Meditations on the Military Industrial Complex
Based on Readings from Mein Kampf
Two things occur to me at this point. The military industrial complex, what is it? And secondly, is peace a realistic possibility or is war inevitable?
Isn’t the notion that War is inevitable the whole premise of this book, Mein Kampf?
After World War I probably the strongest peace movement that the world had ever experienced took hold. The world was appalled by the tragedy of World War I and most people never wanted to see such a thing happen ever again. But the talk of peace bored the belligerent and enraged the militants like Adolf who saw peace only possible through dominance. It also threatened the livelihood of the wealthiest manufactures in the world, those who produced war goods and materials.
The Military Industrial Complex?
In the name of protection and self-defense, national manufacturers produce weapons that will counter any possible aggression. During times of conflict this type of production is stepped up to a point where it becomes the main industry of a nation, employing millions. What industry in terms of production could compete with the weapons industry? In what other industry do you manufacture something which is then immediately destroyed, and because of the circumstances, instantly re-demanded, and at whatever the price?
People are employed by the weapons industry. The products that they produce are then blown up; money is then taken from the paychecks of the workers within this industry (taxes), and reinvested in more bombs to be blown up once again. Money is also contributed to this industry from all other, even non-related industries, liberally and freely for the cause of the survival of the nation.
Then the war stops. What do we do? We close down these industries and return to consumer production? But millions of workers are then displaced. No consumer industry can compete with an industry, in terms of production, that blows up its product almost as soon as it is manufactured. Unemployment is the result. Consumer goods are also subject to supply and demand and their price fluctuates. Wages and profits in consumer industries cannot compete with an industry whose wages and profits are without any natural controls. The bombs must be manufactured and paid for. This is necessity. The only restraint on profits is the conscience and patriotism of the industrialist manufacturer.
The restraint on wages is somewhat better. The supply and demand of workers comes into play, along with the pleas to conscience and patriotism. But wages can always be higher in this type industry because profits are almost without controls. The only control is the government, and the possibility of it exhausting the finances of the people of the nation. But if the finances of the Nation are being supplied by the taxes being collected on the wages and profits of the Armament industry there is no end to the cycle of prosperity except for the horrible outbreak of ... PEACE!
This was Adolf’s biggest fear, and eventually one of Adolf’s biggest backers was Krupp Industries. But, if the government gets its money from the taxpayers and the taxpayers are getting their money from industries that are getting their money from the government, where does the government get all of this money?
The bombs are not sold to anyone, they are simply exploded. The money that is being supplied in this cycle is actually pieces of printed paper that the government itself prints in the form of bonds that its sells to other citizens and now foreigners. It really has no backing. It cannot be redeemed for gold or silver or precious metal or jewels but only more and other varied pieces of paper.
But, wait a minute, actually it can be. With money you can buy gold and silver and jewels at the free market place, at a price in paper determined by the faith shown in that paper on an international money exchange. If it is not a reserve of gold and silver that backs up the pieces of paper that a government prints, what determines the quantity of paper money that a government can print? This sounds like the old nursery rhyme Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, to me. But in any case, we have governments all over the world printing paper money, with different value equivalents that are accepted by other countries on the basis of what? Faith? Hope? ... What?
A foreign country will accept our currency because even if other countries refuse to accept it as money, they can then use our government’s printed money to buy our country; its land, its capital goods, its industries. So, in this case, what is really backing up a government’s printed paper is the Country itself – its physical existence. But then every country is actually in jeopardy of loosing its very soil to a more acceptable foreign currency, and possibly a more powerful, or should I say wealthy, foreign government – without anyone firing a shot.
Can a country that can be bought and sold to foreign investors really maintain its nationhood?
Well, a country could pass a law stating that with its money a non-citizen cannot buy the actual soil and buildings of their country. They can not purchase real property. They can only buy goods and services from that country. But if a country does this would it not cause the value of its money to be decreased in international faith because now the spendability of their money, its real value, has been limited?
So then by printing money with no backing, countries are actually putting their homeland up for sale. But if you buy that homeland what can you do with it? You then have to control the government of that country. If the government is rooted in a democracy or has a direct controlling linkage to its citizenry, then controlling its government becomes more difficult. But if the government is a dictatorship, or a powerful oligarchy, then you could choose a more direct route. Rather than trying to buy up a country lot by lot, acre by acre, you simply have to buy off the man or group who control the government, and of course its military. As for buying up a foreign country, or even buying up its government you must then always withstand the risk of internal revolution. If you had this power why would you want to own a foreign country - a country that can not be bound to you by race, nationhood or patriotism? You would probably only want to own this country surreptitiously, for the purpose of some sort of strategic gain against and enemy or for the extraction of some sort of needed or necessary commodity, or to repopulate it and expand your own nationhood.
