Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Failure Of Europe

Vol.I. SATURDAY 26th JUNE 1909 No.2
Facts and Opinions

The Failure of Europe

Mr. Cecil sees in this ending of Honest John as Lord Morley the failure of Liberalism; and it must be remembered that the failure of Liberalism means the abandonment of the gospel of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity as a thing unlivable, and that again means the moral bankruptcy of Europe. "Liberalism in any intelligible sense cannot last another generation. In a score of years the strange adventure on which the nations of Europe embarked in 1789 will be concluded, and we shall revert, doubtless with many and formidable changes, to an earlier type. The principles of unchecked individual liberty and unrestricted competition have, to use the ancient phrase, been tried in the balance and found wanting. The golden dreams which so lately cheated the anxious eyes of men have tarnished with time. Their splendour has proved illusive and they have gone the way of other philosophies down a road upon which there is no returning. The old aristocrats have been swept away and some malicious spirit has given us new ones bathed in the most material sort of golden splendour. And Misery, Vice and Discontent stalk among the drudges of society much as they did before." Mr. Cecil like most Europeans sees that European liberalism has failed but like most Europeans utterly misses the real reason of the failure. The principles of 1789 were not false, but they were falsely stated and selfishly executed. Europe had not the spiritual strength, nor the moral force to carry them out. She was too selfish, too short-sighted, too materialistic and ignorant. She deserved to fail and could not but fail. It is left for Asia and especially for India to reconstruct the world.

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