26 JULY 1940, Page 15

THE MORAL FACTOR Sat,—I am glad that you stressed in

last week's issue the paramount importance of the moral factor in this war—because that is the key note of " total " war. The dominant note before the war and now, both at home and abroad, has been the feeling of frustration—in pol:zical, economic and social matters—and this has powerfully helped the successes of Nazism, which attempts a short tit to achievement. The Nazis well understand that the secret of fulfilment is to have sinl ?le, clear objectives and then to utilise all resources to attain the .1. To combat them it is not enough to proclaim a static defence of ..ertain ideals of liberty ; events of the past months dettrly abate tha the passive non-fulfilment of our widely accepted principles Cities not inspire the morale of peoples to resist effectively the fulfilment of Nia2i ideas, however unacceptable the underlying principles. Liberty wh:ch is, in essence, the absence of-frustration and the possibility of fulfilment, does not now inspire the spirit of peoples, unless it means not only preservation but also creation.

The feeling of frustration in this country is dangerous in that here— as elsewhere—it is the root cause of the Fifth Column. Though much of the more obvious frustration has been removed, subtler forms remain and are even growing. The people need simple, dear and positive objectives and results—above all, they need assurance that procedure is not treated as more important than objectives. It is not enough to reiterate general aims: confidence in fulfilment will grow if past failures are frankly admitted as due to lack of vision and single-mindedness of approach and not always to force of cir- cumstances and errors of procedure. The people must feel that there is- no contradiction in precepts and practice and that those who call for effort and sacrifices or have to administer drastic measures really do understand the fundamental issues and underlying principles. It is not enough to ask that all should "go to it "—it is equally important to see that the will to creative effori is not frustrated or confused. Low-grade vigorous energy a no substitute for high-grade frustration, for it breeds complacent wishful thinking and suppressed disillusion—a fruit- ful basis for the unconscious Fifth Columnist, and therefore dangerous. At this critical juicture the nature of the psychological appeal is of the utmost importance Total will and ability to fight can be secured by the urge to create and rebuild and not only to preserve a system or structure: our aim must be to preserve the underlying principles but to seek fulfilment in creating something new. If this is to satisfy the spirit here and stir up imprisoned Europe, it must be as great a change in economic and social appeals as the Communist or Nazi revolutions have been ; half measures based on fear that this or that proposal may be dubbed " Bolshevism" or Fascism" are useless, because they. are the expression of sub-conscious fear of the • revolutionary spirit which alone can rescue Europe, and of the secret hope that revolution may be avoided. But this means acquiescence— and an acquiescent Europe in Hitler's victory.

• 16 Ilammerseasith Terrace, London, W. 6. M. ZVEGINTZOV.