- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 17 Oct 1918, p. 323-339
- Kingsley, Darwin P., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- the unspeakable criminal record that long since made Germany a Pariah amongst the nations. Only just beginning to appreciate these dreadful facts. How such reptilian qualities were kept alive and developed in Germany. The welter of lying that preceded and produced the present mental and moral attitude of the people of the German Empire. The German people, transformed since 1848 through brutal philosophy and successful lying. Some of the things the German people were taught in order to prepare them for this war. This war as the culmination of the German program which was stimulated at least by the world's program. The world program, which brings us to the primary cause of war. A discussion of the Doctrine of Sovereignty, and of the history of Prussia and Germany. How to achieve the end of such wars. The great duty of the hour not merely to make an end of William but to make an end of the causes that helped to produce William. Victory over Germany not expected to settle many international questions. How the Doctrine of Sovereignty might cause another war. President Wilson's program pointing the way to a larger world where lie the peace and the power that the Thirteen States and their thirty-five fellows have found under the Federal Constitution. The need for Federation of peoples.
- Date of Original
- 17 Oct 1918
- Language of Item
- Copyright Statement
- The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
- Empire Club of CanadaEmail
Agency street/mail address
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street West, Floor H
Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3
- Full Text
- WOODROW WILSON AND THE DOC TRINE OF SOVEREIGNTY
AN ADDRESS BY DARWIN P. KINGSLEY
Before the Empire Club of Canada. Toronto,
October 17, 1918
MR. PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE EMPIRE CLUB,-If in the Summer of 1913 the people of France had reported that one of the great Pterodactyls of the Mesozoic period had suddenly winged its reptilian way over the borders of that Republic, the rest of the world would have smiled, shrugged its shoulders and said that the excitable French were "seeing things."
If in the Summer of 1914 the people of Belgium had reported that a group of Dinosaurs had suddenly appeared at the gates of the Kingdom and had begun to kill as reptiles killed when reptiles ruled the earth, the world would again have shrugged its shoulders and gone about its business.
If in the Spring of 1915 we had been told that a Plesiosaur, the Saurian that swam in the sea in the age of Reptiles, had suddenly reared its awful front off the Head of Old Kinsale and had killed twelve hundred people amongst whom were scores of our own citizens,
As President of the New York Life Insurance Company, Mr. Kingsley is one of America's greatest Rulers of Commerce. From junior clerk to executive head of the largest insurance corporation in the world, is but one result of his dynamic character. As a leader in the great war work of America, with his hand upon the pulse of her commerce, and with a great conception of Anglo-American influence in the world of tomorrow, this statesman of business was better qualified than most men to deal with the international problems arising out of the War.
including women and babies, we would have been more than incredulous.
In each assumed happening the world outside those who saw and suffered would have said the reports were absurd. Such animals did exist some millions of years ago; they were reptiles; they did rule the land and the sea and the air; but they long since passed away. This is the twentieth century, such monsters no longer exist and such things cannot happen.
But at the times and places indicated events actually happened as sinister, as hideous, as pitiful, as unbelievable as they could have been if the Zeppelin had been a Pterodactyl and the German war machine a group of Dinosaurs and the submarine a Plesiosaur.
The reptilian bodies of the Saurians are dead, but reptilian morals, reptilian faith, reptilian manners and reptalian purposes, we now know have never died; they flourish in the twentieth century; they have added to the terrible beaks and claws and armor of their physical forbears the power of trained intellect and all the forces of scientific knowledge; they have found lodgment in German bodies, minds and souls; they have found expression in the unspeakable criminal record that long since made Germany a Pariah amongst the nations.
We have only just begun to appreciate these dreadful facts. It has been almost impossible for us to grasp the truth. It was in fact about as colossal a task for us to dislocate, dismember and destroy our usual conceptions of decency and fit our practices to the demands of Germany as it would be for us to breathe and survive if the atmosphere of the age of Saurians were suddenly substituted for the air of our usual habitat. We are temporarily wearing moral gas masks while the boys over there fight the great reptile similarly protected physically. We hate it; but we've got to do it and we're going through it.
