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Alfred de Grazia:



WHILE ECONOMIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEANS CAN resolve many political disagreements, the use of physical coercion for the same purposes has never been remote from human experience. An adequate introduction to the political process must admit this fact and relate the uses of force and violence to the struggle for values. First, we will determine the difference between force and violence when they are used as instruments of the government. Next, we will examine the motives for using physical means of coercion, rather than economic or psychological ones. We will then analyze the ways in which physical coercion is organized and employed-revolutions and wars, for example. Finally, we will ask whether coercion ever produces the results expected of it in governing human beings.



An intelligent appraisal of civil conflict and war requires some knowledge of force and violence in politics. Force is the legitimate use of physical coercion, and violence is the illegitimate use of physical coercion. If a government is held to be legitimate by its people, its use of force is approved, with whatever reservations the people may have about the usefulness or lack of usefulness and the adequacy or inadequacy of force. Thus, although the people of a state may agree that the government is entitled to use force against a riot of strikers, they may well prefer that the government prevent such outbreaks by establishing a more sound economic policy or by persuading the clashing parties to accept some peaceful settlement. Furthermore, a people rarely holds to a single principle of legitimacy. Thus many Americans applauded the personal leadership of Colonel "Teddy" Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War; whatever "Teddy" did was all right. However, many other Americans deplored the nation's "descent" from legality into "violence." These Americans would have preferred to arbitrate the Spanish-American dispute.


We must also consider this fact: Even when its legitimacy is unquestioned by the people, the government-composed as it is of a number of different organs-may develop internal conflicts. The people then may have to side with one element of the government against another, with each part of the government claiming legality, reason, and legitimacy. The people are united in expecting a government that acts according to legal rules; but when one branch of the government is in open conflict with another branch, either or both may resort to violence in order to prove its own legality.

America has had some close escapes from violent conflict among governing organs and some unfortunate explosions. President Jackson arbitrarily removed the deposits of the United States Treasury from the United States Bank, even though the Supreme Court had declared that the bank was constitutional and might be the financial agency of the federal government. Jackson disputed the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution and used the executive forces of the government to carry out his theory of the Constitution. Again, during his term of office, Jackson disagreed with the State of South Carolina on the question whether a state might refuse to obey a law of Congress. Partly in response to his threat of force, SDuth Carolina accepted an "honorable compromise."

The most disastrous experience of the United States with conflicting interpretations of legal legitimacy came with the Civil War. Calhoun's interpretation of the federal union held that the states reserved the legal right to disagree with the decisions of the majority in Congress and of the President. Both Southerners and Northerners professed their attachment to legality, constitutionalism, and the lawful union. Both sides resorted to coercion to uphold the "correct and legitimate" legal order.

We must therefore warn the unwary student that the theory of legitimacy is only simple at first glance. We must remember that in the same society, more than one principle of legitimacy may be held by the people or by a single person; force is only one of the instruments of legitimate authority, and other instruments, like education and economic policy, may be preferred by the people or by the rulers; and finally, different branches of the same government may use physical coercion as well as other instruments of power to foist their policies on each other. Such are the main relationships between legitimate authority and force and violence.


Force and violence both involve physical coercion. Physical coercion is the direction of human activities (a) by commands that are accompanied by sanctions of a bodily kind or by the threat of bodily sanctions, and (b) by the unexplained but deliberate infliction of damage to persons-in every case associated with a minimum of symbolic, verbal, and economic tactics.

Why do we require such an involved definition of physical coercion? There is a reason for each element of the definition.

We want to include physical arrest, detention of the person, the physical restraint of children, physical self-defense, the dispersing of a riot, and other cases of manhandling human beings. We also want to include not only such things as the Communist invasion of Southern Korea but also the American actions in resisting the invasion by force.

The threat of bodily sanctions is usually enough to accomplish obedience to commands. The presence of a police force, of an army, of a fleet, and of a court system inhibits disobedience. Most enactments state what conduct is legal and what is forbidden; they also state the consequences of violations of the law.

Sometimes physical coercion occurs as the unexplained but deliberate infliction of damage to persons. By "unexplained" we mean that it is superfluous, or not justified, or not rationalized, or not preceded by command. The application of coercion may be beyond the intention of the law. Further than that, it may be inflicted for its own sake, without reference to any command. The former is more common; there is no more reason to believe that men can always mete out the exactly justifiable amount of punishment in a situation where force is deemed necessary than to believe that men can always levy the exact amount of taxes needed or distribute the exact number of food coupons required. It is as true of coercive means as of any other means of influencing human behavior that the unforeseen consequences of purposive action sometimes far exceed the predicted consequences. "It was a mistake to arm the rabble," thought many an unhorsed knight in the late Middle Ages. Admiral Perry did not awaken sleepy Japan so that it might arm, in the style of the West, to attack the United States a century later.


Physical coercion exists in its clearest form when it is not accompanied by a great deal of ceremonial justification, logical argumentation, and employment of economic tactics. We stress this "pure" form of coercion only in order to emphasize the fact that coercion is rarely seen in this form in the world of political events. "Pure" coercion is naked force or naked violence. It is a command that is stripped down to the mere indication of direction desired, accompanied by the flourishes of the weapons of force and violence. Almost every political event is a compound of physical coercion with psychological and economic weapons. Thus, on the same day in 1950 that the United States ordered its planes into action against North Korean Communist armies, it issued a statement of its moral principles, recounted its attempts to keep peace, asked the Soviet government to put pressure on the North Koreans to withdraw from the South, and announced that it acted with the moral, psychological, and material support of the United Nations. At the same time it declared that it would supply arms and other goods to protect Formosa and French Indo-China.

A remarkable proof of the intimate relation of physical coercion to propaganda is afforded by a study of German civilians who had suffered bombing attacks. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey found that one out of three civilian Germans indicated that his morale was more affected by bombing than by any other single factor including the successive defeats at the front. That the morale factor is separable from the physical coercion factor is implicit in this statement by the Survey: "The maximum morale effects of dropping a given tonnage of bombs on Germaly would have been attained by lighter raids as widely distributed as possible, rather than by concentrated heavy bombing in limited areas." In other words, psychological effects might well be the primary motive for the use of coercion under certain conditions.


How we interpret physical coercion depends largely on how it was used and interpreted in our childhood training. How a person's father used physical coercion in the family gives most men some ideas on how force should be and should not be used in politics. How the child's playmates, with their varying family backgrounds, used coercion and interpreted coercion will help provide the framework within which the adult will employ and interpret coercion. This is an age-old discovery of political science. It is startling how many people today profess not to believe it.

The Spartans knew the principle and applied it in the training of their young; the Romans knew it and also applied it rigorously to get the kind of attitudes and practices with respect to force and violence in later life that they wanted. The Fascists, Nazis, and Communists reoriented their educational systems, once they achieved power, so as to insert a new respect for force in the minds of their children. The psychiatrists of today know how a child may be trained to use and accept varying systems of physical coercion. (Several of them have commented on the large number of battle neuroses among American troops that might be traced back to childhood training. Many American children, especially in the middle income and higher educational groups, have been taught to abhor physical compulsion of any kind. They were not taught to abhor education, propaganda, economic measures, or economic manipulation. But, of course, expertness in these instruments does not suffice to win battles.)



