Friday, 15 August 2014

Peasants at War: Part 3 - Idle hands find work in destruction

Following on from the previous post, the editorial of The Vineyard (September 1914) referring to the expected outbreak of the First World War continues:

from The Vineyard
September 1914

"All that the Vineyard has lived and worked for has been the very foundations of Peace.  For Peace is Home.  Above the home first rose the star that heralded a new victory over the law justifying bloodshed in the interests of the strong.  Peace began in the home, where each must serve each with creative hand and sacrificing heart.  It throve and widened its habitation.  It bound together many homes in the mutual service of various crafts and trades, in the healthy rivalry of manifold tastes and arts.  It was of old but peace that kept town and country-side united in the exchange of produce and manufactures: whereby he who buys and he who sells, he who labours and he who pays wage, are equally gainers in every transaction.

"It can be only in like obedience to such principles that we find possibility of friendship and peace between the nations.  Greed and lust and jealousy are the beginnings of domestic discord as soon as hand-service and heart-service fail in filling the life of the home.  Isolation and antagonism between house and house as surely arrive when the daily necessaries, ceasing to be personal exchanges, are supplied by distant factories, set up, not primarily in the interest of human needs, but in the interest of unnecessary wealth.  Yet even more plainly arising from lack of reverence for the essentials of life and the ideal of peace, is come the antagonism and contempt of town and village towards one another, of class against class, of sex against sex.  Lastly, when nations arm to the teeth and preach that commercial prosperity is to be sustained only by the sword, the inevitable hatred ends in bloodshed: hearts and hands made idle by factories find work in destruction."

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