Candide III: Bruce, before WWI, nobody expected total war, with memories of swift defeat of France by Germany in 1870 serving as operational example. When the war started, all sides believed it would be “over by Christmas”. Even in WWII, German experience in the battle of France was rather on the side of the blitzkrieg, and they were confidently expecting the same outcome in Russia as witnessed by their lack of winter preparations.
Graham: The “rising power” versus “ruling power” of the international system model doesn’t fit many of those examples. France didn’t exercise that level of dominance of Europe in the early 16th century. One could argue the coalescence of the Hapsburg power created a new rival for France, but it’s not as though France circa 1500 was exercising hegemony over Christian Europe. Similarly the Ottomans had emerged and become dominant in their international system...
Bruce: If the German General Staff had really believed they were under siege by enemies in either world war, they’d have put fish ponds on every block, bunkers under every home, and giant mounds of food in mineshafts all over Germany. They were planning a quick victorious war of aggression- a big fleet, a big army, a bunch of dead Belgians and East Europeans and a couple dozen small countries to loot. Both wars.
Robert What?: Regrettably, do not expect the judge to have learned a thing from it.
Scipio Americanus: While the British definitely didn’t help matters, I’ve got to agree with Cassander in the end. It was a strategic blunder of the first order for Germany to build up a blue-water dreadnought fleet explicitly designed to counter Britain’s. Not only did it push along the conversion of a long standing ally into an enemy (GB) but it also absorbed vast quantities of money, labor, and expertise that would have been better spent on Germany’s ground forces.
Grasspunk: Mason jars were retro rather than hipster when I moved to Seattle in 1996. The Five Spot in Queen Anne used them for water glasses (a diner with a 50s feel). I’m guessing that was old school but not particularly cool at the time.
Cassander: Leftists didn’t force the Kaiser to build a fleet, and the fleet was most definitely an existential threat to the UK — not to the population, but to its international position. The UK spent more than three centuries prior to WW1 balancing against whoever was the most powerful player on the continent. No further explanation is needed.
Alrenous: I still buy Moldbug’s assertion that Germany was deliberately provoked by leftist assholes. The question is whether they were British whigs, American whigs, or both. Crowe was either a liar or a useful idiot. Existential threat? The whigs wanted to be an existential threat to Germany, but they were only an existential threat to Wilhelm. Germany was never going to wipe out the English people.
Nydwracu: …and two of the ‘no war’ scenarios involved the Cold War.