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effect that over there was a very won- of danger, but now they returned. Out drous mansion, the top floors of which of the ruins of the old palace they made a were inhabited by a gay and witty society. huge building of only a single story. The They spent their days in the pursuit of cellar, however, was kept as before. pleasure, but a few took their leisure for Heavy beams were laid across it, and huge the improvement of their speculative abil- walls were put together from the old maity. These few pondered upon the prob- sonry and an ugly, but useful, roof of lems that confronted the management of structural iron was placed over all. The their palace; for while the upper floors one great room was upholstered as well as were a delightful place in which to dwell, could be with the remains of the furniture there was a vast basement, much larger of the old order of society. The tapesthan the entire superstructure, in which tries were not original, the chairs were lived the workers, the men and women rank imitations, and the sofa had been who made the abode of mirth on the other used by the last king. floors a possibility. As the men of thoughts "Why not?” the new inhabitants of the began to meditate upon the future of huge hall asked of one another. “After themselves and of those who dwelt below all, we are just as good as our former in the miserable caves of countless unsani- masters. Therefore, why should we not tary cellars, they constructed fine theories sit
upon this bit of royal wood and horseand played with the Chinese rockets of hair and be as comfortable as they were ?" their brilliant wit until one day a few "Yes," said one of the cave-dwellers, sparks of their theoretical fireworks sticking his head through the cellar door, dropped into the cellar. The rubbish ac- “but what about us?” cumulated by centuries of neglect began “You, my friends,” was the answer, to smolder. Some on the top floor no- "will be well looked after from now on. ticed the smoke, and gave warning. Do not worry. For the moment just go "Never mind," the gay assembly said. back to your work, for which you will re"We have always heard these stories of ceive a fair wage. And, by the way, since fire. Let the thing burn after we are you are no longer a slave, if at any time dead," and they went on with the dance you do not like our treatment, you may until the flames burst forth through the leave this house." windows, burned away the floor, and “That sounds very well,” said the man, threw the entire august company into the as yet unconvinced, “but where can we go flaming hell of the cellar. It left the to, since there is only this one house?” blackened ruins of a house that had per- “Oh, well, my friend, you can go out ished through its own recklessness.
and live in the open, in the lovely fields So much for the little story of M. of nature.” Taine. What happened after that not "And starve to death?” only in France, but all over Europe?
Therefore you had better The old house was never rebuilt in its stay where you are for the present and be original shape. The fine ladies and gen- contented. Later everything will be made tlemen of the upper foors disappeared. right." Those who had not been killed by the “Shut that door!” came the angry
voice conflagration never survived the shock. A of a professor of political economy. “If
“ new edifice had to be constructed. Who the fellow has an economic right to be was to do this? The humble workers of here in this pleasant room, he will get the old cellar? They did not know how; here in the end. So says the law of the but there was still another set of inhabi- only true science. Shut that door!” The tants. They were fewer in number, but door was shut. A heavy, old-fashioned more important. These were the butlers cupboard was put across it, and everyand the higher-class servants of the old thing went on as before. The new society régime. They had fled at the first sign was a little more mixed than the former.
The manners were a boorish mimicry of golden spangles upon their ragged clothes what once had been considered good form. if only the men would come and fight, and The taste in general had not improved, they promised them lovely colored ribbons but in all its general essentials everything in case they should suffer damage to life was a close repetition of what had gone or limb. They rattled off every convincbefore.
ing argument that ever had served the From time to time there were danger- purpose of forcing men into battle. ous rumblings in the cellar. "Oh," the And the poor fellows, drunk with the ladies said upon such occasions, “if these artificial excitement, painfully climbed horrible people ever break loose, what a out of their miserable holes, took the arms nasty business that will be !"
that were pressed into their hands, set out "Never mind," they were reassured by to murder one another, and fought like their gallant companions. "One of our demons. Until it was all over, and they men has just invented a new process of were once more driven into their cellar? reinforced concrete, and we shall recon- No; because this time they will refuse struct our foor in such a way that noth
back. ing from below can possibly hurt us. Besides, we are not unreasonable. We are HISTORICAL prophecies of any actual value really very good to the people in the cel- are impossible. History is an art and not lar. To-morrow we shall send them a a science. It is an art which, like every barrel of beer and perhaps a box of ci- other art, is based upon a science; but a gars. Then they can be happy.” And combination of unexpected circumstances, the people of the big hall, acting upon the strange interacting of character upon their generous impulse, engaged a circus character, the sudden appearance of a to amuse themselves, and ate, drank, and leader of overpowering influence, may lived happily.
change the course of history at any moUntil one day they had a falling out ment. Yet we have a great deal of maamong themselves. Nobody knew how the terial about the past upon which we can quarrel started, nobody cared much; but base some of our contentions about the all of a sudden they were ready to fly at future. one another's throats. Then by a common Above all, keep in mind the fact that impulse they rushed to the door of the cel- the great European War is not a struggle lar, and called: "We have been good mas- which is popular with the masses. Their ters. Come quickly and fight for us." ancient loyalty keeps the soldiers in the
But when the men would not come, trenches, but their minds and their hearts their masters had recourse to many argu- are at all times with those whom they left ments not heard since the days when the at home.
