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Did the Versailles Treaty cause WW2?

Idealist
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5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?
suttichart.denpruektham
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5/29/2014 2:27:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

actually I think the action that alienate Japan from the US dated as far back to the Russo-Japanese War when Roosevelt choose to help the Russian in diplomatic negotiation and left the Japanese with only half the islands they are having the dispute with the Russian, and no reparation at all. From there onward, Japanese public opinion had became very suspicious of the US and the white man in general in their attitude toward the an Asian race (read Japanese race).

As for the German, Versailles Treaty might give birth to Hitler attitude and turn many of the German public toward the nationalist cause. However I believe it's the Great Depression that truly give him a chance to be in power and instigate a war . Like all socialists leader, he can only rise to power when strong evidences are presented that the "current" capitalism had failed. And the Wallstreet Crash just gave him that chance.
Idealist
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5/29/2014 6:32:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/29/2014 2:27:16 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

actually I think the action that alienate Japan from the US dated as far back to the Russo-Japanese War when Roosevelt choose to help the Russian in diplomatic negotiation and left the Japanese with only half the islands they are having the dispute with the Russian, and no reparation at all. From there onward, Japanese public opinion had became very suspicious of the US and the white man in general in their attitude toward the an Asian race (read Japanese race).

What I'm exploring is the fact that Japan was invited to be part of the political process at Versailles, and yet were totally ignored once they accepted and traveled there. The Japanese tried to add a clause which would lead to racial equality, but all the Western powers refused to sign. The Japanese diplomats left the conference feeling very slighted, and with the idea that they would never be welcomed into the new world order, especially since the supposed superiority of white people were the greatest defense of colonialism at the time. Not being white, the Japanese assumed they would never be allowed to establish colonies.

As for the German, Versailles Treaty might give birth to Hitler attitude and turn many of the German public toward the nationalist cause. However I believe it's the Great Depression that truly give him a chance to be in power and instigate a war . Like all socialists leader, he can only rise to power when strong evidences are presented that the "current" capitalism had failed. And the Wallstreet Crash just gave him that chance.

I don't think there is any doubt that the treaty was unfair. The Allies (mostly Britain and France) gave Germany an ultimatum that unless they signed then they would cross the Rhine within twenty-four hours and invade Germany. President Wilson tried to soften the wording and impact of the treaty, but since America only entered the war toward the end they weren't given as much say on the conditions of surrender. I agree with you that the real cause of Hitler's success was the Great Depression. Not many people seem to get that. The German economy was actually recovering until that happened. I can't help but wonder, though - if the Versailles Treaty had contained that clause about racial equality then would Hitler have been branded a racist a lot sooner than he was?
Volkov
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5/30/2014 2:11:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1?

Uh, I wouldn't say "forced," but I would say the circumstances were certainly created by the Allies for WW2 to happen, alongside some other unfortunate events. No one "forced" Germans into the path they chose, however - unless you consider Hitler, though I suppose that depends on your view on whether he was a product of the times or the man selling the product.

Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US?

Hm, I don't know about that, considering that there were tensions between the US and Japan long before WWI erupted. Japan was a rising power at the time that constantly threatened China (and therefore US and European interests in the country) and was challenging the US for domination in the Pacific, this just after the American escapades in the Phillipines and elsewhere too. These two were never going to be very friendly, you could saw it was a matter of time until war broke out; it was destined to after the recession and rise of fascism and nationalism in the country.

Japan also really didn't need to be at Versailles, they had everything they wanted - expanded influence on the East Asian mainland (Manchuria, Korea, China - all areas the Japanese targeted and wanted for their own long before the Europeans showed up). They got the extra benefits of being respected (racism aside) as a great power, getting a seat on the League of Nations and being granted a bunch of mandates of former German islands in the Pacific. Really, for their small impact in the War, they got a hell of a lot out of it.

What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

Oh, terrible. Had Wilson been listened to, it could have been a lot better, but the whole thing turned into one large farce as the victorious empires set about restricting the burgeoning Germans and tearing apart the old Habsburg and Ottoman empires for their own gain. You can say "that's war for ya," but it set up a terrible political situation on the continent that bred resentment among the losers who, while defeated, were in no way vanquished. Follow that up with unstable governments, charismatic revolutionaries, a threatening bogeyman just over to your east, and all that smack-dab in the middle of the world's worst recession... yikes.

if the Versailles Treaty had contained that clause about racial equality then would Hitler have been branded a racist a lot sooner than he was?

No, why would a paragraph on a scrap of paper dooming your country to shackles affect anything?
suttichart.denpruektham
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5/30/2014 10:29:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/29/2014 6:32:18 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/29/2014 2:27:16 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

actually I think the action that alienate Japan from the US dated as far back to the Russo-Japanese War when Roosevelt choose to help the Russian in diplomatic negotiation and left the Japanese with only half the islands they are having the dispute with the Russian, and no reparation at all. From there onward, Japanese public opinion had became very suspicious of the US and the white man in general in their attitude toward the an Asian race (read Japanese race).

What I'm exploring is the fact that Japan was invited to be part of the political process at Versailles, and yet were totally ignored once they accepted and traveled there. The Japanese tried to add a clause which would lead to racial equality, but all the Western powers refused to sign. The Japanese diplomats left the conference feeling very slighted, and with the idea that they would never be welcomed into the new world order, especially since the supposed superiority of white people were the greatest defense of colonialism at the time. Not being white, the Japanese assumed they would never be allowed to establish colonies.

Indeed, and what I means is that the feeling of being "bully" by the white man league had long been in Japan well before the WWI. Kuril and Korea were Japanese targets for imperial subjects. When the Imperial Russia provoke them in to war, humiliatingly defeat, yet saved yet by another white men (US). Their greatest victory turn to be a penniless victory, not even cost of their operation was refurbished. In a time when dispute was settle in combat, this is a very plain whitewash (no pun intended :P) by the so called "white man club" or at least the Japanese public was clearly angry.

And I believe that was the origin of the distrust between Japan and the west that had been running until the end of WWII.

For the Imperial Japanese, WWII is more like an accident though. As you've said earlier the "government" of the Empire of Japan is clearly contempt with their gain in Manchuria and Pacific Islands. The Second Sino-Japanese War was never meant to happen, and if you remember, it was the KMT who declare war against the EoJ and not the other way around. Another terrible accident that brought both of them to knee and give rise to Maos.

But given the surge of nationalism and psychological condition of the Japanese public at the time (Japanese are known to victimized themselves quite often, which still remain today) the Japanese government would have no choice but to engage in violent combat. If they resort to diplomatic resolution, a coup or may be even a civil war might be imminent.
As for the German, Versailles Treaty might give birth to Hitler attitude and turn many of the German public toward the nationalist cause. However I believe it's the Great Depression that truly give him a chance to be in power and instigate a war . Like all socialists leader, he can only rise to power when strong evidences are presented that the "current" capitalism had failed. And the Wallstreet Crash just gave him that chance.

I don't think there is any doubt that the treaty was unfair. The Allies (mostly Britain and France) gave Germany an ultimatum that unless they signed then they would cross the Rhine within twenty-four hours and invade Germany. President Wilson tried to soften the wording and impact of the treaty, but since America only entered the war toward the end they weren't given as much say on the conditions of surrender. I agree with you that the real cause of Hitler's success was the Great Depression. Not many people seem to get that. The German economy was actually recovering until that happened. I can't help but wonder, though - if the Versailles Treaty had contained that clause about racial equality then would Hitler have been branded a racist a lot sooner than he was?

I wouldn't think that racial equality, if ever included in the Versailles Treaty would make any change to the WWII condition though. Hitler rise up not because he was white supremacist. He was, in every respect, a socialist, and it is his promises to plunder the riches (Jew) for the benefit of the poor that make him rise in to prominent.

Racism had never been view so negatively well until the end of WWII and that's because Hitler's holocaust ripe apart its very foundation. Without that, I hardly believe that the idea of racial equality would be as successful as we've seen it today.

Idea is only a word, man need reality in order to commit themselves in to idea. And prior to the holocaust, a reality of the racial equality movements were those of the anti-government anarchist like Ghandi and his bunches, poor and crime ridden segment of South Africa, and ridiculously cruel Japanese. That's doesn't sound very touching for me. They might draw some interest from some segment of the global societies, but to be a mainstream culture you need something far more than that. Like many of us might sympathize with the Palestinian movement, but most of the world would still support Israel.
Idealist
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5/31/2014 6:04:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/30/2014 2:11:39 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1?

Uh, I wouldn't say "forced," but I would say the circumstances were certainly created by the Allies for WW2 to happen, alongside some other unfortunate events. No one "forced" Germans into the path they chose, however - unless you consider Hitler, though I suppose that depends on your view on whether he was a product of the times or the man selling the product.

Thanks for a well-thought answer. :) I personally believe that the political and economic circumstances leading to WW2 was the fault of all the European nations involved, Germany included. The main problem was that they never really finished WW1. They basically declared a ceasefire and then produced a negotiated settlement. Yes, the French and English asked for too much in reparations - a fact which Wilson pointed-out - but long before WW2 the English especially realized this disparity and began taking steps to correct it. Until the depression the German economy was actually enjoying a fairly healthy growth-rate. After Hitler took power he pretty-much reneged on all the WW1 concessions, and the allies let him. He even occupied Austria and parts of other countries. If he hadn't insisted on invading Poland he could have kept it all, but his entire plan for rebuilding Germany had been dependent on a military expansion eastward. He didn't really want war with France or England, but because they honored their treaty with Poland they declared war on Germany.

Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US?

Hm, I don't know about that, considering that there were tensions between the US and Japan long before WWI erupted. Japan was a rising power at the time that constantly threatened China (and therefore US and European interests in the country) and was challenging the US for domination in the Pacific, this just after the American escapades in the Phillipines and elsewhere too. These two were never going to be very friendly, you could saw it was a matter of time until war broke out; it was destined to after the recession and rise of fascism and nationalism in the country.

I've heard a couple of people mention the tensions that existed between the US and Japan, but I'm not sure which tensions they are speaking of. Yes, there was tension when Commodore Perry sailed his fleet to Japan and used a big-stick approach in establishing trade-relations with them. There was some friction over control of Hawaii, as most of it's occupants were Japanese. The two countries cooperated in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion in China and President Roosevelt played a major role in negotiating a cessation of the Russo-Japanese war. What I see is a back-and-forth relationship which only really soured after WW1 (in which the two fought on the same side) that was based on Japanese feelings of belittlement and the naval treaties that was forced on Japan limiting the size of her navy. All of this kinda gives me a visualization of relations which quickly deteriorated between the two world wars, and which were brought to a head when the US began to embargo oil and steel, and act that was certain to destroy the Japanese economy.

Japan also really didn't need to be at Versailles, they had everything they wanted - expanded influence on the East Asian mainland (Manchuria, Korea, China - all areas the Japanese targeted and wanted for their own long before the Europeans showed up). They got the extra benefits of being respected (racism aside) as a great power, getting a seat on the League of Nations and being granted a bunch of mandates of former German islands in the Pacific. Really, for their small impact in the War, they got a hell of a lot out of it.

