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"Tear away the mask from Freemasonry, Pope Leo XIII

[ Whether it is attainable, how it can be attained, and what
sort of world a world at peace will have to  be. ]

by  H. G. WELLS

First Published in January  1940.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE END OF AN AGE................. 01

OPEN CONFERENCE................... 02

DISRUPTIVE FORCES................. 03 

CLASS-WAR......................... 04 

UNSALTED YOUTH.................... 05 


FEDERATION........................ 07 





WORLD ORDER IN  BEING............. 12

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


IN  THIS SMALL BOOK I want to set down as compactly, clearly
and usefully as possible the gist  of  what  I  have  learnt
about war and peace in the course of my life. I am not going
to write peace propaganda here. I am  going  to  strip  down
certain general ideas and realities of primary importance to
their  framework,  and  so  prepare  a  nucleus  of   useful
knowledge  for those who have to go on with this business of
making a world peace. I am not going to persuade  people  to
say  "Yes,  yes"  for a world peace; already we have had far
too much abolition of war by making declarations and signing
resolutions;  everybody  wants  peace  or  pretends  to want
peace, and there is no need to add even a sentence  more  to
the  vast  volume  of  such  ineffective  stuff. I am simply
attempting to state the things we must do and the  price  we
must pay for world peace if we really intend to achieve it.

Until  the  Great War, the First World War, I did not bother
very much about war and peace.  Since  then  I  have  almost
specialised upon this problem. It is not very easy to recall
former states of mind out of which, day by day and  year  by
year,  one has grown, but I think that in the decades before
1914 not only I but most of my generation - in  the  British
Empire,  America,  France  and indeed throughout most of the
civilised world - thought that war was dying out.

So it seemed to us. It was  an  agreeable  and  therefore  a
readily  acceptable  idea. We imagined the Franco-German War
of 1870-71 and the Russo-Turkish War  of  1877-78  were  the
final  conflicts  between Great Powers, that now there was a
Balance of Power sufficiently stable to make  further  major
warfare  impracticable.  A  Triple  Alliance  faced  a  Dual
Alliance and neither  had  much  reason  for  attacking  the
other.  We  believed war was shrinking to mere expeditionary
affairs on the outskirts of  our  civilisation,  a  sort  of
frontier police business. Habits of tolerant intercourse, it
seemed, were being strengthened every year that the peace of
the Powers remained unbroken.

There was in deed a mild armament race going on; mild by our
present standards of equipment; the armament industry was  a
growing  and  enterprising  on;  but we did not see the full
implication of  that;  we  preferred  to  believe  that  the
increasing  general  good  sense  would  be strong enough to
prevent these multiplying guns from actually going  off  and
hitting  anything. And we smiled indulgently at uniforms and
parades and army manœuvres. They were the time-honoured toys
and  regalia  of  kings  and emperors. They were part of the
display  side  of  life  and  would  never  get  to   actual
destruction and killing. I do not think that exaggerates the
easy complacency of, let us say, 1895, forty-five years ago.
It was a complacency that lasted with most of us up to 1914.
In 1914 hardly anyone in Europe or America below the age  of
fifty had seen anything of war in his own country.

The world before 1900 seemed to be drifting steadily towards
a tacit but practical unification. One could travel  without
a  passport over the larger part of Europe; the Postal Union
delivered one’s letters uncensored and safely from Chile  to
China;  money,  based  essentially  on gold, fluctuated only
very  slightly;  and  the  sprawling  British  Empire  still
maintained  a  tradition  of free trade, equal treatment and
open-handedness to all comers round and about the planet. In
the  United  States  you  could  go for days and never see a
military uniform. Compared with to-day that  was,  upon  the
surface  at  any  rate, an age of easy-going safety and good
humour.  Particularly  for  the  North  Americans  and   the

But  apart  from that steady, ominous growth of the armament
industry there were other and deeper  forces  at  work  that
were  preparing  trouble. The Foreign Offices of the various
sovereign  states  had   not   forgotten   the   competitive
traditions  of  the  eighteenth  century.  The  admirals and
generals were contemplating with something between hostility
and  fascination,  the hunger weapons the steel industry was
gently pressing into their hands. Germany did not share  the
self-complacency of the English-speaking world; she wanted a
place in the sun; there was increasing  friction  about  the
partition of the raw material regions of Africa; the British
suffered from chronic Russophobia with regard to their  vast
apportions  in  the  East, and set themselves to nurse Japan
into  a  modernised  imperialist  power;   and   also   they
"remembered Majuba"; the United States were irritated by the
disorder of Cuba and felt that the  weak,  extended  Spanish
possessions  would  be  all  the  better  for  a  change  of
management. So the game of Power Politics went  on,  but  it
went on upon the margins of the prevailing peace. There were
several wars and changes of boundaries, but they involved no
fundamental  disturbance of the general civilised life; they
did not seem to  threaten  its  broadening  tolerations  and
understandings in any fundamental fashion. Economic stresses
and social trouble stirred and muttered beneath the  orderly
surfaces  of  political  life, but threatened no convulsion.
The idea of altogether eliminating war, of clearing what was
left  of  it  away, was in the air, but it was free from any
sense of urgency. The Hague  Tribunal  was  established  and
there  was  a  steady  dissemination  of  the conceptions of
arbitration and international law. It really seemed to  many
that  the  peoples  of the earth were settling down in their
various territories to a litigious rather than a belligerent
order.  If  there  was  much  social  injustice it was being
mitigated more and more by  a  quickening  sense  of  social
decency.  Acquisitiveness  conducted itself with decorum and
public-spiritedness was in fashion. Some  of  it  was  quite
honest public-spiritedness.

In those days, and they are hardly more than half a lifetime
behind  us,  no  one  thought   of   any   sort   of   world
administration.  That  patchwork  of  great Powers and small
Powers seemed the most reasonable and practicable method  of
running the business of mankind. Communications were far too
difficult for any sort of centralised world controls. Around
the  World  in  Eighty  Days,  when it was published seventy
years ago, seemed an extravagant fantasy.  It  was  a  world
without  telephone  or  radio,  with  nothing swifter than a
railway train or more destructive than the earlier types  of
H.E. shell. They were marvels. It was far more convenient to
administer that world of the Balance of  Power  in  separate
national areas and, since there were such limited facilities
for peoples  to  get  at  one  another  and  do  each  other
mischiefs, there seemed no harm in ardent patriotism and the
complete independence of separate sovereign states.

Economic life was largely directed by irresponsible  private
businesses  and  private  finance  which,  because  of their
private ownership, were able to spread  out  their  unifying
transactions  in  a  network  that  paid little attention to
frontiers and national, racial or religious  sentimentality.
"Business"  was  much  more of a world commonwealth than the
political organisations. There were many people,  especially
in  America,  who  imagined that "Business" might ultimately
unify the world and governments sink into  subordination  to
its network.

Nowadays  we can be wise after the event and we can see that
below this fair surface of things,  disruptive  forces  were
steadily  gathering  strength.  But  these disruptive forces
played a comparatively small rôle in the world spectacle  of
half  a century ago, when the ideas of that older generation
which still dominates our political life and  the  political
education  of  its  successors,  were formed. It is from the
conflict of those Balance of Power  and  private  enterprise
ideas,  half a century old, that one of the main stresses of
our time arises. These ideas worked  fairly  well  in  their
period  and  it  is  still  with extreme reluctance that our
rulers, teachers, politicians,  face  the  necessity  for  a
profound  mental  adaptation  of  their  views,  methods and
interpretations to these disruptive forces that once  seemed
so  negligible  and which are now shattering their old order

It was because of this belief in a growing  good-will  among
nations,  because of the general satisfaction with things as
they were, that the  German  declarations  of  war  in  1914
aroused  such  a  storm of indignation throughout the entire
comfortable world. It was felt that the  German  Kaiser  had
broken  the  tranquillity  of  the  world club, wantonly and
needlessly. The war was fought "against the  Hohenzollerns."
They  were  to  be  expelled from the club, certain punitive
fines were to be paid and all would be well.  That  was  the
British idea of 1914. This out-of-date war business was then
to be cleared up once for all by a mutual guarantee  by  all
the more respectable members of the club through a League of
Nations. There was no apprehension of any  deeper  operating
causes  in  that  great convulsion on the part of the worthy
elder statesmen who made the peace. And  so  Versailles  and
its codicils.

For  twenty years the disruptive forces have gone on growing
beneath the surface of that genteel and shallow  settlement,
and  twenty years there has been no resolute attack upon the
riddles with which their growth confronts us. For  all  that
period  of  the  League  of  Nations  has been the opiate of
liberal thought in the world.

To-day there is war to get rid of Adolf Hitler, who has  now
taken the part of the Hohenzollerns in the drama. He too has
outraged the Club Rules and he too is to  be  expelled.  The
war,  the  Chamberlain-Hitler  War, is being waged so far by
the British Empire in quite the old spirit.  It  has  learnt
nothing  and  forgotten  nothing. There is the same resolute
disregard of any more fundamental problem.

Still  the  minds  of  our   comfortable   and   influential
ruling-class  people  refuse  to accept the plain intimation
that their time is over,  that  the  Balance  of  Power  and
uncontrolled  business  methods  cannot  continue,  and that
Hitler, like the Hohenzollerns, is a mere offensive  pustule
on  the face of a deeply ailing world. To get rid of him and
his Nazis will be no more a cure for the world’s  ills  than
scraping will heal measles. The disease will manifest itself
in some new  eruption.  It  is  the  system  of  nationalist
individualism  and  unco-ordinated  enterprise  that  is the
world’s disease, and it is the whole system that has to  go.
It  has  to  be  reconditioned  down  to  its foundations or
replaced.  It  cannot  hope  to  "muddle  through"  amiably,
wastefully and dangerously, a second time.

World peace means all that much revolution. More and more of
us begin to realise that it cannot mean less.

The first thing, therefore that has to be done  in  thinking
out  the primary problems of world peace is to realise this,
that we are living in  the  end  of  a  definite  period  of
history,  the  period of the sovereign states. As we used to
say in the eighties with ever-increasing truth: "We  are  in
an  age  of  transition".  Now  we  get  some measure of the
acuteness of the transition. It is a  phase  of  human  life
which  may lead, as I am trying to show, either to a new way
of living for our species or else to  a  longer  or  briefer
dégringolade of violence, misery, destruction, death and the
extinction of mankind. These are not rhetorical phrases I am
using  here;  I  mean  exactly  what  I  say, the disastrous
extinction of mankind.

That is the issue before  us.  It  is  no  small  affair  of
parlour  politics  we  have  to consider. As I write, in the
moment, thousands  of  people  are  being  killed,  wounded,
hunted,  tormented,  ill-treated,  delivered  up to the most
intolerable and hopeless anxiety and destroyed  morally  and
mentally, and there is nothing in sight at present to arrest
this spreading process and  prevent  its  reaching  you  and
yours.  It  is coming for you and yours now at a great pace.
Plainly in so far as we are  rational  foreseeing  creatures
there  is  nothing  for any of us now but to make this world
peace problem the  ruling  interest  and  direction  of  our
lives.  If we run away from it it will pursue and get us. We
have to face it. We have to solve it or be destroyed by  it.
It is as urgent and comprehensive as that.


BEFORE  WE EXAMINE WHAT I have called so far the "disruptive
forces" in the current social order, let  me  underline  one
primary  necessity for the most outspoken free discussion of
the battling organisations and  the  crumbling  institutions
amidst   which   we   lead  our  present  uncomfortable  and
precarious lives. There must be no  protection  for  leaders
and  organisations from the most searching criticism, on the
plea that out country is  or  may  be  at  war.  Or  on  any
pretence.  We  must talk openly, widely and plainly. The war
is incidental; the need for revolutionary reconstruction  is
fundamental.  None  of  us are clear as yet upon some of the
most vital questions before us, we are not lucid  enough  in
our  own  minds  to be ambiguous, and a mumbling tactfulness
and indirect half-statements made  with  an  eye  upon  some
censor,  will confuse our thoughts and the thoughts of those
with  whom  we  desire  understanding,   to   the   complete
sterilisation and defeat of every reconstructive effort.

We want to talk and tell exactly what our ideas and feelings
are, not only to our fellow citizens, but to our allies,  to
neutrals and, above all, to the people who are marshalled in
arms against us. We want to  get  the  same  sincerity  from
them.  Because  until  we  have worked out a common basis of
ideas with them, peace will be only an uncertain equilibrium
while fresh antagonisms develop.

Concurrently  with  this war we need a great debate. We want
every possible person in the world  to  take  part  in  that
debate.  It is something much more important than the actual
warfare. It  is  intolerable  to  think  of  this  storm  of
universal   distress   leading   up   to  nothing  but  some
"conference" of diplomatists out of touch  with  the  world,
with  secret sessions, ambiguous "understandings." . . . Not
twice surely can that  occur.  And  yet  what  is  going  to
prevent its recurring?

It  is  quite  easy  to  define  the  reasonable  limits  of
censorship in a belligerent country. It is manifest that the
publication of any information likely to be of the slightest
use  to  an  enemy  must  be  drastically  anticipated   and
suppressed;  not  only  direct information, for example, but
intimations and careless betrayals about  the  position  and
movements of ships, troops, camps, depots of munitions, food
supplies, and false reports of  defeats  and  victories  and
coming  shortages, anything that may lead to blind panic and
hysteria, and so forth and so on. But the matter takes on  a
different  aspect altogether when it comes to statements and
suggestions that may affect  public  opinion  in  one’s  own
country  or  abroad, and which may help us towards wholesome
and corrective political action.

One of the more unpleasant aspects of a state of  war  under
modern   conditions   is   the  appearance  of  a  swarm  of
individuals, too clever by half, in positions of  authority.
Excited,  conceited,  prepared to lie, distort and generally
humbug  people  into  states  of  acquiescence,  resistance,
indignation,  vindictiveness,  doubt  and  mental confusion,
states of mind supposed to be conductive to a final military
victory.  These  people  love  to twist and censor facts. It
gives them a feeling of power; if they  cannot  create  they
can  at  least  prevent  and conceal. Particularly they poke
themselves in between us and the people with whom we are  at
war to distort any possible reconciliation. They sit, filled
with the wine of their transitory  powers,  aloof  from  the
fatigues  and dangers of conflict, pulling imaginary strings
in people’s minds.

In Germany popular thought  is  supposed  to  be  under  the
control  of  Herr  Dr  Goebbels; in Great Britain we writers
have been invited to place ourselves at the disposal of some
Ministry  of  Information, that is to say at the disposal of
hitherto obscure and unrepresentative individuals, and write
under its advice. Officials from the British Council and the
Conservative Party Headquarters appear in key  positions  in
this  Ministry  of  Information.  That  curious  and  little
advertised organisation I have just mentioned, the  creation
I  am  told  of  Lord  Lloyd,  that  British  Council, sends
emissaries abroad, writers,  well-dressed  women  and  other
cultural  personages, to lecture, charm and win over foreign
appreciation  for  British  characteristics,   for   British
scenery,  British  political  virtues  and so forth. Somehow
this is  supposed  to  help  something  or  other.  Quietly,
unobtrusively,  this has gone on. Maybe these sample British
give unauthorised assurances but  probably  they  do  little
positive harm. But they ought not to be employed at all. Any
government propaganda is contrary to the essential spirit of
democracy.  The expression of opinion and collective thought
should  be  outside  the  range  of  government   activities
altogether.  It should be the work of free individuals whose
prominence is dependent upon the response and support of the
general mind.

But  here  I have to make amends to Lord Lloyd. I was led to
believe that the British Council  was  responsible  for  Mr.
Teeling,  the  author of Crisis for Christianity, and I said
as much in The Fate of Homo Sapiens. I  now  unsay  it.  Mr.
Teeling,  I  gather,  was  sent  out  upon his journeys by a
Catholic  newspaper.  The  British  Council   was   entirely
innocent of him.

It  is  not  only  that  the  Ministries  of Information and
Propaganda do their level best to divert the  limited  gifts
and  energies  of  such writers, lecturers and talkers as we
possess, to the production of disingenuous  muck  that  will
muddle  the public mind and mislead the enquiring foreigner,
but that they show a marked disposition to stifle  any  free
and  independent  utterances  that my seem to traverse their
own profound and secret plans for the salvation of mankind.

Everywhere now it is difficult to get adequate, far-reaching
publicity  for  outspoken discussion of the way the world is
going, and the political, economic and  social  forces  that
carry  us  along.  This  is  not  so  much due to deliberate
suppression as to the  general  disorder  into  which  human
affairs  are  dissolving.  There  is  indeed in the Atlantic
world hardly a sign as yet of  that  direct  espionage  upon
opinion  that obliterates the mental life of the intelligent
Italian or German or Russian to-day almost  completely;  one
may still think what one likes, say what one likes and write
what  one  likes,  but  nevertheless  there  is  already  an
increasing  difficulty  in  getting  bold,  unorthodox views
heard and read. Newspapers are  afraid  upon  all  sorts  of
minor  counts,  publishers,  with such valiant exceptions as
the publishers of this matter, are morbidly  discreet;  they
get  Notice  D to avoid this or that particular topic; there
are obscure boycotts and trade  difficulties  hindering  the
wide  diffusion of general ideas in countless ways. I do not
mean there is any sort of organised conspiracy  to  suppress
discussion,  but I do say that the Press, the publishing and
bookselling organisations in our free countries,  provide  a
very   ill-organised   and   inadequate  machinery  for  the
ventilation and distribution of thought.

Publishers publish for nothing but safe  profits;  it  would
astound  a bookseller to tell him he was part of the world’s
educational organisation or a publisher’s traveller, that he
existed  for  any  other purpose than to book maximum orders
for best sellers and earn a record commission - letting  the
other  stuff, the highbrow stuff and all that, go hang. They
do not understand that they  ought  to  put  public  service
before  gain.  They have no inducement to do so and no pride
in their function. Theirs is the morale  of  a  profiteering
world.  Newspapers  like to insert brave-looking articles of
conventional  liberalism,  speaking  highly  of  peace   and
displaying  a  noble  vagueness about its attainment; now we
are at war they will publish the fiercest attacks  upon  the
enemy  -  because  such  attacks are supposed to keep up the
fighting spirit of the  country;  but  any  ideas  that  are
really  loudly  and  clearly  revolutionary  they  dare  not
circulate at all. Under these baffling conditions  there  is
no  thorough  discussion  of  the  world  outlook  whatever,
anywhere. The democracies are only a shade better  than  the
dictatorships in this respect. It is ridiculous to represent
them as realms of light at issue with darkness.

This great debate upon the reconstruction of the world is  a
thing  more  important  and  urgent  than the war, and there
exist no adequate media for the utterance and criticism  and
correction  of  any  broad  general  convictions. There is a
certain   fruitless   and   unproductive   spluttering    of
constructive  ideas,  but there is little sense of sustained
enquiry, few real interchanges, inadequate progress, nothing
is  settled,  nothing is dismissed as unsound and nothing is
won permanently. No one seems to hear what  anyone  else  is
saying. That is because there is no sense of an audience for
these ideologists. There is  no  effective  audience  saying
rudely  and obstinately: "What A. has said, seems important.
Will B. and C., instead of bombinating in the void, tell  us
exactly  where  and why they differ from A.? And now we have
got to the common truth of A., B., C., and  D.  Here  is  F.
saying something. Will he be so good as to correlate what he
has to say with A., B., C., and D.?"

But  there  is  no  such  background  of  an   intelligently
observant and critical world audience in evidence. There are
a  few  people  here  and  there  reading  and  thinking  in
disconnected  fragments.  This is all the thinking our world
is  doing  in  the   face   of   planetary   disaster.   The
universities, bless them! are in uniform or silent.

We need to air our own minds; we need frank exchanges, if we
are to achieve any common understanding. We need to work out
a  clear  conception  of  the world order we would prefer to
this present chaos, we need to dissolve or  compromise  upon
our  differences so that we may set our faces with assurance
towards an attainable world peace. The air is  full  of  the
panaceas of half-wits, none listening to the others and most
of them trying to silence the others  in  their  impatience.
Thousands  of  fools  are  ready  to  write  us  a  complete
prescription for  our  world  troubles.  Will  people  never
realise  their  own ignorance and incompleteness, from which
arise this absolute necessity for the plainest statement  of
the  realities  of  the problem, for the most exhaustive and
unsparing examination of differences of opinion, and for the
most  ruthless  canvassing  of  every  possibility,  however
unpalatable it may seem at first, of the situation?

Before anything else, therefore, in this survey of  the  way
to  world peace, I put free speech and vigorous publication.
It is the thing best worth fighting for. It is  the  essence
of  your personal honour. It is your duty as a world citizen
to do what you can for that. You have  not  only  to  resist
suppressions,  you have to fight your way out of the fog. If
you find your bookseller or newsagent failing to  distribute
any type of publication whatever - even if you are in entire
disagreement with the views of that publication - you should
turn  the  weapon  of the boycott upon the offender and find
another bookseller or newsagent for everything you read. The
would-be   world  citizen  should  subscribe  also  to  such
organisation as the National Council for Civil Liberties; he
should  use any advantage his position may give him to check
suppression of free speech; and he should  accustom  himself
to challenge nonsense politely but firmly and say fearlessly
and as clearly as possible what is in his mind and to listen
as  fearlessly  to  whatever  is said to him. So that he may
know better either through reassurance or correction. To get
together  with  other  people to argue and discuss, to think
and organise and then implement thought is the first duty of
every reasonable man.

This  world  of  ours  is  going  to  pieces.  It  has to be
reconstructed and it can only be  effectively  reconstructed
in  the  light. Only the free, clear, open mind can save us,
and these difficulties  and  obstructions  on  our  line  of
thought  are  as  evil  as  children  putting obstacles on a
railway line or scattering  nails  on  an  automobile  speed

This  great  world debate must go on, and it must go on now.
Now while the guns are  still  thudding,  is  the  time  for
thought.  It is incredibly foolish to talk as so many people
do of ending the war and then having a World  Conference  to
inaugurate a new age. So soon as the fighting stops the real
world conference, the live discussion, will stop,  too.  The
diplomats  and  politicians  will  assemble  with  an air of
profound competence and close the doors upon the outer world
and  resume - Versailles. While the silenced world gapes and
waits upon their mysteries.


AND NOW LET US come  to  the  disruptive  forces  that  have
reduced  that  late-nineteenth-century  dream  of a powerful
world patchwork of more and more civilised states linked  by
an  ever-increasing  financial and economic interdependence,
to  complete  incredibility,  and  so  forced   upon   every
intelligent  mind  the  need to work out a new conception of
the World that ought to be. It is supremely  important  that
the  nature  of  these  disruptive  forces should be clearly
understood and kept in mind. To grasp them is  to  hold  the
clues to the world’s present troubles. To forget about them,
even for a moment, is to lose touch with  essential  reality
and drift away into minor issues.

The   first  group  of  these  forces  is  what  people  are
accustomed to speak of as "the abolition  of  distance"  and
"the  change  of scale" in human operations. This "abolition
of distance" began rather more than a century ago,  and  its
earlier effects were not disruptive at all. It knit together
the spreading United States of America over  distances  that
might  otherwise  have  strained  their  solidarity  to  the
breaking-point, and it enabled the sprawling British  Empire
to sustain contacts round the whole planet.

The  disruptive  influence  of  the  abolition  of  distance
appeared only later. Let us  be  clear  upon  its  essential
significance.  For  what  seemed  like endless centuries the
swiftest means of locomotion  had  been  the  horse  on  the
high-road,  the  running  man, the galley and the uncertain,
weather-ruled sailing  ship.  (There  was  the  Dutchman  on
skates  on skates on his canals, but that was an exceptional
culmination of speed and not for general  application.)  The
political,  social and imaginative life of man for all those
centuries was adapted to  these  limiting  conditions.  They
determined  the  distances  to  which marketable goods could
conveniently be sent, the limits to which  the  ruler  could
send  his  orders and his solders, the bounds set to getting
news, and indeed the whole scale of living. There  could  be
very  little  real  community  feeling  beyond  the range of
frequent intercourse.

