The Day After Russia Attacks
What War in Ukraine Would Look Like—and How America Should Respond
SINCE the war Europe has seemed inclined to come closer to Latin America; but Latin America, without forgetting the bonds, the interests, the sympathies which unite Americans to the Old World, has been drawing away, striving instead to create a new civilization which will harmonize all the various elements in New World tradition and history. Until recently, Latin America welcomed the influence and accepted the spiritual tutelage of the Old World, admiring everything European with a mixture of naïveté and passion. But at the same time Latin America criticized Europe freely. For all of their revolutions, Latin Americans visualized themselves as destined some day to play a great rôle in the world.
Europe, meantime, had only contempt for these new countries so prone to anarchy. The South American republics had no part in the first Hague Conference of 1897: they were not considered capable of joining a union of civilized peoples.[i] Any number of European authors might be quoted in this sense. In Le Bon's monumental work on the psychology and evolution of race, the Spanish-American peoples were credited neither with energy nor will-power nor even with morality. How great their contrast with the English race, which had also been transplanted to America -- a race so firm of will, so sure of itself, so merciless toward the weak, a race of true latter-day Romans, dominating others through qualities of character! In the South, Latin decadence -- there, left to themselves, "the Latin American republics would revert to barbarism!" In the North, Le Bon pointed to the great energetic republic, a land of liberty (but not of equality and fraternity -- "those two Latin chimeras"), always progressing, and destined perhaps to rule the world. Vainly did Spanish America copy the Constitution of the United States -- the history of a people depends not on its legal institutions but on its racial character! Though alike in their laws, though blessed with an equally rich soil, though possessing a territory equally vast (twice as large as Europe), "these republics, without a single exception, are perpetual prey to a most bloody anarchy," and "founder, one after the other, in spoliations, bankruptcies, despotisms." "An experiment is being tried in the New World and that experiment is inexorably condemning the South American democracies to death!"
Pan-Germanic writers had an equal scorn for states "where man had everything but liberty." According to Tannenberg, "it would be a blessing for these backward peoples to fall into the hands of Germany" and be saved from tyrants who "strip them of their wealth and spend it abroad and who supplant each other, through continual revolutions, while bankruptcy ever impends." Houston Stewart Chamberlain's famous "Foundations of the Nineteenth Century," read and recommended by William II, set forth that nowhere, not even among the savages of Australia, could one find human beings less worthy of respect than the unhappy Paraguayans, Peruvians and others, who, "if it were not for the presence of foreigners among them, would fall into a bestial barbarism." For Reimer, the "half-breed New World" had no redeeming feature; it was "chaos and nothing else." From Harvard University, a German philosopher, Hugo Münsterberg, could see in those democracies only an "absurd masquerade, without liberty, without trustworthy principles;" and he urged the German Government to establish in South America colonies "which would furnish the United States no greater cause for complaint than similar German colonies in Africa."
The best that might be said is that at the end of the nineteenth century Spanish America was either unknown or despised in Europe. As the Temps recently put it: "Lacking direct and accurate information on South America, Europeans were resigned to ignorance about that very considerable portion of the human race, or indeed were ready to substitute for such ignorance any legend or fairy tale that came to hand."
A world tragedy, then impending, was to change this situation. During the Great War, the Spanish American continent, young, generous, romantic in its ambitions and in its beliefs, offered lavish coöperation to the peoples of Europe, above all to France -- moral coöperation for a time, it is true, but before long it was a question of blood. South America sent to European battlefields a true élite of her sons, an élite made up especially of intellectuals, who fought in the ranks of the Allied armies and helped by heroic example to rouse their home governments to participation. The principles involved in the struggle were clearly drawn. It was a question of autocracy and democracy. Predatory empires were seeking to crush the liberty of democratic peoples. Militarism, the cult of war, organized industrial feudalism, a new mysticism of State, claims of a natural ethnic supremacy on the part of the Germans! There was a fundamental opposition between the dogmas of the Central Empires and the professed beliefs of the New World.
