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London : 
FranJ(&0cil ^bhmr^Lion (auri 








First Published October, 1914 
Second Impression October, 1914 
Third Impression October^ 1914 







CRAFT - 29 















THE cause of a war and the object of a war 
are not necessarily the same. The cause of this 
war was the invasion of Luxemburg and Belgium. 
We declared war because we were bound by | 
treaty to declare war. We have been pledged , 
to protect the integrity of Belgium since the 
kingdom of Belgium has existed. If the Germans ' 
had not broken the guarantees they shared j 
with us to respect the neutrality of these [ 
little States we should certainly not be at war J 
at the present time. The fortified eastern 
frontier of France could have been held against 
any attack without any help from us. We had 
no obligations and no interests there. We were 
pledged to France simply to protect her from , 
a naval attack by sea, but the Germans had 
already given us an undertaking not to make 
such an attack. It was our Belgian treaty and 
the sudden outrage on Luxemburg that pre- 
cipitated us into" this conflict. No Power in the 
world would have respected our Flag or accepted 
our national word again if we had not fought. 
So much for the immediate cause of the war. 

But now we come to the object of this war. \ 
We began to fight because our honour and our 


pledge obliged us ; but so soon as we are embarked 
upon the fighting we have to ask ourselves what 
is the end at which our fighting aims. We cannot 
simply put the Germans back over the Belgian 
border and tell them not to do it again. We 
find ourselves at war with that huge military 
empire with which we have been doing our best 
to keep the peace since first it rose upon the ruins 
of French Imperialism in 1871. And war is 
mortal conflict. We have now either to destroy 
or be destroyed. We have not sought this 
reckoning, we have done our utmost to avoid it ; 
but now that it has been forced upon us it is 
imperative that it should be a thorough reckoning. 
This is a war that touches every man and every 
home in each of the combatant countries. It is 
a war, as Mr. Sidney Low has said, not of soldiers 
but of whole peoples. And it is a war that must 
be fought to such a finish that every man in each 
of the nations engaged understands what has 
happened. There can be no diplomatic settle- 
ment that will leave German Imperialism free 
to explain away its failure to its people and start 
new preparations. We have to go on until we 
are absolutely done for, or until the Germans 
as a people know that they are beaten, and are 
convinced that they have had enough of war. 

We are fighting Germany. But we are fighting 
without any hatred of the German people. We 
do not intend to destroy either their freedom or 
their unity. But we have to destroy an evil 
system of government and the mental and material 
corruption that has got hold of the German 


imagination and taken possession of German liism 
We have to smash the Prussian Imperialism in- 
thoroughly as Germany in 1871 smashed the" 
rotten Imperialism of Napoleon III. And also 
we have to learn from the failure of that victory 
to avoid a vindictive triumph. 

This Prussian Imperialism has been for forty 
years an intolerable nuisance in the earth. Ever 
since the crushing of the French in 1871 the evil 
thing has grown and cast its spreading shadow 
over Europe. Germany has preached a pro- 
paganda of ruthless force and political materialism 
to the whole uneasy world. " Blood and iron," 
she boasted, was the cement of her unity, and 
almost as openly the little, mean, aggressive 
statesmen and professors who have guided her 
destinies to this present conflict have professed 
cynicism and an utter disregard of any ends but 
nationally selfish ends, as though it were religion. 
Evil just as much as good may be made into a 
Cant. Physical and moral brutality has indeed 
become a cant in the German mind, and spread 
from Germany throughout the world. I could 
wish it were possible to say that English and 
American thought had altogether escaped its 
corruption. But now at last we shake ourselves 
free and turn upon this boasting wickedness to 
rid the world of it. The whole world is tired 
of it. And " Gott ! " Gott so perpetually 
invoked Gott indeed must be very tired of it 

This is already the vastest war in history. It 
is war not of nations, but of mankind. It is a 
war to exorcise a world-madness and end an age. 



I : .id note how this Cant of public rottenness 
%j had its secret side. The man who preaches 
cynicism in his own business transactions had 
better keep a detective and a cash register for 
his clerks ; and it is the most natural thing in the 
world to find that this system, which is outwardly 
vile, is also inwardly rotten. Beside the Kaiser 
stands the firm of Krupp, a second head to the 
State ; on the very steps of the throne is the 
armament trust, that organised scoundrelism 
which has, in its relentless propaganda for profit, 
mined all the security of civilisation, brought 
up and dominated a Press, ruled a national 
literature, and corrupted universities. 

Consider what the Germans have been, and 
what the Germans can be. Here is a race which 
has for its chief fault docility and a belief in 
teachers and rulers. For the rest, as all who 
know it intimately will testify, it is the most 
amiable of peoples. It is naturally kindly, com- 
fort-loving, child-loving, musical, artistic, intelli- 
gent. In countless respects German homes and 
towns and countrysides are the most civilised in the 
world. But these people did a little lose their heads 
after the victories of the sixties and seventies, and 
there began a propaganda of national vanity and 
national ambition. It was organised by a stupidly 
forceful statesman, it was fostered by folly upon the 
throne. It was guarded from wholesome criticism 
by an intolerant censorship. It never gave 
sanity a chance. A certain patriotic sentiment- 
ality lent itself only too readily to the suggestion 
of the flatterer, and so there grew up this 


monstrous trade in weapons. German patriotism 
became an " interest," the greatest of the " in- 
terests." It developed a vast advertisement 
propaganda. It subsidised Navy Leagues and 
Aerial Leagues, threatening the world. Man- 
kind, we saw too late, had been guilty of an 
incalculable folly in permitting private men to 
make a profit out of the dreadful preparations 
for war. But the evil was started ; the German 
imagination was captured and enslaved. On 
every other European country that valued its 
integrity there was thrust the overwhelming 
necessity to arm and drill and still to arm and 
drill. Money was withdrawn from education, 
from social progress, from business enterprise, 
and art and scientific research, and from every 
kind of happiness ; life was drilled and darkened. 

So that the harvest of this darkness comes now 
almost as a relief, and it is a grim satisfaction in 
our discomforts that we can at last look across 
the roar and torment of battlefields to the 
possibility of an organised peace. 

For this is now a war for peace. 

It aims straight at disarmament. It aims at a 
settlement that shall stop this sort of thing for 
ever. Every soldier who fights against Germany 
now is a crusader against war. This, the greatest 
of all wars, is not just another war it is the last 
war ! England, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, 
and all the little countries of Europe, are heartily 
sick of war ; the Tsar has expressed a passionate 
hatred of war ; the most of Asia is unwarlike ; 
the United States has no illusions about war. 


And never was war begun so joylessly, and never 
was war begun with so grim a resolution. In 
England, France, Belgium, Russia, there is no 
thought of glory. 

We know we face unprecedented slaughter and 
agonies ; we know that for neither side will there 
be easy triumphs or prancing victories. Already, 
in that warring sea of men, there is famine as 
well as hideous butchery, and soon there must 
come disease. 

Can it be otherwise ? 

We face, perhaps, the most awful winter that 
mankind has ever faced. 

But we English and our allies, who did not 
seek this catastrophe, face it with anger and 
determination rather than despair. 

Through this war we have to march, through 
pain, through agonies of the spirit worse than 
pain, through seas of blood and filth. We 
English have not had things kept from us. We 
know what war is ; we have no delusions. We have 
read books that tell us of the stench of battlefields, 
and the nature of wounds, books that Germany 
suppressed and hid from her people. And we 
face these horrors to make an end of them. 

There shall be no more Kaisers, there shall be 
no more Krupps, we are resolved. That foolery 
shall end ! 

And not simply the present belligerents must 
come into the settlement. 

All America, Italy, China, the Scandinavian 
Powers, must have a voice in the final readjust- 
ment, and set their hands to the ultimate 


guarantees. I do not mean that they need fire a 
single shot or load a single gun. But they must 
come in. And in particular to the United States 
do we look to play a part in that pacification of 
the world for which our whole nation is working, 
and for which, by the thousand, men are now 
laying down their lives. 



Europe is at war ! 

The monstrous vanity that was begotten by 
the easy victories of '70 and '71 has challenged 
the world, and Germany prepares to reap the 
harvest Bismarck sowed. That trampling, drill- 
ing foolery in the heart of Europe, that has 
arrested civilisation and darkened the hopes of 
mankind for forty years. German Imperialism, 
German militarism, has struck its inevitable blow. 
The victory of Germany will mean the permanent 
enthronement of the War God over all human 
affairs. The defeat of Germany may open the 
way to disarmament and peace throughout the 

To those who love peace there can be no other 
hope in the present conflict than the defeat, the 
utter discrediting of the German legend, the 
ending for good and all of the blood and iron 
superstition, of Krupp, flag-wagging Teutonic 
Kiplingism, and all that criminal, sham efficiency 
that centres in Berlin. Never was war so 
righteous as war against Germany now. Never 
has any State in the world so clamoured for 


But be it remembered that Europe's quarrel 
is with the German State, not with the German 
people ; with a system, and not with a race. 
The older tradition of Germany is a pacific and 
civilising tradition. The temperament of the 
mass of German people is kindly, sane and amiable. 
Disaster to the German Army, if it is unaccom- 
panied by any such memorable wrong as dis- 
memberment or intolerable indignity, will mean 
the restoration of the greatest people in Europe 
to the fellowship of Western nations. The role 
of England in this huge struggle is plain as 
daylight. We have to fight. If only on account 
of the Luxemburg outrage we have to fight. 
If we do not fight, England will cease to be a 
country to be proud of ; it will be a dirt-bath 
to escape from. But it is inconceivable that we 
should not fight. And having fought, then in 
the hour of victory it will be for us to save the 
liberated Germans from vindictive treatment, 
to secure for this great people their right, as one 
united German-speaking State, to a place in the 

First we have to save ourselves and Europe, 
and then we have to stand between German on 
the one hand and the Cossack and revenge on 
the other. 

For my own part, I do not doubt that Germany 
and Austria are doomed to defeat in this war. 
It may not be catastrophic defeat, though even 
that is possible, but it is defeat. There is no 
destiny in the stars and every sign is false if this 
is not so. 


They have provoked an overwhelming com- 
bination of enemies. They have under-rated 
France. They are hampered by a bad social 
and military tradition. The German is not 
naturally a good soldier ; he is orderly and 
obedient, but he is not nimble nor quick-witted ; 
since his sole considerable military achievement, 
his not very lengthy march to Paris in 1870 and 
'71, the conditions of modern warfare have been 
almost completely revolutionised and in a direc- 
tion that subordinates the massed fighting of 
unintelligent men to the rapid initiative of 
individualised soldiers. And, on the other hand, 
since those years of disaster, the Frenchman has 
learnt the lesson of humility ; he is prepared 
now sombrely for a sombre struggle ; his is the 
gravity that precedes astonishing victories. In 
the air, in the open field, with guns and machines, 
it is doubtful if anyone fully realises the supe- 
riority of his quality to the German. This 
sudden attack may take him aback for a week or 
so, though I doubt even that, but in the end I 
think he will hold his own ; even without us he 
will hold his own, and with us then I venture to 
prophesy that within three months from now his 
Tricolour will be over the Rhine. And even 
suppose his line gets broken by the first rush. 
Even then I do not see how the Germans are to 
get to Paris or anywhere near Paris. I do not 
see how against the strength of the modern 
defensive and the stinging power of an intelligent 
enemy in retreat, of whch we had a little fore- 
taste in South Africa, the exploit of Sedan can 


be repeated. A retiring German army, on the 
other hand, will be far less formidable than a 
retiring French army, because it has less " devil " 
in it, because it is made up of men taught to 
obey in masses, because its intelligence is con- 
centrated in its aristocratic officers, because it is 
dismayed when it breaks ranks. The German 
army is everything the Conscriptionists dreamt 
of making our people ; it is, in fact, an army 
about twenty years behind the requirements of 
contemporary conditions. 

On the Eastern frontier the issue is more 
doubtful because of the uncertainty of Russian 
things. The peculiar military strength of Russia, 
a strength it was not able to display in Manchuria, 
lies in its vast resources of mounted men. A set 
invasion of Prussia may be a matter of many 
weeks, but the raiding possibilities in Eastern 
Germany are enormous. It is difficult to guess 
how far the Russian attack will be guided by 
intelligence, and how far Russia will blunder, 
but Russia will have to blunder very disastrously 
indeed before she can be put upon the defensive. 
A Russian raid is far more likely to threaten 
Berlin than a German to reach Paris. 

Meanwhile there is the struggle on the sea. In 
that I am prepared for some rude shocks. The 
Germans have devoted an amount of energy to 
the creation of an aggressive navy that would 
have been spent more wisely in consolidating 
their European position. It is probably a 
thoroughly good navy, and ship for ship the 
equal of our own. But the same lack of 



invention, the same relative uncreativeness that 
has kept the German behind the Frenchman in 
things aerial has made him, regardless of his 
shallow seas, follow our lead in naval matters, 
and if we have erred, and I believe we have 
erred, in overrating the importance of the big 
battleship, the German has at least very obligingly 
fallen in with our error. The safest, most effec- 
tive, place for the German fleet at the present 
time is the Baltic Sea. On this side of the Kiel 
Canal, unless I overrate the powers of the water- 
plane, there is no safe harbour for it. If it goes 
into port anywhere that port can be ruined, and 
the bottled-up ships can be destroyed at leisure 
by aerial bombs. So that if they are on this side 
of the Kiel Canal they must keep the sea and 
fight, if we let them, before their coal runs short. 
Battle in the open sea in this case is their only 
chance. They will fight against odds, and with 
every prospect of a smashing, albeit we shall 
certainly have to pay for that victory in ships and 
men. In the Baltic we shall not be able to get 
at them without the participation of Denmark, 
and they may have a considerable use against 
Russia. But in the end even there mine and 
aeroplane and destroyer should do their work. 

So I reckon that Germany will be held east and 
west, and that she will get her fleet practically 
destroyed. We ought also to be able to sweep 
her shipping off the seas, and lower her flag for 
ever in Africa and Asia and the Pacific. All the 
probabilities, it seems to me, point to that. 
There is no reason whv Italv should not stick to 


her present neutrality, and there is considerable 
inducement close at hand for both Denmark and 
Japan to join in, directly they are convinced of 
the failure of the first big rush on the part of 
Germany. All these issues will be more or less 
definitely decided within the next two or three 
months. By that time I believe German Impe- 
rialism will be shattered, and it may be possible 
to anticipate the end of the armaments phase of 
European history. France, Italy, England, and 
all the smaller Powers of Europe are now pacific 
countries ; Russia, after this huge war, will be 
too exhausted for further adventure ; a shattered 
Germany will be a revolutionary Germany, as 
sick of uniforms and the Imperialist idea as 
France was in 1871, as disillusioned about pre- 
dominance as Bulgaria is to-day. The way will 
be open at last for all these Western Powers to 
organise peace. That is why I, with my declared 
horror of war, have not signed any of these 
" stop-the-war " appeals and declarations that 
have appeared in the last few days. Every sword 
that is drawn against Germany now is a sword 
drawn for peace. 



