Economic Growth Insulates Against International Violence?

I've been "one of those" who has blithely proclaimed that globalization and the more general spread of wealth and modernity (China, India plus) is the most probable path to more or less universal peace and stability, instability in the Middle East notwithstanding.

Maybe not.

Consider these confident assertions from Europe, just prior to World War I, from The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman* (*I just finished a re-read):

"By impressive examples and incontrovertible argument [Norman] Angell [in his book, The Great Illusion] showed that given the present financial and economic interdependence of nations, the victor [in a war] would suffer equally with the vanquished; therefore war had become unprofitable; therefore no one would be so foolish as to start one."

[NB: Tuchman reports that Angell's book was published in 1910, four years before the Great War, translated into numerous languages, and studied by the highest level statesmen from the UK and all of Europe to Japan, with almost uniform nods of agreement.]

"New economic factors clearly prove the inanity of aggressive wars. ... Because of the interlacing of nations, war becomes every day more difficult and improbable."

[Lectures in 1910 by Viscount Esher, chairman of the UK's "War Commission" and senior advisor on foreign policy and the military; he believed that the Angel doctrine was as accepted in Germany as in the UK.]

This from Niall Ferguson, The War of the World, on the 1900s, the bloodiest century in human history by far: "The hundred years after 1900 were a time of unparalleled progress. In real terms, it has been estimated [that] average per capita global domestic product increased by little more than 50 percent between 1500 and 1870. Between 1870 and 1998, however, it increased by a factor of more than six and a half."

TP remark: Hmmmm.