Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/773

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

occupied in providing for the combatant part, that the entire aggregate shall be strongly bound together, and that the units composing it must have their individualities in life, liberty, and property, thereby subordinated, presupposes a coercive instrumentality. No such union for corporate action can be achieved without a powerful controlling agency. On remembering the fatal results caused by division of counsels in war, or by separation into factions in face of an enemy, we see that chronic militancy tends to develop a despotism; since, other things equal, those societies will habitually survive in which, by its aid, the corporate action is made more complete.

And this involves a system of centralization. The trait made familiar to us by an army, in which, under a commander-in-chief, there are secondary commanders over large masses, and under these tertiary ones over smaller masses, and so on down to the ultimate divisions, must characterize the social organization at large. A militant society must have a regulative structure of this kind, since otherwise its corporate action can not be made most effectual. Without such grades of governing centers diffused throughout the non-combatant part as well as the combatant part, the entire forces of the aggregate can not be promptly put forth. Unless the workers are under a control akin to that which the fighters are under, their indirect aid can not be insured in full amount and with due quickness.

And this is the form of a society characterized by status—a society, the members of which stand one toward another in successive grades of subordination. From the despot down to the slave, all are masters of those below and subjects of those above. The relation of the child to the father, of the father to some superior, and so on up to the absolute head, is one in which the individual of lower status is at the mercy of one of higher status.


Otherwise described, the process of militant organization is a process of regimentation, which, primarily taking place in the army, secondarily affects the whole community.

The first indication of this we trace in the fact everywhere visible, that the military head grows into a civil head—mostly at once, and, in exceptional cases, at last, if militancy continues. Beginning as leader in war he becomes ruler in peace; and such regulative policy as he pursues in one sphere, he pursues, so far as conditions permit, in the other. Being, as the non-combatant part is, a permanent commissariat, the principle of graduated subordination is extended to it. Its members come to be directed in a way like that in which the warriors are directed—not literally, since the dispersion of the one and the concentration of the other prevent exact parallelism; but, nevertheless, similarly in principle. Labor is carried on under coercive control; and supervision spreads everywhere.

To suppose that a despotic military head, carrying out daily the