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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

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… is from Steve Davies’s January 2004 essay “From Pennsylvania to Verdun: Friedrich List and the Origins of World War I” (typo corrected): The most serious result of List’s ideas, however, was a change in people’s thinking and perception. Instead of seeing trade as a cooperative process of mutual benefit, politicians and businessmen came to regard it as a struggle with winners and losers. Germany’s leaders, instead of seeing Russia’s rapid growth after 1890 as an opportunity and blessing, agonized over it as a terrible threat. Their response was the idea of “MittelEuropa,” a customs union including Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Balkans, which would supply Germany with raw materials while providing a captive market. The leaders also advocated colonies outside Europe and a “blue

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… is from Steve Davies’s January 2004 essay “From Pennsylvania to Verdun: Friedrich List and the Origins of World War I” (typo corrected):

Bonus Quotation of the Day…The most serious result of List’s ideas, however, was a change in people’s thinking and perception. Instead of seeing trade as a cooperative process of mutual benefit, politicians and businessmen came to regard it as a struggle with winners and losers. Germany’s leaders, instead of seeing Russia’s rapid growth after 1890 as an opportunity and blessing, agonized over it as a terrible threat. Their response was the idea of “MittelEuropa,” a customs union including Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Balkans, which would supply Germany with raw materials while providing a captive market. The leaders also advocated colonies outside Europe and a “blue water” navy. This provoked a similar and hostile response from other powers, especially from Russia. The result was a clash of imperialisms in the Balkans, and in July 1914 the German elite took the (insanely foolish) decision to fight a war with Russia and France. Had they seen the world differently this would not have happened.

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Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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