A Union for American Apathy?
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
It is pleasant to note, at this critical time in our country's history, that there are still among us some men who can view the situation with "thoughtful deliberation." We learn in psychology that the purpose of thinking is to beget action. For two years Harvard has been considering the international situation with "thoughtful deliberation." The time for action has come. Those of us who are intrinsically unpatriotic have let that action take the form of joining the R. O. T. C. There is however, an exceptionally patriotic group which, deliberating thoughtfully over the fact that the German government is sparing no means at its disposal to draw our country into the ranks of its enemies, and over the fact that 200 American lives have been the victims of its gallant navy, has come to the conclusion that "national honor is not the issue in the present controversy with Germany; and national honor is not to be defended by retaliation," but by the more convenient expedient of typrwriter diplomacy. Ever guided by its high humanitarian ideals, this patriotic body of Harvard men has organized a union for the maintenance of American apathy.
"The rights of neutrals upon the seas cannot be established by a belligerent, but only by general understanding and consent." Hence, if a belligerent takes it upon itself to abrogate the laws of war, which have been established by "general understanding and consent," it is the duty of neutrals to forego their rights. Of course it is an "unpatriotic act" for an American citizen to assert his privileges as such on the high seas! It would threaten "deplorable injury to our free institutions and drive us into a state of war with Germany" were we to enforce our rights. Therefore, say these indefatigable champions of civilization, let us relinquish them. It would be such a "misfortune to humanity" to have the U. S. A. avenge the murder of its citizens. LAWRENCE B. GEYER '19.