To End the Wars, Get the Blood Money Out of Politics
Originally published, Jan 21, 2019
Martin Luther King was not just a triumphant fighter against the moral obscenity of Jim Crow. He also was willing to spend much of his political capital decrying the mindless, futile carnage of Viet Nam — a position for which a formerly supportive mainstream media excoriated him. In honor of MLK Day, I would like to offer this modest proposal:
Be it resolved: No employee of a company which makes weapons of war (as opposed to small arms used for personal protection or by the police) will be allowed to donate to any political campaign or political PAC.
Further, that no such company may make contributions to political PACs.
War is the utmost evil that humans inflict upon themselves. Prior to the end of WWII, there was a widespread sentiment that making money on war was downright evil. In the age of US Empire, that sentiment is no doubt considered “quaint”, rather like the laws against torture. But fundamentally, that sentiment is sound and profound.
While it would be more than problematic to try to turn U.S. war manufacturers into not-for-profit enterprises, it may be possible to minimize the impact of such companies on the political process. The politicians who often vote for wars, continual occupations, and the maintenance of our world-spanning empire of military bases, are more often than not receiving substantial campaign funding from war manufacturers. If that funding vanished, would they be less likely to favor carnage and domination? I suspect so! This wouldn’t eliminate all of the incentives for military foreign involvements — our capitalist class demands pliant governments in Third World countries that maximize their profit opportunities, and pro-Israel money will continue to goad our politicians into doing Israel’s regime-change dirty work for it — but it would eliminate much of the incentive.
Is this a strategy that anti-war true Progressives could get behind? As well as true Conservatives who resent the continual massive flow of our tax dollars to the war profiteers? What say you, Fellow Patriots?