Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wars and Rumors of Wars

I should have linked to this yesterday, but Bayou Renaissance Man, one of my daily reads, devoted his entire blogging effort for the day to the prospects of regional or global war breaking out within the next few months to a year.  The takeaway conclusion:
I'd love to be proved an alarmist: but in the light of all the elements I've outlined above, I don't think I am. If there isn't at least one war in the nations and areas I've mentioned, within the next year, I'll eat crow right here on this blog, with all due contrition. However, I somehow don't think that will be necessary . . .
Down through history wars have been a last resort of the ruling classes to keep their jobs (and heads) when they destroyed economies.  I'd like to know why we should expect different things this time. 


  1. Global economic woes, far from collapsing governments into anarchy tend to lead to totalitarian governments. Totalitarian governments tend total (depopulation) warfare.

    The total warfare of the 20th century was dominated by carpet bombing, firebombing and in the case of Imperial Japan, biological and chemical weapons. In the 21st century, just about every major power has nuclear weapons.

    Even if a nuclear exchange were not to happen, wars tend to breed statism (hence the proverb : inter arma enim silent leges). During the Civil War, Heabus Corpus was suspended. During WWI and WWII, there were limits on free speech and other constitutional rights, and in WWII the Japanese were interned in camps.

  2. Indeed.

    The rumblings out of Europe remind me more of the 1920's-1930s than the teens. You have the Greeks accusing the Germans of trying to destroy them economically, or saying the Germans never paid them damages from WWII, and you have the Germans saying the UK or US are responsible for all this because their/our banks caused the current situation. Everyone is pointing their fingers at someone else, willing to take anyone's money as long as no one touches their slice of the pie. The situation is ripe for a charismatic dictator who will just "take control until the crisis is over". As you say, it is certainly the historical precedent.