Peace Theories and the Balkan War eBook

Norman Angell
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 111 pages of information about Peace Theories and the Balkan War.

[Footnote 8:  As a matter of fact, of course, the work of these two men has not been fruitless.  As Lord Morley truly says:  “They were routed on the question of the Crimean War, but it was the rapid spread of their principles which within the next twenty years made intervention impossible in the Franco-Austrian War, in the American War, in the Danish War, in the Franco-German War, and above all, in the war between Russia and Turkey, which broke out only the other day.”]

[Footnote 9:  Thus the Editor of the Spectator:—­

“For ourselves, as far as the main economic proposition goes, he preaches to the converted....  If nations were perfectly wise and held perfectly sound economic theories, they would recognize that exchange is the union of forces, and that it is very foolish to hate or be jealous of your co-operators....  Men are savage, bloodthirsty creatures ... and when their blood is up will fight for a word or a sign, or, as Mr. Angell would put it, for an illusion.”

Therefore, argues the Spectator, let the illusion continue—­for there is no other conclusion to be drawn from the argument.]

[Footnote 10:  Need it be said that this criticism does not imply the faintest want of respect for Lord Roberts, his qualities and his services.  He has ventured into the field of foreign politics and prophecy.  A public man of great eminence, he has expressed an English view of German “intentions.”  For the man in the street (I write in that capacity) to receive that expression in silence is to endorse it, to make it national.  And I have stated here the reasons which make such an attitude disastrous.  We all greatly respect Lord Roberts, but, even before that, must come respect for our country, the determination that it shall be in the right and not in the wrong, which it certainly will be if this easy dogmatism concerning the evil intentions of other nations becomes national.]

[Footnote 11:  The German Navy Law in its preamble might have filched this from the British Navy League catechism.]



The improvement of ideas the foundation of all improvement—­Shooting straight and thinking straight; the one as important as the other—­Pacifism and the Millennium—­How we got rid of wars of religion—­A few ideas have changed the face of the world—­The simple ideas the most important—­The “theories” which have led to war—­The work of the reformer to destroy old and false theories—­The intellectual interdependence of nations—­Europe at unity in this matter—­New ideas cannot be confined to one people—­No fear of ourselves or any nation being ahead of the rest.

But what, it will be said, is the practical outcome?  Admitting that we are, or that our fathers were, in part responsible for this war, that it is their false theories which have made it necessary, that like false theories on our part may make future wars inevitable—­what shall we do to prevent that catastrophe?

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Peace Theories and the Balkan War from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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