COMMENT BY PATRICE GREANVILLE
Lee Camp’s excellent summary goes to the core of our national predicament. Why do we keep spending such ludicrous amounts of money for threats that do not exist or that we are actually creating?
The reason is simple: weapons manufacturing is the most profitable industry in the country, obscenely so, but it requires a permanent “threat”—a credible bugaboo, a feared enemy— to keep the money flowing “for defense”.
Wars and permanent preparations for war provide that framework. US capitalism saturated consumer purchasing power in the 1930s. Since then only consumer credit (private indebtedness) and war expenditures—” Keyneysian militarism”— have kept the country afloat. Of course, admitting this would represent not only the liquidation of these rich cliques who have made billions at the public trough, and gained enormous political power, but also admit that capitalism itself is unsustainable under normal circumstances. Not to mention that throwing a lot of people out of rather well paid jobs is not a palatable prospect for any politician. “Defense industries” having grown to such absurd levels, they have created, like “banks too big to fail”, their own rationale to be maintained at any cost.
So there. Only radical restructuring can fix this dangerous nonsense. And due to endemic corruption, there’s no leadership for such a political crusade. —PG
Published on Jul 12, 2018
As a former soldier, let me fill you in as to what “value” all that money buys. -40,000 dollar night vision scopes the size of a small fireplace log (that is supposed to go on top of the rifle) that can be out performed by civilian available models for under a few thousand bucks. -Software programs so buggy they cant go more than a few minutes without crashing. -Weapon development programs that have been going on since Vietnam to replace the mainstay M16/A4 that have produced dozens of rifle designs from around the world that succeed in outperforming the M16, but get shot down because some old twat generals cant fathom how “port arms” would look like in dress uniform with them, OR more importantly the ammunition manufacturer might have to switch and we cant have that. – the list goes on… Starting to get the idea about military spending? All that money spent is even more ridiculous when you understand the quality they get for what they spend. Also, some of you out there will remember when we still had real journalism, where they did huge segments on overspending such as the infamous 400 dollar screwdrivers and thousand dollar toilet seats. Those were stories from the mid 80s, that problem never went away, just imagine how bad that problem is now? If there where real accountability in military funding and spending, we could pay for free college, medicare for all, fix our infrastructure, AND still have enough for proper defense. By defense I mean defense, not the savaging of small countries for corporations to steal resources. The next time you see a TV show or news program where someone refers to weapons or tech as “military grade”, feel free to laugh your ass off.
Lee Camp is the host of Redacted Tonight. Patrice Greanville is this website’s editor in chief.
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