Copyright
G. Stanley (Granville Stanley) Hall.

Morale, the supreme standard of life and conduct online

. (page 10 of 25)
Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 10 of 25)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


insidious of all the foes of morale. They illustrate
the fallibility of conscience, and like the fanatical
sects have done much to discredit this oracle, 8 in the
name of which so many hideous crimes have been
committed. Can anyone doubt that if the conscien-
tious objectors were in the seats of power they would
be less tolerant of opposing views than was the In-
quisition or the coadjutors of Robespierre?

II. Differential morale. Differential psychology
takes account of individual variations. No two peo-
ple are exactly alike in body, and they are still more
unlike in mind and character. The same is true of
nations. Even patriotism is a very different thing
in different lands. It generally contains at least the
following ingredients: (1) Love of landscape, soil,
and the physical environment, which plays such a
role in ethnography; (2) race, especially its more
generic differentiations, white, black, red, yellow; (3)|
language, including much that is common in culture
material and in modes and expressions of thought
and feeling; (4) mores or the general body of na-
tional customs and habits, including food, drink, and
attire; (5) a common history and tradition as, for

*See Chapter I.

137



MORALE

example, Renan called the ancient Jews the People
of the Book; (6) political institutions like the state
or governmental institutions, with something often
thought to be more or less divine about them,
whether it be a direct supernatural force, as in a
theocracy, or in the divinity that hedges kings, an
embodiment of absolute reason as with Hegel, or in
the vox populi of democracies; and (7) economic in-
terests, such as in China, are now being made the new
basis of unity, or as the German confederation of
Bismarck started with the tariff union. There are
many more factors, of which these are the chief.

Now all of these influences are cohesive except the
last, which are more or less dispersive, and it is on
these latter that all internationalism from Marx to
Bolshevism is mainly based. Most economists tend
to internationalism and, in so far as they do, are un-
patriotic. True, commercial relations bind nations
together, but at the expense of their integrity, as well
as separating them as competitors. Business as such,
knows little of patriotism but has long made it its
pretext, striving to use the flag to make trade follow
it while, at the same time, erecting tariff walls, issu-
ing embargoes and checks on immigration or freedom
of movements of men and commodities. The propor-
tion of the other six elements and their innumerable
components differs indefinitely in different countries.
So much is this the case that there is not so very
much that is common between the love of country
which an American feels and that which goes by this

138



CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS

name among Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Jap-
anese, etc. Indeed, the patriotism of perhaps no two
men in the same country is identical. The same is
true of morale, both in peace and in war.

Such national and temperamental differences have
a salient illustration in the diversities of stress laid
upon these characters in both the training for and
the practice of war, of which we see perhaps the most
convenient contrast between the Teutons and French
from Clausewitz and DuPicq down to Bernhardi and
Foch. The Germans study fortifications, maneuvers,
movements of army units as if war were a game of
chess, and have developed their very elaborate Kriey-
spielf which is heralded as marking a pedagogic
revolution somewhat analogous to the methods of
case study in law schools. 4 They figure out the de-
tails of time, numbers, and munitions, and the effects
of the mechanical impact of bodies of men. Their
strategy is that of a game planned in detail before-
hand. The French theory and practice focus on the
attack and charge, and it is to this that everything
converges and from it diverges. The moments that
precede the charge in which, we are so often told,
every soldier, whatever his religion or irreligion,
offers up a prayer or its psychological equivalent, are
the center of all interest. The core of the whole mat-
ter for the German is thus the Gemiit to fight in
general, while for the Frenchman it is the esprit of
dashing at the enemy and stabbing him down or com-

4 M. W. Meyerhardt: The War Gams, Fed. Sem., Dec. 1915.

139



MOKALE

pelling him to flee. Here, too, the English are strong
but without much theory about it. In these crucial
moments each group or individual must act for him-
self as the emergency directs. The officers can only
give general directions and inspire by personal leader-
ship in front rather than issuing orders from the
rear. Details thus have to be left to the inspiration
that the moment brings to each. In these two ways
of war all the heredity, history, and diathesis of the
Gaul and Teuton respectively are expressed.

