Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Economics of War (and also peace)

June 3, 2009 (LBO) - Wars have always been fought with one objective. That is to take forced possession of economically valuable assets belonging to the enemy. The list may vary from time to time, but a typical set of such coveted assets goes on as follows: land including right to water; young women including children; treasure; and able-bodied men as slaves.

Since it is ‘forced possession’, wars do not come within the ambit of standard economic theory which is based on ‘voluntary exchange’. It should rather be studied in a new branch of economics known as ‘economics of violence’. Full text