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that wields it. A very bad tool will ruin the work of the best craftsman; but a good tool in bad hands is no better. In the last analysis the all-important factor in national greatness is national character.
“There are questions which we of the civilized nations are even tempted to ask of the future. Is our tíme of growth drawing to an end? Are we as nations soon to come under the rule of that great law of death which is itself but part of the great law of life? None can tell. Forces that we can see and other forces that are hidden or that can but dimly be apprehended are at work all around us, both for good and for evil.
“The growth in luxury, in love of ease, in taste for vapid and frivolous excitement is both evident and unhealthy. The most ominous sign is the diminution in the birth rate, in the rate of natural increase, now to a larger or lesser degree shared by most of the civilized nations of central and western Europe, of America and Australia, a diminution so great that if it continues for the next century at the rate which has obtained for the last twentyfive years all the more highly civilized peoples will be stationary or else have begun to go backward in population, while many of them will have already gone very far backward.
“There is much that should give us concern for the future. But there is much also which should give us hope. I believe with all my heart that a great future remains for us; but whether it does or does not, our duty is not altered. However the battle may go, the soldier worthy of the name will with utmost vigor do his alloted task and bear himself as valiantly in defeat as in victory.
NATIONS BORN AGAIN. “Come what will, we belong to peoples who have not yielded to the craven fear of being great. In the ages that have gone by, the great nations, the nations that have expanded and that have played a mighty part in the world, have in the end grown old and weakened and vanished; but so have the nations whose only thought was to avoid danger, all effort, who would risk nothing and who therefore gained nothing.
“A nation that seemingly dies may be born again; and even though in the physical sense it die utterly, it may yet hand down a history of heroic achievement and for all time to come may profoundly influence the nations that arise in its place by the impress of what it has done. Best of all is it to do our part well, and at the same time to see our blood live young and vital in men and women fit to take up the task as we lay it down; for so shall our seed inherit the earth. But if this, which is best, is denied us, then at least it is ours to remember that if we choose we can be torch-bearers, as our fathers were before us. The torch has been handed on from nation to nation, from civilization to civilization throughout all recorded time, from the dim years before history dawned, down to the blazing splendor of this teeming century of ours.
“While freely admitting all of our follies and weaknesses of to-day, it is yet mere perversity to refuse to realize the incredible advance that has been made in ethical standards. I do not believe that there is the slightest necessary connection between any weakening of virile force and this advance in the moral standard, this growth of the sense of obligation to one's neighbor and of reluctance to do that neighbor wrong.
“Every modern civilized nation has many and terrible problems to solve within its own borders, problems that arise not merely from juxtaposition of poverty and riches, but especially from the self-consciouness of both poverty and riches. Each nation must deal with these matters in its own fashion, and yet the spirit in which the problem is approached must ever be fundamentally the same... It must be a spirit of broad humanity; of brotherly kindness; of acceptance of responsibility, one for each and each for all; and at the same time a spirit as remote as the poles from every form of weakness and sentimentality.
“As in war to pardon the coward is to do cruel wrong to the brave man whose life his cowardice jeopards, so in civil affairs it is revolting to every principle of justice to give to the lazy, the vicious, or even the feeble and dull witted, a reward which is really the robbery of what braver, wiser, abler men have earned. The only effective way to help any man is to help him to help himself; and the worst lesson to teach him is that he can be permanently helped at the expense of some one else.
MUST CUT OUT ABUSES. "Privilege should not be tolerated because it is to the avdantage of a minority, nor yet because it is to the advantage of a majority. No doctrinaire theories of vested rights or freedom of contract can stand in the way of our cutting out abuses from the body politic. Just as little can we afford to follow the doctrinaire of an impossible--and incidently of a highly undesirable-social revolution which, in destroying individual rights (including property right and the family, would destroy the two chief agents in the advance of mankind, and the two chief reasons why either the advance or the preservation of mankind is worth while.
"It is an evil and a dreadful thing to be callous to sorrow and suffering, and blind to our duty to do all things possible for the betterment of social conditions. But it is an unspeakably foolish thing to strive for this betterment by means
so destructive that they would leave no social condition to better. In dealing with all these social problems, with the intimate relations of the family, with wealth in private use and business use, with labor, with poverty, the one prime necessity is to remember that, though hardness of heart is a great evis, it is no greater an evil than softness of head.
