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Bernhardi and illustrated by the deliberate policy of
frightfulness and atrocities.

The superman breaks the old tables of morality for
lie is above the current conceptions of right and
wrong, good and evil, which civilized communities
have! so Jong sanctioned. He despises much in the old
codes of honor that used to protect the weak amid de-
fenseless and that would inculcate in the modern sol-
dier the spirit of good sportsmanship and make him
adhere to the rules of the game even in grim and
grueling war. Everything that weakens the enemy
devastation, sabotage, poisoning the air (if not some-
times the very water and food with morbific germs),
ruthlessness to non-combatants, terrorism, etc., is
allowable to the superman and the super-state or
super-race. The true disciple of Zarathustra must
not only be great and superior but must know and
show it by every token. He must not and cannot be
really beaten or overcome even by defeat. His in-

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MOKALE

eluctable pride is based on the conviction that he is a
"link" or "bridge," the hope of the world, the key to
the higher breed of men that will rule the world after
our stage of development is forgotten.

"If we fail, civilization fails with us," for most of
the great men of the world have had Teutonic blood
(Chamberlain). One savant has lately told us (what
would make Nietzsche turn in his grave) that the Jes
or the first syllable of the name of Jesus is (by the ap-
plication of certain new provisions and the elimina-
tion of at least one old one in the famous Grimm laws
of phonic change) or originally was Ger, and the us
or last syllable in His name is simply the masculine
termination, so that "Jesus" is etymologically "the
German." The superman is generally conceived as
harsh and far above being a mere gentleman. His
quality is something woman can worship but can
never attain, for there never was or can be a super-
woman.

A century ago Germany was humanistic, but since
that time, and especially since the War of 1870, her
culture transformed itself into Kultur, so that prac-
tical efficiency is now her ideal, and this is the cult of
the superman. Fichte made a stirring appeal to his
fellow-countrymen when their armies were shattered
by Napoleon, their resources exhausted, and their
very morale so near collapse that apparently but for
him it would have broken, to remember that they still
had strong bodies, a pure tongue, a literature and
philosophy among the best of the world, and that they

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MOKALE AS A SUPREME STANDARD

could only rehabilitate themselves as a state or nation
by trusting and utilizing to their uttermost all that
education and moral energy can do to make them the
center of the world's culture. They listened to him
as they had done to no one since Luther, and accord-
ing to his scheme and inspired by him, the Univer-
sity of Berlin was established and education made the
chief concern of statesmanship, so that the regenera-
tion of this country in a century makes one of the
most brilliant chapters of history. Since that great
day Germany has undergone a change of ideals which
is nothing less than revolutionary, for she has turned
her back upon the spirit that made her own renais-
sance. She was well on the way toward the realization
of Fichte's ideals. Her science was preeminent, and
advanced students of all lands flocked to her to learn
the latest and best in their departments. Her in-
dustrial technic led the world, and she was in a fair
way to become a kind of new theocracy of science and
culture. Her methods, her systematization, her modes
of dealing with many social problems, her products,
her trade, were all advancing at an ever accelerating
rate.

Just when these lines of development were most
open and her progress most rapid, she gradually fell
under the malign spell of the demon of power. She
could not wait for the gradual and natural conquest
of mankind by peaceful methods, but after succeed-
ing in doing what no great race or nation in history
had ever done before, viz., in fusing the new rich class,

13



MOEALE

which had grown so strong, with the old feudal no-
bility (which had survived over from the Middle Ages
there as nowhere else since Germany never had a rev-
olution), she acquired a sense of power which made
her an easy victim to the spell of militarism. Thus
she threw the sword into the scale already tipping in
her favor without it, and so upset the equilibrium of
the world. She not only thus ceased to rule it by nor-
mal methods but checked all the slower but surer
spiritual influences by which she was legitimately ad-
vancing towards supremacy. Her fall was thus due
to the delusion that the fittest was the strongest, and
by this ghastly error, which all the great Germans of
two generations ago would have abhorred, she ha* not
only set back the progress of the world but has for a
long time to come handicapped her own legitimate in-
fluences. Will a new Fichte arise now to tell the Ger-
mans the painful truth and set them back again on
the true path of what every intelligent and impartial
observer outside, whose mind was uncorroded by pride
and ambition, saw so clearly to be the way her destiny
was leading her?

