“The persistency of a civilization may well be superior in tenacity to mere military conquest and control.
“The smallness of the number of instances in which conquering nations have been able successfully to deal with alien peoples is extraordinary. The Romans were unusually successful, and England has been successful with all but the Irish, but perhaps no other peoples have been successful in high degree in an effort to hold alien populations as vassals and to make them really happy and comfortable as such.
“One of the war’s chief effects on us will be to change our point of view. Europe will be more vivid to us from now on. There are many public men who have never thought much about Europe, and who have been far from a realization of its actual importance to us. It has been a place to which to go for a Summer holiday.
“But, suddenly, they find they cannot sell their cotton there or their copper, that they cannot market their stocks and bonds there, that they cannot send money to their families who are traveling there, because there is a war. To such men the war must have made it apparent that interdependence among nations is more than a mere phrase.
“All our trade and all our economic and social policies must recognize this. The world has discovered that cash without credit means little. One cannot use cash if one cannot use one’s credit to draw it whenever and wherever needed. Credit is intangible and volatile, and may be destroyed over night.
“I saw this in Venice.
“On July 31 I could have drawn every cent that my letter of credit called for up to the time the banks closed. At 10 in the morning on the 1st of August I could not draw the value of a postage stamp.
“Yet the banker in New York who issued my letter of credit had not failed. His standing was as good as ever it had been. But the world’s system of international exchange of credit had suffered a stroke of paralysis over night.
“This realization of international interdependence, I hope, will elevate and refine our patriotism by teaching men a wider sympathy and a deeper understanding of other peoples, nations, and languages. I sincerely hope it will educate us up to what I have called ’The International Mind.’
“When Joseph Chamberlain began his campaign after returning from South Africa his keynote was, ‘Learn to think imperially.’ I think ours should be, ‘Learn to think internationally,’ to see ourselves not in competition with the other peoples of the world, but working with them toward a common end, the advance of civilization.”
A Note of Optimism.
“There are hopeful signs, even in the midst of the gloom that hangs over us. Think what it has meant for the great nations of Europe to have come to us, as they have done, asking our favorable public opinion. We have no army and navy worthy of their fears. They can have been induced by nothing save their conviction that we are the possessors of sound political ideals and a great moral force.