These wars appear also to have given its death blow to colonialism and to imperialism in its colonial form, under which weaker peoples were treated as possessions to be economically exploited. At least we hope that such colonialism is on the way out.
Technology gives us the facilities that lessen the barriers of time and distance - the telegraph and cable, the telephone, radio, and the rest.
A major one which no one can overlook is technological and based on inventions and discoveries which have altered the whole basis of production and deeply affected social relations.
A second characteristic of our time is the prevalence of nationalism. This is still spreading, affecting new communities, more peripheral regions and so-called backward peoples.
The future will be determined in part by happenings that it is impossible to foresee; it will also be influenced by trends that are now existent and observable.
Men who are scandalized at the lack of freedom in Russia do not ask themselves how real is liberty among the poor, the weak, and the ignorant in capitalist society.
Industrialization based on machinery, already referred to as a characteristic of our age, is but one aspect of the revolution that is being wrought by technology.
In listing these tendencies making for a new world, we must not forget developments in the religious or spiritual thinking and feeling of mankind, where also we feel a strong unifying trend.
It is natural to try to understand one's own time and to seek to analyse the forces that move it.
The desire for liberty has also made itself felt as struggle against domestic tyranny or arbitrary rule.
Without a common loyalty to either a state or a church they have nevertheless a vast deal in common.
Another cause of change, one less noticeable but fundamental, is the modern growth of population closely connected with scientific and medical discoveries. It is interesting that the United Nations has set up a special Commission to study this question.
As to judging our own time, and thereby gaining some basis for a judgment of future possibilities, we are doubtless not only too close to it to appraise it but too much formed by it and enclosed within it to do so.
Those who are rooted in the depths that are eternal and unchangeable and who rely on unshakeable principles, face change full of courage, courage based on faith.
We have lived through the flood time of fascism and of the nazism which ran its meteoric course at a cost to mankind in suffering and waste beyond all computation.
We speculate as to what is in store for us. But we not only undergo events, we in part cause them or at least influence their course. We have not only to study them but to act.
The role of Italy and of Austria has diminished as has that of France and Britain; Germany and Japan have suffered catastrophically.
There is a great interest in comparative religion and a desire to understand faiths other than our own and even to experiment with exotic cults.
A dark and terrible side of this sense of community of interests is the fear of a horrible common destiny which in these days of atomic weapons darkens men's minds all around the globe.
A third ideal that has made its way in the modern world is reliance on reason, especially reason disciplined and enriched by modern science. An eternal basis of human intercommunication is reason.