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    Chapter 5

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    Chapter 6
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    CONTRADICTION BETWEEN OUR LIFE AND OUR CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE.

    Men Think they can Accept Christianity without Altering their
    Life--Pagan Conception of Life does not Correspond with Present
    Stage of Development of Humanity, and Christian Conception
    Alone Can Accord with it--Christian Conception of Life not yet
    Understood by Men, but the Progress of Life itself will Lead
    them Inevitably to Adopt it--The Requirements of a New Theory
    of Life Always Seem Incomprehensible, Mystic, and Supernatural
    --So Seem the Requirements of the Christian Theory of Life to
    the Majority of Men--The Absorption of the Christian Conception
    of Life will Inevitably be Brought About as the Result of
    Material and Spiritual Causes--The Fact of Men Knowing the
    Requirements of the Higher View of Life, and yet Continuing to
    Preserve Inferior Organizations of Life, Leads to
    Contradictions and Sufferings which Embitter Existence and Must
    Result in its Transformation--The Contradictions of our Life--
    The Economic Contradiction and the Suffering Induced by it for
    Rich and Poor Alike--The Political Contradiction and the
    Sufferings Induced by Obedience to the Laws of the State--The
    International Contradiction and the Recognition of it by
    Contemporaries: Komarovsky, Ferri, Booth, Passy, Lawson,
    Wilson, Bartlett, Defourney, Moneta--The Striking Character of
    the Military Contradiction.

    There are many reasons why Christ's teaching is not understood.
    One reason is that people suppose they have understood it when
    they have decided, as the Churchmen do, that it was revealed by
    supernatural means, or when they have studied, as the scientific
    men do, the external forms in which it has been manifested.
    Another reason is the mistaken notion that it is impracticable,
    and ought to be replaced by the doctrine of love for humanity.
    But the principal reason, which is the source of all the other
    mistaken ideas about it, is the notion that Christianity is a
    doctrine which can be accepted or rejected without any change of
    life.

    Men who are used to the existing order of things, who like it and
    dread its being changed, try to take the doctrine as a collection
    of revelations and rules which one can accept without their
    modifying one's life. While Christ's teaching is not only a
    doctrine which gives rules which a man must follow, it unfolds a
    new meaning in life, and defines a whole world of human activity
    quite different from all that has preceded it and appropriate to
    the period on which man is entering.

    The life of humanity changes and advances, like the life of the
    individual, by stages, and every stage has a theory of life
    appropriate to it, which is inevitably absorbed by men. Those who
    do not absorb it consciously, absorb it unconsciously. It is the
    same with the changes in the beliefs of peoples and of all
    humanity as it is with the changes of belief of individuals. If
    the father of a family continues to be guided in his conduct by
    his childish conceptions of life, life becomes so difficult for
    him that he involuntarily seeks another philosophy and readily
    absorbs that which is appropriate to his age.

    That is just what is happening now to humanity at this time of
    transition through which we are passing, from the pagan conception
    of life to the Christian. The socialized man of the present day
    is brought by experience of life itself to the necessity of
    abandoning the pagan conception of life, which is inappropriate to
    the present stage of humanity, and of submitting to the obligation
    of the Christian doctrines, the truths of which, however corrupt
    and misinterpreted, are still known to him, and alone offer him a
    solution of the contradictions surrounding him.

    If the requirements of the Christian doctrine seem strange and
    even alarming to the than of the social theory of life, no less
    strange, incomprehensible, and alarming to the savage of ancient
    times seemed the requirements of the social doctrine when it was
    not fully understood and could not be foreseen in its results.

    "It is unreasonable," said the savage, "to sacrifice my peace of
    mind or my life in defense of something incomprehensible,
    impalpable, and conventional--family, tribe, or nation; and above
    all it is unsafe to put oneself at the disposal of the power of
    others."

    But the time came when the savage, on one hand, felt, though
    vaguely, the value of the social conception of life, and of its
    chief motor power, social censure, or social approbation--glory,
    and when, on the other hand, the difficulties of his personal life
    became so great that he could not continue to believe in the value
    of his old theory of life. Then he accepted the social, state
    theory of life and submitted to it.

    That is just what the man of the social theory of life is passing
    through now.

    "It is unreasonable," says the socialized man, "to sacrifice my
    welfare and that of my family and my country in order to fulfill
    some higher law, which requires me to renounce my most natural and
    virtuous feelings of love of self, of family, of kindred, and of
    country; and above all, it is unsafe to part with the security of
    life afforded by the organization of government."

    But the time is coming when, on one hand, the vague consciousness
    in his soul of the higher law, of love to God and his neighbor,
    and, on the other hand, the suffering, resulting from the
    contradictions of life, will force the man to reject the social
    theory and to assimilate the new one prepared ready for him, which
    solves all the contradictions and removes all his sufferings--the
    Christian theory of life. And this time has now come.

