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Blood for Oil; Or Rather, War for Resources?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by piff, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. piff

    piff IncGamers Member

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    Blood for Oil; Or Rather, War for Resources?

    In today's day and age, most Americans agree that going to war for money is a wrong thing to do. I also agree with that, but allow me to play devil's adcovate.

    Resources are what keeps a nation afloat and its people cared for. Without money, a nation cannot prosper, nor can it ever prosper. Nations need money at all costs for the best of its citizens. In times of financial crisis, going to war for money or resources is acceptable, as proven by the ancient Assyrians, the American idea of Manifest Dynasty, and Nazi Germany.

    The ancient Assyrians were one of the first civilized cultures known to man. They had a written alphabet somewhere between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. They also built two of the first major world cities, Ashur and Arbel. The Assyrians became reknowned for their agricultural abilities in their early history, as they were in the center of the fertile cresent. Outside forces recognized this, and attempted to take the lands from the Assyrians multiple times. Many times the enemies were unsuccessful, but much of the farmland was destroyed in the process, driving Assyria into famine. To solve this problem and protect its people, Assyria attacked surronding cultures in all directions for their farmlands. In this process, the Assyrians gained their primary distinction, their military power, but this all stemmed from a need for more land.

    The American Manifest Dynasty was an ideal that the United States were to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific to make the US a thriving world power. The US did go to war with just about anything in the way of this goal, and today the US is one of the top economic and military superpowers.

    Before Hitler gained power, Germany was in the worst depression the world had ever seen. Wheelbarrels full of money were needed to buy a loaf of bread. People were starving, and the nation was collapsing becuase of the harsh penalties placed on Germany because of WWI. After Hitler came to power, he illegally rebuilt his military, and used it to create jobs and take other lands to get his people out of depression, and he was successful to a degree. Germany was on its way to becoming western Europe's first third world country, but Hitler turned this around through the use of force and gave his people life again.

    It is clear that military power is needed in times of financial crisis to remove that country from its economic distress. This can even relate to the US today. Gas prices continually raising is a dilema that must be solved in the US, as it is causing all other industries to raise their prices, but paychecks are not raising simultaniously. This is driving people into debt, bankruptcy, and poverty. If war is needed to correct this, so let war be done.
     
  2. 5Ws

    5Ws Banned

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    Another one of those threads???
     
  3. piff

    piff IncGamers Member

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    I got the idea from the Lebanon thread, but since that wasn't the main idea, I decided to start one from this viewpoint because no one ever argues for it.
     
  4. Moosashi

    Moosashi IncGamers Member

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    You're right, an offensive war benefits the aggressor if he wins, and the Bush administration understands this. I think it's a bad philosophy for a country to follow because you can't win them all - Germany lost twice. All the warlike nations I can think of were destroyed or seriously damaged by war.

    Going to war for economic gain is also a serious moral problem, especially for a democracy (on a side note, can anyone think of a war that occurred between two democracies? it came up in discussion in a sociobiology class). A country that espouses freedom and opportunity for everyone must strictly follow a code of ethics. We must define certain things we just will not do to improve our economy or increase our power. Offensive war, which I am against, could be one such thing. There are others that I firmly believe in and that I've articulated in the ANWR thread. If we have no national conscience, we will destroy the world by trying to stay ahead at any cost.
     
  5. IDupedInMyPants

    IDupedInMyPants Banned

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    The problem with war for resources is that the economic boost is temporary. If the same people remain in charge of military decision-making, then you'll start seeing the same war-hawking when the benefits of the war dry up. Whether it's spoken or not, peace begins to be seen as an economic problem rather than a desirable state of security, and the economic return to normalcy at the end of one offensive will be justification for the next offensive instead of being justification for pursuing sound fiscal and monetary policy.

    Somebody smart once said that if your only tool is a hammer, then every problem will be a nail, and that's pretty much how people work. For a nation to prosper, it needs real, sustainable economic strength, and even constant war historically does not provide this. You need people in charge who can actually differentiate between economics and security, and the people who have only hammers at their disposal need to be summarily banned from all leadership positions for the sake of both economics and security.
     
  6. piff

    piff IncGamers Member

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    While most democracies' goals are to protect liberties and such, what if there were a democracy that was concerned for itself first? Does the obvious moral dilema exist?

    I can think of a time when two democracies fought. War of 1812. While GB wasn't completely a democracy, the Parliment was still powerful.

    If all countries are out to stay ahead at all costs, do they all keep each other in check, not allowing anything to happen? While all of the larger countries would go for their own choice of weaker country without interference from another large country, would the small countries create an effective system of alliances to keep the world from war?

    Finally, it is true that most aggressors, if they lose, are in worse shape than they started, but in many cases, how much worse is it than they began? All losers that you can probably think of did not start in a great position, while most aggressors starting from dirt poor to fairly well off who won ended up in a spot uch better than they started. If a country (not the US, in this case) is near internal ruin, and they decalre war and lose miserably, how much worse off are they?
     
  7. Moosashi

    Moosashi IncGamers Member

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    If a democratically elected government will do anything for economic growth, then it cannot be trusted with its people's freedom.

