image

COURSERA: The Modern World, Part Two: Global History since 1910, W4.04 Zero Hour

W4.04 Zero Hour

Hi. Welcome back. For this presentation the title I've chosen is Zero Hour, or in German it would be Stunde Null. It was an expression that they used to get both a sense of everything's destroyed and we're starting over from scratch. It seemed like and apt expression for this period in world history. A period of total war. By total war, total for the people involved because in some of these countries, if your military situation is unstable, it means you might not just lose a war, you might lose everything. You might be enslaved, you might be murdered: total war, total stakes. And nations in arms mobilizing men, women, children even. Everybody in the war effort, everybody working in the government, or for the government, or around the government. Anyone even in the United States, which was furthest in some ways from the battlefronts among the leading combatants, no one who lived through the World War II era doesn't remember the atmosphere of all of that, what was in the magazines, what was on the radio, rationing, other things. It was touching everyone. Let's look at the world of 1944. 1944 was the bloodiest year of fighting in the whole war. A year of slogging against enemies fighting fanatically from strong fortified positions of defense. For example, in Europe at the beginning of 1944, the battle lines were approximately here. In the Eastern Front, it took a whole year to move about that far. It took about a whole year in Italy for the Americans, British, other Commonwealth Allies (Indians, New Zealanders, Australians) to move about that far. The Americans, British, Canadians, free French, launched this extraordinary invasion across the channel here. It takes them six months to get to the battlefront here, so this then is kind of the remaining territory held by the Nazis at the end of 1944. It will take another six months of brutal, hard fighting to liquidate the remainder of the German empire, even after Italy had already gone out of the war. In the Pacific, this map just gives you a little bit of the sense of the enormous scale. The beginning of 1944, the Americans and their allies were just beginning to build up the ability to turn the tide and start marching across to the major Japanese held, fortified islands, which because of the ranges of aircraft and limitations of supply, needed to be taken almost one hop at a time. By the end of 1944, they'd moved up here, up here, and actually they'd suffered losses in China, being driven further back, maintaining supplies as best they can to the Chinese, over here especially, coming out of India and over the Himalayas, to be able to get supplies to try to help keep the Chinese partly in the fight, even while the British, the Indians, the Americans and others fighting here in Burma. Which leads to the world of 1945: a broken world again. Some way of measuring how broken the world is is just to look at some of these scenes of devastation. This is Berlin. The former German Reichstag, now in ruins, covered by the graffiti of the conquering Soviet soldiers. Or a city like this one. When you look at black and white photographs like these, you see a lot of these. The images tend to be numbing. They seem very remote because they're in black and white. They seem distant. You just have to take it a few extra seconds. Imagine yourself in the photograph, kind of, about the size of a person in human scale. Imagine all this is in color. Imagine what you would see, if you were standing there looking around, and you being to get a little more of a feel for what the photographer is showing you. This is the city of Dresden, bombed to obliteration in early 1945. Again, just imagine you were just one person standing on the street here. And you can just walk around and see this. Block, after block, after block. Almost as far as the eye can see. Germany is simply carved up into Allied military zones of occupation, depicted on this map. Ignore the names of these countries that will be created later in the 1940s, for now. Right now all of this is just under military governments. Berlin divided into zones of occupation. This will eventually become the demarcation between East and West Berlin. Vienna, too, had been divided into zones of occupation. Japan is also the scene of enormous ruin. The Japanese quit the war before they were actually invaded, and their country is fought over from one end to the other as much as Germany was. But Japan is devastated nonetheless, as this map shows in dry numbers. These numbers in parentheses is the percentage of the town or city that had been destroyed by American bombing raids. Here were the major fire raids. This one in Tokyo, in March of 1945, killed about 100,000 people. Finally at the end of the war were the twin atomic bombings, one after another, of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To give you some sense of the scale of that, here's a picture of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki. This actually does not fully convey the full scale of it. But an image like this one does. If you compare these two images on the left here, they're showing you the same thing. Maybe the only way to really