Beware the Military Industrial Complex

The age of Big Science was produced by the academic-military-industrial complex. War was a major steppingstone for technological advancement, and the United States experienced these changes throughout the span of the Cold War. In an attempt to get ahead, the United States used new technologies to further military might, which caused a mixed reaction in the public. President Dwight Eisenhower warned America to “beware the military industrial complex.” Ike knew about the benefits that technological advancement for the military could provide, but was wary regarding its political consequences, and was concerned that the military industrial complex would abuse their power and create an absence of trust throughout the American public. However, people such as Vannevar Bush and Barry Goldwater were advocates of the military-industrial complex and believed that the scientific advancements that the complex was creating would increase way of life substantially. They also believed that it was crucial to Americas national security. Institutions like the military industrial complex have created “big science” because they created a sense of need for efficiency and make a culture of technological determinism. This culture is built out of fear, and it’s one of the reasons that Eisenhower warned the American public to not be too trusting of the complex, because they could easily be taken advantage of.

2 thoughts on “Beware the Military Industrial Complex

  1. I completely see your reasoning, and I agree with Eisenhower that our society/culture is based on fear now. Whenever we hare about a new science we think of two ways to apply it, and that is war, and personal gain. This ideology that our society works in creates the cold world we see today, and it causes us to be more irrational and easily taken advantage of. A fine example is how divided our country is right now. I’m sure if one side of ether political or ethical party gains the means to extinguish the other, then they would. Same can be said for the government. The citizens riot and fight each other whilst the executives of our country sit peacefully in their Washington offices. This is mostly because the ongoing debates on new ideas and or involving technology allows this to happen.

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  2. I agree that the Military-Industrial complex was pushed as a way to keep America secure or at the very least make Americans feel like they are secure. Keep in mind that when this complex was started, it was after one of the most devastating losses of life in world history (WWII), and then it further became associated with national security thanks to the cold war. That 50+ year period really made America much more individualistic and fearful, and pushing this complex further helped it.

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