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Title:      The New World Order (1940)
Author:     H G wells
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Language:   English
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Title:      The New World Order (1940)
Author:     H G wells

The New World Order (1940)

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















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

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 indeed a mild armament race going on; mild by our present
standards of equipment; the armament industry was a growing and
enterprising one; 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 manoeuvres.  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 Europeans.

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 huger 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 appropriations 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 rle 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, with these ever-growing
disruptive forces, 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 completely.

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 for twenty
years there has been no resolute attack upon the riddles with which
their growth confronts us.  For all that period 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
dgringolade 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

That is the issue before us.  It is no small affair of parlour
politics we have to consider.  As I write, in this 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 our 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.

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 may seem to
traverse their own profound and secret plans for the salvation of

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 the bookselling
organisations in our free countries, provide a very ill-organised
and inadequate machinery for the ventilation and distribution of

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 incompletenesses, 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 first 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 track.

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
clue 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 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 soldiers, 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

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

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 needed 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 liquefaction.

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 the 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 device by which human beings contrive to be parasitic on
their fellow men.  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 disadvantage.

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 or 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
chteaux.  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 order.

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

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 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 means and methods.  They had and have nothing 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 steadily 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 childishly 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 labour?"

"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

"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

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 weaknesses 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 formul.
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 a 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 disinterestedness.

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
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 competently controlled they can
abolish toil, they can abolish poverty, they can abolish slavery--
by the one sure means of making these things unnecessary.  Class-war
communism has had 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


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


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 this 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 seem 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 pieces.

Measured by any standards except human contentment and ultimate
security, mankind appears to be much wealthier now than in 1918.
The quantities 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's 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 but 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 women
who no longer bear children and 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

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 drudges.

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 satisfyingly 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, urgencies.

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 playground, 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 he 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 relentlessly
towards the simplifying, liberating and releasing flux of predatory

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 statesmen.  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 the 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 constituted?

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 it 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 left 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 into
the case and then examine where they lead us, what other general
considerations can be 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 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 life?"

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 in 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 clear.

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 recognised.

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

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 the centres of
population under the mere exaggerated threat of air raids has been
carried out by the authorities in a mood 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, from 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 B.B.C. 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

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 vast, manifestly expensive, posters, headed
with a Royal Crown, "YOUR courage, YOUR resolution, YOUR
cheerfulness will bring us victory."

"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 put him back
again on the dust-heap.  AGAIN?  Twice?"

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 irritatingly 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 a 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

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

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 cost 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 the 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 old order has already gone to pieces and 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 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  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 rle 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 the 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 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 living.

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 reasonable.

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 general.

The well-trained Moslem, the American fundamentalist, 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 a 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

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 world.

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 "government 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

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 Federal 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 to 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.

That 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 as
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 procure 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 possible.

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 become 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 nave 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

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 than 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.

All the scores and hundreds of thousands of nice people who were
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 idea.

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 phrase 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 Europe
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-waggon.

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 the 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 one 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 Revolution.

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
Marseillaise 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 a fait accompli.  The regimentation of
the more or less reluctant population follows.

But a Revolution need be neither an explosion nor a coup d'tat.
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 through
with these present changes, adapt ourselves to them, adjust
ourselves to the plunge, or be destroyed by them.  We must go
through with 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 the 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 death.

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 fact.

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 dead.

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 the 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 opportunity.

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

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
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 restatement 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

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 and constructive life may be far more interesting
than a life of mere acquisition and spending.

From 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 without a definitive
Revolution, protesting all the time that it is doing nothing of the

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


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
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;
Republicans 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 government?

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 exertion.

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 peoples 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 suspended 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 if 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 protest.

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 Frederick
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 for 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 a 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 be.

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 enterprise.


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 impossible.

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 you."

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

"(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 his
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 a public trial.  At the end of 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 objection.

"(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

"(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.  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 era 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 the community affected or through the
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 goodwill 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


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 7.  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

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 aims.

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 way.

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 reasonable
to insist also that Germany remain 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 burthens 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 co-operations,
and if these supra-national 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 abundant brains, its escape from chaos and
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 international systems.  The essential idea
of 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 production week by week and
month by month, 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 statesman 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 of 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 even if they led plainly to destruction.  I
went 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 the 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 than 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 rle 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
Ddalus, 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 rle 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 subscribe to it as something he
has to concede by that 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 degree.

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, your 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 individual 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 this 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 the
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

And it will be no light matter to minimise the loss of efficiency
in the process of changing the spirit and pride of administrative
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

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, fortifications.  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 the 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

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

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 completely and
contradict each other flatly.  And without exception all these
monetary reformers betray signs of extreme mental strain.

The secret trouble in their minds is a 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 vit 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 in Nazi Germany, and that
again is different from 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

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 unemployed 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 the 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
foetal 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 worldwide 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 faade 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 the 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 for 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 airman 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 a 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 and
personal ownership in 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 of 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 in a thorough 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 a passable lot, masters who knew a tremendous lot and
doctors in crimson gowns 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 utilised.

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 a 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
encyclopdic 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 den.

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 wonderlands.

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 not.

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

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The New World Order by H G wells

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