The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 01, 1919, Page 9, Image 9

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The Commoner
JUNB, 1919
,. Without it we shall soon, be everything
8 S Is the direct reverse."
hic?, InV, writing to Madison said:
i!? remains much longer in its present
. f imbecility we shall he one of the most
8 ntcmJtible nations on the face of the earth."
Ami Hamilton said:
.There is scracely anything that can wound
, he pride and degrade the character of an in-
, Et nation which wo do ho tr experience."
dCPThc 4ult of this deplorable state of anarchy
was that Washington with other idealists ad-
VOialAn indissoluble union of air the states
under a single federal government, with power
nf pnforcing its decrees.
2 That the people must be willing to sacri
firnsoroc of their local interest to the common
weal must disregard their local prejudices and
recard one another as common citizens of a
common country with identical interests in the
truest sense.
This international anarchy, tho common
danger and general disorder of the country,
finally moved certain leading men in the differ
ent states most of them, Including Washing
ton of that class known as idealists, of whom
cnm'ft nf what Bacon calls' tho "seeming wise"
I statesmen speak so flippantly who appreciated
the danger of the situation, to actively comer
nnrt finallv arrange for tho different states to
I send representatives to consider and discuss tho
situation. These representatives camo togetner
In a convention at Philadelphia, known, as tho
constitutional ' convention, and, after much
debate, prepared and submitted to the states for
adoption tho constitution of the United States.
This constitution was finally adopted by the
states, though its adoption was not by all of
them at once. By its adoption individual na
tionalism was abandoned .and refuge and safety
sought and found in the ark of collective na
tionalism and a league of nations. This was
I 'achieved primarily through a revival and re
organization of the old friendship and friendly
co-operation based upon common ideals of
ordered freedom, . which brought these states,
when colonies, together to fight the Revolu
tionary war.
Under this collective nationalism provided by
the constitution, that friendship between the
states has grown and solidified until through
more than a century of peace and liberty this
league of nations has grown to be the most
powerful, the most intelligent, the most human?
tho most kindly, the most reasonable, and the
most united people in the world, while Europe
under continued unregulated individual national
ism has fallen prey to anarchy. And the chief
magistrate of this league has been called and
has gone to this European political hospital .to
attempt to bind up the wounds and restore the
mangled and broken remains of its political
body, where he has been and is daily .being
greeted with enthusiasm and kindness almost
amounting to affection by the peoples of these
nations and their statesmen and rulers, because
he is tho acknowledged enemy of individual na
tionalism and the spokesman of a collective na
tionalism which will prevent a return to the
old order and thereby establishing a guarantee
of peace. .
It is but to look on one picture of Europe,
and then upon the other of the United States,
for even a wayfaring man to reach an intelligent
conclusion. This league of nations job has been
done once successfully, why can it not be done
again? The principle has been tried and has
worked successfully here; why can it ap
plied and made to work successfully elsewhere?
ne units to be assembled for the structure aro
jno same elemental human traits of friendship,
jope, love of peace, and yearning for ordered
ireeuom which are tho fundamentals, that when
organized, will form the' framework of a league
r nations.
,Inf ead of holding back and speculating about
wnetner and how this league can bo formed we
KS v g0 t0 H" and tackle the job. If
Rnif p 5? had trIed flrst t0 tully satisfy him
hoii or the success of his undertaking he would
"ever have made the venture and discovered
America, if the delegates front the colonies
wnicn met in Philadelphia before tho. Rovolu
tiw war 1)ad waited to satisfy themselves of
;0resJ?u or work out tho details, they would
Zlll avo kfoueht and won that war, would
unit ave lssued the Declaration of Independ-
CQf Wor would, those other delegates -who mot
after that war In tho constitutional convention
at Philadelphia to consider a remedy for tho
deplorable conditions of anarchy then existing
among the original states over havo constructed
the constitution of tho United States.
Something had to bo done, and done at once,
and they did it. They backed their knowledgo
and judgment of tho past, as well as tho pos
sibilities which inhered in tho facts of human
nature, and tho Ideals of tho people, and wont
promptly and boldly forward to tho accomplish
ment of the task that proved to bo tho greatest
enterprise of all time. Civilization is born of
tho experience of men, and is perfected by ex
perience, as aro all human institutions.
These framers of our constitution and first
great league of nations had but a flickering light
from out tho past to guide their efforts. Wo,
however, havo for our guidance tho great hoad
light of their example, and tho success of their
work, our own league of nations. Wo havo only
to apply and suitably adjust to tho world tho
human principles which its founders used in
building our constitution. Tho word constitution
comes from two Latin words, con, "together,"
and statuons, "placing," meaning "placing to
gether, setting up, as in a frame or body of
essential parts."
Let us examine the human principles in tho
constitution, quoting its preamble. Read it with
caro, weighing each word:
"We, the people of tho United States, in
order to form a more perfect union, establish
justice, insure domestic tranquillity, to provido
for the common defense, promote tho general
welfare and secure tho blessings of liberty to
ourselves and to our posterity, do hereby ordain
and establish this constitution of tho United
Witir these human principles, supported by
the yearnings for peace which come to us on
winged voices from the uttermost parts of tho
earth, as an incentive, build your, world con
stitution, your league of nations, as Washington,
Franklin, Madison, Hamilton, Sherman, and tho
other great idealists, enemies of doubt and doers
of deeds, built, the constitution of our country.
What is good for tho whole is good for every
part, the common good reacts, and each part is
benefited by tho welfare of tho whole. Friend
liness and goodness in person or nation are tho
immediate jewels of their souls. Their grow
with practice and nourish themselves. A nation
without friendliness and goodness is a busy,
mischievous, wretched thing, a thing for treason
and spoils, and is already diseased and doomed.
