Who was the better president: Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan?
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  Who was the better president: Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan?
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Author Topic: Who was the better president: Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan?  (Read 3691 times)
Vosem
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« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2021, 08:49:02 PM »

Also for the record we have not spoken/posted at each other in a while, maybe not since 2014-15, and I am enjoying this exchange!
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #51 on: November 27, 2021, 09:27:07 PM »

FDR.  Although, to my surprise, FDR was more secretive and conniving than was Reagan.
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #52 on: November 27, 2021, 10:23:13 PM »

Well I'm not sure what you're saying at all. Because the consequences of a German victory on continental Europe in World War One is not remotely in the same stratosphere as a German victory on continental Europe in World War Two.

I donít know what this exactly means. Was the win in WW2 more crucial than in WW1? Yes, of course. But Iím not saying otherwise. What Iím saying is considering the numerous factors involved, if a win in WW2 is enough to make FDR a top 3 president, than a win in WW1 is enough to make Wilson a top 15 president.

Keep in mind some things:

1) The USA was much more crucial to winning the 1st World War than the 2nd. While the Allies lose either war without the USA, in the 1st World War, the Entente wouldíve lost very easily. Therefore, it can also be said that Wilson deserves more credit for winning the 1st than FDR does for winning the 2nd.

2) FDR wasnít even around for the conclusion of WW2, and although was involved in preliminary talks for the future of Europe after the 2nd World War, he certainly didnít play as big of a role as constructing the post-war world as Wilson did after his World War.

3) While the results in Europe would undoubtedly be worse in an Axis win in WW2 than in a Central Powers win in WW1, In terms of the impact on the United States, a lose in either war has the same result: a global decrease in power for the USA and itís Allies, as well as itís general governing ideology being less widespread/influential. There is not a huge difference here.

4) The Central Powers were undoubtedly evil. Not as much as the Axis, but letís not forget the 1.2 million Armenians slaughtered in the war, or the violation of Belgian neutrality. The ideologies that they believed in were awful, as was their disregard for human life. The fact that you didnít even think of the Armenian genocide shows both your lack of knowledge on this subject, and the success of people who want to cover up this fact as much as possible.

5) Even after our win in WW2, a less evil, but still very evil, power was emboldened, partially because of FDRís actions: the USSR. The decades that followed were nothing short of hell for millions of people. No such consequence existed for Wilson.
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Okay, maybe Mike Johnson is a competent parliamentarian.
Nathan
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« Reply #53 on: November 27, 2021, 11:01:01 PM »

The decades that followed were nothing short of hell for millions of people. No such consequence existed for Wilson.

Didn't it, though?
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #54 on: November 27, 2021, 11:13:28 PM »

The decades that followed were nothing short of hell for millions of people. No such consequence existed for Wilson.

Didn't it, though?

Iím assuming youíre talking about WW2. But that wasnít any of Wilsonís fault, nor was the Nazi threat an existent one at that time.
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2021, 11:16:54 PM »
« Edited: November 27, 2021, 11:35:13 PM by KaiserDave »

Well I'm not sure what you're saying at all. Because the consequences of a German victory on continental Europe in World War One is not remotely in the same stratosphere as a German victory on continental Europe in World War Two.

I donít know what this exactly means. Was the win in WW2 more crucial than in WW1? Yes, of course. But Iím not saying otherwise. What Iím saying is considering the numerous factors involved, if a win in WW2 is enough to make FDR a top 3 president, than a win in WW1 is enough to make Wilson a top 15 president.

Keep in mind some things:

1) The USA was much more crucial to winning the 1st World War than the 2nd. While the Allies lose either war without the USA, in the 1st World War, the Entente wouldíve lost very easily. Therefore, it can also be said that Wilson deserves more credit for winning the 1st than FDR does for winning the 2nd.

2) FDR wasnít even around for the conclusion of WW2, and although was involved in preliminary talks for the future of Europe after the 2nd World War, he certainly didnít play as big of a role as constructing the post-war world as Wilson did after his World War.

3) While the results in Europe would undoubtedly be worse in an Axis win in WW2 than in a Central Powers win in WW1, In terms of the impact on the United States, a lose in either war has the same result: a global decrease in power for the USA and itís Allies, as well as itís general governing ideology being less widespread/influential. There is not a huge difference here.

4) The Central Powers were undoubtedly evil. Not as much as the Axis, but letís not forget the 1.2 million Armenians slaughtered in the war, or the violation of Belgian neutrality. The ideologies that they believed in were awful, as was their disregard for human life. The fact that you didnít even think of the Armenian genocide shows both your lack of knowledge on this subject, and the success of people who want to cover up this fact as much as possible.

5) Even after our win in WW2, a less evil, but still very evil, power was emboldened, partially because of FDRís actions: the USSR. The decades that followed were nothing short of hell for millions of people. No such consequence existed for Wilson.

I will dissect this as best I can. Wow. What. A. Disaster.

