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The Kingdom of God is within you by Leo Tolstoy

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but formed themselves spontaneously, like ant-hills or swarms of
bees, and have a real existence. The man who, for the sake of his
own animal personality, loves his family, knows whom he loves:
Anna, Dolly, John, Peter, and so on. The man who loves his tribe
and takes pride in it, knows that he loves all the Guelphs or all
the Ghibellines; the man who loves the state knows that he loves
France bounded by the Rhine, and the Pyrenees, and its principal
city Paris, and its history and so on. But the man who loves
humanity--what does he love? There is such a thing as a state, as
a nation; there is the abstract conception of man; but humanity as
a concrete idea does not, and cannot exist.

Humanity! Where is the definition of humanity? Where does it end
and where does it begin? Does humanity end with the savage, the
idiot, the dipsomaniac, or the madman? If we draw a line
excluding from humanity its lowest representatives, where are we
to draw the line? Shall we exclude the negroes like the
Americans, or the Hindoos like some Englishmen, or the Jews like
some others? If we include all men without exception, why should
we not include also the higher animals, many of whom are superior
to the lowest specimens of the human race.

We know nothing of humanity as an eternal object, and we know
nothing of its limits. Humanity is a fiction, and it is
impossible to love it. It would, doubtless, be very advantageous
if men could love humanity just as they love their family. It
would be very advantageous, as Communists advocate, to replace the
competitive, individualistic organization of men's activity by a
social universal organization, so that each would be for all and
all for each.

Only there are no motives to lead men to do this. The
Positivists, the Communists, and all the apostles of fraternity on
scientific principles advocate the extension to the whole of
humanity of the love men feel for themselves, their families, and
the state. They forget that the love which they are discussing is
a personal love, which might expand in a rarefied form to embrace
a man's native country, but which disappears before it can embrace
an artificial state such as Austria, England, or Turkey, and which
we cannot even conceive of in relation to all humanity, an
absolutely mystic conception.

"A man loves himself (his animal personality), he loves his
family, he even loves his native country. Why should he not love
humanity? That would be such an excellent thing. And by the way,
it is precisely what is taught by Christianity." So think the
advocates of Positivist, Communistic, or Socialistic fraternity.

It would indeed be an excellent thing. But it can never be, for
the love that is based on a personal or social conception of life
can never rise beyond love for the state.

The fallacy of the argument lies in the fact that the social
conception of life, on which love for family and nation is
founded, rests itself on love of self, and that love grows weaker
and weaker as it is extended from self to family, tribe,
nationality, and slate; and in the state we reach the furthest
limit beyond which it cannot go.

The necessity of extending the sphere of love is beyond dispute.
But in reality the possibility of this love is destroyed by the
necessity of extending its object indefinitely. And thus the
insufficiency of personal human love is made manifest.

And here the advocates of Positivist, Communistic, Socialistic
fraternity propose to draw upon Christian love to make up the
default of this bankrupt human love; but Christian love only in
its results, not in its foundations. They propose love for
humanity alone, apart from love for God.

But such a love cannot exist. There is no motive to produce it.
Christian love is the result only of the Christian conception of
life, in which the aim of life is to love and serve God.

The social conception of life has led men, by a natural transition
from love of self and then of family, tribe, nation, and state, to
a consciousness of the necessity of love for humanity, a
conception which has no definite limits and extends to all living
things. And this necessity for love of what awakens no kind of
sentiment in a man is a contradiction which cannot be solved by
the social theory of life.

The Christian doctrine in its full significance can alone solve
it, by giving a new meaning to life. Christianity recognizes love
of self, of family, of nation, and of humanity, and not only of
humanity, but of everything living, everything existing; it
recognizes the necessity of an infinite extension of the sphere of
love. But the object of this love is not found outside self in
societies of individuals, nor in the external world, but within
self, in the divine self whose essence is that very love, which
the animal self is brought to feel the need of through its
consciousness of its own perishable nature.

The difference between the Christian doctrine and those which
preceded it is that the social doctrine said: "Live in opposition
to your nature [understanding by this only the animal nature],
make it subject to the external law of family, society, and
state." Christianity says: "Live according to your nature
[understanding by this the divine nature]; do not make it subject
to anything--neither you (an animal self) nor that of others--and
you will attain the very aim to which you are striving when you
subject your external self."

The Christian doctrine brings a man to the elementary
consciousness of self, only not of the animal self, but of the
divine self, the divine spark, the self as the Son of God, as much
God as the Father himself, though confined in an animal husk. The
consciousness of being the Son of God, whose chief characteristic
is love, satisfies the need for the extension of the sphere of
love to which the man of the social conception of life had been
brought. For the latter, the welfare of the personality demanded
an ever-widening extension of the sphere of love; love was a
necessity and was confined to certain objects--self, family,
society. With the Christian conception of life, love is not a
necessity and is confined to no object; it is the essential
faculty of the human soul. Man loves not because it is his
interest to love this or that, but because love is the essence of
his soul, because he cannot but love.

The Christian doctrine shows man that the essence of his soul is
love--that his happiness depends not on loving this or that
object, but on loving the principle of the whole--God, whom he
recognizes within himself as love, and therefore he loves all
things and all men.

In this is the fundamental difference between the Christian
doctrine and the doctrine of the Positivists, and all the
theorizers about universal brotherhood on non-Christian

Such are the two principal misunderstandings relating to the
Christian religion, from which the greater number of false
reasonings about it proceed. The first consists in the belief
that Christ's teaching instructs men, like all previous religions,
by rules, which they are bound to follow, and that these rules
cannot be fulfilled. The second is the idea that the whole
purport of Christianity is to teach men to live advantageously
together, as one family, and that to attain this we need only
follow the rule of love to humanity, dismissing all thought of
love of God altogether.

The mistaken notion of scientific men that the essence of
Christianity consists in the supernatural, and that its moral
teaching is impracticable, constitutes another reason
of the failure of men of the present day to understand



Men Think they can Accept Christianity without Altering their
Life--Pagan Conception of Life does not Correspond with Present
Stage of Development of Humanity, and Christian Conception
Alone Can Accord with it--Christian Conception of Life not yet
Understood by Men, but the Progress of Life itself will Lead
them Inevitably to Adopt it--The Requirements of a New Theory
of Life Always Seem Incomprehensible, Mystic, and Supernatural
--So Seem the Requirements of the Christian Theory of Life to
the Majority of Men--The Absorption of the Christian Conception
of Life will Inevitably be Brought About as the Result of
Material and Spiritual Causes--The Fact of Men Knowing the
Requirements of the Higher View of Life, and yet Continuing to
Preserve Inferior Organizations of Life, Leads to
Contradictions and Sufferings which Embitter Existence and Must
Result in its Transformation--The Contradictions of our Life--
The Economic Contradiction and the Suffering Induced by it for
Rich and Poor Alike--The Political Contradiction and the
Sufferings Induced by Obedience to the Laws of the State--The
International Contradiction and the Recognition of it by
Contemporaries: Komarovsky, Ferri, Booth, Passy, Lawson,
Wilson, Bartlett, Defourney, Moneta--The Striking Character of
the Military Contradiction.

There are many reasons why Christ's teaching is not understood.
One reason is that people suppose they have understood it when
they have decided, as the Churchmen do, that it was revealed by
supernatural means, or when they have studied, as the scientific
men do, the external forms in which it has been manifested.
Another reason is the mistaken notion that it is impracticable,
and ought to be replaced by the doctrine of love for humanity.
But the principal reason, which is the source of all the other
mistaken ideas about it, is the notion that Christianity is a
doctrine which can be accepted or rejected without any change of

Men who are used to the existing order of things, who like it and
dread its being changed, try to take the doctrine as a collection
of revelations and rules which one can accept without their
modifying one's life. While Christ's teaching is not only a
doctrine which gives rules which a man must follow, it unfolds a
new meaning in life, and defines a whole world of human activity
quite different from all that has preceded it and appropriate to
the period on which man is entering.

The life of humanity changes and advances, like the life of the
individual, by stages, and every stage has a theory of life
appropriate to it, which is inevitably absorbed by men. Those who
do not absorb it consciously, absorb it unconsciously. It is the
same with the changes in the beliefs of peoples and of all
humanity as it is with the changes of belief of individuals. If
the father of a family continues to be guided in his conduct by
his childish conceptions of life, life becomes so difficult for
him that he involuntarily seeks another philosophy and readily
absorbs that which is appropriate to his age.

That is just what is happening now to humanity at this time of
transition through which we are passing, from the pagan conception
of life to the Christian. The socialized man of the present day
is brought by experience of life itself to the necessity of
abandoning the pagan conception of life, which is inappropriate to
the present stage of humanity, and of submitting to the obligation
of the Christian doctrines, the truths of which, however corrupt
and misinterpreted, are still known to him, and alone offer him a
solution of the contradictions surrounding him.

If the requirements of the Christian doctrine seem strange and
even alarming to the than of the social theory of life, no less
strange, incomprehensible, and alarming to the savage of ancient
times seemed the requirements of the social doctrine when it was
not fully understood and could not be foreseen in its results.

"It is unreasonable," said the savage, "to sacrifice my peace of
mind or my life in defense of something incomprehensible,
impalpable, and conventional--family, tribe, or nation; and above
all it is unsafe to put oneself at the disposal of the power of

But the time came when the savage, on one hand, felt, though
vaguely, the value of the social conception of life, and of its
chief motor power, social censure, or social approbation--glory,
and when, on the other hand, the difficulties of his personal life
became so great that he could not continue to believe in the value
of his old theory of life. Then he accepted the social, state
theory of life and submitted to it.

That is just what the man of the social theory of life is passing
through now.

