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ments and the sentiments of the two peoples steadily improved. Of course Soviet Russia and bourgeois Germany were very far from seeing eye to eye; nevertheless, their points of difference were as nothing to those separating both from the western European powers.

Realizing these things, the Germans began to lay plans for resuming their economic penetration of Russia. During the last few years an immense amount of pioneering work has been done. German technical and business experts have thoroughly explored Russia, re-knitting old connections and laying plans for the future. German captains of industry, like Hugo Stinnes and Walter Rathenau have elaborated exhaustive schemes for the rehabilitation and exploitation of the Russian market. To name only one of these projects, consider the trust organized late last year in Germany, known as the Wirtschaftsstelle für Verkehr, Handel und Industrie mit dem Osten, which has as its aim the economic reconstruction of Russia. According to the prospectus of its promoters, this trust embraces bankers, manufacturers, groups of scientific men, and engineers, and has the support of the leading German trades-unions. The trust purposes to send technical experts to every part of Russia and to establish German chambers of commerce at all commercial centers. The trust is organized into three sections: (1) a group for intellectual and cultural relations; (2) a labor group, embracing representatives of the principal German trades-unions; (3) a banking, industrial, and trade group, which has subsections specializing on chemical products, agricultural machinery, railway materials, general iron and steel products, cement, etc.

The great handicap to all such schemes is lack of capital, the war having left Germany financially crippled and impoverished. To overcome this handicap the Germans have endeavored to interest foreign, particularly British, capital. The most notable attempt in this direction was the famous visit of Hugo Stinnes to London last winter. The German argument is that Germany is best equipped to reconstruct Russia economically in the shortest possible time. This would not only restore the Russian market, but would also better Germany's economic situation and thus enable her to meet her indemnity obligations and purchase largely from abroad. Also, by giving Germany an economic outlet, it would relieve Western countries from German cutthroat competition in the world markets.

These German arguments, while they have not yet enlisted British capital on the desired terms, have unquestionably impressed British finance and the British Government to a certain extent, and unquestionably have had their effect upon Great Britain's attitude at Genoa. As already explained in this department, the restoration of continental Europe to something like its pre-war prosperity is an absolute necessity for England if her industrial life is to recover. And it is quite obvious that even though Germany should dominate the Russian market, England would benefit indirectly in notable fashion through the resultant recovery of the German market and the economic rehabilitation of central Europe as a whole.

While these larger considerations have not yet been realized, it is interesting to observe that Germany has already made tangible progress toward

regaining her economic position in Russia. In the year the year 1921 1921 fully twenty-five per cent. of all Russia's imports came from Germany. The volume was of course relatively small, since Russia's foreign trade is only about one tenth of that of pre-war times. The value is also hard to estimate, since Soviet Russia's trade statistics are reckoned by weight. The bulk of Russia's imports from Germany are metals and metal goods, chemicals, textiles, clothing, and miscellaneous manufactured products.

It is also by no means as impossible as it might at first sight seem that Germany would be unable to finance Russian economic recovery. Judged offhand, the spectacle of two financial cripples like Germany and Russia effectively aiding each other may appear farcical. But a closer scrutiny reveals the fact that something like this may, within limits, be perfectly possible. It is well known that the great German financial and industiral interests have succeeded in building up outside Germany really large credits, which may aggregate as high as 5,000,000,000 or 6,000,000,000 gold marks ($1,250,000,000 or $1,500,000,000). These foreign credits of course escape domestic taxation and Allied requisitions, being safely banked in neutral countries like Switzerland, Holland, and Sweden. Out of these credits it would not be impossible to mobilize a considerable sum, say $200,000,000 or $300,000,000, for use in Russia. Furthermore, by a system of revolving credits, by loaning goods as well as money, the amount of actual cash required might be materially decreased and the power of the transaction multiplied. It is also possible that neutral capital might be enlisted to a certain

extent; even that the whole transaction might appear as though engineered by neutral capital, though British and American capital should refuse to participate.

Of course not even German capital will risk itself in Russia unless the Soviet Government gives satisfactory guaranties. But what German capital may consider satisfactory guaranties depends, in turn, upon the political situation. If the pressure of the Western powers, particularly France, upon Germany were less severe, it might well be that German capital would not enter Russia except upon terms analogous to those desired by Western capital, and that if these were not forthcoming, German capital would be content to wait until the situation in Russia had become more favorable. The policy of France, however, has, to use Lloyd George's recent phrase, been tending steadily to "throw an angry Germany into the arms of a hungry Russia." The effect has, in fact, been twofold: it has inclined German capital to take Russian risks, and it has inclined the Soviet Government to make special terms to German capital. The upshot has been the economic understanding of which the RussoGerman treaty is the most striking manifestation.

Of course it may be that the present Soviet Government will prove unwilling to make concessions sufficient to permit any considerable body of capital to intrust itself in Russia. In that case the Russo-German understanding would not extend further than the negative matters embodied in the explicit treaty provisions, such as the mutual canceling of debts and waiver of claims. On the other hand, the Soviet Government may make con

cessions sufficient to attract not merely German capital, but the capital of Western nations, so that Russia would resume something like full economic communion with the world at large. Even in the latter eventuality, however, Germany would play a major rôle in Russia's economic rehabilitation, because of the special factors which I have already described. The thing to be borne in mind is the intimate nature of Russo-German economic relations in the past, which must inevitably influence profoundly their relations in the future.


While Europe was endeavoring to compose its most pressing difficulties by an international conference at Genoa, acute troubles were breaking out in the Far East. In China civil war has actually begun, while in eastern Siberia fighting has also taken place both between the "Red" and "White" Russian factions and between the Russian "Reds" and the Japanese. In China the decade of civil strife since the revolution of 1911, which deposed the Manchu dynasty and proclaimed the republic, has resulted in something very much akin to anarchy. China to-day has no real government. The effective political power is parceled out among a swarm of local leaders known as tuchuns, controlling one or more provinces by means of bandit-armies which aggregate the enormous total of more than 1,600,000. There are, to be sure, two so-called "governments," that of Peking in the North, and that of Canton in the South. The Canton government has the advantage of being headed by a number of influential personalities, such as the fiery republican

leader Sun Yat-sen, the hero of the first revolution, and the veteran diplomat Wu Ting-fang. The Peking government possesses no men of equal prestige. However, both governments depend upon the support of various tuchuns, and since these tuchuns are all playing for their own hands and are forever intriguing and shifting sides, neither government possesses any real stability or authority.

The present civil war is a threecornered fight between Chang Tso-lin, Tuchun of Manchuria; Wu Pei-fu, head of a confederacy of tuchuns in central China; and Sun Yat-sen, head of the government of the South. Within the last year Chang Tso-lin has become virtually master of the North, controlling the shadowy Peking government and occupying Peking with his troops. Against him are ranged most of the tuchuns of central China, jealous of his growing power and accusing him of being Japan's tool. It is these two factions which are now at grips around Peking. Meanwhile Sun Yat-sen has allied himself with Chang Tso-lin and is attacking the confederated tuchuns from the South. The present line-up is, therefore, north and south against central China. However, there is nothing lasting in the present alinement of factions. Chang Tso-lin and Sun Yat-sen have nothing in common beyond opposition to a common enemy, and if the confederated tuchuns, headed by Wu Pei-fu, should be defeated, the victorious North and South would almost inevitably quarrel over the spoils of the contests.

Thus China continues to tread the thorny path of political turbulence, while Japan and other foreign countries take advantage of China's weak

ness to fish in troubled waters. Until China settles down, there will be no stability in the Far East.


Europe's complicated problems were for the moment centered at Genoa. The Genoa Conference had at least brought the European nations together, and had thus permitted discussion and comparison of points of view. Next month I shall discuss the conference's activities and results.

