Definition of Terms: Militarism (Begriffsbstimmung: Militarismus)


By Wilhelm Michel

Militarism is not an objective fact, it is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with the presence or absence of military power, It is more a kind of stupidity which is a frequent, but not necessary, consequence of power. It can be recognized when the sober understanding of the uses of physical force degenerates into a superstitious belief in violence, when the muscles take over the functions of the brain, when the servant becomes the master, when the sword paralyzes the arm which should swing it, and the intellect which should control this arm becomes atrophied. It is militarism when the use of the tool becomes a game, and in the end a suicidal threat.

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