THE EMPIRE OF
by E. C. Knuth
The Five Ideologies of Space and Power
1. “One World” Ideology
2. “Pan-Slavic” Ideology
3. “Asia for the Asiatics”
5. Pan-American Isolationism
The 130 Years of Power Politics of the Modern Era
“I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.”
— Patrick Henry
Copyright 1946, by E. C. Knuth
Previous Edition, Copyrighted May 22, 1944
Chapter XI, Copyrighted Feb. 22, 1945
Printed in U. S. A.
Table of Contents PAGE
Introduction …………………… 5
I. The Fundamental Basis of Internationalism …………………… 7
II. Geopolitics and the Background of Modern Wars …………………… 11
III. The Eastern Question …………………… 17
IV. The Concert of Europe …………………… 23
V. The European Concert Ends in the East …………………… 26
VI. The New Order of Freedom …………………… 34
VII. The New Order Ends in the East …………………… 43
VIII. The Liberals Against the Conservatives and War ………………. 50
IX. The Money Power in Power Politics …………………… 59
X. The Secret Sixth Great Power …………………… 67
XI. A Study in Power …………………… 72
XII. The Problems of The Peace …………………… 79
XIII. The Five Ideologies of Space and Power …………………… 86
XIV. Conclusion …………………… 98
Index …………………… 106
A STUDY IN POWER
The giant oriental dynasty of the House of Sassoon, opium traders from Bagdad, became affiliated by intermarriages with both the French and English branches of the European colossus of international finance, the House of Rothschild; the first of which occurred in 1881. The House of Sassoon is now headed by Sir Victor Sassoon, a frequent visitor in the United States, who in recent years has urged “Union Now” in a newspaper interview in this country.
The history of this family is traced by Dr. Cecil Roth in “The Sassoon Dynasty,” published in London in 1941. Already well-established financially, this family in 1832 broadened its sphere from Bagdad to Bombay; and thereafter into China, Japan and the entire orient. It recently had wide control over the financial affairs of the orient through David Sassoon & Co., Ltd., of China; the Imperial Bank of Persia; E. D. Sassoon & Co., Ltd., of India; E. D. Sassoon Banking Co. of China and London; Arnhold & Co., Ltd., of Shanghai, Hankow, Tientsin, Peking, Hong Kong, Canton, Mukden, London, New York, and other places; the Bank of China; the Eastern Bank; the British Burma Petroleum Co., and other firms. Captain Derek Barrington Fitzgerald, a Sassoon grandson, is recorded (page 222 of the above) as a considerable figure in “the City,” financial capital of the world.
Li Hung-Chang, vice-roy of China until his death in November 1901, and agent of international finance, was reputed to be the richest man in China in his time; and was considered to be the owner of many great enterprises financed by foreign capital through the Sassoon owned Bank of China and Japan. This bank was organized in 1894, the year Japan attacked China in the Yellow War, to function in the new political and financial alliance between the British Empire and Japan which was inaugurated with this war. It was wound up in 1902, immediately after the death of Li Hung-Chang, and its interests were largely taken over by David Sassoon & Co.; which was reorganized into a limited company for this purpose in 1901.
With the “systeme” at an all-time high in its political power in 1920, Sir Philip Sassoon, Chairman of David Sassoon & Co., Ltd., was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George. Sir Philip, whose mother was Aline de Rothschild, went out of office with David Lloyd George in the political uprising in 1922 against the influence of Basil Zaharoff and international finance in Downing Street; and died in 1939.
Dr. Roth states (page 236) that:
“Lord Esher, sitting at the hub of the inner circle of English politics, wrote to him (Sir Philip) confidentially.”
Dr. Roth also records a luncheon conversation at the home of Reuben Sassoon at which the composition of a Cabinet which Edward VII would find most nearly ideal was discussed, and it was suggested that “Lord Esher, of course, the power behind the scenes, would be the obvious Prime Minister.” It is clearly indicated that the hub of British power politics was not considered to be in Downing Street, but that the Prime Minister was subject to the orders of “the power behind the scenes.”
