NO matter from what angle one may look on armies and navies and war preparations, they are foolish.
Any nation to go to war must borrow millions, even thought it be only a little summer picnic, lasting a few months, in which a few thousands of lives are sacrificed on the alter of hate. It will take millions to undertake it and there is hardly a nation in Europe that could today negotiate a war loan if it wished to do so. They are burdened with debts and taxes nearly to the breaking point; the people are now growling and grumbling. The bankers understand this and before any nation dares undertake a war, the bankers must be seen.
The bankers will no doubt say, "No." Germany's war budget is now twice what it was ten years ago. This amounts to $150,000,000 per year more than ten years ago or an increased tax of over $2.50 per capita.
Now is it not foolish for any nation to keep building Dreadnoughts and fastening unbearable burdens on the necks of its people when it knows that it has not credit to use them if it wanted to? If the preparations are only bogies to frighten other nations, why not construct your Dreadnoughts of papier-mache; then when obsolete, burn them? It is much easier than to dismantle and destroy those made of steel and much less expensive.
There is not much doubt but that the banker is the power behind every throne in Europe. He bears the same relation to them that the Shoguns did to the Emperor of Japan; he rules. Nations may desire to embark on wars, but unless the banker will furnish the money, recourse is had to diplomacy as a last resort.
With wars a thing of the past bankers would have no hold on any nation. Instead of placing new loans, the nations would have ample incomes to take care of all the expenses and also create sinking funds to pay off the national debts, now millstones around the nations' necks.
This would be the same as the Shoguns of Japan giving their old-time power and the Emperor of Japan being the ruler and not a puppet with the strings pulled by the Shoguns.
I should think this would be a real relief to all potentates of the old world, and what a relief to the people!
There is little doubt but that if Universal Peace were established, no nation on earth would have to create new debts during the balance of this century. Think of this!
But the banker need not worry, so great a commercial development would start he could use his funds in a much better way.
Then when nations were not forced to the bankers' feet, anarchists would be few and far between, as when nations cease to use force, the anarchist would die out as a breed. Most of the world's anarchists have been bread by the war thought. They argue that if force is for the nation, it is also for the individual; if money has power, so has a bomb. In a few years after Universal Peace has been established, fewer rulers will go to their last rest in the smoke of a bomb.
War caused the death of our great Lincoln. President McKinley was killed right after the Spanish war. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.