Previous posts in this discussion:
PostHitler Was Never a Threat to the Continental US; China's Increasing Control over South America (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 11/26/21 3:46 am)
Very good post by my friend Tor Guimaraes, 22 November. However, I am always amazed how the idea persists that Hitler could have been a military menace to the US mainland. Of course, his Reich could have been a powerful economic competitor, as it is at present.
Hitler in Mein Kampf had a continental mentality, or better a Northeastern European Mentality.
He had no aims on the Americas or even on the British Empire. His aim was the common widespread feeling of the times, to create a Reich in which all ethnic Germans were united and free from foreign oppression. Nor did he have much desire to claim the Western nations' foreign colonies. Rather, he considered the Vichy French (and Italian) colonies as a hindrance to his war efforts.
Said Reich evidently had limits, as Hitler started the withdrawal of ethnic Germans from Alto Adige/Sudtyrol, the Baltic States, Volinia, Bessarabia, and Bucovina. Of course, the question remains of Lebensraum. How wide could it have become? For sure the Americans cannot judge Hitler for this, as they had their own Lebensraum from the Allegheny Mountains to the Pacific shores, to the kingdom of Hawaii, all the way to Guam.
Hitler was very willing to leave the Adriatic sea and its shores to his idol Mussolini. The ill-famed Alpenvoreland and Kustenland were so much hated in the RSI, as expressed in the actions of its government and in the famous songs "O Bella Dalmazia," "Il Brennero è Italiano," "Canzone del Fulmine," "Non deporem la Spada" (see them on YouTube "Songs of the Italian Social Republic"). These regions were military-ruled only out of military necessity, at the same level as the provinces immediately on the South Front.
Presently the US public opinion seems to be obsessed with Putin, while the real danger is coming from China. The Central State, Zhongguò, now has a powerful modern navy, excellent missiles, a huge army, etc. but it is more and more spreading soft power abroad which, unfortunately for us, is becoming hard power.
The Chinese government through the China Overseas Security Group is organizing and hiring people in order to work as protection and security for Chinese enterprises in Pakistan, Turkey, Cambodia, Iraq, Myanmar, Laos, Mozambique, Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Argentina, etc. Such a move is extremely intriguing and worrisome, especially its entrance into South America with something that seems to be a mercenary army. What does Argentina's leftist government say about this?
Oh, by the way, I am very pleased that two of my recent posts on Mussolini are on top of the most-viewed WAIS entries. I am also pleased to have read a post of the great Prof. Ronald Hilton, in which he recognizes Mussolini's good social work in creating housing for the people.
JE comments: We cannot deny that the US may have invented the concept of Lebensraum. It was called Manifest Destiny. Eugenio, you know Mein Kampf better than most. Did Hitler ever mention Manifest Destiny?
I hope we can turn our attention to China's growing presence in Argentina. I've been disconnected from a country I used to consider my scholarly turf--it's been nearly 20 years since I spent time there. Much has changed. We should also address China's "hardening power" over other South American nations--Brazil and Bolivia come to mind, although Venezuela is certainly at or near the top of the list.
US as Fallen Empire?
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
11/27/21 3:28 AM)
While reading most people's opinion on international rivalries with the US, I never cease to be amazed at the doubletalk: how we expect other nations to lie down when we build our military power closer to their throat, and our feathers get ruffled when they take steps not to be too weak, militarily speaking.
We need a better perspective: Who has the strongest military in the world? Who continuously tries to move NATO forces closer to the Russians after promising not do so when Gorbachev dismantled the Warsaw Pact/USSR? Who has encircled China with hundreds of deadly military bases capable of evaporating China at a moment's notice? Who is worried about China attacking another country while doing that with many smaller nations for several decades in the name of freedom, democracy, and apple pie? Who lets military treaties controlling the spread of nuclear-capable missiles and other weapons expire? Now we are worried about Russia and China trying to catch up to our military power? We are even worried that many nations who we have owned for decades now want to do more profitable business with China?
There must have a special word to express such blatant doublespeak. If we keep this nonsense up, first the world is laughing nervously at us (we might use our muscle as usual in the past), but next the world will see us as the fallen empire. We must grow up quickly to retain any semblance of world leadership, and perhaps recover our shine.
JE comments: History has shown that every hegemon eventually gets displaced. The question is when--and for us in the "West," what it means if liberal democracy proves not to be the model of the future. (It's still too early to know if this is the case.)
Is Liberal Democracy Doomed?
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
11/29/21 2:41 AM)
John Eipper commented on my last post: "History has shown that every hegemon eventually gets displaced. The question is when--and for us in the 'West,' what it means if liberal democracy proves not to be the model of the future."
To sit and wait until the fire gets to the upper floor of your house has never been a good idea. And for me personally, America the Beautiful has been just that and I can't just watch it. Unfortunately, I also have no power to do anything significant to save it, other than speak words which are either ignored or fall on deaf ears.
When I was a boy growing up in Brazil, I remember reading a book entitled The Rise and Fall of Civilizations. It ended with a positive view that America would be different because we have learned so much about economics, political science, sociology, etc., that we would not make the same mistakes. Little did I know that someday I would personally be experiencing the demise of my adopted nation. It makes me very sad, frustrated, and powerless. I have been discussing on WAIS the symptoms of the American Gotterdammerung for the last twenty years, much to my frustration.
There is no doubt that liberal democracy as we have implemented it has failed. I challenge anyone to share any viable scenario whereby our American system could be saved. We still don't know the best model of the future, but hopefully it will be more truthful to our professed ideals: a government by the people and for the people, strictly based on scientific knowledge and promoting education and entrepreneurship; democratic capitalism based on truly free markets, with reward for performance but abhorring indecent income inequality, with justice based on the rule of law where all people are truly equal, regardless of sex, race, or religion.
JE comments: Tor Guimaraes has indeed raised this alarm for twenty years. Have we learned anything since that annus horribilis 2001, or have we moved backwards? I see strong arguments for both views. This could be an interesting subject for a full-blown WAIS discussion. In particular, are the gears of history moving towards a more just society, or the opposite? Can justice and economic progress be reconciled?
WAISers, what do ye think?
- Is Liberal Democracy Doomed? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 11/29/21 2:41 AM)