III. Means and Effects of Militarism

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Karl Liebknecht




We now proceed to a special investigation of the means and effects of militarism, taking as a paradigm the Prusso-German bureaucratic, feudal and capitalist militarism, that worst form of capitalist militarism, that state above the state.

Though it is true that modern militarism is but an institution of our capitalist society, it is none the less true that it is an institution which has almost succeeded in becoming an independent institution; an end in itself.

In order to fulfil its purpose militarism must turn the army into a handy, docile, effective tool. It must raise its equipment to the highest possible perfection and, on the other hand, as the army is not composed of machines, but of men, being a kind of living machinery, it must inspire the army with the proper "spirit."

The first part of the problem is ultimately a question of finance, which will be dealt with later. We shall deal with the second part first.

The question presents three aspects. Militarism seeks to create and promote the military spirit above all and in the first line in the active army itself; secondly in those portions of the population furnishing the reserves of the army in case of mobilization; finally in all the other parts of the population that are of importance for militaristic and anti-militaristic purposes.

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