“They will ask this many times, and however they may answer it they will, by consequence, follow the question with another: Shall we go on fighting wars about the necessity, expedience, and righteousness of which we have not been consulted?
“And to this query they will find only one answer—an emphatic negative.
“Sooner or later there will be a comprehensive political reorganization of Europe, and when its day comes the rearrangement will be along the lines of a republic rather than along the lines of any monarchy, however liberal.
“Then international agreements will be unnecessary and there will be no treaties to be broken—no ‘scraps of paper’ to be disregarded.
“Apparently Germany has been as successful in training her people to think accurately along economic lines as she has been in training them to work efficiently along such lines; and that accurate thought undoubtedly is bearing startling fruit among the men today crouched in the trenches on the firing lines.”
Era of Individual Thought.
“England, on the other hand, and France have encouraged the free and spontaneous life of democratic peoples. France and England, like the United States, have been training their peoples to think efficiently of and to appreciate and use liberty and initiative. And the men of these two nations are, in turn, exercising that ability as they crouch in their trenches.
“In other words, this war has precipitated an era of sober individual thought about the individual’s rights and responsibilities. It will everywhere bring about a wider political organization of mankind, a greater freedom of trade and opportunity, a more serious and thorough education, a more earnest attention and devotion to the higher interests of life, giving such thought preference above that overemphasis of material comforts which has been so marked a feature of recent human history.
“All these things will make for peace; and another and potent influence will be the exhaustion of the weakened nations which will follow the conflict. Because of that very weakness Europe will turn its unanimous attention to the things of peace rather than to the things of war.
“The new Europe is being fashioned by those questioning men who now are lying in the trenches.
“They are searching in the universe for answers to such inquiries as they never dreamed about before, and the women, worrying at home—they, too, are busy with a search for answers to hitherto undreamed-of questions.
“They all are pondering great things for the first time. Their pondering will be fruitful.
“Today all Europe fights, but, also, today all Europe thinks. And, thinking, perhaps it may devise a better order, so that it may not ever fight again.”
“To Americans Leaving Germany”
A FAREWELL WORD.