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View Diary: 100 years ago: A wrong turn to dystopia (141 comments)

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  •  from arms races, (10+ / 0-)

    shifting ephemeral alliances, and inept and dishonest diplomacy. not to mention a continuing arrogant imperialistic presumption. but if franz ferdinand hadn't been assassinated, the war almost certainly wouldn't have happened. had the motorcade not had to turn around, franz ferdinand would have returned to vienna, and a couple years later he'd have been emperor.

    of such slight historic accidents is the entire history of the world sometimes made. better to remove the risks that make such accidents so potentially catastrophic.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 07:36:46 PM PDT

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    •  That war wouldn't have (6+ / 0-)

      ... but Germany's expansionist ambitions, British and French habitual power-politics jockeying, and the Ottoman Empire's and Russia's decadence would almost certainly have guaranteed some other explosion at some other time.  A stable, adaptable international order would not have allowed such an accident of history to start such a conflagration.

      I stand with triv33. Shame on her attackers.

      by Dallasdoc on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 07:40:33 PM PDT

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      •  the british were isolationist (7+ / 0-)

        and focused on ireland. france and germany were toying with becoming allies. the balkan wars, the moroccan crisis, fashoda- none had triggered a war. there were so many times it could have happened, with so many different alliances, but it hadn't. but the assassination of his foil finally gave conrad the upper hand in austria against the slavs and serbia, the loss of one of his few true friends gave wilhelm the impetus to approve the military action he'd previously shied away from, and sazonov finally has an excuse to prove he wasn't the wimp everyone said he was. it all revolved around ferdinand's death.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 07:48:17 PM PDT

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        •  Britain's isolationism ended with the Boer War (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skippah

          and shortly thereafter is entered into the Entente Cordiale with France, which not only ended almost 80 years of Go It Alone but also ended almost a millenia of hostility to France.

          •  not really (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vcmvo2

            the boer war was considered largely a domestic matter, but even so it was hotly debated. salisbury was adamant about remaining isolationist. and there, too, a wider war was averted. the english believed the germans were going to get involved, but wilhelm wasn't the crazed warmonger he later was made out to be.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:34:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  the smallest variables have the largest effects. (8+ / 0-)

      One mistake of driving directions, one madman driven by a few micrograms of his own bad brain chemistry, the nail in the shoe of the horse in the battle, the random particles emitted by uranium or plutonium.

      It takes much effort to push a boulder up a hill, and but little effort to start it rolling down.  

      One vote on the Supreme Court changed the history of the 21st century much for the worse thus far.  For which reason I refer to the day Bush was "selected" as "12/12," in the manner of the name we apply to the Al Qaeda attack in the following year, which most likely would not have occurred had Gore taken office and continued the Clinton policies of vigilance against Al Qaeda.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:17:15 PM PDT

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      •  Princeps tho was hardly a madman (0+ / 0-)

        he was a bright student who saw no future and lived in a time when the commoners could not express opinions at the ballot box. He himself was not really a nationalist and worked with all ethnic groups in an attempt to bring about revolution. In prison he was shocked that his actions had led to a world war, which was not the aim of his group. Unintended consequences, indeed.

        •  when the purpose of the existence of the... (0+ / 0-)

          .... commoners is only to serve as food for the ruling class, the justifiable response in lieu of any other means of recourse, is revolution.  

          But assassinations and other terrorist acts are not revolution; they are ultimately doomed to futility, and the fact that consequences are unintended does not lift the moral responsibility for causing them.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:41:58 AM PDT

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          •  True, but he wasn't a madman. He saw himself (0+ / 0-)

            and his group as revolutionaries. The assassinations had been plotted for awhile. Would he have been an assassin had he grown up in a different world? Don't know. Probably not, is my guess.

        •  A bit more complicated (0+ / 0-)

          Bosnia had been occupied for 30 years by the Hapsburg Empire and it had not participated in any of the elections in Austria or Hungary as it was still de jure part of the Ottoman Empire. It wasn't just commoners, NOBODY had a vote. And in Serbia itself, there were elections but real power alternated between the Obrenović and Karađorđević families, with the alternations often coming as the result of assassinations.

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