The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Arms expenditure:
The best support of the capitalist economy

Jul 2, 2007

According to the last figures published in 2006 by SIPRI (Peace Research Institute of Stockholm), worldwide military expenditures continue to grow, attaining the figure of 1.2 trillion billion dollars.

This sum is greater than the gross national product of entire countries such as Spain or Canada. Nearly half the total world military expenses are from the United States, which since 2004 has spent a billion dollars every week to carry out the war in Iraq and another billion for the one in Afghanistan.

Twenty years ago, as the farce of the “Cold War” was being buried, Business Week warned, “when peace breaks out … a dark shadow appears on the horizon of a healthy economy.”

Business Week shouldn’t have worried. As soon as the so-called “Cold War” was over, the big military powers found a new pretext: the “Global War on Terrorism.”

Military expenditures, made in the name of this war, go directly into the coffers of the forty major producers of arms for the state. The top four manufacturers – Raytheon, L-3 Communications, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, each saw their sales revenue climb more than a billion dollars in 2005.

According to the U.N., 135 billion dollars a year, barely 10 % of military expenditures, would be sufficient to cut world poverty in half. Clearly, the capitalists don’t consider eliminating poverty “healthy” for their economy.