Because Japan was a member of the allied nations during the war and wanted to join the club of major nations, and Versailles was seen as a meeting of that club. To be invited and then ignored was a huge blow to their egos. They had sent two emissaries to the US in an attempt to ratify treaties of friendship, but both had failed. By the time WW2 broke-out they were feeling very isolated. This was the main driving-force behind the idea of the "Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere," the name they gave to the territories they occupied in order to become self-sufficient.

What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

Oh, terrible. Had Wilson been listened to, it could have been a lot better, but the whole thing turned into one large farce as the victorious empires set about restricting the burgeoning Germans and tearing apart the old Habsburg and Ottoman empires for their own gain. You can say "that's war for ya," but it set up a terrible political situation on the continent that bred resentment among the losers who, while defeated, were in no way vanquished. Follow that up with unstable governments, charismatic revolutionaries, a threatening bogeyman just over to your east, and all that smack-dab in the middle of the world's worst recession... yikes.

I basically agree with your assessment, although I do believe that the French & English were greatly influenced by the nature of the war and so reacted emotionally instead of rationally. German pomposity had started the war. They thought they couldn't lose. The Ottomans entered on Germany's side because they believed the same thing and saw the war as an easy opportunity to grab new territories. The French and English felt betrayed by the Russians. There is no doubt they were out for blood at the end of it all.

if the Versailles Treaty had contained that clause about racial equality then would Hitler have been branded a racist a lot sooner than he was?

No, why would a paragraph on a scrap of paper dooming your country to shackles affect anything?

Because it might have changed world-opinion a lot sooner. Hitler only got-away with how he treated the Jews because so many people in other countries agreed with him. If more influential persons had spoken-up from the time he wrote Mein-Kampf then it may have kept him from power. Despite common perception he didn't gain power by much of a margin, and it wouldn't have taken a lot to change that.
Idealist
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5/31/2014 6:23:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/30/2014 10:29:05 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 5/29/2014 6:32:18 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/29/2014 2:27:16 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

actually I think the action that alienate Japan from the US dated as far back to the Russo-Japanese War when Roosevelt choose to help the Russian in diplomatic negotiation and left the Japanese with only half the islands they are having the dispute with the Russian, and no reparation at all. From there onward, Japanese public opinion had became very suspicious of the US and the white man in general in their attitude toward the an Asian race (read Japanese race).

What I'm exploring is the fact that Japan was invited to be part of the political process at Versailles, and yet were totally ignored once they accepted and traveled there. The Japanese tried to add a clause which would lead to racial equality, but all the Western powers refused to sign. The Japanese diplomats left the conference feeling very slighted, and with the idea that they would never be welcomed into the new world order, especially since the supposed superiority of white people were the greatest defense of colonialism at the time. Not being white, the Japanese assumed they would never be allowed to establish colonies.

Indeed, and what I means is that the feeling of being "bully" by the white man league had long been in Japan well before the WWI. Kuril and Korea were Japanese targets for imperial subjects. When the Imperial Russia provoke them in to war, humiliatingly defeat, yet saved yet by another white men (US). Their greatest victory turn to be a penniless victory, not even cost of their operation was refurbished. In a time when dispute was settle in combat, this is a very plain whitewash (no pun intended :P) by the so called "white man club" or at least the Japanese public was clearly angry.

And I believe that was the origin of the distrust between Japan and the west that had been running until the end of WWII.

For the Imperial Japanese, WWII is more like an accident though. As you've said earlier the "government" of the Empire of Japan is clearly contempt with their gain in Manchuria and Pacific Islands. The Second Sino-Japanese War was never meant to happen, and if you remember, it was the KMT who declare war against the EoJ and not the other way around. Another terrible accident that brought both of them to knee and give rise to Maos.

But given the surge of nationalism and psychological condition of the Japanese public at the time (Japanese are known to victimized themselves quite often, which still remain today) the Japanese government would have no choice but to engage in violent combat. If they resort to diplomatic resolution, a coup or may be even a civil war might be imminent.

Well said. I pretty-much agree with most of what you've written here.

As for the German, Versailles Treaty might give birth to Hitler attitude and turn many of the German public toward the nationalist cause. However I believe it's the Great Depression that truly give him a chance to be in power and instigate a war . Like all socialists leader, he can only rise to power when strong evidences are presented that the "current" capitalism had failed. And the Wallstreet Crash just gave him that chance.

I don't think there is any doubt that the treaty was unfair. The Allies (mostly Britain and France) gave Germany an ultimatum that unless they signed then they would cross the Rhine within twenty-four hours and invade Germany. President Wilson tried to soften the wording and impact of the treaty, but since America only entered the war toward the end they weren't given as much say on the conditions of surrender. I agree with you that the real cause of Hitler's success was the Great Depression. Not many people seem to get that. The German economy was actually recovering until that happened. I can't help but wonder, though - if the Versailles Treaty had contained that clause about racial equality then would Hitler have been branded a racist a lot sooner than he was?

I wouldn't think that racial equality, if ever included in the Versailles Treaty would make any change to the WWII condition though. Hitler rise up not because he was white supremacist. He was, in every respect, a socialist, and it is his promises to plunder the riches (Jew) for the benefit of the poor that make him rise in to prominent.

That is arguably true, but without the Jews to use as scapegoats for all of Germany's own shortfalls he likely would never have made it into power, and without the plunder he gained from them he likely wouldn't have lasted. He almost didn't anyway. If the international press had come-out strongly against him due to the racism so apparent in Mein Kampf then it could have made all the difference necessary.

Racism had never been view so negatively well until the end of WWII and that's because Hitler's holocaust ripe apart its very foundation. Without that, I hardly believe that the idea of racial equality would be as successful as we've seen it today.

Well that's kind of the whole point. If the Japanese had succeeded in addressing racism in an international forum then the politics (if not the reality) of racism might have been altered in a way to marginalize Hitler.

Idea is only a word, man need reality in order to commit themselves in to idea. And prior to the holocaust, a reality of the racial equality movements were those of the anti-government anarchist like Ghandi and his bunches, poor and crime ridden segment of South Africa, and ridiculously cruel Japanese. That's doesn't sound very touching for me. They might draw some interest from some segment of the global societies, but to be a mainstream culture you need something far more than that. Like many of us might sympathize with the Palestinian movement, but most of the world would still support Israel.

True, but an idea is the seed of every man-made reality. Every single reality begins with the birth of an idea. Most European countries were successful in ridding themselves of racially-based slavery without any major conflict to enforce it. It fell out of fashion, and the same could have happened with at least a significant amount of anti-Semitism had things gone right. We're talking about Germany's internal politics here (perhaps strengthened by international opinion), not international politics.
wrichcirw
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5/31/2014 11:27:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

I read the discussion up to this point, and must say it's quite interesting and involved.

To frame the various points brought up about race and unfair terms, I think the main emphasis has to be on colonialism. The colonial model was still strong following WWI, and this model predicated that what you guys consider to be the "elite club of nations" had to hold colonies, something Japan simply did not have in significant quantities before WWI. Much of "colonial" Japan at that time was simply an extension of Japanese territory into places like Taiwan and Korea, as opposed to far-flung empires in Africa or the Middle East. There also was most certainly a homogeneous racial element in their pre-WWI conquests, so they did not fit the profile of an "elite" colonizer that was able to subjugate other races with impunity. By comparison, even the US had a racially diverse colonial empire in Hawaii and the Philippines, to say nothing about their experiences with Manifest Destiny in subjugating Native Americans.

Given this emphasis on colonialism and outright global domination, it's easy to see how the zeitgeist around these "elite" nations precluded any talk of racial equality. WWII is what changed that, as the combination of events like 1) the Holocaust and 2) America establishing a new world order over the ashes of the older, European order, caused Europe to become "defanged" so to speak economically by forcing them to relinquish their colonies, ostensibly on a moral basis.

I say ostensibly because I'm not entirely certain America abandoned that model. "Neo-colonialism" is an often-used term to describe the American version of global domination. It is far less overtly racist, but still seeks the same advantages of hegemony that the older European powers sought themselves.

This "defanging" process is also essentially what happened to the defeated powers in WWI...the victors attempted to "defang" the losers, and much of this dealt with colonial possessions, which Germany was late in the game in taking its share of a pie that had already been divvied up. Given that their colonial empire was forfeited while the victors kept theirs, it set the stage for seething resentment over and above the crushing debt and numerous incursions into German "lebensraum".

That's my view at any rate. I don't think any talk of racial equality was possible given the continued emphasis on establishing a colonial empire. Racial pragmatism of that age dealt with European, i.e. "white" supremacy.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
neutral
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6/1/2014 7:46:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

It contributed, there is no doubt about it.

But what actually caused WWII? Hitler.

Let's face it, if Hitler had broken the treaty, lead the Anschluss and then stopped ... he would have gone down as one of the greatest leaders in human history. Europe would probably still be a basket case ... but that is another issue entirely.

WWII started because Hitler used the German military to conquer Europe and then invaded the Soviet Union. It was reckless in the extreme, particularly so when you read Paul Kennedy's the Rise and the Fall of the Great Powers. Germany vs. Russia would have, based on economic output, have been a fair fight. Germany verses GB, Russia, and the United States? Collectively Germany had 1/6 to 1/8 the economic output of the forces arrayed against it.

Hitler believed such things were unimportant, as mongrel Nations would never stand against supreme Germany. For a time ... he even looked right. But the attritional reality of war eventually took its toll.

The only reason Germany did these things is because Hilter and a small coterie of agents brow beat Germany into the war. The treaty of versailles had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision to invade Russia. Or Poland. Or declare War of the US. Or form an alliance with Japan.
suttichart.denpruektham
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6/1/2014 2:58:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I wouldn't think that racial equality, if ever included in the Versailles Treaty would make any change to the WWII condition though. Hitler rise up not because he was white supremacist. He was, in every respect, a socialist, and it is his promises to plunder the riches (Jew) for the benefit of the poor that make him rise in to prominent.

That is arguably true, but without the Jews to use as scapegoats for all of Germany's own shortfalls he likely would never have made it into power, and without the plunder he gained from them he likely wouldn't have lasted. He almost didn't anyway. If the international press had come-out strongly against him due to the racism so apparent in Mein Kampf then it could have made all the difference necessary.

Well, you can make a scapegoat out of anything, by 19th century socialist standard anything range from lazy farmers (as in Mao, Khmer Rouge), to superbly powerful political elites of your very faction (Stalin) can be marked as"class-enemies" and plunder as one see fit.

In fact, Jewishness as in case of Nazi Holocaust is a prime example that a socialist victim can be completely baseless. You can't identify Jewish genetic in anyway in 1945. Jew were categorized according to the "religion" their parent 3 generations ago believe in. Yet the entire anti-Semitic arguments in the Nazi regime was based purely in genetic "poisoning" , supposed to possess by Jewish population.

It is clearly the biggest fart in human history, either Hitler is completely stupid or he is like all the major socialist leaders, cruel, cunning, willing to make any scarifies for the sake of a better collective interest. To me he seem more like the latter.
Racism had never been view so negatively well until the end of WWII and that's because Hitler's holocaust ripe apart its very foundation. Without that, I hardly believe that the idea of racial equality would be as successful as we've seen it today.

Well that's kind of the whole point. If the Japanese had succeeded in addressing racism in an international forum then the politics (if not the reality) of racism might have been altered in a way to marginalize Hitler.

