powers of interference
strictly determined by his individual capacity, is that tragic figure,
the Tsar. That, briefly, is the composition of Russia, and it is unlike
any other State on earth. It will follow laws of its own and have a
destiny of its own.

Involved with the affairs of Russia are certain less barbaric States.
There is Finland, which is by comparison highly civilised, and Poland,
which is not nearly so far in advance of Russia. Both these countries
are perpetually uneasy under the blundering pressure of foolish attempts
to “Russianize” them. In addition, in the South and East are certain
provinces thick with Jews, whom Russia can neither contrive to tolerate
nor assimilate, who have no comprehensible projects for the help or
reorganisation of the country, and who deafen all the rest of Europe
with their bitter, unhelpful tale of grievances, so that it is difficult
to realise how local and partial are their wrongs. There is a certain
“Russian idea,” containing within itself all the factors of failure,
inspiring the general policy of this vast amorphous State. It found its
completest expression in the works of the now defunct Pobedonostsev, and
it pervades the bureaucracy. It is obscurantist, denying the common
people education; it is orthodox, forbidding free thought and preferring
conformity to ability; it is bureaucratic and autocratic; it is
Pan-Slavic, Russianizing, and aggressive. It is this “Russian idea” that
Western Liberalism dreads, and, as I want to point out, dreads
unreasonably. I do not want to plead that it is not a bad thing; it is a
bad thing. I want to point out that, unlike Prussianism, it is not a
great danger to the world at large.

So long as this Russian idea, this Russian Toryism, dominates Russian
affairs, Russia can never be really formidable either to India, to
China, or to the Liberal nations of Western Europe. And whenever she
abandons this Toryism and becomes modern and formidable, she will cease
to be aggressive. That is my case. While Russia has the will to oppress
the world she will never have the power; when she has the power she will
cease to have the will. Let me state my reasons for this belief as
compactly as possible, because if I am right a number of Liberal-minded
people in Great Britain and America and Scandinavia, who may
collectively have a very great influence upon the settlement of Europe
that will follow this war, are wrong. They may want to bolster up a
really dangerous and evil Austria-cum-Germany at the expense of France,
Belgium, and subject Slav populations, because of their dread of this
Russia which can never be at the same time evil and dangerous.

Now, first let me point out what the Boer War showed, and what this
tremendous conflict in Belgium is already enforcing, that the day of the
unintelligent common soldier is past; that men who are animated and
individualised can, under modern conditions, fight better than men who
are unintelligent and obedient. Soldiering is becoming more specialised.
It is calling for the intelligent handling of weapons so elaborate and
destructive that great masses of men in the field are an encumbrance
rather than a power. Battles must spread out, and leading give place to
individual initiative. Consequently Russia can only become powerful
enough to overcome any highly civilised European country by raising its
own average of education and initiative, and this it can do only by
abandoning its obscurantist methods, by _liberalising_ upon the Western
European model. That is to say, it will have to teach its population to
read, to multiply its schools, and increase its universities; and that
will make an entirely different Russia from this one we fear. It
involves a relaxation of the grip of orthodoxy, an alteration of the
intellectual outlook of officialdom, an abandonment of quasi-religious
autocracy—in short, the complete abandonment of the “Russian idea” as we
know it. And it means also a great development of local
self-consciousness. Russia seems homogeneous now, because in the mass it
is so ignorant as to be unaware of its differences; but an educated
Russia means a Russia in which Ruthenian and Great Russian, Lett and
Tartar will be mutually critical and aware of one another. The existing
Russian idea will need to give place to an entirely more democratic,
tolerant, and cosmopolitan idea of Russia as a whole, if Russia is to
merge from its barbarism and remain united. There is no cheap
“Deutschland, Deutschland über alles” sentiment ready-made to hand.
National quality is against it. Patience under patriotism is a German
weakness. Russians could no more go on singing and singing, “Russia,
Russia over all,” than Englishmen could go on singing “Rule, Britannia.”
It would bore them. The temperament of none of the Russian peoples
justifies the belief that they will repeat on a larger scale even as
much docility as the Germans have shown under the Prussians. No one who
has seen the Russians, who has had opportunities of comparing Berlin
with St. Petersburg or Moscow, or who knows anything of Russian art or
Russian literature, will imagine this naturally wise, humorous, and
impatient people reduplicating the self-conscious drill-dulled, soulless
culture of Germany, or the political vulgarities of Potsdam. This is a
terrible world, I admit, but Prussianism is the sort of thing that does
not happen twice.