When they are mortally old people of the old ruined mansion had wounded, they feel that they lose their last been seen.
lives in a cause which might have been They insisted that the others must come avoided if the powers that still rule the because it was the will of God. But God, world had been inspired with greater forethe men answered, had been dead these sight and with greater ability to lead the
, many years, and they refused to fight.
The stress of war, the Then the inhabitants of the large hall anxiety about the safety of their own land, called upon every patriotic sentiment that will keep their mouths shut as long as the had been used in the olden days when struggle lasts; but the day will come when such sentiments had an actual meaning. the last gun will be fired. Then the milThey started loud bands playing old well- lions of armed men will return to their known tunes. They hypnotized the homes, and they will demand that their blinded creatures of the cellar with a dis- children be spared a repetition of this inplay of brilliant colors which they waved excusable waste of human life and happimadly in the air. They promised to place
affairs of men.
When peace comes back to earth, what beneath the surface of the earth or perwill happen? Twenty million men will forms the dreariest of tasks in that drearireturn to their homes. They will be asked est of modern inventions, a factory. Forto go back to their old tasks and take up merly tradition and habit made him obey; the work which they left when they went but will he obey this time? That is the to the war. There will be a terrific bur- question. Will the man in khaki return den of taxation, and all men will be to his shop and his workroom as quietly obliged to work harder than before. At as the man in black of Cromwell's army? the same time they will receive less money All the evidence in the case says no. than they did formerly. Year in and year He will not. In this war he has been out they must pay the ever-increasing in- taught something which his many strikes
terest upon a capital the principal of which and his labor warfare did not make clear was destroyed in the form of dynamite, to him. Before the year 1914, if in an powder, nitroglycerin, war-ships, Zeppe- encounter with his masters he used violins, cannon, machine-guns, and other un- lence, he was regarded as an enemy of the productive investments. Economists shake law and was treated accordingly. This their heads, and tell me that what I now time he has with his own eyes and with his state is an utter impossibility; but the time own hands noticed that organized violence will come, probably within two genera- is the best way to accomplish the desired tions, when the citizen, disgusted with the results of his country. He has been trained hard work forced upon him by the stupid- to take from his enemy by violence what ity of a forgotten ancestor, will simply could not be obtained by arguments of wipe this debt off the national slate. And
Is it likely in those circumstances who is there who can prevent this?
that the mass of men will return peaceThe economic notions of the average fully to their unpleasant tasks when they European laborer or farmer, not to speak know that they are possessed of the power of the peasant, who has always formed the with which they can obtain for themselves bulk of every army, are extremely hazy. all they wish? The poor fellow struggles through life Call this statement socialistic, anarchistrying to make both ends meet. Fre- tic, call it the most outrageous thing you quently he is not able to do this. Then have ever heard; but I am reporting what he is turned out upon the street a pauper. the men who make up the countless armies Or if he succeeds in keeping the hungry actually feel, not what they ought to mouths of his family filled, his life re- think. solves itself into an endless worry lest to- To make a long story short, after the morrow may not provide the food with
war we may expect a most severe social which the family may manage to live un- revolution. We shall see the outbreak of til the day after.
labor troubles everywhere. These trouNow behold what the war has done for bles will be of such magnitude that they him. It has fed him better than he has will make themselves felt at once in the ever been fed before. It has put him into United States. decent clothes. A heavy winter coat goes Of course the difficulties of France and with the equipment of every soldier, and Germany and Russia and England will often he never saw such a garment before. all be very different. Germany, after Without sufficient food and shelter he is more than a century of discipline in all of no use as a fighting man; hence he is matters of daily concern whether private well fed three times a day. He likes it. or public, will act more slowly than the He would be very happy if he were al- others. The Germans will proceed with ways as well looked after. But when he order and in decency. They will appoint comes home from the war he will not be leaders, and they will obey these leaders given this food unless he goes to dig coal as bluntly as they have formerly obeyed out of a little black gallery half a mile their political and military masters. The
opposition will be organized by the greatly But after the war! Then we shall have strengthened Socialistic party.
to deal with different men and in very The question is often asked why this different circumstances. The German party did not make a definite stand against workman understands that this war, even the war? Why not indeed? Because they if it is victorious, can never repay him and did not have the slightest chance of suc- his people for what they have lost and cess in any contemplated opposition in Au- suffered. The glory, if there is any, will gust of the year 1914. In our highly sys- go to those who have been in command. I tematized world we often forget the great wish that you could have heard the bitterinfluence which the small subconscious ness with which that statement was often sentiments have upon our deeds and our made-the bitterness of people with no words. Socialism is a comparatively new vision but one of hopeless disappointment. doctrine. It has no traditions.