Idea is only a word, man need reality in order to commit themselves in to idea. And prior to the holocaust, a reality of the racial equality movements were those of the anti-government anarchist like Ghandi and his bunches, poor and crime ridden segment of South Africa, and ridiculously cruel Japanese. That's doesn't sound very touching for me. They might draw some interest from some segment of the global societies, but to be a mainstream culture you need something far more than that. Like many of us might sympathize with the Palestinian movement, but most of the world would still support Israel.

True, but an idea is the seed of every man-made reality. Every single reality begins with the birth of an idea. Most European countries were successful in ridding themselves of racially-based slavery without any major conflict to enforce it. It fell out of fashion, and the same could have happened with at least a significant amount of anti-Semitism had things gone right. We're talking about Germany's internal politics here (perhaps strengthened by international opinion), not international politics.

D

True. but vise versa is also true. Reality also give birth to ideology. You "see" and so you "think" which led in to your "action" that change what you see. This world is quite a well draw circle.
suttichart.denpruektham
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6/1/2014 3:20:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/31/2014 11:27:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

I read the discussion up to this point, and must say it's quite interesting and involved.

To frame the various points brought up about race and unfair terms, I think the main emphasis has to be on colonialism. The colonial model was still strong following WWI, and this model predicated that what you guys consider to be the "elite club of nations" had to hold colonies, something Japan simply did not have in significant quantities before WWI. Much of "colonial" Japan at that time was simply an extension of Japanese territory into places like Taiwan and Korea, as opposed to far-flung empires in Africa or the Middle East. There also was most certainly a homogeneous racial element in their pre-WWI conquests, so they did not fit the profile of an "elite" colonizer that was able to subjugate other races with impunity. By comparison, even the US had a racially diverse colonial empire in Hawaii and the Philippines, to say nothing about their experiences with Manifest Destiny in subjugating Native Americans.

Given this emphasis on colonialism and outright global domination, it's easy to see how the zeitgeist around these "elite" nations precluded any talk of racial equality. WWII is what changed that, as the combination of events like 1) the Holocaust and 2) America establishing a new world order over the ashes of the older, European order, caused Europe to become "defanged" so to speak economically by forcing them to relinquish their colonies, ostensibly on a moral basis.

hmm I don't recalled they being "forced" by the US to relinquish their colony. From my memories the Brit gave up their vast empire because they no longer have economy to maintain it any more (colonialism is pretty outdated anyway with the invention of free trade) and so did the French and the Dutch (they put up a fight but in the end it is proven, they no longer have the strength to go mumbo-jumbo any more).

I say ostensibly because I'm not entirely certain America abandoned that model. "Neo-colonialism" is an often-used term to describe the American version of global domination. It is far less overtly racist, but still seeks the same advantages of hegemony that the older European powers sought themselves.

Yeah, you call it "allies" now a day :D

It is a surprise that so little is changed to the meaning of allies coalition when you replaced the word with "imperial".

Anyway, American imperial practice is significantly different than the European model though. It is "raceless" and at some point almost "borderless" as member of any races or any nations can apply for a citizenship (things changed, obviously). It is also mush more chaotic than the European order in a sense that it is difficult to determine your friends from foe, technically speaking almost every nations on earth are a US "allies" yet in reality not every of them is friendly to the US interest. If they are British imperial subject, they will be with the Brit definitely - like it or not.

This "defanging" process is also essentially what happened to the defeated powers in WWI...the victors attempted to "defang" the losers, and much of this dealt with colonial possessions, which Germany was late in the game in taking its share of a pie that had already been divvied up. Given that their colonial empire was forfeited while the victors kept theirs, it set the stage for seething resentment over and above the crushing debt and numerous incursions into German "lebensraum".

I thought the French surely want to "defang" their German adversaries. The rest of the world doesn't look so inclined though. The only colonies that matter to Germany (read Berlin) were and still are the Germanic states that constitutes the German Empire. The losses of the oversea colonies are more of a humiliation than any real blow to Germany - a stupid mistake. In my language there is a say "Hit a snake, kill it, never let it hurt" - if you hit someone and it only hurt not kill him, you better not hit him at all.

Without the actual "breaking up", Germany was never defanged at all. Fortunately she's recovered and never seem to take that mush grudge that mush. Unfortunately the Great Depression reminded her how hurt it is.

That's my view at any rate. I don't think any talk of racial equality was possible given the continued emphasis on establishing a colonial empire. Racial pragmatism of that age dealt with European, i.e. "white" supremacy.
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6/1/2014 6:11:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/31/2014 11:27:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

I read the discussion up to this point, and must say it's quite interesting and involved.

To frame the various points brought up about race and unfair terms, I think the main emphasis has to be on colonialism. The colonial model was still strong following WWI, and this model predicated that what you guys consider to be the "elite club of nations" had to hold colonies, something Japan simply did not have in significant quantities before WWI. Much of "colonial" Japan at that time was simply an extension of Japanese territory into places like Taiwan and Korea, as opposed to far-flung empires in Africa or the Middle East. There also was most certainly a homogeneous racial element in their pre-WWI conquests, so they did not fit the profile of an "elite" colonizer that was able to subjugate other races with impunity. By comparison, even the US had a racially diverse colonial empire in Hawaii and the Philippines, to say nothing about their experiences with Manifest Destiny in subjugating Native Americans.

Given this emphasis on colonialism and outright global domination, it's easy to see how the zeitgeist around these "elite" nations precluded any talk of racial equality. WWII is what changed that, as the combination of events like 1) the Holocaust and 2) America establishing a new world order over the ashes of the older, European order, caused Europe to become "defanged" so to speak economically by forcing them to relinquish their colonies, ostensibly on a moral basis.

I say ostensibly because I'm not entirely certain America abandoned that model. "Neo-colonialism" is an often-used term to describe the American version of global domination. It is far less overtly racist, but still seeks the same advantages of hegemony that the older European powers sought themselves.

This "defanging" process is also essentially what happened to the defeated powers in WWI...the victors attempted to "defang" the losers, and much of this dealt with colonial possessions, which Germany was late in the game in taking its share of a pie that had already been divvied up. Given that their colonial empire was forfeited while the victors kept theirs, it set the stage for seething resentment over and above the crushing debt and numerous incursions into German "lebensraum".

That's my view at any rate. I don't think any talk of racial equality was possible given the continued emphasis on establishing a colonial empire. Racial pragmatism of that age dealt with European, i.e. "white" supremacy.

I was wondering if you would weigh-in. :) I agree with a lot of what you said, although I don't believe that America after WW2 was a neo-colonial power. The "war" against Russian communism began before WW2 when America and Britain stationed troops in Russia to oppose the Bolsheviks attempt to take power. They removed the troops, but their policies remained staunchly anti-communist, and only the fact that Hitler turned on his Russian allies (as he meant to do all along) made the Russians become "allies" with the West at all. Like they say - war makes for strange bedfellows. In keeping-up the pressure needed to contain the Soviet Union after the war America was by far the major player. Europe had to be rebuilt, as did Japan and other countries. America was the only nation capable of filling such a huge vacuum, militarily as well as economically. There is no doubt that the US has held the reins of world-power since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the reins have been slipping, as should be the case in the absence of such a severe threat to global capitalism, which is the main thing tying the major nations together these days. As an odd byproduct for a global "empire," the US has been left heavily in debt and with declining world status. Even our credit-rating has been lowered - not a good thing for a nation who's personal currency also fills the role of a common global currency.
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6/1/2014 6:20:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 7:46:29 AM, neutral wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

It contributed, there is no doubt about it.

But what actually caused WWII? Hitler.

Let's face it, if Hitler had broken the treaty, lead the Anschluss and then stopped ... he would have gone down as one of the greatest leaders in human history. Europe would probably still be a basket case ... but that is another issue entirely.

Yes, in a very direct way Hitler was the primary cause of WW2, but what we are discussing is what other factors gave him power to do so. If Hitler had stopped after the Anschluss I doubt very much he would have lasted much longer than he did anyway. His entire policy was geared toward war, lebensraum, and the final solution. The German economy would have collapsed because it was based mainly on war-production.

WWII started because Hitler used the German military to conquer Europe and then invaded the Soviet Union. It was reckless in the extreme, particularly so when you read Paul Kennedy's the Rise and the Fall of the Great Powers. Germany vs. Russia would have, based on economic output, have been a fair fight. Germany verses GB, Russia, and the United States? Collectively Germany had 1/6 to 1/8 the economic output of the forces arrayed against it.

Hitler believed such things were unimportant, as mongrel Nations would never stand against supreme Germany. For a time ... he even looked right. But the attritional reality of war eventually took its toll.

The only reason Germany did these things is because Hilter and a small coterie of agents brow beat Germany into the war. The treaty of versailles had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision to invade Russia. Or Poland. Or declare War of the US. Or form an alliance with Japan.

That's not how the Nazis took power. The Military Channel has run a good documentary series several times over the past year on the rise of the Nazis, and I would recommend it to anyone, as it contains a large amount of first-hand accounts and newsreel footage of the Nazi political machine in action. As Hitler liked to say: propaganda before ideas. You have to gain total power before you make your move. By the time the fighting actually started Hitler had total control of Germany. He was a dictator in more than name.
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6/1/2014 6:34:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 2:58:58 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
I wouldn't think that racial equality, if ever included in the Versailles Treaty would make any change to the WWII condition though. Hitler rise up not because he was white supremacist. He was, in every respect, a socialist, and it is his promises to plunder the riches (Jew) for the benefit of the poor that make him rise in to prominent.

That is arguably true, but without the Jews to use as scapegoats for all of Germany's own shortfalls he likely would never have made it into power, and without the plunder he gained from them he likely wouldn't have lasted. He almost didn't anyway. If the international press had come-out strongly against him due to the racism so apparent in Mein Kampf then it could have made all the difference necessary.

Well, you can make a scapegoat out of anything, by 19th century socialist standard anything range from lazy farmers (as in Mao, Khmer Rouge), to superbly powerful political elites of your very faction (Stalin) can be marked as"class-enemies" and plunder as one see fit.

In fact, Jewishness as in case of Nazi Holocaust is a prime example that a socialist victim can be completely baseless. You can't identify Jewish genetic in anyway in 1945. Jew were categorized according to the "religion" their parent 3 generations ago believe in. Yet the entire anti-Semitic arguments in the Nazi regime was based purely in genetic "poisoning" , supposed to possess by Jewish population.

It is clearly the biggest fart in human history, either Hitler is completely stupid or he is like all the major socialist leaders, cruel, cunning, willing to make any scarifies for the sake of a better collective interest. To me he seem more like the latter.
Racism had never been view so negatively well until the end of WWII and that's because Hitler's holocaust ripe apart its very foundation. Without that, I hardly believe that the idea of racial equality would be as successful as we've seen it today.

I agree with the greater part of all you've said. You can take any one of a number of factors and say that the war couldn't have happened without them. The reason I focused on the Treaty of Versailles is that you commonly hear people making the claim that it made WW2 inevitable.

It's true that Jewish ethnicity could not be established 100%, but the Nazis went to great lengths to identify Jews in any way they could, sometimes even resorting merely to visual physical characteristics or even finger-pointing. In the long run their methods turned out to be pretty reliable, as evil as the results were. As far as racism itself, that's something which has been gradually declining since the eighteenth century. I think it would have gradually died-down without Hitler or his prosecutions, but it would certainly have taken longer to get to the point where it is, even though it's still far from eradicated.

