Here’s a Christmas present for you. The story of the Christmas truce of WWI.
In case you’ve never heard of the Christmas truce, it’s a sort of mythologized story about how the soldiers, on Christmas Eve and Day of 1914, just refused to fight and exchanged food and gifts and even played ball with each other. It was all wonderful and glorious and it proves that people don’t like war. Or something.
The quote Nicole chose for her little meme is from the Mises Institute, which is a libertarian organization that promotes very right-wing economic policies.
There’s an interesting quote in the body of the article, though.
Like many other historians, he believes that with an early end of the war in December of 1914, there probably would have been no Russian Revolution, no Communism, no Lenin, and no Stalin. Furthermore, there would have been no vicious peace imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty, and therefore, no Hitler, no Nazism and no World War II.
So, supposedly, if the soldiers had just kept singing Silent Night, and said “Fuck you” to the horrible governments that forced them to fight each other, nothing bad at all would have happened in the entirety of the next, what, fifty or so years. Wow.
What actually happened during that magical time in 1914?
And in what part of the story does our skepticism uncover pseudohistory? Not, as we might expect, in the part that portrays men peacefully shaking hands and sharing Christmas cheer; but in the part of the story that frames this as all that different from their normal day. It turns out that the 1914 Christmas Truce was only marginally more peaceful at a time in the war when fraternization — at least between the British and the Germans — was commonplace.
Turns out the whole thing was really complicated. Isn’t that surprising? I mean, historians have written entire books about the events of those two wars (WWI and WWII) and the causes for each one. It’s impossible to reduce it to a silly meme on Facebook.
But I find the whole thing sort of interesting because the meme fits right in with the Naugler philosophy about war in general. They are agin it. Sort of.
Like this. Al Wilson spent 23 years in the US military. And it had “nothing to do with defending our rights.” Nothing. It was just an “overseas battle.”
So, pretty much for Nicole’s and Joe’s entire lifetimes, war has been unnecessary and nothing but government over-reach.
Then, what do we make of this? Have Nicole’s views on the subject evolved some? Was WWI not okay but WWII was okay? The veterans of WWII are heroes, but the veterans of the Gulf wars or Kosovo are not? Wasn’t D-Day just “an overseas battle” with Germany? Why are they “heroes” but Al Wilson is not?
Nicole, please do you and your children a favor and study a bit of history without relying solely on screeds from libertarian sources. And while you’re at it, spend some time on the proper use of possessives.
Oh, and Merry Christmas, everyone.