VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
UNREST IN FRANCE
THE Chicago Tribune prints a lengthy dispatch showing great unrest in France. Trades-Unionism seems to have gotten everything into its control, including the public service. Fear for God and man seems gone and General Selfishness to be in supreme command. Those who have been studying with us the teaching of God's Word, which seems to indicate worldwide anarchy in A.D. 1915, will see in this report a strong confirmation of the date, so far as France is concerned. Indeed it looks as though the climax there might come much sooner. An extract from the dispatch follows:--
"The labor riots at Meru, which now lies quiet under martial law maintained by half a dozen squadrons of cavalry, have made a profound impression throughout France following, as they did, the great hippodrome assembly at which civil service employes announced adhesion to the program of the Confederation Generale du Travail and authorized a secret committee of twelve to prepare for a general strike.
"This has been a week of general depression which even perfect Easter weather and four days of feastmaking did not dissipate. Now it is generally felt and admitted that the republican government in its present form is going through the most critical period of its existence. That the tide of revolution has already risen above the danger point nobody denies.
"Conservative opinion is that while nothing immediately threatens, the situation is one which calls for the highest degree of sagacity and decision on the part of leaders of the nation. Unfortunately, neither of these qualities has been recently manifested by the Clemenceau government, whose truculence, before threats by the postal strikers, brought on the present wider and more serious unrest.
NO TROUBLE ON MAY 1
"Revolutions do not announce themselves as a rule, so the wide circulation of the report that general strikes would be ordered by May 1 may be accepted as a guarantee that none will take place then. It takes time to organize a movement as vast as that contemplated by the Confederation Generale du Travail.
"But what is preparing for the future? There has grown up in France an authority which looms as large as that of the government itself--labor unions, and their powers, already developed beyond anything known in America, are now immensely augmented by consolidation with civil service unions. The story of the origin and evolution of Syndicate de Fonctionnaires is sure to be an important chapter in the future history of France. Under the law of March 21, 1884, various groups of public servants, school teachers, postmen, postal clerks, telegraphers, bureau clerks, government architects, engineers, mechanics, etc., began to organize mutual benefit associations, which have developed into the revolutionary army of today.
"Now we have the spectacle in France of the entire public service down to prison-wardens, who publicly promise to open the cells of any brothers committed to their charge, in the hands of organizations which are planning a universal strike and demanding the overthrow of the present parliamentary system. This can be described only as anarchy. At present it is a well-behaved anarchy. It is well behaved because the labor leaders believe--so easy has been their success thus far--that the revolution will be of little violence when the moment comes.
NEWS FROM MERU DISQUIETING
"But the scenes at Meru are disquieting. There was something so diabolical in the deliberation with which the strikers, wheeling barrows of stones, marched through the darkness to the factories they had deserted and wrecked and pillaged them and their employers' homes that the people are recalling the sinister processions and sackings which preceded the Revolution. Not then could there have been more hate of the aristocracy than exists today toward the bureaucracy and the wealthy.
"'We are animated by the same hatred of the capitalistic regime,'" cried Pataud, the strike leader, the other day at a meeting of clubs and workmen.
"'We have no country save where we find a brother.' 'The republic is in danger; what do we care?' 'Why should the state be regarded as different from any other employer?' were among the sentiments cheered by uniformed government employes this week."
DANGER SIGNALS OF A GREAT WAR
While the world has been congratulating itself on the possibilities of an era of peace by means of the Hague Conferences and National Arbitration Courts the war trumpet is being heard. Men were supposing that they might usher in the time of peace without our Lord's second coming and the Millennial reign. The Bible, however, seems to imply a very great war as the precursor of the great reign of peace at our Lord's second coming.
Note the following extracts from the public press on this subject:--
"In Britain the House of Commons met last week to hear the most disquieting statement with regard to the strength of its navy and the progress of Germany ever laid before it. It was called upon to vote Navy Estimates [R4383 : page 132] showing an increase of only L.2,800,000. It met to consider a program of shipbuilding which provided only four Dreadnoughts and a sum of but L.10,200,000 for new construction and armaments. For one day recriminations were hushed by the sense of danger. The voice of patriotism was heard. But the effort was too great to maintain, and during the past week faction and ignorance have reasserted themselves. The danger is being derided, though on the showing of ministers Germany in 1912 may have seventeen Dreadnoughts to the British sixteen. The German number may be even greater than ministers allow. Three Dreadnoughts are to be laid down by Germany's ally, Austria. Three more, it is believed, are to be built in Germany for foreign Powers. If they were added to the German force--and there is nothing to prevent this--then Germany in 1912 might have a force of twenty-three of these ships, a preponderance which would [R4384 : page 132] wipe out all our advantage in ships of the King Edward class, and which would foreshadow the loss of the command of the sea. But though such is the emergency, one member of the House of Commons demanded a rapid reduction in British naval expenditure; a second declared that the Labor party would unswervingly oppose a program of eight Dreadnoughts; and a third moved to reduce the small pay of our naval officers and to cut down the personnel of the fleet by 20,000 men. The parallel throughout is poignantly close to the attitude of Germany and France on the eve and outbreak of the Franco-German war."--London Daily Mail.
