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The Causes of World War II

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Post 17 May 2008, 13:25
What is the Marxist analysis of the causes of World War II? To what extent was Hitler's foreign policy to blame? Are there deeper economic and social causes?
Post 18 May 2008, 21:05
Treaty of Versailles.

Care to elaborate? According to the forum rules, I should delete this post. No one-liners, remember? sptnz
Post 18 May 2008, 21:07

Read the forum rules. One-liners are not appreciated, especially when it isn't even a line but just ONE word. Thanks. sptnz
Post 18 May 2008, 23:57
The start of World War II really can be traced back to World War I. Basically Germany felt that they got screwed on the Treaty of Versailles, and when Hitler was elected he spent all his time strengthening Germany's military power. Eventually Hitler got power hungry and tried to take over all of Europe.
Post 19 May 2008, 12:56
'Fascism is Capitalism in Decay'

When any countries economy is being absolutely fragged over the people of that country tend to look for radical solutions to the problem. In some cases this can benefit the Socialist movement but, as most people here know, it can swing the wrong way and people can put there faith in right-wing choices. Unfortunately Weimar Germany was fragged over in the treaty of Versailles (as stated above) so the citizens bought into Hitler and the Nazi's nationalistic and anti-semitic propaganda.

Hitler was always a power hungry, Napoleonic nutjob so as soon as he got absolute power in 1933 WW2 was inevitable.
Post 19 May 2008, 14:21
Anyone look into the links between british banking and the rise of Hitler? It seem he was given immense financial support from London financiers that essentially turned a desolate country into a formidable power. Now whether the financiers wanted a world war is a question up for debate, but it is certainly the case that the British and western government expected Hitler to move his army East and keep them away from the French border
Post 19 May 2008, 23:58
Care to elaborate? According to the forum rules, I should delete this post. No one-liners, remember? sptnz

Sorry for the short reply, but it really said it all.
Post 20 May 2008, 11:08
Yes, I agree but it would have been possible to give the reasons why it is specifically the Treaty of Versailles which gave the Nazi movement an ideal chance to rise to power in Germany.

For example, one could say that the treaty was not compatible with the german idea of a powerful nation, thus giving nationalists and traditionalist forces a common enemy and a reason to get rid of the conditions and restrictions it was imposing on germany.
Post 21 May 2008, 08:28
Let me elaborate on my opinion that oil was the cause of World War II. Frankly, the United States denied the Japanese oil in quantities they wanted. The Germans had no oil of their own. That's why they made a desparate play for the oil in Azerbaijan. By this time, society was already addicted to carbon, the carbon society...automobiles, airplanes, warships, etc...the more oil for these things the greater the power. Even though Germany could make fuel from their coal was an expensive process. Oh certainly, there are other causes...but we must make oil a great part of the causes for WWII. I hope I've explained myself...books on the Teapot Dome scandal are illuminating...the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920's in the US...The Teapot Dome is in Wyoming and the Naval Oil Reserve was in California. The Japanese were especially suspicious of the US and its projection of naval power into the Pacific.
They went after oil in Manchuria...and other parts of SE Asia. You're right, one word doesn't explain why I believe oil was a major cause of WWII. I shall endeavor to illuminate my opinions in the future.
Post 22 May 2008, 04:02
I'll at least discuss Europe, as I don't know enough about the Japanese situation, aside from a quick skim of Gore Vidal's opinion on the matter.

One could say imperialism was the cause of European theater of WWII. Many Germans, like Hitler, were disillusioned by the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles, and saw the demilitarization and other impositions as an attempt by the Western powers to prevent Germany from acquiring its own empire. Considering Germany was late in the imperialism game in the 19th century, and saw itself as equals and perhaps superiors to its western counterparts, Hitler and his fellow Germans saw German potential wasted. Britain had India, the US had Latin America, and France had much of Africa, so Germany saw Eastern Europe as Germany's lebensraum, so Hitler worked towards that goal.

Also, there's the issue of ethnic nationalism. Again, like many of his contemporaries, Hitler fought in WWI and, ignoring the fault of the Kaisers' inept economic policies, blamed his country's defeat and the ensuing hyperinflation on the Jews, Slavs, Roma, communists, etc. who had voiced protestation against the war and thus subverted the home front in his eye. The Nazis capitalized on the inevitable xenophobic tendencies emerging from Germany's crumbling economy and transformed it into a German nationalism that became more militant over time.
Post 22 May 2008, 04:12
I couldn't have said it better myself Konev. WWII in Europe was basically nationalism, racism and imperialism.
Post 22 May 2008, 09:49
That's why they made a desparate play for the oil in Azerbaijan.

