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