|“If one would estimate the damage done by the great political catastrophe to the development of human civilisation, one must remember that culture in its higher forms is a delicate plant which depends on a complicated set of conditions and is wont to flourish only is a few places at any given time. For it to blossom there is needed, first of all, a certain degree of prosperity, which enabled a fraction of the population to work at things not directly necessary to the maintenance of life; secondly, a moral tradition of respect for cultural values and achievement, in virtue of which this class is provided with means of living by the other classes, those who provide the immediate necessities of life.
During the past century Germany has been one of the countries in which both conditions were fulfilled. The prosperity was, taken as a whole, modest but sufficient; the tradition of respect for culture vigorous. On this basis the German Nation has brought forth fruits of culture which form an integral part of the development of the modern world. The tradition, in the main, still stands; the prosperity is gone. The industries of the country have been cut off almost completely from the sources of raw materials on which the existence of the industrial part of the population was based. The surplus necessary to support the intellectual worker has suddenly ceased to exist. With it the tradition which depends on it will inevitably collapse also, and a fruitful nursery of culture turn to wilderness.”
|The world as I see it|