But the ideal of the superman is not all mere pa-
resis or delusions of greatness but has ingredients
which the world and its morale want, recognize, and
cannot afford to lose. Hegel said "Man cannot think
too highly of himself as man," but this is true in a
far different sense than he meant it, for man can now
read his title clear to an ancient pedigree that goes
far back of recorded history, back to the amphioxus

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MORALE AS A SUPREME STANDARD

and even the protozoa. He lias won out and thus
proved his stirps best fitted to survive. Even though
anthropologists now tell us that civilized is by no
means so superior to savage man as we have thought,
there is at any rate a vast difference between the best
and even the second-best individuals, and to excel
others as well as our own past selves is one of the
strongest and noblest springs of true ambition. No
leveling Bolshevism can ever efface the true aristoc-
racy of native gifts or even of individual attainments.
Men are and should strive to be equal in nothing save
in opportunity. There will always be some whose
services to the community and the world will be worth
hundreds and even thousands as much as others, and
originators, pioneers, geniuses, leaders, and experts
will always deserve and get more of the rewards of
life than those whose services are worth less to man-
kind. Indeed almost all can excel in something, and
that something it is the business of not only voca-
tional guidance but of home, school, and every other
agency that can be utilized for that end to find out.
If everyone were always doing his best thing, the
world would leap forward, and there would be vastly
more just and saving self-respect in all of us; while
nothing so cankers as the realization of the danger of
failing because there is no opportunity to do our best.
But the real superman, like the moralist, is too self-
conscious. The best man in the world who knows
himself to be such is already spoiled by that knowl-
edge. Even Socrates was the wisest of men only be-

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MOKALE

cause he was most conscious of his ignorance, and the
real overman, if praised by others as he thinks he de-
serves, becomes insufferable. The Teutonic Ueber-
mensch in life and in the voluminous literature in
which he has lately appeared is always a supreme
egoist, a victim of conscious hyperindividuation, some-
times not without a taint of Narcissism. But there
ought always and everywhere to be a conception of
the higher ideal man and a belief that he will some-
time appear. When he does come, he will be very dif-
ferent from the Teutonic ideal. He will merge and
perhaps efface himself in his cause or task ; although
greatest, he will be content to be thought least; he
will be vastly more naive than self-conscious, and will
place the good of others before that of himself.

IV. Morale. The above three ideals of life and con-
duct do not suffice to meet the needs of the new era
which is upon us, and the purpose of this book is to
suggest a fourth, the realization of which in its true
perspective was one of the very best results of the
war and which should now be made a new oracle in
this period of reconstruction.

Morale, while not entirely definable, is best char-
acterized as the cult of condition. It includes many
of the best of the maxims of the other three standards,
but adds a new factor of its own which gives the old
ones a higher unity and greatly enhances their energy.
Psychophysic condition is the most important factor
in any and every kind of success. Men slump morally,
financially, in their creeds, and even into ill-health

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MOEALE AS A SUPREME STANDARD

because they lose condition. In a way this has always
been recognized, for the oldest and most universal
form of greeting is "How are you feeling?" and "I
hope you are well" are the tides of life running high
or low to-day as if this was a thing of prime concern.
When we awake after a sound and refreshing sleep
with every organ in tune and at concert pitch, and
thank whatever gods we believe in that we are alive,
well, young, strong, buoyant, and exuberant, with ani-
mal spirits at the top-notch ; when we are full of joy
that the world is so beautiful, that we can love our
dear ones, and can throw ourselves into our work with
zest and abandon because we like it; when our prob-
lems seem not insoluble and the obstacles in our path
not insuperable; when we feel that our enemies are
either beaten or placated; in a word, when we face
reality gladly and with a stout heart even if it is grim
and painful, and never doubt that it is good at the
core and all evil is subordinate to good, that even if
we are defeated and overwhelmed in a good cause all
is not lost; when we feel that we live for something
that we would die for if need be this is Morale.

