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Gove's take on WW1


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#21 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:54 PM

I understand that Social Darwinism as a philosophy had been around fro years before WWI, but it was the German leadership of WWII that decide to take it to the extreme and it was after that war that the term tends to be used how we think of it now, unacceptable.


Exactly.and if anything that to me is what makes this from Gove totally unacceptable. He clearly knows this but chooses to make political points from it. Despicable.

#22 ckn

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:06 AM

The WW1 military leaders were still 19th century warriors stuck in antiquated beliefs, for example, far too many believed that a swift flanking cavalry charge was the be-all and end-all of military tactics.  The fights to get things like aircraft and tanks used in combat were seen as dangerous precedents.  The tactics of the staff rank officers were more like that of the political officers at Stalingrad rather than competent military leaders, just grind out what's directly in front of you and damn the losses as long as you didn't go backwards.

 

The only good thing about it was that it started to drive home the lesson that good breeding is not the primary qualifier for good officer material.  From that point on, there was a far more professional officer class that paved the way to properly competent officers in time for WW2.

 

On the original point, Gove is a pathetic buffoon of a man who would struggle to fulfill the role of Baldrick in those days.  His grasp of history seems to be very shaky at best, you could change his statement of "The ruthless social Darwinism of the German elites, the pitiless approach they took to occupation, their aggressively expansionist war aims and their scorn for the international order all made resistance more than justified." to "The ruthless social Darwinism of the British Imperial elites, the pitiless approach they took to occupation, their aggressively expansionist war aims and their scorn for the international order all made resistance more than justified." and it would, arguably, make far more sense.


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#23 Wolford6

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 02:45 AM

I understand that Social Darwinism as a philosophy had been around fro years before WWI, but it was the German leadership of WWII that decide to take it to the extreme and it was after that war that the term tends to be used how we think of it now, unacceptable.

 

Gove is a Tory. He can't admit any belief in social Darwinism or it would offend the squirearchy that bolster his party's vote.


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#24 JohnM

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:44 AM

http://uk.news.yahoo...23.html#CFfPx7S

 

 

Oh dear this man is in charge of our children's futures

 

 

Really? Whatever happened to  parental responsibility?



#25 Bob8

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:46 AM

Really? Whatever happened to  parental responsibility?

True!  The blame put on schools and the education system for bringing up kids is amazing.


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#26 JohnM

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:47 AM

The WW1 military leaders were still 19th century warriors stuck in antiquated beliefs, for example, far too many believed that a swift flanking cavalry charge was the be-all and end-all of military tactics.  The fights to get things like aircraft and tanks used in combat were seen as dangerous precedents.  The tactics of the staff rank officers were more like that of the political officers at Stalingrad rather than competent military leaders, just grind out what's directly in front of you and damn the losses as long as you didn't go backwards.

 

The only good thing about it was that it started to drive home the lesson that good breeding is not the primary qualifier for good officer material.  From that point on, there was a far more professional officer class that paved the way to properly competent officers in time for WW2.

 

On the original point, Gove is a pathetic buffoon of a man who would struggle to fulfill the role of Baldrick in those days.  His grasp of history seems to be very shaky at best, you could change his statement of "The ruthless social Darwinism of the German elites, the pitiless approach they took to occupation, their aggressively expansionist war aims and their scorn for the international order all made resistance more than justified." to "The ruthless social Darwinism of the British Imperial elites, the pitiless approach they took to occupation, their aggressively expansionist war aims and their scorn for the international order all made resistance more than justified." and it would, arguably, make far more sense.

 

 

Gove is a pathetic buffoon of a man who would struggle to fulfill the role of Baldrick in those days.

 

sounds  like you are establishing your  public sector bona fides. 



#27 Trojan

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:48 AM

Gove talks as though those who were killed were fighting for democracy against a tyrant state = Germany & Austro/Hungary.  But we weren't a true democracy then - only 40% of our population had the vote. He writes about the Somme as the precursor to victory. Victory for whom?  Not those who were killed there,  Or their families. And what did victory deliver?  Mass unemployment, the means test and starvation wages.  Plus of course a Germany that felt cheated by the armistice which was supposed to be an honourable peace based on Wilson#'s 14 point plan How would the working class population of the UK been any worse off had Germany won? .  Once Germany surrendered, the British, French and Italians behaved as though they had utterly defeated Germany, and took their colonies, and charged them horrendous reparations. The outcome of this policy was a Germany itching for another go.  If ever there was a futile loss of life and national treasure it was WWI.  No one was any better off, except of course the US who came out of it stronger than before.


Edited by Trojan, 04 January 2014 - 04:51 PM.

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#28 Bob8

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:48 AM

To be fair to Gove, according to normal history teaching, he would be allowed to make that argument.  Obviously, he would have to produce some evidence that there was what could reasonably be considered social Darwinism in the German elite and that this was offensive enough to the British elite to be a casus belli.  If he could, it would be very interesting and deserving to a good mark.


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#29 Just Browny

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:07 AM

Afraid we can look forward to four years of  this sort of tubthumping and nationalist rewriting of history.


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#30 ckn

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:24 AM

Gove is a pathetic buffoon of a man who would struggle to fulfill the role of Baldrick in those days.

 

sounds  like you are establishing your  public sector bona fides. 

I know a few hard-line Tories who share my view of Gove!


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#31 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:51 AM

 

On the original point, Gove is a pathetic buffoon of a man who would struggle to fulfill the role of Baldrick in those days.  His grasp of history seems to be very shaky at best, you could change his statement of "The ruthless social Darwinism of the German elites, the pitiless approach they took to occupation, their aggressively expansionist war aims and their scorn for the international order all made resistance more than justified." to "The ruthless social Darwinism of the British Imperial elites, the pitiless approach they took to occupation, their aggressively expansionist war aims and their scorn for the international order all made resistance more than justified." and it would, arguably, make far more sense.