T. V. Soong, the present foreign minister of China, is also head of the Sassoon controlled Bank of China, which Mr. Elmer T. Clark describes in “The Chiangs of China,” published in 1943, (page 71) as “ruling one of the world’s great financial organizations.” Mr. Soong is the son of a Chinese business man who was educated as a Methodist missionary in the United States, and was there babtized Charles Jones Soon. After returning to China in 1886, Mr. Soon changed his name to Soong. He wrote that his salary of $15.00 per month as a missionary was inadequate, and he therefore made a more profitable connection as a political agent of the Bank of China and Japan. His son, T. V. Soong, was educated at Harvard and was then given post-graduate training in an international banking house in New York. He was transferred to a Sassoon subsidiary in China about 1920.
Impressive historical record and authentic documentation reveal that the American kings of finance of the Rockefeller-Morgan machine entered into a secret agreement with the British-French-Dutch-Oriental combine in the early part of 1897 by which they regulated and allocated the business of the world among themselves much like the racketeers of recent years have split up the illicit liquor concessions in our big cities.
Their agreement was particularly designed to destroy the foreign commerce of Germany and of some other unfavored nations, and its operation necessarily demanded a concurrent secret military alliance, and this numbered among its ardent sponsors Theodore Roosevelt, then assistant secretary of the navy; Senator Henry Cabot Lodge; Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, widely reputed Rockefeller-Morgan associate; Chauncey M. Depew, known in some foreign countries as America’s leading citizen; Rear Admiral Alfred T. Mahan, writer on power politics upon whom many foreign distinctions had been showered; and somewhat reluctantly, President William McKinley.
Japan was a member of this secret alliance through the House of Mitsiu, Rothschild-Vickers ally. There was a gradually rising dissatisfaction in Japan through the years with her split of the international take, and in the early 1930’s a rebellious military faction assassinated some of the officials and political associates of the House of Mitsiu, and thereby crashed a wide gap into the solid front of irresistable might with which the alleged justice minded peace-loving powers had kept the brutal forces of aggression suppressed for over 35 years.
By its secret alliance, the United States was committed as a British-Jap ally to the Boxer War of 1900 in which foreign investments had to be protected against one of the periodical uprisings of the Chinese Nationalists; to the Russo-Jap War of 1904, settled by President Theodore Roosevelt for his ally in a master-stroke of diplomacy; to the Morocco Conflict of 1906 at Algeciras in which Theodore Roosevelt threw the full weight of American might into the scale to give Africa to his allies; and to World War I, where the language used by Theodore Roosevelt in denouncing the vacillation and delay of President Wilson exceeded the limits of ordinary decency.
Theodore Roosevelt was widely renowned in foreign lands as one of the foremost exponents of Machiavellian government of modern times, and few works on international politics through the years fail to accord considerable space to his many sly presumptions of power.
The death of Dr. Sun Yat-sen on March 12, 1925, left the foreign bankers without a moderating influence in Nationalistic circles, and the perennial war of the Nationalists with the bankers was promptly resumed in 1926. Their new leader, General Chiang Kai-shek, accompanied by the Soviet Russian General Michael Borodin, moved on Shanghai to loot the vaults of the foreign bankers. (The Chiangs of China, page 68.)
Then, in what was perhaps the most sensational upset in the history of international power politics, an incident widely condemned by internationalist writers as the direct cause of World War II, President Calvin Coolidge declined to honor the secret commitments of the United States and refused to permit American ships and troops to engage in active hostilities against the Chinese Nationalists.
In this extremity, the bankers sent Mr. T. V. Soong to negotiate with Chiang Kai-shek. He offered Chiang $3,000,000 in cash, his own pretty sister May-ling as a wife (Chiang already had a wife and family), and the presidency of China as successor to Mr. Soong’s deceased brother-in-law Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Chiang accepted the offer and ordered his Russian allies to get out of China, and the wedding took place in December, 1927.
