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Marxism-Leninism on War and Army - Modern Bourgeois Theories

Marxism-Leninism on War and Army
Marxists-Leninists are waging an active struggle against modern bourgeois ideology, against anti-scientific sociological theories about the cause and essence of wars. There is a profusion of such imperialist theories. This is not surprising since there is only one truth, while lies may be innumerable. Yet, despite this great variety of bourgeois theories about the war, they all have one thing in common—all justify the wars unleashed by the imperialists.

Bourgeois theories of war are founded on anti-scientific views about the process of history. They are based on idealism in its various manifestations and, in one way or another, enlist the aid of religion and mysticism. They do not adopt a methodologically correct approach to even a single question of the war, and treat the questions of the concrete causes, essence and historical role of wars equally wrongly. What all bourgeois theories of war have in common is their class essence—all are permeated with anti-communism, all serve as a basis for the aggressive policies and aims of the imperialist states.

Among the multitude of bourgeois theories it is difficult to discern in a “pure form" theories that look only into the 68origin of wars or their essence—they generally lump these questions together with interpretations of the causes of wars and their plaqe in social life. Imperialist ideologists declare that wars are eternal and inevitable, no matter whether they regard them as accidental or fatally preordained by a supernatural power, whether they look upon them as being beneficial or harmful to mankind.

The Theory of Violence

All modern bourgeois ideology is permeated with the idea that force plays the decisive roie in history. This idea is at the root of most imperialist theories about the causes and essence of wars.

This idea is expressed most fully in the so-called sociological theory of violence. According to that theory war is the main, if not the only, motive force in history. Violence is declared the primary factor in all social events and phenomena, even in the economic field. The course of history itself is regarded not as a law-governed development process, but as one determined fully by military clashes. The champions of the violence theory do not recognise any objective laws of social development, and most of them even deny that the human race is progressing.

War is proclaimed an eternal and unavoidable social phenomenon, at times even a beneficial force promoting the moral perfection of the human race. The theory of the omnipotence of armed violence is the ideological basis of the extremely dangerous adventurism that permeates all politics of the imperialist states and their plans for the preparation and unleashing of new wars.

The theory of violence is not new. Researchers who looked at history from an idealistic viewpoint have for ages regarded it only as a chronicle of wars, seizures and lootings, of campaigns and battles, of the exploits of various generals and conquerors, kings and emperors. In the 19th century this anti-scientific view found a champion also in Eugen Duhring, whose views Engels tore to shreds in his famous Anti-Duhring. Now the theory of violence is propagandised particularly insistently by imperialist ideologists to justify aggression and reactionary wars, especially against the socialist countries.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), the reactionary German philosopher and ideological precursor of fascism, declared 69that the “will for power" is the force motivating all historical events. He preached the cult of violence, openly lauded unrestrained aggression and the destruction of the lower races by “superman—the blond beast”.

Oswald Spengler (1880–1936), another reactionary German philosopher, wrote that war is the eternal form of supreme human being, and that the state exists for the sake of war.

Hitler, who absorbed Nietzsche’s and Spengler’s ideas, declared in his notorious Mein Kampf that brute force is the only “source of right" and the “main factor" in international relations. Mussolini held similar views.

Present-day ideologists of imperialism theorise about the “decisive role" of violence which they urge to apply to crush all progressive movements of our day.

The English military theoretician J. F. Fuller asserted that armaments “are the ultimate arbiter in the Age of Power". [69•1 He defined war as the “dominant factor" in history. “... From the earliest records of man to the present age,” Fuller believes, “war has been his dominant preoccupation." [69•2 

The West German writer on military matters W. Picht said in his book On the Essence of War and the Warfare of the Germans that “war is a constituent element in the history of all peoples and zones. ... Every culture, every organised form of human community is built on the foundation of war.... All highest cultures grow out of war." [69•3

