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an indissuadable apostate from the tic type of that new order. He is the life of the Orient. He is an Asiatic despair of philosophers, because he standing with his back to Asia and comes to deliver the world from the stretching out his revealing hands rule of words. He is the inventor of toward Europe and America.
credit-capital, socialised commerce There are, of course, a mass of and the corporate idea. That is to oriental legends clustering about the say, he is the prime illustrator of the timeless and incomparable name of practical value of faith, the advanJesus. It is an offence to sound tages of level reciprocity and the canons of historical and literary in power of free combination. terpretation to suppose that these The ecumenical church was the are characteristic of their subject. projection of the personality of Men are not made famous for being Jesus. It spent itself and was lost like everybody else in their neigh four hundred years ago, though not bourhood—though it is natural
natural beyond recovery in another form. enough that their contemporaries It was the world's most magnificent should try to describe them in terms and successful experiment in social of their own habitual thought. If administration. Its success was due Jesus had been what the orientalisers to its militant realism-its conquest among us suppose him to have been, of racial prejudice, puristic religihe would have been lost in the osity and the doctrinairism of sects. Palestinian census. It is absurd to Its failure was due to a revival in the state the meaning of a man whose world at large of the malignancy of fame after two thousand years is the world's old diseases. worship, in terms that are not dis To think of Jesus as a proletarian tinguishable from the pre-Christian reformer, a champion of the poor, cult of yogis, or the orthodoxy of the striving to broaden down the social doctors he disputed with.
law to the level of the disinherited, Jesus is the pivotal personality of is to blunt the point of his worldthe ages, because he pioneered the transforming enterprise. He underway of escape from the morbid took to normalise society, to deliver ideality and intellectualism that had it from its inherent deadlock-by complete possession of the orbis ter
cancelling out the legal fictions that rarum of his day. He was crucified support the arbitrary power of incombecause he was alone in the world
petents. He set out to establish on a and had declared war against it. He basis of social authority the intrinsic strove mightily not to be alone. He and self-vindicating strength of the did not intend to be a victim-nor sane. refuse to be. His intolerable offence In proclaiming the rule of the ser. was his awful realism-his emphasis vant Jesus penetrated the oriental of the preciousness of incarnate life. and classical illusion, that assumes He insisted, in the teeth of the the weakness of those who spend scribes and doctors and of Socrates, their imagination and devotion in Plato and Aristotle—that the fine physical ministries to life. He saw thing to do with the mind is to en in the tender carefulness of a servingflesh it—to spend its force upon liv man for the comfort of his master a ing stuff and substance.
celebration of the spiritual mastery To make much of the words of of material things in their relation to Christ is to make sure of misunder
living persons. To him this was a standing him. Did he say this, or foreshowing of that artistic-scientific that?- It does not much matter. He power--the power of great builders, is not a philosopher, but rather a chemists, artists and engineergman of affairs--the first and authen
which is assuredly destined to take
the control of politics out of the tion that the best that could befall nerveless hands of legalists and mankind was planned and half-acrhetoricians.
complished in the actual living body By dint of profound sanity, a of the Church. But the breath of genius of simplicity that was proof the spiritual plague of Asia, the against sophistication, Jesus under- malific east wind that blows across the stood a truth that is now at last be. world—blighted that expectation. It ginning to be apparent event to peda- was not to be-in that manner. We gogic psychologists, to wit: that were not to arrive at the Great Deenergy of will and intellect is the
liverance by the way of the Militant ability to make firm decisions con- Church, but by the way of another cerning the relative worth of things militancy less gracious, and less for the practical uses of life; and creditable to the human spirit. consequently that powerful personalities cannot be bred otherwise It was possible in either of two than in eager and interested contact ways to bring into the light of uniwith material values and life-sustain. versal acknowledgment the truth that ing processes. Jesus knew that it had service is stronger than privilege, been provided in the ground-plan of and that goodness and power are, in the world that people who live by the ground-plan of nature, one and their legal privileges, in aloofness the same thing. The way of the from the life-struggle, shall decline Church was that goodness should go in intelligence and personal force. forth into the world proclaiming its Το say
that the servant shall rule at right of dominion and summoning length is to prophesy in terms of the free wills of men to the conquest science. It amounts merely to saying of the kingdom. That way came that the strong shall rule at length. within sight of success.
