Tuesday, April 14, 2020

842: Who is right....?

In the previous lecture I mentioned Samuel Marshall (1900 - 1977) and his findings: 
the fact that in World War II only 15 to 25 percent of infantry soldiers fired their rifle in actual combat.
Now listen to this.....
-QUOTE-  One of the most widely read military historians of the 20th century, S.L.A. Marshall was also a liar and a shameless self-promoter. 
His best-known book, "Men Against Fire", is at least in part, and perhaps wholly, a work of fiction.
Yet it has been, and unfortunately continues to be, read by generations of officers and historians who have subsequently applied the “lessons learned” to their own work. 
Faced with the “facts of combat” such as the ratio of fire provided in Men 
Against Fire, even writers of U.S. Army doctrine modified texts in an attempt to overcome the problems Marshall outlined. -END QUOTE-

[ Originally published in the February 2007 issue of Military History. ]
The author is Robert L. Bateman (1967 -  )  U.S. Army, career infantry officer as airborne ranger and assistant professor of military history; 
military fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
He published his article in the period that the Killer-Ape theory of Raymond Dart en the "veneer theory" were dominating the debate.
Veneer theory is a term coined by Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal to label the Hobbesian view of human morality that he criticizes throughout his work. 
Although he criticizes this view in earlier works, the term in this form is introduced in his 2005 book "Our Inner Ape", 
denoting a concept that he rejects, namely that human morality is "a cultural overlay, a thin veneer hiding an otherwise selfish and brutish nature".
What to do? Did Marshall lie indeed? Bateman published his article thirty years after the death of Marshall. So, he can't defend himself.
Other historians have discovered that Marshall indeed was somewhat inaccurate, when it was about numbers, but he did interview the soldiers in those days.
So, what are we? The Killer Ape or the Homo sapiens, who most of the time is unwilling to kill his fellowman ?
Samuel Marshall may have been a somewhat free-spirited writer, who had some trouble handling figures and details accurately, but he wasn't wrong in his observations.
Later research of battles has confirmed his observations. General Bernard Montgomery once wrote: The problem with our British boys is that they aren't killers by nature".
There is even more peculiar proof. After the battle of Gettysburg in 1863 during the American Civil War 27.574 muskets were collected from the battlefield.
A musket is a muzzle-loaded long gun and there was something strange with the guns: 90% of the muskets were loaded, fully loaded to be more accurate.
Loading such a gun took a lot of time. But it gets even crazier. About 12.000 of these muskets were loaded double. Some muskets contained even 3 bullets.
There even was found a musket with 23 bullets in its barrel. The conclusion can only be that in 1863 soldiers used the action of loading their gun 
as a means to prevent them from firing their gun. In other words, it confirms Marshall's observations and Bateman is too harsh on him.

The American sociologist Randall Collins (1941 -) made an extensive study of hundreds of photos of soldiers in critical situations. 
He comes out at a fire rate of 13 to 18 percent, close to Marshall's estimates.
"If we look at the most common evidence," Collins writes in 'Violence: a Micro-sociological Theory' (2008), "the Hobbesian view is empirically incorrect. 
People are deeply prone to interaction and solidarity, which is what makes violence so difficult."
In other words, Marshall was right and still most people are OK....
Thank you for your attention again...

