Writer defends pacifism and criticizes preparedness parade

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Writer defends pacifism and criticizes preparedness parade - IP r pa re dim ess Was rJ3oDis4roois Firaiodl...
IP r pa re dim ess Was rJ3oDis4roois Firaiodl By Allan L. Benson Staff Writer Appeal to Reason. THE New York World did me the honor to ask me to sit on the reviewing reviewing stand and tell one of its reporters what I thought of the New York "preparedness" parade. told him I thought it was a monstrous fraud. The morning: after my interview interview was printed, the World's leading leading editorial was devoted to the task of scolding men who regarded the parade as a Wall Street production, and branding "pacificism" as "a monumental monumental failure." The World's reasoning reasoning is so amazing, that I append part of the editorial: . s': "Pacifists, amateur and professional, rail at New York's mighty demonstration demonstration in favor of public defense, but the tens of thousands of marching men and the greater multitudes looking on entered entered judgment against a false pacifism which will out-last out-last out-last many a s-neer. s-neer. s-neer. "Nowhere in the world has the theory that a just and lasting peace might be secured by moral suasion been more generally generally accepted than in this city and country. There has been a rude awak ening, and Saturday's procession moving from morning until night expressed the conviction that this hope must be aban doned. "If pacifism as at present formulated had not fallen short of its object in all respects, Europe would not now be reeking reeking with blood. . . . "In all history there has been no such utter shipwreck of a worthy cause as that which has overwhelmed pacifism. . "What the pacifist cannot see is that a nation armed for defense is a better peacemaker than a nation whose life and property are exposed to the raid of nations armed for offense. . . . "When New York marched for preparedness preparedness it marched also for peace. When New York pronounced pacifism a failure failure it condemned not the purpose but the method." $. s THE time appears to have come when everybody who is opposed to the attempt to militarize this country is a "pacifist," and a "pacifist," according according to the militarists, is a sort of cross between a jackass and a lamb. I call attention to this misrepresentation misrepresentation because it is the first of many representations that are to follow. Is it not astounding that such a newspaper as the World should charge that if "pacifism" had not "fallen short of its object in all respect, Europe Europe would not now be reeking in blood"? What does the World mean? Does the World believe the kaiser is suffering suffering from "pacifism"? Does, it believe believe the British navy has ever shown signs of being thus afflicted? Was "pacifism" or militarism rampant in Europe before the war began? Militarism was rampant, and the -World -World knows it. What, then, does the It' U 1 ii. iU.l i iv oriu mean wiien ii says mat n fPaiacl pacifism" had not fallen short of its object in all respects, Europe would not now be reeking in blood ? The World can mean but one thing. It can mean only that the Socialists of Europe failed to keep Europe out of war. Can the World name one nation in Europe that the Socialists, prior to the beginning of the war, controlled? Can it name one? Did the Socialists control Germany? Did they control France? Did they control Austria-Hungary? Austria-Hungary? Austria-Hungary? Did they control England? If not, how can Socialists be blamed because Europe is "reeking with blood"? How can it be said that because Europe is reeking with blood, "pacifism" has failed? Are men responsible for the acts of governments governments that they do pot control? Did the Socialists of Germany ever fail to say that the piling up of armaments armaments was to invite war? Did the Socialists of France ever fail to sound the same warning? Or the Socialists of England? When did they fail? Let the World point out a single occasion occasion when the Socialists of any country ever failed to inveigh against militarism. Their warnings were not heeded. That was not their fault. They did the best they could to make them heeded. But when the militarists won the day what was it that failed ? Was it "pacifism" or militarism ? How can anything fail that has not been tried? Pacifism" has not been tried. Mili tarism has been tried, and it seems as if it might also be said, found guilty. The World is wrong. It seeks to put the blame where it does not belong. belong. It is monstrous to blame Europeans Europeans who opposed militarism for the thing that militarism has produced. If militarism should be brought to the United States would the World, when the inevitable war came, blame the "pacifists" for it? Would it say that "in all history there had been no such utter shipwreck of a worthy cause"? If so, the World would be talking nonsense. 4 THE militarists are now trying to make it appear that the parade showed New York to be "aroused" in the matter of "preparedness" and that it is for the rest of the nation to get in line. The militarists, now as ever, are humbugs. Their parade was a fraud. It was not an outpouring outpouring of the people. It was an outpouring outpouring of one-fortieth one-fortieth one-fortieth of New York's population. If one farmer in forty were to believe that it was bad luck to have a black cat run across his doorstep it would not necessarily follow follow that American farmers were be- be- coming superstitious. Furthermore, the one in forty who marched did not do so of their own accord. They did not originate the "preparedness" parade." parade." It was originated by a little group of rich men. The management of the parade was located at 120 Broadway in the office of a gentleman named du Pont. The name of du Pont smells a good deal like powder. It at least carries no suggestion of the working class. The working class, who composed the vast majority of New York's population, had no more to do with the parade than they could help. The Central Federated Union, which represents 300,000 workers, opposes opposes "preparedness," and had not a man or a woman in 'the parade. The Women's Trade Union League was entirely entirely unrepresented. Sixty thousand union garment workers were among those not present. Those who marched were paid a day's wages for marching, marching, and marched with the knowledge that to refuse the request of their employers employers might soon mean dismissal. The parade was not an outpouring of the people of New York. It waa an outpouring of the great capitalist interests of New York. It was deceptive deceptive because it appeared to be composed composed of working men and women. As I looked at the tramping figures, they dissolved before my eyes for a moment, and I saw the real parade. I saw the National City bank, mounted on wheels, rolling along at the head of the procession. Lumber ing along behind it was the banking building of Morgan. A long line of financial houses from Wall and Broad streets came next. A large division was devoted to the munitions interests, and their smoking stacks swayed as the factories moved through the streets. At the end were many flat cars, half filled with gold and half with skulls, with some very respectable respectable American gentlemen standing in the middle exchanging American for foreign gold. That is the parade that I saw. It is the parade that took place. The great outpouring of the people of New York has not occurred. It is not going to occur. Many brass bands and many enormous flags do not make a popular outpouring. They may make a patriotic patriotic cocktail loaded with knockout drops, but they do not make a popular outpouring. The rest of the country will doubtless doubtless take the New York capitalists at their true measure and ignore this, their latest and their greatest demonstration. demonstration. The country has never shown a great tendency to follow Wall Street. Now there is less reason reason than ever to do so. For the first time in American history history a presidential candidate will attend attend conventions of other parties and report their doings. This will happen when Allan L. Benson will go as the Appeal's special correspondent to the Republican and Democratic national th , r tu when wheat $300,-000,000 have to claim the What of a by there for week's ly any of of this as say other I and were the much It South could not not in down set his A for pared arrange-were kings was the the I hard of

Clipped from Appeal to Reason27 May 1916, SatPage 4

Appeal to Reason (Girard, Kansas)27 May 1916, SatPage 4
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  • Writer defends pacifism and criticizes preparedness parade

    staff_reporter – 14 Apr 2016

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