The Problem with Word Spells

Is that the words were originally created for a coherent and consistent reason. Michael Hudson explains that the purpose of the current US military doesn’t actually have much to do with historical military purposes:

Military, for the United States, is different from what the word ‘military’ meant in every other society from the beginning of time. When you say military, you think of an army fighting. You cannot conquer a country without invading it, and to invade it, you obviously need an army, you need troops. But the Americans can’t mount an army, of enough size, to occupy anybody except Grenada, or Panama, because the Vietnam War stopped the military draft. What America does have, what it calls military, is what you quite rightly linked it to: the military industrial complex. It makes arms. And weapons.

But again, these are a funny kind of weapons. Suppose you had a winery that made wine that was so good, that really wasn’t for drinking. It was for wealthy people to buy, and to trade. And as the years go by, the wine would turn to vinegar. It’s not wine for drinking. It’s wine for making a profit, a capital gain.

Well, you can say the same thing about America’s military arms, as we’re seeing in Ukraine right now — or as President Biden calls it, Iraq. The arms, basically, are there to create a huge profit for Raytheon, and the other companies in the military industrial complex. They’re for buying, and they’re for giving to the Ukrainians, to let Russia blow them up.

But they’re not for fighting. They’re not for winning a war. They’re for being used up, so you have to replace them now, with yet new buying. And so the United States State Department has asked Germany and other European countries, well, you’d promised to pay 2% of your GDP on military arms to enrich our military industrial complex.

But now that we’ve given all these tanks and missiles away – Russia just blew up 12% of all the tanks in just one week – so we only have a few weeks left to go before they’re all wiped out. Because they really don’t work on the battlefield. They’re not for fighting, they’re for being blown up. Now we want you to actually increase your spending to 4%, to replenish all of the stocks, you’ve just depleted, 10 years, maybe 20 years, of your arms stocks. And you have to now replenish them very rapidly, in order to meet the NATO targets, that we and the State Department, have set. So military today isn’t really how you control other countries. America’s found it much easier to do this by financial mechanisms.

You conquer a country financially, you conquer a country by getting it to submit to austerity programs by the International Monetary Fund, again, to impose austerity, to keep its local wages down. So you use finance as a means of imposing post-industrialization and depression, in order to prevent democracy from developing.

So any country that is seeking to promote a democracy by public spending on basic infrastructure, or banking, like China is doing, is called an autocracy. And every autocracy that has imposed a client oligarchy, to fight against labor, and to prevent these policies that would help enrich and industrialize the economy, is called a democracy, not an autocracy.

So we’re back in the Orwellian logic to describe a situation, that probably even the cynical George Orwell, would not have thought could go quite this far.

Much like the famous aphorism about the Holy Roman Empire, the Military-Industrial Complex can’t wage war, has no industrial capacity, and really isn’t difficult to understand.

Redefine a word all you want, but don’t expect the redefined version to perform its original function.