Editorial, March 29, 1934, Page2
Discussion provoked by the editorial
on the anti-war demonstration printed in this column last week has led
us to believe that clarification of our views on the matter is
necessary at this time.
Although the editorial
warned against having the April 13 "walk-out" dominated by
organizations not chartered by the College, although the editorial
stressed the inadvisability of having public opinion aroused against
the College–by no means did we intend to withdraw our support from the
demonstration. Our intention throughout has been to protect the
"strikers" and to make sure that civil authorities will not resent the
whole demonstration because of inadvised behavior of a minority group.
Referring to a recent
issue in which we stated that "all members of the student and faculty
corps who are opposed to war as a means of settling international
disputes" would walk out of classes at eleven o'clock on April 13, Dean
Bildersee declared at the Peace Chapel last Wednesday, that her
remaining at her desk at the time set for the "walk-out" would not
indicate a desire on her part for war, but would show that she did not
believe the "strike" to be an effective measure in averting war. Echoes
of the Dean's objection have been sounded in many discussions of the
"strike" by members of both faculty and student bodies.
We take this opportunity
of declaring that we are not so naive or optimistic as to believe that
a student "walk-out," no matter how well supported, can prevent war.
Endorsement and support of
the "strike" is, however, a means of fighting fire with fire.
William Randolph Hearst in
Sunday's New York American prints five pages of pictures portraying the
horrors of war and concludes that the United States should increase its
armaments in order to prevent a recurrence of war. Sunday's New York
Times contains an article by a military man declaring that poisonous
gases are really not as bad as we believe. and that aerial warfare is
not very risky. The help-wanted columns of the World-Telegram and of
several other newspapers offer inducements to young men to join
military training groups.
These are by no means
uncommon examples of the pro-war propaganda that constantly is being
injected into the public's mind. Are we therefore not justified in
urging participation in a movement that will arouse some anti-war
opinion, even if only enough to counteract one iota of the boundless
pro-war opinion propagated by the leading newspapers of our city?
We agree with Dean
Bildersee. The strike will not prevent a war. But neither will the
enlistment of one young chap in an athletic-military club succeed in
reaping millions of dollars of profits for the armament manufacturers.
In each case, however, every little helps.
objectors to the "walk-out" spurn the idea, declaring the "strike" to
be an emotional affair, and hence unworthy of participation by those
who profess intellectual control of their actions. Yet, even those
people, we are told by those who were college students during the last
war, did not scorn to mount a platform and raise their voices in an
emotional appeal to their students to enlist when war was declared.
We do not deny that the
"walk-out" depends for its success partly on an appeal to the emotions.
But who can deny that pro-war agitation does not rely on the same
Assuming a fatalistic
attitude, another group of objectors disposes of the "strike" along
with any other measures against war, by declaring war to be inevitable
and by regarding people as helplessly responsive to pro-war agitation.
We question the ability of
these objectors to prove the absolute inevitability of war and take the
liberty of reminding them that some of the most ravaging diseases were
also declared inevitable. Those who were blessed with hope, however,
persisted in their efforts and eventually effected cures. So we too
must not give in. We must strive to eradicate the war plague.
If people now are
susceptible to pro-war agitation it is our business to attempt to
innoculate a dose of anti-war serum into the blood of the students and
faculty; so that when exposure to pro-war agitation occurs we will be
better able to resist it.
The anti-war demonstration
in the form of a "walk-out" from classes at eleven o'clock on Friday,
April 13 is the finest bit of anti-war serum on the market. Support it!
Return to Spotlight
Page || Home Page
May 20, 2004