Societies in which orders are effective; Societies in which they are not

  • Shoichi Watanabe


During the Korean war the Chinese armies came to the aid of the North Koreans, and in order to hit at Mao Tse-Tung’s bases, General of the Army Douglas Mac Arthur insisted on bombing Manchuria (in northeastern China) and blockading the China Sea coast. He also advocated the use of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Army from Taiwan. President Truman feared that this plan would turn a localised conflict into global war and tried to dissuade him. He went out to Wake Island to discuss this with MacArthur. MacArthur did not want to listen; whereupon Truman dismissed him and made Lt-General Ridgeway Supreme Commander. Japanese who had known the Japanese Army in pre-war days saw with their own eyes how thoroughly effective orders were in America and they could not help thinking, with a feeling of respect, ‘Well, they certainly do things differently in America!’ In pre-war days the Japanese Government had undergone many painful and humiliating experiences as a result of the disobedience of the military.


Central Government Prime Minister Field Officer General Staff Village Elder 
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Copyright information

© Kodansha 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shoichi Watanabe
    • 1
  1. 1.Sophia UniversityTokyoJapan

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