As a result of the increased aggressiveness of US imperialism and the development of modern means of destruction a new variant of the theory of violence has been put forward and is gaining ground in the USA. This new variant is known as the theory of absolute nuclear deterrent. According to R. Tucker, an American author who made a study of contemporary American military doctrine at the request and expense of the Rockefeller Fund, the essence of the theory is as follows: the USA must establish its supremacy on the globe by using, or threatening to use, nuclear 70weapons against the socialist countries, and countries in which socialist revolutions are maturing. After that the US imperialists want to set up a “peace and order" in which “force would have a greater importance than ever before”, since “peace and the existing order are maintained. . . primarily by threatening... with annihilation" of groups of the population showing dissatisfaction with the existing “order”. [70•1

In their speeches and statements leading US political and military leaders use peaceful phraseology as a cloak to propagandise their notorious “absolute nuclear deterrent" theory. But the most aggressive and reactionary elements among the US militarists openly declare their adherence to the basic ideas of that theory. General Thomas S. Power, the former Chief of the US Strategic Air Command, expounds aggressive fascist views in Design for Survival. Adopting the reactionary slogan “rather dead than Red" as a symbol of faith, Power comes out in defence of the idea of preemptive war, proposes to use fascist methods in the USA and then to unleash a world nuclear war. Propagandising the “nuclear deterrent" theory, this fascist sympathiser in the Pentagon considers “our national policy of deterrence as the only acceptable solution to the problem of national survival". [70•2

The Pentagon militarists are supported by “civilian militarists" such as Herman Kahn, Henry A. Kissinger, Matthew Wohlstetter, and Thomas C. Schelling, who are insistently advocating nuclear war as a means of imposing the “American system" on the peoples, that is, of establishing world domination by US imperialism. [70•3 The reactionary US press disseminates aggressive militaristic ideology. Time magazine attempts to prove that wars are important and inevitable because there always have been wars in the past and there are wars at present.

The theory of violence insistently advocated by the militarists is beneath all scientific criticism.

Firstly, the course of social development is determined 71not by violence, not by wars, but by objective social laws. Imperialists cannot wipe out these laws with guns, missiles or nuclear bombs, especially since not only the capitalist, but the socialist countries too, possess all these weapons. Secondly, violence has never been the ultimate aim, but only a means of achieving the aim. The aim is determined by the economic and political interests of the state and of definite classes within it. Thirdly, victory or defeat in wars, that is, the results of violence, are determined by the balance of strength of the belligerents, which in the final analysis is determined by their economic development and socio–political systems. The establishment of US domination over the world by means of force is a wild, reactionary and Utopian idea.

The champions of the violence theory are unable to answer the question why force is used and what are the sources and causes of wars. For this reason modern bourgeois sociologists and military ideologists endeavour to strengthen and reinforce the violence theory with other, no less groundless sociological theories.

The “Saving of Civilisation” Theory

The “saving of civilisation" theory is one of them. It camouflages the violence idea and proclaims that US capital is the only force capable of “saving” civilisation.

In the view of US reactionary ideologists the saving of civilisation boils down to the establishment of US domination.

This was frankly admitted by R. Strausz-Hupe, who said that “if it were not for the power of the United States, Western culture would be no more. American hegemony is the condition of its survival". [71•1

The theory of the “saving” of capitalism was most fully formulated in A Forward Strategy for America, published in 1961. Its authors, the US sociologists Robert Strausz-Hupe, Stefan T. Possony and Colonel William R. Kintner are among the most militant ideologists of anti-communism. The book was approved by the Foreign Service Institute of the US State Department prior to publication.

The authors attempted to explain the need of “saving” 72capitalism by the thesis that a war against the communist world was a “war in which the ultimate stake is national survival". [72•1 Using slanderous anti-communist arguments, Strausz-Hup6, Possony and Kintner wrote that “the very existence of so aggressive and dynamic a force as communism imperils the survival of democracy [i.e., capitalism—Author] everywhere". [72•2

Blinded by their hatred for progress, the fascist-minded advocates of anti-communism openly declared that the USA must pursue more ambitious aims than the “saving” of capitalism, namely, the victory over communism and “world leadership" by the USA. “... As the first step in assuring the survival of free societies" (that is, the capitalist countries), they proposed to “defeat the communist movement" in those countries, and then to destroy the socialist states. [72•3

The ideologists of anti-communism and war unanimously aver that any relaxation in the arms race brings up the question of the “life or death" of civilisation. They need this in order to lend the narrow class aims the monopoly bourgeoisie will pursue in the war against the Soviet Union a semblance not only of “socially useful" aims, but even of aims “vitally” necessary to the interests of society as a whole.

