November 7, 2009

Ponderable Quote From "The Climax of Civilization" by Correa Moylan Walsh

First of all, we must not delude ourselves with the notion of the new era of peace. We should remember that it was the false prophets who cried 'Peace, peace,' where there was no peace. This is an often repeated cry raised by sloth and luxuriousness. Today it is a popular craze, fomented by women and plutocrats. Humanitarian solicitude for life and financial solicitude for property have, till the late madness of two exalted Kaisers and their servile subjects, preserved most of the great nations from great wars with one another, while the latter, despite the former, has led them into wars with the little nations. But their forbearance could not last much longer, and indeed it has already broken down. Feeble hopes were then indulged in, that when the nations did set to again, the wars of the future would by humanitarian restrictions be rendered almost bloodless, like the combats of the degenerate Italians at the time of the Renaissance, or perhaps even that, like the warriors of Torelore we should fight 'with baked apples and with eggs, and with fresh cheeses,' casting them into the water in a contest to see who could splash the most. It was forgotten that Italy was soon overrun by the French and the Spaniards; and little heed was given lest, as in the old tale whence the latter allusion is taken, some Saracens should come from over the water and carry off our wealth and our women. Our Saracens are indeed whetting their bayonets beyond the sea of the setting sun. We, lapped in luxury, may seek peace, but it is not permitted us to have everything we want, and there shall be no peace, because others will not allow it. So far as can be seen ahead, for centuries yet, there will always be fighting nations. Abundant incentives will soon be coming to them, and pretexts will not be lacking. Then woe to those countries which are not prepared.
– Correa Moylan Walsh, The Climax of Civilization (1917)