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Morale, the supreme standard of life and conduct online

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Soldier with a beckoning finger. An Appeal To You.
Picture of St. George slaying the dragon. Legend :

Britain Needs You At Once.
A soldier : Make Us As Proud of You as We Are of


Have you a reason or only an excuse?
You are proud of your pals in the army but what do

they think of you?
How will you answer your boy who says, "What did

you do in the great war?"
A gray-haired mother saying to her boy, "Go, it ia

your duty."
A picture of troops in battle almost overwhelmed.

Legend: Why Don't They Come?
Picture of Whistler's "Mother." Legend: Fight

For Her.

The O'Leary posters.
Picture of pretty Irish colleen pointing to burning

Belgian house, and saying, "Will you go or must


Columbia sleeping. Legend : Wake Up America.



Liberty Bell. Ring It Again.

Desperate battle in the background, Uncle Sam in

the foreground with drawn sword. Legend:

"Hold the Fort for I Am Coming."
If You Can't Enlist, Invest.
Don't Read History ; Make It.
American girl in a middy blouse. Gee, I Wish I

Was a Man ; I'd Join the Navy.
Munitions being loaded labeled "Rush." Legend:

Help Deliver the Goods.
Man of the signal corps wigwagging. Legend : He

Is Getting Our Country's Signal. Are You?
A soldier on an observation post. Legend: The

Country Is Looking for a Fit Man. Are You Fit?
French girl waving the tricolor over the sea.

Legend: Come Across and Help Us.
You Come Across or Germany Will.
Boxing match between Uncle Sam and the Kaiser,

who has just had an "upper cut." Legend : Be In

At The Finish.

Our Hat Is In the Ring; Come In and Put One On.
Shall We Be More Tender With Our Dollars Than

With the Lives of Our Sons?
Daddy Is Fighting At the Front For You. Back

Him Up. Buy Bonds.
Shall We Conquer or Submit?
A message from the front: When Are The Other

Boys Coming?
Picture of Germans plundering a cottage. Legend:

Is Your Home Worth Fighting For?


Three Soldiers playing cards in front of a dugout.

Legend: .Will You Make The Fourth?
Are You Playing the Game?
Obey Your Impulse Now.

Telephone operator at the front calling, "We want

more men." Legend : Will You Answer This Call?

How Will You Cheer the Boys Coming Home If You

Have Done Nothing?
Picture of a soldier's cap. Legend: If This Cap

Fits You, Put It on.
Picture of jolly soldier with full equipment.

Legend: Come Along, Boys.
Picture of Lord Roberts. Legend: He Did His

Duty. Will You Do Yours?
A bare, muscular arm with clenched fist. Legend :

Lend Your Strong Right Arm To The Country.
Every dollar makes the Kaiser holler.
Buy a gun to beat the Hun.
Bondmen now or freemen forever.
A man who won't lend is the Kaiser's friend.
Liberty bond or Liberty bound. Which? 5
The pithy epigram and the cartoon have done great
things in the world but never greater than in this war.
Years ago the Toledo fad (which for a time had quite
a vogue) of posting a new cardboard motto each day
in school was thought to make the chief moral quali-
ties percolate into the deeper regions of the soul.

5 It is said that the German government early tabooed war pic-
tures that represented doleful scenes, and always required happy
faces. Not many of these have yet reached this country but such of
them as I have seen, at any rate, very greatly stress the festive side
of war.



Christian Science has used this method with its
health axioms. Calendars and card posters exhorting
to primary virtues were issued in series and posted,
with daily or weekly changes, in very many factories
and in offices. These apothegms are thought to be
hardly less pregnant than Bible texts were once re-
garded, and they do have not a magical but real psy-
chological efficacy as morale bracers. Posters of all
kinds short-circuit books and newspapers, like the old
broadsides, and a chapter might be written on posted
proclamations in the war. Pictures find their way
very effectively into the souls of even those who can-
not read. These methods uncap impulses that may be
made to spur men on to great decisions, while if the
true function of art is to conserve ideality in the
world and give to every act its best and not its worst
interpretation, we can realize that when war throws
men back into the power of their primitive emotions
such agencies as these may have all the challenge and
arousing power of the most effective of th old battle
cries and rallying slogans. It is true that these
appeals may have precipitated decisions to enlist or
give which were later regretted, and perhaps with
good ground. As after revivalistic conversions men
may backslide, so in soldiers the high tide that swept
them into the army may ebb, but even in such cases
part of their total self is committed for the war, and
even in the worst cases it is better to have loved these
great causes for a time and have lapsed from them
than never to have loved them at all.



