Let's Rewrite a Little History
just for fun
I’m at the time of life — almost 76 — when I’m supposed to be a stick-in-the-mud.
But I keep reading books, and I find that books have a way of changing my mind.
So, let’s talk about the key combination of events that made the Revolutionary War work.
First, I learn from smart Jewish kid Liah Greenfeld in Natonalism that the French were fit to be tied in the second half of the 18th century in the years leading up to the French Revolution.
You see, back in the day with Louis XIV and the Sun King, France was the center of the world, as God intended. But then the Brits shot ahead of them, and the French couldn’t believe their ears. Of course, this might have had something to do with the Brits making a go of Dutch Finance, with a central bank and a national debt. But you can’t expect politicians to understand arcane things like that.
But than there was Benjamin Franklin, escaped apprentice, who was sent to be the colonies’ ambassador in Paris. Sensibly he sent home for a nice range of fur hats, so he would look the part of a hayseed. And he fed the French what they wanted to hear: that if they supported the rebels they would knock the Brits down a peg or two.
Well, the Brits did get knocked down a peg or two, but the French blew themselves up in the Revolution, the Reign of Terror and Napoleonic Wars. Sorry about that.
Now let’s talk about the Century of Stupidity, that began when Chancellor Bismarck stepped down in Germany and Prime Minister Lord Salisbury stepped down in Britain. British foreign policy prior to 1900 had been based on the idea of no entangling alliances in Europe. So the first thing Salisbury’s successor did was form an Entente Cordiale with the French. Then he expanded it to the Triple Entente by adding Russia.
Well, that led to World War I and crippling reparations against Germany and the Crash of 1929 and Our Adolf. Way to go, wise men.
Oh, by the way, President Wilson, what the Sam Blazes did you intend by getting the US into World War I and sending all the young college graduates in the Doris Day movie On Moonlight Bay off to war. And what was the point of a punishing Treaty of Versailles you old fool.
Well, then we come to World War II so that the failed President Roosevelt could become a national hero. After World War II we didn’t know what to do with Germany, because they didn’t have anything to loot, and it was rather expensive feeding them. So we let them create their own national state. And then we had a jolly old time with the Cold War and the opportunity to make jet-powered bombers into a thing.
I am sure that if the Duke of Wellington were still with us he would have opposed jet transport as encouraging the Benighted to travel around needlessly.
Do you see that, since the Cold War ended in 1989, our ruling class has had No Idea what to do and so is ginning up fake wars and fake “far-right extremists” and spending and boorrowing the nation down the drain?
So I say that the Century of Stupidity is coming to an end. Because it can’t go on much longer. But what come next?
We can only hope for the best.