Force and violence may be chosen as the effective means of achieving economic objectives-markets, control of factories, the "wealth of the Orient," and so on. They may be used to establish the honor and respect "due" to a group in order to wipe off a "disgraceful" defeat of the past, for example. They may often be the means of self-defense, of insuring the safety of one's position, of protecting one's "rights." They are often used to gain power, that is, the right to make important decisions that govern a community. They sometimes have as their end the satisfaction of an urge to destructionvandalism, sadism, the relief of deep and undefined hatreds that have no evident rational connection with the objects of the coercion.


In many, perhaps nearly all, cases of coercion, the agents have more than one objective. Thus the Italian campaign in Ethiopia in 1936 was prompted by several motives, among them the desire to exploit the mineral and agricultural resources of the country, the desire to avenge a massacre of Italian troops some fifty years earlier, and the desire to increase the power position of Italy relative to England in East Africa. One of Mussolini's sons, an aviator, lived to regret his rash description of the beauty and pleasure of seeing his bombs dropping on hapless tribesmen-a way of expressing destructive urges common in the literature of war. It is safe to say that wherever more than a handful of men engage in violence, one will find a plethora of motives, varying in kind and intensity.


The use of coercion for economic ends is ancient. As we mentioned earlier, some of the most illustrious investigators into the origins of the state assert that the state originated in conquest for reasons of economic benefits-spoils, food, and land. It was said of the Romans that they never learned the true meaning of trade; they conquered, carried back to Rome the captured wealth, and thereafter levied tribute; they treated their imperial provinces like beehives, extracting the honey upon occasion but rarely contributing to the honeymaking process. Also, the booty extracted by medieval warriors - in spite of the fact that they fought for honor and prestige as no men have fought since-makes the economic reparations that modern nations demand of the vanquished (perhaps the Soviet Union should be excepted) seem comparatively small.

In the domestic life of several nations, the Jews have been massacred or violently evicted at various intervals to provide bankrupt governing groups and pirateering political factions with accumulated wealth. A number of Nazis emerged as millionaires from the violent persecution of the Jews. The ownership of the loot was "legalized" by selling it for a pittance to preferred buyers. Similar scenes were enacted in the early modern period, when the Jews were expelled from Spain, and during the Middle Ages in various countries. Not to be outdone, the French monarchy destroyed the Protestant Huguenot movement in France, in part out of religious fanaticism, but also in part out of covetousness. Else why were the Huguenots not allowed to carry their property with them, and why were so many royal henchmen suddenly enriched? The destruction of the Catholic Church in England was also accompanied by large-scale looting and confiscation of property. This kind of event is so common in history as to require no elaboration here. We may mention finally that among the most vociferous spokesmen for the imprisonment and exile of the Japanese-Americans of California were individuals who stood to gain by the elimination of Japanese competition in agriculture and by the forced sale of Japanese-owned property.

One need not subscribe to Lenin's theory (that monopoly capitalism, having exhausted its domestic markets, turns to imperialism for profits) to perceive that there was a strong economic motive operating in every century of European imperialism. Drake, Raleigh, and the court of Elizabeth had never heard of Communist theory, but they perceived opportunities for wealth on the Seven Seas that little England could never have afforded them; centuries later, workmen in the drab factories of the Industrial Revolution who had heard of the Communist idealogy acted to seize factories by violence (for example, France, 1871), and their pulses beat quicker when they thought that now there would be more to divide amongst themselves. When the Americans and British liberated Southern Italy in 1943, the landlords were flabbergasted to hear from many of their tenants that the age of rents had gone: what better purpose could be assumed for the invasionary Violence than to make farm owners of farm tenants? When the Communist North Koreans captured Seoul, stocks of goods were thrown to the people and a radical redistribution of land occurred.


Acts of coercion made with the intention of restoring prestige or honor, gaining respect, or maintaining "face," are numerous. Indeed, one can marvel at the common idea that the age of chivalry is gone. True, in ancient and medieval times, men did not feel the need to conceal the fact that they were fighting on the grounds of honor. It was taken for granted as a legitimate motive for war or personal combat. Leonidas and his Spartans fought at Thermopylae for the honor of their city while their Greek allies retreated. Long before that time, Greeks had fought amongst themselves at Troy-over the fate of a woman named Helen, according to Homer.

We shall never know to what degree clannish pride entered into the cause of the fabled Trojan War. Nor shall we ever know the exact extent to which the Germans of Hitler's Germany condoned the resort to international violence in order to avenge their humiliating defeat in World War I. Nor shall we know, for that matter, how many of the hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen who went to death at Verdun went the more willingly because they remembered the crushing defeat of their armies in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Memoirs, eye-witness accounts, and historical researches tell us that honor and "face" were involved. Personal experience tells us that Americans had the same motives when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor in 1941 and when the North Koreans invaded South Korea. The Japanese, Chinese, and other Orientals are reputed by Westerners to value "face" above every other value; but Westerners, though prone to justify coercion on economic, "rational," or other grounds, including self-defense, undoubtedly value honor to a considerable extent.

In most modern countries, recourse to coercion for the sake of honor is severely discouraged. Dueling has gone out of style, although American and European politicians once knew and practiced the custom. In eighteenth-century England, the London mob was a distinct influence on politics, a kind of measure of the temper of the people. It was, however, a most crude measure, not at all like the Gallup poll; the mob was destructive, not always active when it had good reason to be, but prone to activity when issues were personal and even trivial. It would not gather to declaim against the repressive penal law, or to demand support for popular revolutions in France; but it would rage through the streets in support of a demagogic mountebank like Wilkes, seeing in the opposition to seating him in the Commons the snubbing of a commoner gentleman's just ambitions.


The class war of modern European nations shows how complicated the problem of social prestige may be. Ranked against one another are the working classes who appeal to the universal principle of equality, and the middle classes who feel their social rank slipping. While many industrial workers are organizing, gaining higher pay and better working conditions, and claiming that the future belongs to them, many members of the middle class are finding clerical skills less rare and less valued than in the past. They are losing their financial advantage over manual workers and are finding promotion to positions of ownership or high income more difficult to achieve. The upper ranks of society also are directly threatened; the deference, the honor, the bows, the respectful address given their status for centuries hang at issue in the class struggle. The upper and middle ranks have joined frequently against the workers; the aristocracy and the upper middle classes could never have held out in all of Europe from Napoleon to Hitler if they had not gained support from the middle classes, who wanted to go up, but never wanted to go down, even if to go down meant to join in the "inevitable" triumph of the proletariat. The use of violence by one class against another, then, is more easily understood when one appreciates the threat than an aggressive working class poses to the classes above it.


The use of coercion for self-defense and protection is authorized by all major legal systems of the world. In cases of international violence, the plea of "self-defense" frequently is used to justify all kinds of aggression, but it need not be dismissed as a real motive for that reason. The poor showing of Spain in the Spanish-American War and the weak defense of Poland against Germany in 1939 are pathetic instances of self-defense, mixed, no doubt, with motives of honor and prestige. The Germans in 1945 had exhausted practically all motives other than safety; many of them, weighing the relative severities of Anglo-American and Russian occupation, hoped to forestall the Russians in the East until the Allies in the West might move in.


Power is another general objective for which coercion is employed. Obviously, the attainment of economic ends by force or violence will often increase the power of the victorious party; so also will the attainment of greater prestige through the use of force or violence. But control of the apparatus of the government can be in itself a goal of coercion. A violent strike for a closed shop (economic value) is not as clearly a striving for power as is a violent general strike to bring on the collapse of the existing government. Hannibal, Caesar, Alexander, and Napoleon seemed to want nothing more than the utter defeat of their enemies. Lasswell quotes Genghis Khan, the Mongol conqueror, as declaring "a man's highest job in life is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all the things that have been theirs." Other values enter the attitude of violence, but the power drive may be foremost in intensity.

