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is explicit-government—the right or power to compel obedience to law. Where there is no force to compel such obedience that is, to govern—there, is anarchy. Individuals give up the right of unregulated action when they form themselves into or become subject to a government. The progress and advancement of that which is summed up in the word “civilization ” have been made possible solely because of government. Unless the individual is secure in his person and his property, he has neither time nor inclination to devote himself to the cultivation of the mental, moral or spiritual side of his nature. That security is assured to him by government, and government can only meet its responsibility of assurance by the possession of sufficient force to secure and preserve it. In our own earlier days the continued progress of the arts of peace was constantly interrupted by the necessity of banding together to prevent destruction by aggression from without. Later, and even after many of our largest civil communities were established, the individual citizen had to be prepared to protect himself, his family and his property, against the depredations of criminals, until the community organized and prepared a police force sufficient to assure the citizen of protection.
The identical necessity exists as to the nation. Unless the citizens thereof are assured that they can cultivate the arts of peace behind a barrier of force which will protect them from aggression and secure them in their rights, they are not free to cultivate such arts. Alike in the case of the individual, the internal municipality and the nation, there must be a realization of the responsibility and a willingness and preparation to measure up to and meet it. This is equally true in respect to the three-fold aspects of men and nations—physical, mental and spiritual. Strength of mind, of body and of spirit, are prerequisites for progress along right lines. The essential basis of civilization is maintained by the triumph of what is right over what is wrong, and its progress can only be continued and assured so long as those who sustain the right are stronger than those who assert the wrong. Weakness inevitably results in overthrow, as the abundant instances of history demonstrate, both with respect to individuals, cities and nations. The eye that is not diverted will see this, and the mind that is free from prejudice will grasp and realize it. It is necessary, therefore, to remove obstructions to clear vision and prejudice to clear thinking.
There are some who do not feel free to base their conduct upon a consideration of facts or conclusions of reason, because of their interpretation of Divine injunction. They do not believe in resistance to physical force; and those whose consciences are so convinced surrender life and all that they cherish and love at the behest of the aggressor. This attitude concerns the individual, and him alone.
Since it does not assume to be based upon fact or reason, it cannot be dealt with on that basis. It cannot be made the general rule of conduct under our form of government without departing from the basis upon which our government is founded. Our government is enjoined by the law of its being to use whatever force is necessary to protect the rights of the citizen. Before leaving this, one is impelled to query upon what proper consideration there is based any distinction between the right or necessity or desirability of using mental force to repel error, moral force to repel evil, and physical force to repel wrong. It would seem, if reason were applied, that in each instance the situation is identical; and that if we should properly prepare our minds to be strong so that we can reject error, and our moral characters to be strong so that we can reject evil, we should likewise make our physical force strong in order that we may maintain the right as against those who would physically impose the wrong upon us.
There are others concerning whose clarity of vision we are not advised, and concerning whose soundness of reason we are not informed, because the attitude which they take is admittedly not based upon either vision or reason. They are those who predict that war will never come to this country, and assert that therefore precautions with respect thereto are unwise and needless. Since wars have come upon nations from the earliest date of recorded history to this moment, there is no basis of fact for such a position but an actual demonstration of the nonexistence of such basis. We were early warned that there would be wars and rumors of wars, and that nation would rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and the end was not yet; and that prediction has been fully verified. There is no basis and no foundation to conclude that this great evil has been eliminated, and it therefore must be treated as are all other existing evils and must be prepared against. Surely, as between resting upon prediction or upon preparation, wisdom would not hesitate.
There are others among us who are too intelligent and clear-sighted not to see the facts and to realize their significance, but who counsel inaction because they mistrust themselves and the nation. Those to whom I now refer do not believe in the doctrine of non-resistance; they do not rest upon the prediction that an evil which has existed since the world began has ceased to exist and been abolished and should not therefore be considered as one to be prepared against; they even point out our potentiality of force, but they counsel against any preparation thereof. They base this counsel upon the expressed fear that if we possess force, we will be induced to use it when we should not. This position ignores certain things which are essential to be maintained, and is based upon certain assumptions which are
not justified. It ignores the responsibilities which we have undertaken and which we must maintain at any self-sacrifice. It ignores the fact that if nations which possess force are likely to use it when they should not, some nation which has such force is likely to use it against us when it should not. It assumes that our nation may not be trusted with force for fear that it may misuse it. I know of nothing which justifies such an indictment of our people and our Nation.
The eyes of many are blinded to fact and their minds closed to reason by an abhorrence of what they term “militarism,” without any actual conception of just what this means or how it should affect the proper consideration of the subject. If by militarism they mean the placing of the military authority over the civil authority, or if they mean that the ordinary processes of government shall in any way be subservient to military authority or influence, no argument is needed to secure unanimity of opinion that this is not only undesirable but in this country impossible. If they mean, however, that any reasonable, sensible precaution of a military nature is militarism, then they have reached a conclusion without the aid of clear vision or sound reasoning
Those who really fear militarism, or, more accurately stated, those who dread real militarism, should be the strongest advocates of reasonable preparation. The latter is the preventive of militarism. If they unwisely defeat reasonable preparedness, they leave the country in a condition where the inevitable result of defeat, humiliation or acute apprehension will be hasty and ill-advised provisions as to armament far beyond anything which calm reason and wise provision would deem necessary.
