Page:The Bohemians (Czechs) In The Present Crisis.djvu/8

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


SYMPATHY with one side or the other in the present war cannot be avoided.

But, we are told, in sympathizing with one side or the other in the present war, you are unneutral. If neutrality means indifference as between right and wrong, then there is no such thing as neutrality. Concerning the greatest event of human history thinking people must have some opinions. Only people deaf, dumb and blind, or people in a hopeless pathological condition, can be devoid of an opinion.

The American public has long ago made up its mind as to the causes of this war, and as to where the right is in the present conflict. Somebody was the aggressor in this war; somebody immediately provoked it, and as evidenced by the recent manifesto of five hundred Americans, men of letters and science, the American public is in no doubt as to where the provocation was, and as to who appeared in the role of an aggressor.

This, also, is perfectly fitting and proper. When the great Civil War was raging, the world was not indifferent; many so-called foreigners fought with the armies of the north, and on the whole the sympathies of the outside world were with the forces of the Union. The English masses were with the forces of the Union regardless of whatever the position of the then English government may have been.

Owing to scarcity of cotton, English textile workers during the Civil War were on the verge of starvation, yet led by such men as Carl Marx, then residing in England, the English workingmen sent to President Lincoln their famous address wishing the northern cause success. Can there be a better proof of real idealism; can there be better proof of subordination of immediate material interests to the larger interests of mankind?

It will be well remembered that during the Civil War Russian sympathies were also with the north, and indeed Russia has always been a friend of this country. In the present conflict perhaps fully eight-five per cent of the American public wish success to the Allied