The clearest employment of coercion on behalf of the maintenance or the attainment of power is one where, with the consent of both the users and the subjects of coercion, force is used to maintain order, punish crimes, and discourage subversion of the government. Coercion is employed because it is the rational instrument to use in a given case; it is quicker, readier, more adapted to the situation, and more lasting in its consequences than education or economic policy. This is the principle for the use of coercion with which most people would agree.

Other uses of coercion to attain power abound, however, and many of them would not be agreeable to most of the people most of the time. Political assassinations preparatory to seizing power, palace revolutions, "kidnapping" ballot boxes to prevent free elections, dispersal of all assemblages believed to be in the political opposition, intimidation of political opponents-these, too, are violent acts that aim at the achievement or retention of power.


Finally, destructiveness must be mentioned as a general objective of coercion. Destructiveness is used here to mean all motives that have no instrumental connection with the persons who are the recipients of violence. The man who is nagged by his wife and thereupon beats his dog would fall into this category. His motive in beating the dog is to relieve the tensions and anxieties caused by his wife's hostile actions. This "irrational" character of destructiveness should not lead one to think destructiveness is insignificant in politics. Men who have seen atrocities inflicted on helpless enemies in war by exhausted and maddened soldiers or who have seen race riots flare up among men who had never seen each other before that moment, can testify to the strength of destructive impulses in human beings. Even children perceive that certain other children and adults "have a chip on their shoulder."


Perhaps the most prominent theory used in modern psychology to explain destructiveness is that derived from the psychology of Sigmund Freud. The theory is built on the interaction of six concepts: guilt, frustration, displacement, projection, rationalization, and aggression.

A large number of people in our society are trained as children to feel personally responsible and very uncomfortable whenever they violate any moral principle they have been taught. Whenever anything goes wrong, they believe that they themselves are to blame. The burden of this guilt makes them miserable whenever the environment does not provide them with a minimum of the things they need-affection, security, material things.

In addition, modern Western civilization abounds in frustrations. A frustration is simply the foiled attempt of a person to get something he wants. Continual frustration seems to mark modern Western society more than many others. An American of 150 years ago could exercise greater control over his environment than can the American of today. Still, today or 150 years ago, civilization demands many restraints, and considerable frustration is an unavoidable accompaniment of civilization.

The human being cannot dissipate frustrations automatically. He can, however, shove them off onto something else, in his mind or in the outside world. This is displacement. When a man is fired, he is prevented by long training and by law from beating his employer. The man will be tense and anxious about the event, and if he is encumbered by many more major and minor restraints and frustrations, he may seize upon outlets for his tensions. He is, fortunately for them, also to some extent prevented from "taking it out" on members of his family. He may possibly get away with kicking the dog.

Among the objeca of the world onto which tensions are pushed or affects are displaced are both primary and secondary objects. Thus when a father punishes his boy, the child often represses the hostility he feels at the "unjust" punishment. If he displaces his hostility onto his teacher, that is a primary object; if onto authority in general, that is a secondary object.

Projection is a well-nigh universal occurrence. One imputes to others motives he himself possesses. People who know or believe themselves to be cheaters tend to regard other people as cheaters. Projection stands ready to help displacement. When it is inexpedient to release hostility against frustrating objects, the hostility is repressed and often seeks displacements on secondary objects. Projection affords a motive for the particular displacement. First the subject feels hostile; he imagines then that the other fellow feels hostile. The subject then justifies his feeling of hostility towards the other fellow on the ground of self-defense. Projected hostilities arising out of displacement constitute destructiveness.

Rationalization gives a socially accepted veneer to the destructiveness; usually some slight, insubstantial act of the target-person or group is magnified out of proportion, and, since proof is a very difficult thing in social affairs, most people do not realize that rationalization is occurring-often because they, too, are undergoing the same process. Finally, aggression occurs as a result of these destructive motives along with any other motives present in the situation. The aggression may be expressed verbally, or by depriving someone of something that person holds dear, or by injuring physically another person-the last being perhaps the most satisfying type of release to the aggressor.

Guilt is one of the frequent companions of displacement and projection: the subject acts "wrongly" by being destructive; he feels guilty; he cannot bear more guilt than he already possesses without extreme discomfort. He therefore projects the guilt onto the objects of his destructiveness. The object is now not only hostile but also wrong, that is, guilty. It is all very convenient to some sick souls who have been brought up badly and to not a few normal adults whose personal situations happen to be very difficult and tense.


There are theories of destructiveness other than the Freudian theory sketched roughly above. Ian Suttie, for example, traces destructiveness to the original shock of the infant being born, modern psychology assuming quite rightly that the mother is not the only person involved in the pains of childbirth. The initial birth-trauma, that of being separated from the mother, sets up an anxiety of a general and massive character that can only be allayed by affection and security. Frustrated love, then, causes destructiveness, whether it is directed against parents, friends, or nations. Sebastian de Grazia has expanded Suttie's analysis into a general theory of social co-operation, in which the tensions that abet wars rise from the fear of the destruction of one's revered symbols and in which the satisfaction of closer fraternity with one's own kind is often sought at the expense of outsiders. It will be some time before any single theory will win the minds of scientists. At present, each theory suggests the deep and hidden nature of human motives that somehow work their way through infancy, childhood and adulthood into the behavior of people in politics. It is perhaps unnecessary to warn against the quick acceptance of any one theory - especially since these psychological problems are formidable enough to baffle even expert psychiatrists.



We have found that the motives that drive men to force and violence are various and assume different combinations. We will now look for typical events exhibiting the main patterns of coercion.

Certain typical forms of coercion are already known to us. We know, for example, that every government employs force according to the custom and the law of the land. We are all familiar with the use of police force, the use of troops to disperse riots, and the use of courts to hand down judgments regarding the amount of coercion to be used against individuals. We should also be aware of the fact that countries of western European culture have tended increasingly to frown on personal violence, that is, taking justice into one's own hands. This has not always been true. Old Anglo-Saxon law, for example, left the punishment of crimes of violence to the families whose members were assaulted. Custom set a limit on the amount of punishment that could be inflicted. Brigandage and gangsterism have declined and have been suppressed in most places; the exceptions are some remote and isolated rural communities and a few isolated groups in large cities (the "underworld").


But besides the police, the armies, and the courts, modern societies have known three other ways in which force has been organized. These are the coup d'etat, the revolution by violence, and war. We will now use the term "violence" in describing these processes, because, in most of the cases, the question of legitimacy is in doubt. Even a cursory examination of history compels one to admit that mankind is addicted to foreign and domestic warfare. Pitirim Sorokin's extensive investigations and painstaking enumeration of wars and revolutions reveal this fact clearly. Of 375 years of ancient Greek history (500-126 B.C.), only 34 per cent were free from war and internal disturbances. Of 877 years of ancient Roman history (400 B.C-A.D. 476), only 46 per cent were free from wars and disturbances. England in the period from 656 to 1933 suffered 162 violent disturbances; in 875 years (1051-1925), England had, according to Sorokin's estimates, 493 years (56 per cent) of war.

