Слике страница
PDF
ePub

THE OXFORD METHOD*

BY MALCOLM TAYLOR

AMONG other things that the war on Spectators and Sport Mr. Aydeis doing to America is the awakening lotte lays his finger most discerningly of many people to an indignant real. on the root of the whole trouble. isation of how completely our educa. It is the spectator. Stop and think tional ideals and methods have been a moment, and it will immediately handed over to German influence. be plain that American university Only now are we beginning to appre. sport is really built up around the ciate fully the slavish imitation of all spectator. For him is the enormous things German which has, in the paraphernalia

now

surrounding past, characterised American educa games. He has made college athletics tional theory. But the effect of the a tremendous way of advertising. He war is not limited to this. It is also has made it so important to win. He bringing to a head a feeling, long has given rise to the huge financial slowly crystallising before the war, side of the system. But, the author of extreme dissatisfaction with the points out, “games run for the benefit results this German imported system of the spectators always degenerate has brought

morally, for the reason that the specThis discontent has evinced itself tator is irresponsible morally and dein two ways, as regards our universi- mands that his team win at any cost.” ties particularly First, against the Games not run for the benefit of curriculum proper, in a belief that the crowd tend naturally to be clean. both the elective system and the Why are the spectators bad sportsconceptions of education behind it men? Because most of them have are mistaken and ineffectual. Second, not been trained in sport. in an increasing revolt against college

The great value of sport is not physical, athletics, the importance they have

but moral. It teaches a man-or womanassumed, the manner of their admin

that he or she-should play the game istration, and the spirit in which they are pursued. With these and kindred squarely, that it is better to lose a gentlematters this volume of essays deals

man's game than to win a mucker's. It illuminatingly. The fruit of a Rhodes

teaches respect and admiration for good scholarship and of several years' prac. play on the other side ; it teaches self-control tical experience with the problems

and decency. ... The great value of of college education here, these stud

sport is to develop these qualities, and to ies cannot be neglected by serious

give men the habit of them in intense situa

tions. students of the subject. For the layman as well they afford invaluable These qualities the crowd too often assistance in gauging the trouble and does not possess, especially when emofinding the remedy.

tionally excited. The way out is not What has Oxford to teach us so much to abolish the crowd as to solving our own problems and in educate each member of it morally readjusting our educational values? by individual training in sport. That Let us take athletics first. In his essay is Oxford's lesson for us. We must

make the spectator a sportsman also, *The Oxford Stamp and Other Essays, by Frank Aydelotte. New York: Oxford by making sports universal. Only University Press, American Branch. $1.20. then will our athletics be sport, or

anything but the highly specialised getting the appearance of them.” The pursuits of the few for the amusement present confusion in education gives of the many.

the man with punch his opportunity. On the scholastic side, what Oxford He is a real menace to the right has to give us is perhaps a matter development of our educational in. more of spirit than form. “It is her stitutions, a danger all the greater in best,” the author says in his first this time of ferment. essay, “that we Americans should Whether the Rhodes scholarships strive to understand and to appro- have been a success is a question that priate.” Some things we should has been much asked. It cannot be learn:

justly answered yet, but the time is

approaching when it can be. For One is to make our social life an interchange of ideas, and thus give it an intel.

much depends on returned Rhodes

men, and American Oxonians genlectual value which it often has not at

erally, in the coming reconstruction present

.... [Another] is so to alter the administration of our courses as to put

of our educational

system and more emphasis upon individual effort, to

revaluation of values. Against the make our programmes less pretentious and religion of punch, with its charlatan. more thorough, to force our undergraduates

ism and flashiness, its catchwords of to study subjects rather than merely to take

“efficiency," "scientific management" up courses, to lay emphasis upon thought

and "practical methods" must be rather than information, which is, after all, triumphantly opposed the realities of the secret of education.

education:—honesty, thoroughness,

solidity, faith in substance more than It is no mere imitation that Mr. form, thought rather than administraAydelotte advises. He realises that tive machinery. If we learn that the any system we set up, in order to be main purpose of education is to train valid, must be representative, expres men how to use their minds, how to sive of American needs and condi. think, and think for themselves; if tions. We have had enough of impor- we come to see that information, actations. Yet even some of the actual cumulation of facts, is only a means methods in use at Oxford might well (neither the sole nor maybe the best) be adopted, and Mr. Aydelotte in sev toward this end; if we make power eral interesting essays relates his ex of thought our aim rather than soperience as professor of English at called practical knowledge or the Massachusetts Institute of Technol- learning of some trade or vocation ogy, in making English studies more (sure that if we teach our children to like Humane Letters.

use their minds, they will soon beBut perhaps the best of the essays come good mechanics, or something is The Religion of Punch. Punch he better than mechanics)—the Rhodes defines as bluff 'raised to a higher scholarships will not have been in power. “It survives “calling'—at least vain. For these things, despite all for a generation.” It is not so much faults and shortcomings, Oxford and “the faculty of getting results as of the Oxford spirit stand for.

