Ilza Veith.

The University of Chicago Clinics and clinical departments, 1927-1952; a brief outline of the origins, the formative years, and the present state of medicine at the University of Chicago online

. (page 4 of 34)
Online LibraryIlza VeithThe University of Chicago Clinics and clinical departments, 1927-1952; a brief outline of the origins, the formative years, and the present state of medicine at the University of Chicago → online text (page 4 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


claim to have received. When an honorable and
satisfactory adjustment of international disputes is
shown to be easy and economical by arbitration, war
seems to be not only cruel but ridiculot^s.

Especial praise should be awarded to Baron de
Courcel, the presiding oflScer of the covirt. His tm-
varying tact, his dignified and judicial bearing, his
quick apprehension, and manifest anxiety to be just.



Digitized by



Google



International Arbitration 27

entitle him to a high place in the respect of both
nations. If it be true, as he himself expressed it, that
"every international arbitration renders war less
probable," he may well enjoy the satisfaction of know-
ing that he and his distinguished associates have made
mankind their debtor.

Since these great object-lessons in international
arbitration, it is idle to talk of insurmountable ob-
stacles in the way of promoting peace. If the United
States could condone the depredations of the Alabatna,
and Great Britain could pay for them as she did, arbi-
tration must be easy. But it was never so easy as to-
day. All the civilization of the age is against war, and
its intelligence and learning, its science and its art,
its greater tenderness for htunan life, its love of the
beautiful, its commercial interests, all these are co-
operating in harmonious solicitude to drive war from
the face of the earth. The world knows too much to
put its faith in war. What has war ever done to settle
great questions? I speak not of defensive wars, of
resistance to tmjust aggression, for these may no more be
condemned than the effort that the peaceful traveller
makes to resist the banditti who look to his purse.
Nations may be broken up and divided as in the case of
the early colonies and Great Britain, and of the several
American republics and Spain; war then seems tm-
avoidable, for the bonds that have become oppressive
can only be rent by force. I speak of war as a con-
flict between two independent nations, striving to
obtain satisfaction for wotmded honor, or to settle a
boundary question, or to collect a financial claim.
This procedure as a means of obtaining justice is fast
becoming obsolete. And how should it be otherwise?
Montaigne has truly said that "the envy or spite of



Digitized by



Google



28 International Arbitration

one single man, his pleasure, or a fit of domestic
jealousy, causes that ought not to excite two fishwives
to scratch one another's faces — these have been causes
enough for great trouble." But despotic rulers with
this power for mischief are forttmately rare. The
people mtist be consulted about war and have a voice
on the subject.

To us of America the problem may seem easier than
to any other nation in the world, because we have in
permanent session a tribimal of arbitration which we
call the Supreme Court of the United States. Sover-
eign States which have retained all their sovereignty
that was consistent with "a more perfect union" ap-
pear before that cotart and settle their differences,
their botmdaries, and their respective claims as easily,
and acqtiiesce as readily in the result, as private in-
dividuals. Iowa sues Illinois much as A sues B —
takes out process, procures depositions, submits points
of facts and of law, and leaves the rest to the court.
Making due allowance for the distinction between the
jurisdiction of this national court, dealing with mem-
bers of the Union, and a court sitting to decide the
rights of independent nations, we may still claim that
the analogy between the two is marked enough to de-
serve consideration.

In 1876, even the bitterness of a contested election
could not startle our people from their propriety.
They made a court to suit the emergency ; both sides
submitted arguments and proofs to the tribunal ; they
accepted the result, and gave one of the most tritun-
phant examples in the history of the worid of the
extent to which a free people may forbear in accept-
ing the forms of law for the preservation of peace.

As long ago as 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo



Digitized by



Google



International Arbitration 29

was made between the United States and Mexico, pro-
viding for arbitration as a general obligation on the
part of the two countries.

