Slaying Goliath: Give David A Stone
Clearing House" -- -- America’s behemoth, the military-industrial complex (MIC), has
raked-in from taxpayers since WWII a cool $21 trillion.* If we
consider the MIC to be Goliath, then the logical counterpart as
David would be a peace-industrial complex (PIC). According to myth,
David can bring down Goliath with a single stone. We can envision
the stone to be some sort of taxpayer funding. To keep David from
finding a stone, from obtaining federal funding, the MIC imperative
needs to maintain zero funding for PIC. They say follow the money.
Well then, the score so far since WWII is David $0———Goliath
Well, this is stupid, one might say. Everyone knows there is no such
thing as a peace-industrial complex. If a PIC doesn’t exist, it
naturally has no federal funding, which brings me precisely to
point. The time has come to directly counter-poise the military
juggernaut at minimum, but better still reverse the current reality
of spending. Many people lend endless hours to peace work but with
no taxpayer support whatsoever.
Let’s start with a little arithmetic. If we divide the $21 trillion
of U.S. spending alone by the 60 years since WWII, the result is
$350 billion per year. Now let’s compare the cost of war per year
just for the US against the estimated cost per year of providing
adequate food, water, education, health and housing for everyone in
the world. The Campaign Against Arms Trade based in London puts this
number at $17 billion.
Now we can figure out how many times more expensive war is than
peace. By dividing $350 billion by $17 billion, we get 20.5. So war
costs twenty times more than caring for the world’s population, just
using US military spending. Moreover, we cannot imagine the
accumulative dollar value of life lost, the collective mental
degradation of humanity and the cost to the earth’s eco-system
caused by war.
The MIC needs our continued allegiance to fear and “defense,” what
the U.S. allegedly does in nearly every other country of the world.
Remarkably, let any other country land 100,000 troops directly on
American soil and see how fast they would be called aggressors, as
opposed to defenders of “democracy.” Warmonger denial of their
double standards is part of the mental illness of war. Denial
desensitizes people to the damage they generate.
Part of the problem is that we don’t have a solid vision for peace,
a plan for peace. What we envision today, we can move on tomorrow.
Let’s begin. Imagine what PIC could have done with the full $21
trillion, or just half, or just one twentieth, the amount needed to
feed and cloth the world.
Imagine thousands of people demanding that money be pulled away from
the military to fund a PIC. Imagine across the street or next door
to every recruiting office is an equally funded peace office
extolling the virtues of exporting bread instead of bombs. Imagine
peace generals dispersing caretakers to every family where children
are raising children, as so common among AIDS victims. Imagine a day
in the near future, where the world’s people go to the gates of the
nearest military base and declare them “out of business.”
Remember, a PIC would usher into line the true aspirations of a
consistently polled 80% of the world’s population that seek genuine
peace and the end of war profiteering. What is missing is the
unification of that 80%, and strong images from the past can help us
find our common strength. Let’s imagine creating a PIC equipped with
tax dollars. Let’s give David a stone.
* Extrapolated from FIGURE 1: U.S. MILITARY SPENDING, FISCAL YEARS
1945-2008: Center for Defense Information, Washington, D.C. ISSN:
0195-6450, Volume XXXII, Number 5, November/December 2003
[downloadable as a pdf]
Bo Filter, free-lance social science researcher and author of
The Cause of Wars and Aggression :
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