FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, VARIOUS DANGERS HAVE THREATENED THE CIVILIZATIONS MAN HAS BUILT, the peril was always potentially there, but when would it eventually strike? There would be deceptively peaceful periods, lengthening out from weeks into years. The anticipated danger seemed to come no closer until people would doubt that danger really existed. People are always far too ready to close their minds to anything which they don’t want to believe, anything which upsets their peace of mind.
As the years of peace are lengthened out, fewer and fewer people would admit the possibility of another war, preparedness would slacken. The nations would become less and less able to meet the peril when it actually occurred. Even those who could see the danger still had to give their major attention to the day-by-day affairs of life. They had to appoint watchmen to maintain vigilance for the whole community, and give warning upon the approach of imminent danger.
The watchman’s task has always been a thankless one. There are treacherous fifth column elements, which are really working for the defeat of the nation, at the hands of its enemies. These subversive elements readily gain and hold the public’s ear, because they soothingly tell the people what they want to hear. Go back to sleep, no danger can come, and there is nothing you can do.