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The chief means
by which this is likely to be accomplished, they believe, is by the
spread of Socialism and the education of youth and even of children in
the principles of international working-class solidarity, _always to put
the humanity as a whole above one's country_, always to despise and
revolt against all kinds of government by violence. Karl Liebknecht
remarks that "it is already recognized that every Social-Democrat
educates his children to be Social-Democrats." But he says that this is
not sufficient. Social-Democratic parents do their best, but the
Socialist public must aid them to do better. In other words, the
greatest hope for Socialism, in its campaign against militarism as in
all else it undertakes, lies in education.

The Socialist movement, even if it becomes some day capable of forcing
concessions from the capitalists through their fear of a social
overturn, depends first, last, and always upon its ability to teach and
to train and to organize the masses of the people to solve their own
problems without governmental or capitalistic aid, and to understand
that, in order to solve them successfully, they must be able to take
broad and far-sighted views of all the political and economic problems
of the time.

Especially Socialists undertake to enlighten the masses on the part
played by war in history and in recent times--not because wars are
necessarily impending, but because the war talk is an excuse for armies
that really serve another purpose. For Socialists believe that the rule
of society by economic classes, and rule by war or brute force, in the
Socialist view, are one and the same thing. No Socialist has expressed
this view more clearly or forcefully than Mr. George R. Kirkpatrick, in
his recent book, "War--What For?" Addressed to the heart as well as to
the head, and based upon all the most important of the previous attacks
on militarism war, whether Socialist or not, it may be doubted whether
any non-Socialist could have presented as powerful an argument. Mr.
Kirkpatrick gives the following interesting outline of the typical
Socialist view of the development of primitive warfare into modern
militarism and of slavery into the present industrial system (here
abbreviated):--


"For a long time in these intertribal wars it was the practice to
take no prisoners (except the younger women), but to kill, kill,
kill, because the conquerors had no use for the captive men. When,
however, society had developed industrially to a stage enabling the
victors to make use of live men as work animals, _that new
industrial condition produced a new idea_--one of the greatest and
most revolutionary ideas that ever flashed into the human brain;
and that idea was simply this: A live man is worth more than a dead
one, if you can make use of him as a _work animal_. When
industrially it became practicable for the conquerors to make use
of live men captured in war, it rapidly became the custom to take
prisoners, save them alive, beat them into submission--tame
them--and thus have them for work animals, human work animals.

"Here the human ox, yoked to the burdens of the world, started
through the centuries, centuries wet with tears and red with blood
and fire.

"Thus originated a _class_ of workers, the _working class_.

"Thus also originated the _ruling_ class. Thus originated the
'leading citizens.'

"Thus originally, in war, the workers fell into the bottomless gulf
of misery. It was thus that war opened wide the devouring jaws of
hell for the workers.

"Thus was human society long ago divided into industrial
classes--into _two_ industrial classes.

"Of course the interests of these two classes were in fundamental
conflict, and thus originated the class struggle.

"Of course the ruling class were in complete possession and control
of all the powers of government--and of course they had _sense
enough to use the powers of government to defend their own class
interests_.

"Of course the ruling class made all the laws and controlled all
institutions in the interests of the ruling class--naturally."[281]


With all other international and revolutionary Socialists, Mr.
Kirkpatrick believes that when the masses are educated to see the truth
of this view and have learned the true nature of modern industry, class
government, and armies, they will put an end to them. He concludes:--


"The working class men _inside_ and _outside_ the _army_ are
confused.

"They do not understand.

"But they will understand.

"AND WHEN THEY DO UNDERSTAND, their class loyalty and class pride
will astonish the world. They will stand erect in their vast class
strength and defend--THEMSELVES. They will cease to coax and tease;
they will make _demands_--unitedly. They will desert the armory;
they will spike every cannon on earth; they will scorn the
commander; they will never club nor bayonet another striker; and
in the legislatures of the world they will shear the fatted
parasites from the political and industrial body of society."[282]


Here we have both the Socialist point of view and a glimpse of the
passionate feeling that accompanies it. "War--What For?" has been
circulated by scores of thousands among the working people and in the
army and navy.