If a win in WW2 is enough to make FDR a top 3 president
Not arguing that, nor do I think anyone here is.
While the Allies lose either war without the USA, in the 1st World War, the Entente wouldíve lost very easily
Complete and total speculation. And most likely not at all true. The Kaiserschlacht, Germany's major offensive launched after ~50 divisions were freed up from the end of the eastern theatre, while a tactical victory for the Germans (they made the most ground they had ever made since 1914/1915), failed to achieve the decisive breakthrough High Command had been seeking. The victory was hollow, and both sides dug in again. The internal problems of starvation, domestic political disturbance, government incompetence and military autocracy, continued to fester within Germany. The Army had not won a victory. Not a single American soldier was present on the frontlines. Had the Americans not arrived, it is very unlikely the Germans could have launched a new comparable major offensive given the casualties they sustained. It's plausible, but unlikely. And saying without the Americans the Allies lose the First War as a certainty is fanciful.
FDR wasnít even around for the conclusion of WW2, and although was involved in preliminary talks for the future of Europe after the 2nd World War, he certainly didnít play as big of a role as constructing the post-war world as Wilson did after his World War.
Well Wilson horribly failed at Versailles, so not sure what the point is here. Wilson's 14 Points were a lofty and admirable goal for humankind, if only he advocated for them successfully!
While the results in Europe would undoubtedly be worse in an Axis win in WW2 than in a Central Powers win in WW1, In terms of the impact on the United States, a lose in either war has the same result: a global decrease in power for the USA and itís Allies, as well as itís general governing ideology being less widespread/influential. There is not a huge difference here.
I don't know man, a militant Nazi power with the long term goal of racial extermination and subjugation of the United States seems a lot worse than the temporary continuation of Europe's conservative monarchies. A German victory in World War One would be a loss, for sure. A reactionary stratocratic regime in control of continental Europe? Definitely disturbing. But it's not the same in the cost in blood.
The Central Powers were undoubtedly evil. Not as much as the Axis, but letís not forget the 1.2 million Armenians slaughtered in the war, or the violation of Belgian neutrality. The ideologies that they believed in were awful, as was their disregard for human life. The fact that you didnít even think of the Armenian genocide shows both your lack of knowledge on this subject, and the success of people who want to cover up this fact as much as possible.
Nice dig, but it doesn't get you anywhere. I should have specified in my original post I was exclusively thinking about Germany and the Dual Monarchy. Yes, I know about the Armenian Genocide, cheap shot. As for Germany and Austria-Hungary, neither were very ideological? The Kaiserreich did not seek to carry out an ideological agenda like the Nazis. Bismarckian realpolitik was specifically non-ideological. Wilhelm II and his government and generals were staunchly conservative (as Bismarck was, and Matternich before him), of course, but the Nazis wanted racial extermination and had an extremely specific racial and social agenda for the world they ruled over. The Kaiserreich had no such agenda that was comparable. As for the Ottomans? Their genocidal acts were horrific. And the CUP's government was the most proto-fascist of any Central Power in my opinion. But I will just say it was localized in a way the Nazi agenda was not. I don't want to minimize the Armenian Genocide (and indeed, it was a genocide, anyone who says otherwise is deluding themselves or is a serious bad actor), but it's not the same. Indeed the Central Powers did commit horrific war crimes in World War One, but again.....not comparable to Nazi Germany or Japanese actions in China.

5) Even after our win in WW2, a less evil, but still very evil, power was emboldened, partially because of FDRís actions: the USSR. The decades that followed were nothing short of hell for millions of people. No such consequence existed for Wilson.
Waiting to hear how FDR emboldened the USSR. There's an argument here, but you haven't made it. Did he embolden the USSR by assisting the Stalin regime with material and supply against the Germans and their fascist collaborators? And by opening a second front? If so, that's a price I am willing to pay. And as for the bolded section....well unfortunately that's not true.
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2021, 11:47:40 PM »
« Edited: November 27, 2021, 11:57:35 PM by TheReckoning »


Here are some things to consider:

- With the Russians pulling out of WW1, Germany had about 1 million soldiers they could move towards the Western Front. This was absolutely crippling to the French/British morale, which was only saved because of the Americans joining the war. While the Germans at this time were suffering food shortages due to the British Blockade, the Entente was even more weakened, and itís really hard to seem hitting a knockout blow to Germany at this time. Meanwhile, itís almost certain that the Allies wouldíve won WW2 without direct US intervention.

- The Nazis had no intention of invading or attacking the United States directly. While they wanted to weaken the United States in terms of its global power, they were content to leave every single American alone, as long as they got Lebensraum. Therefore, FDR didnít protect Americans from Nazi Germany anymore than Wilson protected us from the German Empire.

- While the Nazi/Japanese atrocities were worse than anything the Central Powers did, the latters actions in WW1 still definitely make the top 10 worst atrocities ever committed. Stopping the Nazis was more important, but stopping the Central Powers was extremely important as well- something that Woodrow Wilson did.

- FDR was clearly in a tough situation, and in hindsight it can be said he made the right decision with supplying the Soviets with supplies. But he clearly showed no interest in checking their power, as evidenced by the fact that he seemed content to let them steamroll Eastern Europe to claim as their own. This actions had dire consequences for hundreds of millions of people. Meanwhile Wilson tried his best to ensure peace after WW1, and largely succeeded, until the Nazis rose- but he had no power over that.
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2021, 11:59:50 PM »
« Edited: November 28, 2021, 12:08:16 AM by KaiserDave »


Here are some things to consider:

- With the Russians pulling out of WW1, Germany had about 1 million soldiers they could move towards the Western Front. This was absolutely crippling to the French/British morale, which was only saved because of the Americans joining the war. While the Germans at this time were suffering food shortages due to the British Blockade, the Entente was even more weakened, and itís really hard to seem hitting a knockout blow to Germany at this time. Meanwhile, itís almost certain that the Allies wouldíve won WW1 without direct US intervention.

- The Nazis had no intention of invading or attacking the United States directly. While they wanted to weaken the United States in terms of its global power, they were content to leave every single American alone, as long as they got Lebensraum. Therefore, FDR didnít protect Americans from Nazi Germany anymore than Wilson protected us from the German Empire.