Russia is substantially barbaric. Who can deny it? State-stuff rather
than a State. But people in Western Europe are constantly writing of
Russia and the Russians as though the qualities natural to barbarism
were qualities inherent in the Russian blood. Russia massacres,
sometimes even with official connivance. But Russia in all its history
has no massacres so abominable as we gentle English were guilty of in
Ireland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Russia, too,
“Russianizes,” sometimes clumsily, sometimes rather successfully. But
Germany has sought to Germanise—in Bohemia and Poland, for instance,
with conspicuous violence and failure. We “Anglicised” Ireland. These
forcible efforts to create uniformity are natural to a phase of social
and political development, from which no people on earth have yet fully
emerged. And if we set ourselves now to create a reunited Poland under
the Russian crown, if we bring all the great influence of the Western
Powers to bear upon the side of the liberalising forces in Finland, if
we do not try to thwart and stifle Russia by closing her legitimate
outlet into the Mediterranean, we shall do infinitely more for human
happiness than if we distrust her, check her, and force her back upon
the barbarism from which, with a sort of blind pathetic wisdom, she
seeks to emerge.

It is unfortunate for Russia that she has come into conspicuous conflict
with the Jews. She has certainly treated them no worse than she has
treated her own people, and she has treated them less atrociously than
they were treated in England during the Middle Ages. The Jews by their
particularism invite the resentment of all uncultivated humanity.
Civilisation and not revolt emancipates them. And while Russian reverses
will throw back her civilisation and intensify the sufferings of all her
subject Jews, Russian success in this alliance will inevitably spell
Westernisation, progress, and amelioration for them. But unhappily this
does not seem to be patent to many Jewish minds. They have been
embittered by their wrongs, and, in the English and still more in the
American Press, a heavy weight of grievance against Russia finds voice,
and distorts the issue of this. While we are still only in the opening
phase of this struggle for life against the Prussianised German Empire,
this struggle to escape from the militarism that has been slowly
strangling civilisation, it is a huge misfortune that this racial
resentment, which, great as it is, is still a little thing beside the
world issues involved, should break the united front of western
civilisation, and that the confidence of Russia should be threatened, as
it is threatened now by doubt and disparagement in the Press. We are not
so sure of victory that we can estrange an ally. We have to make up our
minds to see all Poland reunited under the Russian Crown, and if the
Turks choose to play a foolish part, it is not for us to quarrel now
about the fate of Constantinople. The Allies are not to be tempted into
a quarrel about Constantinople. The balance of power in the Balkans,
that is to say, incessant intrigue between Austria and Russia, has
arrested the civilisation of South-eastern Europe for a century. Let it
topple. An unchallenged Russia will be a wholesome check, and no great
danger for the new greater Servia and the new greater Rumania and the
enlarged and restored Bulgaria this war renders possible.

One civilised country only does Russia really “threaten,” and that
country is Sweden. Sweden has a vast wealth of coal and iron within
reach of Russia’s hand. And I confess I watch Scandinavia with a certain
terror during these days. Sweden is the only European country in which
there is a pro-German militarist party, and she may be tempted—I do not
know how strongly she may not have been tempted already—to drag herself
and Norway into this struggle on the German side. If she does, our
Government will be not a little to blame for not having given her, and
induced Russia to give her, the strongest joint assurances and
guarantees of her integrity for ever. But if the Scandinavian countries
abstain from any participation in this present war, then I do not see
what is to prevent us and France and Russia from making the most public,
definite, and binding declaration of our common interest in Sweden’s
integrity and our common determination to preserve it.

Beyond that, I see no danger to civilisation in Russia anywhere—at
least, no danger so considerable as the Kaiser-Krupp power we fight to
finish. This war, even if it brings us the utmost success, will still
leave Russia face to face with a united and chastened Germany. For it
must be remembered that the downfall of Prussianism and the break-up of
the Austro-Hungarian Empire, will leave German Germany not smaller but
larger than she is now. To India, decently governed and guarded, with an
educational level higher than her own, and three times her gross
population, Russia can only be dangerous through the grossest
misgovernment on our part, and her powers of intervention in China will
be restricted for many years. But all our powers of intervention in
China will be restricted for many years. A breathing space for Chinese
reconstruction is one of the most immediate and least equivocal
blessings of this war. Unless the Chinese are unteachable—and only
stupid people suppose them a stupid race—the China of 1934 will not be a
China for either us or Russia to meddle with. So where in all the world
is this danger from Russia?

The danger of a Krupp-cum-Kaiser dominance of the whole world, on the
other hand, is immediate. Defeat, or even a partial victory for the
Allies, means nothing less than that.


This appeal comes to you from England at war, and it is addressed to you
because upon your nation rests the issue of this conflict. The influence
of your States upon its nature and duration must needs be enormous, and
at its ending you may play a part such as no nation has ever played
since the world began.

For it rests with you to establish and secure or to refuse to establish
and secure the permanent peace of the world, the final ending of war.

