Page:Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919).djvu/41

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29
SOCIAL MOMENTUM

advice of excellent geographical experts, but the German representatives will have behind them not merely a few experts but a great geographically instructed public, long familiar with every important aspect of the questions which will arise, and quick to give a far-sighted support to their leaders. This may easily become a decisive advantage, especially should our people pass into a magnanimous frame of mind. It would be a curious thing if the successes of Talleyrand and Metternich, in the secret diplomacy of 1814, were repeated by the spokesmen of the defeated States of our own time under the conditions imposed upon diplomacy by popular government![1]

The map habit of thought is no less pregnant in the sphere of economics than it is in that of strategy. True that Laissez-faire had little use for it, but the 'most favoured nation' clause which Germany imposed on defeated France in the Treaty of Frankfurt had quite a different meaning for the strategical German mind to that which was attached

  1. It is true that there is a 'horse-sense' of geography among those of us who have travelled. It is true, also, that we keep atlases in our offices and libraries, to be consulted as we would consult a dictionary for the spelling of a word. But correct spelling does not always imply literary power! A trained sense of geographical perspective is essential to the mode of thought here in question.