A political system influenced greatly by a large, permanent military force
  • Armies, Standing - Maintaining permanent armies of paid or conscripted soldiers
  • Military Industrial Complex - The U.S. military "establishment": the armed forces and the companies and politicians that depend on them

Reference

Militarism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Militarism or militarist ideology is the doctrinal view of a society as being best served (or more efficient) when it is governed or guided by concepts embodied in the culture, doctrine, system, or people of the military. Militarists hold the view that security is the highest social priority, and claim that the development and maintenance of the military ensures that security. Militarism connotes the drive to expand military culture and ideals to areas outside of the military structure —most notably in areas of private business, government policy, education, and entertainment. ..."

Articles

Blueprint for Dictatorship: Recent legislation sets us up for tyranny, by Justin Raimondo, 30 Apr 2007
Describes how the Defense Authorization Act, the Military Commissions Act and changes to the Insurrection Act could be used to impose martial law in the United States
"This use of the military to enforce domestic order is a new development in American history, one that augurs a turning point not only in terms of law, but also in our evolving political culture. Such a measure would once have provoked an outcry – on both sides of the aisle. When the measure passed, there was hardly a ripple of protest ..."
It Came From Washington: A Criminally Insane Government, by Paul Craig Roberts, 1 Jul 2012
Examines U.S. government adversarial actions towards Russia and China
"For a country incapable of occupying Iraq after 8 years and incapable of occupying Afghanistan after 11 years, to simultaneously take on two nuclear powers is an act of insanity. The hubris in Washington, fed daily by the crazed neocons, despite extraordinary failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, has now targeted formidable powers–Russia and China. The world has never in its entire history witnessed such idiocy. The psychopaths, sociopaths, and morons who prevail in Washington are leading the world to destruction."
Related Topics: China, Georgia, Pacific Ocean, Syria
Mission Creep: US Military Presence Worldwide, Mother Jones, 22 Aug 2008
An interactive map showing the buildup of U.S. forces around the globe since 1950, with details on 2007 levels
Mission Creep in Iraq, by Sheldon Richman, 21 Aug 2014
Examines how the initial Aug 2014 "humanitarian" intervention in Iraq keeps morphing into something bigger
"The safe bet is that the mission in Iraq will continue to grow. Few people believe that airpower alone will defeat the justly abhorred Islamic State or that the Iraqi military can get the job done on the ground. So Obama could be tempted to up the ante in order to prevent any touted gains from being squandered. Mission creep is only one reason why intervention in foreign wars is never a good idea."
Obama and King, by Sheldon Richman, 30 Aug 2013
Contrasts Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1967 speech condemning the Vietnam War with Obama's actions (planning to bomb Syria) on the 50th anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech
"This sort of radical analysis was rare among Vietnam War opponents, who preferred mostly to talk of policy blunders and miscalculations, rather than criminal opportunism. It was particularly courageous of King, for he was working with Johnson and other key politicians on the civil-rights agenda. ... King had been pressured not to denounce the war, but he ignored that advice. How could he preach nonviolence at home, he asked, while remaining silent about 'the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government'?"
On Conscription [PDF], by Daniel Webster, 9 Dec 1814
Speech before the U.S. House of Representatives
"The administration asserts the right to fill the ranks of the regular army by compulsion. ... A military force cannot be raised, in this manner, but by the means of a military force. If administration has found that it can not form an army without conscription, it will find, if it venture on these experiments, that it can not enforce conscription without an army."
The Danger Is Intervention, Not "Isolation", by Sheldon Richman, 29 May 2014
Reflects on pronouncements by President Obama and Secretary Hagel on Americans turning more "isolationists"
"Those high costs in blood and treasure were the consequences of intervention, not 'isolationism.' ... The butcher's bill and the money price cannot be tolerated. America's record of death, injury, and destruction has on net created enemies. The gross cultural and economic distortions from worshipful militarism have yet to be calculated."
The Myth of War Prosperity, Part 2, by Anthony Gregory, Future of Freedom, Jan 2007
Review of Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy by Robert Higgs
"Unfortunately, the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the U.S. garrison economy – its alleged promotion of productivity and the general welfare and its ostensible nature as an essentially capitalistic sector free of the trappings borne by the classic archetypes of socialist central planning – have endured."
The Pentagon's Power to Arrest, Torture, and Execute Americans, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 28 Feb 2007
"The president and the Pentagon now wield the omnipotent power to arrest, torture, and execute any American they label an 'enemy combatant.' It is impossible to overstate the significance of this power. It has totally upended the relationship of the military and civilian in the United States. ... Historically, the U.S. military has lacked the power to arrest, incarcerate, or inflict harm on American civilians."
Give Me Liberty, by Rose Wilder Lane, 1936
Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
"In America we do not have even universal military training, that basis of a social order which teaches every male citizen his subservience to The State and subtracts some years from every young man's life, and has thereby weakened the military power of every nation that has adopted it."
Is Capitalism Why We Fight?, by Gregory Bresiger, Mises Daily, 6 Apr 2006
Critical review of the theses presented in the 2005 documentary Why We Fight, also inquirying about topics omitted from the film
"Also, it deserves credit because it seriously tries to discuss what is arguably the most important issue of our time: the militarization of America, a nation that once had a strong, classical liberal, anti-militarist tradition. ... a militarization that showed itself even before the feature started when the ... audience at my movie house was treated to — you guessed it — an ad for why everyone should join the National Guard."
