Friday, November 5, 2010

"Confounding the Mighty, 1939-1945" Part One

When History's biggest bloodiest war is won by a deaf mute (aka Mother Nature) the story of the war is almost bound to be told by its biggest losers, the four nations who have the most reason to defend their losing roles.

 It doesn't hurt that these four (America,Britain,Germany and Japan) also have the financial and demographic clout to have their version (of just how the war panned out) become the dominant one.

Nominally, two of these four (America and Britain) were the human winners and two (Germany and Japan) were the human losers, so it seems hard to imagine the four having much to say - collectively - about the results of World War Two.

No so.

The Germans and the Japanese were among the world's biggest industrial, scientific and modernist powers in 1939.

They got there not by the wealth of their material resources but on sheer intellectual willpower.

They respect intellectual willpower - in fact, believe as no others do that it is the most important element in the rise of a superstate - not the size of a state's original resource base.

Britain holds this view too, though a little less strongly - willing to grant much to the role of its resource rich empire in its rise to world power status. But it also places much credit for its rise upon the unique character of the British character, formed in its unique schools.

America holds this view strongly as Britain - it freely admits it has somewhat more natural resources than do Russia, China, India,Brazil, Canada and Australia - but says that wasn't enough to make the USA the world power it is : grant much, they plead, to the exceptionalist American character.

So American and Britain freely admit that they were not as good in  military willpower as were the Germans or the Japanese - but that the superior scientific willpower of the Allies won through.

Few Germans or Japanese disagree : 'we had the best best military, but they had the best Big Science.'

All four say, in effect, that this was a war between humans, between clashing human wills .

The natural resource imbalance between Axis and Allied weighted for little.

In fact they claim WWII (accurately) as the first war where the majority of deaths were caused directly by (K-selected) humans and not indirectly by Mother Nature's invisible minions... the invisible living beings that are the (r-selected) causes of malnutrition and disease that usually rule other wars.

Seems then that I have my work to cut out, to prove that Nature won WWII and that human willpower lost it, doesn't it ??

No comments:

Post a Comment