The Worthlessness of War
Book review and comments on:
The Worth of War by Benjamin Ginsberg of
Johns Hopkins University Political Science Department
Reuschlein Note: Johns Hopkins is the number one military research institution today with their foreign policy orientation, just as Massachusetts Institute of Technology was number one during the Cold War with their engineering orientation for weapons design. Just as Detroit was our richest city in 1960 when we lead the world in manufacturing and Boston was our richest city at the end of the Cold War missile era, now 7 of the 10 richest counties in America are in the Baltimore Washington DC area, with Maryland and Virginia clearly the most militarized part of America. Anything coming from the most militarized educational institution in America must be taken with a large grain of salt. You can read Ginsberg’s student ratings online.
Amazon review of Ginsberg’s book (partial) (Largely inaccurate according to Reuschlein):
“Although war is terrible and brutal, history shows that it has been a great driver of human progress. So argues political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg in this incisive, well-researched study of the benefits to civilization derived from armed conflict.
“History also clearly reveals the technological benefits that result from war—ranging from the sundial to nuclear power. And in regard to economics, preparation for war often spurs on economic development; by the same token, nations with economic clout in peacetime usually have a huge advantage in times of war. Finally, war and the threat of war have encouraged governments to become more congenial to the needs and wants of their citizens because of the increasing reliance of governments on their citizens’ full cooperation in times of war.”
On Tuesday January 13, 2015 CSPAN Booknotes interviewed Ginsberg.
Reuschlein’s comments follow:
Ginsberg claims engineering started with war.
That’s funny; I always thought engineering started with the aqueducts of Egypt bringing Nile water to croplands and the building of the pyramids.
Sure much later Archimedes developed the catapult for the Greeks, but that is long afterwards.
Americans developed airplanes without any need for war use until much later.
Railroads were started to bring coal from Newcastle to Manchester, not for war.
Automobiles were started for transportation before they were adopted for war.
The internet was started in part by British and Swiss inventors before being adopted by the US military research agency called DARPA. I remember the British making much ado about their internet researcher in the London Olympics.
Wars have a long record of producing worthless results. The North won the Civil War supposedly, but subsequently congress and the presidency came to be dominated by Southerners. Most of the key committee chairmen often come from the South, under Democrats 54 year ago and under Republicans now. Usually over time low military Midwesterners have been gradually replaced by Southerners in the leadership of congress and the Supreme Court.
The United States supposedly won World War II, but the resultant militarism eventually lead to low military Germany and Japan winning the Cold War period economically.
The United States supposedly won the Mexican American War, but all the territory conquered from Mexico will have Mexican American majorities in each state by 2030.
The United States supposedly won the Spanish American War but Cuba revolted and turned Communist ever since 1959 and the Philippines revolted under Cory Aquino. After the Philippines volcano in 1991 the US was not allowed to rebuild their naval base. And if not for the Philippines the US would not have been dragged into World War II against the Japanese. With the October 1941 US embargo of oil to Japan, Japan was forced to seize Indonesia for oil. With the US occupied Philippines astride the sea lanes back to Japan, Japan had to attack the US.
Choose your enemies well, for soon you will be like them. (Unknown source). Supposedly the United States won the Cold War, but became much more like the Soviet Union since the end of the Cold War as the NSA invasion of privacy shows. The national security state has made the US more Stalinist over time. Likewise the Soviet empire has become more democratic.
The empire we created to fight the Cold War had gradually turned us into a more Third World like income inequality society. In the last forty years the American geni coefficient has dropped from 4 to 5 while the Brazilian geni went from 6 to 5. Just as the Monroe Doctrine has made us more like Latin America, they have become more like us.
The founding fathers were so sure human rights suffered during wartime that James Madison fought the war of 1812 on the cheap to minimize the human rights damage to society. Introducing the draft into war so traumatized Europe during the Napoleon Wars that the next round of wars in Europe were easily eclipsed by America’s Civil War in deaths as a percentage of the population. The claim of treating the population well during wartime is ludicrous.
This deals with the great myth that the war brought us out of the Great Depression:
Dr. Peace, Dr. Bob Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute
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