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"Would a world without the World Wars be better or worse? " Topic


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842 hits since 24 Oct 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 8:09 p.m. PST

Interesting "what if"… I like this phrase…

"…As cruel, as it may sound : the world wars have teached humanity at their time a damn awfull lot, of what our societies are awfully proud of today…."

Main page
link

Amicalement
Armand

Deadles25 Oct 2017 9:14 p.m. PST

Always an interesting question.

My own thoughts:

1. Continuation of older style governing regimes. Democracy a lot less robust in Europe and probably more power left in the European elites (aristocracy as well as industrialists).

2. European colonial empires last a lot longer (ie up to now).

3. Slower technological advances. Both WWI and II resulted in technology leap frogging.


4. Europe to stay top dog for longer. Both WWI and II had massive long term impacts on Europe's wealth and population.

5. At some point socialism either results in mass revolutions or runs out of steam.

6. Japan would still also maintain a large Asian empire and at some point would probably either get into a war with West or have to curtail ambitions.

7. Discovery of oil in Arabia and new fangled combustion engine might've resurrected Ottoman supremacy in the Mediterranean and even Indian Ocean.

8. I suspect at some point Austro-Hungarian Empire collapses regardless.

9. Russian Empire could've survived if next Tzar was more vicious.

10. Religion maintains influence in West for a lot longer.

11. Africa would be Europeanised with locals pushed ever further into the periphery.

12. Latin America would remain largely as it is now albeit with probably a bit less narco-terrorism due to slower progress of scientific development. Large chunks of Latin America today have not really moved past the early 20th century in terms of social development or political discourse.

13. I suspect at some point there may be more insurrections against English rule in Indian subcontinent. Nationalist like Gandhi were already active in late nineteenth century.

AlexWood26 Oct 2017 3:04 a.m. PST

They'd have happened.

Every so often there's a bloodletting in Europe and slightly less frequently there's a really big one that changes the map.

Thanks to the European empires these conflicts went global.

Legion 426 Oct 2017 5:03 a.m. PST

Well I've heard a saying, not really sure from where …

War is Good for Business …
War is Bad for Business …
No matter how bad things get … someone makes a profit …

wink evil grin

Oh and …

Know your enemy … but do business with them anyway …

Retiarius926 Oct 2017 5:45 a.m. PST

war is natural population control, it is unstoppable and necessary

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 6:06 a.m. PST

Yet maybe it is just as well
She has not bred her kind;
The ranks of unemployment swell,
And flats are hard to find.
For every year the human race
Richly we see increase,
And wonder how they'll find a place …
Well, that's the curse of Peace.

So let us hail the gods of war
With joy and jubilation,
Who favour foolish mankind for
They prune the population;
And let us thank the hungry guns
Forever belching doom,
That slaughter bloodily our sons
To give us elbow room.

From here:

countryjoe.com/war.htm

Based on the poems of Robert W. Service

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 9:09 a.m. PST

What about Israel?… the European Jewish community … would have emigrated there anyway?

Or would it have remained in their countries of origin? … in turn … the Ottoman Empire would have allowed the creation of the State of Israel?

Probably not… another war there?….


Amicalement
Armand

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 10:03 a.m. PST

A slower technological evolution maybe but most probably a much nicer world

Certainly not killing off 60 million or so people and devastating whole continents would be better

Deadles26 Oct 2017 2:35 p.m. PST

Tango,

No Israel. True push for Jewish homeland only really gains credence during WWI and then obviously comes to fruition thanks to WWII.


Frederick,

I suspect the Western world would have been more polluted. The environmental lobby is a post WWII invention. If we assume no WWI or II, then we have less democratic regimes (even the democratic ones), less pluralism and ultimately less civic involvement.

Nuclear power development is also not guaranteed so you'd have lots of coal power even up to now in countries that are mainly nuclear (eg France or previously Germany and Japan).

Lee49426 Oct 2017 4:14 p.m. PST

So. Interesting topic. The world certainly would have been better off without 100 million dead (most histories set the number way too low). Or atomic weapons. Or the destruction of priceless art like the Amber room. Not to mention the devastation of countless cities across the planet. We would have been better off without The Holocaust. Let me perhaps answer the other question. How is the world different because of The War (btw in a hundred years I believe historians will reclass WWI and II as one war lasting 31 years).

Surprisingly not very different. The monarchies would have fallen anyway. Studies have shown the population loss was made up within a few decades. Cities were rebuilt. The one lasting impact has been on technology. I'm not sure we would have had atomic weapons or a space program without the massive funding from The War and Cold War. So if you think we are better off with space stations and nukes then I guess you could say The War had a good impact. Me, I'd be happier without them.

