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Churchill on War

 “Surely this is the supreme question which should engage the thoughts of mankind. Compared with it all other human interests are petty and other topics trivial. Nearly all the countries and most of the people in every country desire above all things to prevent war, and no wonder, since except for a few handfuls of ferocious romanticists, or sordid would-be profiteers, war spells nothing but toil, waste, sorrow and torment to the vast mass of ordinary folk in every land. Why should this horror, which they dread and loathe, be forced upon them? How is it that they have not got the sense and manhood to stop it? Nowadays the masses have the power in all democratic countries.”(“Step by Step,” p.37, by Winston Churchill. Published by Thornton Butterworth, Ltd.).

Editorial: Capitalism, War and Recession

A famine threatens in Sudan and Ethiopia. But has a mass airlift of food, tents and medicines been organised? Has the production of useful things been increased to meet this obvious need? Not at all. The only airlift that has been organised is one of troops and armaments to the neighbouring Arabian peninsula in order to wage a hi-tech war. And manufacturing output in countries like Britain and the US is actually falling as their economies enter the recession phase of the business cycle.

Book Reviews: 'War - What is It Good For?', & 'Burning Country - Syrians in Revolution and War'

Good for Nothing

'War: What is It Good For?', by Ian Morris (Profile £10.99)

Absolutely nothing, according to the song, but Ian Morris claims here that war has had a much more useful role in human history. It has made people safer, healthier, longer-lived and richer, leading to a society with far less risk of violent death and an enormous expansion in what is produced. The basic argument is that war has resulted in stronger states and a consequent suppression of violence. Hence ‘[i]n 2010 the planet was more peaceful and prosperous than ever before.’

Book Review: 'The Thirty Years War'

'The Thirty Years War', by C.V. Wedgwood, Pelican Books, 5s.

The Thirty Years War was in fact a series of conflicts lasting from 1618 to 1648, which devastated vast areas of Germany. Fought with a savagery that has seldom been equalled even in this bloody 20th century, the war has held the imagination of succeeding generations, whilst other and vaster conflicts have sometimes been forgotten.

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