The bonds thus established between Latin America and Europe in the World War were very close. They were sanctified by blood and grounded in history. Did this mean that Latin America would return to the European fold?
Peculiar circumstances, the new order of things born of the war, stood in the way of such an outcome. It has been charged that in order to gain favor with the United States, which seemed to be in a restless mood and fearful of clashes of doctrine and race on American territory, the Allies abandoned Spanish America to its fate, in other words to its moral isolation, and thereby recognized the hegemony of the United States as the one great power among the all too divided American republics.
Who was supposed to have instigated this manœuvre? No one knows. Perhaps England, a nation bound to the North American republic by ties of common civilization. In a story circulated in those days the English government was reported to have used Washington as intermediary in communicating with a South American government. This choice of a roundabout route was regarded as significant. It was said that in London's estimation the United States had received a virtual mandate for South America and was to be considered its natural spokesman. England, the great creditor power, was yielding her ground, handing over the profits of South American management to the United States!
This Machiavellian policy was no doubt never carried very far. On the contrary, it gave way to thoughts of closer coöperation, especially between France and certain of the South American republics. It is hard to say just how official such ideas may have been. They were undoubtedly played with by many French diplomats. France had won the war in the name of the great principles of justice and liberty. She stood face to face with England, likewise victorious and surrounded with a brood of Dominions. France should take the lead, powerful through her prestige in the League of Nations. The formation of a bloc of Spanish-American peoples might assure to France the benefits of victory and meantime facilitate a longer and more arduous task: the promotion of peace not only in Europe but throughout the world, the famous labor of "continuous creation," as it was called in those days.
But whatever the attitude of the French Government toward this policy, it was forced to move in another direction -- toward Poland, Jugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, which stood ready to supply France with a different bloc more useful from certain geographical and strategical points of view.
For that matter, in 1919, such South American states as were to participate in the Peace Congress were classified among the "peoples with limited interests." How could they have expected more, if Belgium herself was in that class and only the Great Powers possessed the secret of the future? The New World republics which had lent moral and material aid to the Allies represented number, to be sure; but that was all. They were said to be "lacking in measure."
In these circumstances, the League of Nations established by the Covenant seemed to be the one remaining refuge for the ingenuous or exaggerated expectations of the South Americans. They were looking, at the time, for the prompt juridical settlement of such American questions as the Tacna-Arica dispute and Bolivia's claims against Chili, in accord with a standard of absolute justice which would uphold the weak and humble the strong. And these questions did attract sympathetic attention, when they were brought first before the Peace Conference and then before the League. But soon it became apparent that many difficult problems would fail of settlement in terms of an inflexible idealism -- summum jus, summa in juria! Wilsonism gave ground before the old reliable "reason of State." This was a keen disappointment for South Americans who had set all their hopes on the new order proclaimed by the new prophet.
Nevertheless, once the League was founded and at work, the delegates from Latin America were received at Geneva with every mark of distinction. When Brazil decided to withdraw, the Council appealed to the great South American republic and begged her to return, to bear witness by her presence and her support to the organization's universal and œcumenical character. And at the present moment the position of the South American republics at Geneva is honorable not to say brilliant -- the presidency has been offered them on several occasions. Nevertheless, Señor de Narvaez, who is well informed on League matters, has pointedly remarked that the South Americans figure at Geneva in a function something like that of the Grand Eunuch: their posts are distinguished, but their influence is scanty. They sit on the Council but not to consider the affairs of their own continent. They participate, with courteous discretion, in discussions on European affairs. They sign reports. In other words, they act as chorus in a drama where the actors are all foreigners and played on a stage far removed from their world.