In 1940 Mr. T. V. Soong offered to hold off a Japanese attack on the United States until this country could prepare itself to meet the attack when it came for the sum of $100,000,000, which in effect was to be a flat gift to China.
Mr. Ernest 0. Hauser records in an article appearing in Life in 1941, that the President called in his financial manager, Jesse Jones, and that it was decided that “The merchandise was fantastically cheap at that price” and that this “bill of goods” was therefore “bought.” It would seem that Mr. T. V. Soong, as head of the Bank of China, was selling a “bill of goods” for his principals of the House of Sassoon which has a striking resemblance to the “bill of goods” sold by Mr. Winston Churchill when he offered: “Give us the tools and we will do the job.”
In the early 1900’s, the House of Sassoon was at the peak of its power, and its members, who had all gradually drifted to London from the orient, entertained in lavish magnificence, and Dr. Roth records that King Edward VII was a very constant house guest and companion of its members, and that among other greats and future greats of these years partaking of their intimate hospitality were A. J. Balfour, H. G. Wells and the rising Winston Churchill.
Mr. H. G. Wells has been engaged through the years in distorting and falsifying international history in the service of the secret empire of finance. His “What is Coming? A European Forecast,” published in 1916, was written to impel American entry into World War I, and its subject matter has been largely used to bring about American entry into World War II, with only minor transposition of names, as may be apparent from a few sentences, as follows:
“. . . The Hohenzollern Imperialism towers like the black threat of a new Caesarism over all the world (p. 208). If by dying I could end the Hohenzollern Empire tomorrow I would gladly do it (p. 214) . . . The American tradition is based upon the casting off of a Germanic monarchy, it is its cardinal idea. These sturdy Republicans did not fling out the Hannoverians and their Hessian troops to prepare a path of glory for Potsdam (p. 222) . . . For fifty years Germany has been unifying the minds of her people against the world. She has obsessed them with an evil ideal . . . (p. 223) . . . This catastrophic war and its preparation have been their chief business for half a century . . . (p. 270). We fight dynastic ambition, national vanity, greed, and the fruits of fifty years of basely conceived and efficiently conducted education. (p. 272) . . . If Germany remains Hohenzollern after the war, to do their utmost to ring her in with commercial alliances, tariffs, navigation and exclusion laws that will keep her poor and powerless and out of mischief so long as her vice remains in her (p. 273).”
Charles A. and Mary R. Beard in their recent Basic History state (p. 442):
“On the basis of clear documentary evidence scholars dissected the myth, propagated by those Powers, that Germany was wholly responsible for inaugurating the war. The gleaming mirage that pictured the World War as purely or even mainly a war for democracy and civilization dissolved beyond recognition.”
The Beards merely recorded history, while Mr. Wells was merely selling a “bill of goods.”
Over 400 years ago, the Florentine statesman Niccolo Machiavelli engaged in a profound study of methods used by various rulers to attain power. He lived in an age when nations were small, in some cases only walled cities, when events were moving fast and when many men were struggling for power. Due to his own confidential government position, he was able to observe events in other lands and in his own closely, he was able to evaluate the methods of those who succeeded and to observe the mistakes of those who failed. In “The Prince” he reduces his conclusions to definite rules or doctrines. His conclusions, in general, appear to find support in the De Monarchia of Dante written two hundred years before “The Prince.”
The findings of Machiavelli and other students of power decree that to obtain power it is essential to, ignore the moral laws of man and of God; that promises must be made only with the intention to deceive and to mislead others to sacrifice their own interests; that the most brutal atrocity must be committed as a matter of mere convenience; that friends or allies must be betrayed as matter of course as soon as they have served their purpose. But, it is also decreed that these atrocities must be kept hidden from the common people except only where they are of use to strike terror to the hearts of opponents; that there must be kept up a spurious aspect of benevolence and benefit for the greater number of the people, and even an aspect of humility to gain as much help as possible.
