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Saturday, November 13, 1993

BREAKDOWNS OF CIVILIZATIONS

CONTENTS

IV. THE BREAKDOWNS OF CIVILIZATIONS

A. THE PROBLEM OF THE BREAKDOWNS OF CIVILIZATIONS .......... 1

B. THE NATURE OF THE BREAKDOWNS OF CIVILIZATIONS ... 5

C. THE CAUSE OF THE BREAKDOWNS OF CIVILIZATIONS ...7

I. SAEVA NECESSITAS ? ......... 7

II. LOSS OF COMMAND OVER THE ENVIRONMENT ?...39

(a) The Physical Environment... 39

(b) The Human Environment ....... 56

1. ‘The Triumph of Barbarism and Religion’ ? .... 56

2. The Triumph of an Alien Civilization ? ..... 76

3. A Negative Verdict...115

III. FAILURE OF SELF-DETERMINATION...... 119

(a) The Mechanicalness of Mimesis...119

(b) The Intractability of Institutions...... 133

1. New Wine in Old Bottles....... 133

2. The Impact of Industrialism upon Slavery . ... .137

3. The Impact of Democracy and Industrialism upon War . .141

4. The Impact of Democracy and Industrialism upon
Parochial Sovereignty... 156

5. The Impact of Nationalism upon the Historic Political Map ... 185

6. The Impact of Industrialism upon Private Property . . . 191

7. The Impact of Democracy upon Education .... 192

8. The Impact of Italian Efficiency upon Transalpine Government ... 198

9. The Impact of the Solonian Economic Revolution
upon the Domestic Politics of the Hellenic City-States ... 200

10. The Impact of the Solonian Economic Revolution
upon the International Politics of the Hellenic World .... 206


11. The Impact of Parochialism upon the Western Christian Church... 214

12. The Impact of the Sense of Unity upon Religion . . . 222

13. The Impact of Religiosity upon Caste ..... 229

14. The Impact of Civilization upon the Division of Labour . .. 232

15. The Impact of Civilization upon Mimesis .... 244

(c) The Nemesis of Creativity.......245

1. The Problem of Περιπέτεια.......245

2. 'Resting on One's Oars’.......261

(α) The Idolization of an Ephemeral Self.....261

A Definition of Idolatry . . .261

Jewry...........262

Athens.......... 263

Venice.......... 274

South Carolina .......... 289

Eire...........291

The Self-Hypnotization of Narcissus.....296

The War Cabinet.........298

The Religion of Humanity.......300

(β) The Idolization of an Ephemeral Institution . . . 303

The Hellenic City-State.......303

The East Roman Empire.......320

The Pharaonic Crown .... 408

The Mother of Parliaments.......414

Scribes, Priests, and Janissaries ... 418

(γ) The Idolization of an Ephemeral Technique ... 423

Reptiles and Mammals.....423

Manchester and Osaka ..... 428

Goliath and David........431

3. Κόρος,“Υβρις, “Ατη........465

(α) The Suicidalness of Militarism ... 465

The Strong Man Armed.......465

Assyria .......... 468

The Burden of Nineveh ... 484

Charlemagne ......... 488

TimurLenk...... . . 491

The Margrave turned Moss-trooper . . . . .501

(β) The Intoxication of Victory . .. 505

The Roman Republic . ..505

The Roman See.........512

IV. C 1 Annex: Which are the True Catastrophes:
the Breakdowns of Civilizations or their Births ? ... 585

III (c) 2 (β) Annex I: The Transadriatic Expedition of the
Emperor Constans II and its Antecedents in Hellenic History.......589

Annex II: The Abortive Resistance of the Church to the
Revival of 'Caesaro-papism' in Orthodox Christendom ....... 592

Annex III; Paulcians, Bogomils, Cathars .... 624

(γ) Annex: Idolatry and Pathological Exaggeration . . 635

3 (α) Annex: Militarism and the Military Virtues . .. 640
(β) Annex: Innocent Ill's Response to the Challenge of
Catharism........ 652





IV. THE BREAKDOWNS OF CIVILIZATIONS


B. THE NATURE OF THE BREAKDOWNS OF CIVILIZATIONS

XIV. DETERMINISTIC SOLUTIONS

II. LOSS OF COMMAND OVER THE ENVIRONMENT ?

(a) The Physical Environment

{IV.C.II.(a) p. 42}…In the seventh century of the Christian Era the reconditioning of these hydro-engineering works was left in default in a large section of South-Western ‛Irāq after the works had been put out of action by a flood which had probably done no more serious damage than many floods that had come and gone in the course of the preceding four thousand years. Thereafter, in the thirteenth century, the entire irrigation-system of ‛Irāq was allowed to go to ruin, "Why, on these occasions, did the inhabitants of ‛Irāq abandon the conservation of a system which their predecessors had successfully maintained for some thousands of years without a break—a system, moreover, on which the agricultural productivity of the country depended and, therewith, its "capacity for supporting the existing population at its existing standard of living? At first sight, this

{p. 43} manifestly suicidal neglect looks so perverse that a sheer inability to perform the work, owing to a loss of technique, might appear to be the only plausible explanation. Vet no historical evidence of this hypothetical loss of engineering technique appears to be forthcoming; and the true explanation seems to be that the abandonment of the works was not the cause but was rather the consequence of a decline in population and in prosperity which was itself the result of social causes. The ancient irrigation-system of the Land of Shinar was allowed to fall locally derelict in the seventh century of the Christian lira and to go to ruin altogether in the thirteenth century because, in each of those two ages, the Syriac Civilization was at so low an ebb in ‛Irāq, and the consequent general state of insecurity was so extreme, that nobody at the time had either the means of investing capital, or the motive for employing energy, in river-conservancy and irrigation work. So far from it being a loss of technique that wrecked the irrigation-system of' ‛Irāq and thereby contributed to the decline and fall of the Syriac Civilization, it was this social decline and fall that caused the progressive abandonment of the ‛Irāqī irrigation-system by overwhelming the people of ‛Irāq under a succession of social catastrophes: the great Romano-Persian War of A.D. 603-28; the consequent, and immediately subsequent, overrunning of ‛Irāq by the Primitive Muslim Arabs; and the Mongol invasion of A.D. 1258 which dealt the moribund Syriac Civilization its coup de grace.1 By the same token, our examination of the technical factor leaves the decline and fall of the Syriac Civilization still unexplained.

The conclusion that the decline and fall of the Syriac Civilization is to be regarded not as an effect but rather as the cause of the progressive ruin of the irrigation-system of ‛Irāq in the sixth, seventh, and thirteenth centuries of the Christian Era is supported by an historical precedent; for the Syriac Society was not, of course, the first civilization that had installed itself in the Land of Shinar. In this portion of its eventual domain the Syriac Society was the residuary legatee of the Babylonic (which was itself the successor of a Sumeric Society which had been the original creator of the fields and cities of Sumer and Akkad out of an inhospitable and untenanted jungle-swamp2); and the unrepaired ruin of the irrigation«svstem"of the whole of the Land of Shinar in the course of the

1 In a similar way the anticipatory physical disaster in the reign of Kawādh [Qubādh] I can be explained as the reflexion of an earlier bout of social catastrophes: e.g. the destruction of the Emperor Pīrūz and his army by the Ephthalite Eurasian Nomads in A.D. 484 (see V. C. (i) (c) 3, vol.. v, p. 279, footnote 1, and V. C. (i) (c) 3, Annex II, vol. v, p. 600, below); the romano-Persian wars of A.D. 502-5 and 528-32; and the social upheaval, fathered by the Prophet Mozdak, which came to a head circa A.D. 528-9 (see V. C. (i) (c) 2, vol. v, p. 129, below).
2 See II. C. (ii) (b) 2, vol I, pp. 315-18, above.

{p. 44} last eight centuries of Syriac history has an analogue in the unretrieved destruction of the local network of drainage-and irrigation-canals in the territory of the ancient city-state of Ur in an earlier age when the Babylonic Civilization was in extremis.

At other points in this Study1 the disintegration of the Babylonic Civilization is traced through a 'Time of Troubles', which was precipitated by the social disease of Assyrian militarism, into a universal state which was inaugurated by the Neo-Babyloman Kmpire and was continued in the form of the Achaemenian and Seleucid régimes; and it was under these last two political dispensations that the moribund Babylonic Society was progressively absorbed into the tissues of an encircling Syriac Society until the last vestiges of a distinctive Babylonic culture were obliterated in the last century B.C. It was also in this age that, in the territory of Ur, the local irrigation and agriculture which had been maintained there over a previous period of at least 3,000 years were permanently put out of action by a shift in the course of the Euphrates which worked havoc that was never repaired.2 Thus, here again, we find a decline of civilization and a decay of irrigation proceeding pari passu but, here again likewise, there is no suggestion that the failure to retrieve the physical disaster was either the consequence of a loss of technique or the cause of the accompanying dissolution of an ancient society. According to the greatest living authority on the subject, it is rather the decrepitude into which the Babylonic Civilisation had already sunk, by the time when the physical disaster occurred, that accounts for the failure to bring the waters under human control again.

'To make good the disaster required a co-ordinated effort which the country then was too poor or too ill-organized to attempt. . . . [For] everything depended on hard work and upon system. The boast of ;I Sumerian king was that he had honoured the gods, had overcome his enemies, had secured equal justice for his people, and had built canals.
The last was not the least important function of the Government; but the task did not stop with the building. The cleaning of the channels,

1 See I. C (i) (b), vol. I, pp. 79-81, and II. D. (v), vol. ii, pp. 137-8, above, and IV. C (ii) (b) 2, in the present volume, and IV. C (iii) (c) 3 (a), pp. 468-84, below.
2 The fatal economic effects of this unretrieved physical disaster are forcefully described in the following passage from the pen of Sir Leonard Woolley, the modern Western archaeologist who has rescued Ur from an oblivion under which the famous city lay for more than two thousand years:
‘The River Euphrates burst its banks and, flowing across the open plain, made a new bed for itself more or less where it runs now, eleven miles to the east; and with that change the entire system of water-supply was broken up. The old irrigation-canals that had trapped the river further up were left high and dry; the new river course, not yet confined within artificial banks was a wide lake whose waters, level with the plain, blocked the end of the drainage-channels so that these become stagnant back-waters. The surface of the plain was scorched by the tropic sun, the subsoil was saturated, and the constant process of evaporation left in the earth such quantities of salt that to-day irrigation brings to the surface a white crust like hoar-frost which blights all vegetation at birth’ (Woolley, C. L.: Abraham (London 1936, Faber), p. 69).