Essentially the “saving of civilisation" theory is thus reduced to the thesis about the alleged possibility of eliminating the progressive social achievements of the socialist and national liberation revolutions by military means. In other words, they believe it not only possible but even essential to counter the operation of objective laws and the requirements of social development by means of armed force, especially by means of weapons of mass destruction, and in this way to perpetuate the existence of the capitalist system under the aegis of US imperialism.

William Z. Foster, an outstanding leader of the Communist Party of the USA, convincingly proved in his book The Twilight of World Capitalism that the US monopoly bourgeoisie linked the salvation of moribund world capitalism with the violent establishment of world domination by the 73USA. [73•1 But the facts show that imperialism is unable to stem the tide of history.

The warmongers attempt to conceal the true causes of the arms race and their aggressive designs with phrases about “saving civilisation”. The successes in economic development, science and technology, culture and the arts in the USSR and other socialist countries nail the lie that the socialist revolution brings with it destruction of civilisation. The socialist system is superior to the capitalist system in economic, political and spiritual development and, hence, accelerates the advance of civilisation. Only socialism ensures massive participation in all fields of life, a rapid growth of material production, an advance in welfare and an unprecedented flourishing of the peoples’ creative powers.

The achievements of the countries of the socialist community are a guarantee of peace and the peoples’ security. It is the decayed capitalist system and the reactionary policy of the imperialist states that pose a real threat to civilisation.

The striving to save capitalism fuses into one the imperialist theory of violence and the ideology of anti–communism and serves to prepare and justify new wars, notably against the socialist countries.
Racialist and Chauvinist Views on the Sources and Nature of Wars. Cosmopolitanism

The race theory alleges that mankind is divided into “higher” and “lower” races, and that the war between them is the motive force of history; the “higher" races inevitably vanquish the “lower” and have a “legitimate right" to rule over them, to enslave them and even to destroy them. Militant bourgeois chauvinism has its roots in the out and out reactionary race theory. It is aimed at sowing enmity between peoples, at inciting them against one another. At present the race theory and chauvinism serve to prepare a war against the Soviet Union and other socialist states, and also against the peoples fighting for full liberation from colonial oppression.

Racialism in its most aggressive and barbarous forms was the official ideology of nazism. Hitler used the Nietzschean racialist ravings about “superman”, about the caste of “the 74elect" to justify aggressive wars and the destruction of peoples. The German nazi racialists preached the “superiority” and “purity” of the “Aryan race”, whose mission, they alleged, it was to rule over all other peoples, whom they declared a “slave race”.

Racialism is obviously an anti-scientific theory. Biology to which the racialists like to refer shows that there is no proof of any natural superiority of some races or peoples over others.

All races and peoples have equal abilities for development, while their different levels of development are due not to the anatomic or physiological properties of some peoples, as the racialists aver, but to the economic and sociopolitical conditions in which they live. If there really were an eternal “hierarchy” of peoples depending on their ability for progress, some people would throughout history have been advanced while other peoples would, by the same token, have always been backward. Actually, however, we observe a clearly pronounced uneven development in history: while some peoples are more advanced in one epoch, others, belonging to a different race, excel in another.

The thesis of the race theory that wars are a “struggle of the races" is no less unfounded.

The racialists aver that war in human society is identical with the struggles in the animal kingdom. To reinforce the thesis they often turn to “social Darwinism"—a reactionary and anti-scientific theory according to which historical events, particularly wars, have their root in the law of natural selection. It should be noted that this theory has nothing in common with Darwin’s teaching, who opposed racialism, national oppression and inequality.

Now it is used by bourgeois sociologists to justify capitalist exploitation and imperialist war as a form of “natural struggle for existence”.

