Prospect of another world war was overshadowed significantly by a deep political instability, unsettling social and economic change.
The deep political instability that was present after World War One owing to the horrific loss of life and geographic change that took place brought with it deep uncertainty amongst civilians and veterans of the world. With this uncertainty came deep questioning of collective political choices. These political choices divided the world even further in the ugly stain the First World War had left behind.
The unsettling social and economic change that took place. Capitalism and Socialism. These changes becoming even more significant with the Machine Age looming.
The most overshadowing effect ultimately came from the growing need for certain countries to embark on wars of conquest. To grow and further spread their own God given footprint throughout an inferior remainder population and geographic, stemming from their superior convictions.
The Great Depression that brought with it a terrible amount of unemployment which inevitably led to political questioning on a wide scale. A nation’s leader knows that to please the public is to create employment. To create employment where there is little prospect, a war can always come in handy.
As David E. Kyvig mentions, ‘Construction, factory production, and other economic activities slowed, and employment began to shrink.’ All of these ingredients and more, that was mostly out of political control and reach hence America being a democracy as opposed to Socialism. These innocent circumstances although didn’t prevent the wide number of citizens holding government to blame for their hardships. Frank McDonough writes of the ‘crisis of Capitalism.’ This crisis of Capitalism which has only one door out of this crisis and that is to start or enter into another war. A war to stimulate the economy, get the economy moving. McDonough also writes of the, ‘1930s, many businesses wanting to be able to make money out of lucrative state contracts for high-cost military equipment.’ These economic decisions regardless of the real threat of further loss of life on both sides would be dealt to these business decision makers at the worst economic times, as a one way out of their economic mess. This economic mess goes right up to government.
America’s ‘Antialien Movements’ that emerged in times of economic instability spans from anti communism, anti socialism, anti fascism through to anti blacks. Americans have deep seated ‘anti’ psychology. Once one ‘anti’ fire is put out a new one surfaces. Whether these ‘antis’ are strategically implanted for political reasons or they are just in the American nature. These ‘anti’ – hatred based fears can be a very quick sure fire way of sending Americans to war patriotically and hence to quench any fears of ‘deep political instability’ once again. David H. Bennett writes of the ‘New Right in America’ and also, ‘Antialien Movements in earlier years had emerged in times of economic instability and political disarray’.
Filene wrote, ‘a clear understanding that increased production demands increased buying.’ At the time leading up to the Second World War there definitely wasn’t much production for the economy happening. Not much money in the hands of the people hence not much ‘buying.’ These social and economic circumstances needed a turn around and what better way for this turn around was to enter a new War. This Second World War apart from catastrophic loss of life brought with it high level production. The people weren’t the new buyers but the ‘war effort’ became the new buyers.
James Adams interestingly questions the American Dream, ‘It is easy to say a better life for all men, but what is better and what is richer?’ The philosophical question that can be relevant to all walks of life. “I want what he’s got” can be a very powerful and dangerous inner thought. The economic changes that went on in the inter war period brought the world to war again. Regardless of the atrocities and the motives of war, with all our progress one must ask, “Is there or will there ever be a cure for the common war.”