WWII Reflection

Discussion in 'History' started by TheHorror, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. TheHorror Registered Senior Member

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    Looking back on the Second World War in which he had participated, a British historian argued that the war had a “great and central equivocation…: on the one side, it was a fight against tyranny and racism. That is how the peoples, increasingly, saw and fought it. On the other side, it was a fight to preserve the interests of powers and potentates. And this is how crucially important leaders and governments saw and fought it. Much sorrow and defeat was to come from this equivocation….” Basil Davidson, Scenes from the Anti-Nazi War (New York, Monthly Review Press, 1980), pp. 17-18. What are your thoughts?
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    While many think that way and I agree somewhat with that, I still think there was more economic pressures that really was behind WW2. Japan was being blockaded by the US so as not to sell their goods to others that America already did, Germany wanted also better trade rights to sell their goods as well to more European nations but were not allowed to by high tariffs imposed upon them. The world was also coming out of a economic depression and a war was a perfect storm to help boost the economies of everyone.
     
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  5. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    For better or worse a major motivation for both Japan and Germany was (what we call these days) outright racism.

    Germany (the Nazi) wanted to dominate Europe to get rid of the Jews and to reduce the Slavic populations of Eastern Europe to slavery, making room for German population expansion.

    Japan wanted to dominate East Asia, expanding on what it had already done in Korea and was in the process of doing in China. American policy was aimed at stopping this process.
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    And what a rousing success it was. We helped Europe get rid of Hitler... and they got Stalin. We helped Asia get rid of Tojo... and they got Mao. The killing, ethnic cleansing and imperialism continued. "Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss."

    War is a classic illustration of the Rule of Unintended Consequences: "You can never do just one thing."
     
  8. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Stalin died and the Soviet Union and communism died. For all its shortcomings, the post WWII Europe was a lot better off than under Hitler, particularly France, Italy, West Germany, Austria, etc.

    As for Mao in China, the alternative was a corrupt Nationalist government.

    General comment: It is very difficult for United States or anyone else to install a government which is corrupt, when the alternative gives the impression it is not. Examples: South Vietnam and Afghanistan.
     
  9. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    He who fights with monsters for too long, should take care to not become a monster...
     
  10. TheHorror Registered Senior Member

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    Wouldn't economic motivations pertain to the potentate's interests? Anyways, I was away for a while but now I'm back. I was interested in discussing the connection between Auschwitz and the ‘Final Solution’ from 1944-’45 and the first observation by Davidson, I posted earlier.
     
  11. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    I am not sure what "potentates" you are referring to. However, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were motivated by desire for power and ideology. None of them seemed to be motivated by economic considerations.
     
  12. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    I think it noteworthy that a lot of the Japanese motivation, and to a large extent the German motivation was a sheer need for land and resources. The Germans also wanted to re-unify themselves after the treaty of Versailles, incorperating parts of Poland and Austria. Then the both of them found a great mutual need in the creation of empire.
    The Germans had largely modelled themselves on the British upper and middle classes and tried to get Britain to accept the reich peacably, without success many times.
    I think also that the Japanese were suffering from some kind of collective inferiority complex, which I think is why they treated conquored peoples so abysmally.
    The Propoganda machine here and in the US painted it as a picture of good v evil, but it was a lot more complex than that. However, it would have been more difficult to focus on if the subtleties had been more to the fore I think.
     
  13. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I doubt if anyone would disagree that there were certainly complex issues and subtleties involved. But regardless of all that, when you get right down to the brass tacks, their actions toward other nations were most DEFINITELY evil !!
     
  14. tantalus Registered Senior Member

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    The Japnese desird to carve out there own empire such as the western nations had over the previous century. They were the local native power and through nationalism and pride wanted to dominate their own geographical area, english and american interests and presence in southeast asia were with in their domain as far as they were concerned and was blocking their economic expansion in their own yard.
    Germany were driven by Hitler's ideologies, he achieved power in part due to the economic woes but the war in Europe occured largely due to the motives of one man, while most of his motivations are now well known, the driving factor and the key reason he continuely received support was nationalistic pride. Germany was receiving appeasement after all, hitler chose war instead, he wanted a german empire.

    The reality is indeed complex but I would state that the most important factor was nationalism which resulted in belief of superiority, and the desire for an empire, While economic reasons were important, I list them as being under the nationalistic umbrella because countries can solve, compete and find there own space in economic competition without war, Hitler and Japan chose otherwise because of their misguided views regarding the meaning of nationalism, an umbrella which they used to justify their motivation to pursue domination over others economically, racially and ideologically, thus most of the reasons fall under the umbrella of nationalistic pride, nationalism gone way too far imo.
     
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    And the circle closes in again, how true your words.
     
  16. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    The U.S fought two ultra nationalistic, industrial-militaristic powers and then became one. The only reason there was an end to world war and the ultimate destination of macro politics, is the nuclear bomb was invented. We owe the few remaining (and shrinking) modern liberties to the nuclear bomb and nothing else. New Technology however, will take it away completely.
     
  17. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    I think we have more to fear in the long run from China and terrorists than New Technology.
     

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