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lior his benefit I present the following statement from Sir Ilarry Jolmston, in "The Sphere" of London. Sir Harry Johnston is the foremost English authority on Airica and is in a position to know something of imperial aims.
"Rightly governed, I venture to predict that Africa will, if we are victorious, repay us and all our allies the cost of our struggle with Germany and Austria. The war, deny it who may, was really fought over African questions. The Germans wished, as the chief gain of victory, to wrest rich Morocco from Frerch control, to take the French Congo from France, and the Portugriese Congo from Portugal, to secure from Belgium the richest and most' extensive tract of alluvial goldfield as yet discovered. This is an auriferous region which, properly developed, will, when war is over, repay the hardest hit of our allies (France) all that she has lost from the German devastation of her home lands. The inincral wealth of trans-Zambezian Africa-freed forever, we will hope, from the German menace--is gigantic; only slightly exploited so far. Wealth is hidden amid the seemingly improfitable deserts of the Sahara, Nubia, Somaliland and Namaqua. Africa, I predict, will eventually show itself to be the most richly cndowed of all the continents in valuable vegetable and mineral substances."
There is the sum and substance of wliat Schopenhauer would have called "the sufficient reason" for this war. No word of democracy” there, but instead the easy assumption that, as a matter of course, the lands of black Africa belong to white Europe and must be apportioned on the good old principle :
the simple plan,
And he must keep who can."
THE ECONOMICS OF WAR, It is the same economic motive that has been back of every modern war since the merchant and trading classes secured control of the powers of the modern state from the battle of Plassy to the present world war. This is the natural and inevitable effect of the capitalist system, of what (for want of a worse name) we call "Christendom." For that system is based upon the wage relationship between those who own and those who operate the gigantic forces of land and machinery. Under this
system no capitalist employs a worker for two dollars a day unless that worlier creates more than two dollars' worth of wealth for him. Only out of this surplus can profits comc. If ten million workers should thus crcate one hundred million dollars' worth of wealth cach day and get twenty or fifty millions in wages, it is obvious that they can expend only what they have received, and that, therefore, every nation whose industrial system is organized on a capitalist basis must produce a inass of surplus products over and above, not the need, but the purchasing power of the nation's producers. Before these products can return to their owners as profits they must be sold somewhere. Hence the need for foreign markets, for fields of exploitation and "spheres of influence" in "undeveloped" countries whose virgin csources are exploited in their turn after the capitalist fashion. But, since every industrial nation is seeking the same outlet for its products, clashcs are inevitable and in these clashes beaks and claws--armics and navics -must come into play. Hence beaks and claws must be provided beforehand against the day of conflict, and hence the exploitation of white men in Europe and America becomes the reason for the exploitation of black and brown and yellow men in Africa and Asia. And, therefore, it is hypocritical and absurd to pretend that the capitalist nations can ever intend to abolish wars. For, as long as black men are exploited by white men in Africa, so long must white men cut each other's throats over that exploitation. And thus, the selfish and ignorant white worker's destiny is determined by the hundreds of millions of those whom he calls "niggers." "The strong too often think that they have a mortgage upon the weak; but in the domain of morals it is the other way.'
THE COLOR LINE. But economic motives have always their social side; and this exploitation of the lands and labor of colored folk expresses itself in the social theory of white domination; the theory that the worst human stocks of Montmartre, Seven Dials and the Bowery are superior to the best human stocks of Rajputana or Khartoum. And when these colored folk who make up the overwhelming majority of this world demand decent treatment for . themselves, the proponents of this theory accuse them of seeking social equality. For white folk to insist upon the right to manage their own ancestral lands, free from the domination of
tyrants, domestic and foreign, is variously described as "lemoeracy" and "sell-olctcrmination." For Negroes, Egyptians and Hlinus to seek the same thing is impudence. What wonder, then, that the white man's rule is felt by them to rest tipon a scething volcano whose slumbering fires are marle up of the hundreds of millions of Chinese, Japanese, Hindus and Africans! Truly has it been said that "the problem of the 20th Century is the problem of the Color Line." And wars are not likely to end; in fact, they are likely to be wider and more terrible---so long as this theory of white domination secks to hold down the majority of the world's people under the iron heel of racial repression.
