The Decadence of Europe: The Paths of Reconstruction

The Decadence of Europe: The Paths of Reconstruction

The Decadence of Europe: The Paths of Reconstruction

The Decadence of Europe: The Paths of Reconstruction

Excerpt

Though this book was first published in Europe, it was written particularly for America, and I am much pleased that the American edition is now about to appear. I am in hopes that it will circulate widely, not only among men of large affairs, but among the general public. I should like to have it read by hundreds of thousands of Americans, not because I am concerned with material gain, nor even with political ambitions, but because I believe the American people to be, in the last resort, the defense of our imperiled civilization. European newspapers frequently speak in ironical terms of my pro-British sympathies, and my susceptibility to American influence in politics. Their irony cannot touch me, for I firmly believe that, just as Anglo-Saxon intervention determined the outcome of the World War, nothing but concerted action on the part of the Anglo-Saxons, and possibly not even that, can reëstablish peace and bring about the renewal of civil relations among nations.

A situation comparable to that which the war has produced has never before appeared in history. The losses in human life and property, great as they are, are small evils compared to the undermining of morals and the lowering of standards of culture and civilization. A never-ending sequence of crimes is in progress, each paving the way for others, and Europe will soon be in the desperate condition of the family of Atreus, who committed one appalling crime in order to avenge a wrong, and thus involved his sons in a terrible succession of tragedies and sins. Each one was inevitable, the direct result of the last, until the ruin of the entire race was accomplished. Such a series of errors, violent deeds, and crimes, has been set in motion since the Great War. For this, the victors decline any responsibility, and lay it all on the shoulders of the vanquished, although a share should be accepted by each of the nations involved. The harm done by the . . .

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