Page:Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919).djvu/45

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33
SOCIAL MOMENTUM

result of history. So he opposes his strategy to the ethics of the democrat.

Fierce moralists allow no extenuation for sin however persistent the temptation, and great undoubtedly must be the reward in heaven for the slum-dweller who 'keeps straight.' But practical reformers give much of their thought to the Housing problem! Of late our political moralists have been very fierce. They preached the narrow way of 'no annexations, no indemnities.' In other words, they refused to reckon with the realities of geography and economics. Had we but faith as a grain of mustard seed in average human nature, could we not remove the mountains!

Practical sense, however, warns us that it would be wise to seize the present opportunity, when for once the democratic nations are efficiently armed, to make the world a safe place for democracies when going about their ordinary business. In other words, we must see to the housing problem of our coming League of Nations. We must reckon presciently with the realities of space and time, and not be content merely to lay down on paper good principles of conduct. The good may not always appear the same even to those who are now Allies, and will pretty