    We, who thousands of years ago passed through the transition, from
    the personal, animal view of life to the socialized view, imagine
    that that transition was an inevitable and natural one; but this
    transition though which we have been passing for the last eighteen
    hundred years seems arbitrary, unnatural, and alarming. But we
    only fancy this because that first transition has been so fully
    completed that the practice attained by it has become unconscious
    and instinctive in us, while the present transition is not yet
    over and we have to complete it consciously.

    It took ages, thousands of years, for the social conception of
    life to permeate men's consciousness. It went through various
    forms and has now passed into the region of the instinctive
    through inheritance, education, and habit. And therefore it seems
    natural to us. But five thousand years ago it seemed as unnatural
    and alarming to men as the Christian doctrine in its true sense
    seems to-day.

    We think to-day that the requirements of the Christian doctrine--
    of universal brotherhood, suppression of national distinctions,
    abolition of private property, and the strange injunction of non-
    resistance to evil by force--demand what is impossible. But it
    was just the same thousands of years ago, with every social or
    even family duty, such as the duty of parents to support their
    children, of the young to maintain the old, of fidelity in
    marriage. Still more strange, and even unreasonable, seemed the
    state duties of submitting to the appointed authority, and paying
    taxes, and fighting in defense of the country, and so on. All
    such requirements seem simple, comprehensible, and natural to us
    to-day, and we see nothing mysterious or alarming in them. But
    three or five thousand years ago they seemed to require what was
    impossible.

    The social conception of life served as the basis of religion
    because at the time when it was first presented to men it seemed
    to them absolutely incomprehensible, mystic, and supernatural.
    Now that we have outlived that phase of the life of humanity, we
    understand the rational grounds for uniting men in families,
    communities, and states. But in antiquity the duties involved by
    such association were presented under cover of the supernatural
    and were confirmed by it.

    The patriarchal religions exalted the family, the tribe, the
    nation. State religions deified emperors and states. Even now
    most ignorant people--like our peasants, who call the Tzar an
    earthly god--obey state laws, not through any rational recognition
    of their necessity, nor because they have any conception of the
    meaning of state, but through a religious sentiment.

    In precisely the same way the Christian doctrine is presented to
    men of the social or heathen theory of life to-day, in the guise
    of a supernatural religion, though there is in reality nothing
    mysterious, mystic, or supernatural about it. It is simply the
    theory of life which is appropriate to the present degree of
    material development, the present stage of growth of humanity, and
    which must therefore inevitably be accepted.

    The time will come--it is already coming--when the Christian
    principles of equality and fraternity, community of property, non-
    resistance of evil by force, will appear just as natural and
    simple as the principles of family or social life seem to us now.

    Humanity can no more go backward in its development than the
    individual man. Men have outlived the social, family, and state
    conceptions of life. Now they must go forward and assimilate the
    next and higher conception of life, which is what is now taking
    place. This change is brought about in two ways: consciously
    through spiritual causes, and unconsciously through material
    causes.

    Just as the individual man very rarely changes his way of life at
    the dictates of his reason alone, but generally continues to live
    as before, in spite of the new interests and aims revealed to him
    by his reason, and only alters his way of living when it has
    become absolutely opposed to his conscience, and consequently
    intolerable to him; so, too, humanity, long after it has learnt
    through its religions the new interests and aims of life, toward
    which it must strive, continues in the majority of its
    representatives to live as before, and is only brought to accept
    the new conception by finding it impossible to go on living its
    old life as before.

    Though the need of a change of life is preached by the religious
    leaders and recognized and realized by the most intelligent men,
    the majority, in spite of their reverential attitude to their
    leaders, that is, their faith in their teaching, continue to be
    guided by the old theory of life in their present complex
    existence. As though the father of a family, knowing how he ought
    to behave at his age, should yet continue through habit and
    thoughtlessness to live in the same childish way as he did in
    boyhood.

    That is just what is happening in the transition of humanity from
    one stage to another, through which we are passing now. Humanity
    has outgrown its social stage and has entered upon a new period.
    It recognizes the doctrine which ought to be made the basis of
    life in this new period. But through inertia it continues to keep
    up the old forms of life. From this inconsistency between the new
    conception of life and practical life follows a whole succession
    of contradictions and sufferings which embitter our life and
    necessitate its alteration.

    One need only compare the practice of life with the theory of it,
    to be dismayed at the glaring antagonism between our conditions of
    life and our conscience.

    Our whole life is in flat contradiction with all we know, and with
    all we regard as necessary and right. This contradiction runs
    through everything, in economic life, in political life, and in
    international life. As though the had forgotten what we knew and
    put away for a time the principles we believe in (we cannot help
    still believing in them because they are the only foundation we
    have to base our life on) we do the very opposite of all that our
    conscience and our common sense require of us.