If, unhappily, any disagreement should hereafter arise
between the governments of the two republics, whether
with respect to the interpretation of any stipulation in the
treaty, or with respect to any other particular concerning
the political or commercial relations of the two nations,
the said governments, in the name of those nations, do
promise to each other that they will endeavor, in the most
sincere and earnest manner, to settle the diflEerences so
arising, and to preserve the state of peace and friendship
in which the two cotmtries are now placing themselves,
using for this end mutual representations and specific
negotiations. And if by these means they should not be
enabled to come to some agreement, a resort shall not on
this account be had to reprisals, aggression, or hostility of
any kind by the one republic against the other tmtil the
government of that which deems itself aggrieved shall have
maturely considered, in the spirit of peace and good neigh-
borship, whether it would not be better that such difference
should be settled by the arbitration of commissioners ap-
pointed on each side, or by that of a friendly nation.

Public men have officially come forward and joined
hands to condenm war. The Parliamentary League,
so called, is gaining constant acquisition to its mem-
bership. Only a few years ago forty members of the
French and English parliaments came together in
Paris as "friends of peace." The outlook was not en-
couraging. All Europe was, as it now is, armed to the
teeth, and war seemed imminent. In October, 1 89 1 , the
congress was held at Rome, and in four years the forty
had reached fourteen hundred, all of them occupying
a more or less conspicuous position in public life.



Digitized by



Google



30 International Arbitration

A still nearer approach than the United States
Supreme Covirt to a permanent international tribunal
is the Federal Court, which settles all disputes arising
between the various cantons of Switzerland. These
cantons, it will be remembered, are different in blood,
customs, and jurisprudence. They are French, and
governed by the French code ; German, and governed
by the German law; or Italian, in which last named
the legislation and jurisprudence of Italy have been
followed. And yet for centuries these states have
submitted their controversies to a cotirt which may
be traced back through various modifications to the
fourteenth century. So near an approach to the
great cotirt which sits in the philosopher's dreamland
must give encouragement to those who abhor war as
a crime and deride it as an absurdity. Calvo ^ claims
that the Swiss system is a demonstration that the idea
of a permanent tribtmal for deciding controversies
between people of different races is not the dream of
a visionary, but quite practicable.

There is no more formidable obstacle to causeless
international conflict than the newspaper, provided
the soldier can read it, which in our country at least
he generally can do. True, the newspaper sometimes
indulges for temporary purposes in wordy effervescence,
and seeks to stimulate the fighting spirit for no whole-
some end, but upon the whole the influence of the
press is an influence of peace. The press realizes the
value of international harmony from the standpoint of
commerce, and on grave occasions is ready to advise
against violence, to deprecate rashness, and to prefer
reasonable settlement to violent experiment.

A free press is the foe of war, not only when it raises

» Calvo, iii., 477.



Digitized by



Google



International Arbitration 31

its voice directly against violence between nations, but
when it faithfully portrays the horrors that were never
realized until men were brought face to face with their
existence. It has done much to prevent war by
bringing vivid pictures of its horrors into every home,
by tearing oflE some of its fine but false pretences, by
showing its ghastliness and ruthless destruction, as
they were never shown before. Butchery tmadomed
is not a pleasant subject of contemplation. The war
correspondent has been an apostle of peace; he has
made his pen pictures preach an unconscious sermon
to his readers. The pity of it never struck the looker-
on as it does to-day. We generally saw war at a great
distance, as through a glass, darldy, and heard but a
vague and uncertain echo of the turmoil.

The man who writes from the bloody battlefield,
and pictures with his pen the scenes which he has
witnessed, does more to impress the masses with the
uselessness and barbarity of war than the most elo-
quent preacher who ever thundered against horrors
that he had not himself looked upon with his own eyes.
Our fathers could not put their fingers into the wounds
of war and touch them with their hands, as we may
do without leaving our peaceful pursuits. When
Napoleon sent off his couriers to annotmce to his
people that he had carried a new victory to the nation's
credit, that he had captured thousands of prisoners
and hundreds of flags, and dated his bulletins from
'\^enna, Berlin, Madrid, or Moscow, the people shouted
for joy, the cannons roared, the Te Detuns went up
from Notre Dame, and little thought was given to the
heartache of the mother who waited so anxiously,
yearning through long weeks and months to know
whether the brave boy that she loved had given his



Digitized by



Google



32 International Arbitration

life with so many others for another feast of glory.
The Grand Army Bulletin could not wait to give de-
tails ; it was enough for it to say that victory had been
faithful, and that Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau, were to
shine as new constellations in the firmament of national
victories. To achieve these things men must die.
" I have grown up on the field of battle,*' said Napoleon
to Mettemich. "A man like me cares little for the
lives of a million men." Perhaps but for this absence
of pity, this indifference to htunan life, Waterloo might
not have followed so closely upon Austerlitz, and
Sedan might not have challenged Jena's triumph.