These and many other figures caused Sorokin to conclude that wars and revolutions have neither increased or decreased through history. There are merely unexplained fluctuations in violence from time to time. Furthermore, regarding the character of revolutions, every country has had mad and bloody revolutions; the "terror" was not unique to the French Revolution of 1789. There seem to be about three times as many civil wars (that is, severe internal disturbances) as international wars, according to Quincy Wright's figures on 278 conflicts from 1480-1941. Since 1941, every year has seen more war. From 1941-45, the whole world, with isolated exceptions (Sweden, Switzerland and very few others), was at war. The years 1946-50 saw civil war in China and Korea, revolution in Indonesia, and guerrilla warfare in scattered parts of the Orient including Burma, Malaya, Indochina, and the Philippines. India suffered mass murders among Hindus and Moslems in 1947 and 1948. Successful coups d'etat occurred in Venezuela and Brazil in 1945, Haiti and Bolivia in 1946, Nicaragua and Ecuador in 1947, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela and El Salvador in 1948 and Paraguay in 1949. In fact, 43 successful coups d'etat or revolutions marked the period from 1930-49 in South America. The Near East and eastern Europe have had even more hectic careers during the last several years.


There have been many attempts to discover what general scientific laws govern the processes of coup d'etat, revolutions, and war, but regrettably few principles have emerged. For instance, Dr. Quincy Wright studied warfare in all times and all places about which information is available, and yet, after ten years, could not feel free to state the exact conditions under which wars occur, the exact components in the strength of a nation, the exact conditions under which the laws of war will be observed, nor could he answer several other vital questions concerning this universal form of violence. The same criticisms may be voiced about Curzio Malaparte's study of coups d'etat and of Aristotle's or Mosca's or Pettee's studies of revolutions.

Yet much progress has been made in the study of these events during the last generation. Groups and individuals from the sciences of politics, psychology, and sociology have made many intensive partial studies that enable us to feel much more sure of our ground when discussing the violent behavior of groups than we ever were before. While there is no agreement about many of the factors entering into intranational and international violence, science can answer certain kinds of questions and make the whole area one of partial light rather than complete shadow.

These problems are similar in many respects to problems that social science has already solved in studying public opinion. An extensive and intensive examination of attitudes and behavior allows a highly probable prediction to be made about who will win a particular election. Predicting such events as attempts at the violent seizure of power, revolutionary attempts, or wars rests on many of the same observations, methods, and techniques. The main difference is not that the number of factors at work in the case of an election campaign are less numerous or less complex than those at work in the dynamic and violent events we are considering here; the main difference lies in the fact that the factors at work in the coming of a war, a revolution, or a seizure of power are dangerous to work with. Indirect indices must be devised that have a high correlation with the factors to be predicted. Premier Stalin could not be asked by a casual interviewer: "Do you plan to go to war in ninety days?" "What will you do if the United States and her Allies mass troops in Germany?" Rather one must make elaborate studies of all Stalin's habits, speeches, gestures, journeys, conferences, communications, and so on in order to arrive at a predictive index; that is, there must be a careful interpretation, based on the various social sciences, of all deviations from regularities of behavior on the part of the subject to determine whether an unusual act is in the offing, what kind of an unusual act it is, and whether the act seems about to take place this month, in two months, or six months from now. One also would have to analyze thoroughly all evidence bearing on the Premier's character. From this analysis a theory of his cognitive structure must be built up. That is, how does he view events? What does he continually see as important features of events?

The objection may be raised that leaders are not prone to give away their hands by their behavior, especially as a crucial situation approaches, because they know they are being observed closely by potential enemies. In reply, it may be said that leaders are human and can conceal only part of their behavior if they are to conduct themselves as leaders. They still must communicate with their publics, their subordinates; they still must give orders whose effects are often visible.

Furthermore, any increase in cover-up measures may be significant. Psychoanalysts often get their first clue that a patient is approaching the revelation of important experiences in his life and even a clue to the nature of the experience by the patient's anxious diversionary and secretive behavior. An apocryphal story of the exaggerated action of a hospitalized mental patient illustrates this point. Realizing that one of the reasons he was hospitalized was his insistence that the earth was fiat, he decided to behave normally upon escape. He ventured forth, accosting everyone he met with the words: "The world is round." Soon thereafter, he found himself back in the hospital.

The close scrutiny of a leader, of course, is only one of the numerous facets of the situation that must be studied, but enough has been said to indicate that there are resemblances between this twin problem of predicting elections and predicting international violence and the twin problem of building uranium atomic bombs and building hydrogen atomic bombs. Success in solving one problem leads one to conceive of the way in which the other might be solved, even though no absolute assurance is forthcoming and even though many new special techniques would have to be devised.

Another fact is worth noting in the kind of prediction that we are discussing here. Predictions of this order may well be possible even if the underlying causes of wars and revolutions are not known. Pollsters do not have to know why people vote the way they do in order to predict how they vote, any more than astronomers have to know how the heavens were created in measuring the speed of the stars.

The present book is not a laboratory manual; it is not a study in the application of specific techniques to the solution of particular problems. We must therefore rest content here with a general summary of the most important factors operating in coups d'etat, revolutions, and wars, with some comment on the way the factors affect each other.


The coup d'etat (stroke of state) designates the acts of violence accomplished in a short period of time in a direct attempt to seize a government. The coup d'etat is part of all revolutions and exists also in a form sufficient in itself to take over the government. It is the violent seizure of the apparatus of the state by revolutionaries who overturn the existing governing group and substitute their own personnel. Certain elements characterize a coup d'etat that is sufficient in itself to overthrow the existing government. The government to be overthrown must be weak domestically, like the Czarist government of Russia in 1917 or the Kerensky government of Russia two years later. Perhaps the chief component in the weakness of authority is the loss of support from the population. Riddled with incompetence, with personal quarrels, and bereft of the capacity for quick decision and vigorous action, the ruling group cannot turn to the population for supporters, and must succumb to the rising group.

Machiavelli was one of the earliest writers to observe that republics are hard to overthrow. The ranks of the rulers in a republic extend downward in considerable depth; a simple changing of places or the annihilation of a small top group has only a momentary effect. The great republics of history die hard, and rarely by simple coups. Coups d'etat abound wherever politics are managed by a tiny proportion of the people-for example, in absolute monarchies or in states with meaningless republican forms. They were everyday occurences in early medieval times in Europe, in different periods of the Near East ancient empires, in China for centuries past, and in the South American republics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Where the government is not palsied, or where it might gain some popular support, the coup d'etat requires for its success the connivance of members of the governmentespecially in the armed forces-or a source of strength in the population at large sufficient to counter-balance the armed forces that are expected to defend the existing regime. Most commentators believe that Mussolini's "March on Rome" in 1922 would have been thwarted if the King simply had brandished the legitimate authority of the Crown on behalf of the democratic state. His failure to do so was taken as tacit consent for the change. But, of course, "ifs" do not make history. The fact is that Italy was ripe for the coup because, among other things, it had a weak monarchy that had never been educated to the democratic regime. The Fascists had the advantage not only of this passivity of the existing regime but also of the active support of elements in the army, the police, and industry.

In contrast, the Nazis in Germany were able to seize power in 1932 in a democracy that had considerable strength. Aside from considerable street-fighting between Nazi gangs and various Socialist and Communist opponents, the transition of the Nazis to power was cloaked in legal forms. Hitler's party obtained a large vote, and Hindenburg was finally influenced (some compare his behavior to that of the Italian King) to appoint Hitler Chancellor. A series of extraordinary decrees placed Nazis in key positions in the government; the violence that had been confined mainly to the street invaded the government itself. Opposition politicians were killed, deposed, or intimidated. Mock elections were held in which the Nazis gained a large majority of votes. Hitler pursued the new popular "mandate" to its extremes, purging the government of opposition, both actual and potential. No sufficient force was left to oppose the ruthless progress of the Nazi Revolution. But again, Hitler's coup found passivity at the top (that is, low morale), sympathetic minds in the bureaucracy, and help from extremists in the army.


