Monday, March 18, 2013

1939-1945 : Big MO goes Postal instead of going Monumental

Big MO is an appropriate nickname for The Age of Modernity because there was always something inhumanly massive about almost everything and anything that that age and the people within it turned their hands to.

Very hard indeed to imagine the people of the early 1940s not going Postal, and not going to deadly war with each other.

But if they hadn't been building bunkers and had been building monuments and buildings instead, this ponderous essence in their inner character might still be visible.

Hitler and Stalin, not wanting to be outdone by the Hoover Dam and the Maginot Line, were planning to leave their own marks in concrete and rebar steel, massive and tedious beyond all belief.

Modernity was all about regarding Reality as being thermo-settable : plastic until cured and then rigid forever more.

Concrete is the thermoset plastic par excellent : broken up, it is useless to re-melt into new concrete.

Rebar steel, while appearing to be plastic only when red hot and rigid at normal temperatures ( ie thermoset plastic in character) , is actually also somewhat thermosoft plastic in character as well.

Because used steel can be remelted and molded into a new shape as scrap, as part of the normal steel-making process.

Armour steel is thermoset plastic in its character, and became the wartime symbol of Modernity's massive and rigid nature.

Armour plate is plastic when red hot but at normal temperatures, it resists all change : even when change is coming at it in the form of a dense tungsten core of an anti-tank round moving in at 2500 miles an hour !

Bombers, bombs, bomber fleets - perhaps the most typical expression of Modernity at war, got steadily bigger and more armoured as the war progressed.

As did tanks, tank guns and tank fleets.

Ditto naval Taskforces : bigger battleships, bigger guns, bigger aircraft carriers, more armour, more speed, more aircraft and escort vessels.

More, more, more : every war machine just got steadily bigger, heavier, faster, higher, lower : extremes of any and all sorts.

Notably as the world got more war machines and the machines got bigger and fatter, the world's population growth shrank and people got thinner and thinner.

In WWII, (Modernity gone Postal), Modernity showed its true colors : placing machines before people even in the face of near universal malnutrition.

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