The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 01, 1915, Page 6, Image 6

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The Commoner
VOL. 15, NO. 1
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The Commoner
Entered nt tho Poatofllco at Lincoln, Nebraska.
as econd-cluBH matter.
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THE COMMONER, Lincoln. Neb.
Tho bravest battle that over was fought,
Shall I tell you whero and when?
On tho maps of tho world, you will find it noU
'Twaa fought by tho mothers of men.
Joaquin Miller.
An advocate of militarism presents the follow-"
ing indictment against Christianity:
"While a nation is still vigorous, while its pop
ulation is expanding, whilo tho blood in its veins
Is strong, then on this head no scruples are felt.
But "when its energies begin to wither, when self
indulgence takes tho place of self-sacrifice, when
its sons and its daughters become degenerate,
then it is that a spuriouB and bastard human! t
ariahism masquerading as religion declares war
to be an anachronism and a barbaric sin."
TJiero Is no extreme to which one will not go
whon ho becomes an advocate of brute force;
worshipors of war regard all appeals" to con
science as an evidence of weakness. Unless
Christianity is a failure and its founder a fraud
mankind must look to the teachings of the Naz
arone as the hope of a struggling humanity. The
song of peaco that greeted His birth was accom
panied by a suggestion as to tho means of pro
moting peaco, namely "Good-will." Good-will, not
hatrod, is the basis of peace. Peace will be as
sured in proportion as men learn to regard each
other as brothers and to treat each other a3
neighbors. W. J. BRYAN.
Conscious of my responsibility to God for ev
ery thought and word and deed, and in duty
Ifcound to render to my fellow men tho largest
possible service as the best evidence of my lovo
for my Heavenly Father, I resolve to strive dur
ing the remainder of my life to increase my ca
pacity for usefulness. To this end I will give
up any course of conduct that tends to weaken
, my body, impair tho strength of my mind, or
lower my moral purpose, and I will not only en
deavor to cultivate habitB of industry in both
body and mind, but will seek and follow worthy
The subscriptions of those who became
subscribers with the first issue of Tho
Commoner, and have renewed at the cldse
of each year, expire with the Januaiy
issue. In order to facilitate the work
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dresses upon our subscription books and
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nouncing that renewals are due, sub
scribers are urgently requested to renew
with as little delay as possible. The
work of correcting the stencils entails
an enormous amount of labor and tho
publisher asks subscribers to assist as
much as possible by making their re
newals promptly.
Mr. Bryan's Address Before
American Peace Society
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I hardly felt that I had time to como down to
your meeting this evening, and yet it seemed to
mo that tho celebration of tho eighty-sixth an
niversary of a Peaco society was so extraordin
ary an occasion that I could mako an extraordin
ary effort to bo here, even if but for a few mo
ments, und I shall occupy that time in the pres
entation of a single thought. It is not always
that one, in speaking, can follow a rulo of ora
tory, which I think has some sanction, namely,
that in a speech you should have one theme, that
you discuss it, and then stop. There are really
threo rules in that ono rule. It is not always
easy to select a theme; it is sometimes hard to
discuss it when you have selected it, and it is
still moro difficult to stop. Now, I shall tako
ono theme, consider it very briefly, and then
stop. Not having had time to prepare an ad
dress, I shall take a thought that camo to mo
this afternoon. Tho thought was suggested by
tho fact that for eighty-six years people interest
ed in the causo of peaco havd been connected
with this society, and have kept up its continued
existence. Eighty-six years is a long while, and
if wo could ask those who organized tho society,
or its early members, how long it would take
to bring tho world to the acceptance of peace,
they would not havo named so long a period as
has elapsed.
I attended a medical college commencement
in Chicago about thirty years ago, and I recall
n nravpr offered on that occasion. I never have
been able to learn whether tho man who offered
the prayer appreciated it as much as I did or not.
Ho was praying for tho young physicians about
to graduate; ho prayed that tho Lord would
give them ability, sympathy, and industry, etc.,
and after enumerating all tho other virtues that
a physician would need, ho prayed and I
thought with great fervor that the Lord would
givo them "patience," Cor "patients.") I did
not know then, and havo never learned since,
Vow bo Bpelled tho word. But it seems to mo
that every ono who is connected with a really
great work must realize the need of patience.
Tt is natural that, when anyone discovers an
abuse, ho wonders why all do not see it, and
when ho finds a remedy that seems adequate, he
wonders why all do not accept it. Wo all havo
had tho same experience that is, wo havo met
peoplo who have devoted many years of their
lives to something very dear to their hearts;
their enthusiasm has outrun their accomplish
ments, and they havo become discouraged.
