The Schemes of the Kaiser eBook

Juliette Adam
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 203 pages of information about The Schemes of the Kaiser.

There is nothing fresh about his wares, but he does his best to persuade us that they are new; one feels instinctively that some day he will throw the whole lot at our heads.  I am quite prepared to admit that, if he had any rare or really superior goods to offer, his advertising methods might be profitable, but William’s stock-in-trade has for many years been imported, and exported under two labels, namely the principles of ’89 and Christian Socialism.

The German Emperor has mixed the two, after the manner of a prentice-hand.  His organ, the Cologne Gazette, with all the honeyed adulation of a suddenly converted opponent, [2] has called this mixture “Social Monarchism.”  Therefore, it seems, the German Emperor is neither a constitutional sovereign nor a monarch by divine right.  He has restored Caesarism of the Roman type, clinging at the same time to the principle of divine right—­and the result is our “Social Monarch”!

Rushing headlong on the path of reform—­full steam ahead, as he puts it—­he is prepared to change the past, present and future in order to give happiness to his own subjects.  But France is likely to pay for all this; sooner or later some new rescript will tell us that the valley of tribulation is our portion and inheritance.

It is one of his ambitions to put an end to class warfare in Germany.  To this end he begins, with his usual tact, by denouncing the capitalists (that is to say; the wealth of the middle class) to the workers, and then holds up the scandalous luxury of the aristocracy in the army to the contempt of the bourgeois.

One of his most brilliant and at the same time most futile efforts, is his rescript on the subject of the shortage of officers for the army.  As the army itself is steadily increasing every day, it should have been easy in each regiment for him, gradually and quite quietly, to increase the number of officers drawn from the middle-class; indeed, the change would have practically effected itself, for the Minister of War had a hundred-and-one means of bringing it about.  But this rescript has put a check on what might otherwise have been a natural process of change, and unless William now settles matters with a high hand, it will cease.  In every regiment the aristocracy provides the great majority of officers; bourgeois candidates for admission to the service are liable to be black-balled, just as they might be at any club; it is now safe to predict that they will henceforward be regarded with less favour than ever, and that generals, colonels, majors and the rest will form up into a solid phalanx, to prevent the Emperor’s platonic proteges from getting in.

William II appeals to the higher ranks of officers, who are tradition personified, to put an end to tradition.  It is really wonderful what a genius he has for exciting cupidity in one class and resistance in the other.  And he has done the same thing with the working class as with the army.

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The Schemes of the Kaiser from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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