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experience; and, leaving aside pathological cases, the philosopher has no difficulty in making up his mind, in any given case, whether or not he is dealing with a personality-dealing, that is, with the subject to which his predicate of 'Self-Determination' applies. There is no such certainty, however, regarding the subject of Self-Determination in the political sense, for in politics Self-Determination is predicated not of personalities but of 'peoples,' and, in making up our minds what does or does not constitute a 'people' in a given case, we have no immediate datum of experience to go by. We can only define a 'people' as a group of individuals whose number is x and whose relations with one another are y and whose corporate relations with other peoples are z. That is, we are left with a formula that contains at least three unknown quantities, and in every concrete example we are faced with the problem of finding values for x, y, and z. According to the difference of these values in each case, the 'Self-Determination of Peoples' may turn out to be (i) possible, (ii) inevitable, (iii) right and/or expedient; or alternatively, (i) impossible, (ii) possible but not inevitable, (iii) possible but wrong and/or inexpedient. It will be seen that, in the political domain, the formula of 'Self-Determination' is merely the statement of a problem and not the solution of it.

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Take the simplest question: What is x? Of how many individuals must a people consist in order to be capable of Self-Determination? At once we discover that no absolute minimum or maximum can be laid down, but that the limiting figures vary absolutely with the conditions of the social environment. We-living as we do in Western society in A.D. 1925-might be tempted to pronounce off-hand that, for a population which could not put a full battalion of infantry into the field, Self-Determination would be impossible. Yet the majority of those Greek states which sent contingents to Platea in the year 479 B.C., and there victoriously exercised Self-Determination against the Persian Empire, possessed a 'man-power' of less than one thousand each; so that our first off-hand answer would deny that Self-Determination was possible for certain peoples who actually exercised it for several centuries as fully as any peoples of whom we have an historical record.

Conversely, the citizen of a Greek city-state, if asked the same question, would probably have answered offhand that Self-Determination was impossible for a people containing more than, say, 30,000 persons qualified to perform the functions of citizenship as a Greek would have understood them in the light of his own social experience; and he would have been led to assign this, to our minds, inconceivably low maximum value for x (the number of individuals constituting a people) because of the value which he would have assigned to y (the relations between these individuals). To the Greeks, the Self-Determination of a people pre-supposed that its individual members participated in person, with more or less regularity, in plenary political assemblies; and in a society unequipped with wireless, telephones, telegraphs, the printing-press, steamers, railways, and even high-roads, and unacquainted with the device of representative government, this almost necessarily limited the numbers of an active citizen-body to something like 30,000 (which was accepted as the standard figure for Athens, the largest of the Greek city-states) and the extent of the state territory to a radius of about thirty miles from the seat of political life. Under such conditions, Self-Determination was evidently impossible, not only for a vast amorphous aggregate of populations like the Persian Empire, but for a people like the Ancient Egyptians-living, a few millions strong, in a country with clearly defined physical boundaries and possessed of an ancient, advanced, and uniform civilisation of which they were both conscious and proud—that is, for a people which, according to our ideas, would possess all the requisites for exercising Self-Determination in a high degree. Indeed, peoples like the Swiss and Norwegians, who are among the smallest of the self-governing nations of contemporary Europe, would have far exceeded that maximum of 'man-power' and of territorial extension beyond which Self-Determination ceased to be possible under Ancient Greek conditions. Yet, at the present time, such nations are actually in danger of falling below the minimum beneath which Self-Determination ceases to be possible in the world as it is to-day. Even within a single human society at a given moment of its existence, the maxima and minima vary, much more than

