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only that the opposition has failed to approach the challenge of constructive appeal to the moral sense of the nation, policy they will find, I think, that the and has stressed, perhaps without failure of Wilson was a failure in realization, the sinister and selfish technic, not a failure in purpose. The motives in world politics.
Wilson aims were morally creative It is a far cry from the crusading aims. They came as a sort of new spirit of 1917–18 to the canny spirit birth in world politics.
And once of 1921. Will Mr. Harding and Mr. morally creative ideas are loosed in Hughes evolve a foreign policy that the world, they can never be recaptured will appeal to the best instincts of the or killed. They will ever after haunt, American people, or will they content as ghosts, the council-tables of the themselves with a policy of hermit opposition. isolation that will foster the narrowly If Mr. Harding is to win a place in nationalistic and suicidally selfish ten- history, he must win it by attaining dencies of this moment of post-war the aims of Mr. Wilson. He will never moral slump?
win it by adjourning the aims of Mr. No American foreign policy can in
Wilson. Mr. Wilson's successor does sure a new heaven and a new earth. not need a better policy, only a better We cannot foist Utopias upon the technic. A foreign policy for America world. But any foreign policy that that falls short of the war aims of does not somehow stimulate in the America will be nothing short of moral American people a sense of their moral apostasy. If the Hardings, the Lodges, responsibility in world affairs, any and the Knoxes follow up their bitter foreign policy that reckons only with protests against the manifest wrongs national safety, with never a word of of the Versailles treaty with a connational service, any foreign policy, in structive policy that makes for an inshort, that does not in some degree creasingly decent coöperative ordering make to the American people the of world affairs, they will be rememspiritual appeal that the pronounce bered in history as men of singular ments of Mr. Wilson made, will be the moral vision and statesmanlike stratproduct either of dull or of dangerous egy. If they capitalize their present minds.
political advantage by adopting an Politics to-day stands sorely in need every-nation-for-itself-and-the-devilof a great moral leader. Were such a take-the-hindermost foreign policy, leader to appear now, in the midst of they will be remembered in history as the sterile and partizan babblings Benedict Arnolds to the greatest adabout entangling alliances, I believe venture ever undertaken by this nathe American people would flock to his tion in justification of the high political standard. Is it possible that, with a morality in which it was conceived. world half in ruins and politically What shall it profit America if she leaderless, America will have nothing keeps clear of the whole world, but better to offer than a suspiciously loses her own soul? Here, then, is Prussian saber-rattling and a big navy? one standard, at least, by which to
So far the critics of the Wilson test the foreign policy of the Harding policies have been negative; now they administration: Does it infuse politics must be positive. And when they with a sense of international morality? academic. It is an assault upon the A RENAISSANCE IN CHINA
archaic style of literary writing in THERE is going on in China today a China. This must not be confused movement that may finally produce with the Phonetic Script Movement, more profound social and political ef- which is a movement to introduce a fects than any or all of the strictly Chinese alphabet. The Renaissance social and political movements that Movement represents an attempt to now figure in the despatches from substitute a simple conversational that ancient land. This movement style of writing for the archaic style of is called the Renaissance, or New literary writing. At first thought this Thought, Movement. The phrase seems interesting business for profes"New Thought" is really a misnomer sors and penmen, but hardly a movewhen applied to the intellectual adven- ment loaded with social dynamite. ture in question. The movement has But on second thought its far-reachnothing whatever to do with the body ing social implications begin to sugof opinion and the attitude of mind gest themselves. It means the creation that go by the name of “New Thought” of a usable and effective medium for in the United States. I use it in this the propaganda of modern ideas among connection and in passing only because the Chinese people. It means in time it occurs frequently in the reports of a great increase in the Chinese reading foreign observers of this Chinese move public. It means a marked increase in ment. Let us get the movement the number and circulation of periodiplaced and then try to catch its mean- cals in China. The mere mechanical ing and assess its probable influence. simplification of writing would do this,
The National University of Peking is but add the almost missionary zeal that the largest and most important center seems to attend this Renaissance Moveof learning under government aus- ment, and these results seem assured. pices in China. Its chancellor, Tsai Much that has hitherto been a sealed Yuan-pei, is the guiding spirit of the book to the many in China will become most influential group in the intel- readable and understandable when lectual life of modern China. Chinese translated into a simple conversational men who were trained in American style of writing. universities are, I understand, very I have before me as I write a letter much in power at the National Uni- from one of the professors in the Naversity of Peking. The university tional University of Peking. Discusshas an enrollment of nearly three ing this Renaissance Movement, he thousand students and a faculty of suggests that it is as if an Englishsome three hundred scholars. The speaking people, whose entire literauniversity turns out about twenty ture had been written in Latin and publications, and under its influence Greek, should start a movement for nearly one hundred and fifty maga- the translation of their literature in the zines are scattered throughout China. English of the period, putting into the This university is the center of the hands of the masses, in a form they origin and activity of the Renaissance could understand, that which had Movement.
