Shall America Police The World?
OF ALL singular and astonishing intellectual distortions induced by the advocacy
of the League of Nations, not the least remarkable is the reproach to
patriotism and the denunciation of those who think first of out Republic.
It is rare, indeed, that any speech is made in favor of the league which
does not bitterly condemn Americans who think of their own country first.
We who would protect and preserve our own nation, who loyally and
patriotically would hesitate to involve its sons and its future
generations in perpetual and continuous warfare, are designated us
"little," "selfish," and "provincial" Americans
--even men without
international human sympathy and bereft of world vision. For the first
time in our history the jealous guarding of our own, the love of our
traditions and our institutions, the passion for our land and our
liberty, have become venial sings. We are told that our past affords no
precedents; that our history contains no lessons; that all of those who
have passed before whose names we revere, spoke but empty words, and that
their counsels give no guide. This strange psychological phenomenon,
apparently accompanying war, is an unnatural distortion of human
intelligence which time alone will heal. May it be cured before the injury
it threatens is done to the nation.
There is yet another contributing cause to the present hysteria. We have learned in the last two years a new thing in our national life--national propaganda. We have been picking our pockets to poison our minds. Millions upon millions of dollars we have spent from the Public Treasury, and from taxation wrung from an overburdened people to publish, not only in America but throughout the world, panegyrics upon those in power. The propaganda has been devoted, not as you would imagine it would be devoted in a country boasting, of its democracy, for dissemination of, the truth, but the propaganda, paid for by the people themselves, has been devoted to deceiving the people and glorifying those who by a people's grace have been raised to high position. The heavy hand of a war-time Government has been held upon the press until in the East the liberty of the press has passed into history; upon the people themselves the clutch has been maintained so that only that which the administration desired spoken should be expressed. National propaganda,
for the first time in our history suppressing current events, has manufactured public opinion and that opinion has been made but the echo of what the national propaganda has decreed. This deadening and perverting mind process has had its evil effects and has been one of the powerful agencies for preventing the people from knowing the facts or the possibilities of the League of Nations.
PICTURE OF THE PEACE