This appeal comes to you from England, but it is no appeal to ancient
associations or racial affinities. Your common language is indeed
English, but your nation has long since outgrown these early links, the
blood of every people in Europe mingles in the unity of your States, and
it is to the greatness of your future rather than the accidents of your
first beginnings, to the humanity in you, and not to the English and
Irish and Scotch and Welsh in you that this appeal is made. Half the
world is at war, or on the very verge of war; it is impossible that you
should disregard or turn away from this conflict. Unavoidably you have
to judge us. Unavoidable is your participation in the ultimate
settlement which will make or mar the welfare of mankind for centuries
to come. We appeal to you to judge us, to listen patiently to our case,
to exert the huge decisive power you hold in the balance not hastily,
not heedlessly. For we do not disguise from ourselves that you can
shatter all our hopes in this conflict. You are a people more than twice
as numerous as we are, and still you are only the beginning of what you
are to be, with a clear prospect of expansion that mocks the limits of
these little islands, with illimitable and still scarcely tapped sources
of wealth and power. You have already come to a stage when a certain
magnanimity becomes you in your relation to European affairs.

Now, while you, because of your fortunate position, and because of the
sane and brotherly relations that have become a fixed tradition along
your northern boundary—we English had a share in securing that—while you
live free of the sight and burthen of military preparations, free as it
seems for ever, all Europe has for more than half a century bent more
and more wearily under a perpetually increasing burthen of armaments.
For many years Europe has been an armed camp, with millions of men
continually under arms, with the fear of war universally poisoning its
life, with its education impoverished, its social development retarded,
with everything pinched but its equipment for war. It would be foolish
to fix the blame for this state of affairs upon any particular nation;
it has grown up, as most great evils grow, quietly, unheeded. One may
cast back in history to the Thirty Years’ War, to such names as
Frederick the Great, Napoleon the First, Napoleon the Third, Bismarck;
what does it matter now who began the thing, and which was most to
blame? Here it is, and we have to deal with it.

But we English do assert that it is the Government of the German Emperor
which has for the last 40 years taken the lead and forced the pace in
these matters, which has driven us English to add warship to warship in
a pitiless competition to retain that predominance at sea upon which our
existence as a free people depends, and which has strained the strength
of France almost beyond the pitch of human endurance, so that the
education and the welfare of her people have suffered greatly, so that
Paris to-day is visibly an impoverished and overtaxed city. And this
perpetual fear of the armed strength of Germany has forced upon France
alliances and entanglements she would otherwise have avoided.

Let us not attempt to deny the greatness of Germany and of Germany’s
contributions to science and art and literature and all that is good in
human life. But evil influences may overshadow the finest peoples, and
it is our case that since the victories of 1871 Germany has been
obsessed by the worship of material power and glory and scornful of
righteousness; that she has been threatening and overbearing to all the
world. There has been a propaganda of cynicism and national roughness, a
declared contempt for treaties and pledges, so that all Europe has been
uneasy and in fear. And since none of us are saints, and certainly no
nations are saintly, we have been resentful; there is not a country in
Europe that has not shown itself resentful under this perpetual menace
of Germany. And now at last and suddenly the threatened thing has come
to pass and Germany is at war.

Because of a murder committed by one of her own subjects Austria made
war upon Servia, Russia armed to protect a kindred country, and then
with the swiftness of years of premeditation Germany declared war upon
Russia and struck at France, striking through the peaceful land of
Belgium, a little country we English had pledged ourselves to protect, a
little country that had never given Germany the faintest pretext for
hostility, and in the hope of finding France unready. Of course, we went
to war. If we had not done so, could we English have ever looked the
world in the face again?

And it is with scarcely a dissentient voice that England is at war.
Never were the British people so unanimous; all Ireland is with us, and
the conscience of all the world. And, now this war has begun, we are
resolved to put an end to militarism in the world for evermore. We are
not fighting to destroy Germany; it is the firm resolve of England to
permit no fresh “conquered provinces” to darken the future of Europe.
Whatever betide, all German Germany will come out of this war undivided
and German still. Her own “conquests” she may have to relinquish, her
Poles and other subject peoples, but that is the utmost we shall exact
of her. With the accession of Austria, Germany may even come out of this
war a larger Germany than at the beginning. We have no hatred of things
German and German people. But we are fighting to break this huge
fighting machine for ever—this fighting machine which has been such an
oppression as no native-born American can dream of, to every other
nation in Europe. We are fighting to end Kaiserism and Kruppism for ever
and ever. There, shortly and plainly, is our case and our object. Now
let us come to the immediate substance of this appeal.

We do not ask you for military help. Keep the peace which it is your
unparalleled good fortune to enjoy so securely. But keep it fairly.
Remember that we fight now for national existence, and that in the
night, even as this is written, within a hundred miles or so of this
place, the dark ships feel their way among the floating mines with which
the Germans have strewn the North Sea, and our sons and the sons of
Belgium and France go side by side, not by the hundred nor by the
thousand, but by the hundred thousand, rank after rank, line beyond
line—to death. Even as this is written the harvest of death is being
reaped. Remember our tragic case. Europe is full of a joyless
determination to end this evil for ever; she plunges grimly and sadly
into the cruel monstrosities of war, and assuredly there will be little
shouting for the victors whichever side may win. At the end we do most
firmly believe there will be established a new Europe, a Europe riddened
of rankling oppressions, with a free Poland, a free Finland, a free
Germany, the Balkans settled, the little nations safe, and peace secure.
And it is of supreme importance that we should ask you now—What are you
going to do throughout the struggle, and what will you do at the end?

