3 Universal Functions of War Internal Redistribution of Power International Re-allocation of Resources Upward Redistribution of National Wealth
Internal Redistribution of Power Perceived Threats to National Security: redefine the “civil” role of the President to the “military” role of Commander-in- Chief allow the administrative branch to make “unilateral” military decisions independent of Congress or public opinion, and beyond legal challenge.
Internal Redistribution of Power Perceived Threats to National Security justify: creation of new “security” oriented bureaucratic agencies of social control ( e.g., The Department of Homeland Security); redefinition of widely shared notions such as “individual liberty,” “personal privacy,” “due process,” etc. re-interpretations of constitutionally guaranteed rights for citizens.
Internal Redistribution of Power In short: The administrative branch of the federal government is empowered, disrupting the “normal” three-way balance of legislative power between the President, the House, and the Senate. The PEOPLE of the United States are dis- empowered, sacrificing civil liberties and personal autonomy to government scrutiny.
Internal Redistribution of Power The ability of normally powerful members of the government to debate and introduce a wide array of legislative issues freely is inhibited. The opportunity to objectively and effectively criticize, debate, and modify foreign policy within government is diminished.
Internal Redistribution of Power In “times of war” The President and the Administrative Branch assume primacy in setting the national political agenda.
Internal Redistribution of Power During “war time,” the Military-Industrial Complex assumes a position of central power, influence, and authority within the country’s major decision-making forum (i.e., Congress).
The Military Industrial Complex
The Revolving Door Effect Movement from a leadership post within one “community” in the MIC to a leadership post within another is frequent and normal. For instance, moving from the Pentagon or the Defense Department to CEO of a major military contracting firm is not atypical.
The Revolving Door Effect Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense in the late 1980s, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Haliburton Oilfield Services International (mother company of Kellogg, Brown and Root, Inc.) during the 1990s, and Vice President of the United States under George W. Bush ( ). Haliburton’s Kellogg, Brown and Root, Inc. division received the exclusive multi-billion dollar U.S. government contract to rebuild the petroleum industry infrastructure in Iraq in 2003.
Internal Redistribution of Power US President & Administration, empowered. US Military & Corporate Military Contractors, empowered. US Agencies of Domestic Security, empowered. US Police and Law Enforcement Agencies, empowered. Constitutional Guarantees of Individual Liberty, reduced. Fundamental Assumption of Legal Innocence, reversed. Power is upwardly REDISTRIBUTED from the individual citizen to “the state ” and the corporate elite. In other words, the “mass public” as a social class is disempowered.
Internal Redistribution of Power Conclusion: One important & major function of “war” is the DISEMPOWERMENT of the general populace.
Internal Redistribution of Power REMEMBER: Only the PERCEPTION OF A THREAT is required to stimulate the processes by which power is upwardly redistributed internally.
Re-allocation of Resources The initiation of war is always motivated by the re-allocation of resources. However, rational reasoning for war is needed to rally public approval and--therefore--support for military action must employ ideology to justify the necessarily violent & coercive process.
Universal Dynamics of Ideology “Ideology” makes reference to a social or political position, or belief system. ALL ideologies are various types of justification rhetoric that is, talk designed to JUSTIFY some existing or desired set of power-relations.
Ideology Since war requires: intentional destruction of property premeditated annihilation of human life, and the coercive reorganization of major social & economic systems... …Ideology must be manufactured to “humanize” and justify war to moral leaders and the citizenry.
Various War-Related Ideologies WARIDEOLOGY WW IIFight against global fascism. VietnamStop the spread of communism. Iraq 1991Contain aggressor states. Iraq 2003Extinguish the threat of WMDs. (or) Free the Iraqi people.
Resource Allocation Issues WARRESOURCE ISSUE(S) WW IIControl of Pacific & Southeast Asian oil, minerals, textiles, spices, drugs & other raw materials. Establish Western-style Central Banking systems. VietnamControl Oil & Gas Resources in Gulf of Tonkin. Iraq 1991 Strengthen petroleum partnership with Kuwait. Establish Western military presence in Arab lands. Iraq 2003Re-allocate petroleum distribution arrangements. Establish Western-style Central Banking system.
Examining Ideologies For instance: WWII was supposed to be about halting global “fascism” as a political force.
“Fascism” A governmental form characterized by excessive corporate influence over government decision making processes, intolerance, and the systematic repression of nonconformity.
