There won’t be a repeat of WW1: a case for stability

With the midterms over and the results underwhelming for the ‘right’, the news cycle is kinda slow as of late. Unfortunately, 2019 and 2020 can be written off. Due to the divided Congress, the obstinate courts, and Trump’s reelection bid, there won’t be any time for policy, nor is there much of a desire by House Republicans to want to do anything. 2020 is not all going to be a waltz like Mondale vs. Reagan, Clinton vs. Dole, or Obama vs. Romeny. It will be much closer, and Trump will have to fight with everything he has in order to win. Unlike Reagan, Clinton, and Obama, Trump’s average approval rating has never exceeded 50%, nor did he win the popular vote. If you thought the 2016 campaign was intense, 2020 will be another record.

From Bloomberg Three Reasons to Fear Another ‘Great War’ Today

The post-WW2 era of stability, or what Steven Pinker calls the ‘long peace’ in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, can conceivably last centuries longer. I cannot prove it, but the arguments for instability are unconvincing. WW1 is poor analogue for today because in the early 20th century there will multiple monarchies and empires that were locked in a sort of inherently unstable hair-trigger equilibrium. for example, there was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the German Empire, etc. Nowadays, rather than monarchies and empires, such governments have been superseded by much more passive constitutional and republican forms of government, and there is much less nationalism. The leadership of these countries lack the impetus for war. Also, young people, unlike a century ago, would rather play video games than go off to war, and due to obesity and other factors would probably be unfit for recruitment. Finding enough recruits who are in good enough shape to pass physical training is a big problem for the U.S. Army.

How about immigration? Vox Day is possibly wrong that increased immigration and migration leads to internecine war and conflict. Hispanic immigrants, although they are occasionally a drain on public resources and may commit crime at a slightly higher rate than non-immigrants, are not exactly hostile to Americans or ‘American ideals’. Although there are as many as 20 million illegals, there are very few incidents of civil unrest involving illegals, and no terrorism. All incidents of domestic immigrant-based terrorism are due to Muslims who oppose the ‘concept’ of America. This probably why Trump is taking a much harder stand on Middle Eastern countries than China and Mexico. Trump is well-aware of the threat that is Islam to Western civilization and global peace.

Other mitigating factors include globalization and codependency. What about nuclear weapons, as potential ‘black swans’? Nuclear weapons are far less effective than depicted by popular fiction. Suitcase nukes, for example, don’t exist and are likely physically impossible. An ICBM is huge and can easily be detected and intercepted, assuming it can travel far enough to hit critical, high-populated targets. North Korea’s nuclear weapons lack such range. But also, the evidence shows Trump is a force for peace. Foreign leaders are lining up to work with him. Trump was able to negotiate trade deals with China, disarmament of North Korea, and negotiate the release of pastor Andrew Brunson.

Overall, the arc of history inexorably bends towards stability and peace. If I’m so certain, how about taking a bet? Being long the stock market is a bet on stability (although this is not the same as liberal democracy. Stability and peace and liberal democracy are not mutually inclusive.).