This is a war-torn article, a convalescent 

It is characteristic of the cheerful gallantry 
of the time that after being left for dead on 
Saturday evening this article should be able, in 
an only very slightly bandaged condition, to take 
its place in the firing-line again on Thursday 

It was first written late on Friday night ; it 
was written in a mood of righteous excitement, 
and it was an extremely ineffective article. In 
the night I could not sleep because of its badness, 
and because I did so vehemently want it to hit 
hard and get its effect. I turned out about two 
o'clock in the morning and redrafted it, and the 
next day I wrote it all over again differently and 
carefully, and I think better. In the afternoon 
it was blown up by the discovery that Mr. 
Runciman had anticipated its essential idea. He 
had brought in, and the House had passed through 
all its stages, a Bill to give the Board of Trade 
power to requisition and deal with hoarded or 
reserved food. That was exactly the demand of 
my article. My article, about to die, saluted 
this most swift and decisive Government of 


Then I perceived that there were still many 
things to be said about this requisitioning of 
food. The Board of Trade has got its powers, but 
apparently they have still to be put into operation. 
It is extremely desirable that there should be a 
strong public opinion supporting and watching 
the exercise of these powers, and that they should 
be applied at the proper point immediately. The 
powers Mr. Runciman has secured so rapidly for 
the Board of Trade have to be put into operation 
there must be an equally rapid development of 
local committees and commandos to carry out 
his idea. The shortage continues. It is not 
over. The common people, who are sending 
their boys so bravely and uncomplainingly to 
the front, must be relieved at once from the 
intolerable hardships which a certain section of 
the prosperous classes, a small section but an 
actively mischievous section, is causing them. It 
is a right ; not a demand for charity. It is 
ridiculous to treat the problem in any other 

So far the poorer English have displayed an 
amazing and exemplary patience in this crisis, a 
humility and courage that make one the prouder 
for being also English. Apart from any failure 
of employment at the present time, it must be 
plain to anyone who has watched the present 
rise of prices and who knows anything either at 
first hand of poor households or by reading such 
investigations as those of Mrs. Pember Reeves 
upon the family budgets of the poor, that the 
rank and file of our population cannot now be 


getting enough to eat. They are suffering need- 
less deprivation and also they are suffering needless 
vexation. And there is no atom of doubt why 
they are suffering these distresses. It is that 
pretentious section of the prosperous classes, the 
section we might hit off with the phrase " auto- 
mobile-driving villadom," the " Tariff Reform 
and damn Lloyd George and Keir Hardie " class, 
the most pampered and least public-spirited of 
any stratum in the community, which has grabbed 
at the food ; it has given way to an inglorious 
panic ; it has broken ranks and stampeded to the 
stores and made the one discreditable exception 
in the splendid spectacle of our national solidarity. 
While the attention of all decent English folk 
has been concentrated upon the preparations for 
our supreme blow at Prussian predominance in 
Europe, villadom has been swarming to the shops, 
buying up the food of the common people, 
carrying it off in the family car (adorned, of course, 
with a fluttering little Union Jack) ; father has 
given a day from business, mother has helped, 
even those shiny-headed nuts, the sons, have 
condescended to assist, and now villadom, feeling 
a little safer, is ready with the dinner-bell, its 
characteristic instrument of music, to maffick at 
the victories it has done its best to spoil. And 
villadom promoted and distended, villadom in 
luck, turned millionaire, villadom on a scale that 
can buy a peerage and write you its thousands-of- 
pounds cheque for a showy subscription list, has 
been true to its origins. Lord Maffick, emulating 
Mr. and Mrs. Maffick, swept his district clean 


of flour ; let the thing go down to history. Lord 
Maffick now explains that he bought it to dis- 
tribute among his poorer neighbours that is 
going to be the stock excuse of these people 
but that sort of buying is just exactly as bad for 
prices as buying for Lord Maffick's personal 
interior. The sooner that flour gets out of the 
houses of Lord Maffick and Horatio Maffick, 
Esquire, and young Mr. Maffick and the rest of 
them, and into the houses of their poorer neigh- 
bours, the better for them and the country. 
The greatest danger to England at the present 
time is neither the German army nor the German 
fleet, but this morally rotten section of our 

Now it is no use scolding these people. It is 
no use appealing to their honour and patriotism. 
Honour they have none, and their idea of pat- 
riotism is to " tax the foreigner," wave Union 
Jacks, and clamour for the application to England 
of just that universal compulsory service which 
leads straight to those crowded, ineffective 
massacres of common soldiers that are beginning 
upon the German war-front. Exhortation may 
sway the ninety-and-nine, but the one mean man 
in the hundred will spoil the lot. The thing to 
do now is to get to work at once in every locality, 
requisitioning all excessive private stores of food 
or gold coins they can be settled for after the 
war not only the stores of the private food- 
grabbers, but also the stores of the speculative 
wholesalers who are holding up prices to 
the retail shops. Only in that way can the 


operations of this intolerable little minority be 
completely checked. Under every county council 
food committees should be formed at once to 
report on the necessities of the general mass and 
conduct inquiries into hoarding and the seizure 
and distribution of hoards, small and great. 

Now this is a public work calling for the most 
careful and open methods. Food distribution 
in England is partly in the hands of great systems 
of syndicated shops and partly still in the hands of 
one-shop local tradesmen. It is imperative that 
the brightest light should be kept upon the opera- 
tions of both small and large provision dealers. 
The big firms are in the control of men whose 
business successes have received in many instances 
marks of the signal favour and trust of our rulers. 
Lord Devonport, for example, is a peer ; Sir 
Thomas Lipton is a baronet ; they are not to 
be regarded as mere private traders, but as men 
honoured by association with the hierarchy of 
our national life on account of their distinguished 
share in the public food service. It will help 
them in their quasi-public duties to give them 
the support of our attention. Are they devoting 
their enormous economic advantages to keeping 
prices at a reasonable level, or are these various 
systems of syndicated provision shops also putting 
things up against the consumer ? With con- 
certed action on the part of these stores the most 
perfect control of prices is possible everywhere, 
except in the case of a few out-of-the-way villages. 
Is it being done ? Nobody wants to see the 
names of Lord Devonport or Sir Thomas Lipton 


or the various other rich men associated with 
them in the food supply flourishing about on 
royal subscription lists at the present time ; their 
work lies closer at hand. What we all want is to 
feel that they are devoting their utmost resources 
to the public food service of which they constitute 
so important a part. Let me say at once that I 
have every reason to believe they are doing it, 
and that they are alive to the responsibilities of 
their positions. But we must keep the limelight 
on them and on their less honoured and con- 
spicuous fellow-merchants. They are playing as 
important and vital a part indeed, they are 
called upon to play as brave and self-sacrificing a 
part as any general at the front. If they fail 
us it will be worse than the loss of many thousands 
of men in battle. Let us watch them, and I 
believe we shall watch them with admiration. 
But let us watch them. Let us report their 
movements, ask them to reassure us, chronicle 
their visits to the Board of Trade. 

I will not expatiate upon the possible heroisms 
of the wholesale provision trade. I do but glance 
at the possibility of Lord Devonport or Sir 
Thomas Lipton, after the war, living, financially 
ruined, but glorious, in a little cottage. " I gave 
back to the people in their hour of need what 
I made from them in their hours of plenty," he 
would say. " I have suffered that thousands 
might not suffer. It is nothing. Think of the 
lads who died in Belgium." 

By all accounts, the small one-shop provision 
dealers are behaving extremely well. In my own 


town of Dunmow I know of two little shop- 
keepers who have dared to offend important 
customers rather than fulfil panic orders. They 
deserve medals. In poor districts many such men 
are giving credit, eking out, tiding over, and all 
the time running tremendous risks. Not all 
heroes are upon the battlefield, and some of the 
heroes of this war are now fighting gallantly for 
our land behind grocers' counters and in village 
general shops, and may end, if not in the burial 
trench, in the bankruptcy court. Indeed, many 
of them are already on the verge of bankruptcy. 
The wholesalers have, I know, in many cases 
betrayed them, not simply by putting up prices, 
but by suddenly stopping customary credits, and 
this last week has seen some dismal nights of 
sleepless worry in the little bedrooms over the 
isolated grocery. While we look to the syndicated 
shops to do their duty, it is of the utmost import- 
ance also that we should not permit a massacre 
of the small tradespeople. A catastrophe to the 
small shopkeeper at the present time will not only 
throw a multitude of broken men upon public 
resources, but leave a gap in the homely give- 
and-take of back-street and village economies that 
will not be easily repaired. So that I suggest 
that the requisitioned stocks of forestalling whole- 
salers there ought to be a great bulk of such 
food-stuff already in the hands of the authorities 
shall be sold in the first instance at wholesale 
prices to the isolated shopkeepers, and not directly 
to the public. Only in the event of a local 
failure of duty should the direct course be taken. 


It must be remembered that the whole of the 
present stress for food is an artificial stress due 
to the vehement selfishness of vulgar-minded 
prosperous people and to the base cunning of 
quite exceptional merchants. But under the 
strange and difficult and planless conditions of 
to-day quite a few people can start a rush and 
produce an almost irresistible pressure. The 
majority of people who have hoarded and fore- 
stalled have probably done so very unwillingly, 
because " others will do it." They would 
welcome any authoritative action that would 
enable them to disgorge without feeling that 
somebody else would instantly snatch what they 
had surrendered and profit by it. It is for that 
reason that we must at once organise the com- 
mandeering and requisitioning of hoards and 
reserved goods. The mere threat will probably 
produce a great relaxation of the situation, but 
the threat must be carried out to the point of 
having everything ready as soon as possible to seize 
and sell and distribute. Until that is done this 
food crisis will wax and wane, but it will not 
cease ; if we do not carry out Mr. Runciman's 
initiatives with a certain harsh promptness food 
trouble will be an intermittent wasting fever in 
the body politic until the end of the war. 

And the business will not be over at the end 
of the war. The patience of the common people 
has been astonishing. In countless homes there 
must have been the extremest worry and misery. 
But except for a few trivial rows, such as the 
smashing of the windows of Mr. Moss, at Hitchin, 


who was probably not a bit to blame, an attack 
on a bakery somewhere, and some not very bad 
behaviour in the way of threats and demonstra- 
tions on the part of East End Jews, there has been 
no disorder at all. That is because the people 
are full of the first solemnity of war, eagerly 
trustful, and still well nourished. 

At the end unless the more prosperous people 
pull themselves together it will not be like that. 



I find myself enthusiastic for this war against 
Prussian militarism. We are, I believe, assisting 
at the end of a vast, intolerable oppression upon 
civilisation. We are fighting to release Germany 
and all the world from the superstition that 
brutality and cynicism are the methods of success, 
that Imperialism is better than free citizenship 
and conscripts better soldiers than free men. 

And I find another writer who is also being, he 
declares, patriotically British. Indeed, he waves 
the Union Jack about to an extent from which 
my natural modesty recoils. Because you see 
I am English-cum-Irish, and save for the cross 
of St. Andrew that flag is mine. To wave it 
about would, I feel, be just vulgar self-assertion. 
He, however, is not English. He assumes a 
variety of names, and some are quite lovely old 
English names. But his favourite name is Craft, 
Maximilian Craft and I understand he was born 
a Kraft. He shoves himself into the affairs of 
this country with an extraordinary energy ; he 
takes possession of my Union Jack as if St. George 
was his father. At present he is advising me very 
actively how to conduct this war, and telling me 
exactly what I ought to think about it. He is, 


in fact, the English equivalent of those professors 
of Welt Politik who have guided the German 
mind to its present magnificent display of shrewd, 
triumphant statecraft. I suspect him of a distant 
cousinship with Professor Delbruck. And he is 
urging upon our attention now a magnificent 
coup, with which I will shortly deal. 

In appearance Kraft is by no means completely 
anglicised himself. He is a large-faced creature 
with enormous long features and a woolly head ; 
he is heavy in build and with a back slightly 
hunched ; he lisps slightly and his manner is 
either insolently contemptuous or aggressively 
familiar. He thinks all born Englishmen, as dis- 
tinguished from the naturalised Englishmen, are 
also born fools. Always his manner is pervaded 
by a faint flavour of astonishment at the born 
foolishness of the born Englishmen. But he 
thinks their Empire a marvellous accident, a 
wonderful opportunity for cleverer people. 

So, with a kind of disinterested energy, he has 
been doing his best to educate Englishmen up 
to their Imperial opportunities, to show them how 
to change luck into cunning, take the wall of 
every other breed and swagger foremost in the 
world. He cannot understand that English blood 
does not warm to such ambitions. When he 
has wealth it is his nature to show it in watch- 
chains and studs and signet-rings ; if he had a 
wife she would dazzle in diamonds ; the furniture 
of his flat is wonderfully " good," all picked 
English pieces and worth no end ; he thinks 
it is just dulness and poorness of spirit that 


disregards these things. He came to England to 
instruct us in the arts of Empire, when he found 
that already there was a glut of his kind of wisdom 
in the German universities. For years until this 
present outbreak I have followed his career with 
silent interest rather than affection. And the 
first thing he undertook to teach us was, I 
remember, Tariff Reform, " taxing the foreigner." 
Limitless wealth you get, and you pay nothing. 
You get a huge national income in imported 
goods, and also, as your tariff prevents importa- 
tion, you develop a tremendous internal trade. 
Two birds (in quite opposite directions) with the 
same stone. It seemed just plain common sense 
to him. Anyhow, he felt sure it was good enough 
for the born English. . . . 

He is still a little incredulous of our refusal to 
accept that delightful idea. Meanwhile his kind 
have dominated the more docile German intelli- 
gence altogether. They have listened to the 
whisper of Welt Politik, or at least their rulers 
have attended ; they have sown exasperation on 
every frontier, taken the wall, done all the 
showily aggresssive and successful things. They 
were the pupils he should have taught. A people 
at once teachable and spirited. Almost tearfully 
Kraft has asked us to mark that glorious progress 
of a once philosophical, civilised, and kindly 
people. And indeed we have had to mark it 
and polish our weapons, and with a deepening 
resentment get more and more weapons, and 
keep our powder dry, when we would have been 
far rather occupied with other things. 


