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compatible with knowledge of other nations both extensive and profound. But such patriotism is eminently sane, discriminative and chastened; it is the reasonable form of the sentiment which is destined to survive the test of time.
But if ignorance is not the cause of patriotism, it is directly responsible for those obtrusive and uncontrollable forms of it, which set up causes of needless irritation and rancour between different races. The most complete misconceptions still prevail in all civilised countries respecting the feelings, aims, and temperament of the people of other lands. Where ignorance is rife, the imagination is active. Intelligent and otherwise well-informed writers soberly discuss possible developments, which have no relation to real people, but to races having all manner of fictitious characteristics. Unfortunately, also, the ignorance respecting other countries keeps alive that of one's own. A nation can truly know itself, only by knowing others; for it is only by comparison that any sound or lasting standard can be formed.
A keen sense of the virtues of the race to which he belongs comes to the child with his earliest impressions. He grows up in the belief in its innate excellence. If his race is not powerful or great, it is because of the rapacity of other races more barbarous or designing; if it is powerful or great, it is clearly the will of Providence that it should pay an increasing disregard to the feelings of smaller races. That all the means for the acquisition of knowledge are present does not further matters in the least; the machinery may as easily be employed for the propagation of every form of error and prejudice. It is only with extreme slowness that the individual comes to recognise the admirable qualities possessed by other races than that to which he belongs; it is rare indeed that he surrenders the belief that it possesses the largest share of the virtues of humanity.
This racial ignorance is blocking the march of civilisation. What manner of people are these against whom each country is closing the doors of its national life and thought? What do we really know of those whose lives, at the cost of incalculable treasure, we are ceaselessly planning to take. We
know, alas! a good deal of the governments; we know still more of the press; and of a small number of prominent and great men. But of the people themselves, the people who are the real sufferers through all forms of racial enmity, we know absurdly little. Hence the people of all countries are led into the mistake of deducing the character of the foreigner from particular cases, of generalising the inhabitants of a great nation—nearly always composed of several subraces, differing most widely among themselves—from the people of a particular city or district; of accepting without question the brilliant word-pictures of obviously biased writers.
In spite of the periodical outbursts with which we are familiar, there is really no evidence to prove that between the different people themselves there exists anything akin to mortal hatred. Probably the most that could be established would be a settled dislike of foreigners and foreign ways. Assuming that this is based upon actual knowledge, the explanation cannot lie much deeper than the conservatism natural to groups of people, accustomed for many generations to certain habits of thought and conduct. In this sense the dislike of the foreigner will probably endure as long as national character. But dislike founded upon a constitutional preference is one thing, hatred is another. In order to express one's dislike of people, it is not necessary to shoot them. It is here suggested, as a reasonable hypothesis, that the antipathy existing between the more civilised people at the present day does not normally go beyond this. They wish to live their lives in their own way unmolested, and they have no wish to molest others. If this assumption be even approximately correct, it follows that a general knowledge of it would go far to neutralize the influence of those forces, personal and impersonal, whose interest it is to emphasise the differences that exist.
The remarkable extent to which the bias of patriotism is unconscious is one of the greatest difficulties in the way of its removal. Modesty in the individual is already beginning to be regarded as a quaint and antique virtue; modesty in a nation seems to have become almost extinct. Where everyone is proclaiming his superiority, he who shouts the loudest has the best chance of being heard. Accordingly to each it appears perfectly natural that the virtues of his own country should be duly extolled, and the shortcomings of others placed in due relief. To those accustomed to the weighing of evidence it is astonishing what can be absorbed in this way, apparently without exciting the least suspicion that anything is wrong. When, under the influence of patriotic fervor it is felt that the bounds of truth and fairness really are being overstepped, the protests are usually of the mildest form, coupled with an expression of belief in the "good intentions” of the author. If the sense of proportion is not quite rudimentary there is, in these manifestations of bias a strong element of the ridiculous, but unfortunately the process does not end thus lightly. The forces which are dependent upon the support of public opinion are not slow to take advantage of this feature of national character. Les absents ont toujours tort. From the platform or in the senate, an orator may always rely upon striking in many places a sympathetic note when painting the foreigner in dark colours.
