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own salvation and are brought to see and to act on the need for purification of their political life and the revivification of their political, social, and economic system, they will remain, as I have said, prey to foreign exploitation. The expectation of American help, furthermore, salves the conscience of those classes now engaged in betraying the country and its resources to Japan. They can remain comfortable in the assurance that America will get back all they have sold, anyway.
There has grown up in recent times in China a considerable traffic in treason, to the profit of high officials. By trading on the mutual jealousy of the powers they can sell now to one, now another, knowing that when any one has acquired so much as to disturb the balance of power, the others will step in to readjust it, by war if necessary. The situation will then be restored, with the officials' profits left undisturbed, and the process can be repeated.
Thus, in the eighteen-nineties, officialdom was turning a neat profit by selling both territory and resources to Russia. Already the forces were being marshaled against Russia, Germany working now with Russia and now against it, Great Britain and Japan working openly against it and finally concluding their now famous alliance to that end. A decade later the war came, the Russo-Japanese War, and Russia was defeated and made to disgorge, Japan stepping in as its successor. Now the betrayal is all to Japan. Let it not be forgotten that much of the alienation of China's rights is the result of Chinese official venality as much as of Japanese imperialistic unscrupulousness. The guilt of the bribe-giver is no greater
than that of the bribe-taker; less, in fact, since it is both national honor and national existence that is being sold.
Now, the Chinese, even the corrupt officialdom, are not without race pride; to the contrary, if anything. And I am convinced for myself that treason is made easier to their souls by virtue of their belief, for which Americans themselves are largely responsible, that America will intervene in time with force and make Japan disgorge, as Japan did Russia. Whether they expect or fear that America will step into Japan's place as Japan did Russia's and become in its turn the threatening shadow over China I cannot say. They have a deep trust in American idealism because of America's long tradition of fair play in the Far East. Perhaps they think America less dangerous. Perhaps they believe that some other power, likewise fearful of undue disturbance of the balance, will eventually step in to make America disgorge. I do not know, but I am convinced that reckless promises of American help and reckless threats of American war against Japan are making for corruption among Chinese officialdom and for greater supineness among those of the educated laity who are aware of the dangerous plight of their country. Even the carrying out of that threat and the deliverance of China from Japan might only work out in stifling the impulse to act for themselves that national humiliation and suffering might otherwise kindle in the Chinese.
By no means an unimportant consideration is that question of just what America would do with a victory. I think it will be conceded that America would be victorious, though we
need entertain no illusion as to its being an easy victory. America has just reached its political majority. It stands at the parting of the ways. Which way will it take? Will it continue in its old path of living its life within itself and abide by the tradition, maintained on the whole with unique fidelity, of fair play in its foreign relations? Or will it take the path of imperialism and self-aggrandizement trod by every other great nation at the height of its power?
Let us be frank with ourselves and look honestly at the effect on ourselves of our latest war and the forces it released in us. Let us consider honestly the implications of the spur given to extreme nationalism and national intolerance, the cry for great armaments and for a more aggressive policy abroad. Let us remember the heavy vested interest in foreign affairs our international banking groups already have acquired. If it is too unIf it is too uncharitable to say that we became drunk with victory and are not yet quite sober, surely it is no more than reading the record to say that we had our heads turned by it. And if victory in that war, in which, after all, we had none too intimate a concern, in which there was no deep-rooted and long-standing emotionalism and in which, above all, our sacrifice was comparatively light-if victory in that war had the effect on us that it did, what would victory in this war do-a war over which there is already strong feeling and which would entail a really heavy sacrifice in energy, wealth, and human life?
We might, indeed, have no choice. Just as the Spanish War left overseas possessions in our hands and forced us against our desire into a modest im
perialism, so this one probably would catch us in an enmeshment from which we never should be able to extricate ourselves. And I am not sure it would be involuntary. Our sacrifice would be heavy. We should be left with an enormous vested interest in China on our hands. The precedent of exacting payment from China for services in its cause is long and powerful. It would be only human to take that vested interest for payment and aggrandize it as time passed. And as time passed and habit hardened, we should consider it a permanent possession. We should be launched irrevocably on a course of world imperialism, and because of our preponderance of power in wealth, resources, and military establishment, it would be the most dangerous imperialism in the world. Most of all, it would be our abandonment of the finest fact in our history and our highest contribution to mankind-our dedication to the task of working out a democracy in the brotherhood of man, a nation that has given no other nation cause for hate.
I have been engaged here in outlining what appears to be a dilemma. I have said that there is a fundamental conflict of aims between the Japanese and ourselves, and that the aims of Japanese imperialism are hostile to the development of legitimate American interests. can interests. Japanese imperialism is bent on hegemony over China. That America cannot permit. It is more than derogatory of American rights. It is a menace to the peace of the world, for the peace of the world demands an independent and unmolested China. With China anything but
independent and unmolested, it must become another Balkans, over the partition of which the whole world will ultimately be embattled. I have said further that Japanese imperialism in the manner of its striving to achieve its objects is cruel and offensive, and that with it as such there can be no compromise.