But amazingly enough we would not listen to 
his suggestion of universal service. Kraft and 
his kind believe in numbers. Even the Boer 
War could not shake his natural aptitude for 
political arithmetic. He has tried to bring the 
situation home to us by diagrams, showing us 
enormous figures, colossal soldiers to represent 
the German forces and tiny little British men, 
smaller than the army figures for Bulgaria and 
for Servia. He does not understand that there 
can be too many soldiers on a field of battle ; he 
could as soon believe that one could have too 
much money. And so he thinks the armies of 
Russia must be more powerful than the French. 
When I deny that superiority as I do he 
simply notes the fact that I am unable to 

And when it comes to schemes of warfare then 
a kind of delirium of cunning descends upon 
Kraft. He is full of devices such as we poor 
fools cannot invent ; sudden attacks without a 
declaration of war, vast schemes for spy systems 
and assassin-like disguises, the cowing of a country 
by the wholesale shooting of uncivil non-com- 
batants, breaches of neutrality, national treacheries, 
altered dispatches, forged letters, diplomatic lies, 
a perfect world-organisation of Super-sneaks. 
Our poor cousin, Michael, the German, has 
listened to such wisdom only too meekly. Poor 
Michael, with his honest blue eyes wonder-lit, 
has tried his best to be a very devil, and go where 
Kraft's cousin, Bernhardi, the military " expert," 
has led him. (So far it has led him into the 


ditches of Liege and the gorges of the Ardennes 
and much hunger and dirt and blood.) And 
Kraft over here has watched with an intolerable 
envy Berlin lying and bullying and being the 
very Superman of Welt Politik. He has been 
talking, writing, praying us to do likewise, to 
strike suddenly before war was declared at the 
German fleet, to outrage the neutrality of 
Denmark, to seize Holland, to do something 
nationally dishonest and disgraceful. Daily he 
has raged at our milk and water methods. At 
times we have seemed to him more like a lot of 
Woodrow Wilsons than reasonable sane men. 

And he is still ~t it. 

Only a few da^s ago I took up the paper that 
has at last moved me to the very plain declarations 
of this article. It was an English daily paper, 
and Kraft was telling us, as usual, and with his 
usual despairful sense of our stupidity, how to 
conduct this war. And what he said was this 
that we have to starve Germany not realising 
that with her choked railways and her wasted 
crops Germany may be trusted very rapidly to 
starve herself and that, if we do not prevent 
them, foodstuffs will go into Germany by way of 
Holland and Italy. So he wants us to begin at 
once a hostile blockade of Holland and Italy, c~ 
better, perhaps, to send each of these innocent 
and friendly countries an ultimatum forthwith. 
He wants it done at once, because otherwise the 
Berlin Krafts, some Delbruck or Bernhardi, or 
that egregious young statesman, the Crown 
Prince, may persuade the Prussians to get in their 


ultimatum first. Then we should have no 
chance of doing anything internationally idiotic 
at all, unless, perhaps, we seized a port in Norway. 
It might be rather a fine thing, he thinks upon 
reflection, to seize a port in Norway. 

Now let us English make it clear, once for all, 
to the Krafts and other kindred patriotic gentle- 
men from abroad who are showing us the really 
artful way to do things, that this is not our way 
of doing things. Into this war we have gone 
with clean hands to end the reign of brutal and 
artful internationalism for ever. Our hearts are 
heavy at the task before us, but our intention is 
grim. We mean to conquer. We are prepared 
for every disaster, for intolerable stresses, for 
bankruptcy, for hunger, for anything but defeat. 
Now that we have begun to fight we will fight if 
needful until the children die of famine in our 
homes, we will fight though every ship we have 
is at the bottom of the sea. We mean to fight 
this war to its very finish, and that finish we are 
absolutely resolved must be the end of Kraftism 
in the world. And we will come out of this war 
with hands as clean as they are now, unstained 
by any dirty tricks in field or council chamber, 
neutralities respected and treaties kept. Then 
we will reckon once for all with Kraft and with 
his friends and supporters, the private dealers in 
armaments, and with all this monstrous, stupid 
brood of villainy that has brought this vast 
catastrophe upon the world. 

I say this plainly now for myself and for 
thousands of silent plain men, because the sooner 


Kraft realises how we feel in this matter the 
better for him. He betrays at times a remark- 
able persuasion that at the final settling up of 
things he will make himself invaluable to us. At 
diplomacy he knows he shines. Then the lisping 
whisper has its use, and the studied insolence. 
Finish the fighting, and then leave it to him. 
He really believes the born English will. He 
does not understand in the slightest degree the 
still passion of our streets. There never was 
less shouting and less demonstration in England, 
and never was England so quietly intent. This 
war is not going to end in diplomacy ; it is going 
to end diplomacy. It is quite a different sort 
of war from any that have gone before it. At 
the end there will be no Conference of Europe 
on the old lines at all, but a Conference of the 
World. It will be a Conference for Kraft to 
laugh at. He will run about button-holing 
people about it ; almost spitting in their faces 
with the eagerness of his derisive whispers. It 
will conduct its affairs with scandalous publicity 
and a deliberate simplicity. It will be worse 
than Woodrow Wilson. And it will make a 
peace that will put an end to Kraft and the spirit 
of Kraft and Kraftism and the private armament 
firms behind him for evermore. 

At which I imagine the head of Kraft going 
down between his shoulders and his large hands 
going out like the wings of a cherub. " English- 
men ! Liberals ! Fools ! Incurable ! How 
can such things be ? It is not how things 
are done." 


It is how they are going to be done if this world 
is to be worth living in at all after this war. 
When we fight Berlin, Kraft, we fight you. . . . 
An absolute end to you. Yes, 



In this smash-up of empires and diplomacy, 
this utter disaster of international politics, certain 
things which would have seemed ridiculously 
Utopian a few weeks ago have suddenly become 
reasonable and practicable. One of these, a 
thing that would have seemed fantastic until the 
very moment when we joined issue with Germany 
and which may now be regarded as a sober 
possibility, is the absolute abolition throughout 
the world of the manufacture of weapons for 
private gain. Whatever may be said of the 
practicability of national disarmament, there can 
be no dispute not merely of the possibility but 
of the supreme necessity of ending for ever the 
days of private profit in the instruments of death. 
That is the real enemy. That is the evil thing at 
the very centre of this trouble. 

At the very core of all this evil that has burst 
at last in world disaster lies this Kruppism, this 
sordid enormous trade in the instruments of 
death. It is the closest, most gigantic organisa- 
tion in the world. Time after time this huge 
business, with its bought newspapers, its paid 
spies, its agents, its shareholders, its insane 
sympathisers, its vast ramification of open and 



concealed associates, has defeated attempts at 
pacification, has piled the heap of explosive 
material higher and higher the heap that has 
toppled at last into this bloody welter in Belgium, 
in which the lives of four great nations are now 
being torn and tormented and slaughtered and 
wasted beyond counting, beyond imagining. I dare 
not picture it thinking now of who may read. 

So long as the unstable peace endured, so long 
as the Emperor of the Germans and the Krupp 
concern and the vanities of Prussia hung together, 
threatening but not assailing the peace of the 
world, so long as one could dream of holding off 
the crash and saving lives, so long was it impossible 
to bring this business to an end or even to propose 
plainly to bring this business to an end. It was 
still possible to argue that to be prepared for 
war was the way to keep the peace; But now 
everyone knows better. The war has come. 
Preparation has exploded. Outrageous plunder 
has passed into outrageous bloodshed. All Europe 
is in revolt against this evil system. There is no 
going back now to peace ; our men must die, in 
heaps, in thousands ; we cannot delude ourselves 
with dreams of easy victories ; we must all suffer 
endless miseries and anxieties ; scarcely a human 
affair is there that will not be marred and darkened 
by this war. Out of it all must come one uni- 
versal resolve : that this iniquity must be plucked 
out by the roots. Whatever follies still lie ahead 
for mankind this folly at least must end. There 
must be no more buying and selling of guns and 
warships and war-machines. There must be no 


more gain in arms. Kings and Kaisers must 
cease to be the commercial travellers of monstrous 
armament concerns. With the Goeben the Kaiser 
has made his last sale. Whatever arms the 
nations think they need they must make for them- 
selves and give to their own subjects. Beyond 
that there must be no making of weapons in the 

This is the clearest common sense. I do not 
need to argue what is manifest, what every 
German knows, what every intelligent educated 
man in the world knows. The Krupp concern 
and the tawdry Imperialism of Berlin are linked 
like thief and receiver ; the hands of the German 
princes are dirty with the trade. All over the 
world statecraft and royalty have been approached 
and touched and tainted by these vast firms, 
but it is in Berlin that the corruption has centred, 
it is from Berlin that the intolerable pressure 
to arm and still to arm has come, it is at Berlin 
alone that the evil can be grappled and killed. 
Before this there was no reaching it. It was 
useless to dream even of disarmament while these 
people could still go on making their material 
uncontrolled, waiting for the moment of national 
passion, feeding the national mind with fears and 
suspicions through their subsidised Press. But 
now there is a new spirit in the world. There 
are no more fears ; the worst evil has come to 
pass. The ugly hatreds, the nourished mis- 
conceptions of an armed peace, begin already to 
give place to the mutual respect and pity and 
disillusionment of a universally disastrous war. 


We can at last deal with Krupps and the kindred 
firms throughout the world as one general 
problem, one world-wide accessible evil. 

Outside the circle of belligerent States, and the 
States which, like Denmark, Italy, Rumania, 
Norway and Sweden, must necessarily be invited 
to take a share in the final re-settlement of the 
world's affairs, there are only three systems of 
Powers which need be considered in this matter, 
namely, the English and Spanish-speaking Repub- 
lics of America and China. None of these States 
is deeply involved in the armaments trade, 
several of them have every reason to hate a 
system that has linked the obligation to deal in 
armaments with every loan. The United States 
of America is now, more than ever it was, an 
anti-militarist Power, and it is not too much to 
say that the Government of the United States of 
America holds in its hand the power to sanction 
or prevent this most urgent need of mankind. 
If the people of the United States will consider 
and grasp this tremendous question now ; if 
they will make up their minds now that there 
shall be no more profit made in America or 
anywhere else upon the face of the earth in raw 
material ; if they will determine to put the vast 
moral, financial and material influence the States 
will be able to exercise at the end of this war in 
the scale against the survival of Kruppism, then 
it will be possible to finish that vile industry for 
ever. If, through a failure of courage or 
imagination, they will not come into this thing, 
then I fear if it may be done. But I misjudge 


the United States if, in the end, they abstain 
from so glorious and congenial an opportunity. 

Let me set out the suggestion very plainly. 
All the plant for the making of war material 
throughout the world must be taken over by the 
Government of the State in which it exists ; 
every gun factory, every rifle factory, every dock- 
yard for the building of warships. It may be 
necessary to compensate the shareholders more or 
less completely ; there may have to be a war 
indemnity to provide for that, but that is a 
question of detail. The thing is the conversion 
everywhere of arms-making into a State monopoly, 
so that nowhere shall there be a ha'porth of 
avoidable private gain in it. Then, and then 
only, will it become possible to arrange for the 
gradual dismantling of this industry which is 
destroying humanity, and the reduction of the 
armed forces of the world to reasonable dimen- 
sions. I would carry this suppression down even 
to the restriction of the manufacture and sale of 
every sort of gun, pistol, and explosive. They 
should be made only in Government workshops 
and sold only in Government shops ; there 
should not be a single rifle, not a Browning 
pistol, unregistered, unrecorded, and untraceable 
in the world. But that may be a counsel of 
perfection. The essential thing is the world 
suppression of this abominable traffic in the big 
gear of war, in warships and great guns. 

With this corruption cleared out of the way, 
with the armaments commercial traveller flung 
down the back-stairs he has haunted for so long 


and flung so hard that he will be incapacitated 
for ever it will become possible to consider a 
scheme for the establishment of the peace of the 
world. Until that is done any such scheme will 
remain an idle dream. But him disposed of, the 
way is open for the association of armed nations, 
determined to stamp out at once every recru- 
descence of aggressive war. They will not be 
totally disarmed Powers. It is no good to disarm 
while any one single Power is still in love with 
the dream of military glory. It is no good to 
disarm while the possibility of war fever is still 
in the human blood. The intelligence of the 
whole world must watch for febrile symptoms 
and prepare to allay them. But after this struggle 
one may count on the pacific intentions of at 
least the following States : The British Empire, 
France, Italy, and all the minor States of the 
north and west ; the United States has always 
been a pacific Power ; Japan has had its lesson 
and is too impoverished for serious hostilities ; 
China has never been aggressive ; Germany also, 
unless this war leads to intolerable insults and 
humiliations for the German spirit, will be war- 
sick. The Spanish and Portuguese-speaking Re- 
publics of America are too busy developing 
materially to dream of war on the modern scale, 
and the same may presently be true of the Greek, 
Latin and Slav communities of south-east Europe 
if, as I hope and believe, this war leads to the 
rational rearrangement of the Austro-Hungarian 
empire. 1915 will indeed find this world a 
strangely tamed and reasonable world. 


There is only one doubtful country, Russia, 
and for my own part I do not believe in the 
wickedness and I doubt the present power of that 
stupendous barbaric State. Finland and a 
renascent Polish kingdom at least will be weight 
on the side of peace. It will be indeed the phase 
of supreme opportunity for peace. If there is 
courage and honesty enough in men, I believe it 
will be possible to establish a world council for 
the regulation of armaments as the natural 
outcome of this war. First, the trade in arma- 
ments must be absolutely killed. And then the 
next supremely important measure to secure the 
peace of the world is the neutralisation of the 

It will lie in the power of England, France, 
Russia, Italy, Japan and the United States, if 
Germany and Austria are shattered in this war, 
to forbid the further building of any more ships 
of war at all ; to persuade, and if need be, to 
oblige the minor Powers to sell their navies and to 
refuse the seas to armed ships not under the 
control of the confederation. To launch an 
armed ship can be made an invasion of the common 
territory of the world. This will be an open 
possibility in 1915. It will remain an open 
possibility until men recover from the shock of 
this conflict. As that begins to be forgotten so 
this will cease to be a possibility again perhaps 
for hundreds of years. Already human intelli- 
gence and honesty have contrived to keep the 
great American lakes and the enormous Canadian 
frontier disarmed for a century. Warlike folly 


has complained of that, but it has never been 
strong enough to upset it. What is possible on 
that scale is possible universally, so soon as the 
armament trader is put out of mischief. And 
with the Confederated Peace Powers keeping 
the seas and guaranteeing the peaceful freedom 
of the seas to all mankind, treating the transport 
of armed men and war material, except between 
one detached part of a State and another, as 
contraband, and impartially blockading all bel- 
ligerents, those who know best the significance 
of the sea power will realise best the reduction 
in the danger of extensive wars on land. 

