British Legion Poppies

borderpolice

Well-known member
Are you saying that you can't see a "strategic" alternative to Nazism for pre-WWII Germany as a way of countering the Communist threat?

No I am saying that I find it difficult to see what to do against the stalinist threat other than going on the attack first. If Hitler and all NSDAP members had committed suicide in 1937, and a democratic quacker/ghandian government had succeeded them, the Stalinist threat had still been there. The soviets clearly wanted to spread their revolution. That was always their goal. That was never hidden. Germany was generally regarded as next o n the list, since Marx. Given the extreme violence of the soviets under Stalin, there was a real problem. I have no good solution to this, I'm sorry.

What do you suggest doing if the biggest country around announces that from now on all its industial efforts will be concentrated on its army, so it can invade you in a few years? And if that country kills a > 7 digit number of its own citizens?
 
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vimothy

yurp
No I am saying that I find it difficult to see what to do against the stalinist threat other than going on the attack first. If Hitler and all NSDAP members had committed suicide in 1937, and a democratic quacker/ghandian government had succeeded them, the Stalinist threat had still been there. The soviets clearly wanted to spread their revolution. That was always their goal. That was never hidden. Germany was generally regarded as next o n the list, since Marx. Given the extreme violence of the soviets under Stalin, there was a real problem. I have no good solution to this, I'm sorry.

What do you suggest doing if the biggest country around announces that from now on all its industial efforts will be concentrated on its army, so it can invade you in a few years? And if that country kills a > 7 digit number of its own citizens?

= good reasons for Germany fighting in WWI and WWII, but not the UK or the US?
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
= good reasons for Germany fighting in WWI and WWII, but not the UK or the US?

You did not answer my question. Why?

I very much do see the rationale for UK and US involvement in these wars. I'm not saying this is all irrational. On the contrary, it was all totally rational, but it was a prisoner's dilemma kind of situation, where each actor acted rationally, leading to a suboptimal overall outcome. The situation was just very screwed.

I do think that the best and easiest way to avoid WWI and WWII would have been before WWI: the UK should have announce to scale down its empire conditional on other colonial powers making similar moves. I do think this would have avoided WWI and the asian WWII for sure.

I am completely clueless as to what to do with the stalinist threat.
 
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crackerjack

Well-known member
I am completely clueless as to what to do with the stalinist threat.

Build up your own defences, make alliances with neighbouring countries who might feel similarly threatened, don't murder millions of your own citizens. Common sense stuff.
 

vimothy

yurp
You did not answer my question. Why?

I thought it was a bit silly.

What do you suggest doing if the biggest country around announces that from now on all its industial efforts will be concentrated on its army, so it can invade you in a few years? And if that country kills a > 7 digit number of its own citizens?

Invade Poland?

Massacre Nanking?

Obviously you would have to fight back - and I am totally anti-communist / collectivist and so support the fight against Communism during the Cold War. I do not approve of the alliance between the USSR and Britain / America during WWII, but am aware that there are lots of grey areas and limited options. However, that doesn't mean that I have to support the fight of Nazi Germany against the USSR. Two tyrannies doing what tyrannies do best, killing people, at home and on the battlefield, is not very appealing. Neither have legitimacy in my eyes.

I see the implications of your argument as being that Nazi Germany was the rational response to British and Soviet actions. This is wholly ridiculous, IMHO. Interestingly, you also seem less anti-war than you did upthread...

I very much do see the rationale for UK and US involvement in these wars. I'm not saying this is all irrational. On the contrary, it was all totally rational, but it was a prisoner's dilemma kind of situation, where each actor acted rationally, leading to a suboptimal overall outcome. The situation was just very screwed.

Sometimes war is necessary because if you do not fight, you will die or be enslaved by people who will. However, that is no excuse for Fascist dictatorships to start global conflagration and building industrial death camps in ostensible annoyance with peace terms, access to natural resources, shipping lanes, or fear of the (very real, I agree) Soviet threat.

I do think that the best and easiest way to avoid WWI and WWII would have been before WWI: the UK should have announce to scale down its empire conditional on other colonial powers making similar moves. I do think this would have avoided WWI and the asian WWII for sure.

That's what I thought you said.

I am completely clueless as to what to do with the stalinist threat.

Nazism and mass-murder won't help. And indeed, didn't.
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
That worked really well for preventing WWI ...

The situations are not analogous, as you should know. WWI was fought because Germany got in late on the empire game and wanted to compete with Britain and France. If, as you are (unconvincingly) claiming, WWII was Germany's purely defensive reaction to fears of Stalinist Russia, there was ample common ground to be forged with the European powers.
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
Neither have legitimacy in my eyes.

I agree with this.

I see the implications of your argument as being that Nazi Germany was the rational response to British and Soviet actions.

As I said, I disapprove of Nazi policies. But I find it difficult not to see how their judgement came about that Stalin was a grave threat that needed to be fought.

Rational is maybe a very bad choice of words. I find your "limited options" better. I disapprove how the war was fought, but I find it hard to see how to deal with the stalinist threat otherwise.

This is wholly ridiculous, IMHO. Interestingly, you also seem less anti-war than you did upthread...

I am not a pacifist. I do think that WWI and WWII was avoidable. And should have been. I do think the root cause of WWI and WWII is in colonialism.


Sometimes war is necessary because if you do not fight, you will die or be enslaved by people who will.

I agree. But this thinking, as unavoidable as it may be, is also behind the attack on the Soviet Union, whether you like it or not.

