Page images


cient concern into the moral effect of position, rendering physical participaour present insistence upon peace as an tion in the war relatively impracticable; end in itself, rather than as an instru- as most consistent with our traditions mentality for effecting greater ends warning us against foreign alliances; outside and beyond itself. The main- and as necessitated apparently by the tenance of the so-called arts of peace is composite character of the nation, not a sufficient justification for peace made up as it is out of the nations at under all conditions. To the degree in war. It has been accepted, under the which we fail to clothe peace with high leadership of the President, as a moral power, to identify it with ob- duty which carries with it the distincjects of moral concern, to make it the tion of making us the ‘mediating naincentive and opportunity for sacrifice tion of the world.' 'We are,' to use and heroism, we leave it under the pop- his words, “compounded of the nations ular imputation of selfishness. I fol- of the world; we mediate their blood; low out the danger from this defect in we mediate their traditions; we mediate our advocacy of peace into sufficient their sentiments, their tastes, their pasdetail to indicate the extent of the pop- sions; we are ourselves compounded of ular distrust, and to show the grounds those things. Therefore we are able to of it.

understand all nations. In that sense America is a mediating nation.'

This is a noble and commanding conThe most evident, and in some re- ception of the duty attending the inspects the most justifiable, ground of crease and expansion of the nation, but popular distrust of the peace move- it inevitably suggests Mr. Lincoln's ment is the fear that it may effect a conception of the duty attending its change in the relative moral value of origin and the cause of its existence, in things which have thus far held the the familiar words of the Gettysburg first place in the estimation of men. speech. It was the conception there set These first things are justice, liberty, forth, realized in the sight of the world, and, more recently, equality. Of these which brought hither the peoples out there is probably the greatest sensitive- of all nations who have made this a ness in regard to liberty. But loyalty composite nation. It is this conception, to some one of these moral constants, not the increase of numbers which it as the given circumstance may direct, has effected, which is the reason of our has been regarded as the primary duty. continuance as a nation. It is this conWill this distinction be maintained un- ception which is entitled to undisputed der peace, or will there be a tendency precedence as the generations pass and to raise the relative value of those sec- as still newer peoples and races enter ondary duties which are incident to our gates. some supreme struggle in behalf of lib

These two conceptions, that of a comerty or justice?

posite and mediating nation, and that We are gaining an understanding of of a nation conceived in liberty and the relative significance of the primary dedicated to the maintenance of it, are duty of defending liberty as we are in no sense incompatible if they are called upon to meet one of the secon- held in true proportion the one to the dary duties thrust upon us by the war. other. If in the final settlement of the We have accepted neutrality as our issues of the present war this nation national duty in the present crisis. We shall be able, because of its neutrality, have accepted it as prescribed by our to cast the vote which shall reinstate

Belgium in its sovereignty and restore play in the continued struggle between to France its ravished provinces, we absolutism and democracy, a struggle shall have achieved a great victory for in which there will be lessening room the new policy of making neutrality for the operation of neutrality, and a tributary to liberty. If we fail in our straitening of place for the neutral naendeavor, the endeavor will stand to tions. The forecast gives significance our credit in the account with peace, to the words of Lord Cromer: 'If Gerbut not to our credit in the account many should be vanquished in the preswith liberty. The liberty-loving and ent contest, all will fortunately be well sacrificing nations, though they may in for nations which have been able to that event have suffered defeat, will preserve their neutrality. The triumph necessarily assume the moral leader- of the Allies will incidentally involve ship among kindred nations, leaving to their triumph. But if the contrary us the place of leadership in the cause should prove to be the case, and if Gerof neutrality. Just what this may sig- many should emerge victorious from nify in the long future will depend upon the struggle, neutrals will eventually the part which neutrality is to play in have to ask themselves whether a more international affairs. But at present timely and active interference on their there are those among us who cannot part might not have obviated the dispersuade themselves that the cause of astrous results which must inevitably neutrality in its widest reach is com- ensue both to themselves and to the parable with the cause of liberty. While world in general.' we follow with approval the course of In this view of the situation national the Administration in the vindication preparedness assumes a new meaning. of our rights as a neutral nation, our It means self-defense in all contingenhearts are in the contest across the sea. cies, but it means in certain contingenWe are conscious that the great issues cies the wider defense of liberty. I are being settled there. Our unofficial doubt if the more extreme pacifists neutrality is charged with sympathies have ever contemplated the defeat of which find their only relief and satis- the Allies, at least their disastrous de faction in the fact that our official neu- feat. It is one thing to hold the more trality can be legitimately used to the absolute views of peace unvexed by any advantage of those with whom we sym- thought of the actual danger to liberty, pathize.