- While the Nazi/Japanese atrocities were worse than anything the Central Powers did, the latters actions in WW1 still definitely make the top 10 worst atrocities ever committed. Stopping the Nazis was more important, but stopping the Central Powers was extremely important as well- something that Woodrow Wilson did.

- FDR was clearly in a tough situation, and in hindsight it can be said he made the right decision with supplying the Soviets with supplies. But he clearly showed no interest in checking their power, as evidenced by the fact that he seemed content to let them steamroll Eastern Europe to claim as their own. This actions had dire consequences for hundreds of millions of people. Meanwhile Wilson tried his best to ensure peace after WW1, and largely succeeded, until the Nazis rose- but he had no power over that.
1. I already addressed this. Your point is just....verifiably incorrect. Did you read what I said? The Germans DID launch an offensive with their 1 million soldiers freed up from the eastern front. They attacked BEFORE the Americans arrived and they FAILED. Your statement that freeing up these troops "was absolutely crippling to the French/British morale, which was only saved because of the Americans joining the war." This, this point, is fictitious. The Germans didn't only free up those soldiers from Russia, they attacked with those same soldiers, and they did not break through.

2. Also wrong. While an actual German invasion of the United States is logistically impossible and would be a pathetic failure on every level. Hitler was not "content to leave every single American alone, as long as they got Lebensraum." Hitler was open about his disgust for the United States and American culture, and in his unpublished second book he outlines his plans for a future war with the US, which he considered (similar to the USSR) a front for "International Judaism." The United States was an integral part of Hitler's deranged view of the world. The German Empire had no such ideological opposition to the United States beyond typical great power conflict.

3. This first point is plausible, debatable but plausible. The idea that Woodrow Wilson "stopped the central powers" is not.

4. Well supplying the Soviets should be obvious, unless you want them to fail in stopping the Nazi invasion, which would be very disturbing indeed. Also, again, evidence on FDR being content in letting Stalin overrun eastern Europe. While he might not have been as aggressive against global communism as his successor, he was not at all trusting in Stalin. While he was more amicable then Churchill, he was not at all content to let Stalin have his way with the continent and was cognizant of future tension with the USSR. FDR did indeed support the Soviet war effort completely, and this was absolutely the right thing to do, as the fate of millions of people depended on the defeat of Nazism, which could not be accomplished without the USSR. And in any case, there was nothing he could do about Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. They won it in the war, and what could be done to force them to withdraw besides the insane idea of taking the fight to them?

Wilson did not "try his best" he demonstrably failed at Versailles to achieve his objectives. This is a key part of what happened! It was a HUGE deal that the actual treaty deviated MASSIVELY from the Fourteen Points, and Clemenceau dictated most of the content of the treaty, at the expense of Wilson's liberal goals. Wilson's post-war objectives were not implemented, and he did not do his best to achieve them, being sidelined by illness for much of the conference and not exactly delegating well. FDR being too soft on Stalin (which ended up not having a massive effect) pales in comparison's to Wilson's total ineptitude and abdication of responsibility at Versailles.
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2021, 12:14:22 AM »

1. I already addressed this. Your point is just....verifiably incorrect. Did you read what I said? The Germans DID launch an offensive with their 1 million soldiers freed up from the eastern front. They attacked BEFORE the Americans arrived and they FAILED. Your statement that freeing up these troops "was absolutely crippling to the French/British morale, which was only saved because of the Americans joining the war." This, this point, is fictitious. The Germans didn't only free up those soldiers from Russia, they attacked with those same soldiers, and they did not break through.

2. Also wrong. While an actual German invasion of the United States is logistically impossible and would be a pathetic failure on every level. Hitler was not "content to leave every single American alone, as long as they got Lebensraum." Hitler was open about his disgust for the United States and American culture, and in his unpublished second book he outlines his plans for a future war with the US, which he considered (similar to the USSR) a front for "International Judaism." The United States was an integral part of Hitler's deranged view of the world. The German Empire had no such ideological opposition to the United States beyond typical great power conflict.

3. This first point is plausible, debatable but plausible. The idea that Woodrow Wilson "stopped the central powers" is not.

4. Well supplying the Soviets should be obvious, unless you want them to fail in stopping the Nazi invasion, which would be very disturbing indeed. Also, again, evidence on FDR being content in letting Stalin overrun eastern Europe. While he might not have been as aggressive against global communism as his successor, he was not at all trusting in Stalin. While he was more amicable then Churchill, he was not at all content to let Stalin have his way with the continent and was cognizant of future tension with the USSR. And in any case, there was nothing he could do about Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. They won it in the war, and what could be done to force them to withdraw besides the insane idea of taking the fight to them?

Wilson did not "try his best" he demonstrably failed at Versailles to achieve his objectives. This is a key part of what happened! It was a HUGE deal that the actual treaty deviated MASSIVELY from the Fourteen Points, and Clemenceau dictated most of the content of the treaty, at the expense of Wilson's liberal goals. Wilson's post-war objectives were not implemented, and he did not do his best to achieve them, being sidelined by illness for much of the conference and not exactly delegating well.

1. I seriously recommend examining just how close the Central Powers were to winning the war on numerous occasions, and how they wouldíve won it without US support. There are others who can explain far better than me.

2. Youíre right in that Hitler hated the USA and wouldíve wished nothing more than to see it collapse, but he also knew that he has no power to do so. He also dismissed the USA as not being a real threat, saying that since it had no ďracial purityĒ (meaning it was multiracial) with ďJews and NegrosĒ in power, it had no fighting strength. Nazi Germany was not a real threat to the United States, as any historian of this time will tell you.

