Sympathy with any country in this most disgraceful yet most inevitable of wars brands the sympathizer as a party to the material and lustful purposes of at least one of the combatants. There is no ethical justification of this war from any standpoint. There is no justification of this war from any standpoint. There is only an explanation of the war from an economic standpoint. All these specious arguments on the precipitating causes of the war can be but for the display of brilliant forensic oratory and matchless diction. Let us thrust aside in these dark moments of peril and horror all subterfuge.
England, overburdened with taxation, was on the verge of civil war. Russia, whose masses were overridden roughshod by a bureaucracy weighting down the peasants with onerous national burdens, expected sooner or later the cataclysmic upheaval with which the Nihilistic societies have long been threatening its tyrannical Government. France, seriously financially embarrassed because of crop impoverishment and bad foreign investments in Brazil, Russia, and the Balkans, was subject to continued internal political upheavals, with ever-changing Ministries and a growing Socialist Party.
Austria, “the ramshackle empire,” was in danger of disintegrating from a variety of causes, not the least of which was the infusibility of its racially different elements. Germany, in a blind race for commercial supremacy, suffered from industrial overproduction, thus creating an unhealthy financial condition which fortified the Socialist Party to an extent which threatened her imperialistic form of government itself.
So these monarchies whose days were numbered, because of dissatisfaction at the waste and extravagance of a world gone mad with national excesses committed in the name of civilization, in reality the price of our modernization, in a final desperate effort to rally their waning fortunes stampeded their awakening masses into a ruinous interracial war in order to stave off the torch and the guillotine.
GEORGE E. BERNHEIMER.
New York, Oct. 30, 1914.
To the Editor of The New York Times:
Allow me to submit the following in answer to the article of James M. Beck, entitled “Case of the Double Alliance vs. the Triple Entente,” published in THE NEW YORK TIMES of Oct. 25, 1914:
The case of “Russian Mobilization vs. German Mediation.” Q.—Upon whom was the duty to yield?
Mr. Beck has spent considerable time and effort to prove, at least by inference, that Germany must have been informed beforehand of the Austrian ultimatum to Servia. Personally, I am convinced that the ultimatum in question was sent with the full knowledge and consent of Germany; and, whether this is true or not, I maintain that it was Austria’s duty to inform her ally before taking a step which was likely to endanger the peace of Europe.