Original edition, 1925
Excerpt from chapter 'The World's Conscience'
To the world's conscience every humane mind must appeal in this hour of the world's dilemma. War is a symptom – the effect of an inner cause that began ages ago among those who were yet the creatures of inborn savagery – having its sole origin in human selfishness, or fear, or both. Hence its cure and abolishment lie not in conferences more or less sincere or insincere, but in a radical regeneration of the human heart — "a change of spirit."
This cure is the easiest thing in the world. It is not difficult, nor far away, nor impracticable, but actually is the most real and most ardent wish and desire of every normal man and woman. Nothing so stirs the masses of men as does an unselfish appeal directed equally to the heart and the intelligence. Response is immediate and universal and sincere to the last degree.
War would never come and could never arise if, between nations, just complaints on the one side, and frank and honest defenses on the other side, were laid openly and frankly upon the counciltable, and a truly sincere and high-minded effort were made by sincere and honest men to arrive at and obtain a peaceful settlement of the quarrels and disputes. The party refusing to abide by such a decision or refusing to submit its arguments and its case to a tribunal, would be blackened and shamed before the entire world — a situation of affairs which no civilized nation would dare to face today.
Never in any case do the people desire war. Only when men's minds are inflamed and angered by injustice – real and imaginary – does the demoniac war-fever arise with its attendant train of shameful charges and countercharges, misrepresentations and slander, hate and horrors of many kinds.
Let us determine to abolish from our hearts all moral trickery, all selfish grasping and advantages, all fear of our fellow-men, and war, even all fear of war, will dissolve away as do the mists before the morning sun. Nothing is so easy, so simple. War will become impossible; for war is merely the effect, the symptom, the result, of inner moral weaknesses.