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victims of the same vanity. Who has not seen a captain of industry swell with all the pride of a Frenchman receiving the Legion d'Honneur when the hotel clerk or an elevator boy called him by name!
And this is why salesmanship can never be a science. It will always be an
art. Just as it is incorrect, in a sense, to refer to the science of medicine when speaking of the physician's ministry. The primitive phrase is better: it is the "practice" of medicine. The physician must always reckon with the individuality of the case, and the salesman must study each customer as the physician studies each patient. So, indeed, is statesmanship an extremely difficult art of dealing with human beings one by one. Certain it is that many presidencies and premierships have been wrecked by the failure to recognize this intimate personal element in politics. Of course it is regrettable that a President should be obliged to burn up half his energy in jockeying with men and with massesenergy that it seems might better be spent in thinking out problems and evolving constructive policies; but the unalterable fact of experience is that for every hour a President spends in the ivory tower evolving policies, he must spend another hour in the arena fighting for and "selling" these policies.
II. HE KNEW HIS GOODS
Second, he knew his goods. It was not simply that he knew the quality and price of the articles for sale; he knew the whole rich and colorful history of furniture, of woods and their seasoning, of the craftsmanship that had gone into the manufacture of the articles. All this was an important factor in his salesmanship. When my attention lagged in the consideration of a given piece of furniture or when we were walking across the floor to some prospective selection, he knew how to interject into the conversation flashes of information from this fund of general knowledge. I was learning something as well as buying something; I was actually enjoying the spending of money. But the importance of this general fund of knowledge of his goods did not lie wholly, or even mainly, in the use of that knowledge in
conversation, but in the fact that the existence of that knowledge in his mind gave a sureness of touch to his judgment and a sense of authority to his answers to his customer's questionings.
Here, again, the statesman may learn from the salesman. The Presidency of the United States involves larger issues than the simple problems and simple decisions of parochial politics. It is not enough that a President be a clever politician. It is not enough that a President have good judgment on isolated problems. Nor can the challenge of the Presidency be met by a President's abdicating the right of private judgment and turning himself into a mere clearinghouse for other men's opinions. Ameri
can isolation is as dead as the dodo. We are part and parcel of a world of interlaced interests. National policies must be good not only nationally, but internationally. Then, too, the modern mind is in an experimental mood. The Presidency is not safe in the hands of a reactionary who denounces all experiment, nor in the hands of a radical who will experiment with anything at any time. No man can measure up to the demands the Presidency makes upon him unless he knows history, unless he is able to see every condition and proposal in the light of the steady evolution of government. He must have a sense of the continuity of history. He must realize that every day is the child of a yesterday and the parent of a to-morrow. He must keep step in the march of history. He must neither retreat nor attempt to strike a side trail of his own. The President must know American history and world history, or his judgments will be divorced from a needed background, or, to change the figure, they will wither for lack of soil.
III. HE DREW RATHER THAN DROVE
Third, he drew rather than drove his customer into a purchase. He never disputed an opinion I chanced to express about an article of furniture, its quality, its worth, or its utility. He never argued. At least he never made me feel that he had beaten me in an argument. He won me by the twin powers of suggestion and instruction. By the sheer force of facts he built up a case for his goods. If
a salesman defeats me in an argument, makes me admit I was wrong in my first impression, I may buy his goods, but in some indefinable and illogical way I will always resent the defeat. This is a very small, but very human trait in all of us. This salesman permitted me to leave the store feeling that it was my good taste rather than his good salesmanship that had made the entire selection of furniture, despite the fact that he probably kept me from buying articles I might have bought and led me to buy articles I would never have selected on my own initiative.
This is an accomplishment that a President, above all men, needs. Once a President openly and dramatically defeats a senator in argument, enforces upon the senator a sense of his intellectual inferiority to the President, the President has lost a collaborator. When the President is a good salesman, senators and representatives always have the satisfied feeling that the constructive legislation passed by the Houses springs from their brains, despite the fact that the legislation may be the exclusive product of the President's mind. And this does n't mean insincerity on the part of the President. It means good salesmanship, good generalship.
IV. HE HID THE SALESMAN IN THE
lessly, and half the time stood between us and the picture. We left the gallery with a blurred memory of the visit. The display-room of the second gallery was conducive to the contradictory moods of relaxation and concentration. The floor was covered with red velvet carpet; the walls were hung with red velvet draperies, and there was not a picture in sight. The salesman directed us to chairs at one end of the room. He quietly took his place behind our chairs, and asked two attendants to show us a certain picture. The attendants walked to the other end of the room, and drew aside the velvet draperies that covered the wall. But in thus disclosing the picture which rested on an easel behind the draperies, the two attendants stepped behind the draperies as they drew them. The picture was perfectly displayed. Neither salesman nor attendants disturbed our view of the painting.
Unless Presidents learn this elementary lesson, they must resign themselves to bitter charges of autocracy, one-man government, and the whole round of criticism that is loosed when a people ceases to regard its President as a servant and begins to suspect superman aspirations.