So what have we come to with regards to the value of printed money?
Governments print money. The real value of this printed money depends on its foreign and domestic acceptance. Its foreign and domestic acceptance depends on its power to buy goods and services and real property throughout the world and within the country of its origin. It also depends on the power and ability of the printing government to control its population against internal revolution, and external aggression. So the value of a Country’s money also is dependent upon the stability of its government. The stability of its government is then linked to its internal popular support among its citizens, and its internal and external security forces. So can we then conclude that a powerful military and police force is essential to a stable economy, and that the strength of your country’s money may be involved in the strength and actual sovereignty of your individual nation?
The problem with gold and silver, as I see it, is that they limit expansion. Devaluation can only go so far before it looses all relevance – for example 1 million pieces of paper being worth one once of gold. With gold and silver how does a country expand its economy to meet the demands of increased population or expanding production? If capital is not expandable, businesses will come and go as grains of salt in a saturated solution and growth will be stagnant. Businesses simply compete for dollars in circulation. They do not create wealth. For an economy to be unlimited the money supply must be unlimited (elastic). There must be more and more money available and in a constant progressive supply.
At the end of World War I and at the time of Mein Kampf the German internal and external forces were in a shambles and its money was in the state of escalating inflation, or worthlessness. So, who or what was running Germany at the time of the rise of the Adolf revolution?
Winston Churchill expressed in his analysis of the times his lack of understanding of Adolf’s outrage over the reparations and demands of the treaty of Versailles. He stated that the United States at the time was loaning Germany more than enough money to pay all of its debts and reconstruct its country and its industries to boot while still demanding payment for its loans from its allies. At this time the United States had nearly all of the gold reserves in the world, and nearly every nation in the world was in debt to the United States due to loans made to them during the war. So it seems the United States had virtually all the marbles in the neighborhood. If it wanted to have anybody to play with, it had to give some marbles away in terms of more loans or forgive somebody’s debt.
Like in the game of monopoly the United States had everybody landing on its hotels and houses. No matter which way anybody moved they landed on U.S. controlled property and owed the U.S. money. So the U.S. had to redistribute its collected marbles, and forgive debts, or nobody could play the game anymore.
So they did. But my question is why did it give inordinate child support and welfare payments to the country that had given birth to World War I; the very country that it had just defeated in a bloody, horrible war – a war that had devastated most of Europe; a country against whom they themselves had declared war and sent their own children in the millions to die fighting against?
If we presume, for the sake of fantasy, and indulge in the oversimplistic notion of conspiracy, and say that World War I was in fact a trumped up war instigated and manufactured by the super-wealthy and the capitalist governments that they controlled, in response to the socialist worker revolutions that were taking place in all of the industrialized nations of the world, then a certain sensibleness does begin to reflect on this situation.
The international Capitalist manufacturers and bomb merchants were not mad at Germany. Germany was more or less simply a pawn in their game; the game being to disorganize and disarm the World Socialist Labor movement and divert their army through loyalty and patriotism to their individual nations by involving their countries in a War. But the propaganda against the Super-wealthy world capitalists had not been defeated by the efforts of World War I; in fact they had gained a certain amount of strength. The Russians Marxist or Communists (the Socialist Labor Movement), by the time of the publication of Mein Kampf, had murdered the Tzar, and taken over the government of one of the largest populations of the world. And the philosophy of their Government was basically the antithesis of the established order. The World peasant revolt had begun; a world Magna Carter was in the awakening; a national anti-industrialist Capitalist revolt had been consolidated and formed into a national government (Russia).
By the end of World War I the international Capitalist and bomb manufactures had backed the challengers to their thrown into a corner. The Enemy of the established order of wealth was the New State of Russia. Now if War produces wealth for us as industrialists, Capitalists and bomb merchants how do we turn the tide on the Russians? Why would we want to waste time beating up on the defeated Germans when the Russians had now emerged with the banner of anti-capitalist revolution?
We are now at war with Russia, but we have a problem. How do we turn the armies of our own countries against the anti-capitalist government of Russia when large sections of our own populations agree with their prophesies and speculations. In fact, American troops that were in Russia at the time of the end of World War I were ordered to attack the Russian revolutionary army, and the American leadership and soldiers refused. The soldiers said that their enemy was Germany, and Germany had surrendered, and now we want to go home and not get involved in a Russian civil war.
