CONSCRIPTION, OR GERMAN ASCENDANCY.
Maoriland Worker, Volume 9, Issue 349, 16 January 1918, Page 6
CONSCRIPTION, OR GERMAN ASCENDANCY.
Editor, "The Mnoriland Worker/— Many people liave been doubtful of 'the wisdom of or the political advantages to be derived from ibe institution of compulsory military «ervioe (and with very good reasons, if any sinister motive was underlying tbe movement), more especially as many of our brave, generous countrymen were ready and willing to respond to the call in defence of the Right. But, if we are to consider the damnable deeds of the Prussian oligarchy as part of the menace to democratic liberty—and how can any unprejudiced, sensible man or woman now have any doubts on that issue—'Compulsion was our only alternative; fo that every abi-r.- abi-r,.--bocli«H man would have to do his rhiiy in this truly stupendous strugrplo for freedom from tyranny. Why should pur nationality be preserved ontirely by the efforts of our best and bravest manhood? It would be not only cruelly unjust but also unwisely impolitic. If wealth has not been honestly employed in aid of national military service, thon the majority will, in the future, compel the wealthy shirkers to fulfil THEIR national obligations which in this crisis they may have treacherously failed to do. The workers have remedy for these or other injustices in their own hand. As Sir John McKcnzie eaid: "Not by the use of bayomets, but by using pencils at t"he ballot boxes." As an equivalent for escaping from military duty, a special tax should be imposed, on the principle that the more wealth -any citizen possesses the more reason why some effvctiTe monetary eacrifice should be made for its protection. And, immediately after the war, a strict examination into the financial position of emigrants should; be made, to ensure that residents will not escape their national obligations. Tfc« Germans have, plainly, shown their tr<» nature by their diabolical malig&itf since this ghastly butchery was aetuitfely planned by them. Yet, curiously, Romo of tho workers who wisely uphold fretf ilpnioe ratio institutions and them. fore Mionld fear an autocracy, object t<) figUt against a military oligarchy whtdX, if successful, would effectually banieli *il
hopes of gaining a genuine democracy, perhaps for cimturies. When the Huns so treacherously in ad© their spring iuto their neighbours' territory, ferociously murdering the peaceable inhabitants and devastating their properly with such an enormous preponderance' of long-prepared military strength, there is no doubt the French and British never had a narrower escapw from nut ion al destruction. Had the common enemy gained possession of Trance, their utterly unscrupulous methods of enforcing shivery, would have enabled them tt> havo command of the whole of Europe in men and .material. The British worker* would then be laborin? under tho brutal direction of the German sneak, compared with whom the .scabs or tho truculent capitalists would be righteous-minded philanthropists. Thero are u;> worsq tyrants than the crawling sycophants if they havo the power to oppress tluxso who may bo subject to their uiulisputnble authority. Tho very thought of bdng subjected to tho u.r.roganeo and pomposity of the contemptible" Him is enough to make self-rcspeoting freemen shudder. And, if they succeeded in their insane projects, merciless remedies would certainly be used to effectively preclude siny prospects of successful revolt. Xo nation or individual can have supreme, unchallenged power without becoming more or less brutalisetl. Rivalry is an essential elemeut of a primitive civilisation. Possibly no greater calamity could happen to mankind than if all were followers of one religious sect not influenced by the sympathetic, humanising sentiments of altruism. We cannot relax our most strenuous efforts to gain a free, enlightened, and humane national oa international intercourse if vo'aro't© be- ooino a really great and powerful empire poshes-sing citiaens imbued with tho germ j of righteousness which, if wisely nourished, may enable us to influence and eventually to regenerate mankind by the infection from our good example. But, if wo are to tamely submit to be entirely dominated by our mcn-ciless enemies, what are the workers going to lose or <x> experience under German rule? Every reform for the amelioration of the woeful conditions which young or old operatives in our factories or in any industry had formerly endure- would be only a memory—the cause of unavailing regret— and ot reproach to .those who basely neglected their duty either in honorably providiug the wealth they could afford, or in rendering military service to insure tho maintenance of freedom. The foregoing eecuifl a perfectly fair estimate* of what would occur under German world ascendency. Are tome, of tho British devoid of sufficient manhood to impel them to assist Iheir bravo comrades in the good fight for justice-.and for freedom, from tho infernal influienc.es that aro apparently inseparable from autocratic rule. Or aro they afraid that militarism —the Satanic enemy of humanity—may be permanently grafted <on our national polity? Considering we have free compulsory education, also universal suffrace, that evil seems to be as remote' as tho etars..- Undoubtedly tho many unfair conditions under which many capitalists in all nations are allowed to exploit national industrialism is also -responsible for creating national aad international •discord. But tho intense egoism of our arch enemies, impelled by tho insane vanity and ambition of the champion liar, hypocrite, and murd&ner, of this planet—was tho principal cause of the dreadful effects now oesolating tho homes of our people. Before the war tho Prussians woro pugnacious egoist-*, but as mighty <v>n<pie-rors thoir arrogant conceit would be etc., IMTEIMATTjE.