Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

UD Newswatch: 74th anniversary of the June 6th, 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy

Heartland, with Spykman’s rimlands. Note locations of US military interventions 1941 – 91 (HT: Indrastrat)

. . . which was decisive, not only for the Second World War but for the Cold War.  For a dominant, totalitarian state in control of Mackinder’s Heartland and ranging to the Atlantic would have sobering global geostrategic consequences.

D-Day Beaches vid.

Summary of the thesis:

 “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; 
who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; 
who rules the World-Island commands the world.” 
(Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, p. 150)
 “The Geographical Pivot of History” was an article submitted by Halford John Mackinder in 1904 to the Royal Geographical Society that advanced his “Heartland Theory”

Let us never forget the sacrifice that restored a bastion of freedom in Western Europe, which ultimately prevailed. END

PS: I would love to see a restored easy way to do embedded vids for UD.

PPS: Let me add a sketch of my geostrategic assessment c 2016, which is still essentially valid — and sobering:

PPPS: It looks like we must also ponder the seven mountains, commanding heights of a culture picture:

PS: Plato's Ship of State parable:
It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.) Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:
>>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures. Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it] The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27]. Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing? [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus. [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ --> here we see Plato's philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already. [Ad.] Certainly. [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary. [Ad.] I will. [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ --> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers. [Ad.] Precisely so, he said. [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [--> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical]. [Ad.] Yes. [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained? [Ad.] True. [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other? [Ad.] By all means. [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ -- > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ --> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [--> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>
(There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)
Polistra, Thanks for your thoughts, though I think some balancing remarks are due. For one, the anti-"neocon [II]" narrative lacks historical depth and perspective; reflective of longstanding patterns of American isolationism. In fact, Mackinder spoke in 1904, with Russia primarily in mind but with Germany also of concern. A reasonable argument is that the history of C20 was dominated by two German grabs for European Hegemony and onward global power, followed by a Russian/Marxist push. The maritime powers [UK and/or US] prevailed, through a rimlands-maritime strategy. (The underlying thesis goes back to Mahan and beyond: the globe-spanning impact of sea power, which transformed the world in the era of discovery. Which was also connected to the scientific and industrial revolutions.) Geostrategic issues don't care about our perspectives and wishes. We may not be interested in global, international and strategic matters with heavy side helpings on economics, cultural, political and demographic concerns but sometimes those issues are interested in us. And yes, such matters -- for cause -- do influence the focus of UD. For, the cultural institution, science, is a major zone of global ideological domination by evolutionary materialistic ideologues and their fellow travellers, with implications for not only worldviews but cultural agendas. Whether we look at the narrow but decisive issue of the design inference on tested sign or we pull back and look at its application to cosmology, origin of life, origin of major body plans and origin of mind, the counter we see pivots far more on institutional domination and ideological power games (including media and education manipulation) than a simple assessment of the raw merits of the inference. And we cannot but observe the deleterious influence of that same materialism on society at large, on public thought, on public morality, on political trends and much more. Nor is that wider picture (and it looks like I will have to add the 7 mountains diagram after commenting!) a new issue. Here is Plato in The Laws, Bk X, commenting on the Athenian civilisational and geostrategic collapse, 2350+ years ago:
Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ --> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . . [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-
[ --> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by "winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . " cf a video on Plato's parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]
These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,
[ --> Evolutionary materialism -- having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT -- leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for "OUGHT" is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in "spin") . . . ]
and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ --> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ --> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush -- as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [--> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].