"It is unreasonable," says the socialized man, "to sacrifice my
welfare and that of my family and my country in order to fulfill
some higher law, which requires me to renounce my most natural and
virtuous feelings of love of self, of family, of kindred, and of
country; and above all, it is unsafe to part with the security of
life afforded by the organization of government."

But the time is coming when, on one hand, the vague consciousness
in his soul of the higher law, of love to God and his neighbor,
and, on the other hand, the suffering, resulting from the
contradictions of life, will force the man to reject the social
theory and to assimilate the new one prepared ready for him, which
solves all the contradictions and removes all his sufferings--the
Christian theory of life. And this time has now come.

We, who thousands of years ago passed through the transition, from
the personal, animal view of life to the socialized view, imagine
that that transition was an inevitable and natural one; but this
transition though which we have been passing for the last eighteen
hundred years seems arbitrary, unnatural, and alarming. But we
only fancy this because that first transition has been so fully
completed that the practice attained by it has become unconscious
and instinctive in us, while the present transition is not yet
over and we have to complete it consciously.

It took ages, thousands of years, for the social conception of
life to permeate men's consciousness. It went through various
forms and has now passed into the region of the instinctive
through inheritance, education, and habit. And therefore it seems
natural to us. But five thousand years ago it seemed as unnatural
and alarming to men as the Christian doctrine in its true sense
seems to-day.

We think to-day that the requirements of the Christian doctrine--
of universal brotherhood, suppression of national distinctions,
abolition of private property, and the strange injunction of non-
resistance to evil by force--demand what is impossible. But it
was just the same thousands of years ago, with every social or
even family duty, such as the duty of parents to support their
children, of the young to maintain the old, of fidelity in
marriage. Still more strange, and even unreasonable, seemed the
state duties of submitting to the appointed authority, and paying
taxes, and fighting in defense of the country, and so on. All
such requirements seem simple, comprehensible, and natural to us
to-day, and we see nothing mysterious or alarming in them. But
three or five thousand years ago they seemed to require what was

The social conception of life served as the basis of religion
because at the time when it was first presented to men it seemed
to them absolutely incomprehensible, mystic, and supernatural.
Now that we have outlived that phase of the life of humanity, we
understand the rational grounds for uniting men in families,
communities, and states. But in antiquity the duties involved by
such association were presented under cover of the supernatural
and were confirmed by it.

The patriarchal religions exalted the family, the tribe, the
nation. State religions deified emperors and states. Even now
most ignorant people--like our peasants, who call the Tzar an
earthly god--obey state laws, not through any rational recognition
of their necessity, nor because they have any conception of the
meaning of state, but through a religious sentiment.

In precisely the same way the Christian doctrine is presented to
men of the social or heathen theory of life to-day, in the guise
of a supernatural religion, though there is in reality nothing
mysterious, mystic, or supernatural about it. It is simply the
theory of life which is appropriate to the present degree of
material development, the present stage of growth of humanity, and
which must therefore inevitably be accepted.

The time will come--it is already coming--when the Christian
principles of equality and fraternity, community of property, non-
resistance of evil by force, will appear just as natural and
simple as the principles of family or social life seem to us now.

Humanity can no more go backward in its development than the
individual man. Men have outlived the social, family, and state
conceptions of life. Now they must go forward and assimilate the
next and higher conception of life, which is what is now taking
place. This change is brought about in two ways: consciously
through spiritual causes, and unconsciously through material

Just as the individual man very rarely changes his way of life at
the dictates of his reason alone, but generally continues to live
as before, in spite of the new interests and aims revealed to him
by his reason, and only alters his way of living when it has
become absolutely opposed to his conscience, and consequently
intolerable to him; so, too, humanity, long after it has learnt
through its religions the new interests and aims of life, toward
which it must strive, continues in the majority of its
representatives to live as before, and is only brought to accept
the new conception by finding it impossible to go on living its
old life as before.

Though the need of a change of life is preached by the religious
leaders and recognized and realized by the most intelligent men,
the majority, in spite of their reverential attitude to their
leaders, that is, their faith in their teaching, continue to be
guided by the old theory of life in their present complex
existence. As though the father of a family, knowing how he ought
to behave at his age, should yet continue through habit and
thoughtlessness to live in the same childish way as he did in

That is just what is happening in the transition of humanity from
one stage to another, through which we are passing now. Humanity
has outgrown its social stage and has entered upon a new period.
It recognizes the doctrine which ought to be made the basis of
life in this new period. But through inertia it continues to keep
up the old forms of life. From this inconsistency between the new
conception of life and practical life follows a whole succession
of contradictions and sufferings which embitter our life and
necessitate its alteration.

One need only compare the practice of life with the theory of it,
to be dismayed at the glaring antagonism between our conditions of
life and our conscience.

Our whole life is in flat contradiction with all we know, and with
all we regard as necessary and right. This contradiction runs
through everything, in economic life, in political life, and in
international life. As though the had forgotten what we knew and
put away for a time the principles we believe in (we cannot help
still believing in them because they are the only foundation we
have to base our life on) we do the very opposite of all that our
conscience and our common sense require of us.

We are guided in economical, political, and international
questions by the principles which were appropriate to men of three
or five thousand years ago, though they are directly opposed to
our conscience and the conditions of life in which we are placed

It was very well for the man of ancient times to live in a society
based on the division of mankind into masters and slaves, because
he believed that such a distinction was decreed by God and must
always exist. But is such a belief possible in these days?

The man of antiquity could believe he had the right to enjoy the
good things of this world at the expense of other men, and to keep
them in misery for generations, since he believed that men came
from different origins, were base or noble in blood, children of
Ham or of Japhet. The greatest sages of the world, the teachers
of humanity, Plato and Aristotle, justified the existence of
slaves and demonstrated the lawfulness of slavery; and even three
centuries ago, the men who described an imaginary society of the
future, Utopia, could not conceive of it without slaves.

Men of ancient and medieval times believed, firmly believed, that
men are not equal, that the only true men are Persians, or Greeks,
or Romans, or Franks. But we cannot believe that now. And people
who sacrifice themselves for the principles of aristocracy and of
patriotism to-duty, don't believe and can't believe what they

We all know and cannot help knowing--even though we may never have
heard the idea clearly expressed, may never have read of it, and
may never have put it into words, still through unconsciously
imbibing the Christian sentiments that are in the air--with our
whole heart we know and cannot escape knowing the fundamental
truth of the Christian doctrine, that we are all sons of one
Father, wherever we may live and whatever language we may speak;
we are all brothers and are subject to the same law of love
implanted by our common Father in our hearts.

Whatever the opinions and degree of education of a man of to-day,
whatever his shade of liberalism, whatever his school of
philosophy, or of science, or of economics, however ignorant or
superstitious he may be, every man of the present day knows that
all men have an equal right to life and the good things of life,
and that one set of people are no better nor worse than another,
that all are equal. Everyone knows this, beyond doubt; everyone
feels it in his whole being. Yet at the same time everyone sees
all round him the division of men into two castes--the one,
laboring, oppressed, poor, and suffering, the other idle,
oppressing, luxurious, and profligate. And everyone not only sees
this, but voluntarily or involuntarily, in one way or another, he
takes part in maintaining this distinction which his conscience
condemns. And he cannot help suffering from the consciousness of
this contradiction and his share in it.

Whether he be master or slave, the man of to-day cannot help
constantly feeling the painful opposition between his conscience
and actual life, and the miseries resulting from it.

The toiling masses, the immense majority of mankind who are
suffering under the incessant, meaningless, and hopeless toil and
privation in which their whole life is swallowed up, still find
their keenest suffering in the glaring contrast between what is
and what ought to be, according to all the beliefs held by
themselves, and those who have brought them to that condition and
keep them in it.

They know that they are in slavery and condemned to privation and
darkness to minister to the lusts of the minority who keep them
down. They know it, and they say so plainly. And this knowledge
increases their sufferings and constitutes its bitterest sting.

The slave of antiquity knew that he was a slave by nature, but our
laborer, while he feels he is a slave, knows that he ought not to
be, and so he tastes the agony of Tantalus, forever desiring and
never gaining what might and ought to be his.

The sufferings of the working classes, springing from the
contradiction between what is and what ought to be, are increased
tenfold by the envy and hatred engendered by their consciousness
of it.

The laborer of the present day would not cease to suffer even if
his toil were much lighter than that of the slave of ancient
times, even if he gained an eight-hour working day and a wage of
three dollars a day. For he is working at the manufacture of
things which he will not enjoy, working not by his own will for
his own benefit, but through necessity, to satisfy the desires of
luxurious and idle people in general, and for the profit of a
single rich man, the owner of a factory or workshop in particular.
And he knows that all this is going on in a world in which it is a
recognized scientific principle that labor alone creates wealth,
and that to profit by the labor of others is immoral, dishonest,
and punishable by law; in a world, moreover, which professes to
believe Christ's doctrine that we are all brothers, and that true
merit and dignity is to be found in serving one's neighbor, not in
exploiting him. All this he knows, and he cannot but suffer
keenly from the sharp contrast between what is and what ought to

"According to all principles, according to all I know, and what
everyone professes," the workman says to himself. "I ought to be
free, equal to everyone else, and loved; and I am--a slave,
humiliated and hated." And he too is filled with hatred and tries
to find means to escape from his position, to shake off the enemy
who is over-riding him, and to oppress him in turn. People say,
"Workmen have no business to try to become capitalists, the poor
to try to put themselves in the place of the rich." That is a
mistake. The workingmen and the poor would be wrong if they tried
to do so in a world in which slaves and masters were regarded as
different species created by God; but they are living in a world
which professes the faith of the Gospel, that all are alike sons
of God, and so brothers and equal. And however men may try to
conceal it, one of the first conditions of Christian life is love,
not in words but in deeds.

