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analysis of the true and the false analogies that may be drawn between the successful operation of that great court and the doubtful success of a world court organized to perform the same beneficent function as between the independent nations.
So far as mere legal or juridical questions are concerned he entertains no doubt that a world court would be competent to adjudicate them, and that there is little future danger of great wars resulting from such causes. “Legal” questions he defines as those which do not involve profound policies of self-preservation or the “vital interests" of a nation.
But he argues forcefully that the mere establishment of such a court would not suffice to prevent wars between nations arising from “political” disputes involving vital questions of their self-preservation or welfare. In these respects his hopes for future peace are based on the slow and gradual elimination of these causes of war through international legislation or mutual agreements of the nations, through an increasing popular hatred of war, and through increased powers of conciliation as well as of legislation conferred upon the International Conference at The Hague.
If, however, a world court cannot be expected to attain greater results in the security of permanent peace than the rather moderate ones above mentioned, why, it may be reasonably asked, has our Supreme Court succeeded so admirably in the peaceable settlement of the numerous disputes that have in the course of more than a century arisen between the sovereign states composing the United States ?
Our author attributes this to two principal causes or influences. He is emphatic in his postulate that it is due, in the first place, to the pressure of the outside world reacting upon the States of the Union, which has forced them from motives of self-preservation and dread of attack to stand together and exert their united force to compel two disputant states to keep the peace and to accept judicial determinations of their disputes. On the other hand, in case of a court established by the united assent of all nations to secure general peace, there is no force outside of the world to drive the peoples of the earth to remain united in order to avoid war among themselves. But, to quote the author:“It should not be forgotten that there is within the Nations of the world themselves a force driving toward peace. This force arises from the fact that the destruction of life and wealth wrought by modern war as well as the destruction of wealth caused by the preparation in times of peace for war is so tremendous that immense suffering both immediate and for the future are thereby inflicted upon the inhabitants of the belligerent Nations, and indirectly in many cases upon neutrals.”
May it not be hoped that this subjective force, greatly enhanced by the present war, will ultimately prove as powerful as the dread of attack from without ?
The second reason assigned for the difference in effectiveness between our Supreme Court and the contemplated international tribunal is that in our case the vital interests of our States are protected already otherwise than by the action of the court, while those of the Nations must depend upon the adjudications of the world court or else upon the strong arms of the Nations themselves, the latter being their main reliance.
If we ask why this difference in favor of our Supreme Court, the author replies:
“Because when two States of the Union appear at its bar as litigants upon a question which is purely a bone of contention between them, not only is the power of all the United States, owing in part to the pressure of the outside world [italics his], behind the court to enforce its judgment, but also the future safety and existence of neither state is really endangered by the decision. The individual States of the Union are not exposed to be divided up and annexed in parcels or in toto to some of the other States, as is the case with members of the family of Nations.
“This immunity from dismemberment and absorption of one member state by another ... is due in part to the need of all the forty-eight States . . . to remain united and live in peace together in order to afford a united and strong front for mutual protection against the other nations of the world ... and in part also to the fact that within all the bounds of the United States there is entire freedom of trade and migration, while between the members of the family of nations there is restriction of trade and some restriction of migration.”
If this be a complete analysis of the reasons for the difference, then the nations of the world, if they would have peace, must address themselves to the task of securing freedom of trade and migration amongst themselves and of finding a substitute for the need of “a united and strong front for mutual protection against other nations of the
world;” and when we remember that in an association of all the nations to secure permanent peace among themselves the only guarantee of it would be found in the maintenance of the association and the ready and prompt performance by each member Nation of its obligations, and recall the growing hatred of war alluded to by the author, it might be possible to place the world court on the same plane as our own Supreme Court. But is it quite just to say that the only reasons why our States have no “vital interests” to protect against each other are those above mentioned? These certainly have their weight, but so also have those other provisions of our Constitution which declare that no State shall acquire the territory of another without the consent of the States concerned as well as of the Congress; that no State shall mistreat the citizens of another, but that the citizens of each shall have all the rights, privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; that no State shall enter into alliances or confederations, or make any compact or agreement with another without the consent of Congress; that no State shall keep troops (save militia) or ships of war or declare war save when invaded; and—by no means least—that trade and commerce between the States and with foreign countries shall not only be free from restrictions laid by the States individually but shall be controlled by them all jointly through the Congress and through the treatymaking power. Do not these constitutional provisions, taken together, lift our States individually out of the murky atmosphere of “political” disputes and elevate them to the purer and rarer atmosphere of the “legal” dispute, always capable of settlement by judicial decision? Are they not thereby deprived of the power and opportunity of exercising “political” powers, the prolific breeders of “political” disputes involving the “vital interests” which cannot be adjudicated? The attainment of this desirable consummation by our States involved the total surrender or the grant to all the States united of some sovereign rights by each of the States, but only of those which were susceptible of being used to the detriment of their sister States in the Union; and while, as the author points out, since the adoption of the Constitution these surrenders or grants of powers have been more and more extended in consequence of the war of 1861 and of amendments and departmental interpretations of the Constitution, the fact remains that, even under that instrument as originally adopted, the States in
dividually (though not in groups, as the events of 1861 attest) had very effectually preserved themselves and each other from interstate wars.