Cheers!

RudyNelson27 Oct 2017 5:09 a.m. PST

Worse. War is part of mankind. There never has been a generation without it. Some countries may try to avoid it, but it is happening somewhere.

Supercilius Maximus27 Oct 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

The world certainly would have been better off without 100 million dead (most histories set the number way too low).

Really? Think how much more overcrowded the world would be without those 100 million people and their descendants. Then think about all the wars those pressures would have created.

deephorse27 Oct 2017 12:06 p.m. PST

Really? With that logic, and a current world population of 7.6 billion, we should all be at each other's throats now simply due to the pressures of over crowding. And we aren't.

Lion in the Stars27 Oct 2017 8:20 p.m. PST

We would have lost a lot of people due to diseases.

WW1 and 2 provided a lot of impetus for modern pharmaceuticals.

Begemot27 Oct 2017 10:45 p.m. PST

For those who seem to be suggesting that war is good and peace is not so beneficial let me suggest you put your views to the test and go get you and yours killed in a war. There are plenty about to choose from so the opportunities are abundant and close to hand. Think of the benefits your departure from this world will bring to those left behind. Good idea?

Supercilius Maximus28 Oct 2017 3:16 a.m. PST

With that logic, and a current world population of 7.6 billion, we should all be at each other's throats now simply due to the pressures of over crowding. And we aren't.

No (although actually I think we are heading in that direction rather rapidly). My point was that all the EXTRA people would have brought us to that position by now. Clearly you aren't living in southern Europe and experiencing the pressures of mass migration.

Eradicating war and disease is all well and good, but we need to find another (more humane) way to limit population growth.

Or somewhere else to live.

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

I don't think that we would be any less technologically advanced than we are at this moment. If you get a chance take a look at Jose Ortega y Gosset has to say in Revolt of the Masses. He makes a very convincing argument that it was the 19th century that really propelled human society technologically speaking. Yes World War I and World War II may have led to military innovations, but that doesn't mean that even greater technological innovations wouldn't have occurred in other realms of human endeavors if these wars had not occurred. In fact these wars undermined the very societies that gave rise to the great technological innovations of the late 19th century.

Kevin

Lion in the Stars28 Oct 2017 6:54 p.m. PST

@Begemot: I'm already eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. And the Disabled American Veterans. So I been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and scars), thanks.

But I was specifically thinking about vaccinations, antibiotics and other surgical improvements, to say nothing of the various tropical disease treatments.

There are a LOT of people alive today because of those. Hell, there are entire disease that just don't happen anymore, we have eradicated them from the planet.

I just wish we could have eradicated Malaria.

Legion 429 Oct 2017 6:50 a.m. PST

Good points Lion …

whitejamest29 Oct 2017 7:22 a.m. PST

I think Begemot's comment was directed toward those who are arguing the wars were somehow good for humanity because they 'thinned the population'. I'm with Begemot on that point. To argue that mass scale deaths are in themselves a benefit to the whole is to display a disgusting degree of callousness.

Claiming that the wars spurred technological benefits that outweighed the damage is one thing. I think those arguments are wrong and misguided, but they are a separate issue. To be glad so many millions of people died violent deaths because we're supposedly less crowded now is pretty disgusting.

Legion 429 Oct 2017 7:32 a.m. PST

To be glad so many millions of people died violent deaths
I don't think many would agree with that or want that to occur. We all have a pretty good working knowledge of history here. Or I'd like think so. Going to war should be avoided at all costs and very much as a last resort.

But as we all know if a country is invaded/attacked for whatever reasons, etc. At that point war is not only inevitable, but unavoidable.

Lee49429 Oct 2017 8:58 a.m. PST

Just to restate a point that many seem to miss. Wars do not thin populations. After major wars birth rates rise dramatically and within several generations the population is back where it would have been without the war. See Jay W Forrester The Limits To Growth. Lee

Supercilius Maximus29 Oct 2017 9:04 a.m. PST

To be glad so many millions of people died violent deaths because we're supposedly less crowded now is pretty disgusting.

Good job nobody on here said that then, isn't it?

Legion 429 Oct 2017 1:47 p.m. PST

War, famine, disease, etc. All will kill you and it does not look like any of that is going to change anytime soon. For a number of reasons …

Like the Energizer Bunny, the 4 Horsemen just keep going and going and …

Deadles29 Oct 2017 5:30 p.m. PST

No (although actually I think we are heading in that direction rather rapidly). My point was that all the EXTRA people would have brought us to that position by now. Clearly you aren't living in southern Europe and experiencing the pressures of mass migration.


