Re: [asa] social evolution for Jon Tandy

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Fri May 15 2009 - 21:59:24 EDT

Hi George,

You wrote:
> WWIII can't happen? What was the Cold War?

Yeah, I was thinking the same.

Certainly the claim "we're too advanced to wipe ourselves out in a nuclear inferno" was not something people believed in the 50's, 60's, or 70's. Indeed, the fact that quite a few nations still maintain nuclear arsenals suggests that hardly anybody seems to believe it even today.

As respects WWIII, the only reason such a war seems unlikely is because it's hard to see who would start it and why.

But, of course, we would have said the same prior to WWI and WWII and it pays to remember that BOTH of those wars started small and rapidly escalated out of control. Nobody really CHOSE them, rather they were triggered by a complex web of economic, political, and social influences that more or less swept everybody up in the madness.

My guess is that WWIII if, if it happens, will start the same way and it's a bit naive to suggest we've transcended such idiocy.

Actually, I'd suggest that we might see Japan as a bit of a case study here. Since WWII Japan has been resolutely opposed to ANY form of military aggression - even to the extent of making unconstitutional the use of military force for anything other than self-defense. But lately not only has Japan passed special legislation to allow the deployment of troops abroad (previously an unthinkable move) but there is even a move to abolish non-aggression from the Japanese constitution.

The point is simply that any claim that we've "evolved" since WWII seems open to objection on the basis of the old adage: "the only thing we learn from history is that nobody learns anything from history."

I'm not, in other words, quite so confident that WWII has set us on an upward path away from wholesale annihilation.


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Received on Fri May 15 21:59:53 2009

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