Page:Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919).djvu/19

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

organiser by the independent spirit of nations. Unfortunately, in that year of revolutions, the good ship Idealism again dragged her anchor, and by and by was swept away by Fate, in the person of Bismarck. With his Prussian efficiency Bismarck perverted the new ideal of German Nationality, just as Napoleon had perverted the simpler French ideals of Liberty and Equality. The tragedy of National Idealism, which we have just seen consummated, was not, however, predestined in the disorder of Liberty, but in the materialism, commonly known as Kultur, of the organiser. The French tragedy was the simple tragedy of the breakdown of Idealism; but the German tragedy has, in truth, been the tragedy of the substituted Realism.

In 1917 the Democratic Nations of the whole Earth thought they had seen a great harbour light when the Russian Czardom fell and the American Republic came into the War. For the time being, at any rate, the Russian Revolution has gone the common revolutionary way, but we still put our hope in Universal Democracy. To the eighteenth-century ideal of Liberty, and the nineteenth-century ideal of Nationality, we have added our twentieth-century ideal of the League of Nations. If a third tragedy were to ensue,