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The Meaning of the War
Life & Matter in Conflict

written by "Carr, Herbert Wildon, 1857-1931"
...n-in to passive obedience and having no loftier ideal wherewith to oppose the official doctrine. Many persons have explained the aberrations of German policy as due to that theory. For my part, I see in it nothing more than a philosophy doomed to translate into ideas what was, in its essence, insatiable ambition and will perverted by pride. The doctrine is an effect rather than a cause; and should the day come when Germany, conscious of her moral humiliation, shall say, to excuse herself, that [30]she had trusted herself too much to certain theories, that an error of judgment is not a crime, it will then be necessary to remind her that her philosophy was simply a translation into intellectual terms of her brutality, her appetites, and her vices. So, too, in most cases, doctrines are the means by which nations and individuals seek to explain what they are and what they do. Germany, having finally become a predatory nation, invokes Hegel as witness; just as a Germany enamoured of moral beauty would have declared herself faithful to Kant, just as a sentimental Germany would have found her tutelary genius in Jacobi or Schopenhauer. Had she leaned in any other direction and been unable to find at home the philosophy she needed, she would have procured it from abroad. Thus when she wished to convince herself that predestined races exist, she took from France, that she might hoist him into celebrity, a writer whom we have not read—Gobineau. [31]None the less is it true that perverse ambition, once erected into theory, feels more at ease in working itself out to the end; a part of the responsibility will then be thrown upon logic. If the German race is the elect, it will be the only race which has an unconditional right to live; the others will be tolerated races, and this toleration will be precisely what is called "the state of peace." Let war come; the annihilation of the enemy will be the end Germany has to pursue. She will not strik...

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