And yet the League depends upon the South American members; for the League holds the world scene constantly in view and knows that the representatives from the New World will always sustain the equality of all peoples before the law. On certain occasions, the South Americans have energetically criticized decisions of the League and they can boast of having stood more faithfully than others by the spirit of the Covenant. For example, Argentina in 1920 demanded the democratization of the League, the equality of all nations, and the creation of new seats on the Council. Quite recently Costa Rica, speaking through a former President of that republic, denounced the formation of a Great Power oligarchy within the League, and the same country requested the League to define the meaning and the scope of the Monroe Doctrine.
It is worth noticing that the Paris Temps, despite its habitual wariness, lent support to this latter suggestion from Costa Rica. It remarked that the Monroe Doctrine is a unilateral affair, and not one of those "regional understandings," referred to in Article XXI of the Treaty, which are calculated to guarantee peace and are not incompatible with the letter and the spirit of the Covenant. The principle of universality, it insisted, is essential to the League and must be upheld. No restrictions can be made upon it. None of the American republics signatory to the Pact has the right to invoke the Monroe Doctrine in order to evade specific obligations. All such republics have the rights and the duties which belong to nations on other continents. The Treaty is a unit and none of its articles may be abrogated. To be sure, the Monroe Doctrine has changed with the passing years in accord with the growing power of the United States, with the necessary and natural expansion of that country. But the Doctrine, the Temps contends, can not be regarded as an obstacle to the action of a World League, nor can it set off a territory as vast as the two Americas from the League's beneficent influence.
Such, at present, would seem to be the official opinion of France on the possibility of a clash between Pan-Americanism and the League of Nations. A former French Ambassador at Washington, M. Jules Cambon, has meantime considered "The State of the Monroe Doctrine in 1928," in an article in the Revue des Deux Mondes. In regard to the same possibility he remarks: "A certain number of South American States are members of the Pan-American Union and at the same time have seats in the League of Nations. A highly important rôle devolves upon such Powers. They are the connecting links between the two worlds. It is their task to prevent, as between the two great instruments of world accord, the maturing of any differences which may under certain conditions turn into antagonisms."
The bloc which France refrained from attempting to form at Geneva seems, meantime, to have attracted the interest of Spain. Spain has complained of the opposition to be noted between the rising nationalism of the various South American nations and the spirit and practice of Hispano-Americanism. She views that opposition as a danger to the close and enduring ties that exist between the "mother" state and the South American republics. "The Spanish American sentiment," writes E. Gomez de Baquero, "is by no means stronger than the national sentiments of those peoples."[ii] Accordingly, when Spain and Brazil put forward their candidatures to permanent seats in the Council, they did not find very warm support among the Spanish American nations. And this aloofness was due, as the same distinguished writer admits, not to any lack of sympathy, but to the influence of an opposing principle of policy. The South American nations refuse to be represented by anybody else. They do not recognize any hegemony. Jealous of their independence, they assert their national pride against any attempt at federation. At the very best, such feelings are strong enough to determine the course of diplomacy. The hope of creating extensive political systems in the Spanish world, of raising an Hispanic bloc in opposition to the Anglo-Saxon bloc, a United States of Spanish America against a United States of English America, must for the moment be deemed illusory.
Hispanism is a super-national sentiment. Several nationalities have arisen within the organism of a great country. They have become independent States, but without forgetting their origins and retaining a sense of mutual kinship derived from the use of a single tongue. Language is the fundamental bond between the various sections of the Spanish world. Spain's economic relations with South America may be of secondary importance as compared with her interests in other European countries. But the Spanish language is always there. De Baquero, it is true, thinks that Hispano-Americanism is still in its nebulous stage, an affair mostly of after-dinner toasts and poems of racial brotherhood and hope. But it was only after 1898, when Spain lost the last of her American provinces, that she really began to turn to a serious policy of rapprochement inspired by practical objectives.