It is held that the vast mass of the people are oblivious and gullible, and therefore will believe a lie which is repeated again and again, regardless of how obvious may be the fundamental facts to the contrary. But, in Chapter VI of “The Prince” is decreed also:
“. . . matters should be so ordered that when men no longer believe of their own accord, they may be compelled to believe by force.”
Mr. Wells illustrated a practical application of the doctrines of power in his book of 1916, mentioned previously, in declaring that it was the resolve of sensible and influential Englishmen to beat Germany thoroughly and finally, and, if Germany remains Hohenzollern after the war, to do their utmost to ring her in with commerical alliances, tariffs, navigation and exclusion laws that would keep her poor and powerless and out of mischief so long as her vice remained in her.
Thus, Mr. Wells first hypocritically divulged part of the exact technique which had been in use for fifty years to exclude Germany and other unfavored nations from the colossal commercial dominions and monopolies of the private empires of the dynasties of finance, and then cunningly distorted the reality of the past and the present as a proposed future punishment.
This is an application of the doctrine of power which holds that high minded words can be used by the powerful, the demogogue and the hypocrite, or the merely self-deluded, to arouse passion and prejudice and sentimentality for the wrong reasons in favor of disguised real aims; thus to deceive the people and to lead them by easy stages to sacrifice their own interests in the service of power.
It is obvious that in the early stages of the usurpation of power in any land of even partial democracy, opposition is certain to arise, and that an attempt to suppress this antagonism by arbitrary means would quickly inflame and solidify the opponents into an overwhelming attack. Machiavelli considered this aspect and indicated the correct method to neutralize this danger in stating:
“Many consider, that a wise prince, when he has the opportunity, ought with craft to foster some animosity against himself, so that, having crushed it, his renown may rise higher.”
This indicates the technique of modern Machiavellians in having their own stalking horses grasp the leadership of their opponents, and then as their own veiled and hidden action is gradually unfolded, have their Pied Pipers oppose them on spurious and superficial reasons in such a way as to obscure and conceal as far as possible the real reasons and objectives; thereby confusing and confounding the real opponents and leading them into a swamp of futility.
Since the Rothschild dynasty attained control of British finance 130 years ago, every major war has been fought to utter collapse of British opponents and unconditional surrender, and has left international finance omnipotent and unrestrained in organizing a new power-block to enforce the peace and to exploit the victory. Each of these successive power-blocks has failed in a brief length of time due to the desertion of an ally infuriated by the boundless greed of the British bankers, and has led to a new war, and these wars have been of progressively greater scope and fury.
Only France has been a constant ally for over a century, and the reason seems quite evident as the House of Rothschild has controlled both Britain and France during this period. In “Inside Europe,” published in 1936, John Gunther develops (Ch. IX) that any French prime minister, at the end of 1935, was a creature of the financial oligarchy. That this financial oligarchy was dominated by twelve regents, of whom six were bankers, who were “hereditary regents” in the absolute sense of the term, and were headed by Baron Edouard de Rothschild.
War, according to Machiavelli, must be applied at almost regular intervals to maintain power. It is held that it is not an unforeseeable accident and that it is not a passing madness, but that it is a normal and indispensable tool of power. It must be applied promptly and ruthlessly to be effective in its function of maintaining and extending power.
The infinite danger of the present position of the United States in its relations with the all-pervading power and presumption of the allied dynasties and empires of finance, appears from the dogmatic assertion of David Lloyd George in his “Better Times:” “The international trade of the world is ours.” The Machiavellian methods used in acquiring this power are admitted by Mr. Winston Churchill in his statement that the British Empire was built by the sword and will be maintained by the sword.
Machiavelli very urgently warned against any alliance with a more powerful friend, and counseled that in cases where this was unavoidable, the stronger friend must be regarded as a certain potential enemy who must be undermined and destroyed as soon as circumstances permit with the aid of the common enemy and of weaker friends.
