Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War

Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War

The more we consider the conduct of government in warfare the clearer does it become that every act of authority produces effects in two distinct fields—that of its primary function as directed more or less immediately against the enemy, and that of its secondary action upon the morale of the nation. The first of these two constituents possesses the uncertainty of all military enterprises, and its success or failure cannot be foretold; the influence of the second constituent is susceptible of definition and foresight and need never be wholly ambiguous to any but the ignorant or the indifferent. The relative importance of the military and the moral factors in any act or enterprise varies much, but it may be asserted that while the moral factor may sometimes be enormously the more important, it is never wholly absent. This constant and admittedly significant factor in all acts of government is usually awarded an attention so thoroughly inexpert and perfunctory, as to justify the feeling that the customary belief in its importance is no more than a conventional expression.
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