Frases de Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood

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Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood

Data de nascimento: 14. Setembro 1864
Data de falecimento: 24. Novembro 1958

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Edgar Algernon Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, , known as Lord Robert Cecil from 1868 to 1923, was a British lawyer, politician and diplomat. He was one of the architects of the League of Nations and a defender of it, whose service to the organisation saw him awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937.

Citações Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood

„The old phrase, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people"*, represents a true ideal. It is best for the people as a whole. It is even more clearly the best for the development of the individual man and woman. And since in the end, the character and the prosperity of the nation depend on the character of the individuals that compose it, the form of government which best promotes individual development is the best for the people as a whole.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: In some states of society it may even be that a form of dictatorship is necessary. No doubt in the hands of an able man it may possibly be more efficient than a democratic form of administration. But in the end, I am confident that a free government is best for free people. The old phrase, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people"*, represents a true ideal. It is best for the people as a whole. It is even more clearly the best for the development of the individual man and woman. And since in the end, the character and the prosperity of the nation depend on the character of the individuals that compose it, the form of government which best promotes individual development is the best for the people as a whole. Quoting Abraham Lincoln

„The acceptance of the principle of international cooperation is of immense importance for all states. Even the states which are most tempted to believe that they can stand by themselves have very much to gain by such cooperation. And for the smaller states — the weaker states — it is vital to all their hopes of liberty and justice.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: The acceptance of the principle of international cooperation is of immense importance for all states. Even the states which are most tempted to believe that they can stand by themselves have very much to gain by such cooperation. And for the smaller states — the weaker states — it is vital to all their hopes of liberty and justice. It is necessary, when we say all this, to remind ourselves that the difference between uncontrolled nationalism and international cooperation does not necessarily depend on the form of government prevailing in the different states. It depends on the spirit in which those governments operate. There have been autocracies which have shown themselves liberal and just, even to other countries. There have been democracies which have been inspired, apparently, by feelings of bitter hatred for all foreigners.

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„The great difficulty of all schemes for leagues of nations and the like has been to find an effective sanction against nations determined to break the peace.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: The great difficulty of all schemes for leagues of nations and the like has been to find an effective sanction against nations determined to break the peace. I will not now discuss at length the difficulties of joint armed action, but every one who has studied the question knows they are very great. It may be, however, that a league of nations, properly furnished with machinery to enforce the financial, commercial, and economic isolation of any nation determined to force its will upon the world by mere violence, would be a real safeguard for the peace of the world. In any case that is a subject that may well be studied by those sincerely anxious to put an end to the present system of International anarchy. Official statement as Minister of the Blockade (31 August 1917)

„Do not let us underrate the danger. It threatens everything we care for. For if it does succeed, it will not only bring us back to 1914 — in itself bad enough — but to something far worse even than that.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: Do not let us underrate the danger. It threatens everything we care for. For if it does succeed, it will not only bring us back to 1914 — in itself bad enough — but to something far worse even than that. For instance, it is now apparently part of the normal doctrine of those who advocate this system that no distinction can be made between combatants and non-combatants, and that a perfectly legitimate and indeed necessary method of warfare will be the wholesale destruction of unfortified cities and their inhabitants. No doubt there will be countervailing efforts to prevent such things happening; but there is, at any rate, one section of military thought which believes that the only way to stop the bombardment of the cities belonging to one belligerent will be the bombardment of the cities belonging to the other.

„During all the period before 1914, Europe and, in a degree, the whole world lived under the perpetual shadow of war, as we are doing, I am afraid, at the present time. No doubt after it had been going on for a certain time, people became callous. They thought war had been so often avoided that it would continue to be avoided. But nevertheless, all international policy was carried on on the basis that sooner or later war might and probably would have to be faced. This has again become true, and it casts its shadow over every form of human activity.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: During all the period before 1914, Europe and, in a degree, the whole world lived under the perpetual shadow of war, as we are doing, I am afraid, at the present time. No doubt after it had been going on for a certain time, people became callous. They thought war had been so often avoided that it would continue to be avoided. But nevertheless, all international policy was carried on on the basis that sooner or later war might and probably would have to be faced. This has again become true, and it casts its shadow over every form of human activity. The civil life of every nation is deformed and weakened and obstructed by this threat of war. We are wasting gigantic sums, sums far greater than we have ever wasted before, on preparations for war, because war has again become a very present possibility and, at the same time, its horrors and dangers are enormously greater than they were before 1914.

