||CHAPTER 10: ROOT CAUSES OF THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY||Page 30|
The destruction of the socialist world resulted from a deliberate policy of the West to bankrupt them with the arms race. The long-term effects for world peace were negative, as it was interpreted as a victory for military confrontation in the West. And now there is no longer a developed alternative to the underlying causes of war in the exploitation of people within the capitalist nations and between the rich and poor nations.
But the arms race is a two-edged sword. The U.S. economy is also overburdened by military production as a result of it. The U.S. is less and less able to produce quality industrial goods for export or for internal consumption (footnote 12). It may be headed for a similar economic collapse, with political consequences that could be very dangerous for world peace.
With the end of the Cold War, the danger of inter-state wars has receded, and the danger of civil wars has become more evident. More than ever we become aware that the culture of war has always had internal as well as external aspects, that militarism has historically been used not only for war between states, but also for the maintenance of power within the state.
I have documented the internal interventions of the military in U.S. history and found that there has been an average of about 20 interventions and about 12,000 troops per year for more than a century (footnote 13). In the early years of the 19th Century, these interventions were directed primarily against native Americans and used for the maintenance of slavery. After the Civil War the interventions were used to break strikes and curb the power of trade unions. And since World War II, they have been used primarily for the control of urban riots which involve unemployed youth for the most part.
There is no reason to think that the situation in U.S history is much different from that of all the other great powers. If we are to see the replacement of the culture of war with a culture of peace, it will be necessary to replace the use and/or threat of military force for internal state control with a system of democracy which can ensure stability without coercion. This task requires an economy of peace, as well as political institutions of participative democracy.
What is needed at this point in history is the development of peace economies that are able to satisfy the needs of people without exploitation and without resort to military production. Whether this can be done at the level of the nation-state, or whether it must be accomplished at other levels, both local levels and international/regional levels, is very much a question of the day.
(end of Chapter 10)