What, then, shall America do?' Fight? To what end? The objects of our policy we cannot achieve by fighting Japan alone. They are obstructed almost as much by the other powers. They are conditioned also on the real awakening and reconstruction of China, which must take a long time, half a century, perhaps; perhaps a century. Our interests in China are not so vital and compelling that there is any actual need to fight for their preservation. Nor from the point of view of a defensive strategy is there need to fight. I have tried to show that the accomplishment of Japan's designs in China would not raise any material threat to our existence in the near future, either by the man power or the resources of China. On the contrary, such a war might work to China's disadvantage by postponing China's awakening. It might also set America on a course of imperialism and conquest by which America itself and all mankind would be the losers. In fine, not only is there no need for such a war; nothing would even be gained by it. Much even would be lost.
What, then? If not war and not submission, what other course is there to follow? There is only one other avenue in which lies any hope. That is the dawning of a new spirit in Japan itself. There has been ignited in Japan in the last few years a tiny
spark of liberalism. It is only alight as yet, no more. For reasons understandable in a country which has recently emerged from military feudalism and is even now governed by a military oligarchy, the spark will kindle no flame for a long time. But it is alight; and as it burns, it will illumine.
Already the Japanese people have begun to question a little and even to assert. As their questioning becomes more insistent, more of the privileges and perquisites of democracy will be accorded them; and as they win more of these privileges and perquisites, they will assert the more loudly. From the Japanese people, democratized, there need be little fear; from no people as an aggregate of human beings seeking only to lead as full lives as possible need there be fear. The Japanese people as a people have small concern with grandiose imperial "destinies," any more than any other people. From those there is little for them to gain; theirs is only to pay the price. These are the concerns of a small class of militarists, financial exploiters, and captains of statecraft, in Japan as everywhere. In the coming to power of the Japanese people over their oligarchy is our hope.
It is yet a faint, feeble hope, for it will be long before the Japanese people come to power, and it has not yet been established that democracies will not go careering in conquest as well as autocracies. But if we have any faith in the material world to-day, it is in democracy. Until the Japanese people do come to power and while the militarists and imperialists have full sway, there will be no change, little change, in the ambitions and methods of Japan. That is to say, until then
Japan will continue its domineering and exploiting of the Far East, with all the wrongs that will inflict on the Far-Eastern peoples and the provocation it will give America. In the meantime the peoples of the Far East must pay the price in oppression and the obstruction of their efforts for progress. That is the price, I suppose, weak peoples must pay in a world that knows no higher law than the law of force. It is ugly, but there is no alternative.
In the meantime there is for America only the counsel of patience. It can use its moral force in protest, and in support and encouragement of the democratic elements in Japan. Therefore it must refrain from threats, suppress hate propaganda, withhold gestures with armies and navies; for those only play into the hands of the Japanese militarists. It can make use of its diplomatic weapons in international councils to compel moderation. It can make use of such occasions for compromise, as at the present conference in Washington.
This is the counsel of negation, doubtless, and of sterility, perhaps even of failure. I grant that it may fail, and, quite obviously, it will entail temporary sacrifice. And if it does? We dedicated ourselves in the last war to the end that war pass forever as the arbitrament of national disputes.
We asked our associates in that war in the moment of victory to sacrifice their material gains to the achievement of that end. There is only consistency now in hardening ourselves to a sacrifice of our material gains. As I said in dealing with the conference, there is no royal road to peace. There is no road save by the will to peace, and the will to peace is no greater than men's willingness to sacrifice for it.
What other counsel is there? Let us be practical, then. Let us face the situation as it exists. There is either that or there is war. And not only would the sacrifice of fighting be vastly greater than that entailed in waiting; it would be immeasurably greater than anything that could be gained thereby. For we should do more than spill the blood of guiltless youth, Japanese and American alike. By reason of the last war the world hovers to-day precariously on the edge of a pit. Who shall say now that another war, more destructive by far than the last, will not put it over the edge? For us the decision is not whether we shall have a few million more or less in foreign trade; it is whether civilization shall survive. By every consideration of humanity, by every calculation of cold logic, let us resolutely declare, no war. Above all,
HAT afternoon I was wandering
Ton the sand-hills. Never had
they seemed so lonely, never had the crash of the sea sounded so menacingly against the shore. Never before had I felt unhappy in Ireland, although she is the sorrowful land, because always from her sorrow has sprung poetry and beauty, self-sacrifice and courage. But as I stood in the bitter wind that day I kept wondering how even the purest qualities are to be built on sheer rock-ribbed ruin and desolation. There must be some soil for the roots of the spirit.
As I turned to go back to the town I saw in the fold of the next hill a figure. It hesitated, turned, walked away a few paces, and then came toward me. It was Shaun Connolly. I had known him since he was a little boy, but now the face approaching was defiant.
said he in a surly voice, "who is a friend and who is not. A man can't trust the nearest neighbor that he was reared beside. But I don't think you are an informer, ma'am, whatever side you take."
"Ah, Shaun, I don't take any side," I said. "I love Ireland as well as if I had been born here. As you know, I have been here again and again. I have friends in all parties, on both sides. I am only heartsick at what I have seen."
"You may have kept out of it so far," he said, "but you can't stay in Ireland these days without taking one side or another. Have you seen my mother the day?"
"I saw her yesterday, Shaun. I can see her for you if you like." "Will you be afther telling her I am all right. Say I was warrum and comfortable. There is no need tell
"What are you doing out here in ing her I have n't had a bite since
this bitter cold, Shaun?" I asked.
""T is hard to tell these days,"
yesterday. And bitther cold it is here in this wind."