The man of the so-called educated classes lives in still more
glaring inconsistency and suffering. Every educated man, if he
believes in anything, believes in the brotherhood of all men, or
at least he has a sentiment of humanity, or else of justice, or
else he believes in science. And all the while he knows that his
whole life is framed on principles in direct opposition to it all,
to all the principles of Christianity, humanity, justice, and

He knows that all the habits in which he has been brought up, and
which he could not give up without suffering, can only be
satisfied through the exhausting, often fatal, toil of oppressed
laborers, that is, through the most obvious and brutal violation
of the principles of Christianity, humanity, and justice, and even
of science (that is, economic science). He advocates the
principles of fraternity, humanity, justice, and science, and yet
he lives so that he is dependent on the oppression of the working
classes, which he denounces, and his whole life is based on the
advantages gained by their oppression. Moreover he is directing
every effort to maintaining this state of things so flatly opposed
to all his beliefs.

We are all brothers--and yet every morning a brother or a sister
must empty the bedroom slops for me. We are all brothers, but
every morning I must have a cigar, a sweetmeat, an ice, and such
things, which my brothers and sisters have been wasting their
health in manufacturing, and I enjoy these things and demand them.
We are all brothers, yet I live by working in a bank, or
mercantile house, or shop at making all goods dearer for my
brothers. We are all brothers, but I live on a salary paid me for
prosecuting, judging, and condemning the thief or the prostitute
whose existence the whole tenor of my life tends to bring about,
and who I know ought not to be punished but reformed. We are all
brothers, but I live on the salary I gain by collecting taxes from
needy laborers to be spent on the luxuries of the rich and idle.
We are all brothers, but I take a stipend for preaching a false
Christian religion, which I do not myself believe in, and which
only serve's to hinder men from understanding true Christianity.
I take a stipend as priest or bishop for deceiving men in the
matter of the greatest importance to them. We are all brothers,
but I will not give the poor the benefit of my educational,
medical, or literary labors except for money. We are all
brothers, yet I take a salary for being ready to commit murder,
for teaching men to murder, or making firearms, gunpowder, or

The whole life of the upper classes is a constant inconsistency.
The more delicate a man's conscience is, the more painful this
contradiction is to him.

A man of sensitive conscience cannot but suffer if he lives such a
life. The only means by which he can escape from this suffering
is by blunting his conscience, but even if some men succeed in
dulling their conscience they cannot dull their fears.

The men of the higher dominating classes whose conscience is
naturally not sensitive or has become blunted, if they don't
suffer through conscience, suffer from fear and hatred. They are
bound to suffer. They know all the hatred of them existing, and
inevitably existing in the working classes. They are aware that
the working classes know that they are deceived and exploited, and
that they are beginning to organize themselves to shake off
oppression and revenge themselves on their oppressors. The higher
classes see the unions, the strikes, the May Day Celebrations, and
feel the calamity that is threatening them, and their terror
passes into an instinct of self-defense and hatred. They know
that if for one instant they are worsted in the struggle with
their oppressed slaves, they will perish, because the slaves are
exasperated and their exasperation is growing more intense with
every day of oppression. The oppressors, even if they wished to
do so, could not make an end to oppression. They know that they
themselves will perish directly they even relax the harshness of
their oppression. And they do not relax it, in spite of all their
pretended care for the welfare of the working classes, for the
eight-hour day, for regulation of the labor of minors and of
women, for savings banks and pensions. All that is humbug, or
else simply anxiety to keep the slave fit to do his work. But the
slave is still a slave, and the master who cannot live without a
slave is less disposed to set him free than ever.

The attitude of the ruling classes to the laborers is that of a
man who has felled his adversary to the earth and holds him down,
not so much because he wants to hold him down, as because he knows
that if he let him go, even for a second, he would himself be
stabbed, for his adversary is infuriated and has a knife in his
hand. And therefore, whether their conscience is tender or the
reverse, our rich men cannot enjoy the wealth they have filched
from the poor as the ancients did who believed in their right to
it. Their whole life and all their enjoyments are embittered
either by the stings of conscience or by terror.

So much for the economic contradiction. The political
contradiction is even more striking.

All men are brought up to the habit of obeying the laws of the
state before everything. The whole existence of modern times is
defined by laws. A man marries and is divorced, educates his
children, and even (in many countries) professes his religious
faith in accordance with the law. What about the law then which
defines our whose existence? Do men believe in it? Do they
regard it as good? Not at all. In the majority of cases people
of the present time do not believe in the justice of the law, they
despise it, but still they obey it. It was very well for the
men of the ancient world to observe their laws. They firmly
believed that their law (it was generally of a religious
character) was the only just law, which everyone ought to obey.
But is it so with us? we know and cannot help knowing that the law
of our country is not the one eternal law; that it is only one of
the many laws of different countries, which are equally imperfect,
often obviously wrong and unjust, and are criticised from every
point of view in the newspapers. The Jew might well obey his
laws, since he had not the slightest doubt that God had written
them with his finger; the Roman too might well obey the laws which
he thought had been dictated by the nymph Egeria. Men might well
observe the laws if they believed the Tzars who made them were
God's anointed, or even if they thought they were the work of
assemblies of lawgivers who had the power and the desire to make
them as good as possible. But we all know how our laws are
made. We have all been behind the scenes, we know that they are
the product of covetousness, trickery, and party struggles; that
there is not and cannot be any real justice in them. And so
modern men cannot believe that obedience to civic or political
laws can satisfy the demands of the reason or of human nature.
Men have long ago recognized that it is irrational to obey a law
the justice of which is very doubtful, and so they cannot but
suffer in obeying a law which they do not accept as judicious and

A man cannot but suffer when his whole life is defined beforehand
for him by laws, which he must obey under threat of punishment,
though he does not believe in their wisdom or justice, and often
clearly perceives their injustice, cruelty, and artificiality.

We recognize the uselessness of customs and import duties, and are
obliged to pay them. We recognize the uselessness of the
expenditure on the maintenance of the Court and other members of
Government, and we regard the teaching of the Church as injurious,
but we are obliged to bear our share of the expenses of these
institutions. We regard the punishments inflicted by law as cruel
and shameless, but we must assist in supporting them. We regard
as unjust and pernicious the distribution of landed property, but
we are obliged to submit to it. We see no necessity for wars and
armies, but we must bear terribly heavy burdens in support of
troops and war expenses.

But this contradiction is nothing in comparison with the
contradiction which confronts us when we turn to international
questions, and which demands a solution, under pain of the loss of
the sanity and even the existence of the human race. That is the
contradiction between the Christian conscience and war.

We are all Christian nations living the same spiritual life, so
that every noble and pregnant thought, springing up at one end of
the world, is at once communicated to the whole of Christian
humanity and evokes everywhere the same emotion at pride and
rejoicing without distinction of nationalities. We who love
thinkers, philanthropists, poets, and scientific men of foreign
origin, and are as proud of the exploits of Father Damien as if he
were one of ourselves, we, who have a simple love for men of
foreign nationalities, Frenchmen, Germans, Americans, and
Englishmen, who respect their qualities, are glad to meet them and
make them so warmly welcome, cannot regard war with them as
anything heroic. We cannot even imagine without horror the
possibility of a disagreement between these people and ourselves
which would call for reciprocal murder. Yet we are all bound to
take a hand in this slaughter which is bound to come to pass to-
morrow not to-day.

It was very well for the Jew, the Greek, and the Roman to defend
the independence of his nation by murder. For he piously believed
that his people was the only true, fine, and good people dear to
God, and all the rest were Philistines, barbarians. Men of
medieval times--even up to the end of the last and beginning of
this century--might continue to hold this belief. But however
much we work upon ourselves we cannot believe it. And this
contradiction for men of the present day has become so full of
horror that without its solution life is no longer possible.

"We live in a time which is full of inconsistencies," writes Count
Komarovsky, the professor of international law, in his learned

"The press of ail countries is continually expressing the
universal desire for peace, and the general sense of its
necessity for all nations.

"Representatives of governments, private persons, and official
organs say the same thing; it is repeated in parliamentary
debates, diplomatic correspondence, and even in state treaties.
At the same time governments are increasing the strength of
their armies every year, levying fresh taxes, raising loans,
and leaving as a bequest to future generations the duty of
repairing the blunders of the senseless policy of the present.
What a striking contrast between words and deeds! Of course
governments will plead in justification of these measures that
all their expenditure and armament are exclusively for purposes
of defense. But it remains a mystery to every disinterested
man whence they can expect attacks if all the great powers are
single-hearted in their policy, in pursuing nothing but self
defense. In reality it looks as if each of the great powers
were every instant anticipating an attack on the part of the
others. And this results in a general feeling of insecurity
and superhuman efforts on the part of each government to
increase their forces beyond those of the other powers. Such a
competition of itself increases the danger of war. Nations
cannot endure the constant increase of armies for long, and
sooner or later they will prefer war to all the disadvantages
of their present position and the constant menace of war. Then
the most trifling pretext will be sufficient to throw the whole
of Europe into the fire of universal war. And it is a mistaken
idea that such a crisis might deliver us from the political and
economical troubles that are crushing us. The experience of
the wars of latter years teaches us that every war has only
intensified national hatreds, made military burdens more
crushing and insupportable, and rendered the political and
economical grievous and insoluble."

"Modern Europe keeps under arms an active army of nine millions of
men," writes Enrico Ferri,

"besides fifteen millions of reserve, with an outlay of four
hundred millions of francs per annum. By continual increase of
the armed force, the sources of social and individual
prosperity are paralyzed, and the state of the modern world may
be compared to that of a man who condemns himself to wasting
from lack of nutrition in order to provide himself with arms,
losing thereby the strength to use the arms he provides, under,
the weight of which he will at last succumb."