orient yourself is to notice the line of the river and follow the major roadway next to it. You see the roadway here and that can help orient you to follow the same scene on this map after the atomic bombing. These are radii measured in thousands of meters from ground zero where the bomb detonated. Here's a scene of ground zero in the city of Hiroshima. So, obviously this is the meaning of total war. There's a huge dispute over whether it was necessary to bomb these countries, to bomb their cities. In both cases, the Allies were desperate to use any means they had to attack these countries. They began to see cities as military targets. If it seems to you then that both sides are becoming debased in their attitude toward human life, you're right. It doesn't equate the Americans and the British with Nazi Germany to notice that all the sides involved in this war were taking an increasingly callous attitude towards human life and felt brutalized by it. The Allied military commanders were under no illusions of this score; they knew, as George Marshall knew, that we were doing horrifying things in order to win the war. They still thought that there was a significant moral distinction between bombing cities to try to end the war and constructing death factories to carry out the genocides of whole people whom they hope to enslave and then kill. But nonetheless, the horrors being perpetrated really underscores that this war is pushing the whole meaning of civilization to the very brink. You're really at the point where people are creating destructive powers that are just about beyond the capabilities of human reason, human spirituality to control or understand. And then the war ended. It ended in Germany with an austere military ceremony. There was no German government to take a surrender. The Americans regarded the German government as nothing, as wreckage. They just took a surrender from German generals in the field, in a simple little ceremony in a French schoolhouse. On the other side of the world, though, in Tokyo Bay, the Americans and their allies did allow a Japanese government to remain. They allowed the Japanese emperor to remain in power. So there actually was, then, a formal surrender ceremony on the battleship Missouri in early September 1945. You see the sailors and others gathered all around to see the sight. The Japanese dignitaries coming onto the deck for the ceremony where they will sign the surrender documents. The war was ending. What kinds of visions of modern society were coming out of it? If this is part of a gigantic struggle about how to organize these modern societies, what are the lessons people are taking away from this? One is: This becomes the era of high modernism, government planning at its height. Well, one part of it is high liberalism. That is, the war had been about rescuing the world from tyranny and liberals had always thought of themselves as the opposite of tyrants. So, in one sense, the war helped with liberal ideals. This was actually really important in the United States of America, which still had a separate legal system, separate political system for African Americans. The ideals the Americans had embraced in the war made it harder and harder to sustain the regime of Jim Crow in the American South after the war was over. But also the immensely powerful governments that are created in this period begin to discover society but discover society as this object that would be the focal point of engineering. We talked a little bit about this before in an earlier section. Remember, I showed you a scene, a screenshot, from the video game Sim City. I'm just showing you another one again. Just to remind you of this image of society being something that I manipulate through the choices of big thinking planners. You need this kind of outlook of I'm going to plan and arrange everything by the demands of having to manage large territories all over the world, by the demands of having to manage whole economies. We saw a forerunner of that in the First World War, but you can see how much this expanded in the Second World War. Urban management, too. More and more of these large cities and mayors and others who regards themselves as kind of managers of Sim City. War management. We've glimpsed a sense of the way in which government needs to arrange every aspect of access to raw materials, allocation to production facilities, use of manpower, and the like. But one cultural thing I want to hit on is, by the end of the 1940s, there's also this sense of all this technology. The power of this technology. The whole sense that you want to be modern. High modernism is not just about practical requirements of government policy. There's a level of cultural conformity here, too. Like, I'm in charge of this city or this country, and I want to make it more modern. We've talked about top-down modernizers in the late 1800s and the early part of the 20th century. This era of the mid-century is giving them a huge boost. Culturally, the aspiration, if you're not modern yet, we want to make you modern. You have to be modern to survive. Of course, you can satirize these images of modernity. Here, here's an American rock band, Devo, in the 1980s, giving you their image of what it's like to be