Page:Great Speeches of the War.djvu/333

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Great Speeches of the War

man. If the war could have been averted for twenty years I have little doubt peace-loving Germany, the Germany that prizes Right above Might, would have gained final control in Berlin, and the war would not have happened.

Assuming that the Allies win, it does not seem to me they will find it easy to democratize German politics, unless the German people respond. It is impossible to impose government from without. Government must come from within. If the Army and the Navy and the men who made the war lose their prestige, Germany will probably recover herself. How can she better do it than by effectualizing her democracy? In other words, I feel that the real Germany, which has made so profound an impression upon the world by reason of great qualities, will take over the government of Germany when the present regime has been discredited and destroyed.

I cannot help thinking that the present war should bring to a permanent end the system whereby political personages use peoples as pawns on a chessboard. I think secret diplomacy will disappear. Certainly, in the light of Austrian methods leading up to this war—methods that went right back to the days of Metternich—political manipulation beyond the reach of the influence of the people it affects ought to disappear.

And I look for a great democratic advance as the result of the war. For a great democratic advance, and for a great moral advance. Might has sought to establish itself as the supreme law. Right is on the defensive. It is giving us some very fine examples of the best there is in human nature.

The object-lessons should be beneficial. Nobility should be quickened. Our standard should be lifted up. We all were too luxurious. Life on the Continent of America is too luxurious We in London are too luxurious. Berlin was too luxurious. In Paris also people had become luxurious. We shall all be made simpler by this war. We shall be made more frugal, more serious, less cynical, greater. Long years will pass before any one of us ceases to feel the effects of the struggle.

As for democracy, it is democracy's fight—nothing else. The militarist has hurled his system against Europe. It must be broken. When it is broken, a settlement should be possible conserving the political welfare of all the peoples concerned. Freedom for all nationalities is the ideal, and I see no reason why it should not be substantially realized.