"Germany believes that she need not wait for a paper equality or superiority. We hold that this fact is one which we are bound to take into consideration in making our calculations as to how to prepare against war. The more men dread an outbreak of war on moral and humanitarian grounds, the more necessary it is for them to do their best to make our preparations adequate. Only preparations so complete and on so vast a scale as to make even the ardent men who control German naval policy consider that the game is not worth the candle can prevent war in the future. That is our firm belief. We have still the time in which to make such preparations, but no time to waste in sleep or doubt."--London Spectator.
"It is this public sentiment which constitutes the most dangerous factor in the present strained relations between Great Britain and Germany. Its peril lies largely in the fact that it is so unaccountable. There is no knowing at what time it will burst forth or what particular form the outbreak will take. That the kaiser, his responsible ministers, the principal statesmen, and the leading captains of industry, commerce and finance in his empire, are anxious for a war with England, nobody for one moment believes. But there has been so much talk in England of the necessity of smashing the Teuton navy before it is permitted to attain proportions large enough to rival the British supremacy of the seas, that both William and his people consider it necessary to provide for the maritime defenses of the empire and to endow the latter with a sufficient number of ships to admit of Germany being able to hold her own with England in all questions relating to the sea. The creation of a big German navy rivaling in size that of England is not necessarily meant for offense, but for defense of Teuton interests, and to enable the Berlin government to speak with the same weight and authority in maritime affairs as its magnificent army enables it to do by land.
"On the other hand, England, which always has regarded not merely her wealth and her prosperity, but even her national existence, as based upon her maritime supremacy, is naturally profoundly alarmed at the extent to which the latter is threatened by Germany. And there are many in Great Britain who, holding these views, insist both in speech and in print, that it is a mistake to allow Germany time to build the ships planned in her naval program, and that it would be much better to fight her now and to frustrate her ambitions of maritime supremacy before she had been able to realize them. They urge that, whereas England is now vastly superior to Germany in naval strength, she may not be so two or three years hence. In Germany, on the other hand, there are patriots who clamor for their government to take advantage of the present complete disorganization of the British army, and of the virtual chaos that prevails in England's military affairs to precipitate a conflict for which the enemy may be better prepared in two or three years' time.
"These opinions, voiced by the German press, are re-echoed far and wide, tending to excite popular sentiment against England to a dangerous degree. In fact, a favorite topic of discussion in Germany is the capture of London by a coup, possibly without a preliminary declaration of war, and it is pointed out that with the British metropolis in the hands of the invaders pretty well the whole vast British empire would be at the latter's mercy. For London is not merely the capital of the united kingdom, but the administrative, and, above all, the economic heart of the whole empire, besides being in matters of finance and of trade the chief brokerage and exchange mart and center of the civilized and uncivilized world. England's financial credit is at the present moment colossal; superior probably to that of any other nation in the world save perhaps the United States. But where would that credit be, with London, its headquarters, in the hands of a German enemy? What is to be feared, then, in the present situation, is not that England and Germany may deliberately and cold-bloodedly declare war upon one another, but that public feeling, perpetually excited by demagogues and by their newspapers, will be led to some excess, some outrage, some public manifestation of hostility, that the people on the other side of the North sea will find themselves compelled to resent. This, then, is the real danger of the present state of affairs, and it is all the more grave since it is impossible to foresee when and where it will occur, or how it can be averted, though it means war."--Chicago Tribune.
PROMINENT OTTOMAN A ZIONIST
The below clipping is certainly a straw in the wind, as it were, and in accord with our expectations:
"Dr. Riza Tewfik, a member of the Chamber of Deputies and one of the foremost leaders of the Young Turk party, delivered a lecture on the Jewish question recently in Constantinople....In reply to an inquiry whether a good Ottoman could be a Zionist, he replied: 'Certainly, I myself am a Zionist. The methods of Zionism are exclusively peaceful. Palestine is your land more than it is ours; we only became rulers of the country many centuries later than you. A service would be rendered to our common fatherland by undertaking the colonization of that uncultivated land, Palestine. Your nation has incomparable qualifications for trade; your fellow Jews are sober and industrious. They would restore this desolate land. They would devote all their energies to the service of our dear fatherland, and I assure you that my co-operation will never fail you in order to attain this aim.'"--Detroit News Tribune.