Morale is thus health. It means wholeness or holi-
ness, the flower of every kind of hygiene. It is the
state in which the whole momentum of evolution is
at its best and strongest in us. It is found wherever
the universal hunger for more life is best getting
its fill. The great religious, especially the Christian
founders who strove to realize the kingdom of God,
that is, of man here and now, are perhaps the

17



MORALE

world's very best illustrations of high morale. It is
the race seeking expression in the individual, or in the
antique phrases of theology it is God coming to con-
sciousness in man. In an athletic team and its mem-
bers it is conscientious training beforehand, and in the
crisis it is struggling with abandon, throwing every-
thing we have, are, and can do into the game up to the
last moment for the sake of the team, the college, and
the city each player represents. Morale is a state and
partly a diathesis. Its only code is that of personal
and social hygiene. It is perpetual and general pre-
paredness to act more efficiently in every emergency
as it presents itself, where often to deliberate means
to lose an occasion. It not only faces opportunities
as they come but sallies forth to meet and even to
make them.

Morale is the very soul of the soldier. It makes an
army as keen for attack as valiant in defense. It is
bold and even enterprising to say to any and every op-
portunity "I can ;" but it does not stop here but adds
"I will." Nor does it stop here, because for it the sad
chasm between knowing and even willing and doing
is completely bridged, so that the man of morale "does
it now."

Again, morale not only permits but often sanctions
many things which the old codes of morals, honor, and
superhumanity forbid, for, like conscience, these may
make cowards of us all. Morale serves us right when
we have to do a lesser wrong, as everybody very often
has to do, for the sake of a greater good. It may feel

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MORALE AS A SUPREME STANDARD

itself so "fixed in truth that it can play with gracious
lies." It may be cruel in order to be kind, break the
letter of laws to keep their spirit, defy old and warped
ideas of honor in the interests of the new and higher
interpretations of life. It is ever mindful not only of
new occasions but of the new duties they teach and
also of the old ones that they often abolish. Just as
the doctor finds in every new case new complications,
so that the symptom complexes of his patient are
never exactly found in any medical textbook ; and just
as the lawyer, especially under the new method of case
study, finds with his every client circumstances for
which he seeks in vain for prescriptions in any corpus
juris; as in both these and all professions and voca-
tions there are new factors that throw us back upon
our original resources, so all the exigencies of life, to
be adequately met, demand incessant preparedness in
the form of high psychophysic tone. All the rest is
mechanism and routine but this is a glint of creative
evolution. The soldier may be trained what to do in
the melee, how to shoot from the hip without aiming,
how to stab and withdraw his bayonet, how to club,
trip, hit, jiu-jitsu, gouge, and strike for sensitive
parts, and all this is a great help; but in a mortal
scrimmage of man against man, where each is beyond
the control of officers and is thrown upon his own per-
sonal resources for initiative here it is that condi-
tion wins and the lack of it means death. Here the
soldier fights with all that he ever was or did ; indeed
with all that his ancestors ever were and did. Here,

19



MORALE

other things being anywhere nearly equal, it is morale
that decides. Only high morale, too, can make the
fighters in an army good losers. The no less cardinal
trait of morale is thus how it takes defeat and retreat,
and especially how it bears up under long bombard-
ments or how much shelling can be endured without
succumbing to shell-shock. Here the only salvation is
in the alleviation of grim, passive endurance, which
only condition can supply, for it alone makes diver-
sion, physical and mental, possible and effective, and
it is it also that makes of this long and inactive expo-
sure to danger a method of steeling the will and re-
solve to fight the harder when the time for it comes.

Thus my book is a plea for nothing less than a new
criterion of all human worths and values. I would
have the home, the state, the church, literature, sci-
ence, industry, and every human institution, not ex-
cluding religion, and perhaps it most, rejudged and
revaluated by the standard of what they contribute
to individual, industrial, and social morale. This
would give us a new scale on which to measure real
progress or regression.

