Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/158

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

clined and advised recourse to The Hague. A world state implies republican government; it will necessarily be representative, not of monarchs, but of nations and peoples; this is not in harmony with the divine right of kings. But this opposition of the monarchs will not be insurmountable. If a strong sentiment in favor of arbitration or federation be manifested, the monarchs will very discreetly give way, as has been their wont in the past century.

7. Conclusion.—This article has been merely an attempt to give an account of a tendency, its history and characteristics. The information available is exceedingly scarce; what is available is rather scattered and isolated; the status and force of the movement at any given time are difficult to estimate; the very nature of the movement itself is vague and visionary, it seems too fantastic to be practical, the attempt seems premature; it is the work of idealists, of optimists; their efforts are naturally looked upon with suspicion and discredit by conservatives and realists. Nevertheless, idealists prepare the way for movements which quicken the pulse of humanity and which bring about reforms both small and great.-No person living to-day may ever see the establishment of a world state with power to execute its laws. However, we have seen that part of the machinery of a world state has been constructed and that other parts are in the process of construction. It may take decades before this world state will exercise any influence. But it seems no small accomplishment for an age to create the machinery of a world state which mankind will use to good advantage when there exists a sufficiently strong feeling of the need for and desirability of such an organization.

Too much must not be expected of this movement. The world state will not bring about immediate disarmament, but if it succeeds it will bring about compulsory arbitration; it will establish a state of law among the nations. The more disputes settled by arbitration, by judicial decision in accordance with laws passed by a world congress, the fewer will be the occasions for war. If the need for war is decreased, armaments will be less necessary and possibly may be abandoned. Inasmuch as an object so worthy may ultimately be attained by this now rather visionary movement, it at least merits our attention and sincere hopes for its ultimate success.