One thing we are told in England that you mean to do, a thing that has
moved me to this appeal. For it is not only a strange thing in itself,
but it may presently be followed by other similar ideas. Come what may,
all the liberal forces in England and France are resolved to respect the
freedom of Holland. But the position of Holland is, as you may see in
any atlas, a very peculiar one in this war. The Rhine runs along the
rear of the long German line as if it were a canal to serve that line
with supplies, and then it passes into Holland and so by Rotterdam to
the sea. So that it is possible for any neutral power, such as you are,
to pour a stream of food supplies and war material by way of Holland
almost into the hands of the German combatant line. Even if we win our
battles in the field this will enormously diminish our chance of
concluding this war. But we shall suffer it; it is within the rights of
Holland to victual the Germans in this way, and we cannot prevent it
without committing just such another outrage upon the laws of nations as
Germany was guilty of in invading Belgium.

And here is where your country comes in. In your harbours lie a great
number of big German ships that dare not venture to sea because of our
fleet. It is proposed, we are told, to arrange a purchase of these ships
by American citizens, to facilitate by special legislation their
transfer to your flag, and then to load them with food and war material
and send them across the Atlantic and through the narrow seas, seas that
at the price of a cruiser and many men we have painfully cleared of
German contact mines, to get war prices in Rotterdam and supply our
enemies. It is, we confess, a smart thing to do; it will give your
people not only huge immediate profits but a mercantile marine at one
_coup_; it will certainly prolong the war, and so it will mean the
killing and wounding of scores of thousands of young Germans,
Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Belgians, who might otherwise have escaped.
It is within your legal rights, and we will tell you plainly now that we
shall refuse to quarrel with you about it, but we ask you not to be too
easily offended if we betray a certain lack of enthusiasm for this idea.

And begun such enterprises as this, what are you going to do for mankind
and the ultimate peace of the world? You know that the Tsar has restored
the freedom of Finland and promised to re-unite the torn fragments of
Poland into a free kingdom, but probably you do not know that he and
England have engaged themselves to respect and protect from each other
and all the world the autonomy of Norway and Sweden, and of Sweden’s
vast and tempting stores of mineral wealth close to the Russian
boundary. We ask you not to be too cynical about the Tsar’s promises,
and to be prepared to help us and France and him to see that they become
real. And this with regard to Scandinavia, is not only Russia’s promise
but ours. This is more than a war of armies; it is a great moral
upheaval, and you must not judge of the spirit of Europe to-day by the
history of her diplomacies. When this war is ended, all Europe will cry
for disarmament. Are you going to help then or are you going to thwart
that cry? In Europe we shall attempt to extinguish that huge private
trade in war material, that “Kruppism” which lies so near the roots of
all this monstrous calamity. We cannot do that unless you do it too. Are
you prepared to do that? Are you prepared to come into a conference at
the end of this war to ensure the peace of the world, or are you going
to stand out, make difficulties for us out of our world perplexities,
snatch advantages, carp from your infinite security at our Allies, and
perhaps in the crisis of our struggle pick a quarrel with us upon some
secondary score? Are you indeed going to play the part of a merely
numerous little people, a cute trading, excitable people, or are you
going to play the part of a great nation in this life and death struggle
of the old world civilisations? Are you prepared now to take that lead
among the nations to which your greatness and freedom point you? It is
not for ourselves we make this appeal to you; it is for the whole future
of mankind. And we make it with the more assurance because already your
Government has stood for peace and the observation of treaties against
base advantages.

Already the wounds of our dead cry out to you.


The Balkan States never have been a problem, they have only been a part
of a problem. That is why no human being has ever yet produced even a
paper solution acceptable to another human being.

The attempt to settle Balkan affairs with the Austro-Hungarian Empire
left out of the problem has been like an attempt to deal with a number
of hospital cases in which the head and shoulders of one patient, the
legs of another, the abdomen of a third had to be disregarded. The bulk
of the Servian people and a great mass of the Rumanians were in the
Austro-Hungarian system, and it was the Austrian bar to any development
of Servia towards the Adriatic that forced that country back into its
unhappy conflict with Bulgaria. Now everything has altered. English
people need trouble no longer about Austrian susceptibilities, and not
merely our interests but our urgent necessities march with the
reasonable ambitions of the four Balkan nations.

