Maurice G. (Maurice Garland) Fulton.

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but what we are dealing with is a working hypothesis, a very
general plan. The details are not worked out. One can suggest
that an international council engaged hi an attempt to mediate
the differences might easily determine for the league which nation
was at fault in beginning hostilities. It would doubtless be
necessary, where some issues arise, to require a maintenance of
the status quo until the issues were submitted and decided in one
tribunal or the other; but it does not seem to me that these
suggested difficulties are insuperable or may not be completely
governed by a detailed procedure that of course must be fixed
before the plan of the league shall become operative.

The second objection is to the use of the economic boycott
and of the army and the navy to enforce the obligations entered
into by the members of the league upon the recalcitrant member.
I respect the views of pacifists and those who advocate the doc-
trine of non-resistance as the only Christian doctrine. Such is
the view of that Society of Friends which, with a courage higher
than that of those who advocate forcible means, are willing to
subject themselves to the injustice of the wicked in order to
carry out their ideal of what Christian action should be. They
have been so far in advance of the general opinions of the world
in their history of three hundred years, and have lived to see so
many of their doctrines recognized by the world as just, that I
always differ with them with reluctance. Still it seems to me
that in the necessity of preserving our civilization and saving
our country's freedom and individual liberty, maintained now
for one hundred and twenty-five years, we have no right to
assume that we have passed beyond the period in history when
nations are affected by the same frailties and the same tempta-
tions to cupidity, cruelty, and injustice as men. In our domestic
communities we need a police force to protect the innocent and


the just against the criminal and the unjust, and to maintain
the guaranty of life, liberty, and property. The analogy between
the domestic community and that of nations is sufficiently close
to justify and require what is, in fact, an international police
force. The attitude of those who oppose using force or a threat of
force to compel nations to keep the peace is really like that of
the modern school of theoretical anarchists, who maintain that
if all restraint were removed and there were no government, and
the children and youth and men and women were trained to
self-responsibility, every member of society would know what
his or her duty was and would perform it. They assert that it
is the existence of restraint that leads to the violation of right.
I may be permitted to remark that with modern fads of educa-
tion we have gone far in the direction of applying this principle
of modern anarchy hi the discipline and education of our chil-
dren and youth, but I do not think the result can be said to
justify the theory, if we can judge from the strikes of school
children or from the general lack of discipline and respect for
authority that the rising generation manifests. The time has not
come when we can afford to give up the threat of the police and
the use of force to back up and sustain the obligation of duty.
The third objection is that it would be unconstitutional for
the United States, through its treaty-making power, to enter
into such a league. The objection is based on the fact that the
Constitution vests in Congress the power to declare war. It is
said that this league would transfer the power to declare war
away from Congress to some foreign council, in which the United
States would have only a representative. This objection grows
out of a misconception of the effect of a treaty and a confusion
of ideas. The United States makes its contract with other na-
tions under the Constitution through the President and two-
thirds of the Senate, who constitute the treaty-making power.
The President and the Senate have a right to bind the United
States to any contract with any other nation covering a subject-
matter within the normal field of treaties. For this purpose the
President and the Senate are the United States. When the con-
tract comes to be performed, the United States is to perform it


through that department of the government which by the Con-
stitution should perform it, and which should represent the
government and should act for it. Thus, the treaty-making
power may bind the United States to pay to another country
under certain conditions a million dollars. When the conditions
are fulfilled, then it becomes the duty of the United States to
pay the million dollars. Under the Constitution only Congress
can appropriate the million dollars from the treasury. There-
fore it becomes the duty of Congress to make that appropriation.
It may refuse to make it. If it does so, it dishonors the written
obligation of the United States. It has the power either to per-
form the obligation or to refuse to perform it. That fact, how-
ever, does not make the action of the treaty power in binding
the United States to pay the money unconstitutional. So the
treaty-making power may bind the United States under certain
conditions to make war. When the conditions arise requiring
the making of war, then it becomes the duty of Congress honor-
ably to perform the obligation of the United States. Congress
may violate this duty and exercise its power to refuse to declare
war. It thus dishonors a binding obligation of the United States.
But the obligation was entered into in the constitutional way
and it is to be performed in the constitutional way. We are not
lacking in precedent. In order to secure the grant of the Canal
Zone and the right to finish the canal, the treaty-making power
of the United States agreed to guarantee the integrity of Panama.
The effect of this obligation is that if any other nation attempts
to subvert the government of the Republic of Panama or to
take any of her territory, the United States must make war
against the nation thus invading Panama. Now, Congress may
refuse to make war against such a nation, but if it does so, it vio-
lates the honor of the United States in breaking its promise. The
United States cannot make such a war unless its Congress de-
clares war. That does not make the guaranty of the integrity of
Panama entered into by the treaty-making power of the United
States unconstitutional. So here, when conditions arise under
this league to enforce peace which would require the United
States to lend its economic means and military force to resist


the hostile action of one member of the league against another,
it would become the duty of Congress to declare war. If Con-
gress did not discharge that duty, as it has the power not to do
under the Constitution, it merely makes the United States
guilty of violating its plighted faith.

