Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Some Lessons from History

Which only means “we” are doomed to repeat these….

I have begun to read a book that examines the history that led to the Great War.  This period has always been of interest to me as I have not found satisfying explanations as to why Europe decided to consume itself so completely (and deal its suicide blow).  Toward this end, I came across The Lost History of 1914: How the Great War Was Not Inevitable, by Jack Beatty.

From a review at Amazon:

Augmenting the literature on the origins of WWI, Beatty dwells on domestic political situations in the initial belligerents, plus the U.S. According to him, but for those particular arrangements and specific events, war might not have erupted in August 1914.

Beatty examines the internal politics of the several belligerents: Germany, Russia, England, The United States and Mexico (examined together), Austria-Hungary, and France.  I have only read a few pages, yet have found a couple of items worth touching upon – timely for today, given current events, hence my desire to capture these outside of a more general review of the book (and incorporation of dozens of dates for my Timeline to War).

War is Improbable

One most likely feature regarding NATO’s actions toward Russia in our time is that none of the leaders of this eastward-advancing military force believe that their actions will ever lead to full-scale war.  I find this both risky and nonsensical, but no one of any importance or influence asked me.

It turns out that the same was true during events leading up to the suicide blow of the West – the Great War:

Regarding war as improbable, Holger Afflerbach hypothesizes, leaders took risks that made it possible.  Armageddon happened because men believed it could not happen. 

We know improbable shortly thereafter became certain.  Until the eve of war, the reality of war – and especially such a completely devastating conflict – was not considered probable.

Given the risks of confrontation with Russia today, I find only two possibilities behind the actions of those leaders who are pushing those risks: 1) they do not believe war is probable – Russia will not react violently no matter the provocation, or 2) they are suicidal (and homicidal) maniacs.

“All of the above” is also an acceptable choice.

They Never Saw it Coming

In reference to the revolutions that consumed Tsarist Russia, Beatty writes:

Reviewing twenty-six international crises between 1898 and 1967, the political scientist Richard Ned Lebow concludes, “These case histories suggest the pessimistic hypothesis that those policymakers with the greatest need to learn from external reality appear the least likely to do so.”

Despite the countless signs – strikes, warnings from more prescient advisors, etc. – those who were the ultimate decision makers were oblivious to the realities that were soon to consume the Tsar, his family, and millions of Russian citizens; one of the bloodiest revolutions known to man boiling right under their noses, and most missed all signs.

They live in a bubble; they see the only reality that they know.  This is one failing of the elite and their mouthpieces and opinion-shapers.  They couldn’t see Trump coming, they couldn’t see Brexit coming, etc., etc., etc.

If they were gods, the elite would not have this problem.  Human elite are characterized by hubris, not omniscience; intelligence, not wisdom.


  1. A glad reminder that the elites are neither all-knowing nor all-powerful, and as such their schemes will never be fully realized.

    I do think that there may be two levels of "elites" that we're dealing with today - the political elite and the global-financial elite. I suspect you're thinking of the former group in this post. They truly do live in a well-meaning bubble and often can't foresee the consequences of their political agendas. But the global-financial elite, who act unseen by the common person and who hold the ultimate purse strings of the central world banks, do clearly know their end-game and are not surprised by the majority of world events. I would even venture to argue that large-scale war is part of their scheme as a means of periodic depopulation (as was the case in World Wars I and II). They need enough productive people to fund their wealth, but they also know that too many people become difficult to control.

    1. I'm not convinced that war is their chosen tool, or a tool, for population control or reduction if they even have this on their agenda. Reduced population might be a byproduct of this, but using this as a tool for population control is only likely to raise eyebrows if carried out to reduce global population in a significant way.

      The War in Iraq has a staggering death toll, but enough to reduce population in a significant way that's characterized by the belief in elite driven population control? I don't see it. The black plague reduced global population by 100 million without an agenda.

      I'd say if depopulation is the goal, familial destruction has been far more effective. Encourage abortions, provide free abortion on demand, make "not being a mother" a trend and an aspiration, feminize the men, make the women masculine, turn the youth into a pack of shrieking simpletons that don't have the mental faculties to relate to another human being outside of social media, thus destroying the dynamic of the building blocks that make relationships that foster healthy balanced children, or any children at all.

      This has been what's happening, and birth rates get lower with each new measurement, while the global average age is in the upper 60's. Intended or not.

