Courtesy Reuters

German Military Power Since Versailles

THE question of disarmament occupies the center of the political stage. Nearly a hundred and fifty years have gone by since Immanuel Kant wrote his philosophical essay "On Eternal Peace." In addition to uttering other maxims about safeguarding international peace, he demanded the abolition of standing armies on the score that they constitute a perpetual menace of war against other nations. Since Kant's days numerous and gigantic wars have shaken the world. Tentative attempts to safeguard international peace by political conventions were undertaken at The Hague in 1899 and in 1907; but they were fruitless. Not until the World War had exacted its sacrifice of millions of human lives, besides destroying the economic relations of the nations of the earth, did statesmen feel a moral incentive to transform Kant's philosophical ideas into a practical political instrument. And still the ideal of a system of international peace, as President Wilson conceived it, remains unfulfilled. The warlike complications in eastern Asia have shown only too plainly that the League of Nations is devoid of any real authority. The Kellogg Pact was designed to outlaw war and stiffen the moral obligation of all nations to settle their quarrels not by resort to arms, but by arbitration. The regrettable fact remains that by tradition politics is not dependent on moral considerations.

No one ever had that truth brought home to him more forcibly than President Wilson did at Paris, to say nothing about Germany and her trust in the fourteen points! President Wilson proved unable to carry the day against statesmen whom the World War had given a demagogic fervor. Lloyd George and Clemenceau were more than a match for him, from the moment he left behind him the native soil from which he had been drawing his strength. The history of the negotiations at Paris about disarmament has not yet been written in its final form. But this much is certain, that in the course of the deliberations Lloyd George and Clemenceau turned Wilson's original intention

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue