[Marxism] The "Good War"?

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Fri Jul 23 07:42:33 MDT 2004

On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 09:08:57 -0400 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> writes:
> Critical Analysis
> The "Good War" Myth of World War II
> The "Good War" story of World War II is a Big Lie, used today by the 
> likes of George W. Bush and John F. Kerry to create a mind set in 
> which 
> America's rulers are the good guys who, despite all of their faults 
> and 
> foibles, are saving the world from the really really bad guys.
> FDR told Americans that the war was about fighting fascism and 
> tyranny. 

I think it would be more accurate to say that "fighting fascism and
tyranny" was incidental to the real war aims of the the ruling
classes of the US and UK but the war did have the consequence
of smashing the fascist regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan
and also saving the USSR from destruction; consequences
not to be lightly dismissed IMO.

> But FDR lied about his real war objectives, just as Hitler lied to 
> the 
> Germans and Japanese militarists lied to the Japanese people to get 
> them 
> to fight the bloodiest war in history.

I think it's generally accepted among historical scholars now a days
that FDR lied his way into bringing the US into the war.

> War: An Instrument Of Social Control

> Ruling elites have known for centuries that when revolution 
> threatens at 
> home desperate measures are required, and the most effective one is 
> to 
> go to war. For example, on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 
> the 
> Russian Czar's interior minister, Vyacheslav Plehve, declared, "What 
> this country needs is a short victorious war to stem the tide of 
> revolution." 6 

It should be noted though that as an instrument of social control,
wars are a very uncertain means for attaining that objective.
The Russo-Japanese War after all, resulted in the defeat and
humiliation of Russia, leading to the very thing that Plehve feared
the most, a mass revolutionary uprising.

The Second World War, among other things, led to the dismantling of
the old colonial empires of Britain and France, and at the very
least, gave strength to national liberation movements around
the world.

Similar considerations would apply, I think, to the "War on Terrorism",
in that it too can backfire on the ruling class, leading to the very
that the ruling class is seeking to avoid.

> This is the only way to understand the little-known 
> truth 
> about how FDR's advisors reacted to the news of the Japanese attack 
> on 
> Pearl Harbor. Secretary of War Stimson's diary entry at 2pm December 
> 7, 
> written after learning from the President about the attack on Pearl 
> Harbor, reads: "Now the Japs have solved the whole thing by 
> attacking us 
> directly in Hawaii...My first feeling was of relief that the 
> indecision 
> was over and that a crisis had come in a way which would unite all 
> our 
> people."7 Not shock, but relief. Relief that war would finally force 
> American workers to unite with instead of rebel against America's 
> rulers.
> People like FDR and Stimson fully appreciated that the best way to 
> rein 
> in the growing insurrection they faced was to somehow get the United 
> States into a war that would be perceived by Americans as a fight to 
> the 
> death between the entire population of the United States and the 
> entire 
> population of enemy foreign nations driven by satanically evil 
> fanaticism. This way, American workers could be put on the defensive 
> ideologically, by the assertion that it was unpatriotic for them to 
> fight over class grievances or to pursue class aspirations when the 
> country needed to unite (with its capitalist leaders) against the 
> common 
> enemy. For sophisticated upper class politicians like Roosevelt, 
> this 
> was simply Social Control 101.
> full: http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_10208.shtml
> -- 
> The Marxism list: www.marxmail.org
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