If Militarism Continues, Humankind is Doomed

Both NATO and the EU has just announced that their members will now invest more in the military. It’s indicative of the lack of creativity in both organisations.  It is self-defeating and counter-productive.

But have you seen it put on top of any agenda and debated? You haven’t, it is so normal – and the argument is that we are threatened. That’s called fearology: Making tax payers pay even more by making them scared.

The military sector is a parasite on society

The military sector produces much less employment than the civilian per invested dollar. It’s a huge burden on the economy because it swallows creativity, research and development badly needed to solve humankind’s real problems.

Weapons don’t belong to a market, there is no competition – the state is the only buyer – and thus tax payers must cover the systematic cost overruns.

We are told that there is economic crisis and we must cut down on hospitals, schools and human care everywhere. But this we can afford?

But what if the military did solve our problems?

Well, look at Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and today’s Iraq: Where is it the use of armies and arms have made the world better? Where is the human security we provided?

No, whatever the question, the military and its philosophical base in violence is not the solution.

No cold war and no threat – but it goes on

We are told there is no Cold War. Well-informed people know that Russia’s military expenditures is 7% of NATO’s. Russia is a de facto military dwarf in the ‘correlation of forces.’

In spite of that, today’s global military level is much higher than at the time of the Cold War, measured in constant dollars. And now the creatives in NATO and the EU can find better options than saying: More! That is, more weapons, arms races, arms export, more killing – and more economic weakness and social problems?

It’s the enigma of our times that educated people are allowed in so-called democracies to practise such fundamental destructiveness.

What if the world is getting more peaceful?

You’ve surely come across books and columnists who argue that “we are living in the most peaceful time ever in human history” – like Steven Pinker and the Peace Index which ought to be challenged in terms of both theory, concepts and methodology.

But we would all love it to be true, wouldn’t we?

That is why such arguments get a wide media coverage. In addition, they legitimate the ongoing militarist mind-set and the absurd military expenditures – US $ 1700 billion versus 30 for everything the whole UN system does.

Worse, they make us reduce the importance of the ongoing 40 or so wars. Do you know that there are now more people killed in Congo than Jews during the Second World

War? But how much attention do they get?

It’s the MIMAC, stupid !

There is only one rational explanation of this dangerous madness: MIMAC = the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex.

The vested interests shared by elites in these sectors are obvious. No matter what the world looks like – more or less peaceful – MIMAC keeps growing. There is a word for it: autism.

And whether politicians like it or not, they obey, see no alternatives to acquiring more arms – like a junkie wanting yet another shot. And some benefit through corruption and later well-paid board posts in the military industry.

No relations between threat and armament

It’s about 45 years now that peace and conflict research pointed out that if one of the super powers disappeared, the other would quickly find another enemy to legitimize its MIMAC with.

And we know how things developed after 1989.

There is no relation between threats and MIMAC and it’s the latter with its academic and media elites that justifies its further growth by pointing to new ‘threats’ and the necessity to be able to conduct wars all the time.

Threats are constructued to fit MIMAC’s insatiable needs. MIMAC is not a service to make society secure. And peace won’t grow out of it – because:

When you have the weapons, you tend to use them – rather than think and seek diplomatic solutions and genuine conflict-resolution.

Most media avoid militarism as an issue; however, not Russia Today

It’s deeply controversial and strong power groups that will even kill people – physically or mediawise – who criticize militarism.

I was therefore grateful to be invited recently by RT – Russia Today and without prior planning – talk about the MIMAC and why we should reduce it and invest, instead, in intelligent conflict-resolution.

RT has 650 million viewers worldwide, albeit “Worlds Apart” is, of course, only one program. The two videos on YouTube have been seen by more than 30.000 in a couple of weeks and I have received 500+ personal reactions from people around the world, all without exception positive.

My criticism is general, and it’s understood that Russia certainly also has a MIMAC.

One may wonder why it is RT that can take up this civilisational issue and not BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera or your own country’s leading media. No one in Denmark or Sweden where I happen to be has addressed militarism the way RT does here for as long as I can remember.

The choice is clear

Either we stop the gigantic MIMAC parasite growth outside democratic control or humanity will be its victim and perish. If armament continues, wars fail and nuclear weapons are used (a related issue no one talks about anymore), you can forget about the environment, justice, democracy, Global Millennium Goals and all the rest.

Welcome to watch and discuss MIMAC and other issues (including Sweden where we begin) on RT’s program:

“Militaries are outdated, should go like cannibalism and slavery.”

Jan Oberg is a peace researcher, art photographer, and Director of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) where this article first appeared. Reach him at: oberg@transnational.org. Read other articles by Jan.