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four years vastly less provincial and more cosmopoli-
tan, although there has yet been no concerted move-
ment to gather news systematically by placing quali-
fied correspondents in all the great centers of the
world to give readers at home a preliminary sketch
of history, which is everywhere now being made so
rapidly. Thus the cultivated American might yet fer-
vently use many of the phrases in Ajax's famous
prayer for more light.

In Germany the military censorship of the press,
which is always rigorous, became vastly more so at
the outset of the war, and as early as July 31, 1914,
a long list of forbidden subjects was published. Every
few days military orders were given as to what could
and could not be printed, and many papers were sup-
pressed for various lengths of time, without a hear-
ing, and the editor perhaps imprisoned or forced into



the auxiliary service. Every governmental bureau
had absolute authority concerning the publicity of its
doings. The future of Alsace-Lorraine, labor troubles,
hard living conditions, and war aims could not be
discussed by order of the "high command." Despite the
constitution Reichstag speeches were mutilated, and
some deputies had to submit their speeches to the cen-
sor in advance, without mentioning that they had
done so. Separate peace with Eussia was also under
the ban. In addition to suppression and gagging
there was much "inspired" material, which was stand-
ardized and which the papers had to print. The Ger-
man journals were allowed to use only one version,
e. g., of the Jutland "victory," the Zeppelin raids, and
Belgian deportations. News was also doctored; in
President Wilson's address of April 2, 1917, half the
text, including "the world must be made safe for De-
mocracy" was deleted by Wolff, and also the passages
declining compensation and expressing friendliness
for the German people. J. G. Randall has compiled
many incidents of downright fabrication. The same
items were served up differently for Belgium and
Russia, and everything that happened or was said in
all countries favorable to Germany was featured.
Thus the German press in general has become since
the outbreak of the war even more "reptilian" than
Bismarck called it. All this is especially done in the
interests of morale. The War Office decides what the
soldier and the public shall know and not know, for
news is /\ war asset that ranks next to munitions,



Another aspect of this subject is found in the sys-
tem of espionage and methods of getting intelligence
as to the doings and intentions of the enemy in order
to avoid surprise. On the one hand every purpose
and movement is disguised in every way, and strategy
consists largely in misleading the enemy ; while on his
side he must develop and use every possible agency
to learn beforehand just what to expect, for only
thus can the supreme disaster to morale in actual
fighting, viz., surprise, be avoided. Thus it is that the
successful spy is a hero on his own side but worthy of
every indignity, torture, and perhaps death if he falls
into the hands of the enemy. Andre, whom Washing-
ton hanged in 1780, now reposes in Westminster Ab-
bey. Captain Lody, after remarka'ble exploits, when
tried by court-martial in Camera, revealed all his in-
structions but not names, was loyal to the end, and
said before he was shot that his trial was a model of
fairness. .Very few in this country and even in Eu-
rope before Paul Lanoir's book (and Dr. Burch's
Notebook, The Active Service Police in the War of
1866-70, Walheim's Indiscretions, Zernicki's Recol-
lections, and the famous Mesmard pamphlet of 1901)
realized what this system meant in Germany. Even
in 1810 there were 30,000 German spies of both sexes
in France. Frederick the Great said, "I have one
cook and a hundred spies." Spies in Germany are re-
spected. They are of all grades and found in all pro-
fessions. Men are entrapped by the Krausse houses,
and Stieber (1818-1892), the originator of the present