There will be those who assert that the proposed policy opposes the traditions of the people and runs counter thereto.
This is mere assertion; it is not the fact, and in truth the fact is to the contrary. The proposed policy is exactly in keeping with our traditions. Such traditions are for a standing force, small in relation to population, and a trained and equipped force much larger in proportion thereto but not constantly under arms. This is exactly what the plan proposes.
There will also be those who will express regret that the policy heretofore pursued, of lack of proper military precautions, is to be departed from because it has been invaluable as an example to the rest of the world and we should not remedy the lack because we would then cease to be such an example. It should be observed first, in considering this point of view, that it entirely overlooks the vital and imperative duty to ourselves which requires that we should protect and defend that which we cherish and hold dear. Furthermore, it overlooks the fact that although we have been just the example
that they desire throughout the more than a century and a quarter of our existence, the results existing in the world to-day do not warrant the belief that our example has had any beneficial effect.
There are some who decry taking any precautions or making any preparations of the military power of the Nation because they say it will not prevent war but will provoke it. Taking up the last question first, the answer has already been made to this. Men and nations must prepare to meet their responsibilities: if it is inadvisable to develop strength sufficient to repel wrong because such developed strength may be misused, human nature has indeed reached an impasse. Why should it be presumed that a just man or a just nation will cease to be just because it has the power to be unjust? We must either trust others or trust ourselves.
As to preparation for war preventing war, that misstates the position of the sensible advocate of preparedness. It is not asserted that it prevents it, but it is asserted that it tends to prevent it, and in many instances has been demonstrated to have prevented it. The military force prepared by the municipality—that is, the policedoes not prevent crime, but it tends to prevent it, and it undoubtedly minimizes the aggressions of the wrong-doer against the lives and property of the right-doer.
So long as Right and Wrong exist in the world, there will be an inevitable conflict between them. The Right-doers must be prepared to protect and defend the Right as against the Wrong. Their preparation will tend to prevent the triumph of Wrong; and in those instances in which it does not prevent the attempt it can prevent the success of the attempt.
Somewhat in the same vein is the insistence of those who say “I will not consent to the Nation having arms until I know against whom it intends to use them.” Identical reasoning would result in saying “I will not place a club or revolver in the hands of a policeman until he tells me the name of the criminal he intends to use them upon," or, "I will not agree to prepare fire apparatus unless you point out where the fires are going to be." Wisdom demands precaution; precaution demands preparation; preparation is against the day of evil from any quarter.
If the only protection against evil was such as was undertaken after the evil was upon us, there would be constant and steady retrogression in human affairs.
Another stumbling block to some is the suggestion that no preparation should be made and no precaution should be taken because no one can foretell how much we may have to meet and what we will require to meet it. Here again the idea embodied in this suggestion would stay all human progress. No one can foretell the future with accuracy Tith respect to anything in human life. Health, wealth,
outbursts of nature, and human outbreaks,-no one can surely foretell anything concerning them. If we should not prepare ourselves reasonably with respect to these things because we cannot be sure that we have protected ourselves against all conceivable possibilities, we would be deliberately choosing the path of folly and not that of wisdom. The two extremes of any proposition are the foolish ones; the reasonable mean is the wise one.
There will be some who assert that the devastating effects and the horror produced by the war now being waged make it certain that war will be avoided for a long period of time after the close of the present war. They will argue that the exhaustion of resources and the recollection of the awful suffering will have the effect of deterring nations from entering upon war.
What basis is there for such belief? Certainly such basis cannot be found in history-our own or that of other nations.
The colonists had barely passed through the exhaustive and devastating wars with the Indians before they engaged in the Revolution. That war was surely as exhausting to our meager resources and as productive of horrible conditions as can well be imagined, and yet within a very short time after its close we were on the verge of war with two of the greatest nations of the world and finally went to war with one of them.
The war between the States had every element of exhaustion and every untoward effect which war produces, and yet at its close we took a position in support of the Monroe doctrine which would inevitably have brought on war with one of the great nations of the world if it had not yielded to our insistence.
History literally abounds with examples. Without going further back than the era of the Napoleonic wars, we find that the strain upon resources and the horrors produced by war did not result in the avoidance of war. Probably as striking an example as any is the most recent—the Balkan States have engaged in two wars within three years, straining their material resources to the utmost and attended by all the horror that war produces, and, notwithstanding that, some of them are already engaged in the present war and there is much discussion as to whether others will not also be so engaged.
The only conclusion that can possibly be drawn from the facts is that there is no justification for the belief that because there has been war there will be no more war.
There will be those who believe and assert that the time when war can be avoided by negotiation or arbitration or other like means will be advanced if we refrain from adopting a proper military policy, but will be set back if we do so. It is difficult to comprehend on what basis such a belief can reasonably rest, and therefore it is difficult to reason about it. It seems to rest upon the idea that if we