Well that's kind of the whole point. If the Japanese had succeeded in addressing racism in an international forum then the politics (if not the reality) of racism might have been altered in a way to marginalize Hitler.

Idea is only a word, man need reality in order to commit themselves in to idea. And prior to the holocaust, a reality of the racial equality movements were those of the anti-government anarchist like Ghandi and his bunches, poor and crime ridden segment of South Africa, and ridiculously cruel Japanese. That's doesn't sound very touching for me. They might draw some interest from some segment of the global societies, but to be a mainstream culture you need something far more than that. Like many of us might sympathize with the Palestinian movement, but most of the world would still support Israel.

True, but an idea is the seed of every man-made reality. Every single reality begins with the birth of an idea. Most European countries were successful in ridding themselves of racially-based slavery without any major conflict to enforce it. It fell out of fashion, and the same could have happened with at least a significant amount of anti-Semitism had things gone right. We're talking about Germany's internal politics here (perhaps strengthened by international opinion), not international politics.

D

True. but vise versa is also true. Reality also give birth to ideology. You "see" and so you "think" which led in to your "action" that change what you see. This world is quite a well draw circle.
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6/1/2014 6:46:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 3:20:29 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 5/31/2014 11:27:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

I read the discussion up to this point, and must say it's quite interesting and involved.

To frame the various points brought up about race and unfair terms, I think the main emphasis has to be on colonialism. The colonial model was still strong following WWI, and this model predicated that what you guys consider to be the "elite club of nations" had to hold colonies, something Japan simply did not have in significant quantities before WWI. Much of "colonial" Japan at that time was simply an extension of Japanese territory into places like Taiwan and Korea, as opposed to far-flung empires in Africa or the Middle East. There also was most certainly a homogeneous racial element in their pre-WWI conquests, so they did not fit the profile of an "elite" colonizer that was able to subjugate other races with impunity. By comparison, even the US had a racially diverse colonial empire in Hawaii and the Philippines, to say nothing about their experiences with Manifest Destiny in subjugating Native Americans.

Given this emphasis on colonialism and outright global domination, it's easy to see how the zeitgeist around these "elite" nations precluded any talk of racial equality. WWII is what changed that, as the combination of events like 1) the Holocaust and 2) America establishing a new world order over the ashes of the older, European order, caused Europe to become "defanged" so to speak economically by forcing them to relinquish their colonies, ostensibly on a moral basis.

hmm I don't recalled they being "forced" by the US to relinquish their colony. From my memories the Brit gave up their vast empire because they no longer have economy to maintain it any more (colonialism is pretty outdated anyway with the invention of free trade) and so did the French and the Dutch (they put up a fight but in the end it is proven, they no longer have the strength to go mumbo-jumbo any more).

Ok, yes, you're right, your version is probably a bit more accurate. My point was that America took the position of being against colonialism and did not support European colonialist ventures and did not attempt to overtly annex any European colonies for itself. Instead, it followed the precedent it set up in Korea and Japan, i.e. martial law that led to gradual self-determinism (well, pro-US, anti-communist self-determinism at any rate, lol).

To the extent that America occupied western Europe and western Europe subsequently lost control of its colonies with little to no help from America to maintain them is a form of indirect force, but you're right that the US did not directly force Europe to relinquish them. My understanding of the issue is that America was already by then mired in the Cold War and saw prior European colonies as being the battleground against communist expansion. So, when French Indochina fell to potential communist control, the US intervened.

I say ostensibly because I'm not entirely certain America abandoned that model. "Neo-colonialism" is an often-used term to describe the American version of global domination. It is far less overtly racist, but still seeks the same advantages of hegemony that the older European powers sought themselves.

Yeah, you call it "allies" now a day :D

It is a surprise that so little is changed to the meaning of allies coalition when you replaced the word with "imperial".

Anyway, American imperial practice is significantly different than the European model though. It is "raceless" and at some point almost "borderless" as member of any races or any nations can apply for a citizenship (things changed, obviously). It is also mush more chaotic than the European order in a sense that it is difficult to determine your friends from foe, technically speaking almost every nations on earth are a US "allies" yet in reality not every of them is friendly to the US interest. If they are British imperial subject, they will be with the Brit definitely - like it or not.

Yeah, IMHO it's a lot like the Chinese imperial model of tribute. China recognized independent "barbarian" states all around it, and these states paid tribute to the "superiority" of China's influence over them, even though many times this tributary system actually created a net economic burden for China.

If I'm correct with this model, then it's important to note who broke the model for China - it was Britain with the Opium wars, i.e. with a distinct technological advantage that directly translated to unparalleled military might. The future I would see is that probably within my lifetime, east Asia will become the technological center of the world (much higher education standards, much larger population base, eventual economic overtaking of the West), and when that happens, east Asia will be who breaks America's neo-imperial model. This isn't some unique theory...most politicians and economists readily acknowledge that this is already occurring, and most tech manufacturing already occurs in east Asia. This shift in power translates to some sort of paradigm-shifting warfare that will accompany it. The main counter to my model of the future is "what about the nukes?"

This "defanging" process is also essentially what happened to the defeated powers in WWI...the victors attempted to "defang" the losers, and much of this dealt with colonial possessions, which Germany was late in the game in taking its share of a pie that had already been divvied up. Given that their colonial empire was forfeited while the victors kept theirs, it set the stage for seething resentment over and above the crushing debt and numerous incursions into German "lebensraum".

I thought the French surely want to "defang" their German adversaries. The rest of the world doesn't look so inclined though. The only colonies that matter to Germany (read Berlin) were and still are the Germanic states that constitutes the German Empire. The losses of the oversea colonies are more of a humiliation than any real blow to Germany - a stupid mistake. In my language there is a say "Hit a snake, kill it, never let it hurt" - if you hit someone and it only hurt not kill him, you better not hit him at all.

Without the actual "breaking up", Germany was never defanged at all. Fortunately she's recovered and never seem to take that mush grudge that mush. Unfortunately the Great Depression reminded her how hurt it is.

Yes, the German colonies were not nearly as significant for Germany as English and French colonies were to the English and French, but that the Germans were taken out of that game entirely while others continued to exploit that system led to a pronounced economic disparity that was exacerbated by the Great Depression.

Hitler played up the disparity and the humiliation aspect you cited to a near-perfect degree. And, his racism was justifiable in that age given the rampant racism that ran concomitant with western colonialist models.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
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6/1/2014 7:01:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 6:11:31 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/31/2014 11:27:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

I read the discussion up to this point, and must say it's quite interesting and involved.

To frame the various points brought up about race and unfair terms, I think the main emphasis has to be on colonialism. The colonial model was still strong following WWI, and this model predicated that what you guys consider to be the "elite club of nations" had to hold colonies, something Japan simply did not have in significant quantities before WWI. Much of "colonial" Japan at that time was simply an extension of Japanese territory into places like Taiwan and Korea, as opposed to far-flung empires in Africa or the Middle East. There also was most certainly a homogeneous racial element in their pre-WWI conquests, so they did not fit the profile of an "elite" colonizer that was able to subjugate other races with impunity. By comparison, even the US had a racially diverse colonial empire in Hawaii and the Philippines, to say nothing about their experiences with Manifest Destiny in subjugating Native Americans.

Given this emphasis on colonialism and outright global domination, it's easy to see how the zeitgeist around these "elite" nations precluded any talk of racial equality. WWII is what changed that, as the combination of events like 1) the Holocaust and 2) America establishing a new world order over the ashes of the older, European order, caused Europe to become "defanged" so to speak economically by forcing them to relinquish their colonies, ostensibly on a moral basis.

I say ostensibly because I'm not entirely certain America abandoned that model. "Neo-colonialism" is an often-used term to describe the American version of global domination. It is far less overtly racist, but still seeks the same advantages of hegemony that the older European powers sought themselves.

This "defanging" process is also essentially what happened to the defeated powers in WWI...the victors attempted to "defang" the losers, and much of this dealt with colonial possessions, which Germany was late in the game in taking its share of a pie that had already been divvied up. Given that their colonial empire was forfeited while the victors kept theirs, it set the stage for seething resentment over and above the crushing debt and numerous incursions into German "lebensraum".

That's my view at any rate. I don't think any talk of racial equality was possible given the continued emphasis on establishing a colonial empire. Racial pragmatism of that age dealt with European, i.e. "white" supremacy.

I was wondering if you would weigh-in. :) I agree with a lot of what you said, although I don't believe that America after WW2 was a neo-colonial power.

Yeah I agree with you here, "neo-colonialism" is a controversial term. Regardless, do you agree that America very much displayed a hegemonic impulse post-WWII?

The "war" against Russian communism began before WW2 when America and Britain stationed troops in Russia to oppose the Bolsheviks attempt to take power. They removed the troops, but their policies remained staunchly anti-communist, and only the fact that Hitler turned on his Russian allies (as he meant to do all along) made the Russians become "allies" with the West at all. Like they say - war makes for strange bedfellows. In keeping-up the pressure needed to contain the Soviet Union after the war America was by far the major player. Europe had to be rebuilt, as did Japan and other countries. America was the only nation capable of filling such a huge vacuum, militarily as well as economically. There is no doubt that the US has held the reins of world-power since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the reins have been slipping, as should be the case in the absence of such a severe threat to global capitalism, which is the main thing tying the major nations together these days.

Now this is very interesting. You're right, anti-communism is what held the "American bloc" together throughout the Cold war, which IMHO is synonymous to the "free trade bloc".

So, what exactly is "free trade"? IMHO it's a very interesting play on words...because America most certainly does NOT practice free trade where it matters most to developing nations...we have heavily subsidized food markets, and agriculture is the primary economic component of developing economies, yes?

So, "free trade" CANNOT mean "trade without restriction" in a global context, which is what we're accustomed to thinking that expression means because that's how we apply it to things like NAFTA which have a limited, regional scope. Instead, when the term "free trade" is used globally, it has to mean "trade with the free world", i.e. trade with the American hegemony.

So, that would imply that the "American empire", if you believe one to exist, exists much as it did for England, through trade with its "colonies", or in America's case, "pro-American, pro-capitalist independent countries".

This would explain why we were so adamant that Saddam get out of Kuwait...Kuwait was one of these "independent countries" that in reality was part of the American hegemony - that, and Saddam really couldn't stand up to us at all, and everyone except Saddam knew it, lol.

I suppose a tangential idea would be that the main ideological differences between the US and USSR really amounted to just how both superpowers pursued global imperialism - the US preferred to co-opt a, private, capitalist elite, whereas the USSR preferred to co-opt a public, bureaucratic elite. Two sides of the same coin really, IMHO. In the end, power is power.

As an odd byproduct for a global "empire," the US has been left heavily in debt and with declining world status. Even our credit-rating has been lowered - not a good thing for a nation who's personal currency also fills the role of a common global currency.

Very weird how these things work, lol.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
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6/1/2014 7:29:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 6:46:56 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/1/2014 3:20:29 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 5/31/2014 11:27:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I say ostensibly because I'm not entirely certain America abandoned that model. "Neo-colonialism" is an often-used term to describe the American version of global domination. It is far less overtly racist, but still seeks the same advantages of hegemony that the older European powers sought themselves.