Charles Booth, in his paper read in London before the Association
for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, June 26,
1887, says the same thing. After referring to the same number,
nine millions of the active army and fifteen millions of reserve,
and the enormous expenditure of governments on the support and
arming of these forces, he says:

"These figures represent only a small part of the real cost,
because besides the recognized expenditure of the war budget of
the various nations, we ought also to take into account the
enormous loss to society involved in withdrawing from it such
an immense number of its most vigorous men, who are taken from
industrial pursuits and every kind of labor, as well as the
enormous interest on the sums expended on military preparations
without any return. The inevitable result of this expenditure
on war and preparations for war is a continually growing
national debt. The greater number of loans raised by the
governments of Europe were with a view to war. Their total sum
amounts to four hundred millions sterling, and these debts are
increasing every year."

The same Professor Komarovsky says in another place:

"We live in troubled times. Everywhere we hear complaints of
the depression of trade and manufactures, and the wretchedness
of the economic position generally, the miserable conditions of
existence of the working classes, and the universal
impoverishment of the masses. But in spite of this, governments
in their efforts to maintain their independence rush to the
greatest extremes of senselessness. New taxes and duties are
being devised everywhere, and the financial oppression of the
nations knows no limits. If we glance at the budgets of the
states of Europe for the last hundred years, what strikes us
most of all is their rapid and continually growing increase.

"How can we explain this extraordinary phenomenon which sooner
or later threatens us all with inevitable bankruptcy?

"It is caused beyond dispute by the expenditure for the
maintenance of armaments which swallows up a third and even a
half of all the expenditure of European states. And the most
melancholy thing is that one can foresee no limit to this
augmentation of the budget and impoverishment of the masses.
What is socialism but a protest against this abnormal position
in which the greater proportion of the population of our world
is placed?

"We are ruining ourselves," says Frederick Passy in a letter read
before the last Congress of Universal Peace (in 1890) in London,

"we are ruining ourselves in order to be able to take part in
the senseless wars of the future or to pay the interest on
debts we have incurred by the senseless and criminal wars of
the past. We are dying of hunger so as to secure the means of
killing each other."

Speaking later on of the way the subject is looked at in France,
he says:

"We believe that, a hundred years after the Declaration of the
Rights of Man and of the citizen, the time has come to
recognize the rights of nations and to renounce at once and
forever all those undertakings based on fraud and force, which,
under the name of conquests, are veritable crimes against
humanity, and which, whatever the vanity of monarchs and the
pride of nations may think of them, only weaken even those who
are triumphant over them."

"I am surprised at the way religion is carried on in this
country," said Sir Wilfrid Lawson at the same congress.

"You send a boy to Sunday school, and you tell him: 'Dear boy,
you must love your enemies. If another boy strikes you, you
mustn't hit him back, but try to reform him by loving him.'
Well. The boy stays in the Sunday school till he is fourteen
or fifteen, and then his friends send him into the army. What
has he to do in the army? He certainly won't love his enemy;
quite the contrary, if he can only get at him, he will run him
through with his bayonet. That is the nature of all religious
teaching in this country. I do not think that that is a very
good way of carrying out the precepts of religion. I think if
it is a good thing for a boy to love his enemy, it is good for
a grown-up man."

"There are in Europe twenty-eight millions of men under arms,"
says Wilson,

"to decide disputes, not by discussion, but by murdering one
another. That is the accepted method for deciding disputes
among Christian nations. This method is, at the same time,
very expensive, for, according to the statistics I have read,
the nations of Europe spent in the year 1872 a hundred and
fifty millions sterling on preparations for deciding disputes
by means of murder. It seems to me, therefore, that in such a
state of things one of two alternatives must be admitted:
either Christianity is a failure, or those who have undertaken
to expound it have failed in doing so. Until our warriors are
disarmed and our armies disbanded, the have not the right to
call ourselves a Christian nation."

In a conference on the subject of the duty of Christian ministers
to preach against war, G. D. Bartlett said among other things:

"If I understand the Scriptures, I say that men are only
playing with Christianity so long as they ignore the question
of war. I have lived a longish life and have heard our
ministers preach on universal peace hardly half a dozen times.
Twenty years ago, in a drawing room, I dared in the presence of
forty persons to moot the proposition that war was incompatible
with Christianity; I was regarded as an arrant fanatic. The
idea that we could get on without war was regarded as
unmitigated weakness and folly."

The Catholic priest Defourney has expressed himself in the same
spirit. "One of the first precepts of the eternal law inscribed
in the consciences of all men," says the Abby Defourney,

"is the prohibition of taking the life or shedding the blood of
a fellow-creature without sufficient cause, without being
forced into the necessity of it. This is one of the
commandments which is most deeply stamped in the heart of man.
But so soon as it is a question of war, that is, of shedding
blood in torrents, men of the present day do not trouble
themselves about a sufficient cause. Those who take part in
wars do not even think of asking themselves whether there is
any justification for these innumerable murders, whether they
are justifiable or unjustifiable, lawful or unlawful, innocent
or criminal; whether they are breaking that fundamental
commandment that forbids killing without lawful cause.
But their conscience is mute. War has ceased to be something
dependent on moral considerations. In warfare men have in all
the toil and dangers they endure no other pleasure than that of
being conquerors, no sorrow other than that of being conquered.
Don't tell me that they are serving their country. A great
genius answered that long ago in the words that have become a
proverb: 'Without justice, what is an empire but a great band
of brigands?' And is not every band of brigands a little
empire? They too have their laws; and they too make war to
gain booty, and even for honor.

"The aim of the proposed institution [the institution of an
international board of arbitration] is that the nations of
Europe may cease to be nations of robbers, and their armies,
bands of brigands. And one must add, not only brigands, but
slaves. For our armies are simply gangs of slaves at the
disposal of one or two commanders or ministers, who exercise a
despotic control over them without any real responsibility, as
we very well know.

"The peculiarity of a slave is that he is a mere tool in the
hands of his master, a thing, not a man. That is just what
soldiers, officers, and generals are, going to murder and be
murdered at the will of a ruler or rulers. Military slavery is
an actual fact, and it is the worst form of slavery, especially
now when by means of compulsory service it lays its fetters on
the necks of all the strong and capable men of a nation, to
make them instruments of murder, butchers of human flesh, for
that is all they are taken and trained to do.

"The rulers, two or three in number, meet together in cabinets,
secretly deliberate without registers, without publicity, and
consequently without responsibility, and send men to be

"Protests against armaments, burdensome to the people, have not
originated in our times," says Signor E. G. Moneta.

"Hear what Montesquieu wrote in his day. 'France [and one
might say, Europe] will be ruined by soldiers. A new plague is
spreading throughout Europe. It attacks sovereigns and forces
them to maintain an incredible number of armed men. This
plague is infectious and spreads, because directly one
government increases its armament, all the others do likewise.
So that nothing is gained by it but general ruin.

"'Every government maintains as great an army as it possibly
could maintain if its people were threatened with
extermination, and people call peace this state of tension of
all against all. And therefore Europe is so ruined that if
private persons were in the position of the governments of our
continent, the richest of them would not have enough to live
on. We are poor though we have the wealth and trade of the
whole world.'

"That was written almost 150 years ago. The picture seems drawn
from the world of to-day. One thing only has changed-the form
of government. In Montesquieu's time it was said that the
cause of the maintenance of great armaments was the despotic
power of kings, who made war in the hope of augmenting by
conquest their personal revenues and gaining glory. People
used to say then: 'Ah, if only people could elect those who
would have the right to refuse governments the soldiers and the
money--then there would be an end to military politics.' Now
there are representative governments in almost the whole of
Europe, and in spite of that, war expenditures and the
preparations for war have increased to alarming proportions.

"It is evident that the insanity of sovereigns has gained
possession of the ruling classes. War is not made now because
one king has been wanting in civility to the mistress of
another king, as it was in Louis XIV.'s time. But the natural
and honorable sentiments of national honor and patriotism are
so exaggerated, and the public opinion of one nation so excited
against another, that it is enough for a statement to be made
(even though it may be a false report) that the ambassador of
one state was not received by the principal personage of
another state to cause the outbreak of the most awful and
destructive war there has ever been seen. Europe keeps more
soldiers under arms to-day than in the time of the great
Napoleonic wars. All citizens with few exceptions are forced
to spend some years in barracks. Fortresses, arsenals, and
ships are built, new weapons are constantly being invented, to
be replaced in a short time by fresh ones, for, sad to say,
science, which ought always to be aiming at the good of
humanity, assists in the work of destruction, and is constantly
inventing new means for killing the greatest number of men in
the shortest time. And to maintain so great a multitude of
soldiers and to make such vast preparations for murder,
hundreds of millions are spent annually, sums which would be
sufficient for the education of the people and for immense
works of public utility, and which would make it possible to
find a peaceful solution of the social question.

"Europe, then, is, in this respect, in spite of all the
conquests of science, in the same position as in the darkest
and most barbarous days of the Middle Ages. All deplore this
state of things--neither peace nor war--and all would be glad
to escape from it. The heads of governments all declare that
they all wish for peace, and vie with one another in the most
solemn protestations of peaceful intentions. But the same day
or the next they will lay a scheme for the increase of the
armament before their legislative assembly, saying that these
are the preventive measures they take for the very purpose of
securing peace.

"But this is not the kind of peace we want. And the nations
are not deceived by it. True peace is based on mutual
confidence, while these huge armaments show open and utter lack
of confidence, if not concealed hostility, between states.
What should we say of a man who, wanting to show his friendly
feelings for his neighbor, should invite him to discuss their
differences with a loaded revolver in his hand?

"It is just this flagrant contradiction between the peaceful
professions and the warlike policy of governments which all
good citizens desire to put an end to, at any cost."