    But Parliament did not represent most of the people in Great Britain.


    The result is what you have today in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, not a peaceful world. In the mid to late 19th century and early 20th, the behavior of powerful countries was exactly as you described. When their empires grew too troublesome, they were abandoned and we must deal with the mess.

    Going back to Germany's example. Their situation at the end of WWI reflects the consequences of their policies before WWI, when it was a prosperous and very militarily powerful nation. Strictly speaking, its treaties got it into the war, but Europe was a tinderbox at the time and Germany was the most martial and aggressive.

    Also, a very poor country that starts a war of conquest is not likely to win. The aggressor and its allies (few if the country is poor) are the only parties that stand to gain, so the rest of the affected world will fight to preserve the status quo. Other countries will also recognize the aggressor's poverty, especially after lessons learned in WWII, and bring overwhelming force to bear.
     
  8. Omikron8

    Omikron8 IncGamers Member

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    Going to war for money/resources is "wrong"? Yes it is

    Will it happen a lot in the future? Wait until the upcoming oil energy crisis and see :)
     
  9. Steel_Avatar

    Steel_Avatar IncGamers Member

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    I would expect any competent government to look after its own interests (those of its citizens) before anyone else. I voted to elect a government that would represent me, not some random nation thousands of kilometres from here.

    That being said, engaging in wars for profit doesn't seem like it would be in the best interests of a nation's citizens. The risks associated with such action would outweigh the benefits, at least in my calculus. Think about it: You become international pariahs, run the risk of retaliatory actions, and thus endanger the lives of your citizens.
     
  10. Stoutwood

    Stoutwood IncGamers Member

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    Every war has had an economic reason at the heart of it. There is also no such thing as a "moral war".
     
  11. Fallen Creation

    Fallen Creation IncGamers Member

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    The American Civil War was a war between two democracies.
     
  12. Namyeknom

    Namyeknom IncGamers Member

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    War in general is wrong. While there are circumstances that justify war, they usually only reveal themselves in hindsight. Also, in general even for the winner of a war, the benefits rarely outway the costs. Permenantly occupying a country, especially when you'll more than likely have rebel groups trying to stop you at every turn is immensely draining on resources. The Romans managed alright, but they weren't buying million dollar tanks.

    The benefits of war are usually that they push public attention away from internal problems and give the people something to believe in. This is what Hitler did. It wasn't the second world war that rebuilt Germany, but it was the belief that Hitler instilled in the people.

    The age of the mass media has somewhat ruined this, as live video feed of your army getting blown to bits tend to put a dent in public belief.

    Also the whole 'govenments should look after their own' is as close to say people can do whatever they like as long as they do it somewhere else. Using that thinking, Hitler could of built as many concentration camps as he liked as long as he only gased foriegners.

    As a final point, can a civil war be between two anythings? Technically its one country fighting itself, its only after its finished that a seperate country comes into being (or not, depending on the outcome).
     
  13. HAMC8112

    HAMC8112 IncGamers Member

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    What about the crusades?
     
  14. Namyeknom

    Namyeknom IncGamers Member

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    Damn, I'd forgotten to talk about them!
     
  15. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    Here's a list:
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/demowar.htm

    EDIT: There were economic and social reasons behind the crusades. For example, there were far too many young armed dudes running around without purpose or aim. This led to small wars and other general bloody messiness around Europe. The crusades were a way of putting all those young knights to work, projecting the force outwards instead of letting them go around waging internal war, purposeless war on neighbours or becoming bandits.

    There were also trade related reasons but I'd have to study up to be able to say anything about that, and I'm drinking my morning coffee, so...
     
  16. HAMC8112

    HAMC8112 IncGamers Member

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    I think we need to define democraty first because for instance the Greek Democraty's like Athens are not really democratic as we understand it.
     
  17. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    The guy who wrote the article goes into that, IIRC.

    My opinion is, you can't define democracy too narrowly. If you do it will be hard to find actual democracies in the sensible world, making the argument about democracies never fighting wars pointless.

    EDIT: My argument in his words, to clarify:
    See the section of the article called "Democracy", under "Basically It Depends on the Definition".
     
  18. Anakha1

    Anakha1 Banned

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    A series of unprovoked wars to take land and force others to convert to one's own religion? What on earth is moral about that? The crusades were some of the most immoral wars in history.

    The American Civil War, WWI and II were the only wars I can think of that had any sort of moral cause attached to them.
     
  19. HAMC8112

    HAMC8112 IncGamers Member

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    I posted more in reaction to the "Every war has had an economic reason at the heart of it."

    I dont think that the crusades had an economic reason at the heart of it. No doubt alot of people got rich or richer in the crusades but as a whole they( the crusades) were religion based IMO.

    As to morals, make sure you do not use modern day moral standards to evaluate the crusades, i think we need to see to the morals at the time.
     
  20. Anakha1

    Anakha1 Banned

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    Ah. I thought we were solely talking moral wars, here. Sorry.

    They may have thought they were doing the right thing, but the morality of the time was highly misguided by todays standards. I think misguided morality is still immoral when it harms others, but that's just my opinion.
     

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