Yeah, you call it "allies" now a day :D

It is a surprise that so little is changed to the meaning of allies coalition when you replaced the word with "imperial".

Anyway, American imperial practice is significantly different than the European model though. It is "raceless" and at some point almost "borderless" as member of any races or any nations can apply for a citizenship (things changed, obviously). It is also mush more chaotic than the European order in a sense that it is difficult to determine your friends from foe, technically speaking almost every nations on earth are a US "allies" yet in reality not every of them is friendly to the US interest. If they are British imperial subject, they will be with the Brit definitely - like it or not.

Yeah, IMHO it's a lot like the Chinese imperial model of tribute. China recognized independent "barbarian" states all around it, and these states paid tribute to the "superiority" of China's influence over them, even though many times this tributary system actually created a net economic burden for China.

If I'm correct with this model, then it's important to note who broke the model for China - it was Britain with the Opium wars, i.e. with a distinct technological advantage that directly translated to unparalleled military might. The future I would see is that probably within my lifetime, east Asia will become the technological center of the world (much higher education standards, much larger population base, eventual economic overtaking of the West), and when that happens, east Asia will be who breaks America's neo-imperial model. This isn't some unique theory...most politicians and economists readily acknowledge that this is already occurring, and most tech manufacturing already occurs in east Asia. This shift in power translates to some sort of paradigm-shifting warfare that will accompany it. The main counter to my model of the future is "what about the nukes?"

Just to flesh out this specific argument (because I'm guessing many people are simply not familiar with this system):

"The Imperial tributary system of China was the network of trade and foreign relations between China and China's "tributaries" whose ideals in one form or another, for millennia, drove much of East Asian affairs. Chinese suzerainty over East Asia, governed and enforced through the Imperial tributary system, not only "deeply influenced the culture of the peripheral countries but also drew them into a China-centered, or "sino-centric", international order."[1] The Imperial tributary system shaped foreign policy and trade for over 2,000 years of Imperial China's dominance of the region, and thus played a huge role in the History of Asia, and the History of East Asia in particular.[2] Recent scholars have put forth a debated argument, however, that it was misleading to think of a millennial tribute "system," rather than a loose set of expectations and precedents and they suggest that the system only flourished in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties."

"The Chinese international structure preceded, and greatly differed from, other systems that developed in other parts of the world. First, it was premised on the belief that China was the cultural center of the universe and that all non-Chinese were uncivilized "barbarians." Second, since the Chinese ruler, the "Son of Heaven," was considered the ruler of all humankind, all other "barbarian" rulers were mere local chieftains owing allegiance to Beijing.[4] Thus, there could be no Western-style diplomatic relations; countries wanting to trade with China had to send "tribute" missions that legitimized China's superiority and suzerainty (via the ritual of ke-tou (kow-tow), which consisted of three kneelings, each involving three prostrations before the emperor and in return they could trade for a specified number of days at border points designated by Beijing."


http://en.wikipedia.org...

1) IMHO the modern "kowtow" to America would be accepting dollar hegemony.

2) The parallels to how American cultural hegemony is currently permeating the rest of the world is eerie, IMHO.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
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6/1/2014 9:05:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 7:01:32 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/1/2014 6:11:31 PM, Idealist wrote:

I was wondering if you would weigh-in. :) I agree with a lot of what you said, although I don't believe that America after WW2 was a neo-colonial power.

Yeah I agree with you here, "neo-colonialism" is a controversial term. Regardless, do you agree that America very much displayed a hegemonic impulse post-WWII?

Oh, definitely! Just the idea of Russia (or most other countries) having any kind of influence, let alone a military presence, in the Western Hemisphere was enough to drive most American politicians nuts.

The "war" against Russian communism began before WW2 when America and Britain stationed troops in Russia to oppose the Bolsheviks attempt to take power. They removed the troops, but their policies remained staunchly anti-communist, and only the fact that Hitler turned on his Russian allies (as he meant to do all along) made the Russians become "allies" with the West at all. Like they say - war makes for strange bedfellows. In keeping-up the pressure needed to contain the Soviet Union after the war America was by far the major player. Europe had to be rebuilt, as did Japan and other countries. America was the only nation capable of filling such a huge vacuum, militarily as well as economically. There is no doubt that the US has held the reins of world-power since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the reins have been slipping, as should be the case in the absence of such a severe threat to global capitalism, which is the main thing tying the major nations together these days.

Now this is very interesting. You're right, anti-communism is what held the "American bloc" together throughout the Cold war, which IMHO is synonymous to the "free trade bloc".

So, what exactly is "free trade"? IMHO it's a very interesting play on words...because America most certainly does NOT practice free trade where it matters most to developing nations...we have heavily subsidized food markets, and agriculture is the primary economic component of developing economies, yes?

So, "free trade" CANNOT mean "trade without restriction" in a global context, which is what we're accustomed to thinking that expression means because that's how we apply it to things like NAFTA which have a limited, regional scope. Instead, when the term "free trade" is used globally, it has to mean "trade with the free world", i.e. trade with the American hegemony.

So, that would imply that the "American empire", if you believe one to exist, exists much as it did for England, through trade with its "colonies", or in America's case, "pro-American, pro-capitalist independent countries".

This would explain why we were so adamant that Saddam get out of Kuwait...Kuwait was one of these "independent countries" that in reality was part of the American hegemony - that, and Saddam really couldn't stand up to us at all, and everyone except Saddam knew it, lol.

I suppose a tangential idea would be that the main ideological differences between the US and USSR really amounted to just how both superpowers pursued global imperialism - the US preferred to co-opt a, private, capitalist elite, whereas the USSR preferred to co-opt a public, bureaucratic elite. Two sides of the same coin really, IMHO. In the end, power is power.

As an odd byproduct for a global "empire," the US has been left heavily in debt and with declining world status. Even our credit-rating has been lowered - not a good thing for a nation who's personal currency also fills the role of a common global currency.

Very weird how these things work, lol.

IMHO, capitalism and democracy are not necessarily mutually-supporting. Too often America finds itself caught in a dilemma which is caused by the different fundamental objectives of the two. Capitalism is all about money. Every CEO takes an oath to do his/her best to make money for the company. Technically (and often practically) morality comes in second to profit. Any country which is democratic and capitalistic at the same time is going to see capitalism emerging as the more powerful system, influence-wise. It's more aggressive, more strident, and is controlled by rules which are too easily bypassed. I don't want to sound communist here, but I truly believe that the greatest problem the world faces isn't domination by any one national ideal, but separation and control due to a system of class status and control. I've never thought that capitalism was a good thing, and I don't think it would have survived this long without the discovery of the New World, which allowed the rich whole new continents to plunder.

When I first studied capitalism in college I was amazed at how the practice began during the Renaissance, when certain Italian merchants found themselves becoming so wealthy that there was no way to directly invest all their liquid assets. So they invented capitalism, and soon there were men with enough power to virtually control whole governments. It wasn't uncommon even for kings and governments to approach these men for loans in order to finance wars and colony-building. For the first time it became totally possible for a single man to possess enough wealth to own his own private army, and to express that wealth as nothing more than a series of numbers in a ledger. Today it has only gotten worse. I was reading not long ago of a scheme which was supposedly targeted against elderly people in the wake of the crash of 2008. People who had been making payments on life-insurance policies for many decades found themselves broke and desperate, and so the same financiers who had made them that way came-up with the idea of approaching them and offering to buy their life-insurance policies for pennies on the dollar, and I know you've heard of "reverse-mortgages." I've also read recently that many large companies are trying to gain ownership of all the new housing they can, with the ultimate goal of owning so much of it that they will practically be getting paid rent by the majority of the population.

It's all just a type of ponzi-scheme if you ask me. I didn't mean to get carried-away on a separate track, lol, but this is obviously something which bothers me. There are good men and women in the American government, but they aren't the ones in control any longer. All you have to do in order to see this is watch a new senator or even a President in the months after their first election, and observe how quickly they seem to catch-on to the fact that they really don't have the power to do much of what they wanted to. I believe they are often coerced into using veiled threats to further the interests of American companies. I don't know how it can be fixed, or even if it can, but if we don't find a way then I think we are bound for another Great Depression at some time in the future. I hope I'm wrong, but . . .
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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6/1/2014 10:20:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 9:05:45 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 6/1/2014 7:01:32 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

IMHO, capitalism and democracy are not necessarily mutually-supporting. Too often America finds itself caught in a dilemma which is caused by the different fundamental objectives of the two. Capitalism is all about money. Every CEO takes an oath to do his/her best to make money for the company. Technically (and often practically) morality comes in second to profit. Any country which is democratic and capitalistic at the same time is going to see capitalism emerging as the more powerful system, influence-wise. It's more aggressive, more strident, and is controlled by rules which are too easily bypassed. I don't want to sound communist here, but I truly believe that the greatest problem the world faces isn't domination by any one national ideal, but separation and control due to a system of class status and control. I've never thought that capitalism was a good thing, and I don't think it would have survived this long without the discovery of the New World, which allowed the rich whole new continents to plunder.

When I first studied capitalism in college I was amazed at how the practice began during the Renaissance, when certain Italian merchants found themselves becoming so wealthy that there was no way to directly invest all their liquid assets. So they invented capitalism, and soon there were men with enough power to virtually control whole governments. It wasn't uncommon even for kings and governments to approach these men for loans in order to finance wars and colony-building. For the first time it became totally possible for a single man to possess enough wealth to own his own private army, and to express that wealth as nothing more than a series of numbers in a ledger. Today it has only gotten worse. I was reading not long ago of a scheme which was supposedly targeted against elderly people in the wake of the crash of 2008. People who had been making payments on life-insurance policies for many decades found themselves broke and desperate, and so the same financiers who had made them that way came-up with the idea of approaching them and offering to buy their life-insurance policies for pennies on the dollar, and I know you've heard of "reverse-mortgages." I've also read recently that many large companies are trying to gain ownership of all the new housing they can, with the ultimate goal of owning so much of it that they will practically be getting paid rent by the majority of the population.

It's all just a type of ponzi-scheme if you ask me. I didn't mean to get carried-away on a separate track, lol, but this is obviously something which bothers me. There are good men and women in the American government, but they aren't the ones in control any longer. All you have to do in order to see this is watch a new senator or even a President in the months after their first election, and observe how quickly they seem to catch-on to the fact that they really don't have the power to do much of what they wanted to. I believe they are often coerced into using veiled threats to further the interests of American companies. I don't know how it can be fixed, or even if it can, but if we don't find a way then I think we are bound for another Great Depression at some time in the future. I hope I'm wrong, but . . .

I think it's extremely relevant, because what you're discussing is how power is wielded post WWII.

Your take on capitalism is interesting. My main exposure academically was at Berkeley, so the version I got is exerpts from Marx's Das Kapital. I do maintain he wrote the book on capitalism.

I think what you've pointed out are instances where capitalism becomes a primal, overt force that completely co-opts governments to do its bidding. Before that, capitalism still existed, but it was subservient to absolute dictatorships, whether it be in the form of an imperial power like Rome or China or an monarchic, feudal society. I think you're more than likely correct that capitalism has only increased its influence over human development, although at this point it's IMHO all theory and speculation.

