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not to find the theoretically right, the poetically just things to do. It is to find the few workable things that will restore the world. A few things seem plain to the bystander.
For instance, the prosperity and relative happiness of nations before the war rested upon the fact that the world, the whole world, was functioning interdependently. All nations were producing and interchanging goods. The international business system, bad as it was and breeder of war that it proved to be, was a world machine that fed and clothed and sheltered the whole world. It was organized intercourse and service. The war shattered that machine, distributed its parts. Peace can never be achieved and prosperity can never be won until this world machine is put together again. This is the first and primary duty of statesmanship. Everything else is secondary.
The indemnity question is secondary. It is not justice to permit Germany to escape full payment for the rape of Belgium and the ruin of northern France. France rightfully claims every penny that Germany can pay. But we are facing a situation in which even justice must be regarded as a relative matter. The world machine of production and exchange must be put together again, and if justly claimed indemnities make this impossible or seriously delays its accomplishment, then justly claimed indemnities must clear the stage for the greater necessity-the economic restoration of the whole world. This is not an anti-French plea nor is it a pro-German plea. It is a pro-humanity plea, for, as Mr. J. L. Garvin in an article in "The New York American," has wisely said:
Excessive tribute systems which hinder or suppress trade, and dislocate the exchanges indefinitely, are not indemnities really added to us at the expense of the ex-enemy, but cumulative penalties levied on ourselvesstopping our factories, blocking the export of our own goods, throwing our own people out of work; not securing money from Germany, yet forcing us to pay right and left by our own taxes for the consequences of unsettlement.
The one principle, therefore, by which every question of indemnity should be
settled is its relation to the setting into motion the world machine of production and trade. The indemnity policy that helps the whole world back to normal production and trade is the best policy for France. I am not here entering into the judgment of specific claims of the moment. I am only insisting that any indemnity claim, however just as an abstract matter, is suicidal if it seriously hinders the economic recovery of the whole world.
As a corollary to this principle is the fact that the whole world cannot function again as a world machine of production and trade until both Germany and Russia play their part in the world restoration. Here is the standard by which all foreign policy regarding Russia and Germany should be determined by Great Britain, France, the United States, and the rest of the nations.
National pride, poetic justice, legitimate resentments-all must be thrown on the scrap-heap in the interest of getting the whole world back to work. As Mr. Garvin has stated: "It was a world war. It must be a world peace." Statesmanship is still thinking too much with a war mind. The statesmen of the world must now be engineers of peace, not conservators of war passions.
DO WE NEED A SUPER-SENATE?
NY proposal that looks toward the introduction of greater intelligence into the handling of our foreign relations, diplomatic or commercial, deserves our serious and sustained attention. Mr. Frank A. Vanderlip has made such a suggestion. Let us get Mr. Vanderlip's proposal clearly before us, and then see whether or not our present foreign-affairs machinery needs overhauling to the extent he suggests. Also, it will be worth while to examine the possibility of extending Mr. Vanderlip's idea to a broader field.
This is the Vanderlip proposal-the creation of a "council of foreign relations" that would be, in effect, a superSenate. This new body would take over from the Senate its present powers respecting foreign affairs. This council would have a membership of thirty men
elected by the people of the country for terms of ten years each. Three members would retire every year, their place being filled by elections, thus giving the country a truly continuous and experienced body. The council would be in session continuously in Washington, but fifteen of its thirty members would always be abroad, studying at first-hand the problems of American foreign relations, maintaining intimate contact with the leaders of world thought, keeping fresh facts constantly before our Government's diplomatic general staff, which this council would be. The council would supervise the administration of the State Department, and the confirmation of ambassadors would rest with it.
There are several detailed aspects of the proposal that need not detain us at this point. The first thing we want to know is this, Has our present machinery for the handling of foreign affairs broken down? My personal opinion is that it has broken down disastrously. The fact is that in most instances our Federal Government is not functioning as intended by the Constitution. silent, subtle, but very real, amendment of our Constitution has been going on for many years. Our executive branch, our legislative branch, and our judiciary branch have all been greatly altered in practice. I am not attempting to say that such functional change is wrong. The Constitution is not a divinely given document; it is not an ark of the covenant that must not be touched. I am stating only the fact of change, so that we may realize that we cannot pass sound judgment upon our Federal Government merely by analyzing our Constitution. It is not the "plan," but the "performance," of our Government that we must study.
Now, what are the weaknesses of our present plan for handling foreign affairs? I am thinking now only of the rôle the Senate plays in foreign affairs. The difficulty seems to me to be this: under our present outworn and hopelessly unrealistic system of electing senators, a sort of catch-as-catch-can grabbing of "prominent" men from meaningless geographical areas, it is only by chance that we elect men to the Senate who are
at all equipped intellectually or by experience to deal with world affairs. As likely as not we place our foreign affairs in the hands of a Senate committee made up of small-town lawyers who have never traveled extensively, who cannot read or speak any language other than English, who are not students of world history or world economics-men who bring to the politics of a planet the vision of a parish. We need some method that will mean the selection of men upon the basis of their actual equipment for dealing with foreign affairs. We need provision for constant contact between our foreign-affairs administrators and the foreign field. On these two points Mr. Vanderlip's proposal is sound.
