John K. Turner
Shall it be Again ?
PROMISE AND PERFORMANCE
IF there remained any doubt of the soundness of the conclusions of the previous chapters, it would be dissipated by a cold review of the peace that was actually framed and sought to be imposed.
First, a peace without victory was in sight in 1917. Wilson frustrated it by dragging America into the war.
The notion that America saved the Entente from decisive defeat has been carefully fostered in this country. But before America entered the war, Allied statesmen and publicists had, a thousand times, proved to their own satisfaction that an ultimate German victory was impossible. At no time did there exist a reasonable probability of the submarine blockades becoming sufficiently effective to score a knockout. Germany might have gained effective land victories, but that would have placed her in a position only to negotiate, not to dictate.
The best evidence on this point is found in the German peace overtures themselves. No one will accuse the Kaiser of preferring an indecisive peace to a victorious peace. Why, then, did he seek an indecisive peace before the end of 1916 ? It could only have been because he shared the judgment of his enemies as to his own incapacity for victory. It will be remembered that the German overtures were invariably denounced as wicked insincerities, peace offensives, war maneuvers; that all peace talk was decried in America and in the Allied countries, on the ground that immediate peace would mean a German peace, which implied German victory and conquest. The fact remains that the German proposals were taken by Allied statesmen as an offer to return to the status quo ante, and they were so taken by Wilson himself. In his reply to the Pope appear the following words :
Of course, the Imperial German Government and those whom it is using for their own undoing are seeking to obtain pledges that the war will end in the restoration of the status quo ante.
The Allied statesmen, of course, did not want a peace without victory. They rejected the German overtures. But, by the middle of 1917, they were virtually confessing to us that they would have been constrained to look favorably upon such a peace, had America not come to their assistance.
Which means that America, at the beginning of 1917, stood in a position seldom vouchsafed to a neutral nation in any war. It stood in a position to bring about an immediate peace, not by going to war, not by abandoning neutrality, but by withholding its hand, by smoothing the way.
It is too much to say that America stood in a position to impose in full the peace programme which it had just announced as its own. But it stood in a position to see the acceptance of the primary principle of that programme, and in an infinitely better position to urge the remainder of the programme than it could possibly stand by taking sides.
The opportunity to compel the acceptance of the details of the peace-without-victory formulathrough the operation, if necessary, of justifiable economic pressure, and encouragement to the democratic forces working in all countries for the overthrow of imperialismprobably will never again be paralleled in the worlds history.
But, having pronounced for a peace without victory in January, Wilson went to war in April to destroy the opportunity for such a peace, and to postpone for two years the realization of a peace of any kind.
Although America did not save the Entente from defeat, it did determine the Entente victory. Upon America must fall the weight of the responsibility for the continuation of the world travail after 1917, as well as a large share of the responsibility for the character of the peace that was ultimately imposed.
A favorite theory of apologists for Wilson is that the President hoped and expected to procure a democratic peace by going to war, and that his failure to realize the promised formula was because he was deceived and finally beaten at Paris by the Entente statesmen.
But Wilson had the past records of the Entente governments before him. His arguments for neutrality in 1916, 1915, and 1914 indicate that he was fully aware that democracy could not be served by Americas joining what he termed this chaos of hostile and competing ambitions.
And if the previous record of the Entente governments was not enough, Wilson had before him, also, ample evidence of the aims of the very Entente statesmen with whom he was about to ally himself.
Although the secret treaties had not yet been published, the concrete aims of the Entente had been sufficiently acknowledged to make it quite clear that they were as far as possible from the peace-without-victory formula. The British Colonial Secretary and the Japanese Foreign Minister had both announced that the German colonies would not be returned. The Entente reply to the German overtures, dated December 30, 1916, had declared for general reparation. At the Paris Economic Conference, the Entente governments had agreed to prosecute a relentless trade war after the war was ended. In his speech replying to Wilsons December peace note, Lloyd George had told Parliament : We have to exact damages. Finally, in the joint Allied notes replying to the Wilson note, the Entente had acknowledged a purpose not only to exact damages from the enemy countries, but to dismember themto wrest territory from Germany, from Austria and from Turkey.
Wilson could not have been deceived. He must have known, furthermore, that once he threw in his lot with the Entente Allies, he placed himself in a less strategic position effectively to persuade or compel them to adopt the programme to which he had proclaimed allegiance.