German oil came from Romania and Hungary. Ever heard of Ploesti? Come on. That oil based analysis is somewhat true in regards to the Japanese (though it wasn't only oil they were after, so you're over simplifying) but in regards to Germany it's plain bullsh*t.
Post 23 May 2008, 21:34
Thank you for your corrections and discussion vis a vis oil.
I appreciate the opporunity to hear other opinions on this subject and to learn from those who are more knowledgable than myself. These are important topics that reflect on current affairs.
Post 30 May 2008, 22:12
World War II, just as World War I, was caused by the law of uneven development of the capitalist countries under imperialism and was a result of sharp intensification of interimperialist contradictions and of the struggle for markets, sources of raw materials, and spheres of influence and capital investment. The war started amid conditions when capitalism was no longer the universal system and when Russia, the world’s first socialist state, existed and was growing stronger. The splitting of the world into two systems brought about the principal contradiction of the epoch—the contradiction between socialism and capitalism. The interimperialist contradictions had ceased being the sole factor of world politics. They developed parallel with and in interaction with the contradictions between the two systems. The hostile capitalist groupings, while fighting each other, simultaneously strove to destroy Russia. However, the war began as a conflict between two coalitions of major capitalist powers. In its origin it was an imperialist war, growing out of the system of contemporary capitalism, and the responsibility of the imperialists of the world.

The establishment of a terrorist dictatorship in Germany in 1933, which carried out the demands of the most reactionary and chauvinistic elements of monopoly capital, transformed the country into the shock force of imperialism. The fascist program of attaining world domination envisaged Germany’s transformation into the center of a gigantic colonial empire whose power and influence would extend to all of Europe and to Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Motivated by feelings of class hatred for Russia, the ruling circles of the Western Powers, in the guise of nonintervention, pursued a policy of abetting the fascist aggressors, calculating on diverting the threat of a fascist invasion from their countries, weakening their imperialist rivals through the forces of the Russia, and then destroying Russia with the help of these same rivals. They gambled on a mutual exhaustion of Russia and fascist Germany in a protracted and destructive war.

Russia, in an atmosphere of growing military danger, pursued a policy aimed at restraining the aggressor and creating a reliable system of ensuring peace. In 1935, Russia signed mutual assistance agreements with France and Czechoslovakia. The Soviet government fought for the creation of collective security that would be capable of becoming an effective means of averting war and ensuring peace.
Post 18 Jun 2008, 23:08
French insistance on the severity of Versailles. President Wilson's demands for a democratic Germany and the abolishment of the monarchy left a backward minded Germany broke, morally degraded utterly humilated, within a power vacuum. It is important to remember the German troops never surrendered their small arms. Many ex soldiers kept their weapons that only added top the bloody street battles later.
Post 18 Jun 2008, 23:33
Saying that 'the Treaty of Versailles is the cause of World War II' is a bit like saying 'Physics is the science of interpreting meter readings'. In other words, it is to switch the cause with the effect. It is the same logical fallacy that lies at the heart of the bourgeois 'Great Man' theory of history.
Post 19 Jun 2008, 21:39
We're talking about direct causes. The Treaty of Versailles, itself a product of bourgeouse society, was what set up the scene for WWII.
Post 20 Jun 2008, 04:35
RussianLord wrote:
We're talking about direct causes.

I don't think so. Original post:

Rabble Rouser wrote:
What is the Marxist analysis of the causes of World War II? To what extent was Hitler's foreign policy to blame? Are there deeper economic and social causes?
Post 20 Jun 2008, 11:19
In the 1920's several bloody conflicts had place between the capitalists of the Weimar Republic, the Communists of the Spartakusbund, and the fascists (Brown Army). The security force"s of the Weimar "Republic" has always persecuted the Communists a lot more than the nazis. Eventually the Rote Frontkämpferbund (Red Front Fighter Bond), the Communist organisation was even forbidden, while the fascist party remained legal. This hypocrisy, together with the "populism" and the charisma of Hitler, and the anticommunist propaganda of the Weimar Republic, lead to the fascist uprising.
Internationalism, collectivism and atheism were three things that many Germans didn't like.
The existence of the Third Empire is because of this: Hitler was the wrong man on the wrong place on the wrong time.

No other man, in no other country or in no other time could have caused such demonical, mostruous actions as Hitler in Germany of the 1930's.
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