War has been the most convenient pseudo-solution for the problems of twentieth-century capitalism. It provides the incentives to modernization and technological revolution which the market and the pursuit of profit do only fitfully and by accident, it makes the unthinkable (such as votes for women and the abolition of unemployment) not merely thinkable but practicable. What is equally important, it can re-create communities of men and give a temporary sense to their lives by uniting them against foreigners and outsiders. This is an achievement beyond the power of the private enterprise economy when left to itself.
Nations without a past are contradictions in terms. What makes a nation is the past, what justifies one nation against others is the past, and historians are the people who produce it.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Vidal Sassoon Anglo-American Hairstylist
- Leon Trotsky Russian Revolutionary
- Nora Ephron American Filmmaker
- Arnold J. Toynbee British Historian
- Margaret Atwood Canadian Author
- Douglas Adams British Author
- Helen Gurley Brown American Publisher
- Michael Faraday British Physicist, Chemist
- Karl Marx German Philosopher, Economist
- Abba Eban Israeli Statesman