Statement on Peace, October 1914

<Middle section as emended by JP Gavit>

It has brought low our conception of human life as slavery brought low our conception of human liberty.

It has blighted our growing sense of the preciousness of life; we had begun to challenge parliaments with the needlessness of infant mortality -- war strikes down ten thousand men in the slaughter of an hour.

It has blotted out our concern about conditions in factories with the vision of millions of young men, dying on battlefields among the trodden grain.

It has scattered like bursted shrapnel every skilled and prescient part of the human body, every type of craft and competence of the human mind.

It has set back our promptings toward the conservation of life; in a decade when England and France and Russia, Germany and Austria and Belgium, have been working out old age pensions and insurance, it threw back upon the world an unnumbered host of widowed and fatherless, and of aged parents bereft and destitute.

It has substituted arbitrary authority and the morals of footloose men, who escape identity in a common uniform, for the play of individual conscience, and that social pressure which in household and village, neighborhood and state make for individual responsibility.

It has set up the military independent of and superior to the civil power.

It has battened on apathy, unintelligence and helplessness, such as surrender the judgment and volition of people into a few hands; and had nullified rights and securities of inestimable value to the people and formidable to tyrants only.

It has put in jeopardy the fruits of hard-won struggles for freedom, and threatened the results of martyrdom and revolution. [page 2]

It has ruined hitherto self-sustaining communities and scattered to the four winds the crippled and aged and bed-ridden, the little children and the women great with child unborn.

It has destroyed the treasured monuments of the past; the work of the skilled and devoted of the centuries.

It has dislocated and demoralized the whole social fabric of the living throughout the whole world.(a)

It has burdened our children, and our children's children with a staggering task of debt. It has innundated the lowlands of the world's economy with present penury and future suffering unreckonable.

It has set vast areas at the task of retracing all the painful steps of progress women through centuries of struggle and sacrifice before once again men will be free to think of better living.

It has rent and trampled upon the network of international [cooperation] in trade and craftsmanship which had made all men fellow-workers. (Should be merged with (a) and sharply condensed.)

It has distracted the mind of the world from the business of construction and repair to the business of desolation.

It has conscripted physician and surgeon, summoning them from research and the prolongation of life, to the patchwork of its wreckage.

It has bent our achievements in transportation into runways, so that neither volcanoes nor earthquakes, nor the rat-holes of famine, but only the plague can match war in unbounded disaster.

It has distorted engineering, chemistry and technology, turning our prowess and free energies from the advancement of the race to the service of terror and destruction. (b)

It has perverted to its uses our most recent conquests over the elements -- electricity, aeronautics and submarine achievement. (Combine with (b).) [page 3]

It has turned the towers of education, art and science into a new Babel, so that philosophers and men of letters, physicists and geographers, economists and biologists and dramatists, speak in strange tongues, and it has become a holy thing among them to hate each other.

It has made enemies of neighboring people who had no legitimate quarrel. It has found a world of friends and neighbors and turned it into a world of "aliens" and enemies.

It has strangled truth and paralyzed the power and wish to face it; and set up monstrous and irreconcilable myths of self-justification.

It has burned itself into men's souls as an evil fact of life, to be accepted along with every other good and evil; instead of what it is, a survival of barbarism which must be ended.

It has set faithful against faithful, priest against priest, prayer against prayer for that "success" which means only the slaughter of fellow-men.

It has lessened the number of those who feel as their own the joys and sorrow of all people.

It has put its stamp upon little children, upon growing boys and girls, teaching them that it is a noble thing to hate other children who have chanced to be born beyond some man-made boundary.

It has marred and exploded the causes of strife, fostering religious antagonism and racial hates, in-breeding with the ugliest strains of commercialism, perverting to its purposes the increase of over-done populations and their natural yearning for new opportunities for enterprise and livelihood.

It has not only shattered men's breasts, but lessened the black fury of their hearts, so that in the pierced eyes of wounded soldiers, in the slashed bodies of women, in rape, and cruelty and rage, we have [page 4] ancient brutishness trailing at the heels of armies.

It has given the lie to the teachings of missionaries, and preachers and educators in all lands, and made Christianity the laughing stock of the "heathen."

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