[ocr errors]

LEO BRAUNSTEIN, better known as be recognised by the true Teuton as Trotski, was born in Odessa some an East-European Hebrew under his forty years ago of a Jewish family. name, and he has to travel all the Because of his name and the embar way to England before he is conrassment which he has caused to ceded the status of a full-blown GerGreat Britain he is currently re man or of a German Jew. ported in this country to be a Ger Braunstein-Trotski had no reason man Jew, who found it convenient to to hide his race, which was a matter hide his identity under an assumed of complete indifference to the SoRussian name. His original name cialists among whom he has spent really proves that his family did not his life. Names for special use in come from Germany, and the new party activities, the so-called "party name was meant to disguise his per- names," were assumed by Jewish and son, not his race or extraction.

Gentile revolutionaries alike, and the Braunstein is one of those innu tale which they tell is of the years merable names, compounded of Ger- which, for the sake of an ideal, these man, common to Jews in Eastern men have spent without a home and Europe. At the time when Poland without a real name-hunted beasts, was partitioned, most Polish Jews hiding their identities from the most had no family names, but were sim- highly organised secret police in the ply known by their personal names world. When Leo Braunstein chose and patronymics—as Abraham, son his “party name” he naturally did not of Moses, or Isaac, son of Solomon. feel bound to imitate the humour or The Prussian and Austrian officials, the scientific methods of the German who in 1795 obtained dominion also officials who had labelled his ancesover what is now known as Russian tors; yet the name Trotski still sugPoland, manufactured names by the gests a Jewish origin to the average thousand for the Jews, going through Russian, for it is derived from the the whole gamut of flowers, animals, town of Troki, in the very heart of colours, and stones, sometimes ven the old Jewish Pale. turing to the best of their German When a student of the Juridical taste upon attempts at humour. If Faculty at Odessa, Trotski joined the a Jew's name is Offenbach or Hilde Socialist movement. Some revolusheimer or Speyer, one may assume tionary fracas or conspiracy led to that his family has come from one his expulsion from the University and of the Rhenish towns, but if it is started him on his career of Socialist Blumenduft (scent of flowers) or propaganda, diversified by years in Unterleibsgeschwür (abdominal ulcer Siberia and in prison. The men of -an authentic case!), it is clear that the Russian revolution are now frean ancestor of his was the object of quently described in Western Europe German mockery, or of subsequent as “wind-bags” or “talkers” by people Russian imitation. If such a man who have never known Russian goes to Germany he will immediately prisons or Siberia. Let them read *From The New Europe, London, Jan.

the gruesome story of Maria Spiriduary 17, 1918.

onova, which at one time made the

whole civilised world shudder (the The English spelling of the proper names has been retained in this article.-Editor's

recent Peasants’ Congress at PetroNote.

grad elected Maria Spiridonova its

president). Or let them read Leo thy master or thou mine?” If their Deutsch's Reminiscences of Siberia sign is to endure, if their teachings or any other lives from that new are to work in the consciousness of martyrology. There has been horror the masses, they must remain pure. in the past experience of these men For ideas, compromise with reality and women; a madness has been en means a kind of decay; it is like the gendered by it and a fanaticism decay of fruit at seed time; if the which alone has enabled them to en fruit perishes when the seed is still dure all things and conquer in the immature, the loss is unredeemed end.

and uncompensated. Conservatism In Trotski the fanatic is much less is the philosophy of reality; revoluconspicuous than in most Bolshevik tion results from the logic of ideas. leaders. Socialism supplies him with If Trotski compromises, he is lost; an outlook rather than with doc if he does not, he is probably lost too trines. He is clear-sighted, he un- :—which few men are likely to regret derstands the logic of events, the more than he himself. He is not a force of ideas, their uncompromising calm, iron ascetic with a deeply hunature, and the need for simplicity man heart and an inhuman mind, and cogency in political thinking. like Lenin. His naturel has proved Where minor men are unbending too strong even for the long schoolfrom pedantry, experience forbids ing of Russian revolutionary life. Trotski to compromise where prin Trotski enjoys life, loves pleasure, is ciples are concerned. He knows the very ambitious and rather vain; he only terms on which one can fight cares for Trotski and thinks a deal with the arms of the spirit against of him, so much indeed that at momaterial weapons, and he knows ments this foolhardy fighter becomes how to capture the man behind the accessible to doubt and fear. He enmachine gun instead of countering joys power and has a sense of huthe two in their own kind. In 1905 mour, and the humour of power he fought autocracy and succumbed seems to appeal to him almost as —the Russian army had remained much as its responsibility (this also with the Czar; twelve years later it fits him admirably for dealing with went over to the revolution. In European Chancelleries). There is July he fought Kerenski and suc nothing of the pathos about him cumbed; the army was with his rival. which attached to Kerenski, the In November he won without hav. Hamlet of the Russian revolution. ing raised or armed new forces. He He will make himself respected, men is now trying the same game on Ger shall reckon with him, the world many, nay, on the entire world

