After each major war there has been a period of discontent and upheaval. In the wake of the last war there came a spark that travelled round the world— Bolshevism. From whence will the spark come after this war? For assuredly there will be a centre of extreme foment. The possibilities appear to be France, Spain, the Balkans and India.
Austria is unlikely to be the source of immediate explosions as it is too closely bound up with Germany. Poland is suffering from expectancy and is not sufficiently closely knit. Italy has been suppressed and dragooned too long to provide any important uprising in a hurry. Russia is at present satisfied. Finland, Norway, Denmark and Holland are too small to give birth to anything world-shaking. England and America are unlikely, as victors, to breed immediate trouble on a large scale as turmoil comes first from the vanquished and suffering where the pressure quickens the mind and incites the emotions to the verge of explosion.
Of the four possibles, the Balkans are so split up with internecine strife that they do not appear capable of setting on foot anything important. India is likely to be both victorious and vanquished. It has possibilities, it is true, but its backwardness may be a hindrance. Spain, like the Balkans, has serious internal strife that was shown up clearly during the Spanish Civil War. It hardly seems capable at present of developing a unified movement though it may produce turmoil. There remains France, which, on many grounds, seems the most likely to produce the spark with international reflections. It is populous, advanced, widespread, vanquished, has suffered much and its emotions have been stirred by underground movements whose fighting content have been workers. It is seething with trouble, and the attempt of an emigre government to fasten the old conditions on the country will probably lead to explosions, the resort to force, and another chimerical panacea for the troubles of the world's workers.
If the workers would escape the futile and time-wasting expenditure of energy that brought so much bitterness And disillusion after the last war, they must be wary this time and give no uncritical support to leader sponsored emotional upsurges that have already cost them so much and put back the clock of working-class emancipation.