modern. But in the mid-1940s, people are taking this way more seriously as lessons from the war. Imagine, who would you look around and think are the examples of success in this war? Well really, there are two big models of success. The United States of America and the Soviet Union. Two very contrasting models. But they seemed to show the way of the future. What does that way look like? Here's an especially influential book in the English speaking world. It's written by a man named James Burnham. Burnham's a rather interesting fellow. American, very bright, graduated from Princeton became a communist and eventually grew disillusioned with the Stalinist dominated communist party and became a dissident Trotskyite in the late 1930s. Began to leave the communist movement in the beginning of the 1940s in a journey that would eventually take him to the right wing of American politics, eventually earning him accolades by no less than Ronald Reagan. But that was decades to come. Here's the Burnham of the 1940s. He's just published this new book during the war called The Managerial Revolution. And Burnham's argument is communism, capitalism, Soviet Union, United States, you know what? It's all becoming pretty much alike. It's all a matter of really big organizations, run by technocratic managers who are going to arrange everything in society. In a way, think of all those science fiction TV shows and science fiction movies you've seen. Where there's the faceless, impersonal government that's somehow rearranging things in the future, run by people in suits. That's what Burnham was imagining in this book in the 1940s. That's what he sees as the wave of the future. It's a serious vision that should be taken seriously. His argument focuses on the rule of the administrators in business and government, both of which are now on a gigantic Scale. And, actually, the most eloquent and enduring reaction to Burnham's book is this book, you may have heard of it, by George Orwell: 1984. This is the cover of the original edition published in England. What you may not realize is, if you've read 1984, is Orwell is reacting to Burnham. He has a vision of the world dominated by endlessly warring governments, very much alike, dominated by these powerful bureaucrats. Is there any way out? Another influential book of the mid-1940s is this one, by Friedrich Hayek, The Road To Serfdom. This is also very widely reviewed in 1944- 1945. Hayek is making the argument that visions like those of James Burnham are disturbingly prescient, and that people need to fight it. That the growth of big government, or the growth of socialist governments, are all part of the same story that he regards as the road to serfdom. Hayek is really, he's a European liberal of the old school. Actually, his background is in Austria, his economic thinking is deeply liberal, almost a revival of Adam Smith, or John Stewart Mill, adapted for the conditions of the 20th century. But coming out of World War II, a lot of Americans who had been part of the New Deal, part of Roosevelt's social democratic movement felt that very powerful government planning was going to be needed. Here's a cartoon that actually captured some of the concern that these men had. They saw all this gigantic effort to build raw materials, to transport them to factories to build stuff, railroads, all the rest. But who will buy the goods? How will America keep from simply relapsing back into the long-term, significant unemployment of the 1930s? It was thought that only large- scale government programs could provide that assurance. Now to wrap up this presentation, let's just take a look at the contrasting agendas of the Soviet government and the American government when World War II comes to an end. Let's start with Stalin and the Communist world. What's Stalin's dominant concern? Stalin's able to explain his concerns to the other side in a couple of key wartime conferences. At the end, in February 1945, they meet in Yalta on the Black Sea. Ordinarily, Yalta's a summer resort, but in February, every place in the Soviet Union is cold. So everybody's bundled up as they pose for these pictures outdoors. Roosevelt in the middle, Churchill, Stalin over here. They get together again in July 1945 in Potsdam. Here's Stalin and Truman. Truman had just became President in April, when Franklin Roosevelt collapsed from a cerebral hemorrhage. They're all gathering together in the gardens of this palace in the suburbs of a city that around them is entirely in ruins. Potsdam is a suburb of Berlin. So what's the Soviet Union's dominant concern? Well, their security, but from the point of view of someone like Stalin, it was totally logical that the security of the Soviet Union was also bound up in the future of communism and the world revolutionary agenda. The better communism did, the weaker capitalism became, the more secure the Soviet Union would be. The kinds of strategies, then, that he would have in mind to assure the security of his country and all of its dependencies: some territorial expansion to give himself more of a protective barrier, if you take a defensive view of it; certainly to disable Germany and Japan; maintain the wartime alliance as long as possible; maintain also a global network of obedient