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War is Peace


Military Industrial Complex

Report: 10,000 Troops Leaving Afghanistan This Year

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Iraq Violence Intensifies as Talks Continue on U.S. Troop Presence

In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.

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  • c u n d gulag

    Yeah, thanks, Ike, for mentioning that on your way OUT the door, instead of right after you came in.
    Funny, that…

    And I may be crazy, it wouldn’t be the first time I’m accused of that, but there may be an element of ‘What do we do for jobs for all of the poeple in the military if we start pulling out hundreds of thousands of troops?’
    When they leave the military, those people have to go somewhere.

    Let’s face some facts, outside of the troops massed near N. Korea, what purpose are we serving not only with troops in the two occupations, and tangentially involved in the Libyan drone wars, but with troops still stationed in Europe and Japan? The USSR is defunct, and China is more of an economic threat than a military one right now.

    As far as jobs, the military is one of the few “viable” choices for young people today.
    And I think the powers that be realize that if they start to cut the size of the military too much, and too fast, it’ll have a very adverse effect on the companies that supply everything from butter to guns, and hence, the overall economy, which is shitty enough right now.

    The businesses that support some aspect of the military are spread out through as many Congressional districts as possible. That was one of the most ingenious things the military industrial complex did, in that they got as many Congressmen and Senators to have skin in the game when it came to serious converstaions about downsizing our military and military asperations. “What about the jobs in your district/state, Congressman/Senator?”

    I’m a bit scattershot on this because I need to leave for a couple of hours soon, and just wanted to put my $0.02 on this.

    • Hogan

      ‘What do we do for jobs for all of the poeple in the military if we start pulling out hundreds of thousands of troops?’

      Infrastructure projects. I’ll bet there’s some deferred maintenance in every congressional district too.

      • wengler

        They can become like Roman soldiers–construction workers that occasionally fight.

      • Anonymous

        That would be a great idea.

        But Republicans love them their soldiers when they’re fighting in foreign lands – and as long as they’re not the ones with them doing the fighting.

        Here, they’d just be another worker in some dispised Stimulus Plan.

        And a modern GI Bill would be looked upon as the ultimate Socialist tool in a takeover by Obama – bribing soldiers with education, jobs and careers.

        • Hogan

          Well, if we’re talking about what Republicans are OK with, then we’re not even going to get a reduction in troop strength, so problem solved. As it were. But if the argument is “there are no jobs for released servicepeople,” then one possible answer is “but there’s plenty of work to be done; we just need to organize that work into jobs.”

          • c u n d gulag

            Anonymous above was me.

            And yeah, you’re right, they won’t want to reduce troop strength.

            But if it happened, I think Republicans would fight tooth and nail against a CCC or a WPA type of effort – just like they did in the 1930’s.

            Besides, masses of angry, under/unemployed soldiers would be a voting group they would love to appeal to.
            They could say that Democrats caused both the fact that they’re no longer in the military by drawing down, and that they are out of work.
            It would all be bullshit, but that’s all that they’re good at anymore.

    • pete

      This was a major concern, seriously discussed in DC, as we approached the end of World War II. There was fear of 1930s-level unemployment that might lead to revolution. That was essentially the reason for the GI Bill, which was rather a good idea. Infrastructure maintenance would be a good short-term solution (if only) but higher education for ex-servicepeople (hell, for everyone) would be even better.

      (Special to college professors on this site: Promote your jobs!)

      Of course another solution was, in practice, the Cold War, but that’s a different discussion.

      • Hogan

        We have about a million and a half active duty troops now, as opposed to about 8 million in March 1945. And it should be easier now to conduct a planned and phased demobilization now than it was then. The GI Bill is always a good idea, and not limiting it to veterans is an even better idea. As you say, if only.

        • The GI Bill is always a good idea, and not limiting it to veterans is an even better idea.

          Hear, hear! I often link to this Adolph Reed piece on a GI Bill for everyone, aka “Free Higher Education.”

  • Epicurus

    Orwell’s (Blair’s) power of prediction is rapidly becoming scary. We are walking into the world of “1984” every day, a small step at a time. Fox News, “Fair and Balanced”?? Yeah, and Ignorance is Strength. Let’s all vote Republican next time, and remove any remaining facade of participatory government in this country.

  • poorgeoffrey

    The Romans would buy up all the foreclosed homes and offer them to the returning troops in a lottery. Simple, really, but they were Romans.

  • BarneyFranksSpeechTherapist

    OT, this is also in Ike’s farewell address:

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

    That warning has fallen on deaf ears. As for down sizing the military, we can’t. We are fighting a war in Libya and (don’t tell anyone) a secret war in Yemen.

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