War losses are lessened also because it has become a huge ghastly game with rules like chess, only in place of "removing" the pawns we are permitted to "expend" lives in certain ways, and ways which are too deadly are not permitted - explosive bullets, chain shot, killing prisoners, etc. It is quite likely that the game will become so refined as to be bloodless, as it was once in medieval Italy, where a State hired foreign soldiers when it declared war. The soldiers did not relish being killed, and they made rules, or conditions, so as to be considered whipped when out-generaled. Prescott, in his Spanish Histories, mentions one campaign where only one man was killed - a cavalryman, who was thrown from his horse into the mud, where he was smothered, as his armor was so heavy he could not crawl out.
* "Even more serious from one point of view than the transport, remount and commissary scandals is the problem of caring for the hordes of discharged soldiers now clamoring for employment (after the Boer War). Their relief organization disbursed literally millions of pounds sterling in aid of widows, orphans and invalids, but the workhouses of the United Kingdom filled up with time-expired men, and in all the big towns masses of volunteers and reserves were vainly seeking situations in place of those their employers promised to hold open till after the war, but who did not do so".
* "Precis d'Anthropologie," p. 189.
The Red Cross Societies are a result of that modern necessity - the saving of life. Until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the wounded were killed after battle because they could not be carried along, and this was more humane than allowing them to be tortured by the enemy or by the natives into whose hands they fell. One "of the most important duties of the modern general is to keep his lines of communication so clear that the wounded can be promptly sent to the base, and then to their homes if necessary. His ambulance service is as important as the supply column. Nations even agree that articles marked with a red cross are neutral, sacred to the uses of the sick and wounded who can no longer fight.
The burden and expense of taking care of prisoners of war and guarding them is so great that nations are now discussing the advisability of paroling them, as is now customary in the case of officers who promise not to engage in the war again until exchanged. The paroled soldiers, of course, can go home and engage in "peaceful" pursuits, such as working in factories which are making munitions of war, and this would add to the nation's power at the expense of the enemy which paroled the prisoners. But it all brings forcibly to light the ridiculous side of the matter, and makes of war a game or sport rather than its original purpose of killing off the surplus population. All the Philippics against war will not stop it until it becomes useless, and then it stops naturally. We have no control over the matter at all. There is a current delusion that international arbitration is to stop it, but the Russian-Japanese war showed how false that idea was. The Czar - the most powerful man on earth and the originator of The Hague Peace Conference - even he could not upset natural law when the time came to fight. Arbitration has been tried for 2,500 years and failed. The Greek Amphictyonic Council, in 500 B.C., had full arbitration powers, and later the Achsen League. Likewise, the Hanseatic League, in 1284, established international arbitration courts in Northern Germany, and similar leagues existed in Suabia and on the Rhine. Peace congresses have been held yearly since the first one in Brussels, in 1848. All these leagues only solidified little States so that they could fight better - the modern German Empire is a result. It has stopped all the little local wars and made bigger ones. When self interests compel modern nations to league themselves together, then wars cease between them. Of, course, it will come in time - a long time - and then the birth rate will lessen enormously as a matter of course. If there had been no wars in Europe in the nineteenth century-there would have been 14,000,000 fewer babies born. In the future warless civilization an equal reduction of the birth rate will be a positive necessity. Then we will not have the ridiculous spectacle of a woman proudly saying she raised seven sturdy sons and sent them to war to be shot up. There seems to be some curious point of pride in producing food for powder. The future woman will point probably to her two or three children, all of whom she raised to live without war.