His parable of the ship of state in The Republic is even more stark. So, while scientific concerns are central, we have to reckon with the civilisational and global strategic importance of science. Like it or not, geostrategic issues are inevitably tied to such matters. As for Mr Soros, he is no friend to anyone, much less UD. Juncker has to face concerns much as we do, and would naturally reflect the radically secularised, cultural marxism influenced views of the Euro zone elites. Again, no friend. Brexit, in any case, is doubtless more than enough for him to chew on. Satan, likely -- and on the usual sources, has played the geostrategic game at planetary and cosmological levels for many thousands of years, maybe far more. He is no friend to anyone -- including those who work with or for him. In any case, the main point of the OP was, let us remember the men who parachuted in, rode gliders, or waded ashore on that fateful day 74 years ago now. They fought (and shockingly many died) for what we enjoy today: freedom. Which is worth celebrating in its own right. KF kairosfocus
BO'H: Your thoughts are appreciated. The line of maximum Soviet influence seems to be that of strong Soviet control or alliance in the Eurasian sphere but leaves out Cuba, Grenada, Jamaica, Central and South America, also Eastern and Southern Africa. (It is coming from an Indian perspective. S and E Africa border the Indian Ocean, though Israel would have been a check on Russian use of the Suez Canal, and Gibraltar and the Bosporus would have been under NATO control. The GIUK gap would have been heavily contested if full naval war broke out.) The pattern of rimland wars as the USA emerged as successor to the UK is striking. And, the internal collapse of the USSR underscores that under the nuclear shadow, war has moved to a fourth generation, to use Lind's terms. Of course, a much truncated Russia is coming back unto the geostrategic stage, and China (due to rising economic power) is also becoming far more active. Its moves of building artificial islands and setting up bases should be seen for what they are. And the PPS I just added shows the wider push into Africa. Extending Mackinder and to a lesser extent Spykman, I suggest Spain's global thrust pivoted on the continental base in Latin America and the rimland base of the Philippines. Britain's global power came from maritime strategies but we should not underestimate the subcontinental base in India and what Australia and South Africa brought to the table. In our time, sub-saharan Africa is the resource rich, poorly governed, worse garrisoned continental base with poor internal communications and economies. It is no accident that there is a Chinese settlement there of a million chinese or that they are working to draw out resources, making a major effort on roads. At the same time, radical Islam has had an ambition to make Africa the first Islamic continent. The Caribbean is an extension of the african situation in the Americas. In short, there is a new major focal region for geostrategic contest, but we should not underestimate the E Europe pivot area of the heartland and the rimlands, especially the Middle East, S Asia and the far east. The current N Korea summit could have interesting consequences and I don't doubt that Iran is paying very close attention, even as it tries to reconstitute the Persian Empire as vanguard of their version of the prophesied Mahdi's invincible army. (Mahdi is the prophesied final Caliph of Islam, who is to conquer the ME, slaughter the Jews, defeat and convert Christians to Islam, and subjugate the wider world. There is a 100 year Muslim Brotherhood global subjugation project dating to the 1980's.) Back to the WW2 alliance of convenience. Don't forget, Churchill was a leader of the intervention by the Allies in the Russian Red vs White civil war, and on discussing alliance with Stalin's Russia in Parliament made the remark that if Hitler invaded Hell, he would have to find something good to say about the devil. It is he who would coin the term, Iron Curtain. Also, note that Russia had in effect been a silent partner with Hitler in the early phases, indeed that is what enabled Hitler to address East in 1939 (right after the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact) then West in 1940. Hitler had no viable means to knock Britain out by 1941, and had already been planning to renew the Eastern project in 1940. Churchill pointed out that, in effect, if a totalitarian German State spanning the pivot area (and extending to the Atlantic) was unacceptable, so would be a Russian one. So, the Western intervention of June 6, 1944 would have had immediate and longer term contexts. As did the use of nukes against Japan, in a context where Russia was then intervening in the war with Japan. This sent the message on just how transformationally powerful air power then missile power had become. Recall, too, Berlin was apparently the first intended target for nukes, and had Hitler's programme succeeded London and New York would have been obvious targets. WW2 was a nuke threshold war. So, yes, there was an alliance, but even more than in WW1, it was not a natural one. KF kairosfocus
It's nice to know that UD is on the same side as Soros and Juncker and Satan. polistra
I don't get the point of this. At the time of D-Day the Soviets were our allies. I also think the maximum extent of Soviet influence line is a bit of an under-estimate. Bob O'H
UD Newswatch: 74th anniversary of the June 6th, 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy kairosfocus

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