A war cannot achieve what peace can. The forces of peace can rule over ignorance and superstition, over illiteracy and immorality, over disease and physical suffering over poverty and governmental oppression. The conquests of peace are nonviolent and bloodless. They cause no grief to humanity and do not donate life or property.
War causes streams of blood and untold havoc. Only the victories of peace leave no maimed limbs or mutilated bodies, no ruined cities or searched fields. Even a superficial glance at the course of the two world wars will tell us that their victories were gained at an incalculable cost. The triumph of the First World War proved to be of a short duration.
The victory itself sowed, in fact, the seeds of the Second World War. Who knows that the victory of World War-II may also prove to be of equally short duration and a third global war may even now be in the offings.
The victories of peace, however, are everlasting. They do not rankle in the mind of any nation and their fruits are enjoyed by all people. The example is the occupation of Germany and Japan by the forces of the Allied countries. If the Axis Powers had won the war, they would have exploited the Allies in the same, if not in a worse way.
Thus victory of war is gained at a heavy cost of life, and also implies the annexation and enslavement of many territories and the exploitation of many more. The victories of peace, on the contrary, involve no butchery of human beings and are, besides, of value to the entire world.
Only peace can bring about social reforms. During the war, men are too busy in militaristic activities to think of social improvement. It is only during peace that a literacy campaign can be stated that the standard of living of the masses can be raised, that better houses can be built for the poor, that more schools and colleges can be opened, that prisons can be reformed, that crime can be effectively checked.
Even the proper working of democracy itself is possible only in times of peace. There can be no elections, no government of the people when a country is in the throes of war. Peace promotes democracy. In short, it is during peace that a general improvement is possible in cleanliness and decency, in refinement and taste, in habits and morals, in manners and speech.
In peace, too, lies the opportunity for sports, for horse- racing, skiing, tennis, cricket, football and hockey tournaments and athletic contests of all kinds. It is often said in favour of the war that it brings out the best in man by creating an opportunity for human beings to display their great powers of endurance, their courage their capacity for self-sacrifice and their patriotism.
This is true enough in times of peace, people tend to become lethargic and indolent. Too much ease bagels idleness and an indifference to work. But to applaud war because it stimulates men into activity would really be preposterous. So grim are the horrors of war and so devastating its effects that no defence of it on any ground whatsoever is possible.