This is no dream. This is the plain common 
sense of the present opportunity. 

It may be urged that this is a premature 
discussion, that this war is still undecided. But, 
indeed, there can be no decision to this war for 
France and England at any rate but the defeat of 
Germany, the abandonment of German mili- 
tarism, the destruction of the German fleet, and 
the creation of this opportunity. Nothing short 
of that is tolerable ; we must fight on to extinc- 
tion rather than submit to a dishonouring peace 
in defeat or to any premature settlement. The 
fate of the world under triumphant Prussianism 
and Kruppism for the next two hundred years 
is not worth discussing. There is no conceivable 
conclusion to this war but submission at Berlin. 
There is no reasonable course before us now but 
to give all our strength for victory and the 
establishment of victory. The end must be 
victory or our effacement. What will happen 


after our eifacement is for the Germans to 

A war that will merely beat Germany a little 
and restore the hateful tensions of the last forty 
years is not worth waging. As an end to all our 
effort it will be almost as intolerable as defeat. 
Yet unless a body of definite ideas is formed and 
promulgated now things may happen so. And 
so now, while there is yet time, the Liberalism 
of France and England must speak plainly and 
make its appeal to the Liberalism of all the world, 
not to share our war indeed, but to share the 
great ends for which we are so gladly waging 
this war. For, indeed, sombrely enough England 
and France and Belgium and Russia are glad of 
this day. The age of armed anxiety is over. 
Whatever betide, it must be an end. And there 
is no way of making it an end but through these 
two associated decisions, the abolition of Krupp- 
ism and the neutralisation of the sea. 



At the moment of writing the war has not 
lasted many days, great battles by land and 
sea alike impend, and yet I find my steadfast 
anticipation that Prussianism, Bernhardi-ism, 
the whole theory and practice of the Empire 
of the Germans, is a rotten and condemned 
thing, has already strengthened to an absolute 
conviction. Unforeseen accidents may happen. 
I say nothing of the sea, but the general and 
ultimate result seems to me now as certain as 
the rising of to-morrow's sun. I do not know 
how much slaughter lies before Europe before 
Germany realises that she is fool-led and fool- 
poisoned. I do not know how long the 
swaggering Prussian officer will be able to 
drive his crowded men to massacre before 
they revolt against him, nor do I know how 
far the inflated vanity of Berlin has made 
provision for defeat. Germany on the defen- 
sive for all we can tell may prove a very stub- 
born thing, and Russia's strength may be, and 
I think is, over-estimated. All that may delay, 
but it will not alter the final demonstration 


that Prussianism, as Mr. Belloc foretold so amaz- 
ingly, took its mortal wound at the first onset 
before the trenches of Liege. We begin a new 
period of history. 

It is not Germany that has been defeated ; 
Germany is still an unconquered country. In- 
deed, now it is a released country. It is a country 
glorious in history and with a glorious future. 
But never more after this war has ended will it 
march to the shout of the Prussian drill sergeant 
and strive to play bully to the world. The 
legend of Prussia is exploded. Its appeal was to 
one coarse criterion, success, and it has failed. 
Nevermore will the harshness of Berlin over- 
shadow the great and friendly civilisation of 
Southern and Western Germany. The work 
before a world in arms is to clean off the Prussian 
blue from the life and spirit of mankind. 

No European Power has any real quarrel with 
Germany. Our quarrel is with the Empire of 
the Germans, not with a people but with an idea. 
Let us in all that follows keep that clearly in our 
minds. It may be that the German repulse at 
Liege was but the beginning of a German disaster 
as great as that of France in 1871. It may be 
that Germany has no second plan if her first plan 
fails ; that she will go to pieces after her first 
defeat. It seems to me that this is so I risk 
the prophecy, and I would have us prepare our- 
selves for the temptations of victory. And so 
to begin with, let us of the liberal faith declare 
our fixed, unalterable conviction that it will be 
a sin to dismember Germany or to allow any 


German-speaking and German-feeling territory 
to fall under a foreign yoke. Let us English make 
sure of ourselves in that matter. There may be 
restorations of alien territory Polish, French, 
Danish, Italian, but we have seen enough of 
racial subjugation now to be sure that we will 
tolerate no more of it. From the Rhine to East 
Prussia and from the Baltic to the southern limits 
of German-speaking Austria, the Germans are 
one people. Let us begin with the resolution 
to permit no new bitterness of "conquered 
territories " to come into existence to disturb the 
future peace of Europe. Let us see to it that at 
the ultimate settlement the Germans, however 
great his overthrow may be, are all left free men. 
When the Prussians invaded Luxemburg they 
tore up the map of Europe. To the redrawing 
of that map a thousand complex forces will come. 
There will be much attempted over-reaching in 
the business and much greed. Few will come 
to negotiations with simple intentions. In a 
wrangle all sorts of ugly and stupid things may 
happen. It is for us English to get a head in 
that matter, to take counsel with ourselves and 
determine what is just ; it is for us, who are 
in so many ways detached from and independent 
of the national passions of the Continent, not to 
be cunning or politic, but to contrive as unanimous 
a purpose as possible now, so that we may carry 
this war to its end with a clear conception of 
its end, and to use the whole of our strength to 
make an enduring peace in Europe. That 
means that we have to re-draw the map so that 


there shall be, for just as far as we can see ahead, 
as little cause for warfare among us Western 
nations as possible. That means that we have 
to re-draw it justly. And very extensively. 

Is that an impossible proposal ? I think not. 
There are, indeed, such things as non-irritating 
frontiers. Witness the frontiers of Canada. 
Certain boundaries have served in Europe now 
for the better part of a hundred years, and grow 
less amenable to disturbance every year. Nobody, 
for example, wants to use force to readjust the 
mutual frontiers in Europe of Holland, Belgium, 
France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, and none of 
these Powers desire now to acquire the foreign 
possessions of any other of the group. They 
are Powers permanently at peace. Will it not be 
possible now to make so drastic a readjustment 
as to secure the same practical contentment 
between all the European Powers ? Is not this 
war that crowning opportunity ? It seems to me 
that in this matter it behoves us to form an 
opinion sane and definite enough to meet the 
sudden impulses of belligerent triumph and over- 
ride the secret counsels of diplomacy. It is a 
thing to do forthwith. Let us decide what we 
are going on fighting for, and let us secure it and 
settle it. It is not an abstract interesting thing 
to do ; it is the duty of every English citizen now 
to study this problem of the map of Europe, so 
that we can make an end for ever to that dark 
game of plots and secret treaties and clap-trap 
synthetic schemes that has wasted the forces of 
civilisation (and made the fortunes of the Krupp 


family) in the last forty years. We are fighting 
now for a new map of Europe if we are fighting for 
anything at all. I could imagine that new map 
of Europe as if it were the flag of the allies who 
now prepare to press the Germans back towards 
their proper territory. 

In the first place, I suggest that France must 
recover Lorraine, and that Luxemburg must 
be linked in closer union with Belgium. Alsace, 
it seems to me, should be given a choice between 
France and an entry into the Swiss Confederation. 
It would possibly choose France. Denmark 
should have again the distinctly Danish part of 
her lost provinces restored to her. Trieste and 
Trent, and perhaps also Pola, should be restored 
to Italy. This will re-unite several severed 
fragments of peoples to their more congenial 
associates. But these are minor changes compared 
with the new developments that are now, in some 
form, inevitable in the East of Europe, and for 
those we have to nerve our imaginations, if this 
vast war and waste of men is to end in an enduring 
peace. The break-up of the Austrian Empire 
has hung over Europe like a curse for forty years. 
Let us break it up now and have done with it. 
What is to become of the non-German regions 
of Austria-Hungary ? And what is to happen 
upon the Polish frontier of Russia ? 

First, then, I would suggest that the three 
fragments of Poland should be reunited, and that 
the Tsar of Russia should be crowned King of 
Poland. I propose then we define that as our 
national intention, that we use all the liberalising 


influence this present war will give us in Russia 
to that end. And secondly, I propose that we 
set before ourselves as our policy the unification 
of that larger Rumania which includes Trans- 
sylvania, and the gathering together into a con- 
federation of the Swiss type of all the Servian 
and quasi-Servian provinces of the Austrian 
Empire. Let us, as the price greater Servia will 
pay for its unity, exact the restoration to Bulgaria 
of any Bulgarian-speaking districts that are now 
under Servian rule ; let us save Scutari from the 
iniquity of a nose-slashing occupation by Mon- 
tenegrins and try to effect another Swiss confed- 
eration of the residual Bohemian, Slavic and 
Hungarian fragments. I am convinced that the 
time has come for the substitution of Swiss 
associations for the discredited Imperialisms and 
kingdoms that have made Europe unstable for 
so long. Every emperor and every king, we now 
perceive, means a national ambition more organic, 
concentrated and dangerous than is possible 
under Republican conditions. Our own peculiar 
monarchy is the one exception that proves this 
rule. There is no reason why we should multiply 
these centres of aggression. 

Probably neither Bulgaria nor Servia would 
miss their kings very keenly, and anyhow, I do 
not see any need for more of these irritating 
ambition-pimples upon the fair face of the world. 
Let us cease to give indigestible princes to the 
new States that we Schweitzerize. Albania, par- 
ticularly, with its miscellaneous tribes has cer- 
tainly no use for monarchy, and the suggestion 


that has been made for its settlement, as a con- 
federation of small tribal cantons is the only 
one I have ever heard that seemed to contain a 
ray of hope for that distracted patch of earth. 
There is certainly no reason why these people 
should be exploited by Italy, since Italy can 
claim a more legitimate gratification. There, in 
a paragraph, is a sketch of the map of Europe 
that may emerge from the present struggle. It 
is my personal idea of our purpose in this war. 

Quite manifestly in all these matters I am a 
fairly ignorant person. Quite manifestly this is 
crude stuff. And I admit a certain sense of 
presumptuous absurdity as I sit here before the 
map of Europe like a carver before a duck and 
take off a slice here and decide on a cut there. 
None the less it is what everyone of us has to do. 
I intend to go on redrawing the map of Europe 
with every intelligent person I meet. We are 
all more or less ignorant ; it is unfortunate but 
it does not alter the fact that we cannot escape 
either decisions or passive acquiescences in these 
matters. If we do not do our utmost to under- 
stand the new map, if we make no decisions, 
then still cruder things will happen ; Europe 
will blunder into a new set of ugly complications 
and prepare a still more colossal Armageddon 
than this that is now going on. No one, I hope, 
will suggest after this war that we should still 
leave things to the diplomatists. Yet the altern- 
ative to you and me is diplomacy. If you want 
to see where diplomacy and Welt Politik have 
landed Europe after forty years of anxiety and 


armament, you must go and look into the ditches 
of Liege. These bloody heaps are the mere 
first samples of the harvest. The only alternative 
to diplomacy is outspoken intelligence, yours and 
mine and every articulate person's. We have all 
of us to undertake this redrawing of the map of 
Europe, in the measure of our power and capacity. 
That our power and capacity are unhappily not 
very considerable does not absolve us. It is for 
us to secure a lasting settlement of all the European 
frontiers if we can. If we common intelligent 
people at large do not secure that, nobody will. 
If we have no intentions with regard to the 
map of Europe, we shall soon be going on with 
the war for nothing in particular. The Prussian 
spirit has broken itself beyond repair, and the 
north coast of France and the integrity of Belgium 
are saved. All the fighting that is still to come 
will only be the confirmation and development 
of that. If we have no further plan before us 
our task is at an end. If that is all, we may stand 
aside now with a good conscience and watch a 
slower war drag to an evil end. Left to herself a 
victorious Russia is far more likely to help herself 
to East Prussia and set to work to Russianise its 
inhabitants than to risk an indigestion of more 
Poles ; Italy may go into Albania and a new 
conflict with Servia ; it is even conceivable that 
France may be ungenerous. She will have a 
good excuse for being ungenerous. Meanwhile, 
German-speaking populations will find them- 
selves under instead of upper dogs in half the 
provinces of Austria-Hungary ; mischievous little 


kings, with chancellors and national policies and 
ambitions all complete, will rise and fluctuate and 
fall upon that slippery soil, and a bloody and 
embittered Germany, continually stung by the 
outcries of her subject kindred, will sit down 
grimly to grow a new generation of soldiers and 
prepare for her revenge. . . . 

That is why I think we liberal English should 
draw our new map of Europe now, first of all 
on paper and then upon the face of the earth. 

We ought to draw that map now, and propagate 
the idea of it, and make it our national purpose, 
and call the intelligence and consciences of the 
United States and France and Scandinavia to 
our help. Openly and plainly we ought to discuss 
and decide and tell the world what we mean to 
do. The reign of brutality, cynicism, and secretive 
treachery is shattered in Europe. Over the ruins 
of the Prussian War-Lordship, reason, public 
opinion, justice, international good faith and 
good intentions will be free to come back and 
rule the destinies of man. But things will not 
wait for reason and justice, if just and reasonable 
men have neither energy nor unity. 

; ^ ta 
toi^lfe/ 4& ^ali tcouir 

'I'Utftr O3cfc 

. vrt<&,. 





The opportunity of Liberalism has come at 
last, an overwhelming opportunity. The age 
of militarism has rushed to its inevitable and yet 
surprising climax. The great soldier empire, 
made for war, which has dominated Europe for 
forty years has pulled itself up by the roots and 
flung itself into the struggle for which it was 
made. Whether it win or lose, it will never put 
itself back again. All Europe, following that 
lead, is a-field for war. The good harvests stand 
neglected, the factories are idle, a thin, uncertain 
trickle of paper money replaces the chinking flow 
of commerce ; whichever betide, defeat or 
deadlock, the capitalist military civilisation up- 
roots itself and ends. The war may burn itself 
out more quickly than those who regard its 
immensity think, but the war itself is the mere 
smash of the thing. The reality is the uprooting, 
the incurable dislocation. 

