The "Dualistic" (Duplicitous) Attitude of the Rhodes Round T

The "Dualistic" (Duplicitous) Attitude of the Rhodes Round T

Postby admin » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:22 pm

The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden (Excerpt)
by Carroll Quigley

In all the various activities of the Milner Group in respect to Commonwealth affairs, it is possible to discern a dualistic attitude. This attitude reveals a wholehearted public acceptance of the existing constitutional and political relationships of Great Britain and the Dominions, combined with an intense secret yearning for some form of closer union. The realization that closer union was not politically feasible in a democratic age in which the majority of persons, especially in the Dominions, rejected any effort to bind the various parts of the Empire together explains this dualism. The members of the Group, as The Round Table pointed out in 1919, were not convinced of the effectiveness or workability of any program of Dominion relations based solely on cooperation without any institutional basis, but publicly, and in the next breath, the Group wholeheartedly embraced all the developments that destroyed one by one the legal and institutional links which bound the Dominions to the mother country. In one special field after another — in defense, economic cooperation, raw materials conservation, war graves, intellectual cooperation, health measures, etc., etc. — the Group eagerly welcomed efforts to create new institutional links between the self-governing portions of the Commonwealth. But all the time the Group recognized that these innovations were unable to satisfy the yearning that burned in the Group's collective heart. Only as the Second World War began to enter its second, and more hopeful, half, did the Group begin once again to raise its voice with suggestions for some more permanent organization of the constitutional side of Commonwealth relations. All of these suggestions were offered in a timid and tentative fashion, more or less publicly labeled as trial balloons and usually prefaced by an engaging statement that the suggestion was the result of the personal and highly imperfect ideas of the speaker himself. "Thinking aloud," as Smuts called it, became epidemic among the members of the Group. These idle thoughts could be, thus, easily repudiated if they fell on infertile or inhospitable ground, and even the individual whence these suggestions emanated could hardly be held responsible for "thinking aloud." All of these suggestions followed a similar pattern: (1) a reflection on the great crisis which the Commonwealth survived in 1940-1942; (2) an indication that this crisis required some reorganization of the Commonwealth in order to avoid its repetition; (3) a passage of high praise for the existing structure of the Commonwealth and an emphatic statement that the independence and autonomy of its various members is close to the speaker's heart and that nothing he suggests must be taken as implying any desire to infringe in the slightest degree on that independence; and (4) the suggestion itself emerges. The logical incompatibility of the four sections of the pattern is never mentioned and if pointed out by some critic would undoubtedly be excused on the grounds that the English are practical rather than logical — an excuse behind which many English, even outside the Milner Group, frequently find refuge.
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