    We are guided in economical, political, and international
    questions by the principles which were appropriate to men of three
    or five thousand years ago, though they are directly opposed to
    our conscience and the conditions of life in which we are placed
    to-day.

    It was very well for the man of ancient times to live in a society
    based on the division of mankind into masters and slaves, because
    he believed that such a distinction was decreed by God and must
    always exist. But is such a belief possible in these days?

    The man of antiquity could believe he had the right to enjoy the
    good things of this world at the expense of other men, and to keep
    them in misery for generations, since he believed that men came
    from different origins, were base or noble in blood, children of
    Ham or of Japhet. The greatest sages of the world, the teachers
    of humanity, Plato and Aristotle, justified the existence of
    slaves and demonstrated the lawfulness of slavery; and even three
    centuries ago, the men who described an imaginary society of the
    future, Utopia, could not conceive of it without slaves.

    Men of ancient and medieval times believed, firmly believed, that
    men are not equal, that the only true men are Persians, or Greeks,
    or Romans, or Franks. But we cannot believe that now. And people
    who sacrifice themselves for the principles of aristocracy and of
    patriotism to-duty, don't believe and can't believe what they
    assert.

    We all know and cannot help knowing--even though we may never have
    heard the idea clearly expressed, may never have read of it, and
    may never have put it into words, still through unconsciously
    imbibing the Christian sentiments that are in the air--with our
    whole heart we know and cannot escape knowing the fundamental
    truth of the Christian doctrine, that we are all sons of one
    Father, wherever we may live and whatever language we may speak;
    we are all brothers and are subject to the same law of love
    implanted by our common Father in our hearts.

    Whatever the opinions and degree of education of a man of to-day,
    whatever his shade of liberalism, whatever his school of
    philosophy, or of science, or of economics, however ignorant or
    superstitious he may be, every man of the present day knows that
    all men have an equal right to life and the good things of life,
    and that one set of people are no better nor worse than another,
    that all are equal. Everyone knows this, beyond doubt; everyone
    feels it in his whole being. Yet at the same time everyone sees
    all round him the division of men into two castes--the one,
    laboring, oppressed, poor, and suffering, the other idle,
    oppressing, luxurious, and profligate. And everyone not only sees
    this, but voluntarily or involuntarily, in one way or another, he
    takes part in maintaining this distinction which his conscience
    condemns. And he cannot help suffering from the consciousness of
    this contradiction and his share in it.

    Whether he be master or slave, the man of to-day cannot help
    constantly feeling the painful opposition between his conscience
    and actual life, and the miseries resulting from it.

    The toiling masses, the immense majority of mankind who are
    suffering under the incessant, meaningless, and hopeless toil and
    privation in which their whole life is swallowed up, still find
    their keenest suffering in the glaring contrast between what is
    and what ought to be, according to all the beliefs held by
    themselves, and those who have brought them to that condition and
    keep them in it.

    They know that they are in slavery and condemned to privation and
    darkness to minister to the lusts of the minority who keep them
    down. They know it, and they say so plainly. And this knowledge
    increases their sufferings and constitutes its bitterest sting.

    The slave of antiquity knew that he was a slave by nature, but our
    laborer, while he feels he is a slave, knows that he ought not to
    be, and so he tastes the agony of Tantalus, forever desiring and
    never gaining what might and ought to be his.

    The sufferings of the working classes, springing from the
    contradiction between what is and what ought to be, are increased
    tenfold by the envy and hatred engendered by their consciousness
    of it.

    The laborer of the present day would not cease to suffer even if
    his toil were much lighter than that of the slave of ancient
    times, even if he gained an eight-hour working day and a wage of
    three dollars a day. For he is working at the manufacture of
    things which he will not enjoy, working not by his own will for
    his own benefit, but through necessity, to satisfy the desires of
    luxurious and idle people in general, and for the profit of a
    single rich man, the owner of a factory or workshop in particular.
    And he knows that all this is going on in a world in which it is a
    recognized scientific principle that labor alone creates wealth,
    and that to profit by the labor of others is immoral, dishonest,
    and punishable by law; in a world, moreover, which professes to
    believe Christ's doctrine that we are all brothers, and that true
    merit and dignity is to be found in serving one's neighbor, not in
    exploiting him. All this he knows, and he cannot but suffer
    keenly from the sharp contrast between what is and what ought to
    be.

