The Political Economy of War

The Political Economy of War

The Political Economy of War

The Political Economy of War

Excerpt

From the time of Adam Smith British economists have studied the working of economic processes in normal conditions. They have watched a nation of many million persons regularly clothed, fed, housed and amused, not as the result of some tremendous piece of deliberate organisation, still less by the separate effort of each person or family directly furnishing his own needs, but by an extraordinarily complex system of mutual exchange built round the motive of private money profit. This scheme of things has, of course, grave flaws; it involves great waste; it has meant for very many human beings weariness, discontent, hunger and pain. But the system works! To probe the mystery of that miracle, to understand how it works, what exactly is the mechanism of it, and how the human forces behind the mechanism guide and control it, is a task to which able men have devoted their lives. Their hope has been that, by carrying out well and truly this task of positive analysis -- this economic anatomy and physiology -- they might help other men, better trained than themselves for the practical work of government and administration, to fashion remedies or palliatives for the many evils they descry. This task was still far from finished when, a quarter of a . . .

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