I combat, almost daily, the fascist lefty Lloyd-Georgiano-barbarian pre-civilisational claptrap about “Lions led by Donkeys”, when I try to teach “modern history” to young people. It is needful to do. The post-Hegelian-GramscoMarxiaNazis (who are baddish men and women, so please don’t try to buy used cars from them, or swap dirty un-Nortoned floppies with them) yet rule my people’s schools and “curricula”. So …. I must haul my swordpoint out of the bloodied mud in the very late afternoon, spit on my hands, grab the hilts, and hew, and do it some more, and sometimes teach in fierce technicolour. And hew, and slash. Again.
And some more. And of course, we are tired, very tired. It is so boring, and tiring, and enervating, and you wonder, gasping, when it will end: to have to fight over this old, old ground, over and over again. It’s just like Passchendaele.
I chanced to do Passchendaele on Wiki a few minutes ago, so as to compare its page with stuff I already know and which is in my Library. It is one of the human race’s most astonishing tragedies, and my position has not changed. If I had been Sean Gabb and also Prime Minister in 1917, then I expect that I would have tried to pull us out of the War.
But the point is that in such a war, there were two possibilities. Either the Allies were right, or they were wrong.
If they were wrong, then militaro-autarkic autocracy, personified by the “Second Reich” and what Brian Micklethwait has (many years ago so it’s not on his blog) called “Prussian Militarism” was going to and would deserve to triumph over all the world, and this would be beneficial. That of course was the intention, as exemplified by the building of a Blue-Water-Navy which emulated the British one precisely.
But if the Allies were right, (and the figures for voluntary enlistment in Britain, at least up to where it was terminated and replaced by consription, suggest this was thought to be so) then it was also right in the context of understanding people’s views of the time, to resist the “European” thrust. The “Central Powers”, which is to say “Europe”, also had naval officers who were not at all stupid, such as Holtzendorff, Tirpitz and Scheer, and who knew that submarines (most primarily) and sea-mines (secondarily) might win them domination of their enemies’ supply lines over the sea.
The entire tragic history of the world, for the last 193 years, hinges on whether English liberalism has the gumption to choose sides and fight for itself on the basis that it is right and other ideas are wrong, or not. At every turn, it has been actively opposed by European continental powers.
Sean Gabb thinks that the EU is “a” problem, but not “the” problem. I think it is “the” problem, now, specifially insofar as is inspires our own home-grown nazi bureaucrats (all too many, sadly, willing to take the money, so as to “only follow orders”) to enforce petty tyranny in areas where the EU does not or cannot be bothered to follow.
Perhaps through oversights, or else we were sleeping because drunk with temporary success in the 1980s, or because our rulers decided to spend the money (and we didn’t protest violently enough) – such as there was – on “peace-dividends” and on the machine-components of pre-capitalist-barbaric socialism (such as a “DHSS”, whatever that might be) we have fallen behind an enemy whose world-view sees us as being in its way.
It was a tragedy that the enemy in WW1 was who it was. This was entirely avoidable if the right measures had been taken both before and after that sad conflict.