Saturday, September 17, 2005

War, Individuality and the State

Jane Galt, see sidebar, requested recommendations for books to read. One of the two that struck me was Leftism by a Central European author Kuenhelt-Leddihn who recalls the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This reminded me of hearing that Freud had a nephew in the Army in WWI and supported this side. Dreadnought is supposed to be the best book on the origin of WWI. I started it; it was easy to read, a good read, but I succumbed to the 'one more book where am I going' syndrome, hadn't heard this comment about it then. It has been suggested that countries fail for a blind spot for 'too much of a good thing,' e.g. Britain for Empire, Prussia for militarism. Though the German Kaiser who seems to have passively instigated the war by positioning his Army for war and then telling his generals, 'Nah, forget about it,' to which they said, "But our (maneuver) plans are revealed, we must go forward!"; and who should have followed up with "Plans, Schmans. Go back to your bases," the ultimate (ok, innuendo) cause could be seen as Britain's drawing a diplomatic ring around Germany. The Kaiser had read a book by the American Mahan, Sea Power, that was read in the sixties by every first year NROTC cadet and had to have it. Well that bothered the h.. out of the English. As my almost father-in-law Pinkie said, they could see in Liverpool that Germany was outselling them in (I forget; maybe it had something to do with the azo dye the Germans had come up with or their shipping rates). He was from Bremen. This was like the US and Mexican mammas or whoever, at the moment, is scaring the bejeebers out of us. This is also why you see battleship tonnage of the opposing sides as if this produced the war. It produced disarmament conferences afterwards. Queen Victoria's beloved dead husband had been German, which one might think would have bound the countries but seems instead perhaps to have inspired (a phobic?) fear in the English. This is where I expect to come from in reading Kuenhelt-Leddihn in part. The other notable book is The Origins of War which shows evidence that war didn't develop until the bow and arrow suggested advantage for aggressive combat formations.

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