II. Medals and Decorations. In the Congressional
Record of July 12, 1917, we have the text of a law
relating to the award of "medals of honor" to each
person, "officer or enlisted man who shall hereafter in
action involving actual conflict with the enemy dis-
tinguish himself conspicuously by gallantry and in-
trepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond
the call of duty." In addition, this law provides for
a service medal to be awarded by the President for
distinguished service any time during the last three
years, and this is to supersede the former certificate
of merit. The service medal involves added pay of
two dollars a month, and for each additional deed of
valor, instead of a new medal, the President may
award another bar, each of which bars also brings
another two dollars a month.

In France the most coveted of all is the Cross of the
Legion of Honor (1802) with a motto, "Honneur et
Patrie," and with five grades. Besides its veteran's
medal to those who fought in the war of '70, the
French Croix de Guerre is given to all officers or
privates for deeds of valor, especially on the battle-
field (April, 1915). This honors even families, and
there is a ritual form of conferring it which also plays
a prominent part in funerals. It may be revoked for
unworthy conduct. There is also a military medal
(1852) for officers who have won distinction, which
may be conferred in time of peace, besides many
colonial and foreign medals. 6

8 A. Saillard and H. Fougerol : La Groins de Guerre, 1916.



In England the war medal is comparatively modern
and culminates in the Victoria Cross. But there are
many types of medals given in all the important wars
since these were established, some two score in all. 7

Germany leads all countries, and since the sixteenth
century there have been some 580 different varieties
(G. F. Hill: The Commemorative Medal in the Serv-
ice of German^). Of all these the Iron Cross is the
best known and most desired. 8

The Croix de Guerre has often been awarded to our
soldiers in France, and General Pershing says, "Such
recognition is a powerful incentive to gallantry in
action, and American soldiers should not be denied
the privilege of displaying these insignia of honor be-
cause of the old prohibition of accepting decorations
from a foreign state."

It would seem that from every psychological point
of view, and from the higher pedagogy, men who have
deliberately risked their lives in desperate ventures
for the public good should be recognized as belonging
in some sense to the elite, for such deeds are only the
culmination of morale. The world honors its dead
heroes ; why not its living ones? What should also be
done is to see to it that each sublime act of courage
is duly and worthily recorded that it may exert its
due and permanent influence. Such distinctions set
a back-fire to the feeling often current among soldiers
that their achievements are not sufficiently recognized

T W. A. Steward: War Medals and Their History, London, Paul,

1915. Also H. T. Dorling: Ribbons and Medals, London, Philip, 1916.

Harms E. Von Zobeltitz : Das Eiscrne Kreuz, Leipzig, Velhagen,



and that the government seems to lack gratitude.

III. Morale and war collections. The collection
instinct, which is illustrated in the life history of
many insects and animals and which is always strong
and has often been studied in children, has found un-
precedented expressions concerning this war. . Many
children and schools in all the belligerent countries,
many of which already have their war cabinet of
curios, have assembled relics and reminders, largely
local, of all kinds of material illustrating altogether
every phase of the great conflict both at home and at
the front. In Germany school prizes were offered for
the best poems and compositions. Both were collected
by the hundreds of thousands, and awards duly made.

War is such a unique experience that its conditions,
sentiments, and activities tend to fade from realiza-
tion like a bad dream as nothing else can do, for no-
where is the envisagemeut of full reality so intoler-
able; and there is a strong instinct, lest we forget, to
gather relics and mementoes to keep it alive in our
own minds and to ensure the perpetuation of its grim
actualities for future generations. War museums of
every kind are thus in a sense temples of morale and
protests against its obliteration.

