Skip to main content

Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

The third step in our proposition was that the degree to which the
revolution had been achieved was in some way related to military
efficiency in the war. The correlation is striking though by no means
complete, and the relation appears to be a causal one, in the sense that
planning, social integration, and the deliberate relegation of economic
motives to second place are all essential to the successful waging of
modern total war.
Here again the totalitarian countries provide the most obvious
examples. Germany and Japan have been able to score their spec-
tacular military successes because they have for years been planning
for war, and because they have carried out the most drastic revolu-
tions of their economy and social structure in the interests of that plan.
The same is true of Russia: the military and technical efficiency
which has surprised the world is the fruit of a deliberate and truly
revolutionary plan. The lesser military efficiency of Italy has many
reasons; but it is a fact that the Fascist revolution was not so thorough-
going or so wholehearted as the Nazi revolution in Germany or the
Communist revolution in Russia, and this fact is undoubtedly one of
the causes for Italy's military failure in this war.
In other countries failure to embark upon the revolution has
demonstrably impeded military efficiency. The most conspicuous
example was France, where conflict as to the form the revolution
should take was so acute that no agreed action was possible, and the
result was disunity, disintegration of morale and national feeling, un-
preparedness, and inefficiency. The inadequacy of British produc-
tion and planning during the Chamberlain "phony war'3 period is
another illustration. So is the unfortunate effect of Britain's slowness
in changing her official attitude toward so-called inferior races, whether
subject peoples or allies. American readers will be able to provide
plenty of examples from their own country during the early months
after Pearl Harbour. From an earlier period, the shipment of oil and
scrap iron to Japan, the behaviour of Standard Oil and other big
companies with regard to synthetic rubber and other new technical
advances, and the huge output of pleasure automobiles during 1941
provide further examples of how failure to abandon the ideas of an
earlier age may interfere with military efficiency when the revolu-
tionary war eventually blasts its way in.
There will be more to say on this subject in relation to war and peace
aims. Meanwhile the fact that there is a definite connection between
the extent to which a country has progressed in achieving the inevitable