In countries like America and England, where there is no compulsory
service, the practical objective of such agitation is to prevent
enlistment. In France, Belgium, and Italy, where there is compulsory
service, the Socialists for years have been preaching openly desertion
and insubordination.

Complaint against this anti-military propaganda is general in United
States army and navy circles. Recently a general in Southern California
was said by the press to have reported to Washington that the
distribution of one circular had dissuaded many men from joining the
army. The circular, which was published, was attributed, whether rightly
or not we do not know, to Jack London. It ran in part:--


"Young men, the lowest aim in your life is to be a soldier. The
good soldier never tries to distinguish right from wrong. He never
thinks; he never reasons; he only obeys. If he is ordered to fire
on his fellow citizens, on his friends, on his neighbors, on his
relatives, he obeys without hesitation. If he is ordered to fire
down a crowded street when the poor are clamoring for bread, he
obeys, and sees the gray hair of age stained with blood and the
life tide gushing from the breast of women, feeling neither remorse
nor sympathy. If he is ordered off as one of a firing squad to
execute a hero or benefactor, he fires without hesitation, though
he knows that the bullet will pierce the noblest heart that ever
beat in a human breast.

"A good soldier is a blind, heartless, soulless, murderous machine.
He is not a man. He is not even a brute, for brutes only kill in
self-defense. All that is human in him, all that is divine in him,
all that constitutes the man, has been sworn away when he took the
enlistment roll. His mind, conscience, aye, his very soul, is in
the keeping of his officer."


This language will appeal to many as extremely violent, yet it is no
stronger than that of Tolstoi, while Bernard Shaw used almost identical
expressions in his Preface to "John Bull's Other Island," without
anybody suggesting that they were treasonable.


"The soldier," said Shaw, "is an anachronism of which we must get
rid. Among people who are proof against the suggestions of romantic
fiction there can no longer be any question of the fact that
military service produces moral imbecility, ferocity, and
cowardice.... For permanent work the soldier is worse than useless;
such efficiency as he has is the result of dehumanization and
disablement. His whole training tends to make him a weakling. He
has the easiest of lives; he has no freedom and no responsibility.
He is politically and socially a child, with rations instead of
rights, treated like a child, punished like a child, dressed
prettily and washed and combed like a child, excused for outbreaks
like a child, forbidden to marry like a child, and called Tommy
like a child. He has no real work to keep him from going mad except
housemaid's work."


Mr. Shaw's words are identical with those that are preached by
Socialists every day, especially on the Continent.


"No soldier is asked to think for himself," he says, "to judge for
himself, to consult his own honor and manhood, to dread any
consequence except the consequence of punishment to his own person.
The rules are plain and simple; the ceremonies of respect and
submission are as easy and mechanical as a prayer wheel, the orders
are always to be obeyed thoughtlessly, however inept or
dishonorable they may be.... No doubt this weakness is just what
the military system aims at, its ideal soldier being, not a
complete man, but a docile unit or cannon fodder which can be
trusted to respond promptly and certainly to the external stimulus
of a shouted order, and is intimidated to the pitch of being afraid
to run away from a battle."


Nor is Mr. Shaw less sparing to the officer, and he represents in this
case also the most unanimous Socialist view:--


"If he [the officer] calls his men dogs," says Shaw, "and perverts
a musketry drill order to make them kneel to him as an act of
personal humiliation, and thereby provokes a mutiny among men not
yet thoroughly broken in to the abjectness of the military
condition, he is not, as might be expected, shot, but, at the
worst, reprimanded, whilst the leader of the mutiny, instead of
getting the Victoria Cross and a public testimonial, is condemned
to five years' penal servitude by Lynch Law (technically called
martial law) administered by a trade union of officers."


Like all Socialists, Mr.



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Keywords: people, masses, working, interests, military, officer, whether, classes, kirkpatrick, animals
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