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View Diary: What a Black Armband Means, Forty Years Later (126 comments)

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  •  Given that the "full citizenship rights" (0+ / 0-)

    to which you refer were far, far less than what he had in pre-war England, I doubt that he would have agreed with you.

    Imperial Germany was a sham democracy, and the Kaiser detested republicanism. Even pre-war, a working person was far better off in Britain than in Germany. Hence all the German waiters who went home when war broke out.

    Also, don't forget the extent to which British society was "egalitarianized" by the Great War. With millions dead, and the upper classes decimated as well, big changes were coming in the relationship between the aristocracy and the rest of British society.


    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

    by Leftie Gunner on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 07:00:34 AM PST

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    •  Pre-war England was also a sham democracy. (0+ / 0-)

      There may be merit in your argument that what those millions of Englishmen (and Scots, and Welsh, and Canadians and Australians and South Africans etc. etc. etc.) were fighting for was their own democratic liberation within their own anti-democratic society. Not that they understood it that way, mind you: we're only suggesting that this was an unforeseen, unplanned, unwanted (by those responsible for the war), but happy consequence of the war.

      However, I also want to say that this is a bit of a dubious argument -- sort of like saying that the current financial disaster is a good thing, because it means we may get the socioeconomic revolution we so desperately need.

      I don't know enough about the specifics to say whether the life of the typical British coal miner, factory worker, or agricultural worker in 1914 was substantially better than that of his German counterpart. What I am claiming is that it could not have been better enough to have warranted the price they paid (and indeed, we all paid, if we want to think about the long-term downstream economic and geopolitical costs of WWI) to "maintain" that advantage.

      I don't know what to say.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 08:39:38 AM PST

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