must not forget Trotski or leave him each man has only one method of out of account. He imposes himself acting, just as he has only one face. on it by his cleverness and energy.

Can Trotski win this time? He These qualities have served him well will undoubtedly succumb again, but with crowds and with women. To the seed will have been sown. That vain men no one can replace success quaint idea of "the dictatorship of on the wider stage so well as women; the proletariat” will remain, a burn- they are the perfect audience for ing sign to those who have a sense “Kings in Babylon.” of wrong; it is not democracy which Trotski has been poor all his life. the Bolsheviks aim at, but “a turn He has lived in garrets, has starved, of the wheel"—the rule of the down- and yet has thought of how the world trodden. They address to the upper should be ruled. He knows what classes what Meredith calls “the par. life is to those cast into the outer ent question of humanity": "Am I darkness. Easeful pleasure is suited

for men who safely possess; destruc- the everyday perception of reality, tion is the instinct, the living art and when comparatively small accidents the wild joy of the dispossessed- of environment compete with the the dark, cynical, defiant face of ideas which are the work of the specMichael Angelo's statue of Brutos ulative human understanding. . To menaces the exquisite and aristocratic Trotski socialism and its creed have beauty of Leonardo da Vinci. As become his world, and he could Trotski has been poor all his life, the hardly live or act outside their usual stories are now told of his hay. sphere. But the theoretical differing been bribed by the Germans. ences between the various socialist “German agent" is the most appro groups were unessential to him at a priate label for anyone who does not time when as yet none of their docsuit us. The curse of being a poli- trines could give rise to action. His tician and poor is temptation, and restless ambition, his excitable temnext, that even if the man resists per, his desire for action, made him temptation, there is circumstantial shift from one Socialist group to anevidence to suggest the opposite. The other, while blind zeal and lack of only temptation which approaches humour made other men persevere the rich politician and to which he and attain leadership. Trotski finduly succumbs is that of giving bribes ished by being called "the morass” -he “nurses” his constituency, sub- by those strong in faith—the uncerscribes to party funds, ends by buy- tain, dangerous ground between the ing hereditary legislative power in immovable mountains. the House of Lords and remains "re August, 1914, found him in Paris. spectable-damned respectable." His first move was an attack on the

Trotski achieved prominence for German Socialists for having voted the first time during the revolution war-credits. During the next two of 1905. Nosar (“party name": years he edited a Russian Socialist Hrustalev), an insignificant person, paper. Toward the end of 1916 the was chairman of the Central Sovjet. French Government, to disembarrass Trotski, his assistant, supplied the itself of Trotski, decided to put him brains of the movement, and it was across the Swiss frontier; it seemed with him that the Prime Minister, that there he would remain high and Count Witte, negotiated previous to dry till the end of the war. He sucthe publication of the October Mani- ceeded, however, in getting himself festo. After the collapse of the rev sent to Spain instead, and thence emolution, Trotski sought refuge abroad barked for America. To one born and relapsed into comparative ob- in bondage, chained in his youth, scurity. Unequalled as an agitator, exilea in his manhood, the revolua speaker, a man of action, Trotski tioc was the sign that the days of is not the leader for a persecuted sterile misery had come to an end. creed who could fortify them in their Not yet!

Not yet! By order of the British devout prayers in the Catacombs, or authorities Trotski was forcibly taken --to give the Russian-Socialist equiv- off a homeward-bound Norwegian alent-take part with all seriousness steamer and interned at Halifax. in their sterile discussions in exile. Those few weeks of detention in Trotski's socialism is sincere, his very Nova Scotia did not kill him; but, temperament is revolutionary social. as Machiavelli, puts it-si vendicano ism, he is carried away by it. He gli uomini delle leggiere offese; delle thinks through his temperament. In gravi non possono. The remembrance the white heat of abstract passion of wrong done to his own person ren. he sees issues with a logical consis dered more pointed Trotski's action tency such as cannot be attained in for the release of Cicerin. Yet the

« ПретходнаНастави »