Puslapio vaizdai

movement had long been premeditated is proved by the rebels' excellent military preparations and adequate supply of arms, including machineguns.

The revolt was suddenly sprung at a moment when the authorities thought the strike crisis had passed. A desperate attempt was made to capture the city of Johannesburg, which was held by only a small force of soldiers, police, and hastily armed loyalist volunteers. For a short time Johannesburg was beleaguered on three sides. The crisis was very grave, for the capture and looting of Johannesburg by the rebels would have had incalulable consequences. The rebels were counting on a rising of Boer irreconcilables throughout the country-side, and apparently did receive some small reinforcements. Furthermore, there was the even more terrible danger of a native uprising. The rebels at once began to mistreat the blacks, and these were with difficulty kept within bounds.

Fortunately, South Africa's fate was in strong hands. Premier Smuts is not only a fine soldier, but a popular leader. At his summons the great majority of South-Africans, Boers and Britons alike, rallied loyally to put down the rebellion. Striking swift and hard, Smuts and his subordinates closed in on the rebels as the latter had closed in on Johannesburg. For a short time there was a siege within a siege; then the rebel lines were pierced, and the rebel strongholds were overwhelmed by artillery, tanks, charging infantry, and low-flying, bomb-dropping aëroplanes. It was real war while it lasted, for the rebels fought well, the Boer element in particular displaying its usual dogged courage. few days it was all over; the rebellion

But in a

was crushed, and the peril was averted.

How great was that peril may be gathered from the official statement of Premier Smuts made before the South African Parliament after the crushing of the rebellion. General Smuts is not given to exaggeration; therefore his statement should be received with full confidence that he has weighed his words and knows whereof he speaks. He stated that the revolutionists had aimed at nothing less than the establishment of a Soviet republic and had planned a wholesale slaughter of their opponents. "The country," he said, "has escaped a tremendous danger, the gravity of which has not been sufficiently made clear." The premier went on to say that the labor organizations that had originally declared the strike were not free agents; that there was another agency in the background. The results of a capture of Johannesburg by the rebels would have been terrible. Mass executions had been planned, and there would have been a "blood bath" of the most horrible character.

Order is now fully reëstablished throughout South Africa. The rebellion has been crushed, and the leaders will unquestionably be dealt with severely. Nevertheless, the revolt has been a disquieting revelation of the explosive elements which lurk beneath the surface of South-African society. This becomes all the more serious when we remember that those subversive elements denote profound disunion among the whites, who, after all, are merely a minority among a restless, warlike black population outnumbering the whites nearly four to one. South Africa is a country of great possibilities, but it is also a land of great problems and grave contingent perils.

May the destinies of the union always rest in hands as strong as those of General Smuts!


That picturesque and historic body of water, the Adriatic Sea, continues to be ruffled by disputes between the Italians and the Jugoslavs. All down the eastern Adriatic, from Fiume to Albania, the two peoples are in conflict. Gabriele D'Annunzio has, to be sure, retired from the stage, but his followers continue his strenuous methods. Fiume, the scene of D'Annunzio's piquant labors, presents a truly extraordinary spectacle. This apple of discord, coveted by both Italians and Jugoslavs, is nominally a free city. In reality it is a free fight, where hotheaded "Nationalists" from both Jugoslavia and Italy come to fight out their quarrels with bombs, knives, revolvers, and kindred arguments. Naturally, all this does not improve the state of Fiume, which is in a deplorable condition, its former trade and commerce virtually dead, and its unfortunate inhabitants left with no occupation except politics.

The latest revolution in Fiume was precipitated by the action of the governor, Mr. Zanella, who had endeavored to form a police force composed of Jugoslavs as well as Italians. This enraged the militant Italian Nationalist groups, the Fascisti, Arditi, and others, who promptly showed their displeasure by rising in revolt, throwing bombs at the governor, besieging his palace, and engaging in fierce street fighting with the Jugoslavs. As a result, Mr. Zanella resigned, and the revolutionary leader, Mr. Giunta, established a Fascisti government.

Of course all this has roused feeling

among the Nationalists both in Italy and Jugoslavia, and has made it more difficult for the governments of the two countries to come to an understanding with each other. The trouble is that Fiume is not the only sore point in Italo-Slav relations. Farther down. the Adriatic coast lies Albania, a land of rugged mountains and equally rugged mountaineers who spend most of their time fighting one another, thus keeping their country in a state of weakness and anarchy, which is a constant temptation to covetous neighbors. Offhand it may seem strange that anybody should covet Albania, for it is a small country of barren mountains which produce little except trouble. Nevertheless, Albania is coveted by both Italy and Jugoslavia. The Jugoslavs want Albania because Albania has a fine seaboard on the Adriatic, with excellent harbors, which the Jugoslavs at present do not possess. The Italians not only want to keep the Jugoslavs away from this seaboard, but would also find Albania a fine base for economic and political penetration of the Balkan peninsula, a matter which, needless to say, does not commend itself to the Jugoslavs.

As a result of these conflicting ambitions Albania is a battle-ground for rival Italian and Jugoslav intrigues. These intrigues are undoubtedly behind the current political troubles in Albania. Albanian politics are just as hectic as, and considerably more bloody than, Fiuman politics. Recently a revolution was attempted against the Albanian "Government," which, it may be remarked, does very little governing, most of the population, divided into highland clans, refusing to tolerate any government at all.

With two such disturbed areas as

Fiume and Albania, and with unpleasant incidents cropping up along other portions of the east Adriatic coast, the relations between Italy and Jugoslavia can hardly be termed cordial. The chances are that friction between the two nations will continue to be one of the disturbing elements in the European situation.


