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WWI - The most childish war history

000ike
Posts: 11,196
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9/13/2011 6:37:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Wars have usually had some grand moral purpose (whether feigned or true) Or at the very least, wars have been in self defense of something from economy, to land, to people.

WWI seems to me to be as purposeful and necessary as gang wars in LA. How is it that whole countries can be so entangled in alliances that they believe the old playground doctrine that the enemy of my friend is my enemy. Furthermore, how can one assassination that was not state sanctioned or executed, cause such a bloody and massive war?

Meanwhile, the whole situation existed on the state level. Governments angry at other governments, and using human beings as pawns to inflict their rage. War is awful, yeah we all get that, but this war just seems so stupid that I must be not understanding something.

Thoughts?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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9/13/2011 7:00:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 6:37:40 PM, 000ike wrote:
Wars have usually had some grand moral purpose (whether feigned or true) Or at the very least, wars have been in self defense of something from economy, to land, to people.

Very rarely.


WWI seems to me to be as purposeful and necessary as gang wars in LA. How is it that whole countries can be so entangled in alliances that they believe the old playground doctrine that the enemy of my friend is my enemy. Furthermore, how can one assassination that was not state sanctioned or executed, cause such a bloody and massive war?

Meanwhile, the whole situation existed on the state level. Governments angry at other governments, and using human beings as pawns to inflict their rage. War is awful, yeah we all get that, but this war just seems so stupid that I must be not understanding something.

Thoughts?

Well in that sense what is the difference between the Great War, the Napoleonic Wars and the Second World War. Normal rational individuals rarely resort to such murder, but the whole construct of nations and Governments divorces people from their innate empathy.

The reality of national politics is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

With regards WW1, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by the black hand, which was supported and tolerated by the Serbian Government. Even if they didn't directly mastermind the attack. Austria already had a vested desire to invade Serbia, rising Serb nationalism threatened to destroy the multi-ethnic Empire.

The ethnic tensions in the Empire were hideous to the point that nothing else really mattered. The military elites were constantly calling for war with Serbia... but somehow never got round to planning such a war.

The assassination was a humiliation, the heir apparent of the Austro-Hungarian Empire killed on soil that had only been formally annexed six years previously? I think they believed that had no other choice.

Russia felt it had to support Serbia, for cultural and political reasons. Germany knew that if it did not support Austria it would crumble under Russian attack and the balance of power would be forever changed. Sometimes countries simply go to war to maintain a status quo. France wanted to go to war to 'regain' her lost territory. Also if Germany had defeated Russia, and it would have done, indeed it did do so, France which was already weaker than Germany would have been at a major disadvantage.

Britain got involved because from at least 1801 to 1945 we feared the possibility of a united Europe because it was the only the force that could threaten us. Without British and American intervention Germany would have dominated continental Europe.

Well in theory anyway.

The biggest absurdity was the treaty of versailles, which provided for the eternal humiliation of Germany wihout ensuring that it was permanantly weaker.

Wilsons peace without victory, or a simple dismemberment of Germany back into say three or more states gaurenteed by the Great Powers would probably have been a better idea.
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