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Annuaire de la Vie Internationale. Fondé par A. H. Fried et publié
par les soins de l'Institut International de Bibliographie et de l'Institut International de la Paix. Seconde série. Volume I. 19081909. Brussels Office central de Institutions Internationales, rue de la Régence, 3 bis. Svo, 181+1370 pages. 20 francs (imported $5).
This is one of the most notable volumes of information appertaining to international law published in many days. It is an outgrowth of an annual of the same name founded by the well-known pacifist enthusiast and writer, Alfred Hermann Fried of Vienna, and published in duodecimo volumes of 159, 314 and 254 pages respectively in 1905, 1906 and 1907 by the Institut International de la Paix of Monaco. It has grown immensely under its new auspices, the Central Office of International Institutions of Brussels, and Mr. Fried now has associated with him as an editorial committee Henri La Fontaine and Paul Otlet, both diligent students and pacifists.
The extent to which international co-operation has advanced is doubtless the most remarkable fact borne in upon any one who looks into this volume. The index contains about 675 separate entries, very few of which are duplicates.
It is the introduction of 181 pages that contains the summarizing information. It consists of three essays: “ The Science of Internationalism” by Alfred H. Fried, " International Organization and International Associations by Paul Otlet and Documentation and Internationalism” by Henri La Fontaine.
The Annual of the International Life is unique in its sponsors and its editing. At Brussels, it seems, some 42 different international unions, associations, institutes and commissions have permanent hureaus. These in 1906 organized the Central Office of International Institutions and the present Annual is virtually its first fruit, although its Bulletin is now appearing regularly and the International Exposition at Brussels, which opened in May, is also one of its undertakings. It aims to give all possible aid to international organizations, to coordinate their work, to encourage new formations, to organize congresses and, in connection with the International Institute of Bibliography, to build up a great library of internationalism.
This latter task is at once difficult and important. The Annual necessitated the consultation of over 1500 works and because organizations of the character it considers are usually private in large measure their publications are hard to obtain. “In this respect,” says M. La
Fontaine," the international institutions and associations have the greatest interest that their publications be speedily consigned to oblivion. They have often occasioned considerable expense and by lack of sufficient publicity they remain piled up at one or another printer's, secretariat or presidency and end by being sold as old paper or destroyed, to the great detriment to the ideas from which they have resulted.” Nevertheless, the task has been undertaken.
As a reference book the present product has several things to commend it which might be profitably followed in principle by other publications. As is well known, the chief difficulty in consulting an annual publication whose contents from year to year supplement previous information is the bothersome necessity of referring backward to numerous indices. This handicap has been overcome in several ways, two of which are the republication of an index to the special features of earlier volumes and another is the looseleaf encyclopedia method. M. La Fontaine, however, assures the reader that by resort to the system of decimal classification adopted for cataloguing by the International Institute of Bibliography this annual will be immediately accessible in all its parts to the inquirer.
According to the Institute's scheme all books may be classified under ten heads: general, philosophy, religion, social science, philology, pure science, applied science, fine arts, literature, history and geography. A book's number is determined by re-application of this list and its rubrics as many times as necessary. Thus, the first part of this work has uniformly the major rubric 341, the 3 placing the subject under social science, the 4 confining it to the fourth arbitrary subdivision under that branch and the 1 defining it as the philosophical segment thereunder. For closer classification a point is used and the figures similarly built up. Thus the portion devoted to the Bureau of the International Union of American Republies bears the rubric 341.25. The proper rubric is printed at the top of every page opposite the regular pagination, and by this device it is intended to give the reader constantly the cue for further investigation. But the remedy may be worse than the disease, considering that it takes 2250 pages fully to elucidate this system of classification in its manual.
M. La Fontaine also suggests that as persons interested in the information contained in the volume may desire to extract sections from it and bind them separately, the editors have provided for such a desire by beginning each notice on the right-hand page, to insure against
the possibility of mutilating other notices in the process. He assures the reader that this care will be appreciated, for he promises that information in succeeding volumes will supplement rather than duplicate what is now published.
Of course, the value of these ideas in publication remains to be proved, but they are evidently worth explanation.
What is internationalism, to which so large a work is devoted? Mr. Fried attempts to answer the question in his essay. “It has as a base,” he says, "the idea of international cooperation viewed through its causes and substance.
Internationalism primarily stands for aid in the progressive development of nations, in the development of the vital value and grandeur of each nation; it does not belittle one's fatherland, but especially assures to it, by the accumulated effect of work, by the regular exchange of production, a greater well-being, a greater security. Indeed, modern internationalism is a patriotism, elevated, ennobled.”
