The whole double American continent now fell under the control of Russia, and with it Australia and New Zealand. In Southern and Central Africa, meanwhile, the Black populations, after a series of abortive and bloody rebellions, had at last overthrown their white masters, avenging themselves for centuries of oppression by perpetrating the greatest massacre of history. If the Negroes had been politically experienced they might now have become one of the most formidable states in the world, for the inland water power of their continent was immense. Even under European domination this had been to a large extent exploited, but vast resources remained to be tapped. Unfortunately the Black populations had been so long in servitude that they were incapable of organizing themselves and their country efficiently. The Negro states which emerged in Africa were soon at loggerheads with one another. When foreign oppression had been abolished, unity of purpose ceased; and the condition of Africa was one of constant petty wars and civil wars. Little by little however, Russian imperialism, profiting by Negro disunity, annexed the whole of Africa.
THE AGE that now dawned was one of almost explosive progress, explosive, yet controlled. Unlike the industrial revolution, which is familiar to readers of this book, it was not dependent on licentious economic individualism. Its energy was derived, of course, very largely from the self-assertive itch of able individuals, but the means of satisfying this craving were now in the main centrally planned and socially useful.
Further details need not be given of the process by which the whole Russian Empire was gradually annexed to China. The world now consisted of a mighty imperial system and a small federation of free peoples occupying a tract which was very largely mountain. Britain had failed to maintain itself against the more efficient imperial power.
Tibet surrendered; and, under the shock of this recognition of defeat, practically the whole population succumbed to the virus.. Those who retained their sanity strove in vain to protect the hosts of their childish compatriots from coming to hurt; but these, unable to cope with ordinary situations, were killed off in thousands. Their decaying bodies littered the plains and added to the pestilence. The sane were helpless, and their numbers constantly decreased. Meanwhile surrender had not brought peace. The victors dared not enter the conquered country, lest they should succumb to the virus. They therefore continued their efforts to exterminate the Tibetan people from the air. In this policy in due season they succeeded. For a few years the Himalayan remnant miserably survived, but in the end these last servants of the spirit were discovered by the Russian airmen. Henceforth their high valleys and gorges were systematically bombed until all trace of habitation had vanished.
When the great attack was launched, the sky over Tibet was darkened by the invading bombers. Every town and village and all the great isolated monasteries were very soon destroyed. Lhasa, the spiritual heart of the country, was completely obliterated.
ii. Behind the Veil