World War I to World War IV: A Democratic-Economic Perspective
Carr, Fred M., Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research
This paper analyses the idea that the world has not only experienced World War I and World War II but has also fought World War III and is currently waging World War IV. Socio-political and economic factors are applied to the wars of the 20th and 21st Centuries to make the case that these four World Wars should be reclassified and taught as such. The wars of the 20th and 21st Centuries are termed the Wars of Democracy, given that fact that all of the wars involve nations that were democratic in governance against forces that were non-democratic in governance. A simplified classification of the World Wars for Democracy I, II, III, and IV is presented. The non-democratic antagonists are recognized as promoting the causes of Imperialism (World War I), Fascism (World War II), Communism (World War III) and Religious Fanaticism (World War IV). These non-democratic antagonists share commonalities necessary for the existence of their causes. Each non-democratic group found it necessary to identify weaker, easy to persecute, opponents either within or without their countries. These weaker groups were used as threats to the non-democratic causes that needed to be conquered and/or annihilated. Second, each non-democratic protagonist was compelled to constantly imprison, execute and combat oppressed groups within their homeland and conquered borders. These oppressive actions had an economic consequence since the actions caused the non-democratic forces to utilize scarce resources in less advantageous ways. Thirdly, all of the non-democratic forces had fewer resources and productive capacity than the democratic forces. Due to the constant strain on economic resources, it can be reasonably deduced, that the non-democratic forces did not possess or could not maintain technological proficiency over their enemies. Fourth, the non-democratic forces did not provide a compelling socio-political, economic or religious/moral appeal to their citizenry, outside the realm of physical force, to enable a long-term plan of conquest. Religious fanatics waging World War IV have all four of the above factors working against them.
Misconceptions about world wars are also presented. One basic misconception is about the linear nature of war. War is seen as occurring during a finite period of time and each specific war is occurring as a unique singular event. When actual time lines of various conflicts are studied, one finds that World Wars are overlapping. A second misconception is that wars end in a specific year. World War I is considered to be over as is World War II, however, the socio-political, religious, and economic causes of these wars have not ended. Timelines also demonstrate that World Wars do not end even though the major conflicts of that war may be declared over by major conflict de facto cessation or treaty. Subtle non-violent aggression, often economic in nature, continues on a regular basis, promoted by state sponsored political and economic policies.
Lastly, the paper presents the case that economics is the primal cause behind all wars. A major assumption of this work is that in answering the economic question of 'who gets it' the death and destruction of war is perpetrated. Non-democratic leaderships and those that still follow their causes, to accomplish their ends, all call for the forceful seizure of wealth, by the confiscation of private property or natural resources. Their causes cannot compete in laissez-faire, wealth creation types of markets and procedures, with free democratic institutions, and freedom of religious choice.
It is the premise of this paper that conventional referencing of the wars that occurred in the 20th Century and the referencing of wars that continue into the 21st Century are in need of reformation. This reformation is necessary to obtain a better understanding among the general population and especially among teachers and students as to the cause and effects of these wars. …