He finds two different tendencies toward this end, one conscious, the other unconscious. The attainment of the results that he considers as without any direct intention is multitudinous. The train that runs from one town to another within a country binds indirectly the cities of different countries. The agent who handles the traveler's baggage in Switzerland works in international accord with his fellow in St. Petersburg or Archangel. Imitation of the most diverse institutions and inventions makes the street car and the arc light the common property of American and Australian, European and Chinese.
Conscious internationalism manifests itself in organizations founded with a definite purpose. They consist of the representatives of all countries united for a common end and either create a permanent organization with fixed seat and central office or convene at intervals for conferences or other gatherings. Likewise, they are divided as official, installed by the governments themselves, or private, or mixed.
Paul Otlet's study of “ International Organizations and the International Associations," although laying too little stress on the official unions, is a valuable collective study of this modern phenomenon of cooperation. He aims to summarize and compare, and the result should prove exceedingly important to those intending to form such associations, to students and to all who take a keen interest in the betterment of the world. His study is a fairly complete analysis of the movement of internationalism.
He tells us, for instance, that from 1840 to 1860 there were but 28 conferences and congresses, while in the single decade 1901–1910 there were 790, the total for the period since 1840 reaching the remarkable figure of 1977. Fifty-two that he knew of are scheduled for this year, but as the average of such meetings since 1904 has been over 100, the figure is clearly inaccurate. The number of members varies greatly, from ten or a dozen in official congresses where nations alone are represented up to 8000 and 9000 at the Congress of Applied Chemistry. To complete the statistics he finds that there are 37 official unions with bureaus, such as the Universal Postal Union and the International Institute of Agriculture, and 112 private associations of international scope in existence.
M. Otlet confines himself mostly to digesting facts, and is more successful in that effort than when he expresses opinions. One of the few of these in his essay of 137 pages is this: “ The task of the future is to realize, in a world constitution, a just equilibrium of powers between professional, economic and scientific specialties represented by international associations and the ethnic and territorial generalities represented by states." Which would be a better expression of purpose were it not offset by a note discussing the possibility of that improbapility, a world constitution.
The writer attempts a laudable circumscription of the term international, which he would deny to such organizations as American labor unions which arrogate it because there is a branch in Canada. By the same token he objects to a purely national combination with a purpose of studying a specific subject taking the title. He would have international mean worldwide, “omninational ” or universal and would like to see lesser organizations apply to themselves such terms as binational, tri-national and quadri-national. In other words, he is striving for a scientifically accurate vocabulary of internationalism, and the intention shows itself in many portions of his work.
In the same way he says "the title of conference (as opposed to congress) has been specially reserved to private meetings by invitation and diplomatic gatherings."
As one goes through his pages the extreme diversity of these associations, which are practically unknown because heretofore unstudied in sufficient quantity, is borne in on the mind. Some of them have grown up by accretion, others have simmered down from a hyperbolic idea. Some have been the result of a great world necessity or a generally felt
need, while others, as the Institute of Agriculture, have sprung from the efforts of individuals, and the American David Lubin in this in. stance is given full credit. Their whole history, however, is separable into three stages. The idea of a general scientific congress was of German origin and was evolved in 1823 and from then until 1864 the gatherings were private. From then until 1895 the idea was taking shape and many organizations, both private and official, were formed. This was the casual period, and is distinguished from the later years by the lack of official cooperation toward private ends. The later period has been much more prolific and the nations have lent aid and fostered the formations to a very large degree. This is illustrated by even a casual reference to the Congressional Record, almost any recent volume of which will show the presentation of resolutions to invite this or that congress to meet in an American city and perhaps carrying an appropriation for entertainment of the members.
One of the most interesting questions here brought up is the juridical regime affecting such combinations. What right, it may be asked, has an association with its central office in Berlin to exist and act in the United States, and would the privileges it assumes in peace be retainable in war? Aside from the difference in commercial purpose, the situation varies little from that set up by a great company with many branches. Should the association receive any international courtesies by reason of its nature, should it be recognized as a corporation and what elements should enter into its make-up to insure to it proper privileges ?
These questions may now only be asked, for up to the present there “exists in no national legislations nor in international law juridical dispositions proper to international associations.” The same can scarcely be said of official unions, whose status is invariably settled by the conventions forming them and which naturally partake of the general exemptions and privileges accorded to the departments of a state. It is provided that their mail matter be franked through all countries signatory to the constituent treaties and in various ways they are granted concessions due to their origin.
The problem, however, of establishing a method of general control and of guaranty of privileges proper in such cases remains almost in toto. M. Otlet cites a few instances in which recognition may be secured.
In France, he says, international associations - and this word, be it