Total Posts:9|Showing Posts:1-9
Jump to topic:

Was there a "good" or "bad" side in WWI?

1dustpelt
Posts: 1,970
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/16/2014 8:30:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
WWI is unlike WWII, in which there were obvious good or bad sides in terms of morality.

Discuss.
Wall of LOL
"Infanticide is justified as long as the infants are below two" ~ RoyalPaladin
"Promoting female superiority is the only way to establish equality." ~ RoyalPaladin
"Jury trials should be banned. They're nothing more than opportunities for racists to destroy lives." ~ RoyalPaladin after the Zimmerman Trial.
Subutai
Posts: 3,223
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/16/2014 9:12:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/16/2014 8:30:58 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
WWI is unlike WWII, in which there were obvious good or bad sides in terms of morality.

Discuss.

No. It was just the result of the maze of diplomatic structures Europe had created over the course of its existence. Personally, Serbia was the only country not entirely in the wrong because of their cause, but at the same time, they were the cause of the war, making them arguably just as bad. The other countries were bound by diplomatic treaties to protect the other countries it was joined to by that treaty, the result of imperialism.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
YYW
Posts: 36,296
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/17/2014 1:46:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/16/2014 9:12:59 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 5/16/2014 8:30:58 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
WWI is unlike WWII, in which there were obvious good or bad sides in terms of morality.

Discuss.

No. It was just the result of the maze of diplomatic structures Europe had created over the course of its existence. Personally, Serbia was the only country not entirely in the wrong because of their cause, but at the same time, they were the cause of the war, making them arguably just as bad. The other countries were bound by diplomatic treaties to protect the other countries it was joined to by that treaty, the result of imperialism.

It was wrong for Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, when it was only a private citizen who assassinated Franz Ferdinand who was not acting on behalf of Serbia as a state. It was not wrong for Russia to come to Serbia's defense, because they were bound to do so by defense pact. Maybe the defense pact shouldn't have existed, but the only reason that the defense pact was a problem was because of Austria-Hungary's overreaction. Consistent with that principle, I hardly fault other countries for honoring defense agreements nor do I fault the defense agreements themselves. I fault only Austria-Hungary for it's unjustifiable overreach. Punitive measures (of various kinds) against the Black Hand would have been justified. Declaring war on the whole of Serbia was not.
Tsar of DDO
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/17/2014 1:55:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Every country that fought to liberate itself from the empire of Austria-Hungary was on the right side. This empire, alongside the Vatican State, was outright evil in its entire existence. Gavrilo Princip should be considered a hero for the Yugoslavs.
Subutai
Posts: 3,223
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/17/2014 2:17:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/17/2014 1:46:01 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/16/2014 9:12:59 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 5/16/2014 8:30:58 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
WWI is unlike WWII, in which there were obvious good or bad sides in terms of morality.

Discuss.

No. It was just the result of the maze of diplomatic structures Europe had created over the course of its existence. Personally, Serbia was the only country not entirely in the wrong because of their cause, but at the same time, they were the cause of the war, making them arguably just as bad. The other countries were bound by diplomatic treaties to protect the other countries it was joined to by that treaty, the result of imperialism.

It was wrong for Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, when it was only a private citizen who assassinated Franz Ferdinand who was not acting on behalf of Serbia as a state. It was not wrong for Russia to come to Serbia's defense, because they were bound to do so by defense pact. Maybe the defense pact shouldn't have existed, but the only reason that the defense pact was a problem was because of Austria-Hungary's overreaction. Consistent with that principle, I hardly fault other countries for honoring defense agreements nor do I fault the defense agreements themselves. I fault only Austria-Hungary for it's unjustifiable overreach. Punitive measures (of various kinds) against the Black Hand would have been justified. Declaring war on the whole of Serbia was not.