Let us examine the composition of the revolutionary group. The coup d'etat is carried out by a small number of active revolutionaries, who, while they may have some respect for legal forms, are determined to carry their ends by any means. Invariably some violence is involved. The leadership must possess the skills needed in the critical hours; the most important are the skills of agitation, violence, and administration. In proportion as the coup is carried out in a society that is complex and democratic in sentiment, the top leaders must be political and agitational. Oratory, flamboyancy, acute judgment of the timing of the stroke, and decisiveness are much in demand. The conditions of modern society demand that oratorical skills be supplemented by their kindred propagandistic skills. The press must be won over by force, fraud, or persuasion in the early days of the revolt.

The revolting group, wittingly or not, often seizes the sacred symbols of the existing regime. The French rebels of 1789 took possession of the person of the King, a lucky stroke that brought over crowds of Frenchmen despite their knowledge that the King was a virtual prisoner. The President of a republic serves the same purpose in some South American revolutions. When other rebels in history have seized the Capitol, the official seals, the high tribunal of justice, or the temples of the gods, they have gained the same symbolic advantage over the threatened regime.

The group leadership must have an aptitude both for violence and administration. Usually this means army traitors, ex-army officers, or workers trained in the use of arms. The police force, the key military garrisons, and the key government buildings must be taken over quickly and any opposition found there must be crushed. The administrative skills are needed to manage the treasury, the crucial offices of the government, and the vital physical communications that connect the center of the revolt with the rest of the countryrailroads, trucks, radio stations, telephone systems, and utilities. The influx of adherents to the new regime must be quickly mobilized and committed to favorable action to give a firm foundation to the government.


A coup d'etat is often only the inauguration of a revolution. A revolution is more fundamental in meaning to a society. It is a forcible and rapid transformation that alters the basic structure of power and the distribution of benefits in a society.

There is no doubt that behind every revolution lies some motive for the redistribution of some value, material or ideal (like prestige). But before such a redistribution of values is actively desired by a considerable part of the population, profound changes must take place. A period of gestation must occur, sometimes, as with the great French Revolution of 1789, lasting for a century before erupting into swift change. Allegiances must weaken, and the existing principle of legitimacy must deteriorate (from traditional to rational in the case of the French Revolution; from rational to charismatic in the case of the Nazi Revolution).


The new forces of revolution cannot succeed without visible, organized, and permanent interests. For instance, the Great Revolution in England in the mid-seventeenth century was essentially a revolt by the parliamentary party, partially dominated by religious dissenters and by the new capitalistic wealthy and middle classes, against the powerful monarch and his coterie of nobles. The parliamentary forces won a definite victory that lasted for a long time, despite a partially successful reaction towards the end of the century. The victorious movement possessed tangible strength it combined strong religious and economic interests.

A second revolutionary movement, it is not often enough realized, existed within the parliamentary party. This was the Leveller movement, composed principally of soldiers and company grade officers of the parliamentary army. The Levellers wished to extend the revolution by sweeping economic and social reforms. They hoped for complete equality of rights and privileges. But the Levellers were citizen-soldiers: once the main revolution was consummated they might be demobilized at any time; meanwhile they were under martial law and were not associated with any strong economic or social groups outside the army. Since they were hostile to landlords and merchants, they were opposed by the parliamentary party; since they were republican, the royalists hated them; since there were no masses of factory workers, they could not get organized strength from that quarter; and since the gentry held the small farmers and farm tenants in economic thrall, no support could come from the country. The Leveller movement therefore failed almost completely in its program, although its ideas lived on to inspire the American and French Revolutions over a century later.


These interesting facts lead one to conclude that individual motives are not enough; if revolutions are to be successful, there must be some basic interest that ties men together and makes them ready to stand shoulder to shoulder over a considerable period of time and through great sacrifices. This basic interest or interests must be shared, not just by a handful of men, but by a much larger group; and, since a frustrated interest among a large body of men is a formidable thing, it is no wonder that a revolution may shake society to its foundations.


One of the interests that seem to inspire at various times in history a prolonged and intensive loyalty of many men is class interest. Class interest, as we defined it in Chapter 3, refers to the interest of a social group that shares semifixed chances of obtaining certain important benefits and that is conscious of the differences in life chances. If we now add to these elements a widespread feeling of injustice about the present distribution of chances, we have marked off one of the basic group of factors leading to revolution. Aristotle surveyed a large amount of data that he collected from the many ancient city-states and concluded that most revolutions are fought to gain equality or to create inequalities where equality existed. He subscribed to a kind of class theory; a state that does not satisfactorily adjust the relations between classes faces the danger of revolution. The poor are repelled by inequality of the rich and seek to destroy them, or the few are repelled by the equality of a democracy and seek to destroy it. There seems much truth in Aristotle's conclusions.

Examples of revolutions in which one socio-economic class was pitted against another would be the great French Revolution, the American Revolution, and the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). One must be careful, of course, to specify exactly what part of a revolution can be attributed to class conflict. Many planters of the American South were revolutionaries despite the fact that their commercial interests were not so sharply in conflict with those of England as were the New Englanders' interests. The French Revolution went through several phases and was colored throughout by the directing influence of the urban middle class. Yet many radical egalitarians assisted the Revolution, and even a few aristocrats collaborated. Furthermore, in both America and France, a good part of the urban middle class clung to traditional loyalties to the king.

In Spain in 1936, a Popular Front composed of Republicans, Socialists, Syndicalists, and Communists won a general election and instituted sweeping social changes, including the redistribution of land, the reduction of the influence and property of the Catholic Church, and other socialist measures. A group of monarchists and conservatives revolted in Morocco, incited army insurrections in Spain, and established headquarters in Spain. For three years a bloody war raged until Franco's rebels triumphed. Italy and Germany sent men and supplies to help the rebels, while Russia sent supplies and advisors to the elected government. About 750,000 lives were lost, Spain suffered enormous damage, and a complete change in the political equilibrium resulted. The power of workers' movements in Spain was indefinitely crippled.


Nationality is another interest that has often produced violent domestic struggle. Wars of independence pit one group in the population that is distinctive by language, culture, or attitudes against the dominant, governing group. An example would be, again, the American Revolution where, over a period of a century and a half, thirteen British colonies had developed their own peculiar customs, beliefs, and economic problems. Following specific injuries, such as the attempts to enforce the Stamp Act and various navigation laws, important sections of the population revolted and, after several years of warfare, won formal independence.

