THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE
"A possible Magna Carta for world liberty" says the Transcript in hailing the covenant for a League of Nations as read by President Wilson art the Peace Conference on Friday. In the word "Possible" is to be found the true meaning of this document. In many ways it falls short of the ideals for which President Wilson has stood. We find in it no broad principle of religious toleration, no recognition of the part played by commerce and trade in starting a war. We are bewildered by the complex wording, by the vague statements which seem to settle nothing in a permanent way.
But in this very uncertainty lies the true value of the covenant. It does not lay down fixed rules for international relations. It leaves the final decision with the people. If the world is ready for an desires a League of Nations the rails have been laid. If, no the other hand we want the old balance of power, the pace as drawn up may be modified to fit the demands of the majority.
For the first time in history a great political document has been founded on the principle that what is applicable now will have to be modified by the next generation; that "good" and "bad" are relative terms, especially in politics. No arbitrary rules likely to become entangling precedents for futu4re statesmen are included in the pact. It remains for the people to interpret to modify or expand, and it is over duty as college students to prepare ourselves for the choice we must inevitable make. Whether we believe in President Wilson's ideals, or whether we think him and impractical dreamer, it should to our work first to study the facts, and then top speak out. We can not disregard the document; it is up to us to play our par, to criticize, and to condemn or praise.