(system, was a genius of originality and trickery.
Everyone was watched, even spies themselves, and of
course every court in Europe. Stieber was a friend
of the king and of Bismarck, who called him "the
great reptile." His agents secured the personal safety
of the Czar at German spas, and allowed an assassin,
whose plans they knew beforehand, to shoot at Alex-
ander III in Paris; they then arrested him, as this
procedure suited Bismarck's purpose. In 1866 Bis-
marck approved the plan of invading France in ad-
vance of the German army by introducing 4,000 agri-
culturists and 8,000 domestics, so that the road by
which Moltke's army marched into France was strewn
beforehand with spies, some 30,000 in all. Stieber
studied each commander, the opinion of each district,
provided in advance for the lodgment of the German
army, working with children, the sick, and the poor,
as well as with the press. He insisted that the Ger-
man invaders were led by his army. During the
Franco-Prussian War the expense of this secret po-
plice system was 783,000 pounds, a part of which was
paid to strike leaders in France. Engineers, too, were
spies and at a signal disorganized traffic. They
preyed upon every expression of industrial unrest
and made common cause with anarchists. Whenever
there was a rumor of friction between France and
Germany they fomented strikes, paid money for elec-
tions, worked with all kinds of parasites and wastrels
and all who were "down and out," and provided
sources of income for those in debt. Many were



drummers, and some wore the ribbon of the Legion of
Honor. Jules Favre in 1870 engaged Stieber himself
in disguise as a servant. These spies are sycophants,
money-lenders, they are found in every drawing-poom,
and have a system of letters innocent on their surface
but every phrase of which has its key for interpreta-
tion. Stieber claimed that the conquest of France in
1870 was due more to his pioneer work than to Molt-
ke's army. Germany now spends more than a million
pounds a year for this secret service. The system has
lately spent most of its energy in Russia with results
which the world knows.

The remedies are, first, a growth of public opinion
based on realization of the danger, and a revision of
laws. The allied nations have contented themselves
for the most part with detecting and punishing spies,
and have not generally approved the development of
a counter system of espionage. None, so far as known,
has organized a scheme in Germany like that which
the Germans have developed in other countries, for it
would not be thought honorable by public opinion and
would conflict with our national ideals of morale. It
is due to this system in Germany and its almost total
absence in England that the latter was so taken by
surprise and was at a disadvantage at the outset of
the war, so that the lives of many thousands of her
best young men were lost. On the whole we cannot
escape the inquiry whether as we had to meet gas by
gas, submarines by submarines, w r e should not also
have henceforth secret agents in Germany to keep our



authorities informed, far more intimately than our
press is able to do, of what is actually taking place
there. If this wounds our national honor we could
console ourselves with the fact that our active espion-
age would be entirely in the interests of preparedness
and defense and not with a view to offensive action.

The mails have been a very effective war weapon,
and to examine them is to discover and frustrate the
enemy's plans, restrict their supplies, and impair their
capacity. Some letters favor acts of violence, such
as incendiarism and sabotage; others deal with the
supply of vital material; while a third class is con-
nected with propaganda. It is as necessary to check
espionage as to forestall seditious literature. In Eng-
land thirty to fifty thousand telegrams and some four
hundred cablegrams passed the censor every twenty-
four hours. Many of these were in code and a vast
body of useful information was gathered by these
"eyes of the blockade" and also, what is no less im-
portant, withheld from the enemy. In London the
censoring force numbered 3,100. It was a new insti-
tution and so Liverpool founded a training school for
these experts under Colonel Tody, which handled
nearly 400,000 items in twenty-four hours. The pos-
tal censorship service cost England f 3,350,000 a year.

Another great department is to shape and influence
public opinion by means of propaganda. This, like
espionage, is very elaborately and very expensively
organized departmentally in Germany, which has
spent millions monthly in Russia and the story of


which in other allied countries has been so success-
fully unearthed and checked. This is not the place
to describe in detail its methods, which are of pro-
found interest to psychology. 1 Every device has been
resorted to. New books have been bound in old cov-
ers and under misleading titles, leaflets and even
forms have been inserted in purely scientific books
and journals, so that the importation of all these into
this country was for more than two years, we think
unwisely, held up from our universities and libraries
by England. Seditious articles have been printed in
some of the papers and in many of the journals in
this country which appear in a foreign language. In
the vast censorship museum of Great Britain are thou-
sands of objects illustrating these arts of "getting
by." Special systematic attempts were made to stir
up the natives of Java, Sumatra, and Singapore.