Trying to map and measure that dislocation 
is rather like one's first effort to think in sun's 
distances. It is to transfer one's mind to a new 
and overwhelming scale. Never did any time 
carry so swift a burthen of change as this time. 
It is manifest that in a year or so the world of 


men is going to alter more than it has altered in 
the last century and a half, more indeed than it 
ever altered before these last centuries since 
history began. Think of the mere geographical 
dislocation. There is scarcely a country in Europe 
that will not emerge from this struggle with 
entirely fresh frontiers, sovereign powers will 
vanish from the map, new sovereign powers will 
come. In the disorders that are upon us and of 
which this war itself is the mere preliminary 
phase in uniform, inevitably there must be social 
reconstruction. Who can doubt it ? Who can 
doubt the break-up of confidence and usage that 
is in progress ? Plainly you can see famine 
coming in France, in Germany, in Russia. Does 
anyone suppose that those sham efficient Germans 
have fully worked out the care and feeding of the 
madly distended hosts they have hurled at 
France ? Does anyone dream that they have 
reckoned for a check and halt ? Does anyone 
imagine their sanitary arrangements are perfect ? 
There will be pestilence. And can one believe 
that whatever feats of financial fiction we con- 
trive, their financial crash can be staved off, and 
that the bankers of Hamburg and Frankfort are 
likely to be shovelling gold next January in a still 
methodical world ? The German State machine 
has probably already done all that it was 
ever made to do. It stands now exhausted 
amidst the turmoil of its consequences. Its 
mobilization arrangements are said to have been 
astonishingly complete. Ten million men for 
and against have been got into the field with 


ammunition. Prussian Germany has carried out 
its arrangements and committed the business to 
Gott. German foresight has exhausted itself. If 
Gott fail Germany, I do not believe that Germany 
has the remotest idea what to do next. For 
the most part those millions will never get 
home any more. They will certainly never get 
back to their work again, because it will have 

When I think of European statecraft presently 
trying to put all these things back again I am 
reminded of a story of a friend whose neighbour 
tried to cut his throat and then repented. He 
came round to her with a towel about his neck 
making peculiar noises. It was a distressing but 
illuminating experience for her. She was a 
plucky and resourceful woman, and she did her 
best. " There was such a lot of it," she said. 
" I hadn't an idea things were packed so tight 

in us." 

It is characteristic of such times as this that 
much in the world, and, more particularly, much 
in the minds of men, much that has seemed as 
invincible as the mountains and as deeply rooted 
as the sea, magically loses its solidity, fades, 
changes, vanishes. When one looked at the map 
of Europe a month ago most of the lines of its 
frontiers seemed almost as stable as the coastlines. 
Now they waver under one's eyes. When one 
thought of the heritage of the Crown Prince of 
Germany, it seemed as fixed as a constellation, 
and now in a little while it may be worth as little 
as a bloody rag in the trenches of Liege. In 


little things as in great, one is suddenly confronted 
by undreamt-of instabilities. The Reform Club, 
which has been a cheerful and refreshing trickle 
of gold to me for years, now yields me reluctantly 
for my cheque two inartistic pound notes. My 
other club has ceased the kindly custom of 
cashing cheques altogether. One is glad that 
poor Bagehot did not live to see this day. Each 
day now I marvel to wake and find I have still 
a banker. . . . And I perceive too, that if 
presently my banker dissolved into the rest of 
this dissolving world a thing I should have 
thought an unendurable calamity a month ago 
I shall laugh and go on. . . . Ideas that have 
ruled life as though they were divine truths are 
being chased and slaughtered in the streets. 
The rights of property, for example, the sturdy 
virtues of individualism, all toleration for the 
rewards of abstinence, vanished last week suddenly 
amidst the execrations of mankind upon a hurrying 
motor-car loaded with packages of sugar and 
flour. They bolted, leaving Socialism and Col- 
lectivism in possession. The State takes over 
flour mills and the food supply, not merely for 
military purposes, but for the general welfare 
of the community. The State controls the 
railways with a sudden complete disregard of 
shareholders. There is not even a letter to the 
'limes to object. If the State sees fit to keep 
its hold upon these things for good, or loosens 
its hold only to improve its grip, I question if 
there is very much left in the minds of men, 
even after the mere preliminary sweeping of 


the last two weeks, to dispute possession. Society 
as we knew it a year ago has indeed already 
broken up ; it has lost all real cohesion ; only 
the absence of any attraction elsewhere keeps us 
bunched together. We keep our relative posi- 
tions because there is nowhither to stampede. 
Dazed, astonished people fill the streets ; and we 
talk of the national calm. The more intelligent 
men thrown out of their jobs make for the recruit- 
ing offices, because they have nothing else to 
do ; we talk of the magnificent response to Lord 
Kitchener's appeal. Everybody is offering ser- 
vices. Everybody is looking for someone to tell 
him what to do. It is not organisation ; it is 
the first phase of dissolution. 

I am not writing prophecies now, and I am 
not " displaying imagination." I am just running 
as hard as I can by the side of the marching facts, 
and pointing to them. Institutions and conven- 
tions crumble about us, and release to unprece- 
dented power the two sorts of rebel that ordinary 
times suppress, will and ideas. 

The character of the new age that must come 
out of the catastrophies of this epoch will be no 
mechanical consequence of inanimate forces. 
Will and ideas will take a larger part in this swirl- 
ahead than they have even taken in any previous 
collapse. No doubt the mass of mankind will 
still pour along the channels of chance, but the 
desire for a new world of a definite character will 
be a force, and if it is multitudinously unanimous 
enough, it may even be a guiding force, in shaping 
the new time. The common man and base men 


are scared to docility. Rulers, pomposities, 
obstructives are suddenly apologetic, helpful, 
asking for help. This is a time of incalculable 
plasticity. For the men who know what they 
want, the moment has come. It is the supreme 
opportunity, the test or condemnation of con- 
structive liberal thought in the world. 

Now what does Liberalism mean to do ? It 
has always been alleged against Liberalism that 
it is carpingly critical, disorganised, dispersed, 
impracticable, fractious, readier to " resign " and 
" rebel " than help. That is the common excuse 
of all modern autocracies, bureaucracies, and 
dogmatisms. Are they right ? Is Liberal thought 
in this world-crisis going to present the spectacle 
of a swarm of little wrangling men swept before 
the mindless besom of brute accident, or shall we 
be able in this vast collapse or re-birth of the 
world, to produce and express ideas that will 
rule ? Has it all been talk ? Or has it been 
planning ? Is the new world, in fact, to be 
shaped by the philosophers or by the Huns ? 

First, as to peace. Do Liberals realise that 
now is the time to plan the confederation and 
collective disarmament of Europe, now is the 
time to re-draw the map of Europe so that there 
may be no more rankling sores or unsatisfied 
national ambitions ? Are the Liberals as a body 
going to cry " Peace ! Peace ! " and leave the 
questions alone, or are they going to take hold 
of them ? If Liberalism throughout the world 
develops no plan of a pacified world until the 
diplomatists get to work, it will be too late. 


Peace may come to Europe this winter as swiftly 
and disastrously as the war. 

And next, as to social reconstruction. Do 
Liberals realise that the individualist capitalist 
system is helpless now ? It may be picked up 
unresistingly. It is stunned. A new economic 
order may be improvised and probably will in 
some manner be improvised in the next two or 
three years. What are the intentions of Liberal- 
ism ? What will be the contribution of Liberal- 
ism ? One poor Liberal, I perceive, is possessed, 
to the exclusion of every other consideration, 
by the idea that we were not legally bound to 
fight for Belgium. A pretty point, but a petty 
one. Liberalism is something greater than un- 
favourable comment on the deeds of active men. 
Let us set about defining our intentions. Let 
us borrow a little from the rash vigour of the 
types that have contrived this disaster. Let us 
make a truce of our finer feelings and control our 
dissentient passions. Let us re-draw the map 
of Europe boldly, as we mean it to be re-drawn, 
an let us re-plan society as we mean it to be 
reconstructed. Let us get to work while there 
is still a little time left to us. Or while our 
futile fine intelligences are busy, each with its 
particular exquisitely-felt point, the Northclirfes 
and the diplomatists, the Welt-Politik whisperers, 
and the financiers, and militarists, the armaments 
interests, and the Cossack Tsar, terrified by the 
inevitable red dawn of leaderless social democracy, 
by the beginning of the stupendous stampede 
that will follow this great jar and displacement, 


will surely contrive some monstrous blundering 
settlement, and the latter state of this world 
will be worse than the former. 

Now is the opportunity to do fundamental 
things that will otherwise not get done for 
hundreds of years. If Liberals throughout the 
world and in this matter the Liberalism of 
America is a stupendous possibility will insist 
upon a World conference at the end of this 
conflict, if they refuse all partial settlements and 
merely European solutions, they may re-draw 
every frontier they choose, they may reduce 
a thousand chafing conflicts of race and language 
and government to a minimum, and set up a 
Peace League that will control the globe. The 
world will be ripe for it. And the world will be 
ripe, too, for the banishment of the private 
industry in armaments and all the vast corruption 
that entails from the earth for ever. It is possible 
now to make an end to Kruppism. It may never 
be possible again. Henceforth let us say weapons 
must be made by the State, and only by the 
State ; there must be no more private profit in 
blood. That is the second great possibility for 
Liberalism, linked to the first. And, thirdly, 
we may turn our present social necessities to the 
most enduring social reorganization ; with an 
absolute minimum of effort now, we may help 
to set going methods and machinery that will 
put the feeding and housing of the population 
and the administration of the land out of the 
reach of private greed and selfishness for ever. 
^Wi ^H&dM ,, :<***> 

(1M k I 



It is evident that there is a very considerable 
dread of the power and intentions of Russia in 
this country. It is well that the justification of 
this dread should be discussed now, for it is 
likely to affect the attitude of British and American 
Liberalism very profoundly, both towards the 
continuation of the war and towards the ultimate 

It is, I believe, an exaggerated dread arising 
out of our extreme ignorance of Russian realities. 
English people imagine Russia to be more pur- 
poseful than she is. more concentrated, more 
inimical to Western civilisation. They think of 
Russian policy as if it were a diabolically clever 
spider in a dark place. They imagine that the 
tremendous unification of State and national 
pride and ambition which has made the German 
Empire at last insupportable, may presently be 
repeated upon an altogether more gigantic scale, 
that Pan-Slavism will take the place of Pan- 
Germanism, as the ruling aggression of the 

This is a dread due, I am convinced, to funda- 
mental misconceptions and hasty parallelisms. 
Russia is not only the vastest country in the 


world, but the laxest ; she is incapable of that 
tremendous unification. Not for two centuries 
yet, if ever, will it be necessary for a reasonably 
united Western Europe to trouble itself, once 
Prussianism has been disposed of, about the risk 
of definite aggression from the East. I do not 
think it will ever have to trouble itself. 

Socially and politically, Russia is an entirely 
unique structure. It is the fashion to talk of 
Russia as being "in the fourteenth century," or 
" in the sixteenth century." As a matter of 
fact, Russia, like everything else, is in the twen- 
tieth century, and it is quite impossible to find 
in any other age a similar social organisation. In 
bulk, she is barbaric. Between eighty and ninety 
per cent, of her population is living at a level 
very little above the level of those agricultural 
Aryan races who were scattered over Europe 
before the beginning of written history. It is 
an illiterate population. It is superstitious in a 
primitive way, conservative and religious in a 
primitive way, it is incapable of protecting itself 
in the ordinary commerce of modern life ; against 
the business enterprise of better educated races 
it has no weapon but a peasant's poor cunning. 
It is, indeed, a helpless, unawakened mass. Above 
these peasants come a few millions of fairly well- 
educated and actively intelligent people. They 
are all that corresponds in any way to a Western 
community such as ours. Either they are officials, 
clerical or lay, in the great government machine 
that was consolidated chiefly by Peter the Great 
to control the souls and bodies of the peasant 


mass, or they are private persons more or less 
resentfully entangled in that machine. At the 
head of this structure, with powers of interference 
strictly determined by his individual capacity, 
is that tragic figure, the Tsar. That, briefly, is 
the composition of Russia, and it is unlike any 
other State on earth. It will follow laws of its 
own and have a destiny of its own. 

Involved with the affairs of Russia are certain 
less barbaric States. There is Finland, which is 
by comparison highly civilised, and Poland, which 
is not nearly so far in advance of Russia. Both 
these countries are perpetually uneasy under the 
blundering pressure of foolish attempts to " Rus- 
sianize " them. In addition, in the South and 
East are certain provinces thick with Jews, whom 
Russia can neither contrive to tolerate nor 
assimilate, who have no comprehensible projects 
for the help or reorganisation of the country, 
and who deafen all the rest of Europe with their 
bitter, unhelpful tale of grievances, so that it is 
difficult to realise how local and partial are their 
wrongs. There is a certain " Russian idea," 
containing within itself all the factors of failure, 
inspiring the general policy of this vast amorphous 
State. It found its completest expression in the 
works of the now defunct Pobedonostsev, and it 
pervades the bureaucracy. It is obscurantist, 
denying the common people education ; it is 
orthodox, forbidding free thought and preferring 
conformity to ability ; it is bureaucratic and 
autocratic ; it is Pan-Slavic, Russianizing, and 
aggressive. It is this " Russian idea " that 


Western Liberalism dreads, and, as I want to 
point out, dreads unreasonably. I do not want 
to plead that it is not a bad thing ; it is a bad 
thing. I want to point out that, unlike Prussian- 
ism, it is not a great danger to the world at 

So long as this Russian idea, this Russian 
Toryism, dominates Russian affairs, Russia can 
never be really formidable either to India, to 
China, or to the Liberal nations of Western 
Europe. And whenever she abandons this Tory- 
ism and becomes modern and formidable, she 
will cease to be aggressive. That is my case. 
While Russia has the will to oppress the world 
she will never have the power ; when she has 
the power she will cease to have the will. Let 
me state my reasons for this belief as compactly 
as possible, because if I am right a number of 
Liberal-minded people in Great Britain and 
America and Scandinavia, who may collectively 
have a very great influence upon the settlement 
of Europe that will follow this war, are wrong. 
They may want to bolster up a really dangerous 
and evil Austria-cum-Germany at the expense 
of France, Belgium, and subject Slav populations, 
because of their dread of this Russia which can 
never be at the same time evil and dangerous. 

Now, first let me point out what the Boer 
War showed, and what this tremendous conflict 
in Belgium is already enforcing, that the day of the 
unintelligent common soldier is past ; that men 
who are animated and individualised can, under 
modern conditions, fight better than men who 


are unintelligent and obedient. Soldiering is 
becoming more specialised. It is calling for the 
intelligent handling of weapons so elaborate and 
destructive that great masses of men in the field 
are an encumbrance rather than a power. Battles 
must spread out, and leading give place to 
individual initiative. Consequently Russia can 
only become powerful enough to overcome any 
highly civilised European country by raising its 
own average of education and initiative, and this 
it can do only by abandoning its obscurantist 
methods, by liberalising upon the Western Euro- 
pean model. That is to say, it will have to teach 
its population to read, to multiply its schools, 
and increase its universities ; and that will make 
an entirely different Russia from this one we 
fear. It involves a relaxation of the grip of 
orthodoxy, an alteration of the intellectual out- 
look of officialdom, an abandonment of quasi- 
religious autocracy in short, the complete aban- 
donment of the " Russian idea " as we know it. 
And it means also a great development of local 
self-consciousness. Russia seems homogeneous 
now, because in the mass it is so ignorant as to be 
unaware of its differences ; but an educated 
Russia means a Russia in which Ruthenian and 
Great Russian, Lett and Tartar will be mutually 
critical and aware of one another. The existing 
Russian idea will need to give place to an entirely 
more democratic, tolerant, and cosmopolitan 
idea of Russia as a whole, if Russia is to merge 
from its barbarism and remain united. There is 
no cheap " Deutschland, Deutschland u'ber alles " 


sentiment ready-made to hand. National quality 
is against it. Patience under patriotism is a 
German weakness. Russians could no more go 
on singing and singing, " Russia, Russia over all," 
than Englishmen could go on singing " Rule, 
Britannia." It would bore them. The tem- 
perament of none of the Russian peoples justifies 
the belief that they will repeat on a larger scale 
even as much docility as the Germans have 
shown under the Prussians. No one who has 
seen the Russians, who has had opportunities of 
comparing Berlin with St. Petersburg or Moscow, 
or who knows anything of Russian art or Russian 
literature, will imagine this naturally wise, 
humourous, and impatient people reduplicating 
the self-conscious, drill-dulled, soulless culture 
of Germany, or the political vulgarities of Pots- 
dam. This is a terrible world, I admit, but 
Prussianism is the sort of thing that does not 
happen twice. 