Again, it is said that to enter into such a league would require
us to maintain a standing army. I do not think this follows at
all. If we become, as we should become, reasonably prepared to
resist unjust military aggression, and have a navy sufficiently
large, and coast defenses sufficiently well equipped to constitute
a first line of defense, and an army which we could mobilize into
a half-million trained men within two months, we would have
all the force needed to do our part of the police work in resisting
the unlawful aggression of any one member of the league against

Fourthly, it has been urged that for us to become a party to
this league is to give up our Monroe Doctrine, under which we
ought forcibly to resist any attempt on the part of European or
Asiatic powers to subvert an independent government hi the
Western Hemisphere, or to take from such a government any
substantial part of its territory. It is a sufficient answer to this
objection to say that a question under the Monroe Doctrine
would come under that class of issues which must be submitted
to a council of conciliation. Pending this, of course, the status
quo must be maintained. An argument and recommendation of
compromise would follow. If we did not agree to the compromise
and proceeded forcibly to resist violation of the Doctrine, we
would not be violating the terms of the league by hostilities
entered upon thereafter. More than this, as Professor Wilson of
Harvard, the well-known authority upon international law, has
pointed out, we are already under a written obligation to delay
a year before beginning hostilities, in respect to any question
arising between us and most of the great powers, and this neces-
sarily includes a violation of the Monroe Doctrine. It is difficult
to see, therefore, how the obligation of such a league as this
would put us in any different position from that which we now
occupy in regard to the Monroe Doctrine.


Finally, I come to the most formidable objection, which is
that the entering into such a league by the United States would
be a departure from the policy that it has consistently pursued
since the days of Washington, in accordance with the advice of
his "Farewell Address," that we enter into no entangling alli-
ances with European countries. Those of us who support the
proposals of the league believe that were Washington living
today he would not consider the league an entangling alliance.
He had in mind such a treaty as that which the United States
made with France, by which we were subjected to great embar-
rassment when France attempted to use our ports as bases of
operation against England when we were at peace with England.
He certainly did not have in mind a union of all the great powers
of the world to enforce peace, and while he did dwell, and prop-
erly dwelt, on the very great advantage that the United States
had in her isolation from European disputes, it was an isolation
which does not now exist. In his day we were only three and a
half millions of people, with thirteen states strung along the
Atlantic seaboard. We were five times as far from Europe as
we are now in respect to speed of transportation, and we were
twenty-five times as far away in respect to speed of communi-
cation. We are now one hundred millions of people between
the two oceans and between the Canadian line and the Gulf.
We face the Pacific with California, Oregon, and Washington,
which alone make us a Pacific power. We own Alaska, the north-
western corner of our continent, a dominion of immense extent,
with natural resources as yet hardly calculable, and with a
country capable of supporting a considerable body of population.
It makes us a close neighbor of Russia across the Behring Straits;
it brings us close to Japan with the islands of the Behring Sea.
We own Hawaii, two thousand miles out to sea from San Fran-
cisco, with a population including seventy-five thousand
Japanese laborers, the largest element of that population. We
own the Philippine Islands, one hundred and forty thousand
square miles, with eight millions of people under tie eaves of
Asia. We are properly anxious to maintain an open door to
China and to share equally in the enormous trade which that



country, with her four hundred teeming millions, is bound to
furnish when organized capital and her wonderful laboring popu-
lations shall be intelligently directed toward the development of
her naturally rich resources. Our discrimination against the
Japanese and the Chinese presents a possible cause of friction
in the resentment that they now feel, which may lead to untoward
emergencies. We own the Panama Canal in a country which
was recently a part of a South American confederation. We have
invested four hundred millions in that great world enterprise to
unite our eastern and western seaboards by cheap transporta-
tion, to increase the effectiveness of our navy, and to make a
path for the world's commerce between the two great oceans.

We own Porto Rico with a million people, fifteen hundred
miles out at sea from Florida, and we owe to those people pro-
tection at home and abroad, as they owe allegiance to us.

We have guaranteed the integrity of Cuba, and have reserved
the right to enter and maintain the guaranty of life, liberty, and
property, and to repress insurrection in that island. Since origi-
nally turning over the island to its people, we have had once to
return there and restore peace and order. We have on our
southern border the international nuisance of Mexico, and no-
body can foresee the complications that will arise out of the
anarchy there prevailing. We have the Monroe Doctrine still to
maintain. Our relations to Europe have been shown to be very
near, by our experience in pursuing lawfully our neutral rights
in our trade upon the Atlantic Ocean with European countries.
Both belligerents have violated our rights and, in the now nearly
two years which have elapsed since the war began, we have been
close to war in the defense of those rights. Contrast our present
world relations with those which we had in Washington's tune.
It would seem clear that the conditions have so changed as to
justify a seeming departure from advice directed to such a dif-
ferent state of things. One may reasonably question whether
the United States, by uniting with the other great powers to
prevent the recurrence of a future world war, may not risk less
in assuming the obligations of a member of the league than by
refusing to become such a member in view of her world-wide


interests. But even if the risk of war to the United States would
be greater by entering the league than by staying out of it, does
not the United States have a duty as a member of the family of
nations to do its part and run its necessary risk to make less
probable the coming of such another war and such another dis-
aster to the human race?

We are the richest nation in the world, and, in the sense of
what we could do were we to make reasonable preparation, we
are the most powerful nation in the world. We have been show-
ered with good fortune. Our people have enjoyed a happiness
known to no other people. Does not this impose upon us a
sacred duty to join the other nations of the world in a fraternal
spirit and with a willingness to make sacrifice if we can promote
the general welfare of men?

At the close of this war the governments and the people of
the belligerent countries, under the enormous burdens and suf-
fering from the great losses of the war, will be in a condition of
mind to accept and promote such a plan for the enforcement of
future peace. President Wilson, at the head of this administra-
tion and the initiator of our foreign policies under the Consti-
tution, and Senator Lodge, the senior Republican member of
the Committee on Foreign Relations, and therefore the leader
of the opposition on such an issue, have both approved of the
principles of the league to enforce peace. Sir Edward Grey and
Lord Bryce have indicated their sympathy and support of the
same principles, and we understand that M. Briand, of France,
has similar views. We have found the greatest encouragement
in our project on every hand among the people. We have raised
a large fund to spread our propaganda. I ask your sympathy
and support.



[Lawrence Pearsall Jacks (1860 ) was born in Nottingham, England.

Since 1903 he has been professor of philosophy, Manchester College, Oxford.
He is also editor of the Hibbert Journal. During the war he has contributed
to English and American magazines a number of notable war articles.]

Ethical reconstruction does not require the invention of
a new system of ethics. The old systems contain enough and
more than enough to serve our purpose, if people would only
put them into practice. These old systems are not all of equal
value or of equal truth, but the least true of them stands for
something in advance of the actual practice of the world. If
any of them were to be adopted and loyally carried out by man-
kind any one of them from the Chinese system of Lao-Tse to
the idealism of T. H. Green we should see an immense improve-
ment in the conduct of men. I was reading the other day about
Epicureanism, a much discredited system. But I could not
resist the impression that if we were all good Epicureans we
should behave ourselves much better than we do. The trouble
about ethics is not that the systems are wrong though many
of them are but that people don't follow them even where they
are right.

There is no department of thought where the distinction
between teaching and learning is of more importance. To
teach ethics is one thing; to get the ethics learned which is
taught is quite another though the two are very often confused.
A vast amount of ethics has been taught which mankind has
never learned: and we may well ask ourselves whether a world
which has refused to hear Moses and the Prophets will be more
attentive to our improvements of their doctrine. Let us remember
that the moral reformers of our time are not the first to attempt
ethical reconstruction. The Ten Commandments were an ethical
reconstruction of great importance. And yet many generations

The Yale Review, vol. vii, p. 512 (April, 1918). Reprinted by permission.


of men have been taught them without learning them. What
better fate have we to expect?

So then, though I believe ethical reconstruction to be much
needed today as a result of the great social upheaval of recent
tunes, I doubt if it is to be brought about by the invention of a
new system of ethics. Nor need we invent so much as a new
virtue. Here again the old virtues are sufficient. What we should
try to do, in the interests of ethical reconstruction, is to study
the old virtues more closely and fix our attention on that one
which is the mother of them all. Perhaps "the mother" is too
strong a term. Some of the virtues are climatic by which I
mean that they furnish the climate, the atmosphere, the soil
in which all the other virtues grow. As moral reformers not as
moral philosophers only, but as moral reformers anxious for a
reconstruction of ethics we should fix our attention on these
climatic virtues. We may be sure that if only we can get the
climate right, the atmosphere right, the soil right, the rest will
be comparatively easy; whereas if the climate is wrong all our
labors will be in vain.

