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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

World History for Dummies



A self-described "...
keen follower and an avid reader of World History" posted this claim. He said that if Columbus hadn't discovered America and the Europeans had never come there'd be no United States and therefore the following amazing things would have happened (he even includes "links" to prove his point:

We would have more of:

  1. Oil because US tops the list of Oil consumers of the world.Top Oil Consumers 
  2. More electricity because US is the 2nd largest consumer of electricity. Electricity - consumption - Country Comparison - TOP 10 
  3. Hopefully more money because FRS (that's the Federal Reserve System for you non-conspiracy theorists) wouldn't exist.
..and less of
  1. Wars .. don't ask me why. 
  2. Obesity because 32% of general american population is obese. 
  3. Weapons of mass destruction. Countries with the biggest nuclear weapon stockpiles 
  4. Oh, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have have never happened and generations of victims wouldn't have been suffering.
He's kidding right?

This simple soul (we'll call him Vishal Gorgia) pretty much figured out from his keen following of world history that history and economics is a zero sum game? If one bunch of folks have more, they must have taken it from someone else.  Let's look at his points

  1. We'd have more oil because the US wouldn’t be using it? Really? Well if you follow actual history instead of that stuff you got in Marxism 101, you'd realize that the US wouldn’t be drilling and refining oil either, so actually - less oil. It would be safely stored underground and we'd still be exploiting horses, mules and camels as beasts of burden and with the crappy transportation system, lots more people would be starving and poor.
  2. There would be more electricity for everyone? So, Vishal, without the United States, all those power plants that generate all the electricity we have today, would have what? Magically popped up out of the ground and started generating electricity. Then the magic transportation fairies would ship free buckets of electricity to the third world in their little wooden boats? 
  3. We'd have more money?  How exactly? Would the magic money fairy have kept printing it up and sending it to where exactly? I guess the magic transportation fairies could have bundled it up and shipped it along with those buckets of electricity in their little wooden boats to all the poor people of the world for free instead of hoarding it up the magical Federal Reserve caves like we do now.
So we then would, without a United States we would have less of the following:

  1. Fewer wars? Don't ask him why, Vishal says. He just knows since, as we all know, the United States starts most wars for no reason at all.  And by default the peaceful natives of the Americas (or whatever they wound up calling it), would live peaceful lives, sitting around campfires and eating Vegan burgers and smoking peace pipes full of pot. Even a cursory study of history should have given Mr. Gorgia a little actual history. The peaceful fantasy Native Americans he imagines were, in fact, professional warriors. Why else did all the men call themselves "warriors". It's not because they were community organizers. These warriors were busily murdering each in vast numbers vast numbers long before Columbus showed up. So, fewer wars? Probabaly not.
  2. No obesity? Hey, Vishal, you did finally get Michelle Obama's hobby horse into the discussion.  And you’re probably right. The native Americans would likely have been much thinner. Famine and slow starvation will do that for you and there was a lot of that in Meso-America and on the plains, mountains, and in the forests of North America.
  3. And no weapons of mass destruction? Okay, maybe there would not have been nukes (unless some arms dealer shipped them over from Nazi Germany). As to mass destruction, it's unlikely the New World would have been safe from that. They already had a good start on mass destruction techniques before Columbus got here. Next time you run down to Mexico take a look at the Aztec pyramids around Mexico City. They have channels cut in them just to carry off all the blood from their highly efficient human sacrificial system. It’s estimated that 250,000 people were sacrificed on the Aztec altars in just one year on the altars in Tenochtitlan. The Incas weren't much less bloodthirsty. They killed one in five of their children by abandoning them on cold mountainsides, tossing them into holes or burying them as sacrifices to their gods. And the Mayans, the calendar guys, made bloody human sacrifice and cannibalism into a religious art form. 
  4. And Hiroshima and Nagasaki would never have happened? Instead, invading armies would have fought long and bloody wars, destroying innocent civilians and their goods and property, raping, pillaging and committing genocide without fear since no one could put a stop to it. The world would have belonged to the thug with the most soldiers and weapons and war would have been even more hideous a thing. Actually, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all out war has become an unthinkable thing, leading to the most peaceful half century in human history (unless you lived in a communist country where they starved, executed, tortured and imprisoned you if you argued with the dear leaders).
Obviously, Vishal thinks the USA is the fount of all things bad in the world. I don’t know what history you are reading, but I suspect it should be relegated to the fiction section of the library. The United States is pretty much the only powerful nation in history that didn't use it's power for empire building. Instead we rescued Europe from tyrants twice. We protected South Korea from a brutal North Korean invasion. We tried to do the same in Vietnam, but the thing was run by Democrats, so that got botched. We rescued Grenada from Cuban invasion, Panama from a corrupt dictator, Kuwait from invasion by Iraq, and pretty much everybody from an insane dictator who wanted to find a way to blow Israel off the map if he could and reestablish the Babylonian empire. We also went after the people who attacked us on 9/11.

And the United States didn't build an empire though we had the power to do so. We didn't keep Kuwait after we liberated it. We didn't keep Iraq after we defeated them. We left the Koreans and even the Vietnamese with their own government. We took the Philippines from Spain and then we liberated them again from the Japanese and gave them their independence. Even when we annexed the American Southwest, we paid Mexico for the privilege. We're still paying reparations to the Native Americans in the USA. There is hardly an appropriations bill that goes out that doesn't have millions earmarked for the tribes. And some of those wars were started by Native Americans so there is blame on both sides. The territories we gained in stray wars throughout our history have all chosen to stay with us. Some we'd like to get rid of but they won't go. We could have a world empire by now and exploit the heck out of them. Instead we let them rule themselves and send them billions in aid.

We've been the most peaceful powerful nation in world history (you know Vashal, that stuff you so keenly follow). We have stopped a lot of bullies from conquering and killing their neighbors. Some of them were as evil as the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. Had the Meso-Americans had better killing equipment, they might have done as well as the Nazis. They certainly tried.

I think Vishal needs to go back and read some more history. He should probably read something outside of the fantasy section, though.

© by Tom King

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