Chapter 2

The War To End All Wars

 

Let peace be sought through war. — Oliver Cromwell

The world has been at war in one way or another since history was first recorded thousands of years ago. Savagery and barbarism have been inherent in the human species as it clawed its way up through the evolutionary ladder to the present.

Karl Marx and his followers had simply forgotten — or ignored — these facts. In their rush to discover a utopian world, they failed to recognize the evolutionary struggle of the human being from a primeval beast to the more acceptable, partly civilized creature of the early twentieth century.

By the word “evolutionary,” let it be understood that the facts supporting man’s animal origins cannot be disputed; but neither can the reality of man’s eventual uplift by beings of divine origin. Whereas the mindset of the wise and knowledgeable human being does not contradict the facts and the science of evolution, it is at odds with evolutionism. This twisted philosophy abandoned not only religious belief but also God himself. It fed the secular revolt that took root in the early part of this century, spawning not only materialism but also atheistic science. Combine this with an immature civilization, and panic and chaos result.

Howard Bloom in his revolutionary vision of the relationship between psychology and history, The Lucifer Principle, illustrates this point:

"The appeal of prophets often lies in the ability to paint a picture of an irresistible utopia and to convince us that this better world is almost within our grasp. Marion Keech, the woman who communicated with extraterrestrial Guardians, promised her followers that they would shed all earthly ills and bathe in blessings they could scarcely imagine — after they had been whisked away from our decaying galaxy. William Miller, the founder of Seventh Day Adventism, predicated that God would come to rearrange the world we know and that those who followed Miller would find themselves possessors of a sparkling new paradise. And Karl Marx explained that the elimination of capitalism would trigger the creation of a whole new human nature, one that would flood the greedy dens in which we live with brotherly good will."
(Howard Bloom. The Lucifer Principle. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995)

These foolish predictions by Keech, Miller, and Marx all failed to materialize, yet millions of followers blindly believe them to be true. The point all three missed is simply that the relationship between man as the creature and God as the Creator is a personal one, founded on the concept of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. If all three had been around at the time when Jesus of Nazareth spent his thirty-five years of life teaching simple parables in Galilee, they would have heard these truths. The great problem under which Christianity labors is that so few of God’s teachings appear in the much-edited and consequently compromised versions of the gospels of the New Testament.

Not only is the human experience shaped by an evolutionary process that came forth from savage beginnings, but people also are prone to accepting myth and superstition readily. In short, humans allow others to do their thinking for them. Yet, the simple cosmic truth taught by Jesus was, “The kingdom of God is within you.”  What this means is that every mortal has the same potential to enter into God’s kingdom of brotherly association, the same connection to God’s love and truth, a concept that will be expanded upon in later chapters.
 
With competing economic forces lined up against one another in the early days of the twentieth century, there arose the first of the insane and bloodthirsty events we now dismiss as World War I. At the time, it was dubbed “the war to end all wars.” How ignorant that statement would prove to be.

World War I

Leading up to the declaration of war in 1914, there was much talk during the first decade about the potential for war. Politicians, writers, novelists, and philosophers discussed at length how the great powers of Europe were rubbing shoulders and borders in a frantic effort for economic and trade superiority. Britain, France, Germany, and Russia all dominated during this period. The French were still smarting and held much enmity dating back to May 11, 1871, a day in which German Chancellor Otto von Bismark (1815-1898) ended the Franco-German war, when he signed the agreement transferring all of Alsace and much of Lorraine to Germany. The Franco-German war of 1870 had been the last war between European powers in the nineteenth century, and this victory by Germany over France was etched in the minds of Frenchmen for many generations.

Through inept ambassadors and flawed political thinking, the terror of war was fast approaching. In a public meeting in the Munich Odeonplatz on August 1, 1914, an exuberant crowd greeted the news of the coming war. Among those photographed at that moment of public enthusiasm was the Austrian-born Adolf Hitler, then earning a meager living selling his own watercolor paintings.

The clouds of war gathered in 1914 largely because both the Kaiser of Germany and the czar of Russia, who had been corresponding for twenty years and maintaining a cordial relationship, were not able to find common ground through diplomacy or negotiation regarding territory and trade. At 11:00 the night of the August 1, 1914, the Kaiser, unconvinced by these back-and-forth diplomatic messages, told Helmuth von Moltke (1800-1891), the chief of staff of the German armies, that the hoped-for guarantees of neutrality of the British and French were illusory, and there would be a war in the West. The troops at Trier were ordered to march. Germany had declared war on Russia.

