Imperialism Alive and Well in Support of U.$. Military
30 March 2015 - As ordered by the Federal government, the U.$. Army must reduce Amerika's active-duty soldier ranks by more than 40,000 by 2017. Recently, here in Alaska, a state which, since its colonization and subsequent possession by the United $tates, has been very heavily subsidized by government funding, large crowds of predominantly white petty-bourgeoisie turned out to demonstrate and rally against the military cuts. The reason? Some 10,000 troops and their families may leave the state, causing 1 billion dollars in losses to the state economy.(1) In other words, large groups of social parasites, living off the largess of their imperial overlord in Washington and the Pentagon, and the sub-parasites who feed off the primary parasites' existence, stand to lose their stable and guaranteed incomes and relatively high standards of living (gained mainly from the oppression and exploitation of the Third World and enforced by the same military) and may need to find other ways to support themselves.
The "Rally For Our Troops," attended by more than 400 people, was organized by Anchorage, Alaska-based business, civic and municipal organizations and was aimed at sparing cuts to Anchorage's joint base Elmendorf-Richardson and Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. Alaska has more veterans per capita than any other state, and in the so-called "worst-case scenario," as many as 10,800 troops and 19,000 dependents could be forced to depart, amounting to a loss of about 4 percent of Alaska's population.(1) This is not surprising, as some estimates place the amount of the working population associated with government employment as high as 60%.
Of course, the event began with a resounding display of the imperialists' early indoctrination and brainwashing of the young through a performance of a local middle school's Drum Corps and Flag Team, accompanied by hundreds of others waving little Amerikan flags and cheering. After the initial show, the discussion began around convincing the four-person army committee present of the "strategic importance" of the main unit (4th brigade/25th infantry combat team).
The local community concern over losing Army Combat Brigades is economic. It could cost the state 1 billion dollars in economic impact, according to Bill Popp, Anchorage Economic Development corporation President and one of the rally coordinators.(1) That, along with the expected population decrease aforementioned, is the overriding concern for businesses and many concerned participants. Hence, we are here confronted with a major historic and pernicious problem with such outlooks: that being the insipid and persistent factor of self-interest and economic dependence of a large percentage of the Amerikan labor aristocracy on the continuation and preservation of imperialism and its most oppressive and pervading manifestation, the military industrial complex.
The labor aristocracy's support of imperialism coupled with the strategic concerns of the ruling class in perpetuating global capitalist domination via military and political power are two of the biggest foes of the international proletariat in achieving socialist revolution and change in the world today. The front-line defense of any existing, regular administration and order of imperialist rule is its police and regular army, and will be deployed against the will of the revolution when it comes. It will undoubtedly obey its political and economic masters. History is replete with examples of the U.$. military being unleashed not only on the international proletariat to further the interests of the imperialists in their unceasing quest for strategic domination and natural resource/labor exploitation, but also on internal colony repression and domestic discontent control. The U.$. military, just as much as the prison system, is an inherent and vital mechanism for social control and the protection of the established order.
Historical instances abound around the world where the military and U.$. troops were used to break workers' strikes, put down political and social demonstrations, and help corporate power exploit and repress the working class and quash popular discontent with governmental policy. Often times they use quite brutal and violent means and tactics, including blatant murder of citizens, armed or not. Troops have also been used to entrench and enforce racial and economic inequality and conserve the status quo.
To illustrate a few examples of domestic military oppression: from very early on, continuing right through to almost the mid-20th century and including sporadic examples even in the present day, the military was very frequently called out to suppress and eliminate labor disputes and strikes all over the United $tates at the bidding of their corporate masters in Washington. This occurred primarily in the days when a true economic and political proletariat existed within the U.$. borders. One example of this type of domestic military oppression was the infamous "Ludlow Massacre" of 1914, in which the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation, owned by the Rockefeller family, used murder, beatings, imprisonments and gun attacks to break the strike of thousands of deplorably-exploited foreign-born miners, employing the Army National Guard to do so. At one point, the National Guard opened fire with machine guns on an encampment housing hundreds of women and children, which resulted in the deaths of 11 children and 2 wimmin after the Guard set fire to their tents with torches.(2) Less than 60 years later, another Rockefeller was responsible for the brutal Attica prison massacre, once against perpetrated by the Army National Guard.(3)
During the civil rights era, military attacks occurred against Black demonstrators repeatedly, such as happened in Watts, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago, with numerous accounts of brutality committed on peaceable demonstrators and even mere bystanders. In Ohio, college students demonstrating against the imperialist Vietnam War were mowed down by Federal troops. The list of such barbaric and repressive actions against U.$. citizens by military agencies is far too long to include here, but just these few examples should show succinctly how willing and ready U.$. military forces can and will be in violently confronting anyone who poses any challenge to the Amerikan status quo and imperialist agenda.
