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Is war the worst thing that can happen? And it an-
swers, Bad as war is, there is one thing worse: that is,
to permit liberty and justice to be crushed out without
resisting. It ought to be possible, we say, to appeal to
man's better nature, to get men to listen to reason,
or to let some fair-minded third person decide quarrels.
But unfortunately some men will not listen to reason;
some men are greedy; some are violent; and our whole
belief in government with our courts and our police
rests on the view that if a man will not respect the
rights of others, especially of the weak, he must be
restrained. If, while I am standing by, a man comes
along and attempts to murder a woman or a child, it
is my duty to prevent him from doing what he wishes.
If there is no other way to prevent him I ought to use
force, and this may mean that I shall have to kill him;
but it is better to kill him than to allow him to go
on and murder. For if I look on and permit I virtually
become his accomplice.

The argument that there may be a just war is based Force in on the same principle as the argument for controlling defense of murderers and thieves. The national state, at first the liberty

and creation of force, has been growing step by step more

justice democratic and free. Its laws, at first the decrees of kings who claimed to rule by divine right, have been revised and rewritten in order to make them more just. It has a duty to its citizens to protect them from violence; it has a larger duty to prevent liberty and democracy from being crushed. If no other way is left open it may use force to aid such“ a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations, and make the world itself at last free."

It is for war in defense of liberty that we have the

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lines of Lowell that are on the Shaw Memorial in Boston:

“The brave soul of him lives on to light men's feet

Where death for noble ends makes dying sweet."

It is for death in such a cause that the lines of Emerson appeal to most men's moral sense:

War a crude method

“Though love repine, and reason chafe,

There came a voice without reply,-
"Tis man's perdition to be safe,

When for the truth he ought to die.'”
Yet, when we have said this, it still remains true that
war even in a just cause shows that we are still very
backward in civilization. In early savage society men
fought over a great many questions which we now settle
by appeal to a judge. As nations we are still only
partly civilized so long as we go to war when some
other way of establishing justice or of defending liberty
could be found. Sometimes a little patience will achieve
a great deal; for example, it is now believed by many,
if not by most of those who were at the time well
informed, that President McKinley could have carried
out his plan to secure by peaceful negotiation with
Spain her withdrawal from Cuba. Negotiations were
in progress for this; but when the Maine was sunk
people were too impatient to wait any longer. It is
easy to see now how much better it might have been
if the slaves could have been emancipated without war.
Few now in the South would say that such a system
as that of slavery could have lasted many generations
in the face of the growing public sentiment of the
world. It would of course have been a small matter to
pay a liberal sum to all slave owners as compensation

for setting the slaves free in comparison with what the war actually cost in money; terrible loss of life, and the creation of bitter feelings which cannot yet be said to have died out entirely, might also have been avoided.

War persists because mankind has as yet risen but a little way on the ladder. The nation is a better group for keeping the peace than was the early clan, and a democratic nation is a great advance beyond the king and his warriors. Loyalty to a democratic nation is a nobler devotion than loyalty to a clan or a chief or a king. Patriotism is a quality we honor. But a nation, like a clan, is a group which has its defects as well as its values. So far as it means coöperation it is good; so far as it limits coöperation with other peoples, or what is worse, sets men in hostility to other peoples, it is bad. Loyalty to a great cause, such as freedom, is noble; but we have come to see that only by justice and coöperation can even freedom be secure. Loyalty to mankind must finally be supreme; international law, international coöperation, international friendship must increase. This may not mean that nations will give up their individual lives, or cease to exist, any more than the family ceased to exist when nations were formed. It means, first, that we shall cultivate in science, in trade, in art, in communication of all sorts, a wider knowledge of mankind, a more intelligent sympathy, a genuine respect, and thus prepare for what an American philosopher has called the Great Community. It means, secondly, that nations will have to keep international law and submit their disputes to a better tribunal than war.

For, when all is said, it remains true that might does not make right. A war decides which side is stronger; it does not decide which side is right. If we were to

Might does not make right

look back through history we should probably find about as many cases where the wrong has won as where the right has won. Some have argued that we must suppose that God will always decide for the right in a struggle. So far as we can see, this is not the case when the struggle is one of physical force. People used to think that the way to decide whether a man was innocent or guilty was to leave it to God. They would throw the man into the water or make him walk over hot plowshares. We have concluded that God has given man reason by which to decide such questions, and we think that trial by jury is a better plan to find out innocence than is trial by ordeal. So formerly in battle kings used to think that their national god would be on their side and would enable them to win the victory; but we have seen how many good causes have been trampled down, how many noble men and women have perished through violence, so that it has sometimes seemed to be,

Right forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the

throne.”

On the whole, ideas and discussion, the work and example of noble men and women, have been greater powers than war for the spread of liberty and justice. The noblest words of faith which I know, and those which may well serve as the maxim in life for every American citizen in our dealings with other nations as well as in our own affairs, are the words of Lincoln:

LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT."

INDEX

see

Amendments to Federal Consti Revolution, 164, 293; Hamil-

tution, early, 175 f.; four ton on, 197; wage-earning,
teenth, 258 f.; sixteenth and 215-18; arguments for in-
seventeenth, 265-67; difficult, equality in, 269 ff.; affected
263 f.

by the frontier, 291; present
Angell, James B., 177.

problems of, 293 f.;
Arbitration, international, 311 f. Democracy.
Autocracy, Milton on, 132; Class legislation, 114, 284 f.
tends to aggression, 228, 315. Common fields, 37.

Constitution, purpose of, 187,
Ball, John, 130.

189-91; criticisms
Blackstone, 133.

upon,
Blood revenge, 24.

187 f.; as adjustment of con-
Blücher, 238.

flicting interests, 192-201;

slavery in, 199, 204; as
Bosses," 237.

fundamental law, 260; amend-
Bradford, Governor, 168, 185-

ment of, see Amendments.
87.
Bryce, James, on the federal

Cooperation, in the clan, 16-20,
system, 195 f.; on Tammany

29; limits, 27, 33; in the
Hall, 234.

state, 37, 42 f.; in exchange
Burke, Edmund, 139.

of goods, 81 ff.; in towns, 94;
Burns, Robert, 104, 139 f.

in industry and business,
Business, affected with a public

163; in the union of Ameri-
interest, 219.

can states, 183 ff.; in nation,

297; in international rela-
Capital and capitalism, 157 tions, 298, 313; necessary to

162; power of, 162-64; atti. protect liberty and democ-
tude toward labor, 217 f. racy, 314; larger idea than
Chivalry, 72 f.

peace, 314.
Cicero, 273 f.

Coppage vs. Kansas, 260.
Clan, 16-20; its customs, 20 Corporation, 160 f.

26; values, 28-30, 32 f.; de Courage, in clan life, 33; in

fects, 27 f., 30-31, 33, 34. society of warriors, 67 f.
Classes, not in earliest society, Courts, manor, 40, 45, 59; the

29; in early England, 39 ff.; king's, 47, 50, 59-62, 126; of
in Domesday Book, 42; how chancery or equity, 130; as
formed, 42 ff.; ideals of, interpreters and makers of
65 ff.; source of standards, law, 255-259; judges of con-
76, 80; middle class, 81, 93 stitutionality, 259-66. See
95, 149; as aid to liberty, Law, Supreme Court.
123; in New World, 149, Crafts, 19, 81, 85 f., 88, 89, 90,
289 f.; as due to Industrial 93, 96,

323

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