Dissecting War

We’ve all heard talk about winning and losing wars. After all, it’s one of the many timeless consequences of the development of societies.

But who actually wins and loses in wars? Given that considerations before going to one are many, surely the conflict involves more than two sides of the coin when naming winners and losers.

Take General Smedley Butler’s views from his book War is a Racket in 1935. In it the World War I veteran takes a look at who actually “profited” from the war and who were left to foot the bills. Pointing out hefty wartime price tags and how citizens actually end up burdened to pay for the costs, Butler provides compelling reasons to condemn war.

It is pretty interesting that more than a quarter of a century after the piece came out, the relevance of the points there still makes sense. As the author of the page succinctly puts it:

Imagine if we took General Butler’s advice and in wartime forced corporations to join our soldiers in making sacrifices for their country. We could pass laws which guarantee that corporate profits decrease during war rather than increase. Do you think that wars would still drag on for years as in Vietnam and Iraq?


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