persing," the middle classes. Contractarian and liberal apologists for economic rationalism may argue that social equality is a contestable policy norm, but such defenses have tended to lose momentum in the face of increasing evidence that these public policies have also caused increasing unemployment, a decline in the dignity and security of work, environmental degradation, and, rather more indirectly, urban decay, rising crime, alienation, and drug dependency, and new forms of patriarchy. Communitarian critics of economic rationalism ( Sandel 1984, Etzioni 1994) in North America now have much in common with Continental social-theoretical arguments ( Habermas 1975, 1984, 1987) that economic rationalist policies are inimical to identity, reciprocal obligation, social cohesion, and good government and, further, that they also undermine the social constructions of both time and trust necessary for the reproduction of society and for continuing productive economic development.
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ECONOMIC WARFARE. The imposition by a nation or alliance in a conflict of a range of economic and military activities designed either to reduce the opponent's capacity to wage and sustain war, or to preserve a capacity to prevail in the conflict, or both. More narrowly, it is the aggressive use of the means of production and trade to achieve national objectives. It is an odd phrase in that war is itself an economic activity. When Norman Angell published his The War of Illusions ( 1910) just before the onslaught of World War I, he was doing no more than pointing out that the economic consequences of a European general war would be so catastrophic as to render it an irrational act for any leader to contemplate. The only mistake in his analysis was the assumption that leaders behave rationally and would therefore avoid such a conflict at all costs. More generally, economic warfare has a variety of levels of intensity, ranging from freezing an enemy's assets and confiscating its property during a formally declared war to using secret methods to destabilize an opponent's economy during a cold war.
Economic warfare is a term of relatively recent coinage; the establishment during World War II of the British Ministry of Economic Warfare helped to legitimize the term. In reality, all wars have an economic component. This is evident in the earliest theories of air power. The whole point of delivering munitions from the air on enemy territory was to deplete the war-making potential of the opposing ground and naval forces. When the British Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, said, "The bomber will always get through," he was demonstrating the vulnerability to attack of armaments factories, supply lines, and other elements of military capability and its supporting structures as decisive factors in a major war. For much of World War II, the rationale for bombing German cities was that large concentrations of people coincided with economic activity. Damage that, it was argued, and the war effort of the adversary must suffer. Conversely, not attacking such economic centers-perhaps out of respect for the Thomist Just War tradition that holds that civilians must be left free from military dangers-was self-defeating in modern warfare.
Much of the economic result of aerial bombing was disappointing, from the perspective of all belligerents in World War II. Machine tools for such vital components as ball bearings, for example, were found to be almost indestructible. All that was necessary after an air raid was to create temporary shelter and rig a generator, and production could begin again with relatively little delay. German pro-