local parties, communist parties. But now contrast that with Roosevelt's vision. In some ways, there's a lot of overlap: His dominant concern, which he's also able to express at Yalta, which Truman inherits and tries to follow at this point in summer 1945 as faithfully as he can at Potsdam, he's interested in the security of the United States. He doesn't want a renewal of the war. He's especially worried about a renewal of the Great Depression, too; very concerned about the economic future of the United States and the Western world. So what kind of strategies would he have in mind? Maintain the wartime alliance, sure; also disable Germany and Japan, perhaps in somewhat different ways; the Americans are a little different in that they hope that they can create arrangements of international cooperation in political affairs, security affairs, economic affairs, building a bunch of new institutions, institutions we now know better today by names like the World Bank, for example, or the United Nations; the Americans are also very concerned, more than the Soviets are, with rebuilding a functional world economy. Remember how world trade had just completely collapsed during the 1930s? The Americans are thinking a lot about how to get it going again. They're also thinking about how to end empires, trusteeships, which they see as part of the old world that needs to be swept away to create a more peaceful world where there's freer trade and, frankly, greater opportunities for American business. You see, they're remembering that, in the 1930s, Britain had finally built a trade wall around its empire. So some of this agenda is putting the Americans, not so much in conflict with the Soviets, as in conflict with the British and with the French. So if you look at these two agendas, you see some things that are in common, some things that are different. But think about which of these agendas would you have found more appealing if you were a citizen in one of these countries in 1945. Just ask yourself: Which of these two visions of the world has more substantive of appeal, as a message? Think about the different images of the two powers. Which one seems more powerful, attractive, compelling to you? Think about style. Just as a matter of cultural openness or approach, which of these two great powers and all the things they represent seem more attractive? I'm not asking you to vote for one side or the other, I'm just asking you to think about how a lot of different people around the world would've sorted out their answer to this question. But just because I've described two different visions of the world's future, it didn't mean that they necessarily conflicted. It's worth analyzing that. There's a lot those visions have in common, some things that the Americans care about that the Soviets don't care about as much, but ask yourself: Where did these visions have to collide? Now, I could try to do a list here of, okay, what are the, precisely, what are the likely points of friction in 1945? Hmm. Well, there are annexations. The Soviets are taking chunks out of old Germany. They're moving the whole country of Poland about 150 miles to the west, and they're doing things to force the creation of a Soviet controlled government in Poland, and that rankles. Remember, Britain and France went to war in 1939 to fight for the security of Poland. Poland's important to many Americans, too. Geopolitically, you could swallow it, and say, oh well, oh well, too bad. But it rankles, hurts. People care about it, they notice it. So that's a likely point of friction. Another is, would be areas where you're running up right against each other, and you're forced to work together even though your systems are very, very different. Where do they have to work together in harness? Germany, where they both have responsibility of running the occupation of the country. Another point of friction is yeah, you have two different global systems, okay. But they actually intersect in countries where there are local communist parties that, it is feared, are trying to overthrow the established government. China, for example, where there's an ongoing civil war that's reigniting in 1945. France, Italy, some other countries, where the clash between these two systems are domestic, political clashes about the future of their country. Issues of trade and exchange, how to rebuild the new trading system. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of this is actually friction among the wartime Allies between America and the British and the French. The same goes for arguments about decolonization, also friction between the Americans and the British and French. So you look at these likely points of friction, hard to predict exactly how that's going to turn out, what the dominant agenda's going to be in the postwar era. I mean, we know how it came out. We think that it's all predetermined. I'm just trying to give you a sense of, if you had done a dispassionate analysis in 1945, you might have noticed these things, but how all this would play out would not have been obvious to you. And of course that gives us something to talk about next time. See you then. [BLANK_AUDIO]



Want to learn a language?


Learn from this text and thousands like it on LingQ.

