The five pillars of the U.S. military-industrial complex
"Over-grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." --George Washington (1732-1799), 1st US President
"It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear." --General Douglas MacArthur, Speech, May 15, 1951
In the 1920s, President Calvin Coolidge said, "the business of America is business." Nowadays, it can be said that the arms industry
and permanent war
have become a big part of American business, as the offshoot of a well-entrenched military-industrial complex
. This is a development that previous American men of vision, men like President George Washington and President Dwight Eisenhower, have warned against as being intrinsically inimical to democracy and liberty. However, the current American Administration is not afraid of such a development; its principal members are part of it and are instead very busy promoting it.
Wars are also a way for mediocre politicians to monopolize both the news and the media in their partisan favor by whipping up patriotic fervor and by pushing for narrow-minded nationalism. Indeed, to inflame patriotism and nationalism is an old demagogic trick used to dominate a nation. When that happens, there is a clear danger that democracy and freedom will be eroded, and even disappear, if that development leads to an exacerbated concentration of power and political corruption.
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were a bonanza for the American military-industrial complex.
This was an event, a "New Pearl Harbor"
that some had openly been hoping for.
The reason? These attacks gave the perfect pretext to keep military expenses, which had been expected to fall after the demise of the old Soviet Empire, at a high level. Instead, they provided the rationale for dramatically increasing them, by substituting a :
“War on Terror” and a "War against Islamists" as a replacement for the “War against Communism,” and the "Cold War against the Soviet Union".
In this new perspective, the gates of military spending could be open and flowing again. The development of ever more sophisticated armaments could go forward and thousands of corporations and hundreds of political districts could continue to reap the benefits. The costs would be born by the taxpayers, by young men and women who die in combat and by remote populations who happen to lie under the rain of bombs about to fall upon them and their homes.
War is listed on the NYSE as a Business Enterprise
1. The U. S. military establishment
2. The private defense contractors
3. The political establishment
4. The "think tanks" establishment
5. The "propaganda" establishment
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