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violates the rule of Live and let live by that much. Self-determination, full and free, necessarily encroaches on the conditions of life for all the others.

So, just now there is talk of disallowing or abridging the inalienable right of free nations by so much as is imperatively demanded for reasonably secure conditions of life among these civilised peoples, and especially so far as is required for the orderly pursuit of profitable business by the many vested interests domiciled in these civilised countries. The project has much in common with the measures which have been entertained for the restraint of any insufferably extortionate vested interests within the national frontiers.

In both cases alike, both in the proposed regulation of businesslike excesses at home and in the proposed league of pacific nations, the projected measures of sobriety and tolerance appear to be an infraction of that inalienable right of self-direction that makes up the substantial core of law and custom according to the modern point of view. There is much alarm felt by the demagogues at the danger which is said to threaten the national " sovereignty "; just as the vested interests are volubly apprehensive of the "sacred rights of property." And in both cases alike the projected measure of sobriety, tolerance and incidental infraction are designed to go no farther than is unequivocally demanded by the imperative needs of continued life on earth; leaving the benefit of the doubt always on the side of the insufferable vested interests or the mischievous national ambitions, as the case may be; and leaving the impression that it all is a concessive

surrender of principles under compulsion of circumstances that will not wait. There is also in both cases alike a well-assured likelihood that the tentative revision of vested interests and of national pretensions is to be no more than an incompetent remedial precaution, a makeshift shelter from the wrath to come.

It is evident that in both cases alike we have to do with an incursion of ideas and considerations that are alien to the established liberal principles of human intercourse; but it is also evident that these ideas and considerations have the sanction of that new order of things that runs in terms of tangible performance and enforces its requisitions with cruel and unusual punishments. It is these punishments that are to be evaded or suspended, and immunity is sought by diplomatic measures of formality and delay rather than by tangible performance. In such a case the keepers of the established order will always look to evasion and entertain a hope of avoiding casualties and holding the line by the use of a cleverly designed masquerade.

It is the express purpose of the projected league of pacific nations to keep the sovereign rights of national self-determination intact for all comers; it is to be a league of nations, not a league of peoples. But it should be sufficiently obvious, whether it is avowed or not, that these sovereign rights can be maintained by these means only in a mutilated form. Within the framework of any such league or common understanding the nations, each and several, can continue to exercise these rights only on the basis of a mutual agreement to give up so much of

their national pretensions as are patently incompatible with the common good. It involves a concessive surrender of the sovereign right of self-aggrandisement, and perhaps also an extension of the rule of Live and let live to cover minor nationalities within the national frontiers; a mutual agreement to play fair under the new rules that are to govern the conduct of national enterprise. Any injunction to play fair is an infraction of national sovereignty. Hitherto no liberal statesman has been so audacious as to "imagine the king's death" and lay profane hands on the divine right of nations to seek their own advantage at the cost of the rest by such means as the rule of reason shall decide to be permissible. It is only that licence is to be hedged about, and all insufferable superfluity of naughtiness is provisionally to be disallowed.

There is this evident resemblance and kinship between the vested interests of business and the soyereign rights of nations, but it does not amount to identity. There is always something more to the national sovereignty and the national pretensions; although these precautionary measures that are now under advisement as touches the legitimate bounds of both do run on singularly similar lines and are of a similarly tentative and equivocal nature. In the prudent measures by which statesmen have set themselves to curb the excesses of the greater vested interests within the nation their aim has quite consistently been to guard the free income of the lesser vested interests against the unseasonable rapacity of the greater ones; all the while that the underlying community has come into the case only as a fair field

of business enterprise at large, within which there is to be maintained a reasonable degree of equal opportunity among these interests, big and little, in whom, one with another, vests the effectual usufruct of the underlying community.

It may be necessary to remark, by way of parenthesis, that while this description of these corrective measures may seem to hint at a fault, that is by no means its purpose. The fault may be there, of course, but if so it has no bearing on the argument at this point. It should also be remarked in the same connection that this description of facts does not overlook the well-conceived verbal reservations and preambles with which cautious statesmen habitually surround the common good in the face of any unseasonable rapacity on the part of the greater vested interests; it is only that the run of the facts has been quite patently to the effect so indicated. In the same connection it may also not be out of place to recall that a vested interest is a prescriptive right to get something for nothing; in which again the kinship and resemblance between vested interests in business and the sovereign rights of nations comes into view.

So, on the other hand, the great war has brought into a strong light the obvious fact that, given the existing state of the industrial arts, any unseasonable rapacity on the part of the great Powers in exercising their inalienable right of national self-determination will effectually suppress the similarly inalienable right of self-determination in any minor nationality that gets in the way. All of which is obnoxious to the liberal principle of self-help or to

that of equal opportunity. Unhappily, these two guiding principles of the modern point of view self-help and equal opportunity - have proved to be incompatible with one another under the circumstances of the new order of things. So there has come into view this project of a league, by which it is proposed to play fast and loose with the inalienable right of national self-help by setting up some sort of a collusive arrangement between the Powers, a conspiracy in restraint of national intrigue, looking to a reasonable disallowance of force and fraud in the pursuit of national ambitions.

Under the material circumstances of the new order those correctives that were once counted on to keep the run of things within the margin of tolerance have ceased to be a sufficient safeguard. By use and wont, in the Liberal scheme of statecraft as well as in the scheme of freely competitive business, implicit faith has hitherto been given to the remedial effect of punitive competition and the punitive correction of excesses by law and custom. It has been a system of adjustment by punitive afterthought. All of which may once have been well enough in its time, so long as the rate and scale of the movement of things were slow enough and small enough to be effectually overtaken and set to rights by afterthought. The modern-eighteenth-century

- point of view presumes an order of things which is amenable to remedial adjustment after the event. But the new order of industry, and that sweeping equilibrium of material forces that embodies the new order, is not amenable to afterthought. Where human life and human fortunes are exposed to the

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