The Machiavellian nature of the British Government appears from a consideration of British policy by Rear Admiral Charles L. Hussey in “The United States and Great Britain,” published in 1932 for The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations by The University of Chicago Press, as follows (p. 171):
“The British have no written policy, nor even a written constitution. To undertake to outline British policy, an American must be both capable and daring. It seems the part of wisdom to turn to the British themselves for this. The editor of a British colonial weekly tersely stated it as follows: ‘Britain is the workshop of the world. It lives by foreign trade, therefore, to secure and hold markets it must invest money abroad, acquire colonies and control the seas. The world must be made safe, not for democracy-for that is only a word-but for trade and commerce. That is the national policy of the British people, of both Liberals and Conservatives. It forms the background of all British thinking. It is not openly stated, as there is a trace of Oriental secrecy and reticence in England. It is not considered good form to shout one’s beliefs from the house-tops.’”
THE PROBLEMS OF THE PEACE
The Rhodesian ideology was outlined in a letter written by Cecil Rhodes in the autumn of 1890 and made public by W. T. Stead in the Review of Reviews of May, 1902, immediately after the death of Rhodes, in part as follows:
“What an awful thought it is that if we had not lost America, or if even now we could arrange with the present members of the United States Assembly and our House of Commons, the Peace of the world is secure for all eternity. We could well hold your federal parliament five years at Washington and five years at London. The only thing possible to carry this idea out is a secret one (society) gradually absorbing the wealth of the world to be devoted to such an object . . . I note with satisfaction that the committee appointed to inquire into the McKinley Tariff report that in certain articles our trade has fallen off 50 per cent, and yet the fools do not see that if they do not look out they will have England shut out and isolated with ninety millions to feed and capable internally of supporting about six millions. If they had statesmen they would at the present moment be commercially at war with the United States, and they would have boycotted the raw products of the United States until she came to her senses . . .”
Mr. Stead further records in this same article that Mr. Rhodes worked with the support and backing of the Rothschild’s in his mammoth undertakings and speculations in Africa.
When Mr. Rhodes considered the problem of “ninety millions to feed” he was looking a long way into the future, for the Great Britain of 1890 had a population of only 37,000,000 including Ireland. Like Mr. Depew, he felt the need of doing something very drastic about foreign markets and demanded an immediate boycott of the very nation with which he also wanted union in order to force down its tariffs, so British goods could undersell American goods in the American market. The vicious circle started by this foreign interference would as its next step have forced the reduction of American wages to the much lower British level to regain the market, and so on ad infinitum.
When we entered the alliance of 1897 with the British Empire in order to create an overwhelming British control of the Balance of Power, and agreed to assist the British Empire in the permanent encirclement and repression of Germany, Russia and China (with the latter requiring immediate, urgent and active attention), we adopted one of the two opposing theories of geopolitical thought referred to by Prof. Spykman in “America’s Strategy in World Politics.” The controlling factor towards this alliance was a wide acceptance of the Rhodesian ideology that with such an alliance, “the peace of the world is secure for all eternity.” This fallacy has persisted practically up to the present in an utterly fatuous belief in the eternal omnipotence of British “sea-power.”
The foreign trade statistics of the United States in the years since 1897 demonstrate very conclusively that the statement of Lord Salisbury in 1898:
“The appearance of the American Republic among the factors, at all events, of Asiatic, and possibly of European diplomacy, is a grave and serious event, which may not conduce to the interests of peace, though I think, in any event, it is likely to conduce to the interests of Great Britain;” was far more to the point than was the fatuous eloquence of Chauncey M. Depew proclaiming in 1900 that “by the statesmanship of William McKinley . . . we have our market in the Philippines, and we stand in the presence of eight hundred millions of people, with the Pacific as an American lake . . .”
That the Pacific simply became much more of a British lake than it had been is very apparent by combining the totals of the foreign trade of the United States with those lands in the British colonial orbit whose exchange largely balances United Kingdom purchases, with the figures of the United Kingdom; in other words, adding together the foreign trade of China, India, Malaya, the Philippine Islands, and the United Kingdom. We then compare the years 1897 when we joined the “policy of encirclement” and the year 1927 when Mr. Coolidge definitely withdrew our support of the British alliance, at the time when it had become involved in the war with the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek.
