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BY LUTHER E. ROBINSON AS THE war continues its causes and government whose irreconcilement significance unfold with freer action. has deepened with the growth of Its actual psychology will, in some civilisation. Democracy and autocmeasure, fail of contemporary appre racy are in eternal hostility; they hension, and like similar struggles of can never be friends. In theory they the past will continue to invite in are mutually exclusive and must be terpretation long after the event. so in practice. As long as they exist Quite naturally, wherever its illu- together among populous and sosions survive its close, to their ex- cially interdependent nations, the tent the outcome will be disappoint- world will be a house divided against ing. But it is certain that no pre itself. Lincoln's interpretation of vious war carried with it so great a the triumph of the Union as the peovolume of literature and discussion ple's resolution that self-government on the issues in conflict. Political
Political should not perish from the earth, thought was never so serious and finds its complement in President lucid as now, for never has public Wilson's interpretation of the pendopinion been focussed with so great ing struggle as the resolution of deunanimity upon the two ideals of mocracies,-government by free de
*The Evolution of Prussia. By J. A. R. bate and majority opinion,—to be Marriott and C. Grant Robertson. Oxford: liberated from the predatory jealThe Clarendon Press. Survey of International Relations Be
ousy and assault of the despotic tween the United States and Germany. By
régime. James Brown Scott. New York: The Ox Causes reaching back through ford University Press.
years are being subjected to imparThe Monarchy in Politics. By J. A. Far
tial scrutiny. Fortunately we have rer. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. America Among the Nations. By H. H.
ceased to cavil at religion and eduPowers. New York: The Macmillan Com cation, at socialism and the press, pany.
for fancied remissness or impotency Alsace-Lorraine Under German Rule. By C. D. Hazen. New York: Henry Holt and
to protect mankind from self-inCompany.
flicted atrocity. We are revising Fighting for Peace. By Henry Van our views of civilisation. True, there Dyke. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. has long survived a strange disposiFrance, England, and European Democ
tion, whether in peace or in war, to racy. By Charles Cestre. New York: G.
endow institutions with an exaggerP. Putnam's Sons.
Democracy and the War. By J. F. Coar. ated superiority to those who create New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
or maintain them. This tendency is Political Ideals. By Bertrand Russell.
giving way to the more rational New York: The Century Company. Our Democracy. By J. H. Tufts. New
testimony of history, or the proved York: Henry Holt and Company.
motives of those who have held the Great Problems of British Statesmanship. reins of social and national fortune. By J. Ellis Barker. New York: E. P. We are still disposed to inculpate Dutton and Company.
the weakness or the stratagems of National Strength and International Duty. By Theodore Roosevelt. Princeton: diplomacy for the occurrence of war, University Press.
and we shall look to it for a palpable
amendment of its ways. At the policy under dominant and ambitious same time, our censure is conscious personalities, concerned with politiof the frailties or ambitions of the cal advantage through the instrumen who shape its effects. We shall mentality of force, fits the political probably come out of this great con- history of Germany as presented flict with more willingness and with clearness and concision by Marability to utilise the accumulated riott and Robertson, of Oxford Uniknowledge of historic and economic versity, in The Evolution of Prussia. experience. Human
and Although the book is the outgrowth imagination, always groping for of the war, its point of view gives light, will then be better able to con it a justifiable place in historical litvert our body of knowledge into erature. The authors have exterms of practical justice and inter- hibited that an unbiassed study of national welfare. Great crises like competent sources and authorities, that confronting the present slowly the German being liberally reprepredispose the common judgment to sented, discloses the development of believe that national wellbeing is in a distinctly Hohenzollern policy separable from that of the com after the ideas of Frederick the munity of nations. There is striking Great, who bequeathed to his succesagreement among the more thought- sors the faith that war and its infully written of recent books which strument, the army, are essential to attempt to assess the conditions fig- the life of the state. The Prussianuring in the genesis of this war, on isation of Germany is shown to have the side of the Allies at least, in expanded from humble beginnings favour of creating some plan of fu under the triple stimuli of army orture security against similar catas- ganisation, the encouragement of trophes.
