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history, a conflict we passionately desired to avoid, and
for the avoidance of which we made heavy sacrifices
because, we were told, that therein lay our hope of
averting it. The system was wrong. We must evolve
another. ' '

The idea of a federalized Europe, regulated by an
Areopagus, involving the disappearance, or substantial
reduction, of standing armies and navies, and the sub-
mission of all disputes to a Central Council, is not to
be dismissed. It is the ultimate goal to aim at. But it
cannot be attained until the constitutionally governed
democracies of the "West are brought to realize how im-
possible it is that their moral and spiritual development
and their happiness and well-being can be secured under
a system of government which leaves them at the mercy
of the intrigues and imbecilities of professional diplo-
matists and of the ambitions of military castes ; helpless,
too, in the face of an enormously powerful and inter-
nationalized private interest dependent for its profits
upon the maintenance of that "armed peace" which is
the inevitable prelude to the carnage and futility of

To awaken these sentiments among the democracies of
this and other countries, to instil into them these con-


victions, to ensure the cooperation of all forces in all
countries working to that end is the task to which different


we must all turn our attention. must co-

Potentates, diplomatists, and militarists made this
war. They should not be allowed to arrange unchecked
and uncontrolled the terms of peace and to decide alone
the conditions which will follow it. The mass of the
people who suffer from their blunders and their quar-
rels must claim the ineradicable right of participating
in the future settlement.

And, when peace has come, the democratic parties of
Europe must set before themselves a new province of
political effort. That peace will be permanently pre-
served only if our artisans and industrialists keep up
with the artisans and industrialists of other countries a
constant and deliberate communication through their
political parties and other organizations which will pre-
vent misunderstandings and subdue the hatreds out of
which war ultimately comes.

"The Morrow of the War," Union of Democratic
Control, London, Bulletin No. 1.



The war has The great war has now been going on long enough to
mankind. enable mankind to form approximately correct views
about its vast extent and scale of operations, its sud-
den interference with commerce and all other helpful
international intercourse, its unprecedented wrecking
of family happiness and continuity, its wiping out, as
it proceeds, of the accumulated savings of many former
generations in structures, objects of art, and industrial
capital, and the huge burdens it is likely to impose on
twentieth-century Europe. From all these points of
view, it is evidently the most horrible calamity that has
ever befallen the human race, and the most crucial trial
to which civilization has been exposed. It is, and is to
be, the gigantic struggle of these times between the forces
which make for liberty and righteousness and those
which make for the subjection of the individual man,
the exaltation of the State, and the enthronement of
physical force directed by a ruthless collective will. It
threatens a sweeping betrayal of the best hopes of man-

Each of the nations involved, horrified at the immen-
sity of the disaster, maintains that it is not responsible
for the war; and each Government has issued a state-
ment to prove that some other Government is respon-
sible for the outbreak. This discussion, however, re-
lates almost entirely to actions by monarchs and Cab-
inets between July 23 and August 4 a short period of


hurried messages between the chancelleries of Europe ^
actions which only prove that the monarchs and min- th
isters for foreign affairs could not, or at least did not,
prevent the long-prepared general war from breaking
out. The assassination of the Archduke and Duchess of
Hohenberg, on the 28th of June, was in no proper sense
a cause of the war, except as it was one of the conse-
quences of the persistent aggressions of Austria-Hungary
against her southeastern neighbors. Neither was Rus-
sian mobilization in four military districts on July 29
a cause of the war; for that was only an external mani-
festation of the Russian state of mind toward the Bal-
kan peoples, a state of mind well known to all publicists
ever since the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. No more was
the invasion of Belgium by the German army on August
4 a true cause of the war, or even the cause, as dis-
tinguished from the occasion, of Great Britain's becom-
ing involved in it. By that action, Germany was only
taking the first step in carrying out a long-cherished
purpose, and in executing a judicious plan of campaign
prepared many years in advance. The artificial panic
in Germany about its exposed position between two
powerful enemies, France and Russia, was not a gen-
uine cause of the war; for the General Staff knew they
had crushed France once, and were confident they could
do it again in a month. As to Russia, it was, in their
view, a huge nation, but very clumsy and dull in war.
The real causes of the war are all of many years'
standing ; and all the nations now involved in the fearful
catastrophe have contributed to the development of one
or more of these effective causes. The fundamental
causes are: (1) The maintenance of monarchical Gov-
ernments, each sanctioned and supported by the national
religion, and each furnished with a Cabinet selected by
the monarch, Governments which can make war with-