Still another enemy of war is the growing influence
of woman. She has a voice, and it must be hearkened
to. If her heart must break, she will not allow it to
break in unnoticed silence. She has taken her place
in literature, art, science, joiunalism. That influence
is all in favor of peace. The Amazon is an extinct
species. Joan of Arc clad in armor and leading men
into battle is confined to the stage ; besides, her sad
fate is no encouragement to female belligerency; the
fragrance of her sweet life and hapless end must
suffice; she cannot be a model for modem woman.
The rdle of the man has been to make war or peace, as
he elected; the part of the woman to send husband,
lover, son to gain glory or find death, while she watched,
wept, and prayed. This distribution of parts was no
doubt inevitable; but as hers was entirely uncom-
pensated, she may well be excused if in the future she
protests against conflicts in which she pa}^ a great
price and receives no reward.

War, logically speaking, is an anachronism. It be-
longs to other ages and other forms of civilization than
those in and imder which we live. Its brutality.



Digitized by



Google



International Arbitration 35

cruelty, and injtistice jar against the humanizing ten-
dencies of the nineteenth centtuy . We are growing ac-
ctistomed to look elsewhere than to the hazards of the
battlefield for the solution of international problems,
and have learned that there are better and cheaper
methods of settling controversies than those which
depend upon heavy artillery and needle-guns. Com-
mon schools, telegraphs, railroads, and tmiversal
suffrage are the handmaids of peace; they are the
enemies of war. The ultima ratio of kings was based
upon a blind and superstitious reverence for the
royal majesty and its conmiands. But armies are no
longer filled with unthinking and helpless creatures
that killed, btumed, ravaged, and destroyed becatise
they were directed to do these things ; these men con-
stituted, in Napoleonic phrase, the chair A canon, or
cannon food, and fed the roaring monster tmtil it was
gorged. But much of this is obsolete. Men want to
know the reason for everything that they are called
upon to do, and the newspaper gives it to them daily.
A great monarch might say, "I am the state," and
tell the truth when he said it. Who dreamed to dis-
pute his commands or to question his justice? Surely
not the peasant and laborer whose wretched condition
made the army a refuge where bread at least was dealt
out, although there were exceptions even to this. Coarse
as was the food that he ate, he did not always eat his
fill, and he fotight and himgered while the farm lay
fallow, and the wife and children wore out their lives in
the futile effort to do his work. He fought and he fought
bravely, he died unnoticed or returned tmrewarded,
\mtil the time arrived for his son to take his place,
and thtas in never-ending monotony he fulfilled his
destiny, for the glory of others, and at his own expense.



Digitized by



Google



34 International Arbitration

The heinousness of the crime of causeless war was
never ftilly realized tintil it was felt that this was not
the only means of vindicating national rights. It is
possible to settle questions without violating all the
commandments; it is not impossible to preserve
national self-respect without the sacrifice of human
victims. The boy who has grown into manhood after
passing through years of schooling is soon taught these
things, and learns that he himself has a certain im-
portance. He may be only a pawn on the chess-
board, but pawns may check the king. He may
overrate but certainly does not tmderestimate his
importance, and readily learns that he has a real if
uncertain cash value. He does not care of his own
free choice to shoulder a musket, even of the latest
pattern, unless it is plain to him that the honor of his
cotmtry is at stake. He is above all things practical.
He will lay down his life if needs be, as bravely as the
offshoot of any other race, but he will not be con-
tented with a vague formula; he must have a reason
for leaving his workshop or his farm to put on a uni-
form, and looks to the press to tell him what the quarrel
is about. He has been told and taught and is ready
to believe that quarrels can be settled by judges as
well where millions of men are concerned on each side,
as where single litigants are engaged in vindicating
their respective rights.