hitherto been the exclusive property of The Movement sounds harmlessly priests and scholars. From this move
ment, then, we may expect some research. Some of these periodicals Chinese Wyclif to emerge.
bear the modern names of “EmanciThe secondary results of this reform pation," "Reconstruction," "The New of literary style are already appearing. Man," "The New Woman,” and “HuFollowing up their stylistic reforms, manity.” One of the periodicals pubthe leaders of this Renaissance Move lished “A Special Number on Love and ment have begun to apply the modern Marriage,” and another, “A Special historical methods of studying history Number on the Problem of Prostituand classical literature to the study of tion,” while still another published Chinese history and literature. The “A Special Number on Modern Poprinciples of lower and higher criticism etry.” On Labor day last year one are being applied to the Confucian of the periodicals published a special classics to test and prove the relia- volume of four hundred pages dedibility or unreliability of certain por- cated to the day. tions and details of the utterances of Tagore, Ibsen, Hauptmann, BerConfucius and his disciples.
nard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, Witness a few of the results of this and others may now be read in adventure. Three years ago, I am re- Chinese. It is not uncommon to see in liably informed, there was only one one number of one of these modern journal in China, and it was struggling Chinese magazines an entire play of along in a difficult attempt to gain an Ibsen or Maupassant translated into interested clientele. To-day there are an easy conversational Chinese. nearly two hundred periodicals pub- These Renaissance leaders are inlished in various parts of China under viting creative minds to lecture in various auspices for various purposes, China. John Dewey is enthusiastiand they are all written in the con- cally received, and the National Universational style of Chinese for which versity of Peking confers upon him an the leaders of the Renaissance Move honorary degree. Bertrand Russell is ment are battling. These two hun- asked to speak, and Henri Bergson is dred journals, with virtual unanim- invited to their platforms. ity, stand for democratic ideals. There Here is a movement that will repay is a refreshing fearlessness in their ex- watching. In a time when the more pression of views in their tradition- obvious forms of leadership in politics ridden land. The contents pages of and in industry seem to have struck these periodicals show a range of sub- a dead center, it is gratifying to know jects from Bolshevism to birth control, that new intellectual forces are being from the introduction of a single tax released in the world to create, perto such a subject as the historical study haps, new leaders. of Christological ideas before Jesus of Nazareth, the latter subject, by the
A BLACK AMBASSADOR way, written, not by a missionary or by a Chinese Christian, but by a non- CHARLES GILPIN, negro actor, has Christian university scholar.
made himself a sort of black ambasSome of the articles in these periodi- sador to the sane America that is cals are merely translations, but many equally impatient with the white of them are products of original provokers of race hatred and the Du Bois type of colored leadership that men and women who had generously batters itself into passionate rhet refused to permit the color line to be oric against the walls of racial in- drawn in art. Accordingly, he planned tegrity.
