Justice in War-Time

Justice in War-Time

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Justice in War-Time

Justice in War-Time

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Excerpt

The following essays, of which all except the last two have appeared in various magazines, were written at different times during the course of the war, and are not perhaps wholly consistent in their expectations as to the future, or in their view as to the attitude of the ordinary citizen towards war. In such matters, the development of events inevitably somewhat modifies first impressions. The view that the bulk of the population is naturally pacific, and is only incited to war by politicians and journalists, is widely held among pacifists, but is vehemently rejected by the more bellicose, who point out that men have an instinct of pugnacity, which demands war from time to time. I think it is true that many men have an instinct towards war, but unless it is roused by its appropriate stimulus it may well remain completely latent. The instinct, and the machinations of warmongers, are both needed to bring about war; if either were coped with, the other would be no longer operative for evil. In the following essays I have dealt sometimes with the one, sometimes with the other; but both are essential factors in the problem, and neither can be neglected by any prudent friend of peace.

The first of these essays, which was written before the Bryce Report appeared, deals in part with the question of atrocities. Nothing in that report tends to invalidate the conclusion reached in the article, namely: No doubt both German and Russian atrocities have occurred. But it is certain that they have been far less numerous, and (for the most part) less unnatural, than they are almost universally believed to have been.

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