The American pattern of revolt is paralleled in ancient Latium (unsuccessful revolt of various Latin cities against Roman hegemony, 340-338 B.C.); in Spanish America (an unsuccessful phase, 1809-16, and a successful phase, 1816-25, that freed the continent of South America and southern North America); and in the Dutch East Indies (1946-50, leading to the founding of the Republic of Indonesia). One might mention many more-for instance, the numerous Irish rebellions against England, or the numerous risings of the nationalities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


In addition to assuming the character of class wars and wars of independence, revolutions may take on a regional or religious guise. By regional revolutions is meant the many rural or urban insurrections that have dotted the pages of history. Notable among them are the forays of tribesmen into the glittering "Babylons" of ancient and medieval times and even twentieth-century China. A sense of general unity exists among the parties, and no class interests are espoused by the rebels, but fighting can be a habit, and when life becomes dull in the hills, an invasion of the cities on the plain can furnish exciting diversion and afford much booty. As Mosca remarks: "In France, Spain, and Italy, there are a few cities in which it is relatively easy to lead masses to the barricades. That is one of the many effects of habit and tradition. Once a population has exchanged shots with a constituted government and overthrown it, it will feel, for a generation at least, that it can make a new try any time with favorable results." [1] Revolutions sometimes have religious aims, but it is often bard to distinguish the religious factor from the other factors at work in the struggle. The English Glorious Revolution of the seventeenth century is perhaps one of the clearest cases on record of division between an established church and dissenters in a revolution. Yet we have already mentioned it as an example of class warfare. The confusion of influences is thus apparent. The religious doctrines of Luther were prominent in the rebellion of German principalities from the Holy Roman Empire at the beginning of modern times. Often international and internecine struggles occur together and religious differences may underlie the whole conflict. The Albigensian Crusade (1208-1312) was proclaimed by Innocent III against heretics of southern France, but it also occasioned a power struggle among the French barons.


One may only guess what the future holds for religious, regional, and independence movements in the world. Independence is demanded ever more forcefully by the colonial peoples of Asia and Africa. Recent history would indicate that religious and regional interests will not assume a leading role in the present century, although they may have some influence on foreign policy. In domestic affairs, although they may act as political forces of a pressure type, they have lost their will and capacity for organizing revolutions. Modern nations have so developed their internal ruling apparatusarmies, police, and bureaucracy-that class warfare and institutional elite struggles are the remaining sources of serious internal conflict. By institutional elite struggles we mean such occurrences as the futile revolt against Hitler in 1944, which was backed by some military and political leaders who had been members of the ruling group.

The reason why class struggle may still threaten a modern government is that the very division of labor and complex organization from which the government derives its extensive controls over a country are built on a potential opposing force-the industrial and communication workers. As the workers are organized in the Western world, their influence can be diminished in three ways: by destruction, in which event the whole nation is weakened terribly; by a complete reorganization of their loyalties and affiliations within a short time, in which event we have counterrevolution that brings the same consequences as other revolutions (like the Fascist revolutions in Italy, in Germany, and in Spain); or by a progressive adjustment of loyalties and affiliations over a long period of time.


From coups and revolutions, we may turn our attention now to international violence. International warfare is prompted by the same underlying motives for violence that stand behind revolutions. Also, several of the patterns of revolution are repeated in international warfare. Thus, class conflict and religious conflict sometimes repeat themselves in international affairs. The spreading of the middle-class, liberal movement from France to other parts of Europe in the nineteenth century shows the transformation of a domestic problem of revolution into an international one. Napoleon's invasions were the final international culmination of warfare that originated in the civil war of the French Revolution, when a revolutionary army was organized to fight the monarchical supporters. Ultimately the class warfare of France became the international warfare of the Napoleonic period. The Christian Crusades against the Mohammedans were meant to destroy the kingdoms of the unbelievers and introduce the rule of the true God. American intervention abroad has been motivated partly by the desire to extend the benefits of American practices and ideals to other lands. One should not underestimate the eagerness of people to fight for the "good" of other people. In both world wars, millions of Americans pursued a war policy for ideological reasons.


The most common form of international warfare in modern times, however, has been based on nationalism, and we should examine this idea in order to understand the pattern of modern international violence. Nationalism combines love of country and suspiciousness of foreigners. Love of country comes from shared values, and suspiciousness of foreigners comes from the belief that foreigners do not share such values in the same strength. The first shared value is the love of familiar places--the neighborhood the land, the homes, the valleys, and the mountains, all of the surroundings that one loves because they have been "part of oneself" from infancy. To the love of place is commonly added the presence of or the feeling of shared racial ancestry. This feeling is hardly ever one of purity of race, but is most often a feeling of "difference from" the race of somebody else. Every nation that has been inflamed by a claim to superior race has been a racial mixture. Its logic has taken a peculiar form, something like this: Whatever my kind of mongrelism may be, it must be better than yours. It is not even remotely possible at the present time for biology or socio-biology (eugenics) to establish more than bone, color, and physiognomic differences among the average persons of various races and subraces. What these differences tell us about "superiority" is six of one and a half-dozen of the other.

To understand the "racial" basis of nationalism, one need only think how people who speak alike, dress alike, and act alike also "look" alike. This fact has been noticed of couples who have been married a long time. By taking each other's speech forms, manners, gestures, postures, tastes and other peculiarities, they get to look like brother and sister to other people. National haircuts, costumes, mustache styles, and other externals make different nationalities seem racially more distinct than they are.

Very often identity of language is a third shared value of national groups. People who understand each other feel akin. A direct communication of thought and culture becomes possible. Yet the Swiss speak three different languagesGerman, French, and Italian. Many other nations have geographical regions that speak different dialects-France, Italy, and Russia, to name three. And England and America speak almost the same language but have distinct feelings of nationality, as do Spaiin and Spanish America.

Religion sornetinnes plays a part in the establishment of a national identity. Witness the turmoil the people of Pakistan underwent to separate themselves from the Hindus of greater India in 1947 and 1948. The Thirty Years War of the seventeenth century wa's motivated in some part by the mutual hostility of Catholic and Protestant countries. Furthermore, a sense of historical continuity and shared destiny can often be a uniting factor. Every national group has its William Tells, its George Washingtons, and its sense of a future in which it will be widely respected because of its accomplishments in war or peace. Most people feel that, just as they judge other individuals by the group from which they come, they themselves will be subject to "guilt by association." Thus they link their fate with the fate of their nationality.

The elements in nationalism just mentioned-place, race, language, religion, and myth-may be joined to a host of historical, shared experiences to produce a common culture. A shared culture, in the last analysis, is what patriots possess; they are ready to stand together and against outsiders because they have lived through and bear the cuts of countless discrete happenings, each one of which marks the possessors as kindred souls. They are partially isolated from the outsiders by their upbringing and by the triumphs and disasters that were contained within the boundaries of their lands. Americans stick together not only because they share a high standard of living, have the same government, and like movies and chewing gum but also because they know the same gangsters, have the same racial problems, and have lived through the great depression of the thirties.


That the factors referred to are a powerful combination is beyond doubt. They have successfully resisted international developments of all kinds, cultural, economic and political. The wonders of Hellenic civilization never broke down the barriers among the Greek city-states, nor have the great writers, musicians, and scientists of the Western world softened by much the animosities of nations. The dependence of nations on foreign trade for part of their standard of living, the foreign entanglements of international finance and business, and the international postal, telegraph and other arrangements have been feeble barriers to international conflict. And the cries of socialism and communism for a union of all the workers of the world were stifled in the throats of the workers themselves as soon as a crisis involving their individual nation arose. Nor has religion had a greater effect. The ancient Persians had Greek allies of different religion who fought Athens and Sparta in the Greek-Persian wars. Catholic Italians united with Lutheran, Catholic, and nonreligious Germans in the beginning of World War 11 against Catholic France. Catholic France fought Catholic AustroHungary in World War I on the side of Greek Orthodox Russia, which held in bondage Catholic Poland.

Considerable mutual communication, then, seems to bind the people of a nation and to separate them from all other national groups. Geographical, racial, linguistic, religious, mythical, and cultural identity make up a good part of the compound that seals people together. An increase in intercommunication would have to be prolonged, extensive, and intensive in order to decrease the feelings of separate identity among nations. This would be a most difficult task, even if it were deemed desirable.