A man once went to a physician with a break
ing out on his hand, and the doctor gave him
somo ointment, telling him to mako an applica
tion every day for a month, and then return and
report progress. At tho end of the month he
came back. The doctor asked him how his hand
was getting along, and ho replied: "Well, doc
tor, looking at it from week to week, I some
times think I can see a little improvement, and,
looking at it at tho end of the month, I guess it
is better, and, doctor, itmay get well, but I'm
afraid it won't bo in my d&yJ' Now, I think we
all may havo had something Of that feeling, and
it has somewhat tinged our enthusiasm with
sadness to think that after all our efforts wo
may not live to see the consummation of our
It may be appropriate, therefore, to say a
word tonight about patience; to tell you not to
c, huow yourselves to grow weary in weii-uoinir. tor
tho world does move, even if it does not movo
ns rapidly in somo directions as some of us
might wish. If any of you who havo given your
hearts to the peace movement feel that it moves
slowly, ust look at other things which have been
ncwmplishad, and see how slowly they seemo.1
to movo. Take, for instance for to me it is the
pupreme ttluFiiation tho moral codo of the
Man of Galilee; you examine it, and you seo that
it fits into human life as no othor code of morals
does. You find that it covers all the phases of
human existence; whero it at first seems strange,
upon cx&miuatlon it seems most truly true; yet
how slowly it has grown! But it does grow.
The doctrine of lovo is, after all, the only grow-
ing doctrine in the world; it is the only force
to which there can be no permanent opposition;
it Is the only weapon for which there is no
Q If I were to give a name to the address I am
going to deliver tonight, I wpuld call it "Object
Lessons in the Mexican Crisis from a Peaco
Standpoint" Since this is not only a live, but
a father difficult, question, I am accepting re
sponsibility not only to my conscience, but to ray
constituents. You must permit me to refer to
my notes occasionally, so that no misrepresenta
tion may bo made.
In what I am going to say, I really. do not ad
dress myself to those present so much as to tho
thousands and hundreds of thousands whom you
all represent. Of course I. do not know whether
this speech will bo printed. If it wero a war
speech, I could guarantee that it would bo
printed; Tjut sinco it is a peace speosh, I can al
most guarantee that it will not be.
It seems liko an anachronism to talk peaco
in thin tlmo of exciting Var preparations. To do
so will probably remind you of the old German
who rushed along the street in a very great
hurry. He was stopped by a friend of his and
asked what was tho cause of his hurryT He said,
"I want to insure my. house." His friend re
plied, "Thero is no need of hurry for that; you
can do that somo other time." The old German
rented, "You talk liko a fool; it is burning al
ready." I know that the beating of the war drum is the
death "knell to argument and that the appeals
to what is called patriotism completely drown
the voice of reason. And yet, my friends, this
is a most propitious time, in my humble judg
ment to test the truths and merits of the peaio
propaganda, because we can make the test at tho
hand of our immediate experience.
Oceans of ink have been spilled since tho Mex
ican crisis has resulted in actual hostilities, yet
is it not strange that the press should havo ut
terly failed to draw the right conclusions from
tho situation that the great American papers
should havo neglected to point tho object lessons
so patent that even tho thoughtless can easily
grasp them? I will tell you in a minute what
I mean by that.
The stock argument of tho defenders of our
military system is that armaments aro an in
fallible guarantee of peace. There was a time
when they were moro honest when they franRVs
ly admitted that armaments of war but incited
war; but that theory has fallen in disrepute, so
much so that these defenders do not dare to
montion it. Since the peace mpvement has been .
growing so active' they have been moro diplo
matic. They aro now for peace, not for war. It
is tho insurance, they say, whih we will pay for
our national security. Yet you will agree with
me that today, if it were not for the remedy of
fered by the friends of peace, this country would
be in the throes of war. Not only havo our vast
armaments completely failed to preserve the
peace from a military standpoint we have never
been better 'prepared' to preserve it than now
but I also venture to assert that this very pre
paredness was and is an inducement to let loose
the dogs of war. In the recent issuo of ?. daily
newspaper it was pointed out that since the Cri
mean war that is, in the last fifty years there
has been an actual war practically every three
years; but it evidently did not occur to the ed
itor to conclude and if it occurred to him, ho
had his reasons for not concluding that, since
the old remedy of preserving peace had utterly
failed,"it was now high time for a new one to
be tried. And do you know that wholly aside
from the- fact that great naval armaments are
in themselves a temptation to put them to use,
mero unforeseen accidents can play an important
part in bringing on war accidents which are
solely due to the presence of battleships in for
eign waters? If the "Maine,," for instance, had
not been in the harbor of Havana, we know there
would have been no Spanish war a war' which,
not counting pensions and its direct cost, has in
creased our- naval and military expenditures by
about $175,000,000 a year. And with almost
the same justification we might say that if Ad
miral Mayo had not been at Tampico there would
have been no occasion for the president to com
mence hostilities againgt Mexico. I mention
these facts not in a spirit of criticism, but only
to show how utterly absurd, if not ridiculous,
.is the claim of our jingo friends that armaments
and battleships are a guarantee of peace. Thus,
in the lijght of the most recent events in our own
history, the defenders of .militarism stand con
victed of preaching fallacy. Like the man who
was killed by an explosion in trying to make
gold, they have been smashed by their own
false theory.
Iiow,YI?y,.friends' tne Preservation of the
PeaCe, I beliGVfi. hna llaon olw-i4 t,,1 K iha
highest aim of statesmanship. So well is this
recognized that, as I have shown, the military