Was World War I worth it?

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,359
Portugal
#61
You haven't even addressed my last point, the one regarding the McCarthyist-Nazi witch hunting that seems to be going on. That's where I disagree with you. I find that way of thinking to be wrong and damaging to society.
Not sure if I understood you: You find that criticizing (you call it witch hunting, a poetic licence, I presume) today Nazi ideas and concepts is damaging to society? Well, in this case, I am quite happy to disagree with you.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,090
here
#62
Not sure if I understood you: You find that criticizing (you call it witch hunting, a poetic licence, I presume) today Nazi ideas and concepts is damaging to society? Well, in this case, I am quite happy to disagree with you.
No.......... there aren't any Nazi ideas or concepts being expressed here, that's the problem. You're seeing things that aren't there, that's the McCarthyism part: "a campaign or practice that endorses the use of unfair allegations and investigations."
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,359
Portugal
#65
Fine. If you're going to dodge like this and be so dismissive of my points then any further discussion between us probably won't be helpful.
Dismissive… maybe, that further discussion probably won’t be helpful, don’t know, again, maybe. But dodge from what Menshevik? That the concept of conquering “living space” was not a concept used by the Nazism? And that concept didn’t mark the historiography? And that words and concept are not relevant in the Human and Social Sciences? That the concept isn’t dangerous to today’s eyes?

If I understood you right, it was what you were saying or implying. And before that I don’t know what to say. Let’s say that I am temporary without words.

If I didn’t understood you right, please elaborate, because that was my understanding of your position.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
17,697
SoCal
#66
Not sure if I understood you: You find that criticizing (you call it witch hunting, a poetic licence, I presume) today Nazi ideas and concepts is damaging to society? Well, in this case, I am quite happy to disagree with you.
It is a bit dishonest to refer to my use of the term "living space" here as a Nazi idea, though; I mean, I clearly differentiated as to where exactly I think that the Nazis went extremely wrong in regards to this.

And for the record, in case here anyone doesn't know, I had Jewish relatives who were killed in the Holocaust and also relatives (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who fought in the Red Army against the Nazis during World War II.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
17,697
SoCal
#67
Well a territory can benefit (or not) from being conquered 100, 200 or 1000 years later, when we don’t have a way to compare how would have been its evolution. “Mexicans in the Southwestern” were killed during the war and suffered the consequences of the war and the aftermath – that was not much of a benefit (and this can be applied to any conquest war). Mexicans in the Southwestern saw their way of life and their culture (including their language) seen as a second rate culture, and only just recently in the USA the Mexicans (or generalizing, the Hispanics) are being seen as equals to the mainstream USA culture. And I don’t think that is necessary to document here this discrimination, since it is common knowledge, probably more to you that are from the USA, that to me that am from the other side of the Atlantic.
I actually did not previously hear about the lynchings of Mexicans. It sounds extremely awful and unacceptable. :( Was it systematic or merely the work of a few bad apples? Also, did the U.S. government punish those responsible for this?

I do know about the discrimination that Mexican-Americans faced and that was also unacceptable. :( In turn, though, this does raise an interesting question--can one support the conquest of living space but express opposition to some of what happened in these territories afterwards?

Anyway the line of thinking let us conquer them to improve their life is just a development/adaptation of “the white man’s burden” concept. And one thing is to study, understand and analyse how it happened in the past, that is the work of history, that should be as unbiased as possible, other is to use those concepts and apply them in the present to construct the future, that is the work of policies. And there are no unbiased policies.
Out of curiosity--do you oppose any territorial conquest which isn't based on the principle of national self-determination?

As for your main question in the thread, the WWI price never could be worth for the people of that time. For the future generations, and well… for us, well… we didn’t pay the price of blood, so it is quite debatable, we can always say that it worth the price, it is easy to say with the blood of the others.
Makes sense.

By the way, on one had, you didn’t need to be defended, as far as I know you, you are perfectly able to do so, on the other hand, I was not attacking you, at the most I was attacking (criticizing would be a better word) the use of a certain terminology and what that terminology implies in a history forum, even if seen in a euphemistic way.
Okay. Also, to clarify--you consider settler colonialism to always be wrong, correct?

In addition, for what it's worth, please feel free to criticize settler colonialism. I just don't think that all forms of settler colonialism should automatically be equated with Nazism. Likewise, I don't think that the term "living space" should automatically be equated with Nazism both because this term existed long before the Nazis and because there are plenty of other programs of settler colonialism which don't involve the Nazis.
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,437
Athens, Greece
#69
But without WWI doesn't this human hubris and "asynchronous political mentality," just continue?

