A World-Unity Conference -- By: Raymond L. Bridgman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 075:297 (Jan 1918)
Article: A World-Unity Conference
Author: Raymond L. Bridgman


A World-Unity Conference

Raymond L. Bridgman

[In two previous articles in the Bibliotheca Sacra on “The World Person,” July, 1911, and “A Bureau of National Assistance,” October, 1913, Mr. Bridgman had forecast most of the arguments which have been advanced, since the European War began, for a League to Enforce Peace. The reader will find it profitable to consult these.—Editor.]

It seems possible that the Paris military conference will open to the nations a larger opportunity for united action than is generally realized. That opportunity may become necessity. If such necessity is met as the world crisis demands, then the consequences of the action will be nothing short of the organization of all the nations as a political unit, with permanent world peace and with world prosperity such as is impossible under the present relations of the nations.

It is not affirmed that the world peace will never be broken. Our United States of America has had its” civil war. But we do not have any one of our states making war in its own name upon any other. So, though the political world unit cannot be definitely insured against war between its own fighting elements, yet the divisive forces must eventually be overcome by the centripetal forces, if the promises of civilization and progress have a solid foundation.

Here is the bearing of the Paris conference, its promise of momentous political consequences for all the world. War emergencies drove the Allied Powers to military unity. But

civil unity must be affirmed back of the military unity, because, in every civilized government, the military power is subject to the civil. Otherwise the government is a military despotism. If it be said that Germany is an exception to the rule, no objection need be made to the affirmation, for it does not disprove the rule. Nor does it alter the world-wide fact that in all stable governments of the modern type the civil authority must be supreme over the military.

This Paris military conference, therefore, implies that there is some sort of unity between the civil governments back of the military authority which aims at military headship somewhere, definite, positive, and visible, for the Allied Powers as their only salvation against the practical unity of the Central Powers under their German head. It is true that this civil unity is vague, formless, and unrecognized. But it is impossible to foresee, at any time, what will be the logical result of the military unity.

Foremost among the facts involved in the Paris conference is this: that nearly all of the civilized world, with the exception of the Central Power...

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