Page:Jean Jaurès socialist and humanitarian 1917.djvu/125

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THE NEW ARMY

Another doubt arises. We all long that the coming of universal peace shall not be far distant. Is it wise to rouse any people by a fresh effort of great magnitude to throw themselves into the work of the reorganization of the army and of self-identification with it? Would not the inevitable result, if the effort were successful, be a fresh outburst of warlike energy and of devotion to the warlike life? And how could Jaurès have expected that having provoked this spirit and set the people to work out these military problems, which involved the overcoming of many difficulties, they would at the same time work for the end of all war, carrying this so far that they would even overturn their Government sooner than enter into a war that could be by any means avoided?

Was Jaurès led by his passionate love of France, and by the insults which had been hurled at him as her enemy into an unreasonable optimism? He himself seemed to feel some doubt about the attitude of the people. No plan for the formation of a democratic army was of any avail if it lacked the people's support, and of this he did not feel sure. To him it was impossible to feel such indifference, but in this matter, so vital in his eyes, would the proletariat follow him?