People are astonished that every year there are sixty thousand
cases of suicide in Europe, and those only the recognized and
recorded cases--and excluding Russia and Turkey; but one ought
rather to be surprised that there are so few. Every man of the
present day, if we go deep enough into the contradiction between
his conscience and his life, is in a state of despair.

Not to speak of all the other contradictions between modern life
and the conscience, the permanently armed condition of Europe
together with its profession of Christianity is alone enough to
drive any man to despair, to doubt of the sanity of mankind, and
to terminate an existence in this senseless and brutal world.
This contradiction, which is a quintessence of all the other
contradictions, is so terrible that to live and to take part in it
is only possible if one does not think of it--if one is able to
forget it.

What! all of us, Christians, not only profess to love one another,
but do actually live one common life; we whose social existence
beats with one common pulse--we aid one another, learn from one
another, draw ever closer to one another to our mutual happiness,
and find in this closeness the whole meaning of life!--and to-
morrow some crazy ruler will say some stupidity, and another will
answer in the same spirit, and then I must go expose myself to
being murdered, and murder men--who have done me no harm--and more
than that, whom I love. And this is not a remote contingency, but
the very thing we are all preparing for, which is not only
probable, but an inevitable certainty.

To recognize this clearly is enough to drive a man out of his
senses or to make him shoot himself. And this is just what does
happen, and especially often among military men. A man need only
come to himself for an instant to be impelled inevitably to such
an end.

And this is the only explanation of the dreadful intensity with
which men of modern times strive to stupefy themselves, with
spirits, tobacco, opium, cards, reading newspapers, traveling, and
all kinds of spectacles and amusements. These pursuits are
followed up as an important, serious business. And indeed they
are a serious business. If there were no external means of
dulling their sensibilities, half of mankind would shoot
themselves without delay, for to live in opposition to one's
reason is the most intolerable condition. And that is the
condition of all men of the present day. All men of the modern
world exist in a state of continual and flagrant antagonism
between their conscience and their way of life. This antagonism
is apparent in economic as well as political life. But most
striking of all is the contradiction between the Christian law of
the brotherhood of men existing in the conscience and the
necessity under which all men are placed by compulsory military
service of being prepared for hatred and murder--of being at the
same time a Christian and a gladiator.



People do not Try to Remove the Contradiction between Life and
Conscience by a Change of Life, but their Cultivated Leaders Exert
Every Effort to Obscure the Demands of Conscience, and justify
their Life; in this Way they Degrade Society below Paganism to a
State of Primeval Barbarism--Undefined Attitude of Modern Leaders
of Thought to War, to Universal Militarism, and to Compulsory
Service in Army--One Section Regards War as an Accidental
Political Phenomenon, to be Avoided by External Measures only--
Peace Congress--The Article in the REVUE DES REVUES--Proposition
of Maxime du Camp--Value of Boards of Arbitration and Suppression
of Armies--Attitude of Governments to Men of this Opinion and What
they Do--Another Section Regards War as Cruel, but Inevitable--
Maupassant--Rod--A Third Section Regard War as Necessary, and not
without its Advantages--Doucet-Claretie-Zola-Vogüé.

The antagonism between life and the conscience may be removed in
two ways: by a change of life or by a change of conscience. And
there would seem there can be no doubt as to these alternatives.

A man may cease to do what he regards as wrong, but he cannot
cease to consider wrong what is wrong. Just in the same way all
humanity may cease to do what it regards as wrong, but far from
being able to change, it cannot even retard for a time the
continual growth of a clearer recognition of what is wrong and
therefore ought not to be. And therefore it would seem inevitable
for Christian men to abandon the pagan forms of society which they
condemn, and to reconstruct their social existence on the
Christian principles they profess.

So it would be were it not for the law of inertia, as immutable a
force in men and nations as in inanimate bodies. In men it takes
the form of the psychological principle, so truly expressed in the
words of the Gospel, "They have loved darkness better than light
because their deeds were evil." This principle shows itself in
men not trying to recognize the truth, but to persuade themselves
that the life they are leading, which is what they like and are
used to, is a life perfectly consistent with truth.

Slavery was opposed to all the moral principles advocated by Plato
and Aristotle, yet neither of them saw that, because to renounce
slavery would have meant the break up of the life they were
living. We see the same thing in our modern world.

The division of men into two castes, as well as the use of force
in government and war, are opposed to every moral principle
professed by our modern society. Yet the cultivated and advanced
men of the day seem not to see it.

The majority, if not all, of the cultivated men of our day try
unconsciously to maintain the old social conception of life, which
justifies their position, and to hide from themselves and others
its insufficiency, and above all the necessity of adopting the
Christian conception of life, which will mean the break up of the
whole existing social order. They struggle to keep up the
organization based on the social conception of life, but do not
believe in it themselves, because it is extinct and it is
impossible to believe in it.

All modern literature--philosophical, political, and artistic--is
striking in this respect. What wealth of idea, of form, of color,
what erudition, what art, but what a lack of serious matter, what
dread of any exactitude of thought or expression! Subtleties,
allegories, humorous fancies, the widest generalizations, but
nothing simple and clear, nothing going straight to the point,
that is, to the problem of life.

But that is not all; besides these graceful frivolities, our
literature is full of simple nastiness and brutality, of arguments
which would lead men back in the most refined way to primeval
barbarism, to the principles not only of the pagan, but even of
the animal life, which we have left behind us five thousand years

And it could not be otherwise. In their dread of the Christian
conception of life which will destroy the social order, which some
cling to only from habit, others also from interest, men cannot
but be thrown back upon the pagan conception of life and the
principles based on it. Nowadays we see advocated not only
patriotism and aristocratic principles just as they were advocated
two thousand years ago, but even the coarsest epicureanism and
animalism, only with this difference, that the men who then
professed those views believed in them, while nowadays even the
advocates of such views do not believe in them, for they have no
meaning for the present day. No one can stand still when the
earth is shaking under his feet. If we do not go forward we must
go back. And strange and terrible to say, the cultivated men of
our day, the leaders of thought, are in reality with their subtle
reasoning drawing society back, not to paganism even, but to a
state of primitive barbarism.

This tendency on the part of the leading thinkers of the day is
nowhere more apparent than in their attitude to the phenomenon in
which all the insufficiency of the social conception of life is
presented in the most concentrated form--in their attitude, that
is, to war, to the general arming of nations, and to universal
compulsory service.

The undefined, if not disingenuous, attitude of modern thinkers to
this phenomenon is striking. It takes three forms in cultivated
society. One section look at it as an incidental phenomenon,
arising out of the special political situation of Europe, and
consider that this state of things can be reformed without a
revolution in the whole internal social order of nations, by
external measures of international diplomacy. Another section
regard it as something cruel and hideous, but at the same time
fated and inevitable, like disease and death. A third party with
cool indifference consider war as an inevitable phenomenon,
beneficial in its effects and therefore desirable.

Men look at the subject from different points of view, but all
alike talk of war as though it were something absolutely
independent of the will of those who take part in it. And
consequently they do not even admit the natural question which
presents itself to every simple man: "How about me--ought I to
take any part in it?" In their view no question of this kind even
exists, and every man, however he may regard war from a personal
standpoint, must slavishly submit to the requirements of the
authorities on the subject.

The attitude of the first section of thinkers, those who see a way
out of war in international diplomatic measures, is well expressed
in the report of the last Peace Congress in London, and the
articles and letters upon war that appeared in No. 8 of the REVUE
DES REVUES, 1891. The congress after gathering together from
various quarters the verbal and written opinion of learned men
opened the proceedings by a religious service, and after listening
to addresses for five whole days, concluded them by a public
dinner and speeches. They adopted the following resolutions:

"1. The congress affirms its belief that the brotherhood of man
involves as a necessary consequence a brotherhood of nations.

"2. The congress recognizes the important influence that
Christianity exercises on the moral and political progress of
mankind, and earnestly urges upon ministers of the Gospel and
other religious teachers the duty of setting forth the
principles of peace and good will toward men. AND IT RECOMMENDS

"3. The congress expresses the opinion that all teachers of
history should call the attention of the young to the grave
evils inflicted on mankind in all ages by war, and to the fact
that such war has been waged for most inadequate causes.

"4. The congress protests against the use of military drill in
schools by way of physical exercise, and suggests the formation
of brigades for saving life rather than of a quasi-military
character; and urges the desirability of impressing on the
Board of Examiners who formulate the questions for examination
the propriety of guiding the minds of children in the
principles of peace.

"5. The congress holds that the doctrine of the Rights of Man
requires that the aboriginal and weaker races, their
territories and liberties, shall be guarded from injustice and
fraud, and that these races shall be shielded against the vices
so prevalent among the so-called advanced races of men. It
further expresses its conviction that there should be concert
of action among the nations for the accomplishment of these
ends. The congress expresses its hearty appreciation of the
resolutions of the Anti-slavery Conference held recently at
Brussels for the amelioration of the condition of the peoples
of Africa.

"6. The congress believes that the warlike prejudices and
traditions which are still fostered in the various
nationalities, and the misrepresentations by leaders of public
opinion in legislative assemblies or through the press, are
often indirect causes of war, and that these evils should be
counteracted by the publication of accurate information tending
to the removal of misunderstanding between nations, and
recommends the importance of considering the question of
commencing an international newspaper with such a purpose.

"7. The congress proposes to the Inter-parliamentary Conference
that the utmost support should be given to every project for
unification of weights and measures, coinage, tariff, postage,
and telegraphic arrangements, etc., which would assist in
constituting a commercial, industrial, and scientific union of
the peoples.

