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Mail Tribune 100

Nov. 13, 1915

Editorial: 'Kultur'

The German viewpoint is incomprehensible to the average American. How a nation can sanction a reversion to barbarism, applaud the sinking of passenger liners, and tolerate the destruction by violence and terrorism to an entire nation like the Belgians, creates wonderment as to what kind of people these modern Germans are.

We see a nation surrendering its individuality to a ruling Brahman class, and acting in unison for half a century for a common purpose. We see a nation in arms, an army blindly following the lead of officers who will not condescend to speak to them save through an intermediate class. We see the gospel of Christ supplanted by the gospel of might, based on force.

To get the German viewpoint, it is necessary to understand Pan-Germanism — the propaganda of "Kultur," the expansion of Germany by armed might to rule the world. Pan-Germanism aims by the forcible annexation of Belgium, Holland, eastern France, Poland, Courland, the domination of Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Turkey, to rule India and the east, Egypt and Africa, and eventually South America. To establish Germany's "place in the sun" has been the aim and object of German diplomacy and German militarism, and the ideal of the German people

"Kultur" is the German national philosophy as evolved from Treitschke and Nietzsche, an altruism based upon force, as against the altruism of Christ, based upon justice. Germany in arms today is this philosophy. It is reflected in the conduct of the war. Pan-Germanism is the result of this philosophy.

One of the interesting contributions to the literature resulting from the European conflict that enables a comprehension of the German viewpoint is "A Mechanistic View of War and Peace," by Dr. George W. Crile (The Macmillan Co., New York). The author depicts war as the surgeon sees it. Dr. Crile was recently in charge of a field hospital in France, and describes various phenomena among the wounded. He analyzes war and war emotions with a scientist's dispassion. Included in the book is a mechanistic interpretation of German Kultur.

The fact that Germany has been surrounded by enemies for half a century has enabled the ruling class to "fly its military kite," transforming the "action patterns," as the author puts it, of the brains of sixty million people into those of renunciation of individualism and the acceptance of collectivism, the people realizing that their individual labors would be more effective when guided by the highest talent of the few, the superman, than when by the mediocre talent of the masses.