RE: Subject: Re: Bye-Bye to the >H Right Wing --> WW IV?

From: pchaston (
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 10:19:48 MST

Mike Lorrey wrote:

> At its core, all world wars have been over which is superior: lies
> versus truth. First you had the imperialism lie versus the human liberty
> truth, second you had the racism lie versus the humanism truth, thirdly
> you had the socialism lie versus the free market truth, and finally you
> have the lie of religion versus the truth of reason, science, and
> technology.

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.

> 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.

> 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. This is true whether you are talking about
> fundamentalist muslims, christian fundamentalists, or fanatical
> eco-terrorists and anti-tech luddites. All of these seek to impose some
> great lie on the world, and to stamp out the voice of reason which
> illuminates the emptiness of their lies.

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?

Philip Chaston


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