War is a horrific disregard for human life, resources, and money. Unfortunately, it has been very apparent, that war is a necessary evil for the continued success of neoliberalism, used to generate profits, this can be seen since the birth of neoliberal ideology, when we track the history of creating demand, a key concept within neoliberal thinking, for example, in what is now termed as ‘Fordism’. In the 19920s large amounts of vehicles were being produced by Ford at the automobile factories in Michigan daily, but there wasn’t the demand as it was priced above what many could afford and as a result, America was plunged into an economic crisis also known as the Great Depression which main cause was overproduction. With masses of unsold items, companies were forced to let go of workers leading to a boom of unemployment, meaning people were spending even less which only worsened the crisis.

America was only able to push through the period of depression because of the Second World War because there was a great economic demand which made way for American industry to manufacture unlimited war equipment for Europe before 1942. Between the period of 1940 and 1945 sums of up to 185billion dollars was spent on military equipment, GNP therefore rose to 40% through selling arms to the British and Soviet armies, and US companies such as ford produced all kinds of Tanks, Planes and other war equipment for the likes of the Nazis (Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels), the trigger of the Great Depression was the lack of equilibrium between supply and demand and it was resolved through mass production of Military equipment.

To the average American, military spending meant higher wages than ever, almost full employment and with the second world war the grey gloom of the great depression had blown over, but the American people weren’t the ones who benefited the most because that award goes to the corporations who came to realise the profound profits that can be made from war. Around 2000 of the US largest firms benefited from profits of over 40% and were seldom taxed. Now, More than 50% of US Government Spending Goes to the Military (Lily Dane).

The war against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. –George Orwell

A previous US marine corps major, General Smedley D. Butler wrote a famous retirement speech titled “war is racket” which he later turned into a small book which spoke of various operations during World War One where thanks to public funding they were able to gain great profits from essentially colossal human suffering, he concluded within his book that war has always been the easiest, oldest, horrific most profitable event, where profit is reckoned In the loss of life and dollars. General Smedley goes on to describe War specifically as a “racket” which he defines as something that ‘isn’t as it seems’ to most people, only a small elite group knows the true meaning of what war is really about, and it is existent for the benefit of few who make absolute fortunes (Lily Dane).

The military industrial complex now consists of thousands of companies ranging from medicine to technology to arms that make a pretty penny from the detriment of others (MIC).The complex is a strong triangle of steel consisting of legislators, the arms industry, armed forces and powerful corporations and elites who approve military spending, lobby to support bureaucracies as well as monitor the overall success of the industry (Samuel Weigley).

It is a major reason we are stuck in a perpetual war.

(Natasha Boyce Dubai Campus)


Why America Needs War, Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels, 30th April 2003

Companies of the Military industrial complex, MIC, founded January 17th, 1963

Blood Money: These Companies and People Make Billions of Dollars from War, Lily Dane, 24th March 2015

10 companies profiting the most from war, Samuel Weigley, March 10th 2013


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