David Gordon reviews John Denson's A Century of War, which answers the question of how the political class can convince the population to support the abomination known as war:
Judge Denson has, in this excellent book, expertly solved a difficult problem. Wars are a principal means for the state to increase its power. The classic work on this theme by Robert Higgs, Crisis and Leviathan, will be well known to most readers of this journal, but Denson also calls attention in this connection to the important study of Bruce Porter, War and the Rise of the State: The Military Foundations of Modern Politics (New York, 1994).
Given this fact, one can readily understand why unscrupulous political leaders actively seek war: they wish to increase their own power. But of course war, with all its appalling massacres and horrors, is very much against the interests of the great majority of the population. Here our problem arises: how do the political leaders manage to enlist the general population behind their murderous crusades?
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