Militarization is Bankrupting the Economy

January 16, 2013

Throughout the country people are demanding to know why Obama and Congress agreed to spend over $633 billion on the military for 2013 even as they work out plans for slashing social programs in the name of "balancing the budget." The fact is that it is precisely the militarization of the economy which is bankrupting the public treasury and distorting the economy.

Furthermore, people are demanding an end to U.S. imperialism's program of military intervention and war against other countries. The fact is that the real "national security policy" of the U.S. government is to use its military power on behalf of the U.S. multi-national corporations, to "protect" their exploitation and plunder of other countries, to expand their spheres of economic influence.

The monopoly capitalists rely on militarism not only to extend their world empire, but also to increase state intervention in the economy in a way which maximizes profits. Today as the economic crisis deepens, Obama and Congress are trying to keep their sinking ship afloat by frantically looting the public treasury.

Under the monopoly capitalist system, the fundamental contradiction of capitalism – the contradiction between the socialized productive forces and private ownership of the means of production – reaches the bursting point. This creates a permanent and ever-deepening crisis of overproduction – a crisis produced by the fact that the narrow aims and relations of capitalism cannot set in motion the vast productive power at the disposal of society. In order to artificially maintain the outdated, backward relations of capitalism, the monopolies turn to militarism. In militarizing the economy, the capitalists temporarily alleviate the crisis of overproduction by using the state to create artificial markets and guarantee maximum profits for the capitalists. In fact, since WW II, the U.S. capitalists have kept our economy on a permanent war footing precisely in order to guarantee their superprofits. As the economic crisis deepens, the capitalists rely more and more on this militarization.

But while militarization provides superprofits for the capitalists, it ruins the economy as a whole. Militarization diverts vital resources (means of production as well as labor-power) from productive uses and productive investments into wasteful, parasitic and destructive channels; militarization takes resources out of the economy rather than promoting productive investments. Instead of building schools, houses, and other vital necessities, instead of investing in the infrastructure necessary to provide society with its essential means of subsistence, the capitalists build bombs. Bombs, of course, cannot be eaten but can only blow up and kill people.

What Kind of Society?

In other words, the militarization of the economy sharply raises the question: "What Kind of Society?" The unemployed and poverty-stricken are denied a livelihood, tens of millions go without health care, schools are left to crumble, etc. so that the maximum amount of funds in the public treasury can be made available for capitalist profit-making.

The Workers Party says "No!" to the militarization of the economy.

Every step of the way, we must demand that the public funds are devoted to meeting the needs of the people, not underwriting profits for the Pentagon arms merchants.

To get rid of the cancer of militarism, which is literally devouring our country and our economy, we must get rid of the outdated, exploiting capitalist system. The aim and organization of economic life must be to guarantee the rights of the people and the all-around progress of the country, not to maximize profits for a few.