"It is in the nature of civilization that it must be in constant conflict with barbarism. Very few empires have been the result of a deliberate ambition. They have grown, inevitably, because it has been found necessary to expand in order to preserve what is already held. The French had to annex Algiers because it was the only way in which the Mediterranean could be made safe from pirates. Empire moves in a series of 'incidents,' and these 'incidents' mean that it is impossible for a country to live in isolation. Barbarism means constant provocation."As the title of essay suggests, Waugh was attempting to defend Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia. Elsewhere in the essay, Waugh wrote:
From "We Can Applaud Italy" (1935), in The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh.
In the matter of abstract justice, the Italians have as much right to govern; in the matter of practical politics, it is certain that their government would be for the benefit of the Ethiopian Empire and for the rest of Africa. … It will be the supreme trial of Mussolini’s regime. We can, with clear conscience, fold our hands and await the news on the wireless."As the author of the forthcoming book, Liberal Fascism, perhaps he might want to be a bit more circumspect about publicizing fascist apologias.