Let us begin by clearing away a certain amount of nonsense that is said
and believed by many good people about two of these States. It is too
much the custom to speak and write of Servia and Bulgaria as though they
were almost hopelessly barbaric and criminal communities, incapable of
participation in the fellowship of European nations. The murder of the
late King and Queen of Servia, the assassination of Serajevo, the
foolish onslaught of Bulgaria upon Servia that led to the break-up of
the Balkan League, and the endless cruelties and barbarities of the
warfare in Macedonia, are allowed to weigh too much against the clear
need of a reunited Greater Servia, a restored Bulgaria, and the
reasonable prospect of a rehabilitated Balkan League.

Now there is no getting over the hard facts of these crimes and
cruelties. But they have to be kept in their proper proportion to the
tremendous issues now before the world. Let us call in a few figures
that will fix the scale. The Servian people number altogether over ten
millions, the Rumanians as many, there are more than twenty million
Poles, and perhaps seven millions Bulgarians. The Czechs and Slovenes
total six or seven millions, the Magyars exceed ten millions, and the
Ruthenians still under Austrian control four millions. It is manifest to
every reasonable Englishman now that very few of these sixty or seventy
million people are likely to be socially and politically happy until
they have got themselves disentangled from intimate subjection to alien
rulers speaking unfamiliar tongues, and it is equally manifest that
until they are reasonably content, the peace of the rest of Europe will
remain uncertain. So that it is upon these regions that the peace of
England, France, Germany, Russia and Italy rests.

The lives, therefore, of hundreds of millions of people must be
affected, for good or evil, by the sane re-mapping and pacification of
south-eastern Europe. In that sane re-mapping and pacification we are,
in fact, dealing with matters so gigantic that the mere assassination of
this person or the murder of that dwindles almost to the vanishing
point. It is surely preposterous that the murder of an unwise young
King, who subordinated his nation’s destinies to a romantic love affair,
a murder done, not by a whole nation, not even by a mob, but by less
than a hundred officers, who were at least as patriotic as they were
cruel, or even the net of conspiracy that killed the Archduke Franz
Ferdinand, should stand in the way of the liberation and unity of
millions of Serbs who were as innocent of these things as any Wiltshire
farmer. All nations have had their criminal and sanguinary phase; the
British and American people who profess such a horror of Servia’s
murders and Bulgaria’s massacres must be blankly ignorant of the history
of Scotland and Ireland and the darker side of the Red Indians’ destiny.
If murder conspiracy was hatched in Servia, were there no Fenians in
Ireland and America? We English, at any rate, have not let the
highly-organised Phœnix Park murders drown the freedom of Ireland for
ever, or cause a war with America. The sooner we English and Americans
clear our minds of this self-righteous cant against the whole Servian
race because of a few horrors inevitable in a state of barbaric
disturbance, the sooner we shall be able to help these peoples forward
to the freedom and security that alone can make such barbarities
impossible. It would be just as reasonable to vow undying hatred and
pitiless vengeance against the whole German-speaking race (of seventy
millions or so) because of the burning and killing in Liège. Stifled
nations, outraged races, are the fortresses of resentful cruelty. This
war is no cinematograph melodrama. The deaths of Queen Draga and the
Archduke Franz Ferdinand are scarcely in this picture at all. It is not
the business of statecraft to avenge the past, but to deal with the
possibilities of the present and the hope of the future.

And the open possibility of the present is for us to bring about a
revival of the Balkan League, and identify ourselves with the reasonable
hopes of these renascent peoples. In that revival England may play an
active and directing part. The break-up of the first Balkan League was a
deep disappointment to liberal opinion throughout the world; but it was
not an irrevocable disaster. The wonder was, indeed, not the rupture but
the union. And the rupture itself was very largely due to the thwarting
of Servia, not by her associates, but by Austria. Now Austria is out of
consideration. For Rumania and for each of the three Balkan Powers,
there is a plain, honourable and reasonable advantage in a common
agreement and concerted action with us now. There are manifest
compensations for Greece in Epirus and the islands and—we can spare
it—Cyprus. For Bulgaria there is a generous rectification of Macedonia.
The natural expansion of the two northern States has been already
indicated. And should Turkey be foolish and blunder at this crisis, then
further very natural and quite desirable readjustments become possible.
What holds these States back from concerted action on our side now, is
merely the distrusts and enmities left over from the break-up of the
first Balkan League. They will not readily trust one another again. But
they would trust England. They would sit down now at a conference in
which England and Russia and Italy were represented, and to which
England and Russia and Italy would bring assurances of a permanent
settlement and arrange every detail of their prospective boundaries in a
day. They would arrange a peace that would last a century. England could
do more than reconcile; she could finance. And the attack upon Vienna
and the German rear would then be reinforced immediately by six or seven
hundred thousand seasoned soldiers.

