" Universal Community of Friends - Militarism - What is it, and why is it a threat to the world?


What is it, and why is it a threat to the world?

"When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were," he said. "It was us vs. them, and it was clear who them was. Today, we are not so sure who the they are, but we know they're there." George W. Bush

Militarism is the use of the military to pursue the misguided and selfish personal interests of ruling politicians. In a militaristic society, military spending is bloated and prioritized. Hundreds of billions of dollars are annually spent on the military, dollars that end up in the pockets of a few wealthy people with a vested interest in keeping military spending high. Militarism requires the regular propping up of satanic enemies by the ruling politicians — bogeymen used to scare Americans into believing that more and more of our tax dollars should be spent on the military, rather than on constructive and peaceful endeavors. Often, these "enemies" are created by the very military that wants to destroy them, as was Manual Noreiga (Reagan/Bush administration), Saddam Hussein (Reagan/Bush administration, and Osama bin Laden (Reagan/Bush administration). Rather than destroying the bogeymen, militarism destroys innocent civilians and their property.

Whoever came up with the idea that one man should have the power to command the largest army in the world? Such a scenario is both dangerous and foolish; 200 years ago when the US was founded, we were a few hundred thousand people in the wilderness, not 280 million with the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons ever to exist. In today’s world, our collective, secure, peaceful future requires the condemnation of war, the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, and the demilitarization of the planet. Certainly, the notion that one unelected Texas businessman can command, at will, a huge army with a nuclear arsenal, is terribly misguided, obsolete, and potentially devastating to the planet and its people.

There is no question that the US needs a national defense, however, we can fully support our military while ardently denouncing militarism. Alternatives to militarism should be obvious:

1) The US military should be used for the defense of our country, or for international peacekeeping, period. It should not be used to force the personal ideologies of ruling US politicians upon the rest of the world; it should not be used to pave the way for American corporate expansion across the planet; and it should not be used to gain access to natural resources in other countries.

2) War should be denounced as a crime against humanity and anyone who plans for, or wages war should be brought to justice by the world community. To be responsible for starting a needless war is unquestionably the greatest failure of any politician at any time in history, past or present.

3) All weapons of mass destruction in any country in the world should be destroyed. Their very existence is an abomination, an insult, and a threat to every decent person on Earth.

4) The United States should pledge to respect international law and thereby become an example to the rest of the world.

5) Our “country” should be recognized by our citizens as the land we live on and all of its inhabitants. Our “country” is neither a flag nor the small group of politicians who currently control the government. We owe no allegiance to the politicians; they are hired by us to serve our country and we must stand up and demand this from them. Otherwise they will continue to bleed our economy, our natural resources, our young men and women, and our planet, to satisfy their egotistical addiction to militarism.


"I think it's natural that people look mostly at the visible evidence of militarism, but if one stops there, one cannot be very effective in trying to "defeat" it. That is, if we work to stop U.S. military intervention somewhere, if we try to prevent an increase in the military budget, if we lobby to keep a particular weapons system from receiving funding from Congress, we might partially succeed with some of these goals once in a great while, but it will do nothing to affect the foundation of militarism that makes such manifestations continue to arise and come back to haunt us.

To do so, we have to publicly talk about the value system that supports militarism and how that value system is cultivated. This means looking at institutions of socialization and the process of teaching values, and addressing the problem at that level--as opposed to focusing only on the surface level where we see the manifestations.

Militarism in the U.S. is taught largely through our culture and educational institutions, especially through the military's involvement in schools, the media, etc. Until we do more to counter militarism at this level, it will be impossible to every work effectively to stop the wars, military spending, and the exploitative foreign policy that our military is used to enforce.

As an example of the kind of definition of militarism I am talking about, please see: http://www.comdsd.org/militarism.htm."

R. J.


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