In the official Bulletin of February 4, 1918, we find
the scope and activities of Mr. Creel's Committee on
Public Information, which went to our 3,000 papers.
These, with no compulsory censorship, have so mar-
velously responded to a gentleman's agreement to
print nothing of advantage to the enemy, such as

1 See, for exarnnle : ITorst Von der Goltz : My Adventures as a
German Secret Agent, 288, N. Y., McBride, Nast, 1917. A. K. Graves :
The Secrets of the German War Office, 286 N. Y., McBride, Nast,

1914. Leon Daudet: L'Avant Guerre, 312, Paris, Nouv. Lib. Nat.,

1915. Louis Rouquette: La Propaganda Germanique auoe Etats-Unis,
154, Paris, Chapelot, 1916. Hamil Grant: Spies and Secret Service,
320, London, Richards, 1915. Theodore Roosevelt: The Foes of Our
Own Household, 347, N. Y., Doran, 1917. William H. Skaggs: Ger-
man Conspiracies in America, from an American Point of View,
Lond., Unwin, 1915. Roger B. Wood : The German Spy in America,
256, Lond., 1917, with an introductory note by ex-President Roose-
velt. The German Spy System in France, Tr. from the French of Paul
Lanoir, 1910.



troop movements, defenses, and embarkations, that
we have had almost no official press censorship. Our
bureau has sought chiefly to influence public opinion
at home, among our allies, and also with the enemy.
It has used many million dollars' worth of free space
for advertising, prepared and used movies, has had
an airplane service to distribute circulars behind the
lines, and for all these activities has only two hun-
dred and fifty paid employees, for there are five thou-
sand volunteers and several times that number of
public speakers. It has issued a few pamphlets of
very diverse quality, and in addition to its Division
of Syndicate Features has one of Foreign Language
Newspapers and also Photographs.

From these very bare and large outlines we can see
that in War times the control of news is a factor of in-
estimable significance for morale. In the trench and
at home the soldier, especially the AJmerican soldier,
as well as the citizen, craves to know just what is go-
ing on, and if he is left in ignorance, tension and fear
are harder on him than envisagement of even bad
news. If he believes that he has been really told the
worst and that nothing has been kept back he is satis-
fied ; he can pardon many things easier than conceal-
ment of fact he feels he has a right to and ought to
know, and if he is surprised by something utterly un-
foreseen he is liable to lose his balance. He has amaz-
ing power to adjust and react efficiently in any situ-
ation that he can clearly see, however desperate it
may be. Just as the democratic world is now de-



manding the abolition of all secret treaties, so the
soldier demands to be taken into the confidence of his
officers and to glimpse the larger strategy in which
his unit is called on to play: its part. Psychology can
realize even more fully than democracy is yet able to
do not only the negative side of the dangers of reser-
vation and concealment but the great positive ac-
cession of energy that comes where the sol-
dier feels that he participates in knowledge
not only of the facts but of the purposes of
the high command. To be told beforehand that
there is grave danger in an enterprise, and to be
shown something of its reasons and relations to the
success of a plan goes a great way toward giving him
the nerve to carry it out; while a sense of ignorance
is felt to be a kind of mental asphyxiation. Thus
officers are revising old ideas and recognizing noetic
needs and realizing their value. There are already
those who believe that more even if informal talks
should be given on all suitable occasions, and that by
circularization troops should be put in the possession
of as many bald facts as possible, leaving them to
draw their own inference and form their own opinions
concerning everything that the intense curiosity of the
trenches seeks to find out. The public and the peo-
ples of the world, as our President is now telling us,
must be taken more into the confidence of govern-
ments. Legitimate criticism must not be repressed
but welcomed. No doubt reticence, as Lequeux says,
has often saved from disaster almost equal to that of



the black week in the South African war. One of the
greatest calamities in the War of 1870 was caused by;
a French journal which said MacMahon had changed
the direction of his army. Through England this
reached Moltke, who altered all his plans and cap-
tured MacMahon and his army at Metz. This was an
awful price for the indiscretion of a newspaper. But
the public must not be spoon-fed, for either optimism
or pessimism if kept blind is dangerous. The full
story of the first battle of Ypres, which was so long
withheld and distorted, would probably have done
a great deal in England for recruiting, for great dis-
asters as well as great victories rouse the British to
greater efforts. Spying in war is not like stealing
trade secrets or inventions or any other kind of in-
dustrial espionage. Perhaps, as some claim, the
means of acquiring secret knowledge has progressed
faster than the arts of concealing it, and if so this is
suggestive for those who wish to prophesy. On the
whole, we must conclude that although this subject
fairly bristles with anomalies, in the new era we shall
have a rather radical revision of our conceptions here
in favor of more openness and less concealment, both
to the soldier in the ranks and to the public.

