As of this Blog post, I am currently working on the completion of the first part of “Technology and the War Effort.” My hope is to finish before the end of today.
It and the other two parts of this SMP Compendium entry will be addressing the manner in which the Work-Standard promotes the Socialist nation’s “Wehrhoheit” (Military Sovereignty)–its power to control the size and composition of its own armed forces. In a functioning Council Democracy, the Totality has special wartime-related Rights and Duties beyond whether the Council State should declare war or not. They must be able to bear the Command Responsibility of their own actions on the battlefield and the consequences of whatever military-grade ordnance is going to be manufactured for our military.
In Part I, I will discuss about the VCS Economy’s armaments production capabilities and how they interact with Kontor Offices III and VI (“Equipmentalities” and “Priority Requisition” respectively), the Reciprocal-Reserve Banking System, and the State Commissariats of Wages and Prices. I will also be introducing the Socialist conception of Military Technology and how they differ from the opposing Liberal Capitalist conception, including why the Work-Standard compels our military to imbue the Socialist nation’s arsenal with its own cultural and traditional values.
At the heart of Part I is the “military-industrial complex” forewarned by Dwight Eisenhower. Most Americans (and non-Americans for that matter) have never understood what Eisenhower meant by this mysterious entity in his presidential farewell address:
“A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
I have no idea why everyone puts too much emphasis on this particular portion of his speech. The unconscious invocation of the “freedom-security dialectic” near the very end actually detracts from the real significance of the military-industrial complex because Eisenhower was not just talking about armaments production. He also referred to the economic and financial realities of war because the two World Wars and the Cold War have made war itself an addictive source of Kapital.
No Liberal Capitalist conception of finance is going to raise the Totality’s awareness about the military-industrial complex. The Socialist Finance of the Work-Standard and its Fintech (Financial Technology) shall give the Totality their chance at determining how much Arbeit should go to the production of weapons. Council Democracy provides the Socialist nation the means by which to decide, the Work-Standard informing their decision-making vis-à-vis the Attrition/Inaction Rate, the Meaningful/Meaningless Work distinction, and the Transvaluation of All Arbeit.
Only then can we truly begin to understand the significance of this speech:
“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.
It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.
Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”
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