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"No Use for Cubism
"Of course, we have all come to realize sharply, as a result of the European war, that these absurdities - these things for the idle dalliance of a moment have to be brushed aside. We realize, for instance, as to the picture of falling downstairs, that what we are interested in now is not the falling downstairs, or the feelings that one experiences when he falls downstairs, but in some way of climbing upstairs — in something that will give us a firm hold on the banister and a solid footing on the step, so that we can climb up again, and so that in the midst of the collapse of the old-world civilization, and with the morality of the world all shattered and gone to pieces realizing that we have not the time to consider falling downstairs, or to muse over the shattering sensations that are depicted as to that sensation we must all bend ourselves and our energies to the evolution of a morality that will stand the strain of a system of adjustment of our society that will be proof against the recurrence of that kind of a devastating interruption. That kind of new seriousness in our point of view, and dedication of the best that is in us, I think is an outcome of the effect of the European struggle on the world outside of the warring countries.
"The Wars of To-morrow
"But we have learned a lot more about war and about preparedness from the European war. I think we have learned that in the future, by reason of these mechanical inventions and contrivances, war will be of a different character from anything we have ever known. Instead of a relatively few people being withdrawn from the activities of life, and displaced and marshaled into military organizations, while the majority of the community continue to pursue their usual occupations, we now learn that modern war engages all the energies of the people who are involved. There is not a country in Europe in which the total energy of men, women, and children is not now being devoted to what in each country is regarded as 'saving the state.' Twenty million men in Europe have been withdrawn from their ordinary occupations. Men are at the front now in far vaster numbers than any madman ever dreamed of. The hordes of Attila that came from Asia or wherever they did come from in the early middle ages, and overran Europe, are wholly insignificant when compared with the hordes that, under our modern civilization, are marshaled on the several battle fronts.
"We not only have the men drawn from their usual activities, but we have the unusual and unaccustomed spectacle of women taking their places. In England, in France, and in Germany, and perhaps in Russia, women are at the workshops controlling metal turning lathes, doing the blacksmithing and the drop forgings, and things of that sort, that are necessary for the manufacture of munitions from steel. I happen to know of some women who, when the war drafted the men, and when these women could not go, decided they were to give their service to their country, and who wondered what they could do, there seeming to be nothing for them. There seemed to be enough women making lint and bandages. These were women of fortune, and they decided that all they knew was horses, as they had ridden to the hounds a great
deal in fox hunting. And so they took a large estate that belonged to one of them, and set up a remount station, in order to gather up horses from all over the world that were in a more or less brokendown condition, and rehabilitate them for use at the front. And these gentlewomen, with tender hands, and with no other occupation in life up to that time but riding horseback and their ordinary social activities, are now feeding, bedding, and caring for horses, and riding them around with a halter to prepare them for the front.
Not only the men and women, but the little children of the various nations are contributing to the industrial mobilization that is necessary on a large scale in this mechanized war that we have in this modern time. So that we in America, I think, can draw this lesson from what Europe is now teaching us, that if war ever does come to us and I mean no border affray or foray, but I mean some war that engages us entirely and taxes all our strength there must be a complete alignment of all the forces in the nation men, women, and children—in the service of the state.
"War is changing its character. War, as we see it in Europe now, was not designed by anybody. With all of the foresight of the general staffs of Germany and France and they had given the most scientific study to the subject of warfare of any of the nations- neither of them foresaw the necessities of the warfare. The design of Germany at the commencement of the war comprehended the rapid overrunning and acquisition of the territory of northern France, and the capture and holding of Paris to enforce peace. The French idea, on the other hand, as you no doubt know, was of the advantage to be obtained by superior maneuvering, with a force that was to be kept in the background and thrown suddenly against a particular portion of a large body of troops, hoping to accomplish by maneuver an equalization of the unequal military forces and the manhood strength of the two nations. Both nations thought that the war would be fought in the open and on the plain. When the battle of the Marne was finally fought, and General Fochs cut through the center of the German line, the instant reply was an accident, which was on the part of the Germans to dig in, and hold the line until it could be reformed. And they dug in, and their adversaries dug in; and from that time until now on the western front we have had the perfectly new thing of trench warfare, which means a continuous line, continuously held, from one neutral country to the sea. That is all new.
