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The Post WW2-world

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by green slime, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Oft-times reading about WW2, we come across "truths" from the perspective of 1939, 1940, and 1941. Such as the "truth" that the Soviet Union was developing far faster than Germany, and that Germany "needed" to strike east (against the USSR) or it would be "lost" (rendered irrelevant). The whole concept of "lebensraum" was a means to provide some kind of economic expansion to improve the lot of Germany

    In that retrospect (the 1930's "race" between Germany and Russia for domination over Europe) I find it interesting to compare the economic might of both today.

    Nominally, Russian GDP is less than half of Germany's today, by any of the widely accepted measures (UN, IMF or World bank)


    Russia spends far more on it's military (5.4% of GDP according to SIPRI), I suppose to maintain it's nuclear arsenal, while Germany spends a mere 1.2% (same source) Yet Germany is the world's 9th largest spender; if they "merely" doubled their spending (and be on par with the average spending globally), they'd exceed Russian spending to the tune of 14 Billion USD, and replace the Russians for 4th, and be very close to the Saudis in military spending. And with their current GDP, they could afford it more than the Russians.

    I know, expenditure is not a very effective way of measuring capabilities.

    In total though, looking at their respective economies today, the whole megalomaniacal concept just seems bizarre. Of course Russia has huge Post-Soviet issues they are still dealing with, and will of course in the future rectify these and improve. Peacefully, I hope.


    In summary;
    It just goes to show, when an economist tries to tell you that growth rates extend indefinitely into the future, buyer beware.
     
  2. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    The Saudi's are in serious mud.

    I've studied the USSR quite a bit and traveled to those areas a lot. I've never bought into the Soviets as being that interested in world domination. Paranoia and a strong desire to protect her borders....yes. And we see that today in Russia. They have had good reasons to feel that way. People forget the US had troops in Russia post WW1. The US mindset is very temporary in length. The Russian mindset is over a much longer period of time.

    Russia and Ukraine have a long road ahead in overcoming the Soviet legacy for sure.You have a vast number of people between the ages of about 35 and 60 that are used to being told what to do and can't get out of that mindset. People older than that have as a group, the most on the ball. The younger generation has people who are quite savvy if they have had some western influence.

    Many of the wealthy today were former Soviet collective leaders who basically stole assets during the demise. The children of those people are really difficult to do with as they feel very privileged and superior. Americans in business make a huge mistake by thinking these people are naive and not savvy in business. They are ruthless.

    We measure military strength according to our technology and capital. The Russian/Ukrainian mindset is very pragmatic. Never underestimate Russian capabilities militarily in a big picture. Study the Battle of Debeltseve. Never trust a Russian safe corridor.

    Of course I'm making generalities.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    My impression was that the Soviets to a large extent actually believed that Communism would triumph in the end, at least for most for most of the time the USSR existed. That being the case they didn't need to conquer the world they just needed to make sure their system survived. Stalin was clearly in that camp and that's where he and Trotsky fell out from what I understand.
     
  4. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    That's a commonly held western view, but I've never actually seen that from the Soviet side in real terms. They were paranoid, not conquerors, though in practical application it's hard to note the difference. Think in terms of gangster thugs as that is what the Soviets, the hard core, really were. They were constantly motivated by protecting their borders. Even today that is an issues. They take serious any incursion toward them. Sending troops to the Baltic's and Ukraine won't ease tensions, it will make it worse. It will drive them absolutely nuts. The US thinks in terms of proxy wars and 12 year casualty deaths about the same as what used to be in number of traffic fatalities in 1 year. Former Soviet states think in terms of losing 15 to 25 percent of their populations.

    We think about how we forced them out of Cuber. They think of how they pushed back US short range weapons systems. Americans struggle to think like Russians. They think in terms of ethnic cleansing such as Galacia. Not a part of the American mindset.

    That said, here is an interesting chart based on today's news. I don't believe hyper inflation is coming so ignore that part of the chart: https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/german-10-year-historical1.png
     
  5. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    That's a commonly held western view, but I've never actually seen that from the Soviet side in real terms. They were paranoid, not conquerors, though in practical application it's hard to note the difference. Think in terms of gangster thugs as that is what the Soviets, the hard core, really were. They were constantly motivated by protecting their borders. Even today that is an issues. They take serious any incursion toward them. Sending troops to the Baltic's and Ukraine won't ease tensions, it will make it worse. It will drive them absolutely nuts. The US thinks in terms of proxy wars and 12 year casualty deaths about the same as what used to be in number of traffic fatalities in 1 year. Former Soviet states think in terms of losing 15 to 25 percent of their populations.

    We think about how we forced them out of Cuber. They think of how they pushed back US short range weapons systems. Americans struggle to think like Russians. They think in terms of ethnic cleansing such as Galacia. Not a part of the American mindset.