The situation in the Near and Middle East remains tense and full of momentous possibilities. No settlement of the Turkish situation has as yet been reached. In Syria agitation against French rule has become more militant; serious disorders have occurred, the French troops having been roughly handled on one occasion. In India things are for the moment quieter, but there has been no basic change in the situation.

Ireland continues to suffer from profound unrest. Despite the efforts of the moderate elements to avert the ruin which anything like civil war would entail, civil war continues to loom upon the horizon. Conference has proved unable to reconcile the conflicting aims of Free Staters, Republicans, and Ulstermen. Perhaps the most hopeful factor in the situation is the attitude of the Irish outside of Ireland. Whether in the United States or in the British dominions, the great majority of persons of Irish extraction are throwing their influence in favor of peaceful compromise and condemn violent or extremist courses.

The most hopeful development in contemporary world politics appears to be the forthcoming conference to be held at Washington between repre

sentatives of Chile and Peru for the settlement of the perennial TacnaArica dispute. In these columns I have already mentioned the seriousness of this problem and have pointed out the ominous likelihood that an armed conflict between Chile and Peru would involve neighboring states, and might even spread into a general war embracing all South America.

This sinister possibility has been realized by both the Latin-American chancelleries and our own Government. As an outcome of extensive diplomatic exchanges, President Harding sent notes to the governments of Chile and Peru, inviting them to meet at Washington, "on neutral and friendly soil," to settle the controversy which has embittered South-American politics for a generation.

Not only have Chile and Peru accepted President Harding's invitation, but both governments are apparently inspired by a genuine desire to come to an understanding. For example, in a recent interview given by President Alessandri of Chile to an Associated Press representative, the president was emphatic in expressing his confidence that "neither Chile nor Peru can afford to let this opportunity slip by, when mankind is going through a period of peace and good-will in the settlement of its difficulties."

One special reason for the desire apparently felt by both Chile and Peru to come to a definite understanding at this time is the approach of the great Pan-American conference scheduled to meet early next year at Santiago de Chile. It would be a notable triumph for both governments to be able to present to the conference a constructive settlement of the gravest political problem in Latin America.

An American Looks at His World

Comment on the Times



AST month, in a discussion of the Ages except a vast spiritual renaissance,

Lspiritual outlook for Western civil

ization, I ventured to take issue with the prophets of doom who are predicting that we are on the eve of a new Dark Ages, and suggested that, on the contrary, we are perhaps approaching the springtime of a new Renaissance, that a vast "fresh advance of the human spirit is about to be made."

Since then I have further developed this discussion before audiences in colleges, universities, and theological seminaries, before specialized groups of business men, and before general audiences ranging from an audience in New York City to an audience in a Middle-Western village of two hundred inhabitants. From these varied audiences there came no end of keen questionings, prompted now by skepticism, now by whole-hearted faith in the future, now by an almost pathetic will to hope. With some of the issues raised by these audiences I want now to deal. Before plunging into these questions and answers, however, it may be well to summarize the tentative prophecy made last month.

After suggesting the scope and tone of the literature of despair that has been written since the war, I suggested that nothing can prevent Western civilization from entering a new Dark

a process of moral renewal sweeping through the world like another Reformation. I did not arbitrarily predict such a renaissance; I only stated my belief that the raw materials for such a renaissance are lying all about us, waiting for some truly great spiritual leader to bring them together and to touch them into life. I suggested that while this renaissance will be a profoundly spiritual movement, it will not be primarily a church movement; that its prophets will not sweep the world with any one new doctrine, but that their services will consist rather in bringing together into a new synthesis all of the new idealisms and new spiritual values that have been springing up as unconscious by-products of the creative thought that has been going on in the fields of science, education, industry, politics, and religion. I suggested that the Erasmus, the Wesley, or the Luther of this new movement will in all probability be the lay herald of largely anonymous Christianity.

The response that this suggestion receives from all sorts of audiences convinces me that I am not amiss in assuming that the dream of a vast moral renewal is everywhere simmering beneath the confusion and despair

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