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Let the Eagle Scream

Condensed from Liberty (July 3, '26) Hugh Fullerton

HIS is the Fourth-the Eagle's week to scream!

It has become more or less a custom for Americans to write, speak, and broadcast criticisms of their land. But this week let us talk of the United States as it is; the greatest and most glorious, the most successful experiment in the history of the world. Let the Eagle scream and tell the


Lax law enforcement, contempt of law, crime, a wild younger generation, speed mania, graft they all exist. Americans have squawked so loudly about them that they have created the impression the nation is rushing headlong to the demnition bowwows, with all brakes released. But on the Fourth, the beams should be plucked out of their eyes and Americans permitted to see the glory of their own land.

The United States now is reported as having close to $425,000,000,000 of total wealth, which is estimated to be 45 per cent of the total wealth of the civilized world, nearly four times as much as Great Britain, and more than five times the

estimated wealth of

France, Belgium, and Spain combined.

We have been called "purse-proud money-grabbers,' yet America poured into devastated Europe more than $2,000,000,000, which

was more money

than all the Allies could muster, besides marking off approximately $3,

000,000,000 in debts.

It gives each year for charity more

than all the rest

of the world com

We have the greatest amount invested in schools and colleges ever recorded in the world's history. We have $2,350,000,000 in public school properties, and nearly $300,000,000 in school furniture and equipment. We have $1,830,000,000 in colleges and professional schools, and $880,000,000 in equipment. We spend nearly $2,000,000,000 a year on the common schools and more than half that much on the colleges. All this is independent of the more than $300,000,000 endowments of colleges.

bined, and gives more to religion (regardless of creed), to education, and to the succor of those in need and dis

other nation of the

tress, than any world gives in ve


There are about 247,000 churches in the United States, and no value figures may be reached because values are based on taxes and church property is not taxed. But, stingy as we are in giving to churches, we gave last year more than $750,000,000.

The churches and the ministry have been charged with losing their grip on the people. Yet in the last year every church in the United States, regardless of denomination, showed a big increase in active membership, estimated at eight per cent-which would put the membership above 50,000,000 if based on the 1923 figures of 48,000,000.

Their associated organizations-especially those of the young people: the Young Men's Christian Association, the Young Men's Hebrew Association, and the Knights of Columbus -show remarkable gains in membership. The K. of C. rose above 800,000 members, the Y. M. C. A. passed the 1,000,000 mark.

Everyone is jumping on the young folks and charging them with everything. But, on the other hand, we have the testimony of virtually every church and college in the United States that never before in history were so many young people interested

in social service and in spiritual matters.

Drink, dope, vice, wild parties-the public prints are filled periodically with such stories about Hollywood. Perhaps such things happen. But a few miles from Hollywood is a church that has the greatest attendance of any church in America, with more than 4000 active members and 2000 young men in Bible classes.

We have wailed over public and private graft. Yet the testimony of experts is that our government, with all its admitted flaws, is the cleanest in the world, the most economically run, considering the vast sums and the volume of the business transacted, and that the character of public officials, National, State and city, is higher, on an average, than it ever


We lead the world in divorces, with more than 180,000 a year. Yet the United States is proclaimed the most moral of all countries, with the greatest proportion of happy marriages and the fewest per capita of unfaithful wives and husbands. The number of divorces in the United States-one divorce to each seven marriages-is declared by sociologists to be due rather to more liberal divorce laws than to more flagrant violations of the moral code.

We have about 19,400,000 automobiles and more than 2,000,000 trucks operating, which is 85 per cent of all the automotive vehicles in the world. To which we are adding about 2,400,000 a year. We have 3,000,000 miles of improved roads a greater mileage than any two other nations-and have built more concrete roads in the last year than all the rest of the world has ever built, estimated at 35,000 miles.

The United States, youngest of the world powers, has a greater number of art treasures than any other country. We import about $40,000,000 worth each year. Despite its youth the United States has given the world something new in the fields of music and architecture. Nothing in the 252

world's history has approached the achievements of this country in revo lutionizing building. All of ancient Athens could be fitted into the lower end of Manhattan Island and lost among the skyscrapers. Athens would have seemed squalid and shabby com. pared with the glories of the new Washington.

Let the eagle scream while we talk of the United States as a unit. Let the Socialists, the Pacifists, the Reds, deny it but our country is a unit in any cause involving its national honor or its patriotism. Fewer than one-tenth of one per cent of the men drafted for the World War became "conscientious objectors." The number of men and women in this country rated as enemy aliens was too small to make up one regiment. More than four millions were under arms so quickly that the world was stunned by the rapidity with which a nation of citizens was turned into a nation of fighters.

