CURIOUS silence reigns in our press and public pronouncements in regard to the policy of Soviet Russia.
A few months ago every sort. of speculation in regard to Russia's reactions to Germany's Balkan drive would have been made, and most of these speculations would have suggested that Russia was going to put her foot down, But our publicists have been caught so often that they have grown wary. They are at last beginning to realise the old truth that " birds of a feather flock together."
Historians when they come to analyse these times will surely express great surprise at the inability of our contemporaries to understand the meaning of their own protests and appeals. We invoke Christianity; we invoke civilisation; we invoke morals and decency. Yet throughout we are blind to the fundamental differences between good and evil.
By any standard there is little to choose between Hitlerism and Stalinism, and what little there is is in favour of Hitlerism in that the evils of Hitlerism are far from having conquered the German people in the way Stalinism has conquered the more primitive people of Russia, The mere fact that the Church still flourishes in Germany, even though in highly unsatisfactory conditions, while it has been trampled to death in Russia, constitutes a sufficient proof. By any standard too there is a considerable difference between Christian Italy, imposed upon and deceived by a forceful adventurer and his henchmen, and either Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia.
In the same way it should have been obvious that Franco's Spain or Petain's France are striving, even though with many faults and weaknesses and in highly difficult conditions, to re-establish spiritual values challenged by pagan forces ranging from Red Communism to bloodless secularism.
It is ultimately, we believe. in terms of these profound spiritual differences that the course of events has to be read.
Hitler and his party, Soviet Russia, Mussolini, stand together in one camp as open and barefaced challengers 6f the tradition of Christianity and civilisation. They only understand naked power and barbarian tyranny. In the opposite spiritual camp—even though appearances may sometimes be against it— there are a few smaller countries struggling to re-create and safeguard something essentially spiritual out of defeat or the ruins of war.
Standing spiritually undecided between them are the two great democracies of Britain and the United States. One of these, Britain, our country, finds itself performing prodigies of valour and heroism greater even than those of the Spanish war in defence of what is essentially the cause of civilisation. But it is still unable to make up its mind to acknowledge the full spiritual meaning of its own courage and self-sacrifice. It still hopes to invoke the aid of the worst tyrants of the world, the Russian godless, it still remains suspicious of the spiritual ideals of France and Spain, it still fails to picture a thought-out, just Christian settlement for the world.
The other, the United States, is still wondering whether it will pay. in the crudest material sense, to help Britain, but even as it decides that its heart must afford the risk to its purse, it lifts its " moral embargo " against Russia, and permits that country to purchase what it likes in the United States.
We have every reason for supposing that if " birds of a feather flock together," " thieves also fall out." We need not therefore expect that Russia and Nazi Germany will avoid an ultimate quarrel, but for the moment they have every reason to be friends, the weaker of the two perforce acquiescing in the lead of the stronger.
But if we on our side can only rise to the true measure of our actions and read the signs of the times with spiritually enlightened eyes. we shall see how much there is of good that can link Britain with Western Europe, with those smaller countries who ask no more than their independence, with the peoples of the two Americas and even with the peoples of Germany and Italy. But for this new understanding to develop in the world there must be a clear definition of aims, an unequivocal name. That name is Christendom. The defence of our country is already worthy of that name. But all our actions and all our intentions must be equally worthy. The extent and quality of our victory depend upon our being worthy of fighting under the banner of Christendom and of encouraging others to fight, or to stand more worthily, under that same banner. Then at last the issue that is slowly clarifying itself will become crystal-clear.