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Marxism in the Military

Karl Marx. No, he’s not a problem for the U.S. military, but unwinnable wars and more nuclear weapons are

A friend sent along an article on a certain lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force who is being disciplined because he wrote a book warning about Marxism in the U.S. military. Apparently this officer is deeply concerned about “critical race theory,” which he connects to Marxism, and how the military is being contaminated by an emphasis on diversity and other “liberal” ideas. In short, by stressing inclusion, diversity, and tolerance, (neo)Marxism is unmaking the U.S. military, or perhaps remaking it in a revolutionary way that excludes conservative views espoused by white men like this Lt Col.

And I thought Marxism was about class conflict, about seizing the means of production from the rich capitalists and ensuring an equitable distribution of wealth to the workers. Marxism is supposed to witness a withering away of the state as societal hierarchies are flattened or leveled in the cause of creating a more equitable and just society. Nowadays, Marxism has become a bogeyman term of great elasticity, associated with anything somebody doesn’t like that can be further tarred with labels like “liberal” or “leftist.”

The U.S. military isn’t being undone by neo-Marxist agendas: it’s being undone by unwinnable wars and wasteful spending on unnecessary or ineffective weaponry.

Too much diversity isn’t exactly the biggest problem facing the U.S. Air Force today. Consider the under-performing F-35 jet fighter that’s 10 years behind schedule and $200 billion over budget. Consider a new and unneeded B-21 stealth bomber that will cost at least $100 billion (I think you can double or triple that price, based on cost overruns for previous AF projects). Consider the plan to spend at least $100 billion on new land-based ICBMs, an obsolete concept that is also dangerously escalatory. Indeed, so-called nuclear modernization, meaning more megatons of explosives and deadly radiation with which we can destroy all life on planet earth, may cost more than a trillion dollars over the next 30 years. I’d say these issues are a bit more disconcerting than rumors of Marxism in the ranks.

Another concern this lieutenant colonel had was with the politicization of the military, which he associates with contamination by liberal agendas that are neo-Marxist. I think the good colonel should realize the U.S. military is already politicized, but not in the way he imagines. The brass may be willing to pay lip service to diversity and LGBTQ empowerment and so on, but what they really care about is budgetary authority, pure power and influence.

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The U.S. military isn’t being undone by neo-Marxist agendas: it’s being undone by unwinnable wars and wasteful spending on unnecessary or ineffective weaponry.

Unwinnable (and unnecessary) wars have cost the American taxpayer more than $6 trillion since 9/11. We’ve lost thousands of troops killed with tens of thousands seriously injured. Profligate spending on prodigal weapon systems is further driving America into debt, even as more nuclear weapons threaten our planet with destruction.

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The problem isn’t Karl Marx invading our military. The problem is greed and stupidity, threat inflation and dereliction of duty.

We really could use more diversity in the U.S. military, as in diversity of ideas, of strategy. How about some “diverse” leaders who have the courage to challenge and change the militaristic and imperial path we’re on?

WJ Astore
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