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EFFECT OF NATIONALITY
binds them together in groups by chains, which, as Burke once told the House of Commons, “though light as air, are strong as iron bands," while the opposite policy of distrust and coercion defeats its own object, and breaks down so soon as strain is put upon it.
If this were all, one might look forward with considerable hope to the future of Europe after the war, but in at least two districts-Alsace-Lorraine and the Balkan kingdoms—the question is unfortunately complicated by the existence of nationalities which are not separated by geographical boundaries, but are, as it were, superimposed one on another.
The truth is that—if the problem be not utterly insolublethe one thing which could solve it would be for both Germany and France to step aside from Alsace, and say in effect, “Gentlemen, it is your misfortune that the inhabitants of your country have two nationalities; the triumph of one means the destruction of the other. We will both withdraw. Henceforth Alsace is a new country. Forget that you have rival traditions as to the past, and learn to have a common hope for your future. That future shall henceforth be neither French nor German, but Alsatian. Though you speak two languages, that need not prevent your being one nation any more than it prevents Walloons and Flemings being all Belgians.” Such a policy might succeed, though it is doubtful whether the passions roused in Alsace-Lorraine by foolish rather than bad government for the last forty years could at once be assuaged.
DIFFICULTIES IN THE BALKANS.
Equally unfavorable is the outlook in the southeast of Europe. In the Balkan kingdoms the superimposition of nationalities is so complex that it is impossible to see how any permanent organization can be reached. The countries which have already been organized as self-governing entities-Rumania, Servia, Bulgaria, and Greece—have largely succeeded by a process of expelling the members of other nationalities, and many of these outcasts have been collected, though not United, in what used to be the Turkish provinces of Macedonia and Thrace, in which the confusion is made even worse confounded by the fact that the whole of the seacoast is dominated by a large and flourishing colony of Spanish Jews. How is this district to be cleared up satisfactorily, seeing that even small towns are occupied by two or three nationalities, all animated by the strongest racial hatred? They may unite in war, but they will always quarrel in peace. It will require a wise and united Europe to control them and to refrain from exploiting them as it has done in the past.
COMBINATION OF NATIONS.
It is for this reason that, although the treaty which will mark the end of the war will possibly pave the way to a general improvement, in that there is at least a chance that a great step will be taken towards the combining of nationalities in larger groups, in such a way that a general policy of
home rule will not exclude the central control of common interests, it will probably fall far short of completeely solving the question of peace, because both in the west and in the southeast of Europe there are districts in which national distinctions and geographical boundaries do not coincide, and the common hopes which the inhabitants cherish are not for peace in the future, but rather for a successful war of extermination. Unless European statesmen have something better to suggest than any terms hitherto hinted at, we are not in sight of peace at the end of the war, but only of an armed truce.
(The Nation, vol. 101, sup., pp. 1-2; Dec. 23, 1915.)
(d) [$317] Effect of a Peace Without Victory.
By HILAIRE BELLOC (June 21, 1917).
Let us suppose that such a settlement required the evacuation of territory now occupied and even the renovation of damaged towns—but that not at the command of the victors, but by the consent of an unvanquished foe. Let us suppose that in name at least the independence of the nations was recognized and that the new Europe of which men have dreamed were established so far as the mechanical arrangement of frontiers can establish it-but that not at the dictation of a conquering army, but by the permission of those which the army had hoped to defeat and had failed to defeat. What would be the effect upon the soul of Europe? What would be the effect upon its will, its traditions, its ideals, above all, what would be the effect upon its future of such a surrender, for surrender it would be?
SPIRITUAL DOMINATION OF PRUSSIA,
In the first place, the coming generations would be under the spiritual domination of Prussia. Prussia and the Germany which she has indoctrinated would say with justice, “A11 the world came against us. Upon the East we were victorious, for we dissolved the political cohesion of our enemies there. Upon the West blow upon blow was met with entire resistance, and we emerged from the great ordeal triumphant.” Prussia would say this with justice, and the opponents of Prussia, though they might deny such a truth with their lips, would acknowledge it in their hearts. The German people, inclined in some measure to regard their crimes as the universal conscience regards them, will be able to say, “Yes, we did ill, but we did it in a good cause and the Prussian nation has survived."
Men would naturally and inevitably say that the power which had so defended itself successfully was in the order of things. They would imitate it even where they did not revere it.
In general, the Europe of the future would suffer (for I think it is a suffering) from the modern German attitude towards the world. ... At any rate, if the German, pleasing or unpleasing, according to taste, holds the fort, he
PEACE WITHOUT VICTORY
is the master of our future. The national soul of the various allied peoples would be under the impression of defeat. The national soul of the Germans would be under the impression of victory.
Consider, again, what sort of nations those would be who would arise in this new and Prussianized Europe. There would be a Polland, no doubt. It would be a Poland moderated and controlled from Berlin. That is inevitable.
It would be forbidden access to the sea. It would be mutilated. It would be under tutelage.
There would be a Scandinavian group-a Holland, and perhaps a Belgium, but not one of those five small nations would exist save at the will of the German organization, of which they would be the fringe.
FRANCE AND ENGLAND.
There would be a France, as there will always be, but it would be a France that said to itself: “I was beaten once in
In the second occasion I made the supreme sacrifice, I took the brunt of the fighting, I drove the vastly superior enemy to earth; I wore him down until he was just on breaking point. But the fruit of that vast and salutary effort was not gathered. The Alliance failed, and I received nothing save what I received at the will of my enemies." And there would be an Italy—an Italy that would say, “I helped the Alliance, and for my reward I have incorporated this or that district which is of my own blood, but the power which held them once may hold them again, and my seas are not mine own.”
