The League Committees and World Order: A Study of the Permanent Expert Committees of the League of Nations as an Instrument of International Government

The League Committees and World Order: A Study of the Permanent Expert Committees of the League of Nations as an Instrument of International Government

The League Committees and World Order: A Study of the Permanent Expert Committees of the League of Nations as an Instrument of International Government

The League Committees and World Order: A Study of the Permanent Expert Committees of the League of Nations as an Instrument of International Government

Excerpt

In this study I have not attempted to give an exhaustive description of the League's technical activities and achievements. I have tried to sketch only the broad and representative outlines of its work, because my aim has been simply to show the significance of its technical and advisory organisms. My purpose has been to suggest to the student of domestic politics or of international relations why the League Committees are peculiarly important to him, and to show how that importance is growing.

The student of government is apt, I think, sometimes to limit his study by state boundaries, and to overlook economic and political sources of government action, or the needs for government action, that lie outside the state. In this book I have tried to point out some of these international sources and some of these world needs. If I have succeeded in showing in any degree the inescapable unity of human society, then I shall have proved why that unity must be politically organized. Internationalism must not merely link diversities, but govern them.

The student of the League of Nations, also, runs a certain risk, I believe, of concentrating his attention too much on the more formal Council and Assembly, and such more dramatic questions as disarmament. He generally does not realize to what extent the Council and Assembly are merely the apex of a pyramid composed of, and resting on, these technical advisory organizations, in their turn assisted by the Secretariat. And disarmament, supremely vital though it be, is a reminder of the more negative aspect of the League. To destroy the underlying causes of war, by constructing channels of international co-operation and by creating a disinterested viewpoint wherever national interests conflict, is vastly more important than declaring war the evil every one knows it to be. Until the organs of international disinterestedness are created, empowered, and trusted, war or the threat of war remains . . .

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