Doomed to repeat it

Political cartoon, old style
From Warren Sheaf, 25 Apr 1907 via the Library of Congress.

This political cartoon reminded me, yet again, why Trump is a brilliant idiot.

He is brilliant in how he works with people.

He is an ignorant lout, too lazy to think through, well, anything, but particularly what he says and what he does. A trait he seems to share with most of his adoring base.

Way back in the day, turn of the last century, a whole bunch of nations were engaged in an arms race. In this case the big gun was big guns, and the battleships which carried them. And the race carried them pell-mell into The Great War. And then on again into World War II. After which most of the nations involved (and it was a lot more than the five cartooned above) realized there were certain immutable economic laws governing arms – one of which is they cost more than they are worth. Full-stop.

Let me repeat that: historically, an arms race NEVER IS ECONOMICALLY VIABLE.

It was an arms race which shattered the USSR. The same arms race prevented the USA from using computers economically for 40 years. An attempt to join the arms race caused China to attempt cultural seppuku, fundamentally short-circuiting their economy for 30 years.

Germany has almost recovered, economically, to the relative position it held in the world in 1907. Almost but not yet there, a century plus later.

But Trump is actively campaigning to start an arms race.

Call a spade a spade. He is a fool.