A lot of people argue that the First World War in particular was a sort of nationalist response to the very high social tensions and inequalities that characterized pre-WW1 European countries and I think there is a lot to that. I am very Leninist in that sense. [bold by HSIB]In case you think he's kidding;
There is a basic contradiction between what the market and the economic laws can deliver and what we collectively aspire to given the kind of democratic ideals we have in mind, and at the international level, that is even more explosive. From the viewpoint of economic laws, some countries can theoretically own others forever. In the three or four decades before the First World War, France and Britain had a permanent trade deficit of 1 to 2 % of GDP, but because their net foreign capital income was 5 to 10 % of GDP, in effect the rest of the world was working for them but they were still accumulating claims on the rest of the world. So it is as if you are paying rent to your landlord and with the rent, he is buying the rest of the building. It is always tough to be paying rent, but when it is at the scale of the world… This is actually what was happening, and it only stopped because there were the wars, the decolonization process and the Bolshevik revolution, all these huge political changes in the 20th century.
Workers and renters of the world unite. What have you got to lose, but what everyone who listened to Marx and Lenin did?