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can detect symptoms of deterioration. Their labours in the aggregation of data and results have become increasingly mechanical. Less judgment is shown than heretofore in the selection of material for inquiry and publication. If we peruse the innumerable learned periodicals in the various departments of knowledge issued month by month in Germany, we find that much of their contents is of a stamp which no serious scholar in this country would dream of giving to the world. The German mind appears to be losing its power of discriminating between quantity and quality of output, between mediocrity and excellence of achievement. Moreover, the mind-power of the nation has of recent years been increasingly concentrated on the applications of science to problems of material well-being. Humane learning, whether in history, philology, or pure science, is still held in honour ; but the centre of gravity of the German intellect has shifted elsewhere, to the furtherance of industrial and commercial enterprise. The mind of the nation has been gradually materialised to serve the purposes of national economy.

It is no mere coincidence that this absorption synchronises with the alliance between German culture and the German State. We have been told recently by Dr. Sadler that there has been a growing tendency of late years for the German Government to control the character of the professorial teaching in the German Universities. The scholar is content to treat the problems of practical politics as the close preserve of the official classes. It is for the latter to determine the course of national policy; his province is to mind his own business and not to meddle in affairs of State. Hence the absence of intelligent criticism on the policy of the government and the readiness of the professoriate to accept direction from the State.

The culture of Germany to-day presents indeed features analogous to those which prevailed in Europe when the Middle Ages were drawing to a close. We are confronted with a modern form of scholasticism in knowledge. Then, as now, learning was the monopoly of experts, and the outside public was debarred from participation and criticism. Then, as now, scholars busied themselves with the minutiae of their science, and ignored the great speculative problems which have a living interest for the world. Then, as now, thought was

subjected to authority, and heresy suffered persecution. It matters little that the instruments of repression are changed; that orthodoxy relies not on the thumbscrew and the stake, but on political prosecution and the exercise of official patronage. Freedom of thought is equally menaced; it may even be doubted whether the substitution of secular for ecclesiastical authority is wholly a gain to modern Germany. The Medieval Church had behind it traditions of unique significance for the human spirit. The Prussian State can point to no such hallowed antecedents; its record is not of martyrdom and sacrifice, but of the conquest of Silesia, the partition of Poland, the spoliation of Denmark and France, and the rape of Belgium and Serbia.

These reflections show how well-grounded was Nietzsche's foreboding that the victory of 1870 would prove in the event a signal defeat for German culture. Germany has forfeited her title to respect among the nations because she has been untrue to her high vocation. Her ambition to force a German culture upon the free peoples of the world is doomed by inherent contradiction. Catholicity is of the essence of truth : truth knows no national limitations. Sic vos, non vobis has been the note of intellectual progress in every age. To win knowledge, not for themselves, but for the world, was the goal of German thinkers in the past, and the world honours them for their service. The Germans of to-day have forsaken the truth of their fathers—forsaken a truth that is universal and for all mankind for a truth that is national and German, in other words, a truth that is no truth at all. It may be that, through defeat and disillusionment, they will gain the saving insight which alone enables a people to enrich the spiritual heritage of the world. But at present the promise of enrichment lies elsewhere. We turn from the tragedy of the German intellect to France, whose historic culture, compared with which that of Germany is but of yesterday, has ever been consecrated to the service of humanity; and to Russia, whose claim to labour in the same cause has found utterance in these noble words of Dostoieffsky :

* The significance of the Russian race is without doubt European and Universal. To be a real Russian and to be wholly Russian means but this : to be the brother of all men, to be universally human. To the true Russian, Europe and the affairs of the great

*For with wisdom hath some one given forth the famous saying, that evil seems good, soon or late, to him whose mind the god draws to mischief; and but for the briefest space doth he fare free of woe.' *

Greek literature is full of such reflections ; Nietzsche, a classical scholar, must have recalled them when he foreshadowed the 'uprooting of the mind’ of modern Germany.

There is no need to dwell on the influences of this national intoxication upon the public policy of Germany. They are deeply graven on our memories by the incidents of the present war. Its effects upon her culture are less obvious, but quite as deserving of attention. A survey of that culture during the last half-century shows how the subtle poison has infected not only her soul but her intelligence. We must guard carefully here against the tendency to undue depreciation of her intellectual achievement. The war has provoked, in England and elsewhere, a reaction against the pretensions of German scholarship and German science as unmeasured and undiscerning as was our recognition of those pretensions in the past. This wholesale condemnation, voiced not only by the man in the street but in quarters to which we are wont to look for sobriety of judgment, is ominous, not so much because its manifest falsity blinds men's eyes to the real shortcomings of our enemies, but because it gives evidence of the want of mental balance and the complacent acquiescence in our national traditions which are the first steps on the path of Hubris.

