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first, the plan of alliances which gave rise to the Entente Cordiale and the Triple Alliance may be carried still farther and divide the earth and dominion over it among such world-centres as Central Europe, the British Empire, and Pan-America. Or, if the imperial dream of the extreme Pan-Germanists and Pan-Jingoes everywhere comes true, the earth may be divided politically as well as geographically into two hemispheres, with Central Europe joining hands with Islam, Russia, China, Japan and India, and lined up against the remnants of the British Empire allied with Pan-America. What the intensification of rivalry in militarism of every form and in economic imperialism would mean under such circumstances, and what an armageddon would probably result, the imagination and the moral sense refuse to contemplate.
Since our country is relatively free from the problems of nationality such as beset nearly all the other great powers, and we are optimistic about the forces which still threaten even our Union, we are more interested in the second and third alternatives noted above. Some of our fellow-countrymen foresee a future of unprecedented nationalistic assertion, and demand that, while still continuing to profess a trust in God, we shall “take our own part” and "keep our powder dry.” Divested of persiflage, this counsel means that our navy shall exceed Great Britain's, our army Germany's, and our air-fleet that of France. It means, also, as German "efficiency"
in warfare has taught us, that the men at the front shall be supported by a nation whose political, industrial, educational, religious, moral, domestic and personal life has been revolutionized and made fully consonant with the demands of successful warfare. It means that our part of the earth's surface, as well as the rest of the planet, shall be dominated by Mars; and this in no faint-hearted, halfway measure, but "up to the hilt," and "with both hands and feet.” Others of our countrymen believe in a future ruled by alliances and pin their faith to a diplomatic policy of “entangling alliances” which would make Washington and the other founders of the Republic turn over in their graves, and which would probably send most of our posterity into their graves. These advocates of a "strenuous" international life have no confidence in the ability of even the United States of America to "go it alone,” and are eager to line up the New World of the West against the Old World of the East, with the survival of the fittest,--the fittest to fight, and world domination by the survivor, as the issues between them. With such stakes and such combatants, the war of a half-century or a hundred years hence would as far outrank the war of today as this does the Napoleonic wars of a century ago; while during the interval of recuperation and preparedness mankind would bid farewell to all that is worth while in a world of democracy, civilization and Christianity.
It is small wonder, then, that lovers of God and
humanity should be eagerly scanning the future's horizon for still another alternative to political disintegration, nationalistic extravagance, and defensive and offensive alliances to the nth degree. President Wilson has caught the vision of this alternative, which comes in the guise of genuine internationalism and he has given prophetic utterance to its meaning, its imperative summons, and its ultimate triumph.
Even as the true statesman in the midst of a bitter political campaign refuses to sacrifice his ideals on the altar of victory, so President Wilson refuses to adopt as his motto, “Anything to win the war!" He is constantly pressing home upon the American people and the Allies the insistent question, "What is the use of winning the war, if we do not win its real objects? Why lose the good we have, the good which generations of heroes and martyrs have won for us, in blind, unreasoning quest of victory?" And thus, once more, to our nation, as nineteen centuries ago to individuals, is pressed home the great inquiry, "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.”
Into the heart of the world's intercourse, our President is making a gallant effort to infuse the life-blood of Christianity. For the law of the jungle, he would substitute the law of Christ; for destructive competition, the golden rule, co-operation, mutual service. He would apply in internal relations the doctrine,--so familiar in our churches, so
foreign to our chancelleries,—of "bear ye one another's burdens.” For a suicidal struggle to force "a place in the sunshine,” he would put into practice the policy of conciliation and the doctrine of reconciliation. Instead of international anarchy, he would substitute international government. Instead of exploiting the “backward peoples,” he would apply the maxim of Noblesse oblige, and would summon all nations to mutual aid in their ascent of “the world's great altar-stairs” up to the law and order, peace and justice which constitute the true sunshine of God.
Governments representative of the people in every land; the democratic control of diplomacy; selfdetermination of nations large and small; freedom of the seas and free access to the seas; no "economic war after the war,” but “the open door” to every one; restoration of devastated lands as a world task; the reduction and limitation of armaments; the development of genuinely international means of conciliating differences, adjudicating disputes, and performing the world's work by and for all the world's people. Such is the Magna Carta, the Fifth Symphony, the Sermon on the Mount, of the new internationalism.
Will America follow this leadership? Will America blaze the way? As the Founders of the Republic in 1787 summoned Americans to “think Continentally" and to rise upon the stepping-stones of extreme State Sovereignty to the heights of the new Constitution and Union, so to-day the summons has gone forth to our fellow-countrymen and the world to "think Internationally" and to rise upon the stepping-stones of extreme National Sovereignty to the heights of the new Internationalism. Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; unto America much has been given. The Old World which now lies wounded nearly unto death has done its best for us in centuries past; can we repay that debt in part by leading its nations along the path of disarmament and judicial settlement, of conciliation and co-operation, which has led the States of our Union to such abounding peace and progress?
e its best part by
"Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
For the good or evil side.
Hast thou chosen, oh my people?”
Just now our ears are deafened by the tumult and the shouting of the present conflict; but under its cover are rallying among every nation the forces of reactionary imperialism, preparatory to carrying on after the war the old, old struggle of militarism and industrial or political autocracy against the rights of men and the peace of nations. With the national flag as a fetich, with an appeal to the fears