"8. The congress, in view of the vast social and moral
influence of woman, urges upon every woman to sustain the
things that make for peace, as otherwise she incurs grave
responsibility for the continuance of the systems of

"9. The congress expresses the hope that the Financial Reform
Association and other similar societies in Europe and America
should unite in considering means for establishing equitable
commercial relations between states, by the reduction of import
duties. The congress feels that it can affirm that the whole
of Europe desires peace, and awaits with impatience the
suppression of armaments, which, under the plea of defense,
become in their turn a danger by keeping alive mutual distrust,
and are, at the same time, the cause of that general economic
disturbance which stands in the way of settling in a
satisfactory manner the problems of labor and poverty, which
ought to take precedence of all others.

"10. The congress, recognizing that a general disarmament would
be the best guarantee of peace and would lead to the solution
of the questions which now most divide states, expresses the
wish that a congress of representatives of all the states of
Europe may be assembled as soon as possible to consider the
means of effecting a gradual general disarmament.

"11. The congress, in consideration of the fact that the
timidity of a single power might delay the convocation of the
above-mentioned congress, is of opinion that the government
which should first dismiss any considerable number of soldiers
would confer a signal benefit on Europe and mankind, because it
would, by public opinion, oblige other governments to follow
its example, and by the moral force of this accomplished fact
would have increased rather than diminished the conditions of
its national defense.

"12. The congress, considering the question of disarmament, as
of peace in general, depends on public opinion, recommends the
peace societies, as well as all friends of peace, to be active
in its propaganda, especially at the time of parliamentary
elections, in order that the electors should give their votes
to candidates who are pledged to support Peace, Disarmament,
and Arbitration.

"13. The congress congratulates the friends of peace on the
resolution adopted by the International American Conference,
held at Washington in April last, by which it was recommended
that arbitration should be obligatory in all controversies,
whatever their origin, except only those which may imperil the
independence of one of the nations involved.

"14. The congress recommends this resolution to the attention
of European statesmen, and expresses the ardent desire that
similar treaties may speedily be entered into between the other
nations of the world.

"15. The congress expresses its satisfaction at the adoption by
the Spanish Senate on June 16 last of a project of law
authorizing the government to negotiate general or special
treaties of arbitration for the settlement of all disputes
except those relating to the independence or internal
government of the states affected; also at the adoption of
resolutions to a like effect by the Norwegian Storthing and by
the Italian Chamber.

"16. The congress resolves that a committee be appointed to
address communications to the principal political, religious,
commercial, and labor and peace organizations, requesting them
to send petitions to the governmental authorities praying that
measures be taken for the formation of suitable tribunals for
the adjudicature of international questions so as to avoid the
resort to war.

"17. Seeing (1) that the object pursued by all peace societies
is the establishment of judicial order between nations, and (2)
that neutralization by international treaties constitutes a
step toward this judicial state and lessens the number of
districts in which war can be carried on, the congress
recommends a larger extension of the rule of neutralization,
and expresses the wish, (1) that all treaties which at present
assure to certain states the benefit of neutrality remain in
force, or if necessary be amended in a manner to render the
neutrality more effective, either by extending neutralization
to the whole of the state or by ordering the demolition of
fortresses, which constitute rather a peril than a guarantee
for neutrality; (2) that new treaties in harmony with the
wishes of the populations concerned be concluded for
establishing the neutralization of other states.

"18. The sub-committee proposes, (1) that the annual Peace
Congress should be held either immediately before the meeting
of the annual Sub-parliamentary Conference, or immediately
after it in the same town; (2) that the question of an
international peace emblem be postponed SINE DIE; (3) that the
following resolutions be adopted:

"a. To express satisfaction at the official overtures of the
Presbyterian Church in the United States addressed to the
highest representatives of each church organization in
Christendom to unite in a general conference to promote the
substitution of international arbitration for war.

"b. To express in the name of the congress its profound
reverence for the memory of Aurelio Saffi, the great Italian
jurist, a member of the committee of the International
League of Peace and Liberty.

"(4) That the memorial adopted by this congress and
signed by the president to the heads of the civilized states
should, as far as practicable, be presented to each power by
influential deputations.

"(5) That the following resolutions be adopted:

"a. A resolution of thanks to the presidents of the various
sittings of the congress.

"b. A resolution of thanks to the chairman, the secretaries,
and the members of the bureau of the congress.

"c. A resolution of thanks to the conveners and members of
the sectional committees.

"d. A resolution of thanks to Rev. Canon Scott Holland, Rev.
Dr. Reuen Thomas, and Rev. J. Morgan Gibbon for their pulpit
addresses before the congress, and also to the authorities
of St. Paul's Cathedral, the City Temple, and Stamford Hill
Congregational Church for the use of those buildings for
public services.

"e. A letter of thanks to her Majesty for permission to
visit Windror Castle.

"f. And also a resolution of thanks to the Lord Mayor and
Lady Mayoress, to Mr. Passmore Edwards, and other friends
who have extended their hospitality to the members of the

"19. The congress places on record a heartfelt expression of
gratitude to Almighty God for the remarkable harmony and
concord which have characterized the meetings of the assembly,
in which so many men and women of varied nations, creeds,
tongues, and races have gathered in closest co-operation, and
for the conclusion of the labors of the congress; and expresses
its firm and unshaken belief in the ultimate triumph of the
cause of peace and of the principles advocated at these

The fundamental idea of the congress is the necessity (1) of
diffusing among all people by all means the conviction of the
disadvantages of war and the great blessing of peace, and (2) of
rousing governments to the sense of the superiority of
international arbitration over war and of the consequent
advisability and necessity of disarmament. To attain the first
aim the congress has recourse to teachers of history, to women,
and to the clergy, with the advice to the latter to preach on the
evil of war and the blessing of peace every third Sunday in
December. To attain the second object the congress appeals to
governments with the suggestion that they should disband their
armies and replace war by arbitration.

To preach to men of the evil of war and the blessing of peace!
But the blessing of peace is so well known to men that, ever since
there have been men at all, their best wish has been expressed in
the greeting, "Peace be with you." So why preach about it?

Not only Christians, but pagans, thousands of years ago, all
recognized the evil of war and the blessing of peace. So that the
recommendation to ministers of the Gospel to preach on the evil of
war and the blessing of peace every third Sunday in December is
quite superfluous.

The Christian cannot but preach on that subject every day of his
life. If Christians and preachers of Christianity do not do so,
there must be reasons for it. And until these have been removed
no recommendations will be effective. Still less effective will
be the recommendations to governments to disband their armies and
replace them by international boards of arbitration. Governments,
too, know very well the difficulty and the burdensomeness of
raising and maintaining forces, and if in spite of that knowledge
they do, at the cost of terrible strain and effort, raise and
maintain forces, it is evident that they cannot do otherwise, and
the recommendation of the congress can never change it. But the
learned gentlemen are unwilling to see that, and keep hoping to
find a political combination, through which governments shall be
induced to limit their powers themselves.

"Can we get rid of war"? asks a learned writer in the REVUE DES

"All are agreed that if it were to break out in Europe, its
consequences would be like those of the great inroads of
barbarians. The existence of whole nationalities would be at
stake, and therefore the war would be desperate, bloody,

"This consideration, together with the terrible engines of
destruction invented by modern science, retards the moment of
declaring war, and maintains the present temporary situation,
which might continue for an indefinite period, except for the
fearful cost of maintaining armaments which are exhausting the
European states and threatening to reduce nations to a state of
misery hardly less than that of war itself.

"Struck by this reflection, men of various countries have tried
to find means for preventing, or at least for softening, the
results of the terrible slaughter with which we are threatened.

"Such are the questions brought forward by the Peace Congress
shortly to be held in Rome, and the publication of a pamphlet,
Sur le Désarmement.'

"It is unhappily beyond doubt that with the present
organization of the majority of European states, isolated from
one another and guided by distinct interests, the absolute
suppression of war is an illusion with which it would be
dangerous to cheat ourselves. Wiser rules and regulations
imposed on these duels between nations might, however, at least
limit its horrors.

"It is equally chimerical to reckon on projects of disarmament,
the execution of which is rendered almost impossible by
considerations of a popular character present to the mind of
all our readers. [This probably means that France cannot
disband its army before taking its revenge.] Public opinion is
not prepared to accept them, and moreover, the international
relations between different peoples are not such as to make
their acceptance possible. Disarmament imposed on one nation
by another in circumstances threatening its security would be
equivalent to a declaration of war.

"However, one may admit that an exchange of ideas between the
nations interested could aid, to a certain degree, in bringing
about the good understanding indispensable to any negotiations,
and would render possible a considerable reduction of the
military expenditure which is crushing the nations of Europe
and greatly hindering the solution of the social question,
which each individually must solve on pain of having internal
war as the price for escaping it externally.

"We might at least demand the reduction of the enormous
expenses of war organized as it is at present with a view to
the power of invasion within twenty-four hours and a decisive
battle within a week of the declaration of war.

"We ought to manage so that states could not make the attack
suddenly and invade each other's territories within twenty-four

This practical notion has been put forth by Maxime du Camp, and
his article concludes with it.

The propositions of M. du Camp are as follows:

1. A diplomatic congress to be held every year.

2. No war to be declared till two months after the incident
which provoked it. (The difficulty here would be to decide
precisely what incident did provoke the war, since whenever war
is declared there are very many such incidents, and one would
have to decide from which to reckon the two months' interval.)

3. No war to be declared before it has been submitted to a
plebiscitum of the nations preparing to take part in it.

4. No hostilities to be commenced till a month after the
official declaration of war.

"No war to be declared. No hostilities to be commenced," etc.
But who is to arrange that no war is to be declared? Who is to
compel people to do this and that? Who is to force states to
delay their operations for a certain fixed time? All the other
states. But all these others are also states which want holding
in check and keeping within limits, and forcing, too. Who is to
force them, and how? Public opinion. But if there is a public
opinion which can force governments to delay their operations for
a fixed period, the same public opinion can force governments not
to declare war at all.

