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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

ON LIVING IN A REVOLUTION
we dislike it, we unconsciously push it away from us, begin to treat
the danger as if we were ostriches, and are temporarily enabled to
believe that the nasty revolution doesn't really exist.
It is worth remembering that it took us democracies a long time
to recognize the existence even of the war. It is and always has been
a world war, ever since its first beginnings in Manchukuo. But we
refused, most of us, to admit the fact. German rearmament and the
occupation of the Ruhr; Italy's attack on Abyssinia; the fighting in
Spain; Munich: though some were bloodless, all were parts of a
rapidly ripening world conflict. Both the fact that a world war
existed and the ostrichism of our reactions to it were most obvious in
the case of Spain. Here we had Franco's revolution, aided and
abetted by the Axis; then Italy and Germany actively intervening,
partly to secure the triumph of their side, and partly to enjoy a little
practice for the major struggle that they knew was to come; the
Axis intervention providing counter-intervention by the Russians
and the Volunteer Brigades, and undercover help from France. And
yet the democratic Great Powers persisted in building up the fiction
that it was nothing but a local civil war. I remember a cartoon in
a left-wing French paper—an official of the Non-Intervention Com-
mittee saying to an attendant, "Put the non-carafe on the non-
table." Non-intervention was England and France saying to each
other, "Let us take non-sides in the non-war.*' It was the political
expression of a psychological refusal to recognize an unpleasant fact
—the fact that a world conflict existed. Hitler's marching into
Czechoslovakia at last made Britain as a nation realize that the world
war existed. I suppose it was not till his invasion of Poland that the
full realization came to the United States.
It was even later that the democracies began to recognize the
existence of a world revolution. This is a surprising fact, consider-
ing that it had been going on for much longer than the war. The
old tribal and feudal Japan had always been totalitarian in the sense
that the individual was entirely subordinated to society. The new
Japan merely translated this into modern terms, with the addition
of an aggressive foreign policy (in the process anticipating many of
the ideas of the Nazis); but the transformation was drastic and had
obvious immediate consequences. The Russian Revolution of 1917,
the Turkish Revolution, the Fascist Revolution in Italy, the social
and industrial transformation in Britain and other Western European
democracies, the New Deal in America, the Nazi Revolution in
Germany, the establishment of a dictatorship in Portugal, the revolu-
tion and counter-revolution in Spain—these, among other events,