Humanity or Prestige?
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Some of those who are at present shouting in our ears that war is inevitable tell us that our country must go into it from motives of humanity. "Remember our murdered citizens," is the cry. Yes, let us throw ourselves into the conflict and avenge the death of these blockade-runners by the sacrifice of a thousand times their number--doubtless the dead will rest easier in their graves. I us retaliate for our loss of ships by offering our entire merchant marine, out of the war-zone as well as in, as food for submarines. Let us paralyze our country's life and ideals by adopting universal military service--by all means! Why can we not weigh the issue? If it is humanity, will not more American lives be lost in war than by conditions as at present, or as they would be under such terms as could be obtained in return for a resumption of relations? A declaration of war will secure us no new rights, would merely be a death-blow to our prosperity and happiness, and another capitulation to this frightful international chaos which pits civilization against civilization in the name of civilization. In other words, our joining the war is one more loss to the cause of peace, one more concession to legalized murder for the sake of an issue which is clear only to the ignorant. War for humanity?--For prestige, perhaps, which will benefit our national self-esteem; or for rights, as a mere matter of form; but never for humanity. WILLIAM B. SOUTHWORTH '18.