How the military-industrial complex divided minds

The academic-military-industrial complex created an age of big science through the funding of scientific research from the federal government. This funding went to both military and nonmilitary-oriented research but more importantly the academic-military-industrial complex promoted the importance of funding both universities and laboratories around the US. Different thinkers and leaders have all had vastly different stances on the military industrial complex. In 1945 Vannevar Bush wrote a report to president Truman titled Science- The endless Frontier. This report pushed for the federal government to have a larger role funding and promoting the sciences. At the time we had no national policy on science and no permanent research institutions. Dwight Eisenhower was more of an advocate for the military industrial complex than anyone else. He claimed that research was responsible not only for the success of our military but also was responsible for the technological revolution that occurred under his presidency. Even with such adamant support Eisenhower still warned us that we must not allow public policy to become the captive of the scientific and technological elite. The fact that Eisenhower was addressing this in his farewell speech goes to show how much he believed in the military industrial complex to push America forward scientifically. Years later Fulbright was warning the American public of this military-industrial complex so what changed? For one, the military industrial complex was so entrenched in American society that it had become part of our identity. Fulbright argued that the military-industrial complex was not a result of our wars but the cause of them. He believed that everyone in America was in some way connected to this system and that it was now too powerful to control. Goldwater wrote on the subject a few years later and described the military industrial complex in a much different way than Fulbright. According to Goldwater the military-industrial complex is needed due to the huge responsibilities that the US has around the globe. He also claims it is essential to our safety and freedom. The differences in all of these arguments are not just a matter of opinion but something deeper. It comes down to whether or not you trust our institutions and in particular our military and government to lead us down the right path.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: