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Thread: OT: American Politics

  1. #77801
    The Artist Formerly Known as chiggins. CH1's Avatar
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    Default Re: OT: American Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post
    Since when do trade/climate deals have anything to do with promoting peace?
    You serious? Most of the big wars started off as trade wars.
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  2. #77802
    Legend Altair's Avatar
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    Default Re: OT: American Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by CH1 View Post
    You serious? Most of the big wars started off as trade wars.
    WW1, no. Complicated web of alliances and nationlism started that one. There was a book out at the time about how the increased level of economic interdependence would prevent any war. That book came out in 1910. How did that turn out?

    WW2 in Asia, maybe, but in Europe? No.

    Vietnam? No.

    Korean war? No.

    Maybe the napoleonic wars, I'll give you that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeke View Post
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    Wayward Ditch Pig MindzEye's Avatar
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    Default Re: OT: American Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair View Post
    WW1, no. Complicated web of alliances and nationlism started that one. There was a book out at the time about how the increased level of economic interdependence would prevent any war. That book came out in 1910. How did that turn out?
    Bismark put together the alliance system and it grew into something he never intended by the outbreak of the war. Bismark never intended Germany to be completely tied to the whims of the austro-hungarians, but that's exactly what happened after his death.

    Also of interesting note here is that the politics that led to France being kept out of the League of Three Emperors (the forerunner to the alliances that were present at the beginning of WW1) were born in the mid 1800's (German unification, Spanish succession, etc) and can easily be seen through the lens of the lack of trade ties making it extremely easy to go to war (which was exactly what Bismark, who was a direct actor in that era, was trying to avoid in the future by striving for power balance in Europe)

    So yeah, the high school history textbook answer is "complicated web of alliances and nationalism" but it's a horrendously incomplete answer. Which is fair, because you really need to go back another 60 years to find the genesis of the politics that led to WW1.

    WW2 in Asia, maybe, but in Europe? No.
    Trade wars (smoot-hawley act specifically) worsened the great depression, which is directly credited with setting the stage for the rise of Hitler. This is a widely accepted interpretation, and isn't considered controversial or revisionist among historians. They'll bitch about details, but that's what they do. The general narrative of protectionist trade wars directly creating the soil for the rise of fascism isn't argued against though.

    Vietnam? No.

    Korean war? No.
    You don't see the economic roots of the "cold" war? When goods don't cross borders, armies will.

    Maybe the napoleonic wars, I'll give you that.
    You wanted books? Try anything by Hobsbawm, but specifically Age of Capital & Age of Empire.
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  4. #77804
    The Artist Formerly Known as chiggins. CH1's Avatar
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    Default Re: OT: American Politics

    Who knew trade deals were so complicated and hard to win?
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    Default Re: OT: American Politics

    Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44215656
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    Default Re: OT: American Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by CH1 View Post
    You serious? Most of the big wars started off as trade wars.
    Or by the lack of mutually beneficial trade, zero sum is the great danger. WW1 was a war involving relatively closed (by our standards) established colonial/imperial blocks and an emergent Prussian power hungry for overseas resources.

    The whole point of the EU was to tie economic prosperity together to stop the shooting. Good principal, bad implementation but reasonably effective.
    Last edited by lecoqsportif; Yesterday at 10:43 PM.

  7. #77807
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    Default Re: OT: American Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by MindzEye View Post
    Bismark put together the alliance system and it grew into something he never intended by the outbreak of the war. Bismark never intended Germany to be completely tied to the whims of the austro-hungarians, but that's exactly what happened after his death.

    Also of interesting note here is that the politics that led to France being kept out of the League of Three Emperors (the forerunner to the alliances that were present at the beginning of WW1) were born in the mid 1800's (German unification, Spanish succession, etc) and can easily be seen through the lens of the lack of trade ties making it extremely easy to go to war (which was exactly what Bismark, who was a direct actor in that era, was trying to avoid in the future by striving for power balance in Europe)

    So yeah, the high school history textbook answer is "complicated web of alliances and nationalism" but it's a horrendously incomplete answer. Which is fair, because you really need to go back another 60 years to find the genesis of the politics that led to WW1.
    I do apologize for always taking so long to respond to your posts. You always seem to catch me in the awkward time when I'm sitting down with the family and cannot devote the time required to answer you in depth.

    So lets begin. First off, I will agree that the roots of WW1 are way more complicated than the web of alliances theory. But I wouldn't agree that it was the lack of trade, or trade rivalry that played the motivating factor, even going back 60-80 years.

