The Primate Diaries

A Gentle Reminder to Republicans

To everyone on the political right who is now calling for an invasion of Yemen, take a breath. Reflect on the words of one of the few Presidents in history that actually commanded troops in the field before becoming Commander in Chief:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

- Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a Speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors,
April 16, 1953

Of course, that was a long time ago. I mean, really, newspaper editors? What are those?

Comments

  1. #1 Dunc
    January 6, 2010

    I think many of them get that – they just think it’s a good thing. Feeding and clothing the hungry and cold is teh socialism!!!111!

    I’m also reminded of Orwell’s statement in 1984 that the reason for perpetual war between Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia was that it was the most efficient means of disposing of surplus capital without actually improving anybody’s living conditions.

  2. #2 Tony P
    January 6, 2010

    Eisenhower understood the economic concept of opportunity costs. Stated it quite eloquently too!

  3. #3 Susannah
    January 6, 2010

    Of course, that was back when people still had memories of shortages of consumer goods at home because “our boys are at war”.

  4. #4 Rob Jase
    January 6, 2010

    I remind you that the John Birchers who have been welcomed back into the Republican fold considered Ike to have been a communist.

  5. #5 Paul Murray
    January 6, 2010

    “the reason for perpetual war was that it was the most efficient means of disposing of surplus capital”

    How much of today’s politics are an aberration, a brief historical exclamation point, as result of the discovery of the uses of fossil fuels! Excess capital is not going to be a problem very, very soon, and the economists are going to have to rethink the idea that economies must continually grow.

    Of course, if anyone actually cracks the secret of nuclear fusion as a viable power source, then all bets are off.

  6. #6 Ollitapio P.
    January 6, 2010

    Eisenhower was wise man. In war is spend too much money. If that money would spend on education and so on,would there be poverty any more. I think that poverty is reason to terrorism and so on.

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