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Newspaper Page Text
CHARLES EDWARD RUSSELL CALLS ENGLAND'S
WAR THE GOVERNING CLASS WAR
BY CHARLES EDWARD RUSSELL
American Editor, Magazine Writer
.and Economist, Whose Special
Articles from the European
War Zone Appear Ex
clusively in This
(Copyright, 1915, by the Newspaper
London, May 22 This nightmare
of horrors that is called the European
war has already upset more theories,
hopes and pet fancies than any other
event in civilized history and threat
ens to upset many more.
For instance, we always used to
say that wars are fought by the work
ers and wage earners, that the work
ers not only pay all the bills of war
but furnish, the cannon fodder.
I have said so myself many times
and always believed it.
But now we leam that so far as
Great Britain is concerned, anyway,
this is an illusion to go out with the
The army now enrolled under the
British colors contains, of course, a
great many workingmen; but the
bulk of it has been recruited from
T& the appeal that the nation is in
peril, the aristocracy has marvelously
responded; few families, among the
old English nobility have been un
touched by the casualty lists.
The landed families and the well-to-do
have responded; thousands of
their sons lie dead in Flanders.
Professional men and what are
called the clerical classes, salesmen,
bookkeepers, clerks, secretaries and
the like, have responded; hundreds of
thousands of them are now under
ihe wage workers have not sim
ilarly responded; where they are en
rolled they have for the most part
taken up arms for other motives!
than an overmastering enthusiasm
for their country's quarreL
v This fact is never printed nor pub
licly referred to. For the first time it
now finds its way into type. And yet
it is most significant, it exists exactly
as I have stated it, and privately arty
well-informed Englishman will admit
This is one great reason why nine
months of this war have passed and
Britain's army is still incomplete.
This is why enlistments lag and the
totals must be kept secret. This is
that "calm and unruffled demeanor"
of the populace that many writers
have mentioned. This is the "apa
thy" that at the enlistment meetings
the unreported orators are scolding
"Apathy" is the euphemistic word
The wealthy and comfortable
classes of the kingdom are deeply and
terribly wrought by the war. They
feel the issues at stake; without hes
itation they offer themselves and
their sons to their country. They
hang breathless upon the dispatches,
snap up the rare newspaper extras,
and sometimes collapse under the
terrific strain that digs lines deep in
the faces of the most resolute.
The masses of poor men have a
general belief that their country will
win, but otherwise they are not much,
It isn't their war.
Daily the big black type of the
newspaper placards thrust some
startling news at them. They glance
at it and plod their ways. A detach
ment of troops marches down the
street on its way to the firing line in.
Flanders. Never a cheer is raised.
A man on the sidewalk may stop to
look curiously at the soldiers; the
crowd ploughs along and never heeds.
A company of fresh recruits goes by"
in civilian dress, young men and boys
not yet come to khaki There is fa?
, je . z-'
mill imiMi i