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Kalos: What is to be done with our World.
By Alfred de Grazia


PART FOUR: Militarism


Many dystrocracies of the world are under military rule. They are stratocracies, regimes dominated by professional soldiers who, for short or long duration, put their stamp upon the nation's policies and potential. The capacity of each country to rule itself by ideal norms and to participate in a world order is thereby affected.1

Just as all countries of modern times are to a degree dystrocracies, all countries are stratocracies. Both the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., not to mention France,2 have a prominent military element in their ruling circles. Certain highly exceptional cases such as Great Britain, Switzerland, Japan, and West Germany, have, at least temporarily, for reasons of principle and history, less of this military elite.3

China is still not far from its famous "war-lord" regimes of the first half of this century. Throughout its history "centrifugal tendencies were always powerful, and the area we think of as China was divided for periods nearly as long as those in which it was united. In 1928, "there were five nearly equally powerful militarist agglomerations, each controlling a separate base."4 During the famine of 1960, the Chinese army faced mutiny among its best troops because of the sufferings their families were undergoing. The new army is "popular", "revolutionary," "political," but still uncertain of its role-whether master organ of Premier Mao Tse-tung or fragmented into pro Mao, anti-Mao, and neutralist factions. Gittings regards the Chinese army's behavior as exemplary from the communist point of view.5

The military are educated to organize manpower, to cohere, to obey, to pass lives as public retainers without remorse, and to make plans without reference to economic realities. They are trained to nationalism and to territorial dominion.6 For thousands of years these qualities have prepared them to garrison their own and other nations whenever the ordinary rules and practices of a country are shattered by apparent confusion of beliefs and decision, or by forces of nature and external enemies.

The map of stratocracies follows two principal contours: disordered countries of dystrocratic conditions,7 that is, permanently off-balance by consensual standards, and ordered countries in a state of hypertension. Among the former are to be included such places as Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia, South Vietnam. Nigeria, Algeria, Bolivia, and Pakistan. Among the latter are the ancient Roman Empire, Japan and Germany just before World War II, and Greece under its junta; these would be the "garrison states" in Harold Lasswell's terminology.8 Spain teeters on the edge of this condition under General Franco, its frozen militarism being followed by a thaw of six years, and then, in 1968, a renewed suppression of "liberalism" especially at the instigation of the preponderant military types in the ruling group.9 Several of the major plutocracies, such as the United States and France, and taxocracies, such as the Soviet Union10 and Poland, are under considerable stratocratic pressures.

External Force Quotients

Stratocracy differs from militarism in that a stratocratic regime may often be unmilitaristic; its preoccupation may be domestic rule. "Each country," says the ex-President of Colombia, Eduardo Santos, "is being occupied by its own army."11 Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Pakistan, and Indonesia, for example, have not, under military rulers, been noticeably more aggressive externally than under their predecessor regimes.

The armed strength of nations does not relate clearly whether they are militaristic, stratocratic, or otherwise. Israel feels stratocratic pressures; its armed strength is superior to that of several of its neighboring countries which are stratocratic and dystrocratic; it is a society that is fully mobilized for war, resembling ancient early Rome in accepting warfare as part of its way of life for a civil society; but its regime has to be considered civilian character, and one notes how the world renowned warrior, General Moshe Dayan, was passed over emphatically and a woman selected as Premier in 1969.12 Israel is classified then as plutocratic, taxocratic, and then stratocratic. Armed strength, in turn, does not depend solely upon industry and equipment. The morale of the armed forces and their leadership are often crucial, as evidenced in the Finn-Russian conflict of 1940, the Greco-Italian conflict of 1941, the Israel-Arab Nations conflict in 1967, and the Viet Cong-American conflict begun in 1965.

Putting the psychological factor aside for the moment, the external force quotients of the nations of the world can be readily calculated on eight indicators and a 20 point maximum; these would be the strength of the army, navy and air forces (3 points each); manufacture of nuclear weapons (3); missile delivery systems (2); means of transportation (2); industrial base (2); and strategic deployment of forces in the world. On this basis, the U.S.A. scores 20; the U.S.S.R. 17, because of air force, transportation, and deployment deficiencies; the United Kingdom 10; China 9; and France 7. Another group of nations scores 4: Brazil, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Spain, Turkey, and West Germany. A third group scores 3: Czechoslovakia, India, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea, Poland, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Pakistan.

However clever it may be, this conventional kind of strength accounting is almost useless in itself. True force is dependent upon morale and organizational leadership and also upon the leadership's capacity to carry forward the policies of a country and to meet the external pressures that may be placed upon it. To compare Swedish and Burmese forces is absurd; they have no conceivable relationship. To compare Burmese with Chinese forces is more useful, if only to judge the capacity of Burma to resist Chinese aggression.

Not even the force of the U.S.A. can be considered on absolute grounds. In a limited set of circumstances, where only certain kinds of violence can be employed (as in Vietnam), to count nuclear armaments is like a miser counting his gold while a bandit is stealing his daughter.

A more useful classification of nations by force-potential would stress the weight and mobility of their military. In the concept of the weight of forces, we imply their supportability and their ability to incur losses; in the concept of mobility, we treat of their ability to maneuver, reach out, and strike. Then we would have light immobile forces (e.g. Lebanon, Philippines); light mobile forces (e.g. Switzerland, Sweden); medium immobile forces (e.g. Pakistan, North Korea); medium mobile (e.g. South Africa, France); heavy immobile (e.g. China); and heavy nuclear (the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R.).

True stratocracies are not major powers. The army rules because there is no dominant communist party13 or industrial class. In fact, no mobile medium or heavy elaborate nuclear power is a stratocracy. Rather stratocracies are found only among countries that support immobile light and medium forces.

Mobile light forces, like mobile medium and heavy nuclear forces, are found among technically advanced and usually plutocratic countries. Switzerland, Sweden, and Israel are examples. They are able to afford up-to-date equipment and do not suffer an impulsion to use up large numbers of unemployed bodies as soldiers.

Effects of Armaments

If a nation's forces are not deployed for constructive internal purposes or used as international agents, then from the stand point of a world consensus, they are of no Kalotic use, because their missions are illusory, costly, and dangerous.14

What forces are capable of use for international purpose? Obviously those that are of the greatest threat to the world, the heavy nuclear armaments of the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. The nuclear armaments of Britain, France, and China cannot remotely compare with those of the two heavy nuclear powers; they impede the achievement of plutocratic domestic policies. And, of course, they would hamper the Kalotic Movement. They are nearly a complete nuisance, to the world and to Britain and France. For China, they offer a small possibility of a painful blow to the Soviet Union and America; within a few years, they may act as a deterrent.

The perils of heavy nuclear armaments are to be discussed in Chapter X. Let it be said here, however, that without nuclear armaments, the world would probably have been subjected to a disastrous war between the United States and the Soviet Union in the nineteen-fifties.15 Each country had ample reason to believe that it could dominate Europe and the Middle East by conventional warfare. If nuclear armaments, then, could be dismantled within the next fifty years without an outbreak of missile warfare, their net effect will have been to terrorize two generations but to prevent a terrible war whose ultimate consequences would be uncertain16

In the domestic politics of countries that are only partially militarized, heavy nuclear armaments, instead of contributing to stratocratic development, serve somewhat to isolate and embarrass the military; this strange psychological and technical effect diminishes the total political impact of the military. A seemingly inhuman elite of esoteric scientists and computer watchers is followed, not by flag-waving crowds, but by a perturbed public scanning their behavior for some indication of madness.

This attitude reflects upon the more conventional soldiers whose weaponry, even though highly mechanized, mobile and powerful, seems dwarfed by the awesome potential of the nuclear armaments. Hence, they do not easily achieve the deference that tends to be afforded the humanly comprehensible "defenders of the nation". This carries over even to countries not possessing nuclear armaments. The conclusion, then, is that the terrors of nuclear armaments depress the political potential of organized military factions in first-class powers. Add the factor of a large industrial establishment upon which the military is heavily dependent, and which is staffed and directed by plutocratic or bureaucratic elements, and the conclusion must be that the domestic political system is not going to become a stratocracy.

The grave consequences of heavy nuclear and mobile medium armaments system upon domestic and world politics consist in their skewing the distribution of energy within a country and creating unnecessarily heavy burdens for dystrocratic countries. Since World War II, over one trillion dollars have been spent upon armaments. In 1968 over two hundred billion dollars were spent. Two thirds of this amount were paid out by the governments of the Soviet Union and the United States. Ten percent of the Gross National Product of the world goes into military systems. An increasing proportion of the national budgets of dystrocratic countries goes into armaments, dragging them back in respect to every Kalotic desideratum17 -- subsistence, freer opportunity, legal rights, health, education. They are force-fed bullets and guns, like so many geese whose livers are being fattened to provide pate. But the geese come to like it; the Libyan pro-Nassar junta could buy over a hundred warplanes from France in 1970 even when the Near East crisis was at its peak.

The industrial powers compete to sell, lend, and give them arms.18 England, France, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, the United States-these are the major proponents of dystrocracy and stratocracy through armaments. Can any Russian, in his right mind, maintain that world communism or Soviet power vis-a-vis America was promoted by the successive masses of armaments handed to the masters of Egypt? And what of Sweden, hypocritical exporter of cannons and world reformers? With whom is Sweden competing for allies?

Since 1945, the United States had exported over $45 billions of military equipment, while the rest of world exported $16 billions. Of the $5 billions of arms trade each year, the U.S.A. accounts for 2 billions. Some eighty countries are dubiously the beneficiaries.19

America's training and arming of dystrocracies and stratocracies have been of dubious net value either in winning faithful allies or in helping plutocracies and modernizing regimes. Fourteen members of the Velasco junta that seized power in Peru, in the anti-Yankee "golpe" of 1968 were trained in America. Nearly 50,000 Central-South American military personnel studied in American schools between 1950 and 196820 Ideas of professionalism, social and industrial modernization, and neutrality in domestic policies made some headway; the opposing environmental and psychological pressures are too great to make them felt in the native habitat. The $75 to $150 millions of arms sales and grants that go south each year do little against communism and harm the chances of any Kalotic Movement.

There can be only one policy for a beneficent revolution to fallow : from its base in any country-whether the U.S.A., England, France, `Sweden, Czechoslovakia,or wherever -- it must ban all shipments of armaments to every country. Arms make poor allies; arms make countries poor; arms deepen dystrocratic problems everywhere arms provoke conflict; arms foster stratocracies; arms disrupt internal policies; arms ignite small wars; arms shipments do not end, but rather help spread, the competition for more arms. Can the rulers of the United States or the Soviet Union, not to mention the jackals of the arms business, both states and privateers, truthfully say that they spread the doctrines or enhanced prosperity or furthered world order anywhere, anytime, in this last generation by the building up of friendly powers through arms supply? An absolute "No" is the answer !

Armament dealing in a world wracked by famine, diseases, and brutal government does far more harm to the world for less reason than the traffic in prostitutes or the narcotics trade.21 The domestic repercussion of the arms trade and the domestic effects of armaments, are of course, of even greater importance.

The Military Industrial Complex

It has been claimed by many writers that in the United States there exists a military-industrial complex whose size and influence threatens the balance of the economy and the freedom of the people.22 An abundance of statistics is offered by way of proof. Ten percent of the Gross National Product is spent for national defence. Eighty percent of the sales of the aero-space industry in the United States are to the national government. Thirty percent of all scientists and engineers in the U.S.A. work for aerospace industry.23 One third of the national budget goes to war and defence expenditures. One out of every fifteen Americans is dependent directly or indirectly upon the component of external violence in the American economy. The U.S.A. maintained 2,270 military installations on foreign soil, 399 of which are termed "major". Thayer figures that 25% of every tax dollar goes to support these.24 The Defence Department owned 30,587,000 acres of land and 327,584 buildings, with a total value of $40.9 billions.25 Senator William Proxmire reported in 1969 that 2,072 retired military men of the rank of colonel or above were employed by the 95 leading military contracting companies.26

The situation of the Soviet Union, being a poorer country, is even worse. These two nations, in order to reinforce their front of clouded political issues with a fear of mutual destruction, appropriate a quarter of all the world,s industrial energies to warfare. Half their governmental corps is composed of military personnel.

However, despite what many believe, the mental leap from a known massive activity to a posited massive conspiracy and influence is not demonstrable nor even logical. The military and industrial personnel are not in any "advanced" country a freely calculating and determined set of militarists. They are part of a force that is out of control and they too are victims. If what they say and do colors the behavior and operations of their countries, it is because of the multiplication of energies headed in the same direction and not because they are planning to block social and economic improvements at home and abroad.