and another thing to entertain the Our present position, however, as re- same views in quietness of mind if the lated to the supreme issue of the war, is securities of liberty are evidently encalculated to awaken, and has awak- dangered. But the advocacy of peace ened in many minds, serious forebod- may be carried to the point of ‘moral ings. In the event of the final victory temerity' through a fatal lack of perof Germany we have the definite pros- spective, as in the present untimely pect of the consolidation of the Teu- effort to arrest the war at the very motonic nations, with the inclusion of the ment when militarism is in the ascentributary races of Southeastern Eu- dant, and when the party of aggression rope, and with the incorporation of the has the most to gain and the least to Turk, giving a combination for the sup- lose. The whole circumstance of the

. port of militarism such as the world has war as it proceeds makes the problem not seen since the days of the Roman of peace terribly urgent, but it makes Empire. No one can fail to understand the problem also terribly searching in the part which this combination would its questionings. What kind of peace


are we willing to accept as the outcome ception have since become evident of the war? What unexpiated crimes every nation was profoundly agitated against liberty are we willing to forget? by the threatenings of the social strife. What securities of liberty are we will- But this state of affairs received little ing to forego?

attention from the advocates of peace. The German Chancellor has announ- Doubtless the danger was underesticed that it is Germany's aim ‘to be the mated, but the impression often proshield of freedom and peace for the duced was that of indifference to the small and the big nations of Europe.' issues involved. It was noted that the When we think of universal peace, do sympathies of men could be enlisted for we or do we not tolerate the thought the crusade against war who were themof a peace established in militarism selves interested parties in the social and guaranteed by militarism?


In what form, and with what energy,

the social strife may be renewed at the III

close of the war by the nations more imThe problem of universal peace can- mediately involved in it, no one may not be restricted to wars induced by predict. We can, however, foresee the national ambitions or by national an- possibility that in some nations, pertagonisms: it must take due account of haps in England, the war may avert a the social strife. The social strife repre- social revolution by having virtually sents a possible transition, not only in effected a social revolution. Such a rethe incitements to war but also in the duction of economic inequality may means of war, from the nation to the have been brought about, and such a class as the unit of organized power. On redistribution of political power may the ethical side it represents that wide- have been made, that the tension of the spread struggle for equality which may social strife may prove to have been supersede the struggle for liberty as the greatly relieved. In this country the chief cause of revolution.

conditions will certainly be different, The comparative unconcern regard- creating the tendency to increase rather ing this phase of warfare has produced than to diminish the social strife. Very in not a few minds a distrust of what much of the spirit of sacrifice which has may be termed the democracy of peace. supported the nations at war may be The movement for universal peace did expected to go over into the economic not enter upon the crusade against war struggle to recover the markets of the with that popular sympathy which world. This willingness to endure ecomight have been gained by some earn- nomic sacrifice must cause a cheapenest endeavor to compose the social ing of the market, which in turn must strife. The opportunity had been for a affect the wages of the American worklong time present, and it had become man. Dr. David Jayne Hill increasingly urgent. The war, it must as to predict that America will be made be remembered, did not come upon us the dumping-ground for the cheaply simply as an interruption of peaceful made goods of Germany, owing to the pursuits. It caused rather an instant continued hostility of the opposing naand complete diversion from conten- tions as expressed in restrictions upon tions which had filled the minds of trade. It is doubtful if a like protective peoples and of rulers with anxieties restriction in this country would mainand forebodings. With the exception tain wages at the present standard. of Germany - the reasons for this ex- Incidentally, and yet very seriously,

goes so far

the disturbance of the labor market ranks both of capital and of labor, to caused by the manufacture of war mu- think and to act in the terms of peace? nitions may affect the whole labor situ- The inconsistency is greater than a ation when the collapse of that stimu- nation can maintain, and at the same lated industry shall occur. No one who time aspire to the place of leadership in believes in the legitimacy of this indus- the cause of universal peace. Peace is try, or sympathizes with the intent of not a contrivance for the settlement of it, can blind his eyes to the economic disputes between nations. Peace is a danger which lurks in its development. state of mind in peoples themselves, In fact, at the time when the rupture developed, if at all, out of the ordinary of diplomatic relations between this experiences of associated life. The socountry and Germany seemed immi- cial strife creates a state of mind which nent, it was a partial relief of the strain makes

peace in any large sense seem to reflect that, in that event, this indus- impracticable. If we cannot do busitry might come under the control of ness according to the principles and the government for the regulation of methods of peace, how can we expect its profits, as well as for the direction that such a course of action will be sucof its uses.

