There is a definite correlation between economic troubles and war: the former leads to the latter. Now, does economic trouble lead to war naturally, like clashing cold and warm fronts contribute to tornadoes? Or does economic trouble lead to war artificially, like a caught thief who gets away because, at the moment of his apprehension, the authorities are called away to a bomb explosion that the thief’s accomplice sets off?
I think it’s the latter. I think Howard Zinn would agree: “Ruling elites seem to have learned through the generations–consciously or not–that war makes them more secure against internal trouble.”
And incidentally: If you had told me ten years ago that I would be reading and quoting the radical liberal Howard Zinn, I would’ve scoffed. But 2008 changed all that. I don’t know how any intellectually-honest Republican or Democrat could look at the events of 2007-2009 and not completely re-assess how they view America and its history. Zinn and his ilk provide a valuable counterpoise to standard histories.