TOTD 2018-10-3: 20th Century’s Grade

20th Century was like no other. Many things happen for good and for ill. It was unprecedented in technological advances. 10s of millions of people died needlessly. Did the good outweigh the bad or did the bad outweigh the good? What grade would you give it? Please explain how you chose that grade?

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10 thoughts on “TOTD 2018-10-3: 20th Century’s Grade”

  1. I think I would give the century a C-. I think saving what was left of the European Jews from the clutches of Nazi Germany was noble. I think standing down the Soviets and liberating Central and Eastern Europe was noble. And I think beating the Japanese who were in the midst of a type of ethnic cleansing in China and Manchuria was noble. But, none of that would have happened but for World War I. By jumping in and tipping the balance toward France and U.K. the path toward Hitler was paved. Perhaps a German Empire after winning on the Western front could have beaten the Soviet Union in its crib? You think of all the atrocities of the 20th Century–of many I put the US as perpetrating them–and you have to see that they all come out of WWI.

    Now, the medical advances are great. I would not exchange modern medicine/dentistry for any other time in history. I enjoy the entertainment. But I have to ask, at what cost do the material wonders we love and take for granted come? We live in a society that is turning away from God. We live in a society that is so wrapped up in not believing in the Truth that it will believe in anything. We live in a decadent culture beyond anything the Victorians would have tut-tutted.

    We have means of tyrannizing society that the most sinister of tyrants could never have imagined. We live in more of an Aldus Huxley/A Brave New World type of world than we do a 1984, but that is nothing to celebrate. Both are bad. We are governed by the worst in humanity, mainly emotions. We have jettisoned reason, faith, and the basic understanding that your neighbor is a good person. The modern world is synthetic, void of any real natural passion. It seems old, like we have seen this episode a million times. There is nothing new and exciting. We have reached the end of our capability to play God and it isn’t pretty. Yeah, C-. And I might be a little generous with that.

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  2. I don’t know how many negative points to give to the killing of millions in their own nation. In sheer numbers the order is Mao, Stalin, then Hitler. It is also terrible that society for the most part doesn’t see Mao as the monster he was.

    I was born in the right place so I got most of the advantages of the 20th century. This makes me personally want to give it an A or a B. I have known relative comfort, ease, and peace. If I had not known this or especially had  many relatives and friends killed. I would give it a D. “Killing fields” would be hard to forget.

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  3. 10 Cents:
    I don’t know how many negative points to give to the killing of millions in their own nation. In sheer numbers the order is Mao, Stalin, then Hitler. It is also terrible that society for the most part doesn’t see Mao as the monster he was.

    I was born in the right place so I got most of the advantages of the 20th century. This makes me personally want to give it an A or a B. I have known relative comfort, ease, and peace. If I had not known this or especially had  many relatives and friends killed. I would give it a D. “Killing fields” would be hard to forget.

    Yeah, it is easy to say, “well my experience was ‘easy’ and not full of the horrors that the rest of the world dealt with.” I took that into account and then weighed the United States of the 20th Century against a couple of factors. One, does the US live up to its own governing doctrine? I think we can all agree that it does not. It runs rough-shod over all of the limits placed on it, which from our perspective is tyranny. No, not Maoist tyranny, but tyranny nonetheless. Second, has the US been guilty of atrocities? I think we can look at segregation (albeit not the general government’s fault per se), the mess of Vietnam, the economic subjugation of South America through exchanging money for anti-drug operations which devastated much of the Latin World, the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses, all of it is a depiction of the US as complicit in much of the hell that the third world has experienced. And when you look at the failures of the US in the first factor you see that the failures of the second factor were nearly certain to follow.

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  4. 10 Cents:
    I don’t know how many negative points to give to the killing of millions in their own nation. In sheer numbers the order is Mao, Stalin, then Hitler.

    Hitler barely makes the top five:

    1.  Madame Mao

    2. Stalin

    3.  Mao

    4. Pol Pot

    5.  Hitler

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  5. MJBubba:

    10 Cents:
    I don’t know how many negative points to give to the killing of millions in their own nation. In sheer numbers the order is Mao, Stalin, then Hitler.

    Hitler barely makes the top five:

    1.  Madame Mao

    2. Stalin

    3.  Mao

    4. Pol Pot

    5.  Hitler

    How are you making the list?

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  6. Robert A. McReynolds:
    …I have to ask, at what cost do the material wonders we love and take for granted come? We live in a society that is turning away from God. We live in a society that is so wrapped up in not believing in the Truth that it will believe in anything.

    This is the root of all the troubles of the previous century and the current one as well.

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  7. Robert A. M.,  I disagree that the U.S.A. is the root of all 20th century evils.   I think you are taking on an anti-American spin.

    segregation (albeit not the general government’s fault per se),

    This is a home-grown ill that is an outcome from slavery.   It is a shameful, sorrowful history, but it is an American history.   American segregation can hardly be blamed for third world ills.

    the mess of Vietnam,

    We have had this quarrel before.   For now, let me simply point out that Mao and Stalin were both complicit in the Communist aggression in Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh had quite a lot to do with it also.   America did not start that war, but stepped in when the French bailed.   This all played out in the context of the Cold War and the need to put up an opposition to Mao and Stalin.

    the economic subjugation of South America through exchanging money for anti-drug operations which devastated much of the Latin World,

    The Latin World was already a devastated mess long before any involvement by the U.S.A.    And the drug-money-laundering activities of Oliver North, et al, did not make nearly so much difference as the banana and coffee wars.   America stumbled here, but you cannot use this as an excuse to blame the sorry state of Latin America on the U.S.A.   They earned their dysfunctional ways the old fashioned way.

    the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses

    First, that is an event that happened in this century, not the previous one.   Second, W going into Iraq did far less damage than O pulling out.   Third, the Islamic world was already primed for calamity before W took us in to Iraq, and fourth, don’t forget that it was an outcome of Saddam Hussein giving aid and comfort and shelter to Islamic terrorists.