„We see the world as it is now, after these defeats of the League, and we can compare it with what it was six or seven years ago. The comparison is certainly depressing; the contrast is terrible.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: We see the world as it is now, after these defeats of the League, and we can compare it with what it was six or seven years ago. The comparison is certainly depressing; the contrast is terrible. And we have not yet reached a time when we can estimate the full material losses and human suffering which have been the direct result of the ambitions of one set of powers and the weakness of the others. Nor is there any purpose in attempting to do so. Let us, rather, examine where we now stand and what steps we ought to take in order to strengthen the international system and thrust back again the forces of reaction. In the first place, let us admit that the first ten years of the League were in a sense unnatural. The horror of war to which I have already alluded was necessarily far more vivid than it can be expected long to remain. That tremendous argument for peace, the horror of war, was a diminishing asset. Most of us, at that time, were, I think, quite well aware that unless we could get the international system into solidly effective working order in the first ten years, we were likely to have great difficulties in the succeeding period, and so it has proved.

„The truth is, I was never a very good Party man. Probably but for the War of 1914, I should have gone on fairly comfortably as a Conservative official.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: The truth is, I was never a very good Party man. Probably but for the War of 1914, I should have gone on fairly comfortably as a Conservative official. But those four years burnt into me the insufferable conditions of international relations which made war the acknowledged method — indeed, the only fully authorized method — of settling international disputes. Thenceforth, the effort to abolish war seemed to me, and still seems to me, the only political object worth while. A Great Experiment (1941), p. 189

„I was brought up from my earliest youth to believe in the enormous importance of peace.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: I was brought up from my earliest youth to believe in the enormous importance of peace. I have often heard my father, the late Lord Salisbury, say that, though he did not see how it was possible under the then existing circumstances to avoid wars altogether, yet he had never been able to satisfy himself that they were in principle morally defensible. Indeed, particularly in the latter part of his life, he made more than one speech in which he expressed the hope that, by some international combination, wars could in the future be prevented. He did not hesitate to express his belief that some such organization as we have since then attempted and erected in the League of Nations might furnish the solution of what he conceived to be the terrific evil of war.

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„Thenceforth, the effort to abolish war seemed to me, and still seems to me, the only political object worth while.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: The truth is, I was never a very good Party man. Probably but for the War of 1914, I should have gone on fairly comfortably as a Conservative official. But those four years burnt into me the insufferable conditions of international relations which made war the acknowledged method — indeed, the only fully authorized method — of settling international disputes. Thenceforth, the effort to abolish war seemed to me, and still seems to me, the only political object worth while. A Great Experiment (1941), p. 189

„When one comes to try and analyse why the League succeeded so well in its first ten years of existence, no doubt the chief reason must be found in the immense horror which the War of 1914 had created amongst the human race. Almost all those engaged in the work at Geneva had personal knowledge of the vast slaughter and destruction which the war had produced.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: When one comes to try and analyse why the League succeeded so well in its first ten years of existence, no doubt the chief reason must be found in the immense horror which the War of 1914 had created amongst the human race. Almost all those engaged in the work at Geneva had personal knowledge of the vast slaughter and destruction which the war had produced. Many had been face to face with what looked like a vivid danger of relapse into barbarism in their own countries, and there was a tremendous urge to discover some effective prevention of future wars. It was under the impulse of these feelings that we worked in those days and that we made our appeal, not in vain, for the support of the public opinion of the world.

„No doubt the work has not succeeded; but I like to believe that it has not been altogether lost. We have laid a foundation on which, ultimately, we may build something in the nature of reform. And I am perfectly satisfied that the attempt to limit and reduce armaments by international action must be resumed and the sooner the better, if the world is to be saved from a fresh and bloody disaster.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: In 1932 when the Disarmament Conference, after many years of preparation, at last assembled, it really looked as if we were approaching something like stabilized conditions in the world. I am still convinced that with a little more courage and foresight, particularly among those who were directing the policy of the so-called Great Powers, we might have achieved a limitation of international armaments, with all the enormously beneficial consequences which that would have given us. … No doubt the work has not succeeded; but I like to believe that it has not been altogether lost. We have laid a foundation on which, ultimately, we may build something in the nature of reform. And I am perfectly satisfied that the attempt to limit and reduce armaments by international action must be resumed and the sooner the better, if the world is to be saved from a fresh and bloody disaster.

„The world is spending some three or four thousand million pounds sterling every year on preparations for what we all know will be, if it comes to pass, a tremendous danger to the whole of our civilization, whoever wins and whoever loses. And again we see rising up as the active principle of policy the idea that might is right; that the only thing that counts in international affairs is force; that the virtues of truth and mercy and tolerance are really not virtues at all, but symptoms of the softness and feebleness of human nature; and that the old conception of blood and iron is the only thing that is really true and can really be trusted.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: The world is spending some three or four thousand million pounds sterling every year on preparations for what we all know will be, if it comes to pass, a tremendous danger to the whole of our civilization, whoever wins and whoever loses. And again we see rising up as the active principle of policy the idea that might is right; that the only thing that counts in international affairs is force; that the virtues of truth and mercy and tolerance are really not virtues at all, but symptoms of the softness and feebleness of human nature; and that the old conception of blood and iron is the only thing that is really true and can really be trusted. Accompanied by and causing this kind of revival of reaction, we see the revival of that extreme form of nationalism which believes not only that your own nation is superior to other nations but that all other nations are degenerate and inferior, and that the only function of the government of each country is to provide for the safety and welfare of that country, without regard to what may happen to other countries, adopting the ancient, pernicious, and devilish text: "Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost." At present these doctrines have not been accepted by the great majority of the peoples of the world. And even in those countries where they have most acceptance, they are put forward with a certain hesitation and coupled with the advocacy of peace — but, alas, peace based on the triumph of nationalistic ideas.

