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ness. The I.W.W. has developed the lightning strike (coming out without notice); the irritation strike (coming out and going back, and so continuing); the stay-in strike (folding arms whilst on the job); and other unique but effective weapons." What those other weapons are have been revealed in America and in Australia. They include the blowing up of buildings and ships, and the attempt to set fire to a city. In face of these facts it is not surprising to learn that the I.W.W. boasts that "it abides by no legal findings or capitalist morality, having a legal code and morality of its own." As for its morality, that is very shortly expressed: “What hurts the boss is moral; what hurts us (the workers) is immoral, and must be fought.” And the ultimate sanction of this morality is equally simple: "As the I.W.W. grows, the entire forces of one big union could be brought into the field with the weapons of the general strike, sabotage, irritation and other strikes." These are the doctrines openly proclaimed and disseminated under the nose of authority. If we meet trouble in these conditions, it can hardly be matter of surprise.
At present, it is true, the membership of the I.W.W. in this country is not large; but its power for mischief is not, any more than that of the I.L.P., to be measured by mere numbers. The promoters of this pernicious movement claim that it is growing, and assuredly its policy is being adopted by the extremist section of the labor agitators. Between the shop-steward movement
The London Post.
and the I.W.W. there is no impassable gulf. Yet, having once struck at this fungus growth, our Government relapses into apathy, and allows it to spring up again. The organization was re-formed at a secret conference held in London on June 10th; and now not only are headquarters established here, but the doctrines of sabotage and industrial paralysis are openly advocated in print. Is it likely that what has been found inimical to elementary public policy in the United States and in Australia will be innocuous here, and that we can safely and unconcernedly watch the establishment of branches of the I.W.W. in the great centers of production? It is unnecessary to point out that we are not face to face here with an ordinary development of the Trade Union movement. Legitimate Trade Unionism is derided and denounced by the untamable spirits of the I.W.W., who are out to obtain their ends by sheer anarchy. The whole social and industrial fabric is threatened, nothing less. Such a dangerous influence is not to be trifled with. At present it may easily be stamped out; but delay, especially in times such as these, may make effective repression infinitely more difficult. A growth so entirely noxious should not be allowed to take root. If, by indifference and neglect, the roots are allowed to strike deep, the authorities will only have themselves to blame for the consequences; though unfortunately in that event it will not be they but the nation, that will have to abide those consequences.
SECRET DIPLOMACY AT WORK.
A month ago Mr. Balfour offered in the House of Commons not merely a justification of secret diplomacy in the past but a demand for its perpetuation.
"The whole energy of diplomacy,” he said, “certainly in a country like this, is entirely directed not to making quarrels but to healing them. That
is the whole business, and it is far better done in most cases not by proclaiming our policy but by confidential conversations. . . . There is a perfect delusion in the public mind about secret diplomacy. Secret diplomacy is not a criminal operation intended to cover up transactions which lead to divisions among mankind. It is merely the ordinary work of ordinary human beings.” That is Mr. Balfour's theory, and the country has of late been enabled to test it by that practice which is said to be so much more convincing than theory, owing to certain secret activities of diplomacy having been made public, entirely against the original desires of those engaged in them. True, these secrets are not those of our own diplomacy, but as our concern is with a system rather than with a body of individuals they will serve just as well as examples of the dangers of the system. The first set of revelations to be cited are the evidence given by General Janushkevich in the Sukhomlinoff trial. General Janushkevich was Russian Chief of Staff at the outbreak of war, General Sukhomlinoff was War Minister, and M. Sazonoff was Foreign Minister. On July 29, 1914, Janushkevich was instructed by M. Sazonoff to give the German Military Attaché his “word of honor as a soldier” that no general mobilization had taken place or was desired: at that very time, he now testifies, he had the Tsar's mobilization order in his pocket. On the night of 29th July the Tsar ordered Janushkevich to stop the general mobilization. Janushkevich consulted Sukhomlinoff, and they decided to go on with it, a course approved by Sazonoff. It is characteristic that at a later date the Tsar was grateful for having been disobeyed. Now the question of responsibility for the war is a much wider one than the question which Power mobilized
