Thursday, January 09, 2014

Marxist interpretation of the First World War by Seamus Milne in the Guardian

An almost textbook Marxist interpretation of the First World War by Seamus Milne in the Guardian:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/08/first-world-war-imperial-bloodbath-warning-noble-cause

It is mostly just hyperbole.

However Mr Milne is wrong to say:  "The idea that Britain and its allies were defending liberal democracy, let alone international law or the rights of small nations, is simply absurd" and "Britain and France then divvied up the defeated German and Ottoman empires between them, from Palestine to Cameroon, without a thought for small nations' rights".

The Peace Conference at Versailles in 1919 set up the League of Nations, which formalised international law.  The territories surrendered by Germany and Turkey were held in trust by the League of Nations and given to France and the United Kingdom as trusteeships to prepare for self-government.  If the Britain and France were just interested in a cynical land grab why would they bother to set up the League of Nations and go through the rigmarole of trusteeships?

It's a question Seamus Milne ignores.

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