Sunday, January 25, 2009

“We go around behaving as though we had invented perpetual peace when all the time we are candidates for the military psychopathic ward. We were all steamed up in 1918 to have a real crusade, a holy war of extermination against the ungodly. … We become maudlin and sentimental whenever Peace is mentioned and we long all the time for a chance to gouge the eyes out of some other nation. In brief, as a nation, we are suffering from a badly suppressed case of homicidal mania disguised as universal benevolence.

“Psychologically, we are ready for battle and as soon as we can select a sufficiently remote and interesting antagonist, we are going to let him have it. … Better still, we have the arrogant self-righteousness of the utterly pure and we will cut throats devoutly and starve peoples in the name of the highest ideals. We will even shed a tear of commiseration for the poor creatures whom we destroy and will honestly believe that it hurts us more than it does them.

“The America of the peace societies, of the college professors, of the churchmen and the discussion clubs is very thin. Under it lies the America of Al Capone, the America of the lynchings, the America that kills its thousands and maims its tens of thousands, the America whose police draw their clubs whenever they see two or three gathered together, the America whose criminals use machine-guns, armored-cars and poison-gas, the America whose people shrug their shoulders at one of the highest maternity death-rates in the world and shudder at the thought of a starving Armenian on Mount Ararat. This second America needs a war as a dipsomaniac needs a drink, as a drug-fiend needs his dope, and as a red-hot momma needs her man, and when its chance comes, the first America will be swept aside in an instant.”

Jay Franklin (1931)

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