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The psychology of Nations

human affairs. The question must have arisen in all
minds in, some
form as to what the place of these motives and ideals
and dramatic
moments is in the progress of the world. Is the world
governed after
all by the laws of nature in all its progress? Do ideals
and motives
govern the world, but only as these ideals and motives
are themselves
produced according to biological or psychological
principles? Or,
again, does progress depend upon historical moments,
upon conscious
purposes which may divert the course of nature and in a
real sense
create the future? It is with the whole problem of
history that we are
confronted in these practical hours. At heart our
problem is that of
the place of man in nature as a conscious factor of
progress. This is
a problem, finally, of the philosophy of history, but it
is rather in
a more concrete way and upon a different level that it
is to be
considered here,--and somewhat incidentally to other
more specific
questions. But this is the problem that is always before
us, and the
one to which this study aims to make some contribution,
however small.
The first part of the book is a study of the motives of
war. It is an
analysis of the motives of war in the light of the
general principles
of the development of society. We wish to see what the
causes of past
wars have been, but we wish also to know what these
motives are as
they may exist as forces in the present state of
society. In such a
study, practical questions can never be far away. We can