The military industrial complex has risen to become the dominant sector of the

The military industrial complex has risen to become

This preview shows page 124 - 125 out of 156 pages.

an enormous increase in financial speculation and short-term profit schemes. The military-industrial complex has risen to become the dominant sector of the American economy because through the aid of state subsidies it generates the greatest short-term profits . Never mind if the U.S. government goes into debt to banks and other financial institutions in order to pay for military spending. The world of financial speculation does not worry about tomorrow. Not only does this "military spending solution" endanger the security of the planet , but it also increases the risk of a major financial collapse and subsequent depression. To summarize, we may point to the following causes of American wars over the past century: 1) cyclical crises of overproduction and unemployment, 2) exploitation of poor colonial and neo-colonial countries by rich imperialist countries, 3) economic rivalry for foreign markets and investment areas by imperialist powers, 4) the attempt to stop the shrinkage of the "free world" - i.e. the part of the world that is free for capitalist investment and exploitation, and 5) financial speculation and short-term profit making of the military-industrial complex. In the 1985 edition of this book the argument was made that the socialist countries were escaping from the economic causation of war. In comparison to the capitalist countries, they did not have the same dynamic of over-production and cyclical depression, with periods of enhanced structural unemployment. As for exploitation and imperialism, despite the frequent reference in the American media to "Soviet imperialism," the direction of the flow of wealth was the opposite of what holds true under capitalist imperialism. Instead of the rich nations extracting wealth from the poor ones, which is the case, for example between the U.S. and Latin America, the net flow of wealth proceeded from the Soviet Union towards the other socialist countries in order to bring them towards an eventually even level of development. According to an authoritative source associated with the U.S. military-industrial complex, the net outflow from the Soviet Union amounted to over forty billion dollars a year in the mid-1980's. In one crucial respect, however, the 1985 analysis was incorrect. It failed to take account of the military-industrial complex that had grown to be the most powerful force of the Soviet economy, a mirror image of its equivalent in the West. The importance of this was brought home to those of us who attended a briefing on economic conversion from military to civilian production that was held at the United Nations on November 1, 1990, a critical time for Gorbachev's program of Perestroika in the Soviet Union. The speaker, Ednan Ageev, was the head of the Division of International Security Issues at the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was asked by the Gorbachev administration to find out the extent to which the Soviet economy was being used for military production. Naturally, he went to the Minister of Defense, where he was told that this information was secret. Secret even to Gorbachev. In conversation, Ageev estimated that 85-90%
Image of page 124
Image of page 125

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture