Friday, February 01, 2008

No Wonder We're Broke

I'm distrcting myself from the irrelevant news of the day, like Microsoft bidding for Yahoo! - can't create it? go buy it! -which does not give me hope for the American Innovation System. For some reason I remembered Chalmers Johnson, the International Relations expert, and his estimate that military and military-related spending in the U.S. was $1.1 trillion last year.

How dumb can we get, throwing money away like that? Then I found the reason why.
Why of course the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship ... voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Thank you, Hermann Goering at the Nrember trial, April 18, 1946 (from "Nuremberg Diary" by G.M. Gilbert, via hottub Eskimo.

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