{p. 45} the upkeep of the banks, the fair allotment of water as between different villages and different landowners—all this entailed constant work and constant supervision; and whilst the peasant's industry was amply rewarded so long as a strong hand kept control, the collapse of the Government might well mean, and in the end did involve, the utter ruin of the country.'1

This explanation of the failure to repair the havoc that the Euphrates had made of the irrigation-system in the territory of Ur gains point when we consider the date to which the disaster is assigned by the authority just quoted. 'We do not know exactly when the change came, but it was not so very long after [Herodotus's] visit, perhaps about the end of the reign of Alexander the Great, towards 300 B.C.'2 If so, this unretrieved physical disaster descended upon South-Western Babylonia at a moment when a long train of social calamities had just mounted up to its climax. As far back as the turn of the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. the spirit and prosperity of the Babylonian people had been broken by the quelling of the insurrection against Darius I and by the more drastic repression of the insurrection against Xerxes. Then the Pax Achaemenia, which had at any rate been something to set against the loss of Babylonian independence, had been brought to a violent end by the impact of Alexander the Great.3 And finally the premature death of the Macedonian conqueror had condemned the whole of the derelict Achaemenian domain to be turned into an arena for the wars of succession between the Diadochi.4 It is manifest that in the fourth century B.C., as in the sixth and seventh and thirteenth centuries of the Christian Era, the physical failure of Alan to maintain over Nature the command which Man had once imposed upon her was the consequence and not the cause of Man's social failure to manage his relations with his human neighbour.

1 Woolley, op, cit., pp. 69 and 73-4.
2 Wooley, op. cit., p. 69.
3 The presumption that the overthrow of the Achaemenian Empire was economically disadvantageous to the Babylonians is not, of course, incompatible: with the fact that it was politically agreeable to them (for the welcome which the Babylonians gave to Alexander, see IV. C. (i) (c) 2, p, 100, footnote 4; V. C (i) (c) 2, vol. v, pp. 94and 123, with footnote 2; V. C. (i)(c) 4, vol. v, pp. 347-8; and V. C. (ii) (a), Annex II, vol. vi, p. 442, below).
4 The conquest of South-Western Asia from the Aehacmenidae by the Macedonians, and the subsequent civil wars among the victors over the division of their spoils, were as devastating as the corresponding social convulsions in the same region in the seventh century the Christian Era, when the Arabs first overthrew the Roman and Sasanian Powers and then turned their arms against each other.



(b) The Human Environment
1. ‘The Triumph of Barbarism and Religion’
2. The Triumph of an Alien Civilization?


{p. 96} In the histories of the declines and falls of the Hindu and Andean and Babylonic civilizations the process of assimilation into the tissues of an alien body social supervened, as in the cases of Japan and Russia, when the declining societies were in their universal states and before these universal states had reached the normal term of their existence. In these other three cases, however, the process took a more catastrophic turn; for the statesmen of the declining societies did not remain masters of the situation even to the extent of being able to accomplish their own social metamorphosis on their own initiative; and they did not succeed in preserving their universal states, as the Russians preserved the Romanov Empire and the Japanese preserved the Tokugawa Shogunate, by transforming them into states members of an alien political comity. In all three cases the declining society suffered an alien military conquest, and the universal state in which it had previously been embodied was superseded by a new polity which was imposed by the conquerors.

In Hindu history one such alien polity, imposed by conquest, has been the British Rāj; and the brief century of this British Rāj may still dune in retrospect with the serene beauty of an 'Indian Summer'—and this perhaps even in Indian eyes. For the British

1See II. D (v), vol. ii, pp. 154 and 158-9, above.

{p.97} Rāj was only founded after the antecedent universal state of the Hindu World had broken down into an anarchy which has made the eighteenth century of the Christian Era as evil a memory in Hindu history as the third century was in the history of the Roman Empire. It was this post-Mughal anarchy, and not the Pax Mogulica which preceded it, that the British conquest of India swept away by force. The Pax Britannica, which the British conquerors then imposed, has been more effective, more pervasive, and, in Western eyes at any rate, more beneficent than the peace which had been imposed, two centuries earlier, by Akbar (imperabat A.D. 1556-1605); and if the British and the Mughal régimes in India are to be compared, it cannot be argued that, even if the British régime is superior in practical achievement, the Mughal régime is morally more admirable in virtue of being a native product; for the founders of the Mughal Rāj were as utterly alien as the founders of the British Rāj were from the native social order of Hinduism; and a Babur, cast away in Hindustan through the fortunes of war in Central Asia, was just as homesick for the temperate clime of his native Farghana as any English sojourner in India has ever been for Kentish hop-fields or for Yorkshire moors.1 On this point the Mughal Rāj can have no greater sentimental appeal than the British Rāj to an unprejudiced Hindu mind; and although, nevertheless, a favourable verdict upon the British Rāj may be almost impossible for a Hindu of our generation to accept—particularly when it proceeds from a Western observer's mouth—the British Rāj, as it passes, may be content to await the verdict of History; for the future consensus of enlightened and disinterested opinion seems unlikely to convict the British Rāj of responsibility for the breakdown of the Hindu Civilization. The future historian seems more likely to pronounce that, at a time when the Hindu Society was already far advanced in its decline, and when the Mughal attempt to provide the Hindu World with a universal state had miscarried, the British Rāj gave India a political unity and efficiency and stability which neither Mughal nor Hindu had ever succeeded in giving her; and that, when the assimilation of the Hindu Society into the body social of the West was already inevitable, and when the only question left open was the way in which the metamorphosis was to take place, the existence of the British Rāj gave India an opportunity of entering the Great Society on the relatively favourable terms which had been secured—by

1 In the Indian chapters of Babur's memoirs there are repeated expressions of the author's dislike for the Hindu World upon which he had forcibly inflicted himself; and, if these querulous passages were quoted anonymously, in isolation from their context, they might easily be taken for the indiscretions of some disgruntled twentieth-century English lieutenant-governor of an Indian province.

{p.98} native and not by alien initiative—for Russia and Japan, instead of having to undergo the tribulation which the Greek? and the Turks and the Chinese had undergone on their thorny paths towards the goal of Westernization.

° —« •., -1 _ £ ^-L ^ 1

lization lies on the Hindus’ invader of India cannot be made to serve as the scapegoat, it may still be possible to conscript the overland Turkish ^invader ^and to cast him, in the Englishman's place, for the scapegoat's part. Turkish Akbar, who has perhaps deserved well of Hinduism in endowing the Hindu World with a first attempt at a universal state, was after all the grandson of Turkish Babur; and Babur was the last of a long line of Turkish invaders from Central Asia who had made havoc in India from the last quarter of the tenth to the first quarter of the sixteenth century of the Christian Era.1 Is this series of Turkish invasions the cause to which the breakdown of the Hindu Civilization is to be ascribed? There can be little doubt that, if the English had never made their appearance on the Indian stage or were not playing a prominent part on it to-day, the twentieth-century Hindu apologist for the decline and fall of Hinduism would be as vociferous as the twentieth-century Greek apologist for the decline and fall of Orthodox Christendom in denouncing 'the unspeakable Turk' as the guilty party.


(3) A Negative Verdict

III. FAILURE OF SELF-DETERMINATION

(a) THE MECHANICALNESS OF MIMESIS

{IV.C.III.(a).p.122}...to consider only those twenty-one civilizations that have been born alive and have proceeded to grow, we are faced with the fact that thirteen out of the twenty-one are dead and buried already; that seven out of the eight living civilizations are apparently in decline; and that the eighth, which is our own Civilization of the West, may also have passed its zenith for all that we know. On an empirical test the career of a growing civilization would appear to be a dangerous activity; and, if we now recall our analysis of Growth in a previous part of this Study,2 we shall realize that on our own showing, the danger is constant and acute because it lies in the very nature of the course which a growing civilization is constrained to take.

This course is not the narrow way 'which leadeth unto life—and few there be that find it';3 for, although the few that do find this way are precisely those creative personalities who set a civilization in motion and carry it forward, they cannot simply lay aside every weight and run the race that is set before them4 on that infallible road to the goal of human endeavors which is visible to eyes that have seen salvation.5 They cannot take this simple course, because, being 'social animals', they cannot go on moving forward themselves unless they can contrive to carry their fellows with them in their advance; and the uncreative rank-and-file on Mankind, which in every known society hitherto has always been in an overwhelm-

2 See III. C (ii), in vol. iii, above.
3 Matt. vii. 14.
4 Hebrews xii. 1.
5 Luke ii. 30.

{p. 123} ing majority, cannot be transfigured en masse in the twinkling of an eye. In these conditions, which are inherent in the very nature of social life, the higher personalities, who arise here and there and now and then by a mutation of ordinary Human Nature, are challenged to attempt a tour de force: 'to convert a species, which is essentially a created thing, into creative effort; to make a movement out of something which, by definition, is a halt.'1

This tour de force is not impossible to achieve; and indeed there is a perfect way: the 'strenuous...communion and intimate...intercourse' that impart the divine fire from one soul to another 'like the light caught from a leaping fire'. 2 This is the perfect way because the receptive soul, 'once alight, feeds its own flame thenceforward'. 3 Yet it is an unpractical counsel of perfection to enjoin this way, as Plato enjoins it, to the exclusion of all others; for the inward spiritual grace through which an unilluminated soul is fired by communion with a saint is almost as rare as the miracle that has brought the saint himself into the World. The world in which the creative personality finds himself, and in which he has to work, is a society in which his fellows are ordinary human beings. His task (Plato concedes)4 is to make his fellows into followers; and Mankind in the mass can only be set in motion towards a goal beyond itself by enlisting the primitive and universal faculty of mimesis.5 For this mimesis is a kind of social drill;6 and the dull ears that are deaf to the unearthly music of Orpheus' lyre are well attuned to the drill-sergeant's raucous word of command.7 When

1
5 See III. C (ii)(a), vol. iii, p. 245, above.
6 See the quotation, in loc. cit., from Bergson, op. cit., p. 99; and compare Frobenius, L.: Paideuma (Frankfurt 1928, Frankfurter Societāts-Druckerei), p. 234.

