Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The scars and awful wreck of war are with us and will be inherited by our grandchildren . . .

In our own time common honesty, sex balance, respect for life, regard for truth, and a dozen other human values have been universally lowered by and for war purposes.

I am not a pacifist, for I still believe that under certain conditions force must be used to resist the aggressions of evil. But I am opposed to the war system. This day, that commemorates ten million slain from every nation under heaven, ought to make us pause and ask ourselves serious, “Is there no other way?”

War is subversive of man’s highest accomplishment. It wrecks his moral sense. Rheims and Louvain in their desolation are symbols of humanity’s fall. The scars and awful wreck of war are with us and will be inherited by our grandchildren; yet we proceed to get ready for another.

The minimum that lovers of peace have a right to ask and ought to ask are such things as these: (1) munitions manufacture should be in the hands of Government or under government control, with profits eliminated for individuals or corporations; (2) in war all resources and individuals should be drafted and none allowed to fatten at the public expense; (3) disarmament conferences should be manned by statesmen rather than by military officers; (4) substantial sums should be spent by Government for constructive purposes of peace—a tenth of a tithe of what is spent for war preparation might be tried as an experiment in good will.
--Jesse Halsey in The Cincinnati Enquirer, as reprinted in The Messenger, Nov. 17, 1934

No comments: