military-industrial complex


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Militant and industrial societiesclick for a larger image
Fig. 20 Militant and industrial societies. Spencer's contrasts between militant and industrial societies. This table (from Smelser, 1968) is derived from Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Sociology, 1897.

military-industrial complex

a term introduced to the general public in a famous 1950s speech by President Eisenhower, in which he warned that the social structure of American society was becoming increasingly dominated by military and economic imperatives arising from the ARMS RACE. The suggestion that the capitalist economy has been dependent on a continuation of arms expenditure is controversial (compare TENDENCY TO DECLINING RATE OF PROFIT, OVERPRODUCTION AND UNDERCONSUMPTION). However, that the continuation of the COLD WAR (e.g. Thompson, 1982) significantly distorted the economies and political systems of the major powers, limiting the possibility of reform, is borne out by changes in the subsequent era of greater detente, (see PERESTROIKA, GLASNOST), and the collapse of Soviet power.
References in periodicals archive ?
Whereas Adams describes the rise of the complex from the situation in which, "having dismantled the arsenals it did have, the government is forced to buy what it no longer can make" and government "confronts powerful oligopolists in a market where technical capability rather than price is the controlling variable" ("The Military-Industrial Complex," 655), Epstein shows that there was no lack of competition in the torpedo industry.
The Tuazon approach overstates the role of the US military-industrial complex. While it is true that it is one of the major inputs to US foreign policy, the latter is subject to all the checks inherent in a democratic society, including the all-important public opinion.
But if Eisenhower was right about the military-industrial complex's insatiable need to keep increasing its budget, size, and influence, it is foolish to expect any defense secretary to propose wiser spending, let alone agree to spend less.
It is clear that Eisenhower did not believe that the "military-industrial complex" was to blame for the Cold War.
His answers are inspired by the earlier work of Sidney Lens on the military-industrial complex and of Ernest Mandel on the periodization of capitalism.
In the early 1960s computers were rigid contributions to the military-industrial complex; by the 1990s they represented a collaborative, digitial utopia based on communal ideals and public participation.
Why don't the peace movement, the environmental movement and the labor movements get together and create a unified demand to convert the military-industrial complex to peaceful production?
(Meanwhile, the economy lost about a million nongovernment jobs.) So don't thank tax cuts, thank the military-industrial complex.
As hippies broke own social barriers with sex, drugs and rock and roll, feminists and black activists joined with peace protesters to denounce the military-industrial complex. In 1968 things came to the boiling point with the Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, race riots, university campus violence and the election of Richard Nixon.
To the Editor: Your article "Plowshares to Swords and Back" (July's "ASME: the first 125 years") opened by noting Dwight Eisenhower's first use of the term "military-industrial complex," and his concern regarding the creation of a "permanent armaments industry of vast proportions." It then described the World War II buildup of our arms industry, the ensuing technical advancements that have proceeded from military-sponsored research, and the positive impacts these have had upon our everyday lives.
A professor of industrial engineering at Columbia University, he was a thorn in the side of the military-industrial complex, exposing the false rationales and economic absurdities of the arms race.
The troops' destination, a military-industrial complex called Camp Dogwood around 15 miles south west of Baghdad, also came under bombardment.

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