Five years of bloodthirsty slaughter of men, women, and children ensued. Carnage, despair, and desperation abounded. When the noise abated and the bullets, bayonets, shells, and gas ceased, the terror of war between man and machines was a spectacle that must have been the penultimate example of the savage and barbaric nature of the partly civilized human being.

The underlying causes of World War I are related to the spirit of unwavering nationalism that permeated Europe throughout the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the political and economic competition among the European nations, and the establishment and maintenance in Europe after 1871 of large armaments and of two hostile military alliances. All of these set the scene for the power brokers of the early twentieth century to manipulate the population of Europe, Britain and its territories, and the United States into fighting a war people believed was simply about economics. Like all wars, however, it was about political power and economic advantage.

The French Revolution and the Napoleonic era had spread throughout most of Europe the idea of political democracy, resulting in the idea that people of the same ethnic origin, language, and political ideals had the right to independent states. The principle of national self-determination, however, was largely ignored by the dynastic and reactionary forces that dominated in the settlement of European affairs at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Several peoples who desired national autonomy were made subject to local dynasts or to other nations. Notable examples were the German people, whom the Congress of Vienna left divided into numerous duchies, principalities, and kingdoms; Italy, also left divided into many parts, some of which were under foreign control; and the Flemish- and French-speaking Belgians of the Austrian Netherlands, whom the congress placed under Dutch rule. Revolutions and strong nationalistic movements during the nineteenth century succeeded in nullifying much of the reactionary and anti-nationalist work of the congress. Belgium won its independence from the Netherlands in 1830, the unification of Italy was accomplished in 1861, and that of Germany in 1871. At the close of the century, however, the problem of nationalism was still unresolved in other areas of Europe, resulting in tensions both within the regions involved and between various European nations.

Imperialism

The spirit of nationalism was also apparent in economic discord. The Industrial Revolution, which took place in Great Britain at the end of the eighteenth century, followed in France in the early nineteenth century, and then in Germany after 1870, caused an immense increase in the manufactures of each country and a consequent need for foreign markets. The principal field for the European policies of economic expansion was Africa, and on that continent colonial interests frequently clashed. Several times between 1898 and 1914, the economic rivalry in Africa between France and Great Britain, and between Germany on one side and France and Great Britain on the other, almost precipitated a European war.

Military Expansion

As a result of such tensions, between 1871 and 1914 the nations of Europe adopted domestic measures and foreign policies that in turn steadily increased the danger of war. Convinced their interests were threatened, they maintained large standing armies, which they constantly replenished and augmented by peacetime conscription. At the same time, they increased the size of their navies. The naval expansion was intensely competitive. Great Britain, influenced by the expansion of the German navy begun in 1900 and by the events of the Russo-Japanese War, developed its fleet under the direction of Admiral Sir John Fisher. The war between Russia and Japan had proved the efficacy of long-range naval guns, and the British accordingly developed the widely copied dreadnought battleship, notable for its heavy armament. Developments in other areas of military technology and organization led to the dominance of general staffs with precisely formulated plans for mobilization and attack, often in situations that could not be reversed once begun.

Statesmen everywhere realized the tremendous and ever-growing expenditures for armament would in time lead either to national bankruptcy or to war, and they made several efforts for worldwide disarmament, notably at the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907. International rivalry was, however, too far advanced to permit any progress toward disarmament at these conferences.

The European nations not only armed themselves for purposes of “self-defense,” but also sought alliances with other powers so that they would not find themselves standing alone if war did break out. The result was a phenomenon that, in itself, greatly increased the chances for generalized war: the grouping of the great European powers into two hostile military alliances — the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy; and the Triple Entente of Great Britain, France, and Russia. Shifts within these alliances added to the building sense of crisis.

The United States Enters the War

 In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) of the United States, which was at that time a neutral nation, attempted to bring about negotiations between the belligerent groups of powers that would in his own words bring “peace without victory.” As a result of his efforts, and particularly of the conferences held in Europe during the year by Wilson’s confidential adviser, Colonel Edward M. House (1858-1938), with leading European statesmen, some progress was at first apparently made toward bringing an end to the war. In December, the German government informed the United States that the Central Powers were prepared to undertake peace negotiations. When the United States informed the Allies, Great Britain rejected the German advances for two reasons: Germany had not laid down any specific terms for peace; and the military situation at the time (Romania had just been conquered by the Central Powers) was so favorable to the Central Powers that no acceptable terms could reasonably be expected from them. Wilson continued his mediatory efforts, calling on the belligerents to specify the terms on which they would make peace. He finally succeeded in eliciting concrete terms from each group, but they proved irreconcilable.