Migrant crisis in Europe has nothing to do with overpopulation and everything to do with ever looser immigration policies implemented by the Europeans since the 1960s and promotion of globalisation.


Africa is actually still relatively underpopulated (though the population is going to boom over next 100 years).


--------


HOWEVER, without WWI and II, Western and Asian populations would've boomed to even higher levels due to a couple of things:

1. Contraceptive pill not invented.

2. Christian churches would've retained power a lot longer without success of Communism as well as 1960s counter culture revolution. So not as much female liberation (which allows control of one's own fertility).

I suspect Europe would still be exporting large numbers of people to Australia and North America as well as displacing indigenous types in underpopulated Africa.

RudyNelson30 Oct 2017 1:58 p.m. PST

It has long been a statistic that for every combat death there were 4 non-combat related deaths. This dropped in WW2 I think to a ratio of 3 to 1.
Since then it has actually gone up since combat medicine is saving more casualties from the battlefield who would have died in wars past.

Yes there has been technology advances as a result of warfare. Major colleges actually offer an option to American or World History course. These options are offered to students in the hard sciences. At Auburn the course was titled Technology and Civilization. I assisted with the class one semester as a GTA. Very interesting to follow the track of advances.

Since World War One had been predicted to break out in 1890 and then in 1900 and later 1910 based on papers you can find on micro-fiche from the era. West Points actually published a book on those wars and the forces involved. I think the author was Upton. That war could not have been avoided.

Could WW2 been avoided? No, the communist conflict with the west would have occurred. Other conflicts would have happened as well. Conflict in Africa and Asia for examples.

Deadles30 Oct 2017 2:40 p.m. PST

Conflict in Africa and Asia for examples.

Asia sure (Japanese, Chinese and Russians) but I don't know about Africa. Africa pre-1945 was owned by the Europeans.

If Europe isn't effectively destroyed by WWI and/or WWII, it would have been in a far better position to retain control of it's colonies in Africa.


Also bare in mind without WWII, you don't have the Soviets or the United Nations fermenting anti-colonial sentiment. WWII was a gift to anti-colonialists and communists alike (and very often the two went hand in hand).

Ottoathome30 Oct 2017 6:24 p.m. PST

Placing the correct level of revulsion and derision on those who take a fashionable cynicism of "weltschmerz" in disparaging overpopulation I would suggest they practice what they preach and hang themseleves and spare the world their presence. But first to all of them, please remember to drown your children like puppies in a bucket.

The answer to the question is an unqualified yes. Only monsters see benefit in human suffering and in every case, it is the suffering of others they desire, never their own.

Lee49430 Oct 2017 9:41 p.m. PST

Feel obligated to weigh in again re population "thinning". Historically wars don't impact overall population growth. See chart at link below. You can't even find the world wars as a blip on the growth curve. Going forward that might change as WWIII might well turn into a Nuclear Holocaust. And we are surely headed toward a Third World War if you watch or read any news except comic books. So those of you wishing for population control may get your wish. Be careful what you wish for. Remember that when you are glowing in the dark from radiation poisoning. Cheers!

link

wizbangs31 Oct 2017 3:55 a.m. PST

Is the point of this debate no WORLD wars or no wars at all? I thought it was the former even though the conversation thread shifted to the latter.

IMHO a big world war is better than leaving everyone to fighting regional conflicts. They get more scrutiny & are more disruptive to everyone's lifestyle. One of the problems today is that there are too many wars of convenience, so only those directly involved are horrified & question the civility of mankind. The rest of us just sit back &

watch it on TV.

Fighting a World War is like waiting till the holidays for a family fight to break out. Who doesn't remember a Christmas when Uncle Henry got into a vicious argument with aunt May or grandmother? If you don't air it out with everyone present, the anger & bitterness simmers or results in petty snipes at each other all year (my metaphor for regional conflicts). By dragging everyone into it, those with the better heads get involved and figure out a way to put an end to it.

4th Cuirassier31 Oct 2017 4:57 a.m. PST

Without the second war Germany and Japan would have remained aggressive, militaristic bullies.

This was because until about 1943, having your cities laid waste and your populace displaced and made homeless was largely something that happened to other people at the hands of your army. After that point, they happened to you at home, your big scary army couldn't do diddly squat about it, and no matter what your air force tried to do about it didn't avail, they just kept up the bombing.