Moreover, it is scarcely possible that Italy could refuse to come into
this war if a reunited Balkan League did so. With the Servians in
Dalmatia it would be scarcely possible to keep the Italians out of
Trieste and Fiume, and long before that earnestly awaited Russian
avalanche won its way to Berlin, this southern attack might be in
Vienna. The time when the scope of this war could be restricted is past
long ago, and every fresh soldier who goes into action now shortens the
agony of Europe.

But it is not with the immediate military advantages of a Balkan League
that I am most concerned. A Balkan League of Peace, for mutual
protection, will be an absolute necessity in a regenerated Europe. It is
necessary for the tranquillity of the world. It is necessary if the
Wiltshire farmer is to herd his sheep in peace; it is necessary if
people are to be prosperous and happy in Chicago and Yokohama. Perhaps
“Balkan League” is now an insufficiently extensive word, since Rumania
is not in the Balkan Peninsula, and Italy must necessarily be involved
in any enduring settlement. But it is clear that the settlement of
Europe upon liberal lines involves the creation of these various
ten-to-twenty-million-people States, none of them powerful enough to be
secure alone, but amounting in the aggregate to the greatest power in
Europe, and it is equally clear that they must be linked by some common
bond and understanding.

There can be no doubt of the very serious complication of all these
possibilities by the jerry-built dynastic interests that have been
unhappily run up in these new States. It is unfortunate that we have to
reckon not only with peoples but kings. Such a monarchy as that of
Servia or Bulgaria narrows, personifies, intensifies and misrepresents
national feeling. National hatreds and national ambitions can no doubt
be at times very malign influences in the world’s affairs, but it is the
greed and vanities of exceptional monarchs, of the Napoleons and
Fredericks the Great, and so forth, that bring these vague, vast
feelings to an edge and a crisis. And it will be these same concentrated
and over individualised purposes, these little gods of the coin and
postage stamp that will stand most in the way of a reasonable
Schweitzerisation and pacification of south-eastern Europe. The more
clearly this is recognised in Europe now, the less likely are they, the
less able will they be to obstruct a sane settlement. On our side, at
least, this is a war of nations and not of princes.

It is for that reason that we have to make the discussion of these
national arrangements as open and public as we possibly can. This is not
a matter for the quiet little deals of the diplomatists. This is no
chance for kings. All the civilised peoples of the earth have to form an
idea of the general lines upon which a pacific Europe can be
established, an idea clear and powerful enough to prevent and override
the manœuvres of the chancelleries. The nations themselves have to
become the custodians of the common peace. In Italy, indeed, this is
already the case. The Italian monarchy is a strong and Liberal monarchy,
secure in the confidence of its people; but were it not so, it is a
fairly evident fact that no betrayal by its rulers would induce the
Italian people to make war upon France in the interests of Austria and
Prussia. I doubt, too, if the present King of Bulgaria can afford to
blunder again. The world moves steadily away from the phase of
Court-centred nationalism to the phase of a collective national purpose.
It is for the whole strength of western liberalism to throw itself upon
the side of that movement, and in no direction can it make its strength
so effective at the present time as in the open and energetic promotion
of a new and greater Balkan League.

                          THE WAR OF THE MIND

All the realities of this war are things of the mind. This is a conflict
of cultures, and nothing else in the world. All the world-wide pain and
weariness, fear and anxieties, the bloodshed and destruction, the
innumerable torn bodies of men and horses, the stench of putrefaction,
the misery of hundreds of millions of human beings, the waste of
mankind, are but the material consequences of a false philosophy and
foolish thinking. We fight not to destroy a nation, but a nest of evil

We fight because a whole nation has become obsessed by pride, by the
cant of cynicism and the vanity of violence, by the evil suggestion of
such third-rate writers as Gobineau and Stewart Chamberlain that they
were a people of peculiar excellence destined to dominate the earth, by
the base offer of advantage in cunning and treachery held out by such
men as Delbruck and Bernhardi, by the theatricalism of the Kaiser, and
by two stirring songs about Deutschland and the Rhine. These things,
interweaving with the tradesmen’s activities of the armaments trust and
the common vanity and weaknesses of unthinking men, have been sufficient
to release disaster—we do not begin to measure the magnitude of the
disaster. On the back of it all, spurring it on, are the idea-mongers,
the base-spirited writing men, pretentious little professors in frock
coats, scribbling colonels. They are the idea. They pointed the way and
whispered “Go!” They ride the world now to catastrophe. It is as if God
in a moment of wild humour had lent his whirlwinds for an outing to
half-a-dozen fleas.