Again, Huot and Voivenel, 5 French writers, tell us
in a remarkable work approved by the War Ministry,
that courage is the triumph of the instinct of social
over that of individual preservation. It is the sacri-
fice of the self for an ideal. It is the acme of citizen-
ship. In moments of desperation and abandon it
comes like an inspiration, even to mediocre men. The
last vestige of fear goes, death is accepted as certain,
and this sets free new and terrible energies; indeed
it is often just at this stage that the most heroic
deeds are done. The whole strength of the race
nerves the individual, so gregarious is man, and be-
fore the inevitable end he is compelled as by a higher
power to do one supreme act of service. But who
can tell whether the noble Americans who died in
and for France, Victor Chapman, Norman Prince,
Kiffin Rockwell, Alan Seeger, and others^ evolved
a clear ideal, which few really do, or followed the
blind, all-compelling social impulse. And who shall

*Le Courage, 358, Paris: 1917.

140



CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS

say which is highest or best. The Frenchman often
loves his country as if she were a woman, avec une
pointe de sexualite. Love of it seizes and carries him
away as love of woman sometimes does a man. Just
before the battle there is intense tumescence; every
nerve is taut. Then there is a great hemorrhage of
sentiment, and afterwards come exhaustion and de-
pression.



CHAPTER IX

THE SOLDIER IDEAL AND ITS CONSERVATION IN PEACE

What is the ideal soldier? Value of the details of his training
Carrying on the war in peace True Democracy Capital versus
Labor America as the "big brother" of the countries she has
made democratic.

The ideal soldier comes perhaps nearer being the
ideal man than does the ideal workman, 'scholar,
farmer, savant, or the ideal man of any occupation.
The soldierly attitude and bearing is the acme of
alertness and readiness for action of any kind on the
instant with a maximum of efficiency. Man is the
erect stander (anthropos) and the soldier's very
posture suggests the goal of human evolution, for he
is the most upright of all men, and this suggests that
he is supercharged with vitality. His uniform must
seem to fit him and indicate that he would "strip"
well. On parades and in civil life his dress must be
immaculate and he must be spick and span in every
way and part as well as in his toilet, while his every
movement must speak of vigor. The true soldier
carries a certain atmosphere of tonic, out-of-door
healthfulness and life abounding that is a mental
and physical tonic to all he meets and is the very
opposite of weakness, invalidism, or flabbiness.
There is no sign of apathy or accidie about either his
body or mind. The ideal soldier is not merely an

142



erect man in uniform with a gun or sword but a man
of sentiments and ideals peculiar to his calling.
Honor, which is simply ideal conduct though often
codified into fantastic form, is his Muse. This rule
of life, though somewhat more pagan than Christian
in its origin, is more positive and more ideal than
the puritanical rule of conscience and demands more
superfluity of virtue. It is all of duty with a large
plus. It makes a strong appeal to the youthful
imagination and is in fact the very best standard
of human behavior in every relation of life. It has
every predicate of Pauline charity and then some.
The true soldier does not have the heart of a thug
with a brain steeped in modern Kultur. Let us,
however, be just and admit that the old German band
of virtue (Tugendbund) in which young men, many
of them lately soldiers in the Napoleonic wars,
united to cultivate in civil life the primitive virtues
of the camp, such as fraternity, utter honesty, love
of work, loyalty, righteous pugnacity, and mutual
help, to which they added chastity and the peni-
tential mood, was in its early prime a potent agent
in regenerating Prussia when it reached its pinnacle
of cultural development a century ago.

The true soldier surpasses all others in team work
and esprit de corps. This means that he has learned
to execute orders on the instant and with exactness,
to keep in the closest rapport with his fellows, and
that he has voluntarily subordinated himself to the
group with utter abnegation and has made its aims

143



MORALE

his own. He can thus be handled in larger groups
and each trusts in the next highest command, thus
avoiding friction and enabling vast bodies of men to
act as a unit. He has developed a large bundle of use-
ful habits acquired by prolonged discipline that are
for his own and for the common good. Thus the
very manual of arms and all drill are in themselves
the 'best liberal education for the body compared
with modern physical training, which gives the full-
est of all-round development to every muscle and pre-
scribes every movement possible to the body as a
machine but lacks the spirit of team work and of ob-
jective purpose. It is superior to this latter because
drill movements are the very best of all group acti-
vities for training the muscles and the will, of which
they are the organ, to the most strenuous of all
efforts, viz., overcoming the enemy. They are sanc-
tioned again, most of them even in their details by
the experience of ages, some of them going back to
the primitive hunter 1 from whom the warrior de-
veloped, and also by the consensus of the competent
since the history of war began. Their benefit ex-
tends even to the details of military etiquette. The
salute to the petty officer is in fact an obeisance to
him, to the staff, and to the State. The salute to the
flag is not a ritual addressed to a piece of striped
bunting but to the country and the cause of which

*See V. Branford & P. Geddes: The Coming Polity, Lond., Wil-
liams & Norgate, 1917, showing how occupational types may be
made culture stages. Also A Rustic View of War and Peace, 124.
anonymous, Soc. Rev., Summer No. 1918.

144



THE SOLDIER IDEAL

it is a symbol. The ceremony of mounting guard
came down to us from the Crusades and was once an
act of religious consecration. Presenting arms ex-
pressed offering up of self and weapon. Bugle calls,
taps, military funerals, and the rest are not a few of
them made up, warp and woof, of symbols, which have
always been among the great culture forces of the
world. 2

Least of all can a soldier live to or for himself. He
and all that he has, is, and can do, his entire thun und
haben are subordinated as a means to an end that
vastly transcends self. He must be, feel, and act like
a soldier, that is, for his companions, the army, and
his cause. For this reason he should also be a gentle-
man without fear or reproach and should feel himself
particularly called to elevate and advance to ever
higher levels the loftiest ideals of his sex, a call which
the instinctive admiration of women always and
everywhere makes to him. While cultivating hardness
to the enemy he must and will naturally compensate
by more tenderness to friends, the weak, defenseless,
sometimes even to animals, as we see in all kinds of
individual and group pets and mascots, including even
fleas, the interest in which throws such a suggestive
sidelight on the diathesis of the soldier. The very
drudgery and sordid ness of camp and trench life make
him also seek compensation in ideals of home and of
peace. As the war lasts on and he grows grim and

3 H. Silberer, Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism. Tr. by
S, E. Jelliffe. N. Y., Moffat, Yard & Co., 1917.

145



MORALE

fatalistic, and his will becomes set as if in a tonic
cramp to see it through regardless of self, counter-
vailing suggestions arise that all the suffering of
battle must be paid for by a world enough better to
make up for all he has gone through, and the conser-
vation of this most precious of sentiments in survivors
later is one of the most difficult but important tasks
of constructive and insightful statesmanship.

Physical trainers during the war have grown
practically unanimous that the all-sided muscle
training they represent is a better school of body-
culture than military drill, which is more special and
affords a less general culture, and on this ground
they have not favored the claim that grew strong
during the war that drill should supersede the cult
they represent, as it did in a number of our states,
led of course by Wyoming. 3 They are not only right
from the standpoint of physiology but our experience
has shown that setting-up exercises in the training
camps were a most wholesome aid in developing and
hardening not only the body but the soul. But they
tend to ignore the fact that military training in
school in war time gives more push to all the deeper
sentiments we dub patriotism than any systematized
set of exercises, with only the end of general physical
developement, can ever do. In other words, they have
not fully recognized the subtle psychological pre-
paredness of drill under real war conditions, e. g.,
with uniforms, camps, barracks, and guns that shoot

*Pin Ling: The Public Schools and the War, Clark U. Thesis.
1919.

146



THE SOLDIER IDEAL

bullets. The great uplift to morale which this gives
to students in high .school and college in time of
war, especially when students themselves realize their
own liability to draft sooner or later, is something it
is hard and perhaps impossible to conserve in peace ;
so that the advocates of military drill in institutions
of learning are right when war is on or imminent,
but wrong when it is over.