Our State Department is not a genuine ministry of foreign affairs. Too frequently the secretary of state is only a sort of page or errand-boy for the President. Our State Department personnel does not measure up to the task. Nor will it under the present scheme.
It will, of course, be very difficult to convince the Senate that it should give away any of its powers to a "council of foreign relations." Mr. Vanderlip recognizes this, and has said:
Now, let me answer right off why I think this plan might be politically possible. Broadly speaking, it would be idle to think that you could get the Senate to agree to the abrogating of any of its powers, but if there were thirty men in the Senate who might go into a super-Senate, and if there were ninety-six men in the Senate who thought they might, they might look with some complacency on the creation of this new body.
Another thing that makes some more intelligent and informed handling of our diplomacy essential is this: to-day the most important problem before the world, as already stated earlier in these columns, is the coöperative economic organization of the world. And the regrettable fact is that traditional diplomacy is blocking this economic reorganization. Arm-chair diplomats with indoor minds are simply incapable of a world-outlook. Only men specifically chosen for the handling of world affairs, men with world minds, men who are going about the world studying the
situation internationally, can think in world terms. If every nation had such a board of political and economic engineers as Mr. Vanderlip suggests, we would achieve disarmament, a real League of Nations, real peace, and real prosperity without the tragic delay that the parochial partizans are causing today.
The plain fact is that political government is in a bad way just now. It is archaic and ineffective in almost every quarter of the globe. It needs overhauling, reorganization in the light of its new tasks. We need selected officials fitted to specific tasks instead of elected persons whose chief asset and qualification is their facility as campaigners.
Such a body as Mr. Vanderlip proposes is as greatly needed in the field of foreign trade as in diplomacy. Our vaunted business sagacity seems to take a vacation when it faces some of the elementary challenges of foreign trade. We think in big figures and all that, but we seem reluctant to study the intimate aspects of our markets and to adapt our goods, their package, and their presentation to our markets. During the war our foreign trade expanded greatly. We entered many new fields not primarily because our goods or our salesmanship were superior, but because war had clogged other channels of trade and blockaded other sources. Now, with all the nations back in the field, we must face the challenge of a competition in commercial intelligence and strategy.
With utter disregard of the peculiar needs of our market, we will ship a breakfast food to India in paper boxes that are not impervious to dampness, worms, or bugs. Our shipment brings from the importer specific suggestions for packing the boxes in large tin-lined cases to insure their arrival in India in good condition. The suggestions are ignored, the spoiled shipment is thrown to the sacred cows of Bombay, and a customer is lost. To this and similar incidents, illustrating our failure to adapt ourselves intelligently to our markets, a trusted correspondent of "The World" of New York bears testimony. All this slovenliness of commercial intelligence in the face of swarms of careful students from Japan and other exporting countries who
are in India sending back reports to their home industries!
Our Government might well maintain a council of foreign relation with two grand divisions, an economic and a political. Both in diplomacy and in business we must replace the village mind with the world mind. Small-town shopkeeper methods in foreign trade and country lawyer tactics in foreign political affairs will spell ruin to any nation.
ARE PROFESSORS PARTNERS OR PEONS?
HE problem of the professor and T his freedom will not down, and it is well that it keeps so consistently to the fore. Only free minds. can give creative leadership to this democracy. A "kept university" is as great a menace to the integrity and progress of American life as a "kept press." Any defense, therefore, of the freedom of the teaching mind made by anybody at any time deserves emphasis, repetition, and the widest possible circulation.
Within the last year two illuminating statements on academic freedom have come to my attention. The first is a statement by Mr. Lowell, the president of Harvard University, in his report for the academic year of 1919-1920. The second is a statement made by a committee appointed to investigate the status of academic freedom in the University of Minnesota. Let us glance at these in turn.
Mr. Lowell's statement is an admirable supplement to the able defense of academic freedom which he made in an earlier report. His latest statement deals with the position and function of trustees in the administration of a university. It is not their function (I paraphrase freely) to conduct a university as a modern industrial enterprise, looking upon themselves as employer and the teachers as employees. Trustees are not representatives of private capital invested in universities. They are not superiors of the teachers. They are partners with the teachers in the enterprise of learning. As Mr. Lowell says, "The best and most fruitful conception
This note of partnership between trustees and teachers cannot be struck too often. It is a regrettable fact that too often university trustees regard themselves not as guardians of learning, but as guardians of political and economic orthodoxy. Too often they conceive their function to be that of watching the teachers instead of working with them. Too often they seem to think it their duty to expand the university physically and to repress it intellectually.