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„No doubt there is a good deal that is attractive about the nationalist idea. It has a great history and it has a great deal of appeal to sentiment in itself admirable. But if we examine what it leads to, I do not doubt that we shall all agree that it must be rejected as a guiding principle of the nations of the world. For it necessarily leads to an exaggeration of the authority and dignity of the state to an extent which practically destroys individual action and individual responsibility.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: No doubt there is a good deal that is attractive about the nationalist idea. It has a great history and it has a great deal of appeal to sentiment in itself admirable. But if we examine what it leads to, I do not doubt that we shall all agree that it must be rejected as a guiding principle of the nations of the world. For it necessarily leads to an exaggeration of the authority and dignity of the state to an extent which practically destroys individual action and individual responsibility. Nationalism leads to totalitarianism, and totalitarianism leads to idolatry. It becomes not a principle of politics but a new religion and, let me add, a false religion. It depends partly on a pseudoscientific doctrine of race which leads inevitably to the antithesis of all that we value in Christian morality. On the other hand, if we accept the view that all nations are interdependent, as individuals in any society are, we get precisely the opposite result. Such a principle leads to friendliness and good neighbourhood and, indeed, it is not too much to say that it leads to everything that we have hitherto understood as progress and civilization.

„Collective effort can produce collective security and that if such effort is not made, it is because the will and the courage to make it are not there.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: Collective effort can produce collective security and that if such effort is not made, it is because the will and the courage to make it are not there. It is therefore still more important than it ever was to realize that the real choice before us in this matter is: are we going to permit uncontrolled nationalism to dominate civilized Europe, or are we going to say that the European countries (I don't deal with the whole world, but it applies to that, too) are really part of one community with a common interest in international peace?

„In the first place, let us admit that the first ten years of the League were in a sense unnatural. The horror of war to which I have already alluded was necessarily far more vivid than it can be expected long to remain. That tremendous argument for peace, the horror of war, was a diminishing asset. Most of us, at that time, were, I think, quite well aware that unless we could get the international system into solidly effective working order in the first ten years, we were likely to have great difficulties in the succeeding period, and so it has proved.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: We see the world as it is now, after these defeats of the League, and we can compare it with what it was six or seven years ago. The comparison is certainly depressing; the contrast is terrible. And we have not yet reached a time when we can estimate the full material losses and human suffering which have been the direct result of the ambitions of one set of powers and the weakness of the others. Nor is there any purpose in attempting to do so. Let us, rather, examine where we now stand and what steps we ought to take in order to strengthen the international system and thrust back again the forces of reaction. In the first place, let us admit that the first ten years of the League were in a sense unnatural. The horror of war to which I have already alluded was necessarily far more vivid than it can be expected long to remain. That tremendous argument for peace, the horror of war, was a diminishing asset. Most of us, at that time, were, I think, quite well aware that unless we could get the international system into solidly effective working order in the first ten years, we were likely to have great difficulties in the succeeding period, and so it has proved.

„Unfortunately, the Manchurian crisis arose at a time when those nations who might have been expected to have perceived most clearly the necessity of preventing aggression were themselves in a condition of great internal difficulties owing to the financial crisis of those days. … And perhaps it was inevitable in such circumstances that our people should take little interest in any foreign questions.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Context: Unfortunately, the Manchurian crisis arose at a time when those nations who might have been expected to have perceived most clearly the necessity of preventing aggression were themselves in a condition of great internal difficulties owing to the financial crisis of those days. … And perhaps it was inevitable in such circumstances that our people should take little interest in any foreign questions. It was partly for these reasons, no doubt, that the conquest of Manchuria and the other northern provinces of China came to be consummated, and all the ambitious statesmen of the world were given an object lesson of how, in spite of the League and in spite of the Covenant, the old military policies could be successfully carried out. And may I venture to emphasize at this point a lesson which must never be forgotten: how much one problem in international affairs affects the whole conduct of those affairs. It was no doubt the failure of the League to check aggression in the Far East which first struck a blow at the whole system which we were trying to establish and which facilitated even greater attacks on international security.

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