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- Mar 25, 2010
STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Politicians push for war as the way out of economic troubles
By Daily Bell Staff - March 28, 2016
Tony Blair [in the Sunday Times]: Britain and its western allies must be prepared to send ground troops to “crush” Islamic State forces or risk a terror attack in Europe of “such size and horror” that draconian security measures would have to be introduced, Tony Blair has said. -Guardian
In a widely noted editorial, Tony Blair is speaking up again, pounding the drums for war without apology. This after years of vilification for involving Britain in overseas wars.
Obviously Blair is enunciating policy points that the larger, shadowy British establishment wants to present. For one reason or another, Blair remains a presenter of choice when it comes to these things.
One listens to the talking points and watches the movements “on the ground,” and eventually comes to the realization that a kind of World War III is being organized.
Such a war, if ever delivered, would be a catastrophe, and certainly would not result in the economic benefits we are instructed that World War II provided after its conclusion.
This is Blair’s second major statement in a matter of days on international issues. In a previous article, we covered Blair’s recent statements to the BBC regarding “flabby liberalism.”
Blair warned then that he is setting off on a crusade that would result in creating international policies against “extremism and intolerance.”
In this article, he sounds more directly militant. And his viewpoints are supported by a recent article over at ZeroHedge entitled, Japan’s Finance Minister Accidentally Reveals How It All Ends: “War.”
From the ZeroHedge article:
It seems – according to a stunningly candid transcript of Japan’s finance minister’s conversation with none other than Paul Krugman – that the real endgame here is actual war. Aso remarked that “a similar [deflationary mindset] had occurred in the US in the 1930s. What solved the question? War!
Aso is certainly engaged in a continual struggle against the current reluctance of Japanese businesses to make investments. This is similar to the reluctance in Europe and the US and has to do with previous government support for bankrupt banks and other businesses.
Instead of letting the contraction of 2008 run to its conclusion, governments stepped in and propped up failing institutions.
Supposedly – and illegally – the US Fed sent up to US$16 trillion around the world in a matter of days to ensure that the current financial structure remained in the place.
Such actions basically froze the Great Recession in place. But war basically forces institutions to invest.
In the US, for instance, large institutions may have been reluctant to make investments before World War II, but as war loomed, these same institutions faced government demands that they convert factories to produce war-based products. Investments were made, after all.
However, war is ultimately destructive and does not create prosperity anymore than throwing a rock through a window does.
What did help economically after World War II is described in a Mises article entitled, World War II Did Not End the Great Depression.
The article refers to an analysis by Robert Higgs that divided the Great Depression into three phases.
The Great Contraction occurred during the Hoover years and went from 1929 to 1933. During this period private investment fell by about 84 percent.
This set the stage for the Great Duration, 1933–1945. As … the 1930s wore on, President Franklin Roosevelt became ever bolder about undermining property rights. This delayed complete recovery.
Finally, there was the Great Escape, which occurred after and in spite of World War II, not because of it.
The Great Escape argues that the US in particular, as the dominant nation-state, set the tone for the rest of the world. And in the US, returning veterans wanted a return to normalcy and a well-functioning economy.
As a result, there came about “a partial dismantling of the regulatory infrastructure that had grown up during the Depression and the war.” Higgs calls this a “rediscovery of the market and a new birth of freedom for entrepreneurs and workers.”
But the chances of a Great Escape taking place again are not very good. Any modern war will probably not be waged on a such a grand scale as World War II, but will likely be a widening conflict encompassing many smaller regions.
It also may last a lot longer than World War II due to the lack of singular and defined opponents. As a result, there will probably be no homogenized homecoming of veterans and no “great escape” from the continued expansion of the regulatory state.
What we have consistently argued is that neither politics nor any resurgence of industrial freedom will much delay the Anglosphere’s gradual authoritarian descent.
For this reason, we suggest that people do their best within family and community units to assert independence from the larger, statist structure.
This ought to be done privately and surreptitiously when possible, though legally as much as possible.
The results should include the ability to defend oneself, a store of precious metals, access to potable water and a fresh food supply and even, if possible, the ability to travel abroad to places where one has a second home and the ability to live independently.
Counter-cyclical – “defensive” investing – ought to be examined too.
Some of this is costly but some is not. And the goal should always be independence and self protection.
Even heavy-handed efforts to impose a wartime economy are bound to be irregular and incompetent.
The alternative of course is something much worse, but the chances in our view are much greater for a muddled authoritarianism. This will be one that gives people with planning and foresight the ability to “live free in an unfree world.”
In fact, optimistically, as a result of the Internet, many elite plans that have been made to increase the global order seem gradually to be falling by the wayside.
Conclusion: As we have pointed out before, the ability to survive and thrive despite the upcoming chaos will gradually lead to better days ahead. The trick is getting from here to there.
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