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Above the Battle

But the two moral forces whose weakness this contagious war shows up most clearly are Christianity and Socialism. These rival apostles of religious and secular internationalism have suddenly developed into the most ardent of nationalists. Hervé is eager to die for the standard of Austerlitz. The German socialists, pure trustees of the pure doctrine, support the bills of credit for the war in the Reichstag. They place themselves at the disposal of the Prussian minister, who uses their journals to spread abroad his lies, even into the barracks, and sends them as secret agents to attempt to pervert Italy. It was believed for the honour of their cause for a moment that two or three of them had been shot rather than take arms against their brothers. Indignant, they protest; they are all marching under arms! Liebknecht, forsooth, did not die for the cause of socialism;[1] but Frank, the principal champion of the Franco-German union, fell under French fire, fighting in the cause of militarism. These men have courage to die for the faith of others; they have no courage to die for their own.

  1. Liebknecht has since gloriously cleared his honour of the compromises of his party. I here express my admiration of his attitude. (R. R., January 1915.)