Did Wilson, indeed, ever attempt to persuade or compel his allies to adopt that programme ? On the contrary, the Wilson principles, in the hands of Wilson, became a strikingly serviceable instrument for assisting the Entente to realize to the full its programme of conquest and spoliation through a dictated and crushing peaceand the more closely we examine the Wilson maneuvers, the more we are forced to conclude that this was their sole purpose.
They served to deceive the American public, and, to a considerable extent, the democratic elements in the Allied countries, as to the character of the peace that was intended, and so contributed vitally to the ability of our coalition to carry forward the war to a victorious conclusion. They served also to deceive the public of the enemy countries, and to some extent, the enemy statesmen, and so persuaded them ultimately to place themselves in our hands.
What caused the Germans to sue for an immediate peace in October, 1918 ? Military reverses, in part, but only in part. The immediately decisive factor was the German revolution. And a decisive cause of the German revolution unquestionably was a faith of the German people that the expulsion of the Kaiser and his party would open the way for an immediate peace on a tolerable basis.
The Germans did not appeal to any of the Allied governments for peace. Nor did the Austrians. And they made clear the reason whythat the Entente terms, so far as they were revealed, were unacceptable. They appealed to Wilson, in the name of the Wilson principles, as voiced not merely in the peace-without-victory address, but in the war message, and on numerous occasions, down to only eight days before the German offer. They specified the Wilson terms laid down on January 8, and in subsequent addresses, offering to conclude an immediate peace on those terms and no others. They quit fighting only when Wilson and the Allied governments had expressly accepted the offer to conclude peace on the specified terms, subject only to two amendments; first, a reservation upon the point of the freedom of the seas; second, a qualification that Germany should make compensation for damage done to the civilian population of the Allies.
We have seen how Wilson, in laying down the general armistice terms, violated his promises to the Germans, of equality in the field and at the peace table, provided only they would reform their government. Under the most solemn assurances, however, that the actual settlement would be as agreed upon, the Germans accepted the armistice conditions, surrendered their fleet, gave up their rolling stock, and bowed to other conditions which placed them in a position where they had to depend upon our good faith and our plighted word.
Can any circumstances be imagined that would carry a weightier moral obligation to hold to a stipulated bargain ?
Under these circumstances, every departure from the Fourteen Points, or the principles laid down in the subsequent addressessubject only to the amendments referred towould seem to constitute a breach of international faith at least as obliquitous as the German violation of the Treaty of 1839.
Indeed, the Belgian scrap of paper would appear insignificant in comparison, inasmuch as in the present case was involved not merely a compact with a given nation, but a pledge to all the world, including the peoples of the Entente countries, including ourselvesa pledge to apply certain principles to the conclusion of a certain peace, not merely as a matter of justice to an enemy nation, but primarily in order that the peace of all peoples might be made secure, and a lasting service rendered to the cause of democracy.
It may be that the two amendments, and especially the second one, were inserted intentionally to provide a loophole for repudiating the entire Wilson programme, but nothing of the sort was suggested at the time.
On the other hand, Wilson himself, on a number of occasions, expressly held that they did not vitiate it. In announcing the armistice terms to Congress, he said : The Allied governments have accepted the bases of peace which I outlined to Congress on the 8th of January last, as the Central Empires also have. And in his Christmas speech to the American expeditionary forces : It happened that it was the privilege of America to present the chart for peace, and now the process of settlement has been rendered comparatively simple by the fact that all nations concerned have accepted that chart.
Under these circumstances, was not Wilson obligated, by every consideration of personal and national honor, to hold to the specified chart, even if his allies went back on it, to make a separate peace, if need be; and if he were tricked, deceived, or beaten, by the Entente statesmen, not to make a secret of it, but to proclaim the fact to all the world? Could he do less and keep the faith ?
No one, having read the secret treaties, will maintain that the Entente governments ever intended to carry out their agreement to make peace on the Wilson terms. It happens that there is no evidence that Wilson had any more intention of keeping the faith in this matter than did they. A number of the secret treaties were published a year before the armistice was signed. Though he continued his pledges of a peace of equality, Wilson did not require their repudiation. The salient fact of the whole matter is that, having lured the Germans into the net with the Wilson terms, Wilson promptly threw the Wilson terms into the wastebasket, forgot every promise he had made of equality to the German people provided they should reform their government, agreed to a peace based on the secret treaties, placed his hand and seal upon almost the entire Entente programme of murder and robbery, and in the end defended this course to his own people as an act of justice and of honor. (See Chapter XXXVI.)