But, it will be replied, there may be such a balance of power,
such a PONDÉRATION DE FORCES, as would lead states to hold back of
their own accord. Well, that has been tried and is being tried
even now. The Holy Alliance was nothing but that, the League of
Peace was another attempt at the same thing, and so on.

But, it will be answered, suppose all were agreed. If all were
agreed there would be no more war certainly, and no need for
arbitration either.

"A court of arbitration! Arbitration shall replace war. Questions
shall be decided by a court of arbitration. The Alabama question
was decided by a court of arbitration, and the question of the
Caroline Islands was submitted to the decision of the Pope.
Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, and Holland have all declared that
they prefer arbitration to war."

I dare say Monaco has expressed the same preference. The only
unfortunate thing is that Germany, Russia, Austria, and France
have not so far shown the same inclination. It is amazing how men
can deceive themselves when they find it necessary! Governments
consent to decide their disagreements by arbitration and to
disband their armies! The differences between Russia and Poland,
between England and Ireland, between Austria and Bohemia, between
Turkey and the Slavonic states, between France and Germany, to be
soothed away by amiable conciliation!

One might as well suggest to merchants and bankers that they
should sell nothing for a greater price than they gave for it,
should undertake the distribution of wealth for no profit, and
should abolish money, as it would thus be rendered unnecessary.

But since commercial and banking operations consist in nothing but
selling for more than the cost price, this would be equivalent to
an invitation to suppress themselves. It is the same in regard to
governments. To suggest to governments that they should not have
recourse to violence, but should decide their misunderstandings in
accordance with equity, is inviting them to abolish themselves as
rulers, and that no government can ever consent to do.

The learned men form societies (there are more than a hundred such
societies), assemble in congresses (such as those recently held in
London and Paris, and shortly to be held in Rome), deliver
addresses, eat public dinners and make speeches, publish journals,
and prove by every means possible that the nations forced to
support millions of troops are strained to the furthest limits of
their endurance, that the maintenance of these huge armed forces
is in opposition to all the aims, the interests, and the wishes of
the people, and that it is possible, moreover, by writing numerous
papers, and uttering a great many words, to bring all men into
agreement and to arrange so that they shall have no antagonistic
interests, and then there will be no more war.

When I was a little boy they told me if I wanted to catch a bird I
must put salt on its tail. I ran after the birds with the salt in
my hand, but I soon convinced myself that if I could put salt on a
bird's tail, I could catch it, and realized that I had been

People ought to realize the same fact when they read books and
articles on arbitration and disarmament.

If one could put salt on a bird's tail, it would be because it
could not fly and there would be no difficulty in catching it. If
the bird had wings and did not want to be caught, it would not let
one put salt on its tail, because the specialty of a bird is to
fly. In precisely the same way the specialty of government is not
to obey, but to enforce obedience. And a government is only a
government so long as it can make itself obeyed, and therefore it
always strives for that and will never willingly abandon its
power. But since it is on the army that the power of government
rests, it will never give up the army, and the use of the army in

The error arises from the learned jurists deceiving themselves and
others, by asserting that government is not what it really is, one
set of men banded together to oppress another set of men, but, as
shown by science, is the representation of the citizens in their
collective capacity. They have so long been persuading other
people of this that at last they have persuaded themselves of it;
and thus they often seriously suppose that government can be bound
by considerations of justice. But history shows that from Caesar
to Napoleon, and from Napoleon to Bismarck, government is in its
essence always a force acting in violation of justice, and that it
cannot be otherwise. Justice can have no binding force on a ruler
or rulers who keep men, deluded and drilled in readiness for acts
of violence--soldiers, and by means of them control others. And
so governments can never be brought to consent to diminish the
number of these drilled slaves, who constitute their whole power
and importance.

Such is the attitude of certain learned men to the contradiction
under which our society is being crushed, and such are their
methods of solving it. Tell these people that the whole matter
rests on the personal attitude of each man to the moral and
religious question put nowadays to everyone, the question, that
is, whether it is lawful or unlawful for him to take his share of
military service, and these learned gentlemen will shrug their
shoulders and not condescend to listen or to answer you. The
solution of the question in their idea is to be found in reading
addresses, writing books, electing presidents, vice-presidents,
and secretaries, and meeting and speaking first in one town and
then in another. From all this speechifying and writing it will
come to pass, according to their notions, that governments will
cease to levy the soldiers, on whom their whole strength depends,
will listen to their discourses, and will disband their forces,
leaving themselves without any defense, not only against their
neighbors, but also against their own subjects. As though a band
of brigands, who have some unarmed travelers bound and ready to be
plundered, should be so touched by their complaints of the pain
caused by the cords they are fastened with as to let them go

Still there are people who believe in this, busy themselves over
peace congresses, read addresses, and write books. And
governments, we may be quite sure, express their sympathy and make
a show of encouraging them. In the same way they pretend to
support temperance societies, while they are living principally on
the drunkenness of the people; and pretend to encourage education,
when their whole strength is based on ignorance; and to support
constitutional freedom, when their strength rests on the absence
of freedom; and to be anxious for the improvement of the condition
of the working classes, when their very existence depends on their
oppression; and to support Christianity, when Christianity
destroys all government.

To be able to do this they have long ago elaborated methods
encouraging temperance, which cannot suppress drunkenness; methods
of supporting education, which not only fail to prevent ignorance,
but even increase it; methods of aiming at freedom and
constitutionalism, which are no hindrance to despotism; methods of
protecting the working classes, which will not free them from
slavery; and a Christianity, too, they have elaborated, which does
not destroy, but supports governments.

Now there is something more for the government to encourage--
peace. The sovereigns, who nowadays take counsel with their
ministers, decide by their will alone whether the butchery of
millions is to be begun this year or next. They know very well
that all these discourses upon peace will not hinder them from
sending millions of men to butchery when it seems good to them.
They listen even with satisfaction to these discourses, encourage
them, and take part in them.

All this, far from being detrimental, is even of service to
governments, by turning people's attention from the most important
and pressing question: Ought or ought not each man called upon for
military service to submit to serve in the army?

"Peace will soon be arranged, thanks to alliances and congresses,
to books and pamphlets; meantime go and put on your uniform, and
prepare to cause suffering and to endure it for our benefit," is
the government's line of argument. And the learned gentlemen who
get up congresses and write articles are in perfect agreement with

This is the attitude of one set of thinkers. And since it is that
most beneficial to governments, it is also the most encouraged by
all intelligent governments.

Another attitude to war has something tragical in it. There are
men who maintain that the love for peace and the inevitability of
war form a hideous contradiction, and that such is the fate of
man. These are mostly gifted and sensitive men, who see and
realize all the horror and imbecility and cruelty of war, but
through some strange perversion of mind neither see nor seek to
find any way out of this position, and seem to take pleasure in
teasing the wound by dwelling on the desperate position of
humanity. A notable example of such an attitude to war is to be
found in the celebrated French writer Guy de Maupassant. Looking
from his yacht at the drill and firing practice of the French
soldiers the following reflections occur to him:

"When I think only of this word war, a kind of terror seizes
upon me, as though I were listening to some tale of sorcery, of
the Inquisition, some long past, remote abomination, monstrous,

"When cannibalism is spoken of, we smile with pride,
proclaiming our superiority to these savages. Which are the
savages, the real savages? Those who fight to eat the
conquered, or those who fight to kill, for nothing but to kill?

"The young recruits, moving about in lines yonder, are destined
to death like the flocks of sheep driven by the butcher along
the road. They will fall in some plain with a saber cut in the
head, or a bullet through the breast. And these are young men
who might work, be productive and useful. Their fathers are
old and poor. Their mothers, who have loved them for twenty
years, worshiped them as none but mothers can, will learn in
six months' time, or a year perhaps, that their son, their boy,
the big boy reared with so much labor, so much expense, so much
love, has been thrown in a hole like some dead dog, after being
disemboweled by a bullet, and trampled, crushed, to a mass of
pulp by the charges of cavalry. Why have they killed her boy,
her handsome boy, her one hope, her pride, her life? She does
not know. Ah, why?

"War! fighting! slaughter! massacres of men! And we have now,
in our century, with our civilization, with the spread of
science, and the degree of philosophy which the genius of man
is supposed to have attained, schools for training to kill, to
kill very far off, to perfection, great numbers at once, to
kill poor devils of innocent men with families and without any
kind of trial.


"Ah! we shall always live under the burden of the ancient and
odious customs, the criminal prejudices, the ferocious ideas of
our barbarous ancestors, for we are beasts, and beasts we shall
remain, dominated by instinct and changed by nothing. Would
not any other man than Victor Hugo have been exiled for that
mighty cry of deliverance and truth? 'To-day force is called
violence, and is being brought to judgment; war has been put on
its trial. At the plea of the human race, civilization
arraigns warfare, and draws up the great list of crimes laid at
the charge of conquerors and generals. The nations are coming
to understand that the magnitude of a crime cannot be its
extenuation; that if killing is a crime, killing many can be no
extenuating circumstance; that if robbery is disgraceful,
invasion cannot be glorious. Ah! let us proclaim these
absolute truths; let us dishonor war!'

"Vain wrath," continues Maupassant, "a poet's indignation. War is
held in more veneration than ever.

"A skilled proficient in that line, a slaughterer of genius,
Von Moltke, in reply to the peace delegates, once uttered these
strange words:

"'War is holy, war is ordained of God. It is one of the most
sacred laws of the world. It maintains among men all the great
and noble sentiments--honor, devotion, virtue, and courage, and
saves them in short from falling into the most hideous

"So, then, bringing millions of men together into herds,
marching by day and by night without rest, thinking of nothing,
studying nothing, learning nothing, reading nothing, being
useful to no one, wallowing in filth, sleeping in mud, living
like brutes in a continual state of stupefaction, sacking
towns, burning villages, ruining whole populations, then
meeting another mass of human flesh, falling upon them, making
pools of blood, and plains of flesh mixed with trodden mire and
red with heaps of corpses, having your arms or legs carried
off, your brains blown out for no advantage to anyone, and
dying in some corner of a field while your old parents, your
wife and children are perishing of hunger--that is what is
meant by not falling into the most hideous materialism!

