chapter  11
11 Pages

On the Peaceful Disposition of Military Dictators

WithStanislav Andreski

The idea that strategic intentions as well as military performance depend on factors subsumed under the headings of culture and society is not new. In the ancient Chinese political thinkers people repeatedly find the idea that great inequalities of wealth adversely affect military strength. In contrast to what is suggested by the confused use of the term ‘militarism’, perhaps the most striking peculiarity of military dictatorships is that their emergence and existence have little connection with the exercise of the specifically military function: the waging of or preparation for war. The corrosive effects of the factors upon the battle worthiness of an army are relatively mild in comparison with the impact of struggles for power in its midst. Patriotic propaganda, stressing brotherhood within the nation, may enhance the army’s performance in a war but tends to lessen its willingness and dependability as an instrument against fellow-citizens.