In civilized man, the gregarious impulse acts not only to produce concerted action for defense, but also to produce identity of opinion.
But in general, the nation in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. The result is that, even in those countries where the business of declaring war is theoretically in the hands of representatives of the people, no legislature has ever been known to decline the request of an Executive, which has conducted all foreign affairs in utter privacy and irresponsibility, that it order the nation into battle.
This little sparrowlike mantiny twisted bit of flesh in black cape, always in pain and ailing, put a pebble in his sling and hit Goliath square in the forehead with it. Every individual citizen who in peace times had no function to perform by which he could imagine himself an expression or living fragment of the State becomes an active amateur agent … in reporting spies and disloyalists, in raising Government funds, or in propagating such measures as are considered necessary by officialdom.
If you are a good old-fashioned democrat, you rejoice at this fact, you glory in the plainness of a system where every citizen has become a king.
Bourne argues that war so blurs the lines separate the State from Government and from society that the lines virtually disappear in the minds of most people.Wartime brings the ideal of the State out into very clear relief, and reveals attitudes and tendencies that were hidden. The State attempts to draw upon the powerful force of individual choice by appealing to the patriotism of people and asking them to make the "choice" to enlist and otherwise support the war effort. A modern country represents a long historical and social process of disaggregation of the herd. Now this feeling for country is essentially noncompetitive; we think of our own people merely as living on the earth's surface along with other groups, pleasant or objectionable as they may be, but fundamentally as sharing the earth with them. It unwittingly brought out into the strongest relief the true characteristics of the State and its intimate alliance with war. Can we even envision a Beloved Community where nothing is lovable, let alone sacred? But the State stands as an idea behind them all, eternal, sanctified, and from it Government and Administration conceive themselves to have the breath of life. Joining as it does to these very vigorous tendencies of the individual - the pleasure in power and the pleasure in obedience - this gregarious impulse becomes irresistible in society. From such serfdom, military conscription is not so great a change. Resek writes, "In its proper place it [the saying] meant that mindless power thrived on war because war corrupted a nation's moral fabric and especially corrupted its intellectuals. We will be listened to as responsible thinkers. He was accepted as part of the Princeton class of and was expected to commence his freshman year at that institution in the fall of On most people the strain of being an independent adult weighs heavily, and upon none more than those members of the significant classes who have had bequeathed to them or have assumed the responsibilities of governing. They are what Bourne describes as "common and unsanctified men. World War I divided American progressives and pitted an anti-war faction—including Bourne and Jane Addams —against a pro-war faction led by pragmatist philosopher and educational theorist John Dewey.
He begins with vigour and brilliance: "Government is synonymous with neither State nor Nation. It has shown those who are really determined to end war that the problem is not the mere simple one of finishing a war that will end war.
For example, although criticizing the President is a right regularly exercised by almost every American, such criticism becomes an act of treason when that President has just declared war.