Then; thirdly, there are the regions and cities possessing no nationality, such as Constantinople or Bombay, which manifestly appertain not to one nation but many; the former to all the Black Sea nations, the latter to all India. Disregarding ambitions and traditions, it is fairly obvious that such international places would be best under the joint control of, and form a basis of union between, all the peoples affected.
Now it is suggested here that upon these threefold lines it is possible to work out a map of the world of maximum contentment and stability, and that there will be a gravitation of all other arrangements, all empires and leagues and what not, towards this rational and natural map of mankind. This does not imply that that map will ultimately assert itself, but that it will always be tending to assert itself. It will obsess ostensible politics.
I do not pretend to know with any degree of certainty what peculiar forms of muddle and aggression may not record themselves upon the maps of 2200; I do not certainly know whether mankind will be better off or worse off then, more or less civilised; but I do know, with a very considerable degree of certainty, that in A.D. 2200 there will still be a France, an Ireland, a Germany, a Jugo-Slav region, a Constantinople, a Rajputana, and a Bengal. I do not mean that these are absolutely fixed things; they may have receded or expanded. But these are the more permanent things; these are the field, the groundwork, the basic reality; these are fundamental forces over which play the ambitions, treacheries, delusions, traditions, tyrannies of international politics. All boundaries will tend to reveal these fundamental forms as all clothing tends to reveal the body. You may hide the waist; you will only reveal the shoulders the more. You may mask, you may muffle the body; it is still alive inside, and the ultimate determining thing.
And, having premised this much, it is possible to take up the problem of the peace of 1917 or 1918, or whenever it is to be, with some sense of its limitations and superficiality.