The Evening Star WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1914.
That is how the Russian Ambassador in Roma is reported to have " Cormany'S characterised Germany's Last Card." success in dragging Tur-
key into the arena of conflict. The words may or may not, have been used. And it may or mav not be Germany's last card. The important fact is that it is not likely to prove a more certain winning card than many of tho others on which Germany counted. Rarely, perhaps, in the crisis of a nation's fate' have its leaders Handled so disastrously. Not one of tho anticipated sequences on which they reckoned has been realised. Canada and Australia were, "to cat the painter," Ireland was to seize tha declaration of war as the signal of revolt, India waa to throw off the detested yoke of the oppressor, Italy and Austria in rho Mediterranean wore to present the transfer of French-Algerian troops across the inland sea, Russia could not mobilise until after htr ally France had been oru*h«d, Britain ■would never be ablo to send an Expeditionary Force across the Channel, even were eh* mad enough to risk her fleet and army for the sake of " a /scrap of paper." and tho idea of Belgium offering a. resistance so appreciable that it turned, if it did not wreck,, the .whole, of Germinyjp
plan of campaign, was only suggested to be disdained. These tvero the cciUain cards that Germany hold. We know today how all of thorn have Jailed her. Not one of them haa won through. Germany has been hit at every point of the game, and Cang back upon her own resources, her own machine, and her own supports. Truly, an ignominious end to a generation of scheming and planning. Where and why Germany failed in the many cards she thought she held was because, like the rich young man in the parable, sho Licked one thing, and that the most' essential of all. Germany, simultaneously with the marvellous growth of her overseas commerce, the building of her wonderful navy, and the strengthening of her mighty army, failed to gain either the : love or the respect of the world around her. She built hor empire on Force, she cemented it with Force, and 6he boastfully and arrogantly appealed to the same sinister deity whenever and wherever she wished to make her presence known. And in her hour of need hor god failed her. The German War Lords may issue commands that Tsihg-tao must be held at all costs, and that Calais must be taken at any sacrifice, but the god on whom they rely is proving as deaf and as dumb and as impotent to help them as Baal of old. It is not humanly possible to-day to secure and maintain an empire resting and dependent on force alone. Provision must be made for the play of individual temperament, and it was her failure as a nation to rocogniee this that has proved the undoing of Germany. The Imperial Chancellor's inability to understand way England risked her all for a word was but the reflection of the national failure to understand why German culture and what it has come- to connote are -universally detested.
I There has possibly been more nonsense ! written about German culture, using the term in its ordinary connotation, tha.n about any of the many others that have since tho war come into frequent use. The culture that Conan Doyle, or Bernard Shaw, or 11. G. Wells has in mind when they expatiate en the glory and inspiration of German culture has nothing in common with the "culture" that has brought upon it the derision and execration of mankind. What has the culture that Goethe, Fichle, Kant, Beethoven, .and Wagner have givon to Germany and mankind in common with that of Trcitsehke and Nietzsche and Bernhardt "'Conquer or die," declaimed Fiehtc to his student.*-., 'who as he spoke could hear -the tramp of Napoleon's troops in the street without.. "Conquer at any price, only conquer," is tho doctrine that Trehsehfco icditontlv preached to his jwpiJs, than whom no historian processor &ver had more eager spirits sitting at his feet. His very words find their echo in those of tho Kaiser and the War .Council. "Conquer Calais, hold Tsing-tao, no matter what they cost; only conquer." This is trie r.cw doctrine of the New Germany, but it is neither (hat of Goethe nor of Fichte. Goethe longed for German unity and loved his country devotedly; but he had no visions of, nor wish for, a Germany as the supreme overlord of subject nations cut to ore pattern and adoring one rider. Goethe never touched politics; they were apart from his life work. In his last recorded conversation with Ecker. Mann, and but a few days before that superbly gifted life pa-ssed again to its Giver, Goethe said : I know well enough that, hard as I have toiled all my life, all my labors aro as nothing in tho eyes of certain people just because I have disdained to mingle in political parties. To please such people I must have beeomo a member of I a Jacobin Gab and preached bloodshed and murder. However, not a word more upon this wretched subject, leet I become unwise in railing against folly. j
There is no indication of the War God here, and no sign that the culture that Goethe cherished was one that would impel its creator to wade through "multitudinous seas incarnadine," or along a lino of devastated, sacked, and outraged homes, in order that he might thereby ascend a throne. The culture of Old Germany bas been most shamed by its modern keepers. Like everything else that is admirable and of good report, it haa been dragged in the miie; butchered to make a Kaiser's holiday ; flung into the melting pot; and overwhelmed by the onrush of a newer and more fearful Juggernaut. But the onslaught has failed. Not even the Unspeakable Turk can savo the situation. Tho nations are getting into their stride, and above and beyond the roar of tho tumult that has so long raged and been so splendidly fought in little Belgium's farthest co.it.ot cam alre?dy be e.son the approaching dawr. of a brighter day.
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The Evening Star WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1914., Evening Star, Issue 15641, 4 November 1914