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Portal Site for Russellian in Japan


(原著: Principles fo Social Reconstrucition, 1916)
chap.3: War as an institution

 最近に戦争の体験をもち,戦争というものがほとんどつねに,最初に予想されたより苦痛の多いものだと知るにいたった国民は,新しい世代が成長するまでは,戦争熱にうかされる可能性がはるかに少なくなる。戦争熱におけるこの合理性の要素は,戦争を望む政府やジャーナリストたちも心得ており,彼らが挑発したいと思う戦争のもつ危険性は,いつも最少限にいいふらすことにそれを見ることができよう。南アフリカ戦争の初期に,ウィリアム・バトラー卿(市井氏訳注: Sir William Butler, 1838-1910 は,イギリスの将軍でまた著述家。1899年英領・南アフリカの高等弁務官代理をしているとき,本文のような事情で解任され,中将以上に昇進しなかった)が解任された理由は,(南アフリカの)ボーア人の共和国を屈服させるためには,6万の兵力と3カ月の戦闘をもってしても十分ではなかろう,などと彼が示唆したことにあるのは明らかである。しかもその戦争が現実に長期間の苦戦にたっていった時,(イギリス)国民はその戦争をおっ始めた人間たちに背を向けたのだった。わたしは思うのだが,人間の営みで理性が果たす役割を過大に評価しないでも,次のような仮定はなしうるであろう。つまり国民中の正気の人間なら誰もが,敗戦の見透しが非常に強いことを了解しえた場合には,その国民はまず戦争熱にかからないだろう,という仮定である。・・・。

 But besides the irrational and instinctive element in the war fever, there is always also, if only as a liberator of primitive impulse, a certain amount of quasi-rational calculation and what is euphemistically called "thought." The war fever very seldom seizes a nation unless it believes that it will be victorious. Undoubtedly, under the influence of excitement, men over-estimate their chances of success; but there is some proportion between what is hoped and what a rational man would expect. Holland, though quite as humane as England, had no impulse to go to war on behalf of Belgium, because the likelihood of disaster was so obviously overwhelming. The London populace, if they had known how the war was going to develop, would not have rejoiced as they did on that August Bank Holiday long ago.
 A nation which has had a recent experience of war, and has come to know that a war is almost always more painful than it is expected to be at the outset, becomes much less liable to war fever until a new generation grows up. The element of rationality in war fever is recognized by Governments and journalists who desire war, as may be seen by their invariably minimizing the perils of a war which they wish to provoke. At the beginning of the South African War Sir William Butler was dismissed, apparently for suggesting that sixty thousand men and three months might not suffice to subdue the Boer Republics. And when the war proved long and difficult, the nation turned against those who had made it. We may assume. I think, without attributing too great a share to reason in human affairs. that a nation would not suffer from war fever in a case where every sane man could see that defeat was very probable.