And the real task before mankind is quite beyond the business of the
fighting line, the simple awful business of discrediting and
discouraging these stupidities by battleship, artillery, rifle and the
blood and courage of seven million men. The real task of mankind is to
get better sense into the heads of these Germans, and therewith and
thereby into the heads of humanity generally, and to end not simply a
war, but the idea of war. What printing and writing and talking have
done, printing and writing and talking can undo. Let no man be fooled by
bulk and matter. Rifles do but kill men, and fresh men are born to
follow them. Our business is to kill ideas. The ultimate purpose of this
war is propaganda, the destruction of certain beliefs, and the creation
of others. It is to this propaganda that reasonable men must address

And when I write propaganda, I do not for a moment mean the propaganda
with which the name of Mr. Norman Angell is associated; this great
modern gospel that war does not _pay_. That is indeed the only decent
and attractive thing that can still be said for war. Nothing that is
really worth having in life does pay. Men live in order that they may
pay for the unpaying things. Love does not pay, art does not pay,
happiness does not pay, honesty is not the best policy, generosity
invites the ingratitude of the mean; what is the good of this huckster’s
argument? It revolts all honourable men. But war, whether it pay or not,
is an atrociously ugly thing, cruel, destroying countless beauties. Who
cares whether war pays or does not pay, when one thinks of some
obstinate Belgian peasant woman being interrogated and shot by a
hectoring German officer, or of the weakly whimpering mess of some poor
hovel with little children in it, struck by a shell? Even if war paid
twelve-and-a-half per cent. per annum for ever on every pound it cost to
wage, would it be any the less a sickening abomination to every decent
soul? And, moreover, it is a bore. It is an unendurable bore. War and
the preparation for war, the taxes, the drilling, the interference with
every free activity, the arrest and stiffening up of life, the obedience
to third-rate people in uniform, of which Berlin-struck Germans have
been the implacable exponents, have become an unbearable nuisance to all
humanity. Neither Belgium nor France nor Britain is fighting now for
glory or advantage. I do not believe Russia is doing so; we are all, I
believe, fighting in a fury of resentment because at last after years of
waste and worry to prevent it, we have been obliged to do so. Our
grievance is the grievance of every decent life-loving German, of every
German mother and sweetheart who watched her man go off under his
incompetent leaders to hardship and mutilations and death. And our
propaganda against the Prussian idea has to be no vile argument to the
pocket, but an appeal to the common sense and common feeling of
humanity. We have to clear the heads of the Germans, and keep the heads
of our own people clear about this war. Particularly is there need to
dissuade our people against the dream of profit-filching, the “War
against German Trade.” We have to reiterate over and over again that we
fight, resolved that at the end no nationality shall oppress any
nationality or language again in Europe for ever, and by way of
illustration, we want not those ingenious arrangements of figures that
touch the Angell imagination, but photographs of the Kaiser in his glory
at a review, and photographs of the long, unintelligent side-long face
of the Crown Prince, his son, photographs of that great original Krupp
taking his pleasures at Capri and, to set beside these, photographs
pitilessly showing men killed and horribly torn upon the battlefield,
and men crippled and women and men murdered, and homes burnt and, to the
verge of indecency, all the peculiar filthiness of war. And the case
that has thus to be stated has to be brought before the minds of the
Germans, of Americans, of French people, and English people, of Swedes
and Russians and Italians as our common evil, which, though it be at the
expense of several Governments, we have to end.

Now, how is this literature to be spread! How are we to reach the common
people of the Western European countries with these explanations, these
assurances, these suggestions that are necessary for the proper ending
of this war? I could wish we had a Government capable of something more
articulate than “Wait and see!” a Government that dared confess a
national intention to all the world. For what a Government says is
audible to all the world. King George, too, has the ear of a thousand
million people. If he saw fit to say simply and clearly what it is we
fight for and what we seek, his voice would be heard universally,
through Germany, through all America. No other voice has such
penetration. He is, he has told us, watching the war with interest, but
that is not enough; we could have guessed that, knowing his spirit. As a
nation, we need expression that shall reach the other side. But our
Government is, I fear, one of those that obey necessity; it is only very
reluctantly creative; it rests, therefore, with us who, outside all
formal government, represent the national will and intention, to take
this work into our hands. By means of a propaganda of books, newspaper
articles, leaflets, tracts in English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish,
Norwegian, Italian, Chinese and Japanese we have to spread this idea,
repeat this idea, and _impose upon this war_ the idea that this war must
end war. We have to create a wide common conception of a re-mapped and
pacified Europe, released from the abominable dangers of a private trade
in armaments, largely disarmed and pledged to mutual protection. This
conception has sprung up in a number of minds, and there have been
proposals at once most extraordinary and feasible for its realisation,
projects of aeroplanes scattering leaflets across Germany, of armies
distributing tracts as they advance, of prisoners of war much afflicted
by such literature. These ideas have the absurdity of novelty, but
otherwise they are by no means absurd. They will strike many soldiers as
being indecent, but the world is in revolt against the standards of

Never before has the world seen clearly as it now sees clearly, the
_rôle_ of thought in the making of war. This new conception carries with
it the corollary of an entirely new campaign.