At the time of the signing of the Kellogg agreement, the Epoca of Madrid uttered some noteworthy views on this subject. "Spain," it declared, "is the intellectual home of the nations of Latin America. Our ties with South America are becoming closer and closer; and that should be the keynote of all our policy -- we should not vary from it for a single moment. Now the most direct opposition to Hispano-Americanism comes from Monroïsm; and if, in the text of the [Kellogg] Pact there be any reservations, even marginal ones, favorable to the Monroe Doctrine, is it not the imperious duty of Spain to express reservations herself?" The immediate problem, as the Epoca sees things, is to organize an Ibero-American bloc to include Spain, Portugal and all the American republics. Spain has a place in the European concert, and she is proud to have one. But "solidarity" with the Latin American countries is more important. To come closer to these, to win their confidence, Spain should be willing to slacken her connections with the European Powers.
Among recent steps taken by the Spanish Directorate in accord with the views expressed by the Epoca may be mentioned the creation of the Spanish Bank of Foreign Commerce, which will devote special attention to South America and have branches in all the important towns of the New World.
Some Spanish writers of note, sympathizing with this same policy, think that Spain should strive for an important part in the League of Nations. Since Geneva is at present the focus of certain ambitions of the great society of Spanish-speaking peoples, Spain must be present there and should assume a position of leadership. The Spanish American groups might thus attain to great influence, coöperating in the creation of a political policy of Inter-American, as well as European, scope. Thus in Hispano-Americanism would be found a counter for the Monroe Doctrine.
Spanish intellectuals are busily engaged, meantime, in strengthening and multiplying connections with their "brothers" in the Americas. Their lecturers frequently visit the Spanish-American capitals, where they are welcomed as pilgrims and crusaders. Rough spots occasionally are laid bare in these contacts. Why do South Americans go to Paris when they settle in Europe? France has even been accused of determining such choices by a subtle propaganda of her own. Then, again, it is difficult for a great people which has created a colonial empire to treat its sometime colonists on a plane of strict equality. Also, the Spaniard who has emigrated to South America and returns home with his wealth is often the butt of witticisms in Spanish theatres. On the other hand, in the New World the immigrant from Spain is looked down upon and treated as an inferior by the peoples which profit by his labor. Hence clashes and misunderstandings on both sides, though through them all the trend toward a rapprochement is unmistakable. While the Spanish Court has proved less responsive to such sentiments of brotherhood, the Spanish Universities have begun to devote the closest attention to Spanish American history and affairs. In the Americas a new note is apparent, especially in historical writings dealing with the wars of independence. Those conflicts are now being described as family quarrels between provinces of a Spanish nation, as real civil wars between brothers possessing the same defects and the same qualities. Spanish critics are generously recognizing American influences on their culture. De Baquero declares frankly that "the whole development of recent poetry in Spain has been due to a Nicaraguan, Ruben Dario." Some writers of the Spanish modernist school recently claimed that the South American intellectual was taking his cue from Madrid and might properly be regarded as a provincial of the Spanish intellectual world. This latter concession, however, provoked a hot rejoinder from Argentina, where the advance guard repudiated any intellectual dependence upon Madrid or upon any other European capital.
There is a school of thinkers in a higher sphere which aspires to a spiritual federation of the Spanish world wholly apart from, and in lieu of, any political relations. In 1896, Angel Ganivet, who with Unamuno has been one of the great forces in the intellectual and spiritual life of Spain, declared: "I am opposed to any political federation, present or future, between the Ibero-American peoples." On the other hand, he believed that a real brotherhood prevailed between the Spaniards of Europe and the Spaniards of America, Spanish genius leaving its indelible mark upon every country it touches. The inner revolutions of the Spanish American democracies he regarded as expressions of youth, signs of a robust abundant life which had not yet found its permanent channels. The remarkable writings of Luis Araquistain also maintain that what is needed is "an Ibero-American organization of an intellectual character which carefully avoids any political or juridical ties." The Spanish Empire of old must come to life again without any trace of its ancient characteristics of violence and oppression. The democratic emperor of this new and free federation must be Cervantes! Not even the type of the English Commonwealth is to be imitated. Every idea of political supremacy must be discarded, along with everything that suggests, even remotely, the colonial past.
