Notes continued (5)
wild animals have wrought miracles by their studied and systematic kindness to the wild things from the jungle. A touch of kindness makes the whole world kin.
As kindness is a virtue instinctive to rational beings, and is raised to its highest power by pure religion, so cruelty is an outrage on God's goodness and a defacement of the soul of man. A cruel nature is the most abominable deformity in creation, in whatever guise cruelty may display itself. True kindness is not, however, a sentiment only, much less is it sentimentality, but it is a reasoned attitude of the mind, just as cruelty is a distortion opposed to reason, as it is a violation of love. We have little sympathy with the refuge of those who are "cruel to be kind." There is no condonation of cruelty under the law of love. But here we are brought once more against the impenetrable mystery of life and death. Nature is "red in tooth and claw." Nature seems lavish in destruction, and yet we know that nothing good is lost, that all created things are good, and all things work together in the Providence of God for good. That is our certain faith and sure hope under the law of love. The seeds that perish are as the sands of the desert compared with the seeds that take root and live. No man can tell which grain will grow and which will not. The teeming life of every species that fills the sea and the air and the dry land is as a raindrop to the ocean compared with the life that disapears even as it is called into being. In all creation we see death paying the tribute of life to the creatures that survive. But it is the prerogative of man, as he is merciful to his kind, to show mercy to the lower animals in the disposal of their lives. The mystery of pain in the jungle we cannot fathom. But it is the spiritual privelege of the human soul to lessen pain, and if in that pursuit of mercy life must needs be sacrificed for food and healing, that very end enjoins the condition in the means that will forbid torture and show mercy, even as the surgeon's hand is moved in mercy. But tenderness to animals is in no wise to be confounded with the selfish caricature of kindness to animals which lavishes on pets luxuries foreign to their nature, while the children of misfortune are perishing with hunger."
The Universe - Editorial of May 1st, 1914.
17) Towards Universal Peace by Sidney H. Beard
A most practical, reasonable and hopeful plan for the prevention of War, and for hastening the Era of Universal Peace, has recently been offered to the world for its consideration, and it is so full of promise and so feasible that it deserves the active support of every thoughtful humanitarian and philanthropist.
The dream of International Disarmament has been long cherished, but notwithstanding the establishment of the Hague Tribunal we seem to be farther off than ever from its realization. International rivalry, suspicion, misunderstanding and fear, existing between two groups of great Nations, block the way; so it is to remove these obstacles that a League has been established by Sir Max Waechter, D.L., J.P., to promote the Federation of the great powers of Europe. If this pacific Alliance or Federation can be brought about - and it is by no means impossible - partial disarmament would automatically follow and the appalling burden of Militarism be alleviated. Without it, the prospect of any reduction in the expenditure which is becoming more costly and ruinous than war itself, seems well nigh hopeless.
Many persons will doubtless be hastilly inclined to think this plan Utopian at the present time, but is there just reason for such a pesimistic mental attitude?
It may be very difficult to bring about the Federation of Europe. No great reform has been easily accomplished. But it is certainly not impossible. The Founder of this European Unity League has closely studied the problems which divide the nations of Europe, by visiting all European States and examining their problems on the spot. In his investigation he has had the advantage of discussing the question of International Federation with nearly all the ruling Sovereigns and their Ministers, with the leading statesmen of Republics, and with numerous politicians and eminent men. These investigations and discussions have convinced him that the unity of Europe can be brought about, if there be a will to do so.
Most of the leading statesmen, and all the Sovereigns, are in favour of such an Alliance or Federation. They do not need to be convinced. Therefore a great popular campaign in favour of bringing about the Federation of Europe, a powerful propaganda among the masses of the people of all States is necessary - and it is to enlist advocates and workers for this great Cause that the League has been established.
Sir Max Waechter is devoting the remainder of his life and the bulk of his fortune to this work. He was encouraged to proceed with this scheme by our late King Edward VII and was assisted by his advice. The German Emperor is favourably disposed towards it, although conscious of the difficulties to be overcome - one of the chief of which is the attitude of the War party in Germany. The mass of the people in Germany are thoroughly pacific and do not want War. The Tsar is heartily in sympathy with the idea.
The urgent need that exists for such effort is generally recognised. At present the preservation of Peace costs Europe about £1,000,000,000 per annum. This expenditure is increasing so rapidly that within another decade it may be two thousand millions sterling instead of one. To provide this stupendous amount every inhabitant of Europe is heavily taxed and made to suffer privation and loss. Let us try to realize what this money would do for the struggling multitudes if it could be wisely spent instead of being thus wasted. Even at the present rate of expenditure it would provide 4,000,000 working men every year with the gift of a good freehold house, costing £250, in which they could live rent free for life. Or it would enable 50,000,000 men to live rent free in houses worth £20 per annum.
Let us think what could be done in abolishing slums, improving artizans' dwellings, eliminating poverty and uplifting the lives of the people. Surely it is a prospect worth striving for - and the people of Europe can bring it to pass if they will!
To abolish War, and these expensive preparations for it, the fundamental causes of War must be removed. Dissension must give place to Alliance and Federation, suspicion and jealousy to trust and fraternal sentiment. Just as the imaginary hostility between England, France and Russia, which existed twenty years ago, has been changed into a friendliness and a Triple Entente, so the imaginary hostility between these nations and the other three great poers of Europe which exists to-day, can be dissipated, and a Sextuple Alliance be formed on an economic basis. The other nations of Europe would then hasten to join such a Federation, and European Unity and Peace would follow. The Concert of Europe would then be a reality instead of a diplomatic fiction.
This Federation would probably be soon joined by the United States of America, and perhaps Japan, and permanent peace throughout the world would then almost become assured - at any rate between the great nations. And their united influence should be able to enforce Peace and Arbitration elsewhere.
The proposed modus operandi set forth in the preliminary manifesto of the European Unity League is a very sensible and businesslike programme. Briefly it can be summarised as follows;
"In order to achieve the Alliance or the Federation of the States of Europe on an economic basis, it is intended to organise in all the States of Europe a propaganda by means of which public opinion may be enlightened as to the great advantages which all the peoples of Europe would derive from such an Alliance or Federation.
"The first practical step to bring about the Federation of Europe will consist in an endeavour to create a complete and cordial understanding between England and Germany. England and Germany hold the key to the position. They are the leaders of the two great groups. The one is the greatest land power and the other the greatest sea power.
"As soon as an Anglo-German understanding has been created, the service of the League will be offered to the French and Germans with a view to assisting them to remove all the difficulties existing between their two nations and establishing a full and unreserved accord between them.
"When a cordial understanding has been established between England, Germany, and France, the League will approach the other European countries and ask them to join the new Alliance of Peace. Round an Anglo-German-French understanding the Alliance of Europe would quickly form itself.
"The European Unity League will neither carry on nor encourage agitation against armies and navies. The league only advocates the reduction of excessive armaments where and when such reduction has become possible in view of the political and military circumstances. As long as the present political organisation of Europe remains unchanged, armies and navies must be preserved and are likely to increase. This being its view, every statesman, every soldier and every patriot can join the League. He can be a member of the League and can yet, without inconsistency, advocate the strengthening of the Army and Navy, which at present secure the safety of his nation.