World War I starts

Taking a moment to remember events a hundred years ago.

One of the great turning points in history. 10 million deaths later the world would look very different; the old aristocracy was dead (or dying), and the decolonization movements had started.

Yeah, it’s the pivotal event in modern history, although overshadowed by its more famous successor (which had the advantage of clear cut villains). You should check out triggercut’s excellent thread in EE where he chronicled the buildup to the start of hostilities.

Excellent. How did I miss that?

I didn’t mark it too well, actually.

For you, perhaps. For me, the German left, the SPD, who voted the credits (loans) for the Kaiser’s War, and betrayed every ideal they stood for in a vote whose outcome had not at all been certain…
…who discredited themselves in a way that rendered them helpless against the post-WWI rise of the right in Germany, and very arguably lead to the rise of the Bolsheviks in Russia, too.

(As bad? No. Clear cut villains? Heck yes.)

Oh good lord. They were socialists who’d seen the great leader of the movement in Europe assassinated a week earlier. It was a perfectly predictable, move giving the prevailing rationale of the times.

Not even remotely on the same goddamned scale as the Nazis. Jesus Christ.

I repeat -

As bad? No. Clear cut villains? Heck yes.

They caved, gave up every rationale they had for existence and betrayed Europe to war.

Wait, whut? In all the crap that was going on you want to hang the villain title on German socialists for supporting the war? Like for real?

Yes. A critical vote, one without which the Kaiser would not have the money he needed for his war. One which was far from certain before the SPD turned their coats. (And yielded to nationalism, again against every principle they supposedly held!)

This is far from an uncommon view in Europe.

I get that you don’t approve of the socialists doing that, and it’s certainly a fair point. But trying to hand them any culpability for the mess that was WWI requires an oddly socialist-centric view of history. If they had voted no would it have magically stopped the mess? Methinks not. The fight was starting regardless by that point. Germany had already begun mobilizing it’s armies before that vote on August 4th.

Don’t feed the Starlight.

Yes Dave, Murder people by starvation like your idols, blah blah.

And don’t talk to people. Don’t think about other views. Don’t have discussions. Post hate spam in thread after thread.
Thanks for that. Got more spam?

No, no it doesn’t mean that. Prior to that vote the mobilization was already underway. Armies already had their orders and were marching for the border. There was no closing Pandora’s box by that point. German troops were literally fighting in Belgium the very next day after the vote you reference.

I’ll agree that there’s certainly room to judge them for going against stated principles. Problem is Europe at the time was full of people who did equally bad or dumb things and the result was World War I. I’m not going to argue that the German SPD leadership screwed the pooch. I am going to argue that their mistakes were material in the larger sense of everything going on.

You’re ignoring the fact that war costs lots of money. Without the war credits…

And who abandoned their principles to do bad or dumb things in the same way?

Starlight, you’re forgetting one major thing: the Kaiser–with Moltke and Falkenhayn at his back and a whole lot of German soldiers–would have dissolved the parliament (it was in his power to do so) and called for a quick provincial election within a month.

Want to take a stab at how the SDP would have performed there?

You’re spouting nonsense. Pure and simple.

EDIT: I think part of the problem is that you’re laboring under the misapprehension that the German Empire at the time of WWI was a parliamentary democracy. It was not. It was an absolutist monarchy with a functionary legislative house to handle administration and rubber stamp the initiatives of the Kaiser and his cabinet.

Exactly. They could have made a symbolic stand against the war I suppose, but it wouldn’t have changed much of anything.

Especially considering that shelling of the outer forts of Liege was already underway and Belgian neutrality was violated and Russian advance forces were in East Prussia at this point 100 years ago on August 4.

Okay, a massive amount of Europeans spout nonsense. Okay, thanks for that.

You are ignoring the fact that the Kaiser needed the money for the war (and yes, he was dependent on the Reichstag for that, in policy terms he certainly had a virtually free hand…), and the timing was critical. Moreover, if the SPD had not discredited themselves and set themselves up to be blamed for “sabotaging the war” (a myth, but one which the right used with great effect), the history of post-WWI Europe would have looked very different.

But hey, only facts, as you make excuses for people turning on their moral principles to support short-sighted nationalism.
And it destroyed them as a party for decades.

I’d rebut but all you’ve done is restate the same list of already rebutted points. So, um, are you a crazy person?

You don’t bother to read my post so I’m crazy. Well, there you go, Dave. Got more comments, Dave, to make about a view which is far from uncommon in Europe?

Adults having a debate can disagree without accusing others of mental illness. That you’re not interested in a debate is quite clear. So let’s fix that.