Rational Nation has on prior occasion posted video and comments referencing President Eisenhower's farewell speech to the nation in 1961. His warnings with respect to the growing "Military Industrial Complex", as he coined it, have largely went unheeded.
Today we continue to influenced by the power of the military, the industries supporting the war machine, and a governemnt that continues on with interventionst foreign policy. The responsibility for this rests with both major political parties. But remember, it was the conservatives of Eisenhower's day, individuals like Barry Goldwater and others than understood the dangers of which Eisenhower cautioned.
Perhaps, if we can return this nation to a true conservative Libertarian philosophy, we will have the opportunity to stabilize our ship. It won't be easy taming the beast. But our best shoot at doing so is a return to conservative principals of fiscal responsibility and limited government. This includes rethinking our military presence worldwide and focusing on actual national defense rather than being the world's policeman.
The following is taken from "The Thirty Five Greatest Speeches in History" by Brett and Kate McKay.
The 1950′s were a time of ever increasing military spending, as the United States sought to fight communism abroad and prevent it at home. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office, more than half of the federal budget was allocated for defense purposes. Eisenhower, former General of the Army, was certainly not opposed to the use of military power to keep the peace. Still, he saw fit to use his “Farewell Address” to warn the nation of the dangers posed by the “military-industrial complex,” referring to the relationship between the armed forces, the government, and the suppliers of war materials. Eisenhower was wary of the large role defense spending played in the economy, and understood the political and corporate corruption that could result if the public was not vigilant in checking it.
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. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Read full text of speech here.
Cross posted at Left Coast Rebel.