It seems to me that these reptilian qualities were kept alive and developed in Germany in this way
Man is the only rational animal. Therefore man is the only animal that can lie or be deceived by lies. Lying is a wicked and an unforgivable perversion of man's loftiest powers. Lying can succeed only if the person lied to is credulous and honest or if he is entirely at the mercy of the liar. Lying to another liar is less effective and less dangerous.
The appalling crimes committed by Germany within four years do not reach their climax in her perversion of scientific achievements into implements of indiscriminate murder, they do not reach their climax in rape officially condoned if not ordered, nor in forcing people through hunger into slavery; her great crime consists in systematic lying, lying first to her own people and then to all other peoples. Von Papen's characterization of the American people as idiots has in it the sneer of Mephistopheles. To the German how gullible we were; what children not to see the lie and its purpose! We were children by the German standard of honour. But now we know, now we are keeping the reckoning and we propose to make the great Liar pay to the uttermost farthing.
What a welter of lying preceded and produced the present mental and moral attitude of the people of the German Empire. Assume if you like a certain natural cruelty, brutality and ruthlessness in the Teuton, admit that he does not normally react to the standards adhered to by the AngloSaxon and the Latin and you have not explained the existing conditions. The German people since 1848 have been transformed through brutal philosophy and successful lying. They are today high and low, educated and ignorant, utterly and monstrously cruel.
Listen to a few of the things the German People were taught in order to prepare them for this war
"What does right matter to me? I have no need of it . . . . I have the right to do what I have the power to do."
The Kaiser said
"Woe and death to all who shall oppose my will. Woe and death to those who do not believe in my mission."
Ton Gottberg said
"War is the most august and sacred of human activities."
"Let us laugh with all our lungs at the old women in trousers who are afraid of war, and therefore complain that it is cruel and hideous. No! war is beautiful.
Pastor Lehmann said
"Germany is the centre of God's plans for the world."
"Might is the supreme right."
"War must leave nothing to the vanquished but their eyes to weep with."
The German troops have bettered that instruction. They have in many cases not left even eyes to weep with.
And having taught the people to accept those standards, listen to this
"Must culture build its cathedrals upon hills of corpses, seas of tears, and the death rattle of the vanquished? Yes, it must."
"Not only Alsace-Lorraine but all France and all Europe as well as the whole world will belong to us."
Chamberlain, the renegade Englishman, said
"He who does not believe in the Divine Mission of Germany had better go hang himself, and rather today than tomorrow."
"All written Constitutions are scraps of paper."
And so we have this long list of crimes, not by any means yet complete. The crimes began appropriately, with self-violated honour; nothing was difficult after that. The people of Germany still think they know what dishonour is, what murder is, what rape is, but none of these things, within the good Old German world governed by the good old Pagan German God and the Kaiser means what it means elsewhere. The inhibition laid against all these crimes still nominally holds as between Germans but has no significance in their outside relations, indeed to commit these crimes against outsiders is rather laid upon Germans and accepted by them as a duty and an evidence of loyalty and virtue.
The blasting indictment that lies today against the German people is not alone that they are guilty of crimes indescribable but that the military caste through a program deliberately adopted has made them a nation of liars, cruel liars, the kind, as Irving Bacheller puts it "that made Bell famous."
And why did the military caste believe it to be necessary first to lie to their own people and then to lie wholesale through their so-called Ambassadors who as a matter of fact for years have been chiefs in an unprecedented army of espionage, Captains in the army of dishonor? Germany adopted this program in part because of a kind of natural obsession which made her leaders really believe in Teutonic superiority, partly because the people would not follow the military caste if they were told the truth, and partly from what seemed to be real necessity.