If we look at the situation in this light, it does make sense to rebuild Germany and re-establish its power. The Germans are fierce fighters and a natural enemy of the Russians. The Russians have taken a course to destroy the international kings or rulers of the world. We now have two enemies. An enemy of Socialist reactionaries within our own countries, supporting a movement against the kingdom of the wealthy super industrialists and war manufacturers, and the whole nation of Russia that is now under the control of those who seek to kill and destroy us, our power, our control, our wealth, and the system that has brought us to this favorable position.
Next, one must ask, who controls the government?
In a Capitalist society, I think that most will agree that the rich and powerful control the government for the most part. So then what is left to place restraints on the profits of the war time military manufactures? If the Military manufactures now become the biggest and most powerful employer and manufacturer in the nation, and thus the biggest influence within the government, then who is there to regulate the prices and controls on these bombs? Do we not have the foxes guarding the chicken coop?
I realize that this is an over-simplification, and that in a Democratic society we have the influences of the general voting public. We have the information supplied by a “free press.” And we have the complaints and competition coming from the legitimate consumer industries. But what happens when the rich and powerful Military industries buy up troublesome consumer industries, and the major newspapers, as was the accusation before and during World War I, which precipitated the world interest in Marxism and the rise in Socialism and radical Communism, not to mention the desertion of the Russians from the battlefields of Europe and the elimination of the Russian Tzarist traditional government? And what happens when armament industries during periods of reduced conflict form international alliances? As for example was the case with Krupp industries.
After World War II an attempt was made to dissolve Krupp (Nuremberg Trials) but it was determined that “its tentacles” were spread so far and wide throughout the world economy that it would be impossible to dissolve Krupp without disrupting, in some significant way the economy of the whole world. And, of course, the legal ramifications of trying to determine who owned what, was so far reaching as to be deemed impossible. Then again this might just have been a polite way of saying; if we investigate all the tentacles of Krupp we will expose too many of our own home businesses and other businesses in the free world that were also profiting from the death and destruction of their own countrymen. In other words to fully expose Krupp Industries would then expose the international nature of the “Merchants of Death” – those businesses, industrialists, bankers, and marketeers who profited from the death and destruction of War – any war.
Learning these factors to be at minimum, one of the causes leading to World War I, what steps have been taken to assure that these factors will or would not continue to be a problem in world affairs today? What controls do we have here in the United States over our own armament industry to assure that it is not an influence in promoting War for profit? What controls do we have over its potential international expansion, which could reduce its loyalty to the nation and lead it on a road to higher profits through precipitated conflict, rather than its traditional role and purpose as a national defense mechanism?
Who owns our present day armament industry and what share do they own in our national media? What assurances have we installed in our media enterprises to guarantee a freedom of our press?
What connection does our armament industry have with our national Military services, our Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Pentagon? Are these independent organizations working cooperatively, or are they an integrated unit?
Is our Armament industry a corporation whose shares are distributed in the international market place?
What controls do we have on international corporations that are involved in the security and defense of our nation?
We continue to have war after war after war, but have we set any system in place to learn the causes of these conflicts and suggest possible methods for their prevention in the future?
We have Military Academies that teach war, do we have any such Academies teaching or seeking the prevention of war? Certainly this cause is equal to the other and just as important to our national security.
Can we assume from looking at our institutions or the institutions of any of the nations of the world that they are seriously concerned with the prevention of War and the promotion of peace?
If peace is truly our goal shouldn’t a part of our enormous military budget be going to the purpose of preventing future conflicts and promoting peace? Or are we living presently in a world that is virtually controlled by the descendants and promoters of the philosophy of the author of Mein Kampf?
Germany lost World War I, but its Armament industry was not defeated, nor were the Armament industries of the rest of the world. The industry continued to prosper worldwide after the First World War. The movement towards peace suffered a humiliating defeat with the return of hostilities of the Second World War. The philosophy of peace and its defeat worldwide is pretty much captured in one word . . . “Munich.” Munich put an end to the “stupidity” and naiveté of seeking peace in the eyes of the world.
Again Germany was defeated in World War II, but the Armament Industry emerged worldwide strong and prosperous.
With the emergence of the cold war and the advent of the Atomic bomb and the nuclear arms race it precipitated, the bombs and bullet manufactures have grown to be without question the biggest and securest industry in the world. But how can it continue to grow? What does it do with its inventory in periods of non-conflict? How does it keep manufacturing new and advanced products? How can it continue to grow and expand? How does it keep up its payroll and growing number of employees?
There is only one way. It must sell off or continue to explode its inventory.
Trade in weapons is now the biggest business in the world, and small seemingly controlled conflicts are a daily routine. We have a professional army and no spot on the globe is not within the concept of our national security. The U.S. has a military presence of one kind or another in over two thirds of the nations of the world (approx. 168 of 200 nations).
