Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

War, and the popularity thereof

I've written before about the "high school football coach" approach to history. This is the tendency in American high schools for the football coach to teach history classes, resulting in a "GO USA" spin on the past. I'm certainly in favor of the USA, but reality is always more complicated than jingos.

A case in point is the popularity of any given war. For most Americans, the gold standard of war is World War II. This war was widely "popular" in the sense that almost nobody saw any alternative to fighting it. Dissent was limited to a few hardcore pacifists and cranks, and criticism of the conduct of the war was muted.

WWII is the exception in American history. Every other war including the American Revolution, had many and vociferous critics. There were three American wars in which dissent could not be "allowed" by those prosecuting the war: WWII, the Civil War (a war in which dissent had turned violent) and WWI.

I'm reminded of this due to a wonderful post in the blog The Edge of the American West. The post, entitled The National Surveillance State, Going Strong Since 1917, documents how much of the same surveillance implemented for the "War on Terror" was based on what was done during WWI.

I make no judgment as to the merits of any war herein referenced, merely point out that dissent and government spying goes back a long way.

Comment Policy

This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

Latest Month

February 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Terri McAllister