Russia is substantially barbaric. Who can 
deny it ? State-stuff rather than a State. But 
people in Western Europe are constantly writing 
of Russia and the Russians as though the qualities 
natural to barbarism were qualities inherent in 
the Russian blood. Russia massacres, sometimes 
even with official connivance. But Russia in all 
its history has no massacres so abominable as we 
gentle English were guilty of in Ireland in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Russia, 
too, " Russianizes," sometimes clumsily, some- 
times rather successfully. But Germany has 
sought to Germanise in Bohemia and Poland, 


for instance, with conspicuous violence and 
failure. We " Anglicised " Ireland. These for- 
cible efforts to create uniformity are natural to a 
phase of social and political development, from 
which no people on earth have yet fully emerged. 
And if we set ourselves now to create a reunited 
Poland under the Russian crown, if we bring all 
the great influence of the Western Powers to 
bear upon the side of the liberalising forces in 
Finland, if we do not try to thwart and stifle 
Russia by closing her legitimate outlet into the 
Mediterranean, we shall do infinitely more for 
human happiness than if we distrust her, check 
her, and force her back upon the barbarism from 
which, with a sort of blind pathetic wisdom, she 
seeks to emerge. 

It is unfortunate for Russia that she has come 
into conspicuous conflict with the Jews. She has 
certainly treated them no worse than she has 
treated her own people, and she has treated them 
less atrociously than they were treated in England 
during the Middle Ages. The Jews by their 
particularism invite the resentment of all uncul- 
tivated humanity. Civilisation and not revolt 
emancipates them. And while Russian reverses 
will throw back her civilisation and intensify the 
sufferings of all her subject Jews, Russian success 
in this alliance will inevitably spell Westernisation, 
progress, and amelioration for them. But un- 
happily this does not seem to be patent to many 
Jewish minds. They have been embittered by 
their wrongs, and, in the English and still more 
in the American Press, a heavy weight of grievance 


against Russia finds voice, and distorts the issue 
of this. While we are still only in the opening 
phase of this struggle for life against the Prussian- 
ised German Empire, this struggle to escape 
from the militarism that has been slowly strang- 
ling civilisation, it is a huge misfortune that this 
racial resentment, which, great as it is, is still a 
little thing beside the world issues involved, 
should break the united front of western civilisa- 
tion, and that the confidence of Russia should be 
threatened, as it is threatened now by doubt and 
disparagement in the Press. We are not so sure 
of victory that we can estrange an ally. We have 
to make up our minds to see all Poland reunited 
under the Russian Crown, and if the Turks 
choose to play a foolish part, it is not for us to 
quarrel now about the fate of Constantinople. 
The Allies are not to be tempted into a quarrel 
about Constantinople. The balance of power in 
the Balkans, that is to say, incessant intrigue 
between Austria and Russia, has arrested the 
civilisation of South-eastern Europe for a century. 
Let it topple. An unchallenged Russia will be 
a wholesome check, and no great danger for the 
new greater Servia and the new greater Rumania 
and the enlarged and restored Bulgaria this war 
renders possible. 

One civilised country only does Russia really 
" threaten," and that country is Sweden. Sweden 
has a vast wealth of coal and iron within reach of 
Russia's hand. And I confess I watch Scandi- 
navia with a certain terror during these days. 
Sweden is the only European country in which 


there is a pro-German militarist party, and she 
may be tempted I do not know how strongly 
she may not have been tempted already to 
drag herself and Norway into this struggle on 
the German side. If she does, our Government 
will be not a little to blame for not having given 
her, and induced Russia to give her, the strongest 
joint assurances and guarantees of her integrity 
for ever. But if the Scandinavian countries 
abstain from any participation in this present 
war, then I do not see what is to prevent us 
and France and Russia from making the most 
public, definite, and binding declaration of our 
common interest in Sweden's integrity and our 
common determination to preserve it. 

Beyond that, I see no danger to civilisation in 
Russia anywhere at least, no danger so con- 
siderable as the Kaiser-Krupp power we fight to 
finish. This war, even if it brings us the utmost 
success, will still leave Russia face to face with a 
united and chastened Germany. For it must be 
remembered that the downfall of Prussianism 
and the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian 
Empire, will leave German Germany not smaller 
but larger than she is now. To India, decently 
governed and guarded, with an educational level 
higher than her own, and three times her gross 
population, Russia can only be dangerous through 
the grossest misgovernment on our part, and 
her powers of intervention in China will be 
restricted for many years. But all our powers 
of intervention in China will be restricted for 
many years. A breathing space for Chinese 


reconstruction is one of the most immediate and 
least equivocal blessings of this war. Unless the 
Chinese are unteachable and only stupid people 
suppose them a stupid race the China of 1934 
will not be a China for either us or Russia to 
meddle with. So where in all the world is this 
danger from Russia ? 

The danger of a Krupp-cum-Kaiser dominance 
of the whole world, on the other hand, is imme- 
diate. Defeat, or even a partial victory for the 
Allies, means nothing less than that. 



- *fa- 




This appeal comes to you from England at 
war, and it is addressed to you because upon your 
nation rests the issue of this conflict. The 
influence of your States upon its nature and 
duration must needs be enormous, and at its 
ending you may play a part such as no nation 
has ever played since the world began. 

For it rests with you to establish and secure 
or to refuse to establish and secure the permanent 
peace of the world, the final ending of war. 

This appeal comes to you from England, but 
it is no appeal to ancient associations or racial 
affinities. Your common language is indeed 
English, but your nation has long since outgrown 
these early links, the blood of every people in 
Europe mingles in the unity of your States, and 
it is to the greatness of your future rather than 
the accidents of your first beginnings, to the 
humanity in you, and not to the English and 
Irish and Scotch and Welsh in you that this 
appeal is made. Half the world is at war, or on 
the very verge of war ; it is impossible that you 
should disregard or turn away from this conflict. 
Unavoidably you have to judge us. Unavoidable 
is your participation in the ultimate settlement 


which will make or mar the welfare of mankind 
for centuries to come. We appeal to you to 
judge us, to listen patiently to our case, to exert 
the huge decisive power, you hold in the balance 
not hastily, not heedlessly. For we do not 
disguise from ourselves that you can shatter all 
our hopes in this conflict. You are a people 
more than twice as numerous as we are, and still 
you are only the beginning of what you are to be, 
with a clear prospect of expansion that mocks the 
limits of these little islands, with illimitable and 
still scarcely tapped sources of wealth and power. 
You have already come to a stage when a certain 
magnanimity becomes you in your relation to 
European affairs. 

Now, while you, because of your fortunate 
position, and because of the sane and brotherly 
relations that have become a fixed tradition along 
your northern boundary we English had a share 
in securing that while you live free of the sight 
and burthen of military preparations, free as it 
seems for ever, all Europe has for more than half 
a century bent more and more wearily under a 
perpetually increasing burthen of armaments. 
For many years Europe has been an armed camp, 
with millions of men continually under arms, 
with the fear of war universally poisoning its life, 
with its education impoverished, its social devel- 
opment retarded, with everything pinched but 
its equipment for war. It would be foolish to 
fix the blame for this state of affairs upon any 
particular nation ; it has grown up, as most 
great evils grow, quietly, unheeded. One may 


cast back in history to the Thirty Years' War, 
to such names as Frederick the Great, Napoleon 
the First, Napoleon the Third, Bismarck ; what 
does it matter now who began the thing, and 
which was most to blame ? Here it is, and we 
have to deal with it. 

But we English do assert that it is the Govern- 
ment of the German Emperor which has for the 
last 40 years taken the lead and forced the pace 
in these matters, which has driven us English 
to add warship to warship in a pitiless competition 
to retain that predominance at sea upon which 
our existence as a free people depends, and which 
has strained the strength of France almost beyond 
the pitch of human endurance, so that the 
education and the welfare of her people have 
suffered greatly, so that Paris to-day is visibly 
an impoverished and over-taxed city. And this 
perpetual fear of the armed strength of Germany 
has forced upon France alliances and entangle- 
ments she would otherwise have avoided. 

Let us not attempt to deny the greatness of 
Germany and of Germany's contributions to 
science and art and literature and all that is good 
in human life. But evil influences may over- 
shadow the finest peoples, and it is our case that 
since the victories of 1871 Germany has been 
obsessed by the worship of material power and 
glory and scornful of righteousness ; that she 
has been threatening and overbearing to all the 
world. There has been a propaganda of cynicism 
and national roughness, a declared contempt for 
treaties and pledges, so that all Europe has been 


uneasy and in fear. And since none of us are 
saints, and certainly no nations are saintly, we have 
been resentful ; there is not a country in Europe 
that has not shown itself resentful under this 
perpetual menace of Germany. And now at 
last and suddenly the threatened thing has come 
to pass and Germany is at war. 

Because of a murder committed by one of her 
own subjects Austria made war upon Servia, 
Russia armed to protect a kindred country, and 
then with the swiftness of years of premeditation 
Germany declared war upon Russia and struck 
at France, striking through the peaceful land 
of Belgium, a little country we English had 
pledged ourselves to protect, a little country that 
had never given Germany the faintest pretext 
for hostility, and in the hope of finding France 
unready. Of course, we went to war. If we 
had not done so, could we English have ever 
looked the world in the face again ? 

And it is with scarcely a dissentient voice that 
England is at war. Never were the British people 
so unanimous ; all Ireland is with us, and the 
conscience of all the world. And, now this war 
has begun, we are resolved to put an end to 
militarism in the world for evermore. We are 
not fighting to destroy Germany ; it is the firm 
resolve of England to permit no fresh " conquered 
provinces " to darken the future of Europe. 
Whatever betide, all German Germany will come 
out of this war undivided and German still. 
Her own " conquests " she may have to relinquish, 
her Poles and other subject peoples, but that is the 


utmost we shall exact of her. With the accession 
of Austria, Germany may even come out of this 
war a larger Germany than at the beginning. 
We have no hatred of things German and German 
people. But we are fighting to break this huge 
fighting machine for ever this fighting machine 
which has been such an oppression as no native- 
born American can dream of, to every other 
nation in Europe. We are fighting to end 
Kaiserism and Kruppism for ever and ever. 
There, shortly and plainly, is our case and our 
object. Now let us come to the immediate 
substance of this appeal. 

We do not ask you for military help. Keep 
the peace which it is your unparalleled good 
fortune to enjoy so securely. But keep it fairly. 
Remember that we fight now for national 
existence, and that in the night, even as this is 
written, within a hundred miles or so of this 
place, the dark ships feel their way among the 
floating mines with which the Germans have 
strewn the North Sea, and our sons and the sons 
of Belgium and France go side by side, not by the 
hundred nor by the thousand, but by the hundred 
thousand, rank after rank, line beyond line to 
death. Even as this is written the harvest of 
death is being reaped. Remember our tragic 
case. Europe is full of a joyless determination 
to end this evil for ever ; she plunges grimly 
and sadly into the cruel monstrosities of war, 
and assuredly there will be little shouting for 
the victors whichever side may win. At the 
end we do most firmly believe there will be 


established a new Europe, a Europe riddened of 
rankling oppressions, with a free Poland, a free 
Finland, a free Germany, the Balkans settled, 
the little nations safe, and peace secure. And 
it is of supreme importance that we should ask 
you now What are you going to do throughout 
the struggle, and what will you do at the end ? 

One thing we are told in England that you 
mean to do, a thing that has moved me to this 
appeal. For it is not only a strange thing in 
itself, but it may presently be followed by other 
similar ideas. Come what may, all the liberal 
forces in England and France are resolved to 
respect the freedom of Holland. But the position 
of Holland is, as you may see in any atlas, a very 
peculiar one in this war. The Rhine runs along 
the rear of the long German line as if it were a 
canal to serve that line with supplies, and then 
it passes into Holland and so by Rotterdam to 
the sea. So that it is possible for any neutral 
power, such as you are, to pour a stream of food 
supplies and war material by way of Holland 
almost into the hands of the German combatant 
line. Even if we win our battles in the field 
this will enormously diminish our chance of 
concluding this war. But we shall suffer it ; 
it is within the rights of Holland to victual the 
Germans in this way, and we cannot prevent it 
without committing just such another outrage 
upon the laws of nations as Germany was guilty 
of in invading Belgium. 

And here is where your country comes in. In 
your harbours lie a great number of big German 


ships that dare not venture to sea because of our 
fleet. It is proposed, we are told, to arrange a 
purchase of these ships by American citizens, to 
facilitate by special legislation their transfer to 
your flag, and then to load them with food and 
war material and send them across the Atlantic 
and through the narrow seas, seas that at the 
price of a cruiser and many men we have painfully 
cleared of German contact mines, to get war 
prices in Rotterdam and supply our enemies. 
It is, we confess, a smart thing to do ; it will give 
your people not only huge immediate profits but 
a mercantile marine at one coup ; it will certainly 
prolong the war, and so it will mean the killing 
and wounding of scores of thousands of young 
Germans, Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Belgians, 
who might otherwise have escaped. It is within 
your legal rights, and we will tell you plainly now 
that we shall refuse to quarrel with you about it, 
but we ask you not to be too easily offended if 
we betray a certain lack of enthusiasm for this 

And begun such enterprises as this, what are 
you going to do for mankind and the ultimate 
peace of the world ? You know that the Tsar 
has restored the freedom of Finland and promised 
to re-unite the torn fragments of Poland into a 
free kingdom, but probably you do not know 
that he and England have engaged themselves 
to respect and protect from each other and all 
the world the autonomy of Norway and Sweden, 
and of Sweden's vast and tempting stores of 
mineral wealth close to the Russian boundary. 