Human life fell naturally therefore into areas determined by
the  interplay  between  these  limitations and such natural
obstacles as seas and mountains. Such countries  as  France,
England,  Egypt,  Japan,  appeared and reappeared in history
like natural, necessary things, and though there  were  such
larger  political  efforts  as  the Roman Empire, they never
attained an enduring unity. The Roman Empire  held  together
like  wet  blotting-paper;  it was always falling to pieces.
The older Empires, beyond their national nuclei,  were  mere
precarious  tribute-levying  powers.  What  I  have  already
called the world patchwork of the great and  little  Powers,
was therefore, under the old horse-and-foot and sailing-ship
conditions, almost as much a matter of natural necessity  as
the sizes of trees and animals.

Within a century all this has been changed and we have still
to face up to what that change means for us.

First came steam, the steam-railway, the steamship, and then
in  a  quickening  crescendo  came  the  internal combustion
engine, electrical traction, the motor car, the motor  boat,
the  aeroplane, the transmission of power from central power
stations, the telephone, the radio.  I  feel  apologetic  in
reciting  this well-known story. I do so in order to enforce
the  statement  that  all  the  areas  that  were  the  most
convenient  and  efficient for the old, time-honoured way of
living, became more and more inconveniently close and narrow
for   the   new   needs.  This  applied  to  every  sort  of
administrative area, from municipalities and urban districts
and  the  range  of distributing businesses, up to sovereign
states. They were - and for the most part they still  are  -
too  small  for  the  new  requirements  and  far  too close
together. All over the social layout this tightening-up  and
squeezing together is an inconvenience, but when it comes to
the  areas  of  sovereign  states  it   becomes   impossibly
dangerous.  It  becomes  an  intolerable  thing;  human life
cannot go on, with the capitals of  most  of  the  civilised
countries  of  the  world  within an hour’s bombing range of
their frontiers, behind which attacks can  be  prepared  and
secret  preparations  made  without any form of control. And
yet we are still tolerant and  loyal  to  arrangements  that
seek  to  maintain  this  state  of  affairs and treat it as
though nothing else were possible.

The present war for and against Hitler and  Stalin  and  Mr.
Chamberlain  and  so  forth,  does  not  even touch upon the
essential problem of  the  abolition  of  distance.  It  may
indeed  destroy  everything and still settle nothing. If one
could wipe out all the issues of the  present  conflict,  we
should  still be confronted with the essential riddle, which
is  the  abolition  of  the  boundaries  of  most   existing
sovereign  states  and  their  merger in some larger Pax. We
have to do that if any supportable human life is to  go  on.
Treaties  and  mutual  guarantees  are  not  enough. We have
surely learnt enough about the value of treaties during  the
last  half-century  to realise that. We have, because of the
abolition  of  distance  alone,  to  gather  human   affairs
together under one common war-preventing control.

But this abolition of distance is only one most vivid aspect
of the change in the conditions of  human  life.  Interwoven
with  that is a general change of scale in human operations.
The past hundred years has been  an  age  of  invention  and
discovery  beyond  the  achievements  of the preceding three
millennia. In a book I published eight years ago, The  Work,
Wealth  and  Happiness  of Mankind, I tried to summarise the
conquest of power and substances that  is  still  going  on.
There   is  more  power  expended  in  a  modern  city  like
Birmingham in a day than  we  need  to  keep  the  whole  of
Elizabethan   England  going  for  a  year;  there  is  more
destructive energy in a single tank than sufficed  the  army
of William I for the conquest of England. Man is able now to
produce or destroy on a scale beyond comparison greater than
he  could  before  this  storm  of  invention began. And the
consequence is the  continual  further  dislocation  of  the
orderly  social  life  of  our  great-great-grandfathers. No
trade, no profession, is exempt. The old social routines and
classifications  have  been, as people say, "knocked silly".
There is no sort of occupation, fisheries, farming,  textile
work,  metal  work,  mining  which  is  not  suffering  from
constant readjustment to new  methods  and  facilities.  Our
traditions  of  trade  and distribution flounder after these
changes.  Skilled  occupations  disappear  in  the   general

The  new  power  organisations are destroying the forests of
the world at headlong speed, ploughing great  grazing  areas
into  deserts,  exhausting  mineral  resources,  killing off
whales, seals and a multitude of rare and beautiful species,
destroying  the  morale of every social type and devastating
the planet. The institutions of the private appropriation of
land   and  natural  resources  generally,  and  of  private
enterprise for profit, which did produce a fairly tolerable,
stable  and  "civilised"  social  life  for all but the most
impoverished,  in  Europe,  America  and  East,   for   some
centuries, have been expanded to a monstrous destructiveness
by   the   new   opportunities.   The   patient,   nibbling,
enterprising   profit-seeker  of  the  past,  magnified  and
equipped now with the huge claws and  teeth  the  change  of
scale  has provided for him, has torn the old economic order
to rags. Quite apart from war, our planet  is  being  wasted
and  disorganised.  Yet  the  process  goes  on, without any
general control, more monstrously destructive even than  the
continually enhanced terrors of modern warfare.

Now  it  has  to  be  made  clear that these two things, the
manifest necessity for  some  collective  world  control  to
eliminate  warfare and the less generally admitted necessity
for a collective control of the economic and biological life
of  mankind, are aspects of one and the same process. Of the
two the disorganisation of the ordinary life which is  going
on,  war or no war, is the graver and least reversible. Both
arise out of the abolition of distance  and  the  change  of
scale,  they  affect and modify each other, and unless their
parallelism and interdependence are recognised, any projects
for  world  federation  or  anything  of the sort are doomed
inevitably to frustration.

That is where the League of nations broke  down  completely.
It  was  legal;  it  was  political.  It  was  devised by an
ex-professor of the old-fashioned history assisted by a  few
politicians.  It  ignored  the vast disorganisation of human
life by  technical  revolutions,  big  business  and  modern
finance that was going on, of which the Great War itself was
scarcely more than  a  by-product.  It  was  constituted  as
though nothing of that sort was occurring.

This  war  storm  which  is breaking upon us now, due to the
continued  fragmentation  of  human   government   among   a
patchwork  of  sovereign  states,  is only one aspect of the
general need for a rational consolidation of human  affairs.
The  independent  sovereign  state  with  its  perpetual war
threat,  armed  with  the  resources  of  modern  mechanical
frightfulness,  is  only  the  most  blatant  and terrifying
aspect of that same want of a coherent general control  that
makes  overgrown,  independent,  sovereign, private business
organisations and  combinations,  socially  destructive.  We
should  still be at the mercy of the "Napoleons" of commerce
and the "Attilas" of finance, if there was not a  gun  or  a
battleship  or a tank or a military uniform in the world. We
should still be sold up and dispossessed.

Political  federation,  we  have  to  realise,   without   a
concurrent  economic collectivisation, is bound to fail. The
task of the peace-maker who really desires peace  in  a  new
world, involves not merely a political but a profound social
revolution, profounder even than the revolution attempted by
the  Communists in Russia. The Russian Revolution failed not
by its extremism but through the  impatience,  violence  and
intolerance  of  its  onset,  through  lack of foresight and
intellectual insufficiency. The cosmopolitan revolution to a
world  collectivism,  which is the only alternative to chaos
and degeneration before mankind, has to go much further than
the Russian; it has to be more thorough and better conceived
and its achievement demands a  much  more  heroic  and  more
steadfast thrust.

It  serves  no  useful  purpose  to  shut  our  eyes  to the
magnitude and intricacy of the  task  of  making  the  world
peace. These are the basic factors of the case.


NOW  HERE IT IS necessary to make a distinction which is far
too frequently ignored. Collectivisation means the  handling
of  the  common  affairs  of  mankind  by  a  common control
responsible to the whole community. It means the suppression
of  go-as-you-please  in social and economic affairs just as
much  as  in  international  affairs.  It  means  the  frank
abolition  of  profit-seeking  and  of every devise by which
human+beings contrive to be parasitic on their  fellow  man.
It  is  the  practical realisation of the brotherhood of man
through a common control. It means all that and it means  no
more than that.

The  necessary  nature of that control, the way to attain it
and to maintain it have still to be discussed.

The early forms of socialism were attempts to think out  and
try  out  collectivist  systems.  But  with  the  advent  of
Marxism, the larger idea of  collectivism  became  entangled
with  a smaller one, the perpetual conflict of people in any
unregulated social system to get the better of one  another.
Throughout  the  ages  this has been going on. The rich, the
powerful generally, the  more  intelligent  and  acquisitive
have got away with things, and sweated, oppressed, enslaved,
bought  and  frustrated  the  less  intelligent,  the   less
acquisitive  and  the  unwary. The Haves in every generation
have always  got  the  better  of  the  Have-nots,  and  the
Have-nots  have  always  resented  the  privations  of their

So it is and so in the uncollectivised world it  has  always
been. The bitter cry of the expropriated man echoes down the
ages from ancient Egypt and the Hebrew prophets,  denouncing
those  who  grind  the  faces  of  the  poor.  At  times the
Have-nots have been so uneducated, so helplessly distributed
among  their  more  successful  fellows  that they have been
incapable  of  social   disturbance,   but   whenever   such
developments   as   plantation   of   factory   labour,  the
accumulation of men in  seaport  towns,  the  disbanding  of
armies,  famine and so forth, brought together masses of men
at  the  same  disadvantage,  their  individual  resentments
flowed together and became a common resentment. The miseries
underlying human society  were  revealed.  The  Haves  found
themselves assailed by resentful, vindictive revolt.

Let  us  note that these revolts of the Have-nots throughout
the ages have sometimes  been  very  destructive,  but  that
invariably  they  have failed to make any fundamental change
in this old, old story of getting and not getting the  upper
hand.  Sometimes  the Have-nots have frightened or otherwise
moved  the  Haves  to  more  decent  behaviour.  Often   the
Have-nots  have  found a Champion who has ridden to power on
their wrongs. Then the ricks were burnt or the châteaux. The
aristocrats  were  guillotined  and  their  heads carried on
exemplary pikes. Such storms passed and  when  they  passed,
there for all practical purposes was the old order returning
again;  new  people  but  the  old  inequalities.  Returning
inevitably,  with  only  slight variations in appearance and
phraseology, under the condition of a non-collective  social

The point to note is that in the unplanned scramble of human
life through the centuries  of  the  horse-and-foot  period,
these  incessantly recurring outbreaks of the losers against
the  winners  have  never  once   produced   any   permanent
amelioration  of  the  common  lot,  or  greatly changed the
features of the human community. Not once.

The Have-nots have never produced the intelligence  and  the
ability and the Haves have never produced the conscience, to
make a permanent alteration of the rules of the game.  Slave
revolts,  peasant  revolts,  revolts of the proletariat have
always been fits of rage, acute  social  fevers  which  have
passed. The fact remains that history produces no reason for
supposing that the Have-nots, considered as  a  whole,  have
available  any  reserves  of  directive  and  administrative
capacity and disinterested devotion, superior to that of the
more  successful  classes. Morally, intellectually, there is
no reason to suppose them better.

Many  potentially  able  people  may  miss   education   and
opportunity;   they  may  not  be  inherently  inferior  but
nevertheless they are crippled and  incapacitated  and  kept
down. They are spoilt. Many specially gifted people may fail
to "make good" in a jostling, competitive, acquisitive world
and  so fall into poverty and into the baffled, limited ways
of living of the commonalty, but they  too  are  exceptions.
The  idea of a right-minded Proletariat ready to take things
over is a dream.

As the collectivist idea has developed out of  the  original
propositions  of socialism, the more lucid thinkers have put
this age-long bitterness of the Haves and the Have-nots into
its  proper place as part, as the most distressing part, but
still only as part, of the vast wastage of  human  resources
that their disorderly exploitation entailed. In the light of
current events they have  come  to  realise  more  and  more
clearly  that  the  need  and  possibility of arresting this
waste  by  a   world-wide   collectivisation   is   becoming
continually  more  possible and at the same time imperative.
They  have  had  no  delusions  about  the   education   and
liberation  that  is  necessary  to gain that end. They have
been moved less by moral impulses and sentimental  pity  and
so  forth,  admirable  but futile motives, as by the intense
intellectual  irritation  of  living  in   a   foolish   and
destructive system. They are revolutionaries not because the
present way of living is a hard and tyrannous way of living,
but because it is from top to bottom exasperatingly stupid.

But   thrusting   athwart  the  socialist  movement  towards
collectivisation  and  its  research  for   some   competent
directive  organisation  of  the  world’s  affairs, came the
clumsy initiative of Marxism with its class-war dogma, which
has  done  more  to  misdirect and sterilise human good-will
than any  other  misconception  of  reality  that  has  ever
stultified human effort.

Marx  saw  the world from a study and through the hazes of a
vast ambition. He swam in the current ideologies of his time
and  so  he  shared  the  prevalent  socialist drive towards
collectivisation.    But    while     his     sounder-minded
contemporaries were studying means and ends he jumped from a
very imperfect understanding of the Trades Union movement in
Britain  to  the  wildest  generalisations  about the social
process. He invented and antagonised two phantoms.  One  was
the Capitalist System; the other the Worker.

There  never  has  been  anything  on  earth  that  could be
properly called a Capitalist System.  What  was  the  matter
with  his  world  was  manifestly its entire want of system.
What the Socialists were feeling their way towards  was  the
discovery and establishment of a world system.

The  Haves of our period were and are a fantastic miscellany
of people, inheriting or getting their power  and  influence
by  the  most various of the interbreeding social solidarity
even of a feudal aristocracy or an Indian caste.  But  Marx,
looking  rather  into  his  inner  consciousness than at any
concrete reality,  evolved  that  monster  "System"  on  his
Right.  Then over against it, still gazing into that vacuum,
he discovered on the Left the  proletarians  being  steadily
expropriated and becoming class-conscious. They were just as
endlessly various in reality as the people at the top of the
scramble;  in  reality  but not in the mind of the Communist
seer. There they consolidated rapidly.

So while other  men  toiled  at  this  gigantic  problem  of
collectivisation,  Marx  found  his almost childlishy simple
recipe. All you had to do was to tell the workers that  they
were  being  robbed  and enslaved by this wicked "Capitalist
System"  devised  by  the  "bourgeoisie".  They  need   only
"unite";  they  had  "nothing to lose but their chains". The
wicked Capitalist  System  was  to  be  overthrown,  with  a
certain  vindictive  liquidation of "capitalists" in general
and the "bourgeoisie" in particular, and a millennium  would
ensue  under a purely workers’ control, which Lenin later on
was  to  crystallise  into  a  phrase  of  supra-theological
mystery,   "the   dictatorship   of  the  proletariat".  The
proletarians need learn nothing,  plan  nothing;  they  were
right  and  good by nature; they would just "take over". The
infinitely various envies, hatreds and  resentments  of  the
Have-nots  were  to  fuse  into a mighty creative drive. All
virtue resided in them; all evil in those who  had  bettered
them.  One  good thing there was in this new doctrine of the
class war, it inculcated a much needed  brotherliness  among
the  workers,  but  it  was  balanced by the organisation of
class hate. So the great propaganda of the class  war,  with
these monstrous falsifications of manifest fact, went forth.
Collectivisation would not so much be  organised  as  appear
magically  when  the  incubus  of  Capitalism  and all those
irritatingly well-to-do people, were lifted  off  the  great
Proletarian soul.

Marx  was a man incapable in money matters and much bothered
by  tradesmen’s  bills.   Moreover   he   cherished   absurd
pretensions  to  aristocracy.  The  consequence  was that he
romanced about the lovely life of the Middle Ages as  if  he
were  another  Belloc  and concentrated his animus about the
"bourgeoisie", whom he made responsible for all those  great
disruptive  forces in human society that we have considered.
Lord Bacon, the Marquis of Worcester, Charles the Second and
the  Royal Society, people like Cavendish and Joule and Watt
for  example,  all  became  "bourgeoisie"  in  his  inflamed
imagination.  "During  its  reign  of  scarce a century", he
wrote in  the  Communist  Manifesto,  "the  bourgeoisie  has
created  more powerful, more stupendous forces of production
than all preceding generations rolled into one . . . .  What
earlier  generations  had  the  remotest  inkling  that such
productive forces slumbered within the wombs  of  associated

"The  wombs  of  associated labour!" (Golly, what a phrase!)
The industrial revolution which was  a  consequence  of  the
mechanical  revolution  is treated as the cause of it. Could
facts be muddled more completely?

And again: " . . . the bourgeois system is no longer able to
cope  with  the abundance of wealth it creates. How does the
bourgeoisie overcome these crises? On the one hand,  by  the
compulsory  annihilation  of  a  quantity  of the productive
forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets and the
more  thorough  exploitation of old ones. With what results?
The results are that the way is paved  for  more  widespread
and  more  disastrous  crises  and  that  the  capacity  for
averting such crises is lessened.

"The weapons" (Weapons! How that sedentary gentleman in  his
vast   beard   adored  military  images!)  "with  which  the
bourgeoisie overthrew feudalism are now being turned against
the bourgeoisie itself.

"But  the  bourgeoisie  has not only forged the weapons that
will slay it; it has also engendered the men  who  will  use
these weapons - the modern workers, the proletarians."

And so here they are, hammer and sickle in hand, chest stuck
out, proud, magnificent, commanding, in the  Manifesto.  But
go and look for them yourself in the streets. Go and look at
them in Russia.

Even for 1848 this is not intelligent social analysis. It is
the  outpouring  of  a man with a B in his bonnet, the hated
Bourgeoisie, a man with a certain vision, uncritical of  his
own  sub-conscious  prejudices, but shrewd enough to realise
how great a  driving  force  is  hate  and  the  inferiority
complex.  Shrewd  enough  to  use  hate and bitter enough to
hate. Let anyone read  over  that  Communist  Manifesto  and
consider  who might have shared the hate or even have got it
all, if Marx had not been the son of a rabbi. Read Jews  for
Bourgeoisie  and  the Manifesto is pure Nazi teaching of the
1933-8 vintage.

Stripped down to its  core  in  this  fashion,  the  primary
falsity  of the Marxist assumption is evident. But it is one
of the queer  common  weakness  of  the  human  mind  to  be
uncritical  of  primary  assumptions  and  to smother up any
enquiry into their soundness in  secondary  elaboration,  in
technicalities and conventional formulæ. Most of our systems
of belief rest upon rotten foundations, and generally  these
foundations  are  made  sacred to preserve them from attack.
They become dogmas in a  sort  of  holy  of  holies.  It  is
shockingly  uncivil  to  say  "But  that  is  nonsense". The
defenders of all the dogmatic religions fly  into  rage  and
indignation  when  one  touches  on  the  absurdity of their
foundations. Especially if one laughs. That is blasphemy.

This avoidance  of  fundamental  criticism  is  one  of  the
greatest dangers to any general human understanding. Marxism
is no exception to the universal  tendency.  The  Capitalist
System has to be a real system, the Bourgeoisie an organised
conspiracy against the Workers,  and  every  human  conflict
everywhere  has  to  be  an aspect of the Class War, or they
cannot talk to you. They will not listen to you. Never  once
has  there been an attempt to answer the plain things I have
been saying about them for a third of  a  century.  Anything
not in their language flows off their minds like water off a
duck’s back. Even Lenin - by far the subtlest  mind  in  the
Communist  story  - has not escaped this pitfall, and when I
talked to him in Moscow in 1920 he seemed  quite  unable  to
realise  that  the  violent  conflict  going  on  in Ireland
between  the  Catholic  nationalists  and   the   Protestant
garrison  was not his sacred insurrection of the Proletariat
in full blast.

To-day there is quite a number of writers,  and  among  them
there are men of science who ought to think better, solemnly
elaborating a pseudo-philosophy of science and society  upon
the  deeply buried but entirely nonsensical foundations laid
by Marx. Month by month the industrious Left book Club pours
a new volume over the minds of its devotees to sustain their
mental habits and pickle them against the  septic  influence
of  unorthodox  literature. A party Index of Forbidden Books
will no doubt follow. Distinguished professors  with  solemn
delight  in  their  own  remarkable  ingenuity,  lecture and
discourse and even produce serious-looking volumes, upon the
superiority  of Marxist physics and Marxist research, to the
unbranded activities of the human mind. One tries not to  be
rude  to  them,  but  it  is  hard  to  believe they are not
deliberately playing the fool with  their  brains.  Or  have
they  a  feeling  that revolutionary communism is ahead, and
are they doing their best to rationalise it with an  eye  to
those red days to come? (See Hogben’s Dangerous Thoughts.)

Here I cannot pursue in any detail the story of the Rise and
Corruption of  Marxism  in  Russia.  It  confirms  in  every
particular  my  contention  that  the  class-war  idea is an
entanglement and perversion of the  world  drive  towards  a
world   collectivism,  a  wasting  disease  of  cosmopolitan
socialism. It has followed in its general outline the common
history  of  every  revolt  of  the  Have-nots since history
began.  Russia  in  the   shadows   displayed   an   immense
inefficiency  and  sank  slowly  to  Russia in the dark. Its
galaxy of incompetent foremen, managers, organisers  and  so
forth,    developed   the   most   complicated   system   of
self-protection  against  criticism,  they   sabotaged   one
another,  they  intrigued  against one another. You can read
the quintessence of the thing in Littlepage’s In  Search  of
Soviet  Gold. And like every other Have-not revolt since the
dawn  of  history,  hero  worship  took  possession  of  the
insurgent  masses.  The  inevitable  Champion appeared. They
escape  from  the  Czar  and  in  twenty  years   they   are
worshipping  Stalin, originally a fairly honest, unoriginal,
ambitious revolutionary, driven  to  self-defensive  cruelty
and   inflated  by  flattery  to  his  present  quasi-divine
autocracy. The cycle completes itself and we see  that  like
every  other  merely insurrectionary revolution, nothing has
changed; a lot of people have been liquidated and a  lot  of
other  people  have replaced them and Russia seems returning
back to the point  at  which  it  started,  to  a  patriotic
absolutism  of  doubtful  efficiency and vague, incalculable
aims.  Stalin,  I  believe,  is  honest  and  benevolent  in
intention,  he  believes in collectivism simply and plainly,
he is still under the impression that he is  making  a  good
thing  of  Russia  and of the countries within her sphere of
influence, and he is self-righteously impatient of criticism
or   opposition.   His  successor  may  not  have  the  same

But I have written enough to make it clear why  we  have  to
dissociate collectivisation altogether from the class war in
our minds. Let us waste no more time on the spectacle of the
Marxist  putting  the  cart  in front of the horse and tying
himself up with  the  harness.  We  have  to  put  all  this
proletarian  distortion  of  the  case  out of our minds and
start afresh upon the problem of how to realise the new  and
unprecedented  possibilities  of world collectivisation that
have opened out upon the world in the  past  hundred  years.
That is a new story. An entirely different story.

We  human+beings are facing gigantic forces that will either
destroy our species altogether or lift it to  an  altogether
unprecedented  level  of  power and well-being. These forces
have to be  controlled  or  we  shall  be  annihilated.  But
completely  controlled they can abolish slavery - by the one
sure means of making  these  things  unnecessary.  Class-war
communism  has  its  opportunity to realise all this, and it
has failed to make good. So far it  has  only  replaced  one
autocratic  Russia  by another. Russia, like all the rest of
the world, is still facing  the  problem  of  the  competent
government of a collective system. She has not solved it.

The  dictatorship  of the proletariat has failed us. We have
to look for possibilities of control  in  other  directions.
Are they to be found?


A  friendly  adviser  reading  the  passage on p.47 protests
against "the wombs of associated labour" as a mistranslation
of  the original German of the Manifesto. I took it from the
translation of Professor Hirendranath Mukherjee in an Indian
students’  journal,  Sriharsha,  which  happened to be at my
desk. But my adviser produces Lily G. Aitken  and  Frank  C.
Budgen  in a Glasgow Socialist Labour Press publication, who
gave it as "the lap of social labour", which is more refined
but  pure  nonsense. The German word is "schoss", and in its
widest sense it means the whole productive  maternal  outfit
from  bosom to knees and here quite definitely the womb. The
French translation gives "sein", which at the  first  glance
seems to carry gentility to an even higher level. But as you
can say in French that an expectant mother carries her child
in her "sein", I think Professor Mukherjee has it. Thousands
of reverent young  Communists  must  have  read  that  "lap"
without  observing its absurdity. Marx is trying to make out
that the  increase  of  productive  efficiency  was  due  to
"association"  in  factories. A better phrase to express his
(wrong-headed) intention would have been  "the  co-ordinated
operations of workers massed in factories".


WE HAVE NOW TO examine these disruptive forces a little more
closely,  these  disruptive  forces  which  are   manifestly
overstraining and destroying the social and political system
in which most of us have been  reared.  At  what  particular
points in our political and social life are these disruptive
forces discovering breaking-points?