3. My point isnít that Wilson beat the Central Powers. My point is that FDR didnít beat the Axis anymore than Wilson beat the Central Powers.

4. FDR was undoubtedly in a tricky spot, with having pretty much no choice to help the Evil Empire that was the USSR. But he also clearly underestimate the Communist threat, which was a huge miscalculation on his part as Soviet atrocities were well known at this point. The emboldening of the USSR wasnít entirely his fault, but it does make his win in WW2 less significant than it couldíve been.

5. The fact that Wilson got sick and was unable to secure peace as best as possible does not mean he didnít really try to.
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #59 on: November 28, 2021, 12:33:29 PM »
« Edited: November 28, 2021, 12:37:18 PM by KaiserDave »

1. I already addressed this. Your point is just....verifiably incorrect. Did you read what I said? The Germans DID launch an offensive with their 1 million soldiers freed up from the eastern front. They attacked BEFORE the Americans arrived and they FAILED. Your statement that freeing up these troops "was absolutely crippling to the French/British morale, which was only saved because of the Americans joining the war." This, this point, is fictitious. The Germans didn't only free up those soldiers from Russia, they attacked with those same soldiers, and they did not break through.

2. Also wrong. While an actual German invasion of the United States is logistically impossible and would be a pathetic failure on every level. Hitler was not "content to leave every single American alone, as long as they got Lebensraum." Hitler was open about his disgust for the United States and American culture, and in his unpublished second book he outlines his plans for a future war with the US, which he considered (similar to the USSR) a front for "International Judaism." The United States was an integral part of Hitler's deranged view of the world. The German Empire had no such ideological opposition to the United States beyond typical great power conflict.

3. This first point is plausible, debatable but plausible. The idea that Woodrow Wilson "stopped the central powers" is not.

4. Well supplying the Soviets should be obvious, unless you want them to fail in stopping the Nazi invasion, which would be very disturbing indeed. Also, again, evidence on FDR being content in letting Stalin overrun eastern Europe. While he might not have been as aggressive against global communism as his successor, he was not at all trusting in Stalin. While he was more amicable then Churchill, he was not at all content to let Stalin have his way with the continent and was cognizant of future tension with the USSR. And in any case, there was nothing he could do about Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. They won it in the war, and what could be done to force them to withdraw besides the insane idea of taking the fight to them?

Wilson did not "try his best" he demonstrably failed at Versailles to achieve his objectives. This is a key part of what happened! It was a HUGE deal that the actual treaty deviated MASSIVELY from the Fourteen Points, and Clemenceau dictated most of the content of the treaty, at the expense of Wilson's liberal goals. Wilson's post-war objectives were not implemented, and he did not do his best to achieve them, being sidelined by illness for much of the conference and not exactly delegating well.

1. I seriously recommend examining just how close the Central Powers were to winning the war on numerous occasions, and how they wouldíve won it without US support. There are others who can explain far better than me.

2. Youíre right in that Hitler hated the USA and wouldíve wished nothing more than to see it collapse, but he also knew that he has no power to do so. He also dismissed the USA as not being a real threat, saying that since it had no ďracial purityĒ (meaning it was multiracial) with ďJews and NegrosĒ in power, it had no fighting strength. Nazi Germany was not a real threat to the United States, as any historian of this time will tell you.

3. My point isnít that Wilson beat the Central Powers. My point is that FDR didnít beat the Axis anymore than Wilson beat the Central Powers.

4. FDR was undoubtedly in a tricky spot, with having pretty much no choice to help the Evil Empire that was the USSR. But he also clearly underestimate the Communist threat, which was a huge miscalculation on his part as Soviet atrocities were well known at this point. The emboldening of the USSR wasnít entirely his fault, but it does make his win in WW2 less significant than it couldíve been.

5. The fact that Wilson got sick and was unable to secure peace as best as possible does not mean he didnít really try to.
1. Well then I'll listen to them make their points, because you haven't done anything except ignore my very specific arguments about the state of the war in early 1918. It's true that the Central Powers almost won on numerous occasions, and at none of these points did American soldiers or aid turn the tide in a decisive manner.
2. No serious historian would say that Nazi Germany was not "a real threat to the United States." As I acknowledged before the idea of an actual invasion is indeed non-serious, but that doesn't mean they're not a threat.
3. Also untrue. FDR had been a key linchpin to the anti-fascist war effort as early as 1940, and was quickly depended on by the United Kingdom for aid in the early days of the war, and hope of eventual United States involvement was key to the survival of Churchill's government in the cabinet crisis of 1940. The Lend Lease Act and then US entry in the war was a massive boon to the Allied War effort, whereas Woodrow Wilson only joined the Allied effort in World War One in late 1917, and saw no active combat against the Germans until the Imperial Army was already bloodied and half-broken.
4. I have no idea what point you're making. Was FDR insufficiently skeptical of Stalin's intentions? Yes. Could he have done something different to stop Soviet internal repression or Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe? No. Unless you are suggesting that FDR should not have fully supported the Soviet war effort, which is a deeply concerning viewpoint, then I'm not sure what you think he should have done. As for it diminishing the value of winning the war? Yes, I agree, but this was out of the control of Churchill or Roosevelt.
5. Wilson failed. He demonstrably failed at Versailles to win the peace. At the most important European conference since Vienna in 1815, Woodrow Wilson horribly failed to implement his ambitious his agenda, and so was at least partially responsible for the failures of Versailles. It displays great incompetence and failure. The kind of failure that FDR never was responsible for.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2021, 02:26:52 PM »

1. I seriously recommend examining just how close the Central Powers were to winning the war on numerous occasions, and how they wouldíve won it without US support. There are others who can explain far better than me.