Foreign Trade of the United States in Millions of Dollars
Area or Country . . . . 1897 . . . . 1927 . . . . Increase
The Orbit of British Finance (United Kingdom, China, India, Malaya, Philippine Islands)
. . . . Sales to . . . . . $ 555 . . . $ 107 . . . . 193%
. . . . Purchases . . . . 176 . . . . 1035 . . . . 488%
Germany (relatively smaller and poorer in 1927)
. . . . Sales to . . . . . 153 . . . . 482 . . . . 215%
. . . . Purchases . . . . 70 . . . . 2011 . . . . 87%
Grand Total of U. S. Foreign
. . . . Sales to . . . . . 1061 . . . . 4865 . . . . 363%
Trade with All Nations
. . . . Purchases . . . . 764 . . . . 418 . . . . 548%
In 1927 a weak and impoverished Germany still accounted for 41% of the narrowing favorable margin still remaining to the United States in its sales to all the nations of the world over its purchases. On the other hand the highly favorable margin of sales over purchases in our trade with the British orbit which existed in 1897 had almost disappeared in 1927. The year 1927 was in most respects the best year of the post-war era of prosperity preceding the great depression.
Our sales to a defeated and smaller Germany in 1927 were over three times greater than they had been in 1897, while our sales to the British orbit, which had profited immensely from the imperialistic expansion of 1897-1920 and from further war and post-war expansion, did not even double; and actually contracted due to the much greater volume of post-war business activity and lesser purchasing power of money. However, we did very well by our British ally, for we bought six times more goods from the British orbit in 1927 than we did in 1897.
Our trade with Germany was about as important as our trade with all of Latin America. Germany was a heavy buyer of American raw materials and an American competitor in selling manufactured goods in Latin America. The Latin American countries, particularly those of South America, were competitors of the United States in selling raw materials to Germany, and were buyers of American manufactured goods. We competed with Germany in the Latin American market throughout modern times, and held our own very well, and the deadly menace of this competition to our continued national existence was not evident until it was given a promotional build-up for the world-wide boycott of German made goods inaugurated by the International Conference called at Amsterdam in the early part of 1933 in retribution for German misdeeds.
The United States promptly joined in this boycott with its “Most Favored Nations” treaties to which every country in the world, except only Germany, was eligible. This was not a step short of war; it was war, and it was sure to lead to eventual bloodshed. Had a boycott of this type been enforced against a relatively small and weak country like Cuba or Venezuela, it would have ended in open fighting. When German toys, dolls, cutlery, wines and other goods disappeared from the counters of American merchants (to be replaced by goods marked “Made in Japan”), the German market for American wheat, meat and cotton disappeared also; and there was invented the remedy of plowing under surplus crops and of killing off surplus little pigs.
When the American financial-political machine of 1897 decided that a very drastic expedient was necessary to forcibly acquire foreign markets to absorb the two thousand millions excess production over what we could consume, the population of the United States was about 76,000,000, and averaged about 25 per square mile of what is nearly the finest and most productive land on earth. When the American machine of 1933 decided upon a similar expedient for similar reasons, their principal opponent was a nation which according to late statistics has a population which averages 352 per square mile of a country containing almost as much mountainous and other unproductive area in proportion as the United States.
In attempting to evaluate the explosive and dynamic opposing forces in this situation, forces that threaten to destroy this civilization, Prof. Usher in his “Pan-Germanism” of 1913 states (page 247):
“England, France, Russia, and the United States already possess the choice places in the world; their position is already everything they could reasonably hope to have it; and they scarcely deserve to be praised for unselfishness when they insist upon preserving a situation which is so very much to their advantage . . . Nor is it proved that they have obtained it by the observance of the ethical precepts which they would now be glad to apply to Germany . . .”
As to Germany’s position he states (page 233):
“If Germany is wrong, others too have been wrong; indeed, if her conduct is unjustifiable, no country in the world can establish its moral and ethical right to existence.”