Of course, no sane person will deny that the white race is, at present, the superior race of the world. I use the word "superior" in no cloudy, metaphysical sense, but simply to mean that they are on top and their will goes--at present. Consider this fact as the pivotal fact of the war. Then, in the light of it, consider what is happening in Europe today. The white race is superior-its will goes--because it has invented and amassed greater means for the subjugation of nature and of man than any other race. It is the top dog by virtue of its soldiers, guns, ships, money, resources and brains. Yet there in Europe it is delibertacly burn-ing up, consuming and destroying these very soldiers, guns, ships, money, resources and brains, the very things upon which its supremacy rests. When this war is over, it will be less able to enforce its sovereign will upon the darker races of the worid. Does any one believe that it will be as easy to hold down Egypt and India and Persia alter the war as it was before? Hardly.
THE RACIAL RESULTS OF THE WAR. Not only will the white race be depleted in numbers, but its quality, physical and mental, will be considerably lowered for a time. War destroys first the strongest and bravest, the best stocks, the young men who were to father the next generation, The next generation must, consequently. be fathered by the weaker stocks of the race. And thus, in physical stamina and in brain-power, they will be less equal to the task of holding down the darker millions of the world than their fathers were. This was the thought back of Mr. Hearst's ohjection to our entering thie war. Ile wanted the United States to stand as the white race's reserve of man-power when Europe had been bled white.
But what will be the effect of all this upon that colored majority whose preponderant existence our newspapers ignore? In the first place, it will feel the listing of the pressure as the iron hand of "discipline" is relaxed. And it will expand, when that pressure is removed, to the point where it will first ask, then demand, and finally secure, the right of self-determination. It will insist that, not only the white world, but the whole world, be made "safe for democracy." This will mean a self-governing Egypt, a self-governing India, and independent African states as large as Germany and France—and larger. And, as a result, there will come a shifting of the basis of international politics and business and of international control. This is the living thought that comes to me from the newspapers and books that have been written and published by colored men in Africa and Asia during the past three years. It is what I have heard from their own lips as I have talked with them. And, yet, of this thought which is inflaming the international underworld, not a word appears in the parochial press of America, which seems to think that if it can keep its own Negroes down to servile lipservice, it need not face the world-wide problem of the "Conflict of Color." as Mr. Putnam-Weale calls it. .
But that the more intelligent portions of the white world are becoming distressingly conscious of it, is cvident from the first great manifesto of thc Russian Bolsheviki last year when they asked about Britain's subject peoples.
And the British workingmen have evidently done some think. ing in their turn. In their latest declarations they seemn to see the ultimate necessity of compelling their own aristocrats to fore. go such imperial aspirations as that of Sir Harry Johnston. and of extending the principle of self-determination even to the black people of Africa. But eyes which have for centuries heen behind the blinkers of race prejudice cannot but blink and water when compelled to face the full sunlight. And. Brit. ain's workers insist that "No one will maintain that the Africans are fit for self-government." And on the same principle (of excluding the opinion of those who are most vitally concerned) Britain's ruling class may tell them that "No one maintains that the laboring classes of Britain are fit for self-government." But their half-hearted demand that an international committee shall take over the British, German, French and Portuguese posses. sions in Africa and manage them as independent nationalities (?)
until they can "yo it alone," would suggest that their eyesight is improving
To sum it all up, the war in Europe is the result of the desire of the white governments of Europe to exploit for iheir own benefit the lands and labor of the darker races, and, as the war continues, it must decrease the white man's stock of ability to do this kuccessfully against the wishes of the inhabitants of those lands. This will result in their freedom from thralldom and thic extension of political, social, and industrial democracy to the twelve hundred inillion black and brown and yellow peoples of the world. This, I take it, is what President Wilson had in mind when he wished to make the world. "safe for democracy." But, whether I am mistaken or not, It is the idea which dominates today the thought of those darker millions,