    The Germans certainly remembered every attempt by the French to prevent their unification, going back to the Napoleonic wars. This shaped their outlook moving forward and could be considered their reason for the Franco-German war in 1870-71. The war the lead to them taking away Alsace Lorraine from the french, something that France would not forgive or forget. The Germans after unification would then move towards becoming the biggest industrialized power in Europe, for which they felt they needed a navy on par with the british to protect or challenge their trade and colonial empire. But this was not a trade war as it is being discussed here, because every year up until 1914, trade between the French and British was increasing, their economies more interdependent. It can almost be said that the increased trade fueled the arms race that followed. This arms race was not a cheap one, and yet with access to cheap steel imports, cheaper foodstuff, it actually made the arms buildup more affordable.

    Another point is that it can be argued that Europe was starting to lower trade tariffs starting in the mid 1850s in Britain. In the 1860 they negotiated a free trade deal with France, the Cobden Chevalier treaty. And despite some pullback by the turn of the century, tariffs in Europe were among the lowest in the world, around 18-20 percent. America, at this time, was around 45. So increased trade didn't help to prevent war, and trade tariffs had been working their way down over the previous 60 years, more than making up for the giant trade war that was the Napoleonic war.
    Trade wars (smoot-hawley act specifically) worsened the great depression, which is directly credited with setting the stage for the rise of Hitler. This is a widely accepted interpretation, and isn't considered controversial or revisionist among historians. They'll bitch about details, but that's what they do. The general narrative of protectionist trade wars directly creating the soil for the rise of fascism isn't argued against though.
    Ok, sure the collapse of the global economy due to protectionism did result in the rise of Hitler. I'll give you that. But if you accuse me of being simplistic about the origins of WW1, I in return accuse you of being simplistic by saying WW2 was the result of smoot-hawley and other trade wars os the 1930s.

    The economic impact of the great depression and the bungling of it by they major powers created the conditions what allowed the main actors to rise to power in the chaos that ensued, but war was not a bygone conclusion. The lack of strong international institutions to punish and restrain any nation aggressively expanding their borders played a far bigger role. The utter reluctance of the global powers to keep Japan, Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union in line had far more to do with it. Great Britain and France forgiving German reparations at the Lausanne Conference allowing for their economy to recover almost overnight and thus build up their war industry had way more to do with it. Lets also not forget the increased trade between Germany and Russia due to the Molotov rippentrop pact. The sad irony being that the germans wouldn't have been able to invade the soviet union without the raw materials provided by the Soviet union.

    1,600,000 tons of grains
    900,000 tons of oil
    200,000 tons of cotton
    140,000 tons of manganese
    200,000 tons of phosphates
    20,000 tons of chrome ore
    18,000 tons of rubber
    100,000 tons of soybeans
    500,000 tons of iron ores
    300,000 tons of scrap metal and pig iron
    2,000 kilograms of platinum

    For the Germans, who were always searching for more rubber and more oil, increased trade only helped them wage more war.

    Strongmen are always going to pop up in history, our present day and in the future. It's the lack of strong international institutions, and lack of resolve among global superpowers to do everything in their power to stop these strongmen that results in catastrophe. Germany could have been defeated in 1938, hell, the German army was planning for a coup if the allies attacked during their conquest of what remained of Czechoslovakia. If the league of nations and or the allies had helped Ethiopia when they were being invaded by the Italians, the idea that military might can get nations what they want could have been debunked by the mid 1930s.

    You can have all the trade you want, if a despot thinks that they can get away with using military force they will do so. Ref Crimea. Russia has probably never been so integrated into the European and global economy as it was pre Crimea little green men invasion, but a strongman with an army is still more than willing to use military force for gain, damn the economic ramifications. Because they can get away with it.


    You don't see the economic roots of the "cold" war? When goods don't cross borders, armies will.
    I don't believe any amount of trade will out weight regional aspirations. Say all you wish about the war of capitalism and communism, but it wasn't the lack of trade that resulted in the french abandoning Indochina, or the Americans wanting to stop the spread of capitalism there. That was a clash of ideologies.
    You wanted books? Try anything by Hobsbawm, but specifically Age of Capital & Age of Empire.
    I'm always up for a good read.
    No one loves the warrior until the enemy is at the gate.

    Quote Originally Posted by zeke View Post
    An idiot grunt like habitants should be enraged.

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