Money for the Machinery of Human Slaughter by Charles Edward Jefferson

U.S. Inauguration Day:
The portentousness can be petrifying.
As the First World War was obliterating millions of lives in Europe, before the United States entered that war, military “preparedness” was a key political topic in the U.S.: Should a nation presently at peace prepare for potential future war?
Clergyman Jefferson argues here that to refuse to arm yourself against your fellow humans is an act of pure strength; to arm yourself, an act of pure fear; and, Clergyman Jefferson writes, “Christians” ought have nobler emotions than fear to motivate their actions.
Genuine “Christian” morality of uncompromising pacifism and self-sacrificing charity – pacifism even when your enemies murder you; charity even when you starve – is as powerful and as impressive and as deserving of veneration as it is rare to find publicly expressed, either eloquently or vulgarly; and, where expressed, it can be expected to be popularly ignored if not outright derided.
Clergyman Jefferson also writes that if you “create a war machine,” you cannot know who will use it, nor whether the next U.S. president will be a “megalomaniac… who, when he wants a thing, takes it.”
-The Voice before the Void

Money for the Machinery of Human Slaughter

from “Military Preparedness a Danger to Democracy”

Charles Edward Jefferson

published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1916 July

edited by William Dudley and The Voice before the Void

“A Legend of Old Egypt” by Boleslaw Prus

The hopes of man versus the edicts of eternity: one of the great, great short stories.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“A Legend of Old Egypt”

Bolesław Prus

translated from the Polish by Christopher Kasparek

Behold, how vain are human hopes before the order of the world; behold, how vain they are before the decrees that have been written in fiery signs upon the heavens by the Eternal!…

Hundred-year-old Ramses, mighty ruler of Egypt, was breathing his last. The chest of the potentate before whose voice millions had quaked half a century, had been invested by a stifling incubus, and it drank the blood from his heart, the strength from his arm, and at times even the consciousness from his brain. The great pharaoh lay like a fallen cedar upon the skin of an Indian tiger, having covered his legs with the triumphal cloak of an Ethiopian king. And stern even with himself, he summoned the wisest physician from the Temple of Karnak and said:

“I know that you have powerful medicines that either kill or cure at once. Prepare me one proper to my illness, and let this end once and for all… one way or the other.” Continue reading