Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bismarck the Bastard

     A most peaceful 100 years in European History occured while, in part, they were trying to divide up the world.  Between the defeat of Napoleon and WWI, there were not many wars in Europe (none for the first 15 years, although it can easily be argued that the world suffered European proxy wars).  Outside three wars of Italian unification, and the Carlist wars(Spanish Succession) almost every European war was a machination of Otto von Bismarck (the three Schleswig-Holstein Wars, the Austro-Prussian War and the Franco-Prussian War, and meddling in the later Carlist Wars).

     This war-monger is the founder of the "realist" school of political thought, to which the phrase "by any means necessary" seems fitting.  The Bush administration contains many self-proclaimed "realists."  Like the term "right" (as in "right wing"), "realism" is a false name for a sometimes reasonable way to look at things.  A few scholars pretend Bismarck used war as a last resort.  One simply can not orchestrate over a half-dozen wars and have that be true.  The result of Bismarck's efforts was the Second Reich, from where we get the term "police state."  The Second Reich started WWI (after Bismarck died).  It was replaced by the Weimar Republic after that war.  It was back to the Second Reich, in a rejection of Weimar, that neo-con intellectual founder Leo Strauss drooled.

     You probably knew all this, so I'll add this tidbit on Bismarck for free.  Bismarck put together the Berlin Conference, which divided up Africa.  From the article...

Although controlling the slave trade and promoting humanitarian idealism were promoted as the focus of the conference, the conference only passed empty resolutions about the ending of slave trade and providing for the welfare of Africa. In truth, the result of the Conference was a method of dividing the continent of Africa between the European powers.

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