cessful in the conduct of the governIt has long been evident, though the ment? Nothing would refute so quickly

, fact has not yet made its due impres- or so effectively the charge that peacesion, that industrialism is the modern makers are theorists as the application training-school for war or peace. It is of the principles and methods of peace there that men are actually thinking of to industrialism. So long as it is necesone another in terms of war or peace. sary to employ the Federal army to It is there that they learn to organize keep the peace in Colorado, or for like for or against one another. The lock- emergencies in other states, it is very out and the strike are distinctly war- difficult to persuade the average man like measures. Arbitration is a term of of the moral consistency of efforts for war, the most advanced term looking general disarmament. toward peace, but still presupposing a state of warfare. Coöperation, in some one of its manifold forms, is the only distinctive term of peace. It is such, In accounting for the lack of popular not simply because it implies sympa- response to the present claims of peace, thetic action, but because it educates we must recall the pessimistic views all concerned in 'those sobrieties on which pervaded society, during the which democracy must at last rest.' As years of peace immediately preceding we recall how many persons are in the the war, regarding the spiritual outtraining school of industrialism, how come of our modern material civilizaearly they enter it and how long they tion. Now that war has come and wakremain in it, and how various and how ened men to the larger issues of life, influential are the experiences through they do not care simply to revert to which they pass, we can see how far former conditions. back the peace movement must reach I think that the pessimism which prein its educative work. What can we ceded the war was overwrought; but no hope to accomplish in the training of one can deny its existence, or doubt our diplomats for carrying out the pol- that we are now feeling the effect of it icy of universal peace, if we cannot in our endeavor to justify the demands train our captains of industry, in the of peace. In view of this past experi


ence, which is still fresh in the minds of On the other hand, passing from the men, it is manifestly harder for them to average to the exceptional man, the believe in the satisfaction, within the man with the full opportunities of the restrictions of peace, of some of those intellectual life before him, we see how higher instincts which have free play in easy it is for him to detach himself from the tumult of war. Certainly it gives the incentives of the spiritual life. It an added pertinency to the questions, would not be charitable or true to say where is the moral stimulus of peace, that the expansion of the intellectual and what is its moral equipment for the life has produced merely intellectualtasks, the conflicts, and the adventures ism. It has produced great moral reof life?

sults, as notably through many of the When we turn from our past unsat- sacrifices attending the progress of sciisfying experiences to observe more ence. But it has also produced a class, carefully the range of ordinary moral corresponding to that of the newly rich incentives and opportunities, we are in social life, which has not found its impressed by two conditions. On the place in the intellectual world. With one hand we see the lessening of what many of this class the mark of intellecmay be termed the heroic opportunity tual superiority is a certain disdain of for the average man. The outer world any of the recognized sources of the spirseems to be closing in upon him. Once, itual incentive. As a result of this inand in days not far remote, this outer tellectual contempt, the inner world of world gave him freedom, incitement, spiritual motive is closed to the man of adventure. It created heroic types out this type as effectually as is the outer of common men. The seafaring man world of adventure to the average man. made England. The pioneer made War brings the heroic opportunity America, as one may see in reading to the door of the average man, and the for example, Winston Churchill's The heroic incentive to the mind of the exCrossing, worthy of a permanent place ceptional man. We deplore this kind in American literature as an epic of of opportunity and this kind of incenearly American life. To-day it is the tive. The cost is fearful, to be reckoned task, the job,' which confronts the largely in the price which others must average man, not the adventure. When pay; but men recognize the opportunwe think of the splendid possibilities in ity and feel the incentive. It would industrialism to arouse the energies, to be worse than idle for us to ignore the quicken the imagination, to multiply quick transition which war may effect the power of each man by that of his in responsive natures from the comfellows, we might assume an increase monplace or the cynical to the sacrirather than a lessening of the oppor- ficial and the sublime. No one of us tunity for the strenuous life. But the can deny, nor can we read unmoved, the fact is otherwise. Industrialism has not testimony of those who have passed or yet realized its possibilities of incen- are now passing through this experitive and opportunity. For the present ence. A poet, of the quality of Rupert the raw immigrant is more in the line Brooke, reborn out of the experience of of succession to the pioneer than any the present war and at the cost of his man amongst us. He may be disap- life, has the right to be heard. pointed, disillusioned, but not before

Now, God be thanked who has matched us with he has bequeathed to his children de

his hour, sires and ambitions which he may have

And caught our youth, and wakened us from failed to realize.


« PreviousContinue »