Courtesy Reuters

Last Time

"Our enemies did not use their victory of 1918."--Dr. Robert Ley, Leader of the Nazi Labor Front, November 27, 1940.

AT LAST it was over over there. After four years of nearly mortal expenditures of blood and substance the Allies had put down their foes. Germany's military calculations had been frustrated by only a hair's breadth, but seemingly decisively. The ring of her subject and satellite nations had disintegrated, the Imperial Navy had mutinied, the Imperial Army had capitulated, the Kaiser had fled. Victory was complete. There remained to solve the problems which the war had created or brought to a head. Nobody could -- at any rate nobody did -- guess their number and complexity; they ranged over the whole face of the globe and intruded into every human activity and interest. Apart from these specific problems, there also remained to be solved the master problem of how to diminish the human appetites which had aroused the will to war and how to remedy the human weaknesses which had permitted it to find savage gratification. The only adequate answer to this question, obviously, would be the development of a new theory of the relationship of peoples and a new order in the relationship of states, built on the ruins of what had been worst in the old order and using the remnants of what had been best.

In this creative task the American people intended to share. Their ordeal had been short in comparison to that of their allies, but the same prayer was in their hearts: "Never again!" Never again the stupidity of war, never again its agony and waste, never again the separations, the waiting, never again the long rolls of wounded and dead! Joyfully making ready to welcome their boys home, the American people did not lose sight of this purpose; but they were far from clear in their minds as to what was practicable and necessary to give it effect.

Some began with the premise that the world

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