By Masao Maruyama
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Additional resources for Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics (Acls History E-Book Project Reprint Series)
The demand for democracy that grew widespread- after the First World War was simultaneously and rapidly radicalized under the influence of the Russian Revolution. Labour and tenancy disputes suddenly rose to prominence owing to radical changes in the business cycle. It was against this background that -movements for resisting 'bolshevization' emerged one after another in the period until 1925. In 1918, for example, the Taisho Sincerity League and the Imperial Way Principles AssQciation were set up.
Here we see another aspect of the outlook of the Mombu Shc3 officials, those high priests of Japanese 'education'. 9 Now, at the same time that morality was being transformed into power, power was continuously being counteracted by • The W tV' of the Subject. Theory and Psychology of Ultra-Nationalism I I mo-ral considerations. Japanese politicians have never yet given vent to any open declarations of Machiavellism, nor have they ever (like some of their -Western counterparts) boasted about resolutely trampling on petit-bourgeois morality.
T-his phenomenon, which we may term the diminutiveness of power or 'power dwarfing' ,- does not apply to political power alone, but characterizes every type of control that operates with the State as its background. The ill-treatment of Allied prisoners during the Second World War provides a good example. s, one is struck by the way in which almost all the Japanese defendants emphasized that they had worked to-improve conditions in the camps. Of course these men were on trial and wanted to save their own skins.