{p.124} the Piper of Hamelin assumes King Frederick William's Prussian voice, and the rank-and-file, who have stood stolid hitherto, mechanically break into movement in obedience to the martinet's orders, and the evolution which he causes them to execute brings them duly to heel; but they can only catch him by taking a short cut,1 and they can only find room to march in formation by deploying into a broad way that leadeth to destruction.2 When the road to destruction has perforce to be troden on the quest of Life, it is perhaps no wonder that the quest should sometimes end in disaster.

2 See III. C (ii)(a), vol. iii, p. 247-8, above.
2 Matt. vii. 13.


{p. 127} Thus a risk of catastrophe proves to be inherent in the use of the faculty of mimesis, which is the vehicle of mechanization on the medium of Human Nature; and it is evident that this inherent risk will be greater in degree when the faculty of mimesis is called into play in a society which is in dynamic movement than when the same faculty is given rein in a society which is in a state of rest. The weakness of mimesis lies in its being a mechanical response to a suggestion from some alien source, so that the action that is performed through mimesis is ex hypothesi, an action that would never have been performed by its performer upon his own initiative. Thus all action that proceeds from mimesis is essentially precarious because it is not self-determined; and the best practical safeguard against the danger of its breaking down is for the exercise of the faculty of mimesis to become crystallized in the form of habit or custom3—as it actually is in primitive societies in the Yin-state, which is the only stage of their history in which we know them.4 In 'the cake custom' the double-edged blade of mimesis is comfortably padded. But the breaking of 'the cake of custom' is of the essence of the change through which the state of the rest that is the

{p.128} last phase in the history of a primitive society gives place to the fresh dynamic movement that we call a civilization.1 The mimesis which has been directed towards the older generation of the living members of the society, as incarnations of an accumulated social heritage, is now reoriented towards creative personalities whose eyes have seen on the horizon a further goal of human endeavours, and whose wills have become bent upon leading their fellows with them towards this promised land. In this new movement the edged tool of mimesis is not discarded, but is employed with enhanced effect now that the breaking of the 'cake of custom' has laid its cutting edges bare. This baring of the blade means the removal of a safeguard; and the necessity of using the tool of mimesis without the protection of a customary régime—a necessity which is the price of growth—condemns a growing civilization to live dangerously. More than that, the danger is perpetually imminent, since the condition which is required for the maintenance of the Promethean élan of growth is a condition of unstable equilibrium in which 'the cake of custom' is never allowed to set hard before it is broken up again.2 The tour de force of the exploit of Civilization lies in this necessity of resorting to mimesis without a possibility of taking precautions at any stage. In this hazardous pursuit of the goal of human endeavours there can never be such a thing as a provisional insurance against the perils which mimesis entails. There can only be an ultimate and radical solution of the problem through the complete elimination of mimesis in a society which has transformed itself into a communion of saints; and this consummation, which is nothing less than the attainment of the goal, has never been even distantly approached by any known civilization hitherto.


{p. 129} In times of stress the mask of civilization is torn away from the primitive countenance of raw Humanity in the rank-and-file; but the moral responsibility for the breakdown of civilizations lies upon the heads of the leaders.

'Woe unto the World because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!' 2

The creative personalities in the vanguard of a civilization who have had the recourse to the mechanism of mimesis are exposing themselves to the risk of failure...

2 Matt. xviii. 7.

{p. 132}...and in the language of another simile this failure is familiar to us already. It is that 'disintegration' of a broken-down civilization which declares itself in 'the Secession of the Proletariat' from a ci devant band of leaders which has degenerated into a 'Dominant Minority'. 1 The successive transformations of the prophet into the drill-sergeant and of this martinet into a terrorist explain the declines and falls of civilizations in terms of leadership.


A corresponding loss of harmony attends the flagging of the Promethean élan in a personality, which is a whole whose parts are spiritual faculties, and in a society, which is a whole whose parts are institutions. In the movement of Life a change in any one part of a whole ought to be accompanied by sympathetic adjustments of the other parts if all is to go well; but when Life is mechanical one part may be altered while others are left as they have been, and a loss of harmony is the result.

In any whole of parts a loss of harmony between the parts is paid for by the whole in a corresponding loss of self-determination; and the fate of a declining civilization is described in Jesus's prophecy to Peter:

'When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old ... another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.' 3

A loss of self-determination is the ultimate criterion of breakdown; and this conclusion is what we should expect, since it is the inverse of the conclusion, which we have reached in an earlier

1 For an explanation of these terms see I. B (iv), vol. i, p. 41, and I. C (i)(a), vol. i, pp. 53-62, above.
3 John xxi. 18.

{p.133} part of this Study, that a progress towards self-determination is the criterion of growth.1 In the rest of this Part we shall examine some of the forms in which this loss of self-determination through loss of harmony is manifested.

1 See III. C (i)(d), vol. iii, p. 216, above.

(b) THE INTRACTABILITY OF INSTITUTIONS

1. New Wine in Old Bottles

{IV.C.III.(b)1, p. 133} In the last chapter we came to the conclusion that a society breaks down through a loss of harmony between its parts which is paid for by the society as a whole in a loss of self-determination. One source of disharmony between the institutions of which a society is composed is the introduction into the life of the society of new social forces—aptitudes or emotions or ideas2—which the existing set of institutions was not originally designed to carry.

The destructive effect of this incongruous juxtaposition of 'things new and old' 3 has been pointed out in one of the most famous of the sayings that are attributed to Jesus:

'No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles—else the bottles break and the wine runneth out and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.'4

In the domestic economy from which this simile is taken the precept can, of course, be carried out to the letter, because the cloth and the garment and the wine and the bottles are material chattels over which the householder has an absolute power of disposal. But in the economy of social life men's power to order their affairs at will on a rational plan is narrowly restricted, since a society is not the chattel of any owner, but is the common ground of many men's fields of action; and for this reason a precept which is common sense in the economy of the household and practical wisdom in the life of the spirit is a counsel of perfection in social affairs.

Ideally, no doubt, the introduction of any new dynamic forces or creative movements into the life of a society ought to be accompanied by a reconstruction of the whole existing set of institutions if a healthy social harmony is to be preserved; and, in the actual history of any growing civilization, there is in fact a constant remodelling or readjustment of the most flagrantly anachronistic institutions ex hypothesi, at least to the minimum extent that is necessary in order to save the civilization from breaking down. At

1 See III. C (i) (d), vol. iii, p. 216, above.
2 See Part II. B, vol.i, p. 191, above.
3 Matt. xiii. 52.
4 Matt. ix. 16-17.

{p.134}the same time, sheer vis inertiae tends at all times to keep most parts of the social structure as they are, in spite of their frequent incongruity with the new social forces that are constantly being brought into action by the creative energies of the growing society as its growth proceeds;1 and in this situation the new forces are apt to operate in two diametrically opposite ways simultaneously. On the one hand they perform the creative work which it is their business to perform by finding vent either in new institutions which they have established for themselves or in old institutions which they have successfully adapted to serve their purposes; and, in pouring themselves into these harmonious channels, they promote the welfare of the civilization by giving fresh impetus to its clan. At the same time they also enter, indiscriminately, into any institutions which happen to lie in their path—as some immensely powerful head of steam which had forced its way into an engine-house might rush into the works of any old engine that happened to be installed there.

In such an event one or other of two alternative disasters is apt to occur. Either the pressure of the new head of steam is so very much higher than the maximum pressure which the old-fashioned engine was originally built to bear that the works simply explode and are blown to pieces when the steam has entered into them; or else the antique plates and castings do 'stand the racket’, and then the disaster takes an even more destructive and a far more monstrous turn. The unprecedentedly powerful 'drive’ of the new motive-force then sets the old machinery to work in a way which was never contemplated by its makers. If it was a rather unsatisfactory machine, the tolerably bad results which it originally produced are now magnified to an intolerable degree; and even if it was a fairly satisfactory machine, the tolerably good performance that was originally obtained from it may have amazing and appalling effects now that the machine has been so powerfully ‘keyed up'. The dentist's implement which delicately files away the decayed tip of a tooth when it is operated with the proper power may perhaps pierce the palate to the brain, and cause the patient's death instead of giving him a salutary relief, if the strength of the electric

1 It was in this aspect, as obstacles to progress, that institutions were envisaged by the eighteenth-century French Encyclopaedists, and in particular by Condorcet (Bury, J. B.: The idea of Progress (London 1924, Macmillan), pp.210-11) The same point is made by Walter Bagehot in his Physics and Politics, 10th edition (London 1894, Kegan Paul), p. 149: ‘The very institutions which most aid at step number one are precisely those which most impede at step number two.’ Bagehot illustrates this thesis by the case of the institution of Caste. After pointing out (op. cit., p. 148) that Caste is of value to primitive societies in helping them to reconcile the two desiderata of social igidity and social variety, he goes on (op. cit., p. 149) to point out that ‘several non-caste nations have continued to progress, but all caste nations have stopped early, though some have lasted long’. In fact, 'progress would not have been the rarity it is if the early food had not been the late poison’ (op. cit., p. 74).

{p.135} current is suddenly increased out of all measure. Similarly, a drug which acts as a potent stimulant when it is taken in a minute quantity may work with equal potency as a poison if the dose is largely increased.

To translate these parables into terms of social life, the explosions of the old engines which cannot stand the new steam-pressure—or the burstings of the old bottles which cannot stand the fermentation of the new wine—are the revolutions which sometimes overtake institutions that have become anachronisms.1 On the other hand the baneful performances of the old engines which have successfully stood the strain of being 'keyed up’ are the social enormities which a ‘die-hard’ institutional anachronism sometimes engenders.

