I. The Nature and Significance of Militarism
Militarism! There are few catch-words which
are so frequently used to-day. There is scarcely another one which
signifies something so complex, many-sided, Protean, or expresses
a phenomenon so interesting and significant in its origin and
nature, its means and effects a phenomenon so deeply rooted in
the very nature of societies divided in classes, and which yet
can adopt such extraordinarily multifarious shapes in societies
of equal structure, all according to the physical, political,
social, and economic conditions of states and territories.
Militarism is one of the most important and
energetic manifestations of the life of most social orders, because
it exhibits in the strongest, most concentrated, exclusive manner
the national, cultural, and class instinct of self-preservation,
that most powerful of all instincts.
A history of militarism, carried out with fundamental
thoroughness, would comprise the very essence of the history of
human development, lay bare its main-springs; and an investigation
of capitalistic militarism would bring to light the most deeply
hidden and delicate root-fibres of capitalism. Again, the history
of militarism would be the history of the strained relations and
jealousies between nations and states, arising from their desires
for political and social power or economic advantage; at the same
time it would be the history of class-struggles within nations
and states for the same objects.
This is not even an attempt to write such a history; only some universal historical facts will be pointed out.