“The use of air vessels, Zeppelins and aircraft of one kind and another, while not unforeseen and not undesigned, had developed in ways that were quite beyond the expectation of either general staff at the time the war began. War,' as Hiram Maxim once said, ' used to be fought in one dimension. It is now fought in four- on the earth, over the earth, under the earth, and under the sea.' So that the whole character of war has changed, as well as the size of the thing called war.
"Now, from that we have learned that if America ever does go if we ever come into a contest of that sort there must be a
coördination of the strength of this nation of a kind that we have never dreamed of heretofore, and for which I think it may be said we have never made any preparation and have never developed any particular fitness. We have, for instance, never had a plan by which the industries of the United States could be coördinated to sustain and maintain an army in the field. We have gone on the theory of individual and independent initiative; and all the combinations and coördinations which have been made industrially among us have been made not even secondarily with a view to the national defense or national service, but primarily and exclusively for the purpose of economizing in production and increasing the efficiency of the business operation for the benefit of the private capital invested. Now we are coming to see that no business is without its national aspect, and that every occupation and every trade is to some extent the occupation and trade of a soldier, and that if the major call ever comes, there must be an instant submersion of the individual in the public interest in the common interest — and that we must make plans beforehand in order that this mobilization of the industrial and commercial and individual forces of the nation can take place back of the firing line.
"The expenditures of munitions alone are illustrative of what is meant. In England it took more than a year, with all the willingness in the world, and with all the power in them, apparently, to give a really adequate use of their industrial machinery and plants to the production of the necessary materials for the defense of the country. France, I think, responded industrially somewhat more readily. Perhaps it was already somewhat farther advanced. Even in Germany, where the greatest preparation for such an event had apparently already been made, there was a great deal of delay before there was what that nation regarded as an adequate mobilization of the nation back of the forces in the army.
"The Mexican Border Army
"Now, with that thought in mind, we here in the United States have developed the theory of national defense, which involves, first, an enlargement of the regular army. That enlargement is to take place in five annual enlistments, and ultimately is to give us an army of perhaps 250,000 men. And there is to be an increase in the regular navy of the United States, which of course is the first line of national defense, which in a few years will give us a really adequate navy. Formulas for those things seem to have been worked out by the technicians and those who are acquainted with the necessities and requirements. In addition to that, we have federalized the National Guard somewhat, and the outcome of that is somewhat problematical, although I am able to say and it is wholly non-partisan that I have been delighted with the spirit of response of the men who have gone to the Mexican border in response to the call of the President. I do not want to be understood to say it in a complaining way, but merely as descriptive of a fact, that the troubles of the War Department have been about one to ninety-nine with the man on the border and the men who stayed at home. The men who have gone down on the border and they have
gone for a very real purpose, of protecting the life and property of the people of the country, and not in any sense for preparation or for any collateral purpose - have realized both the value of the service that they are rendering and the value of the training to themselves, and their spirit has been fine, and their service has been inspiring, and, in every way, so far as I have been able to judge on it, the experience has been one that they are glad to have. I have found some fathers, and some mothers, and some sweethearts, who were a good deal disturbed at the absence of their friends, and sons, and sweethearts, and I have been very deeply sympathetic with them. But the outlook for the federalized militia, judging by this one experience, seizing it suddenly and sending it into that uncongenial climate, shows that suitable soldiers for the national defense can be made from the National Guard. And, with respect to the experience with the men on the border, this other thing is shown and it is a credit to other people and certainly not to me that since 1898 the regular army of the United States has learned a great many things. The conditions as to food and sanitation and health among the soldiers on the border have been beyond reproach. And the credit for that is undoubtedly due to the General Staff of the regular army, which, as you know, was organized in response to the urgent request of Senator Root, and was the result of a very careful study by a very great man of the experience of armies the world over. "The Home Army