first; but beyond doubt the Russian mobilization was one of the sum of events which precipitated the conflict. Whatever made the Russian generals and the Russian Foreign Minister press on the general mobilization, it could hardly be described as a passion for peace. Here, therefore, we find diplomatists (a term wide enough to embrace all the masters of foreign relations) laboring not, as Mr. Balfour claims, to heal but to exacerbate quarrels, and in that bad cause lying to foreign Governments and to their own alike. Is it really “the ordinary work of ordinary human beings” to swear upon one's honor that which one knows to be false, or to lie to one's superiors as Sukhomlinoff, to quote his own words, “lied to the Tsar"? If it be, then business is something very different in its practices and its standards from what the reputable men engaged in it have supposed or noted. The second illustration of the actual working of secret diplomacy is given by the correspondence between the Kaiser and the ex-Tsar. The English Government, it is alleged, was threatening to make a quarrel with Germany over the coaling of Russian warships, and it had certainly come into sharp conflict with Russia because Russian warships had fired on English trawlers. How does secret diplomacy bend its whole energy to healing these quarrels? The Kaiser hastens to telegraph to the Tsar that England means war, and that Russia should secretly join with Germany and make common cause with her against England. He pours acid on Russia's wounded feelings and stokes up the fires of her grievance. So much for the healing of the quarrel, and the better way of confidential conversations. What of the mode of procedure? The Kaiser proposes and the Tsar readily collaborates in a conspiracy to deceive Russia's ally, France, and force her into courses distasteful to her, and they both seek to bully Denmark into becoming their serf by threatening that in any event they will whenever convenient invade her and occupy her territory. Again we ask, is this “the ordinary work of ordinary human beings”? Then there are the Argentine revelations. Here we have secret diplomacy organizing murder to conceal outrage, and proposing a “settlement” which is to deceive not only the nations immediately concerned but the whole world; and such is the corruption of secret diplomacy that the Diplomatic Service of a neutral Power lends its assistance to this foul conspiracy. Is there any hint here of energy “directed not to making quarrels but to healing them,” or of such manners and morals as govern the conduct of their business affairs by decent men? Finally, we may refer to the secret treaties concluded with the ex-Tsar by the Briand Government for the tearing away from Germany not only of Alsace-Lorraine but of unquestionably German territory, at a time when the two Governments were publicly protesting their zeal for a settlement based upon nationality. Is not the conclusion inevitable that in all these four instances, at least secret diplomacy was indeed precisely what Mr. Balfour denied it to be—“a criminal operation intended to cover up transactions which lead to divisions among mankind?” It will be said that nothing of
the kind has been proved against The Manchester Guardian.
British secret diplomacy. Happily that is true. But are we to suppose that when Russian, German, and French diplomatists do these things English diplomatists have some special virtue or some mysterious charm which protects them against the like offense? The truth is far more likely that such a system as secret diplomacy is far more powerful than the individuals involved in it. What is the system in its essence? It is absolutism, it is power to shape, without being subject to control, the relations bebetween nation and nation. That is the character of secret diplomacy anywhere and everywhere, whether the Government it be practised by be nominally an autocracy, a bureaucracy, a republic, or a constitutional monarchy. Now absolutism, freedom from control, is a corrupting force which few, very few human beings have the moral strength to resist. In theory one can imagine it the happy instrument of a benevolently tyrannical genius. In practice it is what we see in the Sukhomlinoff trial, in the Willy-Nicky correspondence, in Count Luxburg's dispatches, in the TsarDoumergue treaties—“a criminal operation intended to cover up transactions which lead to divisions among mankind.” If this war ends, as Mr. Balfour desires, with secret diplomacy entrenched and perpetuated, no matter which group of Powers will have won, democracy will surely have been defeated.
A PLEA FOR MORE WAR HUMOR.
Nobody can deny that Mr. Begbie makes out a strong case against war humor," if you look at the subject from his standpoint. But there are other angles from which it ought to be
*THE LIv1NG AGE, Nov. 17, 1917.