"But in addition to these problems, the most intimate and important of all which to a larger or less degree affect all the modern nations somewhat alike, we of the great nations that have expanded, that are now in complicated relations with one another and with alien races, have special problems and special duties of our own. You belong to a nation which possesses the greatest empire upon which the sun has shone. I belong to a nation which is trying on a scale hitherto unexampled, to work out the problems of government for, of, and by the people, while at the same time doing the international duty of a great power.
"But there are certain problems which both of us have to solve, and as to which our standards should be the same. The Englishman, the man of the British isles, in his various homes across the seas, and the American, both at home and abroad, are brought into contact with utterly alien peoples, some with a civilization more ancient than our own, others still in, or having but recently arisen from, the barbarism our people left behind ages ago. The problems that arise are of well-nigh inconceivable difficulty.
"They cannot be solved by the foolish sentimentality of stay-at-home people, with little patent recipes, and those cut-and-dried theories of the political nursery which have such limited applicability amid the crash of elemental forces. Neither can they be solved by the raw brutality of the men who, whether at home or on the rough frontier of civilization, adopt might as the only standard of right in dealing with other men, and treat alien races only as subjects for exploitation.
BURDEN OF THE WHITE MAN. “No hard and fast rule can be drawn as applying to all alien races, because they differ from one another far more widely than some of them differ from us. But there are one or two rules which must not be forgotten. In the long run, there can be no justification for one race managing or controlling another unless the management and control are exercised in the interest and for the benefit of that other race. This is what our peoples have, in the main done, and must continue in the future in even greater degree to do, in India, Egypt and the Philippines alike.
*In the next place, as regards every race, everywhere, at home or abroad, we cannot afford to deviate from the great rule of righteousness which bids us treat each man on his worth as a man. This has nothing to do with social intermingling, with what is called social equality. It has to do merely with the question of doing to each man and each woman that elementary justice which will permit him or her to gain from life the reward which should always accompany thrift, sobriety, self-control, respect for the rights of others, and hard and intelligent work to a given end.
"The other type of duty is the international duty, the duty owed by one nation to another. I hold that the laws of morality which should govern individuals in their dealings one with the other are just as binding concerning nations in their dealings one with the other. The application of the moral law must be different in the two cases, because in one case it has and in the other it has not the sanction of a civil law with force behind it. The individual can depend for his rights upon the courts, which themselves derive their force from the police power of the state. The nation can depend upon nothing of the kind; and therefore, as things are now, it is the highest duty of the most advanced and freest peoples to keep them. selves in such a state of readiness as to forbid to any barbarism or despotism the hope of arresting the progress of the world by striking down the nations that lead in that progress.
"It would be foolish indeed to pay heed to the unwise persons who desire disarmament to be begun by the very peoples who, of all others, should not be left helpless before any possible foe. But we must reprobate quite as strongly both the leaders and the peoples who practice or encourage or condone aggression and iniquity of the strong at the expense of the weak. We should tolerate lawlessness and wickedness neither by the weak ‘nor by the strong,
and both weak and strong we should in return treat with scrupulous fairness. "The foreign policy of a great and self-respecting country should be conducted on
exactly the same plane of honor, of insistence upon one's own rights and of respect for the rights of others, as when a brave and honorable man is dealing with his fellows.
"Permit me to support this statement out of my own experience. For nearly eight years I was the head of a great nation and charged especially with the conduct of its foreign policy; and during those years I took no action with reference to any other people on the face of the earth that I would not have felt justified in taking as an individual in dealing with other individuals.
“I believe that we of the great civilized nations of to-day have a right to feel that long careers of achievement lie before our several countries. To each of us is vouchsafed the honorable privilege of doing his part, however small, in that work. Let us strive hardily for success even if by so doing we risk failure, spurning the poorer souls of small endeavor who know neither failure nor success. Let us hope that our own blood shall continue in the land, that our children and children's children to endless generations shall arise to take our places and play a mighty and dominant part in the world.
“But whether this be denied or granted by the years we shall not see, let at least the satisfaction be ours that we have carried onward the lighted torch in our own day and generation. If we do this, then, as our eyes close, and we go out into the darkness, and other hands grasp the torch, at least we can say that our part has been borne well and valiantly.