One thing is clear: the nations are playing with fire to-day. The endurance of the peoples is nearly at an end. That is not to say that the people will rise, as the nineteenth-century optimists imagined, sweep away effete governments and found a new order. The outlook would not be so grave could we, beyond the smoke of the explosion, see the new order about to arise. The danger is that the anarchic immorality may spread to the ruled. Instead of states rising to the moral standards now expected of individuals, the individuals may be dragged down to the level of the states . . . There is something worse than the most frightful of revolutions as there is something more deadly than the most violent of eruptions, that is the cold of complete despair and the breaking, in man, through persistent betrayal, of his power to sacrifice himself for anything any more. Then all men of understanding flee the world and the only men remaining are worse than animals. The petty brigand and the gangster are the appointed successors of national leaders who use the brigand’s methods till they have broken down the body of civilisation to the level at which these smaller putrefactive bacteria can reduce it to complete decomposition.