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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife.

[1] Some people take great pleasure in analysing White Books and Grey Books and Orange Books and Yellow Books without end, and proving this or that from them—­as of course out of such a mass of material they can easily do, according to their fancy.  But when one remembers that almost all the documents in these books have been written with a view to their later publication; and when one remembers also that, however incompetent diplomatists as a class may be, no one supposes them to be such fools as to entrust their most important ententes and understandings with each other to printed records—­why, one comes to the conclusion that the analysis of all these State papers is not a very profitable occupation.

II

WAR-MADNESS

September, 1914.

How mad, how hopelessly mad, it all seems I With fifteen to twenty million soldiers already mobilized, and more than half that number in the fighting lines; with engines of appalling destruction by land and sea, and over the land and under the sea; with Northern France, Belgium, and parts of Germany, Poland, Russia, Servia, and Austria drenched in blood; the nations exhausting their human and material resources in savage conflict—­this war, marking the climax, and (let us hope) the finale of our commercial civilization, is the most monstrous the old Earth has ever seen.  And yet, as in a hundred earlier and lesser wars, we hardly know the why and wherefore of it.  It is like the sorriest squabbles of children and schoolboys—­utterly senseless and unreasoning.  But broken bodies and limbs and broken hearts and an endless river of blood and suffering are the outcome.

III

THE ROOTS OF THE GREAT WAR[2]

October, 1914.

In the present chapter I wish especially to dwell on (1) the danger to society, mentioned in the Introduction, of class-ascendancy and class-rule; and (2) the hope for the future in the international solidarity of the workers.

Through all the mist of lies and slander created on such an occasion—­by which each nation after a time succeeds in proving that its own cause is holy while that of its opponent is wicked and devilish; through the appeals to God and Justice, common to both sides; through the shufflings and windings of diplomats, and the calculated attitudes of politicians, adopted for public approval; through the very real rage and curses of soldiers, the desperate tears and agony of women, the murder of babes, and the smoke of burning towns and villages:  it is difficult, indeed, to arrive at clear and just conclusions.

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