This war is the culmination of the German program which was stimulated at least by the world's program.
And what has been the world program?
That brings us to the primary cause of the war.
The primary cause of this war is a condition, a political condition inherited from previous centuries; a condition which in its history records the struggles of human society as certainly as the rocks tell the story of the evolution of the earth; a condition which has qualified and largely controlled the ambitions, the triumphs, the defeats, the aspirations of the human race; a condition which has served mankind but has also bound it and still binds it as with bands of steel. We have now reached the age in politics when, if democratic civilization is to survive, we must first slay this reptile and then break these bonds. Vital as the first duty is the second in due course will become even more important.
The chief human agent in the perpetuation of that political condition in relatively modern times, the man who used it most effectively for the furtherance of his own purposes and his own ambitions and therefore the chief criminal is Frederick of Prussia, sometimes miscalled the Great, and apotheosized in eight volumes by Carlyle. The chief living criminal, who after all is merely carrying out Frederick's program, is William the -Second, King of Prussia and German Emperor.
Back of William, back of Frederick, and still dominant in the world lies this condition, brutal, bestial, inhuman, monstrous, unintelligent, but nevertheless more powerful than all Kings and all Kaisers, the chief source indeed of all their authority. That condition expressed in terms of government we call the Doctrine of Sovereignty. That Doctrine is the law of the jungle; its morality is still the morality of the jungle. It was born in the struggle for existence, begun in the primeval ooze before either reason or conscience had been developed. It has yielded little to the reason or conscience of any nation as such; in Germany it has utterly overborne both.
It has persisted essentially unchanged against advancing intelligence and improved morality. It differs in no respect from the law followed by the cave-man. The cave-man evolved from his family a larger unit called the tribe, and that unit evolved a still larger unit called the clan, and that unit evolved a still larger unit called the state. When any state after bloody struggles became large enough or strong enough, it took its place as a unit in a little group of equals, and established what has been called a "balance of power." Frequently with others and occasionally alone it then forced smaller or weaker powers into a condition of semi-vassalage. Whenever any unit has thought itself strong enough to disregard the "balance of power" so created, it has tried, and naturally tried, to dominate the entire world. The whole structure rested and still rests on essential savagery. Frederick saw that and taught Germany its brutal law. Frederick saw that a supreme trial of strength between these units was inevitable. The only doubtful questions were when would it come, and what people would be best prepared. Every citizen of every nation, democratic as well autocratic, knew this in a hazy sort of way; every citizen of every sort of country has for centuries known in his heart that his life was forfeit at a moment's notice -if the state called for it. Every citizen for centuries has known that the call was sure to come, if not for him then for his sons. For centuries the governmental units of human society have either been fighting or they have lived in that condition of suspended hostility which we call peace. There was no doubt about what would happen. Men talked about permanent peace and deliberately perpetuated a condition which meant war. As a people we lived for a half-century on the theory that the brotherhood of man had been achieved and therefore we made no reasonable preparations for the struggle which was sure to spring out of the international system of which governmentally we were a part. Of all the great powers we were the most utterly illogical.
We preserved the savage underlying condition as completely in substance as Germany did. If a man anywhere advanced a program that would avoid its sinister perils, he was denounced as a theorist and a dreamer; that is still true. If a man faced the facts and demanded adequate provision for defence, he was denounced as a "jingo." If nations attempted to solve the problem as they did at The Hague they paltered and shuffled. Men have not yet been able--except within limited areas-to take the great step necessary to lift the world above the operation of this savage law.
The great individual criminals, living and dead, were both a product and a cause. They were the product of the age-long hostility between the units of organized society. They were a cause in that they not unnaturally seized opportunity and gathered into their own hands the power which society thrust at them. The Doctrine of Rule by Divine Right and the Doctrine of Sovereignty are very nearly expressions of the same idea in different forms. When Louis XIV said that he was the state he was only defining the Doctrine of Sovereignty in personal terms.
