Tuesday, April 16, 2013

War Coming

I am still in the middle of cleaning up book reviews.  So a bit of fluff.

Barry Rithholtz has a post where he notes that a number of economic advisers are warning about a variety of warlike conditions.  And by warlike, they mean the of the potentially Roman (presumably IIII) type.

Top Economic Advisers Forecast War and Unrest
Barry Rithholtz, Big Picture, 13 April 2013

I am not impressed.  A lot of hand waving.  Roubini saying that the Great Depression lead to World War 2 is a little bit like saying that anything that occurs after something else is caused by it.  Mother's milk (or formulu) is to blame for everything.
The "Chart of War" is stunning.  It lists an oversized backwater war (Vietnam) and ignores a war with direct fighting between today's super powers (Korean War) which happens to be at an up-peak, or the major round of wars in 1905 (Beor War, and Russo-Japanese) that are at a mid-peak.
The really big wars as often as not seem start in some back corner world and seem inevitable only in retrospect.  The Seven Years War ,which in total was 9 year long, and is often stated as the first global war, started in the outback of the U.S. Colonies in what we call the French and Indian War
Note, the name The Nine Years War, was already taken, and the Central European part, with Frederick the Great, was seven years.  It is odd to think of Frederick the Great, and George Washington fighting on allied sides during a "World War": but they did.  George Washington helped get it started, and I guess you could say, Frederick finished it.


PioneerPreppy said...

There are or were I guess I should say other schools of thought on the various conflicts that make up the Seven Years war period that do not lump them all together. Politically speaking there is a common thread (kinda) that connects them but there is enough of a stretch to separate them as well.

The entire period more than likely should have been called the Colonial Wars. Something like the Napoleonic Wars (Which could also be lumped into the whole as well because of the common political thread). To imply the shifting minor political affiliations. In fact years back some historians did in fact call the period the colonial war period.

Not that it has much to do with your point here though except that what is developing now could explode into a similar state only this time substituting in Financial Elite with Nobility players.

What makes the entire thing chaotic compared to later wars is the inner connectivity of the players. A remnant of earlier times thrown in to a global arena and it is mirrored a bit by our financial ties today so it is possible we could see, or perhaps are already seeing the same thing today and 100 years from now they will call these the resource wars. Or something.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: I actually prefer lumping them all toghether, but depending on what you emphasise you can go either way. Even the modern wars (WW1 in particular) were a mish-mash of smaller wars lumed toghether. In WW2 it was only the threat of being left out of the United Nations that brought in many of the nations toward the end. But there were a number of small sidewars in WW2. Vichy vs Free French in Syria, Thailand vs Vichy France in the Pacific (prior to Japanese/U.S. War) are two of my favorites.

I don't think the financial elite are the same as the nobility of old. Their position is far less secure. I think their semi-independence may very well wind up working against them. If you are not on anyone's side, who is going to protect you?

I think we both agree that there is also a possibilty that, if it gets hot, nobody 100 years from now will be in a position to worry much about what to call the conflict.

PioneerPreppy said...

Oh I don't think the bankers of today are all that much like the Nobility of old as a whole. I was simply suggesting that the connections they have with each other in many important ways mirror the connections the Nobility had during the Seven Years war to Post Napoleonic Wars period in general. Nationalism finally killed alot of that for the Nobility but not all of it.

After the Paris Revolutions most of the connections began to wane through Nobility. They were still mostly related but that didn't matter near as much any longer. The scope of the conflicts changed.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: Yes I see what your getting at now. A good point.

On a historical scale, interfamily wealth tends to dissipate pretty quickly. But not much is working on the historical (versus modern) scale today. Otherwise we would thinkg of a collapse 50 years from now as immenant.