It seems to me that WWI is what put to death the old order of things. "It's gonna get worse before it gets better," and "you gotta break a few eggs to make a omelette," are somewhat appropriate/helpful, I think, cliches for the sentiment I'm trying to convey.
I understand what you're saying, and yes, I agree that WWI put to death the old order of things. Which, in all probability, would have survived for some time more. However, sooner or later, change would have become inevitable, perhaps through a series of less bloody and world-shaking events, or through reforms that wiser than those of the time politicians would understand the necessity of. Nothing lasts forever, you can get from one point to the other through cautious, small steps, or through bold -and often bloody or fatal- leaps. WWI and WWII were such enormous leaps in history, but the changes they brought about by no means do they justify the loss of so many people. I believe that sooner or later these changes would have happened anyway, which by the way, were not all for the best. We could list several of those changes and try speculate what would have happened in regards to them, if WWI had never broken out. Which would have never happened?
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,359
Portugal
#70
It is a bit dishonest to refer to my use of the term "living space" here as a Nazi idea, though; I mean, I clearly differentiated as to where exactly I think that the Nazis went extremely wrong in regards to this.

And for the record, in case here anyone doesn't know, I had Jewish relatives who were killed in the Holocaust and also relatives (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who fought in the Red Army against the Nazis during World War II.
The idea precedes the Nazism, the Nazism adapted it and historiography was made of it. So why “dishonest” Futurist? Words have their height in human and social sciences.

As for the second paragraph is irrelevant to the point. The question of using the concept is irrelevant if used by A or B. The concept is the same. And is the use of the concept in our current language, with all its implications for the present (and future) that I am criticizing.

For instance, there are writings before or during the Mexican-American War, from US Americans, that the USA needed more “living space”? If there is your use of the word was correct, and I have to admit that I was mistaken, and my ignorance about the subject. I don’t have problems with that.

If there those ideas and writings then you are using words, commonly used in other historical context, and the analogy must necessarily be made, and must be questioned why its use. So more candid than this, I don’t know where to put it and I don’t know how is this being “dishonest”.

I actually did not previously hear about the lynchings of Mexicans. It sounds extremely awful and unacceptable. :( Was it systematic or merely the work of a few bad apples? Also, did the U.S. government punish those responsible for this?
I was referring about the casualties in the war. There were casualties from both sides. Don’t know if there were lynchings. USA history is a bit far of my usual field of readings.

I do know about the discrimination that Mexican-Americans faced and that was also unacceptable. :( In turn, though, this does raise an interesting question--can one support the conquest of living space but express opposition to some of what happened in these territories afterwards?
In History I usually avoid taking sides to understand better the past. So I don’t need to support A or B. Naturally this gets more and more difficult for more recent events that directly affected us. Maybe this is one of the reasons that recent events are usually excluded of this forum.

Out of curiosity--do you oppose any territorial conquest which isn't based on the principle of national self-determination?
In historical terms I can’t oppose to a thing that happened decades, centuries or millenniums ago. I just try to study and to understand it. For recent events, that can be reverted, of for present and future situations, yes, in principle yes. And I am careful with the use of “national self-determination”. The concept is correct but has been quite abused.

Okay. Also, to clarify--you consider settler colonialism to always be wrong, correct?
Again, in historical terms… it happened, I usually try no to suffer from presentism, I study and try to understand it. Using that concept for the present, yes, in principle it is wrong.

I just don't think that all forms of settler colonialism should automatically be equated with Nazism.
And aren’t. Here we can agree 100%.

Likewise, I don't think that the term "living space" should automatically be equated with Nazism both because this term existed long before the Nazis and because there are plenty of other programs of settler colonialism which don't involve the Nazis.
Here is our main point of disagreement. And, as I stated above, unless you provide me evidence that the term was previously widely used by others in other contexts, its use is incorrect. Furthermore what passed to the historiography and strongly marked it was the use of that terminology by the Nazism. Let me make the gross analogy of the swastika. It existed before, but the Nazism marked it.

BTW, I actually did previously create a separate thread about the topic of the mortality of conquering territory for living space:

The morality of conquering territory for living space?
I didn’t saw it. I will take a look and eventually post there. And probably leave this thread to WWI.