Saturday, April 12, 2008

Military Keynesianism

I just finished Chalmers Johnson's "Nemesis", the third volume of the so called American Empire trilogy. It constitutes a devastating critique of empire building and the militarism that goes along with it, which threatens to destroy the United States from within.

When elaborating on the military industrial complex he uses the term "Military Keynesianism" which was first coined by Polish economist Micha Kalecki in 1943 to explain Nazi Germany's success in overcoming the Great Depression.

"Kalecki understood that government spending on arms increases manufacturing and also has a multiplier effect on general consumer spending by raising workers' incomes. Both of these points are in accordance with general Keynesian doctrine."

In that process the military becomes an important employer, defense research helps bring about new technologies, and helps overall growth.

The downside of it all is of course the encouragement of militarism and the creation of a military industrial complex that ultimately threatens the Republican form of governmen.

Chalmers Johnson talks about Military Keynesianism in the following video.

-- Johannes

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