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PREFACE

THE Great War has been on the part of the Entente Allies avowedly a battle against autocracy. The occasion for it was that autocracy, having no basis in principles of justice, ruled by the exercise of arbitrary force regardless of the restraints of law. The conflict ended in the triumph of democracy. The autocratic empires were left in ruins. The task of democracy is to reorganize the emancipated populations and to create responsible governments which can maintain legal relations with one another. This can be done only by the firm establishment of law, both national and international; for democracy without respect for law, is anarchy. Having no unity of interest or constancy of purpose, a lawless democracy implies a perpetual conflict without definite aims, in which all the participants waste their energies in mutual resistance. If, therefore, democracy is to survive and organize its victory, it must do so in a spirit of loyalty to principles of justice. The will of

the victor must be guided by the spirit of obedience to law. Its first necessity, however, is to prove that law cannot be violated with impunity. The fundamental problem that confronts us at the termination of the Great War is, therefore, the restoration of the rule of law. I say the restoration, and not the inauguration, of the rule of law, because the idea of law is not a new idea, and a nominal respect for law is not a new state of mind. The defect in pre-war international organization was not that International Law did not exist or that it was not in theory authoritative, but that there was no fixed determination on the part of any nation to enforce it except in its own interest. The lesson of the war is that the enforcement of International Law is a universal and not merely a national interest; and that, in reality, there is no human interest that is comparable with it in importance except the enforcement of just laws within the nations themselves. The difference between the ante-war period and that upon which we have entered lies chiefly in this: that before the war nations were to a great extent ruled by autocratic masters who had no regard for law but were guided by their own ambitions and the ambitions of those who supported them; whereas the dissolution of these imperial Powers has left their populations free to reëstablish themselves upon lines of organized liberty under law. The task of accomplishing this is a stupendous one. Without mutual aid, and especially without the utter extermination of the spirit of military autocracy, it is impossible. The first step in the accomplishment of that task is peace,—a peace in which it is made clear to all the world that the spirit which caused the war is completely subdued and rendered powerless for further disturbance. Such a peace must be a peace of victory, in which it is made evident that law has been vindicated, and that violations of it can be and are effectively punished. To speak of peace in any other sense than this before such a peace is imposed is to substitute dreams for realities. Herein lies the test of what the future of the world will be. When that condition of peace is fulfilled, when it is plainly established that the violation of International Law can really be punished, there will be a ground for faith that it can in the future be maintained. With the certainty of justice will come the organization of peace, and it can be attained in no other way. The object of this little book is to maintain the thesis that without the rule of law there is no hope of permanent peace; and that International Law, being the affair of all nations, requires for its

enforcement that all nations, and not a single group organized in their own interest, shall freely have a part in the formulation and protection of it. The proper task of the Entente of Free Nations formed in the prosecution of the Great War is not, therefore, to create a mere organ of power but an institution of justice. Such an institution cannot be established by a League of Nations, unless as an organization it makes law and not power the chief object of its existence. If it dedicates its energies frankly to the perfection of International Law, it may indeed rise to the height of world leadership; but, because all sovereign States are equal before the law, it cannot long subsist merely as a “League,” which is essentially a group of Powers within the general Society of States. What is required is the union, not the division, of that society. Working as an Entente of Free Nations toward the ultimate establishment of that society on the basis of a common law, the victors in the war have had their opportunity to prove that violations of law, even of great magnitude, can be punished, and that the time has come, in the light of that result, for the whole Society of States to unite in the perfection and the protection of the Law of Nations. This is not the course that has been pursued in the Peace Conference at Paris. “The Constitution

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