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I. We need preparedness for national defense.
The instinct of self preservation is one of the fundamental forces of nature and when justly exercised in the defense of the individual or the nation cannot be adjudged other than moral.
II. We cannot get adequate preparedness unless we combine with it an international policy which will restrain its use for aggrandizement and will pledge its use to the maintenance of international law.
This is because of democracy's instinctive fear of the possible misuse of military power. A trip through the Great Middle West will convince anyone that the rank and file of Americans are not in the mood to support a movement for a great military power dedicated solely to the cause of national defense. President Wilson accurately interpreted the American spirit when recently he said:
"America will have forgotten her traditions, whenever, upon any occasion, she fights merely for herself under such circumstances as will show that she has forgotten to fight for all mankind. And the only excuse that America can ever have for the assertion of her physical force is that she asserts it in behalf of the interests of humanity. When America ceases to be unselfish, she will cease to be America. When she forgets the traditions of devotion of human rights in general which gave spirit and impulse to her founders, she will have lost her title deeds to her own nationality.”
This high tradition of unselfishness indicates that America will respond to any movement for preparedness if it be dedicated not only to national but to international interests at one and the same time.
III. The Democratic instinct thus proves itself sound, because in the long run an unselfish international policy will result in the best possible selfish protection.
IV. Without an international policy that makes peace more lasting, the nations of Europe must enter another race for armaments which, together with their war debts and the rebuilding of their industries, will create an urgent need for money that will force them to institute a destructive competition for markets that will react against the progress of democracy by complicating all of our fundamental problems.
If, at the end of the war, no method but war is left for the settlement of the inevitable disputes that will arise between nations, Europe will be driven to institute this race for markets in order to prepare herself for the next war, and the probable effect of such a race for markets upon our American problems will be as follows:
A. OUR EXPORT PROBLEM.
Our foreign markets will be greatly narrowed and in some lines closed by the reduced power to buy on the part of the European nations. Indirectly, the power to buy
will be reduced among other nations. Our foreign markets will be further restricted by the high protective tariffs which the European nations will maintain at the close of the war, first, as a method of securing greater income and second, as a method of making each nation as nearly selfsufficient as possible, for self-sufficiency is a great military asset.
B. OUR TARIFF PROBLEM.
It will be suggested that we can meet such a situation by erecting high tariff walls. But in many cases nothing short of a prohibitory tariff will meet the situation, and a prohibitory tariff would result, first, in a serious reduction of our governmental income, and second, would further restrict our export trade, because between nations as between individuals it takes two to make a trade. Therefore, any serious restrictions on our imports would, in a long run, limit our exports.
C. OUR TAXATION PROBLEM.
If the urgency of the situation should force us to a high protective tariff, our income would be so seriously reduced that we would face great deficits. These deficits would suggest an increasing amount of direct taxation, and efforts at direct taxation invariably produce violent protests and serious class strife. Throughout history, nations have gone down in efforts to levy direct taxes to the satisfaction of all classes.
D. OUR LABOR PROBLEM. If Europe throws upon our markets vast amounts of goods produced by labor that for patriotic reasons accepts abnormally low wages, it is clear that the higher wages of American labor will be thrown into a serious competition. There is, I know, a 'disposition upon the part of some to believe that labor will be so scarce in Europe at the end of the war that European wages will be kept up. But it must be remembered that to an unprecedented degree women have been drafted into the industrial army of Europe and that every year a vast number of boys are entering manhood and becoming available for industry. There is reason to believe that more labor will be available at the close of the war than before.
In addition, the intensity of this unprecedented and relentless commercial competition will divert public thought and energy from the fundamental problems of social progress. And this would mean an intensifying of our class strife and labor difficulties.
All this presents a grave outlook but it must be remembered that if at the end of this war some method other than war can be established for the settlement of future disputes that Europe will be relieved to some extent of this abnormally urgent need of money and therefore America can escape this complication of her problems.
NEW IDEALS OF LOYALTY.
V. In addition to material defense, a policy of preparedness for national defense as a means toward international peace can be made the center around which will gather a national movement in which may be awakened in Americans new ideals and new loyalties and new ambitions such as the Europeans are gaining as a sort of by-product of the sacrifice and suffering of war.
Along this road lies the surest approach to a durable peace. If we will follow it, as I feel sure we will, our high confidence in democratic institutions and in the destiny of America will be justified.
(Am. Academy of Political and Social Science, Annals, LXXII, July, 1917.)
(c) [$333] Economic Factors in an Enduring Peace. By E. E. PRATT (Former Chief of the U. S. Bureau of Foreign
and Domestic Commerce).