This is not the place to describe these vast activities
in detail, but a few data will show their scope and
their purpose. In the first few days of mobilization
Henri Leblanc and his wife began to gather
objects in France, and their collection, now
numbering nearly one quarter of a million ar-



tides, lias been taken over and given elabo-
rate and fitting quarters by the Ministry of Pub-
lic Instruction and Fine Arts, and its catalogue is be-
ing published volume by volume. 9 England followed
suit, and established a national war museum under Sir
Martin Con way, which is formulated on a very com-
prehensive plan. 10 Sir Martin estimates that his mu-
seum, if properly housed, will require about five acres
of ground to exhibit all the apparatus of war that has
been accumulated. There is a branch illustrating
woman's work, with figurines about ten inches in
height showing work not only in hospitals but on the
land and in the occupations of men which she filled
during the war. The goal is the needs of the future his-
torian, who has no such material at his disposal now
concerning, e. g., the Napoleonic or any other wars.
The aim is to collect material of first-hand nature
photographs from airplanes, field maps, diaries, photo-
graphs of individual soldiers for future anthropology,
and there is a State Paper Office containing all kinds
of official records. A. G. Doughty, Minister and Di-
rector of War Trophies in Canada, is supervising a
comprehensive collection of that country illustrating
the achievements of every unit, extending even to
soldiers' diaries; while the Canadian War Archives
Survey devotes itself to every source of information
about governmental activities, including not only
posters but war money, stamps, proclamations, etc.

8 Henri Leblanc : La Grande Guerre; Iconographie, Bibliographic,
Documents Divers, i-iv., Paris, Emile Paul. 1916-18.

10 See catalogue of Imperial War Museum, London (no date).



The great national libraries of Europe and a few
libraries in this country have made special collec-
tions of war literature, but in all these fields the ma-
terial is so voluminous that not only most private
collectors but heads of great institutions have been
discouraged, and it is now recognized that very much
of this material is so fugitive that it is beyond reach
unless it is gathered very promptly at the time.
A really adequate assemblage of all this material
can never be found in any single institution or
even in any single country. As early as August, 1914,
the Imperial Library in Berlin set apart fifteen mem-
bers of its staff to collect, sort, classify, and cata-
logue war literature. Agents were sent abroad to all
countries, and patriotic appeals were made to private
individuals the world over. Early in 1916 there were
10,000 books, and in a single day four and one half
tons of newspapers arrived.

The French museum, which so far as objects are
concerned excels all others, collects everything: fire-
arms and projectiles of all kinds, uniforms, medals,
insignia, postcards, war fashions in dress at home,
illustrations of everything connected with feeding the
army as well as home dietaries and food substitutes,
trench journals, processes of manufacture and trans-
portation of munitions and supplies, army wagons,
transports, Zeppelins, airplanes, submarines, soldiers'
letters, posters, slogans, knapsacks, grenades, Min-
nenwerfers, gas masks and generators, innumerable
photographs of devastated regions and wrecked



buildings, of atrocities, mutilations and corpse-
strewn battlefields, flags, and scrap-books. Dolls
and figurines are used to illustrate many proc-
esses. There is a department for camouflage
and protective coloring generally, engineering,
gas alarm gongs, trench signs, street-lamp Shades
to conceal from airplanes, explosive pencils, means
of infecting the enemy and his animals with disease,
infernal machines, bombs, devices for incendi-
arism and looting. Very complete is the representa-
tion of medical activities, pictures and documents
showing all the marvels of surgery, even the details
of how features and parts of the face torn away are
restored, how to treat every kind of wound, artificial
limbs, disinfection, uses of the Carrel processes and
of the Dakin fluid, tents, and sanitary barracks.
Sometimes the illustrations are by models, but when
possible the objects themselves are displayed. We
have also a German plan which is hardly less com-
plete, but I can find no data to show how far this work
has actually been developed there.

