A LONG WAR PREDICTED
SYDNEY 'PROFKSSOK'S VIEW. I'rofesor Al'Galium, who roprosentcd tho Sydney Uiiivor.sity ;it tlio toroentonary celebrations of tho University of Groninpson, was, with Airs M'C-allinn, in Germany when tho war broke out. Thoy went via Denmark to England, crossing the North Sea in a steamship chartered by the British Government for tho conveyance- ol" refugees. Jn regard , to Gormnny and its people Professor M'Calhirn says:— " So far as I can judge, tho Germans at that time were unanimous and enthusiastic in favor of war; but I think that was quite what one might expect, because they were not fully in possession of the facts. For instance, I, mysoif, had only been seeing the German papers, and i had no idea what tho - circumstances really were until I got to Denmark and read a copy of Sir Edward Grey's speech, which was quite a revelation to me; but J think there is no doubt whatever that Germany is altogether with tho Government in regard to tho war. J attribute that to the pernicious influence that Prussia has bar! over tho whole nation for the last 10 years. Tit my opinion, the Germans, when they are away from Prussian influence, or in matters in which Prussian influeneo does not tell, are as lino a nation as ion can get. • "If you ask me whether Germany is of the same mind as Prussia, I answer ■ Yes and no.' Jn its natural instincts and proclivities Germany seems to mo thoroughly wholesome, but for MO or -10 years it has been Prussianised by breathing in an atmosphere poisoned by the Prussian Government. The newspapers, the education system, the prevailing intellectual tone, are all dominated by Berlin, so thai a sort of .second nature has been superinduced in other Germans in regard to their civil duties ami in regard to their attitude to other nations. That second nature, to my mind, is an exaggeration of a quite right principle in the reaction from the individualism of the eighteenth century. German thinker's for the last, hundred years have been proclaiming tlse ail-importance of the State iu moral life, and among later ones have gone so far as to teach that the ail-moral life is summed up in sinking oneself in the life of the State arid becoming merely a serviceable member in the State organism. ' : And, of course, there is ;i groat d-jjd of truth in that. One sees the truth oi' it when one looks at the international condition of Germany. Tho organisation is wholly admirable. It is in a great many respects a pattern to the rest of• Europe. Put such a belief, it' Indd exclusively,, is disastrous, for it neglects two important considerations. The first is the rights of individuality, since a tendency to suppress i'veo criticism destroys individual initiative—in :i word, private independence. This in Germany lias not remained unavenged. Titero has been an excessive acquiescence in the dictates of William 11. and his entourage of junkers and military oflicers. no matter how unreasonable those dictates have been. In the second place, this results in dismissing considerations of humanity at large as regulative of conduct. " I think it is tho duty of all humanitarian nations to oppose such an tinsenipuoltts Power until it can never again be a troubl-'-r of the world's peace. And for that reason I think that the war is bound to he a v:<ry long and a very severe one. lit the first place, the resources of Germany are not only very great, but are organised and utilised with the greatest inteiiigeiiee. In the second place, wo cannot make peace with the Prussian Government till their resources are utterly destroyed, because the Prussian Government, through the Chancellor, have declared that treaties are of no value; so ihat a sat isfaerory peace enn only enine when Prussia is no longer in a position to do damage. "To attain that result a quite enormous effort will be necessary. Hitherto Germany has only been kept at buy. A far harder task begins when it is a question of overcoming her. Not only is her territory so well fortified, but in that ease Germans will in a manner |,e tigiuing for seif-existo'ice, and v ill he lighting- far more strenuously than even hitherto they have done.''
Permanent link to this item
A LONG WAR PREDICTED, Evening Star, Issue 15698, 12 January 1915