The Vision of World Peace in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century France

The Vision of World Peace in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century France

The Vision of World Peace in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century France

The Vision of World Peace in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century France

Excerpt

Never in the course of bygone centuries have nations lived through trials and terrors equal to those of our time. The hope for a permanent peace established at last through "placing it upon the foundation of international understanding, international appreciation, and international co-operation," this firm hope, bought at the price of the disasters of the World War, seems to recede into a more and more distant future and may have even to abandoned. In the face of the wholesale destruction of life and wealth, of the widespread havoc brought about through the pressure of the arbitrary will of a few individual leaders of nations, the bonds forged by religion, philosophy, science, art, industry, and trade do not prove strong enough to compel one people, or rather its government, to respect the rights of another people. Yet the recognition of certain inalienable right of even the smallest nation is essential if to peace is to prevail the sphere of international life, the universal peace of which men vaquely dreamed of old. If this dream, changed by the course of centuries into an idea characterized by all the driving power an idea can have, ahs still not brought the expected result, if war, more ruthless than at any time, threatens to destroy civilization, where lies the cause of the failure of so many effort?

Mr.Clarence K. Streit, in his work published in 1938, explains this failure by the fact that all forms of international government planned up to our day have been government for states, and not for the individuals of which a state is made. He points out that the principle on which the Leaque of Nations was founded is the equality of political bodies, not that of men; that a league is a government of governments, by governments, and for governments, and not a "govern-

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