    "According to all principles, according to all I know, and what
    everyone professes," the workman says to himself. "I ought to be
    free, equal to everyone else, and loved; and I am--a slave,
    humiliated and hated." And he too is filled with hatred and tries
    to find means to escape from his position, to shake off the enemy
    who is over-riding him, and to oppress him in turn. People say,
    "Workmen have no business to try to become capitalists, the poor
    to try to put themselves in the place of the rich." That is a
    mistake. The workingmen and the poor would be wrong if they tried
    to do so in a world in which slaves and masters were regarded as
    different species created by God; but they are living in a world
    which professes the faith of the Gospel, that all are alike sons
    of God, and so brothers and equal. And however men may try to
    conceal it, one of the first conditions of Christian life is love,
    not in words but in deeds.

    The man of the so-called educated classes lives in still more
    glaring inconsistency and suffering. Every educated man, if he
    believes in anything, believes in the brotherhood of all men, or
    at least he has a sentiment of humanity, or else of justice, or
    else he believes in science. And all the while he knows that his
    whole life is framed on principles in direct opposition to it all,
    to all the principles of Christianity, humanity, justice, and
    science.

    He knows that all the habits in which he has been brought up, and
    which he could not give up without suffering, can only be
    satisfied through the exhausting, often fatal, toil of oppressed
    laborers, that is, through the most obvious and brutal violation
    of the principles of Christianity, humanity, and justice, and even
    of science (that is, economic science). He advocates the
    principles of fraternity, humanity, justice, and science, and yet
    he lives so that he is dependent on the oppression of the working
    classes, which he denounces, and his whole life is based on the
    advantages gained by their oppression. Moreover he is directing
    every effort to maintaining this state of things so flatly opposed
    to all his beliefs.

    We are all brothers--and yet every morning a brother or a sister
    must empty the bedroom slops for me. We are all brothers, but
    every morning I must have a cigar, a sweetmeat, an ice, and such
    things, which my brothers and sisters have been wasting their
    health in manufacturing, and I enjoy these things and demand them.
    We are all brothers, yet I live by working in a bank, or
    mercantile house, or shop at making all goods dearer for my
    brothers. We are all brothers, but I live on a salary paid me for
    prosecuting, judging, and condemning the thief or the prostitute
    whose existence the whole tenor of my life tends to bring about,
    and who I know ought not to be punished but reformed. We are all
    brothers, but I live on the salary I gain by collecting taxes from
    needy laborers to be spent on the luxuries of the rich and idle.
    We are all brothers, but I take a stipend for preaching a false
    Christian religion, which I do not myself believe in, and which
    only serve's to hinder men from understanding true Christianity.
    I take a stipend as priest or bishop for deceiving men in the
    matter of the greatest importance to them. We are all brothers,
    but I will not give the poor the benefit of my educational,
    medical, or literary labors except for money. We are all
    brothers, yet I take a salary for being ready to commit murder,
    for teaching men to murder, or making firearms, gunpowder, or
    fortifications.

    The whole life of the upper classes is a constant inconsistency.
    The more delicate a man's conscience is, the more painful this
    contradiction is to him.

    A man of sensitive conscience cannot but suffer if he lives such a
    life. The only means by which he can escape from this suffering
    is by blunting his conscience, but even if some men succeed in
    dulling their conscience they cannot dull their fears.

    The men of the higher dominating classes whose conscience is
    naturally not sensitive or has become blunted, if they don't
    suffer through conscience, suffer from fear and hatred. They are
    bound to suffer. They know all the hatred of them existing, and
    inevitably existing in the working classes. They are aware that
    the working classes know that they are deceived and exploited, and
    that they are beginning to organize themselves to shake off
    oppression and revenge themselves on their oppressors. The higher
    classes see the unions, the strikes, the May Day Celebrations, and
    feel the calamity that is threatening them, and their terror
    passes into an instinct of self-defense and hatred. They know
    that if for one instant they are worsted in the struggle with
    their oppressed slaves, they will perish, because the slaves are
    exasperated and their exasperation is growing more intense with
    every day of oppression. The oppressors, even if they wished to
    do so, could not make an end to oppression. They know that they
    themselves will perish directly they even relax the harshness of
    their oppression. And they do not relax it, in spite of all their
    pretended care for the welfare of the working classes, for the
    eight-hour day, for regulation of the labor of minors and of
    women, for savings banks and pensions. All that is humbug, or
    else simply anxiety to keep the slave fit to do his work. But the
    slave is still a slave, and the master who cannot live without a
    slave is less disposed to set him free than ever.

    The attitude of the ruling classes to the laborers is that of a
    man who has felled his adversary to the earth and holds him down,
    not so much because he wants to hold him down, as because he knows
    that if he let him go, even for a second, he would himself be
    stabbed, for his adversary is infuriated and has a knife in his
    hand. And therefore, whether their conscience is tender or the
    reverse, our rich men cannot enjoy the wealth they have filched
    from the poor as the ancients did who believed in their right to
    it. Their whole life and all their enjoyments are embittered
    either by the stings of conscience or by terror.