We ask you not to be too cynical about the Tsar's 
promises, and to be prepared to help us and 
France and him to see that they become real. 
And this with regard to Scandinavia, is not only 
Russia's promise but ours. This is more than a 
war of armies ; it is a great moral upheaval, and 
ou must not judge of the spirit of Europe to-day 
y the history of her diplomacies. When this 
w T ar is ended, all Europe will cry for disarmament. 
Are you going to help then or are you going to 
thwart that cry ? In Europe we shall attempt 
to extinguish that huge private trade in war 
material, that " Kruppism " which lies so near 
the roots of all this monstrous calamity. We 
cannot do that unless you do it too. Are you 
prepared to do that ? Are you prepared to come 
into a conference at the end of this war to ensure 
the peace of the world, or are you going to stand 
out, make difficulties for us out of our world 
perplexities, snatch advantages, carp from your 
infinite security at our Allies, and perhaps in the 
crisis of our struggle pick a quarrel with us upon 
some secondary score ? Are you indeed going 
to play the part of a merely numerous little 
people, a cute trading, excitable people, or are 
you going to play the part of a great nation in 
this life and death struggle of the old world 
civilisations ? Are you prepared now to take 
that lead among the nations to which your 
greatness and freedom point you ? It is not 
for ourselves we make this appeal to you ; it 
is for the whole future of mankind. And we 
make it with the more assurance because 


already your Government has stood for peace 
and the observation of treaties against base 

Already the wounds of our dead cry out to 



The Balkan States never have been a problem, 
they have only been a part of a problem. That 
is why no human being has ever yet produced 
even a paper solution acceptable to another 
human being. 

The attempt to settle Balkan affairs with the 
Austro-Hungarian Empire left out of the problem 
has been like an attempt to deal with a number of 
hospital cases in which the head and shoulders 
of one patient, the legs of another, the abdomen 
of a third had to be disregarded. The bulk of 
the Servian people and a great mass of the Ru- 
manians were in the Austro-Hungarian system, 
and it was the Austrian bar to any development 
of Servia towards the Adriatic that forced that 
country back into its unhappy conflict with 
Bulgaria. Now everything has altered. English 
people need trouble no longer about Austrian 
susceptibilities, and not merely our interests but 
our urgent necessities march with the reasonable 
ambitions of the four Balkan nations. 

Let us begin by clearing away a certain amount 
of nonsense that is said and believed by many 
good people about two of these States. It is too 


much the custom to speak and write of Servia 
and Bulgaria as though they were almost hopelessly 
barbaric and criminal communities, incapable of 
participation in the fellowship of European 
nations. The murder of the late King and Queen 
of Servia, the assassination of Serajevo, the foolish 
onslaught of Bulgaria upon Servia that led to the 
break-up of the Balkan League, and the endless 
cruelties and barbarities of the warfare in Mace- 
donia, are allowed to weigh too much against the 
clear need of a reunited Greater Servia, a restored 
Bulgaria, and the reasonable prospect of a re- 
habilitated Balkan League. 

Now there is no getting over the hard facts of 
these crimes and cruelties. But they have to be 
kept in their proper proportion to the tremendous 
issues now before the world. Let us call in a few 
figures that will fix the scale. The Servian people 
number altogether over ten millions, the Ruma- 
nians as many, there are more than twenty million 
Poles, and perhaps seven millions Bulgarians. The 
Czechs and Slovenes total six or seven millions, 
the Magyars exceed ten millions, and the Ruthe- 
nians still under Austrian control four millions. 
It is manifest to every reasonable Englishman now 
that very few of these sixty or seventy million 
people are likely to be socially and politically 
happy until they have got themselves disen- 
tangled from intimate subjection to alien rulers 
speaking unfamiliar tongues, and it is equally 
manifest that until they are reasonably content, 
the peace of the rest of Europe will remain 
uncertain. So that it is upon these regions that 


the peace of England, France, Germany, Russia 
and Italy rests. 

The lives, therefore, of hundreds of millions of 
people must be affected, for good or evil, by the 
sane re-mapping and pacification of south-eastern 
Europe. In that sane re-mapping and pacifica- 
tion we are, in fact, dealing with matters so 
gigantic that the mere assassination of this person 
or the murder of that dwindles almost to the 
vanishing point. It is surely preposterous that 
the murder of an unwise young King, who sub- 
ordinated his nation's destinies to a romantic 
love affair, a murder done, not by a whole nation, 
not even by a mob, but by less than a hundred 
officers, who were at least as patriotic as they were 
cruel, or even the net of conspiracy that killed 
the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, should stand in 
the way of the liberation and unity of millions 
of Serbs who were as innocent of these things as 
any Wiltshire farmer. All nations have had their 
criminal and sanguinary phase ; the British and 
American people who profess such a horror of 
Servia's murders and Bulgaria's massacres must 
be blankly ignorant of the history of Scotland 
and Ireland and the darker side of the Red 
Indians' destiny. If murder conspiracy was 
hatched in Servia, were there no Fenians in Ireland 
and America ? We English, at any rate, have not 
let the highly-organised Phoenix Park murders 
drown the freedom of Ireland for ever, or cause a 
war with America. The sooner we English and 
Americans clear our minds of this self-righteous 
cant against the whole Servian race because of 


a few horrors inevitable in a state of barbaric 
disturbance, the sooner we shall be able to help 
these peoples forward to the freedom and security 
that alone can make such barbarities impossible. 
It would be just as reasonable to vow undying 
hatred and pitiless vengeance against the whole 
German-speaking race (of seventy millions or 
so) because of the burning and killing in Liege. 
Stifled nations, outraged races, are the fortresses 
of resentful cruelty. This war is no cinemato- 
graph melodrama. The deaths of Queen Draga 
and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand are scarcely 
in this picture at all. It is not the business of 
statecraft to avenge the past, but to deal with the 
possibilities of the present and the hope of the 

And the open possibility of the present is for 
us to bring about a revival of the Balkan League, 
and identify ourselves with the reasonable hopes 
of these renascent peoples. In that revival 
England may play an active and directing part. 
The break-up of the first Balkan League was a 
deep disappointment to liberal opinion through- 
out the w r orld ; but it was not an irrevocable 
disaster. The wonder was, indeed, not the rupture 
but the union. And the rupture itself w r as very 
largely due to the thwarting of Servia, not by her 
associates, but by Austria. Now Austria is out 
of consideration. For Rumania and for each of 
the three Balkan Powers, there is a plain, honour- 
able and reasonable advantage in a common 
agreement and concerted action with us now. 
There are manifest compensations for Greece in 


Epirus and the islands and we can spare it 
Cyprus. For Bulgaria there is a generous recti- 
fication of Macedonia. The natural expansion 
of the two northern States has been already 
indicated. And should Turkey be foolish and 
blunder at this crisis, then further very natural 
v, and quite desirable readjustments become possible. 
!What holds these States back from concerted 
'action on our side now, is merely the distrusts 
and enmities left over from the break-up of the 
first Balkan League. They will not readily trust 
one another again. But they would trust England. 
They would sit down now at a conference in 
which England and Russia and Italy were repre- 
sented, and to which England and Russia and 
Italy would bring assurances of a permanent 
settlement and arrange every detail of their 
prospective boundaries in a day. They would 
arrange a peace that would last a century. 
England could do more than reconcile ; she could 
finance. And the attack upon Vienna and the 
German rear would then be reinforced immedi- 
ately by six or seven hundred thousand seasoned 

Moreover, it is scarcely possible that Italy 
could refuse to come into this war if a reunited 
Balkan League did so. With the Servians in 
Dalmatia it would be scarcely possible to keep 
the Italians out of Trieste and Fiume, and long 
before that earnestly awaited Russian avalanche 
won its way to Berlin, this southern attack might 
be in Vienna. The time when the scope of this 
war could be restricted is past long ago, and every 


fresh soldier who goes into action now shortens 
the agony of Europe. 

But it is not with the immediate military 
advantages of a Balkan League that I am most 
concerned. A Balkan League of Peace, for 
mutual protection, will be an absolute necessity 
in a regenerated Europe. It is necessary for the 
tranquility of the world. It is necessary if the 
Wiltshire farmer is to herd his sheep in peace ; 
it is necessary if people are to be prosperous and 
happy in Chicago and Yokohama. Perhaps 
" Balkan League " is now an insufficiently exten- 
sive word, since Rumania is not in the Balkan 
Peninsula, and Italy must necessarily be involved 
in any enduring settlement. But it is clear that 
the settlement of Europe upon liberal lines 
involves the creation of these various ten-to- 
twenty-million-people States, none of them 
powerful enough to be secure alone, but amount- 
ing in the aggregate to the greatest power in 
Europe, and it is equally clear that they must 
be linked by some common bond and under- 

There can be no doubt of the very serious 
complication of all these possibilities by the 
jerry-built dynastic interests that have been 
unhappily run up in these new States. It is 
unfortunate that we have to reckon not only with 
peoples but kings. Such a monarchy as that of 
Servia or Bulgaria narrows, personifies, intensifies 
and misrepresents national feeling. National 
hatreds and national ambitions can no doubt be 
at times very malign influences in the world's 


affairs, but it is the greed and vanities of excep- 
tional monarchs, of the Napoleons and Fredericks 
the Great, and so forth, that bring these vague, 
vast feelings to an edge and a crisis. And it will 
be these same concentrated and over individualised 
purposes, these little gods of the coin and postage 
stamp that will stand most in the way of a 
reasonable Schweitzerisation and pacification of 
south-eastern Europe. The more clearly this 
is recognised in Europe now, the less likely are 
they, the less able will they be to obstruct a sane 
settlement. On our side, at least, this is a war 
of nations and not of princes. 

It is for that reason that we have to make the 
discussion of these national arrangements as open 
and public as we possibly can. This is not a 
matter for the quiet little deals of the diplomatists. 
This is no chance for kings. All the civilised 
peoples of the earth have to form an idea of the 
general lines upon which a pacific Europe can 
be established, an idea clear and powerful 
enough to prevent and override the manoeuvres 
of the chancelleries. The nations themselves 
have to become the custodians of the common 
peace. In Italy, indeed, this is already the case. 
The Italian monarchy is a strong and Liberal 
monarchy, secure in the confidence of its people ; 
but were it not so, it is a fairly evident fact that 
no betrayal by its rulers would induce the Italian 
people to make war upon France in the interests 
of Austria and Prussia. I doubt, too, if the 
present King of Bulgaria can afford to blunder 
again. The world moves steadily away from the 


phase of Court-centred nationalism to the phase 
of a collective national purpose. It is for the 
whole strength of western liberalism to throw 
itself upon the side of that movement, and in no 
direction can it make its strength so effective at 
the present time as in the open and energetic 
promotion of a new and greater Balkan League. 

, Ja tffat uwrfq 



VfaM*^ ( 



All the realities of this war are things of the 
mind. This is a conflict of cultures, and nothing 
else in the world. All the world-wide pain and 
weariness, fear and anxieties, the bloodshed and 
destruction, the innumerable torn bodies of men 
and horses, the stench of putrefaction, the misery 
of hundreds of millions of human beings, the 
waste of mankind, are but the material conse- 
quences of a false philosophy and foolish thinking. 
We fight not to destroy a nation, but a nest of 
evil ideas. 

We fight because a whole nation has become 
obsessed by pride, by the cant of cynicism and 
the vanity of violence, by the evil suggestion of 
such third-rate writers as Gobineau and Stewart 
Chamberlain that they were a people of peculiar 
excellence destined to dominate the earth, by 
the base offer of advantage in cunning and 
treachery held out by such men as Delbruck and 
Bernhardi, by the theatricalism of the Kaiser, 
and by two stirring songs about Deutschland and 
the Rhine. These things, interweaving with the 
tradesmen's activities of the armaments trust and 
the common vanity and weaknesses of unthinking 
men, have been sufficient to release disaster 
we do not begin to measure the magnitude of 



the disaster. On the back of it all, spurring it 
on, are the idea-mongers, the base-spirited writing 
men, pretentious little professors in frock coats 
scribbling colonels. They are the idea. They 
pointed the way and whispered " Go ! " They 
ride the world now to catastrophe. It is as if 
God in a moment of wild humour had lent his 
whirlwinds for an outing to half-a-dozen fleas. 

And the real task before mankind is quite 
beyond the business of the fighting line, the simple 
awful business of discrediting and discouraging 
these stupidities by battleship, artillery, rifle and 
the blood and courage of seven million men. 
The real task of mankind is to get better sense 
into the heads of these Germans, and therewith 
and thereby into the heads of humanity generally, 
and to end not simply a war, but the idea of war. 
What printing and writing and talking have done, 
printing and writing and talking can undo. Let 
no man be fooled by bulk and matter. Rifles 
do but kill men, and fresh men are born to follow 
them. Our business is to kill ideas. The ultimate 
purpose of this war is propaganda, the destruction 
of certain beliefs, and the creation of others. 
It is to this propaganda that reasonable men 
must address themselves. 

And when I write propaganda, I do not for a 
moment mean the propaganda with which the 
name of Mr. Norman Angell is associated ; this 
great modern gospel that war does not pay. 
That is indeed the only decent and attractive 
thing that can still be said for war. Nothing that 
is really worth having in life does pay. Men live 


in order that they may pay for the unpaying 
things. Love does not pay, art does not pay, 
happiness does not pay, honesty is not the best 
policy, generosity invites the ingratitude of the 
mean ; what is the good of this huckster's argu- 
ment ? It revolts all honourable men. But 
war, whether it pay or not, is an atrociously ugly 
thing, cruel, destroying countless beauties. Who 
cares whether war pays or does not pay, when 
one thinks of some obstinate Belgian peasant 
woman being interrogated and shot by a hectoring 
German officer, or of the weakly whimpering 
mess of some poor hovel with little children in 
it, struck by a shell ? Even if war paid twelve- 
and-a-half per cent, per annum for ever on every 
pound it cost to wage, would it be any the less 
a sickening abomination to every decent soul ? 
And, moreover, it is a bore. It is an unendurable 
bore. War and the preparation for war, the 
taxes, the drilling, the interference with every 
free activity, the arrest and stiffening up of life, 
the obedience to third-rate people in uniform, 
of which Berlin-struck Germans have been the 
implacable exponents, have become an unbearable 
nuisance to all humanity. Neither Belgium nor 
France nor Britain is fighting now for glory or 
advantage. I do not believe Russia is doing so ; 
we are all, I believe, fighting in a fury of resent- 
ment because at last after years of waste and worry 
to prevent it, we have been obliged to do so. 
Our grievance is the grievance of every decent 
life-loving German, of every German mother 
and sweetheart who watched her man go off 


under his incompetent leaders to hardship and 
mutilations and death. And our propaganda 
against the Prussian idea has to be no vile argu- 
ment to the pocket, but an appeal to the common 
sense and common feeling of humanity. We have 
to clear the heads of the Germans, and keep the 
heads of our own people clear about this war. 
Particularly is there need to dissuade our people 
against the dream of profit-filching, the " War 
against German Trade." We have to reiterate 
over and over again that we fight, resolved that 
at the end no nationality shall oppress any 
nationality or language again in Europe for ever, 
and by way of illustration, we want not those 
ingenious arrangements of figures that touch the 
Angell imagination, but photographs of the 
Kaiser in his glory at a review, and photographs 
of the long, unintelligent side-long face of the 
Crown Prince, his son, photographs of that great 
original Krupp taking his pleasures at Capri and, 
to set beside these, photographs pitilessly showing 
men killed and horribly torn upon the battlefield, 
and men crippled and women and men murdered, 
and homes burnt and, to the verge of indecency, 
all the peculiar filthiness of war. And the case 
that has thus to be stated has to be brought before 
the minds of the Germans, of Americans, of 
French people, and English people, of Swedes 
and Russians and Italians as our common evil, 
which, though it be at the expense of several 
Governments, we have to end. 