    2. C. Stayton, I agree with your distinction, and also that in this post the reference is to the political actors.

      I also agree that the global financial elite are more sophisticated and reasoned in their views and actions. The political elite are more like wind-up robots: unthinking, just playing the part they have been trained to do. Which is why I believe many of the financial elite are finding the political elite to be dangerous to the well-being of the financial elite.

      Yet, even the financial elite aren't gods, not all-knowing and not all-powerful. They are subject to failure like all humans.

      I also find war as the means to cull the population has become too risky even for them. A conventional war that reduces the population by 100 million (an insignificant number out of 7 billion plus) likely won't happen without the nukes flying - and then the number of dead will be high enough to be meaningful (in the "culling" sense).

      It will also include many of the financial elite - or greatly change their lifestyle for a few dozen generations.

      If they want to reduce the population meaningfully, it will have to be via a means that a) will leave them alive, and b) leave the planet inhabitable. They may have a way to do this, I don't know.

      But they would be the first emperors to my knowledge who willingly reduced the size of their empire and wealth.

    3. Black Flag, interesting thoughts.

    4. You raise another great point - they don't need war to control the population when they're successfully winning the culture war against family. It's no surprise that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has it as one of their primary goals to reduce population growth "by 10 or 15 percent" (Bill's own words).

      But your question is a good one: why reduce the population if the elite depend on them as consumers and producers of wealth? However, it is interesting to note that population reduction is primarily targeted at India and Africa whereas the vast majority of tech consumption occurs in predominantly white, rich Western countries, and the vast majority of production occurs in China. So a reduction in the poorest of poor countries wouldn't necessarily have a significant impact on the size of their wealth.

    5. Continuation of the Modern Western Eugenics Movements possibly? And with intersection of Government and Business thus a dilution of real market value in so many people's jobs accompanying an unsustainable politically derived pension and entitlement packages maybe the elite need a mass extermination of the population. I dunno... Once again just probably sophomoric speculation on my part on the elites goals, but we in the West are living an economically inflated lie that can't last forever.

    6. I will be writing something in the coming days that ties together the comments in this conversation (thanks to you all; enlightening, as usual) with our earlier discussions of elite-desired population control and reduction and something written by Pat Buchanan recently.

    7. BM,

      This conversation urged me to do some further consideration on the subject. If you don't mind I'd like to share it here.


  2. Interesting that such stains were evident before nationalism. Most citizens (serfs) had a duty largely to the local nobility who in turn owed fealty to the sovereign. However, after Louis XIV decoyed the local nobility to the show at Versailles and replaced them with royal administrators, he was able to infuse a national awareness among the new citizenry. This backfired when the citizens found a national identity of their own making sans royalty.

    With improved communications nationalism became universal and sharpened citizen resentment of spheres of influence and royalty. Fingerprints of this are to be found on the Serbian assassination.
    WW1 was in fact inane due to the overreaction of royalty to growing threat of nationalism. Much the same is identifiable in the much less extreme reaction to Brexit.


  3. I love all those pieces!!!!I have learned so much here thank you.

    Owyhee cowboy

  4. There's an alternative explanation for the origins of WW1 - that it was deliberately started by some imterested circles of,the British establishment - as described by Docherty & MacGregor in HIDDEN HISTORY: THE SECRET ORIGIN OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR. Very compelling ...

  5. Mr Mosquito, I have observed that you metaphorically scratch your head regarding the operation of some of the social phenomena surrounding and involving war. I recommend that you take a look at the work of Lloyd deMause, specifically, his book, available in its entirety online, for free, The Origins of War in Child Abuse. I believe this work may illuminate some of your own thinking on this regrettable social problem.

  6. Familial suffrage might undermine the push for the individual being the current building block of democracy.

    One traditional family, one vote, cast by either sex would help ensure laws and policies were pro family instead of degenerate flights of fancy that depend on the latest 'science' and public opinion.

  7. Protection of the traditional natural nuclear family of man woman and children has to have a supportive cultural framework. That's why the war on Christianity pairs with the war on traditional families.

    They will lose though. "We can do nothing against the truth but for the truth".

    As to their Supreme Lord, "He shall come to his end and none shall help him."

  8. Think locally, actually locally.

  9. This reminded me of Dan Carlin's Blueprint for Armageddon series. If you haven't listened to Carlin's Hardcore History podcast, he really does a great job, and these were some of his best, IMO.

    You can find them at http://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/

    There are 6 episodes in the Blueprint for Armageddon series, all several hours long. So download them and listen to them on the road, or whenever you have several hours to kill.