It covered The Church of the Middle Ages the world with the organic tissues of was a pioneering adventure toward a a new and transforming order. But
social system-a system in on the whole, we say, it failed. In which personal validity becomes the the sixteenth century the hope of the same thing as social authority. This militant and ecumenic church was is the heart of the democratic idea. practically abandoned. Men ceased And the Church of the great ecclesi- to believe that goodness could fight, astical administrators, was
that it could mass its forces and conorder that crossed the frontiers of quer the world. The institutions of race and caste and opened the way the ideal were thrust out of the for a peasant man of whatever breed
forum and market-place. The Church to mount to the throne of the Servant became the ward of the state, and of Servants. How lethal is the spell was left to nourish its baffled hope in of prescriptive time! We talk now a region of high abstraction. of an ecumenic conscience, power, The plot that has culminated in social order—as if it were a dream of the Great War began to work out its benevolent hope, taxing the credulity fatalities four hundred years ago. of realistic minds. Yet the thing But these fatalities are not wholly was once done—and stood for a thou- tragic. On the contrary they lead sand years. We have simply for straight to the goal toward which the gotten.
militant church strove—but now by We have forgotten that many gen- a different road. erations of men like ourselves tilled The Church said: Given the
organthe soil, built cities, went about their isation of goodness on a grand scale daily work and play, nourished and and we shall arrive at power. But sustained in the confident expecta- it is equally true to say: Given the
organisation of power on a grand no relation at all to the need of putscale and we shall arrive at goodness. ting the control of tools into compe. For four centuries of travail we have tent hands, or any other considerabeen moving toward the rule of the tion of social economy and efficiency. servant through the organisation of The war is the explosion of this earth-subduing power on an ever absurdity. Now for a moment the widening basis. The modern de energy of the machines is turned velopment of technological industry against the life of the race. There forces us, even against our will and is dearth everywhere and dire expurpose, to the discovery of the tremity.
tremity. We are reduced to the spiritual laws of society.
plight of the planet Mars. There is
no exit from such distress except the III
road that Mr. Lowell suggested. We Percival Lowell, sitting with his shall have a new social order in eye to his great telescope at Flag. which virtue shall be linked with staff, Arizona, in absorbed contem property and authority, and in which plation of the planet Mars, supposed a man's goodness shall be defined in that he was gazing upon a world that the pragmatic terms of the New was able to sustain its life only by Testament: I was
was cold, hungry, a complete social unity centring in naked and he produced the fuel, an intense devotion to the practical the food and the clothes. arts. His theory was that the aston There are several steps in this disishing network of geometrical lines entanglement. Substantially as fol . appearing upon the face of the lows the record may be expected to planet is in fact a system of canals run. Germany precipitated the cabelonging to a prodigious system of tastrophe because Germany was of irrigation; that the diminishing all countries the most antique in moisture in their atmosphere must political morals and the most mod. have forced the Martian people into ern in tools. The Teutons had acthe finest economy of the forces of quired a differential advantage in life and of nature for the mainte- tool-power because they had invested nance of a food supply, and must a small percentage of their political therefore have developed a form of idealism in a direct effort to advance social organisation in which high the industrial arts; while the other place and power could be achieved great nations, excepting perhaps only by those who manifestly ex Japan, had reserved their political celled in social service.
idealism for other uses. But ideal. Now high technology and the ism when turned earthward becomes Great War are accomplishing on our formidable. It can fight. Thus planet something like what Lowell Germany made war--a war between imagined concerning Mars. The rise industrial systems vitalised by diof technical science and the machine verse degrees of practical idealism. process, and the consequent grand England, France, Italy begin to inscale social organisation for work, vest their moral virtue in the mahave left law and morals far behind. chines. But their available percentOur legal and moral conceptions, our age is too low, for the moment. ideas of right, duty, property, pun
Russia drops out and relapses into ishment, authority and so on, are feebleness, because she is oriental at reminiscent of the Old Testament or heart and cannot put the power of of the antique Mediterranean culture dreams into tools. America girds cherished in classical schools. We herself. She has immense reserves have gone on defining personal and of creative strength drawn out of property rights in a mood that has every nation under heaven and nur.
