"war to end war"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 15 16:54:10 UTC 2010

As everybody knows, H. G. Wells coined a famous phrase in the title of _The
War that Will End War_ (N.Y.: Duffield, 1914).
Because events fell short of Wells's promise, the idea has circulated that
only a privileged idiot and tool of the Crown could have come up with so
transparent a propaganda justification for imperialism.  (Never mind that
Wells himself was a socialist and prewar pacifist who believed that the
Kaiser had to be contained.)

But Wells *may* have had a little help from a surprising source.

According to the fire-breathing _International Socialist Review_ XV (Sept.,
1914), pp. 186-187, after Austria had declared war on Serbia (several days
before Britain declared war on Germany and Austria), the Socialist City
Central Committee of Duluth, Minn., resolved (July 29, 1914) that, because
the capitalists of Europe were once more setting the workers to kill one
another for the sake of their own imperial profits, the time was right for
the international workers’ revolution:

“In its propaganda the attitude of the [sic] International Socialism has
been against war. We detest war so bitterly that we are ready to go to war

The idealistic notion that a war might be fought successfully to prevent
future wars (suggested by Marx though not in those words) extended
across the political spectrum.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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