The war itself was the bankruptcy of the old cri-
teria. Right and wrong, honor, and superhumanity
as we had interpreted them, led us astray. We trusted
these old oracles too long and too implicitly. Their
voices had become raucous with age and indeed they
rarely spoke ait all. They have now completely failed
us, and we have paid and shall long continue to pay
the penalty of our deafness. The world war was

20



MOKALE AS A SUPREME STANDARD

simply the collapse of the world morale. It was not
merely that Germany lost her old soul and the new
one she put in its place proved a demon, but the other
countries lost their vital touch upon present reality ;
and this for many reasons, partly because it had be-
come too vast and complicated for any save a few
seers, who were thought to be Cassandras, squarely
to envisage. Henceforth, those states and those leaders
who do not know, cannot face and base their conduct
upon the larger cosmic aspects of the world will be
cowards taking flight from reality, perhaps to a Nar-
cissistic absorption in jingoism or chauvinism. As
never before, each vital racial or national factor in
history must get into and keep in close rapport with
all the resit, for the synthesis especially of the great
peoples of the earth is to be henceforth far closer. The
day of each for itself is passed. So there must be a
new international consciousness and, what is far more
important, a new instinct feeling of solidarity. Few,
indeed, of the leaders of the old ante-bellum dispensa-
tion can become our guides in the new age that is now
dawning. Hence we must train new ones, and just
in proportion as we cannot see our way clearly ahead,
keep ourselves at the acme of alertness for each next
step as the way opens.



CHAPTER II

MORALE, PATRIOTISM, AND HEALTH

Our present problem of morale in general and especially in this
country Its peculiar difficulties here Its relations to health.

One of the best culture results of the war has been
to make all intelligent people think and talk much
about morale. There is already an interesting, valu-
able, and rapidly growing literature about it. 1 Now
that the war is over, the interest which was growing
so rapidly in army morale is being transferred to civil
life, and we are coming into a new appreciation of its
value and meaning in that domain, and are hearing
of personal, family, community, city, party, business,
institutional, national morale, etc. Thus the war
has given us a new sense of the value of this intan-
gible, spiritual virtue which, in a word, means manli-
ness. There is a sense in which the army, like all
other human institutions, is a state of mind. Its
morale is its soul (Mens agitat molem}, without
which masses of men and munitions make only a blind
titan Polyphemus.

What is the popular conception of morale? No two
ideas of it are alike. It can no more be defined than
energy, or life, or soul. All we can do is to try to de-
scribe, to feel, and to guide it. We can already see

1 See descriptive bibliography at the end of this book.

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MORALE, PATRIOTISM, AND HEALTH

that it has very deep roots; its ultimate source is
nothing less than the great evolutionary urge itself.
Of this it is, as we are now conceiving it, about the
latest and highest product. It bottoms, as we have
seen, on nothing less than the evolutionary nisus it-
self. As Carruth said, "Some call it evolution, and
others call it God." When and where it is strongest
it makes the individual feel "fit" for any task. It also
gives him a sense of solidarity with his comrades
seeking the same end, and enables him either to do or
to suffer in a common cause. To some extent it ebbs
and flows by causes within which we cannot control
or even fully understand. Yet to a great extent it
can, like condition in an athlete, be trained for and
cultivated. To do this latter for morale in every field
is one of the great demands which modern civilization
is now laying upon itself, in far greater degree than
ever before. For this reason it is of fundamental im-
portance for those who would fully enter into the life
of the dawning post-bellum epoch very carefully to
weigh its importance and learn all that can be taught,
and to seek from every source all the practical insight
available to keep it at its best in ourselves, in those]
nearest to us, and in every institution with which w&
are connected. All, especially every young man and
woman, wish to be, to do something in the world that
is worth while. In proportion to the momentum of
life which they inherit they feel the impulse of the
youth in Longfellow's "Excelsior" to climb ever
higher, to gain influence, power, and possession, to

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MORALE

overcome obstacles, and. to make the most and best of
themselves. This vital energy keeps up a constant
pressure upon reality about them to subdue it and
mold it to their will, as man has always sought to
dominate Nature and Circumstance. In terms of
psychanalysis morale ought to be highest when we are
hardest up against reality in the Here and Now, for
tfhen it is best and most aggressive it not only faces
rather than flees from reality but tends to construe
and realize every goal of the race here and now so in-
tensely that the past and the future grow a little pale
for the time.