However, that is no excuse for Fascist dictatorships to start global conflagration and building industrial death camps

Of course it is not, and I didn't say so. In fact this was very conterproductive obviously.
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
The situations are not analogous, as you should know. WWI was fought because Germany got in late on the empire game and wanted to compete with Britain and France.

I disapprove of the term "Game" in this context. It is not a game, it was serious.

If, as you are (unconvincingly) claiming, WWII was Germany's purely defensive reaction to fears of Stalinist Russia, there was ample common ground to be forged with the European powers.

I am not claiming that "Germany's purely defensive reaction", I am claiming that a very real fear of stalinist Soviet Union played a major role in the creation of the european WWII.

I very much agree that "there was ample common ground to be forged with the European powers". But forging it was facing serious difficulties, the causes and outcome of WWI being important of them. Trust is important in politics, especially in matters of life and death.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
That worked really well for preventing WWI ...

But that was a fight between old European imperial powers; the USSR only came into being when the war was 3/4 over.

Edit: that was the Russian Revolution, the USSR was founded in 1922.
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
I am not claiming that "Germany's purely defensive reaction"

Well you have spent an awful lot of time on this thread justifying the German attack on USSR as defensive in nature and being the driving force behind WWII in Europe, even though Operation barbarossa was preceded by an aggressive european expansion programme by the Nazis.

But then given that your whole purpose on this thread has been to attempt to establish some sort of moral equivalence between imperial Britain and nazi Germany it's hardly surprising you're tying yourself in knots.
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
Well you have spent an awful lot of time on this thread justifying the German attack on USSR as defensive in nature and being the driving force behind WWII in Europe, even though Operation barbarossa was preceded by an aggressive european expansion programme by the Nazis.

I do think that this was a prelude to the attack on the USSR. I do believe that if Stalin or somebody like him had not been in power, that attack would not have happened. I also do believe that Stalin would have attacked Germany in the mid or late 1940s even if Germany had been a totally pacifist democratic government.

I'd be happy to be convinced otherwise.

it's hardly surprising you're tying yourself in knots.

I am tying myself in knots because this is a really difficult matter. I do not wish to endorse Hitler, Stalin or Colonialism, but I cannot avoid seeing how they interrelate.
 
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crackerjack

Well-known member
I find it very interesting that the only part of my previous post you don't quote back at me is this:

But then given that your whole purpose on this thread has been to attempt to establish some sort of moral equivalence between imperial Britain and nazi Germany

Does that mean you agree with it?
 

borderpolice

Well-known member
Does that mean you agree with it?

No, I am not agreeing with this. I am not trying to establish this equivalence. I am trying to argue that poppy-wearing is a pretty bad whitewash of history, and that if one comemorates one's dead soldiers, one should not forget why they were fought, and what they did.

As I said before I believe that neither WWI nor WWII would have happened w/o the prehistory of colonialism. And those who are commemorated with poppies had their fair share of involvement in colonialism.

I am basically asking for a more balanced form of memory.

But maybe discussing the matters that we have discussed here should not be discussed in a public forum like Dissensus. It offends too many sensiblilites. For the time being, it's probably best to leave it to the historians. I would like to apologise to those I may have offended!
 
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crackerjack

Well-known member
And those who are commemorated with poppies had their fair share of involvement in colonialism.

This is debatable. A war fought in Europe between colonial powers didn't really contribute to the sum total of colonialism. You might even claim that by fighting among each other they hastened its end.


I am basically asking for a more balanced form of memory.

By saying this?

Wearing poppies is basically racism. In essence it says: It is more acceptable for Anglo-Saxons to invade other countries than for other countries to invade the Anglo-Saxons. Not surprisingly, only conservatives and the right wears poppies in my experience.

and

Why would anyone want to remember people who, quite willingly by and large, fought for an anglo-saxon supremacist regime?

and

Who is "we"? And what are these ties? Blood, Soil and Honour?

and

I do think that the Nazi's foreign policy is a fairly predicatble response to the (1) the large number of german deaths in WWI, (2) allied colonialism and, most urgently (3) the soviet union's expected attack attack on germany. While I disapprove of just about anything the Nazis stand for, I find it hard to see the strategic alternative for dealing with the stalinist threat.

You have been weighed and found wanting, chum.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
As I said before I believe that neither WWI nor WWII would have happened w/o the prehistory of colonialism. And those who are commemorated with poppies had their fair share of involvement in colonialism.
Sure, the commanders and political elite who directed Britain's involvement in the world wars were fully complicit in colonialism, but the poppies aren't to comemmorate them, because they didn't fight on the front line, or at all. I don't really see how some 20-year-old milkman or farm hand, who was conscripted to fight in a war whose origins he dimly if at all understood, could be called 'inolved in colonialism'.
I am basically asking for a more balanced form of memory.
Well sure, there's nothing wrong with that: that's why we have events like the recent comemmoration of the abolition of slavery, for example. Britain, on the whole, is a lot more apologetic about its imperial past than many countries.
I would like to apologise to those I may have offended!
Furry muff.
 
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borderpolice

Well-known member
This is debatable. A war fought in Europe between colonial powers didn't really contribute to the sum total of colonialism. You might even claim that by fighting among each other they hastened its end.

The european war was hardly the only war ever fought. It is difficult to see why you keep on ignoring this context.

By saying this?

It is easy to use selective quotes. The substantive issues about colonialism remain.
 
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