« ForrigeFortsæt »
iceable in war.
who rendered essential services, but from among those who had given specimens of similar talents in their respective professions. Those who from indolence or dissipation had been of little service to the community in time of peace, were found equally unserv
A few young men were exceptions to this rule. Some of those who had indulged in youthful follies broke off from their vicious courses and on the pressing call of their country became useful servants of the public; but the great bulk of those who were the active instruments of carrying on the revolution were self-made, industrious men. These who by their own exertions had established or laid a foundation for establishing personal independence, were most generally trusted and most successfully employed in establishing that of their country. In these times of action, classical education was found of less service than good natural parts, guided by common sense and sound judgment.
“ Several names could be mentioned of individuals who without the knowledge of any other language than their mother tongue, wrote not only accurately but elegantly, on public business. It seemed as if the war not only required but created talents."
• Ramsay, “History of the American Revolution,” Vol. II, pp. 600-602, quoted by Callender in his “ Economic History of the United States."
forms it is virtually equivalent to cooperation. Nevertheless, there is in conflict as distinguished from wholesome competition an element which is altogether bad and deplorable. This may be called Antagonistic Effort, i.e., equal efforts expended in opposite directions, so that A is neutralized by B and B is neutralized by A. It is illustrated in the "tug of war” which often
" exhausts the rival teams before a decision is reached; in the futile straining of locked wrestlers neither of whom can overcome the other until both are nearly spent; in the interchange of blows by which well-matched pugilists may pound each other into pulp; in the advertising campaigns of competitors which exactly offset each the other but leave them both nearer the poor house; in the alternate price-cutting of two rival producers which pushes them closer and closer to insolvency; in the lawsuits and appeals with which litigious men wear themselves out and in the retaliatory tariffs by which two nations beat each other's commerce to its knees.
CONFLICTS OF ATTRITION
So long as the antagonistic efforts are in balance, nothing is accomplished. All exertions which are promptly met and neutralized by counter-exertions are wasted, for they decide nothing. It is only the margin of superiority that counts.
Hence the peculiar ruinousness of opposition which assumes this form. It is exhibited in a railroad " war when rates are slashed far below the cost of service and both competitors slide slowly toward bankruptcy. The railroad with the longer purse will win; but it may never recoup itself for its losses by higher rates, for the beaten road, though bankrupt, does not cease to be a competitor. It is seen in the costly electioneering campaigns of rival political candidates. The total outlay of time and money may be absurdly out of proportion to the salary of the office they are seeking
Neither would make the canvass could he have foreseen how he CHAP. would become involved. Yet they plunge deeper and deeper into expense because each realizes that all he has already expended is quite thrown away unless he wins the race. Each is hoping to win by a spurt at the finish, so they go on and on, winded but afraid to quit. The greater the amount of effort which must be put forth be- Tho
Blindness fore the telling margin appears, the more costly is the conflict and of the Pug. the greater is the incentive to seek a means of avoiding it. The
Him an expenditure of strength and resources in antagonistic efforts may
Advantage leave both contestants ruined, the victor being no better off than in Nego
tiation the vanquished. The more clearly they foresee this possibility, the more they will rather compromise than pay the price of fighting to the bitter end. But if one opponent realizes what a struggle is likely to let him in for he will be at a disadvantage in negotiating with one who is blind to the cost of conflict. The former will have to make most of the concessions if the disastrous conflict is to be avoided. In dealing with the clear-sighted, the blindness of the pugnacious may be a trump card.
MOST CONFLICTS COST MORE THAN WAS EXPECTED As we review the pitiful squandering of human life, strength opponents and resources not only in the wars of nations but also in the Foresco struggles between labor and capital, in commercial“ wars," in po- Condict litical contests, in lawsuits and in private quarrels, it becomes ap- pead to parent that the impulses of anger, jealousy and greed should not bear all the blame. Even the cool and calculating enter into a disastrous conflict thinking it will be decided by a sudden thrust or a clever stroke and failing to foresee the long drain on energy which they must endure before a victory can be won. Convinced of superiority, one fails to compute the sacrifices which may lie between superiority and triumph. It is the besetting fallacy of militarists to picture war to their people as a sharp, brief struggle tetxeen prepared forces terminating in the victory of the force nhich is braver, more intelligent or better led. They refuse to recognize how normal it is that war should become an expenditure oí antagonistic efforts which wears down the belligerents I both are prostrate.
THE CONVERTIBILITY OF RESOURCES
Conflict Will Be Exhausting in the Degree that All kinds of Power Are Convertible into Fighting Power
In general, the more nearly matched are two combatants, the more prolonged and exhausting their conflict is likely to be. Again, the struggle will be prolonged in proportion as their strength is convertible into the particular kind of effort essential to a decision. If citizens can readily be trained into soldiers the conflict does not end when one belligerent has used up his original army but continues until one belligerent approaches the end of his man power or, at least, of his morale. In case the ban on the use of women on the battlefield is broken down, the final outcome of the conflict will be the same but it will be delayed and the prostration of the belligerents will be more complete when it arrives. If the factories are capable of being speedily converted into munition plants, the war is not decided by original stocks of munitions but becomes a matter of comparative coal, iron, copper, food production, woman power, child power, etc., and may go on until the complete economic collapse of one belligerent.
FORCING A QUICK DECISION Each Op- Lest conflict lapse into a process of competitive annihilation ponent
opponents strive to force a quick decision. The "winded” of Forsing gilist studies how he may deliver a “knock-out” blow. By a
secretly planned advertising campaign the business man seeks to by a ** Knock- bankrupt his competitor before he has time to prepare a counterBlow
stroke. The railway company tries to administer a coup de grace to a parallel line by cutting fares 80 per cent. at a stroke. Regardless of expense, the litigant puts his cause into the hands of the leader of the bar. The aggressor state plans by surprise attack, by speedier mobilization, by having ready the larger number of trained soldiers or aviators, by accumulating in advance the greater stock of guns, aircraft, or submarines, or by springing some new and, at first, irresistible weapon — forty-two centimeter howitzers, or Zeppelins, or poison gas, or tanks - to win the war before its enemy converts his potential strength into actual strength. Since the conversion of resources into telling effort calls for time, a protracted conflict becomes inevitably one of "attrition " and tends toward the utter prostration or impoverishment of both parties. As a rule, it is only the short decisive conflict that does not cost the victor more than victory is worth.
ant Form of Antago
When resources can be converted only slowly into weapons and Eagerness the combatant wins who gets a broad “ running start" over the a Speedy other, fear begets competitive preparedness, which is only another Leads to form of antagonistic effort. It is, to be sure, less violent than competiactual conflict but it may be nearly as exhausting. In the Cauca- Prepared sus the safety tower of each farmstead evidently absorbed more Is a Varilabor than the habitation itself. In Afghanistan the time wasted in standing guard in the sentry tower that overlooks each field pistic EXexceeds the time spent in tilling the field. In Albania the male, being occupied in protecting his family, is parasitic on the female who alone produces anything. Just as in war each people is duped into believing that this levy of troops, this big gun armament, this “victory " loan will win a decision, forgetting that until the breaking strain arrives its every prodigious exertion is counterbalanced by a corresponding supreme exertion by the enemy, so in peace time they are victimized by the “preparedness" fallacy. They do not notice that their every sacrifice in the way of more ironclads, more guns, or more soldiers becomes the basis of an a peal by the preparedness party in each rival state to insure i's safety by more ironclads, more guns, and more soldiers. And such sacrifices made by other peoples " for security” become in turn the basis of appeals at home for even greater sacrifices " for security." So the munition makers' game goes merrily on until 27ament-capping becomes well-nigh as ruinous as war itself. When a people realizes that the major part of what it produces ges into the bottomless pit of competitive preparation and finds such " security” is economically nearly as exhausting as war, it is tempted to attack its rival, in the hope of destroying it and thereby ending an intolerable situation.
THE AVOIDANCE OF ANTAGONISTIC EFFORT Antagoni-tic effort is, then, the utterly evil element in conflict. AntagonisIt is a 3:17 into which heedless man is precipitated by his aggressive fort Has a:.d self-assertive instincts. It is the lurking devil which all
deeming Rustifiers of war and struggle overlook. It is the Adversary baf- Featuro fr, betraying and tormenting a too-pugnacious and too-sanguine race It devastates society as its counterpart, hatred, devastates the soul Small wonder, then, that the supreme concern of all