to drop in to the dinner for a few Gilpin, after playing the rôle of Wil moments only, thank his friends, and liam Curtis, the negro servant in John depart. As every one knows, his apDrinkwater's “Abraham Lincoln” pearance was the sensation of the throughout its long New York run, evening. joined the Provincetown Players to But all this is stale news. I have replay the title rôle in Eugene O'Neill's hearsed it only to get the setting for "The Emperor Jones." It was a rôle the point of this editorial. Gilpin did upon which the success or failure of the not seize upon the occasion to give play hinged, for the play is simply an vent to a Du Bois diatribe against the evening-long monologue of an erst- color line in social relations. On the while Pullman porter who has estab- contrary, he made a simple and sound lished himself as emperor in the West statement that contains much wisdom, Indies, carries off the duties and digni- needed just now in our consideration ties of his self-appointed office with of the problem of color in America. humor and bravado, then suddenly He said, in commenting upon the realizes that the ominous sound of the occasion: tom-tom means the end of his adven
I like to keep the foot-lights between ture, and through the remaining epi
me and the public. I don't go in much sodes of the play stumbles tragically
for sociality or hobnobbing. . . . I have to his doom, by his groans and solilo
my own little circle of friends and I love quy dramatizing all the fears, passions, them. I live quietly up in Harlem (in and superstitions that are his as an the negro quarter) where I belong. ... individual negro and that rush into I am really a race man-a negro, and his mind from across the centuries and proud of being one, proud of the progress out of the jungles of Africa.
the negroes have made in the time and His acting proved an artistic tri
with the opportunity they have had. umph. The Drama League planned
... If I can give any one pleasure with its annual dinner in honor of the ten
my acting I am very happy. persons who had contributed most to This was a speech that would have dramatic art during the year. Voting delighted Booker T. Washington's had hardly begun before it was evident heart. He liked to think that the that Charles Gilpin would be among negro race would slowly build up a the ten artists chosen. Then some one body of negro citizens who would make put through the suggestion that Gilpin slow, but sure, conquest of prejudice would not be invited to the dinner not by propaganda, but by the silent even if he were chosen by vote. Im- power of good workmanship and social mediately, the leading artists of the usefulness. If the negro was charged theater protested. Gilpin was finally with incompetence on the farm and in invited. He asserts that his first im- the home, then the way to refute that pulse was to decline the invitation, charge was by training negroes at but that later he realized that his Tuskegee Institute to be skilled agrideclination would be unfair to the culturists and competent citizens.
“The real thing," Washington once sophical and theological thieves who said, "is n't to be done by talking and seemed bent upon filching from it agitation. It's a matter of lives. The social power and human appeal. In only answer to it all is for colored men these latter days we have been redisto be patient, to make themselves covering Christianity by the grace competent, to do good work, to live of modern scholarship. We are bewell, to give no occasion against us.” ginning to see the tremendous social
It is in this spirit that Charles Gil- implications as well as the always pin is one of the black ambassadors, emphasized personal aspect of Chrisbringing the appeal of negro usefulness tianity. But the rank and file of layand attainment to the decency and men have not read and will not read sense of fair play that we like to think the writings of even such readable characterize America.
religious writers as Walter Rauschenbusch and Francis G. Peabody, not to mention other and later writers. I
mean laymen will not as a rule be atTHE NEXT GREAT BIOGRAPHY
tracted to such a formidable title as BIOGRAPHY is a reviving art. That Mr. Rauschenbusch's “Christianity is to say, the last few years have seen and The Social Crisis," for instance. a revival of interest in the writing and It would be difficult to estimate the reading of biographies. Among the effect upon American religion, Amerisuccesses of the last few publishing can business, and American politics if seasons certain biographies and auto- some properly equipped writer should biographies come readily to mind. produce in a manner that would Emerson suggested that institutions intrigue the interest of the vast army of are but the lengthened shadows of readers a fresh biography of Jesus of men, and for that reason biography Nazareth that would take advantage will always remain one of the most of all the work which has been done direct roads to the heart of the great by scholars in recovering the social periods and the great problems of half of Christianity that was for history.
many centuries lost by men who saw, There is one biography that is sadly or refused to see, other than the perneeded now-a biography of Jesus of sonal and other-worldly half of ChrisNazareth. This suggestion may not tianity. Thousands would read such a reveal its point readily in view of the biography who will never touch the fact that our book-shelves are crowded existing modern volumes of religious with innumerable volumes that pur- history and theology. Such a biogport to tell the story of the life and raphy should carefully discard the public activity of the Nazarene. But vocabulary that has been used in the there is, I believe, an urgent social past. The writer should take an oath reason why another “Life” of this that he will forego the use of any term central figure of history should be that will involuntarily call forth prewritten.
conceived notions. Through several centuries Chris- Because no one has written such a tianity worked its way over a Jericho book, because only the inklings of this road that was infested with philo- relatively new literature about the