Discussion:
YASID Fake War with the Moon
(too old to reply)
Nyrath
2018-10-08 01:19:36 UTC
Permalink
This was a short story I read about forty years ago, but it was in an anthology of stories from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

A nation of that time period (I think it was England) was having economic difficulties. A good war is a tried-and-true method of jump-starting the economy, via military spending. But there is no wars currently in the offing.

Some sleazy government official has the bright idea of making a hoax about an imaginary war, to justify the military spending. The hoax is that the Moon is inhabited, and they have declared war on the Earth. Oh noes! We will have to start massive military spending to defend our nation against those dastardly Moon men!

The public falls for the hoax, the spending is approved, and that nation's economy improves. However, the hoax has to be maintained or everything comes crashing down. The hoax gets a life of its own.

To help maintain the hoax, the government actually makes some kind of rocket or huge cannon or something that can actually hit the Moon. They proceed to launch bombs at the lifeless surface of the Moon, to provide evidence of the war effort.

But the joke is on them. As it turns out the Moon *is* inhabited. And the inhabitants are hopping mad at this unprovoked attack from the Earth.

The story ends with the government aghast at their nation being devastated by death rays coming from the Moon.

Does this ring a bell with anybody?

Thank you for your time.
Butch Malahide
2018-10-08 02:55:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nyrath
This was a short story I read about forty years ago, but it was in an anthology of stories from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
A nation of that time period (I think it was England) was having economic difficulties. A good war is a tried-and-true method of jump-starting the economy, via military spending. But there is no wars currently in the offing.
Some sleazy government official has the bright idea of making a hoax about an imaginary war, to justify the military spending. The hoax is that the Moon is inhabited, and they have declared war on the Earth. Oh noes! We will have to start massive military spending to defend our nation against those dastardly Moon men!
The public falls for the hoax, the spending is approved, and that nation's economy improves. However, the hoax has to be maintained or everything comes crashing down. The hoax gets a life of its own.
To help maintain the hoax, the government actually makes some kind of rocket or huge cannon or something that can actually hit the Moon. They proceed to launch bombs at the lifeless surface of the Moon, to provide evidence of the war effort.
But the joke is on them. As it turns out the Moon *is* inhabited. And the inhabitants are hopping mad at this unprovoked attack from the Earth.
The story ends with the government aghast at their nation being devastated by death rays coming from the Moon.
Does this ring a bell with anybody?
Thank you for your time.
"The War Against the Moon" by Andre Maurois?

https://archive.org/details/Fantasy_Science_Fiction_v001n03_1950-Summer_AK/page/n29
Nyrath
2018-10-08 12:24:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Butch Malahide
"The War Against the Moon" by Andre Maurois?
https://archive.org/details/Fantasy_Science_Fiction_v001n03_1950-Summer_AK/page/n29
Yes, that's the one! I remember the last line.

Thank you so much!
Ahasuerus
2018-10-08 02:55:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nyrath
This was a short story I read about forty years ago, but it was in
an anthology of stories from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
A nation of that time period (I think it was England) was having
economic difficulties. A good war is a tried-and-true method of
jump-starting the economy, via military spending. But there is no
wars currently in the offing.
Some sleazy government official has the bright idea of making a hoax
about an imaginary war, to justify the military spending. The hoax is
that the Moon is inhabited, and they have declared war on the Earth.
Oh noes! We will have to start massive military spending to defend
our nation against those dastardly Moon men!
The public falls for the hoax, the spending is approved, and that
nation's economy improves. However, the hoax has to be maintained or
everything comes crashing down. The hoax gets a life of its own.
To help maintain the hoax, the government actually makes some kind
of rocket or huge cannon or something that can actually hit the Moon.
They proceed to launch bombs at the lifeless surface of the Moon, to
provide evidence of the war effort.
But the joke is on them. As it turns out the Moon *is* inhabited. And
the inhabitants are hopping mad at this unprovoked attack from the
Earth.
The story ends with the government aghast at their nation being
devastated by death rays coming from the Moon.
Does this ring a bell with anybody?
Thank you for your time.
It sounds an awful lot like André Maurois's "Le chapitre suivant" (1927)
aka "The Next Chapter: The War Against the Moon" (1928). The anthology
may have been Groff Conklin's _Omnibus of Science Fiction_ (1952) --
see http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1622760 for other editions.

https://fantastic-writers-and-the-great-war.com/the-writers/andre-maurois/
says:

"Le chapitre suivant (1927; trans as The Next Chapter: The War Against
the Moon, 1928): a group of newspaper barons concoct a war against a
supposedly uninhabited Moon to provide an enemy for mankind; but the
Moon is inhabited, and fights back. The sequel is “Chapitre CXVIII: La
vie des hommes” (translated by Hamish Miles as “The Earth Dwellers”),
which with other Fragments of Universal History was collected as
Relativisme (1930; translated by Hamish Miles as A Private Universe,
1931)."
Nyrath
2018-10-08 12:22:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
It sounds an awful lot like André Maurois's "Le chapitre suivant" (1927)
aka "The Next Chapter: The War Against the Moon" (1928). The anthology
may have been Groff Conklin's _Omnibus of Science Fiction_ (1952) --
see http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1622760 for other editions.
I'll check but that has *got* to be the story. Especially since I remember reading the _Omnibus of Science fiction_.

Thank you so much!
puppetsock
2018-10-12 14:56:40 UTC
Permalink
On Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 9:19:39 PM UTC-4, Nyrath wrote:
[snippers]
Post by Nyrath
A nation of that time period (I think it was England) was having economic difficulties. A good war is a tried-and-true method of jump-starting the economy, via military spending.
[snip]

So I know that many people think this is true. So every
time there is some economic down-turn the "fear of war"
talk starts up. But I wonder if it's really true.

Take the Great Depression and WWII for example. The depression
did not end when various countries in Europe started invading
other countries, both in Europe and in Africa. It did not
end when Japan started invading various places such as China.
The depression did not end in 1939, or 1940, or 1941 before
the attack on Pearl Harbor. It ended only after the attack.

So war in *other* countries, even lots of other countries,
didn't fix the US economy. Even though the US was supplying
vast amounts of material to the Allies. The depression didn't
end until *after* Pearl Harbor.

But note that in the first few days after Pearl Harbor, FDR
called all his peace-time advisers into his office and
either fired them or re-purposed them. The old command was
"Relief!" Relief for all the various people suffering from
the depression. The new command was "Production!" Production
for all the various purposes of the war, yes. But vast webs
of laws were removed. Vast teams of "relief" workers were
moved over to war production. And every regulation that
could be cut through to increase production was cut through.

So various things like price supports, subsidies, land banking,
etc. and tedious etc., were radically reduced.

Then FDR died before the end of the war, and nobody bothered
to put his New Deal back in place after the war. Or most of it.

So I'm pretty sure the depression was not ended by the war.
Not directly anyway. But indirectly, by pulling government
away from screwing up the economy.

So do wars really end economic problems?

Loading...