Revolutions may be defined as retarded, and proportionately violent, acts of mimesis. The mimetic element is of their essence; for every revolution always has reference to something that has happened already elsewhere—at an earlier moment and on a different spot from the place and the time at which the revolutionary outbreak of violence occurs—and it is always manifest, when the revolution is studied in its historical setting, that this outbreak would never have occurred of itself if it had not been thus evoked by a previous play of external forces.2 The element of retardation is likewise of the essence of revolutions; and it is this that accounts for the violence which is their most prominent feature. Revolutions are violent because they are the belated triumphs of powerful new social forces over tenacious old institutions which have been temporarily thwarting and cramping these new expressions of life. The longer the obstruction holds out, the greater becomes the pressure of the force whose outlet is being obstructed;

1 For tins theory of the nature of revolutions see Teggart, F. J.: The Processes of History (New Haven 1918, Yale University Press), p. 130, following Walter Bagehot's Physics and Politics.
2 This external factor in the genesis of revolutions is impossible to ignore in those cases where a revolution in the social structure of one society is evoked by the impact of social forces that emanate from a different society (this class of cases is dealt with in Parts IX and X below). But the operation of the external factor can always be detected, on close inspection, in the history of any revolution, even when the whole movement works itself out within one single society's bosom. For instance, 'the confluence of French theory with American example caused the [French] Revolution to breakout' when it did (Lord Acton, quoted by Bury, J. B.: The Idea of Progress (London 1924, Macmillan, p. 203). In both these varieties of a substantially identical experience the social structure of the passive party to the encounter is apt to oppose so obstinate a resistance to the impinging force that, when this force does eventually break through, the resolution of forces takes a revolutionary form. 'The great events of history that strike the eye are generally the sequel to a long process of preparation, and most of them constitute the conclusion and climax of some process that is less conspicuous than they are. It is only when the Hellenic idea has quietly and silently permeated the East that Alexander—following the direction thereby given to him—goes on the war-path and founds his empire. It is only when the French idea has pushed its way right across Germany and on beyond into Russia that Napoleon goes on the war-path and seeks to extend the realm of French glory by force of arms' (Frobenius, L.: Paideuma (Frankfurt 1928, Frankfurter Societä ts-Druckerei), p. 276).

{p.136} and the greater this pressure, the more violent the explosion in which the imprisoned force ultimately breaks through.'

As for the social enormities that are the alternatives to revolutions these may be defined as the penalties that a society has to pay when the act of mimesis which ought to have brought an old institution into harmony with a new social force has been, not simply retarded, but frustrated altogether.

It will be seen that, whenever some new aptitude or emotion or idea arises in the life of any society, this new force is likely, in proportion to its strength and its range and its importance, to come into collision with a greater or a lesser number of the society's existing institutions, and each of these collisions may have any one of three alternative outcomes. The obstructive institution may either be brought into harmony with the new force promptly and peaceably through some constructive social adjustment; or it may be eliminated tardily and violently through a revolution; or it may succeed in defying both adjustment and elimination, and in this last event some social enormity will result from the unnatural 'drive’ which will now be put into the intractable institution automatically by the new force that has failed to master it. It is evident that, whenever the existing institutional structure of a society is challenged by the impact of a new social force, each and all of these three possible alternative outcomes of the collision may actually he realized simultaneously in respect of different parts of the structure; and it is further evident that the ratio in which the three outcomes are represented in the total result of this particular round of Challenge-and-Response will be a matter of momentous importance in the working out of the society's destiny.

If the adjustments predominate over the revolutions and the enormities, then the well-being of the society will be maintained and the continuation of its growth will be assured during the current chapter of its history. If the predominant outcomes are revolutionary, then the fortunes of the society in this chapter will he 'on the razor's edge'. It is possible that the revolutions may save the society's life by blasting away a number of anachronistic institutions which have not proved amenable to pacific adjustment and which would have rankled into enormities if they had proved altogether intractable; it is equally possible that the havoc made

1 This explains, for example, the violence of the revolution through which a Catholic France caught up with a Protestant England at the close of the eighteenth century. The reason why there was no explosion of that violence in England at that time was that in England, in contrast to France, the medieval institutional obstructions to the modern social forces had already been partially broken down by stages in previous centuries—in a sixteenth-century religious reformation and in a seventeenth-century political upheaval. On this point see Masaryk, T. G.: The Spirit of Russia, English translation (London 1919, Allen & Unwin, 2 vols.), vol. ii, pp. 495 and 517-23.

{p.137} by the revolutionary outbreaks may be so great (and, in every revolution, there is always a heavy bill of social damages to pay) that no amount of social liberation can compensate for it, and then the society may suffer almost as severely as if the predominant outcomes in this instance had been not revolutions but enormities. Finally, if the perversion of anachronistic institutions into enormities predominates over the elimination of them through violent revolutions or the conversion of them, through pacific and constructive adjustments, into satisfactory vents for the new social forces, then the dislocation of the whole social structure may be so serious that a breakdown may be virtually impossible to avoid.1

In the historic breakdowns of civilizations this working out of the principle of Challenge-and-Response in the medium of institutions has indeed played an important part; and now that we have formulated it a priori in the imagery of a parable, we shall perhaps do well to study it in the life by resorting once more to our well-tried method of an empirical survey.

1 'Catastrophes are necessary to free the World from the monstrosities that periodically torment it. Powerful as he is, Man is an imperfect and unbalanced creature, and he always ends by exaggerating the principles, aspirations and needs most in keeping with his nature to such a monstrous pitch that they become unbearable afflictions. The most splendid civilisations have perished either directly through the action of these insufferable miscreations or indirectly through Man's desperate efforts to get rid of them (Ferrero, G.: Peace and War, English translation (London 1933, Macmillan), pp. 92-3). Thin tendency in human nature is discussed further in this Study in IV. C (iii) (c) 2 (γ), Annex, pp. 635-9, below.


3. The Impact of Democracy and Industrialism upon War
8. The Impact of Italian Efficiency upon Transalpine Government

{IV.C.III.(b)8, p. 198} We have now examined six formidable disharmonies that have been produced in the institutional structure of our Western Society, directly or indirectly, by the impact of the two new forces of Democracy and Industrialism within the last hundred and fifty years. We may glance next at one or two similar events in earlier chapters of our Western history and in the histories of certain other civilizations, and we may close the inquiry upon which we are here engaged by observing the same play of forces in several situations which are apt to arise in the histories of all civilizations alike.

One example from an earlier chapter of our own Western history is the disharmony that was produced, in the transition between our 'Medieval' and our ‘Modern’ Age, by the impact of Italian Efficiency upon Transalpine Government.

We have observed already, at an earlier point in this Study, that in the medieval Italian cosmos of city-states Efficiency impinged upon Government, and was perverted into Autocracy, from the opening of the fourteenth century of the Christian Era onwards;1 and that, when the medieval Italian culture radiated out into the Transalpine parts of Western Christendom, one of the effects, in the political sphere, was to transform the medieval Transalpine feudal monarchies into autocracies on a supra-Italian scale but on the efficient Italian pattern—with the result that, in every Transalpine country except England, the indigenous Transalpine parliamentary institutions wilted away. This introduction, into the Transalpine World, of an Italian political absolutism which was alien to the Transalpine genius threatened to produce a political enormity which might provoke, in turn, a revolutionary reaction. The response

1 See III. C (ii) (b), vol. iii, pp. 354-7, above.

{p.199} which was demanded by this challenge to the political abilities of the Transalpine peoples was manifestly an avoidance of the autocratic short cut through some adjustment of the old indigenous parliamentary institutions to the new standard of administrative efficiency; and in England this response was duly made because in England, by the time of the Italian impact, the parliamentary system had already been developed to a higher degree of efficiency than in France or in Aragon or in Castile.1 In England the attempt of the Crown in the sixteenth century to impose the Italian standard of administrative efficiency upon the country at the price of Autocracy was victoriously resisted in the seventeenth century by the Parliament, which demonstrated its ability to govern at least as efficiently as the Crown without the sacrifice of the country's traditional institutions. In its victory over the English Crown the English Parliament found a path for the peoples of other Transalpine countries to follow; but this path was not easy.

Even in England itself the parliamentary solution of the problem did not prevail over the autocratic solution without a certain delay and therefore not altogether without a revolutionary struggle. From the accession of King Henry VII to the accession of King Charles I it looked—at any rate on a superficial view—as though in England, as in other Transalpine countries, Autocracy on the Italian pattern was to sweep the medieval system of government away; and this English trend towards Autocracy persisted for about a hundred and fifty years before it was violently reversed during the momentous half-century that began with the outbreak of the Civil War in A.D. 1642 and ended with 'the Glorious Revolution’ of A.D. 1688. Indeed, if the abortive revival of Autocracy in the early years of King George III is taken into the reckoning, it may even be argued that it required the American Revolutionary War in the New World to make English parliamentary government finally secure at home.

A fortiori it required revolutions to overthrow an Autocracy which had secured a tighter grip, over a longer period, upon the political life of the Continental Transalpine countries and of the British colonies in North America—towards which the Parliament at Westminster showed the countenance of a Strafford and not of a Hampden. Accordingly, in the Thirteen Colonies, the overthrow of Autocracy exacted the price of the Revolutionary War of A.D. 1775-83, and, in France, the price of the series of political eruptions which began in 1789 and continued until 1871. The French in the nineteenth century and the Americans in the eighteenth century had to pay a heavier price than the British in the seventeenth

1 See III. C (ii) (b), vol. iii, pp. 357-62, above.

{p.200} century in order to purchase the same political benefits;1 but the nemesis of delay is demonstrated still more forcibly by the case of Germany. Alone among the leading peoples of the Western World, the Germans retained an element of Autocracy in their government after A.D. 1871; and, although there was a large infusion of Parliamentarism in the constitution of the Bismarckian Reich, the survival into the twentieth century of even a remnant of a sixteenth-century autocratic régime in the government of one of the Great Powers of the Western World was sufficient to involve not only Germany herself, but all the other countries that were members of the Great Society of the day, in the catastrophe of A.D. 1914.



