Behind the façade of Woodrow Wilson’s utopian idealism at Versailles in 1919 was the reality of the victor’s retribution and the predictable result of their repressive terms for peace. Lenin was already consolidating his merciless regime in Russia, the British were busy seizing Middle Eastern oil fields as their own, and the French desired an independent Rhineland. General Tasker Bliss wrote his wife” “The submerged nations are coming to the surface and as soon as they appear they fly at somebody’s throat. They are like mosquitos, vicious from the moment of birth.”
Bernhard Thuersam, www.circa1865.org
Wilson’s League of Economic Exploitation
“According to all the Paris dispatches, President Wilson has authorized the statement that the league of nations plan is to be an integral part of the peace treaty. If this be true, we regard it as a deliberate attempt to dragoon the Senate of the United States, and as such, a logical and fitting climax to the whole discreditable course of the Paris Conference.
It is a familiar trick of the “rider.” The people of this country want the peace treaty signed and out of the way, the business interests being especially impatient of delay. At the same time, they are very imperfectly informed about the implications of the league covenant, and reluctant to wade through the diplomatic jargon which half-conceals its sinister purposes.
We may be quite sure . . . that every agency at the disposal of the [Wilson] Administration will do its utmost to manufacture and strengthen public sentiment against the opposition of the Senate . . .
This alliance of victorious Governments, masquerading under the pretentious lying title of a league of nations, organized for sheer economic exploitation, has nowhere in its constitution sincerity enough to make fitting one single inch of furtherance by aid of any honorable means whatsoever. It should continue and end under no other that the auspices of its beginning.
[There is no reason economically for the league as] the removal of economic barriers and restrictions now imposed by political governments upon industry and trade would, we believe, at once effect the same free economic union among world states that now prevails among the United States of America; and we think that a free economic union is the only one that will have stability or permanence.
[The proposed league] has no quality or characteristic which essentially differentiates it from treaties that have heretofore bound the European states into competitive and predatory groups. The war has made the liberal spirit impatient of opportunism and compromise. If all the cost and sacrifice involved in the struggle to “make the world safe for democracy” have purchased nothing better than a rescript of old treaties, if it has not brought about the practical affirmation of a single democratic principle, we cannot see any place for opportunism in judgment. Faith, under such circumstances, is not faith, but indolent, shirking credulity.
What we have [in the league] is a calm, arrogant, and ruthless formulation of a plan of world-domination by the five conquering powers, a device for causing the exploitable territories of the earth to stand and deliver without the risk and cost of war.
The Governments of the United States, Great Britain, France Italy and Japan are the league of nations; they are the executive council; they appoint the dummy directors; they pass finally on the qualifications of candidates; they are, in short, an absolute and irresponsible oligarchy.
International commerce cannot be carried on except at their pleasure, under their jurisdiction, and, it is surely by this time superfluous to add, to their profit. Teleologically considered, we are offered an economic alliance which has as its primary object, in general, the exploitation of a property-less dependent class of the world over, and, as between nations, the exploitation of the vanquished by the victors, and of weaker nations by the stronger.
It is an organization of what Mr. Frederic C. Howe calls “financial imperialism” raised to its highest possibility. It contemplates only a political peace, and that a pax Romana. Of economic peace it gives no hint; on the contrary, it contemplates the inauguration of unprecedented economic war.”
(The End of the Means, Albert J. Nock, The State of the Union, Essays in Social Criticism, C.H. Hamilton, editor, Liberty Fund, 1991, pp. 76-77; 79)