THE famous saying of La Bruyere: "Everything has been said; and it is too late . . ." haunts my mind when I consider the sad plight of Europe. So many remarkable works have been written on this subject that one is discouraged at the thought of undertaking a further explanation. However, I must make the attempt, not only because I am not content to restrict myself to existing authorities, but also because the cinematographic vicissitudes of contemporary economic policy require constant modifications of detail in the pictures drawn but yesterday by the most intelligent observers. A constant succession of new facts enables us day by day to coordinate our scattered ideas a little better, and leads us to comprehend with more certainty the meaning of the tremors which are shaking the universe.
I use the word universe advisedly. Do not be deceived; the center of the cyclone is in the Old World, but its waves spread far and wide. White and yellow, all races are suffering from the turmoil of Europe. They suffer from not finding the same markets in our hemisphere as in the past and from not receiving the same manufactured products they were wont to expect from it. They are suffering from the influx of gold, the reign of real or apparent wealth which has fallen upon them from the clouds. Above all, they are suffering from the general disturbance engendered in the mind of Europe by war, revolution, scandalous profiteering and famine--the seed of all of which is borne across the ocean.
But, as I have written elsewhere,[i] these are passing troubles. The great new countries will conquer this disease. They have youth on their side. They will digest the glut of wealth which has suddenly been thrust upon them, just as they will escape from the contamination of Europe's poverty, even if the latter persists. The danger to the general welfare of humanity is that if the depression of the Old World is unduly prolonged the New World may seek to escape by breaking all ties. Nobody who understands economics can mistake the indications that the great nations of America, Australia and Asia are putting out feelers towards one another, that there is gradually being built up around America, towards which the axis of the world has moved, an economic organization similar to the European organization of a few years ago...
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