Tuesday, June 09, 2009
The Four World Wars: An Interesting Dynamic
Let us say there have been four World Wars in the last century. Three of them are history, the fourth is current events—though most of the people on one side (our side) don’t know they’re at war yet.
The interesting dynamic my title refers to is the fact that each World War has demonstrated rather colossally tragic consequences from the failure to learn from their mistakes of the preceding war. And the most important mistake each time has been, in general terms, the stubborn notion (woefully misguided, in retrospect) that the current war will be fought more or less just like the previous war. This applies not only tactically, but also strategically, and beyond that, as we shall see in wars II, III and IV, also ideologically.
World War I
The mistake of the strategists of World War One was to think warfare would proceed as it had more or less proceeded in previous wars of the 19th century. They did not factor in key technological advances, including the machine-gun and railway systems. This mistake caused the war to metastasize into unexpected proportions, and resulted in the carnage of eight and a half million deaths and, of course, considerable dislocations, disease, and injuries.
It furthermore helped to set into motion the discontent among the defeated Germans that would enable Hitler to gain a foothold in his rise to dictatorial power. In addition, the “Great War” wounded the psyche of the West in complex ways, hastening the neurosis of excessive self-criticism and thus paving the way for the eventual victory of PC MC toward the final decades of the 20th century, a neurosis that uniquely typifies the modern West, distinguishing it from all other cultures in history.
World War II
The mistake involved with World War Two was again to think that warfare would proceed more or less like the preceding war.
This mistake manifested itself during the years leading up to the actual beginning of hostilities, during which time one side (Hitler’s side) knew it was at war, while the other side (the free West) was stumbling along in denial of the menace Hitler presented and thus kept trying to appease him in the hopes that what appeared to be his bellicosity would be placated.
Closely related to this, the mistake also failed to take into account the ideological component: here, the fact that a megalomaniac leader could inspire enough ideological support among his followers to galvanize them into a mass movement that would threaten their neighbors and then metastasize into a cooperation of other megalomaniacs (Mussolini and Hirohito) that would become a global threat. No other previous war in recent history was primarily powered by fanaticism, and certainly not the preceding World War. One would have to go back to the Napoleonic Wars to find a precedent, and even that war did not go so far as manifest the grotesque propensities of systematically mass-murdering millions of classes of people defined as “subhumans” in the name of their ideology (though it did veer in that direction with the Reign of Terror that was the immediate precursor to Napoleon’s regime).
Exacerbating the ideological mistake of the Allies in their conduct of World War Two, was the failure to account for technological advances in military tactics, thus putting the Germans at the advantage with their new tactic of the Blitzkrieg attack, as well as their initial advantage in superior weaponry in tanks and planes, enabled in great part by the fanatical totalitarian control and galvanization of industry and science in the pursuit of military technology.
World War III
The mistake of World War III—also known as the “Cold War”—was more complex and paradoxical. Unlike the preceding two World Wars, the mistake of World War III did not exert itself at the beginning or in the years before the beginning, but only really after it was over and won. This particular World War was also not so much an actual war as a protracted condition and strategy of preventing an actual war. It was thus an unusually long-lasting “war”—going on for approximately four decades, in fact, from the late 1940s through to the latter half of the 1980s, when the Iron Curtain finally came down and the Soviet Union—the chief antagonist—dissolved as a sociopolitical entity and as a major carrier of the ideology that was threatening the world during that “Cold War”.
Toward the final years of World War III, the paradox became acute—embodied in its two poles:
1) President Reagan and his supporters, whose vision and determination helped to accelerate the dissolution of the Soviet Union and thus of our eventual victory;
2) the forces of a nascently powerful PC MC which during Reagan’s presidency bashed him and his principles in ways that would prefigure the egregious Bushbashing of the later President who would preside over our entry into our current World War, World War IV.
This powerful sociopolitical force, PC MC, that was nascent but continually gathering cachet and clout since the 1960s, became dominant and mainstream by the time Reagan left office. Not only was it dominant and mainstream in America, but also throughout the West, and this rise to mainstream dominance on all levels—institutional and cultural—occurred throughout the West at roughly the same time, with variances here and there. Among other monumental errors, its paradigm enshrined a colossal misapprehension of the Third World War that had been won—a misapprehension both of its nature and of our victory.
The PC MC paradigm basically frames the Cold War according to a revisionist history or mythology: Communism never was that much of a threat, but rather was exaggerated by putative right-wingers who exploited the fear and paranoia they manufactured to advance their own agenda of globalist greed, crypto-imperialism and increased crypto-dictatorial control over their own populations.
