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According to the book, the basic motive for war at that point in history is to maintain the artificial scarcity that dictates a wealthy elite and a poor populace. The fear is that without that scarcity, the rise of the rest of the population to a life of relative comfort will allow them to understand that there is no need for this hierarchical society and they will reject it by whatever means necessary. Because of this, a war in which surplus materials are used up and destroyed becomes an absolute necessity for those wishing to maintain that privileged elite.
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