the benefit of a war economy

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
lem_
the benefit of a war economy
Printer-friendly version

Hi, someone was chatting to me about WWIII (concerning Syria).

I was thinking that none of the major states that would be involved need to justify a war economy, and arguing that is good reason not to be super concerned about its threat right now.

Can someone provide me with the best reference on the benefits of a war economy? Does anyone agree that it will be world wide social crisis that is more likely to trigger a war that could threaten all of civilization? Which is not, I hope, to shrink the problems that Syria and Syrians are facing - in any way.

 

 

In solidarity :-)

Demogorgon
I think your friend has it

I think your friend has it backwards. War economies are extremely expensive. States raise taxes by appropriating the profits from other capitalists. All the money ploughed into developing weapon systems generates economic activity, true ... but from the point of view of the national capital it actually constitutes a drain. The products of war economy cannot, for the most part, be reinvested in the economy and thus don't lead to expansion.

States adopt war economy out of strategic need. Germany adopted war economy in 1933 not to solve the unemployment crisis (and there's an argument about whether it actually had this effect at all) but to arm the state to pursue its imperialist interests. Similarly, the war-economy-lite in the US in the 50s / 60s, was to face off against the USSR. The costs of funding the Viet Nam war caused the budget deficit to explode and was a key factor in the development of crisis of Bretton Woods by the end of the 60s. To a certain extent, the war economy was therefore a factor in the decline of the post-war boom.

lem_
oh OK. "i was thinking" for

oh OK. "i was thinking" for myself, not the friend in question.

i couldn't understand your reply in terms of how i could modify my argument. are you saying that nation states don't need a war economy right now, but they may fall into doing so - and create a catastrophic world war?

lem_
me other question is about

me other question is about war / fascism in the UK [where i am].

i am not a party member. is it foolish of me to make statements on what i think of fascism. is assume not?

Demogorgon
Sorry, I forgot about

Sorry, I forgot about this.

"i couldn't understand your reply in terms of how i could modify my argument. are you saying that nation states don't need a war economy right now, but they may fall into doing so - and create a catastrophic world war?"

The point is that war economy is destructive to capital. While it can certainly generate economic activity and the arms companies themselves can make big profits, all this is paid for by leeching profit (in the form of tax) from the other productive sectors of the economy.

The main purpose of arms production is to equip the state to fight its imperialist wars; it is this need that is the origin of war economy, not the other way around. Obviously war economy creates its own dynamic in the sense that strategic control of raw materials (one of the factors behind imperialism in the first place) becomes even more vital to keep the war machine going but this is a secondary factor.

To put it more simply - war economy does not cause wars; it is imperialism that leads to war economy.

"me other question is about war / fascism in the UK"

Ask away.

"i am not a party member. is it foolish of me to make statements on what i think of fascism. is assume not?"

Go right ahead. A number of people on the board are interested in fascism including myself. Why not start a thread?