Empire of Reason Commentary No. 9

To:  The People of the United States, June 29, 2021

War Capitalist State

By Mark Albertson

It is, at the same time, a salutary curb on the spirit of war and indebtment, which, since the modern theory of the perpetuation of debt, has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under the burthens ever accumulating.  Thomas Jefferson[1]

* * * * *

In “Rebuilding America’s Defenses:  A Report of the Project for the New American Century,” September 2000, the objective for the American military in the Cold War:  “Contain the Soviet Union.”  21st Century:  “Preserve Pax Americana,” or, the American Empire.[2]

Thus following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Neocons’ militarist agenda has helped to transform America into a War Capitalist State.  Fifty-three cents of every dollar of discretionary spending goes to war and related.

This Nation, with a GNP of $18,750,000,000,000 is saddled with $28,000,000,000,000 in red ink.  Some twenty years ago, black ink out outnumbered red ink about two-to-one.  But with the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations, red ink has soared as war spending, together with undeserved tax breaks for America’s Royalty and accompanying forms of national looting has progressed without respite.  Corporate Socialism based on the moniker, “Making Society Work for the Few,” is succeeding beyond the wildest dreams of America’s Tinsled Aristocrats.  Readers should turn the pages of Frederic Clemson Howe’s 1906 literary effort, Confessions of a Monopolist:  You want to be really rich in this country, then make government a business and create your own welfare system by draining the wallets of the common herd.

War is big business, despite the fact America has not fought a favorable clear-cut decision in a protracted conflict in decades, underscoring the assessment of a retired colonel I used to work with at the military magazine in which I do historical research.  A retired attack helicopter pilot who had faced off with Iraqi-crewed, Soviet-built T-72 tanks during Operation:  DESERT STORM, and who stated quite unequivocally, “Today’s wars waged by America have absolutely nothing to do with patriotism, and everything to do with national interest.”  Seconded by none other than George Washington, who stated in his Farewell Address 225 years ago, “Over-bloated militaries are inauspicious to liberty.”

This Nation’s evolving addiction to military spending is revealed with the 1990 Chief Financial Officers Act, signed off on by President George Bush, Sr., which made the bill law.  Every CFO of every major branch of the federal government was supposed to do an audit and turn same into Congress, since according to the Constitution, Congress has power of the purse.  The Pentagon never did the audit, until 2018.  Result:  DOD could not properly account for the spending of, since 1998, $21,000,000,000,000.  Yet every year they still get more.  Which begs the question:  Who controls the purse?  Elected or unelected officials.

* * * * *

What are the chief sources of expense in every government?  What has occasioned that enormous accumulation of debts with which several of the European nations are oppressed?  The answer plainly is, wars and rebellions—the support of those institutions which are necessary to guard the body politic against these two most mortal diseases of society.  The expenses arising from those institutions which are relative to the mere domestic police of a state—to the support of its legislative, executive and judicial departments, with their different appendages, and to the internal encouragement of agriculture and manufactures, (which will comprehend almost all the objects of state expenditure) are insignificant in comparison with those which relate to the national defense.   Alexander Hamilton[3]

* * * * *

The Move the Money Campaign, as espoused by the United States Peace Council, is an effort to wean this Nation from war, and to put money back into the economy.  For Imperialism is the Endgame of American Capitalism.  For all great powers come to an end . . . to which America will be no different.  Even now it is a dying ember . . . as long as the present progression continues to grip the Nation.  And the history is there for all to see:  Athenian Democracy; Roman Republic; Ottoman Empire; Spain, the British Empire; Imperial France; the Soviet Union . . . addiction to military spending and empire eventually brings about downfall.

America’s shameful lack of adhering to the precepts of the Constitution has given rise to the War Capitalist State.  The Founders of this Nation understood the meaning of large standing and or professional armies and what they ultimately become . . . ravenous consumers with unquenchable appetites for the fruits of the people’s labors.  History says this is so.  Or as Smedley Darlington Butler observed, “WAR is a racket.  It always has been . . . A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people.  Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about.  It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the many.  Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.  In World War I a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict.  At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War.  That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns.  How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.”[4]


[1]  See page 1282, “Letters 1813:  Debt, Taxes, Banks, and Paper, To John Wayles Eppes, Monticello, June 24, 1813, Thomas Jefferson, Writings.

[2]  See page 2, Chapter I, “Why Another Defense Review?” Rebuilding America’s Defenses:  Strategy, Forces and Resources, by Thomas Donnelly, Principal Author.

[3]  See page 701, State vs. National Defense Revenues:  Calculate . . . on Permanent Causes of Expense, “’Publius,’ The Federalist XXXIV [Alexander Hamilton],” New York Packet, January 4, 1788, The Debate on the Constitution, Part One, The Library of America.

[4]  See page 7, Chapter One, “War is a Racket,” War is a Racket, San Bernardino, California, 10 August 2019.  Originally published in 1935.


Donnelly, Thomas, Principal Author, Rebuilding America’s Defenses:  Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century, A Report of the Project for the new American Century, Project of the New American Century, Washington, D.C., September 2002.

The Debate on the Constitution, Part One, The Library of America, Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., New York, NY., 1993.

Thomas Jefferson Writings, The Library of America, Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., New York, NY., 1984

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