100 years later - remembering world war 1
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01-02-2014, 10:18 AM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
An interesting side note for americans about the US involvement is the use made of it both during and after the war to suppress the american left. The principled objection to the war and conscription by the american left made them opened to attack and suppression by the government. Eugene V. Debs and others were jailed. The IWW was significantly suppressed.

The excuse was that they were resisting the federal government by saying that the war was not only not US business but was at heart an imperial war. Both in my opinion correct statements.
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01-02-2014, 01:32 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 09:34 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(01-02-2014 01:52 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  I think my history teacher and yourself would get along quite well. He is quite fond of the idea that the Depression is responsible for the rise of Hitler, and subsequently WWII.

I think that's a fairly well-known thesis; what I think is less known is the extent to which the Japanese militarist takeover was precipitated by the economic conditions of 1930 and 1931.

I'm not entirely sure why, because the process is so fascinatingly parallel, that more isn't made of the downfall of Taisho democracy in the same breath as the collapse of Weimar Germany.

We weren't taught much about Japan in Modern History at my school, or the pacific war, despite it's massive significance to Australian history.
Maybe it's 'cause we spend half the year going over Tsarist Russia, it's downfall and Lenin's rise to power and the other on the Great Depression, leading on to everybodies favourite tyrant Adolf and the 'nature of WWII'... All interesting stuff though but hearing everything all over again will be a bit of a drag.

Had no real idea about this 'militarist takeover' in Japan you mentioned, I think I'd quite like to know more, any reading suggestions?

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01-02-2014, 01:50 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(23-01-2014 07:37 PM)BnW Wrote:  For anyone really interested in WWI, I highly recommend The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman. It is considered the preeiminent work on the topic and, even after 50 years, still holds up against most any work on the topic.

Thank you for posting this! I really know next to nothing about WW1.

Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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01-02-2014, 02:08 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 01:50 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 07:37 PM)BnW Wrote:  For anyone really interested in WWI, I highly recommend The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman. It is considered the preeiminent work on the topic and, even after 50 years, still holds up against most any work on the topic.

Thank you for posting this! I really know next to nothing about WW1.

Fucking great. Now I have another book I have to hunt down and read.

Anyway; Moms, WWI is a fascinating thing, though personally I think the most interesting parts are the events preceding it and those after as a direct result, like the development of the massive web of treaties leading up to it and the rise of the incredibly poorly ending artist's paradise of the Weimar Republic afterwards.
Some events within the war itself are just as interesting to be fair, like French initial deployment of weaponized gas or the revolutionary (IMO) development of the Tank.

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01-02-2014, 02:35 PM (This post was last modified: 01-02-2014 02:57 PM by Chas.)
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 02:08 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  
(01-02-2014 01:50 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Thank you for posting this! I really know next to nothing about WW1.

Fucking great. Now I have another book I have to hunt down and read.

Anyway; Moms, WWI is a fascinating thing, though personally I think the most interesting parts are the events preceding it and those after as a direct result, like the development of the massive web of treaties leading up to it and the rise of the incredibly poorly ending artist's paradise of the Weimar Republic afterwards.
Some events within the war itself are just as interesting to be fair, like French initial deployment of weaponized gas or the revolutionary (IMO) development of the Tank.

Or the slaughter of a generation of young men.









"But here in this graveyard, it's still no man's land -
the countless white crosses in mute witness stand
to man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
and a whole generation who were butchered and damned."

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-02-2014, 02:42 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 02:35 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(01-02-2014 02:08 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  Fucking great. Now I have another book I have to hunt down and read.

Anyway; Moms, WWI is a fascinating thing, though personally I think the most interesting parts are the events preceding it and those after as a direct result, like the development of the massive web of treaties leading up to it and the rise of the incredibly poorly ending artist's paradise of the Weimar Republic afterwards.
Some events within the war itself are just as interesting to be fair, like French initial deployment of weaponized gas or the revolutionary (IMO) development of the Tank.

