chapter  I
9 Pages

A status quo that cannot endure

ByCharles Roden Buxton

The year following the Great War was a year of illusions. The illusion that Germany would pay for the War is the classic example. This belief served its turn, incidentally bringing misery to millions; it is now universally recognized as false. But the greatest and most dangerous illusion is one which we are only now, after seventeen years of bitter experience, coming to realize. It was that the so-called Peace Settlement, arrived at in Paris in 1919, represented a workable and durable distribution of the world's opportunities and resources, and that, in consequence, the main task of the newly founded League of Nations was to maintain peace by the enforcement of law, in other words, to guarantee the status quo. The main factor in the claim of the "dissatisfied" peoples, the factor which gives it most of its driving force, and without which they would never have supported their dictators with such intense determination, is their sense of economic inferiority.