A Moral Substitute for War, January 9, 1904

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"Have we as a nation enough moral courage, high enough ideals to become more than mere imitators, or will we simply follow the example of history and England in the matter of war?" asked Jane Addams of the Hull House, Chicago.

In answering her own question Jane Addams said:

"Let us imagine the German Emperor destitute of all his military power, with no sword at his side and living with his peasants. Imagine him living with the lowest class of his people and sharing their poor lives for ten years. At the end of that experience what a change would have come over him! He would see that his nation rests on labor and commerce, and not on his army and navy. With this vision of social righteousness he would feel bound to disarm his army and navy, to turn to the vast strength of the German military regime into the paths of peaceful industry. Would not this require real courage?

"Change the environment of the Czar of Russia in a similar manner. The Czar would then understand and no longer fear the movement among the Russian peasants to refuse to enter his armies. Who can tell at what hour that great multitude of peasants will decide that the time has come for them to put into operation Christ's principles even as [Tolstoy] has decided?

"The mere size of the opportunity now before America ought to pull up our courage and stretch out our ideals beyond the old warlike ideas. The non-military conception of life and commerce requires a higher kind of courage than it does to fight. The soldier is not equal to it. I do not believe in non-resistance. Do not let things alone, but take hold with a firm hand, guided by a higher, finer morality than the code of war requires."