In the recent outcry against war, there is but one man who has appreciated the evils of peace - Mr. Ferdinand Brunetiere, editor of the Revue des deux Mondes (Paris). He shows that the French advocates of peace at any price, while expressing a desirable love of peace abroad, do not seem to appreciate the awful horrors of the civil wars resulting from peace - that is, the internal strife of overpopulation and warring upon competitors. He also shows that European nations cannot disarm at present much as they desire to do so.*
The condition of Japan is to-day an illustration of the excessive overcrowding due to peace. The nation was formerly kept in fair condition by constant civil war. Then, about two and one-half centuries ago, it was solidified into a compact nation by the military regent or shogun, and from that time until the revolution of 1868, there was profound peace. The crowded condition of the Island became dreadful. Stephen England, in a letter written from Tokyo to the London Daily Mail, said of these poorest poor of the world, that in comparison to them, the groveling Russian of Gorky's night refuges, and the submerged tenth of London are bons vivants and spoiled children of luxury. In Tokyo alone, 200,000 people seldom, if ever, know of a certainty where the next day's necessaries are to come from - crowded like sheep, without bedding even. "Think for a moment," says the Japanese sociologist, looking at one of their battleships, "what a multitude of tiny rice fields it takes to support such a monster, and then remember that our people can't afford to eat rice." If it had not been for prolonged peace there would not be such starvation, and but for the warships, there would not be any Japan at all. The peaceful conditions of China have led to the same awful conditions of overcrowding and abject poverty, where millions live on the garbage thrown out by the well-to-do. It is no new problem, for in ancient Greece, the Pelasgian peasants increased so rapidly in the peace thrust upon them that the Aryan Greek aristocrats were threatened with extermination, so that in self-preservation the young soldiers were periodically sent out to the country for the express purpose of slaughtering the peasantry.
* "If war is inevitable, it is none the less our duty to attempt to soften its horrors. But it is a serious imprudence, a dangerous undertaking, to try, as the pacifists do, to persuade the crowd that it is in their power to avert it. This is to throw discredit on the professional soldiers, the men who have accepted or received the mission of facing the shock of battle on the day when war breaks out. It is even worse than this, for it amounts perhaps to changing the names of things and cultivating cowardice, not peace, in men's hearts. I use the word cowardice deliberately, for cowardice is based on the profound conviction that death is the greatest of evils, because life is the greatest of goods. But for the honor of humanity it must be said that neither sentiment is true. No, indeed; life is not the greatest of goods, for it is the foundation principle of morality, that many things ought to be preferred to life; and death is by no means the greatest of evils, since our true manhood is undoubtedly to be measured by the height to which we rise above the fear of it".
The only difference between ancient and modern wars is this, that in the former the death rate was enormous, even as high as seventy-five per cent, of those engaged.
Maspero, in his history of ancient Egypt, mentions the pitiful funeral ceremonies performed in the villages over the recruits selected for the wars. As no soldiers ever returned, the draft was looked upon as a sentence of death. In the higher density of modern times, immensely larger forces are engaged, but the percentage killed has been constantly decreasing, and is now quite small. In 1870, it is said that nearly 4,000,000 French and German were mobilized, probably more than the total population of most of the great civilized nations of antiquity, and yet but a small percentage were killed, but the ancient servile rebellion in Sicily is said to have cost 1,000,000 lives, and the revolt of the Italian allies - the social war - destroyed 500,000. Paulus *™milius, at the conquest of Epirus, murdered or carried into slavery 150,000 people. It was significantly said that slaves were transported into Italy to be melted down, for they were slaughtered on any pretext, even for amusement. The awful losses of ancient wars merely prove that in all species, primitive man included, the search for food leads an enormous proportion to destruction.