Wilson still attempted to find some basis of agreement between the two hostile groups until a change in German war policy in January 1917 completely altered his point of view toward the war. In that month, Germany announced that beginning on February 1, it would resort to unrestricted submarine warfare against the shipping of Great Britain and all shipping to Great Britain. German military and civil experts had calculated that such warfare would bring about the defeat of Great Britain in six months. Because the United States had already expressed its strong opposition to unrestricted submarine warfare, which, it claimed, violated its rights as a neutral, and had even threatened to break relations with Germany over the issue, Wilson dropped his peacemaking efforts. On February 3, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Germany and at Wilson’s request a number of Latin American nations, including Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil, also did so. On April 6, the United States declared war on Germany.

Russian Losses

On the eastern front in 1916, the Russians staged an offensive. Their attack, designed to force the Germans to move troops from Verdun to the Lake Narocz region, was a complete failure. Not only did it fail to divert the Germans in any degree from their attack on Verdun, but also the Russians lost more than a hundred thousand men. In June, the Russians carried out a more successful offensive. In response to an Italian request for action to relieve the pressure of an Austrian offensive, the Russians moved against the Austrians on a front extending from Pinsk south to Czernowitz. By September, when strong German reinforcements from the western front stopped the Russian advance, the Russians had driven some forty miles into the Austro-German position along the entire front and had taken about five hundred thousand prisoners. They did not succeed, however, in capturing either of their objectives — the cities of Kovel and Lemberg. Losses of a million men left the army demoralized and discouraged. The Russian drive had nonetheless given sufficient evidence of strength to play a large part in inducing Romania to enter the war on the side of the Allies on August 27, 1916. By the middle of January 1917, however,  Romania had been completely conquered.

On the eastern front, the dominating influence on the fighting during 1917 was the outbreak in March of the Russian popular uprising against the imperial government, which resulted in the establishment of a provisional government and the abdication, in March, of Czar Nicholas II (1868-1918). The provisional government continued the prosecution of the war, and in July the Russians staged a moderately successful two-week drive on the Galician front, but then lost much of the territory they had gained. In September, the Germans took Riga and in October occupied the greater part of Latvia and a number of Russian-held islands in the Baltic Sea. The Bolshevik party seized power by force on November 7. A cardinal point of Bolshevik policy was the withdrawal of Russia from the war, and on November 20 the government that had just come into power offered the German government an armistice. On December 15, an armistice was signed between the Russian and Austro-German negotiators and fighting ceased on the eastern front.

By the end of World War I, the seeds of socialism and fascism were taking root. In addition to this, the Christian church had entered into an unholy alliance with the state, which would provide the spiritual void into which hundreds of millions of twentieth-century souls were sucked. This destructive spiritual vacuum is at the very root of the secular revolt and the resulting materialism and evil of atheistic science. The latter generations of twentieth-century humankind were destined to experience the full effect of these sophistries, thanks in no small way to that nineteenth-century genius of perverted philosophy, Karl Marx.

Laying blame, however, is not the motive here. The blame game solves nothing; it merely creates a confrontational atmosphere whereby the populists and the reductionists hold sway over rational debate. Rather, the intention is to focus the reader on historical facts. Our history is the map upon which we may reliably navigate. If we truly know where past generations have been, we can learn from their mistakes. Only then are we as human beings able to navigate a righteous path for our future and that of succeeding generations.

The Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, between defeated Germany and the principal Allied and associated powers. The representatives of twenty-seven victorious powers appended their signatories to the two-hundred-page document.  On September 1, 1919, the last American combat division left France, sailing from Brest. In the previous months, three hundred thousand American soldiers had crossed from east to west each month, heading back to the United States. Each returning soldier received his discharge papers, a uniform, a pair of shoes, a coat, and a sixty-dollar bonus. More than three and a half million soldiers went through this process. A small group of men remained in France to work in the military cemeteries, supervising the gathering of bodies, their identification, burials, and memorials. An American occupation force of sixteen thousand men was also sent to Germany as part of the allied presence on the Rhine; they were based at Coblenz.