They are hundreds of thousands of ordinary men, dressed briefly in authority, who design, buy, contract, build, organize, negotiate, plead for funds, keep accounts, move men here and move men there, fire off munitions, change specifications, put on a ceremonial front to please the population, and defend vigorously and even viciously their iota of office in the total business. But all together, their activity amounts to an almost irresistible force that could sculpt nationalistic militarism as the graven image of contemporary government.27

Other effects of the military power are also deleterious. The military appropriates many months of a country's youth at a time when the desire to be physically free is most intense. Even in a relatively enlightened army such as the American, alternative annual expenditure of the same three billion man-hours would be socially preferable. In almost all other countries, the conscripted young are herded from place to place like sheep, with distorted knowledge, poor food, and bad habits weaving through tedious days, months, and years. Paramilitary training of the young, even more corrosive of personality and societal development, is found in China, the U.S.S.R., and other nations.

The military are ordinarily employed at tasks of minimal social value. A tiny mobile rescue force could take care of all of the humanitarian missions that ordinarily fall to the armed forces in any country. Where the military is used for socially constructive purposes, as in public works. It is in direct competition with more rationalistic and flexible methods of achieving the same ends. In both preceding cases, sheerly propagandistic effects are often achieved in order to enhance the image of the military without regard to the enormous social costs of the plant and its upkeep.The rise of a middle class in dystrocracies is hampered because military values are foreign to the rationalistic behavior of those who use the economy as a means to trade and production rather than as a lump of fat.28 In Central and South America, "the peculiarly Latin ideal of `machismo' has had a special effect on military tradition. Machismo... implies masculine pride, courage, style and mastery of women."29

The presence of a considerable military force in every country gives a point of reference and justification to chauvinistic and xenophobic enemies of a realistic international revolution. Propaganda, agitation, and violence can be wrapped up in military packaging, with or without the consent and support of the military as occurred early in the German Nazi revolution. Haters of other peoples - in general or of particular countries - and haters of internal social change can display themselves pretentiously and presumptively as calm choosers among decision options : It is easier to add five warplanes to fifty warplanes, than to add five two-million-dollar educational programs.

The military provoke taxocracy. They not only love collectivist lives themselves, but whatever they touch is infected by collectivism. This is the main reason why, despite all claims against the munitions - makers of plutocracies as war - mongers, the taxocratic state goes to bed more blissfully with heavy military machines. The two bureaucracies marry well, whatever ideological differences between their parents. In addition, even heavy industry in a plutocracy prefers to have numerous customers; as the military proportion of their output increases, their net profit often goes down and they are more heavily regulated.30

1. Jacques Van Doorn, ed., Armed Forces and Society, ( The Hague : Mouton, 1969 ).
2. The French army actually staged a successful coup in 1958 over the Algerian issue, but was promptly subdued by its chosen imperator, Charles de Gaulle. Cf. Orville D. Menard, The Army and the Fifth Republic (Lincoln, Neb. : University of Nebraska Press, 1967).
3. E. g., re the United Kingdom, "The men at the top are not at all typical fighting men... there is no powerful ,military lobby at Westminster like Washington's. The last and only Prime Minister was the Duke of Wellington." ( Anthony Sampson Anatomy of Britain Today, New York : Harper And Row,1965).
4. C. Martin Wilbur, "Military Separation in China," A paper given at the university of Chicago Center for policy study, 1968, in press at the University of Chicago Press,1969.
5. John Gittings, The Role of Chinese Army ( New York : Oxford University Press, 1967).
6. What Robert Ardrey ( New York : Dell, 1966) call the Territorial Imperative, Unlike the apes and other animals, man's great imagination, his biological/psychological flexibility, permits him to see the whole world as his domain, and again to be uninterested in seizin in deed per se. As with numerous human traits, even the most "fixed ones ( such as sex),the territorial imperative cannot be known a priori except as a tendency, and measures of man in a given time and place can then be used to specify the tendency.
7. Amos Perlmutter, "The Praetorian State and the Praetorian Army : Toward a Taxonomy of Civil-Military relations in Developing Polities," I Comp Pol (1969), pp. 382-404; Morris Janowitz, The Military in the Political Development of New Nations : An Essay in Comparative Analysis ( Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1964).
8. See this article in 46 American Journal of Sociology (1941), p.455.
9. Stanley G. Payne, Politics and the Military in Modern Spain (Stanford : Stanford University Press 1967).
10. E.g. the Soviet military were a major factor in the decision to invade Czechoslovakia) in 1967.
11. Herbert L. Matthews, " Latin Americans Buy Arms - But for what ?," New York Times ( 1968).
12. Cf. S. N. Eisenstadt, Israeli society (London, 1968 ).
13. Socialist and labor parties usually succumb to stratorats when a middle is weak, e. g. Argentina after Peron, Japan Before World War II.Of the Egyptian national socialist revolution, Anouar Abdel-Malek writes " The officers corps. is now organically integrated with the leading economic administrative and political groups," (xix) and in Arab Socialist Union of five million members "our of an Executive Committee of one hundred, it is possible to discover only two who belonged to the 'historical' non-Communist Left." (xxix). Egypt : Military Society 1962 trans New York : Random House 1968; the quotations are from the new preface of 1967.)
14. Cf. Morris Janowitz, The Military in the Political Development of New Nations (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1964) fro example and discussion.
15. The U.S.A. evidence is abundant, even if not yet collected on this "if" proposition. It is implicit on the Soviet side in the dilemmas that Alf Edeen has so well exposed in his analysis of Marshal V.D. Sokolovsky and other officers' papers on Military Strategy("The Strategy Debate in the Soviet Union," If cooperation and Conflict (1965),pp. 1-15.
16. We must watch out for radically new weapons that would overwhelm or disarm nuclear power. It is impossible to assert whether such ultraelectronic, chemical, or other weaponry would have a pro-Kalotic or anti-Kalotic effect.
17. The U.N. report, Economic and Social Consequences of Disarmament (New York:Document 62 IX. 1 of the U.N. Even while Chile was buying fighter planes from England, president Frei was saying,"If we were to get involved in ever increasing arms purchases we would not be able to finance agrarian reform, housing for workers, or our education program."See also the Reports of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency on World Military Expenditures (1962 ff.).
18. The following appeared in the New York Times of March 8, 1970. in an article on the arms trade of france.