Thus the complete soldier and patriot has unpre-
cedented incentives to idealism and to be more ready
to insist on and enlist in all great and good even if
radical reforms. If he has found in the aims of the
war a cause that is so much greater than himself that
in his heart he has really consented, to die for it if
need be, the awful school of war will graduate him a
man more fully statured than others who have lacked
this supreme initiation to life. He can show "a healthy
brisket," that he has "grown hair" on the chest
not only of his body but of his very soul. Would that
more soldiers might go on to this higher diploma of
finished manhood and citizenship, and not stop at
the kindergarten or primary stage of the soldierly
curriculum !

Carrying on the war after peace comes. Many if
not most great wars have been followed by periods of
dis- and reorganization, lawlessness, selfish greed and
sometimes moral license, and there is a very great
danger that this will now be the case, perhaps espe-
cially in this country. It will surely be so unless the
new vigor and robust virtues that war has given us

147



MOKALE

are kept up in a new war with the weapons of peace.
As Harold Goddard well says, "Without the new
health, hitting force, adventure, loyalty, justice, and
high endeavor that the war has bred peace will mean
stagnation and decay." Even physical vigor is just
as essential for the battles of peace as for those of
war. ,We must make justice a passion, realizing that
not only is the world not yet safe for democracy but
that democracy is nowhere more than half realized
and is as yet only an ideal toward which we, its
leader, have taken but a few steps. So the soldier
who is a hero in the struggle of arms often becomes
a moral coward, intent only on personal indulgence
when he comes home. To do this is ethically worse
than desertion.

Every intelligent and impartial mind recognizes
that in this country Capitalism is a danger no whit
less than Kaiserism or military autocracy, and un-
less we can devise and commit ourselves to a substi-
tute for war against its abuses, the struggle begun
with powder and gas will be unfinished. What we
have to do is to devise effective means of setting a
back-fire to the principle of the soviet, as repre-
sented in Bolshevism, and this we can do only by
the method of inoculation with an attenuated virus.
Kussia to-day by her propaganda for a cause, the
devotees of which however mistaken are ready to
sacrifice their lives, is waging a post-bellum fight
which now promises to be far more significant to the
world, than anything she ever did with her arms. In

148



THE SOLDIER IDEAL

our better cause we should realize that if we are to
maintain our world leadership in democracy we have
to make ourselves far more democratic than we are
and reorganize our very industrial system from bot-
tom to top.

War inevitably leads men's thoughts back to first
principles, and everywhere thinking men are recon-
sidering social, political, industrial, and even family
traditions and institutions. Everything bottoms on
industry, and even in the Non-Partisan League,
which has so much to commend it, we already see a
suggestion of the soviet principle which animated
the ancient guilds, that cities and states should be
ruled by real representatives of the different lines of
industry, which should be so reorganized that the
present greatest of all wastes in our economic system,
viz., friction between Capital and Labor and unfair
competition, can be forever and as effectively wiped
out as we have almost wiped out the old and waste-
ful warfare between Science and Eeligion. When the
work of the Paris Conference is done and political
boundaries and balances are agreed upon, the hardest
of all the wars against future war should be the chief
concern of the country and the world. There must
be no bolshevik domination by the proletariat, and
indeed there can never be save in Russia where the
middle class, which was weak in France in the
days of the French Revolution, is less developed.
A true democracy will never commit itself to the
foolish principle of the equality of men, save in op-

149



portunity. Individuals differ enormously, in abili-
ty, in capacity for service, in the value of the heredi-
tary strain that flows through them, and in every-
thing else, as well as in the kind of ability that comes
by training and education; and any political, social,
or industrial organization that prevents superior
men from attaining superior rewards is doomed to
failure. The history of this country, especially since
the Civil War but indeed long before that, is a tri-
umphant vindication of the principle that the freer
men are the less equal they become, and while here
the chief measure of ability has so far been too much
material reward, the instinct of competition which
prompts everyone to do and be the greatest and best
he can needs only regulation. Interference with it will
always bring not even mediocrity but inferiority and
stagnation.

