“A thousand years scarce serve to form a state, An hour may lay it in the dust.”
Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-28)
It is worse than a joke. Over a thousand billion dollars every year! American presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy warned us clearly, and now the Military Industrial Complex controls the world’s current reigning superpower, its economic dominion challenged only by Communist China, lagging far behind in military firepower.
There are still some who believe that, wars aside, the arms industry is a viable part of a nation’s industrial mix, creating jobs and healthy export sales. In this chapter we explode that myth and demonstrate just how much worse than useless is this industry.
A contrast is made with hats and bricks and bikes and smart phones – products that we actually use; products that add value to our lives. Military hardware is a product we hope never to use; a product that is expensive to look after whilst not being used; and a product that causes great damage if ever put to the use intended. And let us not forget the waste of creative intellect that designs lethal weaponry and of the human skills and resources devoted to their production.
Perhaps it would be far better just to pile up that thousand billion dollars every year and set fire to it. Better yet, leave it within the society that it has been taken from in order to provide defense against invaders – in Britain and America’s case, just who is massing upon the borders anyway?