World War I was one of the most destructive wars ..
The German soldiers that history forgot | World War I | …
Randolph Bourne was born in 1886, brought into the world after a difficult delivery in which doctors used forceps that crushed his tiny skull and left him permanently disfigured. At age four he contracted spinal tuberculosis, which stunted his growth and left him hunchbacked. He worked very hard to put himself through school, and attracted the notice of his professors through his intellectual sagacity. A student of the progressive pragmatist John Dewey at Columbia University, he broke with his mentor over the issue of whether the United States’ declared war aims in WWI of “making the world safe for democracy” as Wilson and his supporters argued, were legitimate. He was fired from his academic job for his denunciation of war—deemed unpatriotic at the time. His dismissal in turn, incensed one of his pro-war colleagues, eminent U.S.-historian Charles Beard, and led him to resign from Columbia. Bourne wrote “War is the Health of the State” but died at age 32 of the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic that swept from the front lines to civilians suffering wartime privation, and from there to the rest of the globe, killing about 30 million people worldwide.
World War I The German soldiers that history forgot
With the shock of war, however, the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war.
For the benefit of the proud and haughty citizens, it is fortified with a list of the intolerable insults which have been hurled toward us by the other nations; for the benefit of the liberal and beneficent, it has a convincing set of moral purposes which our going to war will achieve; for the ambitious and aggressive classes, it can gently whisper of a bigger role in the destiny of the world
–Randolph Bourne (1886-1918) “War is the Health of the State”