If it ever happens again-which every good American hopes and prays it will not-the United States will do a job of springing to arms that will discourage war-makers. The survey of America shows, for instance, 107 great industrial plants that could be transformed into military factories almost at once. We have nine factories that could begin turning out airplanes and motors within a few days, and 12 plants that could be switched to the making of tanks. With 85 per cent of all the cars and trucks in the world, and more oil and gas than any other country can lay hands on, we have the basis of the greatest air and sea navies of them all. . . We have a skeleton structure of an army. But our colleges and military schools and officers' training camps are turning out men who could be transformed quickly into intelligent leaders of men.

The year 1926 is the 150th year since the United States began life as an independent nation. A century and a half of stupendous growth and achievement. Now! All together! Rise and sing The Star-Spangled Banner-and scream with the Eagle!


Human Nature and War

Condensed from The Scientific Monthly (July '26)
George M. Stratton, University of California

the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, science gives us high hope that at least two-pestilence and famine can be unhorsed. But with regard to war there are many who assert that science offers no hope whatever. For war, it is said, springs from human nature; and will continue as long as our unchanging human nature lasts.

Wars have occurred since the remotest time of human history. They reach still farther back, into the ani. mal world, where pugnacity is frequent and widespread. Thus all the momentum of our animal and human inheritance would seem to carry us fatally forward along the ways of war. And yet I shall ask you to observe profound changes which have occurred in human society and which have not required a shadow of turning in human nature itself-changes quite as profound as would be involved in driving war to the very outskirts of society. Institutions based upon the most permanent traits of human character have been torn down and swept away, and without destroy ing or even weakening a single one of our great human motives.

Go back to what has occurred within comparatively recent times, in Mexico, in the islands of the Pacific and in Africa. In these and in other places it was customary to sacrifice living men upon the altar of some powerful supernatural being. To obtain the creatures for such sacrifices was often one of the aims of war. And beyond this, it was thought that the divine wrath could be appeased, not by sacrificing war prisoners only but by sacrificing the life of one's own son or daughter, by thus offering something still more precious to the wor shipper and to his god.

We can imagine the opposition to those who in due time wished to do away with this ghastly institution. "What!" others must have said, "Would you change human nature? Do you expect men to give up their very religion? Would you have us refuse to offer to our divinity the most precious things we have?" And yet in spite of such misgivings human sacrifice in all civilized regions has gone forever, and without altering a single one of the deep motives which supported it.

And the same is true in another region of social conduct. Blood vengeance once existed almost the world over the feeling that the death of a member of one's own family must be avenged by taking a life of the family that caused the death. The impulse to wreak such vengeance has been exceedingly powerful and exceed. ingly difficult to control. Even 60 mild a statesman as Confucius felt that any subordinate official must personally see to it that the death of a superior did not remain unavenged.

But there came a time when the spirit of the law said "No" to this deep and almost irresistible cry that an individual who has been wronged shall himself take the blood of the wrongdoer. "Vengeance is mine," the law finally came to say, "and not yours. There will, on the whole, be more of justice if those who are less close to the wrong shall determine who is guilty and what shall be the punishment." Here, again, we may imagine the critics who in that day exclaimed: "Do you expect a man to accept coolly the killing of his own kinsmen? You will have to change human nature before you can attain your goal." Yet the institution of private blood-vengeance has been done away with, and without requiring that human nature

should change by a hair's breadth. There still remain all the deep motives of revenge. There is in us today the same love of family, the same desire to right the wrong done by the violator of the family tie. We simply have instituted better methods cf

satisfying the ancient human impulses, while leaving the impulses themselves strong and untouched. In the same way one might speak of piracy and of duelling, which also have been virtually abolished while human nature remains unchanged.

But I hasten on to slavery, which comes closer to us. Slavery's hold upon man is from earliest times. The enslavement of others has marked the leading people of the world. Only yesterday men and women were bought and sold in our own land. What deep psychological roots slavery lad! It drew its strength from the acquisitive impulse-from the desire for wealth, for property, for greater leisure; and from the joy of dominating other human beings. It seemed as though the men who worked to abolish slavery had no acquaintance with the human mind, or with human nature.

But when the time came for Lincoln to sign the great Proclamation, did he by so much as a jot or tittle have to annul the laws of human nature itself? No. Men continued as before to be avaricious. They still are ready to use other men for their own interests. They still are ready to believe that what they deeply desire is also deeply right. But society has fixed new limits to the ways in which men can gratify their impulses to acquire wealth and to control their fellows and to seek leisure and luxury.

