I have not done any research in writing this post, but I hope that does not detract us from having a vigorous and good discussion here.
In our recent Chinese Nationalism thread, Shane9219 started a discussion on a just released movie relating to the Nankin Massacre.
This got people discussing what the lessons of Nazi and Japanese Aggressions in WWII were.
Some like Uln though it was a lesson against “extreme nationalism.” Peoples and cultures are here to stay, Uln noted. It is a mistake to see the brutalities of the Japanese during WWII as indicative of any shortcomings of the aggressors themselves.
Some have interpreted the lesson of WWII as a lesson against militarism or authoritarianism in general. The German people were not to blame for WWII and the holocaust, only their leaders (esp. military leaders) were. If the Germans only had freedom and democracy, bad things would never have happened.
Some would argue that the lesson of WWII was a lesson against world inequity. The heavy and unjust German war debts radicalized the German populace, paving the way for a leader like Hilter, who promised that he will lead Germany to redress the wrongs imposed upon her, to rise to power.
Some, including Chinese nationalists like me, would argue that the lesson was simple: war is war. Never let your country become weak again.
Some would counter argue that war cannot just be war; the true lesson of WWII is that a world without universally agreed upon human rights is intolerable. The horrors of the war justified the creation of a new political religion – which has manifested itself in the Univesral Declaration of Human Rights – among others….
What do people think are the true Lessons of WWII?