Now, how is this literature to be spread ? 
How are we to reach the common people of the 


Western European countries with these explan- 
ations, these assurances, these suggestions that are 
necessary for the proper ending of this war ? 
I could wish we had a Government capable of 
something more articulate than " Wait and see ! " 
a Government that dared confess a national 
intention to all the world. For what a Govern- 
ment says is audible to all the world. King 
George, too, has the ear of a thousand million 
people. If he saw fit to say simply and clearly 
what it is we fight for and what we seek, his voice 
would be heard universally, through Germany, 
through all America. No other voice has such 
penetration. He is, he has told us, watching 
the war with interest, but that is not enough ; 
we could have guessed that, knowing his spirit. 
As a nation, we need expression that shall reach 
the other side. But our Government is, I fear, 
one of those that obey necessity ; it is only very 
reluctantly creative ; it rests, therefore, with us 
who, outside all formal government, represent 
the national will and intention, to take this 
work into our hands. By means of a propaganda 
of books, newspaper articles, leaflets, tracts in 
English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, 
Norwegian, Italian, Chinese and Japanese we 
have to spread this idea, repeat this idea, and 
impose upon this war the idea that this war must 
end war. We have to create a wide common 
conception of a re-mapped and pacified Europe, 
released from the abominable dangers of a private 
trade in armaments, largely disarmed and pledged 
to mutual protection. This conception has 


sprung up in a number of minds, and there have 
been proposals at once most extraordinary and 
feasible for its realisation, projects of aeroplanes 
scattering leaflets across Germany, of armies 
distributing tracts as they advance, of prisoners 
of war much afflicted by such literature. These 
ideas have the absurdity of novelty, but otherwise 
they are by no means absurd. They will strike 
many soldiers as being indecent, but the world 
is in revolt against the standards of soldiering. 

Never before has the world seen clearly as it 
now sees clearly, the rdle of thought in the making 
of war. This new conception carries with it 
the corollary of an entirely new campaign. 

How can we get at the minds of our enemies ? 
How can we make explanation more powerful 
than armies and fleets ? Failing an articulate 
voice at the head of our country, we must needs 
look for the resonating appeal we need in other 
quarters. We look to the Church that takes for 
its purposes the name of the Prince of Peace. 
In England, except for the smallest, meekest 
protest against war, any sort of war, on the part 
of a handful of Quakers, Christianity is silent. 
Its universally present organisation speaks , no 
coherent counsels. Its workers for the most 
part are buried in the loyal manufacture of flannel 
garments and an inordinate quantity of bed- 
socks for the wounded. It is an extraordinary 
thing to go now and look at one's parish church 
and note the pulpit, the orderly arrangements 
for the hearers, the proclamations on the doors, 
to sit awhile on the stone wall about the graves 


and survey the comfortable vicarage, and to 
reflect that this is just the local representation 
of a universally present organisation for the 
communication of ideas ; that all over Europe 
there are such pulpits, such possibilities of gather- 
ing and saying, and that it gathers nothing and 
has nothing to say. Pacific, patriotic sentiment 
it utters perhaps, but nothing that anyone can 
act upon, nothing to draw together, will, and make 
an end. It is strange to sit alive in the sunshine 
and realise that, and to think of how tragically 
that same realisation came to another mind in 

Several things have happened during the past 
few weeks with the intensest symbolical quality ; 
the murder of Jaures, for example ; but surely 
nothing has occurred so wonderful and touching 
as the death of the Pope, that faithful, honest, 
simple old man. The war and the perplexity 
of the war darkened his last hours. " Once the 
Church could have stopped this thing," he said, 
with a sense of threads missed and controls that 
have slipped away it may be with a sense of 
vivifying help discouraged and refused. The 
Tribuna tells a story that, if not true, is marvell- 
ously invented, of the Austrian representative 
coming to ask him for a blessing on the Austrian 
arms. He feigned not to hear, or perhaps he 
did not hear. The Austrian asked again, and 
again there was silence. Then, at the third 
request, when he could be silent no longer, he 
broke out : " No ! Bless peace ! " As the 
temperature of his weary body rose, his last clear 


moments were spent in attempts to word tele- 
grams that should have some arresting hold upon 
the gigantic crash that was coming, and in his 
last delirium he lamented war and the impotence 
of the Church. . . . 

Intellect without faith is the devil, but faith 
without intellect is a negligent angel with rusty 
weapons. This European catastrophe is the 
tragedy of the weak though righteous Christian 
will. We begin to see that to be right and 
indolent, or right and scornfully silent, or right 
and abstinent from the conflict is to be wrong. 
Righteousness has need to be as clear and efficient 
and to do things as sedulously in the right way 
as any evil doer. There is no meaning in the 
Christianity of a Christian who is not now a 
propagandist for peace who is not now also 
a politician. There is no faith in the Liberalism 
that merely carps at the manner of our entangle- 
ment in a struggle that must alter all the world 
for ever. We need not only to call for peace, 
but to seek and show and organise the way of 
peace. ... 

One thinks of Governments and the Church 
and the Press, and then, turning about for some 
other source of mental control, we recall the 
organisations, the really quite opulent organisa- 
tions, that are professedly devoted to the 
promotion of peace. There is no voice from 
The Hague. The so-called peace movement 
in our world has consumed money enough and 
service enough to be something better than a weak 
little grumble at the existence of war. What is 


this movement and its organisations doing now ? 
Ninety-nine people in Europe out of every 
hundred are complaining of war now. It needs 
no specially endowed committees to do that. 
They preach to a converted world. The question 
is how to end it and prevent its recurrence. But 
have these specially peace-seeking people ever 
sought for the secret springs of war, or looked 
into the powers that war for war, or troubled to 
learn how to grasp war and subdue it ? All 
Germany is knit by the fighting spirit, and armed 
beyond the rest of the world. Until the mind of 
Germany is changed, there can be no safe peace 
on earth. But that, it seems, does not trouble 
the professional peace advocate if only he may 
cry Peace, and live somewhere in comfort, and 
with the comfortable sense of a superior dissent 
from the general emotion. 

How are we to gather together the wills and 
understanding of men for the tremendous necessi- 
ties and opportunities of this time ? Thought, 
speech, persuasion, an incessant appeal for clear 
intentions, clear statements for the dispelling of 
suspicion and the abandonment of secrecy and 
trickery ; there is work for every man who writes 
or talks and has the slightest influence upon 
another creature. This monstrous conflict in 
Europe, the slaughtering, the famine, the con- 
fusion, the panic and hatred and lying pride, it 
is all of it real only in the darkness of the mind. 
At the coming of understanding it will vanish 
as dreams vanish at awakening. But never will 
it vanish until understanding has come. It goes 


on only because we, who are voices, who suggest, 
who might elucidate and inspire, are ourselves 
such little scattered creatures that though we 
strain to the breaking point, we still have no 
strength to turn on the light that would save 
us. There have been moments in the last three 
weeks when life has been a waking nightmare, 
one of those frozen nightmares when, with 
salvation within one's reach, one cannot move, 
and the voice dies in one's throat 

WA, y\ 


&*d (jttfifA 

<4 M 


Brave Belgium 


Author of " Leopold II., King of the Belgians," etc. 
Decorative Cover, 6d. net. 56 pp 

WHO is there with soul so dead that will not respond to the 
deeds of valour, and the unflinching heroism of the gallant 
defenders of Liege ? Go where you will in this England of 
ours and Brave Belgium is on the lips of all. The land of the 
Belgians has ever been the " cock-pit " of Europe, for on its 
territory some of the world's greatest battles have been fought. 
To-day, the greatest of all is being waged and no matter what 
the outcome of it may be, brave little Belgium has assured for 
her nation an imperishable record of great deeds of daring and 
heroism of her soldiers and fortitude and self-sacrifice of her 
people. The hour is propitious, then, for we in England to 
know something of the history of the Belgians and her country ; 
and who better qualified to introduce us than the author of 
the life of the late Leopold II., King of the Belgians and uncle 
of King Albert, the reigning monarch. In " Brave Belgium " 
Dr. Rappoport has written a book teeming full of interest. 
It deals in turn with the Soul of Belgium, the Country and the 
People, Legislation, Religion, Public Education, Justice, the 
Army, Military Education, Science and Art. A chapter on 
Belgian History is perhaps one of the most important and 
interesting in the volume for it gives the reader an illuminating 
historical sketch from the time of Caesar to Charlemagne. 
" Brave Belgium " is a book which every patriotic Britisher 
must read. 



Your Navy as a Fighting 


(Author of " Fighting Ships," etc.) 
Decorative cover^ I/- net. With explanatory Diagrams. 







THIS little book is an attempt to produce an entirely non- 
technical handbook for the use of those who, till this war came 
along, did not interest themselves in naval matters. Till now 
a vast number of people have taken the Navy for granted. It 
has existed to them much as St. Paul's Cathedral exists. To 
the great majority there has been no occasion to trouble about 
anything, save perhaps one or two of the more picturesque 
features of the Fleet. Now, however, after a hundred years of 
peace the Navy is engaged in naval warfare, and the entire 
situation is changed accordingly. 

It is true that during this past century the Navy has been 
engaged in various operations. In the Crimean War, for 
instance, two considerable fleets were employed. Both before 
and since our ships have bombarded forts and places, like 
Algiers and Alexandria, but in all the hundred years there has 
been no war between British fleets and the fleets of a foreign 
Power. And so it comes about that all eyes are now upon the 
Navy, which somewhere on the seas started facing the unknown 
directly Austria sent her ultimatum to Servia. 

So soon as that incident occurred everything which has 
happened since became a vivid possibility. From that moment 
the Fleet had to be on watch and guard lest Germany should 
fall on us unawares. That she intended to attempt it was 
perfectly well-known it had been known for years to all in 

The British Navy, for which the public has paid, is now 
undergoing the supreme test 

The War Lord 



Wrapper (with portrait) Jd. net. 96 pp> 

THE German eagle has never really looked like the dove of peace, in spite of 
all the German War Lord's whitewashing. The following pages will testify 
how assiduous that whitewashing process has been. For twenty year* 
William II. has passionately assured the world that the whole aim of the 
German Empire is peace. With disgusting religiosity he has pleaded that 
as the Divinely-appointed representative of God on earth he dare not 
encourage the " criminal folly " of war. Yet to-day, without pretext, he 
has driven all Europe to arms, and is drenching the earth with torrents of 
innocent blood. 

William II. showed at an early age the stuff he was made of. When 
nineteen he wrote in the Golden Book of Alsace that the Ruler must be 
supreme even over his own relatives. A little later he declared that for 
Prussian nobles to oppose the king was " a monstrosity." 

The Kaiser has never learned from great men : he has merely aped them. 
Of old Prince Bismarck he merely absorbed brutality 5 of young Count 
Herbert, boorishness. Of his illustrious grandfather, whose name was 
always on his lips, he saw the assiduity rather than the genius. He has 
prinked himself out in fragments of their wardrobe, the stern brutality of 
this, the crude religiosity of that, a bit of ruthless world-ambition here, a 
scrap of monomania there and so he presents himself, a sort of music-hall 
impersonation of Greatness, for the polite wonder of the world. Under it 
all shows forth the intellectual weakling. A bigger man would never have 
" dropped the pilot," a wiser man would have kept his strutting heroics for 
his own bedchamber. 

To-day he stands revealed as the shameless prophet of a new Teutonism. 
Treaties are broken, territory violated, floating mines strewn in the open 
sea, women and children violated and slaughtered, non-combatants shot and 
their houses burned. It is a simple creed, one very fashionable some centuries 
ago among the savage cave-men and the barbarian pirates. It has the 
drawback of commonly leading to a summary end, and like most of the 
Kaiser's mental equipment, is extravagantly out of date. 

Perhaps when a civilised and sane world has disarmed this crazy maniac 
and herded him back into his cell we shall judge him less harshly ; but 
meantime a perusal of the sanctimonious pratings collected here can only 
increase our anger. 


Little Wars 


Pcap 4*0 cloth. 2/6 net. 115 pp. 

With 20 photographs of battle-fields, and 80 marginal drawings 

by T. R. Sinclair. 

This book is a further contribution by Mr. H. G. Wells to 
the difficult art of teaching children to amuse themselves. 
In Floor Games he showed what could be done on the nursery 
floor in the peaceful art of running towns, railways, and all 
kinds of municipal and commercial enterprises in miniature. 
Tn Little Wars he shows us the same general principles applied 
to warfare. Here you will find no meaningless shifting of 
groups of soldiers, every man is moved some definite step in 
a carefully planned campaign. Mistakes quickly bring their 
own punishment in loss of guns or soldiers, bad gunnery 
for the guns really shoot wooden shot may lead to the utter 
rout of one's army ; in a word every essential to good general- 
ship in actual warfare is also required here before a victory 
can be won. So much is this the case that the game has been 
taken up in earnest by a number of prominent military men, 
who find in it a really instructive substitute for the somewhat 
dull and complicated Krieg-spiel of older days. In Mr. Wells's 
own words : 

" I offer my game, for a particular as well as a general end ; 
let us put this prancing monarch and that silly scaremonger, 
and these excitable ' patriots ' into one vast Temple of War, 
with cork carpets everywhere, and plenty of little trees and 
little houses to knock down, and cities and fortresses, and 
unlimited soldiers tons, cellars-full and let them lead their 
own lives there away from us. My game is just as good as 
their game, and saner by reason of its size." 




The war that will end war .W38