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Impact – AT: Root Cause – General

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Impact – AT: Root Cause – General

Capitalism is not the root cause of war

Dandeker, Professor of Military Sociology in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, in ‘92 [Christopher , “The Causes of War and the History of Modern Sociological Theory,” Effects of War on Society, Edited by Giorgio Ausenda, Published by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Stress by Boydell & Brewer Ltd, p. 44-46]
All these arguments presuppose two specious sociological contentions: first that capitalism, as the most historically developed and dynamic form of class exploitation, is the source of modern militarism, and second, that socialism, preferably on a world scale would involve the abolition of war. The deficiencies in these views, and indeed of those associated with the industrial society thesis discussed earlier, can be revealed by drawing on Machiavellian themes which can then be set out more explicitly in the next section. Despite the fact that industrial capitalism has produced two world wars, as Aron (1954) and more recently Michael Mann (1984) have argued, there is no ’special relationship’ between capitalism and militarismor the tendency to waronly one of historical indifference. All the pre-dispositions of ‘capitalist states’ to use warfare calculatively as a means of resolving their disputes with other states predate the formation of capitalism as an economic system. Of course, it could be argued that capitalism merely changes the form of militarism. That is to say, pre-capitalist patterns of militarism were still expressions of class relations and modern capitalism has just increased the destructive power of the industrialised means of war available to the state. But this argument will not do. Socialist societies in their use of industrialised power show that the technological potential for war is transferable and can be reproduced under non-capitalist conditions. Furthermore, the military activities of socialist states cannot be explained in terms of a [end page 44] defensive war against capitalism or even an aggressive one, as national and geopolitical power motives are arguably just as significant in the determination of state behaviour. Furthermore, imperial expansion not only predates capitalism but it is also difficult to reduce the causes of wars then and now to the interests of dominant economic classes (Mann 1984:25-46). Meanwhile, modern attempts to explain patterns of military expenditure in terms of the imperatives of capital accumulation face major difficulties. The association between economic boom and military spending has been revealed as an empirical association not an inherent connection; indeed the evidence from Germany and Japan indicates that low levels of military spending might well be associated with economic performances superior to those of societies which commit more of their GNP to defence expenditure. Furthermore, the idea that war and the threat of war are weapons of national mythology used by dominant classes to confuse the working class and weaken their natural affinity with international socialism faces the problem that, as in the case of Europe in 1914, national enthusiasms were such that truly remarkable powers would have to be attributed to ruling classes in order to make sense of them while in any case alternative explanations are at hand (Howard 1976:108-15). The problems of economic determinism in Marxist social theory are compounded by two further difficulties. The first of these concerns is its emphasis on endogenous, unfolding models of social change. The tendency is to view state behaviour in terms of the imperatives of internal class relations with warfare being regarded as the externalisation of the contradictory nature of those relations. Marxism finds it difficult to view inter-state relations as characterised by structural interdependencies of a politico-strategic nature. The drift of Marxism is to regard the state as a class actor not as a geopolitical one. This failing derives not just from the internalist bias of Marxist social theory but also from its failure to provide a satisfactory account of the conditions under which the human species has become differentiated into separate societies and, more specifically, why it is that the modern capitalist economic system has developed in the context of a system of competing nation-states—a political system extending from the core of Europe to the rest of the globe during the course of the twentieth century. As Michael Mann has suggested there is nothing in capitalism as an economic system which presupposes or requires such a political system although there is a strong [end page 45] case in favour of the view that the development and triumph of modern capitalism benefited from the constant power struggle amongst the emergent nation-states of European civilisation (Hall 1986; Mann 1988). In Marxist theory, the rise of nation-states has been interpreted as an early stage in the political expression of the universality of the capitalist market, an expression which will change with the demands of capital accumulation (Semmel 1981: 166-73). A contemporary case in point would be the current shift to European integration in the context of global competition amongst the major capitalist blocs. However, nationalism is not a bourgeois phenomenon created to provide ideological and legal conditions favourable for capitalist economic relations. Nor are modern nationalisms, when suitably ‘decoded,’ enthusiastic proletarian movements ready to take the stage vacated by their less distinguished Western comrades. Nationalism is a far more significant motor of human history than class—a fact which was recognised by some Marxists in the early twentieth century: Mussolini was one of them (Ashworth and Dandeker 1986:82-7; Dandeker 1985:349-67; Gregor 1974:145-7; Smith 1983:47-50). The inability of Marxism to provide a satisfactory account of nationalism is part of a broader failure to explain why ’societies’ exist at all. That is to say, in relation to the four clusters of modernity distinguished earlier, it is through the conjoining of industrialism, capitalism, bureaucratic surveillance and the state monopolisation of the means of violence that modern societies have emerged. As Anthony Giddens has suggested, societies are actually products of modernity (and not one dimension of modernity, i.e., class relations within capitalism). If by society one means a clearly demarcated and internally well articulated social entity it is only relatively recently that large human populations have lived under such arrangements and these have been the achievements of modern nation-states (Dandeker 1990:51; Giddens 1985:172).