In Britain, those conscientious objectors who had been in prison were also being released but only slowly. In March 1919, there were still twelve hundred in prison and thirty-four hundred performing labor service in special camps. As a collective punishment for their un-warlike views, they were deprived of the vote for five years after the war, both in parliamentary and local government elections. In short, their wisdom in not wishing to participate in the terror of war was punished. This is a prime example of worldwide knowledge without wisdom. This was only a glimpse of the idiocy and legal and political ineptitude we’ve learned to take for granted in the latter part of the twentieth century.

On November 19,  1919, the U.S. Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles. This single act sent a shudder through the Principal Allied and Associated Powers that would virtually ring a death knell not only to this treaty but also to the concept and legitimacy of the League of Nations. The Treaty of Versailles came into force on January 10, 1920, a mere seven weeks after the U.S. Senate had rejected it out of hand. As one of the treaty’s British participants would later write, “The whole Treaty had been deliberated and ingeniously framed by Mr. Wilson himself to render American cooperation essential.”

Ten years later, Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) wrote rhetorically to the Americans, his indignation still at fever pitch:

Your intervention in the war, which you came out of lightly since it cost you but 56,000 human lives, instead of our 1,364,000 killed, had appeared to you, nevertheless, as an excessive display of solidarity. And either by organizing a League of Nations which was to furnish the solution to all the problems of International security by magic, or by simply withdrawing from the European schemes, you found yourselves freed from all difficulties by means of a “separate peace.” It was not enthusiasm that flung you into our firing lines: it was the alarming persistence of German aggressions.

This admonition by the Frenchman was all too true. America had entered the war based on its fear of German aggression and the possible loss of financial power through commerce and trade.  The war having been won, the U.S. Senate had no further use for such devices — perhaps the U.S. senators had a modicum of wisdom in this decision.

This planet will not enjoy lasting peace until the so-called sovereign nations intelligently and fully surrender their sovereign powers into the hands of the brotherhood of men — mankind government. Internationalism — Leagues of Nations or United Nations — can never bring permanent peace to mankind. Worldwide confederations of nations will effectively prevent minor wars and acceptably control the smaller nations, but they will not prevent world wars nor control the three, four, or five most powerful governments. In the face of real conflicts, one of these world powers will withdraw from the League and declare war. You cannot prevent nations going to war as long as they remain infected with the delusional virus of national sovereignty. Internationalism is a step in the right direction. An international police force will prevent many minor wars, but it will not be effective in preventing major wars, conflicts between the great military governments of earth.
 
During the course of this war, four empires had been lost, the most significant being that of Russia. In 1917, through the auspices of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924), the Marxist theorist, party organizer and first leader of Soviet state, Russia fell to the Bolshevics. Lenin was the principal figure in the development of Marxism during the twentieth century. He contributed to it a distinctive revolutionary politics that is of continuing and terrorizing importance. He is celebrated in particular for his account of the proper organization of a revolutionary party, its relationship to the class system, its role in political mobilization, and for his characterization of a new and final epoch of capitalist development that had created all the sufficient conditions for global socialist transformation.

Lenin and his successors in all Communist regimes reigned over their citizens using terror and tyranny to uphold the totalitarian state. In the West,  the seeds of Marxism were rapidly bearing fruit as one after another over the ensuing decades, so-called democracies fell prey to the insidious mindset of Marxism. As leader of the Communist International, Lenin was instrumental in enforcing acceptance of Bolshevik organizational precepts and the Russian revolutionary progression upon member parties, precipitating a breach with gradualist and constitutional social democracy. During his lifetime, he engaged in and provoked an almost constant stream of polemic and disputation, and almost every aspect of his thought and activity continues to be the subject of scholarly controversy.

With the outbreak of the World War I, Lenin began to formulate a new theory of contemporary capitalism, which he completed in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916). In it, he denounced World War I as a fight among the imperialist powers for control of the markets, raw materials, and cheap labor of the underdeveloped world. Since neither the Allies nor the Central Powers offered any benefits to the working class, he urged all socialists to withhold their support from the war effort. Following his lead, Russian Bolsheviks initially refused to support their government in its war  efforts.

He also contended that the innovative and progressive role of capitalism in refining the productive forces was a product of its competitive market structure that consequently ceased when capitalism became monopolistic at around the turn of the century. It then became retrogressive and parasitic upon colonial exploitation, thereby universalizing its own contradictions and preparing the ground for the fusion of the European Socialist Revolution with the colonial struggle for national liberation. Capitalism, Lenin concluded, had outlived its historical mission.

