Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Does Your Ideal World Look Like?

Next time you hear someone complaining about politics and the state of the world - you know the type, long on moral outrage, short on ideas - ask them: what is the end goal of what you believe? What's the point of it all?

I suspect and hope that for most of us the ideal world looks very similar, and we just have different priorities and methods for getting there.

The following three quotes are an effective reminder of the kind of America and world it's worth struggling for, and in 2009 they seem positively revolutionary.

We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

- President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the start of his first term, 16 April 1953

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, farewell address, 17 January 1961

President Eisenhower's concern about the military industrial complex...his words have unfortunately come true. He was worried that priorities are set by what benefits corporations as opposed to what benefits the country.

- John McCain, 2005, Why We Fight

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