The New Internationalism, April 16, 1907

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As I take it, this great Peace Conference which has been called here, is not called that we may merely talk together, that we may prognosticate of the fine things which will take place at the next Hague Conference, but largely that we may take stock of our assets, -- upon which we base these new hopes that never have stirred us before, in regard to the immediate coming of Peace.

I take it that I was asked to speak this evening, not that I might speak of the Internationalism of the scholar which has been so ably set before you, for in all times the scholar has lived in the kingdom of the mind, and has known no national bounds. I take it that I was not asked to speak on the subject of [page 2] international congresses, which are met to consider such questions as the postal service, and sanitary science for they too are founded upon learning and science, which belongs to this higher kingdom, but you will always find people, who as Dr. Adler has said, have failed to enjoy this country on account of their attitude towards the alien. The serf tied to the soil believes that the people on the other side of the mountain has horns and claws; the peasant who never ventured from his home was assured that he would be killed for going to the neighboring field, although they were as fertile as his own, and only now during the last one hundred years shall we say that the peoples of the earth are come into this larger cosmopolitanism; for the first time they have been able to travel. An Italian neighbor of mine can come from Naples to Chicago for twenty-two dollars, and he can go back from Chicago to Naples for eighteen dollars, and he often does go back in order to save his winter's coal bill. For the first time hundreds of people throughout the earth have been able to read together. We do not realize how short a time it is since this trick of reading has been spread over the face of the nations. We all read practically the same news every morning. We may accuse our newspapers of lack of accuracy. [page 3] sometimes we may accuse them if they do not print the significant things as they occur over the face of the earth, but certainly we cannot accuse them of lack of enterprise in pushing their circulation, (laughter) and thousands of people are brought together into a common kingdom; it may be narrow, it may be concerning the trivial things of life, but it is at least a union in which we may at least for a few minutes after breakfast each morning come together. Now what will happen from this new bringing together of the peoples of the earth, some of us living near to the cosmopolitan neighborhood, or who go there from year to year, are convinced, and perhaps you will have to take our word for it, for the moment, although I am sure you would soon learn it for yourselves, that there is a rising, sturdy and almost unprecedented internationalism, which will be too profound, too widespread, ever to lend itself to warfare. The men who have been ruled by their dynastic ambitions, or their religious differences, or imperialistic vanity, or anything you may please, have always been ready to dress these things up in phrases which lend their banners to the multitide [page 4], -- to the men who were ready to follow. Now, they might be led if they were not to be led against their next door neighbor, but they cannot tear themselves from each other long enough to get the alien point of view, to get the point of view necessary for the soldier. Ruskin has been quoted here just now, to tell us that we must preserve the sense of attachment, and support the high carelessness of life which the soldier's life has engendered. Yet, it is [Ruskin] who reminds us that we admire the soldier, not because he goes forth to slay, but before he goes forth ready to be slain; but when we get down to the real meat of war, whenever we try to find what it is that we admire, we suddenly find that it faith. So, I believe that when we once apprehend the new life, that is deeper among the cosmopolitan people, we will touch a reservoir of martyrdom which the world has left untapped except in high, except in high, exceptional moments, a martyrdom which took the seed of the Church, and planted the church to strong that even the religious wars could not tear it to pieces; a martyrdom which has honored and fostered love throguh all the crises of the world's history and has spend itself for the humbler causes which are not recorded; if we can tap that reservoir and lift it up and give it its ritual, if you please, paraphenalia, the sort of thing men like and have a [part 5] right to have, them I believe we will be in no danger of losing the war virtues and we will get down into the life of the common people, I repeat the common people, which is always so suggestive in new moral enthusiasm, -- something which has been overlooked through the many years. It is some such hope as this, it is in the desire to make valid and tangible this new power that some of us have come to this peace congress. It is difficult to formulate it; it is difficult to put it over against the pomp of war, but I assure you it is no mean force. It is there planted, growing and develping in this America of ours, as it is nowhere else, because no where else does it have the same opportunity. And unless we recognize it, unless we lead it forth, we will be thrown back to the old ideals, which we ought to give up, not because they are old, but because they do not fit the present moment; and to move out of our old ideals without having something new to move into, is always dangerous. If any of you feel that this congress has led war out of your grasp, has made you feel as if for the moment you have no hero to admire, permit me to suggest that the new hero is rising, -- hard to find, perhaps, yet there I assure you, turning not in his sleep, but very wide awake, and ready for the martyr's crown, -- it may be, but there I am sure. (great applause)

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