Blog No.200: Part II: The MIC

The MIC (aka ‘Deep State.’)   This is the Military-Industrial complex that, so long ago, Eisenhower warned was in danger of usurping the US government. In the interim, it has done so and has used its vast cash-flow to suborn the Congress. According to Christian Sorensen, in his just published ‘Understanding the War Industry’ War Industry

 What used to be known as the MIC (the Military Industrial Complex) should now be more accurately referred to as the MIC (the Military-Industrial-Congressional triangle.)

US foreign policy was traditionally in the hands of a State Department over which the establishment elite, through membership of The Committee on Foreign Relations, exercised an intellectual stranglehold. The State Department has now been gutted and by-passed. Its decision-making powers largely usurped by the reconfigured MIC.

Ever since the mid-nineteenth-century, the USA’s foreign policies were heavily influenced by a belief in America’s ‘Manifest Destiny.’ By the end of WWI, the Manifest Destiny meme had fused serendipitously with the ‘global domination’ meme that still prevails within The Committee on Foreign Relations. The existence of the Committee can itself be traced all the way back to Cecil Rhodes and his Secret Society of the Elect. Rhodes’ concept was of a world to be dominated by the Anglo-American establishment. (‘Even though being colonised might hurt, it is for your own good!’) Some of that ideology, which might just be interpreted as ‘philanthropic,’ still lingers on.

However, over the past several decades, a further fusion of foreign policy ideologies has taken place. Under neo-liberalism, government functions have been replaced by privatisation.  Key defence functions, such as naval construction and arms manufacture, once the province of the state, have now been privatised. Even mundane functions such as base maintenance, catering, cleaning, waste-management, landscaping and construction, are no longer carried out directly by the armed services. All this, as well as many actual combat and other war-making and intelligence duties (now also sub-contracted to unanswerable private companies of mercenaries) have been corporatised.

The more the profits derived from these activities accrue to the ever expanding membership of the MIC, with its vast network of bases and manufacturing plants across the USA and among its allies overseas, the greater the reliance of local communities, at home and abroad, on its employment and under-the-table largesse. As the MIC’s network grows, there is a commensurate growth in the baleful political influence it exercises over the policies of national and international governments.

Though the MIC has now taken the driving seat and still makes full use of ‘patriotism’ and claims of philanthropy, it only uses those out-dated sentiments as the saddle that enables it to ride the tax-paying pig. The new, controlling mechanism of the US Empire, the new ‘Deep State,’ is not concerned about anyone’s good, other than that of its own elites. Its function and dedication is simply the essence of capitalism, red in tooth and claw: the extraction and misspending of ever increasing sums of money from the wallets of American and other nations’ citizenry. Its dreams of global domination are motivated purely by self-interest and greed. Winners take all: no longer is there an ideology (other than MEGA) or code of conduct dampened by moral scruples.

Sorensen paints the picture of a rogue feedback system, now totally beyond the control of any external authorities. Congressmen depend for their seats and their livelihoods on the bounty of this vast conglomeration of providers of services and munition to the militarised state. Unsurprisingly, they pass laws and regulations to ensure ever more wealth is garnered for distribution to the elites on the inside of the MIC establishment.

Associated interest groups clustered around the military, secret intelligence agencies and quasi- governmental front organisations (such as the National Endowment for Democracy that was so active in the Ukraine, Hong-Kong and Xinjiang) benefit from America’s militarisation. Included as passengers on the gravy-train, are multiple trade associations, international banks, Big Oil, the media, academia, captive think-tanks, the Israeli lobby and civilian lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association. These all see benefit from the USA’s militarisation and add their influence to the MIC’s ever increasing drumbeat for war.

Hence the system initiates ever more costly research projects, develops fantastical weapon systems and strives to continuously turnover stocks through premature obsolescence, their sale to other nations, or their expenditure on the bodies of unfortunate third parties. Hence too, the need to keep the American people and American allies in a state of continuous paranoia. The subordination of the mainstream media, the militarisation of the national culture and endless wars of choice, are the inevitable outcomes of such a debased system and are all effected at the cost of the impoverishment of much of civil society.

As a late insertion into this blog, I include this hyperlink, which has just been posted on the Web. It provides a perfect illustration of how the MIC functions and in so doing, places the whole of humanity in jeopardy. Arming Taiwan

There is no danger of Beijing ever deciding to invade the breakaway province of Taiwan. Given modern weapon technologies and the distances involved, such a venture would have no chance of success. More importantly, the CCP knows that with patience and by example of its economic success and the satisfaction of its citizens, the time will arrive when the people of Taiwan will prefer semi-autonomous amalgamation with the mainland than continuing to spend their taxes on bolstering the fading American empire.

Lest anyone believe that the MIC and its corruption of political systems is a problem exclusive to the USA: on our doorstep and contaminating New Zealand’s own policy making … Australia’s MIC

A key component of the MIC’s drum-beat for war in Australia is provided by the ASPI.  “The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is a defence and strategic policy think tank based in Canberra, founded by the Australian Government and partly funded by the Australian Department of Defence…The share of ASPI’s funding provided by the Department of Defence decreased from 100 percent in the 2000-01 financial year to 43 percent in the 2018-19 financial year. Other government entities are the next-largest source of funding, and it receives funding from a large number of private companies for specific areas of analysis or individual reports…. ASPI’s 2018-19 annual report states that it received some funding from the Embassy of Japan and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia, as well as from state governments and defence companies, such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Thales Group, and Raytheon Technologies.”

Google ‘ASPI China’ and you will see a series of articles designed to show China in the least sympathetic light possible. ASPI is a war-mongering agency of the Australian Government and an example of the homage it pays to the American MIC .  The Chinese claim that — “ASPI runs a hawkish line on China in a bid to hype up the fear index and make it possible for its donors to sell more weapons to countries in the Asia-Pacific region,” would seem fully justified. Chinese view

But for the existence of the MIC, the threats issued under its influence and the enemies deliberately conjured up or engendered by it, the citizens of planet Earth could settle down to a rational discussion as to how best effect a global system of collective security. Instead, we live in a state of real and present danger and the vast majority of humanity live lives more fraught and more impoverished than need be.

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