WWI was a reflection of a growing tense in the 19th centuary, where Germany was a powerful country who didn't mannage to capture a share, as well as a growing ideology break.. so WWI was a symptom that caused a chain reaction, but the causes are deeper. And also, the ideological causes that allowed the atheist dictates to rule (Hitler, Stalin), were also a resault of an ideological break that occured during the industrial revolution, and allowed new form of dictatorship to immerge as soon as a crisis occurs.
I would agree with that. The First World War, after all, didn't come out of nowhere. It was the trigger for almost all the social and political crises of the 20th century, but it was itself the result of the internal conflicts and unresolved contradictions of late 19th century Europe. In that respect, the 20th century did not represent a break with the 19th century framework of social and political development, but was the catastrophic working out of the unresolved problems created by 19th century progress itself. The revolutions, wars and unrestrained violence of 20th century history was necessary
to resolve these contradictions. This, after all, is what violence is for
. People who claim that "violence solves nothing" clearly haven't read a history book in their lives.
However, I would make a distinction between the European atheist dictators of Europe (of whom there were many, but Hitler and Stalin are the most famous) and dictators like Mugabe, Gadaffi, and the like. The latter, being on the peripheries of the West and ruling over pre-industrial agrarian societies, tend to be traditionalist despots (even when they claim 'revolutionary' credentials). Mugabe, after all, was a devout Christian, just as most Arab dictators claim to be devout Muslims, and far from being 'totalitarian' dictators they preside over fractured, tribal societies. The ideological break with the past which the industrialisation of the 19th century created only affected Europe, and has not yet affected the Middle East or Africa, which are still essentially pre-modern societies due to their lack of material development.
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Marx (Groucho)