Copyright
G. Stanley (Granville Stanley) Hall.

Morale, the supreme standard of life and conduct online

. (page 8 of 25)
Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 8 of 25)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the more tender and now more alluring companion-
ship of the other sex.

105



MORALE

Again, war always tends to loosen family bonds.
It brings perhaps a long separation of husband and
wife, and hence former moral restraints tend to relax,
so that we now have new theories galore that look to-
ward greater license. Lapses tend more or less to be
condoned. The tempter has a larger field at home, and
the man in the field, perhaps realizing this, allows
himself unwonted liberties. Eugenic theories are
sometimes invoked, and perhaps never was the whole
subject of the relation of the sexes more open in the
secret thoughts and hearts of men and women in
ways that have sometimes found expression in speech
and print so shocking to more conservative minds.
The very tension of absence and abstinence makes the
mind more open, not merely to dreameries but to the-
ories that vicariate for the new restraints and the new
temptations.

In view of these conditions what does morale in this
field demand? I reply:

1. Perhaps first of all that the very closest relation
be maintained with home and with friends. Mother,
sister, sweetheart, and wife now have the opportu-
nity and incentive to make their influence more effec-
tive in keeping the absent son, brother, lover, and hus-
band loyal and pure. They should realize this respon-
sibility and exert it to the uttermost, and "keep the
home fires burning" in the heart of the soldier by
every means in their power, by frequent and wise
letters, gifts and reminders, and make him feel
that the family ties, however far they have been

106



stretched, are not broken nor can they be broken.

2. Camp activities not immediately connected with
war have perhaps the second place. Eeal and espe-
cially active interest in camp music, in the camp
library, in dramatics and every kind of entertainment,
incentives to learn the French language and geogra-
phy, to peruse war literature, and, perhaps best of all,
to carry on any line of study to which the educated
soldier may have been devoted all these have their
place here. Best of all are athletic games and con-
tests. Everyone who has a specialty of any kind that
can interest others or stimulate competition, or make
him feel himself more useful has also a salutary, al-
terative function.

3. In place of direct instruction ("highbrow smut-
talks"), which has little effect, there have been a
few brief leaflets that must have been very effective.
The medical examiner and subordinate officers can,
if informed of, or awake to their opportunities, often
drop side remarks in the most incidental way, which
the soldier seizes with avidity because he does not con-
sider that they are aimed at him. The best occasion
for this is during the physical examination when the
question is whether the recruit "strips well." We
should remember that in the field of sex the briefest
hint, which could ideally be dropped as if its author
were entirely unconscious of its significance, will be
understood and assimilated most uniquely. Sex
teaching is not like teaching a school subject, as so
many of the swarm of men and women who have lately

107



MOKALE

written upon it assume. The principle should be ver-
bum sapieniis sat, and nothing is more offensive to a
healthy soul than to read or hear the platitudes spun
to such tedious length as in several scores of books of
this character which I have collected during the last
quarter of a century. The physician is far more ef-
fective here than the clergyman or the Y. M. C. A.
man. A physical trainer in one of our largest col-
leges, who has had a score of years' experience, tells
me that in single remarks which he makes it a point
casually to throw out at the moment he has a student
stripped for measurements, he believes he has done
more good than in all the stated lectures it has been
his duty to give.

4. Scare-talks on the dangers of infection no
doubt did once, and still in some cases do have great
effect, but there is little new here now even to the
average private, and familiarity with this sort of
thing has immunized the souls of most so that it has
little effect. The ideal, too, of keeping oneself pure
for the sake of wife or posterity still has its effect, al-
though, this has perhaps of late been rather over-
worked. Its appeal ought, of course, to be very
strong. Dissuasion on religious grounds probably
counts with more soldiers, and here we must admit
that the priest has shown himself in general far more
effective than the Protestant clergyman. I believe
that the most effective appeal of all, however, can be
made on the basis of bodily and mental perfection.
Every young man has athletic interests, and if he can

108



MORALE, SEX, AND WOMEN

be shown that purity is the best way of keeping the
body at the very top of its condition and of laying iii
a larger store of reserves against every emergency, an
essential step is taken to make him a practical idealist
in this field. But we must not forget that the chief
reliance will always have to be placed upon diversions
and physical regimen, because we are dealing here
with an urge that has its origin and deploys largely
far below the threshold of consciousness. At no point
does morale coincide more closely with morality. As
transcendental sanctions are losing their power, we
must build up on a natural basis a new prophylaxis
and be able to show that anything is right or wrong
according as it is physiologically and socially right
or wrong, and precisely this the new sex psychology is
now engaged in doing.