Chief among these breaking-points, people are  beginning  to
realise  more and more clearly, is the common, half-educated
young man.

One particular  consequence  of  the  onrush  of  power  and
invention  in  our  time, is the release of a great flood of
human energy in the form of unemployed young people. This is
a primary factor of the general political instability.

We have to recognise that humanity is not suffering, as most
animal species when they suffer to do, from hunger  or  want
in any material form. It is threatened not by deficiency but
by excess. It is plethoric. It is  not  lying  down  to  die
through  physical  exhaustion;  it  is  knocking  itself  to

Measured by  any  standards  except  human  contentment  and
ultimate  security, mankind appears to be much wealthier now
than  in  1918.  The  qualities  of   power   and   material
immediately  available  are  much  greater.  What  is called
productivity in general  is  greater.  But  there  is  sound
reason  for  supposing  that  a large part of this increased
productivity  is  really  a  swifter   and   more   thorough
exploitation  of irreplaceable capital. It is a process that
cannot go on indefinitely. It rises to a  maximum  and  then
the  feast is over. Natural resources are being exhausted at
a great  rate,  and  the  increased  output  goes  into  war
munitions  whose  purpose  is  destruction, and into sterile
indulgences no better than waste. Man, "heir of  the  ages",
is  a  demoralised  spendthrift,  in  a  state  of galloping
consumption, living on stimulants.

When we look into the statistics  of  population,  there  is
irrefutable  proof  that everywhere we are passing a maximum
(see for this Enid Charles’ The Twilight of  Parenthood,  or
R. R. Kuczynski’s Measurement of Population Growth) and that
a rapid decline is certain not only in  Western  Europe  bur
throughout the world. There is sound reason for doubting the
alleged vast increase of the Russian people (see Souvarine’s
Stalin). Nevertheless, because of the continually increasing
efficiency of productive methods, the relative  pressure  of
this  new  unemployed  class  increases.  The  "mob"  of the
twentieth century is quite different from the almost  animal
"mob"  of  the  eighteenth  century. It is a restless sea of
dissatisfied young people, of young  men  who  can  find  no
outlet  for  their  natural  urgencies  and ambitions, young
people quite ready to "make trouble" as  soon  as  they  are
shown how.

In the technically crude past, the illiterate Have-nots were
sweated and overworked. It was easy to  find  toil  to  keep
them  all  busy. Such surplus multitudes are wanted no more.
Toil is no longer marketable. Machines can toil  better  and
with less resistance.

These  frustrated multitudes have been made acutely aware of
their own  frustration.  The  gap  of  their  always  partly
artificial  disadvantage has been greatly diminished because
now they all read. Even for  incidental  employment  it  has
been  necessary  to  teach  them  that,  and the new reading
public thus created has evoked a  press  and  literature  of
excitement  and  suggestion. The cinema and the radio dazzle
them with spectacles of luxury and unrestricted living. They
are  not the helpless Hodges and factory fodder of a hundred
years ago. They are educated up to what must have  been  the
middle-class  level  in  1889.  They  are  indeed  largely a
squeezed-out middle class, restless,  impatient  and  as  we
shall  see extremely dangerous. They have assimilated almost
all of  the  lower  strata  that  were  formerly  illiterate

And  this  modernised  excess  population  has no longer any
social humility. It has no belief in the  infallible  wisdom
of  its  rulers.  It  sees  them too clearly; it knows about
them, their  waste,  vices  and  weaknesses,  with  an  even
exaggerated  vividness.  It sees no reason for its exclusion
from the good things of life by such  people.  It  has  lost
enough  of  its  inferiority  to  realise  that most of that
inferiority is arbitrary and artificial.

You may say that this is a temporary state of affairs,  that
the fall in population will presently relieve the situation,
by getting rid of this surplus of the "not wanted".  But  it
will   do   nothing   of  the  sort.  As  population  falls,
consumption will fall. Industries will  still  be  producing
more  and  more  efficiently for a shrinking market and they
will be employing fewer and fewer hands.  A  state  of  five
million people with half a million of useless hands, will be
twice as unstable as forty million with two million standing
off. So long as the present state of affairs continues, this
stratum of perplexed young people "out of it" will  increase
relatively to the total community.

It  is  still  not  realised as clearly as it should be, how
much the troubles of the present time are due  to  this  new
aspect  of the social puzzle. But if you will scrutinise the
events of the past half century in the light of  this  idea,
you  will  see  more and more convincingly that it is mainly
through this growing mass of  unfulfilled  desire  that  the
disruptive forces manifest themselves.

The  eager  and  adventurous unemployed young are indeed the
shock troops in the destruction  of  the  old  social  order
everywhere.  They  find  guidance in some confident Party or
some inspired Champion, who organises them for revolutionary
or  counter-revolutionary  ends.  It scarcely matters which.
They become Communists or they become Fascists,  Nazis,  the
Irish  Republican Army, Ku Klux Klansmen and so forth and so
on. The essence is the combination  of  energy,  frustration
and discontent. What all such movements have in common, is a
genuine indignation at the  social  institutions  that  have
begotten  and  then  cold-shouldered  them, a quasi-military
organisation and the resolve to seize power  for  themselves
embodied  in  their  leaders. A wise and powerful government
would at any cost anticipate  and  avert  these  destructive
activities   by   providing   various  and  interesting  new
employment and the  necessary  condition  for  a  satisfying
successful  life  for everyone. These young people are life.
The rise of the successful leader only puts off the  trouble
for a time. He seizes power in the name of his movement. And
then? When the seizure of power has been effected, he  finds
himself   obliged   to   keep   things   going,   to  create
justification  for  his  leadership,  exciting  enterprises,

A  leader of vision with adequate technical assistance might
conceivedly direct much of the human energy he has  embodied
into  creative  channels.  For  example he could rebuild the
dirty, inadequate cities of our age, turn the still slovenly
country-side  into  a  garden  and  play-ground,  re-clothe,
liberate and stimulate  imaginations,  until  the  ideas  of
creative  progress became a habit of mind. But in doing this
he will find himself confronted by those who  are  sustained
by  the  pre-emptions  and  appropriations of the old order.
These relatively well-off people will bargain with him up to
the  last  moment for their money and impede his seizure and
utilisation of land and  material  resources,  and  will  be
further  hampered  by  the fact that in organising his young
people he has had to turn their minds  and  capacities  from
creative   work   to   systematic   violence   and  militant
activities. It is easy to make an unemployed young man  into
a  Fascist  or  gangster, but it is hard to turn him back to
any  decent  social  task.  Moreover  the   Champion’s   own
leadership   was  largely  due  to  his  conspiratorial  and
adventurous quality. He is himself unfit for a creative job.
He finds himself a fighter at the head of a fighting pack.

And  furthermore,  unless  his  country  is  on the scale of
Russia and the United States, whatever he attempts in  order
to  make  good  his  promises of an abundant life, has to be
done in face of that mutual pressure of the sovereign states
due  to  the abolition of distance and change of scale which
we have already considered. He has no elbow-room in which to
operate.  The  resultant of these convergent difficulties is
to  turn  him  and  his  fighting  pack  releasing  flux  of
predatory war.

Everywhere  in the world, under varying local circumstances,
we see governments primarily  concerned  with  this  supreme
problem  of  what  to  do  with  these  young adults who are
unemployable under present conditions. We  have  to  realise
that  and  bear  it constantly in mind. It is there in every
country. It is the most dangerous and wrong-headed  view  of
the  world situation, to treat the totalitarian countries as
differing fundamentally from the rest of the world.

The problem of reabsorbing the  unemployable  adult  is  the
essential  problem  in all states. It is the common shape to
which all current political dramas reduce. How are we to use
up  or slake this surplus of human energy? The young are the
live core of our species. The generation  below  sixteen  or
seventeen  has  not  yet  begun  to  give trouble, and after
forty, the ebb of vitality disposes men to  accept  the  lot
that has fallen to them.

Franklin  Roosevelt and Stalin find themselves in control of
vast countries under-developed or so misdeveloped that their
main    energies    go   into   internal   organisation   or
reorganisation. They do not press  against  their  frontiers
therefore  and  they do not threaten war. The recent Russian
annexations have been precautionary-defensive. But  all  the
same  both  Russia  and  America  have  to  cater  for  that
troublesome social stratum quite as much as Europe. The  New
Deal  is  plainly  an attempt to achieve a working socialism
and  avert   a   social   collapse   in   America;   it   is
extraordinarily  parallel  to  the successive "policies" and
"Plans" of the Russian experiment. Americans shirk the  word
"socialism", but what else can one call it?

The  British  oligarchy,  demoralised  and  slack  with  the
accumulated wealth of a century  of  advantage,  bought  off
social  upheaval  for  a time by the deliberate and socially
demoralising  appeasement  of  the  dole.  It  has  made  no
adequate  effort  to employ or educate these surplus people;
it has just pushed the dole at them. It even  tries  to  buy
off  the leader of the Labour Party with a salary of £2000 a
year. Whatever we may think of the quality and deeds of  the
Nazi  or Fascist regimes or the follies of their leaders, we
must  at  any  rate  concede  that  they  attempt,   however
clumsily,  to  reconstruct life in a collectivist direction.
They are efforts to adjust and construct and so far they are
in  advance  of the British ruling class. The British Empire
has shown itself the least  constructive  of  all  governing
networks.  It  produces no New Deals, no Five Year Plans; it
keeps on trying to stave off its inevitable dissolution  and
carry on upon the old lines - and apparently it will do that
until it has nothing more to give away.

"Peace   in   our   time",    that    foolishly    premature
self-congratulation  of  Mr  Chamberlain,  is manifestly the
guiding principle of the British elder statesman. It is that
natural  desire we all begin to feel after sixty to sit down
comfortably somewhere. Unprogressive tranquillity they  want
at  any  price,  even at the price of a preventive war. This
astonishing  bunch  of  rulers  has   never   revealed   any
conception  whatever of a common future before its sprawling
Empire. There was a time when that Empire seemed  likely  to
become  the  nexus  of a world system, but now manifestly it
has no future  but  disintegration.  Apparently  its  rulers
expected it to go on just as it was for ever. Bit by bit its
component   parts   have    dropped    away    and    become
quasi-independent  powers,  generally  after  an  unedifying
struggle; Southern Ireland for example  is  neutral  in  the
present war, South Africa hesitated.

Now,  and  that  is  why  this  book is being written, these
people, by a string  of  almost  incredible  blunders,  have
entangled  what  is  left  of their Empire in a great war to
"end Hitler", and they  have  absolutely  no  suggestion  to
offer  their  antagonists and the world at large, of what is
to come after  Hitler.  Apparently  they  hope  to  paralyse
Germany  in  some  as yet unspecified fashion and then to go
back to their golf links or the fishing stream and  doze  by
the  fire  after  dinner.  That  is  surely  one of the most
astounding things in history, the possibility of  death  and
destruction   beyond   all   reckoning   and  our  combatant
governments have no idea of  what  is  to  follow  when  the
overthrow of Hitler is accomplished. They seem to be as void
of any sense of the future, as completely empty-headed about
the  aftermath  of their campaigns, as one of those American
Tories who are "just out against F.D.R. Damn him!"

So the British  Empire  remains,  paying  its  way  down  to
ultimate  bankruptcy,  buying  itself  a  respite  from  the
perplexing problems of  the  future,  with  the  accumulated
wealth  and  power  of  its past. It is rapidly becoming the
most backward  political  organisation  in  the  world.  But
sooner  or later it will have no more money for the dole and
no more allies to abandon nor dominions to yield up to their
local  bosses,  and then possibly its disintegration will be
complete (R.I.P.), leaving  intelligent  English  people  to
line up at last with America and the rest of the intelligent
world and face the universal problem. Which is: how  are  we
to  adapt  ourselves  to these mighty disruptive forces that
are  shattering  human  society  as   it   is   at   present

In the compressed countries which have little internal scope
and lack the vast  natural  resources  of  the  Russian  and
Atlantic   communities,  the  internal  tension  makes  more
directly  for  aggressive  warfare,  but   the   fundamental
driving-force  behind  their  aggressiveness  is  still  the
universal trouble, that surplus of young men.

Seen in this broader vision, the present war falls into  its
true proportions as a stupid conflict upon secondary issues,
which  is  delaying  and   preventing   an   overdue   world
adjustment. That is may kill hundreds of thousands of people
does not alter that. An idiot with a revolver can  murder  a
family. He remains an idiot.

From  1914 to 1939 has been a quarter of a century of folly,
meanness, evasion and resentment, and only  a  very  tedious
and  copious historian would attempt to distribute the blame
among those who had played a part in the story. And when  he
had done it, what he had done would not matter in the least.
An almost overwhelmingly difficult problem has confronted us
all, and in some measure we have all of us lost our heads in
the face of it, lost our dignity, been too clever  by  half,
pinned  ourselves  to  cheap  solutions, quarrelled stupidly
among ourselves. "We have erred and strayed . . . . We  have
lest  undone  those things that we ought to have done and we
have done those things which we ought not to have  done  and
there is no health in us."

I  do  not see any way to a solution of the problem of World
Peace  unless  we  begin  with  a  confession  of  universal
wrong-thinking  and wrong-doing. Then we can sit down to the
question of a solution  with  some  reasonable  prospect  of
finding an answer.

Now let us assume that "we" are a number of intelligent men,
German, French, English, American, Italian, Chinese  and  so
forth,  who  have  decided  in consequence of the war and in
spite of the war, while the war is still going on,  to  wipe
out all these squabbling bygones from our minds, and discuss
plainly and simply the present situation of mankind. What is
to   be  done  with  the  world?  Let  us  recapitulate  the
considerations that so far have been brought  in,  and  what
prospects  they  open,  if  any,  of  some hopeful concerted
action, action that would so revolutionise the human outlook
as  to end war and that hectic recurrent waste of human life
and happiness, for ever.

Firstly then it has been made apparent that humanity  is  at
the end of an age, an age of fragmentation in the management
of its affairs,  fragmentation  politically  among  separate
sovereign   states   and   economically  among  unrestricted
business  of  organisations  competing   for   profit.   The
abolition  of  distance,  the enormous increase of available
power, root causes of all our troubles, have  suddenly  made
what was once a tolerable working system - a system that was
perhaps with all its inequalities and  injustices  the  only
practicable   working   system  in  its  time  -  enormously
dangerous and wasteful, so that it threatens to exhaust  and
destroy  our  world  altogether. Man is like a feckless heir
who has suddenly been able to get at his capital  and  spend
it  as  though  it  were income. We are living in a phase of
violent and irreparable expenditure. There is an intensified
scramble  among  nations  and  among individuals to acquire,
monopolise and spend. The dispossessed young find themselves
hopeless  unless they resort to violence. They implement the
ever-increasing   instability.    Only    a    comprehensive
collectivisation of human affairs can arrest this disorderly
self-destruction of mankind. All this has been made plain in
what has gone before.

This essential problem, the problem of collectivisation, can
be viewed from two reciprocal points of view and  stated  in
two  different  ways. We can ask, "What is to be done to end
the world chaos?" and also "How  can  we  offer  the  common
young  man  a  reasonable and stimulating prospect of a full

These two questions are  the  obverse  and  reverse  of  one
question.  What answers one answers the other. The answer to
both is that we have to collectivise the world as one system
with  practically  everyone  playing a reasonably satisfying
part in it. For sound practical reasons, over and above  any
ethical  or  sentimental considerations, we have to devise a
collectivisation that neither degrades nor enslaves.

Our imaginary world conference then has to  turn  itself  to
the  question  of  how to collectivise the world, so that it
will remain collectivised and yet enterprising,  interesting
and  happy  enough to content that common young man who will
otherwise  reappear,  baffled  and  sullen,  at  the  street
corners  and  throw it into confusion again. To that problem
the rest of this book will address itself.

As a matter of fact it is very obvious that at  the  present
time  a  sort  of  collectivisation  is  being  imposed very
rapidly upon the world. Everyone is being enrolled,  ordered
about,  put  under control somewhere - even if it is only in
an evacuation  or  concentration  camp  or  what  not.  This
process  of collectivisation, collectivisation of some sort,
seems now to be in the nature of  things  and  there  is  no
reason  to  suppose  it  is  reversible. Some people imagine
world peace as the end of that process. Collectivisation  is
going  to  be  defeated and a vaguely conceived reign of law
will   restore   and   sustain    property,    Christianity,
individualism   and  everything  to  which  the  respectable
prosperous are accustomed. This  is  implicit  even  on  the
title  of  such a book as Edward Mousley’s Man or Leviathan?
It is much more reasonable to think that world peace has  to
be  the  necessary  completion of that process, and that the
alternative is a decadent anarchy. If so, the phrase for the
aims  of  liberal  thought should be no Man or Leviathan but
Man masters Leviathan.

On this point, the inevitability of collectivisation as  the
sole   alternative   to   universal  brigandage  and  social
collapse, our world conference must  make  itself  perfectly

Then  it  has  to turn itself to the much more difficult and
complicated question of how.


LET US, EVEN AT the cost of a  certain  repetition,  look  a
little  more  closely  now  into  the  fashion  in which the
disruptive forces are manifesting themselves in the  Western
and Eastern hemispheres.

In   the  Old  World  the  hypertrophy  of  armies  is  most
conspicuous, in  America  it  was  the  hypertrophy  of  big
business.  But  in  both  the  necessity  for  an increasing
collective  restraint   upon   uncoordinated   over-powerful
business  or  political  enterprise is more and more clearly

There is a strong opposition on the part of great  interests
in  America  to  the  President,  who  has  made himself the
spear-head of the collectivising drive; they want to put the
brake  now  on  his progressive socialisation of the nation,
and  quite  possibly,  at  the  cost  of  increasing  social
friction,  they  may  slow  down the drift to socialism very
considerably. But it is unbelievable that they dare  provoke
the  social  convulsion  that  would ensue upon a deliberate
reversal of the engines or upon any attempt to return to the
glorious days of big business, wild speculation and mounting
unemployment before 1927. They will  merely  slow  down  the
drive.  For  in the world now all roads lead to socialism or
social dissolution.

The tempo of the process is different in the two continents;
that  is  the  main  difference  between  them. It is not an
opposition. They travel at different rates but  they  travel
towards  an  identical goal. In the Old World at present the
socialisation of the community is going on far more  rapidly
and  thoroughly  than  it  is  in  America  because  of  the
perpetual war threat.

In Western Europe now the dissolution and the drive  towards
socialisation  progress  by  leaps  and  bounds. The British
governing class and British politicians generally, overtaken
by  a war they had not the intelligence to avert, have tried
to atone for their  slovenly  unimaginativeness  during  the
past twenty years in a passion of witless improvisation. God
knows what their actual  war  preparations  amount  to,  but
their  domestic  policy  seems  to  be based on an imperfect
study  of  Barcelona,  Guernica,  Madrid  and  Warsaw.  They
imagine  similar  catastrophes  on a larger scale - although
they are quite impossible, as every steady-headed person who
can  estimate  the  available supplies of petrol knows - and
they have a terrible dread of being held  responsible.  They
fear  a  day  of  reckoning with their long-bamboozled lower
classes. In their panic they are  rapidly  breaking  up  the
existing order altogether.

The changes that have occurred in Great Britain in less than
a year are astounding. They recall in many  particulars  the
social  dislocation of Russia in the closing months of 1917.
There has been a shifting and mixing-up of people that would
have  seemed impossible to anyone in 1937. The evacuation of
centres of population under the mere exaggerated  threat  of
air  raids  has  been  of  frantic recklessness. Hundreds of
thousands  of  families  have  been  broken   up,   children
separated  from  their parents and quartered in the homes of
more or less reluctant hosts. Parasites and  skin  diseases,
vicious habits and insanitary practices have been spread, as
if in a passion of equalitarian  propaganda,  the  slums  of
such  centres  as  Glasgow, London and Liverpool, throughout
the length and breadth of the land. Railways, road  traffic,
all  the  normal  communications  have  been dislocated by a
universal running  about.  For  a  couple  of  months  Great
Britain  has  been  more  like  a disturbed ant-hill than an
organised civilised country.

The  contagion  of  funk  has  affected   everyone.   Public
institutions  and  great  business  concerns  have bolted to
remote and inconvenient sites;  the  BBC  organisation,  for
example,  scuffled  off headlong from London, needlessly and
ridiculously, no man pursuing it.  There  has  been  a  wild
epidemic  of dismissals, of servants employed in London, for
example, and a still wilder shifting of  unsuitable  men  to
novel, unnecessary jobs. Everyone has been exhorted to serve
the country, children of twelve, to  the  great  delight  of
conservative-minded farmers, have been withdrawn from school
and put to work on the land, and yet the number of those who
have  lost  their  jobs and cannot find anything else to do,
has gone up by over 100,000.

There  have  been  amateurish  attempts  to   ration   food,
producing  waste  here and artificial scarcity there. A sort
of massacre of small independent businesses is  in  progress
mainly   to  the  advantage  of  the  big  provision-dealing
concerns, who changed in a night  from  open  profiteers  to
become  the  "expert"  advisers  of  food  supply.  All  the
expertise they have ever displayed has been  the  extraction
of  profits  from  food  supply.  But  while  profits mount,
taxation with an air of  great  resolution  sets  itself  to
prune them.

The British public has always been phlegmatic in the face of
danger, it is too stout-hearted and too stupid to  give  way
to  excesses  of  fear,  but the authorities have thought it
necessary  to  plaster  the  walls  with  cast,   manifestly
expensive,   posters,  headed  with  a  Royal  Crown,  "Your
courage, your resolution, your cheerfulness  will  bring  us

"Oh  yus,"  said the London Cockney. "You’ll get the victory
all right. Trust you.  On  my  courage,  my  resolution,  my
cheerfulness;  you’ll  use up ‘Tommy Atkins’ all right. Larf
at ‘im in a kindly sort of way and use  him.  And  then  you
think  you’ll  out  him  back again on the dust-heap. Again?

That is all too credible. But  this  time  our  rulers  will
emerge  discredited and frustrated from the conflict to face
a disorganised population in a state  of  mutinous  enquiry.
They  have  made preposterous promises to restore Poland and
they will certainly have to eat their words about  that.  Or
what is more probable the government will have to give place
to another administration which will be able  to  eat  those
words for them with a slightly better grace. There is little
prospect of Thanksgiving Services  or  any  Armistice  night
orgy  this time. People at home are tasting the hardships of
war even more tediously  and  irritating  than  the  men  on
active   service.   Cinemas,   theatres,   have   been  shut
prematurely, black-outs have diminished the  safety  of  the
streets and doubled the tale of road casualties. The British
crowd is already a sullen crowd. The world has not  seen  it
in  such a bad temper for a century and half, and, let there
be no mistake about it, it is far less in a temper with  the
Germans than it is with its own rulers.

Through  all  this swirling intimidating propaganda of civil
disorder and a systematic suppression of news and  criticism
of   the   most   exasperating  sort,  war  preparation  has
proceeded. The perplexed and baffled citizen can  only  hope
that  on  the  military  side  there  has been a little more
foresight and less hysteria.

The loss of confidence and particularly  confidence  in  the
government  and  social  order  is  already enormous. No one
feels secure, in his job, in his services, in  his  savings,
any  longer.  People  lose  confidence  even in the money in
their pockets. And human society is built on confidence.  It
cannot carry on without it.

Things  are  like  this  already  and it is only the opening
stage of this strange war. The position of the ruling  class
and the financial people who have hitherto dominated British
affairs is a peculiar one. The cast of the  war  is  already
enormous, and there is no sign that it will diminish. Income
tax, super tax, death duties, taxes on war profits have been
raised  to  a  level  that should practically extinguish the
once prosperous middle strata  of  society  altogether.  The
very  wealthy  will survive in a shorn and diminished state,
they will hang on to the last, but the graded  classes  that
have  hitherto  intervened between them and the impoverished
masses of the population,  who  will  be  irritated  by  war
sacrifices,  extensively unemployed and asking more and more
penetrating questions, will have diminished greatly. Only by
the  most  ingenious  monetary  manipulation,  by  dangerous
tax-dodging and expedients verging  on  sheer  scoundrelism,
will  a  clever  young  man  have  the  ghost of a chance of
climbing by the old traditional money-making  ladder,  above
his  fellows.  On  the  other  hand,  the career of a public
employee will become continually more attractive.  There  is
more  interest  in  it and more self-respect. The longer the
war continues, the completer and  more  plainly  irreparable
will be the dissolution of the old order.

