Intellectual circles, writers, artists, academics, philosophers and scientists in particular saw the war as a solution to many of the problems confronting the Monarchy. They regarded the call to arms as a catharsis, a purifying force, and an opportunity to escape from the despised and weary pre-war world with its seemingly insoluble social and national conflicts.
The war was seen as the start of a new and better world, free of decadence, utilitarianism and alienation, a fresh wind that would help to overcome traditional and unjust social systems. There were also many scientists who welcomed the outbreak of war not least for social Darwinist reasons. This idea of war as the “great catharsis” was widespread particularly among doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, who anticipated a positive therapeutic effect to counter the pre-war neurosis that they claimed to observe.