In war, the moral is to the physical as three is to one.Napoleon Bonaparte
It is said that victory in war goes to the bigger battalions. But Napoleon, who was a master in the art of war, disagreed. He suggested that moral factors were more important than numbers. And what are moral factors? According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the moral is “concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.”
How can principles of right and wrong behavior effect the outcome of a battle? War is an exacting business, full of danger and hardship. Under such conditions, honor and integrity are highly prized. Also, a belief in the rightness of one’s cause strengthens a country’s will to resist. Napoleon pointed out that, “Victory belongs to the most persevering.” He added, “The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second….”
Consider, now, the possibility of a new kind of warfare in which an enemy, instead of launching a direct attack by armies and navies, attacks a country’s moral foundations — its moral character, its moral discipline, its heroes and its founding philosophy. Imagine an attack that seeks to “demoralize” a country on this basis; that is to say, strip it of all those moralizing factors that are — as Napoleon said — “as three is to one.”
Here is the most effective way to weaken an enemy in advance of open warfare. This is not simply a theory, but an historical reality. Think of all the subtle ways America’s moral strength has been sapped. The communists and their political allies on the “progressive” left have not only attacked traditional morality, but they have offered up a false morality, a morality that celebrates cultural and sexual suicide. They have crippled marriage as an institution. They have corrupted the courts. They have removed corporal punishment from the schools. (Then again, would you trust today’s teachers to administer discipline in loco parentis?) A wave of rule breaking now coincides with a regime of unprecedented permissiveness. Contracts are not held sacred, honesty is no longer prized as it once was. Employees steal from their employers. Good manners are gone as entertainers commit violent assaults after which they are given awards and standing ovations. In Washington, D.C., the laws are enforced against one party and not another. This is the malaise that grips all Western countries, and it is no accident.
The worldwide communist movement stands at the center of our demoralization. The communists advocate a new kind of morality, which has little regard for honesty, respect for property, family, God or country. Their new morality is anti-racism, universal equality, concern for “the planet,” the championing of sexual deviancy, abortion tending toward infanticide, the redistribution of wealth, and unilateral American disarmament. If someone disagrees with these new ideals, they are trash. And as the left’s revolution advances, the trash is “taken out.”
Through all the confusing rhetoric and mock moralizing about race and gender, we must never lose sight of the communist bloc’s military end-game. There is a strategic method at work behind the communist attack on our morality. If you demoralize a country prior to war, victory is made easier. Therefore, morality in the West has not been attacked for its own sake. It was attacked to smooth the path to victory for the world’s largest country (Russia) and the world’s most populous country (China). What almost nobody has grasped is that these two countries are working together; and they have been working together for a long time with a communist fifth column.
We also find several smaller countries working with Russia and China that are also heavily armed — like North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Angola, Congo, Syria and Iran. Consider, as well, mineral-rich South Africa. The communist bloc is dominant in strategic minerals, oil, natural gas, fertilizer, and nuclear weapons. Yet none of these resources matter if there are no operative moral factors.
The moral decline of a people may be traced out in the moral decline of its leaders. If the United States Congress, once described by Mark Twain as America’s “distinctly native … criminal class,” is now so demoralized that it is as likely to pass laws to destroy the country as to defend it, then what kind of people have we become? Anyone who thinks this is an exaggeration need only look at the House majority’s readiness to let our nuclear deterrent collapse for want of appropriate funding, or the federal government’s disregard for border security.
This may be a simplification, as many factors were at work, but: – Within our very souls, our spiritual flanks were turned long ago; for the real war has been raging in the human heart and mind. This is the war we have been losing, the war that plays out prior to the advent of tanks and jets and missiles and nuclear bombs. We have opened a causeway into pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth. The dark side of human nature is always evident during a period of decline, during a period of materialism. Think of what a little pink worm will do on a warm day with a cold carcass.
The war that has begun in Eastern Europe has surprised many observers. But the greatest surprise is the fighting spirit of the Ukrainians, who partake of moral factors that the Russian side lacks. One hears the moralizing of Americans who say that Russian prisoners have been murdered or tortured by the Ukrainian side. Such incidents, as regrettable as they are, and as inexcusable, do not unmake the larger moral ledger. Ukraine is fighting for her existence. And this is the same moral position occupied by Finland during the Winter War, or Britain during the blitz, or the Russians from 1941-1943.
“In war,” said Napoleon, “the moral is to the physical as three is to one.” The so-called miracle of Ukraine’s defense against Russia is not a function of Russian incompetence. The so-called miracle in Ukraine is a function of moral factors which lie at the root of the Euromaidan Revolution of 2014.
I have said before that the Russians, if they persevere, will probably break the Ukrainian defense when the ground is dry. Yet Russia must now endure a war of attrition for eight to ten weeks. Does the Russian Army possess the stamina for this? Does Russia possess the necessary moral factors? Despite all that we have heard on television, the Russian troops might prove more resilient than we imagine. Only time will tell. The most important and frequently used method in war, said Carl von Clausewitz, “is to wear down the enemy. That expression is more than a label; it describes the process precisely, and is not so metaphorical as it may seem at first. Wearing down the enemy in a conflict means using the duration of the war to bring about a gradual exhaustion of his physical and moral resistance.” [Book One, Chapter Two]
Only time will tell.
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