The subject of militarism is a subject that we study in conflict management and resolution…..I am talking about armed conflict……
We can think of several examples where it does not end well….Italy in the 1930s and Germany as well are the two most readily available to most people.
First, maybe the definition will help- my reader understand…..
Militarism is a belief that a nation should develop, maintain, and use a strong military to expand its interests. A militaristic country has a large defense force on which it spends a disproportionate share of its income. The society subordinates all other national interests to support a strong military.
In militarism, the government directs the factors of production to strengthen the military. The four factors are entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and labor. It gives preferential treatment to defense contractors. For example, President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on imports, such as steel, that he said could threaten national security.
An aspect of militarism is the notion that unquestioning obedience is something to be admired. Militarism has a corrosive effect on the ability of both children and adults to think for themselves and speak out when they see something wrong. Armies require people to obey orders without question. Of all the reasons that might be given for killing a human being, surely the very weakest explanation is that you killed because someone told you to.
Militarism and nationalism go hand-in-hand. Nationalists believe their country is superior to all others. They don’t join global organizations or collaborate with other countries on joint efforts. They use the military to defend their country. Nationalists find it easy to justify a large military to attack other countries because they believe them to be inferior. The military enforces the nation’s superiority both internally and externally. (Does that sound at all familiar?)
Now that the topic has been fleshed out….let’s move on…..
It seems that the US is drowning in militarism and the president is stoking the fire…..
It’s no small thing to lodge a word or phrase of your own in our language. So give Dwight D. Eisenhower credit. In his presidential farewell address to the American people in 1961, the former five-star general of World War II warned – and who would have known better – of the growth of what he called “the military-industrial complex.” (“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry… We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions… Added to this, 3½ million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment… Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience… In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”)
It all began with Ike’s proclamation on the M-IC and has continued to the point where the Defense industry controls damn near everything…..
In 2019, most Americans see the Pentagon and the U.S. military as this country’s protectors — a force for good, perhaps the equivalent of an eagle, that national symbol, soaring over an endangered land. What if, however, we saw the Pentagon not as a noble bird, a symbol of freedom and strength, but as a parasitic one? What if the avian image that came to mind was the opportunistic cowbird?
We have an election next year…..and we can break this scary cycle…the cash should be spent on education or health or infrastructure…..maybe it is time for someone to come up with an idea of the “Peace Race”. (A post to come)
“Lego Ergo Scribo”