Myth of War Prosperity Explained by Zorg


If war made a country prosperous, or got them moving economically again, then we should agree with another country to build an enormous fleet each year, sail it to the middle of the ocean, and sink the entire thing.
A soldier is a drain on resources. He needs shoes, clothing, food, and ammunition but does not make any of those things. They have to be appropriated by force from the shoe-maker, the tailor, the farmer, and the munitions factory laborer. Or indirectly through other taxation.
If there are no soldiers at all, or an insufficient amount, then liberty is compromised as other nations can roll in and crush the working citizen. So, that's out of the question.
The question is: what is the correct number of soldiers needed? Is there such a thing as too many? Is there any number where you would say "wait a minute"? Five million? Ten million? A hundred million?
How many does it take to secure liberty? Should a country even have a standing army?
If you live in the US then I want you right now to say how many people are laboring in the armed forces. Do you know? If not, you should know.

Side note: it is my opinion that the entire US Federal Government should be funded by tariffs and "miscellaneous". Corporate and personal income taxes should be completely eliminated. Most functions currently performed by the federal government should be moved to the states (where citizens have more control). The entire federal budget should be right around 100 Billion, mostly for the needed level of military spending. Everything else should be State, county, city or (even better) individual.
Just imagine it for a moment: no IRS, no exposing your personal finances to the government, getting paid in cash, prices falling by 20% or more all across the board, huge influx of investments into the US. And more importantly, you would be free.
Huge downside of this idea: you, yes you, will have to take care of the old people next door. You, yes you, will have to personally get involved.

Response from Mike Dunn

according to the department of defense website, there are 2.6 million americans in the armed forces. I'm sure that number is smaller that it actually is if we counted everyone who is indirectly involved with the military and the national guard. That number might be one percent of the population. In my opinion, that is way too high for 'peace time.'

Many of the founders expressed a sincere fear of a standing army. We never had a standing army until world war 1. Until that time, almost everyone was sent home after the wars ended.

That's why we have the 2nd amendment.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
It's my understanding that the founders intended for the entire body of the nation to be 'the militia.' Americans used to be encouraged to keep weapons, not for self defense, but to kill the bad guys who would come and steal our country. I believe that average americans should be allowed to have military grade weapons. Who would attack us if every person in every house had their own firearms and knew how to use them? If someone attacked, they would be fighting 300 million americans defending their homes. If we needed to go someplace around the world, we wouldn't need any training, and the government wouldn't have to buy anyone any weapons, we'd all just bring our own, like the Revolution. We would have a well trained public and wouldn't have to waste money on training our soldiers. Everyone would just know what to do.

If the terrorists can keep the United States from winning in Afghanistan for 10 years with no formal organized military, certainly 300 million americans can keep any foreign country off our land, provided each citizen has the means to do so.

How would Hitler's Russian campaign have ended if russians had been allowed to keep and practice with weapons; if each russian had the military skills and equipment of the germans? How much money could russia have saved and spent on ships and aircraft instead of boots and bullets?

Hey Shawn,

I just wanted to point out something I took away from that blog entry which is that the Zorg clip, rather than explaining the "myth" that a country prospers from war, is actually playing exactly into the point you are making against it.

Bear with me,

When you put the clip into context of a country at war, it was Zorg who initiated the conflict by pushing the glass off. That means Zorg represent the participant country and the robots would be the "standing Army" belonging to the country (him). The argument he makes it to think about all the people who make the robots, and how much they prospered and will be able to go home and feed their on and so forth. Now, a country at war commissions the tools of war, and thus companies in the business of war win the contracts and profit greatly during war times. This would represent Bell Helicopter, Lockheed-Martin, Barretta Firearms, Colt, etc. There is no doubt that these entities benefit from war. But to be implying that the country at war is prospering, would be if Zorg himself said that he was the one who was made money and took food home to feed his children. But in the end that is never stated, and ultimately Zorg has lost the glass, and still had to paid for the robots.

In summery, the clip shows that when a country goes to war, it is drained financially, and the companies that create the instruments of war prosper.

I agree that there is too much defense spending and that we have built up our forces more than is necessary (heck, i'm IN the service and think that). It seems wrong to me when an 18 year old can sign a paper, go off to be trained for 4-12 months and be bringing in 35,000 a year from the start (gross starting salary for an E-1). However, i felt that the clip was used somewhat out of context and actually illuminates this point ^ (although it takes a bit of closer inspection as the point is not directly stated).


P.S. I've been keeping up with the Valhalla vids. and I like what i'm seeing. The Orks look sweet, the board looks sweet, and I am totally on the same page as you about tourney games vs friendly/RPG games of 40K, so i'm SUPER looking forward to next month!



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