The conclusion to be drawn from these two lessons is the reconciliation
of the conquerors and the conquered within the framework of a strong
A clear conception of the fact that the 1919 League of Nations has been a
failure is an essential condition for the construction of the European
league. For so long as the hope exists that the League of Nations can again
be made efficacious many Europeans will prefer this existing organisation to
one which has yet to be founded. Moreover, from a realistic political
standpoint, the adherence of the Soviet Union to the League of Nations and
the adherence of Britain's Dominions and India make the League appear, to
France and Great Britain respectively as being preferable to Paneuropa. Thus
the present-day community of the League States lacks every ideological,
geographical, cultural, or historical foundation which could lead them to
convert themselves into a federal union.
Lacking all physical power, the League of Nations could rely only upon
its moral authority as the highest organisation of humanity. Its prestige
sank step by step as its member states in Asia, America, and Africa
conducted wars against each other which it could do nothing to stop. What
remained of its moral authority was lost when three of its European members
were annexed and occupied by a neighbour, and the League failed even to
protest against these actions. It thereby lost its credibility, like a fire
insurance company that refuses to pay the insurance to an insured
householder whose house has been burnt down, although he has for years
punctually paid his premium ....
The undeniable fiasco of the League of Nations has left the way free for
the United States of Europe. At the same time, however, it has made it
possible for antiEuropeans to argue that the League itself has failed to
establish a European system of cooperation, security and peace, and that
therefore any similar plan is impossible of execution.
Such critics forget that the idea of the League of Nations has as little
to do with Paneuropa as it has with Pan-America; that Europe embraces only 4
per cent of the world's surface and only one-fifth of its population. It is
therefore inconceivable how the two terms `European' and `international' can
continually be used as interchangeable.