Friday, July 07, 2017

War And Economics

When I was at the University of Virginia, some people, mostly Republicans, were saying that war was good for the economy.

Oh yeah, and do human lives matter? All these innocent people losing their lives or getting disemboweled so that you can play your game.

There are situations in which you have to go to war. War however should never be glorified. It should be seen as a failure of politics. Most international conflicts can – and should – be solved through trade or diplomacy. The people who put their lives on the line should be respected. The people who make them do such a thing do not.

There are many young people who actually want to go to war because they want to be heroes or because they want to matter. There are many much better ways to achieve both. Military ambitions brought Germany and Japan total ruin. Whereas hard work made both peaceful, prosperous, respectable countries.

In the long run war is not even good for the economy. At the end of the Second World War the European economies – and especially that of Germany – were completely destroyed. War turned Angola from a prosperous country into an impoverished obscenity, and only after the war ended did Angola recover. Civil wars in Uganda, Mozambique and Burundi made those countries, at the conclusions of their respective wars, the poorest countries in the world. Americans who claim that war is good for the economy get away with believing such things because those wars never happened on the American soil.

Preventing war is perhaps the most important job for the politicians. The First World War happened for no good reason, but because the European politicians mismanaged politics. 10 million innocent people died for absolutely nothing. We cannot afford to take those kinds of chance with the world.

In the analysis of top three Presidents of America, we see Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. All of these presidents were in power in times of war. They get a lot of credit and admiration. But we see much less for Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower or Bill Clinton, who presided over peace and prosperity.

Something seems very wrong with this picture. Something is. If war is gloried, more people want it, and that is bad for everyone.

Once again, the people who go to war for their country should be respected. The people who make them do such a thing should not. War is not something glorious. War is a political failure; and it should be treated as such.

If politicians mismanage international relations so that people are waging war on one another, then that is their fault. They should be judged for it. As for economics, over the long run peace creates wealth whereas war destroys wealth. Pursue economic benefit or opportunity, but do not spill blood for oil.


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