Friday, March 15, 2013

the "THEATRE" of war : 1939-1945

WWII started out on a note of uplift in 1939, with its three actors (Scientific Racism, Scientific Capitalism and Scientific Socialism) all united in eating the scenery but ended in farce in 1945, as the scenery proceeded to eat the three actors.

These actors can't be said to lack ambition.

Japan and Germany agreed to divide the world between them, planning over the course of a few years to double their size every three months until they had grown from roughly 100,000 square miles in size into giants 100 million square miles in size.


These were to be formal empires, ruled directly from Berlin and Tokyo.

Washington and Moscow planned, instead, just informal empires , ruling indirectly, but also saw no reason to stop at sharing the globe with anyone : an entirely capitalist or communist world would do nicely.

But in all these variegated planned empires , their shared gods would at least be a constant : all praise Newton, Dalton and Darwin !

In Physics, Newtonian ballatics still held total sway : for Nordenized bombs , neither snow,rain,heat nor the gloom of night would stay these couriers of death from their anointed round : enemy barrels would soon be in right some pickle.

In Chemistry, Dalton's simple adding together of elemental atoms  had been shown, mostly by German chemists, as able to create anything and everything.

 Hitler, among others,  was reassured that  no more would hunger be a restraint on war, with all the resulting disease and government-toppling food riots. "No bread ? Why don't they just eat food pills ?"

In Biology, all three actors believed in negative and positive eugenics, with characteristic national differences in its actual application.

In Germany, quoting from the Old Testament of Darwin, the matter was strictly genetic, nature not nuture.

Certain races, bound by blood, were irredeemable and to be terminated negatively.

Other races were more plastic and could be molded positively into becoming the new Aryan superman.

Stalin much preferred the New Testament of Darwin , the Lamarck side of the old man , with certain classes , bound by their wealth and education, as irredeemable and to be terminated.

But the workers were more plastic and could made into the new socialist supermen.

America and most of the rest of the modern nations took a bit from both of these extreme positions and saw it was individuals within their nations that were irredeemable , mostly of one class admitably but in that class because of their genetic nature.

Flash forward to the summer of 1945, six long year later.

The actual course of the war hadn't gone exactly to any of the three actors' plans but instead had rather meandered , with Norden-like precision, widely and wildly all over the map.

The Norden bombsight, that apogee of Newtonian ballistic  precision, had been proven so inaccurate thanks to recalcitrant Nature, that the war only truly ended in August when a massive fire bomb was dropped, out of a bomber named after someone's mother,  and burned thousands of babies to death.

Now as long as your bombsight was accurate enough to be sure of hitting the right country, (something that bomber pilots from all combatant nations failed to get right at times), it was good enough : the A-bomb became Physics' reluctant Plan B.

And that summer all over the world, from Vietnam to the Netherlands, people were still looking up to the skies still hoping to see the long promised food pills drop out of the butterfly bombers like modern day manna.

Most dead people in this war, like most wars, still ended up dying of hunger and its diseases : Nature never bites back more violently that in the human stomach.

But no food pills. In fact, a few thousand chemists with PhDs and endless pots of money had even failed to assemble a few of Dalton's atoms into tiny molecules only 300 daltons in size.

So, in the end,  penicillin and quinine still had to be made by dumb nature : and Oxford University's most refined, dying, were saved by Pfizer's Brooklyn Crude, Chemistry's reluctant Plan B.

In fact, Oxford's most refined and least refined were both saved indifferently by Pfizer's and Glaxo's medicine, a sort of chemical Beveridge Report in action.

In July, the voters of Britain, having had a chance to look over what Buchenwald and Beveridge had offered as a solution to the problem of the weak and the poor , had voted overwhelmingly for Beveridge, Biology's reluctant Plan B.

Because even in race-above-all Germany, irredeemable races were soon found to be redeemable after all,  as farming and mining slaves , to keep Germans from starving and freezing to death.

Tens of millions of non-Germans filled every corner of nation that had started a war in an effort to purify itself all foreigners and all useless mouths.

Have I proven that irony and war are made for each other....

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