Another thing is sun-clear to us now that we have
entered and been fully adopted into the great family
of nations, and that is that we have a crying need
and a right to far more knowledge than we possess in
any agencies now supplied of what is going on in the
world. Our press and the great bureaus are far from
* 130


being satisfactory. Even our government to-day lacks
sources of inner information in regard to significant
events now transpiring at the heart of Bolshevism.
We get only glimpses of trends of opinion, sentiment,
or events in Oriental countries, and since the armis-
tice, we really know very little indeed of what is go-
ing on in Germany; while we get only an occasional
ray of light from Turkey, the Balkans, and even from
South America and Mexico, in all of which countries
Germany has long developed most effective means of
getting inside facts. Thus even our leaders, to say
nothing of the mass of intelligent readers, are novices
in world politics, and we should undertake now a far
more effective organization than we have yet dreamed
of to keep our government completely informed of
both the march of events and the changes of senti-
ment in all great countries of the world, and thus
overcome the provincialism which has seemed to some
our pride but which is particularly now our shame.



I. The treatment of objectors in lands where they are recognized
Fake objectors : The proper test and treatment II. Factors of
patriotism Contrast in the goals of military training between
France and Germany, viz., organization versus esprit The
French psychology of the attack.

I. Morale and conscientious objectors. The fact
that in the present war Great Britain took action
against barely one thousand genuine cases, and that
such were numbered only by hundreds in this country
is suggestive, for we are told that the paucity of num-
bers is an index of the clarity of conviction regard-
ing the righteousness of the cause. While conscienti-
ous objectors generally meet with scant sympathy in
army or camp, where they are often hazed, bullied,
and outlawed by sentiment and in a few cases, we are
told, have actually been killed, there are many, on
the other hand, who have the adroitness and tact to be
efficient as peace propagandists that make them very
insidious enemies of army morale. The genuine ob-
jectors were exempted from active fighting early in
the war by England, and religious objectors were
placed in the noncombatant army service of this
country by the President's order of March 20, 1918.
The conscientious objector is unknown or not heard
of or at least has no voice, on the continent, and is


also of course unknown save under conscription.
There are at least nine religious bodies in this coun-
try, of which the Quakers are best known (they
have modified their attitude since the war began)
whose creed makes them oppose war under all con-
ditions. Tolstoi's example and influence in this di-
rection, we are often told, had much to do with the
debacle in Russia, and the objector conceives himself
as in line with the ancient Christians, many of whom
were ready to become martyrs rather than join the
Roman legions. On the one hand the very theory of
democracy favors the recognition of the right of pri-
vate judgment, and respect of conscience is some-
thing too sacred to be interfered with, although con-
scription began with the French Revolution and
through history has oftenest been practiced by re-
publics, autocracies preferring standing armies.
Here, and far more in England, there has been much
written on the subject, 1 and many recusants who have
been imprisoned have written up their experiences
in a pathetic way; while there has been a deluge of
magazine articles on the subject, some by high ju-
dicial and other authorities (like Prof. A. V. Dicey,
Gilbert Murray, and W. R. Stather Hunt) 1 . Many
hold that nothing will justify the state in compelling
a man to do what his deepest convictions forbid.

