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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 85.djvu/585

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581
GERMAN MILITARISM

GERMAN MILITARISM AND ITS INFLUENCE UPON THE INDUSTRIES
By Dr. HUGO SCHWEITZER

NEW YORK

MILITARISM in its true sense is the defense of home and family which has been forced upon the continental nations for the reason that they live in such propinquity to one another. Germany, for instance, is surrounded on all sides by potential enemies. Its frontiers are contiguous to Austria, Russia, France, Swtizerland, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and it is separated by narrow bodies of water from Sweden, Norway and England. What such surroundings mean is evident in our own case. We have only two neighbors, Canada and Mexico, and with each of them we have had wars and frequent disputes, such as the Alaskan boundary question, the sealing and fishing controversies, etc. Inasmuch as our comparative isolation has not saved us from trouble, it is most remarkable that Germany, bordering on ten countries, has had so few wars.

German militarism is the application of arts and science as well as the most perfect organization and administration to the defense of the hearth. The prominent features of German militarism are conscription and the standing army.

Conscription has made the defense of house and family everybody's business and not the affair of a few hired men. It has caused the uprising of this wonderfully united nation as one man during this war, and it is the reason for the boundless self-sacrifice of the people—men, women and children—who all feel that everything must be given up for the fatherland and that individual wants and necessities, worries and pain do not count until victory and peace have been achieved.

The standing army has been pronounced by an American author to be the greatest democratic university of the world. Conscription and compulsory military service combine to make it the army of the German people, and not that of the Emperor, and therefore, German militarism is not the militarism of the Kaiser but of the German nation. Every one from the highest to the lowest is proud to be a member of the army and to be able to contribute to the defense of home and family. Here men of all types of education, the university man and the artist, mix with the laborer and the farmer. During the period of service they learn order and discipline. They are taught the value of punctuality, of exactness, of cleanliness and of obedience. They become aware of