So now I have a good grip on exactly why all Europe cheerfully destroyed itself in World War I. And strangely enough, it has quite a bit to do with the world of the spirit.
In Russo-Japanese War: Japan’s First Big Surprise, we learn that the Japanese managed to fight the Russians, and win, in the war of 1905.
How was this done? After all, the Russians were white, and their nation far wealthier than the Japanese in natural resources – then or now.
What happened was that the Japanese used their manpower, determination (a.k.a. the Bushido spirit) and aggression to win the conflict. The blood price was high, but it was paid, and the war won.
Now, this war was observed by all the major powers – including European powers, eyeing up each other. Guess what lessons they picked up from this Japanese victory.
Traveller application: actually, it was already applied in the Canon universe. Everyone thought that the Rebellion would be a noble-led civil war, with minimal damage to the worlds and populations as the ruling families decimated each other. No one thought that it would have turned to a nationalistic war, with entire worlds burned to the ground in the name of victory…