From the editorial page of The Mountain Trail, the newspaper of Highlands School, published April 10, 1942. The editorial is signed “Editor,” so it was likely written by Barak Wright, editor-in-chief, but the paper had an assistant editor, Herbert Paul.
Today in the present world struggle which envelops the entire world, the morale of a fighting people is the direct key to victory or defeat. The conditions and feelings of the people play a principle role in all major conflicts. One of the enemies most effective weapons, if successfully administered, is the destruction of its opponent’s morale. The demoralization of troops or their countrymen at home results in the disintegration of its organizations and almost certain capitulation. On the other hand, if the armed forces and the people behind them have a high morale, their ability to fight longer and with a more concerted effort is lifted to its maximum performance.
In this war which has been raging for over two years, one can observe the decided influence of morale on the course of the conflict. The bravest of men at the front and a stout-hearted population, who develop a distrust in capable military leaders and who are governed by a corrupt government, cannot long withstand a determined and united enemy, although the forces be equal in strength. On the reverse side of the picture, however, a nation possessing a military personnel and the mas of people who have complete faith in their governmental set-up and military strategists are, to a great extent, invincible, provided the forces are numerically equal. Such a combination can herald victories and withstand their reverses with renewed vigor. Thus, morale is necessary to the very basis of any government. The primary objective of the ruling power is to gain the confidence and support of its subjects. Without these two factors which constitute morale any organization that depends on its members for its authority is invariably unstable.