Now  to  many  readers  who  have  been  incredulous  of the
statement of the first section of this  book,  that  we  are
living  in  the  End  of  an  Age,  to  those  who have been
impervious to the account of the disruptive forces that  are
breaking  up  the  social  order  and to the argument I have
drawn from them, who may have got away from all that, so  to
speak, by saying they are "scientific" or "materialistic" or
"sociological" or "highbrow", or that  Providence  that  has
hitherto displayed such a marked bias in favour of well-off,
comfortable, sluggish-minded people is sure to do  something
nice for them at the eleventh hour, the real inconveniences,
alarms, losses and growing disorder of the life  about  them
may  at  last  bring  a  realisation  that  the situation in
Western Europe is approaching revolutionary  conditions.  It
will   be   a   hard   saying   for   many   people  in  the
advantage-holding classes,  and  particularly  if  they  are
middle-aged,  that  the older has already gone to pieces can
never be put back. But how can they doubt it?

A revolution, that is to  say  a  more  or  less  convulsive
effort  at  social  and  political readjustment, is bound to
come in all these overstrained  countries,  in  Germany,  in
Britain and universally. It is more likely than not to arise
directly out of the exasperating diminuendos and  crescendos
of the present war, as a culminating phase of it. Revolution
of some sort we must have. We cannot prevent its onset.  But
we  can  affect the course of its development. It may end in
utter disaster or it may release a  new  world,  far  better
than  the  old. Within these broad limits it is possible for
us to make up our minds how it will come to us.

And since the only  practical  question  before  us  is  the
question of how we will take this world revolution we cannot
possibly evade, let me recall to your attention the  reasons
I  have  advanced in the second section of this book for the
utmost public discussion of our  situation  at  the  present
time.  And also let me bring back to mind the examination of
Marxism in the fourth section. There it is shown how  easily
a  collectivist movement, especially when it is faced by the
forcible-feeble resistances and suppressions  of  those  who
have  hitherto enjoyed wealth and power, may degenerate into
an old-fashioned class-war, become conspiratorial,  dogmatic
and   inadaptable,  and  sink  towards  leader  worship  and
autocracy. That apparently is what has happened in Russia in
its  present  phase. We do not know how much of the original
revolutionary spirit survives there, and a real  fundamental
issue  in the world situation is whether we are to follow in
the footsteps of Russia or whether  we  are  going  to  pull
ourselves  together,  face  the stern logic of necessity and
produce a Western Revolution,  which  will  benefit  by  the
Russian experience, react upon Russia and lead ultimately to
a world understanding.

What is it that the Atlantic world finds most  objectionable
in  the  Soviet  world  of  to-day? Is it any disapproval of
collectivism as such?  Only  in  the  case  of  a  dwindling
minority of rich and successful men - and very rarely of the
sons of such  people.  Very  few  capable  men  under  fifty
nowadays  remain  individualists  in  political  and  social
matters. They are  not  even  fundamentally  anti-Communist.
Only  it happens that for various reasons the political life
of the community  is  still  in  the  hands  of  unteachable
old-fashioned  people.  What are called "democracies" suffer
greatly from the rule of old men who have not kept pace with
the  times. The real and effective disapproval, distrust and
disbelief in the soundness of the Soviet system lies not  in
the out-of-date individualism of these elderly types, but in
the conviction that it can never achieve efficiency or  even
maintain  its honest ideal of each for all and all for each,
unless  it  has  free  speech   and   an   insistence   upon
legally-defined  freedoms  for  the  individual  within  the
collectivist  framework.  We  do  not  deplore  the  Russian
Revolution  as  a  Revolution.  We complain that it is not a
good enough Revolution and we want a better one.

The more highly things are collectivised the more  necessary
is a legal system embodying the Rights of Man. This has been
forgotten under the Soviets, and so men go in fear there  of
arbitrary   police  action.  But  the  more  functions  your
government controls the more need there  is  for  protective
law.  The  objection to Soviet collectivism is that, lacking
the antiseptic of legally assured personal freedom, it  will
not keep. It professes to be fundamentally a common economic
system based on class-war ideas; the industrial director  is
under  the heel of the Party commissar; the political police
have got altogether out of hand; and the  affairs  gravitate
inevitably  towards  an oligarchy or an autocracy protecting
its incapacity by the repression of adverse comment.

But these valid  criticisms  merely  indicate  the  sort  of
collectivisation that has to be avoided. It does not dispose
of collectivism as such. If we in our turn do not wish to be
submerged  by  the  wave of Bolshevisation that is evidently
advancing from the East, we must implement all  these  valid
objections  and  create a collectivisation that will be more
efficient,  more  prosperous,  tolerant,  free  and  rapidly
progressive  than the system we condemn. We, who do not like
the Stalinised-Marxist state, have, as they used to  say  in
British  politics, to "dish" it by going one better. We have
to    confront    Eastern-spirited     collectivism     with
Western-spirited collectivism.

Perhaps  this  may  be better put. We may be giving way to a
sub-conscious conceit here and assuming  that  the  West  is
always  going  to  be  thinking  more freely and clearly and
working more efficiently than the East. It is like that now,
but  it  may  not always be like that. Every country has had
its phases of illumination  and  its  phases  of  blindness.
Stalin  and  Stalinism are neither the beginning nor the end
of the collectivisation of Russia.

We are dealing with something  still  almost  impossible  to
estimate, the extent to which the new Russian patriotism and
the new Stalin-worship, have effaced and how far  they  have
merely   masked,   the   genuinely   creative  international
communism of the revolutionary years. The  Russian  mind  is
not  a docile mind, and most of the literature available for
a young man to read in Russia, we must  remember,  is  still
revolutionary. There has been no burning of the books there.
The Moscow radio talks for internal  consumption  since  the
Hitler-Stalin understanding betray a great solicitude on the
part of the government to make it clear that there has  been
no  sacrifice  of revolutionary principle. That witnesses to
the vitality of public opinion in Russia. The clash  between
the  teachings of 1920 and 1940 may have a liberating effect
on many people’s minds. Russians love to talk  about  ideas.
Under  the  Czar  they talked. It is incredible that they do
not talk under Stalin.

That   question   whether   collectivisation   is   to    be
"Westernised"  or "Easternised", using these words under the
caveat of the previous paragraph, is really the first  issue
before   the  world  to-day.  We  need  a  fully  ventilated
Revolution. Our Revolution has to go on  in  the  light  and
air.  We  may  have to accept sovietisation à la Russe quite
soon unless we can produce a better collectivisation. But if
we  produce  a  better  collectivisation it is more probable
than not  that  the  Russian  system  will  incorporate  our
improvements,  forget its reviving nationalism again, debunk
Marx and Stalin, so far as they can be debunked,  and  merge
into the one world state.

Between  these  primary antagonists, between Revolution with
its eyes open and Revolution with a mask and  a  gag,  there
will   certainly  be  complications  of  the  issue  due  to
patriotism and bigotry and the unteachable wilful  blindness
of  those  who  do not want to see. Most people lie a lot to
themselves before they  lie  to  other  people,  and  it  is
hopeless to expect that all the warring cults and traditions
that confuse the mind of the race to-day are going  to  fuse
under  a  realisation  of the imperative nature of the human
situation as I have stated it here.  Multitudes  will  never
realise  it.  Few  human+beings  are  able  to  change their
primary ideas after the middle thirties. They get  fixed  in
them  and  drive  before  them  no  more  intelligently than
animals drive before their innate impulses.  They  will  die
rather than change their second selves.

One  of the most entangling of these disconcerting secondary
issues  is  that  created  by  the  stupid  and   persistent
intrigues of the Roman Catholic Church.

Let  me  be  clear here. I am speaking of the Vatican and of
its sustained attempts  to  exercise  a  directive  rôle  in
secular life. I number among my friends many Roman Catholics
who have built the most charming personalities and behaviour
systems  on  the framework provided them by their faith. One
of the loveliest characters I have  ever  known  was  G.  K.
Chesterton. But I think he was just as fine before he became
a Catholic as afterwards. Still he found something he needed
in  Catholicism. There are saints of all creeds and of none,
so good are better possibilities of human nature.  Religious
observances provide a frame that many find indispensable for
the seemly ordering of their lives. And outside the ranks of
"strict"   observers  many  good  people  with  hardly  more
theology than a Unitarian, love to  speak  of  goodness  and
kindness  as  Christianity. So-and-so is a "good Christian".
Voltaire, says Alfred Noyes,  the  Catholic  writer,  was  a
"good  Christian".  I  do not use the word "Christianity" in
that sense because I do not believe that Christians have any
monopoly  of  goodness. When I write of Christianity, I mean
Christianity with a definite creed and militant organisation
and  not  these good kind people, good and kind but not very
fastidious about the exact use of the words.

Such "good Christians" can be almost as bitterly critical as
I  am  of  the  continual pressure upon the faithful by that
inner group of Italians in Rome, subsidised by  the  Fascist
government, who pull the strings of Church policy throughout
the world, so as to do this or that tortuous or  uncivilised
thing, to cripple education, to persecute unorthodox ways of

It is to the influence of the Church that  we  must  ascribe
the foolish support by the British Foreign Office of Franco,
that  murderous  little  "Christian   gentleman",   in   his
overthrow  of the staggering liberal renascence of Spain. It
is the Roman Catholic influence the British and French  have
to thank, for the fantastic blundering that involved them in
the  defence  of  the  impossible  Polish  state   and   its
unrighteous  acquisitions;  it  affected  British  policy in
respect to Austria and Czechoslovakia profoundly, and now it
is  doing  its  utmost  to  maintain and develop a political
estrangement between Russia and the  Western  world  by  its
prejudiced   exacerbation   of   the  idea  that  Russia  is
"anti-God" while we Westerners are little  children  of  the
light,   gallantly  fighting  on  the  side  of  the  Cross,
Omnipotence, Greater Poland, national sovereignty, the small
uneconomic  prolific farmer and shopkeeper and anything else
you like to imagine constitutes "Christendom".

The Vatican strives perpetually to develop the  present  war
into  a religious war. It is trying to steal the war. By all
the circumstances of its  training  it  is  unteachable.  It
knows  no  better.  It  will  go  on  -  until some economic
revolution robs  it  of  its  funds.  Then  as  a  political
influence it may evaporate very rapidly. The Anglican Church
and many other Protestant sects, the wealthy  Baptists,  for
example, follow suit.

It  is not only in British affairs that this propaganda goes
on. With the  onset  of  war  France  becomes  militant  and
Catholic.  It  has  suppressed  the  Communist  Party,  as a
gesture  of  resentment  against  Russia  and  a  precaution
against  post-war collectivisation. The Belgian caricaturist
Raemaekers is now presenting  Hitler  day  after  day  as  a
pitiful  weakling  already  disposed  of  and  worthy of our
sympathy, while Stalin is represented as a  frightful  giant
with  horns  and  a tail. Yet both France and Britain are at
peace with Russia and have every reason to come to a working
understanding  with  that country. The attitude of Russia to
the war  has  on  the  whole  been  cold,  contemptuous  and

It is not as if these devious schemes can take us somewhere;
it is not that this restoration of the Holy Roman Empire  is
a possibility. You confront these Catholic politicians, just
as you confront the politicians of Westminster,  with  these
two cardinal facts, the abolition of distance and the change
of scale. In vain. You cannot get  any  realisation  of  the
significance of these things into those idea-proofed skulls.
They are deaf to it, blind to it. They cannot  see  that  it
makes any difference at all to their long-established mental
habits. If their minds waver for a moment they utter  little
magic prayers to exorcise the gleam.

What,  they ask, has "mere size" to do with the soul of man,
"mere speed, mere power"? What can the young do better  than
subdue  their  natural urgency to live and do? What has mere
life to do  with  the  religious  outlook?  The  war,  these
Vatican   propagandists   insist,  is  a  "crusade"  against
modernism,  against  socialism   and   free   thought,   the
restoration  of  priestly authority is its end; our sons are
fighting  to  enable  the  priest  to   thrust   his   pious
uncleanliness  once again between reader and book, child and
knowledge, husband and wife, sons and lovers.  While  honest
men  are  fighting now to put an end to military aggression,
to resume indeed that "war to end war" that was  aborted  to
give  us  the League of Nations, these bigots are sedulously
perverting the issue, trying to represent it as a  religious
war  against  Russia  in particular and the modern spirit in

The well-trained Moslem, the American  fundamentalists,  the
orthodox  Jew,  all  the  fixed  cultures,  produce  similar
irrelevant  and  wasteful  resistances,  but  the   Catholic
organisation  reaches  further and is more persistent. It is
frankly opposed to human effort and the idea of progress. It
makes no pretence about it.

Such  cross-activities  as  these  complicate, delay and may
even sabotage effectively every effort to solve the  problem
of a lucid collectivisation of the world’s affairs, but they
do not alter the essential fact that it is  only  through  a
rationalisation     and    coalescence    of    constructive
revolutionary movements everywhere  and  a  liberal  triumph
over  the  dogmatism  of  the class war, that we can hope to
emerge from the present wreckage of our world.


LET US NOW TAKE up certain  vaguely  constructive  proposals
which  seem  at  present  to be very much in people’s minds.
They find their cardinal expression in a book  called  Union
Now  by  Mr Clarence K. Streit, which has launched the magic
word "Federation" upon the world. The "democracies"  of  the
world  are to get together upon a sort of enlargement of the
Federal constitution of the United  States  (which  produced
one of the bloodiest civil wars in all history) and then all
will be well with us.

Let us consider whether this word  "Federation"  is  of  any
value  in organising the Western Revolution. I would suggest
it is. I think it may be a means of mental release for  many
people  who would otherwise have remained dully resistant to
any sort of change.

This Federation project has an air of reasonableness. It  is
attractive  to  a number of influential people who wish with
the  minimum  of  adaptation  to  remain  influential  in  a
changing  world, and particularly is it attractive to what I
may call the liberal-conservative elements of the prosperous
classes in America and Great Britain and the Oslo countries,
because it puts the most difficult aspect  of  the  problem,
the  need for collective socialisation, so completely in the
background that it can be ignored. This enables them to take
quite  a  bright  and hopeful view of the future without any
serious hindrance to their present preoccupations.

They think that Federation, reasonably defined, may  suspend
the  possibility  of  war  for  a considerable period and so
lighten the burden of taxation  that  the  present  crushing
demands  on them will relax and they will be able to resume,
on a slightly more economical scale  perhaps,  their  former
way   of   living.  Everything  that  gives  them  hope  and
self-respect  and  preserves  their  homes  from  the  worst
indignities  of  panic, appeasement, treason-hunting and the
rest of it, is to be encouraged, and  meanwhile  their  sons
will have time to think and it may be possible so to search,
ransack and rationalise the Streit  project  as  to  make  a
genuine  and  workable  scheme  for the socialisation of the

In The Fate of Homo sapiens I examined the word  "democracy"
with  some  care,  since it already seemed likely that great
quantities of our young men were to be asked to cripple  and
risk  their lives for its sake. I showed that it was still a
very incompletely realised  aspiration,  that  its  complete
development  involved socialism and a level of education and
information attained as yet by no community in the world. Mr
Streit  gives  a  looser, more rhetorical statement - a more
idealistic statement, shall we say? - of his  conception  of
democracy,  the  sort  of statement that would be considered
wildly exaggerated even if it was war propaganda, and though
unhappily  it  is  remote  from  any  achieved  reality,  he
proceeds without further enquiry as if it were a description
of  existing realities in what he calls the "democracies" of
the world. In them he imagines he finds "governments of  the
people, by the people, for the people".

In  the  book  I  have  already  cited  I  discuss  What  is
Democracy? And Where is Democracy? I do  my  best  there  to
bring Mr Streit down to the harsh and difficult facts of the
case. I will go now a little more  into  particulars  in  my
examination of his project.

His  "founder  democracies"  are to be: "The American Union,
the British Commonwealth (specifically the  United  Kingdom,
the   Federal   Dominion  of  Canada,  the  Commonwealth  of
Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Ireland),
the  French  Republic,  Belgium,  the Netherlands, the Swiss
Confederation, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland."

Scarcely one of these, as I have shown in that former  book,
is  really a fully working democracy. And the Union of South
Africa is a particularly bad  and  dangerous  case  of  race
tyranny.  Ireland  is an incipient religious war and not one
country but two. Poland, I  note,  does  not  come  into  Mr
Streit’s list of democracies at all. His book was written in
1938 when Poland was  a  totalitarian  country  holding,  in
defiance of the League of Nations, Vilna, which it had taken
from Lithuania, large areas of  non-Polish  country  it  had
conquered   from   Russia,   and  fragments  gained  by  the
dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. It only became a democracy,
even technically and for a brief period, before its collapse
in September 1939, when Mr Chamberlain was so foolish as  to
drag  the  British Empire into a costly and perilous war, on
its behalf. But that is by the way. None  of  these  fifteen
(or  ten)  "founder  democracies"  are really democracies at
all. So we start badly. But they  might  be  made  socialist
democracies  and  their  federation  might be made something
very real indeed - at a price. The U.S.S.R. is  a  federated
socialist  system,  which  has  shown  a  fairly  successful
political solidarity during the past two  decades,  whatever
else it has done or failed to do.

Now let us help Mr Streit to convert his "federation" from a
noble but extremely  rhetorical  aspiration  into  a  living
reality.  He is aware that this must be done at a price, but
I want to suggest that that price is, from what I  judge  to
be  his  point  of  view,  far  greater, and the change much
simpler, more general and possibly even closer at hand, than
he   supposes.   He   is  disposed  to  appeal  to  existing
administrative organisations, and it is questionable whether
they are the right people to execute his designs. One of the
difficulties he glosses over is the possible  reluctance  of
the  India  Office to hand over the control of India (Ceylon
and Burma  he  does  not  mention)  to  the  new  Federation
Government,  which would also, I presume, take charge of the
fairly well governed and happy fifty-odd million  people  of
the  Dutch East Indies, the French colonial empire, the West
Indies and  so  on.  This,  unless  he  proposes  merely  to
re-christen the India Office, etc., is asking for an immense
outbreak of honesty and competence on the part  of  the  new
Federal  officialdom.  It  is  also  treating  the  possible
contribution of these five or six hundred million  of  dusky
peoples  to  the  new  order with a levity inconsistent with
democratic ideals.

Quite a lot of these people have brains which are as good or
better  than  normal  European brains. You could educate the
whole world to the not very exalted  level  of  a  Cambridge
graduate in a single lifetime, if you had schools, colleges,
apparatus and teachers enough. The radio,  the  cinema,  the
gramophone,   the   improvements   in  both  production  and
distribution, have made it possible to  increase  the  range
and  effectiveness  of  a  gifted teacher a thousandfold. We
have seen intensive war preparations galore, but no one  has
dreamt  yet  of  an intensive educational effort. None of us
really like to see other people being educated. They may  be
getting  an advantage over our privileged selves. Suppose we
overcome that primitive jealousy. Suppose we speed up  -  as
we  are  now  physically  able  to  do  -  the education and
enfranchisement of  these  huge  undeveloped  reservoirs  of
human  capacity. Suppose we tack that on the Union Now idea.
Suppose we stipulate that Federation, wherever  it  extends,
means  a  New and Powerful Education. In Bengal, in Java, in
the Congo Free State, quite  as  much  as  in  Tennessee  or
Georgia  or  Scotland  or Ireland. Suppose we think a little
less  about   "gradual   enfranchisement"   by   votes   and
experiments in local autonomy and all these old ideas, and a
little more about the enfranchisement of the  mind.  Suppose
we drop that old cant about politically immature peoples.

There  is  one  direction in which Mr Streit’s proposals are
open to improvement. Let us turn to another in which he does
not  seem  to  have  realised  all  the  implications of his
proposal. This great Union is to have a union  money  and  a
union  customs-free  economy. What follows upon that? More I
think than he realises.

There is one aspect of money to which the majority of  those
that  discuss it seem to be incurably blind. You cannot have
a theory of money or any plan about money by itself  in  the
air. Money is not a thing in itself; it is a working part of
an economic system. Money varies in its nature with the laws
and  ideas  of property in a community. As a community moves
towards  collectivism  and  communism,  for  example,  money
simplifies out. Money is a necessary in a communism as it is
in any other system, but its  function  therein  is  at  its
simplest. Payment in kind to the worker gives him no freedom
of choice among the  goods  the  community  produces.  Money
does.  Money  becomes  the incentive that "works the worker"
and nothing more.

But directly you allow individuals not only to obtain  goods
for  consumption,  but  also  to  obtain  credit  to produce
material  for  types  of  production  outside   the   staple
productions  of  the  state, the question of credit and debt
arises  and  money  becomes  more  complicated.  With  every
liberation   of   this  or  that  product  or  service  from
collective control to business or experimental exploitation,
the   play  of  the  money  system  enlarges  and  the  laws
regulating what you may  take  for  it,  the  company  laws,
bankruptcy  laws  and  so  forth  increase.  In  any  highly
developed  collective   system   the   administration   will
certainly  have  to  give  credits  for hopeful experimental
enterprises. When the system is not  collectivism,  monetary
operations  for  gain  are bound to creep in and become more
and more complicated. Where most of the substantial side  of
life  is  entrusted to uncoordinated private enterprise, the
intricacy  of  the  money  apparatus  increases  enormously.
Monetary  manipulation  becomes a greater and greater factor
in the competitive struggle, not  only  between  individuals
and  firms,  but between states. As Mr Streit himself shows,
in an excellent discussion of the abandonment  of  the  gold
standard,   inflation   and   deflation  become  devices  in
international competition. Money becomes strategic, just  as
pipe lines and railways can become strategic.

This  being  so  it  is  plain  that for the Federal Union a
common money means an identical economic life throughout the
Union.   And  this  too  is  implied  also  in  Mr  Streit’s
"customs-free" economy. It is impossible to  have  a  common
money  when  a dollar or a pound, or whatever it is, can buy
this, that or the  other  advantage  in  one  state  and  is
debarred from anything but bare purchases for consumption in
another. So that this Federal Union is bound to be a uniform
economic system. There can be only very slight variations in
the control of economic life.

In the preceding sections the implacable  forces  that  make
for the collectivisation of the world or disaster, have been
exposed. It  follows  that  "Federation"  means  practically
uniform  socialism  within  the  Federal limits, leading, as
state after state is incorporated, to world socialism. There
manifestly  we  carry  Mr Streit farther than he realises he
goes - as yet. For it is fairly evident that he is under the
impression  that  a  large  measure  of  independent private
business is to go on throughout the Union.  I  doubt  if  he
imagines   it   is   necessary  to  go  beyond  the  partial
socialisation already achieved by the New Deal. But we  have
assembled  evidence  to  show  that the profit scramble, the
wild days of uncorrelated "business" are over for ever.

And again though he realises and states  very  clearly  that
governments  are  made  for man and not man for governments,
though he applauds the great declarations of the  Convention
that  created  the  American  Constitution,  wherein "we the
people of the United States" overrode the  haggling  of  the
separate   states   and  established  the  American  Federal
Constitution,  nevertheless  he  is   curiously   chary   of
superseding  any  existing  legal governments in the present
world. He is chary of talking  of  "We  the  people  of  the
world".  But  many  of  us  are  coming  to realise that all
existing governments have to go into  the  melting  pot,  we
believe  that it is a world revolution which is upon us, and
that in the great struggle  to  evoke  a  Westernised  World
Socialism,  contemporary  governments  may vanish like straw
hats in the rapids of Niagara. Mr Streit,  however,  becomes
extraordinarily  legal-minded  at this stage. I do not think
that  he  realises  the  forces  of  destruction  that   are
gathering   and   so   I   think  he  hesitates  to  plan  a
reconstruction upon anything like the scale that may  become

He  evades  even  the obvious necessity that under a Federal
Government the monarchies of Great Britain, Belgium, Norway,
Sweden,  Holland,  if they survive at all, must becomes like
the mediatised sovereigns of the  component  states  of  the
former  German  Empire, mere ceremonial vestiges. Perhaps he
thinks that, but he does not say it outright. I do not  know
if  he  has pondered the New York World Fair of 1939 nor the
significance of the Royal Visit to America in that year, and
thought  how  much there is in the British system that would
have to be abandoned  if  his  Federation  is  to  become  a
reality.  In  most  of the implications of the word, it must
cease to be  "British".  His  Illustrative  Constitution  is
achieved  with  an  altogether  forensic  disregard  of  the
fundamental changes in human conditions to which we have  to
adapt  ourselves  or  perish. He thinks of war by itself and
not as an eruption due to deeper maladaptations. But  if  we
push his earlier stipulations to their necessary completion,
we need not trouble very much about that sample constitution
of  his,  which is to adjust the balance so fairly among the
constituent  states.  The   abolition   of   distance   must
inevitably  substitute functional associations and loyalties
for local attributions, if human society does not  break  up
altogether.  The  local  divisions  will  melt  into a world
collectivity and  the  main  conflicts  in  a  progressively
unifying Federation are much more likely to be these between
different world-wide types and associations of workers.