1 This retardation in the replacement of Autocracy by Parliamentarism in the Governments of the United States and France—a delay which condemned these two countries to purchase their constitutional transformation at the cost of a more destructive political and social upheaval than England had to undergo in passing through the same process at an earlier date—had the posthumous effect of making the, derivative forms which this Parliamentarism took, in its belated acclimatization on French and American soil, more convenient models for mimesis by the rest of the World than the English original. In general the latter-day parliamentary institutions of the Central and East European countries have been inspired less by English Parliamentarism than by French, and those of the Latin-American countries, again, less by the English model than by the Constitution of the United States. This fact, and the explanation of it, have already been noticed above (in III. C (ii) (b), vol. iii, pp. 370-1). The explanation is that the English original has been virtually impossible to transplant because it is a spontaneous and peculiar outcrop from the English soil, whereas the American and French derivatives, being the successful products of a deliberate and artificial transplantation, lend themselves much more readily to a repetition of the same process. The unwritten constitution of the Kingdom of England, and of the United Kingdom into which it incorporated itself in A.D. 1707, has evolved, in and since the seventeenth century, quite empirically, as a direct embodiment of political practice, without either a prelude or an aftermath of political theory. On the other hand, in the history of both the American and the French Parliamentarism, the effect of the retardation in achievement ha« been to make theory (based on a study of English practice and not on first-hand American and French experience) come first, so that in these two cases theory, instead of being anticipated and elbowed out by practice, has had time to establish itself in its own right as a recognized political authority to which subsequent political experience must bow, It is this course of historical events that has given the French and American Parliamentarism that doctrinaire or academic touch which distinguishes them both from our British Parliamentarism; and it is precisely this academic quality—the mellow fruit of a belated development—that has made the French and American constitutions more convenient than the British to imitate.


10. The Impact of the Solonian Economic Revolution upon the
International Politics of the Hellenic World

{IV.C.III(b)10,p.206} The contrast, which we have just touched upon, between the political histories of Athens and Rome has brought out the fact that the comparative success of Athens in her domestic politics was offset by a signal Athenian political failure in the field of international affairs; and this may serve to remind us that we have still

{p.207} to examine the effect, in this field, of the impact of the Solonian economic revolution upon Hellenic political life. In a previous age, when exceptionally favourable opportunities for sheer extensive geographical expansion had made it possible for the Hellenic Society to provide for a growing population without departing from the old-fashioned economic system of subsistence farming, the self-sufficiency (αύτάρκεια) of each single Hellenic city-state, on every plane of social activity, was a simple matter of fact. The Solonian economic revolution was needed in order to solve the new economic problem of continuing to provide for a population which had not ceased to grow, yet finding this provision within the limits of a Hellenic World whose expansion had been cut short by the successfully organized resistance of its Syriac and barbarian neighbours. The solution lay, as we have seen,1 in changing over from subsistence farming to a specialized production—industrial as well as agrarian—with a view to exchange; but this solution involved the abandonment of economic self-sufficiency, since the new economic system of specialization and exchange could not be made to yield the enhanced productivity which was its object, so long as its field of action was confined within the narrow limits of the standard-size city-state domain.

In order to produce its fruits, the new economy must burst the bounds of the single city-state and operate freely over a vastly larger area, embracing not only the entire Hellenic World but also Egypt in one direction and Scythia in another and the African and European hinterlands of the West Mediterranean Basin in a third. In fact, the Solonian economic revolution could not be carried out without enlarging the ordinary working unit of Hellenic economic life from a city-state scale to an oecumenical scale; and the historical fact that this economic revolution did take place means that this great enlargement of the field of economic operations was actually achieved. By the beginning of the fifth century B.C. the immense area whose range has just been indicated had actually come to be the normal field of economic activity for the wine-growers and olive-oil producers and potters and merchants and sailors of economically progressive Hellenic city-states like Miletus and Corinth and Aegina and Athens. But this expansion of the range of economic activity from a parochial to an oecumenical scale solved an economic problem only to create a political problem; and the solution of the economic problem remained precarious so long as the consequent political problem had not been solved with equal success along its own lines.

The Milesians and Aeginetans could never count, for certain,

1 In IV. C (iii) (b) 9, p. 201, above.

{p.208} on the livelihood which they had learnt to gain through an oecumenical economic activity, unless their freedom of economic action in this oecumenical field were guaranteed by the establishment of some kind of political order on the same oecumenical scale. So long as the ordinary working unit of Hellenic political life continued to be the city-state whose limits had now been so far transcended on the economic plane, it was possible that a political conflict between city-states, in the shape of war or privateering or piracy, might at any moment arbitrarily cut short those oecumenical economic activities which had now become indispensable for the maintenance of the increased and increasing population of Aegina or Miletus individually and of Hellas as a whole. In short, in the international field the Solonian economic revolution confronted the Hellenic Society with the necessity for establishing a political world order. The accomplished fact of the abolition of city-state self-sufficiency on the economic plane now called for its abolition on the political plane as well; and when the transition from a parochial to an oecumenical range had just been successfully achieved on the one plane, there was no apparent reason, a priori, why it should not be achieved on the other plane in due course.

The obstacle in the way was the inherited political institution of City-State Sovereignty; and the removal of this obstacle to political solidarity was the task which was set by Fate to Hellas when the fifth century B.C. opened. The obstacle, however, became more formidable in the act of being grappled with; for this City-State Sovereignty which had previously been taken for granted began to draw attention and inspire affection as soon as it became evident that its existence was threatened. From the opening of the fifth century B.C. onwards the whole of the rest of Hellenic political history can be formulated in terms of an endeavour to transcend City-State Sovereignty and of the resistance which this endeavour evoked.1 Before the fifth century closed, the obstinacy of the resistance to the accomplishment of this urgent political task had brought the Hellenic Civilization to its breakdown; and though the problem which had baffled an Athenian first attempt to solve it was eventually solved in a fashion by Rome, it was not solved in time to prevent the disintegration of the Hellenic Society from running its course to its final dissolution.2 In this outcome of the impact of the Solonian economic revolution upon the international

1 For the idolization, in the Hellenic World, of the institution of the Sovereign City-State see IV. C (iii) (c) 2 (β), pp. 303-20, below.
2 This explanation of the breakdown and disintegration of the Hellenic Civilization has been touched upon, by anticipation, in Part III. B, vol. iii, p. 122, footnote 3, and in III. C (ii) (b), vol. iii, p. 340, footnote 1, above. See also V. C (ii) (b), vol. vi, pp. 287-91, below.

{p.209} politics of the Hellenic World the alternatives of adjustment, revolution, and enormity present themselves once again.

In this case the solution of the problem through adjustment lay in a permanent limitation of City-State Sovereignty by voluntary agreement between the city-states themselves for the sake of providing the necessary political security for a now indispensable economic intercourse.

A treaty apparently dating from about the middle of the fifth century B.C., and embodying an agreement to such effect between two city-states on the western shore of the Crisaean Gulf, has come into the hands of the modern Western historian through the accident of archaeological discovery;1 and since the two high contracting parties were, both of them, small and obscure communities, while the district in which they were situated—the Ozolian or 'colonial' Locris—is included by Thucydides in a region of North-Western Continental Greece which he takes as a 'living museum’ of the elsewhere obsolete Hellenic Society of the Dark Age,2 we may reasonably conjecture that a practice which had spread to this backward part of Hellas by about the year 440 B.C. had become general throughout the Hellenic World in the course of the first half of the fifth century. The type of treaty of which this surviving treaty between Oeanthea and Chaleum may be taken as a late and unimportant example, is a bilateral agreement between two city-states for the enactment between them, ad hoc, of a rudimentary code of international law to govern their economic relations with each other; and no doubt this expedient for dealing with the new problem of international politics was useful as far as it went. At the same time it is manifest that the results must have fallen far short of what was needed. For instance, the treaty between Oeanthea and Chaleum, by itself, can hardly have contributed appreciably to the security of international trade and seafaring even in the waters of the Crisaean Gulf; for there were several other equally small and obscure, but also equally sovereign, city-states which were likewise 'riverain Powers'; and all the 'riverain Powers', between them,

1 The bronze tablet on which the text is inscribed was found at Galaxfdhi (the latter-day equivalent of the Hellenic Oeanthea) and is now in the British Museum. The text is printed, with a translation and commentary, by E. L. Hicks and G. F. Hill in A Manual of Greek Historical Inscriptions, 2nd edition (Oxford 1901, Clarendon Press), pp. 73-6. The treaty provides that 'no Oeanthean, if he make a seizure, shall carry off a foreign merchant from Chalean soil, nor a Chalean a merchant from Oeanthean soil; nor shall either Oeanthean or Chalean seize a merchant's cargo within the territory of the other city. If any one breaks this rule, it shall be lawful to seize him with impunity....' On the same tablet there is also inscribed, in a different hand, the text of regulations made in one of the two contracting states (presumably in Oeanthea, where the tablet was found) for assuring to resident aliens the enjoyment of their treaty-made legal rights.
2 Thucydides, Book I, chap. 5. For this social backwardness of North-Western and Northern Greece in the second chapter of the history of the growth of the Hellenic Civilization see III. C (ii) (b), Annex IV, vol. iii, pp. 478-9, above.

{p.210} would only have accounted for a small fraction of the shipping which plied within sight of their shores; for this waterway was one of the main approaches to the Pan-Hellenic shrine at Delphi, and in the fifth century B.C. Delphi was in communication with almost every community in the Hellenic World, as far afield as Cyrene and Trebizond and Marseilles. In order to provide effectively, by means of bilateral treaties, for the security of all ships and merchandise that had occasion to traverse the Crisaean Gulf, the single bilateral treaty between Oeanthea and Chaleum would have to be supplemented by a vast network of such treaties, not only binding the local riverain Powers among themselves, but also binding each of them to almost every other state-member of the Hellenic Society,1 When we consider further that the Crisaean Gulf, though an important sea-route in itself, was only a minute fraction of the total surface of the Mediterranean and its annexes, and that almost the whole of this area was embraced, at this date, in the field of Hellenic maritime trade,2 we can see at once that the creation of anything like a comprehensive and uniform system of oecumenical law-and-order in the Hellenic World on a basis of voluntary bilateral treaties was a Psyche's task.

