MINNEAPOLIS — Have you ever thought: “What would a world without war look like?”
It certainly wouldn’t resemble the world we live in today.
Sometimes we declare war against social ills or injustice that needs defeating, like poverty.
But, more often than not, our “wars” end up doing more harm than good, as in the war on drugs.
We’ve got war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, just to name a few.
A new Cold War is brewing with Russia, and we’re waging economic war with China.
When something is defined as a war, violence is often touted as the only solution — or so we’re told.
But if George Orwell’s “1984” taught us anything, war — no matter which war that is — “is not meant to be won; it is meant to be continuous.” The principal enemy of the state conspiring against Big Brother writes: “A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. … The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.”
While it comes from a work of fiction, this statement couldn’t be more accurate in describing the United States’ addiction to war.
America has been engaged in acts of war for 223 out of 240 years of existence. That’s 93 percent of the time. That’s just 21 years of peace.
This endless cycle of war has helped to create the largest empire the world has ever known — a dubious distinction if ever there was one.
The U.S. military budget for fiscal year 2015 is $601 billion. For an idea of scale, consider this: the military budget exceeded $610 billion in fiscal year 2014 — that’s three times the military budget of China and more than six times that of Russia. And our nation, which has 1,000 military bases or more dotting the globe, is deploying more and more Special Ops troops to assist foreign militaries with a known record of human rights abuses, often without congressional approval.
But how did we become a nation built on, and sustained by, war?
Here to explain how war became embedded in the American psyche and folded into our social fabric is David Swanson , a renowned peace activist and author of a number of books, including “War Is A Lie.”
Watch the full episode of Behind The Headline:
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