It is not No, to the vast majority of the people of provided with an imaginary background Germany this war, with all its outward in the minds of the true believers. On the glory, is a gruesome labor that has to be other hand, the idea of state and of em- finished one way or another. pire is based upon ancient tradition, mel- It is no wonder that the reigning family lowed by age.
has lost a great deal of the popularity Suppose the German Socialists had de- with which it led its men into France and cided to oppose the war. Just imagine the Russia at the beginning of hostilities. If situation. Somewhere in a dreary hall a everything had gone well during those number of Socialists meet, and after much first months, yes, if there had been a rhetoric of a purely theoretical kind and speedy and easy victory, it would have the smoking of many cheap cigars they been a different question; but after years vow to obey their reason rather than their of struggle and suffering there will be a feelings and refuse to fight. Is it all clear general detestation of the horror of our to you, the smell of beer and bad tobacco, modern chemical warfare. A strongly orthe forlorn bleakness of it all? And then ganized Socialistic party, a phalanx of dethink of what will happen the moment the termined and
will work imperial brass band and a battalion of sol- quietly, but steadily, upon the problem of diers come marching by. That excellent their own class, ninety per cent of the gathering of enlightened humanity will entire population. If the Government follow that band to hell provided it keeps has the sense to place itself at the head of on playing popular airs. Against the age- this movement (and very likely it will do old traditions-traditions of valor and this), it may lead the men toward a comcourage and honor and love for the colors pletely socialized empire. But whatever of the fatherland and devotion to the happens, the good old days of a negligible ideals of empire-all the doctrines of the parliament and a small clique of intersublime Marx are effaced. These men ested leaders who mysteriously guide the assembled to uphold reason are at once
affairs of the nation for some equally mysswept away by some mysterious force terious benefit and according to rules of which is much stronger than reason. They international conduct that were valid in fall victims to the traditions of countless the days of the Romans will disappear. generations.
And before ten years have gone by the Of course, after a while, reason will re- German imperial cabinet will be domiturn; then, however, it is too late. The nated by Socialistic ministers. citizen has become a soldier, and loyalty, What of France, the sublime, which, that commonest of virtues in the world of unprepared, arose out of the filth of the simple-minded people, forces him to stick Caillaux trial to withstand an invading to the cause to which he once gave his horde advancing to the very gates of her support. He must stick it out until vic- capital? tory or defeat brings about peace.
In France, in less than twelve months'
time, the spirit of the people has undone semble the old Huguenot chieftains. They the harm of forty years of bad government will be men of a serious purpose, they will by and of and for the lawyers who fought be men of deep religious feeling; only now for the possession of her political spoils. their religion will be a' socialism of the The story of France since the great deba- future. cle of 1870 is not an inspiring one. One Of the events in Russia we can speak dreary figure after the other carries the with certainty. Every foreign war in black silk hat and the red silk ribbon, the which the empire has ever been engaged insignia of the highest dignity which the has meant a prelude for a bitter revolurepublic can give to her citizens. Not a tion. The explanation is a simple one. single figure among them rises out of the During times of peace the inefficient buclass which we call mediocre. Her min- reaucracy of Russia can find ways and isters are a national joke, and they change means by which to perform the strictly with a rapidity which is often a national necessary tasks for the management of the disgrace.
empire, meanwhile trusting to a kind The war came, and the useless super- Providence to take care of any possible structure was at once swept away. Men emergencies. But never yet has this maof deeds took the place of men of mere chine of inefficiency been tried by any words. Whatever the outcome of the period of stress without disastrous results war, France knows that
to all those concerned. In the great conof her people, among the millions of in- Alict which now rages in eastern Europe dustrious workers of her rich country, she Russia has seen her best armies wasted, has the very best that this world possesses. her fleet doomed to inactivity, the richest After the war there is only one course that part of her territory surrendered to an France can follow: the old aristocracy invader, and all of this because of a lack which made the France of glorious out- of foresight and the indifference of the ward fame and horrible domestic misery ruling class. It is merely a question of can never return to power. The middle months and perhaps of weeks before there class has had a fair trial, and it has failed. will be a repetition of those events which For better or for worse, the old home of occurred immediately after the Japanese the emancipation of the human mind will War. The Slavic people, ruled by a syshave to turn to a new order of things. tem which was originated by Tatars and Parliamentarism as France has known it Byzantines and which was hammered into for almost half a century, the haggling of shape by German drill-masters, will once small politicasters for the benefit of their more make an attempt to rid itself of this own little interests, will be a thing of the unbearable yoke. past. In the tremendous struggle for na- Their task will not be an easy one. tional existence a new leadership is being Revolutionary propaganda is difficult in a born—the leadership of the capable men country which can neither read nor write, from among the masses.
but the chances for victory are better than Is n't this remark too Utopian? Can a they were in the year 1900. Ten years of neglected class suddenly produce men capa- a semblance of popular government, howble of leadership? For answer I refer ever primitive, have done their work betyou to the leaders who guided France ter than most people know. There will through the days of the Revolution. The be more cohesion and more system in the miracle which they performed has been attempts of the man who will stir up the seen before and it will be seen again. Do not expect a repetition of the old times of Of course, in Russia, which is not prethe sea-green Robespierre and the whole- ponderantly a manufacturing nation, but sale drownings of his enemies in the River an agricultural one, the ever-present quesLoire. Indeed, as I see the future, the tion is that of the division of the land. men who will come to the front will re- Compared with the magnitude of this