War and the future: Italy, France and Britain at war eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 218 pages of information about War and the future.
the wave of impulse that threatens to submerge his private self.  But when at last that line is forced he is driven back upon others equally extraordinary.  You can often find simultaneously in the same Pacifist paper, and sometimes even in the utterances of the same writer, two entirely incompatible statements.  The first is that Germany is so invincible that it is useless to prolong the war since no effort of the Allies is likely to produce any material improvement in their position, and the second is that Germany is so thoroughly beaten that she is now ready to abandon militarism and make terms and compensations entirely acceptable to the countries she has forced into war.  And when finally facts are produced to establish the truth that Germany, though still largely wicked and impenitent, is being slowly and conclusively beaten by the sanity, courage and persistence of the Allied common men, then the Genteel Whig retorts with his last defensive absurdity.  He invents a national psychology for Germany.  Germany, he invents, loves us and wants to be our dearest friend.  Germany has always loved us.  The Germans are a loving, unenvious people.  They have been a little mislead—­but nice people do not insist upon that fact.  But beware of beating Germany, beware of humiliating Germany; then indeed trouble will come.  Germany will begin to dislike us.  She will plan a revenge.  Turning aside from her erstwhile innocent career, she may even think of hate.  What are our obligations to France, Italy, Serbia and Russia, what is the happiness of a few thousands of the Herero, a few millions of the Belgians—­whose numbers moreover are constantly diminishing—­when we might weigh them against the danger, the most terrible danger, of incurring permanent German hostility?...

A Frenchman I talked to knew better than that.  “What will happen to Germany,” I asked, “if we are able to do so to her and so; would she take to dreams of a Revanche?

“She will take to Anglomania,” he said, and added after a flash of reflection, “In the long run it will be the worse for you.”



One of the indisputable things about the war, so far as Britain and France go—­and I have reason to believe that on a lesser scale things are similar in Italy—­is that it has produced a very great volume of religious thought and feeling.  About Russia in these matters we hear but little at the present time, but one guesses at parallelism.  People habitually religious have been stirred to new depths of reality and sincerity, and people are thinking of religion who never thought of religion before.  But as I have already pointed out, thinking and feeling about a matter is of no permanent value unless something is thought out, unless there is a change of boundary or relationship, and it an altogether different question to ask whether any definite change is resulting from this universal ferment.  If it is not doing so, then the sleeper merely dreams a dream that he will forget again....

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War and the future: Italy, France and Britain at war from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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