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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 207 pages of information about The Economic Consequences of the Peace.
of our enormous contributions and sacrifices (like though in a less degree than America), economically stood outside, and they may fall together.  In this lies the destructive significance of the Peace of Paris.  If the European Civil War is to end with France and Italy abusing their momentary victorious power to destroy Germany and Austria-Hungary now prostrate, they invite their own destruction also, being so deeply and inextricably intertwined with their victims by hidden psychic and economic bonds.  At any rate an Englishman who took part in the Conference of Paris and was during those months a member of the Supreme Economic Council of the Allied Powers, was bound to become, for him a new experience, a European in his cares and outlook.  There, at the nerve center of the European system, his British preoccupations must largely fall away and he must be haunted by other and more dreadful specters.  Paris was a nightmare, and every one there was morbid.  A sense of impending catastrophe overhung the frivolous scene; the futility and smallness of man before the great events confronting him; the mingled significance and unreality of the decisions; levity, blindness, insolence, confused cries from without,—­all the elements of ancient tragedy were there.  Seated indeed amid the theatrical trappings of the French Saloons of State, one could wonder if the extraordinary visages of Wilson and of Clemenceau, with their fixed hue and unchanging characterization, were really faces at all and not the tragi-comic masks of some strange drama or puppet-show.

The proceedings of Paris all had this air of extraordinary importance and unimportance at the same time.  The decisions seemed charged with consequences to the future of human society; yet the air whispered that the word was not flesh, that it was futile, insignificant, of no effect, dissociated from events; and one felt most strongly the impression, described by Tolstoy in War and Peace or by Hardy in The Dynasts, of events marching on to their fated conclusion uninfluenced and unaffected by the cerebrations of Statesmen in Council: 

        Spirit of the Years

    Observe that all wide sight and self-command
    Deserts these throngs now driven to demonry
    By the Immanent Unrecking.  Nought remains
    But vindictiveness here amid the strong,
    And there amid the weak an impotent rage.

        Spirit of the Pities

    Why prompts the Will so senseless-shaped a doing?

        Spirit of the Years

    I have told thee that It works unwittingly,
    As one possessed not judging.

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