Gove has never struck me as a buffoon, although he does seem to get emotional about his education brief. But, given the lack of historical knowledge of most British people, he would be a buffoon if, as Education Secretary, he didn't try to do something about it.

 

Whether he's doing the right thing is open to debate.

 

Most people's grasp of history is of necessity shaky at best - it's such a massive subject of study that none of us can do much more than scrape the surface.

 

The expression 'Social Darwinism' is these days largely used as a pejorative term, rather than as a precise philosophical term, so it's hardly surprising that Gove's use of that terminology is not particularly accurate.



#32 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:58 AM

Gove talks as though those who were killed were fighting for democracy against a tyrant state = Germany & Austro/Hungary.  But we weren't a true democracy then - only 40% of our population had the vote. He writes about the Somme as the precursor to victory. Victory for whom?  Not those who were killed there,  Or there families. And what did victory deliver?  Mass unemployment, the means test and starvation wages.  Plus of course a Germany that felt cheated by the armistice which was supposed to be an honourable peace based on Wilson#'s 14 point plan How would the working class population of the UK been any worse off had Germany won? .  Once Germany surrendered, the British, French and Italians behaved as though they had utterly defeated Germany, and took their colonies, and charged them horrendous reparations. The outcome of this policy was a Germany itching for another go.  If ever there was a futile loss of life and national treasure it was WWI.  No one was any better off, except of course the US who came out of it stronger than before.

I don't know whether Germany was a tyrant state, but it was certainly an aggressive state with large ambitions that had to be opposed.

 

The FWW destroyed not just lives, but the economies of many countries, so inevitably there was deprivation. But if Germany had won the war I wouldn't like to think what the consequences for my and your forebears would have been. But I doubt whether they would have been good in any sense of that word.

 

You are right about the foolishness of the reparations burden, though.

 

The real buffoons were the politicians who managed the peace so badly, giving rise to the SWW, rather than the generals who managed the war.



#33 gingerjon

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:06 PM


The real buffoons were the politicians who managed the peace so badly, giving rise to the SWW, rather than the generals who managed the war.


The politicians and the generals were buffoons from the same class, same background and same motivations.

Gove is, like them, worthy of little but comtempt.
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#34 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:27 PM

The politicians and the generals were buffoons from the same class, same background and same motivations.

Gove is, like them, worthy of little but comtempt.

There seem to be a lot of buffoons about!

 

Lloyd George was the UK Prime Minister who attended the Versailles peace conference.

 

He was brought up in rural Wales by his mother and his uncle, who was a shoemaker.

 

So all the politicians and generals came from this sort of background?

 

And what was their common motivation?



#35 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:29 PM

The politicians and the generals were buffoons from the same class, same background and same motivations.

Gove is, like them, worthy of little but comtempt.

By no means all

 

And it is difficult, bearing in mind the number of contributory factors involved to envisage the nature of events being that much different no matter what generals had been in charge.

Once the mincing machine had started grinding it was almost unstoppable until it began to run out if meat

Also lets not forget that the war wasn't just about the western front


Edited by l'angelo mysterioso, 04 January 2014 - 12:51 PM.

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#36 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:32 PM

I don't know whether Germany was a tyrant state, but it was certainly an aggressive state with large ambitions that had to be opposed.

 

The FWW destroyed not just lives, but the economies of many countries, so inevitably there was deprivation. But if Germany had won the war I wouldn't like to think what the consequences for my and your forebears would have been. But I doubt whether they would have been good in any sense of that word.

 

You are right about the foolishness of the reparations burden, though.

 

The real buffoons were the politicians who managed the peace so badly, giving rise to the SWW, rather than the generals who managed the war.

The political movements in Mesopotamia reverberate to this day, this very minute even


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#37 gingerjon

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:35 PM

And what was their common motivation?


Protecting their empires.

You'll note that the winners of the first world war had to be forced by armed uprising after armed uprising to give up theirs.
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#38 Bob8

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:47 PM

There seem to be a lot of buffoons about!

 

Lloyd George was the UK Prime Minister who attended the Versailles peace conference.

 

He was brought up in rural Wales by his mother and his uncle, who was a shoemaker.

 

So all the politicians and generals came from this sort of background?

 

And what was their common motivation?

It was a time of protectionism.  Empires were pushing against each other and interests were directly threatened by the presence of rival empires.  Wherever interests collided there was the potential for trouble, the Fashoda incident could well have escalated.  There was also a complacency after a number of these incidents and two blocs formed that we had a situation that we would later called Mutually Assured Destruction.

 

The literature of the time, Riddle of the Sands and Sherlock Holmes shows a great deal of conviction that the Germans had their eyes on the British Empire.  I have not come across reference to offense at their social policy, nor that Germany was run along Herbert Spencer lines.

 

I often think that seeing that two blocs could indeed go to war was one reason why World War III did not happen.


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#39 Griff9of13

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 01:31 PM

Why is challenging the establishment and being a bit of a lefty always portrayed by the likes of Gove and is chums as being somehow unpatriotic?


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#40 Bob8

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 01:35 PM

Why is challenging the establishment and being a bit of a lefty always portrayed by the likes of Gove and is chums as being somehow unpatriotic?

"L'État, c'est moi!"


"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

”I am all for expansion but not to start and string the teams all over the place” – stewpot01 – 11 July 2014

"2013 is on course to be one of the most disastrous in its history." - Creditwhereitsdews - 2nd January 2013





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