Democracy "Versus" Militarism
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 29 Apr 1915, p. 173-182
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Democracy "Versus" Militarism

The great conflict in which we are engaged. Two of the ideals back of this war, expressed and exemplified by the German Empire on the one side and the British Empire on the other. The ideals of militarism as domination and conquest by the power of the sword, its watchword "Might is the supreme right." The ideals of democracy just the reverse; human liberty, free government, and equal justice to all, with a watchword of "Right is greater than might." These two forces contending for the mastery in Germany over the last 100 years and more. A brief review of German politics and history. The cause of democracy in Germany making very marked progress from 1840 to 1862. Bismarck's policies, striking the greatest blow which free and democratic government received in Europe during the past century. Effects in all the other countries of Europe, down to today. Two phases of policies pursued by the governments of Prussia and Germany since 1862. Pursuing a policy to undermine the power of the democratic movement by an aggressive national policy, giving voice and expression to the militarist ideals. The German government seeking to educate the German people through the public press, and through the schools and universities, to accept the government's ideals; that the monarchy is divinely ordained, that the state is non-moral, that war is a good thing in itself, that in national affairs Might is the Supreme Right, and that world empire is the rightful destiny of the German people. Evidence of the success of this movement. Today in Germany, militarism and autocracy dominant, with secure support from even the Social Democrats. The history of the struggle between democracy and military autocracy in Great Britain, in contrast to that of Germany. An appreciation of what the Government of Canada, and the people of Canada have already done in the war. Bearing in mind how small relatively is the sacrifice Canada has made compared with that made by the people of the Mother Country. Some facts and figures. Paying tribute to the valiant men from Canada who have died that the Empire might live. Asking whether we are worthy of them. Taking up the task they have laid down. Proving ourselves worthy of the men who have died for us in this, the supremest hour in our national history.