They came close on numerous occasions in 1914 and not once subsequently. The central dynamic of the First World War (and the reason why it was so appallingly bloody) was that the Central Powers were not strong enough to win the war, but were strong enough to prevent the Allied Powers from forcing a defeat barring total collapse - which, of course, is eventually what happened. American involvement in the War brought matters to a conclusion faster than would otherwise have been the case, but the inevitable failure of the Ludendorff Offensive meant that the collapse was already underway by the time American troops began to arrive on the Western Front. You really do not have a clue as to what you are talking about.
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2021, 02:35:13 PM »

1. I seriously recommend examining just how close the Central Powers were to winning the war on numerous occasions, and how they wouldíve won it without US support. There are others who can explain far better than me.

They came close on numerous occasions in 1914 and not once subsequently. The central dynamic of the First World War (and the reason why it was so appallingly bloody) was that the Central Powers were not strong enough to win the war, but were strong enough to prevent the Allied Powers from forcing a defeat barring total collapse - which, of course, is eventually what happened. American involvement in the War brought matters to a conclusion faster than would otherwise have been the case, but the inevitable failure of the Ludendorff Offensive meant that the collapse was already underway by the time American troops began to arrive on the Western Front. You really do not have a clue as to what you are talking about.
A very decisive and entirely correct take!
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2021, 02:41:27 PM »

1. I seriously recommend examining just how close the Central Powers were to winning the war on numerous occasions, and how they wouldíve won it without US support. There are others who can explain far better than me.

They came close on numerous occasions in 1914 and not once subsequently. The central dynamic of the First World War (and the reason why it was so appallingly bloody) was that the Central Powers were not strong enough to win the war, but were strong enough to prevent the Allied Powers from forcing a defeat barring total collapse - which, of course, is eventually what happened. American involvement in the War brought matters to a conclusion faster than would otherwise have been the case, but the inevitable failure of the Ludendorff Offensive meant that the collapse was already underway by the time American troops began to arrive on the Western Front. You really do not have a clue as to what you are talking about.

They actually came close in 1917 as well.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #63 on: November 28, 2021, 03:03:01 PM »

They actually came close in 1917 as well.

What? When? If you mean the Nivelle Offensive then as disastrous as it was, the idea that it nearly caused the collapse of the French war effort is a myth, and one with extremely dubious political factors behind it, given that the failure of the Nivelle Offensive led to the ascendency of Pťtain. At no stage in 1917 were the allied positions on the Western Front seriously threatened.
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #64 on: November 28, 2021, 03:12:31 PM »

They actually came close in 1917 as well.

What? When? If you mean the Nivelle Offensive then as disastrous as it was, the idea that it nearly caused the collapse of the French war effort is a myth, and one with extremely dubious political factors behind it, given that the failure of the Nivelle Offensive led to the ascendency of Pťtain. At no stage in 1917 were the allied positions on the Western Front seriously threatened.

I recommend you try not to look at sole battles/operations as accurate depictions of how the war at the time was going. The Central Powers were in far better shape to win WW1 than the Axis were in WW2.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #65 on: November 28, 2021, 03:22:14 PM »

I recommend you try not to look at sole battles/operations as accurate depictions of how the war at the time was going. The Central Powers were in far better shape to win WW1 than the Axis were in WW2.

By 1917 Germany was essentially under the control of an emergency wartime military dictatorship as it usual power structures had collapsed under strain, and this government was struggling to feed its population, adequately supply its troops or replace causalities. Meanwhile, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire were both falling to bits. The more intelligent members of the German General Staff knew that the war was lost as early as the end of 1914: the less intelligent members feared that it was but deluded themselves into thinking that one huge decisive blow might still rescue them. Every attempt to put this into practice ended in catastrophe. Again, you do not know what you are talking about.
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #66 on: November 28, 2021, 04:02:11 PM »
« Edited: November 28, 2021, 04:08:09 PM by KaiserDave »

They actually came close in 1917 as well.

What? When? If you mean the Nivelle Offensive then as disastrous as it was, the idea that it nearly caused the collapse of the French war effort is a myth, and one with extremely dubious political factors behind it, given that the failure of the Nivelle Offensive led to the ascendency of Pťtain. At no stage in 1917 were the allied positions on the Western Front seriously threatened.

I recommend you try not to look at sole battles/operations as accurate depictions of how the war at the time was going. The Central Powers were in far better shape to win WW1 than the Axis were in WW2.
What are you even talking about man. Al and I are making very specific claims about the failure of the German Army and government, and how the war was very likely lost after 1914 and assuredly lost before the Americans arrived. You just keep making vague claims and ignoring our very specific arguments. If you want to discuss the comparison of the ability to win of the Kaiserreich and the Third Reich, we can do that, but you made the claim that the Americans won the war, which is absurd.
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ingemann
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« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2021, 04:31:34 PM »

A Nazi victory would have foreign political disaster to a incredible extent for USA even if the Nazi had stopped being a bunch of genocidal lunatics, it would have weaken American global position permanently and cut off American market for large regions and likely made South America a ideological battlefield between USA and Germany.

