Monday, April 12, 2010

Capitalist Leaders with Socialist Defenders

Looking at graphs on the Campaign for America's Future website depicting the federal deficit and the relationship of its rise and fall to tax rates and defense spending, I imagined a future in which a small private sector commands a large defense force made up of what used to be the working class. The system could work quite well.

The power class, the elite private sector families who control all wealth, would pay taxes only to fund a huge defense department. Since these wealthy families would control all real estate, and all other citizens would be employed by their government, the country would not need to fund parks, welfare or public transportation for the messy lives of free-range citizens who can't or won't afford their own cars, medical care and sprawling estates. As military personnel, the working class would receive a fair wage, uniforms, medical care and housing, as well as job training and assigned tasks. Even in wartime, military personnel get R&R. In peacetime it's just another job. Children would be raised on military bases, taught in base schools, using a standardized curriculum that would prepare them for the life of service ahead of them.

Assuming that the majority of people have no great ambition and don't really care what they do for a living, this would keep that large segment of the population occupied and controlled. The power class could then do what they wanted with the environment and the economy, because the dutiful military would not be allowed to bargain for better terms.

Success depends on good management to keep the military from taking over completely. It would depend on the perfect balance between threat and actual destructive warfare. Terrorism provides an excellent adversary to stimulate nationalistic paranoia. They really could do something tragically nasty. We don't need to be attacked by lizards from space. We have plenty of cold-blooded killers right here on our own planet. If we choose to focus only on that we can easily justify the militarization of most of our population to protect our wealthy minority.

The wealthy minority will see much more direct benefits for their tax dollars with a virtual mercenary army looking out for them.

The reason this won't happen is simple. The wealthy in this country won't want to employ everyone else in their citizen army. We will always have more people than we need. In the finest tradition of business, the bean counters will lay off the extra personnel, creating unattached workers again.

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