In the Atomic Age
the permanent political unification of mankind
on a literally world-wide scale
is evidently the only alternative that we have
to the infliction on ourselves of a catastrophe
of unprecedented and immeasurable dimensions.
All past attempts at establishing world peace
are therefore of topical interest for us today.
Arnold Toynbee, 1963
In 1851 Victor Hugo addressed the Peace Congress in Paris and prophesied that universal peace is inevitable when the nations are linked together by the Gospel that substitutes mediation for war. He proclaimed that the law of God is not war, but peace. He noted that before France was united, local regions fought each other often, and he predicted that the ballot box would unite the nations as well. The great novelist spoke prophetically when he said,
A day will come when there will be no more battlefields,
but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas.
A day will come when the bullets and bombs
are replaced by votes, by universal suffrage,
by the venerable arbitration of a great supreme senate
which will be to Europe what Parliament is to England,
the Diet to Germany, and the Legislative Assembly to France.
A day will come when a cannon will be a museum-piece,
as instruments of torture are today.
And we will be amazed to think that these things once existed!
A day will come when we shall see those two immense groups,
the United States of America and the United States of Europe,
stretching out their hands across the sea,
exchanging their products, their arts, their works of genius,
clearing up the globe, making deserts fruitful,
ameliorating creation under the eyes of the Creator,
and joining together to reap the well-being of all.