But the stupid blunder of academic censorship is not the sin of trustees alone. Many, indeed very many, university presidents have the censor mind. The nation is to be congratulated, therefore, that one of its great universities is the sounding-board for Mr. Lowell's enlightened policy.
The second statement that deserves attention is the statement made by the committee of investigators at the University of Minnesota. In the report of this committee there occurred a particularly clear statement of the four factors that make for academic peonage. It may be interesting to examine a little more closely into the general implications of the four things mentioned in the report.
First, academic freedom is menaced by the spirit of intolerance that has, in the wake of the war, seized not only the whole community, but many members of the academic community as well.
This spirit of intolerance, as manifested in society at large, I have discussed at length before in these columns. During the war non-conformity was treason. To do anything save to cry with the pack was disloyalty. Professors had to turn propagandists or rest under suspicion. That sort of thing dies hard. It holds over into the post-war period. During the war certain types of minds found great joy in the heresy hunt carried on by organizations which felt the heavy responsibility of playing nursemaid to the American mind. Minds of this sort find it very hard to surrender the joys of the chase now that the war is over. And a thing that complicates matters is the fact that many of these inquisitorial heresy-hunters were professors. Many of the professors who became active in propagandist organizations during the war disgraced American scholarship by their intemperate writings. These particular professors struck a blow at the freedom of their own profession by the hysterical intolerance they displayed during the war.
Scholarship must be superior to the passions of war and the partizanship of political and social discussions, or it will discover sooner or later that its own intolerance will forge the chain of its own bondage. One of the finest statements of the desirable freedom of scholarship from the intolerance of passion and prejudice came from an enemy country during the war. This statement stands in refreshing contrast to the general prostitution of German scholarship to propagandist purposes. Professor Heinrich Morf, on opening his course in French philology during the war, said to his students:
You have come together with me here to pursue a work of peace. . . . When your teacher has mounted this rostrum and the outer doors of this auditorium are closed, we must and will compel our thoughts to turn aside for an hour from what elsewhere daily and nightly oppresses every heart. . . . The passions of the day shall not enter here. We will leave them without. Science demands of us this act of self-conquest and self-discipline. Whoso finds this impossible cannot serve her, and can find no intimate communion with her soul. Such an one will
remain unsatisfied within these walls. . . . There will be no change, therefore, in the scientific character of these lectures. Now, as heretofore, I will try to school your historic thinking to dispassionate conception and judgment of the things of the past and of foreign lands. Such scientific labor does not sunder-it unites. It teaches to perceive, to understand; not to despise.
If professors everywhere, in war and in peace, defended the chastity of scholarship as this statement defended it, the academic profession would be in a more strategic position in the battle for academic freedom.
The second factor mentioned in the report of the Minnesota committee is the habit of administrative officials of considering a professor guilty until proved innocent whenever a protest is made against his views or activities. If universities everywhere were conceived in terms of Mr. Lowell's definition as a partnership between professors and trustees for the sole purpose of preserving, imparting, increasing, and enjoying knowledge, the presumption would always be in favor of the accused professor. He would be considered innocent until proved guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt. The inveterate suspicion that rests upon a professor the moment he is criticized is due in no small measure to the absurd conception of a university as a business enterprise in which the trustees are taskmasters and the professors
The third factor mentioned by the committee is that of espionage by organizations outside the academic circle. Since the war, several organizations in this country have made themselves responsible for the insurance of "safe" thought in our schools. Their spirit is simply the modern expression of the spirit that prompted ancient inquisitions and witch-burnings. Such self-appointed censors would be dangerous enough were they men of superior minds. But the fact is that in the main the officers of such organizations represent either notoriety-seeking mediocrity or gray-minded reaction. Unless we want to put the brains of the next generation in a strait-jacket, we should see to it that such organizations are exposed and their
activities stopped. The Minnesota committee rightly says that "Invasion by private detectives of the domain of academic life and thought is scarcely compatible with the maintenance of a sound and wholesome intellectual spirit."
The fourth factor mentioned by the Minnesota committee is the prevalent misconception of university teaching as "the dogmatic indoctrination of opinion" rather than "the orientation of the student within the world of thought in order that he may be prepared eventually to form independent judgments." That a university should not be an organization of propaganda for a point of view is too obviously sound to require either exposition or defense.
The problem of academic freedom is not merely an academic question. Without it the intellectual life of a nation stagnates and any attempt at democracy ends in a blind alley.
WANTED: A VERBAL HOUSE-CLEANING OME time ago there fell into my hands Sir William Osler's little book on "The Old Humanities and the New Science." Its freshness, simplicity, and charm led me to burrow about in my library for still other writings of this stimulating scholar. The one thing in the adventure that pleased me most was Sir William's battle for a
simple scientific vocabulary. He pointed out the fact that the ponderous and pretentious vocabulary of scientific scholars has hampered the ministry of science to life.