wrestling with a terrific evil, society is in travail and war is its labour-pains.
We know that in regard to their tremendous power for wrong, large States are highly unsatisfactory institutions.
But the large States are there. We cannot possibly get rid of them. We might as well try to get rid of mountains or oceans. They are in the nature of things. We might as well try to get rid of hurricanes or of earthquakes, as of wars, as long as the large States enjoy complete liberty. And as they are there before us, as gigantic facts, which cannot be talked or dreamed away, we shall have to make the best of them.
Although it is very difficult to give a satisfactory definition of the ideas: Nation and State,we shall have no difficulty in determining as one of the characteristics of a State the desire of power. This of course does not apply to all. It is more or less like a disease through which they have to pass. In the course of History many Nations or States have been known tokeep peacefully within their boundaries for centuries and centuries on end. But suddenly they have an attack of insanityandthey burst all bonds, which consist of friendly treaties, traditional relations, commercial ties etc. — We need only refer to Assyria, Media, Persia, Macedonia, Rome, Arabia, Turkey, and in modern timesto Spain, France and Germany. All these countries have brought untold disaster on their neighbours and on