Democracies have built society-not governments-on the idea that all men can be trusted, that the average man is not a savage, that he is willing to concede the rights to others that he demands for himself. Through the development of science time and distance were annihilated; there are today no foreign lands except governmentally. Governments are as far apart today as they were before Watts and Morse and Bell and Field and Marconi were born. Governments in their relations are still unscientific, savage and medieval; the condition red in tooth and claw still remains.
The Reptilian age passed physically because conditions on the earth changed physically. There were upheavals from time to time. The land, the sea and the air became less and less suited to Saurians. Countless new and apparently less efficient forms of life appeared. Naturally the reptiles fought the newer forms of life with increasing ferocity and slew them as they could. But finally when the hour came there was a vaster upheaval, conditions changed violently, the very atmosphere changed, and now all that physically remains of these early lords of the land, the sea and the air, is their impress in the clay or marl where they died when the earth became tired of them.
The dominance of the Doctrine of Sovereignty in the relations of nations makes this politically the age of the Saurian. Sovereignty asserted by either a democracy or an autocracy in the last analysis means war, and perhaps the most inconsistent and absurd, yet, under existing conditions, entirely necessary thing in the world is a democracy asserting its sovereignty against another democracy.
This war is that vaster upheaval, that violent change which is either to embalm William along with Alexander and Napoleon and all that tribe for the education and edification of future generations or it is to crush temporarily that form of political life which found expression in Magna Charta and the Declaration of 1776. Let us not deceive ourselves: either thing can still happen: Right does not always win. Barbarians conquered Rome; Archimedes was slain by an ignorant Roman soldier; Alexander Hamilton the most luminous intelligence in our history, one of the greatest political thinkers of any age was killed by an adventurer.
As the evolution of the earth gradually drove away the miasm and mists in which the saurian flourished, so an increasing love of ordered Liberty has driven away in part the political mists and the mysteries on which Frederick and his kind have flourished. The accumulation of public opinion like the accumulation of sediment in the shallow seas of the Mesozoic period has weakened the crust of the ancient order: there have been through the centuries violent upheavals, some before and some within our knowledge and memory: in 1776, 1792, 1848, 1861.
We can well imagine that when the earth began to tremble and the air to freshen and the waters to shift, the Saurians made a concerted assault upon all other forms of life. William and Franz-Joseph, possessed of reptilian morals, reptilian faith and reptilian purposes, had been listening to the rumblings of democracy for forty years. They smiled as they looked at their own equipment: their huge claws and beaks and teeth and armorplate and observed that the peoples who were stirring had no means of offense and little of defense. They laughed as they saw their enemy democracy, divided into twenty or thirty hostile camps, each professing a program of human brotherhood but internationally following the program of autocracy. They saw a generation ago that either they or democracy must go. They were logical. They did not palter. When the time came they struck as the great reptiles did.
The great criminal of this century, the man whose name will go down in history with Caligula and Attila is William the Second, German Emperor. But William after all represents a system, an idea. He is true to his class. He is morally a Saurian. The Great Reptiles probably despised the hordes of birds and fish and animals so indifferently equipped both for offense and defense; They naturally assumed that they themselves could not have been so wonderfully endowed except by the wish of the Almighty. If they thought at all, they doubtless believed they were the chosen of God.
There was no such thing as reforming a Saurian: he had to go. There is apparently no such thing possible as reforming and humanizing a Hohenzollern or a Hapsburg : they must go.
The particular in which Frederick was a criminal and William is a criminal is this
The people had begun to break down this ancient superstition. They took a great step forward in Magna Charta, another in the Declaration of 1776, another in the French Revolution, another in our Federal Constitution. The movement was so strong in recent times that peace has reigned for more than a hundred years between the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race.
