12 December 2010

The Military-Industrial Complex

Every once in a while this term comes up in my mind if not in actual conversation. I'm not sure why though sometimes I see an item of clothing resembling those from the 50s and I find myself lusting after it, like a nice thin necktie. I think the term itself comes from President Eisenhower's farewell address early in 1961. I think I remember listening to the speech and thinking that Ike really wasn't as bad a speaker as the intelligentsia made him out to be.

He warned us about the 'military-industrial complex' in the years to come, presumably because he had seen the awesome capability of these two massive groups in the winning of WWII and the years following the war.

Today's Gazette (Sunday 3rd Sun in Advent) in addition to an article from a Gazette staffer on the supposed benefits of the millions and billions in stimulus money, also featured an article from the Associated Press on Eisenhower's worry and use of the term. Apparently it was not something inserted into the speech at the last minute by one of his aides.

We seem to have kept the military under control all these years, though more likely they kept themselves under control. And we certainly have kept our industries under control too, though many would say that our government has slowly dismantled our industrial might since the end of WWII.

It's too bad that Ike didn't prophetically recognize the looming 'academic-government complex.' By not keeping our eye on these groups they have increased in number and influence way beyond anything The Greatest Generation could even imagine.

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