Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Correlation Between Nationalism and The Military-Industrial Complex

Following World War II, the United States became an ever more prevalent leader in international affairs, and showed the world its true military might as a result of the production and use of the atomic bomb.  Even prior to the 2nd World War, the United States military industry was a significant part of the economy of the nation.  The U.S. was and still is a major world supplier of armaments to nations in need.  "Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran’s regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress."(Shanker, New York Times)  "President Obama's FY 2013 National Defense budget (050 budget function) is $647.4 billion in current dollars."(Dodge, The Heritage Foundation)  This just goes to show how much emphasis the government gives on military and defense.  The Department of Homeland Security wishes to purchase enough rounds of ammunition, 1.6 billion to be exact, for the 2014 budget that would last the bureaucracy 20 years if you compare it to the yearly rounds fired by American troops in the Middle East.  The DHS even wishes to purchase hallow tip bullets which are outlawed by international law. "[T]he Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (apparently through the  Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.”(Jorgustin, Ken) The armament industry has had a direct reflection on the media and the use of psychology to develop a feeling nationalism to justify military service and war.  As you can see throughout the modern history of America, the use of the media to inspire shock and awe tactics on the American people to increase the economy and indoctrinate the people of the United States to believe that war is needed and necessary.

              Prior to 9/11, the U.S. government knew leading up to the attacks that a commercial airplane attack on the nation was imminent.  Although it is pure speculation that the government and private industry knew of what was to come, the media used shock and awe tactics to increase a feeling of nationalism and patriotism to corral the masses to join on the government and industries interest to interfere militarily in the Middle East.  After 9/11, the media continued to replay videos of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon to implement a shock and awe method to win over the American people by continuing to show blood, tears of victims, and the planes smashing into the towers.  This continuous showing of these events by the media is certainly correlated with the industry and government's self-interest of making war.  The media certainly uses such tactics to program the human mind to believe anything they say by continuously showing things that evoke a sense of emotion out of its viewers.  Because humans are emotional creatures, the media and industry use this as a tactical weapon to indoctrinate the people of our country to believe that our interests are to go to war by using violence and emotion on television.  These such tactics corral the people together under a feeling of nationalistic pride and anger, and public opinion is easily swayed by main-stream media outlets which are controlled by industry and corporations. 

This use of media to indoctrinate the people of the United States is done to relay the interests of industry onto the American people.  War is a perpetual motion machine that never stops running.  To continue this war machine, industry must use the media outlet to program the minds of its viewers by means of shock and awe to believe within their minds that war is the only option simply to fuel their self-interests, and to fill their pockets.  The first significant use of these tactics was the Nazi Propaganda Machine.  The Nazi's use media outlets such as newspapers, radio, cinema(movie theatre) and early television to promote their interest in military conquest and purification of the German state.  In doing so, the Nazi Propaganda machine would continuously feed into the minds of the people of Germany that what they are doing is right for them, and obviously over time, the human mind is programmable device in a sense. If you feed it the same thing over and over again, it will start to believe everything you say is true simply because that is all you hear. 

Many parts of the world including U.S. learned from this strategy the Nazi's used to perfect their own propaganda machine.  In the U.S. today, the mainstream media has been used to indoctrinate the masses in their political beliefs, the belief that American violence is so bad that we must take gun rights away from its people yet we are one of the largest if not the largest weapons manufacturer in the world, and belief that war is necessary is fix problems in the world.  In the end, American industry uses the media to promote their self-interests in propagating war by means of shock and awe to bring about human emotion and a sense of nationalistic and patriotic pride to fuel their love for war and greed while lives are lost simply because of this selfishness and cruel greed.  I strongly believe a strong national defense is necessary for every nation, but simply using the media as a gateway to create the approval of the American people for war is in many ways completely wrong.

Dodge, Michaela. "Bait and Switch on Nuclear Modernization Must Stop." 18 April 2013. 4 January 2013.

Shanker, Thomas. "U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market." 18 April 2013. 26 August 2012.

The Department of Homeland Security. "Budget in Brief: FY 2014." 18 April 2013. 26 February 2013.

Benko, Ralph. "1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It's Time For A National Conversation." 18 April 2013. 11 March 2013.

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