"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Thursday, June 11, 2009

There was once a time...

...when impermissible thoughts could see the light of day.

“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labour power without producing anything that can be consumed. A Floating Fortress, for example, has locked up in it the labour that would build several hundred cargo-ships. Ultimately it is scrapped as obsolete, never having brought any material benefit to anybody, and with further enormous labours another Floating Fortress is built. In principle the war effort is always so planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population. Warfare is also useful in keying up the morale to the necessary pitch.

War hysteria is continuous and universal in all countries, and such acts as raping, looting, the slaughter of children, the reduction of whole populations to slavery, and reprisals against prisoners which extend even to boiling and burying alive, are looked upon as normal, and when they are committed by one's own side and not by the enemy, meritorious. But in a physical sense war involves very small numbers of people, mostly highly trained specialists, and causes comparatively few casualties. The fighting, when there is any, takes place on the vague frontiers whose whereabouts the average man can only guess at, or round the Floating Fortresses which guard strategic spots on the sea lanes. In the centers of civilization war means no more than a continuous shortage of consumption goods, and the occasional crash of a rocket bomb which may cause a few scores of deaths. War has in fact changed its character. More exactly, the reasons for which war is waged have changed in their order of importance.

The consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival. War not only accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not the morale of the masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war."
-George Orwell


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people ... This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

I found these remarkable quotes courtesy of some posters over at ATR. Can you imagine words such as these coming from any important political figure today? Neither can I, but it is essential that this become part of the national dialogue if we there is ever to be change we can believe in.


Anonymous said...

Since day 1 of the invasion of Iraq, heck even the week before when it was only talk, I spoke out. I stated then, and as I have repeated numerous times to co-workers, how can we always find money for war but not place the same emphasis on social programs?

The young lives lost in this invasion is a tragedy for which George Bush and Cheney will burn in hell. Yes, that I truly believe.

Even when I called into the then Jay Marvin at the time I was one of only a few against the invasion. Call me a quasi-pacifist.

I only hope we have not dug a hole to deep from which we can never climb out financially. The bailout of corporate America and the military private complex is wrong.


P/S As I posted over on Ruey's site. After the Cozzi sentencing today I will not trust our superintendent on ANYTHING!!

Coldtype said...

The Cozzi indictment did more than anything else to undermine J-Fed in the eyes of the rank and file. He cannot recover.

Anonymous said...

I am up for a march on 35th st. Anybody else?


Anonymous said...

Ah,The General talking about the Industrial Military Complex.It must have weighed heavily on him to end his farwell address with a prophetic warning.

Rue St. Michel said...


It's a Brave New World now, comrades. It is indeed laughable that Bush was accused of being an Imperialist, when a real one now sits in the White House.

Not one step back ~ J. Stalin

It's going to be a long ride.