Military vs. Economy

The “academic military industrial complex” inspired a brand new age of advances in science, and also in the ways that science was pursued and conducted in society. In collaboration with the public and universities, many new technologies were discovered and expanded upon under the general research scope of the military. This phenomenon occurs frequently throughout history, and the first time it was publicly discussed as being a part of government began after World War II. There is much controversy over this mindset of being a “military-industrial” society; in other words, being dependent on either constant war sustaining a large part of the economy or a constant investment in the military and military technology. Proponents of this concept identify with the public investment in the military creating technology that can not only strengthen the protection of our country, but strengthen our society as well. They also argue that an investment in the military means an investment in global relations, which also strengthens the overall image of America. The opponents of this concept argue that it creates too much dependence on war, the military, and violence in general because the economy is stimulated by the jobs that create the various supplies used by the military. They also claim that it places too much power in this one sector of the free market. Overall I think that both sides have reasonable claims and that there is not a 100% clear answer, especially considering that in America the free market is a founding pillar of our society.

One thought on “Military vs. Economy

  1. You bring up an interesting point about free markets. I’d like to expand on that and ask a few questions. The academic-military-industrial complex might fall under “capitalism” depending on your definition, but it isn’t and can’t be a part of free markets. In free markets individuals choose to engage voluntarily with one another in trade. The academic-military-industrial complex requires that money be taken from citizens by force and given to favored companies and scientists. (one could say the same of all university research) Most people accept taxation and military spending as necessary and moral. My question is where is the line? When does spending the people’s money on research (whether for war or not) become immoral? That particular question guides my thinking on both the nuanced details and the big picture of military research.

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