Page:Patriotismchrist00tols.djvu/46

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PATRIOTISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

tion is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason and conscience, and a slavish enthralment to those in power. And as such it is recommended wherever it may be preached.

Patriotism is slavery.

Those who preach peace by arbitration argue thus. Two animals cannot divide their prey otherwise than by fighting; as also is the case with children, savages and savage nations. But reasonable people settle their differences by argument, persuasion, and by referring the decision of the question to other impartial and reasonable persons. So the nations should act to-day. This argument seems quite correct. The nations of our time have reached the period of reasonableness, have no animosity towards each other, and might decide their differences in a peaceful fashion.

But this argument applies only so far as it has reference to the people and only to the people who are not under the control of a Government. But the people that subordinate themselves to a Government cannot be reasonable, because this subordination is in itself a sign of a want of reason.

How can we speak of the reasonableness of men who promise in advance to accomplish everything, including murder, that the Government—that is, certain men who have attained a certain position—may command? Men who can accept such obligations, and resignedly subordinate themselves to anything that may be prescribed by persons unknown to them in St. Petersburg, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, cannot be considered reasonable; and the Governments, that is those who are in possession of such power, can still less be considered reasonable, and cannot but misuse it, and become dazed by such insane and dreadful power.

This is why peace between nations cannot be attained by reasonable means, by conventions, arbitration, and so forth, as long as the subordination of the people to the Goverment continues, a condition always unreasonable and always pernicious.

But the subordination of people to Governments will exist as long as patriotism exists, because all governmental authority is founded upon patriotism, that is upon the readiness of people to subordinate themselves to authority in order to defend their nation, country, or state from dangers which are supposed to threaten.

The power of the French kings over their people before the