Courtesy Reuters

Potentialities of Japanese Liberalism

NOBODY questions now that Germany and Japan have had dreams of world empire, or that their efforts to make those dreams come true must be crushed. But we should understand the nature of the enemy clearly if we are to fight him intelligently. The enemy that we fight and must crush is not Germany, it is not Japan, but it is militarism, that Satanic spirit with which both countries have become possessed -- not only the war lords who are primarily responsible, but the people who, whether willingly or unwillingly, are being used by them as their tools. We cannot either exonerate the people concerned, much as we might like to do so, nor condemn them out of hand and irretrievably, as it would be easy to do. We must be discriminating. Going behind surface symptoms, we must try to see how the cancerous growth has little by little sent its roots down so deeply that by now it has infected the entire body politic, primarily in those two nations but in lesser degree throughout the world. This will show us, first, that nothing will now avail but surgery of the most drastic sort, directed toward that area where the disease is worst, yet second, that if our surgery is not done in a way to save the patient, the world itself cannot be saved. The writer believes it can be done if due consideration is given to the factors involved.

As for Japan, let it be frankly admitted at the start that from the beginning of her history she has been, as she is now, a warlike nation. Her own scholars admit that Japanese history begins with martial exploits. Almost the first act of the first Emperor, Jimmu, was to conquer the northern peoples. Ever since, preëminence was accorded to fighting men as the acknowledged aristocracy with a right to rule and to be honored above all others.

It must be observed, however, that this soldier class was only

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