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Sala StampaThe Beautiful, Dumb Dream of McDonald’s Peace Theory

The Beautiful, Dumb Dream of McDonald’s Peace Theory

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In the rich, lazy, and happy 1990s, Americans imagined a world that could be just like them.

As tanks exploded and refugees fled in the latest round of Armenia and Azerbaijian’s war over Nagorno-Karabakh, social media became another battlefield—with some surprising participants. That included the local branch of McDonald’s, which posted some ardently (and brief-lived) pro-Azeri sentiments on Twitter.

For Americans who remember the lazily optimistic foreign-policy analysis their country produced in the 1990s, it was a poignant moment. A company once held up as a disincentive to war had become a participant in one. It’s another blow to the idea that economic globalization by itself can make war less likely—and instead, how the legacies left behind by imperial decline will give birth to a new wave of conflict.

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