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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.

          Other well-meaning 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 tactics?

          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!


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May 20, 2004