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019

The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:22] herman Bergson: A nice positive observation to begin the weekend with
[13:23] herman Bergson: I think our opinion about man is distorted by two media....movies and newsmedia
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) : someone was shooting at Gettysburg
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so many dead soldiers
[13:23] CB Axel: Yes.
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but the concept may be right
[13:24] herman Bergson: Some were indeed Gemma....46.000 or more casualties
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): been there
[13:24] herman Bergson: But keep in mind....
[13:24] herman Bergson: the reluctance to fire applies to BOTH  sides
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): an example of war with brothers on both side
[13:25] CB Axel: But can you imagine the carnage if the soldiers had all been shooting?
[13:25] herman Bergson: At Gettysburg were more than 100.000 men...!
[13:25] herman Bergson: Indeed CB....unbelievable
[13:26] herman Bergson: But in war movies everyone is shooting and hitting targets...
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh of course
[13:26] herman Bergson: and in the media there only are reports on violence
[13:26] herman Bergson: and that is what we are taught  about "reality"
[13:26] herman Bergson: day in day out
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): until we all believe it
[13:27] CB Axel: I don't believe in reality any more.
[13:27] herman Bergson: We DO believe it Beertje.....
[13:27] herman Bergson: We believe that the world is bad....
[13:27] herman Bergson: Our government treats all of us as possible frauds...
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:28] herman Bergson: all is based on distrust...not on trust...
[13:28] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): Yeah the common narrative is that the world is bad...
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes....and our stand here, that this is NOT TRUE
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we all were told from kindergarten on..that we are bad
[13:29] Oceane (oceane.madrigal) is online.
[13:29] theo Velde is online.
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes...and this still goes on....
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's hard to believe that it's not true
[13:30] herman Bergson: But when you look at the present times.....
[13:30] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): I think it is more like percentages..... you say that in more percentage the world is good?
[13:30] herman Bergson: the tons of help and support that comes from everywhere for everybody in this crisis
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes Billy...it is percentage and publicity
[13:31] herman Bergson: that is the trick of terrorists too...
[13:31] theo Velde is offline.
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right now the right is gearing up to restart everything soon here
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tsk
[13:31] herman Bergson: You only need one terrorist to shock thousands of people
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in spite of evidence of staying isolated
[13:32] herman Bergson: Go ahead Gemma....a virus is unfortunately a-political :-)
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:32] theo Velde is online.
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not here
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): economy is master
[13:33] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): so.... just for like throwing numbers at the air....... what percentage could we say we good and what bad?
[13:33] herman Bergson: It is amazing to see that in the US people even succeed in politicizing a disaster like this
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh
[13:34] herman Bergson: I'd say at least 90% of all people are OK, Guillo :-)
[13:34] herman Bergson: Maybe even more
[13:34] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): that may be related with the bad people at the top? lol
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): might be
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:35] herman Bergson: But because we have trouble to accept such an observation, the media paint another picture
[13:35] Wonny Masala (wonda.masala) is offline.
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes Guillo....that makes me wonder a lot too...
[13:35] herman Bergson: Take Hungary.....
[13:36] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): or maybe the 10% percent who were lucky enough to have the opportunity to take the bad position on the story?
[13:36] herman Bergson: WHY wants this Orban to become a  kind of dictator....why?
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wondered that too
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): howo9
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe to be friends with Poetin?
[13:36] herman Bergson: I just don't understand the motivation....
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he is afraid of Russia
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i don't either
[13:36] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): power is the motivation lol
[13:37] herman Bergson: yes...it is a proven fact that power deforms the human mind....
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sure does
[13:37] herman Bergson: it has a negative effect
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's dangerous when we hav e chosen a president:)
[13:38] herman Bergson: it is not without reason that we elect governments and presidents for only 4 years time periods
[13:38] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): so hypothetically if we would talk about the top 30% then 30% of the people would be bad...
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lets take out the sick ones
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): of the so called bad
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you can't it's called a coup
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no control over their actions I believe
[13:39] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): and also hypothetically if 100% would be on the top then 100% would be bad lol
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no they would have all killed each other on the way to the top
[13:40] CB Axel: It wouldn't surprise me if the US armed forces took over the government. They're pretty angry over the aircraft carrier with Covid.
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): only some i think eb
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): cb
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): some are all in with trump
[13:41] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): so maybe the ones who have the opportunity yo pursue power then can trade their values with their goal.... thanks good only 10% can peruse that goal...
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): regardless
[13:41] herman Bergson: Another interesting issue :-)
[13:41] CB Axel: Not the ones with the guns.
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): would things goings to be better when air forces take over?
[13:42] CONNIE Eichel is online.
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): gun sales went way up this past few months
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no beetje
[13:42] CB Axel: No. I'm against a military government.
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not here i think
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh es
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bad thought
[13:42] Second Life: Xamri (Xamri) is now known as Cassia.
[13:43] herman Bergson: Well...let's get back to our theme of today....
[13:43] herman Bergson: It tells us that most people still are OK :-)
[13:43] CB Axel: But I wish when Trump leaves office that he gets taken all over the country so everyone can punch him.
[13:43] CB Axel: I guess I'm no OK.
[13:43] CB Axel: 8not
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bad
[13:43] herman Bergson: not or now, CB? :-)
[13:44] CB Axel: If I put in print what I'd like to do to him I'd be arrested.
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i am afraid i would like to see him catch covid19
[13:44] herman Bergson: If he has left office he'll face a plethora of trails
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hopes
[13:45] herman Bergson: he'll be being prosecuted for dozens of things
[13:45] CB Axel: I don't. They'd just take a ventilator away from someone else to keep that motherf***er alive.
[13:45] herman Bergson: We are becoming nasty now......
[13:45] herman Bergson: Stay philosophicla please ^_^
[13:46] CB Axel: Sorry. He brings that out in me.
[13:46] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): yeah human can corrupt themselves lol
[13:46] herman Bergson: Yes Guillo...unfortunately...
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it'
[13:47] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): we all have a self interest trait that may be expressed in different percentages in each person
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sad to see so many man change when htye have power
[13:47] herman Bergson: Combine Beertje's remark with the one of Guillo and it fits :-))
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wonders jhow that Marshall did all the research before he wrote
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or if he just got  a little
[13:48] herman Bergson: He interviewed soldiers, Gemma
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not that many i bet
[13:48] herman Bergson: right after the battle of Makin
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:49] herman Bergson: He apparently interviewed whole companies....
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wow
[13:49] herman Bergson: He himself was a colonel
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah ok
[13:49] herman Bergson: ended as brigade general
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:50] herman Bergson: Did the same research in Vietnam and observed that the percentage of firing soldiers was higher there
[13:50] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): it is also a problem about how our hierarchy structures are formed...... a more pyramidal and tall structure.... it has more power at the top...... and the more power the more probability of change your values for the power.
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): h yes i am sure of that
[13:51] herman Bergson: That is why you need democracy and a parlement
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:52] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): and I bet there should be better systems  than that
[13:52] CB Axel: Since he was "a liar and a shameless self-promoter" I'm surprised Marshall didn't get elected president.
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): a strong parliament
[13:52] Billy Grayson (guillo.elan): but havent figure it out
[13:52] herman Bergson: Speaking for my country...it works :-)
[13:52] herman Bergson: I guess it is time for you hares to start hiding easter eggs :-)
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hang on to it
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:53] herman Bergson: So maybe a good moment to dismiss class :-)
[13:53] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:53] herman Bergson: And here is a hare update :-)
[13:53] CB Axel: Cute pic!
[13:53] bergfrau Apfelbaum: We are good people!
[13:53] bergfrau Apfelbaum: and soft:-))
[13:54] CB Axel: Does this bunny suit make me look fat?
[13:54] herman Bergson: YEs Bergie, we are...
[13:54] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty Herman and class
[13:54] herman Bergson: You have  some more BMI indeed CB :-)
[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no CB
[13:54] bergfrau Apfelbaum: nono CB :-)
[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): just puppy fat
[13:54] CB Axel: I'll see you all next week. I'll try not to be so angry on Tuesday. :)


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