Interesting points, and I'm inclined to agree with you, and I'm not arguing that any country was in the right during the conflict, but you're forgetting that other Serbian officials were part of the assassination. Austria-Hungary saw a legitimate threat to themselves in their own empire, and thus reacted harshly. Overreacting, yes, but it was the standard in Europe at the time when faced with an internal crisis. I could give many examples of the savage repression of internal dissidents. And defense pacts were also the standard in Europe at the time (and for all of civilized time) as well, and thus fall because of the same moral and interventionist policies. And that's just my two cents. It probably doesn't have much political or historical validity, but I never see war as a good thing, especially when one goes into it for the sole reason of defense pacts and imperialistic concerns.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
YYW
Posts: 36,296
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/17/2014 2:24:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/17/2014 2:17:40 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 5/17/2014 1:46:01 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/16/2014 9:12:59 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 5/16/2014 8:30:58 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
WWI is unlike WWII, in which there were obvious good or bad sides in terms of morality.

Discuss.

No. It was just the result of the maze of diplomatic structures Europe had created over the course of its existence. Personally, Serbia was the only country not entirely in the wrong because of their cause, but at the same time, they were the cause of the war, making them arguably just as bad. The other countries were bound by diplomatic treaties to protect the other countries it was joined to by that treaty, the result of imperialism.

It was wrong for Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, when it was only a private citizen who assassinated Franz Ferdinand who was not acting on behalf of Serbia as a state. It was not wrong for Russia to come to Serbia's defense, because they were bound to do so by defense pact. Maybe the defense pact shouldn't have existed, but the only reason that the defense pact was a problem was because of Austria-Hungary's overreaction. Consistent with that principle, I hardly fault other countries for honoring defense agreements nor do I fault the defense agreements themselves. I fault only Austria-Hungary for it's unjustifiable overreach. Punitive measures (of various kinds) against the Black Hand would have been justified. Declaring war on the whole of Serbia was not.

Interesting points, and I'm inclined to agree with you, and I'm not arguing that any country was in the right during the conflict, but you're forgetting that other Serbian officials were part of the assassination.

Sure, but the assignation wasn't carried out "by" the state... meaning that there was no military or political leader who had the right to give such an order, that gave such an order. Insofar as it wasn't a state action, declaring war on Serbia as a state was an overreach.

Austria-Hungary saw a legitimate threat to themselves in their own empire, and thus reacted harshly.

I'm sure they did, but I think vengeance was the primary motivator there, more than anything else.

Overreacting, yes, but it was the standard in Europe at the time when faced with an internal crisis. I could give many examples of the savage repression of internal dissidents.

Of course, but unless those internal dissidents are acting on behalf of a state, holding the state accountable as a whole for the misgivings of its parts is too much.

And defense pacts were also the standard in Europe at the time (and for all of civilized time) as well, and thus fall because of the same moral and interventionist policies. And that's just my two cents. It probably doesn't have much political or historical validity, but I never see war as a good thing, especially when one goes into it for the sole reason of defense pacts and imperialistic concerns.

War is never a good thing, but if one must go to war, better to have allies than not.
Tsar of DDO
Subutai
Posts: 3,223
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/17/2014 2:33:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/17/2014 2:24:18 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/17/2014 2:17:40 PM, Subutai wrote:
Interesting points, and I'm inclined to agree with you, and I'm not arguing that any country was in the right during the conflict, but you're forgetting that other Serbian officials were part of the assassination.

Sure, but the assignation wasn't carried out "by" the state... meaning that there was no military or political leader who had the right to give such an order, that gave such an order. Insofar as it wasn't a state action, declaring war on Serbia as a state was an overreach.

We don't know if this was run and approved by the Serbian government, but it was much deeper than one private citizen, or even one radical group. The Black Hand simply took radical action, while the general populace would probably just use more implicit means. Regardless, Austria-Hungary would probably still have declared war.
Austria-Hungary saw a legitimate threat to themselves in their own empire, and thus reacted harshly.

I'm sure they did, but I think vengeance was the primary motivator there, more than anything else.