Now to turn again to war. It may well be true that in all its large outline human nature does not change. And yet our experience shows that this unchanging nature of ours permits important changes in human conduct. Indeed, under the stimulation of social enterprise, human nature not only permits, but demands profound changes.

We can not doubt humanity will keep the great impulses which still

lead to war-among which is the love of wealth, the love of adventure, the love of honor, the love of mother country. Yet there can be a growing impatience, a growing abhorrence of satisfying these great impulses by the old and bloody methods. Nor is there in the science of psychology anything to assure us that in this one region no farther advance is possible; to assure us that here men have reached the last limit of their inventiveness; that they can institute no shrewder and more satisfying devices to express their devotion to their own nation's life and to the life of the world.

Great things have been done, while human nature has remained the same. Our civilization has been rid of human sacrifice in our civil life, of piracy upon the high seas, of slavery in all the leading communities. Every one of these social institutions has had the support of men's permanent passions, of men's deepest impulses. To rid the world of these crooked ways of conduct, it has not been necessary to rid the world of humanity. Nor has it been necessary to wait until all sinners have been changed to saints. It has been necessary merely that men should be socially progressive, inventive, adventurous. Men have had to cooperate with others untiringly to change the old habits of their social life.

Human nature has not stood as a wall against improvement. The ad vance, the untiring search for more effective ways of meeting the rival claims of large groups of men-these changes are an utterance of our nature. Human nature resists progress, but in all leading lands it also gains the victory over its own resistance, over its inertia and habit, over its own conservatism. It gives the motives, the human instruments and leaders, the intelligence, the insistent urging, which in the past have en riched and strengthened our civil life. And these same great forces, psychology in no wise forbids us to hope, will bring nations to establish better institutions than war to do the work of



As I Like It

Excerpts from Scribner's Magazine

William Lyon Phelps

OME years ago, William A. Watts, a public-spirited business man of New Haven, said that he was about to make a speech to his employes on the value of courtesy, and wished to know if I had an appropriate anecdote. It happened that I had an ideal one. When James A. Garfield was a boy, he wrote to the presidents of Yale, Brown, and Williams, asking for the necessary qualifications for admission. The Yale president made a formal reply, and so did the man of Brown. So also did the Williams president, but he added one line: "We shall be glad to do what we can for you." It took one second to write that line, and the same amount of time for Garfield to decide. As a result of one line of courtesy, Williams has the honor of having graduated a President of the United States, of having at this moment his son as her own president, of having every summer an international conference whose fame and influence are as wide as its scope.

Some months ago, John Galsworthy gave a lecture in London on "Expression," in which he talked entertainingly on American newspaper headlines. As the extreme limit, he cited the headline which appeared when the English poet, Robert Bridges, refused to be interviewed:


The same cheerful intimacy with the - great was shown by an American headline describing the Prince of Wales' reception at London on his return from the Seven Seas:


HOME TOWN CHEERS James Melvin Lee, of New York University, furnishes me with two other headlines. One was over a story about a workman who had been buried in a cave-in:


ON SON OF TOIL The other describes a man by the

name of Ivory who was on trial in an English court; the evidence told against him and the headline in the newspaper was:



Fenton A. Bonham, of Colfax, Calif., writes an interesting letter with respect to good usage: "I want to raise a howl against the way our newspapers have of cutting down our very good English to fit their 13-em columns. Any sort of an investigation is 'probe.' Every convention, from the Dog Fanciers' Association to the august gathering of the House of Bishops, is a 'meet.' All conferences of whatover nature are 'parleys.' There are perhaps a dozen others nearly as bad.. I wish you would do something about it."

Among the new autobiographies, one of the most captivating is by Thomas R. Marshall, who had almost as much fun in being Vice-President as, before him, Roosevelt had in being President. Tom Marshall called his book A Hoosier Salad. It abounds in good stories. One of the best is his account of a political torchlight procession:

"In the morning the Democratic newspaper announced that it was the greatest torchlight procession that had ever marched in the city of Crawfordsville; that it was so large it took two hours to pass a given point. The evening Republican paper quoted this statement, confessed it was true, and then added that the given point was Mike Mulholland's saloon."

When the Easterner laughs at the Westerner for saying Carrds and Dinnerr, let him repent when he himself says "I had no idear of it."

By the way, who was it that first called attention to the paradox that although night falls, it doesn't break; and that although day breaks, it doesn't fall? Nature is full of mysteries, n'est-ce pas?

Interesting comment from Ralph J. Williams, of Rahway, N. J.:

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