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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 333 pages of information about Back to Methuselah.
learns to fly; to drop bombs; to use machine-guns to the utmost of his capacity.  The discovery of high explosives is rewarded and dignified:  instruction in the manufacture of the weapons, battleships, submarines, and land batteries by which they are applied destructively, is quite genuine:  the instructors know their business, and really mean the learners to succeed.  The result is that powers of destruction that could hardly without uneasiness be entrusted to infinite wisdom and infinite benevolence are placed in the hands of romantic schoolboy patriots who, however generous by nature, are by education ignoramuses, dupes, snobs, and sportsmen to whom fighting is a religion and killing an accomplishment; whilst political power, useless under such circumstances except to militarist imperialists in chronic terror of invasion and subjugation, pompous tufthunting fools, commercial adventurers to whom the organization by the nation of its own industrial services would mean checkmate, financial parasites on the money market, and stupid people who cling to the status quo merely because they are used to it, is obtained by heredity, by simple purchase, by keeping newspapers and pretending that they are organs of public opinion, by the wiles of seductive women, and by prostituting ambitious talent to the service of the profiteers, who call the tune because, having secured all the spare plunder, they alone can afford to pay the piper.  Neither the rulers nor the ruled understand high politics.  They do not even know that there is such a branch of knowledge as political science; but between them they can coerce and enslave with the deadliest efficiency, even to the wiping out of civilization, because their education as slayers has been honestly and thoroughly carried out.  Essentially the rulers are all defectives; and there is nothing worse than government by defectives who wield irresistible powers of physical coercion.  The commonplace sound people submit, and compel the rest to submit, because they have been taught to do so as an article of religion and a point of honor.  Those in whom natural enlightenment has reacted against artificial education submit because they are compelled; but they would resist, and finally resist effectively, if they were not cowards.  And they are cowards because they have neither an officially accredited and established religion nor a generally recognized point of honor, and are all at sixes and sevens with their various private speculations, sending their children perforce to the schools where they will be corrupted for want of any other schools.  The rulers are equally intimidated by the immense extension and cheapening of the means of slaughter and destruction.  The British Government is more afraid of Ireland now that submarines, bombs, and poison gas are cheap and easily made than it was of the German Empire before the war; consequently the old British custom which maintained a balance of power through command of the sea is intensified into a terror that sees security in nothing short of absolute military mastery of the entire globe:  that is, in an impossibility that will yet seem possible in detail to soldiers and to parochial and insular patriotic civilians.

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