No one else could have done the thing except Wilson, for no one else had so wormed his way into the confidence of the peoples of the earth. Wilsons work at Paris and Versailles must go down in history as a gigantic treachery, not only to the German, Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Turkish governments, and the peoples under them, but to a11 the rest of us; treachery to all the subject peoples under the heel of the Entente, to whom he had promised self-determination; treachery to all the independent small states of the world, to whom he had promised freedom from fears of aggression; treachery to the American people and the people of the Entente countries, to whom he had promised deliverance from future wars and preparations for war.
How vast the betrayal can be realized only by glancing again at the Wilson terms and comparing them with the terms written into the treaty.
As has been seen, the Fourteen Points do not harmonize in every respect with the original Wilson formula as to the terms of a democratic and permanent peace. (Chapter XX.) There are several variations in concrete detail, in the direction of a peace of conquest. Yet if honestly applied, in the light of the principles laid down in the subsequent addresses, they would have realized, at least, a share of the Wilson promises. They would have given Germany and the other enemy countries a tolerable peace. They would have gone a long way toward finding the permanent and democratic peace which all the peoples of the world had been led to hope for from the Messiah, Wilson, and which all governments of the world professed to desire.
Of the Fourteen Paints, only two were genuinely embodied in the peace arrangements, the one providing for the restoration of Belgium, the other for an independent Poland. If the reference to Alsace-Lorraine be taken as requiring unconditional cession of this territory to France, then it can be said that three of the Fourteen Points were embodied in the settlement.
The first point, providing for the abolition of secret diplomacy, was made a huge mockery throughout the conference, and continues so. The second point, providing for the freedom of the seas, was abandoned before Wilsons ship touched a European port. The third point, providing for the removal of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions, was reversed. Trade handicaps were placed upon Germany, and elaborate provisions were made to hold that country in economic subjection to the governments dictating the peace.
The fourth point, promising a reduction of armaments, was flouted. The defeated governments were compelled to agree to arbitrary reduction of armaments, while the victors were left free. Article 8 of the so-called covenant, which purports to cover this point, does not provide for compulsory reduction of armaments, or limitations thereon, either immediately or at any time.
The fifth point, relating to the adjustment of colonial claims, would require all colonies, by whomever claimed, to be disposed of either by plebiscites or restoration to their former owners. No action of any kind was taken on behalf of the colonies owned by the enemies of Germany, while the German colonies were parceled out, more or less unequally, among the governments dictating the peace.
The sixth point, providing for the evacuation of all Russian territory and the independent determination of her own political development and national policy, and a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing was not adopted on paper, and was reversed in action. The governments dictating the peace invaded Russian territory in larger numbers and made war on the existing Russian government, seeking to set up another government not of the choosing of the Russian people. They did not invite Russia to join their league. They parceled out bits of Russian territory among their protégés.
The ninth point, providing for a readjustment of the frontiers of Italy along clearly recognizable lines of nationality was violated insofar as Italys new frontiers took in Germans, Slavs, or other nationalities.
The tenth point, promising to safeguard the place of Austria-Hungary among the nations, was abandoned. Austria-Hungary was dismembered, in accordance with the secret treaties, and to the advantage of the governments dictating the peace and their smaller protégés.
The eleventh point, promising that the relations of the several Balkan states to one another should be determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality, was not complied with. The relations between these states were determined, instead, by the selfish interests of the governments dictating the peace, and the bribes secretly promised to Greece and Rumania for participation on the side of the Entente.
The twelfth point, providing that the Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, was reversed. The victors proceeded to launch one new war after another in an effort to conquer and divide the Turkish provinces.
