Page:Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919).djvu/42

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DEMOCRATIC IDEALS AND REALITY

to it by honest Cobdenites. The German bureaucrat built upon it a whole structure of preferences for German trade. Of what use to Britain under her northern skies was the most favoured nation clause when Germany granted a concession to Italy in the matter of import duties on olive-oil? Would there not also be railway trucks to be returned to Italy which might as well return loaded with German exports? The whole system of most voluminous and intricate commercial treaties between Germany and her neighbours was based on a minute study of commercial routes and of the lie of productive areas. The German official was thinking in the concrete detail of 'living,' while his British counterpart was absorbed in the negative principle of 'letting live.'

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Kaiser Wilhelm told us that this War was a struggle between two views of the world. 'View' is characteristic of the organiser; he sees things from above. Kipling agreed with the Kaiser, but in the language of simple men below, when he declared that there is human feeling and German feeling. The organiser, as organiser, is inevitably inhuman, or rather unhuman. No doubt both Kaiser