William's great crime--following the teaching of Frederick-lies in his bitter opposition to that movement resulting in a complete perversion of a great people. He has dragged a whole race back and down into the slime of medievalism. He must go. The German people, o f themselves, must crawl up out of that slime and stand upright before men or be engulfed in the moral damnation that waits for all who stay there.
Why did the allied nations allow Germany to build up her terrible war machine? Why did they not stop it? Why did Great Britain when she realized the menace content herself merely with proposals that both nations take a holiday in war preparation? Why did Germany sneer at such proposals and immediately speed up her preparations ?
Again the Doctrine of Sovereignty.
Great Britain could only protest and protest politely; to have done more would have meant war and would have established a dangerous precedent. If Sovereign Germany could be stopped in any program, however wicked, so might Great Britain be stopped in any program however beneficent. Germany was protected by this monstrous fiction and Great Britain and France were paralyzed by it. As a result preparations to rape and assassinate the world went on openly and shamelessly. That hideous folly controls the destinies of men today.
The cause of this war, the source o f this great crime, is, therefore, the DOCTRINE OF SOVEREIGNTY. The great living criminal is William.
When William goes we shall have gained little if Sovereignty, as now defined, does not go with him. If the Doctrine survives, William will have successors as bad as he, possibly worse.
The great question is can men preserve all that is worth preserving in nationality without war? Or is there something in nationality that makes war necessary? Could governments effectively function as governments if they arranged their relations and settled their differences as individuals do, as the States of this Federal Union do?
Never has all the world been so nearly of one mind on any one subject as now. THERE MUST BE NO MORE SUCH WARS A S THIS. Everybody agrees. Very well. How then to achieve it?
Suppose the people of Great Britain, France, the United States, Italy, Germany and Austria-Hungary had been in some sort of effective governmental touch for a generation earlier than August 1, 1914. They had been for longer than that in touch in business. They had erected great international structures interwoven by all the relations of commerce and banking. They had no trouble in understanding each other. They did not fear each other. They trusted each other. They had in all those relations no desire to wrong each other. But in their governmental relations all was quite different. They all faced frontiers which were dead walls.
Here was a sharp line of demarcation; while the people told each other the truth, diplomats lied to each other; while the people dealt openly, diplomats spied on each other; while the people through their commerce gave and received benefits, diplomats planned ruin for each other. Out of the relation of the people war would probably never have sprung. Out of the relation of the diplomats war was certain, and continued, more wars are equally certain.
If, therefore, the people were able, in spite of the handicap of frontiers, of tariffs, of races and religions, to build up a vast peaceful fabric with which sovereignty had little to do except to embarrass it, isn't it likely that if allowed they could build up a like relation governmentally and if they did what would result?
Fortunately we have a concrete, a living, a convincing example. The thing has been done. The history of this country from the time when the Confederation of 1781 was seen to be a failure up to the present hour records about all the struggles, all the defeats and all the victories that will be recorded when humankind has made an end of its Fredericks, its Napoleons, and its Williams.
The same thing has been partly done in the British Empire. After this war the task will be completed there. But completed in that Empire it will still leave the Anglo-Saxon world split in twain, it will leave France and Italy defenseless.
The great duty of the hour therefore is not merely to make an end of William but to make an end of the causes that helped to produce William. There is indeed a tide in the affairs of men: it will be at the flood when William fails. It will be the supreme opportunity. This century will not see another such opportunity.
Immediately after William passes, the Allied nations will begin to pull apart if they do not immediately come nearer together. With each passing day the nations will drift toward the old order: old feuds will revive, what seem to be economic necessities will reassert themselves, prejudices will be reborn-the call of Sovereignty will sound and the allied Governments, forced for a time by the perils of war into unified action will return to the status quo. Once that is re-established the great opportunity is lost.