He is practical and therefore wants a real solution.
He wants a decision that settles something. He
knows that wise and honest men who have carefully
studied the evidence are more likely to reach the re-
qtdrements of justice than armed troops however
brave, with their commanders however patriotic.
The wisest and best of the soldiers whom he has



Digitized by



Google



International Arbitration 35

known have admonished him against war. "War is
hell," said General Sherman, and this monosyllabic
description can scarcely be improved in brevity and
truth. He had seen it at its worst, and had emerged
from it one of the idols of his people, but he knew, be-
cause he had seen, that the horrors that we can only
imagine as the accompaniments of perdition may alone
give an adequate idea of the horrors of real war.

Such authorities as these will more than outweigh
the few exceptions which we find to pat war on the
back as a blessing, and to praise it as a divine agency
for good. Hegel, for instance, says that war is not an
absolute evil, and that perpetual peace would be a
condition of moral stagnation for the nations. De
Maistre, adopting a higher tone, declares that war is
a divine fact, an instrtmient of the Kingdom of Provi-
dence destined to the necessary expiation of the
crimes of men. The soldier and the executioner, he
thinks, are both professional killers who should be
equally honored. It is a pity that such writers of
paradox cannot find a less ghastly subject for the
exercise of their tmconscious htunor. The most con-
spicuous advocate of war in modem times, however, is
Marshal Moltke. "War,*' he says, "enters into the
views and designs of Providence ; it is a means for the
people worthy of fulfilling their object on earth, a
divine mission not to fall into decay and to retemper
the edge of their manhood." A curious way indeed
of avoiding decadence, and an expensive one. Was it
necessary to slaughter the 40,000 tuifortunate men on
the field at Vionville and St. Privat in order to re-
temper the manhood of these two great nations?
How many soldiers should be slain, and how many
villages burned, and how many provinces devastated



Digitized by



Google



36 International Arbitration

before the highest ctdture is reached? When and how
can we be certain that decadence is stayed, and that
progress reqtiires no further killing of men? Who
shall furnish periodical and plausible pretexts for war
to be applied when the necessity arrives, not that
Justice may have her sway, but that men may not be
pampered into effeminacy by the charms of peace?
We might ask this great warrior when he discovered,
and how, that war entered into the views and designs
of Providence ; what winged messenger of the Prince
of Peace vouchsafed for his private illumination the
fearful fact that war was permitted to nations worthy
of fulfilling upon earth a divine mission, to preserve
them from decay. If we can feel quite sure that this
accomplished soldier really was inspired to express
such appalUng sentiments, we must despair of the
future of the world. Then, indeed, may Peace, veiling
her tear-stained face, fall at the feet of the great
warriors, proclaim her abdication, and yield her sweet
oflSces to the demands of bloody war.

No, neither Marshal Moltke, nor others who may
take the same dark view of the tendencies of the
human race, can stem the current and beat down the
rising tide. The world has supped full of horrors and
slaughter and needless destruction for thousands of
years and when the dawn appears on the horizon we
may be assured that the sunshine is about to rise ; we
know that the storm is over when the sky is red.

It is true that the more htunane civilization of the
age has sought to mitigate the cruelties inseparable
from a condition of war. The victoriotis army no
Icmger turns its prisoners into food. The vanquished
are no longer sold as slaves for the enrichment of
the captors ; they are treated with such htunanity as the



Digitized by



Google



International Arbitration 37

sittiation of the parties permits. But nevertheless the
horrors and destruction incident to modem warfare
are ascending in a rapidly increasing ratio. The in-
genuity of man is nowhere more manifest than where
he devises means for dealing death upon his fellows.
While, as we have seen, there may be a rational
diflference of opinion as to the comparative merits of
the chassepot and the needle-gun, the race has not
stopped. One nation has devised a new rifle which is
spoken of with delight and admiration by experts ; it
is a gem as an agent of speedy annihilation. The
bullet has emerged from the elementary condition as
a simi^ perforator of the htunan organs, for it has
been taught, while it breaks the bone, at the same time
to pulverize it, so that the great advantage is jwe-
sented by its use not only of temporarily disabling the
smitten Kmb, but of insuring against recovery of the
victim, the superadded benefit of compulsory am-
putation being among the rewards of the new plan.
Besides, the bullet itself is encased in nickel plate,
thus affording in its improved appearance an artistic
presentation of added capacity for mischief which
deserves admiration and praise, if it be inspired by
Providence to prevent national decay.

