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The War and the Coming Peace: the Moral Issue


A WAR that involves almost four-fifths of the entire world must surely have issues deeper than race-antagonisms, conflicting national ideals, and commercial rivalries. According to Prof. Jastrow, the fundamental issue is moral—“the recognition on the part of the world that an attempt to carry out national policies through the appeal to force, or even by threat of force, is a cardinal sin against the moral conscience of mankind.” In practice and even in profession Germany stands for the “might is right” doctrine, but civilisation has increasingly meant the replacement of physical power by factors of a higher order. “Civilisation means the gradual elimination of mere brute force as the weapon to carry out man's destiny.” Taking a rather one-sided and traditional view of Nature's strategy, the author sees an inherent contrast between it and the conscious direction of civilisation, and as a modern Zoroastrian he hears in the rattling of the sabre the voice of Ahriman. He gives powerful and solemn warning against the sin, which is not confined to Germany, of employing the power of Ahriman to bring about the triumph of Ahuramazda. He hopes that the liberal and wholesome elements in Germany may eventually save Germany from the domination of a militarist group and false ideals. The primary condition of a peace which is more than an armistice must be found in a democratic form of government. The subsequent steps will be arbitration tribunals, disarmament, and an international parliament. These seem far enough off at present, but it is important to make up our minds whether we really desire them, and if not, why not. Prof. Jastrow's wisely written book—careful and restrained throughout—makes for illumination.

The War and the Coming Peace: the Moral Issue.





By. Pp. 144. (Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1918.) Price 5s. net.

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The War and the Coming Peace: the Moral Issue . Nature 102, 163–164 (1918).

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