Now and again I have expressed the opinion that every nation, and every person, would do better, instead of rocking himself to sleep with political catchwords about war-guilt, to ask himself how far his own faults and negligences and evil tendencies are guilty of the war and all the other wrongs in the world, and that there lies the only possible means of avoiding the next war. They don’t forgive me for that, for, of course, they are themselves all guiltless, the Kaiser, the generals, the trade magnates, the politicians, the papers. Not one of them has the least thing to blame himself for. Not one has any guilt. One might believe that everything was for the best, even though a few million men lie under the ground. And … even though such abusive articles cannot bother me any longer, they often sadden me all the same. Two-thirds of my countrymen read this kind of newspaper, read things written in this tone every morning and every night, are every day worked up and admonished and incited, and robbed of their peace of mind and better feelings by them, and the end and aim of it all is to have the war over again, the next war that draws nearer and nearer, and it will be a good deal more horrible than the last. All that is perfectly clear and simple. Anyone could comprehend it and reach the same conclusion after a moment’s reflection. But nobody wants to. Nobody wants to avoid the next war, nobody wants to spare himself and his children the next holocaust if this be the cost. To reflect for one moment, to examine himself for a while and ask what share he has in the world’s confusion and wickedness – clearly, nobody wants to do that. And so there’s no stopping it, and the next war is being pushed on with enthusiasm by thousands upon thousands day by day. It has paralysed me since I knew it, and brought me to despair. I have no country and no ideals left, all it means is another decoration for the gentlemen who usher in the next slaughter. There is no sense in thinking or saying or writing anything human, to bother one’s head with thoughts of goodness – for two or three men who do that, there are thousands of papers, periodicals, speeches, meetings in public and in private that make the opposite their daily endeavour and succeed in it too.