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“The 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell was written from the viewpoint of a citizen of one of three fictional world-dominating superstates. These nations are in a state of perpetual war with each other. The state of war is used by each of the states to justify the control of their populations using Stalinist or other methods. By artificially creating fear and hate of an enemy, the actual existence of which is never made completely certain, the governments provided an excuse for their failures and, in the case of Oceania, enforced obedience to Big Brother. Moreover, eternal war formed the bedrock of the economy, as people could be kept busy manufacturing goods that would not improve their living standards, but would instead be destroyed on the battlefields. Thus perpetual war not only kept the population busy, it also encouraged a "siege mentality" in which hatred of the enemy and love for the government's protection were social norms.”
The implications of the Iraq war extend well beyond its borders. The construction of a new geopolitical framework resulting in the occupation of Iraq has legitimized certain forms of behaviour and patterns of understanding, and created a set of conditions that work to collapse any distinction between war and peace. The notion of perpetual war seems difficult to imagine for many people (though much less so for those in the underdeveloped world). However, a combination of political, economic and technological factors are leading us towards a state where civilian populations are permanently militarized, where the gap between war and peace collapses, and where peace as a mode of being distinct in its own right seems impossible to constitute.
Attempts to conceptualize something similar to a modern "military-industrial complex" existed before Eisenhower's address. In 1956, sociologist C. Wright Mills had claimed in his book The Power Elite that a class of military, business, and political leaders, driven by mutual interests, were the real leaders of the state, and were effectively beyond democratic control.
Also F. A. Hayek mentions in his 1944 book The Road to Serfdom the danger of a support of monopolistic organisation of industry from WWII political remnants:
Another element which after this war is likely to strengthen the tendencies in this direction will be some of the men who during the war have tasted the powers if coercive control and will find it difficult to reconcile themselves with the humbler roles they will then have to play [in peaceful times]."
Total world spending on military expenses in 2006 was $1.158 trillion US dollars. Nearly half of this total, 528.7 billion US dollars, was spent by the United States. The privatization of the production and invention of military technology also leads to a complicated relationship with significant research and development of many technologies.
The Military budget of the United States for the 2009 fiscal year was $515.4 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion. This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget. Overall the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes.
Originally posted by thewind
The USA hasn't won a war since korea, and never will win anymore wars
You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
- Jeannette Rankin
US pacifist & politician (1880 - 1973)