From the GENERAL PREFACE.
THE events of the present time have started much serious enquiry into the validity of our accepted institutions and our traditional habits of thought. Our conceptions of the State, of the Church, of the organisation of Industry, of the Status of Woman in the commonwealth, and of many other things have been directly challenged; and it is commonly acknowledged that a frank and thorough-going examination of our current postulates, political, religious, economic and social, is urgently called for. This series is intended to be a tentative contribution to the discussion of the problems thus raised.
The writers of these volumes do not profess to have a complete philosophy of reconstruction; nor have they endeavoured to co-ordinate their thoughts into a coherent polity. They treat of matters upon which they are not all agreed; but they agree that Society should be organised with a view to the free development of all the finer interests and activities of men, and that such organisation must take account of local and spiritual differences. Apart from this general agreement, they have worked out their several theses independently and are severally alone responsible for the opinions expressed in the volumes published under their names.
The volumes in the series will cover the main subjects relative to the function of the State. Those already planned will treat of the State in its relation to other states, to religion, to industry, to society, to woman, to the individual, to art, education and crime.
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From the AUTHOR'S PREFACE.
IT may seem that world-politics is too vast and complicated a subject to he dealt with in a book so small as this. But it should be remembered that the present political situation is only a momentary stage in the history of a race which inhabits a small planet. Two popular ideas are misleading - one that the policy of our own state is simple or that it is the expression of one definite purpose; the other that men and customs are so various as to be unintelligible. Against these ideas we urge that the policy of any one state is due to a complexity of different and sometimes conflicting passions and ideas; and, on the other hand, that all men and all their customs have fundamental similarities. That is the excuse for treating the problems of world-politics as those of internal policy are already treated.
We do not propose, however, to deal with the whole of this subject. Our purpose is very limited. We shall omit the descriptive analysis of institutions and the record of state-actions, and we shall also omit the problems of administration in undeveloped countries, all of which would have to be dealt with in a treatment of the subject with any pretence at being exhaustive. But we shall confine our attention to the emotional and intellectual forces or tendencies which underlie the elaborate political and social structure of the present world. And this is done not because we can afford to be ignorant of the actual methods now used in inter-state politics, but because we wish to reduce all the fundamental issues to terms of men, women, and children. We are theorists; but even in theory the establishment of political humanism is the greatest need of the present, and in practice political humanism would make obsolete the decayed Conservatisms and shabby Liberalisms of the past. For we consider chiefly men, women, and children in order that they may be less enslaved by primitive desires and obsolete ideas and freer to achieve the promise of their finer dreams....show more