The Great Illusion: A Study of the Relation of Military Power in Nations to Their Economic and Social Advantage

Front Cover
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1911 - 407 pages

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - - LibraryThing

Another 100 years passed and we still don't get it... Worth to read. Even if you don't agree - you will be in a good company as Mahan has called an earlier version a 'fundamental mistake'. Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 220 - We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort ; the man who never wrongs his neighbor ; who is prompt to help a friend ; but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life.
Page 399 - If any of the provinces of the British empire cannot be made to contribute towards the support of the whole empire, it is surely time that Great Britain should free herself from the expense of defending those provinces in time of war, and of supporting any part of their civil or : military establishments in time of peace, and ,' endeavour to accommodate her future views/ and designs to the real mediocrity of her circumstances.
Page 171 - The weakness of so much merely negative criticism is evident pacificism makes no converts from the military party. The military party denies neither the bestiality nor the horror, nor the expense ; it only says that these things tell but half the story. It only says that war is worth them ; that, taking human nature as a whole, its wars are its best protection against its weaker and more cowardly self, and that mankind cannot afford to adopt a peace-economy.
Page 400 - To propose that Great Britain should voluntarily give up all authority over her colonies, and leave them to elect their own magistrates, to enact their own laws, and to make peace and war as they might think proper, would be to propose such a measure as never was and never will be adopted by any nation in the world.
Page 164 - Krieges," by SR Steinmetz, is a good example. War, according to this author, is an ordeal instituted by God, who weighs the nations in its balance. It is the essential form of the state, and the only function in which peoples can employ all their powers at once and convergently. No victory is possible save as the resultant of a totality of virtues, no defeat for which some vice or weakness is not responsible. Fidelity, cohesiveness, tenacity, heroism, conscience, education, inventiveness, economy,...
Page 311 - Burke's country in like manner. I assaulted a castle ' where the garrison surrendered. I put them to the ' misericordia of my soldiers. They were all slain. Thence ' I went on, sparing none which came in my way, which ' cruelty did so amaze their followers that they could ' not tell where to bestow themselves.
Page 43 - Therefore, a prudent ruler ought not to keep faith when by so doing it would be against his interest, and when the reasons which made him bind himself no longer exist. If men were all good, this precept would not be a good one; but as they are bad, and would not observe their faith with you, so you are not bound to keep faith with them.
Page 63 - If Germany were extinguished to-morrow, the day after to-morrow there is not an Englishman in the world who would not be the richer. Nations have fought for years over a city or a right of succession ; must they not fight for two hundred and fifty million pounds of yearly commerce...

Bibliographic information