    So much for the economic contradiction. The political
    contradiction is even more striking.

    All men are brought up to the habit of obeying the laws of the
    state before everything. The whole existence of modern times is
    defined by laws. A man marries and is divorced, educates his
    children, and even (in many countries) professes his religious
    faith in accordance with the law. What about the law then which
    defines our whose existence? Do men believe in it? Do they
    regard it as good? Not at all. In the majority of cases people
    of the present time do not believe in the justice of the law, they
    despise it, but still they obey it. It was very well for the
    men of the ancient world to observe their laws. They firmly
    believed that their law (it was generally of a religious
    character) was the only just law, which everyone ought to obey.
    But is it so with us? we know and cannot help knowing that the law
    of our country is not the one eternal law; that it is only one of
    the many laws of different countries, which are equally imperfect,
    often obviously wrong and unjust, and are criticised from every
    point of view in the newspapers. The Jew might well obey his
    laws, since he had not the slightest doubt that God had written
    them with his finger; the Roman too might well obey the laws which
    he thought had been dictated by the nymph Egeria. Men might well
    observe the laws if they believed the Tzars who made them were
    God's anointed, or even if they thought they were the work of
    assemblies of lawgivers who had the power and the desire to make
    them as good as possible. But we all know how our laws are
    made. We have all been behind the scenes, we know that they are
    the product of covetousness, trickery, and party struggles; that
    there is not and cannot be any real justice in them. And so
    modern men cannot believe that obedience to civic or political
    laws can satisfy the demands of the reason or of human nature.
    Men have long ago recognized that it is irrational to obey a law
    the justice of which is very doubtful, and so they cannot but
    suffer in obeying a law which they do not accept as judicious and
    binding.

    A man cannot but suffer when his whole life is defined beforehand
    for him by laws, which he must obey under threat of punishment,
    though he does not believe in their wisdom or justice, and often
    clearly perceives their injustice, cruelty, and artificiality.

    We recognize the uselessness of customs and import duties, and are
    obliged to pay them. We recognize the uselessness of the
    expenditure on the maintenance of the Court and other members of
    Government, and we regard the teaching of the Church as injurious,
    but we are obliged to bear our share of the expenses of these
    institutions. We regard the punishments inflicted by law as cruel
    and shameless, but we must assist in supporting them. We regard
    as unjust and pernicious the distribution of landed property, but
    we are obliged to submit to it. We see no necessity for wars and
    armies, but we must bear terribly heavy burdens in support of
    troops and war expenses.

    But this contradiction is nothing in comparison with the
    contradiction which confronts us when we turn to international
    questions, and which demands a solution, under pain of the loss of
    the sanity and even the existence of the human race. That is the
    contradiction between the Christian conscience and war.

    We are all Christian nations living the same spiritual life, so
    that every noble and pregnant thought, springing up at one end of
    the world, is at once communicated to the whole of Christian
    humanity and evokes everywhere the same emotion at pride and
    rejoicing without distinction of nationalities. We who love
    thinkers, philanthropists, poets, and scientific men of foreign
    origin, and are as proud of the exploits of Father Damien as if he
    were one of ourselves, we, who have a simple love for men of
    foreign nationalities, Frenchmen, Germans, Americans, and
    Englishmen, who respect their qualities, are glad to meet them and
    make them so warmly welcome, cannot regard war with them as
    anything heroic. We cannot even imagine without horror the
    possibility of a disagreement between these people and ourselves
    which would call for reciprocal murder. Yet we are all bound to
    take a hand in this slaughter which is bound to come to pass to-
    morrow not to-day.

    It was very well for the Jew, the Greek, and the Roman to defend
    the independence of his nation by murder. For he piously believed
    that his people was the only true, fine, and good people dear to
    God, and all the rest were Philistines, barbarians. Men of
    medieval times--even up to the end of the last and beginning of
    this century--might continue to hold this belief. But however
    much we work upon ourselves we cannot believe it. And this
    contradiction for men of the present day has become so full of
    horror that without its solution life is no longer possible.

    "We live in a time which is full of inconsistencies," writes Count
    Komarovsky, the professor of international law, in his learned
    treatise.

    "The press of ail countries is continually expressing the
    universal desire for peace, and the general sense of its
    necessity for all nations.

