Russia disproves the “Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention”

New York Times columnist and mustachioed flat-earth proponent Thomas Friedman posited back in 1996 that two countries with McDonald’s restaurants had never gone to war with each other.

This “Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention,” as some have called it, holds that governments with large enough middle classes to support a McDonald’s would not be able to cajole their populaces into supporting drawn-out wars. People in McDonald’s countries “don’t like to fight wars,” Friedman says, “They like to wait in line for burgers.”

As this short article from the Guardian points out, that theory is now just about shot. Russia’s war with Georgia seems to disprove the idea that countries with McDonald’s automatically shy away from war.

Of course, Friedman was speaking metaphorically, not literally. His main point, that well-off countries tend to avoid war, is still valid.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I go pick up a twelver of Chicken Nuggets.

[For a hilarious, scathing review of Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat, read this article by Matt Taibbi.]