Another World War imminent?



  • https://medium.com/@theonlytoby/history-tells-us-what-will-happen-next-with-brexit-trump-a3fefd154714#.8cqhpyxgi
     
    Not behind a paywall so I won't bother quoting it all here. Just the bits I found most interesting:
     
    So zooming out, we humans have a habit of going into phases of mass destruction, generally self imposed to some extent or another. This handy list shows all the wars over time. Wars are actually the norm for humans, but every now and then something big comes along. I am interested in the Black Death, which devastated Europe. The opening of Boccaccio’s Decameron describes Florence in the grips of the Plague. It is as beyond imagination as the Somme, Hiroshima, or the Holocaust. I mean, you quite literally can’t put yourself there and imagine what it was like. For those in the midst of the Plague it must have felt like the end of the world.
     
    But a defining feature of humans is their resilience. To us now it seems obvious that we survived the Plague, but to people at the time it must have seemed incredible that their society continued afterwards. Indeed, many takes on the effects of the Black Death are that it had a positive impact in the long term. Well summed up here: “By targeting frail people of all ages, and killing them by the hundreds of thousands within an extremely short period of time, the Black Death might have represented a strong force of natural selection and removed the weakest individuals on a very broad scale within Europe,“ â€¦In addition, the Black Death significantly changed the social structure of some European regions. Tragic depopulation created the shortage of working people. This shortage caused wages to rise. Products prices fell too. Consequently, standards of living increased. For instance, people started to consume more food of higher quality.”
     
     
    Never really thought about it like that - survival of the fittest... or luckiest, maybe...
     
     
    My point is that this is a cycle. It happens again and again, but as most people only have a 50–100 year historical perspective they don’t see that it’s happening again. As the events that led to the First World War unfolded, there were a few brilliant minds who started to warn that something big was wrong, that the web of treaties across Europe could lead to a war, but they were dismissed as hysterical, mad, or fools, as is always the way, and as people who worry about Putin, Brexit, and Trump are dismissed now.
     
    Then after the War to end all Wars, we went and had another one. Again, for a historian it was quite predictable. Lead people to feel they have lost control of their country and destiny, people look for scapegoats, a charismatic leader captures the popular mood, and singles out that scapegoat. He talks in rhetoric that has no detail, and drums up anger and hatred. Soon the masses start to move as one, without any logic driving their actions, and the whole becomes unstoppable.
     
    That was Hitler, but it was also Mussolini, Stalin, Putin, Mugabe, and so many more. Mugabe is a very good case in point. ...
     
    Goes on to talk about Mugabe's rise, the subsequent ousting of white farmers, and destruction of economy, and relates it to the Communist regimes in both the USSR and China in regards to their starvation metrics.
     
    There is a long section on a theoretical start to another world war in the wake of Brexit, leading to destabilisation in Europe as Italy and France also leave. A fractured EU = fractured NATO and Putin makes his move in the Baltic states through funding far-right activism etc.
     
    Within that was another thing I'd not thought about before:
     
    The EU, for all its many awful faults, has prevented a war in Europe for longer than ever before. 
     
    Correlation/Causation aside, is that right? It has been 71 years since the end of WW2 but do we count the Yugoslav Wars in that?
     
    The last paragraph is fairly layered, but has some chilling thoughts in it:
     
    What can we do? Well, again, looking back, probably not much. The liberal intellectuals are always in the minority. See Clay Shirky’s Twitter Storm on this point. The people who see that open societies, being nice to other people, not being racist, not fighting wars, is a better way to live, they generally end up losing these fights. They don’t fight dirty. They are terrible at appealing to the populace. They are less violent, so end up in prisons, camps, and graves. We need to beware not to become divided (see: Labour party), we need to avoid getting lost in arguing through facts and logic, and counter the populist messages of passion and anger with our own similar messages. We need to understand and use social media. We need to harness a different fear. Fear of another World War nearly stopped World War 2, but didn’t. We need to avoid our own echo chambers. Trump and Putin supporters don’t read the Guardian, so writing there is just reassuring our friends. We need to find a way to bridge from our closed groups to other closed groups, try to cross the ever widening social divides.
     
