Monday, March 9, 2009
Could WWI have been avoided?
I think WWI could only have been avoided in the sense that everything in history could have been avoided if the humans involved had been able to better control their various animalistic/emotional urges. The problem with the events leading up to WWI is that a lot of the friction between nations was not just coming from the individual dislike of each of the rulers, but the nationalistic disdain that involved every member of each society. As competition in the industrialized west got harsher and the race for empire became more desperate, the both the effects of this economic scramble and the feelings of the investors, capitalists, and politicians involved trickled down to the masses. The pride in country, etc etc etc that founded a "we're on top" mantra (in the case of the English), a "we should be on top" (in the case of the Germans) and a "They may be on top but we're posh" (in the case of the French)was something easily manipulated by politicans as a way to further their empire. I think WWI was unavoidable as the culmination of all those national frictions.