It's funny, while I was in the service, I had a reputation for delving into security analysis. For most people in my field that dealt with encryption or what not, but for me, that deal with the stock market, lol. The takeaway I got from reading tens of thousands of pages of the Wall Street Journal is that I developed a theory that Wall Street is the "new Senate", with the S&P 500 as the "new senators". What this would mean is that voting rights only belong to shareholders, and you can indeed buy very, very many votes and have one shareholder "elect" a "senator" or even many "senators" to influence power. An example would be if a hedge fund owned large stakes in several corporations and was able to use their shares to oust the current board of directors, replace them with their own people, and have this new board replace the CEO with their own man, and to do this to all of the corporations over which they have controlling interests. This is essentially Bain Capital's business model, the firm that Mitt Romney was CEO over. Bain Capital owned firms like Toys R Us at one point or another, so we're talking about basic aspects of Americana here.

IMHO this theory was confirmed in 2008. I think it was the Inside Job, I don't remember...the documentary narrated by Matt Damon...that had Elizabeth Warren interviewed where she and other congresspersons bluntly stated that they got coerced by Wall Street into passing TARP and whatever else Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner shoved their way. If Wall Street could do that, then Wall Street controls Washington. Actual, political elections would then just be formalities adhering to an anachronistic tradition, as those politicians would all need the blessing of Wall Street (i.e. unlimited corporate campaign contributions) to have even a chance at politics, especially now.

The thing is, capitalism is probably meritocratic in its purest form. It does reward those that seek rewards. Capitalism is all about taking advantage of opportunity, and companies do this better than any other organizational model known to man. They are built for the purpose, and they groom CEOs to focus only on the bottom line. Regardless of the societal harms that come from it (and from which society does indeed need some protection from), I don't see how anyone can reasonably advocate for the elimination of capitalism. It's always been with us...many of Marx's observations are almost brain-dead, commonplace observations of how a market works, whether it be a stock market, a supermarket, or a lemonade stand run by a 10 year old.

---

To apply to global geopolitics, I was following the 2008 meltdown rather closely while it occurred. Entire governments collapsed because of the US housing market, of all things. Wall Street, a US institution, tied the entire global economy together to the fate of the US, using derivative instruments that have a paper worth several times the worth of the underlying assets from which they're derived (essentially any global asset you can turn into a $)...hundreds of trillions of dollars if not more. It's frightening, because the regulation over these derivatives is close to non-existent, because no one on Capitol Hill (to say nothing about Obama, an economic neophyte) actually understands how these things work. This was why I was pro-Romney in both 2008 and 2012, because he actually was able to follow the money trail unlike most politicians. It's a real shame what the GOP did to him, especially in 2008. It's an even bigger shame what he did to himself in 2012, lol...
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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6/2/2014 9:33:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
IMHO, capitalism and democracy are not necessarily mutually-supporting. Too often America finds itself caught in a dilemma which is caused by the different fundamental objectives of the two. Capitalism is all about money. Every CEO takes an oath to do his/her best to make money for the company. Technically (and often practically) morality comes in second to profit. Any country which is democratic and capitalistic at the same time is going to see capitalism emerging as the more powerful system, influence-wise. It's more aggressive, more strident, and is controlled by rules which are too easily bypassed. I don't want to sound communist here, but I truly believe that the greatest problem the world faces isn't domination by any one national ideal, but separation and control due to a system of class status and control. I've never thought that capitalism was a good thing, and I don't think it would have survived this long without the discovery of the New World, which allowed the rich whole new continents to plunder.

We are probably in a disagreement here, on the point that in general speaking, I believe capitalism is a good thing. Equality never truly matter, in the end if overall quality of life in each section of the society improved, does it matter that the rich got richer? More resources of value is the only way to increase the quality of life, and capitalism produces it more than any other economic system in the world.

Think of it this way, if capitalism was never invented the New World might never been discovered, many people would still living in a plague-ridden land of ignorant and darkness. And Europe today might look just a bit better than Africa.

Of course in the end, capitalism itself might not be truly sustainable but until we've conquered every planets and consumed every stars - it would be far too early for a communist utopia.
neutral
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6/2/2014 12:47:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 6:20:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 6/1/2014 7:46:29 AM, neutral wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

It contributed, there is no doubt about it.

But what actually caused WWII? Hitler.

Let's face it, if Hitler had broken the treaty, lead the Anschluss and then stopped ... he would have gone down as one of the greatest leaders in human history. Europe would probably still be a basket case ... but that is another issue entirely.

Yes, in a very direct way Hitler was the primary cause of WW2, but what we are discussing is what other factors gave him power to do so. If Hitler had stopped after the Anschluss I doubt very much he would have lasted much longer than he did anyway. His entire policy was geared toward war, lebensraum, and the final solution. The German economy would have collapsed because it was based mainly on war-production.

I don't disagree with you on anything but the last part. Bismarck played on German Nationalism, fought three wars to unify Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, Austro-Prussian, and Franco-Prussian War ... and then stopped. He declared Germany satisfied, and is now rightly considered on the greatest leaders ever. Frederick the Great did the same thing when he seized Silesia, and made Prussia a Great Power. For hundreds of years Prussia had been a Great Land Power militarily, as they needed to be as a centrist power.

Yet if you look from Frederick the Great to ... well, now, the basis of that power was not just military, it was economic. The Rhineland was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution, And although the Germans had Krupp, they also had BMW and Mercedes. Much of the Germany military industrial complex could have easily been fed into other wars - between Japan and China for example.

In fact, in at least one sense, Hilter was right. The Soviet Union was a threat. A dire one. Had he solidified Germany's strength through the Anschluss, and then worked with the other Great Power's - following the same pattern as Von Metternicht, he would have been fine. The problem was he bought what he was selling. He bought into social darwinism, and lost sight of reality based policy. The initial success of blitzkrieg, confirmed his biases - and he acted in haste before, as we find today in Iraq and Afghanistan, insurgencies could grow - before continually biting off more than he could chew.

He did have warning, especially with the supposedly inferior slaves in the Balkans. Beaten senseless, they simply would not stay down.

He invaded Russia anyway. He declared war on the US anyway. Sensible policy simply left him, and what could have been a instrument to policy, became a means unto itself.

He could have stopped. He could have changed messages. He could have restored pride. He chose National Suicide instead.


WWII started because Hitler used the German military to conquer Europe and then invaded the Soviet Union. It was reckless in the extreme, particularly so when you read Paul Kennedy's the Rise and the Fall of the Great Powers. Germany vs. Russia would have, based on economic output, have been a fair fight. Germany verses GB, Russia, and the United States? Collectively Germany had 1/6 to 1/8 the economic output of the forces arrayed against it.

Hitler believed such things were unimportant, as mongrel Nations would never stand against supreme Germany. For a time ... he even looked right. But the attritional reality of war eventually took its toll.

The only reason Germany did these things is because Hilter and a small coterie of agents brow beat Germany into the war. The treaty of versailles had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision to invade Russia. Or Poland. Or declare War of the US. Or form an alliance with Japan.

That's not how the Nazis took power. The Military Channel has run a good documentary series several times over the past year on the rise of the Nazis, and I would recommend it to anyone, as it contains a large amount of first-hand accounts and newsreel footage of the Nazi political machine in action. As Hitler liked to say: propaganda before ideas. You have to gain total power before you make your move. By the time the fighting actually started Hitler had total control of Germany. He was a dictator in more than name.

The Nazi's never won the majority in a single election. And how they seized power was through the Ministry of the Interior - the seized control of the local authorities and services and ran them like a mafia. You played ball ... or the protection ran out ... and brown shirted or Nazi thugs would make sure you paid for your ... independence.

He was indeed a dictator, but so too were Kings - and not every King acted like a friggin' moron. Hitler made bad choices with the power he had. Versailles is a factor, but it is not what caused WWII. Hitler did. Versailles, simply put, does not explain the Social Darwinism that drove Germany over the cliff of reason and into human slaughter. Social Darwinism explains it.
Idealist
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6/2/2014 8:10:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/1/2014 10:20:36 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/1/2014 9:05:45 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 6/1/2014 7:01:32 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

Definition 3: Living things are things which, in addition to being capable of self-repair, employ von Neumann architecture in order to reproduce.
It's all just a type of ponzi-scheme if you ask me. I didn't mean to get carried-away on a separate track, lol, but this is obviously something which bothers me. There are good men and women in the American government, but they aren't the ones in control any longer. All you have to do in order to see this is watch a new senator or even a President in the months after their first election, and observe how quickly they seem to catch-on to the fact that they really don't have the power to do much of what they wanted to. I believe they are often coerced into using veiled threats to further the interests of American companies. I don't know how it can be fixed, or even if it can, but if we don't find a way then I think we are bound for another Great Depression at some time in the future. I hope I'm wrong, but . . .

I think it's extremely relevant, because what you're discussing is how power is wielded post WWII.

Your take on capitalism is interesting. My main exposure academically was at Berkeley, so the version I got is exerpts from Marx's Das Kapital. I do maintain he wrote the book on capitalism.

I think what you've pointed out are instances where capitalism becomes a primal, overt force that completely co-opts governments to do its bidding. Before that, capitalism still existed, but it was subservient to absolute dictatorships, whether it be in the form of an imperial power like Rome or China or an monarchic, feudal society. I think you're more than likely correct that capitalism has only increased its influence over human development, although at this point it's IMHO all theory and speculation.

It's funny, while I was in the service, I had a reputation for delving into security analysis. For most people in my field that dealt with encryption or what not, but for me, that deal with the stock market, lol. The takeaway I got from reading tens of thousands of pages of the Wall Street Journal is that I developed a theory that Wall Street is the "new Senate", with the S&P 500 as the "new senators". What this would mean is that voting rights only belong to shareholders, and you can indeed buy very, very many votes and have one shareholder "elect" a "senator" or even many "senators" to influence power. An example would be if a hedge fund owned large stakes in several corporations and was able to use their shares to oust the current board of directors, replace them with their own people, and have this new board replace the CEO with their own man, and to do this to all of the corporations over which they have controlling interests. This is essentially Bain Capital's business model, the firm that Mitt Romney was CEO over. Bain Capital owned firms like Toys R Us at one point or another, so we're talking about basic aspects of Americana here.

IMHO this theory was confirmed in 2008. I think it was the Inside Job, I don't remember...the documentary narrated by Matt Damon...that had Elizabeth Warren interviewed where she and other congresspersons bluntly stated that they got coerced by Wall Street into passing TARP and whatever else Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner shoved their way. If Wall Street could do that, then Wall Street controls Washington. Actual, political elections would then just be formalities adhering to an anachronistic tradition, as those politicians would all need the blessing of Wall Street (i.e. unlimited corporate campaign contributions) to have even a chance at politics, especially now.

The thing is, capitalism is probably meritocratic in its purest form. It does reward those that seek rewards. Capitalism is all about taking advantage of opportunity, and companies do this better than any other organizational model known to man. They are built for the purpose, and they groom CEOs to focus only on the bottom line. Regardless of the societal harms that come from it (and from which society does indeed need some protection from), I don't see how anyone can reasonably advocate for the elimination of capitalism. It's always been with us...many of Marx's observations are almost brain-dead, commonplace observations of how a market works, whether it be a stock market, a supermarket, or a lemonade stand run by a 10 year old.

