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of the Italian press, which had lately been conducting a virulent campaign against Venizelos, was alone to blame if the failure of the Allies to settle the Greek problem was sometimes attributed to Italy's lack of good will.
Italians hate Greeks, Greeks hate Bulgarians, Bulgarians hate Serbians, Serbians hate Albanians, Albanians, I am bound to confess, hate nobody except the tax-collector (although Miss Durham, who by her admirable work among the Albanians has earned some right to speak on their behalf, supplies the omission, being certainly less than just to the Serbians). Such is the real Balkan problem, a problem of conflicting hatreds, most of which are entirely artificial. Hatred is not a natural or necessary accompaniment of nationalism. It is a manufactured article, and various forms of nationalistic propaganda are alone responsible for making nationalism appear to be incompatible with any satisfactory settlement of the Balkans or of Europe. Such propaganda, of which the Balkan Peninsula, needless to say, is a hotbed, start with the two false assumptions of racial purity and racial hatred. Racial purity does not exist, and if it did it would not be a sufficient explanation of national culture, which is the only sound criterion of nationality. Secondly, no national culture need be accompanied by the hatred or intolerance of any other. There is no earthly (or spiritual) reason why two distinct national cultures should not continue to live side by side in the same political community, provided only that a measure of autonomy is secured by a decent and democratic form of government,* without which a satisfactory settlement would be in any case impossible.
This fact cannot be too strongly emphasised in the discussion of any settlement in the Balkans, where the various nationalities are so irregularly distributed in pockets and percolations and enclaves that it is physically impossible to trace the political frontiers on so-called ethnological principles. The acceptance
* Cf. a remarkable article by Mr. A. E. Zimmern on Nationality and Government' in The Sociological Review (January 1916): Between free Government and nationality there is no need, and indeed hardly a possibility, of conflict.'
of this impossibility will automatically deprive of their occupation the priests and propagandists who for fifty years have been trying to impose ethnological purity on the unhappy Macedonians. If the régime of blood and ikons is once abolished, the natives of Macedonia who are of mixed Hellenic and Slavonic stocks, will make worthy citizens of either Greek, Serbian, or Bulgarian democracies. Nationalism without hatred is the only ultimate solution of the Balkan problem, and nationalism without hatred will lead inevitably to Federation. It is possible that the Balkan States, if they escape the menace of Imperialism, may yet give an example to Europe.
VI The solution is easy-on paper. In practice it will require the hands of a statesman of more than ordinary strength, temperance, and imagination ; and a man of this quality will hardly be found in any of the great Courts of Europe. But he exists to-day in Greece. This is not the place for any elaborate estimate of the genius of Venizelos ; a mere chronicle of his redemptive work in Greece since 1910 would require a volume to itself. It is, however, worth while to refer to an article which has lately appeared in an Athenian weekly, because this article represents the worst that can be said against Venizelos by his most implacable and most articulate enemies. The Πολιτική Επιθεώρησις (Political Review ) is the organ of a central party in Greek politics which consists essentially of M. Ion Dragoumis, formerly minister at Petrograd, a brilliant but impatient young man who regards everything as a failure which is not done by himself, and consequently hates Venizelos, because he has achieved more in five years than anyone else in Athens. M. Dragoumis has no sympathy for Germany, and indeed believes that Greece should have allied herself with the Entente—at any time since the beginning of the war, when the alliance could have been arranged without the help of Venizelos. The writer of this attack on Venizelos is M. Ch. Chrestoulaki, the editor of the Political Review.'
M. Chrestoulaki's usual method is to concede most of the qualities which have enabled Venizelos to win and to deserve the confidence of his people, and then to declare that those merits are either the neuropathic stigmata of the hysterical degenerate, or else the pathological instincts of the Cretan
peasant, the non-moral, but not really criminal, type of primitive! If the continual repetition of these pseudo-scientific terms begins to pall, the writer falls back on the more obvious trick of judging every good quality by the possibility of its abuse. By these methods mental energy and vitality become
egocentric and fanatical obstinacy,' sagacity and resourcefulness are only low cunning and insincerity, eloquence (of course) becomes' demagogic art,' optimism and self-confidence are obvious marks of the primitive, fearless intelligence is only a correlative of the 'deplorable absence of moral doubt,' and impartiality denotes opportunism and a complete lack of settled principles.* The absurdities of this article in the · Political Review' illustrate the complete failure of his enemies to maintain a consistent case against the Periclean wisdom and dignity of Venizelos. The average Greek mind seems to be bewildered by the impartiality and the philosophic detachment which are primary qualities of the statesman as distinguished from the politician. Such an attitude sometimes makes one despair of the future of the Greek people. One can only hope that the average Greek is above the level of this envious fool who describes the inspiration of genius as ' regrettable impulsiveness' and observes without admiring the supreme political virtue of σωφροσύνη. .
