Sunday, 1 August 2021

One-third of Americans are unsure if America should have taken part in the Second World War

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From a story in May in the New York Post:

In the realm of global conflicts, World War II is often viewed as the quintessential battle between good and evil.

Nonetheless, a whopping one-third of Americans either believe that it was a mistake or remain unsure about the US’s involvement in the so-called “good war,” according to a new poll by the Economist/YouGov.

Yes, World War II is often viewed as the quintessential battle between good and evil or, in other words, in theological rather than historical terms. 

It has become in fact the basis for a very powerful secular religion. 

Is it now, at last, receding into history, like World War I, the Napoleonic wars or the Seven Years War?

If so, does this mean the incessant Nazi analogies will taper off?

I doubt it - they serve a purpose, the purpose of legitimising power, the power of the left, left-wing academics and journalists (the internet has not broken the power of traditional media), annoying people of the schoolmaster and local council worker class and the rapidly diminishing librarian class.

I wonder why so many Americans are no longer sure if war was a good idea. 

It is surely partly because of the failure of a war for values in Vietnam (which was in fact a just war, though not necessarily a good idea) and the consequences of overthrowing the strong men in first Iraq and then Libya (if Americans remember that one).

And more and more Americans are descendants of people from countries to which Hitler means nothing.

Of course America was attacked by Japan and then Hitler declared war on them, so Americans did not decide to go to war, unlike England and France. Those who knew this did not have a place in the poll to register this point.

Still the people answering the question registered their lack of belief in the war being a good idea from the American point of view. The future of the USA is isolationist. 

America and Bolshevik Russia were the two countries that won the war. In America's case this meant world domination, politically, culturally and financially, except for Eastern Europe and China and some unlucky other places. 

It also meant something Americans wanted from 1776 onwards for ideological reasons: the end of European colonial empires. 

Yet still Americans are coming to doubt if the game was worth the candle.

2 comments:

  1. Googling I found the expression 'the game is not worth the candle' dates from medieval times, when any night-time activity had to be lit by candles, which were expensive. So some activity that wasn't worth the candle wasn't worth the cost of supplying the light to see it by. Who knew?

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  2. 12% of Americans supported a negotiated peace with Germany in early 1942. 30% if Hitler left office. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1901419

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