Promoting WWI as a “great war” for liberalism is perverse, and dangerous

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Daniel Larison

“WWI has traditionally been seen as a cautionary tale of what comes from arms racing, national rivalries, and ‘great power competition.’ It has loomed large as an example of the futility and stupidity of war as it destroyed the relatively stable order of the previous hundred years and left almost 20 million people dead and tens of millions more injured. Portrayed by contemporary and later propagandists as a struggle between democracy and autocracy, the Great War was mainly a struggle between colonial empires that the status quo powers barely won at staggering cost. This is the war whose ‘real lessons’ Hal Brands wants to teach us in a recent Bloomberg essay in order to promote a new round of great power rivalry with Russia and China today.” (07/27/22)