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time, ladies and gentlemen, to speak of an international conscience is the time that now is, now, while the warmad world paints itself vermilion in its own heart's blood, and the piled up agony of the battle field affronts the eye of heaven. Fields that were waving with golden grain, and cities that were at once the shrine of art and the home of happy men, now beneath the harvest moon are human slaughterhouses. Civilization is eating her own children. Our worst imaginations of hell pale before the realities of Belgium, and France, and Galicia, and Poland, and Armenia. Europe seems destined to fall from calamity to calamity until thrones go down in revolution, until civilization tumbles into hideous ruin, and anarchy shrieks over a continent aflame.

And why? Why these orgies of mutilation and murder and massacre? Why these orgies of death and hell? Why millions of human beings, brothers, created erect in God's own image, for every one of whom Jesus died, starving, freezing, dying of hunger and thirst and cold, hacked, stabbed, slashed, blown to pieces by shrapnel and ground to pulp beneath the hoofs of cavalry horses and the wheels of guncarriages? Why human beings doing these things, men doing these things to one another in one long, inconceivable, incredible orgy of savage and loathsome butchery, while the wails of weeping women fill the heavens with their woe, and the child's sob in the silence curses deeper than the strong man in his wrath? Why?

Have you ever seriously pondered the answer given by a brilliant Englishman, the Hon. Bertram Russell, a Fellow of Trinity, a man of letters, a man of science, the heir to an English earldom, and grandson of Lord John Russell, Victoria's great prime minister? Bertram Russell is not a thinker to be despised. Listen. I can give you the exact words, I need not read them; I have quoted them too often against furious Britons and furious Germans, and their more furious partisans on this side of the water.

“All this rage,” says Mr. Russell, “all this madness, all this flaming death of our civilization and our hopes, has been brought about because a set of official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, mostly stupid and all without imagination or heart, have willed that they should occur, rather than that any one of them should suffer an infinitesimal rebuff to his country's pride. The diplomats, seeing from the first the inevitable end and desiring to avoid it, yet restrained by punctilio from making or accepting the small concessions that might have saved the world, hurried on at last by blind fear to loose their arms for mutual destruction.”

And this witness, ladies and gentlemen is true. The world war is a war without reason. The world looks upon a causeless crime. A London newspaper, utterly, loyal to king and country, declares that there is not a person now living or already killed who actually wanted this war. This is a war of fear; fear of the vast armaments which fear called into existence has deluged the continent with blood.

We use words. We say Serbia did this, and Austria said that, and Russia said something else, and France and Germany and Great Britain said or did something more. What do you mean by the words when you use them? Who, what, said or did this, that and the other? All that you mean is that two or three kings and emperors, a handful of diplomats and statesmen, twenty persons perhaps, not forty in all Europe, said and did these things. If there are 500 millions of human beings involved in this horror, then 499 millions, 999 thousand and 950 had no more to do with it all than the babe unborn. Mr. Russell is right. These official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, most of them stupid, without imagination or heart, they are the sinners, and through their inconceivable folly and monumental weakness these things are done. The millions who have to starve and die, the goodhearted, toiling masses of Germany and France and Great Britain and Russia, plowing their fields and building their cities, are as innocent of participation in the policy of preparedness as the last barrow full of litter wheeled out of the cavalry stables. The people are slaves. In all of the warring nations save one they were slaves of the military system before ever a blow was struck; in the remaining one they become slaves as soon as they stand beneath the colors. They must either fight and take their chance of being killed, or refuse to fight and be quite certainly killed in their refusal. The revolvers of their officers are pointed at their heads and the artillery of their countrymen is trained upon them if they attempt to escape. Slaves they are, as slaves they go out to kill, as cattle they are killed. And the reason for it they know no more than the bullock struck down in the shambles. These official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, mostly stupid and all of them without imagination and heart, have fallen out, and the reek of their incompetence and their senile hate fills the earth with woe and grieves the heart of our Father who is in heaven.

This military system is a part of the thing we call government, and from its tyranny the people of Europe could have escaped any time these two thousand years only through red ruin and the breaking up of laws. Shelley calls to his countrymen:

“Men of England, heirs of glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty mother,
Hopes of her and one another,
Rise like lions from your slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake to earth the chains that like dew
In your sleep have fallen on you;
Ye are many, they are few."