The Mirage is merchandized with vigor and flexibility. Avions Marcel Dassult is a private firm, but works through the French Government in making foreign sales. Where American aircraft salesmen can count on only inconsistent support from , American embassies, Dassault expects and gets government assistance that permits price advantages and licensing agreements that are strong inducements.
19. Statistics of this paragraph are from George Thayer,"The War Business," I Washington Monthly (January,1970),pp.63-73.
20. Benjamin Welles in the New York Times (ca. fall, 1968). Also Malcolm W.Brown,New York Times, December 26,1968,p14.
21. The U.S.A., beginning with an amendment to the 1968 foreign assistance appropriations bill, adopted a policy of reducing economic aid to any country by the amount spent by the country for advanced weapons. When Peru in 1968 ordered 12 French Mirage jets for over $520 millions, all aid loans to peru were cancelled. This is a step forward, only if the U.S. arms trade is included in the formula, which of course, the U.S. does not do.
22. E.g. Richard J.Barnet, The Economy of Death (New York : Atheneum,1969); Clark R.Mollenhoff, The pentagon (New York:G.P.Putnam's Sons, 1967) which describes in detail many powers exercised by the military; C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite (New York : Oxford University Press, 1956); G.William domhoff, who Rules America? (Engle-wood Cliffs, N.J.:Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1967); and samuel P, Huntington Civilian Control of the Military: A Theoretical Statement; Ralph E. Lapp The Military-Industrial complex New York:Pilgrim Press, 1970).
23. Figures from Aerospace Facts and figures, 1967 (1968)
24. Op. Cit., p.66.
25. Statistical Abstract of the U.S. : 1968, p 195.
26. A similar study in 1959 showed 721 in the top 88 companies. (New York Times, March 23, 1969,p32.) A question may be raised not only as to the political danger of such practices but of the danger of indirect corruption and of possible danger of innovative sterility, since older men are now dealing with younger men regarding the equipment systems that they helped to develop and institute.
27. Cf.Charles J. Hitch, "The Defense Sector: Its Impact on American Business,'' pp. 17-56 in J.K. Javits, et al., The Defense Sector and the American Economy (New York: New York University Press,1968). On page 55 Hitch says " a truer picture is not of one giant military industrial complex but of a whole array of little military-industrial complexes, each promoting its own firm.'' Senator J.W. Fulbright on December 1,1969 spoke in detail on the large scale public relations effort of the military (international Herald Tribune, December 2, 1969,p.2.)
28. John J. Johnson, The Military and society in Latin America (Stanford California: Stanford University Press, 1964); Edwin Lieuwen, Arms and politics in Latin America.
29. Malcolm Brown, loc.cit.
30. E.g., U.S. Steel : 1941, $116 millions; 1945, $58 millions; 1952 (korean War), $143 millions. Cf. also Getler,,"The Complex Complex,'' Aerospace Technology, 21 (January 1, 1968),p.58.


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