Killing Iraqi Children, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 19 Jun 2006
Comments on a Detroit News editorial condoning the bombing, rather than the arrest and prosecution, of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the "collateral" death of a five-year old girl
"The military mindset is totally different from the police mindset. Assume that there is a suspected terrorist hiding among 10 innocent people. How would the military and the police deal with that situation? The military would not chance the suspected terrorist's escaping or his killing a soldier in a gun battle. As we have seen in the al-Zarqawi killing, the military would simply drop a bomb on the suspect, even knowing that the innocent people around him would also be killed."
Non-Marxist Theories of Imperialism, by Alan Fairgate, Feb 1976
Examines writings of critics of imperialism that are not based on Marxist analysis
"Another early critic of the permanent war economy was Arthur A. Ekirch in The Decline of American Liberalism ... and The Civilians and the Military ... In these books Ekirch traced the decline of classical liberalism and of the antimilitarist spirit in the United States, culminating in an unprecedented peacetime militarization of both government and economy. Considerably ahead of the New Left critics of the 1960's, Ekirch pinpointed the emergence and consolidation of a vast military-industrial complex which required a progressive abandonment of laissez-faire economic policies."
The Abominations of War: From My Lai to Haditha, by Cindy Sheehan, 5 Jun 2006
Responds to those who demand to "support our troops" and the President by listing various immoral and illegal actions, suggesting instead that George W. Bush be prosecuted as a war criminal and offering support to those who disobey unlawful orders
"Another false piece of propaganda that we are fed is that we need to support the president, especially when we are 'at war.' I say, 'No, way!' Our kids know the difference between right and wrong before they are sucked into a military system that dehumanizes our soldiers and forces them to dehumanize the 'enemy' to the point where it is apparently acceptable behavior to kill children and to cover up the murders."
The GOP, RIP: They're on the way out — and good riddance, by Justin Raimondo, 8 Sep 2006
"Militarism, not only as a foreign policy but as the organizing principle of the domestic order, is the central doctrine of the neoconservative creed, and they have never betrayed it no matter what their party registration. The neocons, in their takeover of what used to be the conservative movement, have Prussianized the GOP."
Related Topic: Republican Party
The "Value" of Public Schooling, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Nov 2006
Examines public schooling, first comparing it to military boot camp and the draft and then discussing indoctrination
"What is the first thing that the military does to new recruits? ... First comes boot camp, a seemingly nonsensical period of time in which soldiers are ordered to drop down for pushups at the whim of an officer. Soldiers learn to march together in unison, mastering such movements as right-face and left-face. ... Why? ... to mold each person's mindset into one of strict conformity and obedience."
We Were Warned about the Rise of Empire, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Jun 2014
Revisits Garet Garrett's 1952 essay "The Rise of Empire"
"Not even a looming fiscal crisis prompts a serious reconsideration of America's far-flung military presence or its putative 'interests' everywhere. Reverence for the military intrudes on everyday life; one cannot watch a ballgame or even a televised cooking competition without being subjected to sappy expressions of gratitude for supposed 'service to our country.' Americans did not always have a worshipful disposition toward the military."
'What Kind of Democracy Is This?': A grieving father wants to know, by Justin Raimondo, 23 May 2007
Examines questions about American democracy and militarism posed by professor Andrew J. Bacevich after the death of his son in combat in Iraq
"The militarist aesthetic is a key advertising tool used to market this war, and it is very useful in deflecting any effort to defund it: after all, we have to 'support the troops' and our Dear Leader, no matter what folly they're embarked on, and damn the consequences. 'Shock and awe,' the pretentious habit of giving each of our wars of conquest titles like Operation Iraqi Freedom ..."
Related Topic: Democracy
Why We Fight: Go see the movie, by Justin Raimondo, 1 Feb 2006
"The trick in the militarism business, we are told by a Defense Department analyst, is to over-promise the benefits and lowball the costs of any new defense system – and then spread around the campaign money to as many congressional districts as possible. Chalmers Johnson notes that the B-2 bomber has parts made in so many different congressional districts ..."
Would You "Support the Troops" in Bolivia?, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 27 Dec 2006
Discusses U.S. military contracts and the hypothetical case of a soldier objecting to being deployed for an invasion of Bolivia on orders from the President, contrasting it to the real scenario of the 2003 invasion of Iraq
"Soldiers who join the military voluntarily sign a very unusual contract with the federal government. It is a contract that effectively obligates the soldier to go anywhere in the world on orders of the president and kill people as part of an invasion force against other countries. It doesn't matter whether the intended victims deserve to die or not. ... [The soldier's] job is not to question why people he is ordered to kill should be killed; his job is simply to invade and carry out the killing, no questions asked."
Related Topics: War, Ethics, Standing Armies

Cartoons and Comic Strips

I'm afraid the situation is dire, gentlemen, by Wiley Miller, Non Sequitur, 10 Aug 2015

Videos


What's So Bad About The Galactic Empire?, by Sean Malone, 4 May 2017
Analyzes the various Star Wars movies and attempts to answer the title question and conversely what is good about the Rebel Alliance
"And there's one more terrible thing we know about the Empire from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Reformed Storm Trooper Finn (FN-2187) explains to Rey that he was actually taken from his family as a child, conscripted into the Imperial Army, and trained to be a soldier. That's a form of slavery that many real-world governments have used throughout history. Sadly even the United States government still has the power to draft its citizens into war, though that hasn't happened for decades."