Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Smedley Butler --- Major General in the US Marines
SMEDLEY BUTLER - July 30th 1881 to June 21st 1940
History is taught in a way that ensures the student will get so BORED that he or she won't even BOTHER.
Don't bother with the boredom!
The typical way of teaching history, in high school at least, goes like this:
Names; Dates; Events; and that's basically it!
There is little or no CONNECTION TO ECONOMICS or FINANCE. Wars are always presented by the conqueror as a means to "liberate", "democratize" etc.
One question that always fascinated me as a young student was how did Germany, devastated from the Great War (WW I) manage to get out from under total collapse, militarily and economically and socially to become the Third Reich stomping on all in its path?
Who financed Germany in the interim years from 1920 to 1933 and beyond?
How did the German Mark go from being worth nothing, wheel barrows of the stuff needed to buy bread due to hyper inflation, to once the dominant currency of Europe before the Euro?
All of these questions forced me to think LATERALLY and not confine myself to the usual, conventional, authorized version of history, economic history especially.
Then I stumbled across two books, one by Butler (See Links) and the second by
You won't see these books on the history syllabus in universities.
No way! This is the way the educators want to population to stay - NOT BOTHERED WITH THE BOREDOM OF HISTORY.
Another book that encapsulates the period when Germany was on its knees and was forced to pay war reparations AFTER WW I, is "Lords of Finance" describing the vast economic changes that were affecting Europe after WW I and into the beginning of WW II.
Wars are used to alleviate internal tension between those in power and those grappling with the rules overseeing the citizenry. And Butler's book is a great insight into how he felt after his life long military career.
All of these books are well worth the read if one is seriously interested in history and its connection to economics, finance and general knowledge.