The thirteen original States were almost as proud of and devoted to their sovereignty and independence as is the proudest state in Europe, and yet they entered into a league which, through the surrender of certain war-breeding powers, enabled them not only to unite against outside foes but to prevent in the main internecine wars among themselves. May we not hope, despite the author's doubts, that the nations possess enough of constructive imagination to lift them to like heights of statecraft!
RALEIGH C. MINOR.
German Imperialism and International Law. By Jacques Marquis de
Dampierre. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1917. pp. viii, 277.
Copious quotations from the books of many of Germany's own writers, and from the archives of the French Government, constitute the source and basis of the indictment drawn in this book against the German imperialistic method of conducting war. The restrained and serious style in which the indictment is drawn gives their true value to the facts which are recorded. There can be no doubt as to the verdict of guilty which any fair-minded jury would be obliged to bring in against the accused.
About one-half of the book is devoted to the all too familiar and revolting story of the excesses committed by the German armies alike in victory and defeat. It proves, convincingly and abundantly, that the ancient military maxims, “to the victors belong the spoils” and “woe to the vanquished,” have been acted upon by the German sol. diers in this war with a scientific efficiency and universality unrivalled in any previous one within civilized times. In this respect, as in many others, “all precedents have been broken.”
The chief interest and value of the book lies, however, in the author's attempt to explain the spoliation and terror caused by Germany's armies by referring them to Germany's imperialistic philosophy. In the course of his narrative there crop out every little while other causes or pretexts which will doubtless be exploited in detail by Germany's future apologists. Among these may be mentioned, first, the argumentum ad hominem, especially with reference to Great Britain's methods in warfare. Maximilian Harden, for example, quotes with approval the dictum of Cecil Rhodes in regard to the Boer War: “This war is just because it serves my nation, because it increases the power of my country.” Tannenberg, again, justifies Germany's treatment of private property on land by declaring that “Great Britain regards it as her special right to recognize no private property in maritime war. As an equally Germanic power, let us accept her point of view, and transport it into the domain which belongs to us-continental war." This tu quoque argument is applied, also, to Germany's continental neighbors who are accused of having treated German territories, during the Thirty Years and the Napoleonic wars, “as if they were goods without an owner.”
Again, the glamor with which poets intoxicated by one thing or another have gilded, in the literature of every people, the “Berserker rage”' displayed in primitive battles, is claimed by Germany's apologists for the furor teutonicus which has been so much in evidence during the present war.
The belief, cherished by Germany's masses and the mass of Germany's soldiers, that the true “Belgian atrocities” were those treacherously committed by a ferocious civilian populace upon German troops disposed to observe the laws of civilized warfare, is also made much of by the counsel for the defense.
But our author evidently considers these outcroppings as prevarications, exaggerations, or irrelevancies, and devotes the first half of his book to his thesis that violence is a vital element in Germany's political conceptions and that German imperialism is necessarily at war with international law. He admits that “the recruiting of modern armies from the whole mass of the nation always involves the risk of introducing into the army degenerates and feebleminded individuals, slaves of impulse, who, under the exceptional circumstances of the conflict, may be momentarily transformed into criminals." He accordingly refrains from indicting the whole German army for crimes committed by portions of it, as he would refuse to indict the whole German people or any people for scandalous crimes committed among them in time of peace.
On the other hand, he does fix responsibility, for the brutal attacks on property and persons, directly upon the military authorities who