Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/75

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The War and the Future

such pains to organize armed force, and to make the evil blood in his nation to run so hotly. No former autocrat had such skill or such clever servants to prepare and direct the outburst. And no former autocrat has reaped such a crop of bloodshed, massacre and destruction.

I'm not here to abuse our present enemies. We are against them today, but we have been with them in the past and we shall have to be with them in the future, if there is to be any future. In this life, collections of men behave worse than individuals, and it is the thought, and the way of life and the irresponsible autocrat that make them behave worse, that are the evil things. This war might have been averted, but that that one irresponsible autocrat was afraid of democracy. Consider what he has let loose upon the world. Consider, too, what he has raised against him.

A few minutes ago, I said that the greatest minds among men looked upon war as nearly (but not quite) the last, greatest and completest evil that can come into human life. Nearly, but not quite. There is one completer evil, that of letting proud, bloody and devilish men to rule this world. While proud, bloody and