The history of ancient Greece showed that, in a democracy, emotion dominates reason to a greater extent than in any other political system, thus giving freer rein to the passions which sweep a state into war and prevent it getting out-at any point short of the exhaustion and destruction of one or other of the opposing sides. Democracy is a system which puts a brake on preparation for war, aggressive or defensive, but it is not one that conduces to the limitation of warfare or the prospects of a good peace. No political system more easily becomes out of control when passions are aroused. These defects have been multiplied in modern democracies, since their great extension of size and their vast electorate produce a much larger volume of emotional pressure.
B.H. Liddell Hart
history quotesancient quotesgreece quotesshowed quotesdemocracy quotesemotion quotesdominates quotesreason quotesgreater quotesextent quotespolitical quotessystem quotesgiving quotesfreer quotesrein quotespassions quotessweep quotesstate quoteswar quotesprevent quotesoutat quotespoint quotesshort quotesexhaustion quotesdestruction quotesopposing quotessides quotesdemocracy quotessystem quotesputs quotesbrake quotespreparation quoteswar quotesaggressive quotesdefensive quotesconduces quoteslimitation quoteswarfare quotesprospects quotesgood quotespeace quoteseasily quotescontrol quotesaroused quotesdefects quotesmultiplied quotesmodern quotesdemocracies quotesgreat quotesextension quotessize quotesvast quoteselectorate quotesproduce quoteslarger quotesvolume quotesemotional quotespressure quotes
Mechanized warfare still left room for human qualities to play an important part in the issue. 'Automatic warfare' cancels them out, except in a passive form. Archidamus is at last being justified. Courage, skill and patriotism become shrinking assets. The most virile nation might not be able to withstand another, inferior to it in all natural qualities, if the latter had some decisively superior technical appliance. (...)The advent of 'automatic warfare' should make plain the absurdity of warfare as a means of deciding nations' claims to superiority. It blows away romantic vapourings about the heroic virtues of war, utilized by aggressive and ambitious leaders to generate a military spirit among their people. They can no longer claim that war is any test of a people's fitness, or even of its national strength. Science has undermined the foundations of nationalism, at the very time when the spirit of nationalism is most rampant.
B.H. Liddell Hart
mechanized quoteswarfare quotesleft quotesroom quoteshuman quotesqualities quotesplay quotesimportant quotespart quotesissue quotesautomatic quoteswarfare quotescancels quotespassive quotesform quotesarchidamus quotesjustified quotescourage quotesskill quotespatriotism quotesshrinking quotesassets quotesvirile quotesnation quoteswithstand quotesinferior quotesnatural quotesqualities quotesdecisively quotessuperior quotestechnical quotesappliance quotesadvent quotesautomatic quotesmake quotesplain quotesabsurdity quotesmeans quotesdeciding quotesnations quotesclaims quotessuperiority quotesblows quotesromantic quotesvapourings quotesheroic quotesvirtues quoteswar quotesutilized quotesaggressive quotesambitious quotesleaders quotesgenerate quotesmilitary quotesspirit quotespeople quoteslonger quotesclaim quoteswar quotestest quotespeoples quotesfitness quotesnational quotesstrength quotesscience quotesundermined quotesfoundations quotesnationalism quotestime quotesnationalism quotesrampant quotes
In 1870, came the victory of the short-service troops of Prussia over the long-service troops of France, where conscription had but recently been reintroduced in a partial form and as a supplementary measure. That obvious contrast carried more weight into the world than all the other factors which tilted the scales against France. As a result, universal peace-time conscription was adopted by almost all countries as the basis of their military system. This ensured that wars would grow bigger in scale, longer in duration, and worse in effects. While conscription appeared democratic, it provided autocrats, hereditary or revolutionary, with more effective and comprehensive means of imposing their will, both in peace and war. Once the rulp of compulsory service in arms was established for the young men of a nation, it was an obvious and easy transition to the servitude of the whole population. Totalitarian tyranny is the twin of total warfare-which might aptly be termed a reversion to tribal warfare on a larger scale.
B.H. Liddell Hart
1870 quotesvictory quotesshortservice quotestroops quotesprussia quoteslongservice quotesfrance quotesconscription quotesrecently quotesreintroduced quotespartial quotesform quotessupplementary quotesmeasure quotesobvious quotescontrast quotescarried quotesweight quotesworld quotesfactors quotestilted quotesscales quotesfrance quotesresult quotesuniversal quotespeacetime quotesadopted quotescountries quotesbasis quotesmilitary quotessystem quotesensured quoteswars quotesgrow quotesbigger quotesscale quoteslonger quotesduration quotesworse quoteseffects quotesappeared quotesdemocratic quotesprovided quotesautocrats quoteshereditary quotesrevolutionary quoteseffective quotescomprehensive quotesmeans quotesimposing quotespeace quoteswar quotesrulp quotescompulsory quotesservice quotesarms quotesestablished quotesyoung quotesmen quotesnation quoteseasy quotestransition quotesservitude quotespopulation quotestotalitarian quotestyranny quotestwin quotestotal quoteswarfarewhich quotesaptly quotestermed quotesreversion quotestribal quoteswarfare quoteslarger quotesscale quotes
The principle of compulsory service, embodied in the system of conscription, lias been the means by which modem dictators and military gangs have shackled their people after a coup d'etat, and bound them to their own aggressive purposes. In view of the great service that conscription has rendered to tyranny and war, it is fundamentally shortsighted for any liberty-loving and peace-desiring peoples to maintain it as an imagined safeguard, lest they become the victims of the monster they have helped to preserve.
B.H. Liddell Hart
principle quotescompulsory quotesservice quotesembodied quotessystem quotesconscription quoteslias quotesmeans quotesmodem quotesdictators quotesmilitary quotesgangs quotesshackled quotespeople quotescoup quotesdetat quotesbound quotesaggressive quotespurposes quotesview quotesgreat quotesservice quotesconscription quotesrendered quotestyranny quoteswar quotesfundamentally quotesshortsighted quoteslibertyloving quotespeacedesiring quotespeoples quotesmaintain quotesimagined quotessafeguard quotesvictims quotesmonster quoteshelped quotespreserve quotes