Or the slaughter of a generation of young men.




Sure you would focus on the negative bits. Dodgy

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01-02-2014, 04:58 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 01:32 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  We weren't taught much about Japan in Modern History at my school, or the pacific war, despite it's massive significance to Australian history.

See, that's odd. I would have thought your history classes would be all over the Pacific War.

(01-02-2014 01:32 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  Maybe it's 'cause we spend half the year going over Tsarist Russia, it's downfall and Lenin's rise to power and the other on the Great Depression, leading on to everybodies favourite tyrant Adolf and the 'nature of WWII'... All interesting stuff though but hearing everything all over again will be a bit of a drag.

Had no real idea about this 'militarist takeover' in Japan you mentioned, I think I'd quite like to know more, any reading suggestions?

As I said, it is very interesting to compare the histories of the salient fascist nations.

Unfortunately I can't really provide suggestions for material; most of what I know on the subject is from various special lectures and essays I've seen. I actually can't think of any general-audience histories of the period. There is very little foreign-language literature on the subject, which is a damn shame. What there is tends to be incredibly obscure academia.

The gist I can give you is, the economic dislocation of the Depression led to a big drop in Japanese exports, which upset the zaibatsu, who were until then generally liberal (as with broader late Taisho and early Showa sentiments). Also it put a lot of people (especially rural people) out of work. Instead of that being the driver of radicalism in the same way it was in, say, Germany or Italy, the army sort of tried to co-opt that mass of people... Which meant that the army were the only real buyers and financiers left, and that the idea of establishing new markets by force came into vogue (neo-mercantilism, really, but if the rest of the world's gone protectionist, what are you gonna do?). Up until that point the bankers and industrialists had been totally opposed to military expansion, since that meant both high taxes (bad for business) and pissing off other countries (very bad for business).

The culmination of instability was the attempted assassination of the (to put it in anglosphere terms, 'Liberal') Prime Minister Osachi in 1931, and then the formation of a new government under (the loose equivalent to the 'Conservative' party) Prime Minister Inukai - who was himself assassinated in 1932. Which sidelined both major political parties, and the de facto military control of government took off from there.
(extremely bizarre anecdote: the assassins had planned to kill other people as well, mostly government figures, but one of their targets was a famous actor who happened to be staying with Inukai at the time - Charlie Chaplin. Needless to say Chaplin avoided harm...)

The other backdrop to this was the Manchurian, er, "incident" in 1931 where the civilian government proved unable to control the mid-level military officers who basically annexed Manchuria despite their orders. This looked superficially successful and made people forget that the last round of adventurism (the Siberian intervention in the Russian Civil War) had been an expensive and bloody failure.

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01-02-2014, 05:26 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
Chas...the songs made me cry.

FT I guess nothing advances technology faster than a good war?

Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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01-02-2014, 05:53 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 05:26 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  FT I guess nothing advances technology faster than a good war?

Few things advance technology more slowly than war.
(notwithstanding the potential and unrealized contributions of all the people who end up dead)

A relevant example: quantum mechanics was completely put on hold between 1914 and 1920. As was essentially all pure science not to mention all true international communication. Etc.





But I could be really pedantic and say if nothing else it gave us the song...
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01-02-2014, 05:59 PM
RE: 100 years later - remembering world war 1
(01-02-2014 05:53 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(01-02-2014 05:26 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  FT I guess nothing advances technology faster than a good war?

Few things advance technology more slowly than war.
(notwithstanding the potential and unrealized contributions of all the people who end up dead)

A relevant example: quantum mechanics was completely put on hold between 1914 and 1920. As was essentially all pure science not to mention all true international communication. Etc.





But I could be really pedantic and say if nothing else it gave us the song...
Tongue

I'm going to have to disagree, somewhat.

It is likely that basic scientific research gets put on hold, but some technologies get a boost. Nylon, sulfa drugs, plastics, ...

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