‘Balance of Power’ as a damning heritage


“…. history exhibits us, at different periods, in the act of casting our sword into the scale of every European state. In the meantime events have proclaimed, but in vain, how futile must be our attempts to usurp the sceptre of the Fates. Empires have arisen unbidden by us; others have departed despite our utmost efforts to preserve them. All have undergone change so complete that, were the writers who only a century ago lauded the then existing state of the balance of Europe to reappear, they would be startled to find, in the present relations of the continent, no vestige of that perfect adjustment which had been purchased at the price of so much blood. And yet we have able writers and statesmen of the present day, who would advocate a war to prevent a derangement of what we now choose to pronounce the just equipoise of the power of Europe.”

England, Ireland and America, Richard Cobden, 1835

Anyone we know?

Anyone we’re likely to know?