Coats K - Khaftan -
3 hours ago
“Imperialism, to my mind, is satanic, whether it is German or English … I am opposed to all imperial ambitions, wherever they may be cherished and with whatever veneer of benevolent assimilation they may be disguised … The author glorifies war and ridicules efforts at the production of mutual respect and confidence among equal nations …. [The book] makes me feel anew the need for Christianity … what a need for the gospel!”
The alliance of Great Britain with Russia and Japan seems to me still an unholy thing – an unscrupulous effort to crush the life out of a progressive commercial rival. Gradually a coalition had to be gotten together against Germany, and the purpose of it was only too plain. An alleged war in the interest of democracy the chief result of which will be to place a splendid people at the mercy of Russia does not appeal to me.
Great Britain seems to me the least democratic of all the civilized nations of the world – with a land-system that makes great masses of the people practically serfs, and a miserable social system that is more tyrannical in the really important, emotional side of life than all the political oppression that ever was practised. And then if there is such a thing as British democracy it has no place for any rival on the face of the earth. The British attitude towards Germany’s just effort at a place in ocean trade seems to me one of the great underlying causes of the war.
“Even temporary conscription goes against the grain with me, unless it is resorted to to repel actual invasion, but my fundamental objection is directed against compulsory service in time of peace.
The country seems to be rushing into two things to which I am more strongly opposed than anything else in the world – a permanent alliance with Great Britain, which will inevitably mean a continuance of the present vassalage, and a permanent policy of compulsory military service with all the brutal interference of the state in individual and family life which that entails, and which has caused the misery of Germany and France.”
“The real indictment against the modern world is that by the modern world human liberty is being destroyed. At that point I know many modern men could only with difficulty repress a smile. The word liberty has today a very archaic sound; it suggests G.A. Henty, flag waving, the boys of ’76, and the like. Twentieth-century intellectuals, it is thought, have long ago outgrown all such childishness as that. So the modern historians are spelling “liberty,” when they are obliged to use the ridiculous word, in quotation marks: no principle, they are telling us, was involved, for example, in the American Revolution; economic causes alone produced that struggle; and Patrick Henry was engaging in cheap melodrama when he said, “Give me liberty or give me death.””