Page:Jean Jaurès socialist and humanitarian 1917.djvu/120

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He shows at length by the example of Switzerland what a really democratic army should be; how it should rely, not on the professional soldier separated from, and alien to, the life of the nation, but on the élan of the whole people sweeping forward in an irresistible because highly trained mass.

What Jaurès wanted indeed was to see the people taking an interest in the army and controlling it, and for this purpose he advocated all reforms which tended to make soldiers of the citizens and citizens of the soldiers.

To him the armed nation meant the just nation. When the whole nation was organized for defence, war would become unthinkable for any other reason than defence. What he asked was that the nation should organize its military force without any class or caste prejudice, without any other desire or ambition whatever than the national defence.

He saw very clearly that the army, whatever the method of recruiting and of training the soldier, would never be democratic as long as the officers remained a class apart, appointed solely from the wealthier portion of the nation and isolated from the nation far more than the soldiers are. The officers under conscription tend to be the permanent part of the army and form a body which, unlike that joined by the ordinary recruit, never goes back into civilian life. This makes