Central Power Victory would have been bad in the short term for USA, but would in all likelihood have resulted in no Great Depression and instead just a major recession in the early twenties. USA would have been weaken as a global power, but would likely have seen continued influx of European immigration for decades more, it would have a harder time accessing the European markets, but at the same time those markets would have been bigger without USSR to mess stuff up.
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« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2021, 05:23:17 PM »

This poll is honestly an insult to FDR.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #69 on: November 28, 2021, 06:38:32 PM »

hahahahahaha

It really is not a good idea to pick a fight with both Al AND Nathan in the same thread, but Mr. TheReckoning has never had much in the way of common sense.
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Nathan
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« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2021, 07:37:07 PM »

I guess nothing is 'nonideological', but it seems like the most important ideological strain was pacifism/noninterventionism, with some sort of vague German- or Italian-American pride distant seconds based on 1936/1940 swings? Sympathy for fascist dictatorships in the US seems by all accounts to have been incredibly marginal by the mid-1930s, though before the Abyssinian war there was a decent amount of support for Mussolini.

Outright sympathy for fascism was on the downswing by 1936ish, sure, but there was still a ton of anti-British and antisemitic sentiment among communities like (for example) Irish Catholics; plus pacifism and noninterventionism are themselves ideological positions, just not of the kind that people usually accuse others of when they discuss this subject.

Well, yes, but I thought this discussion was about the importance of fascist sympathizers in US politics during the 1930s. I think the answer is that sympathy for Mussolini existed before 1935 or so but afterwards became marginal, and by the time Hitler had been in power for several years virtually no one really saw him favorably. 'Pacifism' and 'noninterventionism' are indeed ideological positions, but they're ones I'd imagine you'd have a great deal of sympathy for, and I think they're necessary in every society to some degree, even if 1941 is a great testament against their absolute versions.

The discussion started as a disagreement about whether FDR's WWII leadership involved overcoming significant domestic opposition. I'd argue that prewar pacifism counts as such opposition, even though, yes, mutatis mutandis I'm sympathetic to pacifism in most other historical contexts.

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*snip*

I'm almost positive this is primarily a definitional dispute at this point--as well as, of course, what each of us would like to be true! Now that you've conceded (in my reading of the post in question) that postwar social democracy was in a certain sense irreversible--because the more right-wing socioeconomic assumptions we're living under now still looking nothing like the Belle Epoque except in certain statistical measures--I'm happy to concede that the same is probably true of neoliberalism in the sense that whatever ultimately does replace "Reaganism" is obviously not going to just roll it back wholesale. Some elements of neoliberalism are pretty clearly turning out to have more staying power than others; you yourself have admitted that right-wing economic orthodoxy in its fullest sense is so jarring and offputting to people who aren't true believers that we find it genuinely difficult to imagine any normal person (i.e. non-extraction corporation, tech zaibatsu, and/or investment bank shareholder) being motivated by it, and I suppose I should probably likewise admit that people definitely these days definitely tend to think of social relationships mostly in terms of financial or allegorically-financial transactions to which democratically accountable regulation is some sort of unacceptable hindrance. (However, you'll note that this particular depravity is by no means a solely neoliberal assumption; strict-observance Marxism makes exactly the same descriptive assumption in tandem with different normative assumptions, or possibly vice versa. And in that sense, as well as arguably a few others, Marxism won just as Keynesianism and neoliberalism did!)

I've enjoyed this exchange a lot too. It feels like the good old days!
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« Reply #71 on: November 29, 2021, 09:47:33 PM »

I guess nothing is 'nonideological', but it seems like the most important ideological strain was pacifism/noninterventionism, with some sort of vague German- or Italian-American pride distant seconds based on 1936/1940 swings? Sympathy for fascist dictatorships in the US seems by all accounts to have been incredibly marginal by the mid-1930s, though before the Abyssinian war there was a decent amount of support for Mussolini.

Outright sympathy for fascism was on the downswing by 1936ish, sure, but there was still a ton of anti-British and antisemitic sentiment among communities like (for example) Irish Catholics; plus pacifism and noninterventionism are themselves ideological positions, just not of the kind that people usually accuse others of when they discuss this subject.

Well, yes, but I thought this discussion was about the importance of fascist sympathizers in US politics during the 1930s. I think the answer is that sympathy for Mussolini existed before 1935 or so but afterwards became marginal, and by the time Hitler had been in power for several years virtually no one really saw him favorably. 'Pacifism' and 'noninterventionism' are indeed ideological positions, but they're ones I'd imagine you'd have a great deal of sympathy for, and I think they're necessary in every society to some degree, even if 1941 is a great testament against their absolute versions.

The discussion started as a disagreement about whether FDR's WWII leadership involved overcoming significant domestic opposition. I'd argue that prewar pacifism counts as such opposition, even though, yes, mutatis mutandis I'm sympathetic to pacifism in most other historical contexts.

I think this is becoming a definitional dispute; it seems like we can agree that there was some opposition before Pearl Harbor to helping the Allies, and extremely little after Pearl Harbor, and that most of the opposition was motivated by pacifism with sympathy for fascist ideology being minimal although existent, and that the key event which changed people's minds was Pearl Harbor. At this point I think we're just disputing the meaning of 'significant' and this might just be a difference in idiolect or something.

Quote
*snip*

I'm almost positive this is primarily a definitional dispute at this point--as well as, of course, what each of us would like to be true!

I also increasingly find in many of my real-life discussions with leftists that an element of unpredictably different lived experiences is almost always involved, and I feel like of my online acquaintances this is almost more true with you than with anyone else. Zero of my friends are Catholic lesbians (...I think), but over the past year I've had two close friends purchase houses with cryptocurrency gains, and as an undergraduate/law student pre-COVID I have multiple times experienced people I'd never met before striking up conversations with me unprompted at nonpolitical events about libertarian authors.