The Military Industrial Complex? Is this not the industry of which President Eisenhower warned us? Are we now in the horrible economic position of the continuing necessity to feed the beast? And feed our sons and daughters, like the virgins of old, to the all powerful, all consuming dragon or volcano god of War?
And is this not the exact situation Adolf found himself in, once in control of his Military Government? And if this is the case how can we escape the paranoia of the Munich Syndrome, and move from the inevitability of War into a prosperous and economically productive peace?
Can we turn peace into an industry that will pay the dividends of a war economy?
How can we make creation and not destruction the goal? How can we replace industries that feed on destruction with industries that feed on creativity?
What tools do we need to wage this battle on a worldwide basis? What knowledge must be uncovered? What philosophy is there to counter the philosophy of Mien Kampf? The philosophy of War has defeated the philosophy of Peace. Those who believe in peace must dig deeper. They must find an answer and it must have economic consequences. It must be profitable.
If ‘money’ is in reality simply a printable commodity of governments of the world, used and accepted to purchase labor in the consequence of producing weapons (among other things) whose sole purpose is to be blown up or destroyed, why couldn’t this cycle be expanded to anything? I mean, isn’t this the ultimate ‘boondoggle’?
Why as a nation couldn’t we employ people to work in factories designed by Rube Goldburg, making products with no purpose or function, other than employing people? This would certainly be better than employing people for the purposes of blowing up other people, and creating and promoting an industry founded on hate, paranoia, and hysteria.
Why couldn’t we produce medical goods and pharmaceutical goods to be sold to the countries of the world to cure and help their sick and diseased, or food products?
But you say people or countries that do not have food do not have the money to buy these products. So loan it to them, lend lease? This is how we financed Word War II. And how do they pay us back? They don’t. We eventually forgive their debts, just as we did after World War II with all of our allies.
And on another point it seems that even the most destitute countries in the world have or find the ability to procure weapons, bombs and all of the necessary means to destroy themselves and those around them. Where do they get this money?
Why couldn’t we sell construction equipment in the same way that we proliferate weapons?
Space seems like a wonderful, limitless area to dump money and promote work projects for the people of nations. Food production and techniques, medical research and pharmaceutical production, Space, Scientific research, literature, the arts, education these are all areas that could greatly be expanded for the purposes of employing the population and producing products that, like bombs, are consumed, used up, or destroyed in one way or another. Couldn’t we gradually establish these type industries and slowly fade out the need for the proliferation of war industries and economies?
How about a couple of modern day Pyramids? Let’s build a stairway to paradise, with a new step every day. We can get there at any price, because as with bombs and bullets the price doesn’t matter. What really matters is that we continue to destroy them as fast as we can produce them.
The biggest problem with creating boondoggles to replace the War Boondoggle is providing the workers of the society with sufficient reward, and purpose. Human beings for whatever reason must believe that whatever it is that they are doing should have a purpose. They must think that they are being personally successful and that their work is necessary.
One purpose could be in finding a new planet for the habitation of our swelling world population. Then maybe we could concentrate on repopulating other planets of the Universe as opposed to de-populating this one.
Let the competitive instincts of the human beast soar in discovery, survival without cannibalism and self-destruction, in creation in the sciences and the arts. Certainly all the buildings of the outdated, inefficient cities of the world could be destroyed peacefully and reconstructed with architecture and design for the future. Let us feed the creative beast within the human animal and seek to subdue the destructive one. Your purpose for going to work each day is to participate in a project that will expand the scope of human understanding and creativity and build a stairway to the stars for the future expansion and survival of the human species, and, of course, to get your paycheck to buy your groceries, and the expanding amenities and consumer goods of the day.
You will advance at your project because of your ability to promote and advance toward the project’s goal successfully and competitively. These projects could be initiated by the government, through government contract, through private enterprise competing for government contracts, or through purely personal endeavor encouraged financially by the sale to consumers of their marketable discoveries, as is the exact case with most everything manufactured or produced in today’s world.
Many people get upset by jobs that are created via tax dollars as opposed to jobs created by the private sector. But like it or not it makes very little difference economically speaking which sector creates the jobs. In the public sector we pay taxes to create those jobs and in the private sector we pay the profit tax. In all cases we pay more per job via the profit tax than we do via the Government tax. Both government and corporations suffer the same evils. Both are bureaucratic both spend excessively and both suffer from periodic and varying degrees of corruption. As consumers and workers we have very little control over the corruption and excesses of businesses and international corporations. As citizens we have the vote and the right to petition our legislators. Who do you think you have the better chance with your appeal to fair play … the government or some international corporation?
If this all sounds insane to you examine your present state of affairs and the affairs of this world and determine which of us is the truly insane