    That said, here is an interesting chart based on today's news. I don't believe hyper inflation is coming so ignore that part of the chart: https://mishgea.file...historical1.png

    In regard to relevance, we can all draw our own conclusions.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not sure there was/is a difference. The Soviets certainly did try to conquer other countries and were successful on a fair number of occasions. Stalin wasn't a big risk taker but Trotsky was all for "exporting" Communism. The Soviets also clearly saw themselves as the first among equals as far as Communist governments went and weren't all that pleased when some demonstrated independence. I think Khrushchev's shoe slamming UN speech indicated that he at least thought the Soviet system superior to that of the West.

    That's certainly true but doesn't negate their expansionistic tendencies of course Imperial Russia did the same thing.

    We didn't force them out of Cuba by any means. We prevented them from deploying missiles there but the final solution involved the US removing missiles from Turkey. That aspect isn't played up that much in US accounts of the missile crisis but IMO that's a fault of the education system and the spin put on the issue at the time. (The press really didn't want to go after Kennedy especially after he was assassinated).

    Certianly an interesting chart but not much to draw conclusions from. Especially since it's not clear if the chart is inflation adjusted or not.
     
  7. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    It was 10 rates. Nothing to adjust

    Yes, but usually it had to do with their borders.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Indeed actually trying to control some place like say Cuba would have been a serious risk in a number of ways. Encouraging and supporting a more or less independent Communist government there on the other hand had almost no down side.
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    Save the occasional barely averted nuclear war.

    I partially agree with your premise in that paranoia plays a strong influence in Russian political thinking. It was true in the case of the Czars, the Communist's and the Autocrat's that followed the break up of the Soviet Union. I would call it the default setting for them.

    A default setting, however, implies that others are possible and in the case of Communist Russia this is the case, at least in part.

    Communism shares many traits with Nazism among which is the supplanting of traditional religion with a all consuming political orthodoxy where people become property of the state rather than the state belonging to the people. They have different liturgies of course. For the Nazi's it was a distinction between 'race's' that held that inferior races would inevitably fall to the superior. For the Communist's it was a struggle between the classes that would inevitably occur when Capitalist states fell upon one another over wealth and resources.

    For Nazism it was a outright threat that had to be defeated by force, but for Communism the belief was that it had to be protected where it existed, while waiting for the eventual victory when the worker/proletariat class rose up and threw off the shackles of Capitalist's. Good Communist's could nudge it here and there where there was little risk to the motherland but otherwise it was more important to wait for the moment to step in and pick up the broken pieces. This was simply two different paths to world domination.

    This dovetailed nicely with traditional Russian paranoia. Unfortunately for the Communist's the decadent Western Democracy's did not fall upon each other quite as expected or foretold by Communist orthodoxy. Nor could they long hide that in truth they flourished and though far from perfect, they were in comparison to Soviet style Communism far more equatable to the population as a whole. As a grade school student who said that as a political form Communism offered the fairest system for a people as a whole.....if it was pure he said, and no one has ever practiced a pure Communism.

    Nazism was defeated predominately by force, Communism was defeated largely by economics, yet both sought to conquer the world.
     
  10. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Corporate Capitalism does not? The aggressive never-ending search for new markets and resources to exploit?
     
  11. Ilhawk

    Ilhawk New Member

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    Communism wasn't defeated by economics in the way implied. It was defeated because it was a bad system incredibly weakened by internal corruption. They had a debt load they couldn't pay.

    But then again look at the west today. That so called economic war or at least that period of time was when the US began the onslaught of living beyond our means with major deficit spending. That trend has led to what we have today where interest rates can't be raised without imploding the economy. The Fed has fired all the bazookas it can and the problem persists. It's a trap like when everyday people borrow too much only worse. We are throwing more and more production at things to try and improve profits. Same thing happened in the 20s. It's a liquidity trap and a deflationary death spiral. Will be questioning who actually won the war when our 401ks are hit with negative interest rates, which technically with fees are already here.

    Again, my main point is that the Soviets were nothing more than thugs and used communism for their own gain. The Soviets really didn't move outside their sphere much at all unless it was directly related to protecting her borders. The world domination by and large was simply a western propaganda mechanism. The Soviets had enough internal problems to keep them from trying to conquer the world. Red Dawn wasn't real. And besides most of the troops were Cuban anyway....and later Koreans. Again, think paranoia.

    Corporate Capitalism and freedom don't always go hand and hand together.. Ask the Saudi citizens.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. green slime

    green slime Member

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    On a similar bent to my OP, Japan today is the 3rd greatest economy today (4th, if you count the EU).

    The area under Japan's control prior to the war (prior to the Marco Polo Bridge incident in 1937) is incredible: It includes South Korea (ca 11th GDP), and Taiwan (ca 22nd). by comparison, Russia is ranked 12th today wrt GDP.

    Avoiding a war they knew they couldn't win would've been hugely beneficial to them, almost regardless of the cost to do so. At best, the second Sino-Japanese war should never have been allowed to occur. What were the Japanese leaders thinking? Consolidating their gains, expanding their economy without sanctions, would've been so much more beneficial, than getting sucked into general war in China, and then bombing Pearl Harbour in some kind of vain glorious move to try and lose big. Why were the IJA generals in China allowed such free reign?

    [​IMG]
     

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