The progress of freedom.

Essay by jll26University, Bachelor's June 2003

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Does peace mean progress? Is the disappearance of war a sign of improvement or of decay? At a yet recent date learned men, their eyes to their microscopes, were teaching us that among the various kinds of living creatures they had studied, war was the rile; that where struggle ceased, life ceased; and that, since more beings came into the world than the world could feed, the destruction of the weakest was both a necessity and a condition of progress. Struggle, war, violence meant development; peace meant decay. And bold generalizations applied to reasoning man the fate and conditions of unreasoning vermin. Since it was fate, why resist the inevitable and what could be the good of peace debates?

The maintenance of general peace and a possible reduction of the excessive armaments which weigh upon all nations, present themselves in the actual situation of the world, as the ideal toward which should tend the efforts of all governments...

The ever-increasing financial expense touches public prosperity at its very source; the intellectual and physical powers of peoples, labour and capital, are, most of it, turned aside from their natural functions and consumed unproductively... To put an end to those ceaseless armaments and to find means for preventing the calamities which threaten the entire world, such is the supreme duty, which today lies upon all states.

Looking back over forty centuries of history, we observe that many nations have made characteristic contributions to the progress of civilization, the beneficent effects of which have been permanent, although the races that made then nay have lost their national form and organization, or their relative standing among the nations of the earth. The United States was a nation of development. It was a nation of growth and of innovation. From the signing of the Declaration...