"Warriors are the scourge of the world. We struggle against
nature and ignorance and obstacles of all kinds to make our
wretched life less hard. Learned men--benefactors of all--
spend their lives in working, in seeking what can aid, what be
of use, what can alleviate the lot of their fellows. They
devote themselves unsparingly to their task of usefulness,
making one discovery after another, enlarging the sphere of
human intelligence, extending the bounds of science, adding
each day some new store to the sum of knowledge, gaining each
day prosperity, ease, strength for their country.

"War breaks out. In six months the generals have destroyed the
work of twenty years of effort, of patience, and of genius.

"That is what is meant by not falling into the most hideous

"We have seen it, war. "We have seen men turned to brutes,
frenzied, killing for fun, for terror, for bravado, for
ostentation. Then when right is no more, law is dead, every
notion of justice has disappeared. We have seen men shoot
innocent creatures found on the road, and suspected because
they were afraid. We have seen them kill dogs chained at their
masters' doors to try their new revolvers, we have seen them
fire on cows lying in a field for no reason whatever, simply
for the sake of shooting, for a joke.

"That is what is meant by not falling into the most hideous

"Going into a country, cutting the man's throat who defends his
house because he wears a blouse and has not a military cap on
his head, burning the dwellings of wretched beings who have
nothing to eat, breaking furniture and stealing goods, drinking
the wine found in the cellars, violating the women in the
streets, burning thousands of francs' worth of powder, and
leaving misery and cholera in one's track--

"That is what is meant by not falling into the most hideous

"What have they done, those warriors, that proves the least
intelligence? Nothing. What have they invented? Cannons and
muskets. That is all.

"What remains to us from Greece? Books and statues. Is Greece
great from her conquests or her creations?

"Was it the invasions of the Persians which saved Greece from
falling into the most hideous materialism?

"Were the invasions of the barbarians what saved and
regenerated Rome?

"Was it Napoleon I. who carried forward the great intellectual
movement started by the philosophers of the end of last

"Yes, indeed, since government assumes the right of
annihilating peoples thus, there is nothing surprising in the
fact that the peoples assume the right of annihilating

"They defend themselves. They are right. No one has an
absolute right to govern others. It ought only to be done for
the benefit of those who are governed. And it is as much the
duty of anyone who governs to avoid war as it is the duty of a
captain of a ship to avoid shipwreck.

"When a captain has let his ship come to ruin, he is judged and
condemned, if he is found guilty of negligence or even

"Why should not the government be put on its trial after every
WILL NEVER COME" [Footnote: "Sur l'Eau," pp. 71-80].

The author sees all the horror of war. He sees that it is caused
by governments forcing men by deception to go out to slaughter and
be slain without any advantage to themselves. And he sees, too,
that the men who make up the armies could turn their arms against
the governments and bring them to judgment. But he thinks that
that will never come to pass, and that there is, therefore, no
escape from the present position.

"I think war is terrible, but that it is inevitable; that
compulsory military service is as inevitable as death, and that
since government will always desire it, war will always exist."

So writes this talented and sincere writer, who is endowed with
that power of penetrating to the innermost core of the subjects
which is the essence of the poetic faculty. He brings before us
all the cruelty of the inconsistency between men's moral sense and
their actions, but without trying to remove it; seems to admit
that this inconsistency must exist and that it is the poetic
tragedy of life.

Another no less gifted writer, Edouard Rod, paints in still more
vivid colors the cruelty and madness of the present state of
things. He too only aims at presenting its tragic features,
without suggesting or forseeing any issue from the position.

"What is the good of doing anything? What is the good of
undertaking any enterprise? And how are we to love men in
these troubled times when every fresh day is a menace of
danger?...All we have begun, the plans we are developing, our
schemes of work, the little good we may have been able to do,
will it not all be swept away by the tempest that is in
preparation?...Everywhere the earth is shaking under our feet
and storm-clouds are gathering on our horizon which will have
no pity on us.

"Ah! if all we had to dread were the revolution which is held
up as a specter to terrify us! Since I cannot imagine a
society more detestable than ours, I feel more skeptical than
alarmed in regard to that which will replace it. If I should
have to suffer from the change, I should be consoled by
thinking that the executioners of that day were the victims of
the previous time, and the hope of something better would help
us to endure the worst. But it is not that remote peril which
frightens me. I see another danger, nearer and far more cruel;
more cruel because there is no excuse for it, because it is
absurd, because it can lead to no good. Every day one balances
the chances of war on the morrow, every day they become more

"The imagination revolts before the catastrophe which is coming
at the end of our century as the goal of the progress of our
era, and yet we must get used to facing it. For twenty years
past every resource of science has been exhausted in the
invention of engines of destruction, and soon a few charges of
cannon will suffice to annihilate a whole army. No longer a
few thousands of poor devils, who were paid a price for their
blood, are kept under arms, but whole nations are under arms to
cut each other's throats. They are robbed of their time now
(by compulsory service) that they may be robbed of their lives
later. To prepare them for the work of massacre, their hatred
is kindled by persuading them that they are hated. And
peaceable men let themselves be played on thus and go and fall
on one another with the ferocity of wild beasts; furious troops
of peaceful citizens taking up arms at an empty word of
command, for some ridiculous question of frontiers or colonial
trade interests--Heaven only knows what...They will go like
sheep to the slaughter, knowing all the while where they are
going, knowing that they are leaving their wives, knowing
that their children will want for food, full of misgivings, yet
intoxicated by the fine-sounding lies that are dinned into
barbarous trickery of diplomacy. They will march to battle so
deluded, so duped, that they will believe slaughter to be a
duty, and will ask the benediction of God on their lust for
blood. They will march to battle trampling underfoot the
harvests they have sown, burning the towns they have built--
with songs of triumph, festive music, and cries of jubilation.
And their sons will raise statues to those who have done most
in their slaughter.

"The destiny of a whole generation depends on the hour in which
some ill-fated politician may give the signal that will be
followed. We know that the best of us will be cut down and our
work will be destroyed in embryo. WE KNOW IT AND TREMBLE WITH
RAGE, BUT WE CAN DO NOTHING. We are held fast in the toils of
officialdom and red tape, and too rude a shock would be needed
to set us free. We are enslaved by the laws we set up for our
protection, which have become our oppression. WE ARE BUT THE

"And if it were only a generation that must be sacrificed! But
there are graver interests at stake.

"The paid politicians, the ambitious statesmen, who exploit the
evil passions of the populace, and the imbeciles who are
deluded by fine-sounding phrases, have so embittered national
feuds that the existence of a whole race will be at stake in
the war of the morrow. One of the elements that constitute the
modern world is threatened, the conquered people will be wiped
out of existence, and whichever it may be, we shall see a moral
force annihilated, as if there were too many forces to work for
good--we shall have a new Europe formed on foundations so
unjust, so brutal, so sanguinary, stained with so monstrous a
crime, that it cannot but be worse than the Europe of to-day--
more iniquitous, more barbarous, more violent.

"Thus one feels crushed under the weight of an immense
discouragement. We are struggling in a CUL DE SAC with muskets
aimed at us from the housetops. Our labor is like that of
sailors executing their last task as the ship begins to sink.
Our pleasures are those of the condemned victim, who is
offered his choice of dainties a quarter of an hour before his
execution. Thought is paralyzed by anguish, and the most it is
capable of is to calculate--interpreting the vague phrases of
ministers, spelling out the sense of the speeches of
sovereigns, and ruminating on the words attributed to
diplomatists reported on the uncertain authority of the
newspapers--whether it is to be to-morrow or the day after,
this year or the next, that we are to be murdered. So that one
might seek in vain in history an epoch more insecure, more
crushed under the weight of suffering" [footnote: "Le Sens de
la Vie," pp.208-13].

Here it is pointed out that the force is in the hands of those who
work their own destruction, in the hands of the individual men who
make up the masses; it is pointed out that the source of the evil
is the government. It would seem evident that the contradiction
between life and conscience had reached the limit beyond which it
cannot go, and after reaching this limit some solution of it must
be found.

But the author does not think so. He sees in this the tragedy of
human life, and after depicting all the horror of the position he
concludes that human life must be spent in the midst of this

So much for the attitude to war of those who regard it as
something tragic and fated by destiny.

The third category consists of men who have lost all conscience
and, consequently, all common sense and feeling of humanity.

To this category belongs Moltke, whose opinion has been quoted
above by Maupassant, and the majority of military men, who have
been educated in this cruel superstition, live by it, and
consequently are often in all simplicity convinced that war is not
only an inevitable, but even a necessary and beneficial thing.
This is also the view of some civilians, so-called educated and
cultivated people.

Here is what the celebrated academician Camille Doucet writes in
reply to the editor of the REVUE DES REVUES, where several letters
on war were published together:

"Dear Sir: When you ask the least warlike of academicians
whether he is a partisan of war, his answer is known

"Alas! sir, you yourself speak of the pacific ideal inspiring
your generous compatriots as a dream.

"During my life I have heard a great many good people protest
against this frightful custom of international butchery, which
all admit and deplore; but how is it to be remedied?

"Often, too, there have been attempts to suppress dueling; one
would fancy that seemed an easy task: but not at all! All that
has been done hitherto with that noble object has never been
and never will be of use.

"All the congresses of both hemispheres may vote against war,
and against dueling too, but above all arbitrations,

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