But when morale sags or fails of attaining this goal,
then the tide ebbs and the individual turns away from
reality, perhaps loses himself in memories or dreams
of the future, loses heart and courage, and becomes a
coward to life. He is unable to face the Here and
Now, evades, and becomes a slacker, and if this aban-
donment of the life impulse goes too far it may bring
him face to face with suicide, which is the acme of
recreancy. Thus there is a sense in which life is
everywhere and always a battle, in which the presence
or absence of morale determines success or failure,
for there is always repression to be overcome. ^L

"Let us first, then, consider morale in war, and then
attempt to apply some of its lessons to the conditions
of peace.

Perhaps the most salient instance in all history of
the collapse of morale on a large scale is found in the
Russian debacle of 1917. A nation of 180,000,000,

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MOKALE, PATRIOTISM, AND HEALTH

with an army of nearly 20,000,000 sturdy, fighting
men, lost its morale, abandoned the field to the enemy,
and in its disintegration tore down the most auto-
cratic regime in Europe and from the extreme of im-
perialism swung over to the opposite extreme of Bol-
shevism. It will be one of the most complex and fas-
cinating problems of the psychology of the future to
analyze and explain this unprecedented metamorpho-
sis, but there is no better single phrase that can now
describe it than to say that the Russian morale went
into bankruptcy/^

On the other hand, history perhaps presents no such
salient example of both the power and the persistence
of morale as the way in which the Belgians and the
other Allies endured the shock of the onset of war
and the series of overwhelming calamities and defeats
of its first three and one-half years. England lost her
general-in-chief in whom her hopes centered, had to
raise an army of a size and with a speed utterly un-
precedented in her history, and had a narrow escape
from crushing defeat at the Marne. Neither the, army
nor the people of Belgium lost heart, although over-
whelmed and plundered and outraged by the enemy
to a degree unknown hitherto. Italy, with her high
hopes and early victories, saw her armies rolled up al-
most to the gates of Venice. The campaign against
Constantinople had to be ingloriously abandoned.
The French for years saw the enemy raping towns
and moving steadily toward Paris, threatening to di-
vide them from their English ally by driving the latter

25



MORALE

into the sea. Then there were the great surprises of
technique sprung by the Germans Zeppelins, sub-
marines, poison gas, Flammenwerfer, and systematic
atrocities, aimed in fact chiefly at morale, which
through all these disasters, however, never faltered,
but after long years of trial came back with a glorious
and complete victory. Of all the nations probably
France, when everything is cleared up, will be seen to
have shown the most superb morale, because la patrie
seems, especially since the end of the Concordat, to
have taken tlhe place held by the Church in its palmi-
est days, and the extraordinary religious revival 2 that
had swept over the country just before the outbreak
of the war was, when it is psychologically understood,
perhaps the most important of all the factors that
made up tlhe French morale.y

I. Difficulties of maintaining morale in this conn-
trysIn this country we had peculiar difficulties in
maintaining ideal morale, both as we entered the war
and in the training camps and later at the front.

* For a brief but brilliant review of this revival see Albert Schinz :
The Renewal of French Thought on the Eve of the War. Am. Jour.
Psy. XXVIII., 297-313, June, 1913. Among the very many literary ex-
pressions of this religious trend in France just before the war we
might mention the Voyage du Centurion, by B. Psichari (the grand-
son of Renan, who was killed at the head of his artillery battery). The
centurion of the New Testament was a Roman officer who came to
Jesus believing He could heal at n distance. Jesus was so impressed
by his faith that, although the man was a Gentile, He healed his
son and at a distance, which he never did for any Jew. This shows
how Jesus regarded the soldier. The conversion of Juliette Adam ;
the voluminous literature idealizing Jeanne d'Arc: the new editions
of Calvin and the Life of St. Augustine are other examples of
what was almost a renaissance of the religious spirit in France, seen,



Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 2 of 25)