viewed, for if his plea were granted and carried to its logical conclusion there would be an end of all humor—in peace as well as in war. It wasn't war that first brought death into the world and all our woe. Mr. Begbie asks us to think of the conjunction, “War —Humor,” as if they were irreconcilably opposed. I would like you to think also of the conjunction, Life—Humor, seeing that, in the long run, life kills more than war, for it ends by killing us all. Incidentally, it kills some of us more mercilessly than war does, with slower, longer torments to body and soul than war can inflict, yet we see nothing incongruous in jesting about life. No death is more terrible, more really agonizing, than are many of the deaths that happen in the years when, without noise of guns or sight of visible wounds, we are fighting each other in business, ruining each other in fierce competition, sweating and slaughtering thousands under the noiseless but effective drum fire of poverty in those slums and mean streets that Mr. Begbie has himself denounced. Except superficially, death in war is not more horrible than death in peace, it is only more obviously horrible. Most of us would sooner be blowninstantly to nothing by a shell, or sit out a week's harrowing bombardment, than die gradually through the years of a wasting consumption. Yet Hood made a jest even of consumption; laughed at the lank visage, punned about the spare ribs, found humor in the shortness of breath; and one loves and honors him the more for it, since he was dying of consumption himself. If he had taken it quite seriously, and made everyone around him miserable by insisting on their also taking it so, he would not have won our admiration and stood, as he stands, one of the dearest and most heroic figures in our literature. Certainly, no man sitting in safety at home can with decency make jokes about the trenches, but the more the men who are there, or have been there, can do so, the better for themselves and for the rest of us. It is still as true as
it was when Shakespeare said it that the merry heart goes all the day but the sad soon tires. No man ever died of laughter, as a matter of fact, but plenty have died for the lack of it. If the Germans had some humor they would be less brutal, and they would not have written that Hymn of Hate which has been a source of such joy to our own fighting men. To illustrate my contention that, nowadays, particularly, it is our duty not to wear our hearts upon our sleeves, I would like to repeat two little stories that were told to me when I was out at the front rather less than a year ago. At the end of 1915, a kindly, wellintentioned young parson, who took the sad business of war very seriously indeed, was out there on a religious mission, and decided to hold a watch night service. His hut was filled to overcrowding. Something went wrong with the lighting arrangements, and he was reduced to a solitary candle by way of illumination. Standing on the platform (I am summarizing his own account) with that glimmer, on the table beside him, he could only see the first few rows of faces, but knew there was row behind row of them, unseen, watching him from the darkness beyond. All this gave an added touch of solemnity to the gathering; he was deeply impressed, and spoke of serious things more seriously perhaps than he had ever spoken before. After one or two fitting hymns had been sung, at midnight he was moved to lay his watch on the table and say earnestly, “Let us now have five minutes of silent prayer together.” The silence that fell upon that hut touched him almost instantly with a sort of fear. Then, of a sudden, he was shaken by soft, broken sounds from somewhere in the darkness—a strangled sob, little smothered cries. “It sent a chill through me,” he said, “and I realized in a flash that I had done a cruel thing. I thanked God fervently when the five minutes were gone and I could ask the soldier at the piano to play something and break the tension which was too much for us all.” My other story is of an incident that happened only a few days before that at a place a little farther behind the line. An Irish soldier was there recovering in a convalescent camp. He had been slightly wounded, and was suffering badly from shell-shock, which, for a time, made a nervous wreck of him. Late in the autumn there was talk of arranging entertainments for Christmas, and this man, who, before the war, was a popular Dublin comedian, volunteered to get up a proper Christmas pantomime. He extemporized a stage in a Y. M. C. A. hut, painted the scenery, wrote the pantomime, which was full of frivolous war allusions, and was not only his own stage manager, but himself acted a leading part in the extravaganza. On the first night of the show, when the seats were crammed with wounded soldiers and soldiers from other parts of the vast camp, either newly returned
from the trenches or shortly going up The London Chronicle.
into them, and while the hut was echoing with continuous roars of laughter— twice that Irishman was missed by those who were helping him in the management, and each time he was found sitting alone in the dark outside shaking as if in an ague. On the second occasion he was crying like a child —crying wretchedly that his nervous weakness could so master him. But he wouldn't hear of being excused and letting a substitute finish his part for him. He resolutely pulled himself together, and when his cue came he was ready in the wings to go on again and do his share of the fun-making with the jolliest irresponsible gusto, and not a man among the happy, laughing audience had his pleasure marred by so much as a suspicion of what had been happening behind the scenes.
Whenever I think of him, the thought of that Irishman warms the heart of me. Wasn't there more of kindness, of unselfishness, of heroism, even of seriousness, in his way of taking the war than if he had treated it as a subject for undiluted gravity? But I won't point the moral of these two stories; everybody can point it for himself.
A. St. John Adcock.
THE UNCLE ON LEAVE.
I felt that one day out of my priceless ten must be dedicated to my niece and godchild Phyllis. A goddaughter expects more even than a silver mug, and I suggested the Zoo to her mother as I faced her in the drawing-room.
“Yes,” she said, “Phyllis was sure you'd take her to the Zoo. But, John, she'd like of all things if you'd call for her at the Kindergarten. Would you mind. You're such a kind godfather.”
There is a wistful humility coupled with adamantine determination about
most mothers. Living Age, Wol. VIII, No. 400.
I met Phyllis at her school door, was stared at open-mouthed by twenty little boys and girls. At this I did not flinch.
If I had not earned my Military Cross, I deserved it that day. Unheeding of my nose, I visited every cage and fed or stroked every animal except where such feeding is banned by authority. I refused to offer nuts to the snakes for certain obvious reasons. Otherwise I did not fail.
At tea I was lavish, for though Lord Rhondda has barred the conventional