Mr. Harding has announced his intentions of taking "common counsel" with the best minds of the nation. pleases Americans, for the processes of common counsel have long distinguished American public servants. This method was pursued by the Pilgrim Fathers three hundred years ago. Governor Bradford makes this quaintly stated record in his history:
The grave mistris Experience haveing taught them many things, those prudent governours with sundrie of the sagest members begane both deeply to apprehend their present dangers, and wisely to forsee the future, and thinke of timly remedy.
Let us hope that, with counsel wisely taken, Mr. Harding will prove a good salesman of the resultant policies. Let us hope that he will wisely deal with senators and representatives, that we may have no dead-locks in our legislative chambers. Let us hope that he may bring to each problem of his administra
tion an informed sense of its relation to the past and future of American and European development, that he may be historically minded. Let us hope that he may lure rather than lash his associates into coöperation, and that he may always display that modesty of bearing which, in a public servant, is the beginning of efficiency.
T is not at all pleasant to take a critical attitude toward the policies of a nation that has stood in the breach, as France has stood, when civilization has been threatened by the arrogance of a hateful imperialism. But the present unhappy international situation cries aloud for the utmost candor, and the unvarnished truth is that, since the peace conference, France has been standing for foreign policies which, if unrevised, will drag Europe to its ruin. Nothing can be gained, everything may be lost, by confining our discussions of French policies to the bland insincerities of after-dinner speech-making.
During the war the Allied nations set aside many deep differences of national policies, and, in the face of the enemy, maintained an artificial unity. Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that the Allied nations fought alike rather than thought alike. War did not essentially change the international outlook of the Allied nations. England came out of the war with the old British outlook on foreign affairs. France came out of the war with the old French attitude toward the problem of the organization of continental Europe. When fighting ceased, the old divergences reappeared.
IN THE CENTURY for September last, in these columns, the rift between France and England was discussed at length. Now that analysis is to be pushed a bit further. This discussion must not be approached in a proEnglish, pro-French, or pro-German spirit. The one thing that the world sorely needs to-day is a pro-European attitude of mind. The restoration of Europe is a problem that cannot be
solved piecemeal. All Europe must be restored, or none of Europe can be restored. Until the leaders of British, French, German, Belgian, Italian politics at least the leaders of these countries-throw pennywise- and -pound foolish policies to the winds and think in terms of the whole of Europe, the specters of bankruptcy, famine, and revolution will leer through the window of every council chamber in Europe.
It happens that, at the moment of writing, France is maintaining the most anti-European attitude of any of the nations named. Before the peace conference France, speaking through Clemenceau, avowed her allegiance to the old system of alliances and a balance of power rather than to any attempt at a coöperative organization of all Europe and of the world. When Great Britain sponsored the Wilson plan for a league of nations, Clemenceau was, in a sense, outmanoeuvered. He paid a lip allegiance to the League of Nations, but only upon the understanding that France need not rely upon the league alone for protection against Germany. He demanded as the price of his allegiance to the League of Nations a separate treaty under the provisions of which Great Britain and the United States would agree to spring to the defense of France in the event of future attacks. This French support of the league was hailed as a triumph of the new diplomacy. But faith in the league was never more than skin deep in France. Consequently, when the United States Senate refused to consent to the ratification of the treaty of Versailles and refused to permit the United States to enter the League of Nations, and failed to carry through the Anglo-American treaty of defense for France, French policy took a swift turn to the old order.
France began looking about for new alliances, new safeguards, and for strong policies. She began to play for a militarized Poland; by the setting up of a series of petty military alliances throughout Europe, she began to play for the dismemberment of Germany; she set her foot down against the admission of Germany to the League of Nations; she deliberately blocked every attempt to make the indemnity from Germany
a definite sum that Germany could conceivably pay; she long followed a policy of stimulating war against Russia, frowning upon every attempt to resume trade relations with Russia.
In much of this it is difficult to keep from sympathizing with France. She has suffered much. She has done much. She held the line against the Hohenzollern hordes while some of us were deliberately making up our minds about the issues of the war. She stands, geographically, at the most dangerous point in Europe should German imperialism start on another mad venture. Were we in France's place, we would probably do as France has done. It is easy to sit three thousand miles away from battle-fields and counsel statesmanship. If we were closer, we might be more concerned with sharpening our sword.
But all this does not make the policy of France any less blind and suicidal. We may sympathize with the mood of France at the very moment when we are denouncing her method. Her policy to date has been one that will inevitably prevent the restoration of Europe and sooner or later leave France isolated and unsupported. Let us see why this is true.
For one thing, the restoration of Europe is impossible unless peace with Russia is achieved and trade relations resumed. Russian grain must feed European hunger. France has helped to prevent this. For another thing, the restoration of Europe is impossible unless the German indemnity is definitely fixed. Once the indemnity is fixed, Germany can know what she faces and what she must do. The amount must be wisely fixed. It must be placed, in justice to France, on the principle of all the traffic will bear, but it must not be placed so high that it will stop the wheels of German industry. France has persisted in blocking any such move. In preventing the resumption of relations with Russia, and in fighting against a fixed indemnity, France has struck a body blow at the restoration of Europe.
