Comments on: World War I http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/ Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:56:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 By: DavidP http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21544 Tue, 28 Dec 2004 17:32:03 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21544

In 1917, however, Wilson sought a declaration of war. The reason he sought to enter the war was to preserve the “freedom of the seas.” Under international law, a neutral is entitled to trade with belligerants. The Germans, however, were using U-boats to sink American ships that were bringing munitions, arms, and other supplies to England and France.

Many Americans were angry. They were perfectly happy to forego trade with England and France, rather than get involved in the war. They saw this, not as a “War to Make the World Safe for Democracy,” as the president now billed it, but as a “War to Make the World Safe for Armanents and Munitions Manufacturers.”

A year or so ago there was a 10-part series on the First World War, which was shown on Channel 4 in the UK. There it was pointed out that the US had lent Britain and France a lot of money to finance their war effort. For the US, military involvement became a necessity when it looked like Britain and France might actually lose the war and they would not get their money back.

http://davidp1.blogspot.com/2004/12/wartime-rights.html

]]>
By: hf http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21543 Fri, 17 Dec 2004 15:55:07 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21543 Walter Karp’s book “The Politics of War” covers Wilson’s shenanigans in great detail. It’s a disturbing story, one I never learned in school, but an important part of U.S. history.

]]>
By: Fernando http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21542 Fri, 17 Dec 2004 15:23:03 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21542 A hermeneutic interlude,

1. �Yes. but compare their contributions to that of the military industrial complex in particular, and industry in general. to say the contribution of nfp’s and watchdog groups has been negligable is generous.�
Perhaps this is the case, but notice that I did not introduce such a relative comparison. To do so is arbitrary and irrelevant. Moreover, if one intends to play the arbitrary inclusion of factors that either increase �collective wisdom� or increase �collective stupidity�, one can easily introduce the effect that sub-atomic particles have had on the formation of thought in individuals, and, by the stretch of the imagination, go on to claim that physical forces are either more or less impacting than non-profit or watchdog organizations.
2.�you were correct until you wrote “many people”. what proportion of the population reads scholarly journals? again, negligible is generous�
By �many people,� I literally meant what I said. There are a relatively select few who actually read scholarly work. But there are important catalysts included in the aforementioned class, judges and policy makers–one can also include the crafty court clerks. When such writing is incorporated into the framework of legal deliberation and decision making, many under the scope of case law are affected, and that�s a rather large civil corpus.
3.�i would even go so far as to suggest that the complicity of the mass media in the current war alleviates the govenment’s need, to a significant degree, to impose the level of censorship seen during the first world war.�
That might be true. But irrelevant to the point established in the conversational thread.

Thanks to fourleggedant for the helpful criticism!

]]>
By: fourleggedant http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21541 Fri, 17 Dec 2004 12:41:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21541 regarding Fernando’s comments,

“Count the plethora of non-profit organizations that have sprung into existence since the early phases of the 1920s. Or count the watchdog organizations. Both have contributed in shaping legislation and social policy.”

yes. but compare their contributions to that of the military industrial complex in particular, and industry in general. to say the contribution of nfp’s and watchdog groups has been negligable is generous.

“In addition, one can include the vast collection of literature generated in scholarly journals, some of which contain seeds of powerful truth and the type of perspectives that really affect many people.”

you were correct until you wrote “many people”. what proportion of the population reads scholarly journals? again, negligible is generous.

“Then again there�s mass media for what it�s worth. Mass media serves multiple social functions; some channels of information contribute to �collective wisdom�–a type of learned shared worldview, objective in framework.”

the mass media is incredibly harmful and has contributed enormously to the information starvation that most americans appear to be stricken with. the general level of enlightenment has been in decline since the advent of television and once it established itself as *the* source of news that decline avalanched. that is not to say that it is all bad, just most of it. in fact, i believe that the current debate of ‘war’ has been skewed by the mass media. consider how often they drop the name “al qaeda”. any time anything blows up anywhere it is a “possible al qaeda attack”. almost overnight al qaeda apparently grew from a fringe radical islamist group to an internation organisation rivaling any government’s intelligence agency in size and complexity.

i would even go so far as to suggest that the complicity of the mass media in the current war alleviates the govenment’s need, to a significant degree, to impose the level of censorship seen during the first world war.

. -ant

]]>
By: Max Lybbert http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21540 Fri, 17 Dec 2004 11:05:36 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21540 One of the big differences today is the lack of a military draft. In the past, a draft could exist even without a war. That changed public perception. It’s kind of like France relying on the US to provide national security, so that it can recruit fewer soldiers to send to its former African colonies.

Not that I want a return of the draft. The military says that today’s level of technology makes a draft useless. However, the lack of a draft does change the public’s perception of the military.

]]>
By: Fernando http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21539 Fri, 17 Dec 2004 02:29:27 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21539 In reply to Brentmeister General:

Count the plethora of non-profit organizations that have sprung into existence since the early phases of the 1920s. Or count the watchdog organizations. Both have contributed in shaping legislation and social policy. In addition, one can include the vast collection of literature generated in scholarly journals, some of which contain seeds of powerful truth and the type of perspectives that really affect many people. Then again there�s mass media for what it�s worth. Mass media serves multiple social functions; some channels of information contribute to �collective wisdom�–a type of learned shared worldview, objective in framework.

]]>
By: Brentmeister General http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21538 Fri, 17 Dec 2004 01:59:11 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21538 with all due respect, you just said the same thing but said that there are new institutions that have been contributing to this collective wisdom. i could believe we’ve become more collectively stupid since 1919, but i don’t see any evidence of collective wisdom.

]]>
By: Fernando http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21537 Fri, 17 Dec 2004 01:14:02 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21537 In Response to: Brentmeister General

Quite a number of social changes have occurred since 1919 and 1920. One of which is the increased number of institutions of higher education. With all those faculties to fill-in, the numbers of professors who teach the nations lucky few who actually make it to decent lectures, quite a bit of the democratic participants, assuming students participate in the process, contribute to the �collective wisdom� of the nation. These are then the students that make up the work force, the management, the entrepreneurs, etc. which has given us the cutting edge in the art of governance, the muscle in our judicial systems, and the global market. That�s only one fraction of the population, but it�s improving both quantitatively and qualitatively.–I admit that sounds optimistic, but its based on actual observation and cumulative data.

]]>
By: Brentmeister General http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21536 Thu, 16 Dec 2004 22:02:01 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21536 fernando,

what “collective wisdom” have we gained since then?

]]>
By: Fernando http://www.lessig.org/2004/12/world-war-i/#comment-21535 Thu, 16 Dec 2004 21:30:22 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2004/12/world_war_i.html#comment-21535 So it seems! However, it�s not just that our nation�s democratic experience has refined and gained collective wisdom since then, but that our judicial process, including the great justices that turn the gears, has/have undergone the same evolutionary strain.

]]>