I’ve been watching Ken Burn’s “War” series on Netflix for a couple of nights and a thought struck me like a thunderbolt.
We (the allies) won the Second World War largely due to this one unmistakable fact…
We out manufactured our opponents.
America used its enormous capacity to manufacture pleasure goods and necessities and all the things that made being an American so desirable.
TV’s and radios and razors and rubber ducks… Cars and cables and cans and tires. We had no trouble filling the shelves of Sears and Woolworth’s and Macy’s and every Five and Dime store on every corner of every town in this country and we still had enough capacity to export our surplus all over the world. Our manufacturing capacity was so strong that we barely had use for any of our own scrap material. We sold tons of it cheaply to the Japanese thinking how clever we were to be getting rid of the stuff. The Japanese wrote the checks for the stuff and eventually returned it to us by dropping it on our heads at Pearl Harbor.
This little incident served to stir up the carefree and hedonistic giant that was America enough to immediately begin turning it’s fantastical capacity to make or build any and everything that could be used to make life easier and / or more pleasurable… over to the capacity to damage, destroy, kill and generally make miserable the source of it’s irritation.