« AnkstesnisTęsti »
set standard, write in a copy-book way, "revere" the popular pantheon of old poets. His sense of humor is too healthy. Even though he cling to classical methods, he insists in throwing the intensity of his own personality upon the screen in all the rich, fresh colors which, to him, it possesses.
I shall name no more persons. There are a hundred good poets in America today, excellent craftsmen, vivid adven
turers, known and unknown. Publishers no longer scoff at poets. There is now a growing clan of small magazines devoted entirely to the printing of poetry and the discussion of the same. Miss Harriet Monroe is the liberal pioneer of this field. And lastly we have that studious yearly assayer and anthologist of current poetry, Mr. William Stanley Braithwaite, a true servant of the lamp and of all who are slaves of the lamp.
HE requisites to physical prepared
ness for successful war-and unsuccessful war is as inexcusable as the literary-dramatic masterpiece that fails to "get" its message "across" the footlights -are trained men, direction, equipment, and organization. Most phases of the problem can best be examined and solved by our professional experts. These trained men can provide the country with the mechanics of defense, if the country will back them. The War College and the general staff should be the architects and builders of American security. And when the edifice is ready for us, a great gymnasium in which national virtues may be exercised into strength, we shall find the benefit of the exercise extending into every department of life. The mathematical Teuton mind has estimated that the military training of the young man has added sixteen per cent. to the efficiency of German industrial life. France, the home of creative intellect and painstaking honest workmanship, credits her military system with an even greater gain to the peace community. One of these countries we call militaristic in contrast with the pacific character of the other. But it is clear that in this era of growing international competition-the present war simply marks a gap that will soon close-we cannot afford to abandon to our rivals the benefits of a wellproved industrial and economic training.
Incidentally, the training that adds to the industrial power and the wealth of a nation fortifies that nation's ability to defend itself.
Yet we seem hardly to have considered the immense importance to any scheme of defense of a definite organization of our industrial power for effective mobilization. We have learned one distinct fact by the great war, which is that a modern army could not exist, the war could not go on one day, without gasolene. Information, air service, communication, and the transport of ammunition and provisions and the care of the wounded-all are accomplished by virtue of the magic es
A little more than a year ago a middleaged aristocrat was called to the telephone in his country house in the middle of France. A moment later he summoned his fastest automobile, said good-by to his wife, jumped into the car, and whirled away through a choking cloud of white dust. An hour later he sweated and swore at the flies swarming in his office and wondered, when he had time to wonder, if his over-driven mind would desert him. But it did not slip; it had been trained for this very crisis, the mobilization of the motor reserves in that district.
Eight hundred motors rolled in during that afternoon: roadsters, limousines, touring-cars, motor-cycles, and motortrucks, whirling up storms of dust and a strangling atmosphere of burned gasolene. Some of the trucks were driven by exquisites in the evening clothes of last night's party, and some by men in overalls pulled on over night-shirts, for no time. could be lost; war was in the wind.
But the plans had been laid beforehand.
Before night those eight hundred cars and several thousand men were arranged in order. Lodging, food, gasolene, and oil supplies, even uniforms, had been provided, and the prearranged military numbers had been stenciled on the cars. The organization was adequate to its appointed task. In the night those cars went away on the roads in their properly organized and officered sections, ready for the work that has never ceased. Moreover, the middle-aged man had done the job with such thoroughness and despatch that he was promptly required for bigger duties. He is now in command of the motor transport service in half of France. If he were to be confronted to-day by the same problem, hardly a single bead of perspiration would be started on his capable brow. Such is the value of practice that the work would do itself almost automatically.
All this organization is based on the individual skill produced by training, and on the devotion to an ideal that is fostered by common, implicit obedience to the expressed will of the community.
If every owner of every automobile in America should consider himself the trustee of an instrument that in a contingency would be valuable to the defense
of his country, he would gladly register his car, keep it up to yearly inspection standard, and hold it for the instant use of the Government. He would become a living American citizen instead of a duty-dodger. And we should have at once, grouped in convenient territorial divisions, the framework for the sort of transport system without which modern war cannot be waged. In the same way we could have a real remount service. The Masters of Foxhounds Association proposes to register for government purposes all the horses owned by the hunters of the country. The horsemen themselves offer to place in the service of the Government their own expert knowledge of horses and their undoubted honesty. The offer means five or six thousand ideal officers' mounts and scores of the shrewdest buyers in the country to be had at need for the asking.
In like fashion our manufacturing plants and experts, our great carriers and producers, ought to be classified, registered, and made ready for community use. Our industrial power must be organized into the tremendous defensive weapon which it can be, but which it can become only through the operation in every one of us of a living sense of duty.
