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INJUSTICE

THERE is a great injustice done to the officers of the armies and navies of each country.

The nations are obliged to draw to this service some of the best minds they have and this takes them out of useful pursuits, where a great number of them would have achieved success. The nations pay them starvation wages and make up for this by allowing them to wear bright and attractive uniforms (when not on the battle-field) and to have a handle to their names. When they have reached the top of the ladder, instead of giving them a salary in any way commensurate with the position they hold, the Government hands them a hyphenated title and expects them to be satisfied. Officers' salaries in the armies and navies of nearly every country are only a percentage of what these men could earn in other walks of life and the bright uniforms and hyphenated titles make up for the rest.

But unfortunately neither of these can be used to bring up a family on, in these days of high living, especially when their positions place them in the best society and highest walks of life. Often the glamour of an officer's life (whatever that may be) enables him to fish out of life's pond a rich wife and thus make up for the meagre pay he receives.

Then, of course, there is the chance of active life on the battle-field, of being shot full of holes and carrying around for life an ounce or two of lead, some pain and wounds, or of dying and having your name mentioned in two editions of the papers (morning and evening) in large type, saying that you died in the service of your country, and of later on having it carved on a monument along with a hundred others who died at the same time.

All this may be compensation, but nearly all of these men would have done far better if they had remained out of the service, and all the nation would have done better if it had used the money paid these men for other things, or, better still, had not used it at all, and thus lightened the burden of taxes.

Nothing but injustice can come from war, or preparations for it. The only thing positive about it is that the nations of the world must pay two billion dollars per year to be prepared to kill people they do not really wish to kill, and people who would rather not be killed.

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