That's true, but vengeance can be used as a vehicle for fear. Of course, Austria-Hungary was a European country, so imperialism was big, so you make a good point.
Overreacting, yes, but it was the standard in Europe at the time when faced with an internal crisis. I could give many examples of the savage repression of internal dissidents.

Of course, but unless those internal dissidents are acting on behalf of a state, holding the state accountable as a whole for the misgivings of its parts is too much.


That doesn't really matter. Governments tend to magnify specific threats in internal dissidence to be the fault of the entire dissident group. For example, the entire south was widely blamed for Abraham Lincoln's assassination, even though John Wilkes Booth was arguably even more radical and without outside orders as The Black Hand was. The elimination of fear through whatever means is a natural reaction.
And defense pacts were also the standard in Europe at the time (and for all of civilized time) as well, and thus fall because of the same moral and interventionist policies. And that's just my two cents. It probably doesn't have much political or historical validity, but I never see war as a good thing, especially when one goes into it for the sole reason of defense pacts and imperialistic concerns.

War is never a good thing, but if one must go to war, better to have allies than not.

It's one thing to have allies who have a genuine stake in the war they are fighting in, but it's quite another to be forced into a war because an ally demands it.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
YYW
Posts: 36,296
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/17/2014 3:02:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/17/2014 2:33:05 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 5/17/2014 2:24:18 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/17/2014 2:17:40 PM, Subutai wrote:
Interesting points, and I'm inclined to agree with you, and I'm not arguing that any country was in the right during the conflict, but you're forgetting that other Serbian officials were part of the assassination.

Sure, but the assignation wasn't carried out "by" the state... meaning that there was no military or political leader who had the right to give such an order, that gave such an order. Insofar as it wasn't a state action, declaring war on Serbia as a state was an overreach.


We don't know if this was run and approved by the Serbian government, but it was much deeper than one private citizen, or even one radical group. The Black Hand simply took radical action, while the general populace would probably just use more implicit means. Regardless, Austria-Hungary would probably still have declared war.

We know for certain that there is no historical evidence that the Serbian government was complicit in, or ordered Principe's assassination. Unless there was concrete evidence linking the government to that, declaring war was unjustified.

Austria-Hungary saw a legitimate threat to themselves in their own empire, and thus reacted harshly.

I'm sure they did, but I think vengeance was the primary motivator there, more than anything else.


That's true, but vengeance can be used as a vehicle for fear. Of course, Austria-Hungary was a European country, so imperialism was big, so you make a good point.

Yeah, of course Austria-Hungary wanted to inspire fear... but are you saying that A-H's desire to cause fear vindicates their declaring war on Serbia?

Overreacting, yes, but it was the standard in Europe at the time when faced with an internal crisis. I could give many examples of the savage repression of internal dissidents.

Of course, but unless those internal dissidents are acting on behalf of a state, holding the state accountable as a whole for the misgivings of its parts is too much.


That doesn't really matter. Governments tend to magnify specific threats in internal dissidence to be the fault of the entire dissident group. For example, the entire south was widely blamed for Abraham Lincoln's assassination, even though John Wilkes Booth was arguably even more radical and without outside orders as The Black Hand was. The elimination of fear through whatever means is a natural reaction.

It actually does matter. War is something that states do among themselves, where the only side which is justified in participating in it is one done for defensive measures. Offensive war is never justified, and to the extent that offensive war is carried out against a state where there was no evidence connecting the state to some bad action, war is unjustified. Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia without evidence that Serbia, as a state, ordered or took part in Principe's assassination, so their doing so was unjustified. That governments tend to magnify the scope and extent of separatist threats to justify retaliatory war doesn't mean that retaliatory war is justified.

And defense pacts were also the standard in Europe at the time (and for all of civilized time) as well, and thus fall because of the same moral and interventionist policies. And that's just my two cents. It probably doesn't have much political or historical validity, but I never see war as a good thing, especially when one goes into it for the sole reason of defense pacts and imperialistic concerns.