tured on the bosom of a fresh conti. tional energy-most of which has nent; but her sectarian religion, her hitherto been used to turn the wind. party politics, her academic culture, mills of an abstract and impotent had been aimed at the sky. With idealism. one voice they had protested against If our national reserves of elementhe abuses of business and had re- tal health prove to be inadequate for strained some of them-a little; but the present emergency, if we are not they had never cast their passion for yet able to direct the major part of beauty and truth and goodness into idealism to the
of the engines of industry as fuel and reality-our failure will postpone, fire. Yet now the day had come in but cannot prevent, the coming of which this must be done!
the great change. The postponement I say we are living in the
grey can hardly reach beyond the middle morning of an apocalyptic day, be- of the century. For the very exist
I am acquainted with the ence of modern grand-scale industry, American people and the peoples of with its universal credit-accounting western Europe, and know the and the enforced mutuality of the largeness of their spiritual reserves. machine, forces the spiritual issue Without that knowledge it would be with an irresistible hand. Grandreasonable to suppose, from the face scale industry is fatal to the rule of of the facts, that Germany would abstract idealism—the physically irprevail. In that case the day of the relevant kind of goodness or rightgreat change would be postponed
that obtains in
our actual and there would be a much longer churches, schools, courts and cham. agony of parturition.
bers of commerce. It is fatal to that There may indeed be brief pauses, rule, not directly and obviously, but truces, futile diplomacies—but the in a manner that is none the less West will not submit to Central decisive. Europe. I expect the great change When industry becomes organised to be precipitated in the United on a national or international scale States, and I think it will come it drives the rule of abstract idealism quickly because the only alter- to suicide. There is no possibility of native is the universal prevalence, for escape. The march of the fatality a generation or so, of the Teutonic is as irresistible as the movement of political type—entailing wars upon an Æschylean play. The economy wars with only breathing-spaces be- of small and unintegrated crafts that tween.
preceded the machine process, or But the United States cannot pre- what is called “the great industry," vail over Teutonism in the near fu
could manage to exist for a thousand ture—cannot compress the world. years under the sway of an ancient agony into a narrow compass of time legalism. For small-scale industry -without committing itself at once can keep tolerably close to the natto a profound internal renovation ural laws of life, in spite of the worst that will involve every institution of that lawyers and politicians may do; business, politics, religion and cul- it can follow the instinctive law that ture. We
e may continue for a mo- yields craft-mastership only to those ment to think of these changes as who have proved their fitness. But war-measures; but they will be irre- when the agencies that sustain the tractable. The short statement of life of a great nation become linked the case is that we are now obliged to in a single indissoluble system, the make a permanent investment in safe and instinctive rule of the craftphysical business of at least fifty-one master is thrown into the back. per cent. of our intellectual and emo- ground, and the control of the life. sustaining system is committed for sion of its credit and commerce to weal or woe to such masters as the fresh lands. But the international conventional laws of property and rivalry for the possession of fresh precedence may happen to endue fields must of necessity produce war; with power.
and this is the swiftest way of suicide Thus the great industry challenges for the powers of transcendental the existence of the old transcenden- politics. For modern wars are waged tal legalism by submitting to it, com- primarily with tools; and victory in mitting the life of the nation to it, such warfare must inevitably rest and so exposing its physical feeble- with the contestant who is able to ness and incompetency.
The old invest the highest percentage of his juristic order is forced to undertake intellectual and moral force in the a work that it is unable to perform, practical arts. and is therefore driven to self-de- These considerations furnish, I struction. Its definitions of personal think, solid grounds of assurance and property rights are found to be that the greatest of human events is wholly out of drawing with the facts either close at hand or else will be of life.
reached by the mid-century. The The discrepancy is first revealed in world will be delivered at last from the yawning of unbridgable the immemorial deadlock between chasm between "labour” and “capi- idealism and enterprise; the creative tal”-between those who live by the imagination will master the machines natural law of physical function and in the service of art, and of a finer those who depend for their existence civility than we have known. upon the validation of conventional War will come to an end quite inclaims. It is discovered that the low- cidentally and as a matter of course est depths of poverty are reached in —with the rise of a great people the countries that have the highest emotionally devoted to the creative per capita rate of income, and that process and therefore sovereign in the schism between riches and pov- the realm of chemical and physical erty does not tend to close up, but force. Such a people will hold the rather to widen, with the increase of hegemony of a universal alliancedocumentary wealth. Thereupon it by the diffusion of benefits and by is made evident to competent ob- the compulsion of power. servers that the self-destruction of War will be stopped by the prethe old legal order cannot be post- dominant force of a free people, roponed in any country save by expan- mantic about realities.