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1. America at War. A Handbook of
Patriotic Education References.
2. Handbook of the War for Public
3. Out of Their Own Mouths.
With an introduction by William R.
4. Patriotism Through Education Series.
(N. Y.: National Security League,) Brochures and pamphlets. Free on application.
Any of the above works will be sent postpaid on
receipt of the price above stated.
AMERICA AT WAR
A HANDBOOK OF
With Preface by
THE NATIONAL SECURITY LEAGUE
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PREFACE One of the striking features of the great world war is that, concurrently with the most amazing display of physical force that the world has ever seen, there has been an equally amazing conflict of ideas and arguments. The war has its spiritual as well as its material aspects, and it is possible that the former will surpass in continuing importance the latter.
From 1914 to 1918, the world has had its greatest moral controversy. Prince Bismarck, in a notable speech in the Reichstag in 1885, stated that, if Germany should wage an aggressive war upon France, the "imponderables” would be against Germany; and he added that these “imponderables” far outweighed in importance the "ponderables." The greatest of the “imponderables” is the public opinion of civilization.
From the beginning of the war, Germany has recognized the weight of this “imponderable.” Concurrently with the marching of its titanic armies, it has waged an unprecedented press campaign to justify itself at the bar of public opinion. In part, this appeal to the judgment of mankind has been made openly in the forum of public opinion by arguments, often more voluble than valuable, but in greater part it has been secretly made by sinister methods, such a bribery, espionage, intrigue and the world-wide circulation of untruths.
As Germany has attempted to demoralize economic conditions in Russia by flooding that country with counterfeit money, similarly it has tried to demoralize civilization by the wide circulation of base counterfeits of truth. Such was the address at the beginning of the war of the ninety-three German intellectuals, which only resulted in destroying for decades to come respect for the integrity of German scholarship. The ultimate purpose was to convince, or at least confuse, the public opinion of the world as to the merits of the quarrel, so that Germany could thereby gain a moral victory concurrently with the material victory which at the beginning it so confidently but erroneously anticipated.
An idea is greater than an army, but unfortunately the evil consequences of a falsehood are only less potential than the beneficent force of a truth. Thus the debâclé of Russia is due largely to Germany's powerful propaganda. Germany realizes that the final result of this war may depend upon the question, which of the two groups of nations can longest preserve the morale of their civilian populations—and Germany further recog