In these days, when government ownership is widely advocated as a panacea, it is interesting to observe one important instance where the opposite process is taking place. The French Government is apparently about to quit railroading. For the last fourteen years one of the five systems into which the French railroads are divided has been government-owned. This system is the so-called Ouest Etât, which, as its name implies, serves the western part of France, including many of the Paris suburban lines. When the Western Railway was taken over by the French Government it was thought of as an experiment to determine whether the other railway systems should be likewise government-owned. The experiment, however, never worked well. Not only was it run at a financial loss, but its service was notoriously the worst in France, so that the Ouest Etât became a favorite subject for cartoons and music-hall comedians. Of late years the drain upon the public treasury has been growing heavier. Last year the Parisian suburban lines alone showed a deficit of over 100,000,000 francs.

Spurred by urgent necessity to cut out all waste, the French Government began to consider this perennial leak in its finances. A parliamentary com

mission was appointed to make a thorough investigation, and its report advocates the abandonment of state ownership and the turning over of the Western Railway System to a private corporation on terms similar to those on which the other French railway systems are run. The Western System, it may be remarked, has a trackage of 5626 miles, out of the total French railway trackage of 24,744 miles. Of course the decision is still in the hands of parliament, but the state of French finances is so bad that the recommendations of the commission will probably be accepted.


Everybody has heard about "changing China." Many of these changes, however beneficent they may ultimately prove, seem as yet to have caused little but confusion. It is thus a pleasure to point out one point where the new order of things in China has achieved notable success. This is the city of Canton. Canton, the metropolis of South China, has been exhibited to generations of Western tourists as the typical Chinese city. Girt by massive walls built a thousand years ago, its population of nearly a million souls was squeezed into a congestion rivaled only by our subways. Its streets were mere crevices meandering through a wilderness of buildings, jammed with sweltering humanity, and penetrable only afoot or by sedanchair. Through this dim labyrinth the tourist passed, assailed by tumult, squalor, and smells that were famous even in the East.

To-day all this is fast passing away. The revolution of 1910 brought to power a group of Western-educated leaders, many of them educated in

America and the result of a decade of consistent effort has been a surprising transformation. The old walls are gone, their sites being occupied by broad avenues, well paved and well cared for. These avenues are only part of a modern highway system already totaling more than twenty-four miles, over which passes a bustling traffic composed not merely of rickshaws and carts, but also automobiles, motortrucks, and even motor-buses running on regular schedules. Meanwhile blocks of crazy old structures have been demolished, to be replaced by handsome modern structures built on Western lines. "Town planning" is distinctly to the fore. Three city

parks have been laid out, one of these, in the middle of the city, being almost completed. The largest park is to contain a spacious public athletic field.

Behind all these improvements stands a city government of high public spirit and proved ability. The mayor, for example, is a product of American education. He studied first at the University of California and later at Columbia University, where he specialized in municipal-government courses. He has certainly applied the lessons he learned, for the Canton municipality is run on the most up-to-date lines. It is divided into twelve police wards and six sanitary districts. The police force numbers over four thousand patrolmen, besides an efficient detective service. The sanitary department has installed a good water and sewer system in the improved quarters of the city, and employs about a thousand laborers for the daily cleaning of the streets. Education is far from being neglected. One fifth of the

municipal appropriations are allotted to the public schools, and about forty thousand children are attending the graded public schools, which already number sixty-one. Last, but not least, Canton has a very modern municipal budget, expenditures so far exceeding receipts that the city is acquiring a good-sized debt.


The European political and financial situation centers around the Genoa Conference. Every country in Europe is directly or indirectly involved, while America, though determined to take no part in the deliberations, is keenly interested in the conference's decisions. At this writing the outcome is not determined; therefore comment will be here withheld.

All over eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, there is a most interesting exchange of diplomatic views going on between the various governments of the "New Balkan" States with a view to settling both their political and economic relations. As yet the only tangible result is the "Little Entente," the diplomatic understanding between Czecho-Slovakia, Jugoslavia, and Rumania. About this understanding, however, are grouped various diplomatic exchanges between members of the Entente and other states like Poland, the Baltic nations, and Greece. Whether this network of understandings and negotiations will result in a large diplomatic alinement is as yet uncertain.

England and France are making a serious effort to end the war between the Greeks and the Turkish Nationalists. Here again comment will for the moment be withheld.

An American Looks at His World

Comment on the Times



HE next twenty-five years will be ventures the prophecy that civilization

Tchallenging years to the man who is perhaps entering one of those long

has any sense of intellectual and spiritual adventure, for they will mark a turning-point in human history. Will they be the beginning of another Dark Ages or the springtime of a new Renaissance? The politics and the religion of the future are alike involved in this question.

For more than the lifetime of most of us the chill winds of materialism have been blowing across Western civilization. Its spiritual fires have been banked, if not burned out. Unscientific observers have tried to keep warm under the cloak of their uncritical optimism, meeting all doubts with their will to believe in the myth of automatic progress. More scientific, but equally unimaginative, onlookers have turned unqualified prophets of doom, merely hoping against hope that the relative security and comfort of the present order will last their lifetime. Outside these circles of incorrigible hope and inveterate despair men have resigned themselves to such bleak satisfactions as they can find in what seems to them at best an uncertain future.

Of these last George Santayana is a good example. In his "Character and Opinion in the United States" he

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Every honest student of contemporary affairs appreciates the fear if he cannot agree with the prophecy of Mr. Santayana. The civilization that preceded and precipitated the war was at best a thinly veneered barbarism that was slowly consuming the life of the race in the poverties of peace no less than in the perils of war. Pagan ideals of power and pleasure had spread their nets anew for the capture of our souls. Power was the goal of the state; pleasure was the goal of the people. Political life had become paganized by its passion for power at any price; business life had become paganized by its scramble for profits at any price; and social life had become paganized by its devotion to pleasure at any price. In this re

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