War and militarism go hand in hand with globalization and differentials of power and wealth. President Eisenhower warned, in his 1961 farewell from office speech, of the threat to our democratic government posed by the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
There is a long history connecting guns (or other weaponry of the military), greed, and globalization, in which the military is used to protect the interests and expansionist goals of those with wealth and power in exchange for the wealth and social standing bestowed upon the military from those in power. We find that back in the days of European expansion around the globe starting in 1450 AD. See, for example, discussion of the works of Immanuel Wallerstein, who stated that in core regions, nation-states “developed strong central governments, extensive bureaucracies, and large mercenary armies. This permitted the local bourgeoisie to obtain control over international commerce and extract capital surpluses from this trade for their own benefit.”
In this section, we deal with war and militarism and discuss possible solutions.