Is War such a bad thing?

Feb 10, 2014 by

It is a common belief that war is evil, we have all pretty much heard speeches and read essays on why it is so bad. But you never hear any speech or essay justifying the good that can come out of war such as newer technologies, economic prosperity, and a common purpose to unite a divided people. For example, World War II pulled the American economy out of the Great Depression, and created a large number of jobs in order to produce weapons, supplies, ships, aircraft, and every other necessity needed to fight a war. The American people back home were working around the clock to keep up production, and all the people basically worked, ate, defecated, and slept and repeated the cycle over and over again. They dedicated all their time to support the war effort, and gave up any free time they had available. This led to the people saving their hard-earned money, since they had no time to figure out ways to spend it other than to buy their basic necessities. After the end of the war, production shifted from mass-producing war supplies to mass-producing consumer goods, which of course made such goods relatively cheap, and the people just kept buying and buying stuff they did not really need with all the money they had saved up from years of hard-work. It led to economic boom that had never been seen before in history, all thanks to war.

Not only can war lead to economic prosperity, but it also leads to the development of new and advanced technologies that were originally created to try to one-up the enemy. The entire American space program relied on captured German technology from World War II, specifically rocket technology and the likes. The space program led the people to a new scientifc frontier, and greatly expanded our knowledge to the understanding of the universe. For thousands of years, humanity thought only the heavens were accesible by the gods, but thanks to technology, we claimed the heavens. In the immortal words of Buzz Aldrin, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” again something that could only have been made possible by war.

And let us not forget, war creates a common purpose. After the onset of World War I, the German people were defeated, and utterly left in ruins. Their economy collapsed, jobs were scarce, and the people were left in shambles. Then comes along a young Austrian by the name of Adolph Hitler, and he basically gathers the German people, and tells them what they want to hear: everything is going to be alright, it is your not fault that such tragedy has befallen you, do not worry. Of course, there is no doubt that Hitler’s actions were questionable, but he united the people under the common purpose of reclaiming what they believed was rightfully theirs, that being most of Europe, by waging war against everbody else. And it worked, war united the German people and made them strong again, by giving them a common purpose.

I am not arguing that war is the best thing in the world, but it is idiotic to think that no good can come out of it. History is littered with examples that great things can come out from such a barbaric practice. And not to mention, it is also stupid to believe that humans can just stop waging war, it is in our nature to fight, and we have been fighting since our very beginnings, and we will continue to keep fighting until we are no more.

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  1. Heather Malone

    There is no doubt that there are some perks to warfare, as you have noted with you example of World War II helping America out of the Great Depression. However, these economic booms and technological advances are not the goals of war; the purpose of warfare is to defeat the enemy, these days by any means necessary. Is it worth the huge loss of life? The immeasurable grief inflicted upon countless families? These were important questions after World War I, when millions of lives were lost and we still weren’t done fighting. And you mention war brings a nation together with a common purpose; what about when Germany lost World War II? Germany today still has to deal with their destructive past; a common purpose for the bad is worse than no common purpose at all.
    I know you know that “war is not the best thing in the world,” but to suggest that war should be seen as a good thing is naive. No destruction, no death should be taken lightly, whether or not it is in our nature.

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