Simultaneously, however, monopoly capitalism itself had, by concentrating capital in the hands of the banks and by rationalizing the processes of production and distribution in the trusts and cartels, created the mechanisms whereby a rational allocation of scarce resources and equitable distribution of the product could be achieved under popular control. Capitalism, in its imperialist stage, had created the objective conditions for international socialist transformation.

So the stage is set through Lenin, the student of the Marxist Communist Manifesto, for the oncoming secular revolt and resulting materialism that, together with atheistic science, would plunge our planet into a suicidal and frightening place.

A “Just” War?

As recorded in its long and turbulent history, all wars have been “just” wars. World War I and every other war and regional antagonism since have been similarly justified. Through the centuries, wars have been absolved by politicians, supported by theologians, and participated in by we the people, who innocently believe the “just war doctrine” and spill our blood on the battlefields.

In the broadest sense, Western culture defines a “just” war as the justified use of force for political purposes. The entire tradition of thought and practice in this civilization is aimed at setting limits and determining when the use of force is justified. The components and expressions of just war include religious and philosophical moral thought, legal theory, domestic and international customary and positive law, and military theory. Theological ethicists use the term primarily to refer to that component of the broader tradition derived from Christian theological sources, and Roman Catholic authors typically narrow the meaning still more when they speak of the “just war doctrine” of Catholic moral theology. Christianity has embraced for centuries  the concept of a just war, providing the war furthers Christianity. This is evident from the Vatican back through to the crusades. Many idealists during this and preceding centuries have asked the same question: Why is war necessary? The only answer that makes any sense, even to the partly civilized mind of the twentieth century, is that legal theory and political expediency make it so. In other words, we simply abdicate all responsibility to the state represented by the government of the day, then blindly follow the doctrine that is most expedient to the political leadership in the prosecution of their assumption of our wishes. Have you or anyone you know ever prayed or petitioned for war? Have you or any one you know ever been asked to cast a popular vote in favor of war?

The answer to these questions speaks volumes.

More than nine million soldiers, sailors, and airmen lost their lives in the World War I. An additional five million civilians also perished between 1914 and 1919. Seven hundred fifty thousand German civilians died during the Allied naval blockade. Men such as Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), Erwin Rommel (1891-1944), Georgy Zhukov (18961974), Bernard Law Montgomery (1887-1976), and Maurice Gustave Gamelin (1872-1958) all served as soldiers in the trenches during this war. It is interesting that these future protagonists would serve their apprenticeships in this war and go on to play such a major part in the next. Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) volunteered and served with the French as a Vietnamese orderly in World War I. Harold MacMillan (1894-1986), who later became prime minister of Britain, also served and was wounded on the western front.

The Federal Reserve System

There is one more piece to the puzzle that needs to be recognized to see clearly the emerging kaleidoscope of the twentieth century.  A piece of American legislation was shepherded through the U.S. Congress by Woodrow Wilson and Carter Glass (1858-1946) of Virginia late one night just before Christmas 1913. It would become the infamous Federal Reserve System. True democracy slipped from the grasp of American citizens on that fateful night. Commonly known as “the Fed,” this system was foisted on the American people without their consent or blessing. It would prove to be the nemesis of the American way of life from that day forward.

In a later chapter, we will take a more detailed look at how this vague and shadowy yet controlling system will impact not only the United States but the rest of the world as well. It not only becomes grossly misunderstood but also has a great effect on the emerging global economy. Several aborted attempts to introduce a central banking system had been experienced in this great nation’s history. With several assassinations and coups having been perpetrated up to 1913, the United States had warded off all attempts from a hijacking of the fiscal policy mechanism. Materialism fueled by greed and power did finally triumph over the high ideals that the founding fathers of almost two centuries earlier — inspired by divine and insightful guidance and imbued with wisdom and a vision of the future of this great nation — brought into temporal existence through the Constitution and the accompanying Bill of Rights.

As we shall see, the unfolding pattern of each chapter of the twentieth century is a repeat, albeit in different terms, of previous mistakes and unwise paths. Only time will tell if the present and future generations have learned anything from the blood-soaked pages of history. Only when a certain level of wisdom has been attained can the pattern be broken and plans made for a future that not only encompasses all people, but also provides a rich and fulfilling life based on virtues, families, and a spiritual connection to the First Source and Center — God.

Chapter 3

Knowledge Without Wisdom