Weilgart, a US sociologist, wrote: “Darwin thought a century ago that nature used a constant war in order to improve the race. He thought that only a constant ’struggle for existence’ would ensure the ’survival of the fittest’. These ideas, radicalised by Nietzsche and popularised by politicians, have influenced Hitler’s philosophy and justified his brutality. If now we try to build up a biology of peace, we have to admit that there is some truth in them....”

The pseudo-scientific arguments about an analogy between 75the struggle in the animal world and the wars in human society hold no water. The struggle between animals is dictated by biological laws, notably the law of natural selection, while wars are due to the division of human society into classes.

The striving of racialists to explain victory or defeat in wars by the racial traits of the warring people is nonsensical. The Germans won the war against France in 1871, but lost it in 1914–1918, they won a series of victories over some European states at the beginning of the Second World War, but nazi Germany was routed in the end. Does that mean that the racial characteristics of the Germans changed on three occasions? The outcome of wars depends not on biological causes, but on socio-political conditions and economic factors.

In the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the friendship and equality of all peoples and of all races and nations won a historical victory over the nazi racialist, chauvinist ideology. History cruelly punished the most ruthless aggressors, these misanthropes who attempted to apply the racialist theory in practice and organised the planned, systematic destruction of the peoples whom the nazis relegated to the “lower” races.

The international situation in which the modern pretenders to “world leadership" are acting differs radically from the pre-war situation, when because of some alleged “special” biological racial features aggressors could openly claim the “right” to rule “inferior” peoples. Now the myth about the “superiority” of the select race is being daily refuted by the outstanding successes in the building of socialism, and in the national liberation struggle, by the rapid economic and political development of many countries which until recently were colonies. The peoples of those countries have given practical proof of their ability to make their own history.

As a result the theoreticians and propagandists of aggressive war have changed their attitude to the race theory, at least outwardly. While conducting their anti-communist campaign, they simultaneously oppose the race theory and even racial discrimination in words though not in deeds, for imperialism is unable to establish a real equality of nations.

The leaders and ideologists of modern imperialism attempt to conceal their racialist views because they have obviously 76been compromised. Instead of references to human biology they now prefer to speak of the “psychological community" and the “mental superiority" of the population of some bourgeois states, or, even more frequently, of a definite imperialist coalition, over the peoples of other countries.

The racialist and nationalistic ideology they have rejected in words alone is still used to educate the younger generation in the USA, Britain, The Federal Republic of Germany and other imperialist states. It is generally made to serve the home demand. Cosmopolitanism, which is externally opposite to racialism and nationalism, but actually supplements it, is used by them for the “export market”.

Formerly it was possible to rouse the masses to a war for a redivision of the world by fanning up chauvinist and racialist ideas. But in preparing war against the socialist countries, when the bourgeoisie has to unite all the forces of the capitalist world, chauvinistic and racialist ideas about the “superiority” of the Anglo-Saxons or the Germans, and about the “superiority” of the white race over the black and yellow races in general, are inimical to its wish to strengthen NATO, SEATO, CENTO and other blocs, which widely use the human reserves also of the colonial and dependent countries for the purpose of preserving and expanding the rule of the oppressors. Bourgeois ideologists therefore resort to cosmopolitanism—a reactionary theory propounding indifference to the motherland, the rejection of national sovereignty, and disregard of patriotism.

Modern cosmopolitanism is distinguished by its clearly expressed anti-communist content and anti-Soviet aims, the intense propaganda of the slogan of “world government" on the basis of “Western solidarity”, etc.

Konrad Adenauer, for example, wrote: “The age of national states has come to an end.... We in Europe must break ourselves of the habit of thinking in terms of national states." [76•1 From the “convulsions of nationalism" in which he sees the “travail” of a “universal world order”, Strausz-Hupe draws the conclusion that by the year 2000 a “world government" will be established. [76•2

Proceeding from similar cosmopolitan principles bourgeois ideologists maintain that the state sovereignty of nations is the source of wars. In this cosmopolitan theory on the origin of modern wars we clearly see the old racialist thesis that the striving to war between nations is endemic in the nature of nations.

