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hopeless and impossible the day before it breaks out, and indeed never does break out until it seems hopeless and impossible; for rulers who think it possible take care to insure the risk by ruling reasonably.  This brings about a condition fatal to all political stability:  namely, that you never know where to have the politicians.  If the fear of God was in them it might be possible to come to some general understanding as to what God disapproves of; and Europe might pull together on that basis.  But the present panic, in which Prime Ministers drift from election to election, either fighting or running away from everybody who shakes a fist at them, makes a European civilization impossible.  Such peace and prosperity as we enjoyed before the war depended on the loyalty of the Western States to their own civilization.  That loyalty could find practical expression only in an alliance of the highly civilized Western Powers against the primitive tyrannies of the East.  Britain, Germany, France, and the United States of America could have imposed peace on the world, and nursed modern civilization in Russia, Turkey, and the Balkans.  Every meaner consideration should have given way to this need for the solidarity of the higher civilization.  What actually happened was that France and England, through their clerks the diplomatists, made an alliance with Russia to defend themselves against Germany; Germany made an alliance with Turkey to defend herself against the three; and the two unnatural and suicidal combinations fell on one another in a war that came nearer to being a war of extermination than any wars since those of Timur the Tartar; whilst the United States held aloof as long as they could, and the other States either did the same or joined in the fray through compulsion, bribery, or their judgment as to which side their bread was buttered.  And at the present moment, though the main fighting has ceased through the surrender of Germany on terms which the victors have never dreamt of observing, the extermination by blockade and famine, which was what forced Germany to surrender, still continues, although it is certain that if the vanquished starve the victors will starve too, and Europe will liquidate its affairs by going, not into bankruptcy, but into chaos.

Now all this, it will be noticed, was fundamentally nothing but an idiotic attempt on the part of each belligerent State to secure for itself the advantage of the survival of the fittest through Circumstantial Selection.  If the Western Powers had selected their allies in the Lamarckian manner intelligently, purposely, and vitally, ad majorem Dei gloriam, as what Nietzsche called good Europeans, there would have been a League of Nations and no war.  But because the selection relied on was purely circumstantial opportunist selection, so that the alliances were mere marriages of convenience, they have turned out, not merely as badly as might have been expected, but far worse than the blackest pessimist had ever imagined possible.

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