This section is from the "The Science Of Wealth" book, by Amasa Walker.
Each nation, as we have seen, has its standing army, its navy, fortifications, dockyards, arsenals, &c, &c.; and, consequently, each is endangered by the military and naval preparations of every other, and they live in constant mutual jealousy. Hence, if it is known or suspected that France is making an addition to her navy, England at once makes as large or larger one to hers. And, having done this, is either any safer than before? Are not both as relatively defenceless as ever? But France lays down still other keels, and the dockyards of England are again in motion, until the fleets of both are yet further enlarged; but has the relative condition of either, as to security, been improved? Has not each increased its means of aggression as well as defence?
That which is true of France and England is true of all the nations of Christendom. Russia does her utmost to create a vast navy. Austria, Prussia, Turkey, Sweden, do all in their power to prepare for war, however great the burden and sacrifice. And yet does this general system of mutual armaments make them any more safe, respectively, than if no such preparations were made by either? If this question must be answered in the negative, is not the arrant folly of the system fully demonstrated?
Secondly, Because the changes to which we have already referred, that are continually taking place in the machinery of war, are so great and frequent as to forbid all hope that nations can ever be fully prepared for war. We need not dwell upon this point; for its importance is obvious to any one who looks for a moment at the subject. What terrible engines of destruction, what unheard-of forces, are yet to be brought into use for the destruction of mankind?
The mind stands aghast at the awful possibilities of the future, if the present senseless and inhuman competition in war preparations is to be continued. The moral sense of the world revolts at the thought of such stupendous folly and crime.