London is no longer the only financial center for South American loans. New York has become a real rival. Nevertheless, the prestige of England seems as strong as ever, especially in Argentina and Chile. English capital has everywhere aided in developing the resources of the southern continent, and everywhere British influence has been judged useful and beneficent. South Americans have always admired and loved certain English qualities -- English reliability in business, English honesty, English "manhood." In Latin America the masculine code of honor is English, just as the norm of feminine fashion is French. But in spite of the close connections of England with South American independence -- "The liberty of the New World," said Canning "was necessary to the stability of the Old" -- and despite the great achievements of English enterprise, English engineering and English capital in Latin America, England takes less interest in things there than does either France or Germany. To be sure, in recent years the London Times has been publishing a supplement devoted to South American affairs, but the press at large seems too much absorbed in the Dominions to pay much attention to the Latin republics. English influence has been rivalled by that of Germany and surpassed by that of the United States. It has been content with the ground it already held.
As a matter of fact, England abandoned the policy of resisting the rising tide of the United States in Latin America as early as 1895. At the time of the Venezuelan boundary disputes, Mr. Olney, the American Secretary of State explained to Lord Salisbury that American interests were paramount in the continent to the South. The explanation really contained a threat. England had nothing left to do except agree, yield without bitterness, win every advantage possible in open competition, but otherwise abandon all thought of an English hegemony. Lord Salisbury was defending a position already condemned by history. The Monroe Doctrine, he claimed, had no standing in international law. "It is an international impertinence!" Bismarck had already exclaimed. Vain words, bootless regrets!
Germany, for her part, seems to have forgotten that she was not so long ago placed under the ban of Western civilization. She feels disposed to regain the ground she has lost in South America. The drive made by the German Imperialists before the war to make German influence predominant in the Latin South succeeded in creating a real "menace" in Brazil and Chile: German immigrants in the two states of Santa Catalina and Rio Grande do Sul were estimated at 400,000 and native-born children of German immigrants came to occupy high posts in public administration. Nevertheless this German population caused no trouble to the national unity of Brazil when that country declared war on Germany -- another proof that America captivates the European immigrant in the Spanish South quite as readily as it does in the Anglo-Saxon North. At any rate, the war over, Germany promptly resumed relations with the republics beyond the sea. She began showering very particular attentions upon the rare South American writers and politicians who had defended her cause. If the Prince of Wales went to Argentina, the German ex-Chancellor Luther, to mention only one, toured the whole continent of South America. An abundant German literature is being devoted to the Latin republics, while, through translations of German philosophers and historians made in Spain, the Reich is trying to reach the younger generations in the South American universities.
The Fascist régime in Italy looks with favor upon everything suggesting a closer approach to the nations of the New World. As the Popolo d'Italia recently put it, Italy must exploit racial affinities for purposes of commercial expansion. Italian immigrants have contributed in no small measure to the development of some South American countries. Out of a population of thirty-six millions in Brazil, two and a half million are of Italian extraction. The proportion is still more striking in Argentina, where at least forty percent of the population is of Italian origin. Instead of neglecting these remote American markets, Italy must, therefore, advance and win them! She must, in particular, support the nascent South American campaign against commercial penetration from the United States. Meantime she must apply to her emigrant children the famous law of Delbruck, which Germany followed with no visible success: she must keep a finger on the emigrant and prevent him from losing his nationality to the advantage of the country in which he settles.
But this Italian effort bids fair to fail, as did the German effort before the war. The Italians settled in Brazil, in the Argentine, in Uruguay, do not contemplate ever returning to their native land. They love Italy, but they buy property in South America. Next to native-born Argentinians themselves, Italian families, according to the figures of 1924, are the greatest landholders in the Argentine. La Nación of Buenos Aires, has gloried a number of times in the sentimental transformation which Argentine patriotism engenders without effort in the immigrant. South America is not afraid of her newcomers.
