"No matter what political reasons are given for war,
the underlying reason is always economic."
A. J. P. Taylor
[Alan John Percivale Taylor] (1906-1990) British historian
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Reader comments about this quote:
A.J.P. Taylor, the eminent British historian was a communist sympathiser and a like KGB agent. I would assume the USSR's war against the Axis powers had little to with economics. The same may be said of Britain and Germany in 1939; hard to see an economic basis there - survival or surrender was the choice. I can think of many other wars fought for other than economic reasons and the old traitor should have been jailed.
 -- Anonymous, Hobart, Australia     
    Libya is certainly a poster child in evidencing the truth of the above statement. It was one of the extremely few nations on earth that did not owe anyone, produced a surplus of food, life's necessities, and energy. That could not be allowed to stand by the world's bankers. I think prejudice, power and control, be it religious philosophies and affiliation, racial ethnicity, or what ever, is as great a motivator for war as economics.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike and Hobart give fine examples, but let's not forget FDR's socialist failed economic policy causing war to be his only answer to come out of the depression.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
    Hobart...Read up on the Treaty of Versailles and the economic effect it had on Germany that lead to all the right conditions for Hitler to gain power. And yes, the basis for war is always economic. More power, more resources = more money.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I'm with J and Mike on this.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    The 'A' from Reston, good to see you back. Let us see your thoughts. Why the thumbs down?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    The reasons for war are always greed and power. It is raw ignorance to think that Roosevelt's reason for joining WWII was economic.
     -- dick, Fort Worth     
    Money is power. Greed is for money, power, or both. 'Wars are caused by undefended wealth.' - Gen. MacArthur. I am surprised by dick's answer as his posts often condemn the US military-industrial complex. The war was an excuse to raise 'war bonds' and spend millions (which used to be a lot then) on weapons and ammo. Anyone remember the atom bomb? The guys that built that were itching to use it in Germany or Japan. Considering that 1/2 of the US government's expenditures are on the military, I think it is safe to say that war is very profitable -- especially for US weapons manufacturers.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Dick...are you still under the impression the President's actually get to make their own decisions? Sorry my friend...they're "owned".
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Right on Archer...there's good money in war, especially if you're latest fiat currency bubble has just burst as it had in the 30's.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    War is fought for the need of self preservation or for the perceived need of it. Even dictators like Hitler started and fought his war for the original perception that he was saving, or rebuilding the "fatherland". The rest of us had no choice in the mater. Once someone is at war with you you are at war with them, whether you want to participate or not. We have been at war with radical Islam for a long time. We just recently realized we were going to have to fight back.
     -- warren, olathe     
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