A hundred years ago

18 Jan, 2019 at 19:19 | Posted in Politics & Society | 3 Comments

The treaty includes no provisions for the economic rehabilitation of Europe — nothing to make the defeated Central Empires into good neighbours, nothing to stabilize the new states of Europe …

41pkcwxw8il._sx314_bo1,204,203,200_The Council of Four paid no attention to these issues … Reparation was their main excursion into the economic field, and they settled it as a problem of theology, of politics, of electoral chicane, from every point of view except that of the economic future of the states whose destiny they were handling …

The danger confronting us, therefore, is the rapid depression of the standard of life of the European populations to a point which will mean actual starvation for some … And these in their distress may overturn the remnants of organization, and submerge civilization itself in their attempts to satisfy desperately the overwhelming needs of the individual …

In a very short time, therefore, Germany will not be in a position to give bread and work to her numerous millions of inhabitants, who are prevented from earning their livelihood by navigation and trade … “We do not know, and indeed we doubt,” the Report concludes, “whether the delegates of the Allied and Associated Powers realize the inevitable consequences which will take place … Those who sign this treaty will sign the death sentence of many millions of German men, women, and children.”

3 Comments

  1. It was a dangerous thing they did.

  2. Thanks for this post, professor.

    Keynes was quite prescient and it’s very germane to our situation today, especially Europe. History rhymes.

    BTW, it appears that the Swedish government is falling ever deeper into neoliberalism, sadly.

  3. So Germany was screwed whether or not they printed money?


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