Revenge Strategy, Wasting the power of your hate on the guiltless (XIX). WWII lessons to learn
Good morning. On my last publication, I promised you to continue with the lessons learned from WWII at a corporate strategic level, but when thinking on how to write this post, I realized that there are things missing. And now you will understand why did I put my last saga “Corporate Strategy as an art” on hold.
Let´s get started.
The WWII aftermath. Always numbers and economic losses.
Every time we read something about the WWII, either in history sources or specialized books, or public investigation bureaus, academic texts, or by watching movies or documentaries, I always asked myself why the WWII conclusions of all the latter sources are so lame, or particularly vague.
Historians merely describe what they think it happened, or what was inherited to them from past historians. Usually, like me, they rely on the old encyclopedias and what has been taught to them. Historians interpret what archaeologists find as evidence from the past. Nowadays, historians also rely on the journalists or the people who took the time to write and gather “objective” information of the happenings. If you see the DIKW ladder image above, we are studying history at the data, information and a bit of knowledge level, kind of what we get when we read a newspaper. Let me ask you: Are we really learning history at the “information level”?. Do you think history can be learned at “the information level” only? What type of analysis are we leaving out? Are we creating wisdom in our brain scale of development? Are we content with the way we have left history as a side dish? Are we happy that for more than 100 years, we have left historians out of the corporate strategy domain? Can you see how hard is to learn history if it is taught only at the “information level”? Can you understand why we need to put historians and archaeologists, and historians of arts practitioners to help us to learn at the wisdom level again?
Let´s return back to WWII. For example, encyclopedias or reference books usually stick to the economic losses and death headcount ”aftermath”. Period. That is the conclusion of our history, and that´s it. Coming from a numerical background, I am not an anti-data, but indicators alone mean nothing. And because our demerit to history, lack of resources to them has been the norm for more than a century. Without resources, historians can´t gather good data, they can´t review or refine the existing historical information, they can´t evolve in their digging production of knowledge. And if we are lucky to read a good historian reference book, please, do know, that book is a treasure. A golden jewel for your children to read. Did you get the hint of what am I talking about?
Nevertheless, I have prepared a list of topics that we can find on the internet and books as aftermath and “lessons learned from WWII”. And there is homework for you to realize at home with that list.
HUMAN DEATH HEADCOUNTS
- Military losses (number of officers or army direct related forces who lost their life)
- Civil losses (number of civilians who died over the war period)
- Imprisoned victims (number of people who died at the concentration camps, or at war prisons)
- Forced Migrations (Number of people who flow away, who stayed at refugee´s camps, who bought a different nationality passport and escaped from their country of origin)
- Disabled victims (those who survived but were partially hurt, or unable to work, either because they lost their mental health, or a member of their bodies)
- Disappeared (Number of people who were untraceable, whose corps were never recovered, and no one knew what luck they had after the war)
- Broken Families (Number of destroyed families, which life was hit by the loss of one or more of their members)
ECONOMIC COSTS RELATED TO THE CONFLICT
- War resources budgets utilized per country
- Household destruction in money statistics per village, cities, and countries
- Industries or business costs barred not just from the point of view of properties, plants, equipment, inventories and the rest of tangible-intangible assets, but also counting their cost of opportunity
- Amount of losses employment losses (as a sunk cost)
- Amount of losses of self-employees or entrepreneurs who lost their small and medium businesses
- Public and Private infrastructure costs: rails, roads, and streets, metro-trains, parks, libraries, sports facilities, water systems (irrigation, drinking, sewage). electricity and communication infrastructure affected, etc.
ENVIRONMENTAL DATA RELATED TO THE WWII
- Environmental and Natural Resources destroyed completely.
- Natural Ecosystems affected.
- Forests destroyed.
- Fauna and Flora species disappeared because of WWII
After you finish the homework. Please take a look again at the DIKW Hierarchy image above. In terms of historic reliable sources, the erudition (that I could use with “accountability” to write this post, at least at the level of “insight” or “understanding”) is limited. I try to do abstractions based on my intuitive mind, but I lack the updated historian sources with the “knowledge I am looking for”.