T^ st out any previous consultation of the peoples through
cause is their elected representatives; (2) the constant mainten-

the lust I**] . i i T .1 - 11

for world- ance of conscript armies, through which the entire able-
bodied male population is trained in youth for service
in the army or navy, and remains subject to the instant
call of the Government till late in life, the officering of
these permanent armies involving the creation of a large
military class likely to become powerful in political, in-
dustrial, and social administration; (3) the creation of
a strong, permanent bureaucracy within each nation for
the management of both foreign and domestic affairs,
much of whose work is kept secret from the public at
large; and finally (4) the habitual use of military and
naval forces to acquire new territories, contiguous or
detached, without regard to the wishes of the people
annexed or controlled. This last cause of the war is the
most potent of the four, since it is strong in itself, and
is apt to include one or more of the other three. It is
the gratification of the lust for world-empire.

Of all the nations taking part in the present war,
Great Britain is the only one which does not maintain a
conscript army; but, on the other hand, Great Britain
is 1 the earliest modern claimant of world-empire by
force, with the single exception of Spain, which long
since abandoned that quest. Every one of these nations
except little Servia has yielded to the lust for empire.
Every one has permitted its monarch or its Cabinet to
carry on secret negotiations liable at any time to com-
mit the nation to war, or to fail in maintaining the peace
of Europe or of the Near East. In the crowded diplo-
matic events of last July, no phenomenon is more strik-
ing than the exhibition of the power which the British
people confide to the hands of their Foreign Secretary.
In the interests of public liberty and public welfare no
official should possess such powers as Sir Edward Grey


used admirably though in vain last July. In all P en ? any t .

* . * has been the

three of the empires engaged in the war there has lone leader in im -

..,,.,., perialism.

existed a large military caste which exerts a strong in-
fluence on the Government and its policies, and on the
daily life of the people.

These being the real causes of the terrific convulsion
now going on in Europe, it cannot be questioned that
the nation in which these complex causes have taken
strongest and most complete effect during the last fifty
years is Germany. Her form of government has been
imperialistic and autocratic in the highest degree. She
has developed with great intelligence and assiduity the
most formidable conscript army in the world, and the
most influential and insolent military caste. Three
times since 1864 she has waged war in Europe, and each
time she has added to her territory without regard to the
wishes of the annexed population. For twenty-five years
she has exhibited a keen desire to obtain colonial posses-
sions ; and since 1896 she has been aggressive in this field.
In her schools and universities the children and youth
have been taught for generations that Germany is sur-
rounded by hostile peoples, that her expansion in Europe
and in other continents is resisted by jealous Powers
which started earlier in the race for foreign possessions,
and that the salvation of Germany has depended from
the first, and will depend till the last, on the efficiency of
her army and navy and the warlike spirit of her people.
This instruction, given year after year by teachers, pub-
licists, and rulers, was first generally accepted in Prussia,
but now seems to be accepted by the entire empire as
unified in 1871.