INCE the European War shocked us a sense of insecurity there has been much discussion about the ways and means of preparedness. A general feeling prevails that we must take the utmost precautions to guard against aggressions. We have weighed our army and navy in the balance, and they appear inadequate for our safety if we must face the gigantic horror of a modern war. So the nation has been making up its mind to lay out on guns and ammunition and battle-ships much more than it has ever spent before. The idea seems to be that if we spend half a billion dollars on these things we shall have achieved the highest pinnacle of preparedness. In perfect security we can then pursue the peaceful tenor of our national existence.
That is all very well as far as it goes. If Germany had been prepared with men. and guns merely, she must have succumbed to the starvation of her industries. and her people before the war was a year old, and the representatives of Russia and France and Great Britain would have dictated their terms in Berlin. The war has shown that it is not guns or even the men behind the guns that can win to victory or stave off defeat. The decision lies with the strength of the nation as a whole, and that nation is best organized for war that is best organized for peace.
Europe has been learning about preparedness from Germany. Virtually since the outset of the war Germany's foreign trade has been wiped out, and she has been confronted by the problem of being wholly
self-sufficient or giving up. This problem has been met successfully because Germany was ready for it. Her remarkable internal organization, built up laboriously through a period of forty years, was able to stand the strain. So whatever we may think of Germany's ruthless war logic, we must study her system of preparedness carefully if we, too, would be prepared.
There are two important factors in the German system: one is the conservation and care of her human resources; the other is the policy of national coöperation in industry, agriculture, and everything that tends to promote the general welfare.
The German system of preparedness begins with the child. The child in Berlin. gets about fifty per cent. more school training in a year than the child in New York. In addition, the German schools look after the health of the children; they feed the children of the poor and they conduct holiday camps for those who are run down. The utmost care is taken to produce healthy, efficient citizens. An imperial law compels employers to grant time. for workers between fourteen and eighteen years to attend continuation-schools. The result of this system has been the passing of illiteracy in Germany, and in large measure the passing of the unskilled worker.
Having trained her people, Germany displays equal zeal in seeing that they have employment. The right to work is emphasized in the common law. Bismarck made it a key-note of his policy. "A man," he declared, "is entitled to say, 'Give me work,' and the state is bound to give him work." Employment is secured largely through coöperative labor exchanges throughout the empire. In times of stress work is also provided by the starting of large public enterprises and through other agencies. In the eight years ending with 1911 unemployment in Germany ranged from 1.1 per cent. to 2.9 per cent. of the total wage-earning population. In New York and Massachusetts, for a similar period, it ranged from 6.8 per cent. to 28.1 per cent. In New York City last winter, in a Federal census of nearly
100,000 wage-earners, 16.2 per cent. were out of work. Obviously we have much to learn from Germany in this respect. It has a direct bearing on preparedness, for a man habitually unemployed becomes unfitted for any work, including that of the soldier, and it is impossible to transform an army of the unemployed into an army of fighting men.
Of late a few of our States have been adopting some form of compulsory working-men's insurance, though most of our lawmakers still consider this a form of socialistic madness. In Germany working-men's insurance has been compulsory throughout the empire for over thirty years. The worker is insured against illness, accident, and old age, and if he dies, his widow and orphans are provided for. The insurance scheme embraces clerks and office employees, short contract and itinerant laborers in agriculture, workers at home, teachers, and tutors. The German Government has spent more money on this than it has on the German fleet.
Under the German electoral system the urban population is grossly under-represented in the Reichstag. Since 1871 there has been no reapportionment, despite the remarkable drift of population to the cities. This discrimination is directed against the Socialist-Democratic party, which flourishes particularly in the towns. Though this party is numerically the largest in Germany, it has never administered the affairs of a single parish. Despite this, municipal socialism is the rule in Germany. Perhaps it might be unwise or inexpedient for us to emulate the socialized German cities, but at least we have much to learn from them in assuring the welfare of our urban populations.
The interests of the farmer are as carefully conserved in Germany as those of the city-dweller, for the farmer is a most important factor in preparedness. The German Government has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies for the farmer. It protects him against foreign competition. It has subsidized an army of chemists to increase the fertility of his fields. A model system of inland
waterways, run in collaboration with the railways, assures him cheap transportation. In times of stress special railroad rates are granted to save him from disaster. Expert personal advice is furnished. for his smallest problems, and care is taken to insure a ready market for his products. Coöperative associations provide for the small farmer the most modern machinery at a moderate rental. If he has to borrow money on mortgage or to make a shortterm loan to get in his crop, a system of land-bank associations assures him easy terms. He pays between three and four per cent. for his money on mortgage, and about five per cent. on short loans.