science, and the favouring adminisHow far its scheme of government trative machinery of an undemomay influence a professedly civilised cratic constitution. This conclusion, nation's attitude in favour of or inevitable to a strictly political against war is an old question under study of Prussian history, conforms fresh review. If autocracy furnishes with the teaching of many German the surest escape from public opin- publicists, who have favoured the ion and the safest outlet for personal triumph of a dynastic function unand class aggrandisement, it likewise accountable to those who are govmakes for swift and unchallenged erned and working through bureaunational policy. If democracy af cratic agencies indifferent to critifords the widest distribution of po cism. The policy has succeeded in litical benefits, it is likely to face moulding a docile people to the prenational emergencies with less cal- figured demands of autocratic orculation and hence with less vigilant ganisation. preparation. Is it true, as the The contrast between democratic President declares, that “Only free and autocratic methods of adminispeoples can hold their honour steadytration, their differentiation in arto a common end and prefer the in- gument and conception of justice, terests of mankind to any narrow as well as the vital contradiction ininterest of their own?”
herent in the two levels of motives The realisation of magisterial which mark their diplomacy, is con
veyed very definitely and irresistibly archs has ordinarily been reactionin James Brown Scott's Survey of ary, it has often been on the side International Relations Between the of weathering political crises. As United States and Germany. This an instance of this, he cites the work of splendid scholarship is of Queen's strength in keeping England permanent character, whose useful out of war with Germany in the ness will grow with the years. It is Danish crisis of 1864, “when the a documentary history illustrative people would have jumped at war.” of the continuity of German political He concludes, very academically one ideals from Frederick the Great to cannot help thinking, that "democWilliam II, followed by a documen- racies under modern conditions, sentary history of our controversy with sitive to every gust of rumour ... Germany on the side of international are subject to no restraint from war law, and including the break with like that which may operate on a Austria-Hungary. The illuminat- peaceful monarch.” He endorses ing chapter on Germany's historic Lord Salisbury's contention that "a attitude toward arbitration goes far thirst for empire and a readiness for toward answering the question as to aggressive war” is characteristic of which of the two great ideals of gov a democracy. This view of the maternment is the more predisposed to ter is also held by H. H. Powers in war. Doctor Scott concludes that America Among the Nations. He “the day has long since passed, at regards it as "unhistoric thinking” least in democratic countries, where to "assume that democracies are the head of the State, whether he be peaceful,” and points to the expanmonarch or president, can go to war
sion of the United States and Britain as the king went a-hunting. . . through war during the last one hunWar is ordinarily declared in a mo dred years. He has little confidence ment of excitement . . . but we can in an alliance of nations for the not to-day in democracies justify a “perplexing purpose of maintaining declaration of war unless the cause the world's peace” for the reason be just.” At least we cannot deceive that “Nations must grow together,” posterity.
as the United States and Britain This conclusion is not in sym- have done, by reaching the point pathy with that reached by J. A. where they can settle their differFarrer, whose study of The Mon ences by arbitration. Whatever archy in Politics is a work embody- their government, nations, he thinks, ing the results of an industrious in- do not war for commerce nor to vestigation of a large body of mem- "rally” their people as “slaves to oirs and state papers from the time serve the ambitions of an autocrat," of George III to Queen Victoria. but in mystic response to a "great This English writer gives an admira common impulse," an "oversoul” unble account of the oscillative nature intelligible to them, which makes a of European politics and its nervous rational equilibrium unattainable. diplomacy during the later years of Historically viewed, it is certain Victoria's reign, when the clouds of that a republic may as properly the present international confusion build up an empire as a monarchy were lowering. He thinks that may, and that it may employ war while the influence of English mon in the process. Is this to say that
a self-governing nation is as predis- cratic countries in war is very well posed to make war as a government supported upon historic grounds by independent of public opinion? We Charles Cestre's France, England, can dismiss at once the fallacy that and European Democracy, a book war is mystically insuperable to ra clear and trustworthy in its capable tionalistic control or that public analysis of the English mind and opinion is subject to "every gust of character, of the conflicts and progrumour.” When a government re ress of the labour unions, and of sponsive to intelligent public opin- the slow, if tragic, triumph of Engion goes to war the chances are lish moral forces "over historical many to one that it will have good fatalities" in the liberation of Irereason to do so. Moreover, its bel land. England's contribution of ligerent practice is likely to have re liberty and the French contribution gard for human rights; its methods of equality, by their interchange, will