  • A vast library of audio lessons, all with matching text
  • Revolutionary learning tools
  • A global, interactive learning community.

Language learning online @ LingQ

W4.04 Zero Hour

Hi. Welcome back. For this presentation the title I've chosen is Zero Hour, or in German it would be Stunde Null. It was an expression that they used to get both a sense of everything's destroyed and we're starting over from scratch. It seemed like and apt expression for this period in world history. A period of total war. By total war, total for the people involved because in some of these countries, if your military situation is unstable, it means you might not just lose a war, you might lose everything. You might be enslaved, you might be murdered: total war, total stakes. And nations in arms mobilizing men, women, children even. Everybody in the war effort, everybody working in the government, or for the government, or around the government. Anyone even in the United States, which was furthest in some ways from the battlefronts among the leading combatants, no one who lived through the World War II era doesn't remember the atmosphere of all of that, what was in the magazines, what was on the radio, rationing, other things. It was touching everyone. Let's look at the world of 1944. 1944 was the bloodiest year of fighting in the whole war. A year of slogging against enemies fighting fanatically from strong fortified positions of defense. For example, in Europe at the beginning of 1944, the battle lines were approximately here. In the Eastern Front, it took a whole year to move about that far. It took about a whole year in Italy for the Americans, British, other Commonwealth Allies (Indians, New Zealanders, Australians) to move about that far. The Americans, British, Canadians, free French, launched this extraordinary invasion across the channel here. It takes them six months to get to the battlefront here, so this then is kind of the remaining territory held by the Nazis at the end of 1944. It will take another six months of brutal, hard fighting to liquidate the remainder of the German empire, even after Italy had already gone out of the war. In the Pacific, this map just gives you a little bit of the sense of the enormous scale. The beginning of 1944, the Americans and their allies were just beginning to build up the ability to turn the tide and start marching across to the major Japanese held, fortified islands, which because of the ranges of aircraft and limitations of supply, needed to be taken almost one hop at a time. By the end of 1944, they'd moved up here, up here, and actually they'd suffered losses in China, being driven further back, maintaining supplies as best they can to the Chinese, over here especially, coming out of India and over the Himalayas, to be able to get supplies to try to help keep the Chinese partly in the fight, even while the British, the Indians, the Americans and others fighting here in Burma. Which leads to the world of 1945: a broken world again. Some way of measuring how broken the world is is just to look at some of these scenes of devastation. This is Berlin. The former German Reichstag, now in ruins, covered by the graffiti of the conquering Soviet soldiers. Or a city like this one. When you look at black and white photographs like these, you see a lot of these. The images tend to be numbing. They seem very remote because they're in black and white. They seem distant. You just have to take it a few extra seconds. Imagine yourself in the photograph, kind of, about the size of a person in human scale. Imagine all this is in color. Imagine what you would see, if you were standing there looking around, and you being to get a little more of a feel for what the photographer is showing you. This is the city of Dresden, bombed to obliteration in early 1945. Again, just imagine you were just one person standing on the street here. And you can just walk around and see this. Block, after block, after block. Almost as far as the eye can see. Germany is simply carved up into Allied military zones of occupation, depicted on this map. Ignore the names of these countries that will be created later in the 1940s, for now. Right now all of this is just under military governments. Berlin divided into zones of occupation. This will eventually become the demarcation between East and West Berlin. Vienna, too, had been divided into zones of occupation. Japan is also the scene of enormous ruin. The Japanese quit the war before they were actually invaded, and their country is fought over from one end to the other as much as Germany was. But Japan is devastated nonetheless, as this map shows in dry numbers. These numbers in parentheses is the percentage of the town or city that had been destroyed by American bombing raids. Here were the major fire raids. This one in Tokyo, in March of 1945, killed about 100,000 people. Finally at the end of the war were the twin atomic bombings, one after another, of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To give you some sense of the scale of that, here's a picture of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki. This actually does not fully convey the full scale of it. But an image like this one does. If you compare these two images on the left here, they're