Indeed the work of nearly all museums has been
more or less stimulated and diverted. In museums of
Natural History, for example, it is shown how killing
birds that destroy noxious insects and weed seeds
helps the enemy, so that a boy who robs the nest of
such a bird is a traitor without knowing it ; for insects
are as harmful as bullets. The same is true of keeping
down rodents that destroy one hundred million dol-
lars' worth of food here per year, and we may need Lib-



erty Bonds to pay tribute to the mosquito, gypsy moth,
English sparrow, etc. One museum specializes on dye-
stuffs, designs, native foods, and fabrics significant for
war. Some have done research, others have invoked
the aid of children. One attends chiefly to trade-
marks, while there are many collections of cartoons.

The romance of war in the days of chivalry has
gone, and. the concept that dominates everything now
is efficiency, which gives a new ideal even to art. It
has been suggested that a rudimentary Westminster
or Walhalla be established in every town or county,
containing medals, portraits, and a vellum volume
with the name and the significant items in the life
of every fallen soldier. This would, be an epitome
of local heroism, and would help to perpetuate the
memory and influence particularly of those who have
gone to a watery grave and whose bodies must remain
unidentified. These would be perpetual incentives to
self-sacrifice and would give zest to local history

The necessity of such collections for the future his-
torian is obvious. The interest of the public in them
is shown by the fact that admission fees to the Henri
Leblanc collection in the Pavilion de Flore, it is esti-
mated, will bring a revenue of some half a million
francs a year. But their chief value for morale is that
the very awfulness and unnaturalness of war tend to
make its memory shrink and fade, so far as proper
realization of it is concerned, to a degree that perhaps
only a psychologist can realize. To-day the world



with one accord has swung over from the war fever to
its opposite, and the desire for peace was never so
strong. The function of these collections is to per-
petuate tbis reaction by keeping the memory of all
the ghastliness of war green, by keeping before the
public mind what we owe to our soldiers, to whose
deeds and sufferings such collections are one of the
most fitting monuments, and to supply artists and
writers of all kinds with details that would otherwise
soon be lost. If, as some claim, human nature after
a long period of peace tends to revert to a state of war,
familiarity with these objects would tend in some de-
gree to vicariate for the actuality of war and, if it
comes, would also tend to nerve the souls of our de-
scendants to its hardships and vicissitudes.



I. Morale and sex in war The effects of war upon this instinct >
Governmental prophylaxis Moralizing methods in camp II.
What women have done and can do to sustain morale Their
attitude toward the soldier.

I. Morale and sev. This has always been as vital
as it is a delicate problem with soldiers in camp and
in field, in peace and in war. The Vienna surgeon,
Billroth, long ago gave us a graphic account of the
introduction of syphilis into Europe by the soldiers
that returned from Mexico soon after the discovery of
America, and told us how the infection spread like a
plague before the always slow but sure development
of at least partial immunity which time brings. Where
soldiers are gathered not only do lewd women congre-
gate, but such is the fascination of the uniform that
there is always a great increase of free liaisons with
previously pure girls. 1 The German policy is to as-
sume that there will be irregularities and to instruct
every soldier in the use of preventive and prompt
curative measures and to rely but little upon moral
prophylaxis. In England and this country preventive
methods and moral suasion are more relied upon, and

1 See another somewhat unique French relation of the sexes in H.
de Vismes : Histoire Authentique et Touchante des Marraines et
Filleuls de Guerre (Paris : Perrin, 1918), and for a worse side see G. A.
Schreiner: The Iron Ration, XIX (N. Y.: Harper, 1918).


the infected soldier is compelled and sometimes co-
erced by penalties to report promptly for treatment.
With us there is still shame enough so that this acts
as a deterrent, and we have more faith than the Ger-
mans in admonition and warning to keep men straight.
War is, in a sense, the acme of what some now call
the manly protest. In peace women have invaded
nearly all of the occupations of man, but in war male
virtues come to the fore, for women cannot go "over
the top." Some have even ascribed one of the fasci-
nations of soldiering to the half-conscious satisfaction
men feel that here they have escaped female competi-
tion and found a field in which their own activities
can have free course without the rivalry of the other
sex. We may at least hope that the world will not
have to conserve war as the only field which woman
has not entered and where alone man can cultivate
the qualities that distinguish him from the other sex.
The two chief elements in human nature are: (1) In-
dividuation, which bottoms on hunger and which in
the first dozen years of life prevails; and (2) genesis
or the transmission of life to future generations,
about which the home and so many other institutions
of society center. It seems that in war the first of
these tendencies is chiefly stressed. The Freudian the-
ory that general anxiety, out of which all the phobias,
most neuroses, and about all psychoses evolve, can
always ultimately be traced to some flaw in the vita
sexualis has been refuted often by the experiences of
shell shock, which is always connected not with sex



or race but with the instinct of self-preservation.

