Iran, Afghanistan: Keep your eye on the Messiah…
According to Grossman’s reconstruction of Marx’s Theory of Capital’s Breakdown, capitalism undermines its own conditions of existence by destroying the need for work.
Logic dictates that any attempt to forestall this breakdown must, in some way or another, counteract this tendency toward collapse by successfully increasing the need for work, and thus improving profits.
This probably played out, for instance, as World War II brought about the collapse of various national economies – Japan, Germany, Britain, France, etc. – and made possible the expansion of American capital into the vacuum, and which further allowed the scale of economic activity to escape the narrow bounds of national economies and assume directly global character.
Also contributing to the demand for more work after World War II, however, was a decades long erection of an extensive network of military bases to encircle the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China – and various somewhat unsuccessful military adventures to enforce that Cordon Militaire.
That being said, as outrageous as it is to consider that even the most Hitlerian personality might coldly calculate the economic consequences of expanded conflict on GDP, it is nevertheless true that a massive military push into Afghanistan, or, a military adventure in Iran are both means which could spur domestic demand for labor.
This possibility, therefore, bears watching.
In the present circumstances, when it appears all attempts to revive the labor market in the US has failed, and where little more effects of these policies can be detected beyond Washington’s own efforts to increase government employment, an adventure in the Persian Gulf and East Asia offers certain advantages.
Among those advantages is the speed with which Washington could get boots on the ground in Afghanistan, for instance, versus that amount of time it would take to bring various make-work projects – building and improving infrastructure, roads and so forth (the spending which delights our progressives) – to shovel-ready status.
We suspect – though we are far from certain – that the hesitancy in Washington on a requested troop buildup in Afghanistan is not good news. In fact, it may be merely buying time as the Messiah tries to prepare for an expected outcry when the troop expansion is announced.