The American farmer who can obtain money at double the German rate is lucky. We permit a chaotic system of distribution whereby the farmer gets only a third of the value of his product, the rest being swallowed up in transportation charges and by the numerous middlemen.
The result is that while Germany has doubled her agricultural production in twenty years, with virtually no increase in acreage, we have been declining steadily to agricultural unpreparedness. The German farmer's acre of worn-out soil has been made to yield twice the product of our young field. In the five years ending with 1884 our exports of food-stuffs in crude condition and food-animals exceeded the imports by $453,000,000. During the five years before the European War our food imports exceeded exports by $374,
The transportation policy of Germany has helped to solve her problem of preparedness. Bismarck declared in 1884 that the railways "are intended rather to serve the needs of trade than to earn a profit for their owners." Germany solved her railway problem by government ownership. We may meet ours in some other way, but it is still to be solved. One sixth of our railway mileage is represented by bankrupt roads operated under receivers. The railroads are subjected to fortyodd brands of regulatory statutes in the different States. Our laws tend to restrict the railroads to small, competing units,
when the general welfare could best be served by a single coöperative machine. The rebate and the special rate, which have been found useful in building up industry in Germany, are forbidden by our laws. We permit reckless manipulators to loot our roads of millions of dollars.
The railroad problem is closely allied with that of big business. Back in the eighties the movement toward industrial combination was investigated both in Germany and the United States. The German Government adopted a policy of watchful encouragement. Our legislators gave us the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. In this country the rise of the Standard Oil Company put an end to wasteful competition in the oil business. The Government, with the idea of restoring this competition, had the company dissolved. In Germany similarly hurtful competitive conditions prevailed in the potash industry. The Government ordered the warring units to combine. The Standard Oil Company has been accused of unfair practices. The German Government made sure that the potash combine would play fair, even going so far as to fix maximum prices for its products for the domestic market. In Germany it has been recognized that big business units are essential for the successful capture of foreign markets. Our Government has consistently pursued a policy of breaking up big business units, even if they did play fair, simply because they were big. The German in foreign trade has not only a business, but a nation behind him. Too often the American in foreign trade not only has to fight his competitors abroad, but his Government at home.
True preparedness is part of a series of problems-problems of human welfare, problems involving agriculture, industry, banking, transportation, all interwoven together. Our statesmen must face these problems squarely and intelligently if we are to be prepared for war. For this we must find men who are capable of thinking in terms of the nation instead of in terms of little localities, of little businesses, of little political advantages.
Τ THE first thing I can remember was
being shoveled out of a great incubator, called a factory, along with several hundred brothers and sisters. All the men in that factory wore diamond shirt-studs.
While I was wondering at this, an old motor-truck named Mercury said to me with feeling:
"Ah, if all the workmen in the world. could be as well off as the ones here, there would be no more poverty, and no people so poor as to have to ride in fords!"
I was loaded on a freight-car and carried many, many miles. The car jolted so terribly that I should have gone all to pieces had I not been built for jarring. None of the train-crew showed me any sympathy. They were wicked men, and used language that frequently sent a tinkle of shame to my mud-guards. I did not then know, as I do now, that the purestminded automobile has to endure all its life words and tones of the most shocking
My first master was a careful and conscientious man. He had a large garage full of fords, and he always kept a sharp eye on the door to make sure that nobody who walked out carried off one of us.
One day a man came in with a twentydollar bill that he wanted changed. "Sorry," said my master, "but all I have in my cash-drawer is $2.69. I'll have to give you the rest in fords."
Whereupon he handed him me and one of my brothers and three extra tires, which just made up the amount.
This new master, whose name was Mr. Pious, was very good and humane. He drove me with a gentle foot, and he would say to his children: "Be kind to Black Jitney. Never scratch him or bend him." The chubby little fellows grew so fond of me that before long they would trot sturdily beside me.
Their mother, however, was a cold, imperious woman. She cared nothing for the feelings of a ford. She would drive me at a grueling pace till my radiator was parched with thirst and my gears fairly cried out for oil. Speed was her one desire, and naturally I could not satisfy her. Even when I ran so fast that the effort made me shake from top to tires and I was in danger of losing my lamps, she would call me "ice-wagon" and "rattletrap" and other cruel names, and refer unkindly to the fact that she could count the palings of the fences that we passed. Finally, this hard-hearted woman prevailed upon her husband to sell me and buy a big sixteen-cylinder Pope-Gregory. This car, as I afterward learned, was so vicious that the very first time she took it out for an airing it assaulted three helpless chickens and a pig.
My next master was a young man whose private life was such as no well