Eliminating the Economic Incentive for Peace

Naomi Klein on the Davos Dilemma:

Thomas Friedman told us less than a decade ago that no two countries with a McDonald’s have ever gone to war. Now, we go to war with McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, in tow.

What we are losing is the incentive, the economic incentive, for peace, the economic incentive for stability. When you can create such a booming economy around war and disaster, around destruction and reconstruction, over and over and over again, what is your peace incentive?

[I]t’s been conventional wisdom that generalized mayhem was a drain on the global economy, that you could have an individual shock or a crisis or a war that could be exploited for privatization, but on the whole — and this was the Thomas Friedman thesis — there needed to be stability in order to have steady economic growth; the Davos dilemma is that it’s no longer true. You can have generalized mayhem, you can have wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, threats of nuclear war with Iran, a worsening of the Israeli occupation, a deepening of violence against Palestinians, you can have a terror in the face of global warming, you could have increased blowback from resource wars, you can have soaring oil prices, but, lo and behold, the stock market just goes up and up and up.