     
    And he's a little self-deprecating 🙂
     
    (Perhaps I’m just writing this so I can be remembered by history as one of the people who saw it coming.)



  • LOL dammit! You bastards!!! :lol:



  • The eu prevented wars? FFs.
     
    We've been outsourcing our wars since ww2 and will probably continue to do so.



  • I think it is very difficult to gauge to what extent the EU has been responsible for maintaining peace and stability in Europe since WW2 and to what extent it can attributed to other factors:  western Europe having a common enemy in the Soviet Union, NATO, lack of will amongst Europeans for more bloodshed, unfettered nationalism being discredited, the disarmament of Germany, post war prosperity and so on.



  • That piece seems to ignore the current causes of resentment completely. I am sure a World War could happen, but it is simplistic nonsense to blame those who don't want to be subjugated. If there is a world war I predict it will be caused not by Brexit, but by thoseon the west who have followed a policy of appeasement and surrender for decades building up a powder keg. Some of us have been predicting a disaster in Europe for a long time, we are being proven right on nearly a daily basis.
    So I guess to will able to post 'I told you so'?
    And what has Trump specifically got to do with causing a war? US presidents have overseen wars in very recent times. 
     
    As for Europe, the theme seems to be that the way to avoid war is to simply allow the strong or determined to do whatever they want to be in control. Appeasement by very definition.
     
    If Britain wanting to control its own borders and be an independent country like Canada, US , NZ and Australia... causes a world war... blaiming Britain and those who supported Brexit seems a bit unfair.. What are the rules here? Stay as part of the European empire or there will be war? There is a word for the situation...



  • Not sure he was really looking at the underlying issues as his main point, just framing a discussion around how conflict arises, and quickly, from events that are a series of small triggers.
    I took his angle as examining a possible scenario, from an anthropological view point. Not stating that it is the most likely outcome or even looking at what the root causes were.
    Brexit vote has happened - so what if it goes to the next step? And then other EU nations start thinking about it?


  • Banned

    The West has no stomach for war. People would freak if they lost their WiFi connection for a couple of hours.
    Most European countries are now also so broke that they wouldn't be able to fight for more than a couple of days.
    If war does come it will be because of overreach by Russia and China not fucking Brexit.



  • If war does come it will be because of overreach by Russia and China not fucking Brexit.

    Which I think was mostly his point. Brexit alone wouldn't do this. It might simply be one point in a series of events - both before and after Brexit, including overreach by Putin to boost his own popularity - that leads to this.



  • You must be doing him a disservice surely? I dont think saying that the right collection of small things lead to war could possibly be the point?
     
    And why did he mention Trump? Brexit specifically... but nothing about Islamic appeasement,mass immigration,  the flawed EU model? etc  Unless he did... I didnt read the link, just your snippets.
     
    From my readings, it is just another left wing beat up of people disagreeing with them.



  • we need to avoid getting lost in arguing through facts and logic, and counter the populist messages of passion and anger with our own similar messages.

    Holy shit balls....
     
    And I don't think anyone is an intellectual liberal that wants to avoid using logic and facts in a debate. In fact I would argue that the author is not an intellectual liberal at all, but a regressive leftie.



  • The eu prevented wars? FFs.
     
    We've been outsourcing our wars since ww2 and will probably continue to do so.

    i wouldn't say it has prevented wars, but closer trade relations and freedom of movement do lead to people from different countries knowing more about each other and consequently being less likely to be able to be convinced of 'us vs them'.



  • Never really thought about it like that - survival of the fittest... or luckiest, maybe...

    this is related to one of my pet hates nick, so imma have a wee rant.
     
    for humans, the fittest and best of us are not those with the strongest immune systems, but those with the best brains. the plague, and anything else like that, does not discriminate on that basis, so it is a disaster from an evolutionary point of view.
    the thing that shits me is that you occasionally hear people making the argument that treating diseases / health problems is making the human species weaker, which is totally specious. i think it's pretty clear that humanity would not be in better shape if einstein, newton, jenner, the curies, faraday, darwin, pasteur, tesla, edison, hawking et al had died as children from something like asthma.