The attention of the civilized world was first called
to this state of the German mind and will by the tri-
umphant policies of Bismarck; but during the reign of
the present Emperor the external aggressiveness of Ger-


German many and her passion for world-empire have grown to

ethics is much more formidable proportions. Although the Ger-
valor" and man Emperor has sometimes played the part of the
peacemaker, he has habitually acted the war-lord in
both speech and bearing, and has supported the military
caste whenever it has been assailed. He is by inheri-
tance, conviction, and practise a divine-right sovereign
whose throne rests on an "invincible" army, an army
conterminous with the nation. In the present tremen-
dous struggle he carries his subjects with him in a rush-
ing torrent of self-sacrificing patriotism. Mass-fanati-
cism and infectious enthusiasm seem to have deprived the
leading class in Germany, for the moment, of all power
to see, reason, and judge correctly no new phenomenon
in the world, but instructive in this case because it points
to the grave defect in German education the lack of
liberty and, therefore, of practise in self-control.

The twentieth-century educated German is, however,
by no means given over completely to material and phys-
ical aggrandizement and the worship of might. He
cherishes a partly new conception of the State as a col-
lective entity whose function is to develop and multiply,
not the free, healthy, and happy individual man and
woman, but higher and more effective types of humanity,
made superior by a strenuous discipline which takes
much account of the strong and ambitious, and little of
the weak or meek. He rejects the ethics of the Beati-
tudes as unsound, but accepts the religion of Valor,
which exalts strength, courage, endurance, and the ready
sacrifice by the individual of liberty, happiness, and life
itself for Germany's honor and greatness. A nation of
sixty millions holding these philosophical and religious
views, and proposing to act on them in winning by force
the empire of the world, threatens civilization with more
formidable irruptions of a destroying host than any that


history has recorded. The rush of the German army ^
into Belgium, France, and Russia and its consequences |J^"y e *
to those lands have taught the rest of Europe to dread domination
German domination, and it is to be hoped to make it

The real cause of the present convulsion is, then, the
state of mind or temper of Germany, including her con-
ception of national greatness, her theory of the State,
and her intelligent and skilful use of all the forces of
nineteenth-century applied science for the destructive
purposes of war. It is, therefore, apparent that Europe
can escape from the domination of Germany only by
defeating her in her present undertakings ; and that this
defeat can be brought about only by using against her
the same effective agencies of destruction and the same
martial spirit on which Germany itself relies. Horrible
as are the murderous and devastating effects of this war,
there can be no lasting peace until Europe as a whole is
ready to make some serious and far-reaching decisions
in regard to governmental structures and powers. In
all probability the sufferings and losses of this wide-
spread war must go farther and cut deeper before Eu-
rope can be brought to the decisions which alone can
give securities for lasting peace against Germany on the
one hand and Russia on the other, or to either of these
nations, or can give security for the future to any of
the smaller nations of Continental Europe. There can,
indeed, be no security for future peace in Europe until
every European nation recognizes the fact that there is
to be no such thing in the world as one dominating na-
tion no such thing as world-empire for any single
nation Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Japan, or
China. There can be no sense of security against sud-
den invasion in Europe so long as all the able-bodied
men are trained to be soldiers, and the best possible


The hopes for armies are kept constantly ready for instant use. There

federation .^ J

instead of can be no secure peace in Europe until a federation of
,the European States is established, capable of making
public contracts intended to be kept, and backed by an
overwhelming international force subject to the orders
of an international tribunal. The present convulsion
demonstrates the impotence toward permanent peace of
secret negotiations, of unpublished agreements, of trea-
ties and covenants that can be broken on grounds of mili-
tary necessity, of international law if without sanctions,
of pious wishes, of economic and biological predictions,
and of public opinion unless expressed through a firm
international agreement, behind which stands an inter-
national force. When that international force has been
firmly established it will be time to consider what pro-
portionate reductions in national armaments can be pru-
dently recommended. Until that glorious day dawns,
no patriot and no lover of his kind can expect lasting
peace in Europe or wisely advocate any reduction of