In the case of WWII, the historians I read, completed the limited “aftermath” at the informational level. The same I find at professors textbooks who rely on historian sources to disseminate what they believe is WWII “history”, but it is a “limited” informational foundation. It is almost impossible to connect the dots between the elements of the whole picture. It is really hard. For me as a corporate strategist, I have found difficulties when my historians’ colleagues have not been able to complete their job. Sometimes I have to rely on journalists from the NYTimes or the Washington Post or cinema producers. And I am not blaming historians. I admire historians to the moon and back. Though historians are also poor (they are deprived of resources). As for me too, since I have not been able to find sponsors to write here. We do things because we love to do them (without funding, trying to get things from here and there without any type of economic support). No one wants to give money to study the past, and that is the sin of our century. We are moving towards the future without at least understanding or getting insights from the past lessons learned at the wisdom level.
For example, there are things I was looking for to write this episode. And these studies should be reviewed or done again by multidisciplinary teams (historians, art historians, archaeologists, corporate strategists, sociologists, psychologists, and other human sciences experts):
WWII IMPACT ON INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL
How WWII affected science (for good and for worst)? What happened with the scientists per discipline during the War? How WWII affected art creation (artists per category)? What type of art came out as a result of WWII? Why did the literature, cinematography, sculpture, fashion, paintings, or theater express such results after WWII? What happened with the science and artist production which disappeared during WWII? How to measure all these artistic or science losses, not just in economic terms but in human indicators? What is the cost of opportunity of all the above?
WWII IMPACT ON SOCIETY AND CULTURAL LEGACY (from social fear to serious mental traumatic problems)
How did social values were shaken during the war? Why do we need to explore the impact of WWII in each family society? How different cultures were impacted? What type of social contracts arose from specific cultural and geographic contexts after WWII? What type of legitimacy do they have? How can WWII history can help to ignite the idea that human beings everywhere deserve respect? How can we link the “Integrative Social Contracts Theory” from Thomas Donaldson and Thomas Dunfee with the WWII aftermath? Per society? Per culture?
WWII TECHNOLOGY IMPLICATIONS
“New technologies alter the structures of our interests: The things we think about. They alter the character of our symbols, the things we think with. And they alter the nature of community; the arena in which thoughts develop” (Neil Postman).
How did technology wallop the aftermath of WWII? Why is it important to teach technological innovation linked to respect and responsibility for humanity? Why historians and teachers have not used the WWII destruction and pain to help the next generations to think differently in relation to technology?
WWII passed by with horrendous destruction because of new technologies applied to war strategies, and more than 70 years after the end of WWII we have not learned the lessons of such destruction.
“Unforeseen consequences stand in the way of all those who think they see clearly the direction in which new technology will take us. Not even those who invent a technology can be assumed to be reliable prophets” (The Legend of Thamus, Plato´s Phaedrus story).
ETHICAL CONNOTATIONS WWII
This is the most important part missing when we learn the aftermath of WWII at History books. Why? Because any war shakes the ethical values of societies, and in this particular case, WWII destroyed each and all of the moral values that keep us living in earth happy place.
For example, The supremacy racist anti-value of Hitler destroyed almost Europe and the jews. The lack of respect for humans ignited frightful technologies utilized in the concentration camps. The USA revenge strategy against Japan projected two atomic bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Each and all of the ethical values (which are universal to all in this planet, independently of the religion or doctrine) were broken during WWII. And just to analyze the ethical connotations, of The Great War and WWII, require at least one year of a formal course in primary and secondary levels. And it must be a core requirement in every university program on earth. If we don´t acquire ethical wisdom from the main World Wars lessons learned of the last century, the next generations will be prompt to repeat the same mistakes, not just by innovating technologies which may be used for destruction in the future, but also by creating business models which will inevitably land in terrorists´ hands or other future Hitlers.
To finish this publication, I will share just one video, a video of what I consider is the most important lesson learned from WWII:
War is waste.
Watch this video courtesy of youtube channel Periscope film:
Have a beautiful weekend. Tomorrow I will celebrate my independence day in El Salvador. Blessings.
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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