What If…

MOST of the violence in the world is, at root, a fratricidal fight?

I was looking into a new book (recommended on the Ace of Spades) – Archduke Ferdinand Lives!, which looks at the possibility of WWI never happening, when the Duke survived.

And, it made me think – what proportion of global interactions occur because of entangled familial relationships?

We all know that the most vicious fights happen between relatives – brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, cousins, and so on.

In WWI, many of the combatants were closely related. In the picture below, the leaders of opposing sides were actually cousins.

And, many others in the ruling castes of those countries were likewise interrelated through marriage or birth.

They were, often, educated in the same schools. They traveled to the same resorts. They summered in the same locations.

But, as we all know, those you are most closely associated with can also drive you to almost homicidal rage, often abetted by a spouse who has other loyalties (and, women being what they are, a desire/need to ‘score’ off a social rival). No one can drive you crazy like your own family.

Think of the closely related nature of the new upper classes, who intermarry within a narrow range of acquaintances. When, and if, the cracks in those alliances show up, the damage may be irreparable.


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    • TRX on November 14, 2022 at 8:05 PM

    The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was declared to be the origin of the war, but Wilhelm II had been preparing for a couple of years.  He was a useless git and wanted the gangbanger-style “respect” of winning a war to impress his cousins Edward VII and Nicholas II.
    There was going to be a war, no matter what.  And they were going to invade France, no matter what.  Germany’s economy could use another “tribute” like the French paid them to go away after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.  Ferdinand had nothing to do with it; it was just a convenient excuse with von Moltke told Wilhelm they were ready to roll.
    Wilhelm’s little military adventure killed more people than Hitler’s, but he was allowed to resign his position and went into exile in Holland, where he lived a wealthy and comfortable life until he died in 1941.

    • Anonymous on November 14, 2022 at 8:40 PM

    Two kings, who are cousins, go off to a conference junket together, and between drinking and gambling tell each other: you tell your subjects I’m attacking you, and I’ll do the same. Then we’ll both be wartime kings, get more power and money, and those pesky nobles who are getting into a position to compete with us will kill each other off. Win!

    • pc-not on November 15, 2022 at 12:00 AM

    Centuries before the modern nation states, most all major as well as minor wars were a result of power struggles from closely related families and tribes.   As a matter of fact, studying monarchs in medieval Europe and most of civilization since 1,000 A.D. the main objective of those in power was to increase and strengthen their power through marriage and intermarriage.  In many cases, due to genetics, this was counterproductive, but the intent was overwhelming. 
    It may be more concealed today, but in a subtle way it still exists.  Most of the masses are cannon fodder without realizing it.

    • Dan on November 15, 2022 at 1:54 AM

    People like to fight.  It’s inherent to our nature.  Just like chimpanzees.  They fight at interpersonal  levels when they aren’t fighting other groups.  So do we.  It’s just who and what we are.  It’s genetic.

  1. No one can drive you crazy like your own family.

    Great God in heaven, I’ll testify to that under oath!

    • Bear Claw on November 16, 2022 at 9:57 AM

    It is funny to hear about the relations of people like bidet, vikkii nulland and many others in our goober mint that are pointed out. You have to laugh or you will go insane.

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