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I'm asking from a sociological perspective here.

Motivation: I wonder if it is true that technological development is better during war time, and if so, why? Is it because the review process is different/faster? Is it because people are forced to work together? Forced by whom? 20th century history has had some "geniuses", but then again it seems that these people might just have had the advantage of being brought together (e.g. in the Manhattan project, where Feynman gets to meet Von Neuman).

I don't think I'm the first to make this conjecture, and so I wonder if there have ever been people making this point to support a pro-war agenda.

  • Russell was pro-war in 'exteme cases'. But I acknowledge that doesn't render him as being generally pro-war. IMO, I don't think one could be pro-war without coming to be regarded as an academic novelty. I tend to wrongly assume that people share my take on the world. I don't think many known philosophers would have come-out as pro-war even if they were. – Hal Jun 6 '13 at 10:56
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    @Hal Russell was an anti-war activist, for which he was convicted during WOI. It's true that Russell during WOII said that defeating Germany was simply necessary for the greater good. In his words: "“very few wars are worth fighting, and that the evils of war are almost always greater than they seem to excited populations at the moment when war breaks out” (Russell, “The Future of Pacifism”, The American Scholar, 13: 8). – Ben Jun 6 '13 at 11:43

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