Friday, October 26, 2007

War... what is it good for?

Why is war so damn important to the ruling class?

There are a lot of smaller reasons, economic and political, why it might be desirable, why it might be a boon to them.
But right now, they seem thirsty for it, desperate for it. Why is that?

Because the threads of the mythos they have created are unraveling all around them. Even though they have developed a vast propaganda machine, the economic damage to the middle class is too difficult to hide at this point. War is still a psychic force that can mobilize people against their own self interest. Especially since World War II was the grounding ur-myth of the modern mythos.

Every discussion is framed as if we were facing the next Hitler. (Notice how the Japanese are never brought up, even though it's the Japanese that actually got us into the war. I guarantee if Mussolini had been on "our" side in the war, Fascism would be a perfectly acceptable ideology to people)

If "war fever" subsides, if we stop fighting, people will begin to look at their own domestic situation again and demand more of their own capital back. In a subtle way, this was a criticism that the neo-conservatives often levelled at American society after the Cold War ended. "National Greatness Conservatism" seems to me to be a code word for "using war as an excuse to suppress the peasants and keep them in their place".


firepower said...

Ganked from metafilter, thought you would appreciate.

FSK said...

War is the health of the State. This quote appears to be originally attributed to Randolph Bourne. Like most articles that are 100 years old, it is a tough read.

Essentially, war is an excuse for the red market to grab more power. Most notable is the "War on Terror", which will most likely last until the final collapse of the red market.

War is an excuse to silence people opposed to the red market's policies. War is an excuse for self-censorship of newspapers. You don't even need government-imposed censorship; the handful of people who control the media know their agenda.

War is an excuse to raise taxes. Of course, those taxes are left in place after the war is over. For example, the W-2 payroll withholding tax was instituted as a "temporary" emergency measure during WWII. So much for "temporary".

War is an excuse for budget deficits and inflation. After the war is over, taxes must be kept high to pay the interest on the debt.

War is an excuse for increased red market surveillance of ordinary citizens.

War allows a lot of money to be funneled to private military contractors, all of whom are politically well-connected. The most commonly known example is Blackwater, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Quite a few military contractors have made a fortune off the Iraq war, most of whom you'll never hear about.

Most people, when told there is a war, have the knee-jerk reaction "We must support the red market, due to this powerful common enemy." Of course, the opposing red market is telling its slaves the same story!

In summary, war brings out corruption, taxes, censorship, brainwashing, and population control at its most effective.