Clearly neither of us have really normal social groups, but there's something beyond that, where because of people's personalities and unconscious cues people end up drawing very specific kinds of people to interact with them, and then based off that they develop ideological or religious ideas about society or about what normal people are like.

(In real life, I am sure, we have very different vibes!)

Now that you've conceded (in my reading of the post in question) that postwar social democracy was in a certain sense irreversible--because the more right-wing socioeconomic assumptions we're living under now still looking nothing like the Belle Epoque except in certain statistical measures

This isn't quite the point I was trying to make; I think in 1965 the failure of postwar social democracy was still somewhere past the horizon, such that only a remarkable genius could have anticipated that neoliberalism will soon arrive. The lesson that can be learned from this is just that the future is unpredictable, and just because a replacement to neoliberalism can't be foreseen doesn't mean it isn't coming. At the same time, I think a radical shift to our political economy in the near-term future towards much greater competitiveness in society is much likelier than one away from it, which I don't really think I can imagine. (Except the emergence of some sort of very dreary authoritarian government which also monopolizes industry, which I guess I can imagine, but probably isn't what people who dream about less competition are dreaming of!)

I think there are some aspects of the belle ťpoque that aren't coming back, to be sure; at the most basic level this is true because of technological progress. 40% of an American's paycheck went to food in 1910, but today this is unimaginable and given continued progress in fertilizers (and progress in genetics; just in 2021 new genes to make crop yields increase have been discovered) it will only continue to get more unimaginable. There are some social technologies, too -- a bare level of safety and quality regulations and a minimum wage -- whose use I can't imagine ceasing except in an apocalyptic scenario.

I'm happy to concede that the same is probably true of neoliberalism in the sense that whatever ultimately does replace "Reaganism" is obviously not going to just roll it back wholesale. Some elements of neoliberalism are pretty clearly turning out to have more staying power than others; you yourself have admitted that right-wing economic orthodoxy in its fullest sense is so jarring and offputting to people who aren't true believers that we find it genuinely difficult to imagine any normal person (i.e. non-extraction corporation, tech zaibatsu, and/or investment bank shareholder) being motivated by it.

I think most normal Americans accept it to some extent, not just shareholders in particular banks. The fiscon argument that normies agree with them is mostly based on referendum results (and personal experiences); the fislib argument more so on polling (and personal experiences). Referendum results are explained away by rich Americans having more power to advertise, but this doesn't seem to really work since it is not always the case that tax cutters spend more than their competitors, and many polling firms are substantially ideologically slanted. It seems to me like the indicators showing Americans are not fiscally conservative are all easily falsified, while indicators showing that they are are usually difficult to falsify.

But normal people are also not always well-educated or strictly ideological, and they often believe contradictory things! (I've pointed out the resounding success of efforts to raise the minimum wage in public opinion in this conversation, though I think that's a special case. The right answer here, frustrating as that may be, is probably that Americans find the "size of government" argument very persuasive, but see policies helping the rich as an unfortunate side effect of this rather than a positive good which drives economic growth and investment thereby helping the common man. I don't think this perspective is rare -- I think it is slowly spreading through society, I think it and several corollaries are overwhelming majority positions within the Republican Party, and several more corollaries are not majorities but still very common among the hard-Tea-Party primary-voting base -- but I do think it's unintuitive for those who don't already agree with it.)

I suppose I should probably likewise admit that people definitely these days definitely tend to think of social relationships mostly in terms of financial or allegorically-financial transactions to which democratically accountable regulation is some sort of unacceptable hindrance.

I think the predominant strain of contemporary American utopianism is an enormous movement to more accurately or truthfully measure the monetary value of things! Hayek wrote in 1944 that one of socialism's great advantages over its competitors was that it was unafraid to be utopian, and today it seems to me that this is one of neoliberalism's (or libertarianism's, or general-economic-rightism's) greatest advantages, and the reason that unintuitive ideas are spreading. At some point (definitely after the various 1968 social unrest episodes, when socialism was still utopian) the predominant character of global leftism switched from utopian to very broadly pessimistic. (These are very broad claim and I can bring up lots of reasons I think this if I am pressed, but I hope you won't disagree that modern libertarianism is utopian and modern leftism is not just not utopian but very pessimistic about society.)

(However, you'll note that this particular depravity is by no means a solely neoliberal assumption; strict-observance Marxism makes exactly the same descriptive assumption in tandem with different normative assumptions, or possibly vice versa. And in that sense, as well as arguably a few others, Marxism won just as Keynesianism and neoliberalism did!)

Yes, of course -- my world-view is very materialist! On other forums I've occasionally edgily defined myself as Marxist or alt-Marxist, though this usually just confuses people and I stopped doing it after like a month. I've read several of Marx's works and it's easy to recognize much of his influence in my thinking, though any 21st-century figure who identifies as Marxist would find my beliefs, uh, bad.

I've enjoyed this exchange a lot too. It feels like the good old days!

🤗
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Nathan
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« Reply #72 on: November 30, 2021, 06:25:17 PM »

I guess nothing is 'nonideological', but it seems like the most important ideological strain was pacifism/noninterventionism, with some sort of vague German- or Italian-American pride distant seconds based on 1936/1940 swings? Sympathy for fascist dictatorships in the US seems by all accounts to have been incredibly marginal by the mid-1930s, though before the Abyssinian war there was a decent amount of support for Mussolini.