How can we get at the minds of our enemies? How can we make explanation
more powerful than armies and fleets? Failing an articulate voice at the
head of our country, we must needs look for the resonating appeal we
need in other quarters. We look to the Church that takes for its
purposes the name of the Prince of Peace. In England, except for the
smallest, meekest protest against war, any sort of war, on the part of a
handful of Quakers, Christianity is silent. Its universally present
organisation speaks no coherent counsels. Its workers for the most part
are buried in the loyal manufacture of flannel garments and an
inordinate quantity of bed-socks for the wounded. It is an extraordinary
thing to go now and look at one’s parish church and note the pulpit, the
orderly arrangements for the hearers, the proclamations on the doors, to
sit awhile on the stone wall about the graves and survey the comfortable
vicarage, and to reflect that this is just the local representation of a
universally present organisation for the communication of ideas; that
all over Europe there are such pulpits, such possibilities of gathering
and saying, and that it gathers nothing and has nothing to say. Pacific,
patriotic sentiment it utters perhaps, but nothing that anyone can act
upon, nothing to draw together, will, and make an end. It is strange to
sit alive in the sunshine and realise that, and to think of how
tragically that same realisation came to another mind in Europe.

Several things have happened during the past few weeks with the
intensest symbolical quality; the murder of Jaurès, for example; but
surely nothing has occurred so wonderful and touching as the death of
the Pope, that faithful, honest, simple old man. The war and the
perplexity of the war darkened his last hours. “Once the Church could
have stopped this thing,” he said, with a sense of threads missed and
controls that have slipped away—it may be with a sense of vivifying help
discouraged and refused. The _Tribuna_ tells a story that, if not true,
is marvellously invented, of the Austrian representative coming to ask
him for a blessing on the Austrian arms. He feigned not to hear, or
perhaps he did not hear. The Austrian asked again, and again there was
silence. Then, at the third request, when he could be silent no longer,
he broke out: “No! _Bless peace!_” As the temperature of his weary body
rose, his last clear moments were spent in attempts to word telegrams
that should have some arresting hold upon the gigantic crash that was
coming, and in his last delirium he lamented war and the impotence of
the Church....

Intellect without faith is the devil, but faith without intellect is a
negligent angel with rusty weapons. This European catastrophe is the
tragedy of the weak though righteous Christian will. We begin to see
that to be right and indolent, or right and scornfully silent, or right
and abstinent from the conflict is to be wrong. Righteousness has need
to be as clear and efficient and to do things as sedulously in the right
way as any evil doer. There is no meaning in the Christianity of a
Christian who is not now a propagandist for peace—who is not now also a
politician. There is no faith in the Liberalism that merely carps at the
manner of our entanglement in a struggle that must alter all the world
for ever. We need not only to call for peace, but to seek and show and
organise the way of peace....

One thinks of Governments and the Church and the Press, and then,
turning about for some other source of mental control, we recall the
organisations, the really quite opulent organisations, that are
professedly devoted to the promotion of peace. There is no voice from
The Hague. The so-called peace movement in our world has consumed money
enough and service enough to be something better than a weak little
grumble at the existence of war. What is this movement and its
organisations doing now? Ninety-nine people in Europe out of every
hundred are complaining of war now. It needs no specially endowed
committees to do that. They preach to a converted world. The question is
how to end it and prevent its recurrence. But have these specially
peace-seeking people ever sought for the secret springs of war, or
looked into the powers that war for war, or troubled to learn how to
grasp war and subdue it? All Germany is knit by the fighting spirit, and
armed beyond the rest of the world. Until the mind of Germany is
changed, there can be no safe peace on earth. But that, it seems, does
not trouble the professional peace advocate if only he may cry Peace,
and live somewhere in comfort, and with the comfortable sense of a
superior dissent from the general emotion.

How are we to gather together the wills and understanding of men for the
tremendous necessities and opportunities of this time? Thought, speech,
persuasion, an incessant appeal for clear intentions, clear statements
for the dispelling of suspicion and the abandonment of secrecy and
trickery; there is work for every man who writes or talks and has the
slightest influence upon another creature. This monstrous conflict in
Europe, the slaughtering, the famine, the confusion, the panic and
hatred and lying pride, it is all of it real only in the darkness of the
mind. At the coming of understanding it will vanish as dreams vanish at
awakening. But never will it vanish until understanding has come. It
goes on only because we, who are voices, who suggest, who might
elucidate and inspire, are ourselves such little scattered creatures
that though we strain to the breaking point, we still have no strength
to turn on the light that would save us. There have been moments in the
last three weeks when life has been a waking nightmare, one of those
frozen nightmares when, with salvation within one’s reach, one cannot
move, and the voice dies in one’s throat.

Transcriber's Notes:

Missing or obscured punctuation was corrected.

Typographical errors were silently corrected.

Spelling and hyphenation were made consistent when a predominant form
was found in this book; otherwise it was not changed.

Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

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Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.