Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Economics and Warfare

Recently I was approached in my day-job capacity to provide services to a munitions and military technology startup. I hadn't appreciated the growing nature of the arms and tactical training industries before familiarizing myself with the client's operations, but it made the next news link much less surprising:

A Russian vessel carrying war matériel to Syria made an about-face when its insurer "informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage". War profiteers require profit to thrive, but big capital investments like ships aren't trivially risked.

Bravo for capitalism, without which a private insurer could not have halted a genocide-supporting arms shipment. Under the Soviet regime, there would have been no insurer: a government-owned vessel would have been delivering government property on behalf of the government. Say what you will about the thugocracy in Russia, the ugly side of capitalism is still capitalism.

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