There is abroad a curious feeling that while people can be internationally just in business they cannot be so in government. Men rated as wise sneer at internationalism, they tell you that a Federation of the Democracies of the world is impracticable; that it can't be done, and therefore why waste effort in trying to achieve the impossible. That was one of the arguments made by George Clinton and his followers in 1788 when he so nearly defeated the Federal Constitution in New York; one of the arguments used by Patrick Henry in Richmond when he sought to keep Virginia out of the Union. My answer is that such a program is neither impracticable nor impossible, and no man, and certainly no leader, has any right to say that, unless he at the same time admits his belief that man is incapable of self-government, his belief that our Declaration of 1776 was after all a fraud and our Great Republic the product of an accident.
Men are already talking about the war after the war. Victory therefore over Germany is not expected to settle many international questions. If this war is lost it will settle many international questions-until such time as Liberty can re-light her extinguished torch. If this war is won it should, although it may not, settle the future relations of Nations. But why should there be war after this war? What will cause it? I answer:-The very conditions, in different form, that caused this war: Sovereignty, the fiction that human rights behind frontiers are different from and are inherently in deadly hostility to identical human rights just over the border. I call that a fiction-it is unfortunately a terrible fact. It is a fact as real as that one man is white and another is black and another is brown and another is yellow. But while we can understand the causes that made this variety of color, and with color a variety of religions, and while we can understand how these fundamental differences could naturally create impenetrable barriers behind which fear and hate and misunderstanding would intrench themselves, it is not so easy to understand why this the greatest of all wars should be controlled by no such consideration. The amazing fact is that these, the most fundamental and presumably most controlling of conditions, are not controlling. The lines of division in this war are neither racial nor religious. In the beginning the division did not even follow lines which put liberty on one side and tyranny on the other. Russia certainly did not consciously enter the war in defense of human liberty and the reaction which has followed the destruction of the House of Romanoff, leaves Russia perhaps the greatest of all menaces to self-government. What determined the lines of demarcation? Primarily the Doctrine of Sovereignty.
It is not difficult, under that doctrine, to understand how William persuaded himself that he was Vicegerent of the good old German Pagan God. He took up in statecraft the role of a political Torquemada. He believed, as Frederick did, that there must be an ultimate clash, a final trial of strength. Germany had been definitely preparing for forty years, Prussia for a hundred years. On the first of August, 1914, William believed that he had reached the hour of fate, therefore he struck. When Germany is beaten nothing fundamental will thereby have been decided. The war after the war will come-perhaps very soon, if the peoples of the world do not unite and put an end to the barbarism that now controls the relations of nations.
The preservation of nationality has long been the supreme purpose of government because under the bitter struggle for existence men saw safety only in the state. Governmentally men have been taught and are still taught to look upon men of other nations as their potential enemies. Unless the state can now be made a means to an end, unless the barriers that divide democracy from democracy can be broken down, let us stop chattering about world-peace; let us all become Prussianized in our morals and manners and motives; let us arm to the teeth and prepare for the battles that shall finally allow, even compel William or some other-perhaps an Anglo-Saxon -to set his foot on the neck of the world.
If Democracy means anything it means everything. It doesn't mean just the rights of the citizens of this Republic. If all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, the relations of governments should not be such that men shall be forced to rob other men of what God gave them. No civilized man, as a citizen, wants to do that, and. when the Germans, who alone seem to have that conscious purpose, have been beaten and reformed, if that be possible, governments must abandon a program by which they are themselves compelled to force men to do that.
Thomas Jefferson and the early fathers led us out into a glorious dawn when they declared that Life and Liberty were the inalienable rights of ALL men. We have proudly and grimly assented to that truth. But until we entered this war it was for us little more than a dream beyond our own frontiers. We had been bound by the law of self-preservation, by the Doctrine of Sovereignty. When we entered this war we invited all Democracies to unite with us and again break the chains that we broke in 1789. Can Democracy do that? On the answer to that question hangs the future of Liberty.
