War After Scarcity

As I said in my previous post concerning the end of scarcity, I do not think there’s much reason to suppose that war will disappear.   While I said that wars are generally not fought over the shortage of productive capacity, that’s clearly not always true. The Japanese declaration of war on the US, to name one example, was based entirely on economic considerations.  The German invasion of Poland and then the USSR was also, if not driven by economic concerns, was couched largely in those terms in their domestic propaganda – lebensraumwas an economic necessity if you believe that autarky is the key to success.
On the other hand, the vast majority of wars are fought not over naked resource considerations but rather over power. Power does not consist of economic capacity, it consists of a lot of things such as armament, armed men, popular legitimacy, territorial control, and so on.  That won’t necessarily change with the end of material scarcity.  Power was what caused the war between Caesar and Pompey, and the American Civil War, and the Syrian Civil War today.  Power and ideology will never go away even if scarcity does.

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