Arnold Kling  

War, Peace, and the Economic Gap

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This essay by James McCormick is difficult to summarize. Here is a taste:


To summarize my argument then, (1) our prosperity and peace is far ahead of most of the world and increasing, (2) we don’t appear to have enough human capacity for combat to fix the world by force, and (3) money currently extracted from productive economies, filtered through unproductive economies, reappears as more combatants to start the cycle of disruption yet again. All in all, this seems more like a form of “Gap parasitism” enabled by the developed world’s good intentions.

...Since industrialized nations are behaving, per Amy Chua, as a market-dominant minority for the entire planet, and setting the constraints (if not the standard) by which economics and politics are practiced for all humans, we are surrounded by those who not only disdain our solutions but cannot achieve them if they wanted to. America has such a dominant global role for at least a few coming decades that the nation is being cast as parent rather than hegemon. And it’s requiring inhuman levels of restraint from citizen and veteran alike to respond compassionately to cultures violently resisting any change. The world has become the G7’s resentful dependent — resentful of green cards, of food, of money, of irrelevance to the rest of the world’s economic and social progress. Defeated in war first, and then indulged in riotous violent peace.


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CATEGORIES: Growth: Consequences



COMMENTS (2 to date)
Martin writes:

Arnold,

Reading 'Claudius the God' kind of soured Stoicism for me; assuming Graves' depiction of Seneca was acurate, he led quite a lavish lifestyle.

John S Bolton writes:

Maybe we should stop letting the government pay scholars to dream of fixing the world, by force or otherwise?
Maybe then, there would be less chance of writers giving us compassion endurance tests; as when what is presumably meant is compassion for aggression, for envy, for interreligious hatreds and all kinds of third-world malice.
How does it cause us a problem if the laggards stay where they are, unless we let them get here, and they start bombing and grabbing subsidies on a first-world scale?

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