showing you the same thing. Maybe the only way to really orient yourself is to notice the line of the river and follow the major roadway next to it. You see the roadway here and that can help orient you to follow the same scene on this map after the atomic bombing. These are radii measured in thousands of meters from ground zero where the bomb detonated. Here's a scene of ground zero in the city of Hiroshima. So, obviously this is the meaning of total war. There's a huge dispute over whether it was necessary to bomb these countries, to bomb their cities. In both cases, the Allies were desperate to use any means they had to attack these countries. They began to see cities as military targets. If it seems to you then that both sides are becoming debased in their attitude toward human life, you're right. It doesn't equate the Americans and the British with Nazi Germany to notice that all the sides involved in this war were taking an increasingly callous attitude towards human life and felt brutalized by it. The Allied military commanders were under no illusions of this score; they knew, as George Marshall knew, that we were doing horrifying things in order to win the war. They still thought that there was a significant moral distinction between bombing cities to try to end the war and constructing death factories to carry out the genocides of whole people whom they hope to enslave and then kill. But nonetheless, the horrors being perpetrated really underscores that this war is pushing the whole meaning of civilization to the very brink. You're really at the point where people are creating destructive powers that are just about beyond the capabilities of human reason, human spirituality to control or understand. And then the war ended. It ended in Germany with an austere military ceremony. There was no German government to take a surrender. The Americans regarded the German government as nothing, as wreckage. They just took a surrender from German generals in the field, in a simple little ceremony in a French schoolhouse. On the other side of the world, though, in Tokyo Bay, the Americans and their allies did allow a Japanese government to remain. They allowed the Japanese emperor to remain in power. So there actually was, then, a formal surrender ceremony on the battleship Missouri in early September 1945. You see the sailors and others gathered all around to see the sight. The Japanese dignitaries coming onto the deck for the ceremony where they will sign the surrender documents. The war was ending. What kinds of visions of modern society were coming out of it? If this is part of a gigantic struggle about how to organize these modern societies, what are the lessons people are taking away from this? One is: This becomes the era of high modernism, government planning at its height. Well, one part of it is high liberalism. That is, the war had been about rescuing the world from tyranny and liberals had always thought of themselves as the opposite of tyrants. So, in one sense, the war helped with liberal ideals. This was actually really important in the United States of America, which still had a separate legal system, separate political system for African Americans. The ideals the Americans had embraced in the war made it harder and harder to sustain the regime of Jim Crow in the American South after the war was over. But also the immensely powerful governments that are created in this period begin to discover society but discover society as this object that would be the focal point of engineering. We talked a little bit about this before in an earlier section. Remember, I showed you a scene, a screenshot, from the video game Sim City. I'm just showing you another one again. Just to remind you of this image of society being something that I manipulate through the choices of big thinking planners. You need this kind of outlook of I'm going to plan and arrange everything by the demands of having to manage large territories all over the world, by the demands of having to manage whole economies. We saw a forerunner of that in the First World War, but you can see how much this expanded in the Second World War. Urban management, too. More and more of these large cities and mayors and others who regards themselves as kind of managers of Sim City. War management. We've glimpsed a sense of the way in which government needs to arrange every aspect of access to raw materials, allocation to production facilities, use of manpower, and the like. But one cultural thing I want to hit on is, by the end of the 1940s, there's also this sense of all this technology. The power of this technology. The whole sense that you want to be modern. High modernism is not just about practical requirements of government policy. There's a level of cultural conformity here, too. Like, I'm in charge of this city or this country, and I want to make it more modern. We've talked about top-down modernizers in the late 1800s and the early part of the 20th century. This era of the mid-century is giving them a huge boost. Culturally, the aspiration, if you're not modern yet, we want to make you modern. You have to be modern to survive. Of course, you can satirize these images of modernity. Here, here's an American rock band, Devo, in the 1980s, giving you their