Some thoughts to grind

Παρασκευή, 20 Μαΐου 2011 09:54
50 years ago, when Eisenhower pronounced his State of the Union speech on Jan. 17, 1953, I was then a spirited youth, best described as an overall ignoramus but ever curious sophomore at Northwestern U. This pronouncement became to be known as the "military industrial complex" speech. Today, armed with experience and more knowledge, I happened to re-read its contents, this time bearing in mind the parameters our times dictate.

Ike had then wisely predicted that the synthesis of the military and corporations in setting government policies would present in future years a growing danger to democracy. Times have justified to the fullest his ominous remarks. In another 1953 speech of his, at the very beginning of his presidency, he further elaborated on this same matter, adding that "every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed". The picture he painted for the future was bleak indeed, to say the least. His predictions define exactly what the whole world -and not the US alone- face today. A widespread and deeply entrenched economic crisis, rocketing unemployment, a humongous world debt, the very alarming health of our seas, our forests, our fauna, our atmosphere, in short our whole planet, coupled with the stubborn pursuit of short-sighted and short-termed gains, the unparalled and dangerous increase of world population, all these spell the prelude of a string of wars, famines, disasters of great magnitude, bankruptcies and widespread misery. The conclusion one is allowed to draw out of this present state of affairs is even scarier. People and their leaders all around the world are failing miserably in adopting the hard, draconian measures which might reverse this perilous course. Otherwise, I am afraid, our children's children will awaken to a dying world...

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