Sunday, March 22, 2015

Which was worse, WWI or WWII?

I understand that the death toll in WWI was greater than WWII but I am not going to base anything on that. Instead I want to submit that the major tragedy of WWI was the Bolshevik revolution and that the major tragedy of WWII was the holocaust.  That is of course arguable but, given that, I think the answer is clear.

But first let me spell out why the Bolshevik revolution was attributable to WWI.  There are two reasons.  The first is that Germany deliberately and with malice aforethought transported the exiled Lenin in a sealed train across Europe to Russia.  The German High Command rightly assessed Lenin as a major threat to the Russian war effort and therefore facilitated his trouble-making in that country as part of their own war effort.

Secondly, before the Bolshevik takeover, Russia had become a real parliamentary democracy.  The Mensheviks were democrats who believed in elections.  The overthrow of the Mensheviks during the war  by the Bolsheviks was therefore a violent overthrow of democracy -- which resulted in many millions of deaths both then and across the next 70 years -- and also condemned the world's largest country to tyranny and poverty for  all that time.

I am the last to minimize the death of 6 million Jews. But it seems clear to me that the Bolshevik revolution was much more widely harmful.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

1 comment:

Doom said...

Had to ponder that, then remember why and get back. I agree. Actually, Hitler based his state police on the KGB. As well, he, in part, took office so as to keep communists out. So one might easily suggest that the Russian thing shaped, and to a degree created, the German thing.

I also, and quickly, agreed that the level of evil shouldn't be based on war, as those come and go, but on what is done after the battles by who won. Soldier against soldier is one thing, government against civilian is a whole other thing.

War can be atrocious. Only governments, and people, can be fully evil. Shooting a pow, while wrong in some cases, can easily be understood in many situations. War is about attrition, after all. A government rounding up people to murder, often unarmed and without malice, for merely saying something (especially the truth) or worse just being something, is just... a true evil.


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