The Hard Years: A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions

By Eugene J. McCarthy | Go to book overview

8
A Warning about the Military Establishment

The military-industrial-academic establishment in America has become a kind of republic within the Republic. The military influence, as President Eisenhower warned in his Farewell Address, "is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government." Since he spoke, the situation has become more serious, more dangerous. The military budget has gone from about forty-five billion to roughly ninety-four billion dollars a year. With military bases and missions in many nations of the world, with intelligence operations that include eavesdropping ships and spy satellites, and with sales of several billion dollars' worth of arms around the world, the Defense Department has become perhaps the strongest independent power in world affairs.

Defense Department actions are to a large extent beyond the effective control of the Congress. There is no conspiracy. Rather, the influence of the military in American life is something that happened to us almost without critical judgment and with little evaluation of the process.

The Pentagon spends much of its budget in direct procurement here at home. As the military budget has climbed, the Pentagon has had greater influence upon our foreign policy, upon our domestic policy, and upon the educational institutions of the United States. If it had a significant influence on only one of these, we would have cause for concern; as it has considerable influence on all three, we need to be triply concerned.

Increasing militarization of our foreign policy has been evident in our readiness to respond in military terms to problems around the world which may or may not be susceptible to military solutions. We sponsored an invasion of Cuba in 1961. We intervened, in violation of treaty commitments, by sending troops to the Dominican Republic

-49-

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The Hard Years: A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction by Tom Wicker vii
  • Preface xix
  • Part I - Institutions 1
  • 1 - Toward a More Responsible Presidency 3
  • 2 - The Vice President as Crown Prince 15
  • 3 - Changes in the Congress 19
  • 4 - The Courts, the Last Appeal 28
  • 5 - Court of Ideas 32
  • 6 - A Kind Word for the Bureaucrats 35
  • 7 - A Kind Word for the Military 45
  • 8 - A Warning About the Military Establishment 49
  • 9 - The Cia and the Inner Ring 58
  • 10 - The Corporations 61
  • 11 - The Universities 68
  • 12 - The Democratic and Republican Parties 75
  • 13 - Alternatives to the Major Parties 80
  • Part II - Operations 87
  • 14 - A Hard Look at the Primaries 89
  • 15 - Personality Cults 96
  • 16 - The Cult of the Expert 97
  • 17 - A Good and Becoming Exit 100
  • 18 - Listen to Mr. Parkinson 104
  • 19 - The Sst: Object Lesson in Dynamics of Opposition 106
  • 20 - The Lobbyists 109
  • 21 - Grant Park, Chicago 116
  • 22 - Marching on Washington 118
  • 23 - Changing America 122
  • Part III - Principles 125
  • 24 - Innocence in Politics 127
  • 25 - Language and Politics 130
  • 26 - Poetry and War 135
  • 27 - Ares 144
  • 28 - Intellectuals and Politics 148
  • 29 - Out of Phase 155
  • 30 - Trouble in the Economics Community 158
  • 31 - Constitutional Amendments 165
  • 32 - Five Systems of Justice 170
  • 33 - The Enemies List 173
  • 34 - Censorship 182
  • Part IV - A Good Person is Not So Hard to Find 185
  • 35 - John Bennett 187
  • 36 - Emerson Hynes 189
  • 37 - John Kennedy 190
  • 38 - Dan and Doris Kimball 193
  • 39 - Robert Lowell 196
  • 40 - Wayne Morse 197
  • 41 - Lewis Mumford 203
  • 42 - Eleanor Roosevelt 205
  • 43 - Frank Rosenblatt 207
  • 44 - Adlai Stevenson 208
  • Notes 215
  • Index 223
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