In the World War [WW1] nothing was more dreadful to witness than a chain of men starting with a battalion commander and ending with an army commander sitting in telephone boxes, improvised or actual, talking, talking, talking, in place of leading, leading, leading.
Discipline is no longer literal obedience but intelligent obedience, for discipline aims at obedience coupled with activity of will. Once discipline weakens and vanishes, as it does towards the latter stages of the fire fight, and the crowd instinct possesses the soldier, then will he, if training has formed those necessary mental reflexes, surrender himself to the will of his leader; this is where leadership supplants discipline without destroying it.
Jackson possessed the brutality essential in war; Lee did not. He could clasp the hand of a wounded enemy, whilst Jackson ground his teeth and murmured, 'No quarter to the violators of our homes and firesides', and when someone deplored the necessity of destroying so many brave men, he exclaimed: 'No, shoot them all, I do not wish them to be brave.'
The governments of the Western nations, whether monarchical or republican, had passed into the invisible hands of a plutocracy, international in power and grasp. It was, I venture to suggest, this semi-occult power which....pushed the mass of the American people into the cauldron of World War I.
The War of the Roses in England and the Civil War in America were both intestinal conflicts arising out of similar ideas. In the first the clash was between feudalism and the new economic order; in the second, between an agricultural society and a new industrial one. Both led to similar ends; the first to the founding of the English nation, and the second to the founding of the American. Both were strangely interlinked; for it was men of the old military and not of the new economic mind--men, such as Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh--who founded the... Read more »