It is noteworthy that since this was written in 1913, England and France improved their already dominant position immensely, largely at the expense of Germany; thus to aggravate the problem.
If an America with only 25 people per square mile and almost unlimited access to the good things of this earth was headed back into stagnation and poverty unless it could sell two thousand millions more than it could consume, and a Britain in control of one-third of the markets and the raw materials of all the earth was in such need of the markets of the American workman in America that the great high priest of “Union Now” would advocate commercial warfare against the United States in 1890 in order to force their surrender to Britain, where will all this end? The British scramble to forestall us in the markets of the world right now should be a fair indication of trouble ahead, not only in our foreign affairs but also at home when the American workman can no longer be kept employed by giving our surplus production away and charging it to the American taxpayer.
In following one of the two opposing theories of geopolitical thought and in the alleged purpose of retaining for the United States its foreign markets, more money has already been spent than the gross total of our sales to all the world in all the years of our existence; an expenditure that makes a mockery of what profit or capital may have been derived from this source, and makes a mockery of all proved economic thought. The fundamental facts are that nations do not trade with one another because they are political allies or political opponents. Foreign nations buy from the United States because they need what she has to sell and because they want to sell their own products in return.
The actual position of the United States in the power politics of the world was well outlined by Prof. Usher in “Pan-Germanism,” Chapter X, pages 141 to 143:
“The possibility of invasion (of the United States ) is made of no consequence by the simple fact that no foreign nation possesses any inducement for attempting so eminently hazardous an enterprise.”
“The United States possesses literally nothing which any foreign nation wants that force would be necessary to obtain, while, by making war upon the United States, she would certainly expose herself to annihilation at the hands of her enemies in Europe, who have patiently waited for decades in the hope that some one of them would commit so capital a blunder . . .” “. . . the complexity of the problems of no one group of states, whether in Europe, in the Middle East, or in the Far East, could possibly allow the United States to play a prominent part. In each, the natural antipathies counteract each other. Only the fact that every nation is anxious to maintain or win power or wealth in Europe and Africa and Asia makes the United States of value to any of them. Indeed, it is only as European questions become themselves factors in the larger problem of India, Morocco, and the Mediterranean that they concern the United States at all. As soon as European politics became world politics and Asiatic and African problems became European, the United States began to be a factor in their solution. She has, to be sure, no vital stake in any one of these fields.”
There have probably been over 100,000,000 casualties and over 25,000,000 dead in the wars of the European Balance of Power in the modern era, and as the greatest interval between major wars in this 130 year period has never been over 24 years and the minimum interval has only been 12 years, every generation — usually assumed to be about 33 years — has had one or two major wars, and this recurring slaughter has been the subject of much inconclusive and perplexed discussion. (See footnote.)
A monstrous structure of bigotry and intolerance has been artificially devised throughout the Christian world which dogmatically rejects any recognition of the fundamental disease underlying the recurring symptoms of war. Most of the political leaders of the United States have not been acquainted with the most elementary fundamentals of the two opposing theories of geopolitical thought, and in making these two opposing theories merely two sides of a debate have given vent to surprisingly simple-minded statements.
That many of the problems of the peace being discussed now still bear a striking resemblance to those confronting the world following the gigantic slaughter of the Napoleonic War, when the end of the war found the people of Europe stunned with horror, imploring their statesmen and rulers to find some solution of this recurring slaughter of innocent human beings, may be apparent from the following from “The War and Democracy” by J. Dover Wilson, published in London in 1918:
“The Congress of the Powers which met at Vienna in 1814 to resettle the map of Europe, after the upheavals and wars of the previous twenty-five years, was a terrible disappointment; and we, who are now (in 1918) hopefully looking forward to a similar Congress at the end of the present war, cannot do better than to study the great failure of 1814, and take warning from it.”
In “England’s World Empire” by A. H. Granger, published in 1916, is given this statement by C. H. Norman:
“. . . Nor is British Navalism innocuous in its spirit! Through that navalism, Britain has assailed nation after nation in Europe that has threatened her trade supremacy; and Germany, the latest comer, is being similarly handled. ‘On the knee, you dog!’ was a phrase that rang unpleasantly through England not long ago . . .”