5. Only the few intelligent officers or graduates
will find help, and they will find great aid for them-
selves and for a few of their more intelligent friends
whom they can influence, in the new and larger inter-
pretation of sex that psychanalysis has revealed.
Normality of the function that transmits life involves
more and more emphasis upon secondary sex quali-
ties; more spiritualization of sex; a realization that
moral, social, religious, and intellectual life, and not
only that but sanity, emotional, volitional, and intel-
lectual, depend upon the proper regulation of this
function. War is lost or won chiefly upon the develop-
ment of secondary sex qualities, and this principle
roots deep and blossoms high.

109



MOKALE

II. Woman and morale. Never have women played
such a part in war. 2 ,We are told that in all the war-
ring countries they have done more work than men
with munitions, food and especially the canned va-
rieties, hospital and surgical appliances, and have
also taken man's place in almost every peaceful in-
dustry. Her enfranchisement in many aspects of this
great movement has advanced by leaps and bounds
since the war began. It has also opened as never be-
fore the whole question of the relation of the sexes in
all its aspects. The mobilization of woman power and
its substitution for man power has given her an equal
place in the sun. She can now or will soon be able to
cast a ballot and be a citizen in practically every
country in Europe as well as in every American state.
If, however, she had the opportunity to and could do
everything as well as man, or better, and did not bring
her woman's viewpoint into the new paths and func-
tions now open, all this would mean nothing save
doubling our lists of voters and workers. She would

'See Ida Clyde Clarke: American Women and the World War,
544, N. Y.: Appleton, 1918; Harriot S. Blatch: Mobilizing Woman-
Power, 194, N. Y. : The Woman's Press, 1918; Henry Spont : La
Femme et la Guerre, 268, Paris : Perrin, 1916 ; J. Combarieu : Lea
Jeunes Filles Francoises et la Guerre, 297, Paris : Flammarion, 1915.
Helen Fraser : Women and War Work, 308, N. Y. ; Shaw, 1918. Irene
O. Andrews : Economic Effects of the War upon Women and Children
in Great Britain, 190, N. Y.: Oxford Univ. Press, 1918. Gertrude
Atherton: The Living Present, 303, N. Y. : Stokes, 1917; Lady
Randolph Churchill, Editor: Women's War Work, 159, London:
Pearson, 1916.

A student of this subject must give a prominent place also to the
unique cult of Jeanne d'Arc that broke out in France some years
before the war and has been greatly heightened by it. La Pucelle has
now a national holiday in which the descendants of the very English-
men who fought against France in those days now join (see in W.
Stephens: The France I Know, Chapter XIV, The Cult of Jeanne
d'Arc).

110



MORALE, SEX, AND WOMEN

have won nothing if she did not realize and now say
that the advent of her sex into industrial and politi-
cal life must materially change its character and goal.
Hence the vital problem in this her great epoch is to
introduce the best traits of her sex into public and eco-
nomic life.

Woman is nearer to the race in body and soul and
is a better representative of the species than man. She
is more phylogenetic than ontogenetic, more altruistic
than egoistic. She stands for the future and the past
and is charged with the interests of posterity in a
very different sense and degree from man. The true
woman ranks and grades every human institution
according to its service in producing and rearing suc-
cessive generations to an ever more complete matu-
rity. We need to understand and appreciate in con-
scious plans what woman more unconsciously always
and everywhere chiefly wants, viz., an environment
most favorable for her great function of conserving
and replenishing the race. Because she is more gen-
eric than man and more liable to be injured by exces-
sive and premature specialization, she needs more
shelter and protection and responds subtly to every-
thing of this kind. Hence it comes that if she is de-
nied the normal expression of her basal instincts she
is liable to become frivolous or anxious, to immolate
herself by becoming a slave or devotee to some cause,
or to fall a victim to the many types of subtle invalid-
ism to which she is so liable.

