Alloporus is always on about the happenings of WW2
The loss and the horror are a stain on history that is painful to recall but stare past the nightmares of the war and remarkable things that happened during the years of conflict. Here are a few of them.
The US government increased spending by an order of magnitude between 1940 and 1945 and spent more money (in current dollar terms) between 1942 and 1945 than in the 152 years before 1941.
The US was in the war for three years and, during that time, manufactured 87,000 naval vessels, including 27 aircraft carriers, 300,000 planes, 100,000 tanks and armoured cars and 44 billion rounds of ammunition.
US soldiers on battle tanks. Photo by Suzy Brooks on Unsplash
Whole towns and cities were turned into munitions factories, all while many young men served in Europe and the Pacific. Women took on blue-collar jobs, so there were workers to run the machines.
At the same time, the manufacture of cars was banned, as was the construction of new homes. There was rationing of food, tyres and gasoline because it was considered fairer than taxing scarce goods. And to save fuel, a national speed limit of 35mph was imposed.
Remember, this is the US where libertarians rule, and US Senator Joseph McCarthy was about to unleash the Second Red Scare, lasting from the late 1940s through the 1950s. Heightened political repression and persecution of left-wing individuals and a campaign spreading fear of alleged communist and socialist influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents characterized McCarthyism.
Even in a society suspicious of socialism, the war produced an extraordinary collective effort in the US and an acceptance of government regulation. It was a similar story in the UK; even in occupied countries, people resisted for the greater good.
If such collective will against the axis powers could bring such change and effort, why not now when we need it again?
Here is what George Monbiot suggests
Public hostility and indifference create a lack of political will.
Indeed, don’t look up.
I agree, but I would add another break on drastic responses — the ineptitude of our politicians.
Most of those in the big dog posts are there because they have a single skill, political surfing. They ride the political waves into positions of authority. Very few get there on intellectual merit, leadership skills or foresight.
It is not always their fault.
Our collective failure to recall history and use it to see the future means we have no sense of urgency. Indifference means we don’t ask for leaders with flair, vision or skills. We accept muppets.
But the decisions needed now are as era-defining as those made by the US in the 1940s that won a war and set the country on a steeper industrial path.
We need that decisive force to deal with imperialist aggression and feed everyone well. Yes, if we fail to feed everyone, all bets are off.
More on the issues of global food, ecology and diet on sustainably FED
Hero image modified from photo by Tommy Kwak on Unsplash