War is never a good thing, but if one must go to war, better to have allies than not.

It's one thing to have allies who have a genuine stake in the war they are fighting in, but it's quite another to be forced into a war because an ally demands it.

If a country signs a defense pact and fails to uphold it, then they have not kept their word and undermined the integrity of every treaty/international agreement they have established. Just as people don't get to back out of contracts because that contract is inconvenient, so too do countries not get to back out of defense pacts because they don't want to get their hands dirty. But, I'd even go further and say that Russia had an acute interest in defending Serbia, which was the reason for the defense pact in the first place.
Tsar of DDO
Subutai
Posts: 3,223
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/17/2014 3:22:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/17/2014 3:02:47 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/17/2014 2:33:05 PM, Subutai wrote:
We don't know if this was run and approved by the Serbian government, but it was much deeper than one private citizen, or even one radical group. The Black Hand simply took radical action, while the general populace would probably just use more implicit means. Regardless, Austria-Hungary would probably still have declared war.

We know for certain that there is no historical evidence that the Serbian government was complicit in, or ordered Principe's assassination. Unless there was concrete evidence linking the government to that, declaring war was unjustified.

While that's true, it's rather certain that the government knew of the Black Hand's activities, and that officials were either scared to react to it, or silently agreed with it. Regardless, again, Austria-Hungary would probably still have declared war.
That's true, but vengeance can be used as a vehicle for fear. Of course, Austria-Hungary was a European country, so imperialism was big, so you make a good point.

Yeah, of course Austria-Hungary wanted to inspire fear... but are you saying that A-H's desire to cause fear vindicates their declaring war on Serbia?


No, I mean Austria-Hungary was afraid of Serbia and its loss. This inspired vengeance in Austria-Hungary to alleviate that fear. So no, I am not saying that in the least.
That doesn't really matter. Governments tend to magnify specific threats in internal dissidence to be the fault of the entire dissident group. For example, the entire south was widely blamed for Abraham Lincoln's assassination, even though John Wilkes Booth was arguably even more radical and without outside orders as The Black Hand was. The elimination of fear through whatever means is a natural reaction.

It actually does matter. War is something that states do among themselves, where the only side which is justified in participating in it is one done for defensive measures. Offensive war is never justified, and to the extent that offensive war is carried out against a state where there was no evidence connecting the state to some bad action, war is unjustified. Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia without evidence that Serbia, as a state, ordered or took part in Principe's assassination, so their doing so was unjustified. That governments tend to magnify the scope and extent of separatist threats to justify retaliatory war doesn't mean that retaliatory war is justified.

I want to emphasize specifically what you said here - "That governments tend to magnify the scope and extent of separatist threats to justify retaliatory war doesn't mean that retaliatory war is justified." I'm fully aware of that, and I think you're missing my point. My point is that none of the countries involved in WWI were justified, and this includes Serbia. Principe's assassination was just the spark that lit the power keg that was Serbia's desire for independence. Serbia unnecessarily provoked Austria-Hungary.
It's one thing to have allies who have a genuine stake in the war they are fighting in, but it's quite another to be forced into a war because an ally demands it.

If a country signs a defense pact and fails to uphold it, then they have not kept their word and undermined the integrity of every treaty/international agreement they have established. Just as people don't get to back out of contracts because that contract is inconvenient, so too do countries not get to back out of defense pacts because they don't want to get their hands dirty. But, I'd even go further and say that Russia had an acute interest in defending Serbia, which was the reason for the defense pact in the first place.

And that's the problem with defense pacts to begin with. I understand that once a defense pact is signed, countries are obliged to protect the countries they are forced to protect by the treaty if they are in danger, but it was the fault of the countries that made the defense pact to begin with. Sure, countries are justified in protecting countries it is bound to protect by a defense pact, but that doesn't make the defense pactipso factojustified.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.