As a matter of historical fact, we find that, in those attempts at establishing a Hellenic world order which came the nearest to success, a network of voluntary bilateral treaties was only one of several bases on which the structure was reared. In these relatively successful experiments a local enterprise in treaty-making was re-inforced by the stimulus of a general emergency and by the leadership of a single predominant Power. The Delian League (vivebat 478-454 B.C.) was established under the stimulus of the Pan-Hellenic war of defence and liberation (gerebatur 480-478 B.C.) against the Achaemenian Power, and under the leadership of Athens, whose naval strength had made her the saviour of Hellas and left her the mistress of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Roman Empire was established under the stimulus of a paroxysm of war and revolution which threatened the Hellenic Society with imminent dissolution in the last century B.C., and under the leadership of Rome, who had already (between 220 and 168 B.C.) delivered 'the knock-out blow’

1 It is significant that the bilateral Chaleo-Oeanthean treaty, above quoted, goes on to say that 'the property of a foreigner (i.e. a citizen of any third state) may be seized on the sea without incurring the penalty, except in the actual harbour of the city'.
2 The only Mediterranean waters that were a mare clausum to the Hellenes at this time were those bounded by the north coast of North Africa west of a point just north by west of Carthage, by the south-east coast of Spain as far as a point at some unknown distance north-east of (the future site of) Cartagena, and by the Carthaginian insular possessions in the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, and the western tip of Sicily. For the light thrown upon the limits of this Carthaginian preserve by the terms of successive commercial treaties between Carthage and Rome see Strachan-Davidaon, J. L.: Selections from Polybius (Oxford 1888, Clarendon Press), pp. 65-70.

{p.211} to all other Great Powers in the Hellenic World of that age.1 The circumstances show that, in Hellenic history, the establishment of a political world order by process of adjustment was never even approached without a potent admixture of the untoward elements of revolution and enormity. The revolutionary way of constructing an oecumenical political framework for an oecumenical field of economic activity was to abrogate the institution of City-State Sovereignty altogether, by force majeure, and to bring the whole of the ground, when it had been cleared of previous obstructions by this high-handed method, under the common roof of a single universal state. The enormity which was the penalty of failure to achieve a world order by either adjustment or revolution was an agglomeration of city-states in which a certain measure of city-state autonomy was preserved, but in which the association between the participating communities was neither on a voluntary basis nor on an equal footing, but was maintained by a forcible and selfish domination of some single city-state over all the rest. This inequitable system of association was evidently the line of least resistance for arriving at a compromise between an old parochial tradition and the new necessity of transcending it; but it was none the less an enormity inasmuch as it only transcended the old parochialism in a material sense, while morally it capitulated to it by allowing one strong parochial community to indulge its egotism to an unprecedented degree at its weaker neighbours' expense. The moral condemnation which this enormity evoked in Hellenic consciences was not averted by the euphemistic title of 'hegemony' (das Führerprinzip) by which a 'tyrant-city’ preferred to describe its twofold exploitation of its own superiority in military power and of the World's need for political unity.

If we let our minds run over the course of Hellenic history, we shall observe that this enormity of 'hegemony’, as well as the revolutionary alternative of the Gleichschaltung of City-State Sovereignty by a merger into a universal state, was already a familiar phenomenon in the Hellenic World before the foundation of the Delian League; and we shall also observe that in the Roman Empire—which belatedly and partially succeeded, where the Delian League had failed, in establishing a Hellenic world order through an association of city-states—the vicious element of 'hegemony’ far outweighed the salutary element of freedom, and was only eliminated, in the course of the Empire's history, by a gradual process of Gleichschaltung which destroyed the autonomy of all Rome's subject cities pari passu with the ascendancy of Rome herself.

If we examine rather more in detail the circumstances in which

1 See the quotation from Polybius in III. C (ii) (b), vol. iii, pp. 312-13, above.

{p.212} the Delian League was founded in 478 B.C., we shall find, as we might expect, that its organizer, the Athenian statesman Aristeides, was working, not in a political vacuum, but in an atmosphere of political precedents of which his work distinctly bears the marks. It would have been strange if Aristeides had borrowed nothing from the institution of 'hegemony', when Athens herself had been living under the 'hegemony' of Sparta, off and on and in varying degrees, ever since the Spartan King Cleomenes had expelled the Peisistratidae from Athens in 511 B.C.1 Indeed, the very occasion which had called for the establishment of the Delian League was the renunciation of this Spartan hegemony in 478 B.C. in respect of Athens and those Asiatic Greek communities which had just been liberated from Achaemenian rule; and if the Lacedaemonian Government had not made this deliberate withdrawal2 it is safe to say that the Delian League would never have been called into existence at all. In the circumstances it was natural that the Athenians should step into the Spartans' shoes and should include an element of Athenian 'hegemony' in the structure of an Athenian-made experiment in a Hellenic world order.

It was equally natural that, in framing a new international régime for a constellation of Hellenic city-states which had been incorporated, for some sixty or seventy years past, in the Achaemenian Empire, Aristeides should borrow certain convenient institutions to which these communities had grown accustomed under the Achaemenian régime from which they had just been liberated. The Achaemenian precedent is unmistakably accountable for an arrangement so alien from the indigenous Hellenic tradition of city-state sovereignty as the imposition of a money-contribution to a federal war-chest at Delos upon states-members of the League which were unable, or disinclined, to contribute an effective contingent of warships to the federal navy;3 and the same alien tendency towards Gleichschaltung, in the characteristic vein of the Achaemenian Empire and of every other universal state,4 may perhaps be discerned

1 See III. C (ii) (b), vol. iii, p. 336, footnote 3, above.
2 For the motives which inspired this Spartan policy see Part III. A, vol. iii, pp. 70-1, above.
3 The majority of the city-states which acquiesced in the payment of a money-tribute as their contribution to the League, and which accepted the assessment that was made by Aristeides, were 'liberated' communities which had previously belonged to the Achaemenian Empire; and for these the tribute was something to which they had long since been broken in. It made little difference to them that the money previously payable to a treasury at Sardis or Dascylium should now be made payable, instead, to a treasury at Delos. It is perhaps significant that Scyros and Carystus,- which were the only two city-states that were brought into the Delian League at the beginning by coercion instead of by consent, had neither of them ever lost their independence to the Achaemenian Empire; and it may also be noted that Naxos and Thasos, which were the first two members of the League that endeavoured to secede, had neither of them had more than a brief taste of Achaemenian domination—Thasos for only thirteen years and Naxos for only eleven years, ending in 479 B.C.
4 For the character and genius of universal states see further Part VI below.

{p.213} likewise in the progressive centralization, in the courts at Athens, of private litigation in suits to which citizens of the 'allied' cities were parties: an infringement of local sovereignty which was perhaps more bitterly resented than the exaction of the monetary tribute. This Athenian attempt to establish a Pan-Hellenic common law and a Pan-Hellenic jurisdiction on an Athenian basis would have been impossible if the Athenians had not possessed, and employed, the means of coercion; this coercion was only thinly veiled by the network of treaties, between Athens and her associates in the Delian League, on which the process of judicial centralization was formally grounded; and this expedient of conjuring into existence an oecumenical system of law-and-order by compelling the city-states to enter into a network of treaties, wholesale, was demonstrably borrowed by the Athenians from their Achaemenian predecessors in the dominion over the Asiatic Greeks. It is recorded that, after the Achaemenian Government had succeeded in suppressing the great Asiatic Greek revolt of 499-494 B.C., Darius's brother ‘Artaphernes, the Statthalter at Sardis, summoned delegates from the [re-subjugated] city-states to his presence, and compelled the Asiatic Greeks to enter into treaties with one another for the regulation, by judicial procedure, of disputes [between their respective ressortissants], in substitution for their [traditional] practice of seeking satisfaction, in such cases, by [methods of barbarism like] piracy and brigandage'.1

It will be seen that if the Delian League was, in one aspect, an endeavour to provide the Hellenic Society with a political world order by a process of voluntary adjustment, it was also partly inspired by the precedents of a Spartan 'hegemony’ and an Achaemenian Gleichschaltung; and in this light the disastrous failure of this endeavour, and of all its successors, no longer appears surprising. Every one of these successive Hellenic attempts at a world order was morally a hybrid product; and the healthy ingredient in the social compound was always eventually overcome by the poisonous ingredients with which it had been contaminated from the outset. Within the brief Time-span of the Pentecontaetia’ (478-431 B.C.) the Delian League degenerated into the international tyranny of the Athenian Empire; the chastisement with whips, which this Athenian imperialism inflicted upon the Hellenic World during the half-century ending in 404 B.C., was renewed and out-done by the chastisement with scorpions which a Roman imperialism inflicted, in its turn, during the two centuries that followed the outbreak of the Hannibalic War; and even when, at last, the long Roman oppression was transmuted into a belated Hellenic world

1 Herodotus: Book VI, chap. 42.

{p.214} order by the genius of Caesar and the remorse of Augustus this magnified reflexion-or travesty-of the Dehan League did not escape in the long run the untoward metamorphosis which had so swiftly overtaken its original. The ultimate fate of the Hellenic cosmos of city-states under the aegis of the Caesars was a Gleichschaltung of the kind to which the Asiatic Greek communities had been subjected already both after the foundation of the Delian League, under the aegis of Athens, and before the foundation of the Delian League, under the aegis of the Achaemenidae. In short, the history of Hellenic endeavours to create a political world order is a tragedy whose gloom is hardly relieved by one brief gleam of sunshine in a Periclean spring and another in an Antonine Indian Summer.1

1 For the Age of the Antonines as ‘the Indian Summer’ of the Hellenic decline and fall see IV. C (ii) (b) 1, pp. 58-61, above.


15. The Impact of Civilization upon Mimesis.

{IV.C.III.(b)15, p. 244} A reorientation of the faculty of mimesis away from the elders and towards the pioneers is, as we have seen,3 the change in the direction of this faculty that accompanies the mutation of a primitive society into a civilization; and the aim in view is the raising of the uncreative mass to a new level that has been reached by a new creative minority. But, because this resort to mimesis is a short cut,4 the attainment of the goal along this road is apt to be illusory.

Where a genuine transmission of the divine fire from soul to soul would have transformed the inner man and have admitted him, in transforming him, into the Communion of Saints, the glib response of mimesis is apt to do no more than transmogrify the Natural Man, Homo Integer Antiquae Virtutis, into the shoddy 'Man in the Street’: a Homo Vulgaris Northcliffii or a Homo Demoticus Cleonis. In that event the impact of Civilization upon mimesis begets the enormity of a pseudo-sophisticated urban crowd, living for its panem et circenses 5 which, on any spiritual criterion, is as signally inferior to the Natural Man in a primitive society as are 'the beasts that perish'.6 This vulgar social enormity is not so inevitable that it cannot be avoided by an adjustment. In fifth-century Athens, for example, the Demos which was exposed to the corrupting influence of the demagogue Cleon's travesty of 'the Education of Hellas' was at the same time being offered pure draughts of the milk of the word7 in the celebrations at the Dionysiac theatre.

