I always recommend people read Samuel Eliott Morrison’s The Two Ocean War if you want a good run down on American naval operations in WWII. It was published in 1963 and still is a huge trove of good, historical information. OTOH, a few bits need to be taken with a grain of salt: most notably, the campaign against the U Boats.
You see, when Morrison wrote the book, the Ultra Secret was still secret. It was more than 10 years later that the British and American governments fessed up to having been reading the German’s mail. The intel gained from Ultra wasn’t good in a fast moving situation (ie, when the battle was actually on going) but the knowledge it gave us of German strategy, tactics and material condition was invaluable. If we didn’t have it – and no A bomb was forthcoming – WWII in Europe might have lasted years longer. I bring this up because Morrison, in his book, lays all the credit for the victory over the U Boats to intrepid sailors and merchant mariners. Not to take anything away from them – they did, after all, actually have to go sea and fight the U Boats – but the fact that the allies generally knew (except in a few brief periods when the Krauts altered their coding machines) where the subs were going to be gave our side an overwhelming advantage. I mean, for the Germans to have a comparable advantage, they’d have to know the exact route and timing of the convoys. It was that valuable.
This is important to a full understanding of how history works: you really don’t know until all cards are on the table. You especially wont know if the events are recent (“recent” in historic terms in the previous 100-150 years) and people still have axes to grind. The first draft of history is usually riddled with falsehoods deliberate or otherwise. And some things never come out. When the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire committed suicide in 1889, it struck the world like a thunderbolt. A good looking man with all the possible advantages offs himself after murdering a young girl he talked into murder-suicide. As it was more than 130 years ago, very much is known about it. But not all. Some crucial information about what the heir was doing and saying in the immediate run up to the suicide is not known…but, we know that certain people had to know. They were close to the Imperial family and were in contact with the heir. But, as far as we can tell, the heirs of the people who knew – if they are still in possession of the letters and documents their ancestors had – still rate loyalty to the Hapsburgs above historic interest and so the secrets remain.
A great deal of what we all believe regarding events of the past 100 years is shot through with things that have been presented to us with crucial data missing, or are outright fabrications. To take it out of politics, think about the “rock n roll” rebel thing: these kids just aren’t gonna take it any more and they’re going to show you squares what’s what! That is the main thing about rock music…it is supposedly transgressive and something that all powers try to suppress. But, to believe this, you have to believe that a man with no professional musical training ( he can’t even read music) did Hey, Jude right out of his head.
Sorry, didn’t happen. Oh, to be sure, McCartney might have written the lyrics, but all of that gorgeous musical triumph was the result of highly skilled people turning McCartney’s scribble on a napkin into the Sistine Chapel. And so it was with almost all pop music and the entirety of the commercially successful pop music. A genuine musician like Mark Knopfler or the late Neal Peart can break through and be very successful, but the bottom line is that most popular music is made by and for corporate overlords who put massive efforts into finding out what will sell and then making what sells. And no matter what, the real musicians aren’t going to rake it in like Madonna. And do understand this: genius is rare. Very are. Once in half a thousand years a Mozart will pop up. But isn’t it funny that every freaking week there’s a new number one hit? Figure the odds that the music industry will hit the jackpot like that again and again. Nope: doesn’t happen. The hits aren’t from some guy or gal who through grit and determination rises to the top: the hits are manufactured. There is a joke meme out there with a faceless musician on it with the caption saying words to the effect of “Hi, I’m Celebrity 3297: I believe whatever is safe and popular for the 18-35 demographic, please like me on social media and buy my album”: that is pretty much it.
Of late the members of the band Rage Against the Machine have been dragged quite a bit on social media because they have been very firm in supporting mask and vaccine mandates. I mean, come on! But, then again, you had to know: once you see the backgrounds of the members, you know you’re not dealing with outcasts who are gonna tell us what’s what about the hypocrisies of our times. They’re middle to upper-middle class kids who never knew a minute of deprivation in their lives. They can’t really tell us about the hypocrisies of our society because they are the hypocrisies of our society…in this case, the Socialist hypocrite who talks a big game of Revolution before taking his new car back to his gated community. The boys of Rage were always mere tools of corporate salesmanship…and as the corporation still provides the money, these guys aren’t going to bite the hand that extremely lavishly feeds them.
But think of this: we really do, most of us, believe there was a grassroots rebellion against the squares which started in the 50’s with Elvis and culminated with the 60’s and 70’s. But Elvis was merely the first successful marketing effort. As far as music goes, Chuck Berry was better…it was just that back in those days, you couldn’t sell it with a black face. Additionally, we now know that a great deal of the post-WWII avant-guarde was initially promoted and funded by the CIA and other government-connected agencies. The official idea was to show the Communist world that we were more hip than they were. Personally, I think it was an op by KGB-controlled CIA agents to corrupt the West…I mean, the USSR wasn’t stupid enough to allow hippies; and the most brutal Stalinist art is still miles ahead of some of the absurdities we’ve placed in American art museums.
We were played. And we’ve been played again and again: a huge amount of effort has been placed into making us believe certain things about the past which all go in one direction: leaving the current Ruling Class in place. When you rage against the machine, you might say a couple tame things against corporations and government…but most of your fire is directed at the Church, the family…working for a living, being faithful, keeping your promise. See how it works? Think about what is really attacked in popular culture: Faith, Family and Property. You are to ridicule the belief in God; to despise mommy and daddy and not want that for yourself, you are to hate mommy and daddy’s middle class home in the ‘burbs. So, what does that leave you? An atom in a city without love or hope and no property. The perfect demographic for corporate and government overlords…who have convinced most people that this is what we wanted.
If you really start to ponder it, you can see more and more of the con emerge. The “Conservatism” which was about lower corporate taxes and no fight for border security. The heroes who aren’t intrepid warriors, but failures who need counseling. The digs against maintaining our individual dignity (wear the tube top and the pants around your knees! Look like a whore or a gangster!). It isn’t a Conspiracy in the sense that only one person or one small group is running it but it is every institution of government, media and major corporation all on the same page in desiring a compliant, ignorant, frightened population.
The good news – and this will be Trump’s greatest triumph for all time to come – is that between 2016 and 2020, the mask dropped. It can’t be put back on again. We saw them for what they were. To remain in favor of things as they are, one has to be either a moron, or paid off. Once you see the lie – the really broad lie – you can’t unsee it. Whether or no we’ll be able to beat it remains to be seen, but we can no longer be suckered by it. Day by day, those of us who had our minds freed can simply see more and more of the lies. They are now easy for us to detect and they no longer are binding upon us. What remains to be seen is if they can remain binding on enough people to stop us.