What democracy shall mean to our sons and daughters and to their successors will be determined first in the great battle now raging, in which Prussian autocracy is to be defeated and finally driven from power, and second in the success or failure of a federation of the democracies of the world following that battle. If Prussianism is victorious, democracy will for a long time survive only in political huts and caves. If Prussianism is crushed, Democracy may become as splendid as its principles, as glorious as its professions. But will it?
Not if the Doctrine of Sovereignty survives; not if the state continues to be the supreme end and not a means to an end.
Send William to another St. Helena, toss the Hapsburgs onto the scrap-heap of history, and keep the present program otherwise, and you will have made little progress toward abiding peace. Why was Washington right when he said "In times of peace prepare for war"? Why is that maxim just as true today as it was a hundred years ago? Because democracy has had and has now no comprehensive and sufficient program; because liberty-loving men are divided into strictly limited and hostile camps; because each democracy is certain, under economic pressure, to develop greed for land, for dominance at sea; because democracies made up of fallible and ambitious men, ruled by the laws of sovereignty, cannot be trusted to be just; because the frontiers of democratic sovereignty mean war almost as certainly as the frontiers of autocracy mean war.
There are frontiers that do not mean war and we who live under that unparalleled achievement are only beginning to realize its prophetic power and its moral obligation. There are frontiers that preserve local self-government, the integrity of institutions and of states, and yet do not breed war. Such frontiers delimit the various States of this Union. That was not always true. There was a time-about a hundred and thirty years ago--when the frontiers of the American States meant just what frontiers in Europe mean now.
The Original Thirteen States tried to live together and at the same time preserve separate Sovereignty in its full significance. They failed. It could not be done. It will never be done.
The Confederation, a union between Sovereignties as such, became a travesty on government. Our existing federal union, a Federation, a union of peoples, is with all its imperfections the fairest hope of the world.
In its inception, construction and history, the Federal Union tells the Allies how they may organize peace.
Men talk about the difficulties of such a program! Go to Belgium, to Poland, to Serbia, to Armenia, and to slaughtered France! Call the expanding roll of our own beloved dead. Face the certainty that this is not the end but the beginning and then talk of difficulties.
Away with those who quibble about tariffs, and religions, and frontiers, and ancient prejudices. Of what importance are they now? We shall soon come to the hour of supreme crisis. What are we to do? Who shall then lead us? Not those who have been saturated with the precedents of absolute nationality; not those who have already reacted to the other extreme, the Socialists, the Bolshevists who know not the meaning of ordered liberty. In all the Babel of voices discussing the future relations of nations the one great voice that is clear and prophetic and powerful is the voice of Woodrow Wilson. It takes us no whither to say that we should have entered the war sooner. Most of us will regret so long as we shall live our long period of hesitancy.
Our delay in getting into the war will be costly. How costly to you and to me in money and in hearts' blood we do not yet know. But under the President's leadership we have been through that travail of soul which enables us now to say to the Government "Slay the great reptile, no matter what it costs."
President Wilson in my opinion moved as rapidly as public opinion moved, he led it, and finally crystallized it by his timely and inspiring eloquence. We are all very wise now. It is easy, always easy, to be wise afterwards.
But in his vision of a post-bellum program, in his prophetic forecast of what must be done, if all this precious blood is not to be spilled in vain, the President stands above all other leaders of nations and in really constructive utterances, unhappily, almost alone.
He has said that after this war Democracies must unite, not as States, not as Sovereignties, not as mere governments, but as peoples. There sounds the prophetic voice. In that lies the only process by which victory can be made worth all its dreadful cost. President Wilson's program calls for no surrender of liberty, no loss of political integrity, no weakening of local self-government; on the contrary it points the way to a larger world where lie the peace and the power that the Thirteen States and their thirty-five fellows have found under the Federal Constitution. A mere League of States will not do. A Partnership of Sovereignties will not do.
The key word is Federation.
". . . . for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."
That is the Great new Evangel and Woodrow Wilson is its Prophet.