Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs

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As to the terms upon which peace is to be restored these will no doubt be determined mainly by the status of the several belligerent powers when the war is ended. A program of disarmament looking to the prevention of another such catastrophe would seem to be suggested by the present heart-breaking situation but as experience has demonstrated that capitalist nations have no honor and that the most solemn treaty is but a "scrap of paper" in their mad rivalry for conquest and plunder, such a program, even if adopted, might prove abortive and barren of results.

The matter of the conquered provinces will no doubt figure largely in the peace negotiations and the only way to settle that in accordance with the higher principles of civilized nations is to allow the people of each province in dispute to decide for themselves by popular vote what nation they desire to be annexed to, or to remain, if they prefer, independent sovereignties.

Permanent peace, however; peace based upon social justice, will never prevail until national industrial despotism has been supplanted by international industrial democracy. The end of profit and plunder among nations will also mean the end of war and the dawning of the era of "Peace on Earth and Good Will among Men."


FANTINE IN OUR DAY1

The reader of Les Misérables can never forget the ill-starred Fantine, the mournful heroine of Hugo's immortal classic. The very name of Fantine, the gay, guileless, trusting girl, the innocent, betrayed, self-immolating young mother, the despoiled, bedraggled, hunted and holy martyr to motherhood, to the infinite love of her child, touches to tears and haunts the memory like a melancholy dream.

Jean Valjean, noblest of heroes, was possible only because of Fantine, sublimest of martyrs.

Fantine-----child of poverty and starvation--the ruined girl, the abandoned mother, the hounded prostitute, remained to the very hour of her tragic death chaste as a virgin, spotless as a saint in the

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1
International Socialist Review, March, 1916.

-392-

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