Humanitarian

When you learn about WWII in America, there are two main points that stick inside your mind. One, that a lot of Jews were being systematically killed. Two, the allied forces fought back valiantly against the axis of evil and good won over evil.
Now it’s interesting that the sense that you are left with after the history lesson is that somehow those two things are tied together. And you are left with a vague notion that people were fighting against Hitler to stop the atrocities towards an entire race. This is one of the oldest tricks of propaganda. Whether it was a conscience propaganda placed inside school systems, or it was just an automatic response by each individual history teacher, it’s not very important. What’s important is to keep in mind that, if Hitler had just continued killing Jews within his own country and not ventured to take over other countries, there would probably never have been a WWII. No allied nations, no axis of evil. You might have barely even heard it in the news. Just like you barely hear about the genocide of thousands of people currently in Africa, or recently in Asia.
This same phenomenon is again used widely in more local history. When you hear about the civil war, two points stick out again. Black slavery, and the triumph of the Northern states against the Southern states. And you are left with a sense that the entire war was fought over the liberation of slaves. Again not true. The war was fought over a disagreement that was there from the beginning of the founding of our nation, the rights and powers of the individual states vs the rights and powers of the federal government. The war was fought to prevent the Southern states from seceding from the Union because they believed that each individual state and its people should have full control over their own lives. If that argument wasn’t there and the states just agreed to be taxed and controlled under a Federal government and a single currency, then there would never have been a Civil war.

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