be more humane than govern- have, in Kipling's line, fused the two ments by irresponsible control usu nations into a "linked and steadfast ally betray. It would scarcely be guard set for peace on earth.” On possible for a modern self-governing the other hand, the German Sittichpeople to despoil deliberately its un keit, abjuring the "great thought of. offending neighbour for the motive Goethe,” has nourished, within the frankly asserted by Bismarck for the limits of German science and miliannexation of Alsace. In his Alsace tarism, a people submissive to the Lorraine Under German Rule, a book "arrogant idea of bending all men uniting simplicity and perspicacity to this soulless discipline.” England with authenticity of statement, Pro and France, organising and increasfessor Hazen quotes the iron chan- ing their production in proportion cellor's remark that "Alsace had not to their needs, have shown that efbeen annexed because of her beaux ficiency consists also "in judgment, yeux, but simply and solely because self-possession, the sense of historical she would furnish an excellent mili realities. . . . They make efficiency tary defence of the Empire, an im the servant of human values.” This portant first-line fortification, and is the doctrine of Doctor J. F. Coar, Germany was equally indifferent to whose Democracy and the War, Alsatian lamentations and Alsatian while admitting that “Within a given wrath.” The democratic feeling is time, democratic efficiency may not disclosed by Henry Van Dyke on achieve results comparable to those every page of his Fighting for Peace, effected by an autocratic governa book delightfully representative of ment,” finds in “the unlimited possithe civilisation practicable in a na bilities of the democratic principle tion that would not turn its intel ... its crowning glory. Because, lectual effort in the direction of ma according to this vigorous and interial success per se. He asserts tellectual writer, “democracy rethat "No one has ever accused the quires the abiding interest of every British or French or Italian sailors member of the community,” its effiin this war of sinking merchant- ciency consists of individual human ships without warning, leaving their energies in action to maintain the crews and passengers to drown.” equal and accumulative rights of all
This attitude of the more demo men. "Democracy's primary organ
isation is the State, autocracy's is American constitutional system, the Government.”
whose founders "recognised that a Germany's substitution of govern- government can act with energy, ment initiative in economic and so- sagacity, foresight, secrecy, and decial development for popular initia- spatch . . . only if there is absotive made it possible for her official lute unity of purpose, if the execuclass to mould her people to the au tive is in the hands of a single man tocratic will. State socialism satis who is assisted by eminent experts." fied the material aims behind the He illustrates by a critical review earlier socialistic movement among of our Civil War, that a republic the people. Popular initiative, the can successfully employ conscripfruit of liberty, rests upon the demo- tion, which he endorses for England; cratic principle. This is the phil
This is the phil- and shows that by their earlier adoposophy of Bertrand Russell, in his tion of conscription, as well as by readable little book, Political Ideals. their unqualified system of the same, “The more men learn to live cre the Southern States were able to atively rather than possessively," he prolong the war. Mr. Barker, so maintains, "the less their wishes lead far as he discusses the question in them to thwart others or to attempt relation to Austria-Hungary, is in violent interference with their lib- substantial agreement with exerty.” Similarly Dr. James H. President Roosevelt, who contends in Tufts, in Our Democracy, argues National Strength and International that liberty and progress depend Duty, that "We should not have any upon co-operation; that "Nations negotiations with those who comthat prefer other ends than power mitted and who glory in ... the are looked down upon” by the mili- conquered countries," and that “we tary class, "which thinks itself the are fighting for the liberty of every only class fit to govern.” To him
To him well-behaved nation, great or small, it is clear that some form of co-oper- to have whatever government it deation like the proposed League of sires and to live unharming others Peace is necessary to protect hu- and unharmed by others.” manity against great armies and The ideals of democracy are beconstant preparation for war. In- coming more and more clearly difstead of such a League, J. Ellis Bar- ferentiated in the public mind from ker believes that "a British-Ameri- those of autocracy. This result is can union" would be the “most pow- indispensable to their success and to erful instrument imaginable not only the loyalty necessary to their perfor protecting the future peace of petuity. It is a result that marks a the Anglo-Saxons but also for pro- great advance in the world. As tecting the peace of the world.” In President Wilson has divined and his Great Problems of British States- happily phrased it, “We are at the manship, one of the most profoundly beginning of an age in which it will interesting discussions of the issues be insisted that the same standards provoked by the war, he argues in of conduct and of responsibility for behalf of the efficacy of the Ameri- wrongs done shall be observed among can scheme of government as against nations and their governments that that of the normal British Cabinet are observed among the individual system. This efficacy lies in the citizens of civilised states.”