Andersen, Hendrick Christian [Hrsg.]; Hébrard, Ernest M.   [Hrsg.]
Creation of a world centre of communication — Paris, 1913

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CREATION OF A WORLD-CENTRE.

ment of industry and commerce, by its very nature draws nations into inse-
parable connection; and it is only reasonable to believe that they, with the
increasing need of harmony in their economic relations, will need less and
less to rely upon arms to settle disputes that may arise through difference of
opinion. The growing net-work of intercommunication which girdles the
globe and minimises distance, of itself suggests the most vital of obligations,
that of organised centralisation and cooperation.

Yet chief among the reasons for this necessity in the future is not
even the ever dreaded war between nation and nation, for slowly, the people
are, by their own strength, imposing war, not upon other nations, but upon
their own.

In all countries of the world the great majority of people belong to the
labouring classes, which are the very motor power of national achieve-
ments in industry and in the welfare of the State, besides being the real pro-
ducers of capital. The labouring classes to-day can build or destroy a world.
They can destroy the peace of a country, or give it all its essential rights
and comforts. They can prevent communication or extend it. They can
produce crops to feed the world, or withhold them. The whole building of
the future depends upon working men. Yet hitherto they have had to fight
with the kings of industry, whose slaves they were. Many of their demands
are just and right, and they turn to state rulers for protection. The great
capitalists also appeal to government, and often they too are in the right and
the wage-earner in the wrong. At the same time the latter is not less often
right in resisting tyrannical oppression, and in fighting for the just demands
which he will in the end obtain. His demand as well as his suffering rings
out beyond the city and country in which he lives. Both touch the heart
and mind of all earnest men. The builders of cathedrals, capitols, railways
and industries have the right to live at any rate decently. They must
have the means of adequately feeding, clothing and educating their chil-
dren. Health, strength and hygienic rules are essential to good work, and
labourers are often deprived of these by the very nature of their employ-
ment. They tolerate much, and are ready to tolerate more, but when they
are driven to the wall by unrighteous claims, industrial wars must inevitably
ensue, — wars that rend the nation asunder, and throw out of gear all the
machinery of international commerce.

Yet this vast human industrial organ that can crush the world, itself
ever searches for a just administration. Should it look to the heads of the
nation for which it labours and which it gives its life and strength to justify?
Or should it look to the kings of industry? Is not this a question of inter-
national interest that the nations through collaboration and cooperation should
study and decide?

National interest and law can do much, but the rapid growth of conti-
nually developing international interests will undoubtedly be able to do more
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