1 See Butler, Samuel: Erewhon (London 1872, Triibner), chap. 20 ad fin. and chaps. 2i, 22. 23. Compare the chapter entitled Der Mensch als Sklave der Maschine' in Spengler, O.: Der Untergang des Abendlandes, vol. ii: 'Welthistorische Perspektiven', 1st-15th edition (Munich 1922, Beck), pp. 624-35.
2 For the perilously ambiguous nature of machinery see IV. C (iii) (a), pp. 124-7, above.
3 In Part II. B, vol. i, pp. 191-5, and IV. C (iii) (a), in the present volume, pp. 119-33, above.
4 See III. C (ii) (a), vol. iii, pp. 245-8; and IV. C (iii) (a), in the present volume, p. 128, above.
5 Juvenal, Satires, No. x, 1. 81, quoted already in II. D (vi), vol. ii, p. 214, above.
6 'Man that is in honour and understandeth not is like the beasts that perish' (Psalm xlix. 20).
7 1 Peter ii. 2.

{p.245} Here was a traditional institution which was part of the common people's birthright and in which they remained thoroughly at home while the most daring aesthetic and moral and intellectual pioneers of the age were now using the folk-drama, without ever breaking its traditional mould, as a vehicle for the expression of their own creative ideas. In the fifth-century Attic drama the happy accident that had converted a primitive institution into a mouthpiece for men of genius gave men of goodwill a fleeting opportunity of competing for the guidance of the souls of the Demos against men of Cleon's stamp. But a survey of History seems to show that such opportunities are few and far between; and, even in this Attic case, the opportunity was not successfully taken. Cleon won; and the social enormity which he evoked by stamping the Dêmos with his own image had to be exorcized in the end, not by adjustment, but by revolution. The Cleonian 'Man in the Street', whose entry upon the stage of Hellenic history before the close of the fifth century B.C. is one of the unmistakable symptoms of social decline, eventually redeemed his soul by repudiating, outright, a culture which had failed to satisfy his spirtual hunger because he had only succeeded in filling his belly with the husks.1 As the spiritually awakened child of a dissident proletariat, he worked out his own salvation through the discovery of a higher religion.2

Perhaps these examples may suffice to illustrate the part that is played in the breakdowns of civilizations by the intractability of old institutions to the touch of new social forces.

1 Luke xv. 16
2 For the secession of the internal proletariat from the dominant minority of the Hellenic Society see I. B (iv), vol. i, pp. 40-2, and I. C (i) (a), vol. i, pp. 53-62, above, and Part V. C (i) (c) 2, vol. v, pp. 58-82, below.


(c) THE NEMESIS OF CREATIVITY



2. 'Resting on One's Oars’

(α) The Idolization of an Ephemeral Self.

A Definition of Idolatry.

{IV.C.III.(c)2(α), p. 261} While the attitude of 'resting on one's oars' may be described as the passive way of succumbing to the nemesis of creativity, the negativeness of this mental posture does not certify an absence of moral fault. A fatuous passivity towards the Present springs from an infatuation with the Past; and this infatuation is the sin of idolatry which, in the primitive Hebrew scheme of religion, is the sin most apt to evoke the vengeance of 'a jealous god’. Idolatry may be defined as an intellectually and morally purblind worship of the part instead of the whole, of the creature instead of the Creator, of Time instead of Eternity;1 and this abuse of the highest faculties of the human spirit, and misdirection of its most potent energies, has a fatal effect upon the object of idolization. It accomplishes the perverse and disastrous miracle of transforming one of 'the ineffably sublime works' 2 of God into an 'abomination of desolation, standing where it ought not'.3 In practical life this moral aberration may take the comprehensive form of an idolization of the idolater's own personality, or own society, in some ephemeral phase of the never-ceasing movement from challenge through response to further challenge which is the essence of being alive;4 or, again, it may take the limited form of an idolization of some particular institution, or particular technique, which has once stood the idolator in good stead. It may be convenient to examine these different forms of idolatry separately, and we may start with the idolization of the self, because this will offer us the clearest illustrations of the nature of the sin that we are now setting out to study.
If it is indeed the truth

That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things,5

then the idolator who commits the error of treating one dead self, not as a stepping-stone, but as a pedestal, will be alienating him-

1 See Part I. A, vol. i, p. 9, with footnote 3, and IV. C (iii) (b) 4 and s{ in the present volume, pp. 141-85, above, for the nature of idolatry as exemplified in our modern Western political aberration of Nationalism.
2 Goethe: Faust, 1. 249, quoted in II. C (ii) (b) 1, vol. i, pp. 276 and 279, above.
3 Mark xiii. 14 = Matt. xxiv. 15; cf. Luke xxi. 20. These passages in the New Testament are reminiscences of Daniel ix. 27 and xii, 11.
4 See Part III. B, vol. iii, above.
5 Tennyson: In Memoriam.

{p.262} self from the life of God1 as conspicuously as the stylite devotee who maroons himself on the summit of a lonely column dissevers himself from the world of men.


Jewry.

{IV.C.III.(c)2(α),p. 262} The most notorious historical example of this idolization of an ephemeral self is the error of the Jews which is exposed in the New Testament in a series of passages that we have already quoted2 as incomparable expressions of the motif of περιπέτεια. In a period of their history which began in the infancy of the Syriac Civilization and which culminated in the Age of the Prophets of Israel, the people of Israel and Judah raised themselves head and shoulders above the Syriac peoples round about in responding to the challenge of a Time of Troubles' by rising to a higher conception of Religion.3 Keenly conscious, and rightly proud, of the spiritual treasure which they had thus wrested from an ordeal that had broken the spirit of their Aramaean and Phoenician and Philistine neighbours, the Jews allowed themselves to be 'betrayed, by what' was 'false within',4 into an idolization of this notable, yet transitory, phase of their own spiritual growth. It was, indeed, a mighty feat of spiritual intuition to perceive in the lineaments of a primitive volcano-demon of the Arabian Wilderness the epiphany of a God who was omnipresent and omnipotent. What the Israelites had come to see in their hereditary tribal divinity Yahweh was never apprehended in Chemosh by the Moabites or in Rimmon by the Damascenes or in Melkart by the Tyrians5 or in Dagon by the Philistines. In this chapter of their history the Children of Israel had been gifted with an unparalleled spiritual insight. And then, after having divined a truth which was absolute and eternal, they allowed themselves to be captivated by a temporary and relative half-truth. They persuaded themselves that Israel's discovery of the One True God had revealed Israel itself to be God's Chosen People; and this half-truth inveigled them into the fatal error of looking upon a momentary spiritual eminence, which they had attained by labour and travail, as a privilege conferred upon them by God in a covenant which was everlasting.6 In this delusion—which was a moral as well as an intellectual fault—the Jews 'rested on their oars' when they were called upon to respond to a new challenge which was

1 Ephesians iv. 18.
2 In IV. C (iii) (c) 1, on p. 247, above.
3 See III. C (i) (a), vol. iii, pp. 140-1, above.
4 Meredith: Love's Grave, quoted in IV. C (iii) (a), on p. 120, above.
5 The identification of the Tyrian Melkart with the Hellenic Hêraklês, and the possible influence of this act of religious syncretism upon the mythology and theology of Christianity, are discussed in V. C (ii) (a), Annex II, vol. vi, pp. 465-76, below.
6 See the passages quoted from the Old Testament in II. C (ii) (a) 1, vol. i, p. 246, above.

{p.263} presented to the Syriac Society post Alexandrum by the impact of Hellenism;1 and, through persisting in this posture, they 'put themselves out of the running' for serving once more as pioneers in the next advance of the Syriac spirit. Brooding over a talent which they had perversely sterilized by hiding it in the earth,2 they rejected the still greater treasure which God was now offering them. 'A son of man the Son of God? Was a generation in Jewry that was heir to the whole of God's revelation to Abraham and Moses and the Prophets now called upon to betray this magnificent Jewish spiritual heritage by accepting one of those childishly shocking Hellenic contes of the amours of Zeus which the wisdom of the Greeks themselves had long ago rejected as being neither intellectually nor morally credible of the Godhead?'3 The question had only to be framed in order to answer itself in the negative in the mind of an orthodox Jew of the generation of Jesus. And so it came to pass that the Gospel of a Jewish Messiah who was God Himself incarnate was preached by Galilaeans and taken to heart by Gentiles.

1 For this challenge see III. C (ii) (b), vol. iii, pp. 263-4, above, and V. C (i) (d) 9 (β), vol. vi, pp. 103-5, below.
2 Matt, xxv. 25.
3 For the points of likeness and difference between the story of the conception and birth of Jesus in the Matthaean and Lucan prologues to the Gospel and the similar stories that are told of certain pagan heroes of Hellenic history see V. C (ii) (a), vol. vi, pp. 267-75, and V. C (ii) (a), Annex II, vol. vi, pp. 450-1. below.





The Religion of Humanity.

{IV.C.III.(c) 2(α), p. 300} In all the instances of idolization which we have examined in this chapter so far, the idol on to which the adulation of an ephemeral self has been projected has been fashioned out of some fraction of Mankind: a camarilla or a community or a race. We have still to consider the case in which the self is idolized in the shape of Humanity at large with a capital “H’.

This idolatrous worship of Leviathan has been advocated in all seriousness by one of our modern Western philosophers,1 Auguste Comte (vivebat A.D. 1798-1857).

’The whole of Positive conceptions [is condensed in] the one single idea of an immense and eternal Being, Humanity…. Around this real Great Being, the prime mover of each existence, individual or collective, our affections centre by as spontaneous an impulse as do our thoughts and our actions….The growing struggle of Humanity against the sum of the necessities under which it exists2 offers the heart no less than the

1 The Hellenic philosopher-king Alexander's gospel of 'the Brotherhood of Man' (όμόνοια) appears to have been grounded on a worship, not of Humanity but of a God who is the common father of all men (see V. C (i) (d) 7, vol. Vi, pp. 8-10, and V. C (ii) (a), vol. vi, p. 246, footnote 5, below).
2 In this passage, as in many others, Comte frankly admits that his corporate human object of worship is not an absolute or omnipotent godhead (see Caird, E.: The Social Philosophy and Religion of Comte (Glasgow 1885, MacLehose), p. 31). Comte maintained thqat the new science of Scoiology had made it plain that thims limited object of worship was a satisfactory one (Caird, op. cit., pp. 28-9). But hi might not have found it easy to meet his Scottish critic’s objection that ‘a relative religion is not a religion at all’ (Caird, op. cit., p. 165). —A.J.T.