As regards its content cosmopolitanism is nothing but bourgeois nationalism—racialism—turned inside out. The preachers of cosmopolitan ideas never advocate an equal union of nations and states, on the contrary, they develop the idea of the rule of one “elect” nation over all others. The cosmopolitan idea of “world state" is nothing but a disguise for the striving of the biggest imperialist powers after world domination.

Malthusianism on the Sources and Purpose of Wars

Malthusianism, an anti-scientific, misanthropic theory, derives its name from parson Malthus, an English reactionary economist, who in his book World’s Hunger. An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) advanced the theory that the production of means of subsistence grows in an arithmetic progression while the population grows in a geometrical progression. From this false theory he drew the conclusion that mankind would never be able to satisfy its material wants.

Proceeding from the Malthusian teaching on the fatal inevitability of overpopulation, modern bourgeois sociology disseminates the thesis that the “population pressure" is the source of wars. Many Malthusians have attempted to prove that wars, epidemics and starvation are necessary and even beneficial phenomena, since they help to eliminate “surplus population”.

Under imperialism the Malthusian conception of war has been spread far and wide and has become the basis of the German nazi and Japanese militaristic Lebensraum (living space) theory. According to this theory Germany and Japan, supposed to be overpopulated countries, have a natural and legitimate right to seize the territories of other countries.

The authors of many variants of the Malthusian theory (Elmer Pendell, William Vogt, Robert C. Cook, F. Pearson, F. Harper, and many others) endeavour to prove the “necessity" and “usefulness” of a sharp decrease in the world population which is to be brought about by means of war. 78Advancing the idea of the “inferiority” of the Eastern peoples, cultivating contempt for the fate and vital interests of the bulk of the world population, the neo-Malthusians attempt to justify on “moral” grounds the use of massdestruction weapons. ”. . .It must never be forgotten that overpopulation, with the consequent threat of starvation, is one of the really fundamental causes of war,” the American William H. Hessler wrote. “We must add the fission bomb to the list of potential techniques of population control." [78•1

Strausz-Hupe, Possony and Kintner also regard the “population pressure" as one of the main causes of modern wars. [78•2

By declaring that the poverty of the working people in the capitalist and colonial countries is the main cause of wars, the Malthusians deliberately confuse cause and effect. The root cause of imperialist wars is not the poverty of the exploited, but the concentration of enormous national wealth in the hands of the exploiters.

Theory and practice have refuted the Malthusian theory of population. It has been proved that every socio-economic formation has its specific demographic laws. The Malthusian idea that the means of subsistence grow slower than the population is completely unfounded. The source of the relative overpopulation and unemployment in bourgeois society is not an abstract law of population, applying in all epochs, it is capitalist relations of production, under which a large part of the population, notably in the colonies and dependent countries, is condemned to hunger and poverty.

The modern Malthusians aver that the prime problem, that of raising the living standards of the world population, can be resolved primarily by military means, through the mass destruction of people. These “theoreticians” substitute biological laws for the laws of social development and endeavour to prove that wars are caused by the excessively rapid growth of the population, which, they insist, it is impossible to sustain. At the same time it is obvious that only in the remote pre-historic past could the insufficiency in foodstuffs be the cause of an armed attack by one ethnic group 79upon another. In modern times wars are fomented by the capitalist system and imperialist policies.

True, a large portion of the people inhabiting our planet is systematically undernourished and at times subjected to starvation, but this is not the result of overpopulation—it is one of the grim consequences of capitalist rule. The complete elimination of hunger and the raising of the people’s welfare are not a military but a social problem. It is resolved not by imperialist war, but by a socialist reorganisation of society and the destruction of the shameful colonial system.
Geopolitics on the Sources and Essence of Wars

The pseudo-scientific theory of geopolitics is closely linked with the theories of violence, racialism and Malthusianism. It maintains that the policies and the strategy of states are determined by geographic factors. Geopolitics justifies imperialist expansion, proceeding from the anti-scientific thesis that it is not the economic system and not the politics of the exploiter classes, but the geographic conditions that are the prime cause of annexationist wars. States are regarded by the geopoliticians as biological organisms which must grow and expand at the expense of the territories of other states, or go under.

