New study shows pro-war commentators have material interest in perpetual conflict

by Justin Raimondo
October 14, 2013

The Founders were wary of establishing a standing army: they feared not only that it would become an instrument of domestic tyranny, as in Europe, but also that it would lead to … what we have today: a militarist caste that glories in – and profits from – war. As James Madison, the father of the Constitution, put it:

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…. [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

Those last phrases – “inequality of fortunes,” “opportunities of fraud,” and “degeneracy of manners and of morals” – ought to ring like alarm bells going off, especially in the context of recent history. For the last decade or so, we’ve been at war constantly, and this is due in large part to the dominance in American politics – and most particularly in our media – of those who stand to profit from war, materially and otherwise. Whenever a “crisis” is ginned up by the US and its allies – take recent events in Syria as an example – the talking heads start ululating for war, or at least some form of US intervention, and this sets the terms for what is usually a very one-sided “debate.”

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