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arbiter immeasurably greater than the individual,can both pass an unbiassed sentence, and give instant effect to it. But when one State has to assert itself against another, both these conditions are wanting. Not only does no Power exist to which all States are subject, and by which the just application of law to individual cases can be enforced, but the only law or morality which is conceivably applicable to States differs fundamentally from that which is applicable to the conduct of individual citizens. The moral law for individuals, as understood by the modern world, and as reflected in modern legislation, is based on the ideas of Christianity. Its primary principle is the love of each for all. It accepts as the highest virtue the sacrifice of self for others. But 'the only moral law which can possibly hold good for States' is, in respect of its very foundations, the Christian law inverted. The moral feeling in which the life of the State is rooted is not love for other States, but hate. So true is this, says Treitschke, that for one State to regard another with even an appreciable amity is a sin; whilst for one State to sacrifice any one of its own interests to another State would be the sin for which there is no forgiveness—the sin against the Holy Ghost.' Thus everything which any State may do, or demand of its citizens individually, is moral if it does or demands them for the sake of its own aggrandisement; and, when the moral conduct of one State conflicts with that of another, the only way of deciding which is right or wrong is to see by experiment which of them can kill or mutilate the largest number of the men, women and children of the other State.
Here the first Act of Treitschke's argumentative drama ends. It ends with what he admits to be 'a stern and terrible doctrine'; but he rings down the curtain with the announcement that there is a second Act to follow, in which this doctrine will, like a stage villain, be converted, and brought into harmony with the ideal conscience of mankind.
Machiavelli, he says, though his logic so far as it goes is impregnable, was guilty of one great error. This did not consist in pushing his argument too far. It consisted in a failure to push it far enough. The final object of the State, its power being taken for granted, is to secure
for its citizens such social conditions as will best enable them to develop their own humanity, to progress in civilisation, or—to use a word specially dear to Germansto ennoble themselves by some species of Culture. Machiavelli's defect was that he failed to realise this. He gives us the chalice, but he quite forgets the sacrament; and it is the nature of this sacrament, whether we call it Culture,''Civilisation’or Progress,' which gives a State whatever final value it possesses, and enables us to say that, in respect of its general character, or of any of its particular actions, it is good or bad, moral or sinful, worthy to exist or no. Thus, says Treitschke, at the time of the Franco-Prussian War, it is evident to the conscience of everybody that Prussia employed her power in an ideally moral way, for it was a way which promoted civilisation in the highest sense of the word. Austria, on the other hand, though her power may foster some sort of civilisation in Austria, sinned heinously' against the Spirit of History' when she imposed her yoke on the northern provinces of Italy, for its effect on Italian Culture was, not to foster, but to crush it. As for Turkey, whatever her power may be, her condition of sin is chronic; for, as her 'miserable architecture' shows, she has no Culture at all, and her very existence is a blot on the map of Europe. In a word, says Treitschke, 'a State is a moral, or else an immoral community; and, in order that its existence may be justified, it is called upon to make positive efforts for the education of the human race; and its final end must be that a people may shape for themselves a real character in it, and by means of it.'
Now, if the political philosophy of Treitschke could be rewritten from the beginning, the first part of it, which culminates in the doctrine that the State is Power, and the second part, which aims at presenting it as a 'moral community,' might both be so revised that the implications of the one would in some rational way agree with those of the second ; but, as matters stand, the second part has not only no logical connexion with the first in the way of logical sequence, but absolutely contradicts it, and can find in it no point of attachment. As regards mere formal logic, the doctrine that a State is an absolutely sovereign Power which justifies all it
does by the fact that it elects to do it, hangs together well enough, if we are willing to accept the consequences. But it is impossible to accept this contention, and yet at the same time to mitigate its consequences by contending, as Treitschke attempts to do, that these sovereign Powers are not sovereign at all; but that somewhere there is some standard which is superior to all and each, and can sentence any one of them as a sinner' if it uses its sovereign power except in certain limited ways. Not only does Treitschke fail even to suggest in definite terms what this common standard is, but in the first part of his argument he closes every logical loophole which might have left him free to argue that any such standard can exist. In that part he contends that a State is an individual thing with an individual will of its own, but that a Society is merely a name for a number of adjacent individuals, whose sole unity is in the image which they form on our mental retina. To what category, then, does the common standard belong, which he calls indifferently Culture,' the Spirit of History,' 'Real Character,' and Progress'? Has Culture an individual will? Is the "Spirit of History anything more than a name? Progress' perhaps may suggest a sequence of connected facts; but, as Mr Davis observes, Treitschke himself admits that progress is a movement of whose actual existence it is impossible to discover any intellectual proof.' Indeed, his whole doctrine of a moral standard for States, which is anything more than the brute power of each, finally goes to pieces in his own confession that, if it be philosophically analysed, it reduces itself to this proposition—that “a craving (vague and indefinable) of the individual conscience for individual perfection leads to the conclusion that humanity as a whole experiences the same craving for perfection.
