The Russian revolution is the beacon to light the world to the war <to end war.> Before the abdication of the Czar the pro-German could well say that the buccaneering Briton and the servile Slav made prohibitive alliance for peace-loving, democratic America. The pacifist could properly rebuke the militarist for perpetuating the evils of Prussian and Russian destructiveness. Now the German-American must support Russia against Prussia or confess himself the enemy of Germany. The pacifist must be a consistent non-resistant or revive the spirit of '76 and join the republics of France, Russia, and China in a planetary struggle to free Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians, as well as the rest of the world from the last coalition of reaction.
The American does not wish the loss of another German solider, but he must say to all pro-Teutons: Prussia was the disintegrating force keeping Russia from self-realization; Prussia has been the instigator of methods of warfare that, rightly or wrongly, all the rest of the world calls savage; Prussia has planted her vipers in the bosom of the United States; Prussia has paralyzed the minds of the German-American population until they believe no evil of Kaiser or Junker; Prussia is the curse of Germany and the world. While Prussia has made the German Empire by its admirable efficiency, it is unmaking the German Empire by its intolerable arrogance and archaic militarism.
The United States cannot blindly become the ally of commercial Britain, itching Italy, and calculating Japan. But the nations at war are being chastened. Democracy is very near the surface of all of them. We must be the ally of the modernists in all nations. That means we must be the enemy of Prussia -- not of the Kaiser, not of the Germans, but of Prussia. [page 2]
Pacifists cannot lightly support any war. Neither can they permit the militarist to Prussianize America in their endeavor to end war. If this is to be the last stand against absolutism, we must improve on the armies and navies of Europe and on the irresolute and inefficient government of the United States. We must be worthy allies of regenerated France, Belgium, and Britain. We must be worthy competitors of socialized Germany. We must be prophetic friends of the new Russia and the new China. We shall tolerate no domination by munition makers, militarists, financiers, or politicians. We must be a reconstructed people, unifying our systems of transportation and communication, developing a merchant marine to supplement the navy in war or peace, drafting every young man and woman for national service in war or peace, giving universal training to both sexes (not Prussian military training), mobilizing our resources so that they will serve the world commerce after the war as well as they serve our democratic allies during the war.
If America is to be true to its traditions, to the great blend of European nationalities that give its population strength, to the destiny in which we all believe, its purpose must be to render such an account of its stewardship that it may worthily lead the crusade for democracy.
Justice to women and workers and colored races, a rapidly graduated income tax, nationalization of the arteries of the nation and of munitions, and subordination of the states to the federal government are the tests of our genuineness. We can lead the world to peace if our motives are unimpeachable. We can secure the loyalty of all of our people if sacrifice is universal, after as well as during the war. On these terms pacifists and pro-Teutons should become the enthusiastic allies of modernism versus [medievalism]. A bas Prussianism at home and abroad! World Peace when democracy is enthroned in Berlin, Vienna, Petrograd, Rome, Paris, [Brussels], London, Pekin, Tokyo, and Washington!