More especially there would be an England which would say to itself—and the more bitterly because men would hesitate to say it publicly and openly: “I accepted the challenge and I fought hard, but I could not do my will, and now at every moment with these new fashions of war I am in peril. My old pride is gone and my old State."
PRUSSIAN THEORY OF THE FEW.
The Prussian attitude towards this tremendous business of domestic or social organization is well known to us.
We have seen it, not only in the Prussian losses, but most strikingly in the attitude of the Prussian Socialist party and in, I do not say the unwillingness, but the incapacity of the Prussianized German to act save under orders. His inability to organize from below.
The modern German conception—the Prussian conception of a settlement in this vast affair, is that the proletarian majority shall be given a certain security and sufficiency by law, but that all power and direction, and enjoyment for that matter, shall remain with the possessing few. No scheme which leaves power-especially economic power -in the hands of the populace, has any meaning to the Prussian mind. It conceives of the mass as a herd-to be
kept efficient, ordered, trained to work for masters. And the Prussian herd agrees. Well, in the strictest sense of the term that idea means servitude. It means, using the words in their most accurate sense, without rhetoric and without violence, the return of slavery in Europe.
WHAT IS TO BE DECIDED.
The power of the people to order their lives, the power of acting from below, the renascence of human dignity in the mass, is lost. Of such magnitude is this war. Upon such a scale is the business upon which we all in our various capacities are engaged. And those who continue to think of this war in terms of the old diplomacy, of arrangement for this and for that, of whether this decayed family or that shall nominally wear a crown and the rest of it, are like children playing with toys when there is mortal illness in the house. Take care. We are within the next few months to decide whether all that we have known as Europe and all that we have known as England is to continue or no, and if the siege is not prosecuted to its full conclusion, and if complete victory is not attained, we have lost.
(Land and Water, June 21, 1917.)
[$318] CONFLICTING IDEAS OF PEACE.
1. Specific References on the Section.
Buxton, C. R. (Editor), and Others. Towards a Lasting Settlement.
(N. Y., Macmillan, 1916.) “Cosmos.” The Basis of Durable Peace. (N. Y., C. Scribner,
1917.) Also in N. Y. Times Current History, V, 921-929
(Feb., 1917). Eliot, C. W. The Road Towards Peace. (Boston, Houghton, Miffin,
1915.) Fayle, Charles E. The Great Settlement. (N. Y., Duffield, 1915.)
1915.) Grey, Sir Edward. A Free Europe. (London, Unwin, 1916.) Headlam, J. W. The Peace Terms of the Allies. (London, Clay,
A symposium of peace proposals and programs 1914-1916. (N. Y.,
Amer. Assoc. for Int. Conciliation, 1916.)
Hughes, T. J. State Socialism After the War. (N. Y., 1916.) 2. International Rivalries. 3. Territorial Difficulties. 4. Economic Difficulties. 5. Documents and Extracts on the Section.
(a)  British Ideas of Peace.
NO PEACE TILL AIMS ARE WON.
In my judgment the war will come to an end when the Allied armies have reached the aims which they set out to attain when they accepted the challenge thrown down by Ger
BRITISH IDEAS OF PEACE
many. As soon as these objectives have been reached and guaranteed, this war will come to an end; but if the war comes to an end a single minute before it will be the greatest disaster that has ever befallen mankind.
No doubt we can have peace now at a price. Germany wants peace-even Prussia ardently desires it. They said give us some indemnity for the wrongs we have done, just a little territory here and a little there, and just a few privileges in other directions, and we will clear out. We are told that if we are prepared to make peace now Germany will restore the independence of Belgium. But who has said so?
No German statesman has ever said he would restore the independence of Belgium. The German Chancellor came very near to it, but all the junkers fell on him and he received a sound box on the ears from the mailed fist.
The only terms on which Germany has suggested restoring Belgium are not those of independence, but of vassalage. Then came the doctrine of the status quo and no annexation and no indemnities. No German statesman has accepted even that.
INDEMNITIES AND GUARANTEE.
But what did indemnity mean? Indemnity is an essential part of the mechanism of civilization in every land and clime. Otherwise what guarantee have we against a repetition? Then, it is said, that is not what you are after. You are after our colonies, and probably Palestine and Mesopotamia. If we had entered into this war purely for the German colonies we would not have raised an army of three or four millions. We could have got them without adding a single battalion to
Our greatest army is in France. We are there to recover for the people who have been driven out of their patrimony the land which belonged to them.
As to Mesopotamia, it is not and never has been Turkish. You have only to read the terrible reports to see what a wilderness the Turks have made of the Garden of Eden. What is to happen to Mesopotamia must be left to the peace conference, and there is one thing that will never happen to it. It will never be restored to the blasting tyranny of the Turks. The same observation applies to Armenia.
As to the German colonies, that again is a matter which must be settled by the great international peace conference. When we come to settle who must be the future trustees of those uncivilized lands we must take into account the sentiments of the peoples themselves and whether they are anxious to secure the return of their former masters, or whether they would rather trust their destinies to other and juster and gentler hands. The wishes, desires and interests of the people themselves of all those countries must be the dominant factor in settling their future government.
Peace must be framed on so equitable a basis that the nations would not wish to disturb it. It must be guaranteed by destruction of Prussian military power, so that the confi