On the other hand, thuggism and the suttee were
inspired by religion, while at the other extreme to-

1 Mrs. H. Hobhouse : I Appeal Unto Ccesar, and G. G. Cpulton :
The Case for Compulsory Military Service (London, 1917) give the
most convenient surveys.


day in several lists of conscientious objectors agnos-
tics lead, and there are almost no two socialist ob-
jectors who agree as to the grounds of their opposi-
tion. Socrates is well cited as a citizen who felt it
his duty to die for the state if it so decreed. The law
makes short shift with extreme Christian Scientists
who refuse to employ doctors for dangerous diseases
or with those who object on conscientious grounds to
paying their taxes or to sending their children to
school. The judgments of conscience are often er-
ratic, and many crimec have been committed in its
name. A French writer in a very sensational book
justifies the fanatical regicide Eavaillac 2 because in
slaying Henry IV he was actuated by what seemed
to him religious motives.

The most difficult matter, of course, is to deter-
mine in each case from the previous life and char-
acter of the objector whether his scruples are sincere.
For every genuine case there are probably a dozen
slackers, cowards, shirkers, and malingerers, and the
convictions of those who have any are often super-
ficial and extemporized. The examiners who test
these cases sometimes have a hard task, though gener-
ally experience enables them to decide quickly and
truly. Many take cover under religious creeds with
which they are shown to have only the very slightest
acquaintance, or claim Biblical grounds for their re-
monstrance when they know almost nothing of the
Scriptures. Some are anarchists and against all gov-

' See Albert Schinz : The Renewal of French Thought on the
Eve of the War, 308, Amer. Jour. Psychol. 28, (1916).



ernments, others are neurotics, but it is important
for the morale of an army that all these pretenders,
as well as the genuine cases, be at least unmasked.

One very simple acid test has been suggested for
those who object to war as inhuman. They are asked
whether they are willing to alleviate suffering and
danger by working on mine-sweepers or as stretcher-
bearers. Those who refuse these most dangerous
functions can hardly escape the brand of cowardice
as at least a factor in their vaunted humanitarian-
ism. Some declare themselves ready to assuage the
suffering of the severely or mortally wounded but not
that of those who are less injured, because by their
aid the latter may be enabled to become fighters
again. A motley crew of these slackers have become
refugees from all countries in a New York club, From
The Four Winds, mainly fugitives from the English
Defense of the Realm Act. To refuse all service in
the medical or quartermaster corps, in engineering
or railroad service because of these objections, and
to take twenty-eight days of solitary confinement and
the added two months of prohibition to write or re-
ceive letters or visits, and to bear the contumely of
the community rather than serve in a good cause
would seem to indicate that the objector has too
much will for his intellect and lacks something of
the gregarious or social instinct that makes a de-
sirable citizen. One writer estimates twenty-five
thousand real or pretended conscientious objectors
all-told in this country.



To most the conscientious objector is simply a nui-
sance. He thinks himself a sufferer for conscience
sake and so entitled to pity and respect. These kick-
ers have brought the very name conscience into dis-
repute, and many think the preferential treatment
accorded them is unpolitic. One suggests they should
be made to read and answer the dialogue between
Socrates and the Laws. On the other hand, in the
days of the Fugitive Slave Law and in very many
other cases those who have chosen to obey their con-
science by breaking the law of the land have been
right. For fifteen months the objector could emi-
grate from England, and it was held that his refusal
to do so implied acquiescence, because if his objection
was not strong enough to induce him to make this
sacrifice, discriminatory favors were not justified. In
England it was found that there was very much
money of suspicious origin in fomenting schools of
objectors and persuading those who wanted exemp-
tion on other grounds that they might use this. Some
interesting analyses have been given of a moral state
in these soi-disant objectors which is clearly morbid.
Some of them are psychically masochists and love to
suffer, and sometimes have sex abnormalities. Others
are unstable and catch any fanaticism that is in the
air, losing their sense of proportion and even their
mental balance.

Thus the objectors are a motley crew. While the
conduct of a few may suggest moral sublimity and
heroism, the majority are imperfectly socialized and



hyperindividualized, and because soldiering requires
the subordination of each to the will of one command,
the presence of these in any army is always danger-
ous. They should be excluded from the army not so
much out of respect to their idiosyncrasies or even
their convictions as because they may become the most

Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 9 of 25)