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March 10, 1915 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1915-03-10

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laiirm innirainr lIIA

Editor, The Michigan Daily:--
I sincerely agree with Mr. Thiel's
sentiments and, arguments as pub-
lished in Friday's issue. I believe,
however, that he does not conclusively
prove his point to the reader who may
have some doubt as to which side of
the question he should adhere to. It is
my intention to introduce certain glar-
ing facts in opposition to militarism as
a secure protection against war, by
furnishing a preparation for war. In-
cidentally, I shall prove that unpre-
paredness for war does not prevent
How can I egress unscathed from
this anomaly? Let us see. I mean to
employ the agency of the atrocious
and horrible conflict in Europe. I
hope to draw a lesson, a moral, so to
speak, from its great significance to
the entire world.
First, unpreparedness for war does
not prevent war. Upon a statement
recently written above the signature
of the then minister to Spain, that
country offered to sell Cuba to the U.
S. for $100,000,000, only a short time
previous to the "blowing up" of the
Maine. Spain was compelled to fight,
although the war showed ,how badly
she was prepared for war. Again Gen-
eral Grant who served through the
Mexican war of 1846, declared that
President Polk brought a most unjust
war against our weak southern neigh-
bors, an act the like of which "Uncon-
ditional Surrender" never knew. On
the European battlefield, Servia, al-
tho-h she had acquiesced to Austria's
demands from the start, was compell-
ed to fight for her own defense. Fin-
ally, can we find security from war in
preparing for strife? Let us see.
Militarism always means an efficien-
ey in military matters and the perfect-
ing and increasing of the power and
destructive qualities of our arms and
munitions. This will make war hor-
rible and terribly destructive. Now,
many persons take advantage of this
state of affairs and declare that we
can have no such wars in this stage of

large cannon, smokeless powder, each
capable of dealing out all forms of
death and wanton destruction when in
the hands of those who may find their
use necessary. Still we have war.
Coming to the actual issue. Does
preparedness for war 'prevent war?
We must first ascertain the cause of
war as we have it today and as it has
always existed. For let there be .no
mistake. The ghastly war now shak-
ing Europe to its foundations is not a
war of patriots. The war of today was
foreordained when the nations of Eu-
rope went out to steal slices of the
remaining globe for a market for their
surplus products. We have, as the
European, and all civilized nations
have, a large surplus to dispose of.
Under the present system of profits
these products must be disposed of,
or the system crashes. As Germany
produces more than it consumes, it
must acquire colonies as markets upon
which to throw its surplus, yet thous-
ands of Germans are starving for lack
of that food and going barefoot, being
unable to buy the shoes themselves.
Only colonies answer the purpose, as
these uncivilized countries are unde-
veloped and thus consume more than
they produce. Also, the market is
open only to Germany. At the time of
Bismarck's reign, Germany was chief-
ly an agricultural country, with some
40,000,000 people. Now it is also one
of the largest commercial and manu-
facturing centers of the world. Its
population had increased, meanwhile,
to 66,000,000, the value of its products
in much greater ratio. That is why it
needs new markets, and- is now engag-
ed in deadly combat to get colonies. I
only treat Germany as typical, because
all other "civilized" nations are simil-
arly placed.
When stupendous armies and navies
were created for the "preservation of
peace," they practically declared the
war. We in the U. S. have a like com-
mercial system, and do require a large
army and navy to protect and enlarge
that system. But this preparation for
war in the shape of increased arma-
ment will not protect the nation from
war--it will only hasten the impend-
ing war so imminently endangering us.
Were not the European nations prepar-
ed "to preserve peace?" And still we
have war..
What, then, are we to do? Shall we,
sink all naval vessels and disarm all

our soldiers? This would be a foolish
stunt unless accompanied by universal
disarmamnent. I can conceive of no
method of affecting this except by uni-
versal agreement. How can anyone
say such a treaty would be worth a
whoop in Hades? Not after the fact
that Great Britain, Krance and Ger-
many had sworn to protect the neu-
trality of Belgium, and that treaty is
being broken a thousand times a day.
Then I would suggest building 12 bat-
tleships per year, instead of only two.
Then we ought to increase our coast
defenses, and raise a larger army than
any other nation, in order to feel at all
secure. How shall we get such an ar-
my? By voluntary enlistment? Hard-
ly, when we have such a small stand-
ing force today, though our army and
navy departments offer such splendid
inducements to would-be recruits. We
must have compulsory enlistment, tak-
ing the best years out of every man's
life to prepare him for the defense of
his country. But conscription is ab-
horrent to the American public, and
antagonistic to the principles under-
lying the very foundations of this re-
public. Now we are stumped.
Can you see any way out of this fix?
I can. I see that in order to do away
with the all too iminent danger, we
must abolish the cause of war. We
must supplant the present system-of
distribution of life's necessities, which
allows of a surplus for exports, and at
the same time a lack of food and cloth-
ing within the nation, by a cooperative
system. This will leave no surplus for
which markets must be bought at so
bitter a cost.
Militarists demand a large army and
navy, ostensibly for peaceful purposes,
but really to support and increase the
present commercial system. If I were
an unthinking person, I would not re-
alize these bare facts, but would vote
for a large army and navy. None of
us like war, and so this is why I am
stating these truths. If you like war,
then I can say nothing to a homicidal
maniac. But if we don't like war, how
can we protest against it, and at the
same time foster the system of which
it is only the fruit? You, Mr. Reader,
must protest against the cause of war,
if you detest the fruits of that which
guarantees war.
This is why I am in opposition to


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