    "Representatives of governments, private persons, and official
    organs say the same thing; it is repeated in parliamentary
    debates, diplomatic correspondence, and even in state treaties.
    At the same time governments are increasing the strength of
    their armies every year, levying fresh taxes, raising loans,
    and leaving as a bequest to future generations the duty of
    repairing the blunders of the senseless policy of the present.
    What a striking contrast between words and deeds! Of course
    governments will plead in justification of these measures that
    all their expenditure and armament are exclusively for purposes
    of defense. But it remains a mystery to every disinterested
    man whence they can expect attacks if all the great powers are
    single-hearted in their policy, in pursuing nothing but self
    defense. In reality it looks as if each of the great powers
    were every instant anticipating an attack on the part of the
    others. And this results in a general feeling of insecurity
    and superhuman efforts on the part of each government to
    increase their forces beyond those of the other powers. Such a
    competition of itself increases the danger of war. Nations
    cannot endure the constant increase of armies for long, and
    sooner or later they will prefer war to all the disadvantages
    of their present position and the constant menace of war. Then
    the most trifling pretext will be sufficient to throw the whole
    of Europe into the fire of universal war. And it is a mistaken
    idea that such a crisis might deliver us from the political and
    economical troubles that are crushing us. The experience of
    the wars of latter years teaches us that every war has only
    intensified national hatreds, made military burdens more
    crushing and insupportable, and rendered the political and
    economical grievous and insoluble."

    "Modern Europe keeps under arms an active army of nine millions of
    men," writes Enrico Ferri,

    "besides fifteen millions of reserve, with an outlay of four
    hundred millions of francs per annum. By continual increase of
    the armed force, the sources of social and individual
    prosperity are paralyzed, and the state of the modern world may
    be compared to that of a man who condemns himself to wasting
    from lack of nutrition in order to provide himself with arms,
    losing thereby the strength to use the arms he provides, under,
    the weight of which he will at last succumb."

    Charles Booth, in his paper read in London before the Association
    for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, June 26,
    1887, says the same thing. After referring to the same number,
    nine millions of the active army and fifteen millions of reserve,
    and the enormous expenditure of governments on the support and
    arming of these forces, he says:

    "These figures represent only a small part of the real cost,
    because besides the recognized expenditure of the war budget of
    the various nations, we ought also to take into account the
    enormous loss to society involved in withdrawing from it such
    an immense number of its most vigorous men, who are taken from
    industrial pursuits and every kind of labor, as well as the
    enormous interest on the sums expended on military preparations
    without any return. The inevitable result of this expenditure
    on war and preparations for war is a continually growing
    national debt. The greater number of loans raised by the
    governments of Europe were with a view to war. Their total sum
    amounts to four hundred millions sterling, and these debts are
    increasing every year."

    The same Professor Komarovsky says in another place:

    "We live in troubled times. Everywhere we hear complaints of
    the depression of trade and manufactures, and the wretchedness
    of the economic position generally, the miserable conditions of
    existence of the working classes, and the universal
    impoverishment of the masses. But in spite of this, governments
    in their efforts to maintain their independence rush to the
    greatest extremes of senselessness. New taxes and duties are
    being devised everywhere, and the financial oppression of the
    nations knows no limits. If we glance at the budgets of the
    states of Europe for the last hundred years, what strikes us
    most of all is their rapid and continually growing increase.

    "How can we explain this extraordinary phenomenon which sooner
    or later threatens us all with inevitable bankruptcy?

    "It is caused beyond dispute by the expenditure for the
    maintenance of armaments which swallows up a third and even a
    half of all the expenditure of European states. And the most
    melancholy thing is that one can foresee no limit to this
    augmentation of the budget and impoverishment of the masses.
    What is socialism but a protest against this abnormal position
    in which the greater proportion of the population of our world
    is placed?

    "We are ruining ourselves," says Frederick Passy in a letter read
    before the last Congress of Universal Peace (in 1890) in London,

    "we are ruining ourselves in order to be able to take part in
    the senseless wars of the future or to pay the interest on
    debts we have incurred by the senseless and criminal wars of
    the past. We are dying of hunger so as to secure the means of
    killing each other."

    Speaking later on of the way the subject is looked at in France,
    he says:

    "We believe that, a hundred years after the Declaration of the
    Rights of Man and of the citizen, the time has come to
    recognize the rights of nations and to renounce at once and
    forever all those undertakings based on fraud and force, which,
    under the name of conquests, are veritable crimes against
    humanity, and which, whatever the vanity of monarchs and the
    pride of nations may think of them, only weaken even those who
    are triumphant over them."

    "I am surprised at the way religion is carried on in this
    country," said Sir Wilfrid Lawson at the same congress.

    "You send a boy to Sunday school, and you tell him: 'Dear boy,
    you must love your enemies. If another boy strikes you, you
    mustn't hit him back, but try to reform him by loving him.'
    Well. The boy stays in the Sunday school till he is fourteen
    or fifteen, and then his friends send him into the army. What
    has he to do in the army? He certainly won't love his enemy;
    quite the contrary, if he can only get at him, he will run him
    through with his bayonet. That is the nature of all religious
    teaching in this country. I do not think that that is a very
    good way of carrying out the precepts of religion. I think if
    it is a good thing for a boy to love his enemy, it is good for
    a grown-up man."

