The Social Revolution in Austria

The Social Revolution in Austria

The Social Revolution in Austria

The Social Revolution in Austria

Excerpt

This book, if it had a sub-title, would be styled a "study in changing values." Its subject is one which is devoid of striking incident, but should not lack interest in a world so feverishly occupied with readapting its own values to changing circumstances.

Everyone knows something about the nationalist movement among the non-German races of the old Habsburg Monarchy, and is aware that most of these races took the opportunity afforded them by the war of 1914-1918 to throw in their lot more or less openly with the Entente, which rewarded them by confirming their independence.

The ideas of Englishmen are not as a rule so clear about modern Austria. They underestimate the absolutist character of the old régime, the cleft which separated the Dynasty and ruling classes from the ruled in all parts of the Monarchy. It is seldom realised that the essentially dynastic policy of the Habsburgs ended by creating among the German subjects an opposition hardly less strong than that of the Czechs or Croats. If it had happened--and it might once have happened--that war had found Germany and ourselves grouped against Austria-Hungary and Russia, our sympathies for the different peoples of Central Europe would have been startlingly other from what they are to-day.

The modern State of Austria is not a mere political rump, but the product, although distorted and maimed, of active and self-conscious forces within the country. It is true that these forces could not have created the present Republic, but for the often unwilling co-operation of the . . .

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