The relative hopelessness of this objective has led many writers to suggest that only certain crucial modifications in the present condition of nationalities can prevent war. Many have suggested, for example, that some power greater than the individual nations should prevent them from making war. It also has been suggested that permanent peace cannot now be assured, but that correct national policies can cut down the number and diminish the violence of wars. These suggestions, in so far as they find their way into the foreign policy of nations and into the international organization of states, are treated in a later chapter.


A war, then, is a condition that exists when members of one state commit organized acts of violence against those of another state with the approval of their government. The causes of war go back to the motives behind force and violence-economic gain, prestige, security, power, and sheer destructiveness. They may assume the character that revolutions take-for example, of international class or ideological warfare, of religion, and especially of nationality. National differences, with the suspiciousness engendered by them, are a primary condition of conflict.


To some extent, certainly, the nation that succeeds in war is the one that maintains a successful foreign policy in peace. Strong and dependable alliances with friendly nations are as much a preparation for war as is the accumulation of munitions and the training of soldiers. What these arrangements mean in peace and what they mean in war are twin problems for the men who draft treaties. The Marshall Plan to restore western European economies after World War II was a combination of altruism, economic policy, and defense against possible Russian aggression. Billions of dollars were gambled on the calculation that Europe could fend off Soviet imperialism by being economically strong. The alternative gamble, that American military power alone could accomplish the same thing, was rejected. In critical times such as the twentieth century, the distinction between peace policy and war policy becomes difficult to maintain. It is hard to believe that before World War II, the State Department and the military establishment saw very little of each other, so closely are they associated today.


The timing of warfare is another important factor in military success. The events that begin wars are not usually the causes of war. The assassination of the Austrian Archduke by Serbian nationalists did not cause World War I. It was only a tiny factor among many large factors; it precipitated the war crisis that fed on an accumulation of international rivalries and tensions-militarism, extreme nationalism, German-French rivalry in Europe and Africa, AustroRussian rivalry in eastern Europe, Anglo-German competition, halo-Austrian boundary difficulties, clashing imperialisms in Africa, and so on.

Many of the greatest wars were not started by nations "bent upon war." In World War I, it appears that the leaders of the principal nations, propelled by their own characters and by the forces operating on them domestically, blundered their way into the war. They involved themselves so deeply that they could not pull out. There is even evidence to indicate that Hitler, as confident as he was of Germany's strength, thought to the very last moment that England and France would not go to war over his proposed attack on Poland in 1939. Whether he would have changed his mind if he had known the truth is another question.

Control over the precipitating cause of a war is impossible in one sense. No one guided the hand of the Serbian assassins, and many wars haye started after such spontaneous incidents. The only control that can be exercised over a precipitating incident is to create the incident. One advance in the technique of modern warfare has been just this. By deliberately provoking border clashes, hostile riots, and deeds of individual violence, aggressive nations have been able to point to incidents justifying their intervention on a large scale. In order to pacify domestic qualms of conscience and to appease or at least confuse world opinion, no nation today attacks another without crying that it has been attacked first.

Despotic governments have the advantage in this condition of contemporary international politics. They can measure their actions more carefully, time them more accurately, and conceal both the incident and their own preparations for its follow-up more easily than can republican governments. There seems no reason yet to doubt the common belief that the advantage of the first strike in war goes to the dictatorial governments. This meant less in former times than it does in these days of mechanized warfare and the blitzkrieg. The battles of the Lowlands, France, Russia, the Philippines, and Singapore in World War II, and of Korea in 1950, demonstrate the proposition. Only new defensive weapons of a high order of effectiveness can whittle down this advantage of the initial attack.


A nation's alliances and the events precipitating war, therefore, are two elements of importance in determining the ability to win wars. The other important elements are geography, natural resources, population, morale, industrial capacity, and military preparedness. Geography is beyond men's control. England can congratulate itself on having the English Channel between itself and the continent of Europe, but it had nothing to do with the Channel's being there. Similarly, Italy's importance is enhanced by its strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea so long as naval warfare and sea shipments are necessary. Germany is strategically located for wars in which land armies are of paramount importance. For world warfare, with planes, rockets, and long-distance strikes, the Soviet Union is ideally situated. It can move out in all directions over a huge area stretching from Japan to western Europe. An opponent wishing to amass powerful striking forces against it must select a very few points on the U.S.S.R.'s perimeter and must supply them from great disstances. Meanwhile the initiative must go to the Soviet armies, which are capable at the same time of launching attacks into unprepared areas and breaking concentrations.

Natural resources undeniably separate those nations that can be important military powers today from those that cannot. The world's resources of iron, coal, oil, rubber, tin, and other vital metals and ores are unqualifiedly available to the United States if they lie in the Western hemisphere or Africa, to the Soviet Union if they lie in the Asiatic belt surrounding the Soviet Union, and at stake in war if they lie in the southern fringe of Asia, the Near East, or in western Europe. Each of the two large areas controlled by the two great powers is rich enough in raw materials to support a prolonged war for control of Europe, Africa, and Asia. The outcome of a world war between the two great powers, therefore, will depend on some factor other than an imbalance of natural resources like that partially responsible for the outcome of the last two world wars.

Under certain conditions, the size of population will be a crucial factor. Rarely have wars been lost because of insufficient manpower. The men may be untrained, or unmobilized, or unwilling, but there are usually enough of them. The number of soldiers available is only important when the strategy of the war is one of attrition of manpower -that is to say, the side that is willing to sacrifice large numbers of men in return for roughly commensurate losses by the enemy will have an advantage, provided that it can maintain the willingness to sacrifice so many men and that the enemy's willingness to make such sacrifices decreases. Human life does not have the same value for all people. The Russians and Chinese can take heavy losses of life without questioning the reasons for the losses as intensely as do the peoples of western European civilization. The ancient tradition of warfare is to use machines to support men; the American psychology attempts to use men to support machines. America therefore seeks to avoid to the last moment a war of manpower attrition.

How far America can go in using machines rather than men in a war depends not only on undisturbed industrial production and a minimum loss of equipment but also on the geographical conditions under which the war is fought. The loss of life relative to the enemy's loss of life will be small if the war can be kept mobile and huge armies do not become locked at close quarters for a long period of time, for it is the crowding of armies that causes great loss of life. The greatest tactical value of atomic bombs may well be that they may be used to prevent heavy concentrations of infantry and thus may throw open the field to quick maneuvers, fast strikes, highly skilled staff work and intricate physical communications. That the United States (if it keeps its Allies, especially) is suited to this kind of warfare is beyond question.

The industrial capacity of the United States at present far exceeds that of any nation or alliance and can only be roughly equaled by the junction of western European industry with the Soviet bloc. Since the eighteenth century, industrial efficiency and productivity have become primary factors in military importance. The weapons of war have become increasingly expensive. Artillery pieces are more complex, infantry arms are almost completely automatic, ammunition is expended at a rapid rate, aircraft have become larger, and a host of new weapons have been devised that depend upon fine automatic calculators and sensitive electronic devices. Modern warfare makes constant and monopolistic demands on every erg of machine energy in the nation.