Examining Ideologies The anti-fascist ideology used to justify US participation in WWII unravels when one discovers: Powerful corporate industrialists in England & the US were “key” to financing the Nazi party’s ascendance to power within the German government in the 1930s. Prominent Dutch and American bankers were involved in transferring funds out of Germany prior to and during the war, and returning them to Germany afterwards.
Examining Ideologies The Vietnam War was supposed to be a war to “defend democracy,” and “stop the spread of communism.”
Examining Ideologies In fact, the Vietnam War was initiated by French and Dutch corporate concerns (specifically: Royal Dutch Petroleum and their French partners) who were exploring South Vietnam and the adjacent Gulf of Tonkin for petroleum reserves. The first troops present were French. It was only when the French troops were about to be withdrawn that the American military became involved.
Examining Ideologies Seismographic exploration crews were active in South Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin through late 1974, by which time the suspected presence of large oil deposits in the area had been proven largely erroneous. By mid-1975, the United States had pulled out of Vietnam. Communism had triumphed, democracy had fallen; yet the US military was withdrawn. What was our actual purpose for being there?
Examining Ideologies The 2003 war in Iraq was (ideologically) about securing the US and the rest of the world from the threat posed by Iraq’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction.”
Examining Ideologies North Korea --another state openly hostile to US global hegemony-- is already in known possession of WMDs (specifically NUCLEAR MISSLES targeting US allies). Yet, rather than attacking North Korea, a known potential threat, we attacked Iraq (only a suspected threat, at best).
Examining Ideologies This demonstrates that the “ideology” or the stated justification given for a particular military action is rarely the same as the actual motivation behind the action.
REMEMBER! The TWO universal motivations for war are: THE ACQUISITION and/or REALLOCATION OF RESOURCES
The Upward Redistribution of Wealth in Society How War Serves Economic Elites Within Affected States
Upward Redistribution of Wealth National economies are divided into two major sectors: the public and private.
The Public and Private Sectors Public sector: the collectively held and controlled national funding of: 1) social entitlement programs for the elderly, handicapped and poor; 2) parks and wildlife reserve systems; and 3) national highways & infrastructure.
The Public and Private Sectors Private sector: banking institutions, corporations, companies, businesses, and private investors.
Upward Redistribution of Wealth Public control: government regulation & funding that is subject to democratic approval of the electorate and citizenry. Private control: action, regulation, and funding that is not subject to democratic approval of the electorate OR citizenry.
Upward Redistribution of Wealth: Economic Sectors Public Sector Funds, source: national, state, and local tax revenues (i.e., the community of taxpayers). Private Sector Funds, source: profits, interest on loans, government subsidies, tax deferrals, and investment revenues.
Upward Redistribution of Wealth War moves LARGE amounts of money from the public to the private sector. HOW?
Considering the Expenses of War Basic military equipment: e.g., uniforms, communications devices, weapons & ammunition. Mobile lodging facilities, field rations & medicine. Technologically advanced weapons systems. Global and battlefield transportation equipment. Post-War Rebuilding (in the conquered states). Funding & reorganization of primary institutions. Interest paid to banks on war-related loans.
Upward Redistribution of National Wealth Government (the public sector) must borrow large amounts from the Banking community (the private sector) to pay for war actions, with guaranteed interest. Military equipment and services must be purchased from corporations and military contractors (the private sector) with government funds (the public sector). War-related loans must be paid back to banks (the private sector) from revenues generated through taxes levied on and paid by the people (the public sector).
Upward Redistribution of National Wealth Large amounts of public funds are moved OUT of government coffers (i.e., the citizenry’s collectively held and controlled national bank account)… …and into corporate bank accounts that are privately owned and controlled by very SMALL group of extremely wealthy persons.
Upward Redistribution of National Wealth To reiterate: Money is borrowed from banks (private sector); Money is PAID to contractors (private sector); Interest is paid to banks (private sector); Money is collected through tax revenue (i.e., from the public sector). Through war, the private sector (controlled by approximately 10% of the US population) is “en-riched” by the public sector (i.e., the other 90% of the population).
Upward Redistribution of National Wealth OR: Through war, a VERY small number of the taxpayers within the national population are made extremely wealthy by ALL of the OTHER taxpayers within the population.
Review: three universal dynamics of war Internal Redistribution of Power International Reallocation of Resources Upward Redistribution of National Wealth