On the other hand, there will be an enormously increased rentier class drawing the interest of the war loans from the community, and maintaining a generally high standard of comfort. There will have been a great demand for administrative and technical abilities and a great stimulation of scientific and technical education. By 1926 we shall be going about a world that will have recovered very largely from the impoverishment of the struggle; we shall tour in State-manufactured automobiles upon excellent roads, and we shall live in houses equipped with a national factory electric light installation, and at every turn we shall be using and consuming the products of nationalised industry—and paying off the National Debt simultaneously, and reducing our burden of rentiers.
At the same time our boys will be studying science in their schools more thoroughly than they do now, and they will in many cases be learning Russian instead of Greek or German. More of our boys will be going into the public service, and fewer thinking of private business, and they will be going into the public service, not as clerks, but as engineers, technical chemists, manufacturers, State agriculturists, and the like. The public service will be less a service of clerks and more a service of practical men. The ties that bind France and Great Britain at the present moment will have been drawn very much closer. France, Belgium and England will be drifting towards a French-English bi-lingualism....
So much of our picture we may splash in now. Much that is quite essential remains to be discussed. So far we have said scarcely a word about the prospects of party politics and the problems of government that arise as the State ceases to be a mere impartial adjudicator between private individuals, and takes upon itself more and more of the direction of the general life of the community.
VI. LAWYER AND PRESS
The riddle of administration is the most subtle of all those that the would-be prophet of the things that are coming must attempt. We see the great modern States confronted now by vast and urgent necessities, by opportunities that may never recur. Individualism has achieved its inevitable failure; “go as you please” in a world that also contained aggressive militarism, has broken down. We live in a world of improvised State factories, commandeered railways, substituted labour and emergency arrangements. Our vague-minded, lax, modern democracy has to pull itself together, has to take over and administer and succeed with a great system of collective functions, has to express its collective will in some better terms than “go as you please,” or fail.
And we find the affairs of nearly every great democratic State in the hands of a class of men not specially adapted to any such constructive or administrative work.