So far with Union Now. One of Mr Streit’s outstanding merits
is that he has had the courage to make definite proposals on
which we can bite. I doubt if a European could have produced
any  such  book.  Its  naïve political legalism, its idea of
salvation by constitution, and its  manifest  faith  in  the
magic  beneficence  of private enterprise, are distinctly in
the vein of an American, almost a pre-New Deal American, who
has   become,   if  anything,  more  American,  through  his
experiences of the deepening disorder  of  Europe.  So  many
Americans  still look on at world affairs like spectators at
a ball game who are capable of vociferous participation  but
still  have  no  real  sense  of  participation; they do not
realise that the ground is moving under  their  seats  also,
and that the social revolution is breaking surface to engulf
them in their turn. To most of us - to most of us over forty
at any rate - the idea of a fundamental change in our way of
life is so unpalatable that we resist it to the last moment.

Mr Streit betrays at times as vivid  a  sense  of  advancing
social  collapse as I have, but it has still to occur to him
that that collapse may be  conclusive.  There  may  be  dark
ages,  a relapse into barbarism, but somewhen and somehow he
thinks man must recover. George Bernard  Shaw  has  recently
been saying the same thing.

It may be worse that that.

I  have  given  Mr Streit scarcely a word of praise, because
that would be beside  the  mark  here.  He  wrote  his  book
sincerely  as  a  genuine  contribution  to the unsystematic
world  conference  that  is  now  going  on,  admitting  the
possibility  of error, demanding criticism, and I have dealt
with it in that spirit.

Unfortunately his word has gone much further than his  book.
His  book  says  definite things and even when one disagrees
with it, it is good as a point of departure. But a number of
people  have caught up this word "Federation", and our minds
are distracted by a multitude of appeals to support  Federal
projects with the most various content or with no content at

All the scores and hundreds of thousands of nice people  who
are  signing  peace  pledges  and  so forth a few years ago,
without the slightest attempt in  the  world  to  understand
what  they  meant  by  peace, are now echoing this new magic
word with as little conception of any content for  it.  They
did   not  realise  that  peace  means  so  complicated  and
difficult an ordering and balancing of human society that it
has  never  been sustained since man became man, and that we
have wars and preparatory interludes  between  wars  because
that  is  a much simpler and easier sequence for our wilful,
muddle-headed,  suspicious  and  aggressive  species.  These
people  still  think we can get this new and wonderful state
of affairs just by clamouring for it.

And having failed to get peace by saying  "Peace"  over  and
over  again, they are now with an immense sense of discovery
saying "Federation". What must happen to men in  conspicuous
public  positions  I  do not know, but even an irresponsible
literary  man  like  myself  finds  himself  inundated  with
innumerable  lengthy private letters, hysterical post-cards,
pamphlets  from  budding  organisations,  "declarations"  to
sign,  demands for subscriptions, all in the name of the new
panacea, all as vain and unproductive  as  the  bleating  of
lost  sheep.  And  I cannot open a newspaper without finding
some eminent contemporary writing a  letter  to  it,  saying
gently,  firmly  and  bravely, the same word, sometimes with
bits of Union Now tacked on to it, and sometimes with  minor
improvements,  but  often  with  nothing  more than the bare

All sorts of idealistic movements for world peace which have
been  talking quietly to themselves for years and years have
been stirred up to follow the new banner.  Long  before  the
Great  War there was a book by Sir Max Waechter, a friend of
King Edward the Seventh, advocating  the  United  States  of
Europe,  and  that inexact but flattering parallelism to the
United States of America has recurred frequently; as a phase
thrown  out by Monsieur Briand for example, and as a project
put  forward   by   an   Austrian-Japanese   writer,   Count
Coudenhove-Kalergi,  who  even devised a flag for the Union.
The main objection to the idea is that there are hardly  any
states completely in Europe, except Switzerland, San Marino,
Andorra and a few of the Versailles  creations.  Almost  all
the  other  European  states  extend far beyond the European
limits both politically and in their sympathies and cultural
relations.  They  trail  with  them  more than half mankind.
About a tenth of the British Empire is in Europe  and  still
less  of  the Dutch Empire; Russia, Turkey, France, are less
European than not; Spain and  Portugal  have  their  closest
links with South America.

Few  Europeans  think  of  themselves as "Europeans". I, for
example, am English, and  a  large  part  of  my  interests,
intellectual  and  material,  are  Transatlantic.  I dislike
calling myself "British" and I like to think of myself as  a
member  of a great English-speaking community, which spreads
irrespective of race and colour round and about the world. I
am  annoyed  when  an  American calls me a "foreigner" - war
with America would seem to me just as  insane  as  war  with
Cornwall  -  and  I find the idea of cutting myself off from
the English-speaking peoples of America and Asia  to  follow
the  flag  of  my  Austrian-Japanese friend into a federally
bunched-up European extremely unattractive.

It would, I suggest, be far  easier  to  create  the  United
States   of   the  World,  which  is  Mr  Streit’s  ultimate
objective, than to get together the so-called  continent  of
Europe into any sort of unity.

I  find  most of these United States of Europe movements are
now jumping on to the Federation band-wagon.

My  old  friend  and  antagonist,  Lord  David  Davies,  for
instance,  has  recently  succumbed to the infection. He was
concerned about the problem of a World Pax in the days  when
the  League  of  Nations Society and other associated bodies
were amalgamated in the League  of  Nations  Union.  He  was
struck  then  by an idea, an analogy, and the experience was
unique for him. He  asked  why  individuals  went  about  in
modern  communities  in nearly perfect security from assault
and robbery, without any need to bear arms. His  answer  was
the  policeman.  And from that he went on to the question of
what was needed for states and nations to go their ways with
the same blissful immunity from violence and plunder, and it
seemed to him a complete and reasonable answer  to  say  "an
international  policeman".  And  there  you were! He did not
see, he is probably quite incapable of seeing, that a  state
is  something  quite  different  in its nature and behaviour
from an individual human+being. When he was asked to explain
how  that  international  policeman  was  to  be created and
sustained, he just went on saying "international policeman".
He has been saying it for years. Sometimes it seems it is to
be the League of  Nations,  sometimes  the  British  Empire,
sometimes  an international Air Force, which is to undertake
this  grave  responsibility.  The  bench  before  which  the
policeman  is  to hale the offender and this position of the
lock-up  are   not   indicated.   Finding   our   criticisms
uncongenial, his lordship went off with his great idea, like
a penguin which has found an egg, to incubate  it  alone.  I
hope  he will be spared to say "international policeman" for
many years to come,  but  I  do  not  believe  he  has  ever
perceived  or  ever  will  perceive  that,  brilliant as his
inspiration was, it still left vast areas of the problem  in
darkness.  Being  a  man  of considerable means, he has been
able to sustain a "New Commonwealth"  movement  and  publish
books  and  a  periodical  in  which  his  one great idea is
elaborated rather than developed.

But I  will  not  deal  further  with  the  very  incoherent
multitude that now echoes this word "Federation". Many among
them will  cease  to  cerebrate  further  and  fall  by  the
wayside,  but  many  will  go on thinking, and if they go on
thinking they will come to perceive more  and  more  clearly
the  realities  of  the case. Federation, they will feel, is
not enough.

So much for the present "Federalist" front. As a fundamental
basis  of  action,  as  a  declared end, it seems hopelessly
vague and confused and, if one may coin a phrase, hopelessly
optimistic.  But  since  the  concept seems to be the way to
release a number of minds from belief in the sufficiency  of
a  League  of  Nations,  associated  or  not associated with
British Imperialism, it has been worth while to consider how
it can be amplified and turned in the direction of that full
and open-eyed world-wide collectivisation which a  study  of
existing  conditions  obliges  us  to  believe  is  the only
alternative to the complete degeneration of our species.


LET US RETURN TO our main purpose, which is to  examine  the
way  in  which  we  are  to  face up to this impending World

To many minds this idea of Revolution is almost  inseparable
from  visions of street barricades made of paving-stones and
overturned  vehicles,  ragged  mobs  armed  with   impromptu
weapons  and inspired by defiant songs, prisons broken and a
general jail delivery, palaces stormed, a great  hunting  of
ladies  and gentlemen, decapitated but still beautiful heads
on pikes, regicides of the most sinister quality,  the  busy
guillotine,  a  crescendo  of  disorder ending in a whiff of
grapeshot. . . .

That was one type of Revolution. It is what one  might  call
the Catholic type of Revolution, that it is to say it is the
ultimate phase of a  long  period  of  Catholic  living  and
teaching.  People  do  not  realise  this  and  some will be
indignant at its being stated so barely. Yet the facts stare
us  in  the  face,  common knowledge, not to be denied. That
furious, hungry, desperate, brutal mob was  the  outcome  of
generations of Catholic rule, Catholic morality and Catholic
education. The King of France was the "Most Christian  King,
the eldest son of the Church", he was master of the economic
and financial life of the community, and the Catholic Church
controlled  the  intellectual  life of the community and the
education  of  the  people  absolutely.  That  mob  was  the
outcome.  It is absurd to parrot that Christianity has never
been tried. Christianity in its most highly  developed  form
has  been  tried and tried again. It was tried for centuries
fully and  completely,  in  Spain,  France,  Italy.  It  was
responsible  for the filth and chronic pestilence and famine
of medieval England.  It  inculcated  purity  but  it  never
inculcated    cleanliness.    Catholic    Christianity   had
practically unchallenged power in France for generations. It
was  free  to  teach as it chose and as much as it chose. It
dominated the common life entirely. The Catholic  system  in
France  cannot  have  reaped anything it did not sow, for no
other sowers were allowed. That  hideous  mob  of  murderous
ragamuffins  we  are  so  familiar  with  in pictures of the
period, was the final harvest of its regime.

The more Catholic reactionaries revile the insurgent  common
people of the first French Revolution, the more they condemn
themselves. It is the most impudent  perversion  of  reality
for them to snivel about the guillotine and the tumbrils, as
though these were not purely Catholic  products,  as  though
they  came  in  suddenly  from  outside  to  wreck a genteel
Paradise.  They  were  the  last  stage  of  the  systematic
injustice  and  ignorance of a strictly Catholic regime. One
phase  succeeded  another   with   relentless   logic.   The
Maseillaise completed the life-cycle of Catholicism.

In   Spain  too  and  in  Mexico  we  have  seen  undisputed
educational and moral Catholic ascendancy, the Church with a
free  hand,  producing a similar uprush of blind resentment.
The crowds  there  also  were  cruel  and  blasphemous;  but
Catholicism  cannot  complain; for Catholicism hatched them.
Priests and nuns who had  been  the  sole  teachers  of  the
people  were  insulted  and  outraged  and churches defiled.
Surely if the Church is anything like what it claims to  be,
the  people would have loved it. They would not have behaved
as though sacrilege was a gratifying relief.

But these Catholic Revolutions are  only  specimens  of  one
single  type  of  Revolution.  A  Revolution  need  not be a
spontaneous  storm  of   indignation   against   intolerable
indignities and deprivations. It can take quite other forms.

As  a  second  variety  of  Revolution,  which  is  in sharp
contrast  with  the  indignation-revolt  in  which  so  many
periods  of  unchallenged Catholic ascendancy have ended, we
may take what we may call the  "revolution  conspiracy",  in
which  a number of people set about organising the forces of
discomfort and resentment and  loosening  the  grip  of  the
government’s  forces,  in order to bring about a fundamental
change of system. The ideal of this type  is  the  Bolshevik
Revolution in Russia, provided it is a little simplified and
misunderstood. This, reduced to  a  working  theory  by  its
advocates,  is conceived of as a systematic cultivation of a
public state of mind favourable  to  a  Revolution  together
with  an  inner  circle  of  preparation  for  a "seizure of
power". Quite  a  number  of  Communist  and  other  leftish
writers,   bright   young   men,   without   much  political
experience, have  let  their  imaginations  loose  upon  the
"technique" of such an adventure. They have brought the Nazi
and Fascist Revolutions into the material for their studies.
Modern social structure with its concentration of directive,
information  and  coercive  power  about   radio   stations,
telephone  exchangers,  newspaper  offices, police stations,
arsenals  and  the  like,  lends  itself  to  quasi-gangster
exploitation  of  this  type. There is a great rushing about
and  occupation  of  key  centres,  an  organised   capture,
imprisonment  or  murder  of  possible  opponents,  and  the
country is confronted with fait accompli. The  regimentation
of the more or less reluctant population follows.

But  a  Revolution  need  be neither an explosion nor a coup
d’état. And the Revolution that lies before us  now  as  the
only  hopeful alternative to chaos, either directly or after
an interlude of world communism, is to be attained, if it is
attained  at  all, by neither of these methods. The first is
too rhetorical and chaotic and leads simply  to  a  Champion
and  tyranny;  the  second  is  too conspiratorial and leads
through an obscure struggle of masterful personalities to  a
similar  end.  Neither is lucid enough and deliberate enough
to achieve a permanent change in the  form  and  texture  of
human affairs.

An altogether different type of Revolution may or may not be
possible. No one can say that it is possible  unless  it  is
tried,  but  one  can say with some assurance that unless it
can be achieved the outlook for mankind for many generations
at least is hopeless. The new Revolution aims essentially at
a change in directive ideas. In its completeness  it  is  an
untried method.

It  depends for its success upon whether a sufficient number
of minds can be brought to realise that the choice before us
now  is  not  a choice between further revolution or more or
less reactionary  conservatism,  but  a  choice  between  so
carrying  on  and so organising the process of change in our
affairs as to produce a new world  order,  or  suffering  an
entire and perhaps irreparable social collapse. Our argument
throughout has been that things have gone too far ever to be
put  back again to any similitude of what they have been. We
can no more dream of remaining where we are  than  think  of
going  back  in the middle of a dive. We must go trough with
these present  changes,  adapt  ourselves  to  them,  adjust
ourselves to the plunge, or be destroyed by them. We must go
through these changes  just  as  we  must  go  through  this
ill-conceived  war,  because there is as yet no possible end
for it.

There will be no possible way of ending  it  until  the  new
Revolution defines itself. If it is patched up now without a
clear-headed settlement understood and  accepted  throughout
the  world,  we shall have only the simulacrum of a peace. A
patched-up peace now will not even save us from the  horrors
of  war,  it  will postpone them only to aggravate them in a
few years time. You cannot end this war yet, you can at best
adjourn it.

The  reorganisation  of  the world has at first to be mainly
the work of a "movement" or a Party or a religion  or  cult,
whatever we choose to call it. We may call it New Liberalism
or the New  Radicalism  or  what  not.  It  will  not  be  a
close-knit organisation, toeing the Party line and so forth.
It may be a very loose-knit  and  many  faceted,  but  if  a
sufficient   number   of   minds   throughout   the   world,
irrespective  of  race,  origin  or  economic   and   social
habituations,   can  be  brought  to  the  free  and  candid
recognition of the essentials of  the  human  problem,  then
their  effective  collaboration in a conscious, explicit and
open effort to reconstruct human society will ensue.

And to begin with they will do all they can  to  spread  and
perfect  this  conception  of  a new world order, which they
will regard as the only working frame for their  activities,
while  at the same time they will set themselves to discover
and associate with themselves, everyone, everywhere, who  is
intellectually  able  to  grasp  the  same  broad  ideas and
morally disposed to realise them.

The distribution of this essential conception one  may  call
propaganda,  but  in  reality  it  is education. The opening
phase of this new type of Revolution must involve  therefore
a  campaign  for  re-invigorated  and  modernised  education
throughout the world, an education that will have  the  same
ratio  to the education of a couple of hundred years ago, as
the electric lighting of a  contemporary  city  has  to  the
chandeliers and oil lamps of the same period. On its present
mental levels humanity can do no  better  than  what  it  is
doing now.

Vitalising  education  is only possible when it is under the
influence of people  who  are  themselves  learning.  It  is
inseparable from the modern idea of education that it should
be knit up to incessant research.  We  say  research  rather
than  science. It is the better word because it is free from
any suggestion of that finality which  means  dogmatism  and

All  education  tends to become stylistic and sterile unless
it is kept in close touch with experimental verification and
practical  work,  and  consequently  this  new  movement  of
revolutionary  initiative,  must  at  the   same   time   be
sustaining  realistic  political  and  social activities and
working steadily for the collectivisation of governments and
economic  life.  The  intellectual movement will be only the
initiatory and correlating part  of  the  new  revolutionary
drive.  These practical activities must be various. Everyone
engaged in them must be thinking for himself and not waiting
for  orders.  The only dictatorship he will recognise is the
dictatorship of the plain understanding and  the  invincible

And  if  this  culminating Revolution is to be accomplished,
then  the  participation  of  every  conceivable   sort   of
human+being  who  has  the  mental  grasp to see these broad
realities of the world situation and the moral quality to do
something about it, must be welcomed.

Previous  revolutionary  thrusts  have  been vitiated by bad
psychology. They have given great play to the  gratification
of  the  inferiority  complexes  that  arise  out  of  class
disadvantages. It is no doubt very unjust that anyone should
be  better educated, healthier and less fearful of the world
than anyone  else,  but  that  is  no  reason  why  the  new
Revolution  should  not  make the fullest use of the health,
education,  vigour  and  courage  of  the   fortunate.   The
Revolution  we  are contemplating will aim at abolishing the
bitterness of frustration. But certainly it will do  nothing
to avenge it. Nothing whatever. Let the dead past punish its

It is one  of  the  most  vicious  streaks  in  the  Marxist
teaching  to  suggest that all people of wealth and capacity
living  in  a  community  in  which  unco-ordinated  private
enterprise plays a large part are necessarily demoralised by
the advantages they enjoy and that they must be dispossessed
by the worker and peasant, who are presented as endowed with
a collective virtue  capable  of  running  all  the  complex
machinery  of  a  modern community. But the staring truth of
the  matter  is  that  an  unco-ordinated  scramble  between
individuals  and  nations  alike, demoralises all concerned.
Everyone is corrupted, the filching tramp by  the  roadside,
the  servile  hand-kissing  peasant  of  Eastern Europe, the
dole-bribed loafer, as much as the  woman  who  marries  for
money,  the  company promoter, the industrial organiser, the
rent-exacting landlord and the diplomatic  agent.  When  the
social atmosphere is tainted everybody is ill.

Wealth,  personal  freedom and education, may and do produce
wasters and oppressive people, but  they  may  also  release
creative   and  administrative  minds  to  opportunity.  The
history of  science  and  invention  before  the  nineteenth
century  confirms  this.  On  the  whole if we are to assume
there is anything good  in  humanity  at  all,  it  is  more
reasonable  to  expect  it  to  appear  when  there  is most

And in further confutation  of  the  Marxist  caricature  of
human motives, we have the very considerable number of young
people drawn from middle-class and  upper-class  homes,  who
figure  in the extreme left movement everywhere. It is their
moral   reaction   to   the    "stuffiness"    and    social
ineffectiveness  of  their  parents  and  their  own sort of
people. They seek an outlet for their abilities that is  not
gainful but serviceable. Many have sought an honourable life
- and often found it, and death with it -  in  the  struggle
against  the Catholics and their Moorish and Fascist helpers
in Spain.

It is a misfortune of their generation, that so many of them
have fallen into the mental traps of Marxism. It has been my
absurd experience to encounter noisy meetings  of  expensive
young men at Oxford, not one of them stunted physically as I
was by twenty years  of  under-nourishment  and  devitalised
upbringing,  all  pretending  to  be  rough-hewn  collarless
proletarians in shocked revolt against my bourgeois  tyranny
and  the  modest comfort of my declining years, and reciting
the ridiculous class-war phrases  by  which  they  protected
their  minds  from  any  recognition of the realities of the
case.   But   though   that   attitude   demonstrates    the
unstimulating  education  of  their  preparatory  and public
schools, which had thrown them thus uncritical and emotional
into  the  problems  of  the undergraduate life, it does not
detract from the fact  that  they  had  found  the  idea  of
abandoning  themselves  to a revolutionary reconstruction of
society,  that  promised  to  end  its  enormous  waste   of
potential  happiness  and achievement, extremely attractive,
notwithstanding that  their  own  advantages  seemed  to  be
reasonably secure.

Faced  with the immediate approach of discomfort, indignity,
wasted years, mutilation - death is soon over but one  wakes
up  again  to  mutilation  every  morning  - because of this
ill-conceived war; faced also by the reversion of Russia  to
autocracy  and  the  fiscal extinction of most of the social
advantages of their families;  these  young  people  with  a
leftish twist are likely not only to do some very profitable
re-examination of their own possibilities but also  to  find
themselves   joined   in   that  re-examination  by  a  very
considerable  number  of  others  who  have  hitherto   been
repelled  by  the obvious foolishness and insincerity of the
hammer and sickle symbols (workers and peasants of  Oxford!)
and  the exasperating dogmatism of the orthodox Marxist. And
may not  these  young  people,  instead  of  waiting  to  be
overtaken  by  an insurrectionary revolution from which they
will  emerge  greasy,  unshaven,  class-conscious   and   in
incessant  danger  of  liquidation,  decide  that before the
Revolution gets hold of them  they  will  get  hold  of  the
Revolution   and  save  it  from  the  inefficiency,  mental
distortions,  disappointments  and  frustrations  that  have
over-taken it in Russia.

This  new  and  complete  Revolution  we  contemplate can be
defined  in  a  very  few  words.   It   is   (a)   outright
world-socialism,  scientifically  planned and directed, plus
(b) a sustained insistence upon law, law based on a  fuller,
more  jealously  conceived resentment of the personal Rights
of Man, plus (c) the completest freedom of speech, criticism
and  publication,  and sedulous expansion of the educational
organisation to the ever-growing demands of the  new  order.
What  we may call the eastern or Bolshevik Collectivism, the
Revolution of the Internationale, has failed to achieve even
the  first  of  these  three  items  and  it  has never even
attempted the other two.

Putting  it  at  its  compactest,  it  is  the  triangle  of
Socialism,  Law  and  Knowledge, which frames the Revolution
which may yet save the world.

Socialism! Become outright collectivists? Very  few  men  of
the more fortunate classes in our old collapsing society who
are over fifty will be able to readjust their minds to that.
It  will seem an entirely repulsive suggestion to them. (The
average age of the British Cabinet at the  present  time  is
well  over  sixty.)  But  it need not be repulsive at all to
their sons. They will be impoverished anyhow. The  stars  in
their  courses  are  seeing to that. And that will help them
greatly  to  realise  that  an  administrative  control   to
administrative    participation    and    then   to   direct
administration are easy steps. They  are  being  taken  now,
first  in  one  matter and then in another. On both sides of
the Atlantic. Reluctantly and often very disingenuously  and
against   energetic   but   diminishing  resistances.  Great
Britain, like America, may become a Socialist system with  a
definitive  Revolution,  protesting  all the time that it is
doing nothing of the sort.

In Britain we have now no distinctively educated class,  but
all up and down the social scale there are well-read men and
women who have thought intensely upon these  great  problems
we have been discussing. To many of them and maybe to enough
of  them  to  start  the  avalanche  of  purpose  that  will
certainly  develop  from  a  clear and determined beginning,
this  conception  of   Revolution   to   evoke   a   liberal
collectivised  world  may  appeal.  And so at last we narrow
down our enquiry to an examination of what has  to  be  done
now to save the Revolution, what the movement or its Party -
so far as it may use the semblance of a Party will do,  what
its  Policy will be. Hitherto we have been demonstrating why
a reasonable man, of any race or language  anywhere,  should
become  a "Western" Revolutionary. We have now to review the
immediate activities to which he can give himself.


LET  US  RESTATE  THE  general  conclusions  to  which   our
preceding argument has brought us.