Thus the new post-bellum world should be more of

111



MORALE

a woman's world, not in the sense of the old matri-
archate but in a way that will bring to her and her
apostolate for the race a new reverence. These are
the real woman's rights. It is thus her task to re-
evaluate the world and all its institutions business,
trade, state, church, science by the supreme test of
their service in bringing future generations to an ever
more complete maturity. Thus we must regard the
voice of Ellen Key and those who agree with her as
more or less oracular as to what woman needs, wants,
and can and should try to do for the morale of this
great reconstruction era.

When the war came, the noblest war brides, moth-
ers, sweethearts, and sisters said, "Go!" 3 They con-
demned slackers ("If I had not gone I could not get
near a girl"). Mothers wept, but secretly, and dared
not to try to restrain their even young boys who felt
the call, but sent them off with a blessing and a cheer.
Many wives took up the struggle of self-support, per-
haps accepting charity for the first time, and the best
husbands and sons understood later, though some of
them did not at first. Women kept up every possible
connection between their dear ones at the front and
their home, concealing everything that could cause
pain and showing only courage and good cheer, dis-
guising everything that was bad or discouraging, slow
to criticize but swift to praise and hearten, and them-
selves bearing up if their loved ones were wounded,

1 11. W. F. : Silver Lining. The Experiences of a War Bride, 45,
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1918; also Boy of My Heart, 221, Lon-
don: Hodder & Stoughton, 1916.

112



MORALE, SEX, AND WOMEN

crippled, or even slain, with a composure and heroism
which none, least of all they themselves, dreamed they
possessed. The reveries of a happy home-coming,
dreams sometimes not to be realized, are often the
chief consoler in hardships at the front, where home
is idealized as nowhere else.

And now women must take up the burden of re-
plenishing the earth, of making good the loss of the
seven million dead and the far more partially incapac-
itated which the war has caused. The inequality of
the sexes thus occasioned will soon be restored, for
statistics show that in hard times more boys than girls
are born. The war sentiment will now make it harder
for healthy women to refuse wedlock and motherhood
and to be slackers to this call, for the pains of war
make those of childbirth seem small by contrast. For
this service women must volunteer, for we trust we
shall never have drafts for motherhood, such as were
wrongly ascribed to the Bolsheviki. The revolt of wo-
man, the organization of which has actually been at-
tempted, against giving to the world sons who are go-
ing to be cannon fodder is not so unnatural, for why
should one rear children only to be sacrificed to the
war Moloch, world without end? But she now has
more hope than ever before in the world to encourage
her to face this chance, trusting that her children's
children, at least, will be supermen of peace and make
an end of war forever. It is the generals of peace now
at the helm who ought to be inspired by the ideal mo-
rale of women to make a world such as she will count

113



MORALE

it her noblest honor and privilege to populate. If
eugenics is to be the religion of the future, as Galton
said, women will be its priestesses, for the world a
century or two hence will belong to those races and
nations that bear and rear the most and the best chil-
dren.

Perhaps the much debated Ewige Weibliche may
now take more definite shape as the best embodiment
of morale in the world. Anthropologists have told us
much of the primitive reverence of the seer-like, intu-
itive, prophetic traits of women, and perhaps we
might now properly lay a single tiny twig of laurel
upon the grave of Auguste Comte for the place he gave
woman in his Politique. We can also recognize the
deep human instinct that prompted the French revo-
lutionists to make the cult of her divinity a religion,
for as great upheavals of society throw men back
upon first principles and lay bare the fundamental if
unconscious instincts, there is a profound tendency to
make the more naive soul of womanhood oracular be-
cause her soul, like that of the child, seems nearer to
that of the great Autos itself.