The present, then, in fine is the most critical mo-
ment in the history of this country and the world.
Never were there such possibilities of advance or re-
gression, nor such need of mobilizing all our moral
resources for the new militancy of peace. We owe
this to the dead that their self-immolation be not in
vain ; we owe it to our descendants that they be really
free; and we owe it to ourselves that we awake to
the tremendous issues now pending, for even men of
to-day are but a link between the past and the true
overman that is some time to be. Thus the real
problem of morale which is up to us is to face the
here and now, to act aright in the living present, and

150



THE SOLDIER IDEAL

to inaugurate a higher history of mankind compared
to which all human records to date are only prole-
gomena or a preface.

We entered the war to make the world safe for
democracy but we did far more; we made the world
democratic. Thus our relations to these new re-
publics is very like that of a parent to the children
he has brought into the world. Shall we disown our
offspring and leave them orphaned and unprotected?
They owe their new life to us. We cannot expose
them in their infancy. It is they now and not we,
as we were in Washington's day when we were only
a belt along the Atlantic, that need to be safe-
guarded from "entangling foreign alliances." With-
out our aid these new democracies will not be safe
and our war-aims will be aborted. They will not all
be our mandatories, perhaps none of them, but we are
called by every principle of honor to be at least the
"big brother" of all of them. When as a result of our
Civil War we set the slaves free, we did not leave them
at the mercy of their former masters but did our best,
mistaken though our way was, to establish them in
their new freedom. We cannot, of course, do this for
the newly emancipated peoples of Europe, although
they are free solely because we brought victory to
the Allies and they know that we gave them their
new life, but we can cherish toward them the same
good will and do something to activate it. To evade
this high duty would be moral slackerdom unworthy
the spirit with which our soldiers fought and won.

151



The new democracies look to us not only because
we made them free or because we were the first great
republic, but also because they have made us by giv-
ing to us so many of their countrymen, friends, and
relatives who have come to these shores. Indeed, we
are all only and solely immigrants from Europe, or
their descendants, and this our country, which is real-
ly "New Europe," owes all that it has and is to "Old
Europe" and we sfaall probably in future years owe
it a far larger debt of this kind. We have made a
notable beginning toward paying this debt by our
arms, and we must not repudiate the other larger
moiety of it that is still due. It is a great debt with
long-accumulated interest. Europe is our father- or
mother-land, and as it ages it may yet more need sup-
port from its young and lusty child across the West-
ern sea. From our previous isolation we are now
called to a new world leadership. The last becomes
the first. Have we tihe morale to see this new oppor-
tunity and to assume the new duties and responsi-
bilities which the Muse of History now lays upon us?



MORALE, TESTS, AND PERSONNEL WORK

Recent studies of types of character Testing soldiers and officers-
The development of personnel work in the army and in industry
Dangers here of substituting Kultur for culture in general and
the same dangers now imminent in psychology.

Besides the traits common to all men with which
our textbooks on psychology deal, there is now open
a vast field of differential psychology which stresses
the points in which individuals differ. The Binet-
Simon scale graded prepubescent children by psycho-
logical rather than chronological age. Introspection
had stressed the difference between eye, ear, and
motor types of reaction. Before this there were the
old classical four temperaments, some slight contri-
butions to characterology by the phrenologists, wihile
even the palmists added their mite. Characterology
from Bahnsen on opened up certain new lines.
Krasnegorski applied Pawlow's conditioned reflex to
testing the mentality of babies. Kraepelin proposed
a new set of symptom groups for the psychoses. In
yet another field MacAuliffe and Giovanni (apparent-
ly working more or less independently of each other)
gave us the four somatic types, in accordance with
which the French students in this field would base a
markedly differential medical treatment and which
apparently has profound significance for assignment

153



to different lines of military service. McDougall,
Thorndike, Shand, and others have attempted to tab
off the basal instincts of human nature and perhaps
to develop a scale on which each individual differ-
ence can be laid off. Nietzsche, James, Jung, Daven-
port, and many others proposed new rubrics for
grouping primary dispositions. Many corporations
have experts who are very clever in the rough-and-


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 10 of 25)