An off-the-cuff Facebook question to the writer about Southern Africa’s economic future and what happens next stirs some uncomfortable thoughts for J. BROOKS SPECTOR.
Years ago, a Japanese friend who shared a love for the “what-ifs” of history gave this writer a copy of Gustav Eckstein’s 1927 admonitory book, In Peace Japan Breeds War. Eckstein was a thoughtful, observant journalist and psychology professor and he wrote his book to alert people to the new, military-linked extreme nationalism he had observed taking root and increasingly flourishing in inter-war Japan. This was meant to be in opposition to the still-prevailing, still-popular view of many of a Japan as a quaint nation, more in keeping with its ancient tales of warriors and ghosts as retold by the Irish-American writer, Lafcadio Hearn Gilbert and Sullivan’s tuneful but picture post card Japan in their operetta, The Mikado or the increasingly popular imports of that country’s wood block prints, silks, and cheap but handy manufactured goods.
In fact, in a fascinating mirror image of the Japanese military’s own planning for the future, the US navy had also already prepared a series of contingency plans for a titanic battle with the Japanese over control of the Pacific…
Source : Daily Maverick