image of what it's like to be modern. But in the mid-1940s, people are taking this way more seriously as lessons from the war. Imagine, who would you look around and think are the examples of success in this war? Well really, there are two big models of success. The United States of America and the Soviet Union. Two very contrasting models. But they seemed to show the way of the future. What does that way look like? Here's an especially influential book in the English speaking world. It's written by a man named James Burnham. Burnham's a rather interesting fellow. American, very bright, graduated from Princeton became a communist and eventually grew disillusioned with the Stalinist dominated communist party and became a dissident Trotskyite in the late 1930s. Began to leave the communist movement in the beginning of the 1940s in a journey that would eventually take him to the right wing of American politics, eventually earning him accolades by no less than Ronald Reagan. But that was decades to come. Here's the Burnham of the 1940s. He's just published this new book during the war called The Managerial Revolution. And Burnham's argument is communism, capitalism, Soviet Union, United States, you know what? It's all becoming pretty much alike. It's all a matter of really big organizations, run by technocratic managers who are going to arrange everything in society. In a way, think of all those science fiction TV shows and science fiction movies you've seen. Where there's the faceless, impersonal government that's somehow rearranging things in the future, run by people in suits. That's what Burnham was imagining in this book in the 1940s. That's what he sees as the wave of the future. It's a serious vision that should be taken seriously. His argument focuses on the rule of the administrators in business and government, both of which are now on a gigantic Scale. And, actually, the most eloquent and enduring reaction to Burnham's book is this book, you may have heard of it, by George Orwell: 1984. This is the cover of the original edition published in England. What you may not realize is, if you've read 1984, is Orwell is reacting to Burnham. He has a vision of the world dominated by endlessly warring governments, very much alike, dominated by these powerful bureaucrats. Is there any way out? Another influential book of the mid-1940s is this one, by Friedrich Hayek, The Road To Serfdom. This is also very widely reviewed in 1944- 1945. Hayek is making the argument that visions like those of James Burnham are disturbingly prescient, and that people need to fight it. That the growth of big government, or the growth of socialist governments, are all part of the same story that he regards as the road to serfdom. Hayek is really, he's a European liberal of the old school. Actually, his background is in Austria, his economic thinking is deeply liberal, almost a revival of Adam Smith, or John Stewart Mill, adapted for the conditions of the 20th century. But coming out of World War II, a lot of Americans who had been part of the New Deal, part of Roosevelt's social democratic movement felt that very powerful government planning was going to be needed. Here's a cartoon that actually captured some of the concern that these men had. They saw all this gigantic effort to build raw materials, to transport them to factories to build stuff, railroads, all the rest. But who will buy the goods? How will America keep from simply relapsing back into the long-term, significant unemployment of the 1930s? It was thought that only large- scale government programs could provide that assurance. Now to wrap up this presentation, let's just take a look at the contrasting agendas of the Soviet government and the American government when World War II comes to an end. Let's start with Stalin and the Communist world. What's Stalin's dominant concern? Stalin's able to explain his concerns to the other side in a couple of key wartime conferences. At the end, in February 1945, they meet in Yalta on the Black Sea. Ordinarily, Yalta's a summer resort, but in February, every place in the Soviet Union is cold. So everybody's bundled up as they pose for these pictures outdoors. Roosevelt in the middle, Churchill, Stalin over here. They get together again in July 1945 in Potsdam. Here's Stalin and Truman. Truman had just became President in April, when Franklin Roosevelt collapsed from a cerebral hemorrhage. They're all gathering together in the gardens of this palace in the suburbs of a city that around them is entirely in ruins. Potsdam is a suburb of Berlin. So what's the Soviet Union's dominant concern? Well, their security, but from the point of view of someone like Stalin, it was totally logical that the security of the Soviet Union was also bound up in the future of communism and the world revolutionary agenda. The better communism did, the weaker capitalism became, the more secure the Soviet Union would be. The kinds of strategies, then, that he would have in mind to assure the security of his country and all of its dependencies: some territorial expansion to give himself more of a protective barrier, if you take a defensive view of it; certainly to disable Germany and Japan; maintain the wartime alliance as long as possible; maintain also a global network