The  establishment of a progressive world socialism in which
the freedoms, health and happiness of every  individual  are
protected  by  a  universal law based on a re-declaration of
the rights of man, and wherein there is the  utmost  liberty
of thought, criticism and suggestion, is the plain, rational
objective before us now. Only the effective  realisation  of
this  objective  can establish peace on earth and arrest the
present march of human affairs to misery and destruction. We
cannot   reiterate   this  objective  too  clearly  and  too
frequently.  The  triangle  of  collectivisation,  law   and
knowledge should embody the common purpose of all mankind.

But  between  us  and  that  goal  intervenes  the  vast and
deepening disorders of our time. The  new  order  cannot  be
brought  into  existence without a gigantic and more or less
co-ordinated effort of the saner and abler elements  in  the
human  population.  The  thing  cannot  be  done rapidly and
melodramatically. That effort must supply the frame for  all
sane   social  and  political  activities  and  a  practical
criterion for all religious  and  educational  associations.
But  since our world is multitudinously varied and confused,
it is impossible  to  narrow  down  this  new  revolutionary
movement  to  any single class, organisation or Party. It is
too great a thing for that. It will in its expansion produce
and  perhaps  discard a number of organisations and Parties,
converging upon its  ultimate  objective.  Consequently,  in
order to review the social and political activities of sane,
clear-headed people  to-day,  we  have  to  deal  with  them
piecemeal  from  a  number  of  points  of  view. We have to
consider an advance upon a long and various front.

Let us begin then with the problem of sanity in face of  the
political  methods  of our time. What are we to do as voting
citizens?  There  I  think  the  history  of  the  so-called
democracies  in  the past half-century is fairly conclusive.
Our present electoral methods which give  no  choice  but  a
bilateral  choice  to  the  citizen and so force a two-party
system upon him, is  a  mere  caricature  of  representative
government. It has produced upon both sides of the Atlantic,
big, stupid, and corrupt party machines. That was  bound  to
happen and yet to this day there is a sort of shyness in the
minds of young men interested in politics when it  comes  to
discussing  Proportional  Representation. They think it is a
"bit faddy". At best it is a side issue.  Party  politicians
strive to maintain that bashfulness, because they know quite
clearly that what is called Proportional Representation with
the   single  transferable  vote  in  large  constituencies,
returning a dozen members or more,  is  extinction  for  the
mere party hack and destruction for party organisations.

The  machine  system in the United States is more elaborate,
more deeply  entrenched  legally  in  the  Constitution  and
illegally  in  the  spoils  system,  and  it  may prove more
difficult to modernise than the British, which is  based  on
an outworn caste tradition. But both Parliament and Congress
are essentially similar in their fundamental  quality.  They
trade  in  titles,  concessions  and the public welfare, and
they are only amenable in the rough and at long last to  the
movements  of public opinion. It is an open question whether
they are much more responsive to popular  feeling  than  the
Dictators  we  denounce so unreservedly as the antithesis of
democracy. They betray a great disregard of mass  responses.
They  explain  less. They disregard more. The Dictators have
to go on talking and talking, not always truthfully but they
have to talk. A dumb Dictator is inconceivable.

In such times of extensive stress and crisis as the present,
the baffling slowness, inefficiency and wastefulness of  the
party  system  become  so  manifest  that  some of its worst
pretences are put aside. The party game  is  suspended.  His
Majesty’s  Opposition  abandons the pose of safeguarding the
interests of the common citizens from those scoundrels  upon
the  government  benches;  Republican and Democrats begin to
cross the party line to discuss the new situation. Even  the
men   who   live   professionally   by   the   Parliamentary
(Congressional)  imposture,   abandon   it   if   they   are
sufficiently  frightened  by  the  posture  of  affairs. The
appearance of an  All-Party  National  Government  in  Great
Britain before very long seems inevitable.

Great  Britain  has  in effect gone socialist in a couple of
months; she is also suspending party politics. Just  as  the
United States did in the great slump. And in both cases this
has happened because  the  rottenness  and  inefficiency  of
party  politics  stank  to heaven in the face of danger. And
since in both cases Party Government threw up its hands  and
bolted, is there any conceivable reason why we should let it
come back at any appearance of victory or recovery,  why  we
should  not  go  ahead from where we are to a less impromptu
socialist regime under a permanent non-party administration,
to  the  reality if not to the form of a permanent socialist

Now here I have nothing to suggest  about  America.  I  have
never,  for  example,  tried to work out the consequences of
the absence of executive ministers from the  legislature.  I
am  inclined  to think that is one of the weak points in the
Constitution and that the English usage  which  exposes  the
minister to question time in the House and makes him a prime
mover in legislation affecting his  department,  is  a  less
complicated  and  therefore more democratic arrangement than
the American one.  And  the  powers  and  functions  of  the
President   and   the  Senate  are  so  different  from  the
consolidated powers of Cabinet and Prime Minister, that even
when   an  Englishman  has  industriously  "mugged  up"  the
constitutional points, he is still almost as much at a  loss
to  get  the  living reality as he would be if he were shown
the score of an opera before hearing it played or  the  blue
prints  of  a  machine he had never seen in action. Very few
Europeans understand the  history  of  Woodrow  Wilson,  the
Senate and his League of Nations. They think that "America",
which they imagine as a large single individual, planted the
latter   institution   upon  Europe  and  then  deliberately
shuffled out of her responsibility for  it,  and  they  will
never  think  otherwise.  And they think that "America" kept
out of the war to the very limit of decency, overcharged  us
for  munitions  that  contributed to the common victory, and
made  a  grievance  because  the  consequent  debt  was  not
discharged.  They  talk like that while Americans talk as if
no English were killed between 1914 and 1918 (we had 800,000
dead)  until  the  noble American conscripts came forward to
die for them (to the  tune  of  about  50,000).  Savour  for
example  even  the  title  of  Quincy Howe’s England expects
every American to do his Duty. It’s the meanest  of  titles,
but many Americans seem to like it.

On  my desk as I write is a pamphlet by a Mr Robert Randall,
nicely cyclostyled and got up. Which urges a  common  attack
on the United States as a solution of the problem of Europe.
No countries will ever feel united unless they have a common
enemy,  and  the  natural  common  enemy  for  Europe, it is
declared, is the United States. So to bring about the United
States  of  Europe  we are to begin by denouncing the Monroe
doctrine. I believe in the honesty and good intentions of Mr
Robert  Randall;  he  is,  I  am sure, no more in the pay of
Germany, direct or indirect, than Mr Quincy Howe or Mr Harry
Elmer  Barnes;  but  could  the  most  brilliant of Nazi war
propagandists devise a more effective estranging suggestion?
. . .

But  I  wander  from my topic. I do not know how sane men in
America are going to set about relaxing the stranglehold  of
the  Constitution,  get  control of their own country out of
the hands of those  lumpish,  solemnly  cunning  politicians
with  their  great strong jowls developed by chewing-gum and
orotund speaking, whose photographs add a  real  element  of
frightfulness  to  the  pages of Time, how they are going to
abolish the spoils system, discover, and educate to expand a
competent civil service able to redeem the hampered promises
of the  New  Deal  and  pull  America  into  line  with  the
reconstruction of the rest of the world. But I perceive that
in politics and indeed in most things, the underlying humour
and  sanity  of Americans are apt to find a way round and do
the impossible, and I have as little doubt they will  manage
it  somehow  as  I have when I see a street performer on his
little chair and carpet, all tied up  with  chains,  waiting
until  there  are  sufficient  pennies in the hat to justify

These differences in method, pace and tradition are a  great
misfortune  to  the whole English-speaking world. We English
people do not respect Americans enough; we are too  disposed
to  think they are all Quincy Howes and Harry Elmer Barneses
and  Borahs   and   suchlike,   conceited   and   suspicious
anti-British  monomaniacs, who must be humoured at any cost;
which is why we are never so frank and  rude  with  them  as
they  deserve.  But  the  more we must contain ourselves the
less we love them. Real brothers can curse  each  other  and
keep  friends.  Someday Britannia will give Columbia a piece
of her mind, and that may clear the air. Said an exasperated
Englishman  to  me a day or so ago: "I pray to God they keep
out of the end of this war anyhow. We shall never  hear  the
last of it if they don’t. . . ."

Yet  at  a  different  pace  our  two  people are travelling
towards  identical  ends,  and  it  is  lamentable  that   a
difference  of accent and idiom should do more mischief than
a difference of language.

So far as Great Britain goes things are nearer and closer to
me,   and  it  seems  to  me  that  there  is  an  excellent
opportunity  now  to  catch  the  country  in  a  state   of
socialisation  and  suspend  party  politics, and keep it at
that. It is a logical but often disregarded corollary of the
virtual  creation  of  All-Party  National  Governments  and
suspension of electoral contests, that  since  there  is  no
Opposition,  party criticism should give place to individual
criticism  of  ministers,  and  instead  of   throwing   out
governments  we should set ourselves to throw out individual
administrative failures.  We  need  no  longer  confine  our
choice  of  public  servants to political careerists. We can
insist upon men who have done things and can do things,  and
whenever  an  election  occurs  we  can  organise a block of
non-party voters who will vote it possible for  an  outsider
of  proved  ability,  and will at any rate insist on a clear
statement from every Parliamentary candidate of the concrete
service,  if  any,  he has done the country, of his past and
present financial entanglements and his family relationships
and  of  any  title he possesses. We can get these necessary
particulars published and note what newspapers decline to do
so.  And if there are still only politicians to vote for, we
can at least vote and spoil  our  voting  cards  by  way  of

At present we see one public service after another in a mess
through the incompetent handling of some party hack and  the
unseen  activities  of interested parties. People are asking
already why Sir Arthur Salter is not in  control  of  Allied
Shipping  again, Sir John Orr directing our food supply with
perhaps  Sir  Fredrick  Keeble  to  help  him,  Sir   Robert
Vansittart  in  the  Foreign  Office.  We  want  to know the
individuals  responsible   for   the   incapacity   of   our
Intelligence  and  Propaganda  Ministries,  so  that  we may
induce them to quit public life. It would be quite easy  now
to  excite  a  number  of  anxious  people  with  a  cry for
"Competence not Party".

Most people in the British Isles are  heartily  sick  of  Mr
Chamberlain and his government, but they cannot face up to a
political split in wartime, and  Mr  Chamberlain  sticks  to
office  with all the pertinacity of a Barnacle. But if we do
not  attack  the  government  as  a  whole,  but  individual
ministers,  and  if  we  replace  them  one by one, we shall
presently have a government  so  rejuvenated  that  even  Mr
Chamberlain  will  realise  and  accept  his superannuation.
Quite a small body of public-spirited people could  organise
an  active  Vigilance Society to keep these ideas before the
mass  of  voters  and  begin  the  elimination  of  inferior
elements from our public life. This would be a practical job
of primary importance  in  our  political  regeneration.  It
would  lead  directly  to a new and more efficient political
structure to carry on after the present war has collapsed or
otherwise ended.

Following upon this campaign for the conclusive interment of
the played-out party system, there comes the necessity for a
much  more strenuous search for administrative and technical
ability throughout the country. We do not  want  to  miss  a
single  youngster who can be of use in the great business of
making  over  Great  Britain,  which  has  been  so  rudely,
clumsily and wastefully socialised by our war perturbations,
so that it may become a permanently efficient system.

And from the base of the educational pyramid up to its  apex
of  higher  education  of teachers, heads of departments and
research, there is need for such a quickening of  minds  and
methods  as only a more or less organised movement of sanely
critical men can bring about. We want ministers now  of  the
highest quality in every department, but in no department of
public  life  is  a  man  of  creative  understanding,  bold
initiative  and  administrative power so necessary as in the
Education Ministry.

So tranquil and unobtrusive has been the flow of educational
affairs   in   the  British  Empire  that  it  seems  almost
scandalous, and it is certainly "vulgar", to suggest that we
need  an  educational  Ginger  Group to discover and support
such a minister. We want a Minister  of  Education  who  can
shock   teachers   into   self-examination,   electrify  and
rejuvenate old dons or put them away in  ivory  towers,  and
stimulate  the  younger  ones.  Under  the  party system the
Education Ministry has always been a restful corner for some
deserving  party  politician  with an abject respect for his
Alma Mater and the permanent  officials.  During  war  time,
when  other  departments  wake  up, the Education Department
sinks into deeper  lethargy.  One  cannot  recall  a  single
British  Education  Minister,  since  there  have  been such
things in our island story as Ministers for  Education,  who
signified  anything  at all educationally or did anything of
his own impulse that was in the least worth while.

Suppose we found a live one - soon - and let him  rip!

There again is something to be done far  more  revolutionary
than  throwing  bombs at innocent policemen or assassinating
harmless potentates or ex-potentates. And  yet  it  is  only
asking  that  an  existing department be what it pretends to

A third direction in which  any  gathering  accumulation  of
sanity  should direct its attention is the clumsy unfairness
and indirectness of our present methods of expropriating the
former  well-to-do  classes.  The  only observable principle
seems to be widows  and  children  first.  Socialisation  is
being  effected  in  Britain  and America alike not by frank
expropriation  (with  or  without   compensation)   but   by
increasing  government control and increasing taxation. Both
our great communities are going into socialism backward  and
without  ever  looking round. This is good in so far as that
technical experience and directive ability is  changed  over
step  by  step  from  entirely  private employment to public
service, and on that side sane  and  helpful  citizens  have
little  to  do beyond making the process conscious of itself
and the public aware of the real nature of the  change,  but
it  is  bad  in  its  indiscriminate destruction of savings,
which are the most exposed and vulnerable side  of  the  old
system. They are expropriated by profit-control and taxation
alike, and at the same time they suffer in purchasing  power
by  the  acceleration  of that process of monetary inflation
which is  the  unavoidable  readjustment,  the  petition  in
bankruptcy, of a community that has overspent.

The   shareholding  class  dwindles  and  dies;  widows  and
orphans, the old who are past work and the  infirm  who  are
incapable  of  it, are exposed in their declining years to a
painful shrinkage of their modes  of  living;  there  is  no
doubt  a  diminution  of  social waste, but also there is an
indirect impoverishment of free opinion and free  scientific
and   artistic   initiative   as   the   endless  societies,
institutions and services which have enriched  life  for  us
and  been very largely supported by voluntary subscriptions,
shrivel. At present a large proportion  of  our  scientific,
artistic,  literary  and  social workers are educated out of
the private savings fund. In a  class-war  revolution  these
economically  very  defenceless but socially very convenient
people are subjected  to  vindictive  humiliation  -  it  is
viewed  as a great triumph for their meaner neighbours - but
a revolution sanely conducted will probably devise a  system
of  terminable annuities and compensation, and of assistance
to once voluntary associations,  which  will  ease  off  the
social  dislocations due to the disappearance of one stratum
of  relatively  free  and  independent  people,  before  its
successors,  that  is  to  say  the growing class of retired
officials, public administrators and so  forth,  find  their
feet   and  develop  their  own  methods  of  assertion  and


LET US TURN  NOW  to  another  system  of  problems  in  the
collectivisation  of the world, and that is the preservation
of liberty in the socialist state  and  the  restoration  of
that  confidence  without  which good behaviour is generally

This destruction of confidence is one of  the  less  clearly
recognised     evils     of    the    present    phase    of
world-disintegration. In the past there  have  been  periods
when  whole  communities  or  at  least large classes within
communities have gone about their business  with  a  general
honesty,  directness and sense of personal honour. They have
taken a keen pride in the quality of their output. They have
lived  through  life  on  tolerable  and tolerant terms with
their neighbours. The laws  they  observed  have  varied  in
different  countries  and  periods, but their general nature
was  to  make  an  orderly  law-abiding  life  possible  and
natural. They had been taught and they believed and they had
every reason to believe: "This (that or the other thing)  is
right.   Do  right  and  nothing,  except  by  some  strange
exceptional misfortune, can touch you.  The  Law  guarantees
you  that.  Do  right  and nothing will rob you or frustrate

Nowhere in the world now is there very much of that  feeling
left,   and  as  it  disappears,  the  behaviour  of  people
degenerates towards  a  panic  scramble,  towards  cheating,
over-reaching,  gang  organisation,  precautionary hoarding,
concealment and all the  meanness  and  anti-social  feeling
which is the natural outcome of insecurity.

Faced  with  what  now  amounts  to  something  like a moral
stampede, more and more sane men will  realise  the  urgency
for  a  restoration  of  confidence.  The more socialisation
proceeds and the more directive authority  is  concentrated,
the more necessary is an efficient protection of individuals
from the impatience  of  well-meaning  or  narrow-minded  or
ruthless  officials  and indeed from all the possible abuses
of advantage that are inevitable under such circumstances to
our still childishly wicked breed.

In  the  past  the  Atlantic  world  has  been  particularly
successful in expedients for meeting this  aspect  of  human
nature.  Our  characteristic  and  traditional method may be
called  the  method  of  the  fundamental  declaration.  Our
Western   peoples,   by  a  happy  instinct,  have  produced
statements of Right, from Magna Carta onwards, to provide  a
structural  defence  between  the  citizen and the necessary
growth of central authority.

And  plainly  the  successful  organisation  of   the   more
universal  and  penetrating  collectivism  that is now being
forced upon us all, will be frustrated  in  its  most  vital
aspect   unless  its  organisation  is  accompanied  by  the
preservative of a new Declaration of the Rights of Man, that
must,  because  of  the  increasing complexity of the social
structure, be more generous, detailed and explicit than  any
of  its  predecessors.  Such  a  Declaration must become the
common fundamental law of all communities and collectivities
assembled  under the World Pax. It should be interwoven with
the declared war aims of the combatant powers now; it should
become  the primary fact in any settlement; it should be put
before the now combatant states for  their  approval,  their
embarrassed silence or their rejection.

In  order  to  be  as  clear  as possible about this, let me
submit a draft  for  your  consideration  of  this  proposed
Declaration  of the Rights of Man - using "man" of course to
cover every individual, male or female, of  the  species.  I
have  endeavoured  to  bring in everything that is essential
and to omit whatever secondary issues can be easily  deduced
from  its  general  statements.  It  is  a  draft  for  your
consideration. Points may have been overlooked  and  it  may
contain repetitions and superfluous statements.

"Since  a  man comes into this world through no fault of his
own, since  he  is  manifestly  a  joint  inheritor  of  the
accumulations of the past, and since those accumulations are
more than sufficient to justify the  claims  that  are  here
made for him, it follows:

"(1)  That  every man without distinction of race, of colour
or of professed belief  or  opinions,  is  entitled  to  the
nourishment,  covering, medical care and attention needed to
realise  his  full  possibilities  of  physical  and  mental
development  and  to  keep him in a state of health from his
birth to death.

"(2) That he is entitled to sufficient education to make him
a  useful  and  interested  citizen,  that special education
should be so made available  as  to  give  him  equality  of
opportunity  for the development of his distinctive gifts in
the service of mankind, that he should have easy  access  to
information  upon all matters of common knowledge throughout
his  life  and  enjoy  the  utmost  freedom  of  discussion,
association and worship.

"(3)  That  he  may  engage freely in any lawful occupation,
earning such pay as the need for his work and the  increment
it  makes  to  the  common  welfare  may justify. That he is
entitled to paid employment and to a  free  choice  whenever
there  is  any  variety  of  employment  open to him. He may
suggest employment for himself and have his  claim  publicly
considered, accepted or dismissed.

"(4) That he shall have the right to buy or sell without any
discriminatory restrictions anything which may  be  lawfully
bought   or   sold,   in   such  quantities  and  with  such
reservations as are compatible with the common welfare."

(Here I will interpolate a comment. We have to bear in  mind
that  in  a  collectivist state buying and selling to secure
income  and  profit  will  be  not   simply   needless   but
impossible.   The   Stock  Exchange,  after  its  career  of
four-hundred-odd-years, will  necessarily  vanish  with  the
disappearance  of  any  rational  motive  either  for  large
accumulations  or  for  hoarding  against  deprivation   and
destitution.    Long    before    the    age   of   complete
collectivisation arrives, the  savings  of  individuals  for
later   consumption  will  probably  be  protected  by  some
development of the Unit Trust System into a public  service.
They will probably be entitled to interest at such a rate as
to compensate for that secular inflation which should go  on
in  a  steadily  enriched  world  community. Inheritance and
bequest in a community in which the means of production  and
of   all  possible  monopolisation  are  collectivised,  can
concern little else than  relatively  small,  beautiful  and
intimate  objects,  which will afford pleasure but no unfair
social advantage to the receiver.)

"(5) That he and his personal property lawfully acquired are
entitled   to  police  and  legal  protection  from  private
violence, deprivation, compulsion and intimidation.

"(6) That he may move freely about  the  world  at  his  own
expense.  That  his private house or apartment or reasonably
limited garden enclosure is his castle, which may be entered
only  with consent, but that he shall have the right to come
and go over any kind of country, moorland,  mountain,  farm,
great garden or what not, or upon the seas, lakes and rivers
of the world, where his presence will not be destructive  of
some   special  use,  dangerous  to  himself  nor  seriously
inconvenient to his fellow-citizens.

"(7) That a  man  unless  he  is  declared  by  a  competent
authority  to  be  a danger to himself and to others through
mental abnormality, a declaration  which  must  be  annually
confirmed,  shall not be imprisoned for a longer period than
six days without  being  charged  with  a  definite  offence
against  the  law,  nor  for  more than three months without
public trial. At the end if the latter period, if he has not
been  tried and sentenced by due process of law, he shall be
released. Nor shall he be conscripted for  military,  police
or  any  other  service  to  which  he  has  a conscientious

"(8) That although a man is subject to the free criticism of
his  fellows,  he  shall  have  adequate protection from any
lying or misrepresentation that may distress or injure  him.
All  administrative  registration  and  records  about a man
shall be open to his personal and private inspection.  There
shall   be   no   secret   dossiers  in  any  administrative
department. All dossiers shall  be  accessible  to  the  man
concerned  and subject to verification and correction at his
challenge. A dossier is merely a memorandum;  it  cannot  be
used as evidence without proper confirmation in open court.

"(9)  That  no  man  shall  be  subjected  to  any  sort  of
mutilation or sterilisation except with his  own  deliberate
consent,  freely  given,  nor  to  bodily assault, except in
restraint of his own violence, nor to  torture,  beating  or
any  other  bodily  punishment; he shall not be subjected to
imprisonment with such an excess of silence, noise, light or
darkness as to cause mental suffering, or to imprisonment in
infected, verminous or otherwise insanitary quarters, or  be
put  into  the company of verminous or infectious people. He
shall not  be  forcibly  fed  nor  prevented  from  starving
himself  if  he  so  desire.  He shall not be forced to take
drugs nor shall they be  administered  to  him  without  his
knowledge and consent. That the extreme punishments to which
he may be subjected are rigorous imprisonment for a term  of
not longer than fifteen years or death."

(Here  I  would  point  out that there is nothing in this to
prevent any country from abolishing the  death  penalty  any
country from abolishing the death penalty. Nor do I assert a
general right to commit suicide, because no one can punish a
man  for  doing  that.  He  has  escaped.  But  threats  and
incompetent attempts to commit suicide belong to an entirely
different  category.  They are indecent and distressing acts
that can easily become a serious social nuisance, from which
the normal citizen is entitled to protection.)

"(10)  That  the  provisions and principles embodied in this
Declaration shall  be  more  fully  defined  in  a  code  of
fundamental   human   rights  which  shall  be  made  easily
accessible  to  everyone.  This  Declaration  shall  not  be
qualified  nor  departed  from upon any pretext whatever. It
incorporates  all  previous  Declarations  of  Human  Right.
Henceforth  for  a  new  ear  it  is the fundamental law for
mankind throughout the whole world.

"No treaty and no law affecting these primary  rights  shall
be  binding  upon  any  man  or  province  or administrative
division of the community, that has not been made openly, by
and  with  the  active  or tacit acquiescence of every adult
citizen concerned, either given by a direct majority vote of
his   publicly   elected   representatives.  In  matters  of
collective behaviour it is by the majority decision men must
abide.  No  administration,  under  a  pretext  of  urgency,
convenience or the like, shall be entrusted with  powers  to
create  or  further define offences or set up by-laws, which
will in any way  infringe  the  rights  and  liberties  here
asserted.  All  legislation  must be public and definite. No
secret   treaties   shall   be   binding   on   individuals,
organisations  or  communities.  No orders in council or the
like, which extend  the  application  of  a  law,  shall  be
permitted.  There  is  no  source of law but the people, and
since  life  flows  on  constantly  to  new   citizens,   no
generation  of  the people can in whole or in part surrender
or delegate the legislative power inherent in mankind."