The danger as the war closes is that women who
have been so dazzled by its splendors that they are
now rarely pacifists, when they find themselves in bit-
ter competition for jobs with the home-coming soldiers
whom they have idealized and who perhaps will be
even more ruthless and unchivalrous toward them in
this domain because the horrors of war have made
them a little more callous, will be more or less disen-

114



MORALE, SEX, AND WOMEN

chanted with them and with life. 4 The demobilization
of the great auxiliary armies of women raises, there-
fore, the question of what substitutes for the excite-
ments of war-work they can find in peace, and what
mitigations or consolations may be found in this new
aspect of the war of sex against sex. Is there not dan-
ger that each will to the other be robbed of some of
the glamour with which war has invested them both
in the eyes of the other? This would be disastrous, not
only economically but socially, and would not be in
the interests of wedlock or eugenics, nor indeed of
morals themself. I can see no way of entirely avoid-
ing this danger, which seems to me grave, but we can
at least hope that the new psychology, which is most
opportunely at the door and which stresses the all-
dominance of unconscious and affective forces, and
which might almost be heralded as the advent of the
Womansoul into psychology, will in time mitigate
this danger and slowly evolve a new atmosphere of
appreciation and respect of woman's services in every
walk of life, which will give her the spiritual milieu
without which she is so prone to go to pieces. If in
utilizing the new opportunities that suffrage in about
all the warring countries brings to her, she can make
herself in this the greatest crisis in the history of her
sex more womanly and not more manlike, she will, as
the world slips back into peace, do most to make it a
new and better one.

* Martin Seeker: Women, 128, London: 1918.



CHAPTER VII

WAR AIMS AND KNOWLEDGE

I. The need of soldiers to know what they are fighting for IT. The
three stages of news-getting by the American Press Censorship
The German system of espionage and some methods of propa-
gandaThe great need in this country of better knowledge of
the world's events.

I. War aims. Sagacious men saw even before we
entered the conflict the great need of setting before
the minds of the public, and especially the soldier,
just what we were fighting for. President Wilson has
done perhaps his best service in suggesting thesegoals.
The philosophers of idealism, like Hocking, criticize
the attitude of e. g., Eltinge, who would rely more on
unconscious, instinctive crowd impulses to give men
the fighting edge. As a result of all this effort the
mind of the intelligent soldier has come to realize
more and more that we were the leader of the world's
democracy, that we were fighting a war of liberation
against autocracy and militarism; arid there can be
no doubt that the efficiency of our soldiers was greatly
increased by this general belief.

But specific, conscious aims belong rather to the
preliminary or to the subsequent reflective stages of
warfare, and on the ragged edge of battle it is the
momentum given by ideas which, while a very import-
ant factor, is of less consequence than impulses that

116



WAR AIMS AND KNOWLEDGE

spring from the instincts of self-preservation, pug-
nacity, gregariousness, our preliminary beliefs, the
general set of the will, fear, anger, etc. Even the con-
scientious objector in the charge has to fight, and very
few can stand out long against the all-compelling
sentiment of the crowd.

It was perhaps fortunate for us that we did not
plunge into the war more precipitately because all
the time we were planning and preparing, public sen-
timent was being educated and opinion was being
formed by leaps and bounds, and this was the change
that made possible our own wonderful achievements
in the end. The war was so big, we were so unin-
formed about European conditions, our press had to
undergo such an intensive self-education in order to
meet the emergency, that the problem of realizing
what we were up against was a tremendous one. This
education, however, has made us forever and in a new
sense a member of the nations of the Old World. Our
intellectual and even our material interests have un-
dergone an enormous and unprecedented expansion.
We can never return to our old blindness and provin-
cialism. Even if the Monroe Doctrine is imperiled
we are destined henceforth to be not only an integral
but a leading member of the family of nations. Not
only that, but Europe looks to us with a respect and
a degree of newly felt dependence that no one could
have dreamed of even three years ago.