We may take military preparedness broadly to cover all the factors mentioned above. Some time ago Colonel Mayer of the French army wrote a book on military leadership in which he stressed that the initial conditions for effective discipline were a "friendly press," a military spirit in education of the young, and a co-operative government, economy, and working population. It is of little use to say that this opinion exhibits rank militarism, incipient Fascism, or Russian slavery. A favorable orientation towards the violence of war must be part of military preparedness, and where it is not present, it must be compensated for in other respects or very quickly indoctrinated into a people. Bertrand de Jouvenel wrote in his book Power that international conflict is a furious competitive struggle in which no nation can avoid taking the antihumanitarian measures adopted by its opponents. If one nation musters its population in a totalitarian fashion, its competitor is compelled to follow suit. For example, universal conscription, once introduced in France, spread quickly through Europe. Full industrial mobilization, once its effectiveness for war was demonstrated by Germany, was decreed in England, partially carried out in America, and will probably occur in every country of the world today, the moment war breaks out. Italian and German bombing of civilian centers in the Spanish Civil War was the prelude for the German devastation of Rotterdam and London, and for the havoc wreaked on the German cities by British and American air forces.

Military preparedness in the stricter sense couples traditional exercises with new ideas. The old patterns of preparation must be gone through: Men must be taught to take care of themselves under the unusual conditions of battle and bivouac; supplies must be inventoried and distributed with efficiency; marksmanship, intelligence, leadership, and other military subjects must be taught; and so on. In addition, each war introduces its surprises. It is never quite like the last war. New formations, procedures, and tactics are forever being devised or dredged up from the long history of warfare. Like all human innovations-television, for example-the inventive period has to be succeeded by the adaptive period. When to decide on a new kind of jet-propelled plane, when to substitute a bazooka for the small arms of a rifleman, when to decrease the size of aircraft carriers, and many similar questions are of continual concern to military and civilian experts in this age of rapid technological change. Military preparedness under these conditions also requires wisdom in making "changeover decisions."



The application of force and violence undeniably changes the behavior of people. The simple statement becomes a complex problem, however, when one tries to relate the effects of the application of force or violence to the motives of those who use them and to the welfare of those on whom they are applied. One school of thought throughout history, especially throughout the history of Christianity, contends that violence never succeeds. "Love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek" express sentiments older than Christianity itself and presuppose that under all conditions pacifism is the true path to the highest values of this world and the Hereafter.


Complete pacifism characterized Gandhi's movement to unseat British authority in India. Making strength out of weakness, the followers of Gandhi, while refusing to cooperate with the British, carefully abstained from violence. In turn, the British, hampered in their efforts to administer the country and watched suspiciously by the humanitarians of the world, had not the will to repress ruthlessly the Hindu freedom movement. After World War lI, the English left India with mixed regrets and relief.

The rarity of such nonviolent, non-co-operative movements is evidence of the great difficulty encountered in organizing them and of the success of organized force as an instrument of the state. Nevertheless, non-co-operation is found to some extent in every society. Farmers who refuse to produce, merchants who avoid taxes, workers who slow down their productivity, and soldiers who avoid battle are practicing Gandhi-ism on a small scale or on a less conscious level. Such non-co-operation relates to concepts previously discussed in this book-the strength of the beliefs in legitimacy, the condition of consensus, and the skills of leadership.

With few exceptions, notably among the Quakers, Christian churches have never taken the extreme position of Gandhi towards physical coercion. They have been willing to tolerate and even to encourage the use of force and violence as means to an end, provided that the end is an estimable one. Other people, like Aldous Huxley in his essay on Ends and Means, maintain that, even assuming that violence is justifiable in theory as a means, violence in practice never succeeds in attaining its ends. Violence is by nature, Huxley declares, incompetent to attain good ends.

As political scientists we cannot pass judgment on which of man's ends are good ones and which are less good. However, we can say which ones are more practicable, provided they are described accurately and precisely enough to discuss them intelligently. And we can say which goals (again, if they are precisely described) are inconsistent with each other. We can also determine by studies what are the values that men hold. On the pros and cons of pacifism we can say that the evidence of the existence of rewards in an afterlife for nonresistance in this life is not the kind that science can deal with. While we can assure religious pacifists that they will be dealt with roughly on earth (something they know very well anyway), we cannot tell them what will happen to them after death. Similarly, we cannot say to the nonpacifist religions that God smiles or frowns upon the methods they use in carrying out their holy objectives.


We can say something more, however, about Huxley's proposition that force or violence never succeeds. Men in various times and places have been able to achieve their goals and values to as great an extent by force and violence as by education, propaganda, economic policy, and economic manipulation. There is nothing inherent in coercion as a method that is not inherent in any other method of achieving ends, beyond the forms and patterns its application takes. Though force has been used when education might have sufficed, education has been used where only force could suffice; and contrariwise, though economic policy has sought to do what only force could do, force has often been a poor substitute for economic planning. To quote examples on which most people will agree, while it is true that force corrupted religious inquisitioners, it is likewise true that economic policy destroyed the souls of factory workers and that education (in our special sense of legitimate indoctrination) impeded enlightenment.

When we turn to the nonlegitimate instruments of authority, instances on which most people will agree are even more abundant. The brutal father is equaled by the miserly or the superstitious father in his effects upon the character of his children. The savagery of the police state is equaled by the calloused, inhuman bleeding of its inhabitants by a profiteering government and the spiritual deception and manipulation of its people by the thought-control state.


To maintain that force and violence never succeed takes either a completely unhistorical view of history or a set of standards never possessed by more than a few men. Americans who believe that the American Revolution bad a good end must either accept the goodness of the violence employed or else maintain that independence could have been achieved otherwise than by violence. If they take up the latter proposition, they would have to maintain it for a great number of the events in history in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They would have to explain how Carthage could have been subjected to Greek civilization by economic policy (the Carthaginians were eminent traders) or by education (the Carthaginians were hostile to Greek ideas); how Mexico could have released Texas by its own free will; how the Bolshevists could have been invited to collectivize all of Russia at the invitation of the existing liberal, capitalist regime; and how Hitler could have been bought off or talked out of his designs on the democratic, peaceful world.


The criteria for the use of violence, like the criteria for economic or psychological policy, must be adapted to the special case. If one is in favor of a particular end, he must decide on the means. If he is against the objective, no means will be good. In deciding on the means, he must take into account the relative merits of the means at hand. Force and violence have several limitations, like other means. They are not at present in favor as means in certain parts of the world and among certain groups in the population that, like Aldous Huxley, refuse to regard them as means at all. Consequently, force and violence are most often supposed to be used "as a last resort," that is, after economic and psychological techniques have been employed without success. This may be called a mores or cultural limitation on the use of physical coercion. We also should point out that when people do not want it, do not understand it, and do not obey it, physical coercion is a dangerous and poor instrument of government.


Force and violence are often wasteful. This is a consideration of expediency. If the Ostrogoths can be bribed not to invade the Roman Empire, costly campaigns are saved and the tottering old Empire preserved for the time being. If the Russians can be freed from the "encirclement complex" by being allowed to share Germany and control eastern Europe, then a terrible war might be averted. If, of course, these economic and psychological policies do not work, physical coercion may be the next policy employed.

Force and violence are also inexpedient very often because they do not necessarily teach or influence the subjects to act exactly as those who inflict the coercion wish. Force cannot teach children mathematics, nor can it even be used to teach soldiers how to use force. Nor can force accomplish the delicate effects of a highly complicated income-tax schedule in bringing about a redistribution of wealth, activities, and incentives. The income-tax laws of modern capitalist countries are literal marvels of instrumental policy. With only sighs and quivers from the population, effects are achived that would have bloodied every street in medieval England. The history of lands and times when physical coercion diminished relative to education and economics is the story of politics that has learned more ingenious and sophisticated ways to accomplish its purposes.

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