By a great man, however, we mean a man who, because of his spiritual gifts, his character, and other qualities, deserves to be called great and who as a result earns the power to influence others.
Today's date, the eighteenth of May, should sometime become an occasion of great international celebration, for on this day ten years ago the first Peace Conference opened at The Hague.
Indeed; peace literature is almost exclusively read, though to good effect, by pacifists, while what is needed is the canvassing of those who have not so far been won to the cause.
It has since been agreed that speeches given in English will be translated into French and vice versa, and even into German and Italian when necessary. No doubt translations into Esperanto will also soon be in demand.
Nevertheless, this type of propaganda has a special value, for it serves to convince those who sign the appeal, of the necessity for carrying on propaganda; so a corps of propagandists, if I may use the term, is thus trained.
Propaganda is a topic of particular concern to peace associations. This is a matter of educating the population in general, and not least the voters.
The aspect of congresses and such meetings generally to which I attach the greatest importance is the discussion. That is why people assemble: to hear different opinions, rather than to pass resolutions.
The interparliamentary conference should, in my opinion, direct its particular attention to the preparation of the next Hague Conference, the diplomatic conference, the conference of governments.
The last Hague Conference has in the meantime expressed its opinion that a body should be established which could prepare for the work involved more effectively than has hitherto proved possible.
There are many members of parliament present here who know as well as I do that, if a man has not already been converted, it will require a great deal more than a letter of appeal to achieve conversion.
There are those who believe we have need of more literature, of a large international publishing house, of a great peace newspaper, or the like. I am rather skeptical about this idea.
There is one criticism which cannot be leveled at interparliamentary conferences but which is applicable to a great extent to peace congresses: the meetings waste time.
This is the task, I think, of a letter movement. But it should be set up only in states where a significant response can be achieved, for a letter movement necessarily presupposes a strong organization.
On the other hand, the waging of peace as a science, as an art, is in its infancy. But we can trace its growth, its steady progress, and the time will come when there will be particular individuals designated to assume responsibility for and leadership of this movement.
Pacifists should stress more and more that it is the rule of law for which they are fighting.
An advantage that the Hague Conferences lack, in contrast to the peace associations and the Interparliamentary Union, is a bureau.
Always we must bear in mind that law has to be substituted for power, that care must be taken to serve the interests of law.
We have had such a letter movement on two occasions in Denmark when more than a quarter of the adult Danish population participated. Such an achievement, however, demands a really great effort and also a great deal of money.
Indeed, whenever a new idea is developed, as for example ballooning, warfare immediately takes possession.
Peace congresses often start by dealing with some of the less important questions in excessive detail, so at the end there is no time to discuss the most important problems.
Naturally, business and pleasure can be readily combined, but a certain balance should exist, and the latter should not predominate over the former.
As a result of my study, I came to the conclusion that a common supreme authority was undesirable.
Waging war we understand, but not waging peace, or at any rate less consciously so.
Warfare has been marvelously developed. It will soon be impossible to raise it to further heights.
I would rather propose a bureau somewhat similar to that which we have in the Universal Postal Union.
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