The hate-breeding and worse than brutal cruelties and
devastations of the war with their inevitable moral and
physical degradations ought to shock mankind into at-
tempting a great step forward. Europe and America
should undertake to exterminate the real causes of the
catastrophe. In studying that problem the coming Eu-
ropean conference can profit by the experience of the
three prosperous and valid countries in which public
liberty and the principle of federation have been most
successfully developed Switzerland, Great Britain, and
the United States. Switzerland is a democratic federa-
tion which unites in a firm federal bond three different
racial stocks speaking three unlike languages, and di-
vided locally and irregularly between the Catholic
Church and the Protestant. The so-called British Em-


pire tends strongly to become a federation; and the

methods of government both in Great Britain itself and possible, even

. if the road

in its affiliated commonwealths are becoming more and is long,
more democratic in substance. The war has brought
this fact out in high relief. As to the United States, it
is a strong federation of forty-eight heterogeneous States
which has been proving for a hundred years that free-
dom and democracy are safer and happier for mankind
than subjection to any sort of autocracy, and afford far
the best training for national character and national ef-
ficiency. Republican France has not yet had time to give
this demonstration, being encumbered with many sur-
vivals of the Bourbon and Napoleonic regimes, and be-
ing forced to maintain a conscript army.

It is an encouraging fact that every one of the polit-
ical or governmental changes needed is already illus-
trated in the practise of one or more of the civilized
nations. To exaggerate the necessary changes is to post-
pone or prevent a satisfactory outcome from the present
calculated destructions and wrongs and the accompany-
ing moral and religious chaos. Ardent proposals to re-
make the map of Europe, reconstruct European society,
substitute republics for empires, and abolish armaments
are in fact obstructing the road toward peace and good-
will among men. That road is hard at best.

The immediate duty of the United States is presum-
ably to prepare, on the basis of its present army and
navy, to furnish an effective quota of the international
force, servant of an international tribunal, which will
make the ultimate issue of this most abominable of wars,
not a truce, but a durable peace.

Charles W. Eliot, "The Road Toward Peace," chap.





After this war is over, will the nations fall back again The substitu-
into the armed peace, the rival alliances, the Balance of nership for
Power with competing armaments, the preparations for
another war thus made ' ' inevitable, ' ' or will they go for-
ward to the realization of the idea of ' ' public right, ' ' as
expounded by Mr. Asquith, "the substitution for force,
for the clash of competing ambitions, for groupings and
alliances and a precarious equipoise, of a real European
partnership, based on the recognition of equal rights and
established and enforced by the common will?" The
preservation and progress of civilization demand that
the peoples go forward. But how shall "public right"
be realized?

The issue is, perhaps, best approached by putting a
narrower, more concrete question: How can nations be
got to reduce their armaments? For this action will be
the best test and pledge of the establishment of ' ' public
right" and the reliance on a pacific future. Could a
conference of Powers bring about a reduction of arma-
ments by agreement? Surely not unless the motives
which have led them in the past to arm are reversed.
These motives are either a desire to be stronger than
some other Power, in order to take something from him
by force the aggressive motive ; or a desire to be strong
enough to prevent some other Power from acting in this
way to us the defensive motive. Now how can these


The League
of Peace must
become an In-

motives be reversed? Nations may enter into a solemn
undertaking to refer all differences or disputes that may
arise to arbitration or to other peaceful settlement. If
they can be got to adhere to such a general agreement,
international law and public right will take the place of
private force, and wars of aggression and defense will
no longer happen. But what will ensure the fulfilment
of their undertaking by all the signatory Powers ? Pub-
lic opinion and a common sense of justice are found in-
adequate safeguards. There must be an executive power
enabled to apply an economic boycott, or in the last re-
sort an international force. If this power is adequate,
it will secure the desired reversal of the offensive and the
defensive motives to armaments, and will by a natural
process lead to a reduction of national forces.

