Lothrop Stoddard Theodore - Stakes of the war

Author : Lothrop Stoddard Theodore
Title : Stakes of the war Summary of the various Problems, Claims and Interests of the Nations at the Peace Table
Year : 1918

Link download : Lothrop_Stoddard_Theodore_-_Stakes_of_the_war.zip

PREFACE. Yesterday the detailed facts of European and Asiatic politics, race, trade, industry, and religion were of primary interest to the scholar and foreign trader. To-day they inject themselves into the discussions of every counting-room, throw their shadow across the deliberations of every labor council, and stand as stubborn factors in the personal fortune and future of every American. Foreign affairs have become the personal concern of the man in the street, no less than the professional concern of the scholar and the trader. Not that these facts have not always had profound influence upon American interests ; but it remained for the war to force upon us, as a people, a belated recognition of the fact that we are part and parcel of a world of interlaced interests in which no nation can play a lone hand. This book is an attempt to chart the facts involved in those problems of race and territory which the war has shoved into the foreground of our political and business thinking, which will demand solution at the peace-table, and with the implications of which we shall hereafter be obliged to deal—facts which no business man can in safety overlook if he is to plan wisely for the future; facts which no labor leader can prudently ignore if he is to guard the gains of the past and guarantee the development of the future ; facts which no legislator can leave out of his thinking if he is to bring constructive statesmanship to bear upon American policy ; facts which the average American must know in order to read his daily paper with full appreciation of the related meanings of the news, filled as it to-day is with new names, new factors, new problems forced upon his attention by necessity and self-interest. In writing this book we have tried to keep strictly to the role of reporters of facts. "We have studiously avoided the expression of personal opinions. It may be thought that we have indulged in opinion at the points where we have dealt with the various solutions proposed for the several problems ; but here again we have only set down some of the solutions that statesmen, publicists, and political schools have advanced. "We have tried to report, with no admixture of our personal opinions, what ends those who have proposed a given solution think it will serve, and to record as well the objections that have been raised to such solution. "We have included these statements of proposed solutions in this book of facts because the points of view and convictions which they represent are as truly facts for political engineering to reckon with at the peace-table as any matter of race or trade. But we have not in any instance placed our personal valuation upon a solution. The reader may get the impression that we have not taken into full account the practical force of the political idealism that has taken such concrete form in the recent state papers of the United States and of our associates in the war ; it may be thought that in listing the interests of Russia, let us say, we have overlooked the renunciation of many old interests that has been made by the present revolutionary leaders ; or, again, where we state that the possession of a certain territory by a given nation would cut off from the sea certain other nations, it may seem that we have left out of our reckoning the growing determination of statesmanship that the problem of access to the sea for all nations shall be constructively met at the peace conference by adequate international arrangements. In all such cases, however, it must be remembered that this book is not a propagandist document, but an attempt to list all of the concrete factors that must be dealt with by the new statesmanship or by the revolutionist philosophy in the attempt to work out a new order of economic and political relationships. Nor in discussing the interests that several nations have in a given territory have we mixed our opinion with the analysis. We have tried accurately to tabulate the interests claimed by the several nations, as those claims have been expressed in the writings and pronouncements of their respective statesmen, publicists, business men, and other leaders of opinion. If such an arrangement of facts enables the reader to see in turn through English, French, Russian, German, or Italian eyes, the method will be justified; for what a nation thinks its interests are may be as real a factor in political calculation as what its interests really are. We have not been lured into any ambitious attempt to guide American opinion. We have tried simply to bring together the raw materials of fact from which an intelligent public opinion can draw its own conclusions. There are books beyond number that draw sweeping generalizations regarding international politics and organization. The danger is that generalizations will determine the opinion of America before American opinion has acquired that saving balance of judgment which comes only with a knowledge of facts. A literature of generalization is indeed awakening the American mind to interest in world affairs, but we need a literature of fact before the public mind has been captured by the special pleader. We have been obliged to set definite limitations to the scope of these studies. We have not dealt with those problems which are essentially matters of international law with its technical considerations ; that field is well treated in many existing volumes. We have not eonsider'ed the problem of China; that problem, as such, may not come up for specific action by the conference that settles this war, although it doubtless holds important possibilities for the future. We have not treated the problem of straits and canals ; that problem promises to fall largely in the field of international regulation and control, which has not lacked constructive treatment at many hands. We have taken as a basis for this volume those racial and territorial problems directly involved in the war at the time the book goes to press, and which are virtually certain to be treated at the peace-table. This delimitation of field has excluded certain problems of race and territory which may be raised if still other nations are drawn into the war. Likewise it has ruled out certain other problems of race and territory, the treatment of which at the hands of the peace conference is highly problematic. With the international situation daily changing with unprecedented swiftness, it has been clearly out of the question to write a book that would record with scientific accuracy and completeness the statistics of race and industry of the immediate war-governed situation. We have, therefore, used no statistics later than those of December 31, 1913. Later statistics are difficult to obtain, and, when obtainable, are frequently juggled. But even though accurate statistics of the immediate situation were in all instances obtainable, they would be less pertinent to the purpose of these studies than the pre-war statistics. The statistics of the present situation, especially the economic statistics, deal with an abnormal situation, whereas these problems must be settled upon the basis of the normal situation which peace involves. Therefore, choice would prompt, even though necessity did not dictate, the use of the statistics of 1913 in the analysis of the essential factors in each problem. May we repeat that we have sought to serve American opinion by the simple reporting of facts. In no small measure we have written this book from a sense of duty which recognizes that passionate devotion to ideals on the battle-field must be supplemented by realistic dealing with the facts of race and economics at the peace-table if sacrifice is to be rewarded with security. LOTHROP Stoddard, Boston, January, 1918. Glenn Frank. ...

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