There isn't much, if anything, that I can disagree with here. I saw that documentary narrated by Matt Damon. I agree that as of now there is really no way to challenge the current status quo, but I sure wish there was.

To apply to global geopolitics, I was following the 2008 meltdown rather closely while it occurred. Entire governments collapsed because of the US housing market, of all things. Wall Street, a US institution, tied the entire global economy together to the fate of the US, using derivative instruments that have a paper worth several times the worth of the underlying assets from which they're derived (essentially any global asset you can turn into a $)...hundreds of trillions of dollars if not more. It's frightening, because the regulation over these derivatives is close to non-existent, because no one on Capitol Hill (to say nothing about Obama, an economic neophyte) actually understands how these things work. This was why I was pro-Romney in both 2008 and 2012, because he actually was able to follow the money trail unlike most politicians. It's a real shame what the GOP did to him, especially in 2008. It's an even bigger shame what he did to himself in 2012, lol...

Yeah, this still bothers me very much. Nothing has really been fixed even now. Now China is having a severe housing meltdown, and who knows how that will affect global markets. People like to think that if bad things happen to our "enemies" then that's a good thing, but that's not always the truth. It can affect us greatly. Capitalism is probably the most effective system we've developed, but it seems to need a major reset every-so-often, like the Great Depression or even a world war.
Idealist
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6/2/2014 9:10:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/2/2014 9:33:52 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
IMHO, capitalism and democracy are not necessarily mutually-supporting. Too often America finds itself caught in a dilemma which is caused by the different fundamental objectives of the two. Capitalism is all about money. Every CEO takes an oath to do his/her best to make money for the company. Technically (and often practically) morality comes in second to profit. Any country which is democratic and capitalistic at the same time is going to see capitalism emerging as the more powerful system, influence-wise. It's more aggressive, more strident, and is controlled by rules which are too easily bypassed. I don't want to sound communist here, but I truly believe that the greatest problem the world faces isn't domination by any one national ideal, but separation and control due to a system of class status and control. I've never thought that capitalism was a good thing, and I don't think it would have survived this long without the discovery of the New World, which allowed the rich whole new continents to plunder.

We are probably in a disagreement here, on the point that in general speaking, I believe capitalism is a good thing. Equality never truly matter, in the end if overall quality of life in each section of the society improved, does it matter that the rich got richer? More resources of value is the only way to increase the quality of life, and capitalism produces it more than any other economic system in the world

See, I have trouble with the fact that app 50 million Americans live in poverty while the top 400 control 50% of all the wealth, and it's only going to get worse. I was a capitalist and owned my own business for a long time, so I know that not every businessman is some rich, unfeeling person. Still, Americans as a whole do not feel secure about their future financial security. There are too many wolves among the sheep these days. The fact that we live better is due more to technology than it is to capitalism, and we are going so far as to destroy the very planet we live on just so we can maintain our creature-comforts using that.

Think of it this way, if capitalism was never invented the New World might never been discovered, many people would still living in a plague-ridden land of ignorant and darkness. And Europe today might look just a bit better than Africa.

Columbus' voyage was funded by a monarchy, not a capitalist enterprise. The huge infusion of silver and gold (along with other things) which came from it fueled further expansion and colonialism by other monarchs who needed the money to fuel their own wars, so it's not unfair to say that capitalism was responsible for the colonial system, and so eventually contributed to both world wars.

Of course in the end, capitalism itself might not be truly sustainable but until we've conquered every planets and consumed every stars - it would be far too early for a communist utopia.

That's one of my points. We're running out of money, food and living-space much faster than we are colonizing the galaxy. It's quite likely that the next war will be fought over the last parcels of our dwindling natural resources. I read a report not long ago about how the US was secretly opening the groundwork to station American forces near the areas in the world with the largest fresh-water reserves, just as we've consistently controlled access to the greatest oil-reserves for a long time. It's a prudent move, I suppose, but very indicative of what kind of future they are preparing for. You know, twenty-five years ago almost no one would have paid money for a bottle of water to drink, but now it's the most popular bottled beverage. People don't trust the water in their taps anymore. I hope I'm wrong about all this. There's a documentary named Ethos which is narrated by Woody Harrelson, and it's a real eye-opener if you do the research to back it up. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Idealist
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6/2/2014 9:23:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/2/2014 12:47:13 PM, neutral wrote:
At 6/1/2014 6:20:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 6/1/2014 7:46:29 AM, neutral wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

It contributed, there is no doubt about it.

But what actually caused WWII? Hitler.

Let's face it, if Hitler had broken the treaty, lead the Anschluss and then stopped ... he would have gone down as one of the greatest leaders in human history. Europe would probably still be a basket case ... but that is another issue entirely.

Yes, in a very direct way Hitler was the primary cause of WW2, but what we are discussing is what other factors gave him power to do so. If Hitler had stopped after the Anschluss I doubt very much he would have lasted much longer than he did anyway. His entire policy was geared toward war, lebensraum, and the final solution. The German economy would have collapsed because it was based mainly on war-production.

I don't disagree with you on anything but the last part. Bismarck played on German Nationalism, fought three wars to unify Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, Austro-Prussian, and Franco-Prussian War ... and then stopped. He declared Germany satisfied, and is now rightly considered on the greatest leaders ever. Frederick the Great did the same thing when he seized Silesia, and made Prussia a Great Power. For hundreds of years Prussia had been a Great Land Power militarily, as they needed to be as a centrist power.

Yet if you look from Frederick the Great to ... well, now, the basis of that power was not just military, it was economic. The Rhineland was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution, And although the Germans had Krupp, they also had BMW and Mercedes. Much of the Germany military industrial complex could have easily been fed into other wars - between Japan and China for example.

In fact, in at least one sense, Hilter was right. The Soviet Union was a threat. A dire one. Had he solidified Germany's strength through the Anschluss, and then worked with the other Great Power's - following the same pattern as Von Metternicht, he would have been fine. The problem was he bought what he was selling. He bought into social darwinism, and lost sight of reality based policy. The initial success of blitzkrieg, confirmed his biases - and he acted in haste before, as we find today in Iraq and Afghanistan, insurgencies could grow - before continually biting off more than he could chew.

He did have warning, especially with the supposedly inferior slaves in the Balkans. Beaten senseless, they simply would not stay down.

He invaded Russia anyway. He declared war on the US anyway. Sensible policy simply left him, and what could have been a instrument to policy, became a means unto itself.

He could have stopped. He could have changed messages. He could have restored pride. He chose National Suicide instead.



WWII started because Hitler used the German military to conquer Europe and then invaded the Soviet Union. It was reckless in the extreme, particularly so when you read Paul Kennedy's the Rise and the Fall of the Great Powers. Germany vs. Russia would have, based on economic output, have been a fair fight. Germany verses GB, Russia, and the United States? Collectively Germany had 1/6 to 1/8 the economic output of the forces arrayed against it.

Hitler believed such things were unimportant, as mongrel Nations would never stand against supreme Germany. For a time ... he even looked right. But the attritional reality of war eventually took its toll.

The only reason Germany did these things is because Hilter and a small coterie of agents brow beat Germany into the war. The treaty of versailles had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision to invade Russia. Or Poland. Or declare War of the US. Or form an alliance with Japan.

That's not how the Nazis took power. The Military Channel has run a good documentary series several times over the past year on the rise of the Nazis, and I would recommend it to anyone, as it contains a large amount of first-hand accounts and newsreel footage of the Nazi political machine in action. As Hitler liked to say: propaganda before ideas. You have to gain total power before you make your move. By the time the fighting actually started Hitler had total control of Germany. He was a dictator in more than name.

The Nazi's never won the majority in a single election. And how they seized power was through the Ministry of the Interior - the seized control of the local authorities and services and ran them like a mafia. You played ball ... or the protection ran out ... and brown shirted or Nazi thugs would make sure you paid for your ... independence.

He was indeed a dictator, but so too were Kings - and not every King acted like a friggin' moron. Hitler made bad choices with the power he had. Versailles is a factor, but it is not what caused WWII. Hitler did. Versailles, simply put, does not explain the Social Darwinism that drove Germany over the cliff of reason and into human slaughter. Social Darwinism explains it.

The last part I said - the one you say you don't agree with - was that the German economy would have collapsed under Hitler. "In 1922, Hitler proclaimed that "world history teaches us that no person has become great through its economy but that a person can very well perish thereby", and later concluded that "the economy is something of secondary importance"." ~ Wiki. Hitler blamed all former 20th-century governments of Germany of having subjugated the country to "materialism." He didn't want to be part of any free-trade economy, and the Nazis never had any clearly-defined economic program. In one of his speeches he went so far as to say that ""we are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system," even though he was totally opposed to Marxist socialism. The Nazis were one of the first to take advantage of the end of the gold standard to virtually "create" money, and used price-freezes to control inflation. There is no doubt that his policies created a vibrant economy in Germany, but they weren't structured to last.
wrichcirw
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6/3/2014 2:54:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/2/2014 8:10:54 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 6/1/2014 10:20:36 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

The thing is, capitalism is probably meritocratic in its purest form. It does reward those that seek rewards. Capitalism is all about taking advantage of opportunity, and companies do this better than any other organizational model known to man. They are built for the purpose, and they groom CEOs to focus only on the bottom line. Regardless of the societal harms that come from it (and from which society does indeed need some protection from), I don't see how anyone can reasonably advocate for the elimination of capitalism. It's always been with us...many of Marx's observations are almost brain-dead, commonplace observations of how a market works, whether it be a stock market, a supermarket, or a lemonade stand run by a 10 year old.

There isn't much, if anything, that I can disagree with here. I saw that documentary narrated by Matt Damon. I agree that as of now there is really no way to challenge the current status quo, but I sure wish there was.

Besides the whole hypothetical, my main point was that maybe, just maybe, there's no need for change. Maybe if you can't beat them, you join them...so if capitalism can't be beat as an efficient system, then perhaps we should all endeavor to become capitalists.

To apply to global geopolitics, I was following the 2008 meltdown rather closely while it occurred. Entire governments collapsed because of the US housing market, of all things. Wall Street, a US institution, tied the entire global economy together to the fate of the US, using derivative instruments that have a paper worth several times the worth of the underlying assets from which they're derived (essentially any global asset you can turn into a $)...hundreds of trillions of dollars if not more. It's frightening, because the regulation over these derivatives is close to non-existent, because no one on Capitol Hill (to say nothing about Obama, an economic neophyte) actually understands how these things work. This was why I was pro-Romney in both 2008 and 2012, because he actually was able to follow the money trail unlike most politicians. It's a real shame what the GOP did to him, especially in 2008. It's an even bigger shame what he did to himself in 2012, lol...

Yeah, this still bothers me very much. Nothing has really been fixed even now. Now China is having a severe housing meltdown, and who knows how that will affect global markets. People like to think that if bad things happen to our "enemies" then that's a good thing, but that's not always the truth. It can affect us greatly. Capitalism is probably the most effective system we've developed, but it seems to need a major reset every-so-often, like the Great Depression or even a world war.

