14 THE CLASS STRUGGLE public by the instruments of publicity, all of which are in the hands of the government group. These have heretofore been the press, the pulpit and the speeches of statesmen and politicians. To them the British government at least has added during the course of the war, a systematic campaign by means of ldnemas, newspaper advertising, and billboards, calling to its aid all the devices of commercial advertising and placing at the head of the advertising department a recognized expert in such matters. All of these instruments are bound up with the dominant mores and they all repeat formulae familiar to the popular mind by constant repetition, they are in fact the formulae upon which the dominant class psychologically depends and constitute the prosperity basis of that class. So that in any controversy the government group has a practically insuperable advantage. It can undertake its campaign of developing public opinion with full control of those instruments which are the approved and most effective manipulators and educators of public opinion.
If, in addition to the sentimental use of the catchwords, it can be made to appear that as a matter of fact the means of livelihood of the masses is at stake the response is mtural, immediate and almost automatic. Thus the reiterated statement that defeat would necessitate the adoption of the German system of a strong centralized control over labor does not fail of a profound influence upon British organized labor which is accustomed to greater freedom of action and to gaining ground by its own exertions. Since the war itself necessitates regulation by the government, which is resented by organized labor, the government declares that such regulation is due solely to the war and will cease at the victorious termination of hostilities. The masses of organized labor see in the war there fore an interference with their maintenance mores. They are thus all the more eager to terminate the conflict and are ready to assist the dominant class to that end. The very losses and suffering of the working class thus tend to the strengthening of public opinion in favor of the continuance of the war to the victory point, even though such victory should in its es sence make only for the advantage of the governing class.
WAR AND PUBLIC OPINION 15 The failure of the Australians to endorse conscription is perhaps due to the fact that the Australian working people could not discover any real gain to them in the measure. There is no doubt that essentially the Australian people is in favor of the prosecution of the war and is a unit with the mother land in desiring victory for the British arms. Hence in response to a sentimental appeal the Australians have been ready enough to enlist voluntarily but they do not appear to have been sufficiently impressed with the urgency of the situation to abandon a system which allowed them to boast that they were no damned conscripts.
As militarism is promoted by catchwords and the manipulation of public opinion, its prevention must be sought ultimately in the development of a public opinion opposed to war and not in the placing of mere artificial legal obstacles in the path of war. No legal fence can be made to stand between a dominant class and its aim to extend its wealth and power. Such a fence will either he climbed or broken down. tribe disadvantageously placed will take any risk to extend its hunting grounds or pasturage. Modern transportation abolishes the restrictions of tribal life but the dominant class in a national group may, as we have seen in the recent case of Germany, consider its opportunities to be restricted. By virtue of its control of the instruments for moving public opinion, it will persuade the masses that their opportunities are likewise restricted and that war is therefore necessary.
The mere fact of the suffering entailed upon such large masses by the present war may in itself tend to produce a reaction against the old catchwords, and even their abuse in recent months may destroy their validity. desire for internationalism may take the place of the present restricted patriotism which lends itself so readily to exploitation by the govemmental group. But this tendency toward internationalism and this groping for a wider and deeper human association must rise among the masses themselves for it will never spring from those who control and manipulate politics. But against it all the manipulations of public opinion and skilful advertising of catohwords would be vain.