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"Nonsense? By no means! Hear what the distinguished Professor Lasson* has to say on the sub


"Between states there is but one sort of rightthe right of the stronger. . . .

""There is no legal obligation upon a state to observe treaties.

"A state cannot commit a crime...

""Treaty rights are governed wholly by considerations of advantage.

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"A so-called small state is not a state at all, but only a tolerated community, which absurdly pretends to be a state.

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""The weak are prone to cherish a comforting belief in the inviolability of the treaties that assure them their miserable existence. But one of the functions of war is to prove to them that a treaty may be a bad one, that circumstances may have changed. There is only one guaranty-adequate military force. . . .

"Heinrich von Treitschke, the most influential political philosopher of Germany during the last century, like his great pupil Bernhardi, taught that war was a biological necessity,† that any attempt to abolish it was unwise and unmoral, and that it should be ruthless to the last degree, ... saying 'for the state

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Das Kulturideal unter dem Krieg, pp. 11-13, 31, 32, 61, 105, 130. "Politik," vol. I, p. 100.

self-assertion is the greatest of the commandments; for it, this is absolutely moral. And for this reason it must be declared that of all political sins the most abominable and the most contemptible is weakness; this is, in politics, the sin against the Holy Ghost.' "The living God,' he assures us, 'will take care that war shall always return as a terrible medicine for the human race.'

"Vernon Kellogg, who saw a great deal of the German General Staff when the Great Headquarters— Grosses Hauptquartier-of all the German armies of the west was in the Ardennes-where often the 'AllHighest' was there in person-says,* in explanation of his conversion from pacifism:

"Professor von Flussen-that is not his nameis a biologist. So am I. So we talked out the biological argument for war, and especially for this war. The captain-professor has a logically constructed argument why, for the good of the world, there should be this war, and why, for the good of the world, the Germans should win it, win it completely and terribly. Unfortunately, for the peace of our evenings, I was never convinced. That is, never convinced that for the good of the world the Germans should win this war, completely and terribly. I was convinced, however, that this war once begun must be fought to a finish of decision-a finish that will determine whether or not

*Atlantic Monthly, August, 1917.


Germany's point of view is to rule the world. And this conviction, thus gained, meant the conversion of a pacifist to an ardent supporter, not of war, but of this war; of fighting this war to a definite endthat end to be Germany's conversion to be a good Germany, or not much of any Germany at all. . . .

""The creed of the allmacht of a natural selection based on violent and fatal competitive struggle is the gospel of the German intellectuals; all else is illusion and anathema. As with the different ant species, struggle-bitter, ruthless struggle is the rule among the different human groups.

'This struggle not only must go on, for that is the natural law, but it should go on, so that this natural law may work out in its cruel, inevitable way the salvation of the human species. By its salvation is meant its desirable natural evolution. That human group which is in the most advanced evolutionary stage as regards internal organization and form of social relationship is best, and should, for the sake of the species, be preserved at the expense of the less advanced, the less effective.

"It should win in the struggle for existence, and this struggle should occur precisely that the various types may be tested, and the best not only preserved, but put in position to impose its kind of social organization-its Kultur-on the others, or, alternatively, to destroy and replace them.

"The danger from Germany is, I have said, that the Germans believe what they say. And they act on this belief. Professor von Flussen says that this war is necessary as a test of the German position and claim. If Germany is beaten, it will prove that she has moved along the wrong evolutionary line, and should be beaten. If she wins, it will prove that she is on the right way, and that the rest of the world, at least that part which we and the Allies represent, is on the wrong way and should, for the sake of the right evolution of the human race, be stopped, and put on the right way—or else be destroyed, as unfit. If the wrong and unnatural alternative of an Allied victory should obtain, then he would prefer to die in the catastrophe and not have to live in a world perversely resistant to natural law. He means it all. He will act on his belief. He does act on it, indeed. He opposes all mercy, all compromise with human soft-heartedness.

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"There is no reasoning with this sort of thing, no finding of any heart or soul in it. There is only one kind of answer: resistance by brutal force; war to a decision. It is the only argument in rebuttal understandable of these men at headquarters into whose hands the German people have put their destiny....'

"I confess," continued my friend, "that two years ago when you were here I didn't understand this thing. I didn't take the Kaiser seriously when I read his

proclamation to the

army of the East in 1914. I

thought it bombast. "I forget," said I.

Well, it was Germany's creed." "What was it?"

He opened a scrap-book.

"Remember that you are the chosen people! The spirit of the Lord has descended upon me because I am the Emperor of the Germans!

“I am the instrument of the Almighty. I am his sword, his agent. Woe and death to all those who shall oppose my will! Woe and death to those who do not believe in my mission! Woe and death to the cowards!

"Let them perish, all the enemies of the German people! God demands their destruction, God, who, by my mouth, bids you to do his will!'

"Or take this frank confession of Harden's: 'One principle only is to be reckoned with-one which sums up and includes all others-force! Boast of that and scorn all twaddle. Force! that is what rings loud and clear; that is what has distinction and fascination. Force, the fist that is everything. . . . Let us drop our pitiable efforts to excuse Germany's action; let us cease heaping contemptible insults upon the enemy. Not against our will were we thrown into this gigantic adventure. It was not imposed on us by surprise. We willed it; we were bound to will it. We do not appear before the tribunal of Europe; we do not recognize any such jurisdiction. Our force will create

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