Or, yet another great example of why you really shouldn’t discount the human factor.
If they bother to teach it at all these days, World War I is still presented as a big mystery. You get some stuff about the Triple Entente, some other stuff about the assassination of the Archduke, maybe something about the Zimmerman Telegram. Why any of that should’ve led to the most horrific war in human history up to that point is left unexplained. Also left unexplored is how nobody seemed to see it coming. World War I just kinda…. happened, kids are taught.
You can blame the usual suspects for a lot of this — the Kaiser et al are far too White and male to be worth spending time on, especially when you’ve got to devote so many weeks to Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. But the other reason — the far more important one for our purposes — is this: It’s a mystery to the teachers, too.
As academics who have never set foot in the real world, they take other academics’ words at face value. And the academics of 1913 couldn’t figure it out either. They pointed out that a general European war would cause the world’s financial system to collapse; ergo there would be no war. Besides, they argued, even if Germany did go to war, she lacked the natural resources to sustain the fight. And finally, they claimed, the firepower of modern infantry is just too overwhelming — given their rates of fire, two regiments equipped with machine guns would wipe each other out in less than two minutes.
Credit where it’s due: The eggheads were right about all of that. The global financial system did collapse; Germany as constituted at the outbreak of war didn’t have the resources to keep fighting; and the initial skirmishes showed the overwhelming impact of massed firepower. But the eggheads never learned that people are people, and since people love fighting more than anything else in the world, solutions were quickly found.
The United States, with its shiny new Federal Reserve system (created late 1913), was more than happy to step into the financial breach, just as American companies were more than happy to help Germany (and everyone else) with their armaments shortage. And Walther Rathenau happened, as my students would write, keeping the raw materials flowing to German industry. And faced with the overwhelming firepower of machine guns, soldiers ducked. Then they dug, and there’s your four years of bloody trench warfare.
Even the outbreak of the war, far from being a mystery, is painfully obvious if you know the first thing about the major players. In what historians call the Long 19th Century (1789-1914), it was taken for granted that a nation needed colonies to be a serious power. The reasoning behind this was never too sound, and by the turn of the 20th century various smart guys had figured out that on balance colonies were more trouble than they were worth, but pretty much by definition smart guys don’t hold on to the reins of power. Bismarck didn’t — the Berlin Conference was supposed to keep jingo knuckleheads like the Wilhelm II from starting a war over a few acres of scrub jungle, but since Wilhelm II shared his class’s raging hardon for colonial expansion, all it ended up doing was sweeping Bismarck out of office. And as for Tsar Nicholas and his colonial adventures in the Balkans (and the Far East), one could write an entire book about that stupidity and still not cover all of it. Throw in England’s stuffed shirt of a king, and France’s legendary inability to maintain a stable government, and tragedy was inevitable.
In short, World War 1 was a massive, indescribably bloody dick-measuring contest between a few inbred yokels. To anyone who has met the Sons of Privilege,* or who is passingly familiar with the Peter Principle, this comes as no surprise. Hell, Lenin saw it, and a guy with his egg head further up his own ass you’ll never find.** All you have to do is look at the people, not the paper.
That’s where the modern political landscape gets so terrifying. Looking at the paper from the establishment Democrats’ point of view, their course of action seems obvious. And credit where it’s due, even Slow Joe Biden and Fauxcahontas are smart enough (or, more likely, have hired people who are smart enough) to see the obvious once it gets rubbed in their faces a few dozen times — Slow Joe is playing the above-it-all unifier, while Dances with Socialism has gone on a Hillary-esque “listening tour” for The Media’s benefit (Ace of Spades link). Should they choose, The Media can now memory hole all the “fake Indian” stuff, and yell “racist!” at anyone who tries to dredge it back up….
…but I don’t think they’ll choose to. The human factor always wins, and the humans (using the term in its strictest biological sense) in The Media are fed up close to bursting. The mask is completely off “The Squad,” and The Media couldn’t be happier. I’m sure that, in their heart of hearts, Nancy Pelosi et al don’t have a problem with BDS, or the Green New Deal, or any of the rest of it. But flying to Israel on the taxpayer’s dime to support Palestinian terrorism just doesn’t play in Peoria, and the Establishment Dems know it. The Media, however, do not — just look at the coverage.
I’m also quite confident that Nancy et al are even, in their heart of hearts, ok with “Antifa” shooting at cops and firebombing ICE offices. Nancy, after all, came up in the heyday of Jim Jones’s San Francisco, so she’s no stranger to political violence. But The Media absolutely cream themselves over “revolutionaries.” They’ve kept this stuff under wraps so far — Nancy et al have convinced them it’ll hurt Donald Trump more than it will hurt them if they keep it bottled up — but every single person in The Media had xhzhyr first wet dream about Che Guevara. I doubt they can keep it in their pants too much longer, especially if — as seems all but certain — “Antifa” commits some gaudy, gross atrocity in the 2020 campaign season.
Nor can we discount the human factor regarding Normals. Every day brings a new insult — Twitter colluding with China to suppress democratic protests in Hong Kong while all-but-openly banning anyone to the right of Mao; gender-and-race-swapping comic book characters; anything and everything to throw sand in Normals’ faces. If Trump’s victory in 2016 was The Great Fuck You, I can’t even imagine what it’ll look like in 2020, after four more years of this stuff ramped up way past 11.
It’s not looking good, but since the idiots in charge have never even thought about looking up from the paper, the whole thing is going to catch them completely unprepared. Forget “that’s how you got Trump;” this is how you get the Somme.