Even soldiers themselves can become victims of imperialist greed. In both the Vietnam and Iraq wars thousands of veterans were for years denied medical care or even recognition of numerous insidious maladies, many life-threatening, resulting from munitions or chemicals used by the military in those wars: Agent Orange in Vietnam, uranium=tipped shells and inoculations for chemical warfare in Iraq, and other causes of "Gulf War Syndrome" in Iraq. Of course, all this says nothing for the countless thousands of indigenous victims of these brutal wars of imperialist oppression, many civilians and children, who get no help at all from the Amerikan government since such statistics aren't kept by the Pentagon.
The imperialists create new threats and dangers to justify ongoing funding to the already enormous Amerikan military. The "Cold War" and the "War on Terror" are just two examples of these excuses for maintaining a hugely bloated military establishment. As leftist political commentator Noam Chomsky wrote: "the appeal to security is largely fraudulent, the Cold War framework having been employed as a device to justify the suppression of independent nationalism - whether in Europe, Japan or the Third World." As Maoists, we recognize that it includes the suppression of internal colonies within the United $tates as well.
Of course, the biggest threat to any revolutionary movements is the standing army, which reactionary and counter-revolutionary factions and governments will not hesitate to use, unleashing military personnel and arms against citizens who pose any threat or challenge to the establishment. As was seen in the 1917 Russian Revolution, reactionary generals such as Kornilov and Kaledin initiated counter-revolutionary attacks against the newly-formed Soviets, and the Western imperialist powers inserted military forces in an intervention aimed at undermining the socialists and keeping Russia embroiled in the inter-imperialist world war.(4)
Revolutionary activists need to confront rallies like the one held in Anchorage with their own counter-rallies opposing military spending and maintenance. Those under lock and key can write letters and send petitions to representatives, suggesting more funds be spent for educational, nutritional or medical programs for the dispossessed and recently-imprisoned as opposed to military funding. Any opposition to military expenditure and activity is desirable as first steps toward the future of socialism in imperialist Amerika. Don't let the official, unceasing propaganda in the media (i.e., ISIS, Russia/Putin, etc) fool anyone - the imperialist military establishment needs to be opposed at all levels and through all possible endeavors by all committed socialists, even if it conflicts with relations to family members who may be enlisted. Every dollar spent on military funding should be seen as one less morsel for food, one less book or pen, or one less dose of life-saving medicine for the world’s proletariat. And now with imperialist defenders and lap dogs like Representative John Boehner asking for increased funding for military and "national security" in the face of the continuing "ISIS" farce and propaganda, and U.$. Senator Dan Sullivan proclaiming that "he who owns Alaska owns the entire world" (statements from U.$. politicians don't get more imperialist-minded than that!), we can see that the Amerikan imperialists will continue to use any excuse to perpetuate the money pit and pig sty that is the U.$. military establishment and its presence both domestic and abroad. Socialists everywhere must hold it as among the highest priorities to organize and act against this greatest of threats to humynity and equality.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer does a good job explaining the importance of opposing the U.$. military and the reasons why so many Amerikans support this imperialist army. S/he proposes that we take action by demanding that the money currently funding the military be instead used to help provide food, medicine and education for the international proletariat. As a goal for improving the lives of the world's people we certainly agree. But we do not see this as a winnable battle under imperialism. As the author explains, the Amerikan military is a tool of U.$. imperialism: it's purpose is to keep the people around the world in line so that imperialist corporations can exploit the workers and steal the natural resources. This colonialism is fundamental to the economic model of imperialism. Calling on the Amerikan government to voluntarily redirect military funds to the very people that military is helping to oppress and exploit is not a battle we can win with words alone.
It will take the forcible overthrow of the imperialist government before they will lay down their weapons and give up their wealth. History has shown this time and again: peaceful revolutions are not really revolutions at all. By playing their game and asking kindly for the government to redirect military funds to humanitarian needs we give the imperialists the chance to pretend they are actually working in the interests of the people. We should not mislead people into thinking this is possible. Any so-called humanitarian work by the imperialists is just a cover for their brutal militarism.
This author is correct: "Every dollar spent on military funding should be seen as one less morsel for food, one less book or pen, or one less dose of life-saving medicine for the world’s proletariat." The urgency of the situation can not be overstated, people around the world are dying while Amerikans are rallying for expansion of the imperialist military.