Dickinson on forcing democracy

‘But what proud nation will accept democracy as a gift from insolent conquerors? One thing that the war has done, and one of the worst, is to make of the Kaiser, to every German, a symbol of their national unity and national force. Just because we abuse their militarism, they affirm and acclaim it; just because we abuse their militarism, they affirm and acclaim it; just because we attack their governing class, they rally round it. Nothing could be better calculated than this war to strengthen the hold of militarism in Germany, unless it be the attempt of her enemies to destroy her militarism by force. For consider—! In the view we are examining it is proposed, first to kill the greater part of her combatants, next to invade her territory, destroy her towns and villages, and exact (for there are those who demand it) penalties in kind, actual tit for that, for what Germans have doen in Belgium. It is proposed to enter the capital in triumph. It is proposed to shear away huge pieces of German territory. And then, when all this has been done, the conquerors are to turn to the German nation and say: “Now, all this we have done for your good! Depose your wicked rulers! Become a democracy! Shake hands and be a good fellow!” Does it not sound grotesque? But, really, that is what is proposed.’

— Dickinson (1916: pp. 77-78) has still a few words everyone considering military intervention should beware.

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