But while Europe, as a whole, has thus been groping for some counterbalance to the supremacy of the United States in the New World, she has been admitting decadence at home. This spirit is widely diffused in Europe. It accounts for the success of books such as Spengler's "Decline of the West." Certain authors, furthermore, especially German authors, have been preaching a rapprochement with Asia, renunciation of a Western civilization which is too much under the influence of materialism, wealth, the machine. The Italian historian, Ferrero, has addressed--tothe"deaf"--an appeal for a sort of modern asceticism which will avert the dangers of this love of power and success by which too many moderns are obsessed. In England, Dean Inge has been prophesying an imminent decline of the British Empire, lamenting the deterioration of the English stock under the influence of socialism, a decay, however, to which he seems personally to be resigned.
Latin Americans have been taking such talk at its face value and instead of continuing to look to the Old World for guidance, they have begun to think of becoming independent in intellectual spheres. It is time, they think, for South America to create an original civilization of its own, something more just and more humane than that of old Europe. It is in this mood of rambling curiosity and love of novelty -- instinctive traits in most Spanish Americans -- that the Southern republics have been turning from Paris to Moscow in quest of light on the new age now dawning. Since 1917 all South America has been under the spell of the Slavic Messianism, seeking principles of regeneration in a revolution which could not be imitated but which could nevertheless be admired. To be sure, the first thrill has now passed. Even the leaders of the Mexican revolution, who set out along avowedly Russian lines, have declared that they are now concerned only with the needs of the Mexican people and are developing their agrarian policy inside the pattern of a democratic state. To the Andean republics of the Pacific coast and to Mexico, where there is a strong Indian element in the population, the appeal of the Russian revolutions was what might be called "the lure of the East." Some ambitious dreamers went so far as to imagine that Mexico's rôle in history might prove to be that of a melting pot for merging three civilizations into one -- the Asiatic, the European, the American. Mexico is already the "bulwark of the race," the "necessary frontier" on the north. As Mexico studies her past, she feels herself drawn closer to Asia.
However vague such theories, however confused such sentiments, they are none the less powerful. Under their influence the down-trodden, propertyless classes of the New World are awakening to self-consciousness. Indeed, a peaceful social revolution is developing within all these Latin American republics, a revolution more or less like what Rathenau, in 1919, described as "the revolution of vengeance." A new oligarchy is rising to accuse former oligarchies of lack of patriotism, of excessive servility to European ideals. Half-breeds, Indians of pure blood, are numerous; but they are still far from the conquest of liberty. Rather is it a question of a new kind of leadership, of a new social class which is preparing for the conquest of power on the platform of closer attachment to the American soil, of purer American origins, of stronger national sentiments. No one can foretell whether this inner civil struggle is destined to grow keener. What one may safely say is that "Indianism" as it is nowadays being conceived, is tending to accentuate such a struggle by adding elements of a revanche of races long subject upon the heirs of their conquerors and oppressors. These classes, naturally less orderly by instinct, like to contrast their rugged and uncouth "virility" with the "degeneracy" of the old colonial families of European culture. They declare that a more homogeneous South American society will emerge after the groups tainted with "Europeanism" are eliminated from power.
Stripping such notions of their unjust and violent exaggerations, one can see that underneath them lies something real. Even in the most cultured circles in Spanish America there will always linger a certain restlessness, a certain sense of expatriation, from an intellectual and moral point of view. Joachim Nabuco, a Brazilian writer who once represented his country at Washington, has subtly analyzed the very peculiar state of mind of peoples who have two countries at the same time -- Europe, which is the home of their civilization, America, which is the land of their birth, the land they love and of which they are proud. "In America," he writes, "tradition is lacking in everything, in landscape, in architecture, in life. In Europe, on the other hand, we miss the sense of being really at home, we feel separated from the mold in which each of us was cast at birth. On one side of the ocean, absence of a past; on the other side, absence of a country. Our sentiments are Brazilian, our thoughts are European."