France has effected something of an alliance with Italy and with Belgium that she evidently regards as major elements of a policy that will give her the protection she thinks the League of
Nations cannot give. But in the long run no nation can play with France long if the playing means the starvation of all Europe. England has taken the lead in standing against these French policies of European suicide. Even the severest critics of British foreign policy must see that in this instance England is taking a stand that means the salvation of Europe.
Europe cannot afford any policy that will turn Germany and Russia into revenge-factories, cannot afford any policy that delays the economic restoration of the whole of Europe, or blocks the coming of a coöperative order among the nations. Marshal Foch has said that the French will never understand why the nation that won the war should be thrown into bankruptcy. Nor will any one else. The point is that much of French policy means a short cut to the bankruptcy not only of France, but of all Europe. A liberal and statesmanlike European policy, a policy that makes the restoration of the whole of Europe its first concern, is the only policy that can give France either the indemnity or the protection she craves.
French politicians have kept the truth from the French people, on the matter of the indemnity, because they knew that the day the French people realize that much of the Croesus-like promise of enormous indemnities is impossible of realization, the day the French people realize that they must bend their backs to heavier taxation, on that day there will come a reckoning between people and politicians. But, the time has come to pay the full price of truth-telling.
Again, let it be said that saying all this is a thankless task that runs counter to our love of French valor and to our sense of indebtedness to French sacrifices. But to-day the best friend of France is the one who speaks the truth.
The outstanding thing that must be recognized by all the nations of Europe is that the restoration of Europe cannot be effected upon political and sentimental considerations alone. The fact that the world war happened was the latest and greatest dramatization of the utter impotence of politics alone in an interdependent economic world. France must think in terms of economics.
A NEW ANGLE ON AMERICANIZATION
HE other day a certain distinT guished biologist made the statement that popular notions about science are always wrong. In fact, he insisted that popular notions about most things are wrong. He maintained, for instance, that, contrary to the popular notion, the jack-of-all-trades is a superior type by virtue of an effective correlation of mental qualities. He maintained that a boy good in arithmetic is usually above the average in history or mechanics or anything else. He denied the popular contention that youthful prodigies usually prove failures, and maintained that the history of fifty years of Oxford preachers and Oxford lawyers, for instance, shows that genius is nearly always precocious. He insisted that the bright boy in school usually succeeds in later life. He contended that the popular notion that the only way to enjoy good air is to keep the windows open is wrong; that all that is necessary is movement and moisture in the air, that carbon dioxide has nothing to do with making close air bad. He maintained that the popular notion that beef-juice is highly nutritious for babies is wrong; that it takes about a barrel of beef-juice to make a good meal. And so on.
Whether such assaults upon our popular notions are always sound or simply instances of over-emphasis to stimulate our latent skepticism, it is always refreshing to have somebody challenge a belief that we have regarded as established. Some weeks ago, Mr. L. P. Edwards, in the columns of "The New York Times," said several challenging things about Americanization.
Americanization has become a catchword with us. We uncritically assume that the most desirable immigrant is the one who, the moment he sights the Statue of Liberty, doffs his ancient customs, beliefs, and ideals, as he might slip out of a tattered garment. We lay great emphasis upon his doing all this quickly. We seem to think that a prompt de-Europeanization of the immigrant is the only safeguard against radicalism. In our concern for law and order we play for the immigrant's quick and complete divorce from his past. We want him to learn the English lan
guage and to stop speaking his own, always to salute the flag, and to mem
orize the Constitution.
We do not expect anybody, unless he is disloyal, to question our procedure. If somebody does question our Americanization program, we think the questioning must be prompted by a revolutionary intent.
But Mr. Edwards questions our program not because he thinks it is ministering to conservatism, but because he thinks it makes for radicalism.
He opens his battle against the current conception of Americanization with this bombshell:
The most honest, thrifty, industrious, upright, God-fearing, and conservative portion of our foreign population is precisely that portion which has clung most stubbornly to its native ways of life, and has been least influenced by American customs. . . . The fundamental social virtues, honesty, industry, thrift, truthfulness, and the rest, are the same for all societies on the same general level of development. They are not promoted by the custom of saluting any particular flag nor advanced by the ability to read any particular Constitution. . . . There is only one foreigner who is really a menace to American society. He is the foreigner who is in rapid process of "Americanization."
No man can learn a language perfectly who learns it deliberately, and social ideals are harder to learn than language. They can never be learned naturally and completely except when they are learned so gradually and imperceptibly that the process is unrecognized and largely unconscious.
I have here stated Mr. Edward's conclusions, without his attendant qualifications, as they appear scattered through his article. This may be a bit unfair to Mr. Edwards, but it is always well to get the maximum of challenge there is in a man's conclusions before examining his arguments.
Mr. Edwards rests his case upon statistics which, he maintains, show that immigrants who quickly change their foreign languages, customs, beliefs, and ideals deteriorate profoundly in moral character, that they deteriorate to a degree that shows itself in criminal statistics.
Mr. Edwards does not argue against