Among the founders of geopolitics in Europe were the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel (1844–1904), the Swedish geographer Rudolf Kjellen (1864–1922) and the English geographer Halford Mackinder. In the early 20th century Mackinder created a geopolitical scheme for the conquest of world domination, which the geopoliticians considered absolutely correct right up to the end of the Second World War. That scheme regarded the Russian Empire as the main geographic region ensuring domination over the world. Mackinder called this region the “heartland”, saying that he who rules Eastern Europe, rules the “world island" (Europe, Asia and Africa), and ultimately the whole world.

Major-General Karl Haushofer (1869–1946), the leader of the geopolitical school in nazi Germany, was greatly influenced by Mackinder and expended a great deal of energy to formulate a strategy for the conquest of the Soviet Union. Haushofer and his followers told the Germans for years on end that they were a “people without space" and that Germany could not exist without the conquest of Lebensraum.

The founder of geopolitics in the USA was the military 80ideologist Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840–1914). He believed that there existed a causal relationship between geography and war. In his view the domination of the USA on the seas and oceans evolved directly from the geographic position of the USA. “The demands of our three great seaboards,” Mahan said, “are calling for the extension....” [80•1 Military aggression was, according to him, an inevitable law of progress, a manifestation of Christianity as a political system, the right of the stronger. [80•2

After the Second World War the ideas of Mackinder, Haushofer and Mahan were developed in the USA by such reactionary ideologists as Strausz-Hupe, Possony, Kieffer, Hessler and others. In the 1960s US military thought declared that Mackinder’s conception of a “world island" was not only “baseless” but also “fallacious and dangerous". [80•3 The sociologist-geopolitician Nicholas J. Spykman, like William H. Hessler and James M. Gavin, both authors on military matters, and some military journals opposed that conception.

Modern US geopoliticians declare that North America and not Eurasia and Africa should be considered the “world island”. In their view he who rules North America must rule the world. The new geopolitical scheme was obviously evolved to underpin the aggressive policies of US imperialism with at least some semblance of a scientific basis. But this was precisely what the geopoliticians did not succeed in doing since they themselves refuted the main conclusions of the geographic arguments used by their predecessors. Thus, against their own will the geopoliticians confirmed in their works that geographic factors have no connection with the true causes of aggression.

The emergence in geopolitical science of a new “world island”, without a change in physical geography, has proved that the aggressiveness of some imperialist power or other is determined not by its geographical position.

The principal thesis of geopolitics that the geographical position of a state determines the nature and aims of its 81foreign policy and is the cause of wars between countries, while war ensures the “natural growth" of the state, does not stand up to criticism.

The geographical position of most countries has not changed noticeably for centuries, but their policies have. The most convincing proof of this is the example of the Soviet Union. The tsarist government conducted many aggressive wars in the interests of the landowners and the bourgeoisie, while the Soviet state, defending the vital interests of the working class and the working peasantry, consistently follows a policy of peace and decisively works for banning war from the life of society. At the same time there have been no substantial changes in the USSR’s geographical position. Hense, it is not geography but the socio–political system that determines the content and character of a state’s foreign policy.

Psychological Theory on the Essence and Sources of Wars

The champions of the psychological school of bourgeois sociology endeavour to explain war by man’s psychology. They say that the striving for violence and the thirst of wars are inherent in human nature. The psycho-sociologists thus underpin the violence theory with a “psychological basis”. Actually, this is hardly necessary, for the champions of the violence theory hold such a viewpoint themselves.

A collection published in the USA in 1951 bore the characteristic title World Tension. Psychopathology of International Relations. It contained articles by bourgeois psychologists and sociologists from different capitalist countries who attempted to apply the “knowledge of individual psychopathology to social problems”. One of the authors, William C. Menninger, declared that war was a psychosis. Nicola Perrotti wrote that the behaviour of world groups, participating at present in the conflict, resembled the psychology of the neurotic. A. M. Meerloo believed that the symptoms of mental diseases provided the key to an understanding of modern international relations.

