6 years - 70 nations involved and 72 million dead because of unnatural cause. Biggest casualty in history of mankind. This is World War II for you !
Interestingly, there are lot of causes that have been attributed to this war and like every story, efforts have been put to get one VILLIAN and one HERO. Even the names were chosen like ALLIES and AXIS which almost sound diagonally opposite.
Seemingly, most of the wars that were fought in 18th - 20th century had "ECONOMICS" angle the most strong one and WWII was a stark example. While discussing the causes of WWII war, one of our profs recently gave an interesting economic angle - Germany, though having given lot of reasons for taking over its neighbouring countries like "Attrocities on Germans" etc. , but the main advantage below all this was to take care of "natural resources" like rubber/steel or manufacturing prowess like "Skoda car making in Czech". It wanted to be self-sufficient in all the resources it wants right from Food to any inputs it needed in its industries. Well, this was the first bad outcome of industrial revolution.
Japan had the same logic in Asia where it wanted to have an influence in Asia on as many countries as possible especially the ones where it could control the natural resources like bauxite, oil etc. Of course, for propaganda - they called it "Greater East Asia Prosperity Sphere".
Fundamental thread was same - getting control of all the basic as well as future needs to survive and thrive.
Now, the natural question is - what happened after WWII after Axis forces were defeated and why didn't the same reason become overwhelming for countries later on. And that is what WTO (World Trade Orgn) came into picture. The warring countries realized that if everyone wants to take control of all the resources, that was not the solution. So, every country must cooperate between themselves and make sure that they don't give unfair treatment to one country or undue priveliged treatment to others. If every country produces as per their strengths and let other countries produces based on their strenghts, overall, the efficiency would improve and also it would let more rapid development of the world.
This philosophoy has worked quite a bit and this has gone to one further level where old rivals - Germany and France in WWII have become best friends and all have come together behind the Europian Union. What a great change in half-a-century ! What a realization !
As a tailpiece, if the countries are going up the value chain and would be interested in producing more a more complex and sophisticated products, what happens to the basic necessities where the profit margins would be low e.g. grain and butter. If we go by WTO logic, USA should not be producing grain/butter but import it from a country which produces it cheap and best. Now that is a catch coz no country still has come to utopian world where they think other country is brothers in arms. Some amount of suspicion is still there. WTO realized it and they have given some exceptions to "agricultural produce".
Economics led to 70 million deaths - hard to believe ; But for me, it is even harder to believe that all the warring countries did a quick root cause analysis and fixed any future issues by coming up with WTO ! Alas - That was a fairy tale till we had some other monster raising its head - e.g. Terrorisim !
Labels: history war conflict resolution