Our government very wisely made often rather
drastic conditions, first for the location of camps and
afterwards for their regimen, with a view to mini-
mizing the dangers from this source. A five- and in
some cases a ten-mile zone of purity was drawn about
the cantonment, and in every camp some special in-
struction was given. When a man has drilled and
worked eight or twelve hours a day he is little prone
at night to go any great distance to satisfy his fleshly
instinct, and fatigue has sometimes been specially
cultivated as a safeguard.

Now, war involves the most intense of the activities
of both body and mind, and we know now that chasti-
ty and self-control are essential prerequisites in en-
abling men to undergo all kinds of war strain. We
do not understand precisely how the hormones from
the sex organs find their way to the higher centers,
but it is certain that they do and that those guilty of
self-indulgence have less reserve to draw upon for any
emergency. Sex is the most capable of metamorphosis
of any human instinct, and the study of sex per-
versions and erotic fetishes shows that it can become
associated with almost any object or any act. Erethic
symptoms may be connected with almost anything so
that it may cause excitement. Even fervent prayer
and other religious exercises and experiences may
excite it ; and it has no end of surrogates in the im-
agination of which it is the greatest of all stimulat-
ors. The soldier, like the pugilist training for a



championship bout, from the standpoint of the higher
hygiene really ought to, and does entirely forego, for
the time being, the exercise of the procreative func-
tion. It should by every means be held in abeyance.
The reciprocal relation between it and intensive ac-
tivity of body and mind is shown by the fact that
those who suffer most from war strain are very often
impaired in their quality of parenthood. This con-
clusion of eugenics now rests upon data that can
hardly be disputed, although we are certain in the
near future to know much more about it in detail.
Mcolai even states that he cannot find one of the
great men of the world who was sired by a soldier
who had been through severe campaigns.

Again, all, and especially young people, need excite-
ment. They crave and seek it, and in forbidden ways
if normal and legitimate ones are not open to them.
The young man longs to tingle and glow, to let him-
self go until he feels something within take him up
and carry him along with a strength not his own. In
some cases an explosion of anger has cleared the air
like a thunder storm and brought "the peace that
passeth understanding" afterwards. An ebullition of
fear or any other strong emotion brings a kind of re-
enforcement. The psychology of alcohol shows that
most people drink for the heightened vitality of mind
or body that it brings, rather than for the mere physi-
cal pleasure of imbibing liquor. If, therefore, we
wish to establish the condition where sex excitement
is liable to break out and pass beyond all control, we



have only to make life dull, uninteresting, mo-
notonous, and especially to take out of it all strenu-
ous endeavor. Thus again we can see how war of all
the occupations of man, because it is the most excit-
ing and the most strenuous, makes not only possible
but imperative for its supreme success the highest
degree of chastity.

In point of fact, however, war in the past seems to
have tended to the opposite result. The very increase
of vigor that drill and camp activity and regimen im-
pose predisposes to temptation. Moreover, there is a
deep, old racial instinct that finds partial expression
in the phrase, "None but the brave deserve the fair."
Primitive man and even animals often engaged in
their most violent conflicts for females, who were the
reward of victory, and this has been a potent factor
in making the best survive. It is thus that the strong-
est have left progeny. There is nothing that the fe-
male, human or animal, more admires or finds more
seductive than the prowess that wins a conflict, for
that means the power of defense and protection of
herself and her young. Thus it is that soldiers on
leave have to meet special temptations.

Moreover, the very hardships and brutalities of war,
the harshness of discipline, and the exhaustion of
training and encounters tend to ebb ambivalently so
that the soldier feels that he has, in a sense, earned
the right to self-indulgence and instinctively turns to

Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 7 of 25)