Venizelos' unique powers of compromise and imagination, which are different aspects of the same virtue, are necessary to Greece and perhaps to Europe. Without imagination the Balkan problem can never be solved. Compromise there will have to be, for the Peace Conference is not going to be an exercise in dictation.
To restore Venizelos to power is the first necessity. He is the only man in Greece with sufficient authority to heal the divided nation, and with a nation divided against itself there
* Chrestoulaki repeats the old charge of personal ambition, although it has been proved by documents published in the Patris that when, just after Venizelos had left Athens at the end of September, King Constantine approached him through an intermediary with the suggestion that he or his party might be represented in one of the new ministries, Venizelos replied that he made no claim to ministerial office, but would return to Athens to serve in the humblest capacity if the King would declare war against Bulgaria.
can be no sobriety in the treatment of the Balkan problem. In order to promote the interests of Germany, the Athens Government, as Venizelos said to a correspondent of the “ Nea Hellas' on the 22nd of November,' is making every effort to widen the 'breach between the two sections in Greece and to make a reconstitution more difficult.' It is therefore remarkable that the policy of the Allied Powers has had the unfortunate effect of perpetuating this division, possibly because the weak hands of Viscount Grey were forced, in the wrong direction, by some influence in the Alliance which is hostile to Greek union or to Greek democracy. We cut Greece in half, and set up a sort of balance of power between Athens and Salonika, at first, perhaps, in hope that the population would gradually trickle from one scale to the other. But towards the beginning of November there were strong indications that we gave King Constantine some sort of assurance that the National Movement would not be allowed to extend beyond certain fixed limits. About the same time the administration of the Neutral Zone, established south of Salonika with the laudable intention of preventing civil war in Greece, was so unsatisfactory that Venizelos, in a telegram addressed to Dr. R. M. Burrows, was obliged to complain of the 'impossibility of expanding in
Thessaly.' Whatever the origin of this policy, it is clear that it plays directly into the hands of King Constantine. Our object now, considering both the interests of Greece and the interests of the Alliance, must be not merely to recognise but to extend and restore the authority of Venizelos, who has been twice constitutionally chosen by the body of the whole nation. It is to be hoped that after the events of the ist of December we shall no longer be deceived by the apparent concessions and German promises of King Constantine, which have deceived us so often before. So now, if we believe him, he will deceive us again; 'so now,' like Plato's treacherous tyrant,* 'if he has the power, he will keep his dear old fatherland or motherland, as the Cretans say, in subjection to his new retainers, whom he has introduced to be their rulers and 'masters. This is the end of his passions and desires.'
* Republic, 575 D: ούτω πάλιν την πατρίδα, εάν οιός τ' ή, κολάσεται έπεισαγόμενος νέους εταίρους, και υπό τούτοις δε δουλεύουσαν την πάλαι φιλήν μητρίδα τε, Κρητές φασι, και πατρίδα έξει τε και θρέψει. και τούτο δη το τέλος αν είη της επιθυμίας του τοιούτου ανδρός. ...'Αρ' ούν ούκ ορθώς αν τους τοιούτους απίστους καλούμεν ;
The health of Greece can only be restored by the removal of King Constantine. From an interview published in the • Manchester Guardian' on the ist of December he was evidently aware, a whole year ago, of a diplomatic suggestion that he should be replaced by one of his brothers—a most unhappy suggestion, for Prince George, who, on account of his Parisian domicile, is probably the candidate referred to and cannot, it is true, be called a Germanophile, has no particular talent and more than his share of the family's fanatical jealousy of Venizelos. No national end can be served by preserving a dynasty which has never done any good to Greece. Of the two monarchs it has produced it can only be said that King George, who reigned for fifty years and never visited the provinces of his adopted country, did on the whole less harm than his son, who in fourteen months has subjected a happy and renascent nation to the worst miseries of dishonour, invasion, and civil war. It is useless to substitute for King Constantine and his retainers a milder or allotropic form of the same political perversion. The time is ripe for the proclamation of a Greek Republic. If it be objected, as Conservatism or inertia will always object, that the people are not 'yet fit for it,' the answer is that if the Greek people, after a political experience of more than two thousand years, have not yet learned to govern themselves, it is high time they began. It requires considerable courage to differ on this point from Venizelos, who, such is his horror of extreme measures, is in favour of preserving not only the monarchical form of government but also the reigning family; but in spite of his many arguments, published and unpublished, I cannot help thinking that the proclamation of a Republican government would not only put new life into the movement of National Defence and complete the demoralisation of Germanic influence ; it would carry a message of revival to Greeks all over the world, and call back to the mother country some of the thousands in England and America who have learned the value of independence. If the modesty of Venizelos will not allow the Provisional Government to declare that no more kings are wanted by the Hellenic people, Greece will lose an opportunity that may not quickly return, and Europe an example.