Tuesday, August 03, 2004

WHAT I'M READING TODAY


The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, by Chalmers Johnson, in re this post:

The distinction between the military and militarism is crucial. By military I mean all the activities, qualities, and institutions required by a nation to fight a war in its defense. A military should be concerned with ensuring national independence, a sine qua non for the maintenance of personal freedom. But having a military by no means has to lead to militarism, the phenomenon by which a nation's armed services come to put their institutional preservation ahead of acheiving national security or even a commitment to the integrity of the governmental structure of which they are a part...When a military is transformed into an institution of militarism, it naturally begins to displace all other institutions witin a government devoted to conducting reltions with other nations. One sign of the advent of militarism is the assumption by a nation's armed forces of numerous tasks that should be reserved for civilians.

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