This for the smaller weapon which can only deal
death at the rate of three or four men to one bullet.
But the main progress seems to be in the production of
the huge monster whose powers to mow down columns
of men like blades of grass have been greatly increased.
The new Canet gun which appears to have been
adopted as a peace-preserver by the French Govern-
ment will throw a shell loaded with 300 bullets five
tinties a minute with a range of seven thousand yards.
But Herr Krupp is not to be undone by these Gallic



Digitized by



Google



38 International Arbitration

eflforts to avoid war, and it is mysteriously said that he
has contributed to the good cause a still more eloquent
advocate of German philanthropy. It is suggested in
addition that such improvement in armaments will
require additions to the army, which will be increased
in Prance by 75,000 men, naturally necessitating the
same addition of guardians of the peace on the side
of Germany. We are thus rapidly approaching the
hitherto unknown condition where huge armies will
destroy each other before either is visible to the other
save through a telescope. Perhaps this intolerable
progress is to be the means, in the designs of Provi-
dence, of averting a conflict which no man can con-
template without the feeling that a new vista of
horrors may teach the world, at any moment, that
the wars of the past have been as the games of children.

If the advocates of war will only ponder upon these
things, and try to bring before the eye of their fancy an
image of the possibilities which they are striving to
ttum into probabilities, they may conclude that the
blood-letting which they so cheerftilly advocate may
not be regulated according to hygienic principles.
The life-blood of a nation is too preciotis to be left to
the mercy of experts, who are experts only in shedding
it, but who are not always able to stop the flow of the
life-giving fluid after they have started it. For war
is cruel and wasteful at its best, and we may expect to
see it at its worst when it next breaks out ; what that
worst may be imagination cannot picture, for there
is nothing in the records of the past to afford facilities
of comparison.

To-day the United States and Great Britain are
striving to crown the glories of this dying centtiry with
something better and greater than the world has seen.



Digitized by



Google



International Arbitration 39

It is proposed to abolish homicide as a test of inter-
national right, by submitting causes of dispute to the
calm judgment of wise men ; a solution so simple and
so economical that it requires great ingenuity to
assail it with plausible reasons. All concede that in
theory the plan is admirable, that in practice on
a limited scale it has proved of priceless value,
that it is infinitely more likely to produce rational
results than the only other alternative, viz. : resort to
war.

But, say the objectors, what if otir national honor
should become involved? A momentotis question
indeed, and one absolutely impossible of reply, tmtil
we are told what is this national honor, wherein it
lies, and how best it may be asserted. In what one
of our many differences with Great Britain has our
honor become so involved that the delicacy of its
constitution required a prompt and vigorous r6gime
of blood and iron ? And yet we have had hot and long
disputes where honor might have been called to the
front by either nation, and made the pretence for a
refusal to arbitrate. A nation's honor, I would ven-
ture to say, is never compromised by temperance nor
injured by forbearance. A nation's honor is not
served by rash counsels, nor by violent impulses reck-
lessly indulged in. It is indeed a frail and deUcate
possession, if it cannot live in an atmosphere of peace,
it is a dangerotis one if it is tarnished by friendly dis-
cussion and a disposition to hearken to the voice of
justice. National honor may perhaps shine all the
brighter when a great nation is slow to admit that her
just dignity may be imperilled by the act of others.
The honor of a nation is in her keeping, not in that of
her neighbors ; it cannot be lost save by her own act.



Digitized by



Google



40 International Arbitration

To preserve her honor should be her main object and
purpose, but she should not readily believe those who
tell her that by hard blows alone may its integrity be
protected. A nation's honor consists in fidelity to her
engagements, in carrying out her contracts in spirit



Online LibraryIlza VeithThe University of Chicago Clinics and clinical departments, 1927-1952; a brief outline of the origins, the formative years, and the present state of medicine at the University of Chicago → online text (page 4 of 34)