The Unity of Civilization eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 343 pages of information about The Unity of Civilization.

Many times before it has been seen that there are nobler conflicts than the struggle for markets or for the political domination of one clique or one nation.  Many times before it has been felt, at least by a few, that man is deceived when he imagines that man is his enemy.  And many times when the deliverance seemed near we have been enslaved again by an evil magic.  A hundred years ago, at the end of the Napoleonic wars, the dreamers imagined that humanity would have done with its false prophets and lay the ghosts which have haunted it since it began to shake off the manners of the beasts.  But a dismal succession of new falsehoods and new blind guides appeared.  And now, in this so advanced age, we have to face the same possibility.  There is much to excuse a despair; from which nothing can free us but a new enthusiasm.  The evil magic must be overcome by magic of another kind, and how acute the crisis seems it is hardly possible to indicate.

The quality of our age was its expectancy.  For that reason men of every nation were moved to desire a transformed society.  But perhaps that quality of expectancy was the quality of youth.  For the first time in history, in the early twentieth century, age was giving place to youth in the political equilibrium of the generations.  Now—­I dare not speak too plainly.  The young men of the western world are already, since August 1914, noticeably fewer.  Death may have made no difference to them.  It has made an immense difference to the future.  It means that the eager expectancy of youth, which is the source of so much enthusiasm for a better world, is being lost.  The crisis is here.  As yet the common ideals of civilized nations still survive; but the desire for a better future is at ebb and flow with a tired acquiescence in the established order.  It is in our hands to decide which shall overcome.  No generation has faced a greater issue.  We cannot tell what will be the outcome; but to hope too much is at least a more generous fault than to despair too soon.


C.D.  Burns, Political Ideals.  Clarendon Press.

P. Geddes, Cities in Evolution.  Williams & Norgate.

J.A.  Hobson, Towards International Government.  Allen & Unwin.

P.S.  Reinsch, Public International Unions.  Ginn & Co.



World-state is a term likely to be offensive in its arrogance, if it be taken to mean the substitution of a single political community and government for the numerous separate national states which have hitherto existed.  I therefore hasten to say that I intend no such meaning, but use the term as a convenient expression to cover any body of political arrangements, to which most of the principal nations of the world are parties, sufficiently stable in character and wide in scope to merit the title of international government.

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The Unity of Civilization from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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