Title: An Inspiring Example
Date: 8/15/1916
Source: Retrieved on October 27th, 2020 from “Life of an Anarchist: An Alexander Berkman Reader”
Notes: Written in Volume 1, #17, of The Blast

The stand of Carl Liebknecht, of Germany, against the continuance of the war, is highly significant. An act of physical bravery in ennobling. A deed of moral courage is an inspiration. Liebknecht, daring to be true to his ideals in the face of a powerful government and the still more powerful public warmadness, is a great inspiration. Moreover, back of Liebknecht is an intelligent minority in Germany of which he is merely the emphatic spokesman. In every warring country of Europe there are these intelligent minorities, opposed to the slaughter of their fellow men and courageous enough to act up to their beliefs. If all the revolutionary elements of Europe had the sincerity and courage of Liebknecht, there would have been no war. As it is, in every country there are numerous rebels killed and imprisoned because of their opposition to human slaughter. At this very moment our Comrade Guy A. Aldred, editor of the London Spur, his co-workers Henry Sara, Allan McDougall, and numerous others, are tortured in the “black houses” of English prisons because of their loyalty to their ideals. The new English Military Service Act excuses from service men having conscientious objections to murder. In spite of it, our anti-militarist comrades are forced into the army or navy and, if objecting, subjected to imprisonment, degradation and torture.

But the example of these valiant protestants is compelling the respect of thinking men and women, and rousing the people to the true character of militarism and government.

May the workers of this country not fail to learn the lesson. Militarism and conscription are about to be foisted on the people of the United States. This country is to be turned into an armed camp, like England, Russia and Germany. Only the immediate active opposition of the workers can save us from the fate of Europe. On this most fundamental issue all revolutionists, rebels, radicals of every shade can and must immediately get together, and in co-operation with the more intelligent element of labor, help to crystallize and organize the scattered anti-militarist sentiment of this country and rear an effective barrier against the power of tyranny and greed.