    "There are in Europe twenty-eight millions of men under arms,"
    says Wilson,

    "to decide disputes, not by discussion, but by murdering one
    another. That is the accepted method for deciding disputes
    among Christian nations. This method is, at the same time,
    very expensive, for, according to the statistics I have read,
    the nations of Europe spent in the year 1872 a hundred and
    fifty millions sterling on preparations for deciding disputes
    by means of murder. It seems to me, therefore, that in such a
    state of things one of two alternatives must be admitted:
    either Christianity is a failure, or those who have undertaken
    to expound it have failed in doing so. Until our warriors are
    disarmed and our armies disbanded, the have not the right to
    call ourselves a Christian nation."

    In a conference on the subject of the duty of Christian ministers
    to preach against war, G. D. Bartlett said among other things:

    "If I understand the Scriptures, I say that men are only
    playing with Christianity so long as they ignore the question
    of war. I have lived a longish life and have heard our
    ministers preach on universal peace hardly half a dozen times.
    Twenty years ago, in a drawing room, I dared in the presence of
    forty persons to moot the proposition that war was incompatible
    with Christianity; I was regarded as an arrant fanatic. The
    idea that we could get on without war was regarded as
    unmitigated weakness and folly."

    The Catholic priest Defourney has expressed himself in the same
    spirit. "One of the first precepts of the eternal law inscribed
    in the consciences of all men," says the Abby Defourney,

    "is the prohibition of taking the life or shedding the blood of
    a fellow-creature without sufficient cause, without being
    forced into the necessity of it. This is one of the
    commandments which is most deeply stamped in the heart of man.
    But so soon as it is a question of war, that is, of shedding
    blood in torrents, men of the present day do not trouble
    themselves about a sufficient cause. Those who take part in
    wars do not even think of asking themselves whether there is
    any justification for these innumerable murders, whether they
    are justifiable or unjustifiable, lawful or unlawful, innocent
    or criminal; whether they are breaking that fundamental
    commandment that forbids killing without lawful cause.
    But their conscience is mute. War has ceased to be something
    dependent on moral considerations. In warfare men have in all
    the toil and dangers they endure no other pleasure than that of
    being conquerors, no sorrow other than that of being conquered.
    Don't tell me that they are serving their country. A great
    genius answered that long ago in the words that have become a
    proverb: 'Without justice, what is an empire but a great band
    of brigands?' And is not every band of brigands a little
    empire? They too have their laws; and they too make war to
    gain booty, and even for honor.

    "The aim of the proposed institution [the institution of an
    international board of arbitration] is that the nations of
    Europe may cease to be nations of robbers, and their armies,
    bands of brigands. And one must add, not only brigands, but
    slaves. For our armies are simply gangs of slaves at the
    disposal of one or two commanders or ministers, who exercise a
    despotic control over them without any real responsibility, as
    we very well know.

    "The peculiarity of a slave is that he is a mere tool in the
    hands of his master, a thing, not a man. That is just what
    soldiers, officers, and generals are, going to murder and be
    murdered at the will of a ruler or rulers. Military slavery is
    an actual fact, and it is the worst form of slavery, especially
    now when by means of compulsory service it lays its fetters on
    the necks of all the strong and capable men of a nation, to
    make them instruments of murder, butchers of human flesh, for
    that is all they are taken and trained to do.

    "The rulers, two or three in number, meet together in cabinets,
    secretly deliberate without registers, without publicity, and
    consequently without responsibility, and send men to be
    murdered."

    "Protests against armaments, burdensome to the people, have not
    originated in our times," says Signor E. G. Moneta.

    "Hear what Montesquieu wrote in his day. 'France [and one
    might say, Europe] will be ruined by soldiers. A new plague is
    spreading throughout Europe. It attacks sovereigns and forces
    them to maintain an incredible number of armed men. This
    plague is infectious and spreads, because directly one
    government increases its armament, all the others do likewise.
    So that nothing is gained by it but general ruin.

    "'Every government maintains as great an army as it possibly
    could maintain if its people were threatened with
    extermination, and people call peace this state of tension of
    all against all. And therefore Europe is so ruined that if
    private persons were in the position of the governments of our
    continent, the richest of them would not have enough to live
    on. We are poor though we have the wealth and trade of the
    whole world.'

    "That was written almost 150 years ago. The picture seems drawn
    from the world of to-day. One thing only has changed-the form
    of government. In Montesquieu's time it was said that the
    cause of the maintenance of great armaments was the despotic
    power of kings, who made war in the hope of augmenting by
    conquest their personal revenues and gaining glory. People
    used to say then: 'Ah, if only people could elect those who
    would have the right to refuse governments the soldiers and the
    money--then there would be an end to military politics.' Now
    there are representative governments in almost the whole of
    Europe, and in spite of that, war expenditures and the
    preparations for war have increased to alarming proportions.

