VI.—NEW BOOKS

C. C. J. W.
1916 Mind  
NBW BOOKS. 411 dictatorship of incapacity" (p. 83) "filled with contradictory, comical and quack arguments," "aiming at reconciling contradictories by mean* of nonsense (p. 129). "It amuses buffoons and is admired by decadents" (p. 130). Sorrel quotes with enjoyment Tarde'a description of Mr. Sidney Webb as " a worthless scribber ". His own character sketoh ia that Mr. Webb has "a mind of the narrowest description whioh oould only impress people unaccustomed to reflection" (p. 132). These few
more » ... otations show how Socialists love each other ! It is not a little remarkable that, though Reflexions rur la Violence only appeared in 1908, it is already out of date, and is rather of historical than of practical interest. Sorrel emphasises that there are limitations to the efficacy of industrial violence. He shows that two "accidents" alone would stop revolutionary Syndicalism, namely, "a great foreign war, which might renew lost energies, and whioh in any case would doubtless bring into power men with the will to govern ; or a great extension of proletarian violence, which would make the revolutionary reality evident to the middle olasses " (p. 83). Elsewhere he indicates another limitation, namely, that Revolution is not likely to succeed in a period of economic decadence-such as may follow the present war. Thus, whatever economic and social disturbances may follow the declaration of peace-and they are likely to be more considerable than at present antioipn'ed-these are expressly ruled out on Sorrel's principles. Nor is he more fortunatj in his prediction as t<> the attitude of British politicians in a national crisis. Even more than the middle class, ho despises politicians whose " wite are singularly sharpened by their voracious appetites and in whom the hunt for fat jobs develops the cunning of Apaches " (p. 108). The English Liberal party was pilloried by Sorrel as the fitting counterpart of the middle class. " Middle-class oowardice much resembles the cowardioe of the English Liberal party, which constantly proclaim* its absolute confidence in arbitration between nations : arbitration nearly always gives disastrous results for England. But these worthy progressives prefer to pay or even to compromise the future of their country, rather than face the horrors of war" (p. 73). The events of July and early August, 1914, afford a signiiioant commentary on this dictum, just as the roll of honour since then is a silent, sad irony upon the alleged decadence of the middle classes. The translation is generally well done, and it preserves as much of tbe nervous and hectic brilliancy of parte of the original as is possible in another language. This is a belated notice of the last issue of these Annals, which appeared in the earlier part of the year which was to see, before its close, the memorable crime that has made Louvain a name to conjure with to Englishmen, who have vowed not to lay aside the sword until those who have ruthlessly trampled on so much that should have been sacred to all civilised men. have been driven from the lands they have violated. The number before us contains ten articles written by scholars connected with the School or Institute of St. Thomas Aquinas, a foundation within the University of Louvain devoted to the advanced study of philosophy on ' neo-scholastic ' lines. The first is by M. Defourny and deals at considerable length with the economic and political theories of Aristotle. Especial attention is called
doi:10.1093/mind/xxv.3.411 fatcat:dtjhlay6w5gb5iayrkct2yuxyi