So those two countries learned the error of their ways and haven't started any more wars since. Just being defeated and occupied alone aren't the cure, as we saw after 1918. Cities must be levelled.

deephorse31 Oct 2017 5:47 a.m. PST

HOWEVER, without WWI and II, Western and Asian populations would've boomed to even higher levels due to a couple of things:
1. Contraceptive pill not invented.
2. Christian churches would've retained power a lot longer without success of Communism as well as 1960s counter culture revolution. So not as much female liberation (which allows control of one's own fertility).

Do please explain how the two World Wars resulted in the invention of the contraceptive pill? Nothing I've read so far indicates any link between the two. Indeed, knowledge that certain hormones inhibited ovulation was established well before WWII broke out.

Do also explain how that hotbed of Communism, China, has seen a huge increase in Christians, from around one million when Communist rule started in 1949, to 67 million as of 2010 (a Pew Research Center study)? Further, it is thought that the number of Chinese Christians exceeds the number of Communist Party members, and some projections say that China will have the largest Christian population in the world by around the year 2030.

Mobius31 Oct 2017 6:05 a.m. PST

We had a great loss of productive people in the WWs. There might have been a slow transition from colonialism but that may have saved additional lives as well. There might not of been a Space Race or there might have been but between different nations. Who knows someone might have landed on the moon in the 1950s and we would be going to Mars about now.

Supercilius Maximus31 Oct 2017 8:14 a.m. PST

Also bare in mind without WWII, you don't have the Soviets or the United Nations fermenting anti-colonial sentiment. WWII was a gift to anti-colonialists and communists alike (and very often the two went hand in hand).

And let's not forget the splendid efforts of the good old US of A in this regard, such as supporting the Viet Minh against the French (and initially against the British who were trying to sort the country out after Japanese rule).

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2017 9:07 a.m. PST

"And let's not forget the splendid efforts of the good old US of A in this regard, such as supporting the Viet Minh against the French…"

They did?
link
link

As far as I can determine US support to the Viet Minh was confined to the period of their anti-Japanese activities during WW II. In fact, Secretary of State Dean Acheson specifically told the French that the US was against France even negotiating with the Viet Minh.
link

Ottoathome01 Nov 2017 6:02 a.m. PST

The overpopulation thinning is the most ridiculous idea ever to come along. Simple consideration will disprove it.

1. The only way to halt population growth is to prevent women from conceiving. In war the vast majority of casualties are not women but men. Only a womb can produce a child and women have a monopoly on them.

2. The number of males who GO INTO military service seems to be about 10% of the male population of any state. That is simply GOING INTO the armies, and most of them come out of them again hale and hearty, and lusting for women. Take more than 10% (at which point you are scraping the bottom of the barrel of the military available ages) and the nation begins to fall apart.

3. Actual DEAD from a war seems to hover around 10% of that 10% so you are talking about an infitesimal 1 to 3% of the male population of a country gets killed and they cannot fertilize the female wombs.

4. Meanwhile women will finds husbands and mates among the old and the young, the 4F and the shirkers (and the young are always willing to oblige) and so population goes on hardly checked by massacre of war.


So let's have no more of such silly talk. In fact the only means ever of slowing down human population growth are things like the Holocoust where the Nazis took everyone and killed them, women included.

Supercilius Maximus01 Nov 2017 6:10 a.m. PST

And the years immediately after WW2. The first US soldier to die in Vietnam – Lt Col Peter Dewey of the OSS – had just been expelled by the British for his support of the VM. The US also pulled the rug from under the feet of the Israelis, French and British at Suez, giving the USSR near-unfettered access to the Arab nations..

Murvihill01 Nov 2017 9:10 a.m. PST

One thing WW2 put to bed was the concept of racial superiority. In addition to disproving eugenics and genocide it led to decolonization and the equal rights fight here in the US. Not sure what would have happened without the concept failing the acid test.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

Lt Col Dewey was killed on September of 45, hardly "the years immediately after WW2." His official mission was as head of a 7 man team looking for missing US pilots as well as to report on the situation in the country following the Japanese surrender. His preference or sympathy for the Viet Minh were his own views and not US policy. Further there is no evidence either he or his team provided any material support to them.
link

As to the Suez crisis the UK, France and Israel all knew the US preference for a diplomatic settlement. They went ahead with the military action fully knowing this and knowing the US was not on board and would not back them.
link

donlowry01 Nov 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

Asia sure (Japanese, Chinese and Russians) but I don't know about Africa. Africa pre-1945 was owned by the Europeans.

So was Europe, but that didn't stop wars from breaking out there!

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