Most readers will remember that very recently President Niinistö was meeting Donald Trump and that Trump was, during the press conference after the meeting, talking as if it were already decided and agreed that Finland would buy an updated version of Boeing’s F-18 jet fighter in order to replace its present (ageing) less advanced F-18 fighters.
This was not true (and presumably just an attempt from Trump’s side to give Boeing’s jets an advantage during the coming considerations which fighters Finland should buy). But it does also point to an extremely serious problem which affects all of mankind (and which I, accordingly, am tempted to call mankind’s worst enemy):
We know that the USA are investing astronomical amounts of money into its military (with the result that there is no other nation which would be able to defeat the USA in a military conflict). Still the USA continue to develop and produce ever more advanced weapons. And we also know since at least 2003 that the USA are quite willing to invade and occupy countries anywhere in the world under pretences, using all of its modern weapons in the process. Which means that any country which does not wish to submit to the wishes of the USA has to somehow keep up with the USA in an arms race – which in turn will, in civilized countries (which cannot count on being able to recruit large numbers of suicide bombers), cost also those countries astronomical amounts of money. And the money spent on the military is then of course unavailable for other (better) purposes.
What hinders the USA from simply stopping this continuous (but quite unnecessary) update of its military? After all the USA could well afford to leave for quite some years its military as it is and still be invincible. The factor which keeps the continuous update going is of course the military-industrial complex: big firms who consider the development, production and sale of weapons as quite normal Capitalist activity (quite the same as the production of, say, cars, food and medicaments). Weapons are designed, developed, produced, advertised and sold to anybody who is willing and able to pay for them. In this, also the advertisement is following the usual principles of this branch of industry: problems are hugely exaggerated, necessities claimed where there are none, inconvenient facts are suppressed … . But the result are of course profits, which look good in the statistics about the GNP, hold also some promise of taxes for the government. Thus, all the “big players” are reasonably satisfied (the industry, the government, and also the nationalist-minded citizens who feel safe with and proud about all those weapons which make the nation “great”). And the “losers” who do not really like to pay for all this with their taxes are kept quiet/invisible by means of propaganda and police. The resulting situation is very similar to that which George Orwell was already describing in his “1984” (as content of the book which was produced by and circulated in the Inner Party).
The situation of the “losers” is clear: from their anyway not so high income taxes are deducted and wasted for purposes which do not result in any benefit for them. And that is the same in the countries which have to keep up reasonably well in the arms race which is imposed on them by those who UNNECESSARILY go on developing and selling weapons for the sole purpose of earning profits. If, as a result of this, there is no money for health care, food, education, preservation of the environment and prevention of climate warming, who cares? At least not the “big players”. The whole thing is the result of Capitalist mechanisms which one simply allows to continue instead of controlling them.
And how could one control them? One way would be boycott: if the USA refuse to control their military-industrial complex and even try to help it by “suggesting” to their allies/satellites that they should buy American weapons, then e.g. the European countries could agree among themselves that they should NOT buy US weapons, by that making it clear to that military-industrial complex that the possibilities of earning profit by weapon export are limited (perhaps so limited that the business might not be worthwhile – so that more useful types of business might in the long run appear more worthwhile). And a military-industrial complex WITHIN a country could be controlled by laws and supervision, e.g. by demanding that any export of weapons should only be allowed if the buyer accepts observers who can report how the weapons are used, and by threatening immediate stop of deliveries if certain standards are not observed. On top of which there would also have to be an intense cooperation for the control and prevention of weapon trade on the international black market. – This of course would presuppose that the demands for profit from the production of weapons would be given up: the idea should be that one produces only such weapons and only as many as are really needed, and if that should result in higher prices per piece, so
be it (the money which were spent on these things would anyway stay and circulate in the country (or the EU) where the weapons are produced – thus at least providing some jobs and taxes, and preventing that more effort is wasted on armament than is really necessary).