Even in the bourgeois countries many psychologists refute the thesis about the supposed inborn striving of people for war. Thus, as early as the beginning of the thirties, the members of the US Psychological Association were asked: “Do you as a psychologist hold that there are at present in 82human nature ineradicable, instinctive factors that make war between nations inevitable?" Of the 528 members of the association, 346 answered “no”, 22 replied ambiguously, and 150 did not reply at all. [82•1

In 1957, the International Sociological Association published at the request of UNESCO the book The Nature of the Conflict. Studies of the Sociological Aspects of International Tensions. It gives a review of the most widely spread views on the sources of international tension. The book notes that the absolute majority of social psychologists have now refuted their former view that the “tensions” of individuals are inborn or instinctive, and regard them as a result of experience and of disorders connected with the living conditions of the individual. Social conflicts, however, are still considered by bourgeois psychologists to be a manifestation of the subjective qualities of man’s psyche. Wars are explained by the striving of individuals to relieve the tension, the “cultural medium" imposed on them by acts of open violence. Pear, one of the authors of the book, considers the problem of international tension and of the banning of wars not a political but a psychological problem, since wars are waged by individuals, and peace and co-operation too are products of the activity of individuals.

The above arguments of the proponents of a “psychological explanation" of the sources of wars convincingly prove that their theories are completely groundless. The policy aimed at preparing and unleashing aggressive wars is conducted despite the basically peace-loving psychology of the people. In fact, once an imperialist state adopts the secret decision to prepare for a war, it itself begins to influence the psychology of its citizens by chauvinistic propaganda, the fanning up of a war psychosis, etc. This could be observed on the eve of the Second World War in nazi Germany. The same is happening in our time in the imperialist countries. Hence, it is not the chauvinistic psychology of the individual that is the source of wars, but it is the aggressive policies of the states that are the source of the chauvinistic passions, which are artificially cultivated by these states in their citizens.

Irrationalism is a feature typical of the psychological theory of war. According to this theory, wars have their roots in man’s subconscious strivings, in the mysterious abysses of the human mind, which are beyond reason, are not subject to control by reason and permit no scientific analysis.

This viewpoint often draws close to pure mysticism. It is particularly typical of the philosophers and military ideologists of West Germany.

In his book On the Essence of War and the Military Affairs of the Germans, W. Picht says: “War is the phenomenon of human existence that is most difficult to comprehend. It is the most mysterious vital condition in the mysterious environment we live in." [83•1

“By demony,” Lothar Rendulic wrote in his book Dangerous Limits of Politics, “we understand the actions of mysterious and of horribly potent powers that are completely beyond comprehension to our mind, powers that attract people by their devilment and which they are unable to realise." [83•2

The fact that the military ideologists of modern imperialism have to resort to mystical nonsense shows that it is not easy for them to draw the masses into a new war for their reactionary purposes.
Clerical Conceptions About the Origins of Wars

The champions of aggression and war are increasingly turning to religious theories and dogmas. They use every opportunity to underpin every military adventure with a religious basis.

There has never been an imperialist war in history in which religion did not play the infamous role of supporting the “yellow devil"—monopoly capital, which was sending millions of people to death.

One of the main theoretical sources of religious propaganda in support of imperialist wars is the Bible, which makes it possible to interpret war as “God’s weapon" for the struggle against “evil” and the punishment of “sinners”.

The supporters of the militarists from among the clericals got around the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”, which 84is incompatible with the propaganda of war and aggression. Professor Harold D. Lasswell of Chicago University, a major expert on the techniques of military propaganda, laid special emphasis on the widest dissemination of the arguments of the preachers and priests, who are willing to explain how you can both “follow Jesus" and “kill your enemies". [84•1

During the Second World War the clericals diligently strove to prove that this was possible, ignored accepted religious canons and relied on an obviously anti-scientific interpretation of the sources of wars. The religious leaflets disseminated among the US armed forces explained why God allowed the Second World War to happen as follows: First, war logically evolves from man’s free will. The tolerance of war by God is connected with his tolerance of evil in general. War is the result of the evil intentions of people. But why, then, does God allow evil at all? He does so because if man did not have the power to be evil he would not have the power to be good. The door must be open to make justice possible. Until Jesus returns to earth (that is, till Doomsday) the evil of war is periodically allowed to make people hate evil and repent.

