That war should produce winners and losers seems perfectly logical and natural. But does there also exist a target group or faction that stands to actually benefit from such wars, and by consequence, would be driven to work towards such ends? Shortly before World War I, Jean Jaurès, one of the leaders of the French socialist movement, professed that Capitalism bears in it the seeds of war. Can this postulate be applied reasonably to present events, or even to past ones? Pascal Lorot, a renowned French economist and political scientist, argues against this idea, and the conspiracy theories stemming from it, explaining that diplomatic mishaps and clashes of ideology are more likely the root cause of recent wars.
In his illuminating book, Pascal Lorot eschews hasty or simpleminded explanations and begins by exploring the intricate and unforeseen effects of the fall of Communism on the western world. These combined with the publication of Francis Fukuyama’s landmark book, The End of History?, Lorot explains, is how the west came to believe in the democratic ideal of a world without war. In fact, he points out, armed combat has never been more prevalent in the world than it is today. Citing free-market utopianism as just one of the causes, he dwells on our inability to foresee the extraordinary backlash that has been in the making for some time now, predicting that war will now take an even more central role on the international agenda.
Citing not only the attacks of September 11th and the war in Iraq as examples, Lorot recalls recent wars in Chechnya, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast, pointing out important distinctions and categories of warfare such as civil wars, ethnic wars, tribal wars, clan wars, petroleum wars, drug wars, freedom wars, preventative wars, just wars, terrorist wars, electronic wars, etc., inviting us to dwell on this seemingly endless and chilling proliferation of violence in the world today. Is there such a thing as a moral or just war? Lorot does not claim to know the answer. Instead, he takes us on a fascinating (if deeply troubling) journey of changes and modalities in present-day warfare.