Nationalism and After by Edward Hallett Carr

By Edward Hallett Carr

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Germany in several cases, and Japan in the notorious attack on Pearl Harbour, took military action without any previous declaration of war. International law had come to seem almost irrelevant except perhaps when it could be invoked to discredit an opponent. In the conduct of the war there have been gradations of inhumanity and ruthlessness, significantly corresponding to the degree in which the respective theatres of war had participated in the western European tradition. It has been fought with greater ferocity in eastern than in western Europe, and with most savagery of all in Asia and the Pacific.

27. 44 0/ Nature and the THE PROSPECTS OF INTERNATIONALISM exercised from any single centre since the heyday of the Roman Empire. The contemporary world gravitates towards several competing centres of power; and the very complexity of modern life makes for division. The lure of universality has had since 1919 a dangerous fascination for promoters of international order. The universality of any world organization almost inevitably tends to weaken its appeal to particular loyalties and particular interests.

They may be accepted by governments in all good faith, but without full understanding of their consequences; and should these eventually turn out to be detrimental to the standard of living or level of employment in one of the I It is worth recalling the three cIassic pronouncements on the subject: Castlereagh's State Paper of May 5, 1820; Gladstone's refusal in the House of Commons on August 10, 1870, to treat the Be1gian guarantee treaty as a ce rigid" obligation; and Salisbury's memorandum of May 29, 19°1.

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