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The destructiveness of war, even in the preparation for war, is terrific. All that is done in the way of preparation is a withdrawing of capital from channels of production and turning it into a bottomless pit of waste. All the vast structures of warehouses, of barracks, of guns and armaments, of fortifications, are unproductive—capital laid waste that earns nothing. All the ships that are built and launched, earn nothing. All the men that go to planning our armies and navies; all the barren power that goes to the devising of machinery and equipment, all the careful arrangement of detail and the effort to maintain an efficacy of perfect readiness, are a waste of intellectual energy. The men who do these things for us, our admirals and generals, our captains and colonels, our gunners and artillerists, are men of more than average capacity. Nay, they are our leading men. Our naval and army officers are our highest type of patriot—full of energy, minds free from greed or gain, intellects engrossed in questions of the Nation's welfare, not blinded by self-aggrandizement. We set these brightest minds of the age to work upon those things that waste, and the man that can plan a terrific campaign is absolutely wasted because he could as well plan campaigns of civic betterment that would place us immediately (that is, in one or two generations), head and shoulders above the nations of the earth in point of civilization, and in every nation the advance could be so great that it would not recognize itself as being the same that it is now.
Not only is the withdrawal of capital and material wealth from the channels of trade and production a tremendous loss, but it throws upon those who have the power of earning a double burden. Every man that is withdrawn from earning his own living is putting a burden upon the man who is not so withdrawn, and when you withdraw the best brain and the best brawn of a nation, and say: “You shall not create, but destroy!” it leaves a terrific burden, a burden few men stop to realize, upon those who are left to carry on the life, the honor, and stability of the social fabric. As long as we anticipate war we shall have within our Nation men who will want war. We cannot leave out of our calculations the effect of expectation on heredity. Most of our mothers have as their ideal of a man “the warrior,” and that alone will stand as a block for many a generation to our fulfillment of our ideal civilization. Not only that, but no nation can go forward to its best without the possibility of concentrating entirely upon peacepursuits. As surely as an individual, uncertain of his individual safety, cannot attain to his best, so also a nation cannot attain to its best civilization so long as it is afraid of an attack from without. Has not the time arrived when we can put an end to this waste of material, waste of energy, waste of time, and waste of emotion ? Shall we continue to spend forty-one per cent of our entire revenue for the maintenance of the army, navy, and fortifications, and an additional thirty-one per cent for the maintenance of the relics of a past war, leaving only twenty-eight per cent of the total revenue of this country for the government of the country and the performance of those works which we all recognize as being for the benefit of the nation at large—for the extension of such things, for instance, as the Postal Service, the Reclamation Service—the things that go to make life easier and better, therefore giving us a chance for culture and an higher civilization? Think of it! Ten years ago a billion dollar Congress startled us, and now it is a billion dollar session, and 72 per cent of that is frittered away in non-production, in absolutely useless channels, or useful only if we first blind ourselves with the hallucination that we cannot maintain peace unless everyone is armed to the teeth.
The great cause of all this war between the nations and this war between individuals is the greed for wealth; and all conservation depends on self-restraint, which is the curbing of that greed for wealth. Individualism has so run riot today that the students of psychology, the students of men's minds and faculties, have discovered a new form of insanity, that of the “Exaggerated Ego,” where the sense of egotism so blinds the individual that he places the privilege of the one as paramount over the rights of the many. We cannot allow this to go on. Can we not see that that is a menace to our civilization? We put a man in an asylum who allows that exaggerated egotism to lead him into murder. Shall we allow it to go on unrestrained so that it allows a man to lead others into slavery P And we are at that point now. Economic slavery stares us in the face in every manufacturing center. Is it not high time, then, that we did away with the fear of starvation as a goad to still further expenditure of energy? Is it not time in this great land of plenty that there was no fear of starvation, and that there was no great grind for food, that there was no need of tireless application solely for the sake of keeping body and soul together? Yet, that is the condition of one-half of our workers. They have nothing to look forward to but struggle; no time for real development and culture. This fear of starvation, this inability to plan with certainty more than a few weeks ahead, is the whip that the capitalist holds over our working men. Our workmen are the finest in the world, with the finest nerves, the finest brains, the most wonderful correlation of mind and muscle, and yet, are they fed better, are they rested better? Have they the same chance for culture, or a better chance for self-development, intellectually and emotionally? Have they more of literature and music in their lives than the European or Oriental workmen that our orators compare us with ? No. Our individualism has already got so far away from the true path of development that the masses of the individuals have not the chance for individual development. The manly soldier follows the captain, who also faces the dangers and privation of the campaign. Let us find economic captains who will share the hardships and see to the welfare of our economic soldiers. Our conservation movement is an adjustment—the beginning of a new civilization. It means a safe and same valuation of things, and of men, and of faculties. It means the greater good for the greater number. It means that the highest development of individualism, the highest stamp of independent manhood, will be a man who can give his time for the big things of the nation, and do big things, and not merely have and hold much ; and a people that will belittle the man who governs solely by unbridled greed and will put
a premium on the man with great heart and great soul. (Applause.) o
THE CONSERVATION OF MANHOOD.
F. CoTTERILL, GRAND CHIEF TEMPLAR of THE UNITED STATES.
I am encouraged to stand before this National Conservation Congress and speak along the lines which have been assigned to me with the more heart because of the stirring sentiments to which we have listened in the address which has just preceded. Among all the things for which this Conservation movement stands and which it has thus far at least brought to our American people, there is nothing to my mind that ranks higher, goes deeper, and stretches broader than the fact that it is bringing back to the Ameri
can people the desire for higher ideals all through; and even in those things which deal with material matters we are confronted with the moral ideal, the duty that we owe to others, to this generation and to those that are to come. I have been asked to speak for a few moments along the line of the conservation of that which I am sure we must agree is the greatest resource in this world, the resource of manhood. We may talk as we will of treasures of the forest, of the mine, of the sea, and all the forces of nature, but without manhood, without true manhood to develop and enlarge them, we must all recognize that it is but an idle pursuit. It was my honor and my privilege during this summer, just a few weeks ago, to stand as one of the representatives of the United States Government in the great capital— shall I say of this world?—the great city of London; at the great International Congress called under the auspices of the British Government to consider the subject of alcoholism, and its effect upon the human race. I am not here to give you an old-fashioned temperance lecture, but I give to you, as it is my duty to do, what was given to us as representatives of the American Government at this great Congress, namely, some of the judgments of the great scientific leaders of humanity, representing the different nations upon this great problem, this great curse which is eating at the very heart and gnawing at the very root of our greatest resource. The Lord Chief Justice of Great Britain, Lord Alverstone, presided over the Congress and he made a statement which from his lips should fall with tremendous force: That ninety per cent of the crime of the world comes from alcoholism. I listened to Sir George White, the great veteran Field-Marshal of the British Army who held out during that long seige at Ladysmith, even when notified that he