Monday, July 13, 2015

WWII : diverse Ideologies of "Ends" but a single Methodology of "Means"

Traditionally, immense philosophical differences between three "clusterings of ideologies" are said to be the reason for the intensity of violence that was WWII.

So one clustering group, for example, claimed to be benevolent-to-their-own-race racists.

The Germans claimed to be protecting the white race and the Japanese claiming to protect the yellow (or even all colored races).

Perhaps fortunately for the entire world, this was doubletalk.

The two were actually only nationalists cum imperialists : the Germans treated most other whites almost as badly as they hoped to mistreat the coloreds, just as the Japanese treated fellow yellow races at least as badly as they mistreated whites.

This narrow nationalism destroyed both nations' ability to unite the wide and strong coalitions needed to defeat their many opponents.

The various kinds of Marxists and Communists all started out claiming they intended to take everything from the world's middle class and give it all to the world's working class.

And after an initial violent overthrow of the existing system, they promised to end state executions.

And indeed they did start out by taking from the rich and giving to the poor - if the poor is defined as the upwardly mobile urban industrial working class.

But soon they all began to take from everybody and give it mostly to massive military buildups against imaginary enemies, so somewhat continuing to benefit the industrial worker, but also ensuring that the working class didn't get too much of the nation's new wealth and start feeling frisky.

In addition, a very generous share went to an entirely new middle class cum ruling-forever class made up from some of the smarter, more ambitious and more ruthless children of the working class.

Even more depressingly, the communists in all the various nations in which they seized power soon acted exactly the same way against their minorities and neighbouring nations as the previous aristocratic and capitalist rulers had done.

And to do so, they secretly murdered millions of all sorts of people over the decades, all the while publicly claiming to have ended capital punishment, except in cases of treason.

Once again deep rooted narrow nationalism cum imperialism seemed to have trumped the nominal world-wide official ideology.

And yes, doubletalk once again - though in this case, there seemed a widespread and genuine surprise among marxist & communist intellectuals that it all ended up this way.

The third clustering gathered the rest of the world's nations, be they dictatorships, monarchies or liberal democracies , united only around just one thing : the all out defence of well-off people's private property (and the nominal defence of the 'individual').

Once again doubletalk.

The defence of ill-gotten capital accumulation was sincere enough, but in practise most of the rewards and the protection of the law that was supposed to go to all individuals, instead went to native-born, educated, upper middle class, straight males of the dominant religious and ethnic group.

These nations might never declare formal military war against each other but they were always secretly at war against each other over matters of money.

In the form of nationalist trade wars, together with nationalist wars over intellectual property rights and nationalist wars over the flow of capital, labour and goods.

So once again, behind the smokescreen doubletalk of universal brotherhood of individual rights, nationalism trumps all.

One can only point to the immense secret efforts by both America and Britain, at the very depths of their Allied war against Hitler and Tojo, to beggar the other in postwar trade matters, to show how much greed is the real underlying ideology of many of our rulers.

And all three clusterings were united in giving unearned wealth to members of their privileged subgroups by taking from the weak.

The weak might be an internal group - their own majority ethnicity's poorest . Or it might be the more traditional form of imperialism - taking the natural resources and labour from ethnic and religious minorities inside the borders of their empire cum nation or from overseas 'colonies'.

So imperialism and nationalism actually united all three supposedly different ideological clusters.

But they then had to morally justify why it was so very morally wrong to steal private property of the strong but quite alright to steal the private and public property of the weak.

The traditional way was to claim that their nation-empire-civilization was the sole, best, bearer of the one true religion and that they weren't stealing at all - merely extracting a university tuition sized fee from the heathens in exchange for teaching them of this priceless boon.

But there were quite a number of one true and universal religions in the nineteenth century and this led to wars among them ---- as long as people still believed in religions.

But when people stopped believing that there was any real difference between Catholics and Protestants, indeed between Christians, Moslems and heathens, a new moral justification was required.

Now the true civilizations, those worthy enough to enslave other lesser beings and feel morally good about it, were the most scientific ones.

A peculiar form of science. mind you - one much beloved by Conservatives and Republicans of the day - because it said that Evolutionary success inevitably went to the big and ruthless over the small and weak.

Better science meant both better guns to put down the scientifically backward darkies and in feeling a warm moral glow while doing so.

Because if the darkies had fought back successfully, that would mean that they too are scientifically advanced and hence a worthy civilization, in evolutionary terms.

A clear example of this was how the West responded when Japan beat the Russians in the 1905 war.

But science is truly universal, at least in the big picture, so how then to justify why it was right for scientifically advanced England to invade backward China but not for scientifically advanced Japan to do the same ?

I have often thought the sudden rise of many new ideologies at the same time as the sudden rise of Scientism was somehow intimately connected.

I don't mean the people who founded these various -isms were insincere.

The Magnification of Small Differences

I just mean the success of these many brand new ideologies can be laid to the fact that they allowed 'moral' wars against each other among the world's powerful and ruthless, elites who were otherwise united in all worshipping at one new and universal religion - scientism and its offshoots : the new nationalism, the new imperialism, the new racism and the new social darwinism...

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