    Fifth, I deny that we went into Iraq on false pretenses.   We were mistaken about some of the facts on the ground, but we were mistaken on the basis of the same wrong intelligence that the Russians, British, French and Israeli intelligence services had.  And we were not so mistaken as the media made things out to be.   I am inferring that you think the weapons of mass destruction was our primary reason for going in, but that was only our reason for thinking that we needed to go in urgently; there were plenty of other valid reasons to crash Saddam Hussein’s party.

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  8. 10 Cents:

    MJBubba:

    10 Cents:
    I don’t know how many negative points to give to the killing of millions in their own nation. In sheer numbers the order is Mao, Stalin, then Hitler.

    Hitler barely makes the top five:

    1.  Madame Mao

    2. Stalin

    3.  Mao

    4. Pol Pot

    5.  Hitler

    How are you making the list?

    Well, there’s lots of sources available, but they are difficult to compare and parse when the typical difference between a low estimate and a high estimate is a factor of ten.   I think that Madame Mao was responsible for the greatest excesses of both the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, but I could be mistaken, in which case you may prefer to strike her from the list and add her numbers to Mao’s total, but I think that would be underestimating the woman, which of course is an unpardonable sin.

    Here is a source that provides lots of comparisons of other sources.   It is not necessarily definitive, but it is very interesting.   It is hard not to get caught up in the statistics and forget that we are talking about real people.

    http://necrometrics.com/20c5m.htm

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  9. MJBubba:

    Robert A. McReynolds:
    …I have to ask, at what cost do the material wonders we love and take for granted come? We live in a society that is turning away from God. We live in a society that is so wrapped up in not believing in the Truth that it will believe in anything.

    This is the root of all the troubles of the previous century and the current one as well.

    MJ I don’t mean to be putting the blame solely on the US. Obviously, WWI was not a US problem and the fact that Wilson got the country involved was a failing of the DC elite of that time. But whether you think the US bears the majority of complicity in the failings of the 20th century or not, there should be little argument that the failings of the 20th Century can be traced back to WWI. I mean one could argue that had the aftermath of WWI been a little different–meaning had the Wilsonian doctrine of de-colonization been followed through with–the Vietnam War might never have happened. When you have a nationalist movement that is seeking self government and political autonomy, that movement is going to accept whatever help is offered to throw off the oppressive regime. But I digress.

    The root to what ails humanity is the quest for centralization under some form of governance. The facially despicable regimes of the Nazis and the USSR were obviously global regimes that should have been resisted. But the West’s form of global empire is no better even if it appears to be less brutal. Instead of having secret police (which we actually do have) spying on and punishing Americans who get out of line, we have SJWs using social media and doxxing to target and destroy those who get out of line. Instead of government sanctioned brutality to coerce adherence to a particular ideology we have an ideologically sanctioned brutality to coerce adherence to the supremacy of the state. Look at what happens to prominent people in our society who tweet the wrong thing. The West is currently under the thumb of a regime that is aptly described as “Fascism with a Smile” or even perhaps a tie-dyed shirt.

    I think the world of the 20th Century would have been much better off had the US not gotten involved with WWI, or had WWI not been fought to the scale that it was, or had it not been fought at all. Imagine if that had merely been a skirmish between Austria and Serbia.

    Also, I completely overlooked the fact that Iraq II happened in this Century. For some reason this century and the last seem seamless with no distinctive characteristics denoting a clear break from the last.

    I know that I am in the minority here when I say this, but the organizing principle of any state is power and the quickest way for a state to increase its power is through war. Manipulating the people into thinking that a march to war is some sort of moral crusade masks the real effects of going to war that result in more control over the citizenry. The temptation of war must be resisted. The fact that US society was so easily manipulated into war during the 20th Century makes it a tragic century.

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  10. MJBubba:

    10 Cents:

    MJBubba:

    10 Cents:
    I don’t know how many negative points to give to the killing of millions in their own nation. In sheer numbers the order is Mao, Stalin, then Hitler.

    Hitler barely makes the top five:

    1.  Madame Mao

    2. Stalin

    3.  Mao

    4. Pol Pot

    5.  Hitler

    How are you making the list?

    Well, there’s lots of sources available, but they are difficult to compare and parse when the typical difference between a low estimate and a high estimate is a factor of ten.   I think that Madame Mao was responsible for the greatest excesses of both the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, but I could be mistaken, in which case you may prefer to strike her from the list and add her numbers to Mao’s total, but I think that would be underestimating the woman, which of course is an unpardonable sin.

    Here is a source that provides lots of comparisons of other sources.   It is not necessarily definitive, but it is very interesting.   It is hard not to get caught up in the statistics and forget that we are talking about real people.

    http://necrometrics.com/20c5m.htm

    Some honorable mentions go to:

    1) Castro/Guevara

    2) The House of Saud

    3) Shah of Iran

    4) Ayotollah Khomenie

    5) Penochet

    6) Mugabe

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