Page:The voice of an oppressed people.pdf/32

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not try to imitate the great; they must be satisfied to go their own way.

8.—Pleading for the independence of small nations, I am not ignorant of the sophistical objections masquerading as arguments, that the Lapps cannot form a state and the Kalmucks cannot have a university. The question is, whether nations, conscious of their nationality, and proving the possibility of political independence by their economic and cultural progress, and by their claims and efforts for liberty, can be independent. Take, e. g., the Poles, Serbo-Croats and Czechs; these nations are the biggest of the smaller nations (twenty to ten millions), they have been independent, they reached a high degree of culture, they strive and even fight for liberty, for they are thoroughly conscious of their nationality and are determined not to abandon their historical and national rights.

It is a matter of course that there are different degrees and forms of independence. Sovereignty is relative, for the economic and cultural interdependency of all nations is growing. Even the greatest states are dependent on other states; the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente are the very proof of it. Europe is getting more and more federalised and organized. And it is in this given situation and development that the small nations reclaim the right of being peaceably inserted in the growing organisation of Europe. The degree and the form of independence—autonomy within a state—federation—suzerainty—personal unity, etc.), in every individual case will easily be found and formulated according to constitutional rules and laws, when once the principle has been acknowledged.

9.—Great Britain came into this war to protect little Belgium, and now with her allies she is faced by the task of protecting Serbia. This evolution of the war is almost logical, for Germany's aim is and was Berlin—Bagdad—the