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Problems of Humanity - Chapter I - The Psychological Rehabilitation of the Nations
Great Britain

Great Britain has been a great and imperialistic power. Her acquisitive spirit, her tenacity and the firmness of her political maneuvers in the past have warranted this charge. She has played "power politics" and has become expert in balancing one nation against another nation in order to preserve the status quo and the integrity of the British Isles. She has wrought with diligence for a stability among the nations which will enable her to function smoothly and attain her ends. She has been accused of an intense commercialism and the phrase "a nation of shop keepers" has been applied to her by other nations. The British are frequently disliked by other peoples; their aloof hauteur, their national pride and their attitude of owning the world alienates many. Great Britain carries the sense of caste into all her international relations just as the class distinction system has controlled her internal relationships for ages. These accusations are all based on truth and the enemies [20] of Great Britain can bring due cause to the judgment seat. The British, as a whole, have been reactionary, over-cautious and conservative, slow to move, and apt to be satisfied with existing conditions, particularly if those conditions are strictly British. All these characteristics have been the cause of extreme irritation to other people, particularly the nation which emerged from Britain, the United States. This is one side of the picture. But the British are not anti-social; they have led the way in welfare reforms, instituting such measures as the old-age pension system long before other nations did so. They are deeply paternalistic in their handling of smaller and less developed nations and have really helped them. Being conservative, it is hard for them to know when to withdraw that paternal help. The motto of the House of Wales is: "I serve". The innate tendency of the British race is to serve the nations and the races which are gathered together under the Union Jack. It must be remembered that since the beginning of the 20th Century, great changes have taken place in the thinking of the English people. Old things have passed away; the caste system with its aloofness, its separativeness and its paternalism is rapidly disappearing as the war and labor emphasize essential equality. Great Britain seeks no more territory; she is now a commonwealth of entirely independent nations.

The major psychological problem before the British people is to gain the confidence of the world and lead other nations to recognize the existent justice and the good intentions of their thinking and planning. This she had lost during the past few centuries but is now slowly regaining. Her attitude to world affairs today is internationally based; she is desirous of the good of the whole and is prepared to make sacrifices in the interests of the whole; her intentions are just, and her will is towards cooperation; her citizens are brave and [21] sound in their thinking and are disturbed at what the history of the past has brought to them of dislike. If the emergence from a shy and proud reticence were given free play, Great Britain and the other nations of the world could walk the way of life together with little disagreement.

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