The economic factors responsible for the war and the economic interdependence of the nations of the world, upon which the war has thrown a new light, point the way toward the conditions of an enduring peace. In the first place, each nation must have access to raw materials and markets for its products in order to insure industrial development along the lines for which it is best suited. Secondly, there must be no preferential tariffs. Before the war Russia was dependent upon Germany to a very considerable degree as a market not only for rye and wheat, but for mineral products as well; and German influence had permeated Russian trade and industry. Now if Great Britain establishes a tariff on foodstuffs and raw materials and gives a preference to colonial goods in return for colonial tariff preferences to British manufactures, Russia will be forced again to sell her wheat to Germany. It is absolutely necessary, therefore, that England's markets, especially for foodstuffs, be opened to Russia and that British and American capital be invested in Russian industries. The United States also will expect freer entrance for its products into certain foreign markets. Discrimination against American goods, as now practised by France and Canada, cannot safely continue.
Commercial treaties are not sufficient to prevent disagreements. In some cases they even create difficulties for third parties, if not for those directly concerned; and their shortcomings emphasize the need of broader international agreements on many subjects that now cause disputes among nations. There is opportunity for this country to adopt a vigorous policy on international agreements with regard to the parcel post, patents and trade-marks, commercial statistics, commercial travelers, customs and sanitary regulations, and many similar matters, which could be satisfactorily handled by this method.
There might also be uniform shipping rules. At present the rebates given by certain steamship companies furnish one of the standing causes of disputes in the shipping world; but no one nation will force its steamship companies to eliminate rebates as long as steamship companies of other nations are free to offer them. Such difficulties might, however, be adjusted by an international agreement similar to the Brussels Sugar Convention. International control might likewise settle the long-continued controversies over points of strategic commercial importance, such as the Dardanelles and the railroad across Afghanistan or through Bagdad.
One of the strongest weapons of the proposed League to Enforce Peace would be its control of a certain number of raw materials, through the fact that members of the league produce the greater part of the world's supply. If, for example, a league among the nations thus had control of certain of the essential raw materials to which I have directed your attention and could, in the event of war, sufficiently curtail the shipment to any country of those essential raw materials, it would be a question of only a few weeks or a few months before the nation opposing the league would be forced into peace.
(American Academy of Political and Social Science, Annals, LXXIII, 138-139; July, 1917.)
I. [$334] WORLD REORGANIZATION. 1. Specific References in the Section. See $$153-155 above. Wells, H. G. Mr. Britling Sees It Through. (N. Y., Macmillan,
1916.) Angell, Norman. “New World State,” in N. Y. Times Current
History, II, 63-84 (April, 1915). America as head of the New
Acad. of Pol. & Social Science, 1915.)
2. World Congress.
By G. Lowes DICKINSON.
POSSIBILITIES OF A CONCERT.
Let us note, first, for our encouragement, that the lamentable condition under which Europe has been suffering for many centuries past, was not always its condition in the past, and need not be in the future. There was a time when the whole civilized world of the west lay at peace under a single rule; when the idea of separate sovereign states, always at war or in armed peace, would have seemed as monstrous and absurd as it now seems inevitable. And the great achievement of the Roman Empire left, when it sank, a sunset glow over the turmoil of the Middle Ages. Never would a medieval churchman or state have admitted that the independence of states was an ideal. It was an obstinate tendency, struggling into existence against all the preconceptions and beliefs of the time. Now there is hardly a philosopher or historian who does not urge that the sovereignty of independent states is the last word of political fact and political wisdom.
DIVERSITY AND COMMON ACTION.
And no doubt, in some respects it has been an advance. In so far as there are real nations, and these are coincident with states, it is well that they should develop freely their specific gifts and characters. The good future of the world is not with uniformity, but with diversity. But it should be well understood that all the diversity required is compatible with political union. The ideal of the future is federation; and to that ideal all the significant facts of the present point. It is idle for states to resist the current. Their trade, their manufactures, their arts, their sciences, all contradict their political assumptions. War is a survival from the past. It is not a permanent condition of human life. And, interestingly enough, this truth has been expressing itself for a century even in the political consciousness of Europe. Ever since the great French wars, there has been a rudimentary organ, the “concert,” for dealing with European affairs as a whole. There is hardly an international issue for a hundred years past with which it has not concerned itself. It has recognized, again and again, not in theory only, but in practical action, that the disputes of any states are of vital interest to all the rest, and that powers not immediately concerned have a right and a duty to interviene. Not once, but many times it has avoided war by concerted action. And though its organization is imperfect, its personnel unsatisfactory, and its possibilities limited by the jealousies, fears and ambitions of the several powers, it represents a clear advance in the right direction and a definite admission, by statesmen and politicians, that internationalism is the great and growing force of the present. What we have to do, at the conclusion of this war, is to discover and to embody in the public law of Europe the next step toward the ultimate federal union. We must have something better than the concert. We cannot hope to achieve the federation. What can we do?
A CONGRESS OF THE POWERS.
Let us suppose, now, that the preliminaries of peace have been settled, and settled, we must hope, on right lines. There should then be summoned a congress to regulate the carry