Capitalism is not the root cause of violence

Aberdeen, Author & Philanthropist, ‘3 (Richard, Uncommon Sense, Ch. 80, p. google)
A view shared by many modern activists is that capitalism, free enterprise, multi-national corporations and globalization are the primary cause of the current global Human Rights problem and that by striving to change or eliminate these, the root problem of what ills the modern world is being addressed. This is a rather unfortunate and historically myopic view, reminiscent of early “class struggle” Marxists who soon resorted to violence as a means to achieve rather questionable ends. And like these often brutal early Marxists, modern anarchists who resort to violence to solve the problem are walking upside down and backwards, adding to rather than correcting, both the immediate and long-term Human Rights problem. Violent revolution, including our own American revolution, becomes a breeding ground for poverty, disease, starvation and often mass oppression leading to future violence. Large, publicly traded corporations are created by individuals or groups of individuals, operated by individuals and made up of individual and/or group investors. These business enterprises are deliberately structured to be empowered by individual (or group) investor greed. For example, a theorized ‘need’ for offering salaries much higher than is necessary to secure competent leadership (often resulting in corrupt and entirely incompetent leadership), lowering wages more than is fair and equitable and scaling back of often hard fought for benefits, is sold to stockholders as being in the best interest of the bottom-line market value and thus, in the best economic interests of individual investors. Likewise, major political and corporate exploitation of third-world nations is rooted in the individual and joint greed of corporate investors and others who stand to profit from such exploitation. More than just investor greed, corporations are driven by the greed of all those involved, including individuals outside the enterprise itself who profit indirectly from it. If one examines “the course of human events” closely, it can correctly be surmised that the “root” cause of humanity’s problems comes from individual human greed and similar negative individual motivation. The Marx/Engles view of history being a “class” struggle ¹ does not address the root problem and is thus fundamentally flawed from a true historical perspective (see for more details). So-called “classes” of people,unions, corporations and political groups are made up of individuals who support the particular group or organizational position based on their own individual needs, greed and desires and thus, an apparent “class struggle” in reality, is an extension of individual motivation. Likewise, nations engage in wars of aggression, not because capitalism or classes of society are at root cause, but because individual members of a society are individually convinced that it is in their own economic survival best interest. War, poverty, starvation and lack of Human and Civil Rights have existed on our planet since long before the rise of modern capitalism, free enterprise and multi-national corporation avarice, thus the root problem obviously goes deeper than this. Junior Bush and the neo-conservative genocidal maniacs of modern-day America could not have recently effectively gone to war against Iraq without the individual support of individual troops and a certain percentage of individual citizens within the U.S. population, each lending support for their own personal motives, whatever they individually may have been. While it is true that corrupt leaders often provoke war, using all manner of religious, social and political means to justify, often as not, entirely ludicrous ends, very rare indeed is a battle only engaged in by these same unscrupulous miscreants of power. And though a few iniquitous elitist powerbrokers may initiate nefarious policies of global genocidal oppression, it takes a very great many individuals operating from individual personal motivations of survival, desire and greed to develop these policies into a multi-national exploitive reality. No economic or political organization and no political or social cause exists unto itself but rather, individual members power a collective agenda. A workers’ strike has no hope of succeeding if individual workers do not perceive a personal benefit. And similarly, a corporation will not exploit workers if doing so is not believed to be in the economic best interest of those who run the corporation and who in turn, must answer (at least theoretically) to individuals who collectively through purchase or other allotment of shares, own the corporation. Companies have often been known to appear benevolent, offering both higher wages and improved benefits, if doing so is perceived to be in the overall economic best interest of the immediate company and/or larger corporate entity. Non-unionized business enterprises frequently offer ‘carrots’ of appeasement to workers in order to discourage them from organizing and historically in the United States, concessions such as the forty-hour workweek, minimum wage, workers compensation and proscribed holidays have been grudgingly capitulated to by greedy capitalist masters as necessary concessions to avoid profit-crippling strikes and outright revolution. It is important to understand that so-called workers ‘rights’ and benefits were not volunteered by American capitalists or their political stooges (including several U.S. presidents) without extreme and often violent worker coercive persuasion over a great many years of prolonged strikes and similar worker revolts. Modern supply-side Adam Smith inspired economic pipe dreams of unencumbered markets freely moving toward the common good are clearly and fundamentally, based on outright lies and not very well-masked, deliberate capitalist deception (again, see Gallo Brothers for more information. Those who proclaim the twisted gospel of modern supply-side economic theory are generally those who have a lot to gain from its acceptance, both economically and politically. Large political and other problems are historically created gradually stemming from negative individual leading to negative group motivation, in turn leading to negative individual and group action. The correct root solution to humanity’s problems becomes, by historical default, changing individual negative motivation towards positive motivation. This is not at all a new theory, as it was first stated over two thousand years ago by Jesus, historically the founder of Human and Civil Rights and not at all, the founder of Christianity or of any other religious movement; virtually everything Jesus said and did goes directly to human motivation, is community oriented, has little to do with modern conceptions of religion and is the antithesis of modern Christianity (see Revolution for more information). Contrary to many current views painted of him, Jesus was extremely political, the correct political (and other) solution from true perspective being to center on and change individual motivation. That is, if we wish to constructively change the extensive political and social problem plaguing our planet today, the root cause of negative individual human motivation leading to negative action must be addressed at the fundamental individual level. This correct political theory is seen as successfully initiated by early followers of Jesus, who practiced extreme communism, having no law “but to love one another”, sharing all things in common, allotting to each according to their need and giving the excess to the poor (which since they were mostly very poor, was a true sacrifice). ² This was a way of life foreign to their culture, was viewed as a severe threat to the established religious and political order and thus, they were thrown to the lions accordingly. The arising extended movement, called “The Way” by those who joined (it was not called “Christianity” by them, nor did these early followers view themselves as founders of a religion ), ³ represents extreme far-left radicalism even by modern liberal activist cooperative standards. It has thus been historically demonstrated that if people practice the Human Rights foundation axiom set down by Jesus to treat other people as we ourselves wish to be treated, established ways of living will change, including non-violent elimination of the entire idea of capitalist oppression based on individual gain and private property ownership. In practicing The Way, economic oppression is dealt with from the root cause up and thus, is overcome with love and peaceful unselfish collective co-existence. It is important to note that claiming to be a follower of Jesus and actually practicing “The Way” are today usually two entirely different realities; the modern 21st Century world has plenty of examples of the former and virtually no examples of the latter. Lenin and the Communist party overthrew a very oppressive capitalist Czarist system. It did not take long for one corrupt system to be replaced by another, where even without capitalism and free enterprise to aggravate the Human Rights problem, people of power within the Communist political structure began, similar to their counterparts of capitalistic excess in Europe and America, exploiting the mass population for their own individual benefit, comfort and excess. Thus the root problem is exposed as going deeper than simply changing an oppressive capitalist or other system. Quite obviously, changing a corrupt system does not by itself, change the corrupt people who invented and supported it, neither does it change negative individual motivation leading to group oppression based on irrational disparagement of others regarding sex, color, intelligence or other perceived difference and neither does it prevent waste, laziness, murder, theft and rape by individuals within a perceived economic “class”.

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