Complex Issues

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“Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense.

“Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions, those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.  

“It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.  

“While such an economy may produce a sense of seeming prosperity for the moment, it rests on an illusionary foundation of complete unreliability and renders among our political leaders almost a greater fear of peace than is their fear of war.” — Five Star General of the Army Douglas MacArthur  

 “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.   


“This world in arms is not spending money alone.  

“It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.  

“The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.  

“It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.  

“It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.  

“We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.  

“We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.  

“This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.  

“This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” — United States President, Five Star General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower

President Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address to the Nation, 1961

 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. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” — President Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address to the Nation, 1961

The Military-Industrial Complex – Today:

The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives, by Nick Turse

American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan, by Peter Dale Scott

The War State: The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite, 1945-1963, by Michael Swanson

Weapon Systems and Political Stability: A History, by Carroll Quigley

The Merchants of Death — Yesterday (1934):

The Merchants of Death: A study of the International Armament Industry, by H. C. Englebrecht and F. C. Hanighen

The Merchants of Death Revisited,” by Dr. Hunt Tooley

Hunt Tooley is Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Austin College in Sherman, Texas and teaches at the Mises Academy. He specializes in Modern European History and is the author of The Western Front and National Identity and Weimar Germany.  He is an Associate Editor of The Independent Review.

1:10 pm on April 19, 2014