[Marxism] Fwd: How WWI Produced the Holocaust - The Daily Beast

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 21 09:07:19 MST 2014

In Tooze’s view, the political landscape that emerged from World War I 
was a failed ideological liberal-progressive project launched primarily 
by Woodrow Wilson, who used America’s position of privileged detachment 
to frame the transformation of world affairs.

Wilson wanted to end imperialist rivalries in European politics. And 
only a “peace without victory”—the goal he announced to the U.S. Senate 
in January 1917—could ensure that the United States would emerge as the 
undisputed arbitrator of world affairs.

Tooze provides the reader with numerous questions here, such as: What 
had gone so wrong after 1918? Why was American policy miscarried at 
Versailles? Why did the world economy implode in 1929? And why did the 
Western Powers lose their grip in such a spectacular fashion in the 
decade following the end of the war?

By way of answering these questions, Tooze guides us through the 
numerous diplomatic and economic catastrophes that emerged from World 
War I. Eventually we start to get a well-rounded and extremely 
comprehensive insight into why Wilson’s American foreign policy was so 

Wilson placed his faith 100 percent in American capitalist values, which 
he believed were natural byproducts of American exceptionalism: the idea 
that the United States is guided by God’s will to be morally and 
spiritually superior to the rest of the world.

But Wilson was gravely mistaken when he placed his faith in the idea 
that “markets and business would replace politics and military power.’ 
As Tooze writes, “the consequences of this push to depoliticize the 
world economy were perverse. Far from taking politics out of economic 
life, the result was to drive Europe ever more deeply into the greatest 
financial and political entanglement of all—reparations.”


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