From: Mike Lorrey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 11:32:36 MST
> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > At its core, all world wars have been over which is superior: lies
> > versus truth.
> Which historical texts describe the First World War as a history of
> imperialism vs. human liberty? Fact: The predominant powers involved all
> held territories and colonies that were viewed by participants at the time
> as imperial structures. The powers that fought each other included the
> British Empire, the German Empire, the Russian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian
> Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Japanese Empire. The First World War was
> not a conflict against imperialism; it was a war between empires and
> nations. If you want to simplify such a complex history, you might view it
> as a battle between empire and nation, within its European context.
But did imperialism survive WWI? Not really, and Wilson's lobbying and
public speaking pretty much killed the whole concept at wars end and
following. The carnage produced by the war between imperialists
convinced enough people that imperialism was a dumb idea, and the fact
that the US was needed to end the war helped put the nails in the
Wilson began the movement for internation recognition of human rights as
something beyond the ability or right of governments to oppress. That it
took till the end of WWII for this to come to fruition is only proof of
the maxim that who wins wars is really only decided by the next war.
> > Countries would not go to war against each other if one side or the
> > other were not lying about their point of view.
> If you wish to view a war in terms of the ideologies expressed by the
> participants, how do you distinguish between their ideas and the propaganda
> created in support of their point of view? Propaganda is a natural tool of
> any nation at war and all sides lie about their intentions and their goals.
> At least, any country at war has done this so far.
Propaganda, per se, is not always a lie. There are two forms of
propaganda: information and disinformation. One is truth, the other is
> > In this faith versus reason war, you have various faiths: in god, in
> > power, in a romantic vision of some arcadian or andelusian period, a
> > golden age in the past. snip...
> If you wish to view history through this construct of faith versus reason
> (and it is not an interpretation that appears to have a great deal of
> explanatory force), then surely you should note that one of the greatest
> vehicles of faith since 1789 has been nationalism. Faith in one's nation has
> been the motive for evil atrocities up to and including genocide. Would you
> add the nationalist to your list?
Yes. However, nationalism being wrong and false does not mean that
everything it involves is automatically false (just as a KKK member can
still tell the truth when he says the sky is blue). Objectively ranking
one form of polity as objectively better than another is significantly
different from having blind faith in one's nation, right or wrong.
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