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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9287/some-costs-of-the-great-war-nationalizing-private-life/

Some Costs of the Great War: Nationalizing Private Life

January 23, 2009 by

The costs of the Great War were truly astronomical. As with the number of stars, the final accounting is in God’s hands. The slaughters, the treasure, the faith in some kind of order of society–all of these were costs of the war. Yet this essay has to do less with numbers of ended lives than it has to do with altered lives, or rather, with changes in the status of the private life of the modern individual, the modern family, the modern community. FULL ARTICLE

{ 9 comments }

College Parasite January 23, 2009 at 9:21 am

Wow… great, great article. Very refreshing to have a more detailed view of the war not coming from collectivist-minded history teachers (the sort who spends half the class talking lovingly about the Bolshevik Revolution).

greg January 23, 2009 at 9:39 am

Was it the War, or was it the failure to manage the aftermath of the War.

The Allies made the big mistake in trying to force Germany to pay for some of the cost associated with the war when they did not have any free assets to give. Then to compound the problem, restriction in free trade between nations was put in place and cut Germany’s ability to sell goods to healthier markets. And finally, it was the Republican US Senate that derailed Wilson’s League of Nations that further isolated Europe from the US.

Fast forward to the present. You have homeowners that have seen their house price fall below their loan balance. They then loose their job and fail to make their payments. The banks demand payment and the owner moves out causing house prices to fall further. And the government moves to buy control of financial institutions and toxic assets.

Too bad we have not learned from the past and attacked this problem with opening up markets and free trade. Banks need to realilze that they made a bet when they gave the loan and they lost. They need to step up and pay part of the cost.

prettyskin January 23, 2009 at 9:52 am

So is this within the same spirit of the article:

In America when the people participated in the housing bubble, they were in fact handing over their properties to the state without knowing that that was the end goal of the state. Banks in effect are giving the state first shot to the dividends as a stakeholder (manipulated by bankers with deep ties to the White House administration in power). During political change, bankers support heavily both leading party candidates with full awareness that whomever wins will be beholding to them.

billwald January 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Libertarian analysis of war ignores the psychology of human greed that recent investigations demonstrated with a very simple poll question along this line:

All other things being the same, would you prefer to earn $100,000 with your friends earning $50,000 or $150,000 with your friends earning $300,000?

A large majority chose to be a big fish in a little pond. I prefer to be a big fish in a little pond. What say all of you? Would you chose to double your income and buying power if it meant going from the top of your social class to the bottom?

My point? As long as they survived, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao lived at the top of their food chain and at the top of the world food chain. They didn’t care if they trashed the world and killed off 20% as long as they were safe and on top.

Human nature dictates that the majority of us would be a Hitler or Stalin if given the opportunity. The only reason MAD worked was because a world wide nuke war would have killed or harmed the rich people in every country. There is no point to being the last person on earth if there is no one left to kiss your butt.

In the same way, consider the economic reality of the US. Most every person from the upper middle class (say $250,000 gross annual income, 90%?) to the welfare class is spending 80% or more of his annual increase to maintain his present standard of living. I suspect that very few people grossing $250K are saving $50K.

But the person with $100 million annual increase probably doesn’t spend 5% of it on personal consumption. Would the person with the $100 million be willing to cut his annual increase in half if it meant consolidating his position and moving up the food chain? You bet he would. Would it decrease his standard of living? Not by one limo a year! With the world in depression, his $50 million would buy much more next year than $100 million did last year.

But the guy who made $100,000 last year probably loses his house and buys the house of the guy who made $50,000 last year. That last guy? He is living in his RV if he had one.

pbergn January 23, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Good article. A staunch reminder to all of us on how the State has progressed on its uninhibited march towards absolute control this past century.

The war and religion together with relentless media propaganda have been always used by the Political Machine to mown down any remnants of private life or individualism… So sad…

P.M.Lawrence January 24, 2009 at 12:44 am

“…the propaganda of state obligation that led Girl Scouts in England to organize the giving of white feathers to able-bodied men who had not enlisted in the army…”

There were no Girl Scouts in England, only Girl Guides.

Doug Allison January 24, 2009 at 9:22 am

I will add to P.M.Lawrence’s comment. Not only were there no Girl Scouts in England, but the official history of the Girl Guides makes no mention of the Order of the White Feather. I’m sorry to see an otherwise excellent article marred by possibly inaccurate facts.

Vanmind January 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Benjamin Freedman.

Matt January 24, 2009 at 7:37 pm

An excellent article.
Minor inaccuracies aside, the explanations given that drove the West into collectivism to one degree or another should be appreciated by everyone who has an ounce of respect for Individual Rights.

The process of greater State control of everyone’s lives is still with us, it’s very slow and insidious that in the long run will destroy even those collectivists that think they are doing right, little do they know that they are setting us up for another Dark Age.

The Public Education System largely controlled by the State and its minions will ensure that the future will take us deeper and deeper into the destruction of Western Civilization.. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison where art thou?

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