A philosophy which begins with the bald and uncompromising argument that any acts of a State are for itself moral which tend to increase its power, because each State is sovereign' and cannot be subject to any will but its own, and which end with the doctrine that all States are subject to the will of a 'general craving,' or a conclusion' that some 'general craving' exists, to which nobody can assign any definite content, is like an image with a body of iron, which, in order to make it
look human, is surmounted by a head of feathers. And this criticism of Treitschke's philosophy is, as we shall see presently, not only that which will be pronounced by the philosophical student, but is that which has been practically pronounced by the whole German people. But, before considering this aspect of the case farther, let us, in view of the fact that Treitschke was no fool, consider how, if his philosophy is really of such a crudely inconsistent kind, it could ever have been regarded and promulgated as a coherent system by himself. The answer is to be found in an observation which has been made already, that the clue to his thought lies in the circumstances of his own life.
Treitschke, says Mr Davis, remained, up to the day of his death, essentially and hopelessly provincial-'as provincial as it is possible for any native of central Europe to be.' The first political impression of which he was vividly conscious was, let it be said once more, that of the weakness of Germany as a cluster of independent States; and from this impression, confirmed by brooding observation, he gradually advanced to two practical conclusions—firstly, that Germany's sole hope for the future lay in some scheme by which these States might be united ; and, secondly, that no one of them would renounce its independence voluntarily, out of regard for anything like mere ideas or principles. This led to the further conclusion that, if unity was to be achieved at all, it could only be achieved by force exercised somehow and by somebody, and that ideas must be left to assert themselves and justify the result afterwards.
Hereon followed the question where, within the limits of Germany as it then was, the necessary force was to be found. When Treitschke began to be occupied with these speculations, none of the German States seemed to possess the characteristics necessary for playing so great a part worthily; and none of them did he detest more heartily than he detested Prussia. In those days, though he was by no means an extreme democrat, his theories of domestic government were those of a pronounced liberal; and to place the destinies of Germany in the hands of Prussia would, he declared, be nothing short of madness.' *Prussia,' he said, is ruled by a class which has never felt the mighty hand of a new era, but still lives in
a fashion that would be intolerable to any moderately healthy nation.' But gradually this uncompromising attitude began to be modified by the reflection that, if force was necessary for the solution of the great problem, Prussia was the only State in which such force was to be found. Thenceforth the most interesting feature of his mental development was,' says Mr Davis, 'the alternation of fits of revolt against the principles of Prussian Junkerdom with other fits of conviction that, even though the Prussian idol had feet of clay, there was no other possible centre of German unity. In the end this latter conviction, as representing a hard and unalterable fact, prevailed; and he could say in 1864, 'I shall be happy if before my death I see a Prussian Germany.'
Nevertheless his original antipathy to Prussia, as a brutal repressor of all constitutional liberty, was a sentiment which died hard. It was only extinguished by the results of the Franco-Prussian war; but, when once it had disappeared, its place was rapidly taken by positive sentiments of a new and widely different kind. In the Junkers he came to see a class whose strength of will was invaluable; he came to regard the popular vote as a toy, and the people as fractious children whose tempers were soothed by playing with it; whilst high over all rose the figure of an Imperial Monarch, from whom all power was derived, and in whose person all power was concentrated. The effects of this conversion were mani. fested in his own career. A few years after the FrancoPrussian war had been ended, the political Ishmael of Saxony was enthroned as Professor of History in the University of Berlin, and was preparing to rewrite his philosophy as a courtier of the House of Hohenzollern. The word 'courtier,' as here applied, involves, however, no suggestion of servility. If Treitschke was servile to anything, he was servile to the logic of events. In this he was consistent with what had always been his own principle—that the philosophy of history must be deduced from the facts of history; and no sooner had he accommodated his mind to an acquiescence in accomplished facts than he felt that these facts must be explained as the results of universal principles which the intellect of all might recognise and the conscience of all approve. In this way only, he felt, could the inner spirit of a people