Nothing is of greater importance to national defense than the morale of those who do the actual work, the men who pump the petroleum, roll the steel, build the ships and planes. An ounce more of spirit along the assembly line is worth more than a correspondingly higher percentage of armaments in a clash of troops. This is because modern wars are won by industrial strength, a fact that we are almost tired of hearing repeated, but the truth of which we are observing with every passing month of the present war.
War industries require raw materials, trained leadership, and sufficient funds to support the costly effort. A nation needs all of these. But all depend for their success upon the efficiency and ardor of designers, foundrymen, and machinists. Do they put their minds and backs and hearts into their work? Or do they merely go through the motions?
Organized labor may be fitted into a war economy in one of several ways. The workers can be virtually enslaved, as in Poland, and forced to labor with armed sentries standing over them. This method has never proved very efficient. Another way, which Hitler and Mussolini are using, is to appeal to the emotions of patriotism, to work men into a frenzy which must then be sustained.