WHAT is it that changes the world? Events? Ideas? or men? Not mere inhuman events, certainly. An earthquake, even of Messina; a volcanic eruption, even of Mont Pelee; the sinking of a, Titanic, do not jerk the globe off its axis. Doubtless the advent or recession of a Glacial Period; the depression of a continent below sea-level or its reappearance would alter history; but these processes are too gradual or too wholesale to be given, in its ordinary sense, the name "event." Therefore, not just the cannon-ball at the bygone siege, of which we shall have to tell, is, half-jestingly, to be offered as the cause of that tremendous influencing of the world's history we aro to speak of, though it had its rebound from the battered wall never wounded Don Inigo of Loyola, who can foresee his career! Ideas, then? That is far nearer truth. It was the ideas set sailing down the wind by a Rousseau, for instance, which, far rather than any grinding tax or aristocratic privilege, settled maddeningly in men's brains, and bred the Revolution?
C C Martindale SJ, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1484817478, ISBN 13: 9781484817476