restricted access Chapter 26.a Some Considerations on War in Democratic Societies
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1178 s4s4s4s4s4 c h a p t e r 2 6a Some Considerations on War in Democratic Societies [] When the principle of equality develops not only in one nation, but at the same time among several neighboring nations, as is seen today in Europe, the men who inhabit these various countries,despitethedisparity of languages, customs and laws, are nevertheless similar on this point that they equally fear war and conceive the same love for peace.1 In vain does a. All democratic peoples are similar in the love of peace. All are equally led to commerce by equality, and commerce links their interests so that they cannot hurt their neighbor without harming themselves. So wars are rare. But they are great because these two peoples cannot set about to make war on a small scale. Since men are similar, only numbers decide, from that the obligation for large armies. Thus armies seem to grow as the military spirit fades. Great changes take place as well in the manner of making war. A democratic people can more easily than another conquer and be conquered (illegible word). Why you always march on the capitals. Why civil wars become very difficult (YTC, CVf, pp. 51–52). On the jacket of the chapter: “⫽Perhaps all that will be to delete./ Chapter to look at again closely, done a bit too hastily.⫽” The idea that decentralization hinders the rapidity of reaction but increases the capacity of resistance is already found set forth in a letter of 1828 to Beaumont. This letter comments at length on the History of England of John Lingard (Correspondance avec Beaumont, OC, VIII, 1, p. 53). 1. The fear that European peoples show for war is not only due to the progress that equality war 1179 ambition or anger arm princes; a sort of apathy and universalbenevolence pacifies them in spite of themselves and makes them drop the sword from their hands. Wars become rarer. As equality, developing at the same time in several countries, simultaneously pushes the men who inhabit them toward industry and commerce, not only are their tastes similar, but also their interests mingle and become entangled, so that no nation can inflict harm on others that does not come back on itself, and all end by considering war as a calamity almost as great for the victor as for the defeated. Thus, on theonehand,itisverydifficultindemocraticcenturiestobring peoples to fight with each other, but, on the other hand, it is almost impossible for two of them to make war in isolation. The interests of all are so intertwined, their opinions and their needs so similar, that no peoplecan keep itself at rest when the others are agitated. So wars become rarer; but when they arise, they are on a field more vast. Democratic peoples who are neighbors do not become similar only on a few points, as I have just said; they end by resembling each other in nearly everything.2 has made among them; I do not need, I think, to point it out to the reader. Apart from this permanent cause, there are several accidental ones that are very powerful. I will cite, before all the others, the extreme weariness that the wars of the Revolution and of the Empire have left. 2. That comes not solely from the fact that peoples have the same social state, but from the fact that this same social state is such that it leads men naturally to imitate each other and to blend. When citizens are divided into castes and into classes, not only do they differ from each other, but also they have neither the taste or the desire to become alike; each man, on the contrary, seeks more and more to keep intact his own opinions and habits and to remain himself. The spirit of individuality is very robust. When a people has a democratic social state, that is to say that neither castes nor classes exist within it any longer and that all citizens there are more or less equal in enlightenment and in property, the human spirit heads in the opposite direction. Men are similar, and moreover they suffer in a way from not being similar. Far from wanting to preserve what can still make each one of them different, they ask only to lose that singularity in order to blend into the common mass, which alone in their eyes represents right and strength. The spirit of individuality is almost destroyed. 1180 war Now this similitude...


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