The Second World Wars by Victor Davis Hanson

Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 6 months ago to History
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"From Carthage to the Confederacy, weaker bellicose states could convince themselves of the impossible because their fantasies were not checked early by cold reality." (page 14)

"The result was a veritable fantasyland that grew up in the late 1930s in both Europe and Asia, in which citizens of the intrinsically weaker Axis powers, both industrially and technologically, were considered supermen, while real Allied supermen lost their confidence and were dispised by their enemies as unserious lightweights." (page 17)

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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 6 months ago
    In the Smithsonian, German planes and tanks seem to have better specs than other countries' equipment. Yet 80% of their war transportation was provided by horse?

    I'm only that far into it, but it's interesting because I don't know that much about it. I'm interested in the big picture of why along a broad trend of less war and more humane practices overall, WWII stands out with death camps, occupations with soldiers committing crimes almost like in ancient warfare, and weapons of mass destruction. Post WWII scifi naturally assumed WWIII was coming shortly in the future. Instead, we reverted to the trend of less war. I'd like to know why and for the trend to continue.
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    • Posted by $ 2 years, 6 months ago
      The direct correlation is between realithy and reason causing prosperty and peace. In the Greek social context from the Archaic to the Hellenistic eras, even though wars happened, the scale of intensity was much less than, say, the Hun or Mongol Invasions. The ascendent arc from the Renaissance to the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment peaked with 19th century capitalism and 100 years of relative peace.

      In our time, President Trump's trade wars are echoic of the Smoot-Hartley Tariffs that preceded World War II. His Border Wall is a new Berlin Wall. But those are consequences of denying reality and refusing to reason which are deeper, cultural trends.

      But they are not the only trends. We are enjoying a renaissance that few actually appreciate. Our computers and phones are just other aspects of the thousands upon thousands of different YouTube videos, the music sites, the 100 commercial video channels, gene splicing, GMO foods, ...

      I maintain that the popularity of The Big Bang Theory speaks to something deep and wonderful in our common culture. Think about it. Imagine it is 1919 and once a week you go to a live vaudeville theater show in your neighborhood and instead of watching a guy slip on a banana peel, you have three physicists, an engineer, two (women) neuro-scientists and a (woman) pharmaceutical sales rep. And instead of poking each other in the eye nyuk-nyuk they make jokes about science. That only is possible in a culture with a strong foundation of reality and reason.

      Against that, we have a Neanderthals for the presidents of the largest nations -- which is probably unfair to the actual Neanderthals...
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