There, I think, is something that keener minds than mine may
polish  into  a  working Declaration which would in the most
effective manner begin that  restoration  of  confidence  of
which  the  world stands in need. Much of it might be better
phrased, but I think it embodies the  general  good-will  in
mankind  from pole to pole. It is certainly what we all want
for ourselves. It could be a very potent  instrument  indeed
in  the  present phase of human affairs. It is necessary and
it is acceptable. Incorporate that in  your  peace  treaties
and articles of federation, I would say, and you will have a
firm foundation, which will continually grow firmer, for the
fearless  cosmopolitan  life  of a new world order. You will
never get that order without some such document. It  is  the
missing key to endless contemporary difficulties.

And  if  we,  the virtuous democracies, are not fighting for
these common human rights, then what  in  the  name  of  the
nobility  and  gentry, the Crown and the Established Church,
the City, The Times and the  Army  and  Navy  Club,  are  we
common British peoples fighting for?


AND  NOW,  HAVING  COMPLETED  our  picture of what the saner
elements in human society may reasonably work for  and  hope
for,  having  cleared  away  the  horrible nightmares of the
class  war  and  the  totalitarian  slave-state   from   our
imaginations, we are able to attack the immediate riddles of
international conflict and relationship with some hope of  a
general  solution.  If we realise to the depths of our being
that  a  world  settlement  based  in  the  three  ideas  of
socialism,  law  and  knowledge,  is  not  only possible and
desirable,  but  the  only  way  of  escape  from  deepening
disaster,   then   manifestly   our   attitude  towards  the
resentments of Germany, the prejudices of America or Russia,
the  poverty  and undernourishment of India or the ambitions
of Japan, must be frankly opportunist.  None  of  these  are
primary  issues.  We  sane  men must never lose sight of our
ultimate objective, but our methods of  getting  there  will
have  to  vary  with  the fluctuating variations of national
feeling and national policy.

There is this idea of federalism upon which I  have  already
submitted  a  criticism  in  chapter  seven. As I have shown
there, the Streit proposals will either take you further  or
land  you  nowhere. Let us assume that we can strengthen his
proposals to the extent of  making  a  socialistic  economic
consortium  and  adhesion  to  that  Declaration  of Rights,
primary conditions for any federal union; then it becomes  a
matter  of  mood  and  occasion  with  what  communities the
federal association may be  begun.  We  can  even  encourage
feeble  federal experiments which do not venture even so far
as that along the path to  sanity,  in  the  certainty  that
either  they  will  fade  out  again  or else that they will
become liberal realities of the  type  to  which  the  whole
world  must ultimately conform. Behind any such half-hearted
tentatives an  educational  propaganda  can  be  active  and

But when it comes to the rate and amount of participation in
the construction of a rational world  order  we  can  expect
from  any  country  or group of countries, we are in a field
where there is  little  more  than  guessing  and  haphazard
generalisations  about "national character" to work upon. We
are dealing with  masses  of  people  which  may  be  swayed
enormously  by  a  brilliant  newspaper  or an outstandingly
persuasive or compelling personality or by almost accidental
changes  in the drift of events. I, for example, cannot tell
how far the generality of educated and capable people in the
British  Empire  now  may fall in with our idea of accepting
and serving a collectivism, or how strong their conservative
resistance  may be. It is my own country and I ought to know
it best, and I do not know it detachedly  enough  or  deeply
enough  to decide that. I do not see how anyone can foretell
these swirls and eddies of response.

The advocacy of such movements of the mind and will as I  am
speaking  of here is in itself among the operating causes in
political adjustment, and  those  who  are  deepest  in  the
struggle  are  least able to estimate how it is going. Every
factor  in  political  and  international   affairs   is   a
fluctuating  factor. The wise man therefore will not set his
heart upon any particular  drift  or  combination.  He  will
favour  everything  that  trends towards the end at which he

The present writer cherishes the idea that  the  realisation
of  a  common  purpose and a common cultural inheritance may
spread throughout all the English-speaking communities,  and
there  can  be  no  harm  in  efforts  to give this concrete
expression. He believes  the  dissociation  of  the  British
Empire may inaugurate this great synthesis. At the same time
there are factors making for some closer association of  the
United  States  of  America  with  what  are called the Oslo
powers. There is no reason why  one  of  these  associations
should stand in the way of the other. Some countries such as
Canada rest already  under  what  is  practically  a  double
guarantee;  she  has the security of the Monroe Doctrine and
the protection of the British fleet.

A Germany of eighty million people which has been brought to
acquiesce  in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and which
is already highly collectivised, may come much earlier to  a
completely  liberal  socialist  regime than Great Britain or
France.  If  she  participates  in  a  consortium  for   the
development  of  what  are  called  the politically backward
regions of the world, she may  no  longer  be  disposed  for
further  military  adventures and further stress and misery.
She may enter upon a phase of social and  economic  recovery
so  rapid as to stimulate and react upon every other country
in the world. It is not for other countries to  dictate  her
internal  politics,  and if the German people want to remain
united  as  one  people,  in  federated  states  or  in  one
centralised state, there is neither righteousness nor wisdom
preventing them.

The Germans like the rest of the world have to get  on  with
collectivisation,  they  have  to produce their pattern, and
they cannot give themselves to that if they are artificially
divided  up  and  disorganised  by  some  old-fashioned Quai
d’Orsay scheme. They must do the right thing  in  their  own

That  the belligerent tradition may linger on in Germany for
a generation or so, is a risk the Atlantic  powers  have  to
take.  The  world has a right to insist that not simply some
German  government  but  the  people  generally,   recognise
unequivocably  and repeatedly, the rights of man asserted in
the Declaration, and it is disarmed and that any  aggressive
plant,  any  war  plane,  warship,  gun  or  arsenal that is
discovered in the  country  shall  be  destroyed  forthwith,
brutally and completely. But that is a thing that should not
be confined to Germany. Germany should not  be  singled  out
for  that.  Armament should be an illegality everywhere, and
some  sort  of   international   force   should   patrol   a
treaty-bound   world.  Partial  armament  is  one  of  those
absurdities  dear  to  moderate-minded   "reasonable"   men.
Armament  itself is making war. Making a gun, pointing a gun
and firing it, are all acts of the same order. It should  be
illegal  to construct anywhere upon earth, any mechanism for
the specific purpose of killing men. When you see a  gun  it
is reasonable to ask: "Whom is that intended to kill?"

Germany’s   rearmament  after  1918  was  largely  tolerated
because she  played  off  British  Russophobia  against  the
Russian  fear of "Capitalist" attack, but that excuse can no
longer serve any furtive war-mongers among her people  after
her pact with Moscow.

Released  from  the  economic  burdens and restrictions that
crippled her recovery after 1918, Germany may  find  a  full
and satisfying outlet for the energy of her young men in her
systematic collectivisation, raising  the  standard  of  her
common  life deliberately and steadily, giving Russia a lead
in efficiency and obliging  the  maundering  "politics"  and
discursive  inattention  of  the  Atlantic  world  to remain
concentrated upon the realities of life. The idea  of  again
splitting  up  Germany  into  discordant  fragments so as to
postpone  her   ultimate   recovery   indefinitely,   is   a
pseudo-democratic   slacker’s  dream.  It  is  diametrically
opposed  to  world  reconstruction.  We  have  need  of  the
peculiar  qualities  of  her  people,  and  the  sooner  she
recovers the better for the whole world. It is  preposterous
to resume the policy of holding back Germany simply that the
old order may enjoy a few more years of  self-indulgence  in
England, France and America.

A  lingering  fear  of German military aggression may not be
altogether bad for the minor states of South-Eastern  Europe
and Asia Minor, by breaking down their excessive nationalism
and inducing them to work together. The policy of  the  sane
man  should  be  to  welcome  every  possible  experiment in
international  understandings  duplicate  and  overlap   one
another,  so much the better. He has to watch the activities
of his own Foreign Office with incessant jealousy, for signs
of  that  Machiavellian  spirit which foments division among
foreign governments and peoples and schemes  perpetually  to
frustrate  the  progressive  movement  in  human  affairs by
converting it into a swaying indecisive balance of power.

This book is a discussion of guiding principles and  not  of
the  endless  specific  problems of adjustment that arise on
the way to a world realisation of collective unity.  I  will
merely  glance at that old idea of Napoleon the Third’s, the
Latin Union, at the possibility of a  situation  in  Spanish
and Portuguese South America parallel to that overlap of the
Monroe Doctrine and the European motherlands  which  already
exists  in  practice  in  the  case  of  Canada,  nor will I
expatiate  upon  the  manifold  possibilities   of   sincere
application of the Declaration of the Rights of Man to India
and Africa - and particularly to those parts of the world in
which  more  or  less  black  peoples  are  awakening to the
realities of racial discrimination and oppression.

I will utter a passing  warning  against  any  Machiavellian
treatment  of the problem of Northern and Eastern Asia, into
which  the  British  may  be  led  by  their  constitutional
Russophobia.   The   Soviet   collectivism,   especially  if
presently it becomes liberalised and more efficient  through
a  recovery from its present obsession by Stalin, may spread
very effectively across Central Asia and  China.  To  anyone
nourished mentally upon the ideas of an unending competition
of Powers for ascendancy for ever and ever, an alliance with
Japan,  as  truculent  and  militarised a Japan as possible,
will seem the most natural response in  the  world.  But  to
anyone  who has grasped the reality of the present situation
of  mankind  and   the   urgent   desirableness   of   world
collectivisation, this immense unification will be something
to welcome, criticise and assist.

The old bugbear of Russia’s "designs upon  India"  may  also
play  its  part in distorting the Asiatic situation for many
people. Yet a hundred years of mingled neglect, exploitation
and  occasional outbreaks of genuine helpfulness should have
taught  the  British  that  the  ultimate  fate  of  India’s
hundreds  of millions rests now upon no conquering ruler but
wholly and solely upon the ability of the Indian peoples  to
co-operate in world collectivisation. They may learn much by
way  of  precept  and  example  from  Russia  and  from  the
English-speaking  world, but the days for mere revolt or for
relief by a change of masters have passed. India has to work
out  for itself, with its own manner of participation in the
struggle for a world order, starting from the British raj as
a  datum  line.  No  outside power can work that out for the
Indian peoples, nor force them to do it if they have no will
for it.

But  I  will  not  wander  further among these ever-changing
problems and possibilities. They are, so to  speak,  wayside
eventualities and opportunities. Immense though some of them
are they remain secondary. Every year or so now the shifting
channels  of  politics  need to be recharted. The activities
and responses of the sane man in any particular country  and
at  any  particular  time  will  be determined always by the
overruling conception of a secular movement towards a single
world order. That will be the underlying permanent objective
of all his political life.

There is, however, another line of  world  consolidation  to
which  attention  must  be  drawn  before  we  conclude this
section, and is what we may call ad hoc internationalism  is
admirably   set   forth  in  Leonard  Woolf’s  International
Government, a classic which was published in 1916 and  still
makes profitable reading.

The  typical  ad hoc organisation is the Postal Union, which
David Lubin, that brilliant neglected  thinker,  would  have
had  extended  until  it  controlled  shipping and equalised
freights throughout the world. He based his ideas  upon  his
practical  experience  of the mail order business from which
he derived his very considerable fortune. From that  problem
of  freight adjustment he passed to the idea of a controlled
survey of world, so that a shortage here  or  a  glut  there
could be foreseen and remedied in time. He realised the idea
in the form of the International Institute of Agriculture at
Rome,  which in its heyday made treaties like an independent
sovereign power for the supply of returns from nearly  every
government  upon earth. The war of 1914 and Lubin’s death in
1919 checked the development  of  this  admirable  and  most
inspiring experiment in ad hoc internationalism. Its history
is  surely  something  that  should  be  made  part  of  the
compulsory  education  of every statesmen and publicist. Yet
never in my life have I met a  professional  politician  who
knew  anything whatever or wanted to know anything about it.
It didn’t get votes; it seemed difficult to tax it; what was
the good of it?

Another  ad  hoc  organisation  which  might be capable of a
considerable  extension  of  its  functions  is  the   Elder
Brethren  of  Trinity House, who control the lighthouses and
charting of the seas throughout the world. But it would need
a  very  considerable  revision  and extension of Mr Woolf’s
book and, in spite of the war stresses that have delayed and
in  some cases reversed their development, it would be quite
beyond  our  present  scope,  to  bring  up  to   date   the
lengthening  tale  of ad hoc international networks, ranging
from  international   business   cartels,   scientific   and
technical  organisations,  white-slave-trade suppression and
international police co-operation, to  health  services  and
religious missions. Just as I have suggested that the United
States and Great  Britain  may  become  complete  socialisms
unawares,  so  it  is a not altogether impossible dream that
the world may discover to its  great  surprise  that  it  is
already  practically a cosmopolis, through the extension and
interweaving of these ad hoc co-operations. At any  rate  we
have  this very powerful collateral process going on side by
side with  the  more  definite  political  schemes  we  have

Surveying  the  possibilities  of these various attacks upon
the complicated and intricate obstacles that  stand  between
us and a new and more hopeful world order, one realises both
the reasons for hope  in  that  great  possibility  and  the
absurdity  over  over-confidence.  We  are all like soldiers
upon a vast battlefield; we cannot be sure of the  trend  of
things;  we  may  be  elated when disillusionment is rushing
headlong upon us; we may be on the  verge  of  despair,  not
knowing that our antagonists are already in collapse. My own
reactions vary between  an  almost  mystical  faith  in  the
ultimate triumph of human reason and good-will, and moods of
stoical determination to carry on to the end in the face  of
what  looks like inevitable disaster. There are quantitative
factors in the outlook for which there are  no  data;  there
are  elements of time and opportunity beyond any estimating.
Every one of these activities we have been canvassing  tends
to  delay  the  drift to destruction and provides a foothold
for a further counter-offensive against the adversary.

In the companion predecessor to this book, The Fate of  Homo
sapiens, I tried to drive home the fact that our species has
no  more  reason  to  believe  it  can  escape  defeat   and
extinction, than any other organism that plays or has played
its part in the drama of life. I tried  to  make  clear  how
precarious  is  our  present situation, and how urgent it is
that we should make a strenuous effort  at  adjustment  now.
Only  a  little  while  ago  it seemed as though that was an
appeal to a deaf and blind  world,  invincibly  set  in  its
habitual  ways  into  the  question whether this inclination
towards pessimism reflected a mood or phase in myself, and I
threw out a qualifying suggestion or so; but for my own part
I could not find any serious  reason  to  believe  that  the
mental  effort  that  was  clearly  necessary  if man was to
escape that fate that marched upon him would ever  be  made.
His conservative resistances, his apathy, seemed incurable.

Now  suddenly everywhere one meets with alarmed and open and
enquiring minds. So far the tremendous dislocations  of  the
present  war have been immensely beneficial in stripping off
what seemed to be quite  invincible  illusions  of  security
only  a  year ago. I never expected to live to see the world
with its eyes as widely open as they are to-day.  The  world
has  never  been  so  awake. Little may come of it, much may
come of it. We do not know. Life would amount to nothing  at
all if we did.


THERE  WILL  BE  NO  day of days then when a new world order
comes into being. Step by step and here and  there  it  will
arrive,  and  even  as  it  comes into being it will develop
fresh perspectives, discover unsuspected problems and go  on
to  new  adventures.  No  man, no group of men, will ever be
singled out as its father or founder. For its maker will  be
not  this  man  nor that man nor any man but Man, that being
who is in some measure in every one of us. World order  will
be, like science, like most inventions, a social product, an
innumerable number of personalities  will  have  lived  fine
lives, pouring their best into the collective achievement.

We   can   find  a  small-scale  parallel  to  the  probable
development of a new world order in the history  of  flying.
Less  than  a third of a century ago, ninety-nine people out
of a hundred would have told you that flying was impossible;
kites  and  balloons  and possibly even a navigable balloon,
they could imagine; they had known  of  such  things  for  a
hundred  years;  but  a  heavier then air machine, flying in
defiance of wind and gravity! That they knew  was  nonsense.
The  would-be  aviator  was  the typical comic inventor. Any
fool could laugh at him. Now consider how completely the air
is conquered.

And who did it? Nobody and everybody. Twenty thousand brains
or  so,  each  contributing   a   notion,   a   device,   an
amplification.  They  stimulated  one another; they took off
from one another. They were like excited ganglia in a larger
brain sending their impulses to and fro. They were people of
the most diverse race and colour. You can write down perhaps
a hundred people or so who have figured conspicuously in the
air, and when you examine the rôle  they  have  played,  you
will  find  for the most part that they are mere notorieties
of the Lindbergh type who have put themselves  modestly  but
firmly  in  the  limelight and can lay no valid claim to any
effective contribution whatever. You will find many disputes
about records and priority in making this or that particular
step,  but  the  lines  of  suggestion,   the   growth   and
elaboration of the idea, have been an altogether untraceable
process. It has been going on for not more than a third of a
century,  under  our very eyes, and no one can say precisely
how it came about. One man said "Why not  this?"  and  tried
it,  and  another  said "Why not that?" A vast miscellany of
people had one idea in common, an idea as  old  as  Dædalus,
the idea that "Man can fly". Suddenly, swiftly, it got about
- that is the only phrase you can  use  -  that  flying  was
attainable.  And man, man as a social being, turned his mind
to it seriously, and flew.

So it will certainly be with the new world order, if ever it
is  attained. A growing miscellany of people are saying - it
is getting about - that "World Pax is possible", a World Pax
in  which  men will be both united and free and creative. It
is of no importance at all that nearly every  man  of  fifty
and  over  receives the idea with a pitying smile. Its chief
dangers are the dogmatist and the would-be "leader" who will
try to suppress every collateral line of work which does not
minister to his supremacy. This movement  must  be,  and  it
must remain, many-headed. Suppose the world had decided that
Santos Dumont or Hiram Maxim was the heaven-sent  Master  of
the  Air, had given him the right to appoint a successor and
subjected all experiments to his inspired control. We should
probably have the Air Master now, with an applauding retinue
of yes-men, following the hops of some clumsy,  useless  and
extremely dangerous apparatus across country with the utmost
dignity and self-satisfaction . . . .

Yet that is precisely how we still set about  our  political
and social problems.

Bearing  this  essential  fact in mind that the Peace of Man
can only be attained, if  it  is  attained  at  all,  by  an
advance  upon a long and various front, at varying speed and
with diverse equipment, keeping direction only by  a  common
faith in the triple need for collectivism, law and research,
we realise the impossibility of drawing any picture  of  the
new  order as though it was as settled and stable as the old
order  imagined  itself  to  be.  The  new  order  will   be
incessant;  things  will  never  stop  happening,  and so it
defies any Utopian  description.  But  we  may  nevertheless
assemble a number of possibilities that will be increasingly
realisable as the tide of disintegration ebbs  and  the  new
order is revealed.

To  begin  with  we have to realise certain peculiarities of
human behaviour that are  all  too  disregarded  in  general
political speculation. We have considered the very important
rôle that may be played in our contemporary difficulties  by
a clear statement of the Rights of Man, and we have sketched
such  a  Declaration.  There  is  not  an   item   in   that
Declaration,  I believe, which a man will not consider to be
a reasonable demand - so far as he himself is concerned.  He
will  subscribe  to it in that spirit very readily. But when
he is asked not only to  concede  by  the  same  gesture  to
everybody  else  in the world, but as something for which he
has to make all the sacrifices necessary for  its  practical
realisation,  he will discover a reluctance to "go so far as
that". He will find a serious resistance welling up from his
sub-conscious and trying to justify itself in his thoughts.

The  things  he will tell you will be very variable; but the
word "premature" will play a  large  part  in  it.  He  will
display a tremendous tenderness and consideration with which
you have  never  credited  him  before,  for  servants,  for
workers,  for  aliens  and  particularly  for  aliens  of  a
different colour from himself.  They  will  hurt  themselves
with  all  this dangerous liberty. Are they fit, he will ask
you, for all this freedom? "Candidly, are they fit for  it?"
He will be slightly offended if you will say, "As fit as you
are". He will say in a slightly amused tone,  "But  how  can
you say that?" and then going off rather at a tangent, "I am
afraid you idealise your fellow-creatures."

As you press him, you will find this kindliness  evaporating
from  his  resistance  altogether. He is now concerned about
the general beauty and loveliness  of  the  world.  He  will
protest  that this new Magna Carta will reduce all the world
to "a dead level of uniformity". You will ask him why must a
world  of  free-men be uniform and at a dead level? You will
get  no  adequate  reply.  It  is  an  assumption  of  vital
importance  to  him  and  he  must  cling to it. He has been
accustomed to associate "free" and "equal",  and  has  never
been  bright-minded enough to take these two words apart and
have a good look at them separately. He is  likely  to  fall
back  at this stage upon that Bible of the impotent genteel,
Huxley’s Brave New World, and implore you to  read  it.  You
brush  that disagreeable fantasy aside and continue to press
him. He says that nature has made men unequal, and you reply
that  that  is no reason for exaggerating the fact. The more
unequal  and  various  their  gifts,  the  greater  is   the
necessity  for  a  Magna  Carta  to  protect  them  from one
another.  Then  he  will  talk  of  robbing  life   of   the
picturesque   and  the  romantic  and  you  will  have  some
difficulty in getting these words defined. Sooner  or  later
it  will grow clear that he finds the prospect of a world in
which "Jack’s as good as his Master" unpleasant to the  last

If   you   still   probe  him  with  questions  and  leading
suggestions, you will begin to realise how large a part  the
need  for  glory  over  his fellows plays in his composition
(and incidentally you will  note,  please,  you  own  secret
satisfaction  in carrying the argument against him). It will
become clear to you,  if  you  collate  the  specimen  under
examination with the behaviour of children, yourself and the
people about you, under what urgent necessity they  are  for
the  sense of triumph, of being better and doing better than
their fellows, and having it felt and recognised by someone.
It  is  a deeper, steadier impulse than sexual lust; it is a
hunger. It is the clue to the unlovingness of so much sexual
life, to sadistic impulses, to avarice, hoarding and endless
ungainful cheating and treachery which gives men  the  sense
of getting the better of someone even if they do not get the
upper hand.

In the last resort this is why we must  have  law,  and  why
Magna  Carta and all its kindred documents set out to defeat
human nature in defence of the  general  happiness.  Law  is
essentially  an  adjustment  of  that  craving to glory over
other living things, to the needs of social life, and it  is
more  necessary in a collectivist society than in any other.
It is a bargain, it is a social contract, to do as we  would
be done by and to repress our extravagant egotisms in return
for  reciprocal  concessions.  And  in  the  face  of  these
considerations we have advanced about the true nature of the
beast we have to deal with, it is plain that the politics of
the sane man as we have reasoned them out, must anticipate a
strenuous opposition to this  primary  vital  implement  for
bringing about the new world order.

I  have  suggested that the current discussion of "War Aims"
may very effectively be transformed into the  propaganda  of
this new Declaration of the Rights of Man. The opposition to
it and the attempts that will be made to postpone, mitigate,
stifle  and  evade  it,  need  to  be watched, denounced and
combatted persistently throughout the world. I do  not  know
how  far this Declaration I have sketched can be accepted by
a good  Catholic,  but  the  Totalitarian  pseudo-philosophy
insists  upon  inequality of treatment for "non-Aryans" as a
glorious duty. How Communists would respond to  its  clauses
would,  I suppose, depend upon their orders from Moscow. But
what  are  called  the  "democracies"  are  supposed  to  be
different,  and  it  would  be  possible  now  to  make that
Declaration a searching test of the honesty  and  spirit  of
the  leaders and rulers in whom they trust. These rulers can
be brought to the point by it, with a precision unattainable
in any other fashion.

But  the  types and characters and authorities and officials
and arrogant and aggressive individuals who will  boggle  at
this Declaration and dispute and defy it, do not exhaust the
resistances of our unregenerate natures  to  this  implement
for  the  establishment  of elementary justice in the world.
For  a  far  larger   proportion   of   people   among   the
"democracies" will be found, who will pay it lip service and
then set about discovering how, in their innate craving  for
that  sense  of superiority and advantage which lies so near
the core of our individuals wills,  they  may  unobtrusively
sabotage  it and cheat it. Even if they only cheat it just a
little. I am inclined to think this  disingenuousness  is  a
universal  weakness.  I  have a real passion for serving the
world, but I have a pretty keen disposition to get more  pay
for my service, more recognition and so on than I deserve. I
do not trust myself. I want to be under just laws.  We  want
law because we are all potential law-breakers.