The older colonial classes who suffer most from this sentimental paradox are condemned to exile. The new opposition invent the strangest names to flout their affection for the spirit and for the tradition of Spain. Nice and the Côte d'Azur are becoming a sort of South American Coblentz, a haven of refuge for the South American counter-revolution.
"Eurasia" is the name given by some Russians to symbolize the historic mission they assign to themselves -- the coalescence of Asia and Europe through the agency of a chosen people from Moscow, a third Rome. Ricardo Rojas, an Argentine writer of great repute -- he is provost of the University of Buenos Aires -- has now coined a word "Eurindia." Eurindia is a doctrine. It is also a gospel, which preaches a blending of European and American civilizations, of cosmopolitanism and Indianism. "The Latin genius," Rojas writes, "is stifled in an atmosphere which is not its own, since, from the historical point of view, that genius comes from Europe. In its turn the European spirit, transported to America, is also stifled in an atmosphere which, from the geographical point of view, is American." The remedy is to combine the two elements. "Our cities are often European, but our rural districts remain American -- a genius loci protects them, the half-breed controls them. In a word, the Spanish are Hispanizing the Indian and the Indian and the New World are Indianizing the Spaniard. Now New World culture should be different from that of Europe. For the moment it is still in its infancy. It imitates, it is not sure of itself. In the end it will blaze its own trail, a new one."
In drawing apart from the Old World, in submitting Old World influences to a merciless analysis, the Spanish-American is somehow drawn closer to the United States, in spite of the many crises this instinctive friendliness encounters. Something deep-lying -- youth, perhaps, confidence in a new vigor, a new enthusiasm, vast wealth as contrasted with a bruised and impoverished Old World, the free prospect of a future untrammeled by traditions -- a sense of these seems to bind the North and the South, the Anglo-Saxon and the Spanish-Latin, together.
This crucible of nationalities, this melting-pot of races, is boiling in every zone of the New World. A Mexican statesman, José Vasconcelos, whom all Latin America hails as one of its masters of thought, believes that a new race will be formed in the Americas, the unitary "cosmic" race. In an effort to construct a philosophy of history in which the myth of Atlantis is linked with data more precise, Señor Vasconcelos scouts biological theories which condemn crossbreedings and hybridisms. In his opinion America's rôle is not to exterminate the aboriginal populations, but to merge them in a "fifth race," the best race hitherto known to history, a race possessing all the inheritances of the past. What has been the ambition of the United States? To wipe out the red-skin in order that the white man might rule the American continents as he ruled in northern Europe -- in other words, a repetition of what all victorious nations have done in the course of history. Quite other the "divine" mission of the so-called Latin-Americans, who are to create the synthetic human being, a being who will give adequate expression to "the total ambition of the World." A "prodigious" race, the Nordic. But it has sinned unpardonably in wiping out the Indian, instead of assimilating him as the Spanish conquerors did. The United States will build, at the best, the "last empire of the whites." Whereas in the South, the blood and the genius of all races are fusing in a rich symphony. A vaster vision of the world is growing up. The sense of human brotherhood is deeper and more real. It is for Latin America, the new Atlantis, to create a land of liberty without hatred or contempt alike for yellow, red and European.
This simple faith in the future of South America reminds one of the Americanism dominant in certain sections of the Middle West of the United States. Its manifestations can be seen in the Argentine and Brazil, through the whole length of Whitman's "long, too long America." It is a dream of victory and pride, the overflowing of a health which knows no doubt, no limit, and explodes in a magnificent assertion of power and freedom.
[i] Though at the second Hague Conference, in 1907, men like Ruy Barbosa, Drago, Perez Tirana, took a distinguished share in defending the principle of compulsory arbitration.
[ii] "Nacionalismo e Hispanismo," Madrid, 1928.