As such, there never really was a war at all, and the prevention of war was, according to this paradigm, more often than not threatened during those years not by the Russians or Chinese, but rather by the proto-neo-con yahoos who bear most (if not all) of the responsibility for endangering the world by maintaining and aggravating an Arms Race in their pursuit of their imaginary war. And in the deeper, darker organs of the PC MC body politic, where the disease of Leftism lurks more purely, there remained throughout those decades many individuals and groups throughout the West who rather continued to sympathize with, if not positively support, the Communists and their ideology. (Incidentally, some of these individuals and groups finally found a President they feel they can, with unequivocal enthusiasm, support—Obama.)
Our victory over Communism according to this paradigm consequently was less of a victory over a dangerous enemy than it was the cynical and mendacious exploitation of a natural sociopolitical dissolution of the U.S.S.R. into Russia. Even though Reagan and the free West won the Cold War ultimately, the forces of PC MC that put up interference over those decades (indeed, beginning before World War II even started, through the irrationally romantic sympathy with Communism among many Western intelligentsia even then and through subsequent decades) were one major reason why the West was not able to stop the carnage wrought by Communist regimes (Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot being the most egregious).
Thus, Reaganism won one war—the Cold War—but lost another war, the War of Ideas. Its winners have been the PC MCs, and their victory has embodied the transition of their paradigm into mainstream dominance throughout the West, on all levels of sociopolitical existence—academic, political, journalistic, and cultural—and including all social classes, from “Elites” on down to average civilians.
World War IV
This victory for PC MC represents then the colossal mistake of World War III: a grave and ridiculous misapprehension of the enemy and his ideology, Communism, and a morbidly perverse reversion of the enemy through the sickness of excessive self-criticism: the enemy was Us all along, and continues to be, unless we vigilantly watch ourselves, and make sure we don't make the same mistakes we made when we were less liberal and more "bigoted".
Thus, the lesson from the preceding World War is that we have to ensure that we always remember how irrationally paranoid we were in our Anti-Communism, how cynically that irrational paranoia was exploited by "McCarthyites"; and how that supposedly paranoid ideology remains an ever-present potential and threat unless we continue to take measures to vilify it.
Now comes along a new enemy threatening us, fanatically hostile to our principles and our way of life, and fanatically driven by an expansionist supremacism: Islam. The PC MC paradigm effectively nullifies this threat and nips it in the bud in two ways:
1) by equating “Islamophobia” with the irrational paranoia of Anti-Communism—i.e., those who warn about Islam are simply manufacturing an enemy and exploiting that imagined enemy for various sinister agendas, just as they did during the Cold War years;
2) through its primary dogma of Reverse Racism, it effectively protects this enemy and its ideology from all substantive scrutiny and criticism, let alone from the condemnation it deserves.
The dynamic at work linking our current World War IV with the previous World War III is thus made manifest in the two points above, thusly:
1) the trivialization and demonization of Anti-Communism and the erection of this into a template by which to similarly trivialize and demonize current efforts of premonitory analysis with regard to the global revival of a violently supremacist and expansionist Islam;
2) the transformation of Muslims into “New Jews”, reflected by the transposition from the real Jews to these “New Jews” of the implicit, yet powerful, mantra of “Never Again” with relation to the historical Holocaust of WWII—effectively rendering all criticism of Muslims—let alone the condemnation they rightfully deserve—as an ominous harbinger of the evil West’s perpetual propensity to go down the “slippery slope” to genocide: according to this mythologization of Muslims, the only way for the West to continue to avert another Holocaust is for the West to protect Muslims—since they are now seen as the only potential victims of another Holocaust. This peculiarly contorted view of Muslims is enormously strengthened by the ostensible racial fact that the vast majority of Muslims have the appearance of being “ethnic” minorities and the ostensible cultural fact that the vast majority of Muslims are non-Western—and thus the defense of Muslims dovetails perfectly with the supereminent dogma of PC MC: Reverse Racism.
As far as the free West is concerned, World War IV thus proceeds to be conducted in a myopia of semi-consciously willful denial, and the PC MC West expresses this denial by protecting its mortal enemy through ideological mechanisms that reflect precisely the wrong lessons learned from the preceding two World Wars.
And just as each preceding World War contained the dynamic of an error that served to facilitate colossal mayhem and misery that could have been prevented, so too our current war will likely do the same, since one sees no signs of the West correcting its error anytime soon. Indeed, with the Obama Presidency (as well as with the leadership of most of Europe and the UK), we see massive signs of the West only reinforcing and solidifying that error and thus making it that much harder to turn around and deconstruct, short of the tragically powerful incentives that will come from horrific attacks upon us by Muslims using WMDs of various flavors in the coming decades.