Why Do We Need To Ask?

Toward the end of March I sent out a blog referencing President Eisenhower’s identification of the military-industrial complex in his presidential farewell address.  Professor Steve in Hawaii referred another speech by Ike to me titled “The Chance for Peace” which was given much earlier in 1953.  As Supreme Allied Commander and highest ranking military officer during World War II, he knows of what he speaks.  Remember, he’s referring to the 1956 dollar.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron….is there no other way the world may live?”

I find such thoughts especially poignant at this time.  England has reportedly just decided to revoke arms export licenses from over 160 manufacturers.  And apparently JPMorgan Chase is being required to have shareholders vote on a resolution barring the firm from doing business with companies tied to genocide.  The bank tried to block the ballot proposal, arguing shareholders wouldn’t fully understand what implementation would mean.  We do live in a strange world, or at least some banks do.