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Gordon and his friends had quite an exciting time with their 'subversive ideas'. For a whole year they ran an unofficial monthly paper called the Bolshevik, duplicated with jellygraph. It advocated Socialism, free love, the dismemberment of the British Empire, the abolition of the Army and Navy, and so on and so forth. It was great fun. Every intelligent boy of sixteen is a Socialist. At that age one does not see the hook sticking out of the rather stodgy bait.
Drill and uniforms impose an architecture on the crowd. An army's beautiful. But that's not all; it panders to lower instincts than the aesthetic. The spectacle of human beings reduced to automatism satisfies the lust for power. Looking at mechanized slaves, one fancies oneself a master.
But Lincoln also understood that after such a decision, a democracy should seek peace through a new unity. For a democracy can keep alive only if the settlement of old difficulties clears the ground and transfers energies to face new responsibilities. Never can it have as much ability and purpose as it needs in that striving; the end of battle does not end the infinity of those needs. That is why Lincoln—commander of a people as well as of an army—asked that his battle end "with malice toward none, with charity for all."
Now, then, tell me, if you please, what possible result of good would follow the issuing of such a proclamation as you desire? Understand, I raise no objections against it on legal or constitutional grounds; for, as commander—in—chief of the army and navy, in time of war, I suppose I have a right to take any measure which may best subdue the enemy. Nor do I urge objections of a moral nature, in view of possible consequences of insurrection and massacre at the South. I view the matter as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion.
It's not a sign of strength. Anybody can make threats. Anyone can move an army. Anyone can show off a missile. That doesn't make you strong. It does not lead to security, or opportunity, or respect. Those things don't come through force. They have to be earned. And real strength is allowing an open and participatory democracy, where people can choose their own leaders and choose their own destiny. And real strength is allowing a vibrant society, where people can think and pray and speak their minds as they please, even if it's against their leaders — especially if it's against their leaders. Real strength is allowing free and open markets that have built growing, thriving middle classes and lifted millions of people out of poverty.
How could I as an individual, Ernesto Guevara, accept the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa conferred by the School of Education, since the only education I have imparted has been that of guerrilla camps, harsh words, and fierce example? And I believe such things certainly cannot be transformed into a cap and gown. That is why I continue to wear my Rebel Army uniform.
The evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, and the surrender of the principal insurgent army, give hope of a righteous and speedy peace whose joyous expression can not be restrained. In the midst of this, however, He, from Whom all blessings flow, must not be forgotten. A call for a national thanksgiving is being prepared, and will be duly promulgated.