August 14, 1915

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

An editorial in the Capital Journal posed the question of war an militarism as self-fulfilling prophesies. The “common argument” the editorial poses, turned out to be all too true:


It is a common argument that if hostilities cease before the spirit of militarism is crushed it would be only a truce, and another war would soon follow which would be even more bloody and costly and horrifying than the present struggle in Europe.

This is simply an assertion that force is the only way of influencing the opinions of mankind and the policies of nations.

It ignores the possibility that after the cessation of hostilities efforts for the cultivation of sentiments of peace and fraternity among people of all nations might be successful.

This is the essence of the militarist spirit itself. Its advocates would conquer militarism by militarism.

And to what profit would this be?

Suppose the war should be continued until the militarist spirit in Germany is crushed, would not that be in itself a proof of the power of militarism?

And would not any nation which had ambitions or fancied wrongs in the future be convinced that the only way to achieve its desire would be by war?

The theory must be wrong. Every day that the war further continues mankind is brutalized and militarism exalted the more.

Peace for the sake of peace is enough.


About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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