It has been an inspiration at home and was a great
and unpredictable factor in the European settlement

117



MOKALE

that our aims were, in a sense, disinterested. True, we
profited enormously by European contracts, and with-
out doubt we would have supplied Germany no less
freely had this been practicable. But the fact that
we wanted no land, no indemnities, gave enormous
sums, and prepared our huge army and suffered our
own snare of losses, that it was all a free gift to a
great cause, elevated the morale of not only our army
but of the country and of the world by a spectacle
unprecedented in history. It is this that gave us an
opportunity for a new world leadership which, if
Congress and the press have the vision to see and to
utilize to the uttermost, will be the acid test of their
own patriotic sagacity. The problem before the coun-
try now is : Shall we enter upon this new leadership
to which we seem to be called, and can we make our-
selves worthy of it?

II. Morale and knowledge. The psychology of evi-
dence, started experimentally by Binet and Stern
and applied by many legal writers to testimony, shows
how hard it is for the most honest observers to state
accurately the most indifferent facts. Dramatic in-
cidents prepared and enacted as a class-room exer-
cise and described by onlookers are reproduced by in-
dividuals of the class with great differences, even in
essentials, and where oral statements are given and
reported by a series of persons, they come back to
their source with changes directly proportional to the
number of minds through which they have passed.
When strong emotions are excited, facts are still more

118



distorted and rumors run very wildly, for the critical
faculty is in abeyance and the mob mind often shows
a credulity that is almost unlimited. The early stages
of the war abounded in fantastic, sometimes almost
panicky reports in all countries, especially during and
just after mobilization when the public on the street
was so eager for information that if it was not forth-
coming it was supplied by the imagination ; and some-
times suggestibility was so intense that delusions
were common, as, for example, in the "Angels of
Mons," the apparition of which the English Psychic
Research Society has found various witnesses who
testified on oath to seeing. Many believed that
180,000 Russian soldiers were transported secretly
by sea from Vladivostok to England and thence to
France. The Germans believed so intensely that a
yellow automobile was going through their country
from France to Russia loaded with money that such
vehicles were stopped, and in a few cases their drivers
were shot. Every stranger was liable to be suspected
and even arrested as a spy, and in all the European
countries warnings were issued against talking of
the war in public. A long list of often preposterous
tales won wide credence. In times of great excite-
ment all are prone to believe what they wish, and
overdrawn feelings tend very strongly to create if
they cannot find facts to justify them.

As to press censorship, it passed through three
rather distinct stages. Hundreds of correspondents
with little preliminary knowledge of European al-

119



MORALE

fairs and sometimes of continental languages were
rushed to the scene of war, and, affronted that mili-
tary authorities weighed out all scraps of information
to them as carefully as if they were diamonds, and as
the American reporters especially were pressed by
their home newspapers for "snappy stuff," they not
only sought in every way to get by the censor but
some became free-lances, and a few yielded more or
less to the temptations of fakerism. Some American
papers exposed themselves all too justly to the
charges of mendacity (See F. Koester's The Lies of
the Allies), and we had such headlines as "Eleven
German Warships Sunk," "Kaiser Loses Two-Thirds
of His Army in Poland; His Sons Escape in Air-
plane," "Von Kluck's Army Is Taken." This was the
first stage of reporting, which ended about the time
of the fall of Antwerp. Then almost with one accord
the warring nations shut down on reporters and gave
the public only their own very brief official reports,
which the great news bureaus used as best they could.
This W. G. Shepherd calls the period of the dark ages.
In the third stage the reporter was allowed to live in
a certain area and was given, perhaps each day, his
daily bread of news at headquarters, and was also
allowed to travel and see for himself within certain
limits. But everything he sent had to be submitted
to the official censor; if he attempted to evade this
ruling he might be punished by dismissal. Thus mili-
tary interests dominated his work and almost any-
thing could be suppressed. The reporter was no longer
marooned but was silenced if be transgressed. By

120



WAR AIMS AND KNOWLEDGE

this method the British kept the first battle of Ypres
a secret from the world for several months. The
Times could not print for months the account of the
first Zeppelin raid, although its own building was
damaged. Thus the reporter in the later stages of the
war was no longer a prisoner but was in close touch
with the War Office, could make almost daily trips
officially prepared for him, often even up to the firing
line, and so according to his own initiative could know
and tell much about the front. But everything he sent
had to be censored first. The best of these reporters
have educated themselves and the public very rapidly
and well, and our leading dailies have grown in these



Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 8 of 25)