The Disposition to Intervene
MOODS are more difficult to describe than motives. Psychologists have not yet established a recognized vocabulary for them, let alone a standard classification, and they say that the experimental material on which to base such a classification is still lacking. These difficulties are accentuated in the case of the military where evidence of mood is entirely lacking in all but a handful of cases.
In all instances, however, one element is always present-the consciousness of kind; the military is aware of its special and separate identity distinguishing it from civilian corporations. This self-consciousness, as we have seen, is rooted in and derives from the objective peculiarities of the military life.
In many cases all we can say is that to induce the mood to intervene, only two elements need be added to this self-awareness. The first is a sense of overwhelming power, the knowledge that, in the peculiar circumstances of that moment or that particular country, there is nothing that can prevent them having their own way. The second is some kind of grievance. These grievances or grudges may be some difference of opinion on political issues - for instance, the coups and counter-coups in Syria between 1949 and 1962 were partly due to differences of opinion on Syrian foreign policy. Equally, the grievances may be the emotional aspects of some or other of the motives we have listed - class resentment, regional grudges, ambition or pure predatoriness before a supine and helpless public. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the Thailand experience (8 coups, 7 constitutions since 1932) or the Iraqi coups of 1936-41 and that of 1958,1 or the history of many Latin American states,2 or____________________