  • this is related to one of my pet hates nick, so imma have a wee rant.
     
    for humans, the fittest and best of us are not those with the strongest immune systems, but those with the best brains. the plague, and anything else like that, does not discriminate on that basis, so it is a disaster from an evolutionary point of view.
    the thing that shits me is that you occasionally hear people making the argument that treating diseases / health problems is making the human species weaker, which is totally specious. i think it's pretty clear that humanity would not be in better shape if einstein, newton, jenner, the curies, faraday, darwin, pasteur, tesla, edison, hawking et al had died as children from something like asthma.

    Actually you make a good point - so I'lls ay "luckiest" in that case. Pandemics are shit. EDIT and non-discriminatory.



  • Fascinating article Nick, interesting how you can find cycles everywhere. One of my family works in venture capital stuff, his boss saw the last collapse coming and got their team to batten down the hatches ready. All his younger staff thought he was just being paranoid but within the year shit happened and they were cashed up and ready to capitalise



  • Fascinating article Nick, interesting how you can find cycles everywhere. One of my family works in venture capital stuff, his boss saw the last collapse coming and got their team to batten down the hatches ready. All his younger staff thought he was just being paranoid but within the year shit happened and they were cashed up and ready to capitalise

    Would be interesting to see what happens if one of those pieces doesn't fall into place e.g. Article 50 is executed byt then somehow withdrawn. Trump doesn't win - though that doesn't necessarily mean Clinton is any better... just less of a fucking cuntstack I supposed.
     
    I'm just sick of the fucking hatred and pigeon holing and bullshit. Stop being fluffybunnys and just start being good fluffybunnys.



  • I read the full piece on-line.  TBH it sounded a bit like Winger.  The guys what a philosophy professor or something? Can't remember but whatever his background has no relevance, so I was a bit bemused as to why it was published.
     
    To me it was pompous and a bit grasping at straws to try and prove his point(s).
     
    Canefan - I wonder how often your rellies boss battened down the hatches and nothing happened...



  • I'm just sick of the fucking hatred and pigeon holing and bullshit. Stop being fluffybunnys and just start being good fluffybunnys.

    A good step towards that goal then would be for people to stop attacking Trump supporters, Brexit supporters etc etc. It seems nowadays tolerance is preached but not actually actioned. Your article is a great example, the pomposity and self righteousness is incredibly confrontational, the whole article is just one long 'Fuck You' to anyone who does not agree with the political leanings of the author. In fact to use your words the article was pigeon holing and bullshit and the author being a fluffy bunny.
     
    And for the record, I think tolerance is a bit of a fools gold, the reality is that that you are not going to be very tolerant of people who treat you like shit, do things you dont like or who are just twats.



  • Canefan - I wonder how often your rellies boss battened down the hatches and nothing happened...

    Considering his investors are a who's who in NZ business circles I'd say he knows a bit about what he is doing



  • A good step towards that goal then would be for people to stop attacking Trump supporters, Brexit supporters etc etc. It seems nowadays tolerance is preached but not actually actioned. Your article is a great example, the pomposity and self righteousness is incredibly confrontational, the whole article is just one long 'Fuck You' to anyone who does not agree with the political leanings of the author. In fact to use your words the article was pigeon holing and bullshit and the author being a fluffy bunny.
     
    And for the record, I think tolerance is a bit of a fools gold, the reality is that that you are not going to be very tolerant of people who treat you like shit, do things you dont like or who are just twats.

    Sorry are you trying to preach tolerance?  I read your posts and most people who do not subscribe to your world view are "apologists" or your favourite "regressive leftie" or regressive liberal fluffybunnies



  • Holy shit balls....
     
    And I don't think anyone is an intellectual liberal that wants to avoid using logic and facts in a debate. In fact I would argue that the author is not an intellectual liberal at all, but a regressive leftie.


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