We see no signs anywhere in Europe that disarmament has any substantial body of advocates in any nation. The basic principle hitherto of the German people has been to have, not the largest, but the strongest army; the basic principle of Great Britain, which sneers at militarism, has been not only to have the most powerful fleet, but twice the most powerful fleet.
And what is the basic principle of the United States? The Monroe Doctrine, to have no armed neighbor which shall compel us to violate by its presence our dislike for compulsory military service or to expend great sums for armament.
These are basic principles in each of us. Now, we have been able to maintain the Monroe Doctrine by simply showing our teeth, but whether we could maintain it in the future without an armed force sufficient to give it sanction I think is doubtful, and for that reason the Monroe Doctrine has undergone quite a number of modifications which I do not need to explain here.
But this basic principle of ours that from Patagonia to the Mexican frontier we will suffer no armed nation of Europe to make permanent settlement and endanger our peace is exactly the same sort of principle that the German holds when he says, “We must have the strongest army,” and the same which the Englishman holds when he says, “We must have the strongest fleet.”
I want it distinctly understood that I am not a partisan. I am not pro this or pro that or pro anything except pro-American, and the principal impulse I have in trying to clarify my mind is my hope that there may be an end to these hysterical exhibitions of partisanship, in which (throughout this neutral nation) men indulge who still hold too strongly, as I think, to the glory, honor, dignity, and traditions of the lands of their origin.
An Answer by Prof. Ladd
Emeritus Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at Yale University; Lecturer on Philosophy in India and Japan; has received numerous decorations in Japan, where he was guest and unofficial adviser of Prince Ito; ex-President of American Psychological Association.
To the Editor of The New York Times:
It seems strange to me that a student of history with the training and acumen of Prof. Sloane should overlook or minimize the important distinction that must hold the chief place in enabling us to understand the issues and appreciate the merits of the war now raging in Europe. This distinction is that between the German people and Germanic civilization, on the one hand, and, on the other, the present Constitution and cherished ambitions of the German Empire under the dominance of Prussia. The German people, by genuine processes of self-development, have worked out for themselves a veritable spiritual unity which manifests itself in language, laws, customs, and a large measure of substantial uniformity in moral and religious ideals. Germanic civilization, with its love of order, its high estimate of education, its notable additions to science, philosophy, and art, constitutes one of the most noble and beneficent contributions to the welfare of mankind.