This  is  a  considerable  digression into psychology, and I
will do no more than glance at how large a part this craving
for  superiority  and  mastery  has  played  in  the  sexual
practices of mankind. There we have the ready  means  for  a
considerable  relief  of  this egotistical tension in mutual
boasting and reassurance. But the motive for his  digression
here is to emphasise the fact that the generalisation of our
"War Aims" into a Declaration  of  Rights,  though  it  will
enormously  simplify  the  issue  of the war, will eliminate
neither  open   and   heartfelt   opposition   nor   endless
possibilities of betrayal and sabotage.

Nor does it alter the fact that even when the struggle seems
to be drifting definitely towards a world social  democracy,
there  may  still  be  very great delays and disappointments
before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world  system.
Countless  people,  from  maharajas to millionaires and from
pukkha sahibs to pretty ladies,  will  hate  the  new  world
order,  be rendered unhappy by frustration of their passions
and ambitions through its advent  and  will  die  protesting
against  it. When we attempt to estimate its promise we have
to bear in mind the  distress  of  a  generation  or  so  of
malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking

Ant it will be no light  matter  to  minimise  the  loss  of
efficiency  in  the process of changing the spirit and pride
of  administration  work  from   that   of   an   investing,
high-salaried man with a handsome display of expenditure and
a  socially  ambitious  wife,   into   a   relatively   less
highly-salaried    man    with    a   higher   standard   of
self-criticism, aware that he will  be  esteemed  rather  by
what  he  puts into his work than by what he gets out of it.
There will be a lot of social spill, tragi-comedy  and  loss
of  efficiency  during the period of the change over, and it
is better to be prepared for that.

Yet after making allowances for these transitional  stresses
we  may  still  look forward with some confidence to certain
phases in the onset of World Order. War  or  war  fear  will
have  led everywhere to the concentration of vast numbers of
workers upon munition work and the construction of offensive
and  defensive  structures  of  all  sorts,  upon  shipping,
internal     communications,     replacement     structures,
fortification.  There  will be both a great accumulation and
control of material and constructive machinery and  also  of
hands  already  growing  accustomed  to  handling it. As the
possibility of conclusive victory fades and this war  muddle
passes  out  of  its  distinctively  military  phase towards
revolution, and as some sort of Peace Congress assembles, it
will  be not only desirable but necessary for governments to
turn  over  these  resources  and   activities   to   social
reconstruction.  It  will  be  too  obviously  dangerous and
wasteful to put them out of  employment.  They  must  surely
have  learnt  now what unemployment means in terms of social
disorganisation. Governments will have to lay out the world,
plan and build for peace whether they like it or not.

But  it will be asked, "Where will you find the credit to do
that?" and to answer this question we  must  reiterate  that
fact  that  money  is an expedient and not an end. The world
will  have  the  material  and  the  hands  needed   for   a
reconditioning  of  its  life everywhere. They are all about
you now crying out to be used. It is, or at any rate it  has
been,  the  function of the contemporary money-credit system
to bring worker and material together  and  stimulate  their
union.  That  system always justified its activities on that
ground, that is its claim to exist, and if it does not exist
for  that  purpose  then  for what purpose does it exist and
what further need is there for  it?  If  now  the  financial
mechanism  will  not  work,  if  it  confronts us with a non
possumus, then clearly it resigns its function.

Then it has to get out of the way. It will declare the world
has  stopped  when  the  truth  will  be  that  the City has
stopped. It is the counting-house that  has  gone  bankrupt.
For a long time now an increasing number of people have been
asking questions about  the  world  counting-house,  getting
down  at  last  to  such  fundamental  questions as "What is
money?"  and  "Why  are  Banks?"  It  is  disconcerting  but
stimulating to find that no lucid answer is forthcoming.

One  might  have  imagined  that long before this one of the
many great bankers and financial experts in our world  would
have  come forward with a clear and simple justification for
the monetary practices of to-day. He would  have  shown  how
completely  reasonable  and  trustworthy  this  money-credit
system was. He would have shown what was  temporarily  wrong
with  it and how to set it working again, as the electrician
does when the lights go out. He would have released us  from
our  deepening  distress  about  our  money in the Bank, our
little squirrel hoard of securities, the deflating  lifebelt
of  property that was to assure our independence to the end.
No one of that quality comes forward. There is not  so  much
as  a  latter-day Bagehot. It dawns upon more and more of us
that it is not a system at all and never has been a  system,
that   it   is   an  accumulation  of  conventions,  usages,
collateral developments and compensatory  expedients,  which
creaks now and sways more and more and gives every sign of a
complete and horrifying social collapse.

Most of  us  have  believed  up  to  the  last  moment  that
somewhere  distributed among the banks and city offices in a
sort of world counting-house, there were books of  accounts,
multitudinous  perhaps  and intricate, but ultimately proper
accounts. Only now is it  dawning  upon  comfortable  decent
people  that the counting-house is in a desperate mess, that
codes seem to have been lost, entries made wrong,  additions
gone  astray down the column, records kept in vanishing ink.
. . .

For years there has been  a  great  and  growing  literature
about  money.  It  is  very  various  but it has one general
characteristic. First there  is  a  swift  exposure  of  the
existing system as wrong. Then there is a glib demonstration
of a new system which is right. Let this be done or that  be
done,  "let  the  nation  own its own money", says one radio
prophet earnestly, repeatedly, simply, and all will be well.
These  various systems of doctrine run periodicals, organise
movements (with coloured shirt complete), meet, demonstrate.
They  disregard each other flatly. And without exception all
these monetary reformers  betray  signs  of  extreme  mental

The  secret  trouble  in  their  minds is gnawing doubt that
their own proper "plan", the panacea, is in some subtle  and
treacherous  way  likely  to  fail  them if it is put to the
test. The internal fight  against  this  intolerable  shadow
betrays  itself  in their outer behaviour. Their letters and
pamphlets, with scarcely an exception,  have  this  much  in
common  with  the letters one gets from lunatics, that there
is a continual resort to capital letters and abusive  terms.
They  shout  out  at the slightest provocation or none. They
are not so much shouting  at  the  exasperating  reader  who
remains so obstinate when they have been so clear, so clear,
as at the sceptical whisper within.

Because there is no perfect money system by itself and there
never  can  be.  It  is  a  dream  like  the  elixir vitæ or
perpetual motion. It is in the same order of thought.

Attention has already been drawn, in our examination  of  Mr
Streit’s  proposals  for  Union  Now, to the fact that money
varies in its nature  and  operations  with  the  theory  of
property and distribution on which society is based, that in
a complete collectivism for example it becomes  little  more
than  the  check  handed  to  the  worker  to  enable him to
purchase  whatever  he  likes  from  the  resources  of  the
community. Every detachment of production or enterprise from
collective control (national or cosmopolitan) increases  the
possible  functions  of money and so makes a different thing
of it. Thus there can be endless species of money - as  many
types  of  money  as there are types and varieties of social
order. Money in Soviet Russia  is  a  different  organ  from
money  French  or  American  money. The difference can be as
wide as that between lungs and swimming bladders and  gills.
It  is  not  simply  a  quantitative  difference, as so many
people seem to imagine, which can be adjusted by varying the
rate of exchange or any such contrivance, it goes deeper, it
is a difference in quality and kind.  The  bare  thought  of
that   makes   our   business   and  financial  people  feel
uncomfortable and confused  and  menaced,  and  they  go  on
moving  their  bars  of  gold about from this vault to that,
hoping almost beyond hope that no one will say anything more
about it. It worked very well for a time, to go on as though
money was the same thing all the world over. They  will  not
admit how that assumption is failing to work now.

Clever people reaped a certain advantage from a more or less
definite apprehension of the variable nature of  money,  but
since  one  could  not  be  a financier or business director
without an underlying faith in  one’s  right  to  profit  by
one’s  superior  cleverness,  there  did  not seem to be any
reason for them to make a public fuss  about  it.  They  got
their profits and the flats got left.

Directly we grasp this not very obscure truth that there can
be, and are, different  sorts  of  money  dependent  on  the
economic usages or system in operation, which are not really
interchangeable, then it becomes plain that  a  collectivist
world  order, whose fundamental law is such a Declaration of
Rights as we have sketched, will have to carry on its  main,
its  primary  operations  at least with a new world money, a
specially contrived money, differing in its nature from  any
sort  of  money  conventions that have hitherto served human
needs. It will  be  issued  against  the  total  purchasable
output  of the community in return for the workers’ services
to the community. There will be no more reason for going  to
the  City  for a loan than for going to the oracle at Delphi
for advice about it.

In the phase of social stress  and  emergency  socialisation
into  which  we  are certainly passing, such a new money may
begin  to  appear  quite  soon.   Governments   finding   it
impossible  to  resort  to  the  tangled  expedients  of the
financial  counting-house,  may  take   a   short   cut   to
recuperation,  requisition  the  national  resources  within
their reach and set their  unemployment  hands  to  work  by
means  of these new checks. They may carry out international
barter arrangements upon an increasing scale. The fact  that
the  counting-house  is  in  a  hopeless mess because of its
desperate attempts to ignore the protean  nature  of  money,
will become more manifest as it becomes less important.

The  Stock  Exchange and Bank credit and all arts of loaning
and usury  and  forestalling  will  certainly  dwindle  away
together  as the World Order establishes itself. If and when
World Order establishes itself.  They  will  be  superseded,
like  egg-shells and fœtal membranes. There is no reason for
denouncing those who devised and worked  those  methods  and
institutions  as  scoundrels and villains. They did honestly
according to their lights. They were a necessary part of the
process  of  getting  Homo  sapiens out of his cave and down
from his tree. And gold, that lovely heavy  stuff,  will  be
released  from  its  vaults and hiding-places for the use of
the artist and technician - probably at a price considerably
below the present quotations.

Our  attempt  to  forecast  the coming World Order is framed
then in an immense and increasing spectacle of  constructive
activity.  We  can anticipate a rapid transfiguration of the
face of the earth  as  its  population  is  distributed  and
re-distributed  in accordance with the shifting requirements
of economic production.

It is not only that  there  is  what  is  called  a  housing
shortage  in  nearly  every region of the earth, but most of
the existing accommodation, by modern  standards,  is  unfit
for human occupation. There is scarcely a city in the world,
the new world as well as the old, which  does  not  need  to
have  half its dwelling-places destroyed. Perhaps Stockholm,
reconditioned under a Socialist regime, may claim to  be  an
exception;  Vienna  was doing hopefully until its spirit was
broken by Dollfuss and the Catholic reaction. For the  rest,
behind  a  few  hundred  main avenues and prospects, sea and
river fronts, capitols, castles and the like,  filthy  slums
and  rookeries  cripple childhood and degrade and devitalise
its dulled elders. You can hardly say people are  born  into
such surroundings; they are only half born.

With  the  co-operation of the press and the cinema it would
be  easy  to  engender  a  world-wide  public  interest  and
enthusiasm  for  the  new types of home and fitment that are
now attainable by everyone. Here  would  be  an  outlet  for
urban and regional patriotism, for local shame and pride and
effort. Here would be stuff to argue about. Wherever men and
women  have  been  rich  enough,  powerful  enough  and free
enough, their  thoughts  have  turned  to  architecture  and
gardening.  Here  would be a new incentive to travel, to see
what other towns and country-sides were  doing.  The  common
man  on his holidays would do what the English milord of the
seventeenth century did; he would make his  Grand  Tour  and
come  back from his journeys with architectural drawings and
notions  for  home  application.  And  this   building   and
rebuilding  would  be  a  continuing  process,  a  sustained
employment, going on from good to better,  as  the  economic
forces  shifted  and  changed with new discoveries and men’s
ideas expanded.

It is doubtful in a world of rising needs and  standards  if
many people would want to live in manifestly old houses, any
more than they would want to live in old clothes. Except  in
a  few  country  places  where ancient buildings have wedded
themselves happily  to  some  local  loveliness  and  become
quasi-natural  things,  or where some great city has shown a
brave facade to the world, I doubt if there will be much  to
preserve.  In such large open countries as the United States
there has been a considerable development of the mobile home
in  recent  years.  People  haul a trailer-home behind their
cars and become seasonal nomads. . . . But there is no  need
to expatiate further on a limitless wealth of possibilities.
Thousands of those who have been assisting in the  monstrous
clumsy  evacuations  and  shiftings  of population that have
been going on recently, must  have  had  their  imaginations
stirred by dim realisation of how much better all this might
be done, if it  were  done  in  a  new  spirit  and  with  a
different  intention. There must be a multitude of young and
youngish people quite ripe for infection  by  this  idea  of
cleaning  up and resettling the world. Young men who are now
poring over war maps and planning annexations and  strategic
boundaries,   fresh   Maginot   lines,  new  Gibraltars  and
Dardanelles, may presently be scheming the happy and healthy
distribution of routes and residential districts in relation
to this or that important region of world supply for oil  or
wheat  or  water-power.  It  is essentially the same type of
cerebration, better employed.

Considerations of this  sort  are  sufficient  to  supply  a
background  of  hopeful  activities to our prospective world
order. But we are not all architects and gardeners there are
many  types  of  minds and many of those who are training or
being trained for the skilled co-operations of  warfare  and
the  development of a combatant morale, may be more disposed
to go on with definitely educational work. In that way  they
can most easily gratify the craving for power and honourable
service. They will face a world  in  extreme  need  of  more
teachers and fresh-minded and inspiring teachers at that. At
every level of educational work from the kindergarten to the
research  laboratory,  and  in  every part of the world from
Capricornia to Alaska and from  the  Gold  Coast  to  Japan,
there  will  be  need  of active workers to bring minds into
harmony with new order and to work out, with all the  labour
saving  and  multiplying apparatus available, cinema, radio,
cheap books and pictures and all the rest of it, the endless
new problems of human liaison that will arise. There we have
a second line of work along which millions of  young  people
may  escape  the  stagnation and frustration which closed in
upon their predecessors as the old order drew to its end.

A sturdy and assertive variety of  the  new  young  will  be
needed  for  the police work of the world. They will be more
disposed  for  authority  and  less  teaching  or   creative
activities  than  their  fellows. The old proverb will still
hold for the new order that it takes all  sorts  to  make  a
world,   and   the  alternative  to  driving  this  type  of
temperament into conspiracy and fighting it and, if you can,
suppressing  it, is to employ it, win it over, trust it, and
give it law behind it to respect and enforce.  They  want  a
loyalty  and  this  loyalty  will  find  its  best  use  and
satisfaction in the service of world order. I have  remarked
in  the  course  of such air travel as I have done, that the
airmen of all nations have  a  common  resemblance  to  each
other and that the patriotic virus in their blood is largely
corrected by a wider professionalism. At present the outlook
before  a  young  airmen  is  to  perish  in  a  spectacular
dog-fight before he is five and twenty. I wonder how many of
them really rejoice in that prospect.

It  is  not unreasonable to anticipate the development of an
ad hoc disarmament  police  which  will  have  its  greatest
strength  in the air. How easily the spirit of an air police
can be de-nationalised is shown by the instance of  the  air
patrols  on  the  United  States-Canadian  border,  to which
President Roosevelt drew my attention. There  is  a  lot  of
smuggling  along  that  border  and  the  planes now play an
important part in  its  suppression.  At  first  the  United
States  and Canada had each their own planes. Then in a wave
of common sense, the two services were  pooled.  Each  plane
now  carries  a  United States and Canadian customs officer.
When contraband is spotted the plane comes down  on  it  and
which  officer  acts is determined by the destination of the
smuggled  goods.  There  we  have  a  pattern  for  a  world
struggling through federation to collective unity. An ad hoc
disarmament police with its main strength in the  air  would
necessarily  fall  into  close co-operation with the various
other world police activities. In a  world  where  criminals
can  fly  anywhere,  the police must be able to fly anywhere
too. Already we have a world-wide network of  competent  men
fighting  the  white-slave  traffic, the drug traffic and so
forth. The thing begins already.

All this I write to provide imaginative material  for  those
who  see  the  coming  order  as a mere blank interrogation.
People  talk  much  nonsense  about  the  disappearance   of
incentive  under socialism. The exact opposite is the truth.
It is the obstructive appropriation of natural resources  by
private  ownership that robs the prosperous of incentive and
the poor of hope. Our Declaration of Human rights assures  a
man  the  proper satisfaction of all his elementary needs in
kind, and nothing more. If he wants more than that  he  will
have  to work for it, and the healthier he is and the better
he is  fed  and  housed,  the  more  bored  he  will  be  by
inactivity  and  the more he will want something to do. I am
suggesting what he is likely to do  in  general  terms,  and
that  is  as  much  as one can do now. We can talk about the
broad principles upon which these matters will be handled in
a consolidating world socialism, but we can scarcely venture
to anticipate the detailed forms, the immense  richness  and
variety   of   expression,   an  ever-increasing  number  of
intelligent people will impose upon these primary ideas.

But there is one more structural suggestion that it  may  be
necessary to bring into our picture. So far as I know it was
first  broached  by  that  very  bold  and  subtle  thinker,
Professor  William James, in a small book entitled The Moral
Equivalent of War. He pointed out the need  there  might  be
for  a  conception  of  duty,  side by side with the idea of
rights, that there should be something in the life of  every
citizen,  man or woman alike, that should give him at once a
sense of personal obligation to the World State. He  brought
that  into  relation with the fact that there will remain in
any social order we can conceive, a multitude  of  necessary
services  which  by no sort of device can be made attractive
as normal life-long occupations. He was not thinking so much
of the fast-vanishing problem of mechanical toil as the such
irksome  tasks  as   the   prison   warder’s,   the   asylum
attendant’s;  the  care  of  the  aged  and  infirm, nursing
generally, health and sanitary services, a certain  residuum
of  clerical  routine, dangerous exploration and experiment.
No doubt human goodness is sufficient to  supply  volunteers
for many of these things, but are the rest of us entitled to
profit  by  their  devotion?  His  solution   is   universal
conscription  for  a  certain  period of the adult life. The
young will have to do so much service and take so much  risk
for  the general welfare as the world commonwealth requires.
They will be able to do these jobs with  the  freshness  and
vigour  of  those  who know they will presently be released,
and who find their honour through performance; they will not
be subjected to that deadening temptation to self-protective
slacking and mechanical insensitiveness, which  assails  all
who are thrust by economic necessity into these callings for
good and all.

It is quite possible that  a  certain  percentage  of  these
conscripts  may  be  caught by the interest of what they are
doing; the asylum attendant  may  decide  to  specialise  in
psycho-therapeutic  work; the hospital nurse succumb to that
curiosity which underlies the great physiologist; the Arctic
worker may fall in love with his snowy wilderness. . . .

One  other leading probability of a collectivist world order
has to be noted here, and that is an  enormous  increase  in
the  pace  and  amount  of  research  and discovery. I write
research, but by that I mean  that  double-barrelled  attack
upon  ignorance,  the  biological  attack  and  the physical
attack, that is  generally  known  as  "Science".  "Science"
comes  to  us  from those academic Dark Ages when men had to
console themselves for their ignorance  by  pretending  that
there  was  a  limited amount of knowledge in the world, and
little chaps in caps and gowns strutted about, bachelors who
knew all that there was to be known. Now it is manifest that
none of us know very much, and the more we look into what we
think  we know, the more hitherto undetected things we shall
find lurking in our assumptions.

Hitherto this  business  of  research,  which  we  call  the
"scientific  world",  has  been  in  the  hands  of very few
workers indeed. I throw  out  the  suggestion  that  in  our
present-day  world,  of  all the brains capable of great and
masterful  contributions   to   "scientific"   thought   and
achievement,  brains of the quality of Lord Rutherford’s, or
Darwin’s or Mendel’s or Freud’s or Leonardo’s or  Galileo’s,
not one in a thousand, not one in a score of thousands, ever
gets  born  into  such  conditions   as   to   realise   its
opportunities.  The  rest  never learn a civilised language,
never get near a library, never have the faintest chance  of
self-realisation,    never   hear   the   call.   They   are
under-nourished, they die young, they are  misused.  And  of
the  millions  who  would make good, useful, eager secondary
research workers and explorers, not  one  in  a  million  is

But  now  consider  how  things will be if we had a stirring
education ventilating the whole  world,  and  if  we  had  a
systematic   and   continually  more  competent  search  for
exceptional mental quality and a continually more  extensive
net  of opportunity for it. Suppose a quickening public mind
implies an atmosphere of increasing respect for intellectual
achievement  and  livelier  criticism  of imposture. What we
call  scientific  progress  to-day  would   seem   a   poor,
hesitating,  uncertain advance in comparison with what would
be happening under these happier conditions.

The progress of research and  discovery  has  produced  such
brilliant  and  startling  results in the past century and a
half that few of  us  are  aware  of  the  small  number  of
outstanding  men  who have been concerned in it, and how the
minor  figures  behind  these  leaders  trail  off  into   a
following  of  timid  and  ill-provided specialists who dare
scarcely stand up to a public official on their own  ground.
This   little  army,  this  "scientific  world"  of  to-day,
numbering I suppose from head to  tail,  down  to  the  last
bottle-washer,  not  a  couple of hundred thousand men, will
certainly be represented in the new world order by  a  force
of  millions,  better  equipped, amply co-ordinated, free to
question, able to demand opportunity. Its best  will  be  no
better than our best, who could not be better, but they will
be far more numerous, and  its  rank  and  file,  explorers,
prospectors,  experimental  team workers and an encyclopædic
host of classifiers and co-ordinators and interpreters, will
have  a  vigour,  a  pride and confidence that will make the
laboratories of to-day seem half-way back to the alchemist’s

Can  one doubt that the "scientific world" will break out in
this way when the  revolution  is  achieved,  and  that  the
development  of  man’s  power  over  nature and over his own
nature and over this still unexplored planet, will undergo a
continual  acceleration  as the years pass? No man can guess
beforehand  what  doors  will  open  then  nor   upon   what

These  are  some  fragmentary  intimations of the quality of
that wider life a new world order can  open  to  mankind.  I
will  not  speculate  further about them because I would not
have it said that this book is Utopian or  "Imaginative"  or
anything  of  that sort. I have set down nothing that is not
strictly reasonable and practicable. It is the  soberest  of
books  and  the  least  original  of  books.  I think I have
written enough to show  that  it  is  impossible  for  world
affairs  to  remain  at  their present level. Either mankind
collapses or our species struggles up by the hard yet fairly
obvious  routes I have collated in this book, to reach a new
level of social organisation. There can be  little  question
of  the  abundance,  excitement  and  vigour  of living that
awaits our children upon that upland.  If  it  is  attained.
There  is  no doubting their degradation and misery if it is

There is nothing really novel about this book. But there has
been a certain temerity in bringing together facts that many
people have avoided bringing together for  fear  they  might
form  an  explosive mixture. Maybe they will. They may blast
through some obstinate mental barriers.  In  spite  of  that
explosive  possibility,  that explosive necessity, it may be
this  remains  essentially   an   assemblage,   digest   and
encouragement  of  now prevalent but still hesitating ideas.
It is a plain statement of the revolution  to  which  reason
points  an  increasing number of minds, but which they still
lack resolution to undertake. In The Fate of Homo sapiens  I
have stressed the urgency of the case. Here I have assembled
the things they can and need to do. They had  better  summon
up their resolution.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * **
** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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Freemasonry must die, or liberty must die." -- Charles G. Finney


"Those who sin are slaves, and slaves have no rights." -- Jesus Christ, John 8:34

"Qabalah is the heart of the Western Hermetic tradition; it is the foundation upon which the art of Western magic rests." -- Sandra and Chic Cicero, the authors of "The Essencial Golden Dawn: An Introduction to High Magic", page 96. Llewlellyn Publications "For by thy sorceries were all nations decieved." Rev. 18:23
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"Join me in battle, little children, against the black beast, Masonry..." Mother Mary [source: Father Gobbi, Evolution & Freemasonry]
"Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye make to worship them; and I will carry you away beyond Babylon."
Acts 7:43 KJV
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.." (II Corinthians 6:18 KJV)


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