It has often been said, "only rich countries can make war," ...unless they can find a way to borrow the funds.Ratu wrote: ↑Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:21 pmHi David
For a sound introduction to the lesser known aspects of WW1 (such as economic and also how it was financed) a good source is historian Hunt Toohey.
One ought to always ask about who benefits when looking at historical matters of sweeping import, especially wars. In the case of WW1 a key occurance during the war itself was when the Germans announced that should they emerge vistorious on the battlefield all debts owed by the French and Gt Britain to US financiers on Wall St would be repudiated. This was a rash statetment for them to have made given the massive investment in war made by Wall St. Probably the German govt thought a statement such as that would scare blood money investors off. Instead it was key in bringing the US into the war, although it is not generally discussed in any way whatsoever.
Further aspects not often discussed are the financing of the Bolsheviks and their "revolution"- one interesting detail being the ship loads of commissars who were transported in from New York- brutal and ruthless all!
To get a good view of who it was agitating for war and how carefully and skillfully the system of European diplomacy was wrecked it is important not to understimate the importance of one Cecil Rhodes and consder the long terms strategies to which he was party long before the war even started. Don't forget the secretive organisations and activities he supported in the UK and the US. He wasn't THE founder, but he was a major enabler. Look to his writings. Carry on from there and you'll soon come to the world of high finance, banking and even the Rothschilds, lenders to kings! There is a great deal of fascinating history pertaining to how powerful parties in Gt Britain and the US sought war on the continent for political and, especially, financial gain.
WW2 is really WW1 part 2.
Final comment, classical liberalism delivered an increased freedom of action for individual people. This resulted in the emergence of the severest commerical and intellectual competition for established elite groups. That had to be supressed and controlled or else dynastic fortunes and power would soon be diluted. It had to be supressed save a hierarchy of merit and capability emerge. As it happens, it was. The cost was untold tens of millions of deaths making the world safe for socialism of various flavours, but more importantly safe for a specific type of economic arrangement.
Following the money is of course critical to an understanding of the motivations behind events, but so is an understanding of the pursuit of power and ego.
I would recommend Buchanan's book, "The Unnecessary War", as an excellent treatise on the events leading to WWI and its continuation into WWII and its continuation into the Cold War.
World history is always cyclical; even if our own life cycles are too short to grasp real outcome of events.