The phrases which heralded the approaching Congress were curiously and disquietingly similar to those on the lips of our public men and journalists today (1918) when they speak of the “settlement” before us. “The Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World” . . . seemed in 1814 on the eve of accomplishment. The work of the Congress was to be no less than “the reconstruction of the moral order,” “the regeneration of the political system of Europe,” the establishment of “an enduring peace founded on a just redistribution of political forces,” the institution of an effective and a permanent international tribunal, the encouragement of the growth of representative institutions, and, last but not least, an arrangement between the Powers for a gradual and systematic disarmament The Congress of Vienna was to inaugurate a New Era. (Pages 31-32.)
“. . . the only man who at first voiced these aspirations of the world at large was the Russian Tsar, Alexander I., and such concessions to popular opinion as were made were due to what the English plenipotentiary, Lord Castlereagh, described as the ‘sublime mysticism and nonsense’ of the Emperor.”
That history repeats itself, again and again, and again; may become apparent from the fact, that one hundred years later that eminent servant of International Finance, Georges Clemenceau, termed Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and “the subsequent addresses” as a joke on history; and these Fourteen Points were completely washed out and eliminated before the end of the Peace Conference of 1919.
The British objectives in the Napoleonic War were stated in a few simple and forthright words in which the British Government declared that it was not its intent to fight the French people — only to rid Europe of the Scourge of Napoleon, bring peace to Europe and preserve the rights of small nations; and these same words, with a mere change of names, have served to explain the British position in all the succeeding wars of the Balance of Power, including World War I and World War II.
Unfortunately, the exigencies of power politics after every cyclical war have been such that it was invariably deemed expedient to sacrifice some small nations for the general good, and a typical example is cited by Ford Madox Hueffer in “When Blood is Their Argument,” published in London in 1915:
“I think the time has come when we may say that the one crime that this country (Britain) has committed against civilization was its senseless opposition to Napoleon. It was, to me, extraordinarily odd to hear the British Prime Minister the other day talk of the Campaign of 1815 as a war of Freedom. For, if you come to think of it, by the treaty after that war, Great Britain, the Holy Alliance and Metternich . . . affirmed upon Poland the triple yoke of Austria, Russia and Prussia . . .”
There is a similar indictment by some British author of note on practically every war of the Balance of Power fought by Britain.
As to the fate of the working classes who fought the war with their blood and their life’s savings in the case of a country which had achieved total victory after a long costly war, the Illustrated Universal History of 1878 records:
“Great Britain emerged from the long contest with France with increased power and national glory. Her Empire was greatly extended in all parts of the world; her supremacy on the sea was undisputed; her wealth and commerce were increased. But with all this national prosperity, the lower classes of the English people were sunk in extreme wretchedness and poverty.”
In “Old Diplomacy and New,” 1923, the British writer A. L. Kennedy states:
“There is more than a grain of truth in the witticism that ‘Conferences only succeed when their results are arranged beforehand’.”
When the Financial Commission at Genoa met to discuss the stabilization of currencies, 250 delegates forced their way into the room. A sub-Commission “No. 1” was formed for the transaction of the most important political business on which Germany was represented. But for ten days it was given no business to perform. The work was done in conversations between the principal Allied representatives meeting at Lloyd George’s villa.
In his “Memoirs of the Peace Conference” Lloyd George records a memorandum which had been presented by him March 25, 1919, for the consideration of the Peace Conference:
“You may strip Germany of her colonies, reduce her armaments to a mere police force and her navy to that of a fifty-rate power; all the same in the end if she feels that she has been unjustly treated in the peace of 1919 she will find means of exacting retribution from her conquerors.”
There is every indication that Lloyd-George considered the Peace Treaty as merely a temporary stop-gap to be renegotiated after ten or fifteen years because he made some contingent agreements of that length.
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