"Now, so much for the merely military end of it. But, if I have said anything, I have said enough to show that if we come to a major war in this country, the mere having of soldiers and the having of sailors will be no adequate response on the part of the nation. We must have this coördinated industrial civilization. For instance, when the militia. were called out this last time, I was very much surprised to find that among the members of the militia was a very large and substantial number of clerks in the War Department, so that at the very time when the administrative end of the army the War Department — was needed to work at maximum efficiency, a substantial number of highly experienced clerks were drawn off into the actual physical military service, thus weakening the administration at one end and strengthening it at the other. I found that a large number of men who were engaged in the Bureau of Standards, where they test the value of materials, were in the service. I found that inspectors of meats and foodstuffs generally who were very much needed to keep on inspecting, in order that the quality of the rations served to the men might be proper, were in the militia and were withdrawn. So that I had to take the bull by the horns and excuse from the service a very large number of persons whose duty, very obviously, and whose major usefulness, very obviously, was in another place. Now, one of the things that we must have in our preparedness one of the organization adjustments that we must make is to provide that men who are indispensable to the success of the army by reason of the things that they do at home, must, in the event of a call, be required to stay at home and do those things; and that the mobile forces of the nation must be drawn out of classes whose peacetime occupations may be suspended during the strain.
"But, in addition to that, there has gone on in this country now for something over a year a very definite movement towards industrial preparedness. I have no doubt many of you know what Mr. Howard S. Coffin and his associates have been doing. They have undertaken to deal with about thirty thousand manufacturers. They have made great, long inquisitorial lists of questions, and submitted them to the manufacturers, to find out whether their plants were adapted to the manufacture of anything that the government might need in time of stress or strain, and whether they would be willing to devote their plants to the manufacture of things for the government. In nearly every case where Mr. Coffin has sent one of those documents to the manufacturer and asked him whether he would be willing to enter into contractual relations with his government to make things needed in times of war, the answer has been 'No,' that he would not be willing to enter into a contract with the government; and the reason for it nearly always assigned is, I have had some experience with that, and having burnt my fingers once, I do not intend to put my hand in the fire any more.' I cite that to you for two reasons: in the first place, to show you that there was an obstacle to be overcome; and, in the second place, I do not mind saying as a sort of a running commentary on our methods of government that the trouble with a great many of our institutions in the United States is that we are so afraid that public men will be dishonest that we contravene them with laws enough to make them inefficient. We are afraid to trust public officials. Every time a public officer goes wrong, in city or nation, we rush to the legislative body to get some more red tape wound around to cover that particular place where he went wrong. And the consequence is that when an energetic and upright man comes into office he finds such a maze of statutorial restrictions, and such a maze of business detail attending every act that he undertakes to do, that he is rendered inefficient to be kept honest. And the effect of that on the outside is this, that when a manufacturer who ordinarily deals on the long-distance telephone or by the telegraph with his customer undertakes to deal with the Federal Government, he finds he has to tread his way through a maze of legal technicalities, and to spend enough to hire lawyers to give advice to keep him from breaking one of these statutues, and spend so much time while this red tape is wound and unwound, that he is afraid to deal with the government.
"One of the things that was necessary to do was to overcome that state of mind. Mr. Coffin, I think, has been largely able to do it by working out a plan whereby there would be a card catalogue kept in Washington for the guidance of the Council of National Defense which, as you may recall, by the National Defense Act is made to constitute five of the members of the Cabinet, and, under them, seven citizens at large throughout the United States of every manufacturing establishment in this country which has an annual output of as much as one hundred thousand dollars' worth of goods. The particular thing for which that factory is adapted in time of war will be noted in that catalogue. The arrangement will be made by a contract between the