Outright sympathy for fascism was on the downswing by 1936ish, sure, but there was still a ton of anti-British and antisemitic sentiment among communities like (for example) Irish Catholics; plus pacifism and noninterventionism are themselves ideological positions, just not of the kind that people usually accuse others of when they discuss this subject.

Well, yes, but I thought this discussion was about the importance of fascist sympathizers in US politics during the 1930s. I think the answer is that sympathy for Mussolini existed before 1935 or so but afterwards became marginal, and by the time Hitler had been in power for several years virtually no one really saw him favorably. 'Pacifism' and 'noninterventionism' are indeed ideological positions, but they're ones I'd imagine you'd have a great deal of sympathy for, and I think they're necessary in every society to some degree, even if 1941 is a great testament against their absolute versions.

The discussion started as a disagreement about whether FDR's WWII leadership involved overcoming significant domestic opposition. I'd argue that prewar pacifism counts as such opposition, even though, yes, mutatis mutandis I'm sympathetic to pacifism in most other historical contexts.

I think this is becoming a definitional dispute; it seems like we can agree that there was some opposition before Pearl Harbor to helping the Allies, and extremely little after Pearl Harbor, and that most of the opposition was motivated by pacifism with sympathy for fascist ideology being minimal although existent, and that the key event which changed people's minds was Pearl Harbor. At this point I think we're just disputing the meaning of 'significant' and this might just be a difference in idiolect or something.

Or in historiographical emphasis. I'm (as I'm sure you know) very interested in American Catholic history, and Catholics were a component of FDR's coalition where he really did have to put work into manufacturing consent for WWII rather than just waiting for the IJN to do the heavy lifting.

Quote
This isn't quite the point I was trying to make; I think in 1965 the failure of postwar social democracy was still somewhere past the horizon, such that only a remarkable genius could have anticipated that neoliberalism will soon arrive. The lesson that can be learned from this is just that the future is unpredictable, and just because a replacement to neoliberalism can't be foreseen doesn't mean it isn't coming. At the same time, I think a radical shift to our political economy in the near-term future towards much greater competitiveness in society is much likelier than one away from it, which I don't really think I can imagine. (Except the emergence of some sort of very dreary authoritarian government which also monopolizes industry, which I guess I can imagine, but probably isn't what people who dream about less competition are dreaming of!)

Okay, so we're not conceding the same point so much as conceding different points of each other's arguments: you're conceding that potential future threats to neoiberalism, or the absence thereof, simply can't be foreseen with certainty, whereas I'm conceding that no major shift in the economic and social environment can just be rolled back and rendered irrelevant in retrospect.  I think much of the rest of our sharply different understanding of where the country is right now can be accounted for by different emphases on these points plus, as we've already agreed on, our very different social environments and circles of friends and acquaintances, and that keeping this in mind would be a good aid to mutual understanding the next time we have this kind of conversation.

(The Catholic lesbians are just the most numerous example, btw; there are all sorts of other atypical combinations of religiosity and LGBT/nerd culture/organized labor culture/whatever group identity among my loved ones.)

As for the "size of government" point, I think there's something to that, but I think it's more basic than Americans' political views or even "the American mind" writ large--I think that most people, when faced with most power structures, want to give those power structures enhanced ability to help them (minimum wage; middle-class entitlements) and diminished ability to harm them (taxes; RTW repeals to the extent that RTW is understood as a state regulation of employment contracts that seems less intrusive than it is because it's designed to favor management. Sociocultural libertarian winning issues like weed legalization could also fall under this). You and I might, for different reasons, both see this attitude as frustratingly short-sighted and inconsequent, but people can't exactly be blamed for it, now, can they?

Quote
(These are very broad claim and I can bring up lots of reasons I think this if I am pressed, but I hope you won't disagree that modern libertarianism is utopian and modern leftism is not just not utopian but very pessimistic about society.)

Yes, which is one reason among others why I don't understand late-60s nostalgia on the left at all. The period was objectively devastating to the left's long-term ability to convincingly imagine and argue for a better society.

Quote
Yes, of course -- my world-view is very materialist! On other forums I've occasionally edgily defined myself as Marxist or alt-Marxist, though this usually just confuses people and I stopped doing it after like a month. I've read several of Marx's works and it's easy to recognize much of his influence in my thinking, though any 21st-century figure who identifies as Marxist would find my beliefs, uh, bad.

One could even argue that "everyone is a little bit Marxist" in this way, just as "everyone is a little bit classical liberal" in that we all accept individual conscience as a given when talking about free expression, or even (going much further back) "everyone is a little bit Jewish" in that we all accept some sort of connection between law and social ethics as a given when talking about crime and punishment. I think going forward a very strong case could emerge for adding both "everyone is a little bit social-democratic" and "everyone is a little bit neoliberal" to this list, but adding only one or only the other would indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the twentieth century and what the events thereof established about the way developed societies function.
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All Along The Watchtower
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« Reply #73 on: November 30, 2021, 08:53:06 PM »

I'll admit I was thinking of Austria-Hungary and Germany (and should have specified Germany in WWI vs Germany in WWII), so fair point, but it is still not remotely comparable. Are you seriously going to claim the consequences German victory in World War One would be on par with one in World War Two?

This is a nitpick but, as exceptionally evil as Nazi Germany was and I would never downplay that, the German Empire did commit a genocide themselves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herero_and_Namaqua_genocide
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2021, 11:06:12 AM »

And indeed, Herr Schicklgruber fully knew of all that - and approved.
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