杜鲁门干的第一件大事就是马歇尔计划，二战后不仅不对德国索赔，而且提出建设德国的计划。这就从根本上解决了欧洲自古以来没有停止过的报仇战争。在二战结束之前的人类历史，不论是东方还是西方，有一个铁定规则：不论战争是因何发起，只要是战败者，就失去了一切，包括土地财富政权，更别说宫殿女人了。别说秦始皇灭诸国，就是满洲人照样坐江山。后来人类进步了，不要国家了，但要给战胜国赔偿战争损失，多少数，是战胜国说了算的。二战后，美国搞了个马歇尔计划，彻底改写了人类历史，不仅战败的德国不赔偿，还得到美国的经济援助。从此后，各国都不想打仗了，因为赢了也得不到战争赔偿了。在人类发展史上，仅马歇尔计划从此大大削弱了靠战争发财的传统，对人类和平的贡献不论怎么描述都不为过。我没发现有人看到这一点，不论是拥美的还是反美的，都认为发生了的就发生了，英文叫take for granted.
[Editor’s Note: We have launched the series of Lao Yan’s Commentary on Historical Figures: Those Who Were Exalted and Those Who Were Degraded, to share with you the true history from Lao Yan’s perspective.]
Lao Yan’s point of view on true history and hero:
Only the history written by Runtao Yan is the real history, because Runtao Yan came to the world to seek the truth, without personal interest interference or bias. Only a part of the history written by other people is true, because if the truth is unfavorable to the authors, they do not write or even distort and falsify it. Runtao Yan’s writings are reserved for the study of future generations, belonging to the heirloom, and have nothing to do with his personal interests. Therefore, my study never takes partisan interests into account and only explores the truth.
People’s evaluation of historical figures cannot be separated from the stereotype of “success or failure”. Those who succeeded are worshipped and described as great, while those who failed are degraded into the mud. Root cause is the God gene imbedded in almost all human beings’ DNA. Human behaves like the flock of sheep: winner-take-all, once and for all.
Anyone who claims to be a great man of history was able to put the brakes on at a critical point in the development of history once they realized that they had gone too far down the original path. To judge whether a person is a great man, just check if his words and deeds are moving with the tide of history or against the trend. This needs to be viewed from a strategic perspective. Often times, when people go against the trend, they don’t even get the immediate benefits.
The course of history will never be changed by human will. All we can know is the course of history, which we cannot change. The natural force of fairness governs the world order. You pay what you have done. Those who win by chance must pay back.
Historical events often take a 180-degree turn in the blink of an eye. For example, if Chiang Kai-shek had not gone to Xi’an, Zhang Xue-liang and Yang Hucheng would not have been able to organize the Xi’an Incident, and the history of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party would probably have been rewritten. Many random events can change the course and direction of history.
We cannot predict what will happen before the 19th CPC National Congress begins. However, accidental events can only change the short-term historical direction and process. In the long run, we end up arriving at same destination no matter what roads we take.
From the point of view of long history, whether it is revolution or reform, everything is a fruitless attempt. History has its own laws of development, which are not subject to human will. Human beings, no matter what their wills are, have only short-term effects. Just like the water of the Yellow River flowing into the sea, whether it is diverted or dammed, or flows through the original watercourse with bends and turns, it will arrive at the East China Sea at basically the same time. The difference is which regions are flooded if it is diverted. Those who want to become historical heroes will end up self-destructing from the waves of history, leaving only the storyteller’s laughter behind.
President Truman: his contribution to American history is second only to Washington and Lincoln
Take the presidents of the United States as an example. There are two presidents in American history who are considered the worst. One is Truman and the other is Harding. Americans hated Truman because he focused almost all his energy on international affairs and believed that he was not doing anything for the Americans. Was what Truman did really of no use to the United States? If you look at the ubiquitous interests of the United States in the world after Truman, you will know that without Truman’s wise decisions, the world would never be what it is today. Truman established military bases around the world, and American interests were spread to every corner of the world. How can we say that Truman did not care about American interests and was the worst president in American history? Runtao Yan believes that Americans will vindicate Truman sooner or later. Truman’s influence on the world is greater than that of any other president in the United States. From a long-term perspective, Truman’s contribution to American history is second only to that of Washington, the Founding Father, and Abraham Lincoln, the man who preserved the unity of the nation, in the long run. No one else has been able to match it.
The greatest thing Truman did was the Marshall Plan. After World War II, he not only refused to claim compensation from Germany, but also proposed a plan to build Germany. This fundamentally solves the war of revenge that has never stopped in Europe since ancient times.
In human history before the end of World War II, whether in the East or the West, there was an ironclad rule: no matter why the war was initiated, the loser lost everything, including land, wealth, political power, and the women. Later, mankind progressed and no longer needed the whole country as a reward. However, the victorious country had the final say on the amount of compensation for war losers.
After World War II, the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which completely rewritten human history. Not only the defeated Germany does not compensate, but also get the United States of America’s economic assistance. Since then, countries do not want to go to war, because they cannot get war compensation even if they win. In the history of human development, only the Marshall Plan has since greatly weakened the tradition of getting rich by war, and its contribution to human peace cannot be understated. I don’t find anyone who holds the same opinion, pro-American or anti-American, thinks what happens happen, take for granted.
The second great thing Truman did was to establish NATO. NATO’s influence still exists today. The third great thing Truman did was the well-known creation of the United Nations. The impact of the United Nations on the world need not be detailed here. Truman also did many unprecedented things in the United States, including the creation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to coordinate the chain of command in war. Of course, Truman also ordered the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan and started the Korean War. He also established the CIA.