Suitors and Suppliants: The Little Nations at Versailles

Suitors and Suppliants: The Little Nations at Versailles

Suitors and Suppliants: The Little Nations at Versailles

Suitors and Suppliants: The Little Nations at Versailles

Synopsis

Col. Bonsal's confidential notes & diary, published with the encouragement of Pres. Wilson, depict the hopeless complexities of making peace among the small nations previously absorbed in the three former European empires at the end of WW1.

Excerpt

The causes of war vary in detail, although in most instances they have their source in the expansionist policies of a nation of people on the make, or in the determination of a fading power to hold what it acquired when it was young and strong and relatively virtuous.

Nations in the first category which have made war have usually been egged on to it by a chorus of ancestral voices both jingo and traditional--of whom Wagner and Hegel are good examples--and this cultural voodoo has usually evoked an uncultured but more effective demagogic leader--of whom Hitler will serve as well as any in history as the illustration.

Nations in the second category need no such mental preparation for war--their principal requirement is a seneschal with a good loud horn to rouse them unwillingly from their slumbers with the news that the rustlers are among their fat sheep and cattle.

But the occasions of war nearly always have been the outgrowth of the conflicting policies of such nations as these in the territory of small or weak peoples, strategically located for this purpose by the curse of geography or natural riches. Because the peoples at the point of conflict are small or weak this enables the new aggressor or the hold-fast overlord to play appealingly on the strings of the instruments of virtue, assuring one or all of these several results:

The masses in the strong nations are presented with a handmade set of idealistic objectives, which many require for spiritual consolation and the rest for a dignified excuse.

The military and civil leaders of the nations which engage in the war can publicly summon God to their standards with every mark of belief that He could not possibly make another choice, and this comforts the upright whom they summon to the colors.

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