Professor Charles Gray Shaw, of New York University, stated before one of his classes in philosophy that there was a new “will” typified in certain of our citizens, notably in President Wilson.
“The new psychology,” said Professor Shaw, “has discovered the new will—the will that turns inward upon the brain instead of passing out through hand or tongue. Wilson has this new will; the White House corroborates the results of the laboratory. To Roosevelt, Wilson seems weak and vacillating; but that is because T. R. knows nothing about the new will. T. R. has a primitive mind, but one of the most advanced type. In the T. R. brain, so to speak, will means set teeth, clenched fist, hunting, and rough riding.
“Wilson may be regarded as either creating the new volition or as having discovered it. At any rate, Wilson possesses and uses the new volition, and it remains to be seen whether the political world, at home and abroad, is ready for it. Here it is significant to observe that the Germans, who are psychologists, recognize the fact that a new and important function of the mind has been focused upon them.
“The Germans fear and respect the Wilson will of note writing more than they would have dreaded the T. R. will with its teeth and fists.”
As a psychologist Professor Shaw observed what we saw to be the effect in Germany, of Mr. Wilson’s will.
THE WILSON WILL
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The United States enters the greatest war in history at the psychological moment with a capable and determined president, a united nation and almost unlimited resources in men, money and munitions.
There is a tremendous difference between the situation in the United States and that in any other European country. During the two years I was in Europe I visited every nation at war except Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey. I saw conditions in the neutral countries of Holland, Denmark, Switzerland and Spain. The one big thing which impressed me upon my arrival in New York was that the United States, in contrast to all these countries, has, as yet, not been touched by the war. Americans are not living under the strain and worry which hang like dreadful dull clouds over every European power. In Switzerland the economic worries and the sufferings of the neighbouring belligerents have made the Swiss people feel that they are in the centre of the war itself. In France, although Paris is gay, although people smile (they have almost forgotten how to smile in Germany), although streets are crowded, and stores busy, the atmosphere is earnest and serious. Spain is torn by internal troubles. There is a great army of unemployed. The submarine war has destroyed many Spanish ships and interrupted Spanish trade with belligerents. Business houses are unable to obtain credit. German propaganda is sowing sedition