After the Second World War the criminal bloc of militarists and clericals—the representatives of the Catholic, Protestant and other Churches—did not relinquish but further consolidated its positions in many imperialist countries.

The reactionary clericals consider destructive nuclear war a “divine punishment”, and those preaching it, as also all sorts of war-mongers, are portrayed as executors of “God’s will”.

Since there is no God, war cannot be a result of “divine will”. However, the idea of some “supreme being”, possessing “supernatural powers”, is still very much alive in the consciousness of millions of believers. “God,” Lenin wrote, “is (in history and in real life) first of all the complex of ideas generated by the brutish subjection of man both by eternal nature and by the class yoke—ideas which consolidate that subjection, lull to sleep the class struggle." [84•2

The clerical preachers of war constantly “perfect” their 85idea of God. They have endowed Him with the prerogative and ability of punishing sinners with nuclear weapons.

The latest revelations of the clerical obscurantists express the innermost interests and archreactionary aims of the imperialist bourgeoisie, which are eternally to preserve class oppression and the exploitation of man by man.

The bourgeois theories and views on the causes, essence and role of war in history are as far from science as the sky is from the earth. They are inimical to the vital interests and progressive strivings of all of mankind.

The false, pseudo-scientific theories about the nature and sources of wars are ideological weapons that have enabled the imperialists to draw peoples into the two sanguinary world wars which have exacted a heavy toll from mankind. The imperialist bourgeoisie continues to preach these immoral theories in order again to deceive the peoples and to draw them into new military adventures.

The exposure of the reactionary essence of these theories is an important part of the ideological struggle against militarism and war.


[69•1] J. F. Fuller, Armament and History, New York, 1945, p. 188.

[69•2] J. F. Fuller, A Military History of the Western World, New York, 1954, p. XI.

[69•3] W. Picht, Vom Wesen des Krieges und vom Kriegsioesen der Deutichen, Stuttgart, 1952, S. 32, 115.

[70•1] R. W. Tucker, The Just War. A Study in Contemporary American Doctrine, The John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1960, pp. 191–97.

[70•2] General Thomas S. Power, USAF (Ret.) with Arnhym, Design for Survival, New York, 1965, pp. 69^ 101.

[70•3] I. L. Horowitz, The War Game, New York, 1963, p. 189.

[71•1] R. Strausz-Hupé. The Zone of Indifference, New York, 1952, p. 149.

[72•1] R. Strausz-Hupd, W. Kintner, S. Possony, Forward Strategy for America, New York, 1961, p. 315.

[72•2] Ibid., p. 402.

[72•3] Ibid., pp. 29, 119–20,405.

[73•1] William Z. Foster, The Twilight of World Capitalism, New York, 1949, p. 12.

[76•1] K. Adenauer, World Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for All, New York, 1955, pp. 6-7.

[76•2] W. Posvar and Associates, American Defense Policy, Baltimore, 1965, pp. 23–24.

[78•1] W. Hessler, Operation Survival, New York, 1949, pp. 37–38.

[78•2] R. Strausz-Hupe, W. Kintner, S. Possony, Op. cit., pp. 2-3.

[80•1] A. T. Mahan, The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future, Boston, 1897, p. 51.

[80•2] A. T. Mahan, Armaments and Arbitration, New York, 1912, pp. 117, 118.

[80•3] Military Review, Vol. XXXV, August 1955, p. 7.

[82•1] John M. Fletcher, “The Verdict of Psychologists on War Instincts”, Scientific Monthly, XXXV, August 1932. Quoted from Q. Wright, A Study of War, Vol. II, Chicago, 1944, p. 1198.

[83•1] W. Picht, Op. cit., S. 4.

[83•2] L. Rendulic, Gefahrliche Grenzen der Politik, Salzbunr 1954 S. 160.

[84•1] H. Lasswell, Propaganda Technique in the World War, New York-London, 1927, p. 97.

[84•2] V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 35, p. 128.

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