But it is not safe for the League of Nations to wait
until difficulties ripen into quarrels. There must be
some wider power of inquiry and settlement vested in a
representative Council of the Nations. This will in sub-
stance mean a legislative power. For peace cannot be
secured by adopting a purely statical view of the needs
and rights of nations in relation to one another. New
applications of the principles of political "autonomy"
and of "the open door" will become necessary, and some
international method of dealing with them is essential.
So there emerges the necessity of extending the idea of a
League of Peace into that of an International Govern-

The new era of internationalism requires the replace-
ment of the secret diplomacy of Powers by the public
intercourse of Peoples through their chosen representa-
tives. If the Peace which ends this war is to be durable,
it must be of a kind to facilitate the setting-up of these
new international arrangements. No timid, tentative
quarter measures will suffice. Courage and faith are


needed for a great new extension of the art of govern- " Arm ,ea


ment. . . . must

Almost everybody hopes that, when this war is over, renewed.
it will be possible to secure the conditions of a lasting
peace by reducing the power of militarism and by setting
the relations between nations on a better footing. To
watchers of the present conflict it seems an intolerable
thought that, after the fighting is done, we should once
more return to a condition of " armed peace," with
jealous, distrustful, and revengeful Powers piling up
armaments and plotting singly or in groups against their
neighbors until Europe is plunged into another war more
terrible, more bloody, and more costly than this. Yet
nothing is more certain than that this will happen unless
the Peoples which are so vitally concerned are able to
mobilize their powers of clear thought, sane feeling, and
goodwill in carefully considered plans for a cooperative
policy of nations.

The first great obstacle to the performance of this task
is the state of mind of those who seem to think that all
that is required is "to crush German militarism," and
that, this incubus once removed, the naturally pacific
disposition of all other nations will dispose them to live
together in amity. It is not easy to induce such persons
to consider closely what they mean by "crushing Ger-
man militarism, ' ' or how its destruction, whatever it does
mean, would secure the peace of Europe, we will not say
in perpetuity, but for a single generation. But let us
suppose the most complete success for the arms of the
Allies, the slaughter or the capture of great German
forces, the invasion of Germany, and the dictation of
terms of peace by the Allies at Berlin. Such terms as
were imposed might cripple her military power of ag-
gression or revenge for some years. But would it kill
what we know as German militarism? If our accepted


The peril of political analysis be right, the German militarism that

"crushing" J ,

Germany. must be crushed is not an army and a navy, but a spirit
of national aggression, proud, brutal, and unscrupulous,
the outcome of certain intellectual and moral tendencies
embodied in the "real" politics and the "real" culture
of the nation. Can we seriously suppose that this evil
spirit will be exorcised by a crushing defeat on land and
sea, followed by a humiliating peace? If Germany
could be permanently disabled from entertaining any
hopes of recovering her military strength, or from exer-
cising any considerable influence in the high policy of
Europe, her feelings of resentment and humiliation
might perhaps be left to rankle in impotence, or to die
out by lapse of time. But nothing which the Allies
can do to Germany will leave her in such long-lasting
impotence. Even if stripped of her non-Teutonic lands
and populations, she will remain a great Power great
in area, population, industry, and organizing power
and no temporary restrictions or guarantees can long
prevent her from once more developing a military
strength that will give dangerous meaning to her thirst
for vengeance. Whether the hegemony of Prussia over
a confederation of German States (possibly including
Austria) be retained or not, Europe can have no security
that the same passions which stirred France to the most
strenuous efforts to recover her military strength after
1870 will not be similarly operative throughout Germany.
We cannot feel sure that the experience of the most
disastrous war will effectively destroy the hold of Prus-
sianism, and that the efficiency of intellect and will which
constitute that power will not be able to reassert their
sway over a broken Germany.

The fear of such a revival of German strength will re-
main ever-present in her neighbors, and will compel
them to maintain great military preparations. A beaten


Germany, with a ring of military Powers round her,

Online LibraryRandolph Silliman BourneTowards an enduring peace; a symposium of peace proposals and programs, 1914-1916 → online text (page 9 of 24)