{p.301} intellect a better object of contemplation than the necessarily capricious omnipotence of its theological predecessor1....Humanity definitely substitutes Herself for God, without ever forgetting his provisional services2. . . . We adore Her not as the older god, to compliment Her, but in order to serve Her better by bettering ourselves.’ 3

Comte dreamed of embodying his 'Religion of Humanity’ in the institution of a universal church; but this dream has not yet come true ‘in real life’. Though the atheist French philosopher did his best to animate a lay-figure by dressing it out in garments—at once venerable and familiar—which he ostentatiously plucked from the living body of the Catholic Church, he has not gained the advantage that he expected from his cold-bloodedly pedantic resort to the strategy of Archaism;4 and in our day, when nearly a hundred years have passed since the floruit of the Positivist Prophet, Positivism nowhere survives as a church with a corporate life and a regular order of public worship, except in England, where it has merely added one more to an already long muster-roll of insular sects, and in Brazil.5 It is true that a far wider, as well as more rapid, success has been achieved in our time by a younger and grimmer worship of Humanity which is part and parcel of the creed of Communism.6 The Communist dogmatically and fanatically rules out a belief in the existence of God which the Positivist merely discards as superfluous. Yet while there is no doubt at all about the sincerity of the

1 Comte, A.: The Catechism of Positive Religion, English translation, second edition (London 1883, Trübner), pp. 45-6.
2 Comte, op. cit., p. 294.
3 Comte, pp. cit., p. 61. See further eundem: Système de Politique, vol. 1 (Paris 1851 Matties, Carilian, Goeury et Delmont), Discours Prélimmaire, Conclusion Générale: 'Religion de l’Humanité’; vol. ii (1852), chap, i: 'Théorie Générale de la Religion, ou Théorie Positive de l’Unité Humaine'; vol. iv (1854), ‘Conclusion Générale du Tome ivme, p. 524, on the emancipation of the Vrai Grand Être from a fictitious God.
4 For the deliberately imported vein of Archaism in Comte's 'Religion of Humanity’ see V. C (i) (d) 8 (δ), vol. vi, p. 83, footnote 2, below.
5 After Comte's death his followers in England parted company with those in France .over the question whether the apostles of the Positivist Church should, or should not, wait till they had convinced the intellect before they appealed to the emotions. The English Positivists were in favour of going out into the highways and hedges and seeking to convert the women and the proletarians en masse and, in support of this policy of giving the claims of the heart a priority over those of the head, they cited the precedent of the Primitive Christian Church as well as the authority of their own Master, Comte, himself. An account of this controversy in the bosom of the Positivist Church in its Apostolic Age will be found in Caird, E.: The Social Philosophy and Religion of Comte (Glasgow 1885, MacLehose), pp. 171-6.
6 On the vexed question whether Communism is to be reckoned as a religion or as a philosophy or merely as a political programme, it will be sufficient—for our present purpose—to point out that Communism at any rate answers to the definition of what constitutes a religion according to Comte. In Comte's view a religion is a comprehensive coherent conception of the Universe which gives us an object upon which we can fix all our affections and an aim to which we can devote all our energies (Caird, op. cit., pp. 24-7; cr. p. 159). The nature and tendency of Communism are examined further in this Study in V. C (i) (c) 2, vol. v, pp. 177-88, below.

{302} Communist's rejection of the worship of anything superhuman or divine, there is a distinct and increasing doubt about the constancy of his allegiance to an all-embracing Humanity. At any rate in the Soviet Union, where Communism is to-day the established idéologie d'état, there has been showing itself, under the Stalinian régime, a strongly pronounced tendency to withdraw allegiance from Humanity at large in order to concentrate it upon that fraction of the living generation of Mankind that is at present penned within the frontiers of the U.S.S.R.1 In other words, Soviet Communism seems at this moment to be changing under our eyes from a worship of Humanity into the worship of a tribal divinity of the type of Athene Polias or the Lion of Saint Mark or Kathleen na Hoolihan or Britannia.2 And this change suggests that Russian Communism, like British Positivism, may be destined to contract to the dimensions of a parochial sect instead of realizing the dream of its founder by growing into a universal church.

Do these apparently unpromising prospects of both Russian Communism and British Positivism portend in their turn a setback to the worship of the Self in the shape of Humanity at large ? This does not necessarily follow; for, while Comte's dream may not yet have been translated into reality, it is nevertheless still in the air.

'Il existe, par-dessus les classes et les nations, une volontéde l’espèce de se rendre maitresse des choses et, quand un etre humain s'envole en quelques heures d'un bout de la terre à l’autre, c’est toute la race humaine qui frémit d'orgueil et s’adore comme distincte parmi la creation. . . .
On peut penser parfois qu’un tel mouvement s’affirmera de plus en plus et que c’est de cette voie que s’éteindront les guerres interhumaines; on arrivera ainsi à une "fraternité universelle", mais qui, loin d’être l’abolition de l’esprit de nation avec ses appétits et ses orgueils, en sera au contraire la forme supreme, la nation s’appelant l’Homme et l’ennemi s’appelant Dieu.’ 3

When a worship of the Self is thus projected on to a human hive or columbarium that has room in it for every human being—'dead, living, and unborn—and leaves none but God out in the cold, does the Self cease to be ephemeral and the worship cease to be idolatrous ? This question will be answered in the affirmative not only by Communists and Positivists but also by the more numerous adherents of a vaguer, yet perhaps just on that account more representative, school of humanist thinkers and humanitarian men

1 This change which seems to be coming over the Communism of the Soviet Union is examined further in V. C (i) (c) 2, vol. v, pp. 183-6, below.
2 For the personified political communities that are the idols of a modern Western World, see I. C (iii) (e), Annex, vol. i, pp. 442-3, above.
3 Benda, J.: La Trahison des Clercs (Paris 1927, Grasset), pp. 246-7.

{p.303} of action whose outlook has become the dominant Weltanschauung of our Western Society in its Modern Age.1

Is this answer the last word? The self-worshipper who has given expression to his heart's desire by substituting an image of Humanity for the presence of a Living God in his panorama of the Universe can no doubt proclaim

I am monarch of all I survey;
My right there is none to dispute.

But is there no bitterness in the boast which Cowper has placed in the mouth of Alexander Selkirk ? Is not this monarch a castaway? And must he not pay for his undisputed dominion by living in a spiritual solitude which is an abomination of desolation ?

'Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible Man ... because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, bat became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.' 2

1 At the moment when he was putting these words on paper, the writer of this Study had before him on his desk a letter from an English scholar-statesman who was a humanist and a humanitarian in one; and this letter contained an observation on another passage of the present work (V. C (i) (c) 2, vol. v, pp. 160-1, below) which is perhaps even more pertinent to the present passage:
‘"Self-worship of the Tribe": very good phrase—yet isn't it only wrong because the "self" is so limited? Once get "humanitarian" and make all Humanity your object—
or, better still, if, like the Stoic, you make the Great City of Gods and Man
[see V. C (i) (d) 7, Annex, vol. vi, pp. 332-8, below—A.J.T.] your object—the self-worship gets pretty right and becomes a "higher religion".'
2 Romans i. 22-3 and 21.




The East Roman Empire
The Pharaonic Crown

(γ) The Idolization of an Ephemeral Technique
(α) The Suicidalness of Militarism

The Intoxication of Victory

{p. 534} If Hildebrand himself on his death-bed couid have confronted, with foreknowledge of the event, the long array of his coming successors, he would assuredly have cried out, in his Master's words, 'Verily I say unto you that one of you shall betray me';1 and the only plea that could have been offered in self-defence by a then unborn Benedetto Gaetani or Sinibaldo Fieschi would have been that his future betrayal of Hildebrand was already predetermined by Hildebrand's own betrayal of himself. Our catalogue of great Popes, from Gregory VII to Boniface VIII inclusive, proclaims that the elements of greatness which created the Papal Respublica Christiana were also the elements that destroyed it, and that these seeds of destruction were being sown from the outset.

The fall of the Hildebrandine Church is as extraordinary a spectacle as its rise; for all the virtues that had carried it to its zenith seem to change, as it sinks to its nadir, into their own exact antitheses. The divine institution which had been fighting and winning a battle for spiritual freedom against material force was now infected with the very evil which it had set itself to cast out from the body social of Western Christendom. The Holy See which had taken the lead in the struggle against simony now required the clergy throughout the Western World to pay their dues at a Roman receipt of custom for those ecclesiastical preferments which Rome herself had forbidden them to purchase from any local secular power.2 The Roman Curia which had been the head and front of moral and intellectual progress—a tower of strength for the saints who were raising the monastic life to new heights, and for the schoolmen who were creating the universities—now turned itself into a fastness of spiritual conservatism. The ecclesiastical sovereign power in the Christian Republic now suffered itself to be deprived by its local secular underlings—the princes of the rising parochial states of Western Christendom—of the lion's share of the product of financial and administrative instruments which the Papacy itself had skilfully devised in order to make its authority effective;3 and this forfeiture of a share in the product was followed by a forfeiture have reached its apogee until after the migration to Avignon, and the autocratic authority of the Papacy over the Church was only established in and after the pontificate of Martin V (see the present chapter, pp. 573-6, below). On the other hand the moral authority of the Papacy did, surely,1 never recover from the shock which it had sustained in the days of Innocent IV and Boniface VIII.

1 Matt. xxvi. 21.
2 Fees for investiture with ecclesiastical offices had, of course, always been paid to some one—i.e. to the local ordinary and his officials—before ever the controversy over Investiture arose; and, moreover, the payment of a fee upon appointment was not the same thing as the purchase of an office. Yet the essence of the evil which Hildebrand was attacking was the subjection of the life of the spirit to the power of the purse; and this was an evil in which the Papal Curia itself became deeply implicated when its budget was swollen by the portentous cost of the internecine conflict with the Emperor
3 On this point see further pp. 539-40, below.

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