    "It is evident that the insanity of sovereigns has gained
    possession of the ruling classes. War is not made now because
    one king has been wanting in civility to the mistress of
    another king, as it was in Louis XIV.'s time. But the natural
    and honorable sentiments of national honor and patriotism are
    so exaggerated, and the public opinion of one nation so excited
    against another, that it is enough for a statement to be made
    (even though it may be a false report) that the ambassador of
    one state was not received by the principal personage of
    another state to cause the outbreak of the most awful and
    destructive war there has ever been seen. Europe keeps more
    soldiers under arms to-day than in the time of the great
    Napoleonic wars. All citizens with few exceptions are forced
    to spend some years in barracks. Fortresses, arsenals, and
    ships are built, new weapons are constantly being invented, to
    be replaced in a short time by fresh ones, for, sad to say,
    science, which ought always to be aiming at the good of
    humanity, assists in the work of destruction, and is constantly
    inventing new means for killing the greatest number of men in
    the shortest time. And to maintain so great a multitude of
    soldiers and to make such vast preparations for murder,
    hundreds of millions are spent annually, sums which would be
    sufficient for the education of the people and for immense
    works of public utility, and which would make it possible to
    find a peaceful solution of the social question.

    "Europe, then, is, in this respect, in spite of all the
    conquests of science, in the same position as in the darkest
    and most barbarous days of the Middle Ages. All deplore this
    state of things--neither peace nor war--and all would be glad
    to escape from it. The heads of governments all declare that
    they all wish for peace, and vie with one another in the most
    solemn protestations of peaceful intentions. But the same day
    or the next they will lay a scheme for the increase of the
    armament before their legislative assembly, saying that these
    are the preventive measures they take for the very purpose of
    securing peace.

    "But this is not the kind of peace we want. And the nations
    are not deceived by it. True peace is based on mutual
    confidence, while these huge armaments show open and utter lack
    of confidence, if not concealed hostility, between states.
    What should we say of a man who, wanting to show his friendly
    feelings for his neighbor, should invite him to discuss their
    differences with a loaded revolver in his hand?

    "It is just this flagrant contradiction between the peaceful
    professions and the warlike policy of governments which all
    good citizens desire to put an end to, at any cost."

    People are astonished that every year there are sixty thousand
    cases of suicide in Europe, and those only the recognized and
    recorded cases--and excluding Russia and Turkey; but one ought
    rather to be surprised that there are so few. Every man of the
    present day, if we go deep enough into the contradiction between
    his conscience and his life, is in a state of despair.

    Not to speak of all the other contradictions between modern life
    and the conscience, the permanently armed condition of Europe
    together with its profession of Christianity is alone enough to
    drive any man to despair, to doubt of the sanity of mankind, and
    to terminate an existence in this senseless and brutal world.
    This contradiction, which is a quintessence of all the other
    contradictions, is so terrible that to live and to take part in it
    is only possible if one does not think of it--if one is able to
    forget it.

    What! all of us, Christians, not only profess to love one another,
    but do actually live one common life; we whose social existence
    beats with one common pulse--we aid one another, learn from one
    another, draw ever closer to one another to our mutual happiness,
    and find in this closeness the whole meaning of life!--and to-
    morrow some crazy ruler will say some stupidity, and another will
    answer in the same spirit, and then I must go expose myself to
    being murdered, and murder men--who have done me no harm--and more
    than that, whom I love. And this is not a remote contingency, but
    the very thing we are all preparing for, which is not only
    probable, but an inevitable certainty.

    To recognize this clearly is enough to drive a man out of his
    senses or to make him shoot himself. And this is just what does
    happen, and especially often among military men. A man need only
    come to himself for an instant to be impelled inevitably to such
    an end.

    And this is the only explanation of the dreadful intensity with
    which men of modern times strive to stupefy themselves, with
    spirits, tobacco, opium, cards, reading newspapers, traveling, and
    all kinds of spectacles and amusements. These pursuits are
    followed up as an important, serious business. And indeed they
    are a serious business. If there were no external means of
    dulling their sensibilities, half of mankind would shoot
    themselves without delay, for to live in opposition to one's
    reason is the most intolerable condition. And that is the
    condition of all men of the present day. All men of the modern
    world exist in a state of continual and flagrant antagonism
    between their conscience and their way of life. This antagonism
    is apparent in economic as well as political life. But most
    striking of all is the contradiction between the Christian law of
    the brotherhood of men existing in the conscience and the
    necessity under which all men are placed by compulsory military
    service of being prepared for hatred and murder--of being at the
    same time a Christian and a gladiator.
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