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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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a period of rational thought, a time of intense and
carefully planned work?

Europe emerged from the terrific affray mortally
wounded and economically exhausted. Did we
forthwith try to economise our strength in order
to hasten a return to health? Did we do all we
could to avoid the dangerous dissensions, to make
the most of such strength as was left, and to develop
and exploit such possibilities as still remained?

We have preferred to talk politics. Every
problem has been rendered more difficult by deferring
its solution, partly through laziness or lack of
initiative, and partly through fear of incurring
responsibility.

Innumerable conferences failed to secure an
objective study of the various problems at the hands
of Ministers and experts who were bent upon
obtaining as quickly as possible decisions that would
satisfy all parties. The negotiators were for the
most part diplomatists and politicians who were
outside international economic life, and who were much
more taken up with their own, their party’s or
their country’s position, than with measures to heal
the deep-seated malady of Europe—men who, if
anything, have made bad worse by their haphazard
settlements, or have omitted to settle the most
vital questions of all.

The political life of Europe, as it has developed
since the armistice, presents a truly discouraging
picture of uncertainty, indecision and incompetence;
and above all of bluff. It is not at all surprising,
indeed, that this regime has failed, at any rate

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