I am reminded of a segment on the Daily Show where the guest(I cannot remember who) put forth the opinion that it is democracy that has kept Western countries from going to war with each other. As optimistic as this may sound I do not believe it to be true.
Democracy in and of itself does not guarantee peace between nations; democratic nations are just as likely - indeed, even more so - as non-democratic nations to wage war upon their neighbors. If it is not democracy that has saved the West from war, than what has?

As perverse as it sounds, capitalism is what has saved us from the ravages of war. Capitalism destroys us from the inside but it saves us from the outside. How is this so? The thing that has saved us is the very thing we decry: profit. The countries of the West all follow the capitalist model to varying degrees, which means their main goal is to maximize profit and minimize losses. Any war between them would be catastrophic to their long-term profits as capital and labor forces would be depleted and destroyed(decrease in supply of either increases their cost). Specific interests within capitalists circles might benefit, think military-industrial complexes, in the short term but in general capitalist countries would suffer.

Capitalism may have spawned the bourgeoisie representative democracy we enjoy now but that isn't what has kept us safe and enthralled.
 





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