Friday, January 14, 2011

Eisenhower Was Devoted to Military-Industrial Complex

It’s true that his farewell speech warned against “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” and this is the part that people remember. But Eisenhower himself entrenched this very machinery in American life, virtually inventing the peacetime armaments industry and imposing military regimentation on the country. His approach was fundamentally un-American; or, another way to put it, he redefined what it meant to be an American. Instead of a free people, he forged a program for the permanent militarization of the country.

The evidence for this militarization begins with massive increases in military spending. As a percent of total budget outlays, military spending went from 30 percent in 1950 to 70 percent in 1957. This was the largest peacetime buildup in American history. During a dramatic economic expansion, the president worked to maintain a high military spending level as a percentage of the rising GDP—establishing the modern precedent that military socialism is integral to the economic life of the country. Spending rose in absolute terms every year he was president, from $358 billion in 1952 to $585 billion in the last budget for which he bore responsibility in 1962, a whopping 63.4 percent increase during the Eisenhower years.

His buildup was not limited to the arms sector; it penetrated every aspect of civilian life. Our schools were made to feature scary and abusive drills to practice what children should do if the Russians should drop bombs on their heads. An entire generation was raised with irrational fears of mythical threats.- I Don’t Like Ike

On the Interstate Highway System, another "great" Eisenhower achievement, there are some good points made as well. Read the rest at the link above. I wonder how "liberals" who point to such things as great achievements of the state, feel about the way that highway system has made possible and subsidizes the operations of giant retailers like Walmart, retailers that have destroyed local mom and pop merchants across this land.


  1. It's been my understanding from his biography that it's far more complex than this, though Eisenhower is not blameless.

    The real cause of concern if his foreign policy, called "The Eisenhower Doctrine," which pasibally says the US will arm or provide military force to nations being otherthrown by communism. This was the basis for much of the spending, for example, the Korean War.

    That said, Eisenhower was not the one writing budgets, Congress was, and Eisnehower sent some budgets back without signing them, and was directly responsible for defense spending cuts after the war was over (congress wanted to keep the military budget at wartime levels).

    The highway system is not why Wal-Mart is ruining some communities (and it's largely a boon, not a scourge). Wal-Mart is a blight to a few because Wal-Mart is run by assholes. For a nation as spread out as we are, highways are a necesity to our modern life.

  2. pasibally

    = "basically," when my fingers are freezing cold

  3. Yes, we know you love the destruction of local communities and culture, Bret, just by your hatred and contempt for the South and Southern culture. "Liberals" (and I'm not necessarily talking about you) love "diversity" but champion centralization at every opportunity.

    As for Walmart, no, as usual you don't have a clue. It's not because it's run by "assholes" (though they probably are) but because under capitalism and the phony "free market", giant corporations are supported and subsidized though innumerable means by government.

  4. Jesus, take a fucking Midol.

    It's Wal-Mart's policies, which may include using it's vast wealth to manipulate government for zoning or subsidy purposes, which are the result of its leadership. You are really bad at figuring out the root cause of problems.

    Regarding your communities and local comment... I don't even know where you got that from. I assure you, I am not one of the voices in your head.

  5. Years ago I had a book in my hand tracing back the history of MNC's and its subsequent growth in power. I don't know why I didn't buy it but think I have to find another because this is interesting this government v. corporation thing.

    I wonder if it's a chicken before the egg type of circular problem with not real beginning point.

    BUT, leaving that aside a sec, the government DOES prop up corporations that would have died a natural death if the market had it say. Here, Bombardier and Pratt Whitney get a little too much tax dollars for my taste. It's not just unprofitable one but big oil too gets subsidies for some reason.

    Conversely, corporations fund all sorts of badass dictatorships that serve their interests. In the process, we're part of a hypocritical machine that claims stuff like "freedom" and then let companies erase it from local peoples.

    It's all weird science.

  6. Holy crap, a bunch of poor spellings in there. Sorry but you get the drift.

  7. For a nation as spread out as we are

    But that's part of the problem. The country is too damn big. We need to decentralize and support secession.

  8. Canada is the most decentralized federal state in the world I'm aware of. The size and unique parts (Quebec) make centralization dysfunctional.

    The provinces have more power (or can easily gang up and throw their weight around at) than Ottawa.

  9. I shouldn't have said "more" but they certainly have a lot of power.


If the post you are commenting on is more than 30 days old, your comment will have to await approval before being published. Rest assured, however, that as long as it is not spam, it will be published in due time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails