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World War II and the Destruction of Value/Wealth

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Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
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Joined: 18-02-12
Apr 22 2014 19:28
World War II and the Destruction of Value/Wealth

So first off, I recognize that wealth and value aren't the same thing. But I was wondering if there is exist any studies on exactly how much value, capital or even wealth was destroyed during WWII. If war is seens as a method of devalorisation emerging out of capitalist crisis, I would think it would do to document to some degree in statistical terms the extent of this.

I know this would be incredibly complex, but I haven't much found anything discussing this topic. I suspect Heartfield might discuss it in his Unpatriotic History of WWII, but I haven't gotten to it yet, and the text isn't searchable in it's format on my computer.

I was partially inspired by the discussion in this thread. which estimates the value of slaves in money terms after they became "free labor."

How much value was destroyed during WWII?

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
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Apr 22 2014 19:33

I think Thomas Piketty's book has data on this, as his major claim is that the destruction of the world wars was the only thing that temporarily reversed the trend to polarising wealth. There's pdfs of the book knocking about online, and I think some of the data is available on his website: http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/en/publications-en

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
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Apr 22 2014 21:05

Appreciate the heads up, I can''t find a pdf of it however, and the essays didn't seem to focus on the issue specifically. Will update here with nay findings from Piketty (Today's 15-min-of-fame-bourgeois-economist).