A Note on Strategy: Clearer Anti-State Terminology

Critics of militarism and imperial foreign policy often make the mistake of using terms that can seem obtuse to other people. For example, Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex.” These days, this has become the military-industrial-congressional-media complex. “State imperialism,” etc. may put people off who have not studied the relevant political science and history.

Instead, we might consider a term like the aggression industry. This has the added benefit of making clear that it is not defensive war at issue, and that aggression is incentivized as a business. The business of aggression is clearly booming, with US military spending at record highs, and it’s high time for critics to make that business stand out as clearly as possible.

Likewise, the “police state” can be described as part of the control industry, with similar advantages. The control business is also booming, from scanner technology and production, to TSA hirings, to the gigantic budgets for the NSA and other spooks.

There is also a certain amount of retained mystique around a term like the State, for those unfamiliar with the reference to actual people who have established themselves as rulers. Aggression and control are the primary businesses of the State. We can sum them up as institutional force, supported by the force industry. On the basis of force, the State can dominate any other business, including the printing of money. Force is the ancient profession of invaders and thieves, and is still the world’s preferred way to reap huge undeserved profits. Aggressive war pays, and so does domestic control—directly and indirectly. Pointing this out does a great deal to clarify these obfuscated subjects.

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