The fourteenth point, holding out a promise of a genuine league of nations, was not fulfilled. No general association of nations was formed, and no effort was made to form one. Article 10, of the so-called covenant of the League of Nations purporting to guarantee members thereof against aggression, does not meet the implied promise for a mutual guarantee for all states against aggression. That the Fourteen Points were not to be interpreted as justifying, in any respect, a departure from the pledge to Germany of justice through equality, provided only that country should be brought under the control of a parliamentary government, is seen in these words from the address of the Fourteen Points :
We have no jealousy of German greatness, and there is nothing in this programme that impairs it. We grudge her no achievement or distinction of learning, or of pacific enterprise such as have made her record very bright and enviable. We do not wish to injure her or to block in any way her legitimate influence or power. We do not wish to fight her, either with arms or with hostile arrangements of trade, if she is willing to associate herself with us and the ether peace-loving nations of the world in covenants of justice and law and fair dealing.
We wish her only to accept a place of equality among the peoples of the worldthe new world in which we now live, instead of a place of mastery.
Neither do we presume to suggest to her any alteration or modification of her institutions. But it is necessary, we must frankly say, and necessary as a preliminary to any intelligent dealing with her on our part, that we should know whom her spokesmen speak for when they speak to us, whether for the Reichstag majority or for the military party and the men whose creed is imperial domination.
In the message to Congress the previous December, after the most sweeping promises of a peace without victory to our enemies, provided only they should effect internal reforms, the President declared that the very worst thing that can happen to the detriment of the German people, provided they should not effect internal reforms, was exclusion from the League of Nations, and a peaceful boycott. In the speech of the Fourteen Points, referring to the principle of equality, he declared that unless this principle be made its foundation, [the foundation of the peace] no part of the structure of international justice can stand. To the vindication of this principle, said he, the people of the United States, are ready to devote their lives, their honor, and everything they possess. Finally, in the speech of September 27, he assured us that, No peace shall be obtained by any kind of compromise or abatement of the principles we have avowed as the principles for which we are fighting.
Yet the settlement the world was asked to approve, instead of being to the exclusion of selfish advantage even on the part of the victors, turned out to be to the exclusion of everything except the selfish advantage of the victors. The victors realized every item of material gain that their might made possible. The vanquished were condemned to pay to the full limit of their capacity.
What other peace in the history of civilization was so contemptuously and imperiously dictated ? Where before was a nation commanded to agree to pay indefinite sums, and to abide by treaties, arrangements, and territorial changes, to be determined by the victors in the future ? Where was a great people in modern times compelled to agree to a protracted supervision of its affairs so broad as practically to amount to an abolition of sovereignty ? How could the terms have been made harsher without reacting to the financial disadvantage of the victors ?
On the contrary, the terms were found so to react upon the victors that they were impelled almost immediately to begin revising them. The victors were placed in the ridiculous position of having spent the blood and the treasure of their people in order to prostrate a business rival, only to find that, for selfish reasons purely, they had to set him up in business again, loan him money, and start him once more toward the position that he had held before.
In the face of the immediate scrapping of all prescribed conditions of a permanent and democratic peace, the so-called League of Nations was brought forward as promising to realize such conditions at some future time.
But the Wilson league failed as signally to meet the Wilson specifications of a genuine peace league as his actual terms fell below his promised terms.
Any bona fide peace league, the President made it plain at every turn, must be a league of all nations from the start; a league of equals, a pure democracy. Since inner circles are a contradiction of equality, inner circles are expressly barred. As a guarantee against clandestine inner circles, all secrecy is barred. For America, a pledge is offered in advance that it shall be a party to no inner circle, whether open or secret. As to the obligations, one stands out above all others : Mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity; not for some states, but for all. There is to be an absence of special privilege upon the seas, and no trade hostilities. Finally, as a guarantee against the violent upset of our genuine peace league, or any of its fundamentals, by a minority, every state, however virtuous, must render itself physically incapable of aggression.
But the association which Wilson actually offered us excludes all former enemies and many neutrals. Even within itself, it is a league of unequals. It has an inner circle, the Council; an inner circle within the Council, the Big Five; an inner circle within the Big Five, England-France-America; probably other inner circles. No outside state is guaranteed against aggression. Economic hostilities are a part of its bone and sinew. Not one of the fundamental requirements is complied with.
