Courtesy Reuters

A Moral Program for Europe


FIRST, what is peace? Peace is not merely the avoidance of war by the European nations as a result of the skill of their diplomats, even over a considerable period of time, the while armaments grow and mutual suspicions flourish and national prides smart -- the while, in a word, war hovers over the Continent as it has since 1918. That is not peace. I adopt Spinoza's definition: "Peace is not absence of war, but a virtue that springs from strength of soul." [i] In other words, the problem of peace is more than anything else a moral problem. It is a problem of moral reformation. That of course is not to say that it is not also an economic problem, a problem of statesmanship, a problem of law. What I mean is that in addition to being those things, and more distinctively, it is a moral problem, and especially therefore a matter for our moral educators.


What is the moral reformation which educators should preach to the peoples in order to create in them such a state of mind that they are ready to come together? The answer is obvious. They should be exhorted to banish from their hearts the religions of force, "will to power," "dynamism," and other Nietzscheisms which they have been worshipping since the middle of the nineteenth century, and go back to the cult of universality, rationality, harmony, moderation, which they have been neglecting for the same length of time. They should be urged to abandon the German ideals which they -- France included -- have been honoring since Germany took the lead in Europe in 1870, and go back to the cult of the Hellenic-Christian. They should be told to take back their allegiance from the gods of the North Sea and give it again to the gods of the Mediterranean. Such is the reversal of values that the educators of Europe should propose, if they would not

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