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we commonly realise, in accordance with local conditions. In remote and uncoveted Iceland, a people less than 100,000 strong, all told, is exercising a Self-Determination which undoubtedly it would have forfeited long ago if it had happened to be domiciled on the continent of Europe. In Norway, again, an abnormally small people is enabled to retain Self-Determination partly by remoteness and partly by mountain-barriers; in Switzerland partly by mountain-barriers and partly by the political interests of greater neighbouring peoples, which coincide in upholding the Self-Determination of Switzerland as a necessary element in a 'Balance of Power'; in Holland and Belgium entirely (but most effectively) by a 'Balance of Power,' although geographically these two countries are singularly exposed, while their 'man-power' is dwarfed by that of France, Germany, and Great Britain. Such special circumstances make Self-Determination still possible in certain cases where the value of x falls well below the normal modern minimum; and, conversely, there are other cases in which the normal maximum is successfully exceeded. In the United States, for example, a population more than twice as numerous as any of the great nations of Europe except the Germans, and occupying a territory comparable in area to the whole of Europe proper (excluding Russia), has surmounted the obstacles to SelfDetermination, partly by adding to the device of representative government the further device of federal devolution, and partly by vigorously developing the modern means of communication and co-operation (including literacy and the Press, as well as the railway and the telegraph). Conversely, the population of Russia, which is comparable to that of the United States both in numbers and in the extent of territory which it occupies, has hitherto found Self-Determination on this scale quite beyond its powers, because it has failed to develop its means of communication and co-operation to the necessary degree, and it has therefore hitherto remained under an autocratic form of government, into which it has more than once relapsed after bouts of revolution. In other words, Russia, under present conditions, is still incapable of Self-Determination, as the Empire of Xerxes was under Ancient Greek conditions;

and at this moment the same appears to be true, à fortiori, of India and China. Yet no contemporary student of politics would venture to maintain that fifty millions is the immutable norm, or 100 millions the immutable maximum, or two millions the immutable minimum value for x, that is, for the size of population for which Self-Determination is possible. We can well imagine a time, not far distant, at which Russia, China, and India will have so much improved their systems of education, their political practice, and their means of communication, and at which Canada, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, and Brazil will have so much increased their population, that the normal unit of Self-Determination will have become a federalised community of 200 millions occupying a sub-continent; while centralised nations occupying countries of the size of Great Britain and France will have fallen as far below the minimum as ancient Athens or Sparta would be below it now if they could return to life to-day. When the possible values for one unknown quantity are found to be so variable as this, the difficulty of laying down any absolute 'right of Self-Determination' à priori will be recognised.

Dogmatism becomes still more difficult when we consider our unknown quantity z, that is, the relation in which a population exercising Self-Determination, or seeking to exercise it, finds itself to neighbouring populations or to established governments. This further unknown quantity, however, has always to be taken into account, for Self-Determination never occurs in vacuo and never can do so unless and until the whole human race existing at a given time becomes incorporated in a single self-determining body-politic. Short of that, the Self-Determination of a people will involve not only certain internal relations between the individuals constituting that people, but also certain external relations with other parties, while the act of asserting or exercising Self-Determination will necessarily bring about a drastic alteration in these external relations, by which the other parties may well be affected even more profoundly than the people which is seeking SelfDetermination in the particular instance.

It is for this reason that the act of Self-Determi

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nation has been accompanied so frequently in the past by violence and bloodshed if not by formal war. Occasionally, of course, it has been accomplished peacefully, as, for example, in 1905, when Norway was enabled to exercise Self-Determination by dissolving, with the consent of the Swedish Government and people, the union between the Kingdoms of Norway and Sweden which had been established ninety years before; or, again, in 1863, when the population of the Ionian Islands was enabled to exercise Self-Determination by the voluntary act of Great Britain, who renounced the protectorate with which she had been invested forty-eight years before and ceded the islands to Greece. Such examples, however, arrest our attention because, unhappily, they are exceptional-unhappily, but not unnaturally, considering that a claim to Self-Determination on the part of one people always affects, and in most cases affects prejudicially, the rights and interests of others. In view of this unfortunate fact, it is not surprising that the great majority of the historical cases which present themselves to our minds call up memories of violent struggles. By violence the populations of Italy attempted-unsuccessfully in 1848-49 and successfully between 1859 and 1870-to merge themselves in a single national state by breaking loose from Austria and overthrowing the Bourbon Dynasty in the Two Sicilies and the Temporal Power of the Papacy in the centre of the peninsula; by violence the Greeks and Serbs exercised Self-Determination against the Ottoman Empire, the populations of the North American Colonies against Great Britain, the Dutch against the Spaniards, the Swiss against the Hapsburgs, and the medieval Italian communes against the Holy Roman Empire; and by violence, again, the Poles were prevented from exercising Self-Determination against Russia in 1830 and in 1863; the Armenians from exercising it against the Ottoman Empire; the Southern States from exercising it against the Union in the American Civil War (seventy-two years after the Federal Constitution of the United States had been brought into force by a voluntary act of the parties concerned); the population of the Southern Netherlands (now Belgium) from exercising it against the Spaniards at the time when the Northern Netherlands forcibly

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