Time, we were told, would correct all shortcomings. But the five old gentlemen who framed the League in secret, and who determined upon the charter members, took every precaution against times correcting anything. The covenant cannot be amended without the unanimous consent of the Council. The Assembly can never overrule the Council. New members are to be received, not on general terms open to all applicants, but on special terms laid down to a given applicant. It turns out that nobody may have anything to say in the affairs of any of the Big Five. They even protect themselves from one another. For this reason, the safeguards, of which we heard so much from Wilsons political opponents, are not of as great importance as asserted. It turns out that practically nothing can be done without unanimous consent of the Council. Which means that any contemplated undertaking can be blocked forever by a single member. Which also means that the League will be forever at the mercy of the most reactionary member. The covenant of the Wilson League of Nations would make it safe from democracy.
For the Wilson peace of victory and his league of victors there is only one conceivable defense, the official defensepurity versus depravity. Nothing is defensible except on the theory of the utter righteousness of the Big Five, the utter depravity of the Central Powers, and the inferiority of the other governments and peoples of the world. Everything that the Big Five did or could do is defensible under this theory. It is a convenient theory. Purity can do no wrongno wrong can be done to depravity.
The object of the war is attained, Wilson told Congress, November 11, 1918, and attained with a sweeping completeness which even now we do not realize. Armed imperialism ... is at an end, its illicit ambitions engulfed in black disaster. ... The arbitrary power of the military caste of Germany is discredited and destroyed.
Yet in a speech before the French Senate, January 20, 1919, he mentioned the German peril as still existent, saying : It [the awakened world] knows that not only France must organize against this peril, but that the world must organize against it.
Did our President profess to believe still in the German peril only because he was even then planning a settlement defensible under no other theory ?
The practical value of the German-peril theory can be appreciated only when it is seen how it is applied to the details of the great settlement.
The victor wishes to strip the vanquished naked, appropriate his possessions, and chain him to a rock-pile. But sentence to fine and hard labor is defensible only if imposed upon the guilty by and for the righteous. So the Kaiser must be tried by an impartial jury of his virtuous enemies, who have already determined upon a settlement indefensible except on the theory of his utter guilt !
But the Kaiser is no longer in a position to pay. The German people can pay. So the distinction between the German people and the Kaiser is set aside. The delegates of the reformed German government, recalling the Wilson pledges, protest against being forced to pay for offenses formerly imputed only to the Kaiser. Clemenceau replies that the German people must be regarded as the accomplices of the German government. Wilson acquiesces. The victors must have their pay !
Even the German people are unable to satisfy the victors lust for pay. So the other defeated states, for whose emancipation from the German power we professed to fight, must pay also. Even the oppressed peoples whom we liberated from these states, and who are now to form small states under our tutelage, must payall to the limit of their capacity.
The victors want pay, not in money alone, in goods, and in ships, but in land and its resources. Where self-determination or nationality can be pleaded as an excuse for taking this kind of pay, self-determination or nationality is duly pleaded. Where these principles are notoriously violated, some other principle is invoked. Where all principles are violated, there is always the peril theory to fall back upon. Precautions must be taken against the beast, even though he has already submitted to the removal of his claws.
The victors want the German colonies. Purity administers colonies for the benefit of the inhabitants. The Germans, having exploited their colonies, have abused a sacred trust of civilization. The victors unselfishly assume the burdenhaggling a good deal about the matter. In order to make it doubly clear that there is nothing sordid in the transaction, the burdens are assumed under the name of mandatories. The mandatory theory serves another purpose still; it saves the value of the colonies from being charged on the credit side of the indemnity. Self-determination is a sacred principle, but it is not for inferior peoples. Dictatorships of the pure must be imposed upon the weak to assist them until such a time as they shall be able to stand alone.
Was it an oversight that certain neutral nations were not invited to join the Wilson leaguethat universal self-determination was nowhere mentionedthat the freedom of the seas was forgottenand all other essentials of a genuine peace league were lacking ?
The answer is found in another line of questions : Would Lloyd George have been willing for his League of Nations to guarantee Persia against aggression by England ?Orlando for his league to guarantee Abyssinia against aggression by Italy ?Makino for his league to guarantee Siberia against aggression by Japan ? Would Wilson himself have been willing for his league to guarantee Mexico against aggression by the United States ?
