404 A Final Political Survey. blows of the mace wielded by the god of war, is merely temporary, even though many may regard it as amounting to the practical death of all such law hitherto existent. Purer, clearer, and mightier than ever before will the code of laws that binds the nations of the world lift itself out of the ruins, when the historic mission of Germany has been achieved, when the freedom of the "right to work" has been attained by a German victory by land and sea. The future will prove this,—and living men shall yet hail it as a blessed reality. For our German people and our German Fatherland this exalted hour shall be a period of purgation, of instruction for the errors of the past, a time of testing and of probation. The unparalleled, free and heroic devotion of the whole nation to the service of the Fatherland proves that the spirit of its great democratic army has seized upon all levels of the people. A common necessity creates a vast and profound confidence and a common spring of action. Carlyle declared that Germany had since ancient times, been the most peace-loving and the strongest of all nations— and one that inspired the most reverence. He held the view that it should become the spiritual leader of Europe and that according to all appearances this office would be conferred upon it for five centuries to come. Today we merely know that the first part of this opinion of Thomas Carlyle's is correct. Germany's victorious resistance against a world of enemies has furnished the historical evidence thereof. Whether the second of these prophetic utterances is to find its fulfilment only the future can show. At all events war for Germany will not mean only the Great Destroyer, but also the Great Regulator and the Great Master-Builder of the entire inner and outer structure of the land. The War of Liberation of 1813 gave us our German freedom from without, the war of 1870 our inner unity. Whether the war of 1914/15 will bring us social peace, as so many declare, I do not know. But I doubt it. Yet surely it ought to bring us Germans the tremendous testing and firm establishment of all that we have achieved during the last century in a political, a military, an economic and a cultural sense.
A Final Political Survey. 405 This heroic people has already withstood this ordeal in the most marvellous manner. May its policy be a continuance of these lofty deeds and successes. May our entire domestic policy in the future be actuated by the conviction that the triumph and the position and the future of a nation depend upon the moral and the physical power of a people filled with the spirit of a joyous pride in that state. This is the first lesson taught by the war. Do not forget, O German People, all that your heroic sons have fought for. Never forget, you Princes of Germany, that this great hour must also give birth to years of unlimited trust in the nation, if the great, newly-created, national values, the newly-found and immense moral and ideal treasures are not once more to sink miserably into ruin. From such an end may the good Genius of the United German People protect them to the end of time!