Never before has been seen the spectacle of humanity casting into the arena of bloodshed all its resources, moral and intellectual, its priests, its thinkers, its scholars, its artists, the whole future of Its intelligence, squandering its men of genius as food for cannon.From October 1915, the regular section "Notes from the Foreign Press" -- later renamed "Foreign Opinion : a Weekly Survey of the Foreign Press" -- provided a framework for more differentiated examination of the general impact of the First World War, without necessitating the explicit political commentaries by Ogden which war-time censorship would, of course, have scrutinised. Instead, the Cambridge Magazine started to publish extracts from belligerent and neutral countries, integrated the material under common headings such as "The Situation in Germany" or "Peace Prospects", and strove to balance the account by quoting opposing views. Intended to supplement the information readily available in the British press, the "Notes" were the target of both attacks and praise. Mrs C. R. Buxton edited them and received correspondence from many notable people. She quoted a Member of Parliament as writing:
(23 October 1915).
I consider the extracts from the Foreign Press of very great value indeed. They supply a gap in the home press which is probably intentional. The more we can realise the real feelings of other people now hidden from us behind the smoke of war, the better.Thomas Hardy wrote in October 1916,
(27 November 1915).
I read the Magazine every week, and turn first to the extracts from Foreign Newspapers, which transport one to the Continent and enable one to see England bare and unadorned -- her chances in the struggle free from distortion by the glamour of patriotism. I also admit a liking for the lighter paragraphs.This section of extracts and translations was a regular feature during the war. Normally coveting eight to ten pages~ it comprised from one-third to over half of the magazine's space in term time, and was the sole,purpose of the vacation period issues. Because of the "Notes", the magazine appealed to a readership far beyond Cambridge boundaries and increased its circulation to an estimated 20,000 copies per week.
The German people, on the other hand, admit no such necessity ; they have heard of victories but not of defeats; the censorship has further prevented any attempt to form a rational judgement of the chances of war. (ibid.)To arrive at such a rational judgement, the contemporary reader had to understand the war aims and peace claims of both ally and enemy. The political role, if not mission, of the Cambridge Magazine during the war appears to have been to provide the information required for a rational judgement in a belligerently divided world.
The Allies have never dreamt of waging a war of conquest. Victims of an odious aggression, they are fighting for their independent existence, for the triumph of the rights and liberty of nations. It is their duty towards themselves and the civilised world to carry on their effort until Austro-Germany is reduced to impotence. (14 October 1916).Like "all true Frenchmen" the paper took the "restitution pure and simple" of Alsace-Lorraine for granted. While the Socialists voiced suspicion that the just war of defence which they could support was turning into a war of conquest, "No Socialist can accept a peace which would leave France mutilated or diminished", maintained a Socialist party statement backing war credits. L'Humaniti, however, stressed a few days later : "The Socialists will certainly refuse their assistance in the war if it goes beyond the limits necessary for durable peace" (ibid). Although the main body of the French Socialists expressed their reservations carefully, in conservative eyes they still qualified as potential traitors:
It will be the victorious Allies who will together organise the new Europe. It is therefore no concern of the Socialist Party, nor of any other party, to narrow the limits of this defensive war. If it were essential for the safety of Europe and of humanity to go beyond the bounds which the extreme left have been pleased to set to the war, would the united Socialist party refuse to continue to 'lend its men' to the national defense, as one of their spokesmen recently put it ? (ibid.)The Cambridge Magazine did not fail to include an extract from the Social Democratic minority weekly Le Populaire, denouncing the endorsement of Government policy by the Socialist Party :
Without taking into account certain prospective aims of possession in the East, it declares that the present war has not ceased, on the part of the Allies at least, to be exclusively a war of national defence. But this is not the feeling of the Minority.In Italy, the internal scene looked quite similar. While a radical socialist minority tried to incite European workers to condemn "the imperialist origin, the social and political results of the world war . . . and to stand up for peace" (4 December 1915), the official Socialist Party performed a tightrope walk of backing war without endorsing annexations : "We were unable to stop the war; we must do our utmost to see that it should not degenerate into an imperialistic adventure" (2 December 1916).
if, by the word holy, one means something sublime and perfect, something which corresponds to the duty and elevation of the human soul : the war we fight is holy because Italy has not her natural boundaries, the strategical boundaries which she needs. (8 October 1916).The Militarists omitted the pseudo-philosophy and stressed the territorial details. For the nationalist press, the following little event illustrated the "most moderate terms":
In Milan, the President of the Council with a happy gesture towards the flags of Trent, Trieste and Fiume collected beside him, put forward in his precise language the problem of national claims in the Alps and the Adriatic, reminding his hearers that the possession of Dalmatia is indispensable for our security, both racial and strategical. (ibid.)The Russian issue received keen attention as early as the autumn of 1915 from all sides. Judging from the Swedish Dagens Nyheter the stress lay then on liberating "the great Russian prisonhouse" (October 1915). It gradually gave way to extracts which implied a Russian-German rapprochement (14 October 1916). Reprinted rumours about a separate peace revealed the belligerent basis of German official pro-Russianism : to break the Entente (12 May 1917). Bearing in mind that the editors of the "Notes" could not at that time know about the German Government's interest in a separate peace in the East, which Germany imposed less than a year after the reports quoted, one must admire their political perception.
