Essay No. 64:
Does Right Prevail Over Might: We see in the working of the world that Might is a very great force in the relations between living creatures. The tiger eats the deer and the hawk preys on the partridge. From this, we might argue that “Might is Right” seems to be a law of Nature. The inequality which we observe in human relations bears out this argument.
If a poor man breaks a law, he is arrested and punished; let a rich man do the same thing and the officers of the law will contrive to be looking the other way. There is a very comforting belief that right will always prevail in the long run. Unfortunately, it does not seem to happen at all times. Persecution has often been successful and has attained its object against innocent people.
The Waldenses’ a Protestant sect who stood out against the persecution of Catholic rulers, were completely annihilated. The poor man who goes to law with a good case is often beaten by the rich man who can influence the court of the law. It is better to be able to employ a great barrister than to have a just cause.
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In modern times, a philosopher called Nietzschears expounded the theory that Might is Right, that the only true greatness in a state comes from strength. Here we have the reverse of one’s moral teaching. But that old German writer influenced his countrymen so much that they set up the worship of strength, of great armies, and so the efforts that we have seen that world domination led to terrible wars.
True it is that Kaiser Willan and later Hitler was defeated and overthrown, but this does not seem to have brought peace into the nations. All are compelled to recognise the unwelcome fact that Might is a very powerful factor in modern international relations and that it is not possible to rely on the justice of one’s cause unless supported by physical strength.
That leads to other questions. Has God ceased to intervene in the affairs of men? Is there a law of justice running through the working of the universe, and, if so, how long does it take to make its effects obvious? We cannot say. Tennyson said:
“Because Right is Right, to follow right