Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/106

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The War and the Future

only way to resist evil men, when they do evil things, is to use force to them. It often needs a very great deal of force.

Yet when people ask me if I think that wars will cease to be, I always say that I do, because the evil things in this world do get knocked on the head. The dragons and basilisks and cockatrices have become extinct, and most murderers get hanged, and most lunatics get locked up; and men are coming more and more to see that certain evils that afflict life are not inevitable, and are not the will of God, but are simply the result of obsolete and stupid ways of thinking and of governing. It ought to be possible for the mind of man, which made the steam engine, the submarine and the aeroplane, and conquered the Black Death and yellow fever and typhus fever, to devise some means of living, nation with nation, without this periodical slaughter known as war. It won't be easy to devise any such means, men being what they are, with the instincts for war deeply rooted in their hearts, or easily put there by their rulers; yet the mind of man can do most things, if he can only get the will to do them.

Even before this war, when most men were either unoccupied or occupied only in the grim