We wish peace by understanding today rather than tomorrow. But if we are to have peace other than "at any price" the other side must show a little readiness too. Again today we call across the frontiers : "Here is our fraternal hand. Take it. ... Our love of peace cannot be held in doubt." (ibid.)The February Revolution in Russia, however, somewhat undermined the Majority's confidence in Imperial Germany and induced the moderate demand to establish a parliamentary democracy:
If she wishes to maintain her existence and this she must do, Germany cannot remain in the depths where she is at ....... . We are threatened during the end of this third year of the war by what may be called a war of democratic religion against Germany. -- Glocke (21 April 1917).The Minority, on the other hand, rejected war as "an ocean of blood and tears . . . annihilating millions of people and whipping up bitterness in the masses" (5 February 1916). The magazine quoted Kautsky as summarising their position during the Party Conference in September 1916:
We are all agreed upon the longing for peace, but there are two means of securing peace -- the military way that should destroy the enemy's power of resistance and the international socialist way that aims at strengthening and uniting all the forces in every nation. The military way does not lead to peace, but always into a cul-de-sac ; so the international socialist's is the only way that today can lead to peace.The Cambridge Magazine report on the Zimmerwald Conference was as detailed as the particularly rigid censorship in all countries permitted. Its aims to recreate the International corresponded to the political slant of the Minority. Three delegates attended the meeting which the Majority dismissed as a "pseudo-conference". Its "Peace Manifesto" seemed to call for revolutionary action to end the war. The Cambridge Magazine quoted the Party paper Die Neue Zeit : "Zimmerwald wanted to uphold, on the basis of democratic control, a common, simultaneous action of Socialists everywhere, directed against the war." The Spartacists, at that time a fraction of the Minority, condemned the war as an imperialist enterprise of conquest. But their actions rather than their ideology attracted the attention of the Cambridge Magazine as signals of unrest in Germany. Voting against the war credits, launching public speeches, and attempting public demonstrations against the war appeared as preludes to the strike of the munition workers in Berlin in April 1917. The magazine quoted L'HumamtÍ:
There is no doubt that the recent strikes constitute an entirely new element in the internal political life of Germany. . . . Whether it be under the direct pressure of hunger that the workers acted, or not, it is undeniable that the strikes, by force of circumstances, assumed a highly political character. (19 May 1917)The Cambridge Magazine suggested some impact of the Russian Revolution on Minority Socialist action : during the munition workers' strike, as the paper reported, the Kaiser received "an audacious telegram demanding Workers' Councils on the Russian model" (ibid.).
When the Chancellor, Bethmann-Hollweg, announced to a world in arms his proud offer of immediate peace negotiation; a sense of relief, a ray of hope came to the sorrowing hearts of men (20 January 1917)Militarists and Conservatives, on the other hand, accused the Chancellor of being corrupted by Social Democratic views and thus weakening Germany's position. The staunch Deutsche Tageszeitung proclaimed:
The truth is -- Germany is on the threshold of victory, of that victory in which according to Scheidemann, only fools can believe. It is, however, true that the threshold can only be crossed if the will to vanquish is present. (ibid.)Abroad, the response was, at best, careful among the neutrals. The American Evening Post advised:
Let us give full weight to the reservations and conditions in Germany's readiness "to enter a league of peace which will restrain the perturbator of peace." It still remains true that the German Chancellor gives notice that he is shaken in the old and evil faith of force as the only ultimate method for the adjustment of international relations. (22 December 1916)The Entente rejected a "peace without victory" outright. Clemenceau wrote:
The Boches are lively. Here they are talking of peace now. Why did they not think of that before starting out ? ... I am not surprised that they have had enough of it.... We are in good fettle, and the game holds us just as we hold the game. (ibid.)More factual commentaries linked the destruction of German militarism and the destruction of the German Empire. The London Financial News specified conditions of peace which, in German eyes, were conditions of surrender : restitution of all occupied territory; reparation of ten milliards of pounds; guarantees against recurrence by ending the Hohenzollern dynasty (21 January 1917). These terms, heralded in the press, constitute' ! the official answer of the Allies to Wilson. Germany did not name any war aims or peace conditions. By remaining silent she fostered a restoration of chauvinist opinion sparked off by the apparent harshness of the Allied note. Even the Socialists, who took pride in having opposed annexations "from the beginning", felt that "the threatening tone of the Note can only strengthen the German determination to secure the defence of their country" (ibid.). The Liberals concluded resentfully : "The door has been slammed in our face" (ibid.).
|PART A :||INTRODUCTORY||1|
|PART B :||OGDEN AS EDITOR AND POLYMATH||12|
|Cambridge 1909-1919 and its Aftermath P. Sargant Florence||13|
|A Voice of Reason in the First World War Martin and Eva Kolinsky||56|
|"My Friend Ogden" Dora Russell||82|
|Co-Author of the "Meaning of Meaning" I. A. Richards||96|
|An Improbable Friendship Marjory Todd||110|
|Talent Scout and Editor Lord Zuckerman||122|
|PART C :||THE INVENTION OF BASIC ENGLISH||133|
|PART D :||EXAMPLES OF BASIC ENGLISH||177|
|PART E :||C. K. OGDEN AS AUTHOR||187|
|PART F :||C. K. OGDEN : A PLEA FOR REASSESSMENT||187|
|Appendix||-- List of books edited by Ogden||245|