OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 20, 1917, NOON EDITION, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-04-20/ed-1/seq-3/

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and sale as bread and beef, and the
munition makers have the same right
to sell powder as the farmer has to
sell wheat. He may sell it not to the
English, but to any one who wishes
to buy, leaving the buyer to deliver
it if he can.
Quite aside from commercialism,
m if it should be the policy of nations
that a manufacturer in one country
could not sell war materials to an
other it would make it necessary for
every country to provide huge fac
tories that would leave them ready
at any time to embark in war. Noth
ing could happen which would more
seriously threaten -the peace of -nations
or which would be economic
ally more extravagant and wasteful
than this. To say that one 'nation
may build up its munition plants be
cause it loves war, and that another
may wish to live in peace and manu
facture no guns and that when a war
comes the peaceful nation shall have
no right to buy war materials, may
appeal to the logic of the pacifist, but
cannot appeal to their human feel
ings. The pacifist cannot settle this
question by theorizing on abstrac
tions. If you, Mr. Pacifist, had been
a resident of Belgium and found your
land invaded, would you have fought
or preached peace? Had you been a
resident of Northern France would
you have stood quietly while an in
vading army captured Paris and
wenl on to subjugate Europe? Is the
strongest nation and the one who
most loves war to be left free to. over
run a pacifist world, or are you to
fight? If your life is threatened, or
the life of your closest friend, or the
life of a member of your family, of
O the helpless child, are you to say you
will not fight, but let the stronger
have his way?
This is a question that a pacifist
must settle before he can say that
the course of the United .States can
not be justified. Neither can this be
settled by logic, or by theory. It can
be settled only by .putting himself be-1
fore an invading army and faking
into account his human emotions
and asking himself what he would
If France and Belgium were jus
tified in fighting the invaders, then
humanly at least, we are justified in
helping them fight. If the strong
power to conquer these nations finds
it necessary to destroy neutral ships
and kill unarmed pacifists without
warning, then the nations to whom
such people owe their allegiance, and
which, in turn, owe something to
them, have the right to resist that
power and to say that brute force
shall not prevail.
The president is right when he
says it is not a war against the Ger
man people, who as a people love
peace as well as any other, but a
war against an autocratic power that
believes in war, loves it for itself,
places the sword above anything else
and for love alone would make the
world its subject.
I am the last person to say that
pacifisms are cowardly, for I know the
kind and degree of courage neces
sary to make a stand against the
crowd; but for a nation as great and
as rich and as strong as America to
say that any other nation can violate
all the rules of war, inflict direct in
jury upon such nation and place the
world under its dominion, would be
either national cowardice or a devo
tion to greed, which Lthink would be
so great that it can not be charged
even to Wall street. To settle what
America should do, one needs simply -to
make it an individual question and
ask what you would do under like
conditions, and I think I know very
few pacifists who would not fight.
o o
Elmer C. Powell, a negro, and Rob
ert Haines, 14, a white boy, were tak
en into custody by the police at 30th
and State sts. this morning. Police
of Sharon, Pa., wired the Chicago po
lice that Powell had kidnapped the
boyfroni this city

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