China's housing market is not based upon debt derivatives like ours was. So, even if China's housing market faces a severe meltdown, global repercussions will not be nearly as financially catastrophic as it was in the US case. There may be other consequences, such as rioting and what not that may affect global industrial output, but those consequences will be fundamentally different than what occurred in 2008. For the US, it would be a win scenario...investments into China will probably be seen as quite risky, meaning that capital will repatriate and jobs stateside will increase.

Personally, I don't see this as likely. China's government has been quite apt at prioritizing economic stability above all other considerations...since Deng Xiao Ping they have played this game better than anyone else and show every sign of continuing to play this same game.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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6/3/2014 2:58:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/2/2014 9:33:52 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
IMHO, capitalism and democracy are not necessarily mutually-supporting. Too often America finds itself caught in a dilemma which is caused by the different fundamental objectives of the two. Capitalism is all about money. Every CEO takes an oath to do his/her best to make money for the company. Technically (and often practically) morality comes in second to profit. Any country which is democratic and capitalistic at the same time is going to see capitalism emerging as the more powerful system, influence-wise. It's more aggressive, more strident, and is controlled by rules which are too easily bypassed. I don't want to sound communist here, but I truly believe that the greatest problem the world faces isn't domination by any one national ideal, but separation and control due to a system of class status and control. I've never thought that capitalism was a good thing, and I don't think it would have survived this long without the discovery of the New World, which allowed the rich whole new continents to plunder.

We are probably in a disagreement here, on the point that in general speaking, I believe capitalism is a good thing. Equality never truly matter, in the end if overall quality of life in each section of the society improved, does it matter that the rich got richer? More resources of value is the only way to increase the quality of life, and capitalism produces it more than any other economic system in the world.

Fully agree.

Think of it this way, if capitalism was never invented the New World might never been discovered, many people would still living in a plague-ridden land of ignorant and darkness. And Europe today might look just a bit better than Africa.

This part I disagree with. If you take capitalism at its core to be Marx's fundamental observation of "M-C-M" (money => commodity => money), then you'd note that even some wine merchant 2000 years ago practiced capitalism.

What makes capitalism so prominent in modern discussions is more than likely Idealist's observations that at a certain point, capitalism (i.e. a merchant class) began to overtake governments as far as power amalgamation goes, and that this only happened in western Europe. Couple that development with the industrial revolution, and you get something that seems to be a unique phenomenon.

Of course in the end, capitalism itself might not be truly sustainable but until we've conquered every planets and consumed every stars - it would be far too early for a communist utopia.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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6/3/2014 3:02:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/3/2014 2:54:02 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/2/2014 8:10:54 PM, Idealist wrote:

China's housing market is not based upon debt derivatives like ours was. So, even if China's housing market faces a severe meltdown, global repercussions will not be nearly as financially catastrophic as it was in the US case. There may be other consequences, such as rioting and what not that may affect global industrial output, but those consequences will be fundamentally different than what occurred in 2008. For the US, it would be a win scenario...investments into China will probably be seen as quite risky, meaning that capital will repatriate and jobs stateside will increase.

Just to emphasize this point, my understanding is that most consumer purchases of property in China are 100% cash. In America we've mortgaged our future...Chinese on the other hand didn't do this and so fallout will be minimal. Yes, the government has engaged in ridiculous amounts of property speculation and has done so through debt, but governments don't riot against themselves.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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6/3/2014 3:10:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/2/2014 12:47:13 PM, neutral wrote:
At 6/1/2014 6:20:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 6/1/2014 7:46:29 AM, neutral wrote:
At 5/28/2014 5:40:57 PM, Idealist wrote:
Were the Germans "forced" into WW2 by the victors of WW1? Was the Versailles Treaty the first step in alienating Japan from the US? What do you think of the Versailles Treaty as political document and a strategy for peace?

It contributed, there is no doubt about it.

But what actually caused WWII? Hitler.

Let's face it, if Hitler had broken the treaty, lead the Anschluss and then stopped ... he would have gone down as one of the greatest leaders in human history. Europe would probably still be a basket case ... but that is another issue entirely.

Yes, in a very direct way Hitler was the primary cause of WW2, but what we are discussing is what other factors gave him power to do so. If Hitler had stopped after the Anschluss I doubt very much he would have lasted much longer than he did anyway. His entire policy was geared toward war, lebensraum, and the final solution. The German economy would have collapsed because it was based mainly on war-production.

I don't disagree with you on anything but the last part. Bismarck played on German Nationalism, fought three wars to unify Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, Austro-Prussian, and Franco-Prussian War ... and then stopped. He declared Germany satisfied, and is now rightly considered on the greatest leaders ever. Frederick the Great did the same thing when he seized Silesia, and made Prussia a Great Power. For hundreds of years Prussia had been a Great Land Power militarily, as they needed to be as a centrist power.

Yet if you look from Frederick the Great to ... well, now, the basis of that power was not just military, it was economic. The Rhineland was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution, And although the Germans had Krupp, they also had BMW and Mercedes. Much of the Germany military industrial complex could have easily been fed into other wars - between Japan and China for example.

The rest of your analysis was insightful; this part I do strongly disagree with. It completely discounts the importance of colonialism in regards to the pre-WWII industrial model. Without the myriad raw materials required as industrialism advanced beyond steam and steel-making (such as rubber and oil), the German industrial machine simply could not function. Some analysis points to oil in the Caucasus as being the main reason why Hitler's conflict with Russia was inevitable.

In fact, in at least one sense, Hilter was right. The Soviet Union was a threat. A dire one. Had he solidified Germany's strength through the Anschluss, and then worked with the other Great Power's - following the same pattern as Von Metternicht, he would have been fine. The problem was he bought what he was selling. He bought into social darwinism, and lost sight of reality based policy. The initial success of blitzkrieg, confirmed his biases - and he acted in haste before, as we find today in Iraq and Afghanistan, insurgencies could grow - before continually biting off more than he could chew.

He did have warning, especially with the supposedly inferior slaves in the Balkans. Beaten senseless, they simply would not stay down.

He invaded Russia anyway. He declared war on the US anyway. Sensible policy simply left him, and what could have been a instrument to policy, became a means unto itself.

He could have stopped. He could have changed messages. He could have restored pride. He chose National Suicide instead.



WWII started because Hitler used the German military to conquer Europe and then invaded the Soviet Union. It was reckless in the extreme, particularly so when you read Paul Kennedy's the Rise and the Fall of the Great Powers. Germany vs. Russia would have, based on economic output, have been a fair fight. Germany verses GB, Russia, and the United States? Collectively Germany had 1/6 to 1/8 the economic output of the forces arrayed against it.

Hitler believed such things were unimportant, as mongrel Nations would never stand against supreme Germany. For a time ... he even looked right. But the attritional reality of war eventually took its toll.

The only reason Germany did these things is because Hilter and a small coterie of agents brow beat Germany into the war. The treaty of versailles had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision to invade Russia. Or Poland. Or declare War of the US. Or form an alliance with Japan.

That's not how the Nazis took power. The Military Channel has run a good documentary series several times over the past year on the rise of the Nazis, and I would recommend it to anyone, as it contains a large amount of first-hand accounts and newsreel footage of the Nazi political machine in action. As Hitler liked to say: propaganda before ideas. You have to gain total power before you make your move. By the time the fighting actually started Hitler had total control of Germany. He was a dictator in more than name.

The Nazi's never won the majority in a single election. And how they seized power was through the Ministry of the Interior - the seized control of the local authorities and services and ran them like a mafia. You played ball ... or the protection ran out ... and brown shirted or Nazi thugs would make sure you paid for your ... independence.

He was indeed a dictator, but so too were Kings - and not every King acted like a friggin' moron. Hitler made bad choices with the power he had. Versailles is a factor, but it is not what caused WWII. Hitler did. Versailles, simply put, does not explain the Social Darwinism that drove Germany over the cliff of reason and into human slaughter. Social Darwinism explains it.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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6/3/2014 3:23:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/3/2014 3:02:11 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/3/2014 2:54:02 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/2/2014 8:10:54 PM, Idealist wrote:

China's housing market is not based upon debt derivatives like ours was. So, even if China's housing market faces a severe meltdown, global repercussions will not be nearly as financially catastrophic as it was in the US case. There may be other consequences, such as rioting and what not that may affect global industrial output, but those consequences will be fundamentally different than what occurred in 2008. For the US, it would be a win scenario...investments into China will probably be seen as quite risky, meaning that capital will repatriate and jobs stateside will increase.

Just to emphasize this point, my understanding is that most consumer purchases of property in China are 100% cash. In America we've mortgaged our future...Chinese on the other hand didn't do this and so fallout will be minimal. Yes, the government has engaged in ridiculous amounts of property speculation and has done so through debt, but governments don't riot against themselves.

lol, so much to talk about on this particular segway...

If you think China's property market is crazy, just look at its neighbors. All of them have had the same problem for decades...the only reason why we make a big deal about China's problem is because 1) it's a recent phenomenon, 2) we don't like China, and 3) all of those other east Asian countries are our "friends".

If China's property market collapses, then whatever it is that causes that collapse will cause a widespread collapse across other east Asian countries, especially South Korea and Taiwan, because valuations there are similarly unsustainable (at least by American standards). Although America's position overall may improve, America's position in east Asia would either be static or deteriorate.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
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6/3/2014 6:26:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Think of it this way, if capitalism was never invented the New World might never been discovered, many people would still living in a plague-ridden land of ignorant and darkness. And Europe today might look just a bit better than Africa.

Columbus' voyage was funded by a monarchy, not a capitalist enterprise. The huge infusion of silver and gold (along with other things) which came from it fueled further expansion and colonialism by other monarchs who needed the money to fuel their own wars, so it's not unfair to say that capitalism was responsible for the colonial system, and so eventually contributed to both world wars.

hmnn.. I don't really see the different between an old feudal monarch and an entrepreneur (particularly, the very big one) of their day. The seek wealth to further their selfish design (or holy design if there's a thing as one) and they command force to do that, which is probably the only distinction. However if you compare a giant entrepreneur like the Medici family with the European monarch of their day, I would see a very few different.

Of course in the end, capitalism itself might not be truly sustainable but until we've conquered every planets and consumed every stars - it would be far too early for a communist utopia.

That's one of my points. We're running out of money, food and living-space much faster than we are colonizing the galaxy. It's quite likely that the next war will be fought over the last parcels of our dwindling natural resources. I read a report not long ago about how the US was secretly opening the groundwork to station American forces near the areas in the world with the largest fresh-water reserves, just as we've consistently controlled access to the greatest oil-reserves for a long time. It's a prudent move, I suppose, but very indicative of what kind of future they are preparing for. You know, twenty-five years ago almost no one would have paid money for a bottle of water to drink, but now it's the most popular bottled beverage. People don't trust the water in their taps anymore. I hope I'm wrong about all this. There's a documentary named Ethos which is narrated by Woody Harrelson, and it's a real eye-opener if you do the research to back it up. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Well, the only thing I can say about this is that if we've truly running out of resources at this stage (which we have not) - humanity will be extinct with or without the aid of capitalism. And for that same reason, I prefer to bet my money on those who can make the most that they will colonise the nearest planet, effectively and faster than anyone else. Just like how the BEIC can exploited resources from India at the speed and ferocity that no government body, modern or antique could match.