A Chinese Prophecy

The competition for markets bids fair to be a more fruitful cause of war than was ever in the past the ambition of princes or the bigotry of Priests. The peoples of Europe fling themselves, like hungry beasts of prey, on every yet unexploited quarter of the globe. Hitherto they confined their acts of spoliation to those whom they regard as outside their own pale. But always, as they divide the spoil, they watch one another with a jealous eye ; and sooner or later, when there is nothing left to divide, they will fall upon one another. That is the real meaning of your armaments : you must devour or be devoured. And it is precisely those trade relations, which it was thought would knit you in the bonds of peace, which, by making everyone of you cut-throat rivals of the others, have brought you within reasonable distance of a general war of extermination.

Extract from “Letters from John Chinaman,” published anonymously in 1901 by Messrs. Brimley Johnson, 8 York Buildings, Adelphi, London.

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