Who is simple enough to imagine that Wilson ever expected to persuade England to grant self-determination to India, or Egypt; Japan to Korea; France to Morocco; Italy to Tripoli ? Or that Wilson himself intended to grant self-determination to Santo Domingo or Nicaragua ? At a time when the largest number of subject peoples were actually in revolution to realize the freedom which Wilson had promised them, at a time when a greater number of subject peoples under one flag, the British flag, were fighting for self-determination than ever before in the worlds history, Wilson not only turned a deaf ear to these subject peoples, but he approved of a peace handing over a large number of new subject populations to England, her allies and protégés.
As late as February 3, 1919, Wilson announced :
The nations of the world are about to consummate a brotherhood which will make it unnecessary in the future to maintain those crushing armaments which make the peoples suffer almost as much in peace as they suffered in war. (Speech before French Chamber of Deputies.)
Yet, just before sailing for France, Wilson had urged upon Congress the uninterrupted pursuit of the policy of adhering to a definite method of development for the navy.
It is plain enough why Wilson did not insist that the Wilson terms be put into practice. They were never intended for anything except propaganda.
The original Wilson theory, that victory could not bring peace out of the European mess, is supported not only by past realities, but by the immediate results of the victory that was gained. Seven months after the signing of the armistice, a British cabinet member informed us that twenty-three separate and distinct wars were then raging in Europe. We won victory, but not peace nor the probability of peace. It is because we fought not for peace but for the spoils of war. We continued fighting only in order to collect the spoils of war.
After they were under our heel, we heard a great deal about the unrepentance of our enemies. Nothing could more emphatically demonstrate the unrepentance of our allies than our settlement and the secret treaties upon which it was based. These treaties reveal the considerations that caused our allies to bind themselves to fight on to victory, to fight until the enemy was crushed, no matter how repentant he might become, no matter what the cost to their own people.
By the beginning of 1917 our enemies had repented, sufficiently, at least, to sue for a peace of equality. But our allies did not repent; they fought on for purely business considerations.
It is no accident that our peace settlement realizes for the bankers of London and Paris the ambitions with which they approached war, and upon which their patriotism rested, that it realizes the wildest dreams of Entente imperialists during the past decade. An efficient business competitor is now eliminated. The encirclement of Germany is now complete. The victors now divide the places in the sun that had been held by Germany, and the other places in the sun which the balance of power had saved from them. Wilson himself let the cat out of the bag in his speech at Helena (Sept. 11, 1919) when he said :
The merchants and manufacturers and bankers of Germany were making conquest of the world. All they had to do was to wait a little while longer, and long German fingers would have been stretched all through that country, which never could have been withdrawn. The war spoiled the game.
But one game of this sort only leads to another. Hence, all of us begin to prepare for a new conflict.
The final reason why wars for democracy are impracticable in the present day is that no existing government of the first class is pure enough to serve democracy in any war. Not one is as much a democracy as an autocracy. Not one is capable of fighting for democracy. Armed imperialism is not at an end. In the victorious treaties, it registered its greatest triumph.
The severity of the Treaty of Versailles has been defended on the ground that Germany, if able, would have imposed conditions quite as severe. That is no doubt true. But we professed to go to war to prevent that kind of a peace from being imposed by anybody; while, as a matter of fact, our intervention was the one thing that made such a peace possible.
Assertions of his distinguished apologists to the contrary notwithstanding, no part of Wilson idealism went into the League covenant or any other part of the settlement. The only impression that Wilson gave to that settlement was its stamp of Pharisaism. To the scheme of Imperial England, Imperial Japan, and imperialistic France was at tached the phraseology of Pharisee Wilson. The ideal of a world peace league, in the hands of Wilson, became a blind for an alliance of victors for the purpose of guaranteeing the material fruits of victory and asserting a world supremacy for themselves. The Wilson-Clemenceau-Lloyd George league turned out to be an imperialistic trust, masquerading as a company of angels; a modern Holy Alliance for the suppression of democracy at home and abroad, and the prosecution of more wars for business.
For our own autocrat in the White House, American lives were not a consideration; international law was not a consideration; democracy was not a consideration; American honor was not a consideration. All were sacrificed. Why, then, did we fight ?
1 Years ago Norman Angell informed us, in The Great Illusion, That this is what would happen. The minority in each country who were responsible for the war were well aware that the masses, even of the victor nations, could never profit by it. The point that Angell did not bring out in The Great Illusion is that war is profitable to a powerful few, and it is to serve this few, regardless of the many, that modern governments go to war.