I find it interesting how Zinn is almost always defiant towards the stances of the government. And, a lot of it is with credence, Zin realized that the government uses war in order to serve its own needs. As, “War is the health of the state” While its own citizens are dying in a war between almost all nations their governments are thriving. In America Zinn claims that we didn’t go to war out of a need to protect our citizens but because of, “The balance of power and economic necessities.” Further, “But by 1915, war orders for the Allies (mostly England) had stimulated the economy, and by April 1917 more than $2 billion worth of goods had been sold to the Allies. As Hofstadter says: ‘America became bound up with the Allies in a fateful union of war and prosperity.’” So, Wilson entered the war out of spite, and because of economic interests. And, while the US was ultimately successful I think we all agree it’s not worth it for 116 thousand Americans to die out of economic interests.
Zinn takes the stance of popular resistance like many socialists during this time. And, Zinn realizes that the war was massively popular during this time. Mostly because of the booming economy, which is basically the reason why we entered the war. But, Zinn claims this is mainly because of government propaganda. Writing, “The government had to work hard to create its consensus. That there was no spontaneous urge to fight is suggested by the strong measures taken: a draft of young men, an elaborate propaganda campaign throughout the country, and harsh punishment for those who refused to get in line.” Wilson realized that if the war was unpopular they would be largely unsuccessful, as public opinion is everything in a democracy.