But before the masses of the people of European countries can shake from their limbs the chains of military despotism, they must first emancipate themselves from the thralldom of a mysterious yet impalpable superstition, a superstition that masquerades as patriotism.

And we ourselves in this country of the free are not less superstitious slaves. We still drink that, shameful toast, “Our Country. In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, but our country, right or wrong." Such a sentiment is base in its conception and disastrous in its results. It means that honesty and honor and equity and justice are merely local and municipal ordinances. It means that a little stretch of territory is of more consequence to you than eternal truth and right. It means that morality is a matter of maps and mileage, truth a thing of the tent and tribe, love a matter of latitude and longitude, and God, a term of physical geography. And yet we tolerate it, we defend it, we are blind to the weakness of its implications, although these are written in flame from the Baltic to the Aegean, and from the Irish Channel to the blood-stained hills of Armenia. From this base consecration to our country, right or wrong, the transition is easy to our rulers, king or kaiser, president or chancellor or secretary of state, right or wrong. These seem to us to be our country. And when they fall out, then millions of men must murder one another, and pain must be endured, and agony, and blood flow in rivers and the mouth of hell be enlarged; for mutual slaughter there is no international conscience to condemn. You know what might have been, saddest of all words though those may be. Nay, you know what still might be, if an international conscience should emerge out of this wild welter of international crime. The nations we call neutral, the nations that are not yet stricken by madness, could insist that these things stop, and they could make good their demand. A league of neutral nations is possible; and not merely idly possible; it is one of the practicabilities of the hour. And this league of neutral nations, the United States leading on, could demand the submission of everything that is at issue to an international court, representing all that is wisest and noblest in the neutral nations of the world, substituting for that expedient of hell which you call the arbitrament of the sword the judgment of an international court.

You may say that there is no tribunal wise enough and great enough and sweet and brave and gracious enough to adjudicate upon the hell that rages in Europe today. Who could find the right amid these contentions where all is wrong? No tribunal, you say, can be great and wise enough for this. But think. Some sort of tribunal will have to settle things some day. A number of learned gentlemen will gather around a table and talk the thing to a decision some day. This cannot go on forever. And which is likely to approximate more nearly to right and justice, the dictation of terms by a conqueror to an exhausted and bleeding foe, or the judgment of the wisest and noblest from the neutral nations of the world?

There is only one reason why you, and men and women like you throughout the neutral nations of the world, do not rise up and demand that this thing shall stop. It is not because you are making money out of the sale of munitions of war, fingering your blood-stained gold; it is not that you are hungry for your 57 per cent. upon a foreign loan; it is not because you are deceived by the obvious and silly claptrap, that to place an embargo upon munitions would be a violation of neutrality. Your reason is deeper and more creditable than all of these. It is this. Your sympathies are with one side in the struggle. You believe that the balance of criminality is heavier upon one side than the other, and you will be no party to an action that might give to the side you believe to be more criminal an advantage over the other. In plain words, you are afraid to stop the supply of money and munitions of war, lest this should prove a disadvantage to Great Britain and her allies and leave the violation of Belgium unavenged.

Very well, then your course is clear, or would be if an international conscience were enthroned in this hour. The United States could insist that no injustice in the settlement should be done by one side to the other. The United States could insist that the President of the United States preside over the supreme court of the nations. The United States could make it a condition of placing or maintaining or raising an embargo, that no nation should do an injustice to any other, and could hold in reserve against any nation that chose to attempt to disobey the findings of an international court the right to grant or refuse supplies, according as it followed the findings of the supreme court of the nations.

The neutral nations could to this, the United States leading on. The neutral nations could put a stop to the war within two months; and the neutral nations attempt nothing of the kind. They move neither hand nor foot to do this. And not because men and women have grown callous in the presence of suffering such as the world never saw before, but because no international conscience has arisen to repeat to mankind Christ's words of peace. Herein the mystery of this iniquity stands revealed. Herein we find the answer to the why, and the why, which we put to you so persistently a few minutes ago. They still believe that when official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, mostly stupid and all with

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