Any country that is considering waging war against another country should first consider that the loser will almost always be the country that runs out of money first.

Throughout history, a socioeconomic trend has existed in which periods of economic upheaval are accompanied by violence. That might include social unrest, riots and/or war. Why should this be? In my belief, whenever any socioeconomic pattern is repetitive throughout history, it is likely that the reason is human nature.

Rather than thinking things through and taking the most effective corrective course following any negative occurrence, the majority of people in a given country (including the politicians and the general population) are likely to follow whatever knee-jerk reaction their existing mood tells them to follow. Whilst this is certainly not the best course to follow, it does have one beneficial by-product. It allows us, through historical study, to understand how people react in a given set of circumstances, thereby allowing us to predict what they will do in the future, given similar circumstances.

Economic Hardship Begets Anger

When a country experiences a major negative economic trend, it invariably experiences a knock-on effect of anger by its citizenry. That anger may become very focused, as in Germany in the 1930s, when Germans were encouraged to focus on Jews following the collapse of the Weimar monetary system. Or it may be quite unfocused, as we presently see in America, where thousands of Wall Street Occupiers seem unable to agree on a uniform stance other than to be angry at "the one percent" who are somehow at fault for their woes.

The more extreme the economic downturn, the more extreme the level of anger. Considering the severity of the current situation and the fact that it will almost certainly become far worse in the near future, it is entirely likely that the anger level will rise in lockstep, resulting in the present protests escalating into on-going riots.

This is not to single out America, as the same condition is true elsewhere in the First World. In Europe, where the economic debacle is further along in its development, the anger level is correspondingly higher, with riots already a daily occurrence in several countries. The same is true in the Middle East.

Anger Begets War

Logic would inform us that, at a time like the present one, the last thing any country would want to consider would be to get involved in a war. War is, historically, the greatest drain on capital that mankind has ever invented. It is utterly foolhardy, therefore, to consider waging war when a country is already short on funds.

But, as stated above, mankind generally does not operate based upon logic, but upon current mood. Anger is the social mood in most of the First World and parts of the Third World, and anger begets violence. Anger on a national level often begets war.

America is now undergoing candidates' debates leading up to their 2012 election. Nearly all the candidates are taking a stand on what actions the US should take in the Middle East to maintain control of the area (in spite of the fact that the US does not, and, arguably, should not, actually control the area). They recommend creating no-fly zones in Syria, as well as sanctions against Iran, without offering any corresponding discussion as to what the reactions might be by other countries.

Many US voters, already angry over the economy, applaud this John Wayne approach to international diplomacy, as it provides them with an outlet for their anger. Meanwhile, those of us outside America may shake our heads and wonder, "Do you have any idea what you are playing at?"

Map of US military bases surrounding Iran

The answer is an emphatic, "No." If either the candidates or the voters were to pursue non-American news sources, they would find out quickly how the rest of the world is responding to their pronouncements. To argue in the Americans' favour, their own news media tend to operate in a fishbowl, not seeking responses from the rest of the world, leaving Americans with only a mirrored reflection of their own view, devoid of international input. Little wonder that Americans therefore often fail to understand what is happening in the larger picture.

The Beginnings of War

Of particular interest in this situation is the reaction by the Chinese, Russians and others who rely on the Middle East for oil. When the US began to threaten sanctions against Iran, tempers flared in Asia, a fact that few Americans seem to be aware of. In addition to the Iranians themselves reacting with their own threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, thereby shutting down much of the exports of oil from the region and causing oil prices to shoot up dramatically, there is speculation that if the US declares economic warfare on Iran, China and Russia will support their trading partner, even to the extent of going to war. Again, these reports often do not reach American ears, and those Americans who are uninformed are primed for recommendations for a John Wayne-type of approach by presidential candidates. Some voters in America may fear a candidate as aggressive as Newt Gingrich, yet, most of his fellow candidates are also rattling their sabres. In addition, Mr. Obama, who originally presented himself as being opposed to war, has found himself in the position of having to escalate at the behest of the US Military Industrial Complex, who donate heavily to the campaign funds of both US parties.

Little is needed at present to set off a spark, and it is entirely possible that some small act, say between American and Iranian ships at the Strait of Hormuz, or a threat to India to cut off their SWIFT service, would result in allies lining up at the battlements on both sides, each with its angry supporters.

Who Can Most Afford a War?

A further point to consider is the sentence that is italicised at the beginning of this article:

Any country that is considering waging war against another country should first consider that the loser will almost always be the country that runs out of money first.

This states a point that has proven true throughout history. I have phrased it as simply as I am able, in the hope that, if the reader takes away one thought from this article, it would be this one line. The First World is broke, and may well collapse soon. If a World War ensues, the First World will immediately lose its principle supplier of goods - along with its major creditor - and may be unable to wage prolonged warfare. China, however, is geared up and ready and has the money to keep going.

In the last hundred years, warfare has occurred increasingly for the benefit of financial institutions and profiteers, rather than for ethical reasons. Generally, the public have needed to be provoked to support such wars. This often has occurred as a knee-jerk reaction to events that, in some cases, have been manufactured by those who stand to profit. It is generally only after three to four years of continued fighting that citizenries begin to shake their heads and ask, "How did we allow it to come to this?" Yet, major negative socioeconomic occurrences are almost always followed by war. (Politicians, too, often benefit from war, as it serves as an excellent distraction from the fiddling that they have been doing that caused the negative economic occurrence in the first place.) Catastrophic socioeconomic events, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, lead to catastrophic wars like World War II. The present socioeconomic debacle promises to dwarf the Great Depression in every way. If history repeats itself, we can expect that World War III would dwarf World War II.

Internationalise Southward

As a side issue of this subject, this publication encourages its readers to internationalise themselves, and offers information and advice in doing so. For those readers who are presently planting flags - or considering doing so - we would recommend having a look at a map of the world and mulling over the fact that the northern and southern hemispheres operate independently of each other with regard to weather, trade winds, currents, etc. The southern hemisphere has an entirely different system.

A look at the map will serve as a reminder that the US, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and China all fall entirely within the northern hemisphere. If a nuclear war were to occur, the northern hemisphere would be affected heavily, as weather patterns would move fallout throughout the system. By contrast, the southern hemisphere is likely to be minimally affected, as the countries in that hemisphere are unlikely to be targeted. Therefore, those readers who are planting flags in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Uruguay or Argentina may have a significant reason to reinforce their choice of destination that they had not previously considered.

If readers wish to consider planting a flag in the southern hemisphere, they would be well advised to do so soon. Of one thing we can be relatively sure: Once the John Wayne-types (on both sides of the ramparts) start loading up the pop guns, the residency policies of southern hemisphere countries will close up quickly. Consider: Prior to 1938, a trickle of German Jews who saw the writing on the wall exited Germany and were welcomed in other countries. However, by 1938, greater numbers attempted to leave. An ocean liner full of well-heeled Jews left Germany to expatriate to the west to escape Hitler, but they were turned away in every country including the US. In the end, they were forced to return to Europe.

If the reader is mulling over an application for legal residency in the southern hemisphere, he may wish to consider making his application soon.

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