The climatic virtue I am about to name as the basis of
ethical reconstruction is one which is hardly mentioned in
any textbook of moral philosophy. Its name lacks the dignity
which would entitle it to a place in a philosophical treatise.
It is simply good temper. But though good temper is a very
homely expression, it is certainly not more vague, nor more
likely to be misunderstood, than any of the great moral terms
which we spell with capital letters, such as Justice, Liberty, or
Truth. Suppose a group of people were asked these two ques-
tions in rapid succession: first, What is truth? then, What is
good temper? I venture to say that most of them would find the
truth question the harder of the two. They would agree more
rapidly about good temper than they would about truth.
William James, not to speak of others, devoted a considerable
part of his philosophical gifts to defining truth. But no phi-
losopher, so far as I am aware, has found it necessary to write
a treatise on the meaning of good temper. The reason is that the
term is sufficiently well understood by everybody who hears it.


Assured of that I name good temper as the basic virtue of ethical

If the reader is not satisfied with this and insists on having
a proper definition of the term I will do my best to meet him.
Fortunately I am able to quote a very high authority, if not for
a definition of good temper at least for a most accurate de-
scription of it. It may be found in the thirteenth chapter of St.
Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. That we may have them
before us, here are a few of the statements :

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and
have not charity I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling

"If I should bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I
give my body to be burned and have not charity it profiteth
me nothing."

"Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies
they shall fail, whether there be tongues they shall cease,
whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away."

It is plain that St. Paul has here got hold of one of those
"mother- truths" to which Goethe attached so much importance.
He is describing a climatic virtue a virtue, that is, which pro-
vides the air, the light, the soil in which all the other virtues
grow. It is quite easy to translate his language into modern
phraseology and to bring it home to this modern question of
ethical reconstruction. "If you want a new moral world,"
St. Paul says to us, "improve your temper. Do not put your trust
in mere arrangements of one kind or another. So long as your
temper remains bad no good arrangement can do itself justice.
Even a league of peace would not work if the parties to it were in
a bad temper. Unless the charity that never faileth is present
the league of peace will spend its time in quarreling. Do not
trust in knowledge, for knowledge can be perverted to bad ends,
and always is so perverted when temper is bad. Then as to
social problems poverty, distress, and the others. By all means
let public money be raised for these objects; let the public tax
itself that the poor may be fed. But don't spoil your temper in
the process, or it will profit nothing. Above all, place no final


confidence in tongues. Ethical reconstruction is not to be effected
by making speeches about it, nor by writing books about it, nor
by passing laws about it, nor by spelling it with capital letters.
Tongues shall cease, partly because the speakers grow tired,
partly because the hearers grow tired of listening to them.
But good temper is never tiresome either to itself or to others."

Such then is good temper; and I submit that it is the greatest
ethical need of the present time. No matter where you look, to
international morals, to state morals, to political morals, to
private morals the need stands out as one and the same. If
we take the evils that exist in any of these departments, and the
crimes that are committed, we shall find ultimately that bad
temper is at the root of them all.

First as to the international situation. When we look at
this in a broad light what must strike us all is the utter un-
reasonableness of it, the sheer, stark, flagrant unreasonable-
ness all signs of bad temper! If any dozen individuals were
to take up the reciprocal attitudes in which the leading states
of the world now stand, if they were to do the same things
to one another and to say the same things of one another, how
should we judge those dozen individuals? These men, we should
say, have lost their tempers and their heads. They are beside
themselves. They have got into such a rage with one another
that they literally don't know what they are doing nor what they
are talking about. They are all mad together.

Let us go to the mother-truth of things even though it
was a German who gave us that advice. What was the origin
of the present war? Bad temper. What has maintained it for
three years and more? Bad temper. What has given it a char-
acter of ferocity which has no parallel in the recorded wars of
history? Bad temper. What threatened the peace of the world
for generations before the war? Bad temper. What, unless we
are very careful, will continue to threaten the peace of the world
after the war has come to an end? Bad temper.

Turn next to the ethical conditions as they exist within the
national boundaries of the British Empire I am writing
from England or at least as they did exist before the war.


What was the outstanding feature of those conditions? Again,
I answer, bad temper. Bad temper was hindering all round.
It was preventing a working accommodation between labor and
capital. It was preventing a settlement of the Irish question
and is preventing it now. It was keeping a whole multitude of
groups, parties, and sects at loggerheads with one another. It
was actually dividing the sexes, and England was threatened
with a woman's war. Everybody was in a rage with somebody.

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