Page:The Bohemians (Czechs) In The Present Crisis.djvu/5

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THESE are times that try men's souls, said Thomas Paine of perhaps the most critical period of the American revolution. These are times that try not only men's souls, but the souls of whole nations, and place their very moral fibre to the acid test, may be said of our own time.

We are confronted today not only with the greatest catastrophe in the world's history, but we are witnesses of a struggle of civilization against civilization.

Whatever may be said from various points of view of the ultimate causes of the present war, the fact remains that Germany has attempted to force upon the world its conception of civilization and order, and its conception of might as making right.

For the past hundred years German works on political science and political philosophy are replete with suggestions of the supremacy of the State, and of the State Germans have made a fetish. In order to save the State and for its aggrandizement from the German point of view anything is permissible, even to the destruction of neutral and innocent states, and of rendering treaties mere scraps of paper. Such literature is at least a symptom and may be a contributing cause.

It is an indisputable fact that the Germans, whenever they gained the upper hand anywhere, always sought to impose what they call culture upon other peoples, and as bearers of alleged culture Germanization of other nations has been their policy from times immemorial. German attempts at Germanization in Bohemia, Poland and elsewhere illustrate the German attitude towards numerically small nations, an attitude essentially Immoral.

Couple these facts with German disregard of international law, and you have disclosed before you the philosophy that might makes right in all its nakedness.