Still more striking is the case of the press, for popular favor is here the one absolute essential. At times of crisis the temptations of the press to give the people what they want, are, indeed, well-nigh irresistible. It is to be feared that few make allowance for this, or recognise the great sacrifice incurred by the adoption of a more moderate tone. Even under ordinary conditions, the press of the various countries seems ever on the alert to "score off” the little ways of the foreigner. There is a serious side to all this. With the growth of the national sentiment, there seems to be an increase of the national sensitiveness to criticism. The little pleasantries and sharp reflections at the expense of other countries are, no doubt, chiefly intended for home consumption, but their influence cannot now be so restricted. The people concerned see the matter in a different light. Much of the feeling thus expressed is duly recorded as evidence of ill-will, and when the relations of the countries become strained, go to swell the hundred misunderstandings that make for war, with all the attendant suffering and demoralisation, both to victors and vanquished, that war brings in its train.
Of course if the disputes between nations could be settled in the same way as those between individuals, that is on a basis of law and equity, the more or less permanent dislike of foreigners would have far less significance; but owing to the anomalous conditions already referred to, which allow international ethics to remain centuries behind the ethics recognised within the states themselves, this racial antipathy becomes one of the gravest features of our civilisation.
Considering the issues at stake, considering how vitally the happiness of millions of human beings depends upon international friendliness, it seems strange that no systematic attempt is made to diffuse a clearer knowledge of national thought and character. What seems to be needed is more men of the type of Mr. Hammerton, who did so much to make the real France known to English-speaking people. For such work the "smart" journalist is entirely out of place. We require sober writers with long experience of different parts of the country of which they speak, and of all the grades of society, men who are able to give a truthful account of what the people are really thinking and doing, and what is the true state of their knowledge regarding the country to which the enquirer belongs. The better class of reviews and periodicals of all countries should be more readily thrown open to foreign writers, not politicians or diplomatists, but men able to present subjects of current interest from the point of view of their race, men of sufficient imagination and breadth of view to make allowance for racial prejudice and susceptibility. Where sufficient command of the language had been obtained, still greater good would result from frequent visits of such men, charged with a mission to remove existing misunderstandings, and discover points of common interest and agreement. Under such conditions, the absurd sensitiveness to foreign criticism, which so often sees an insult in every unfavourable comment, would tend to disappear. With greater knowledge, with a surer conviction of honesty of intention, there would arise a wider toleration, a desire to profit by the right suggestion, irrespective of its origin; there would be formed a body of sound opinion of immense service to the nation in preventing hasty and ill-considered action.
VI. We arrive finally at the stage in our enquiry at which we recognise that the question of the bias of patriotism is ultimately one of ideals. Is it to the advantage, to the ultimate as well as the immediate good, of a people, that it should be more wrapped up in itself, more exclusively mindful of its own feelings, interests, institutions? Or is it to its ultimate good to become keenly alive to the fact that there are other peoples who, on closer acquaintance, may also be found to be interesting; peoples who in all the more fundamental concerns of life have the same feelings, who also have their ideas equally characteristic, their long experience equally valuable, their traditions equally cherished? All the charges of antipatriotism are traceable to an imperfect appreciation of the importance of some such questions as these; there is always the implication that certain immediate and palpable interests of a particular country are necessarily its most vital interests, and that to be opposed to these is to be deficient in patriotic feeling.
Admitting for a moment that it were desirable for each country to foster every form of national idiosyncrasy, that everything foreign being more or less objectionable, it were better that this influence should decrease, that each country should become more and more in the fullest sense, selfcontained. However desirable such a state might be, it is no longer possible. In a sense quite peculiar to the development of the last half century, the foreigner has come to stay. Whether they like it or not, for an indefinitely lengthy period, the people at present constituting the great nations of the world are to be, in an ever fuller sense, neighbors. Through commerce, through politics, through literature, the