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found the ultimate force upon which rests the League of Nations. For if the united power of Britain and America-potential and actual-is wielded for the ends they now both officially profess, they are assured of the active assistance of the smaller nations everywhere. The reason for this is that they exercise a form of forcesea power—which is irresistible in conflict and yet cannot be used permanently to conscript and enslave alien peoples. Nor does it rest internally upon the existence of a large caste in control of a regimented population. Sea power can be allpowerful without destroying the liberties of the nation which exercises it, and only free peoples can be trusted with great power. In spite of the comparison between navalism and militarism there are these fundamental differences between them, and they are appreciated by the bulk of the world.
A question remains, which may be put in this fashion: What assurance is there that this pooling of force can be maintained in an emergency? The answer is that the covenant provides a procedure in disputes, the final object of which is to insure delay accompanied by publicity. It is a
mechanism for airing quarrels in their earlier stages. Here is the ultimate guarantee upon which the whole project rests. It assumes as its working theory that democratic faith in regard to the causes of war, which says that aggression is the work of a minority; that the masses in no nation have anything to gain by conquest, and that the masses would refuse such wars if they had a chance to examine their pretexts, and put pressure upon their governments. This faith may be unfounded. It may be that there is a universal pugnacity which requires war for its satisfaction, and the League may in the course of time fail to keep the peace. Perhaps, but the peoples who to-day press against every government, and may to-morrow control them, hold this faith, and it has prevailed in the deliberations at Paris.
The most radical feature of the covenant springs from this faith.
" It is hereby also declared and agreed to be the FRIENDLY RIGHT of each of the high con, tracting parties to draw the attention of the body of delegates, or the Executive council to any circumstances affecting international intercourse which threaten to disturb international peace or the good understanding between nations upon which peace depends."
That clause is the most precious in the whole document because it strikes so deeply at the isolation which breeds arrogance. It is by far the most revolutionary idea which could be introduced into the comity of nations, because a seal is put upon the truth that the peace of the world is a vital interest of all nations. The active forces of peace are released by it. According to this new doctrine it will not be necessary for any people, neutral in a dispute, to sit by helplessly and see a conflagration prepared which may burn down its own homes. It abolishes those alleged private quarrels which in the end involve everybody. It states flatly that America, for example, is not to remain mute while some diplomat fixes up a war in the Balkans which cannot be ended until two million Americans are on foreign soil. It says that international duelling is over, and that every nation can discuss the causes of a fight before the fight takes place. Above all it enables any government in the League to arouse the public opinion of the world wherever a condition appears which threatens the peace. The faith is that no quarrel can grow big enough to justify war when the peoples who must do the fighting know about it soon enough.
D EMAINS the question of our own adher
ence to the covenant. This is not to be answered easily, and I think we may well congratulate ourselves upon the appearance of a genuine and respectable opposition. It will insure a thorough examination of the whole problem and we shall enter the League, if at all, as a democratic people should.
It is necessary, therefore, to make a somewhat tedious analysis of America's position in the world as a result of the war.
Previous to 1900 the continent of Europe was divided into coalitions—the Triplice, consisting of Germany, Austria, and Italy, and the Dual Alliance of France and Russia. England still played the role of guardian over the balance of power. In the years leading up to the war, the aggressiveness of Germany grew with her power, and moved in two directions towards Turkey