of obedient local parties, communist parties. But now contrast that with Roosevelt's vision. In some ways, there's a lot of overlap: His dominant concern, which he's also able to express at Yalta, which Truman inherits and tries to follow at this point in summer 1945 as faithfully as he can at Potsdam, he's interested in the security of the United States. He doesn't want a renewal of the war. He's especially worried about a renewal of the Great Depression, too; very concerned about the economic future of the United States and the Western world. So what kind of strategies would he have in mind? Maintain the wartime alliance, sure; also disable Germany and Japan, perhaps in somewhat different ways; the Americans are a little different in that they hope that they can create arrangements of international cooperation in political affairs, security affairs, economic affairs, building a bunch of new institutions, institutions we now know better today by names like the World Bank, for example, or the United Nations; the Americans are also very concerned, more than the Soviets are, with rebuilding a functional world economy. Remember how world trade had just completely collapsed during the 1930s? The Americans are thinking a lot about how to get it going again. They're also thinking about how to end empires, trusteeships, which they see as part of the old world that needs to be swept away to create a more peaceful world where there's freer trade and, frankly, greater opportunities for American business. You see, they're remembering that, in the 1930s, Britain had finally built a trade wall around its empire. So some of this agenda is putting the Americans, not so much in conflict with the Soviets, as in conflict with the British and with the French. So if you look at these two agendas, you see some things that are in common, some things that are different. But think about which of these agendas would you have found more appealing if you were a citizen in one of these countries in 1945. Just ask yourself: Which of these two visions of the world has more substantive of appeal, as a message? Think about the different images of the two powers. Which one seems more powerful, attractive, compelling to you? Think about style. Just as a matter of cultural openness or approach, which of these two great powers and all the things they represent seem more attractive? I'm not asking you to vote for one side or the other, I'm just asking you to think about how a lot of different people around the world would've sorted out their answer to this question. But just because I've described two different visions of the world's future, it didn't mean that they necessarily conflicted. It's worth analyzing that. There's a lot those visions have in common, some things that the Americans care about that the Soviets don't care about as much, but ask yourself: Where did these visions have to collide? Now, I could try to do a list here of, okay, what are the, precisely, what are the likely points of friction in 1945? Hmm. Well, there are annexations. The Soviets are taking chunks out of old Germany. They're moving the whole country of Poland about 150 miles to the west, and they're doing things to force the creation of a Soviet controlled government in Poland, and that rankles. Remember, Britain and France went to war in 1939 to fight for the security of Poland. Poland's important to many Americans, too. Geopolitically, you could swallow it, and say, oh well, oh well, too bad. But it rankles, hurts. People care about it, they notice it. So that's a likely point of friction. Another is, would be areas where you're running up right against each other, and you're forced to work together even though your systems are very, very different. Where do they have to work together in harness? Germany, where they both have responsibility of running the occupation of the country. Another point of friction is yeah, you have two different global systems, okay. But they actually intersect in countries where there are local communist parties that, it is feared, are trying to overthrow the established government. China, for example, where there's an ongoing civil war that's reigniting in 1945. France, Italy, some other countries, where the clash between these two systems are domestic, political clashes about the future of their country. Issues of trade and exchange, how to rebuild the new trading system. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of this is actually friction among the wartime Allies between America and the British and the French. The same goes for arguments about decolonization, also friction between the Americans and the British and French. So you look at these likely points of friction, hard to predict exactly how that's going to turn out, what the dominant agenda's going to be in the postwar era. I mean, we know how it came out. We think that it's all predetermined. I'm just trying to give you a sense of, if you had done a dispassionate analysis in 1945, you might have noticed these things, but how all this would play out would not have been obvious to you. And of course that gives us something to talk about next time. See you then. [BLANK_AUDIO]

×

We use cookies to help make LingQ better. By visiting the site, you agree to our cookie policy.