Monday, February 4, 2008

No Shooting War Before Year 2000 (1949)

The December 28, 1949 Berkshire Evening Eagle (Pittsfield, MA) ran a story titled, "No Shooting War Seen by Toynbee Before Year 2000." The article in its entirety appears below. You can read more about Arnold Toynbee at Wikipedia.
LONDON (UP) - Professor Arnold Toynbee, 60, one of the world's foremost historians, predicts the "cold war" with Russia will not become a shooting war until the year 2000 at the earliest.

The author of the six-volume "Study of History" said the cold war probably would be fought in Asia for the next 50 years - because communism has been contained in Europe - and that a "shooting war is not inevitable within the next 50 years."

"The aims of the two principal parties in the cold war, Russia and the Western powers, are better served by a cold war," Toynbee said. "I would be extremely surprised if either party resorted to a shooting war."

Toynbee said Russia had received two setbacks during the past year - Berlin and Yugoslavia.

"Both were victories for the Western powers," he said. "Berlin especially so because it did not develop into a shooting war."

See also:
How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D. (1950)
Will War Drive Civilization Underground? (1942)
The Fearless Futurist (New York Times, 1968)


Anonymous said...

The timing was wrong, but he was right about the area (Korea in the 50's, then Vietnam in the 70's).

Anonymous said...

He was correct in one big way: It never did really escallate to a shooting war.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Afghanistan in the 80s.

This guy was pretty accurate.

Spoon Phillips said...

What the good professor did not predict was how the USA and USSR (and China) would refrain from shooting directly at each other and instead take over a series of smaller countries through covert means and use them to attack their enemy or its puppets.

The USA actually started its covert conquest in Latin America in the 1920s, only sending the Marines in whenever the locals rebelled. It was not much different than what the superpowers did in from the 50s through the 80s.

What amazes me is that the Soviets were stupid enough to repeat the American Viet Nam disaster when they moved into Afghanistan.