In German culture, as in German policy, the signs of perversion have manifested themselves not all at once, but by degrees. Germany still can boast great scholars ; names such as those of Harnack, Eduard Meyer, or Wilamowitz-Moellendorf are household words in European learning. She inherits a high tradition of scientific method. In the physical sciences, more especially in their application to industry and commerce, she still maintains her pre-eminence. Above all, in the organisation of research, be it historical or philological or scientific, her claim to leadership is beyond question. In no other country are so much thought and energy devoted to the systematic collection and co-ordination of material in every field of specialised inquiry. It is as though the genius for system,

* Sophocles, 'Antigone' (R. C. Jebb).

once so characteristic of her philosophy, had been transferred to the task of organising the minutiae of knowledge.

All this may be granted; yet at the close of the survey we are left with a sense of disillusionment. The German mind in the last generation has been labouring on a different plane compared with that of the epoch which preceded. On the whole, with certain notable exceptions, it has been transacting its affairs with smaller coin. There are signs that the intellectual currency has been debased. Of this the present state of German philosophy affords striking confirmation. No longer can it be said, as of old, that the philosophers of Germany lead the speculative thought of Europe. They are admirable historians and critics; they write learned commentaries ; Neo-Kantians and Neo-Hegelians build the sepulchres of their fathers; but all their labour leaves the thought of the world very much as it was before. For more than half a century German philosophy has been characterised by mediocrity. For living metaphysics we turn elsewhere, to Bergson in France or to Croce in Italy not to mention living thinkers of original power in this country and in America.

The cause of the failure of modern Germany to recover its speculative vigour is to be found in the deadweight of national ambition which hangs round the neck of German culture. As Nietzsche wrote:

A coalition between the State and philosophy has meaning only when the latter can promise to be unconditionally useful to the State, to put the well-being of the State higher than truth. . . . It would certainly be a fine thing for the State to have truth as a paid servant; but it knows well enough that it is the essence of truth to be paid nothing and to serve nothing.' The outcome of this subordination may be delayed but cannot be uncertain. Just as, earlier in the nineteenth century, the alliance between orthodox Lutheranism and the secular aims of the Prussian monarchy quenched the spiritual vitality of the national church, so now the subjection of the German mind to the German Empire is bound to issue, soon or late, in intellectual atrophy.

The Germans have at all times excelled in specialised research, and her scholars to-day are no less industrious and accurate than their forefathers, though, unlike their forefathers, they excel in little else. Even within this field of activity we can detect symptoms of deterioration. Their labours in the aggregation of data and results have become increasingly mechanical. Less judgment is shown than heretofore in the selection of material for inquiry and publication. If we peruse the innumerable learned periodicals in the various departments of knowledge issued month by month in Germany, we find that much of their contents is of a stamp which no serious scholar in this country would dream of giving to the world. The German mind appears to be losing its power of discriminating between quantity and quality of output, between mediocrity and excellence of achievement. Moreover, the mind-power of the nation has of recent years been increasingly concentrated on the applications of science to problems of material well-being. Humane learning, whether in history, philology, or pure science, is still held in honour ; but the centre of gravity of the German intellect has shifted elsewhere, to the furtherance of industrial and commercial enterprise. The mind of the nation has been gradually materialised to serve the purposes of national economy.

It is no mere coincidence that this absorption synchronises with the alliance between German culture and the German State. We have been told recently by Dr. Sadler that there has been a growing tendency of late years for the German Government to control the character of the professorial teaching in the German Universities. The scholar is content to treat the problems of practical politics as the close preserve of the official classes. It is for the latter to determine the course of national policy; his province is to mind his own business and not to meddle in affairs of State. Hence the absence of intelligent criticism on the policy of the government and the readiness of the professoriate to accept direction from the State.

The culture of Germany to-day presents indeed features analogous to those which prevailed in Europe when the Middle Ages were drawing to a close. We are confronted with a modern form of scholasticism in knowledge. Then, as now, learning was the monopoly of experts, and the outside public was debarred from participation and criticism. Then, as now, scholars busied themselves with the minutiae of their science, and ignored the great speculative problems which have a living interest for the world. Then, as now, thought was

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