There was never a change for the better in
human affairs and government that good and
wise men were not found to oppose it, and to
prophesy disasters which never happened, for
time is humorously reckless of tho reputations
of prophets. It is our limited vision and un
certain thoughts, controlled too often by words,
that people our mental darkness with hobgob
lins and spectres.
The real government will rot bo permanent
unless it rests upon ideals. Tho world must not
compromise with this situation. Some ono has
said that compromise was "a good umbrella but
a poor roof." It is a temporary expedient and
almost sure to be unwise statesmanship. Gov
ernment becomes more nearly perfect as it ap
proaches Christianity.
In conclusion let me quote from Lincoln, who
once said with his uncommon sanity: "I haven t
much opinion of a man who isn't wiser today
than he was yesterday
William Jennings Bryan, in a statement given
n Mm nress makes it clear that he stands on
hoTame pl'at?orm with President Wilson and
former President Taft in support of tho league
of nations. He suggests amendments to the pro
posed covenant that would preserve specifically
the Monroe doctrine, enlarge the proportionate
i-nHnir Sower of the United States and make it
IleargthPat each9 member nation might decide for
?tX whether it would support the decrees of
!S f t flTSs general council. While pointing to
nPrfeffis, Mr Bryan urged that they should
Tt b a owed to lead to rejection of the plan
declaring that risks to be run in accepting the
league were less than those involved in rojec
I? bILa i rptnrnini? "to the old ways of blood and
1 ntr ' e said that the league idea, "tho
latest s'tep toward1 peace in a thousand years,"
wa taken from thoPthlrty arbitration treaties
legotiated by the United States while ho was
Socrotary of State It was not to bo expected,
ho said, that so groat an ldoa would ho maelo
porfoct In detail in so short a timo, and added
that whilo Prosldont Wilson had dono tho best
ho could ho would bo helped by intelligent crit
icism from tho American public.
Whilo Mr. Bryan's suggestions In his opinion
would improve tho constitution of tho loaguo of
nations, ho does not mako tho imperfections
that ho finds a causo for its rejection by tho
Unltod. Stntoa. Unllko Senator Lodgo, and thoso
who agroo with him, Mr. Bryan would it ho woro
a senator, voto to accept tho covenant, if it was
prosonlod to tho senate in tho shapo it was glvon
to tho lubllc.
The fact is, that Prosldont Wilson and other
members of tho peaco conference woro desirous
to form a more perfect covenant. Prosldont
Wilson said, when ho prosentod tho proposed
constitution of tho loaguo to tho Plenary Council
in Paris for its consideration,. "I can concolvo
that many of tho decisions wo mako shall neod
subsequent alteration in somo degree." Whan
ho landed the other day in Boston, ono of tho
opening sontencos of his address was, "I havo
como to report progress." When ho mot tho
Committee on Foreign Affairs of Congross at
tho Whlto House dinner, ho was quotod as say
ing that ho "hoped tho draft of tho covenant
would bocomo effective without radical changes,"
and that ho "did not expect that tho league pro
ject would go through without change," al
though ho feared, "amendment of its vital
features would bo difficult."
When tho covenant was presented to tho
Plenary Council Lord Robert Cocll of Groat
Britain said it was "a good omen that this docu
ment had been laid before tho world boforo
being finally enacted, so that tho people every
where could advise upon and criticise it." Primo
Minister Lloyd George, after a moving appeal
for a remedy as against war, said, "I do not
know that this will succeed, but If wo attempt
it tho attempt will bo a success."
Premier Orlando of Italy spoko of the birth
of tho right of peoples as having appropriately
taken place in Franco, which was "a happy omen
for beginning these debates." M. Bourgeois of
tho Frencli delegation suggested two amend
ments, said: "Wo do not present this plan as
something final, but only as the rosult of an
honest effort, to bo discussed not only by this
conference but tho public opinion of tho world."
Baron Makino of Japan, indorsing tho plan,
served notice that at tho proper timo ho Intendod
to present certain amendments which ho hoped
would receive favorahlo consideration. M. Lou
Tseng Tsaing of China expressed his country's
desire to participate in futuro discussions, and
M. Hyraans of Belgium proposed an amendment.
Mr. Bryan says that tho covenant as it is:
"is the greatest step toward peaco in a thousand
years," just as President Wilson has in effect
declared. Both Mr. Bryan and President Wilson
aro on record as believing that tho covenant
could bo improved, and it will bo improved if
President Wilson can secure its improvement.
Both these patriotic democrats aro supported by
former President Taft and aro bitterly opposed
by Senators Lodge, Penrose and Reed, and by
other men and newspapers that are trying to
defeat the approval of a leaguo of nations by
tho senato.
These aro destructive critics and will havo no
influence on tho delegates to tho peaco confer
ence. They aro making tho leaguo of nations a
foot-ball for politicians.
Wo havo had admissions from representatives
of all tho great and two of tho lesser powers
that tho covenant is to be discussed and possibly
amended. Nobody claimed that it was either
perfect or final. It was held that in Its main
features it would if adopted savo tho world
from such another catastrophe as it has recently
experienced. yet .somo senators assailed tho
whole proposition with oratorical bludgeons. Wo
havo had few more shameful exhibitions of un
thinkable partisanship and spleen in the United
States than tho venomous uproar which greeted
tho first practicable essay towards enduring
peace. Springfield, 111., Register.
The law of supply and demand Is not being
enforced any better than the law against com
binations in restraint of trade. During tho war
facilities for tho production of steel in tho
United States were more than doubled. Yot you
know where steel Is. Why oven the refusal of
tho railroad administration to place' orders for
needed replacement did not havo any effect
upon tho price of the product!
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