Front Page Titles (by Subject) Militarism: A Domestic & Foreign Affair - Literature of Liberty, Summer 1981, vol. 4, No. 2
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Militarism: A Domestic & Foreign Affair - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Summer 1981, vol. 4, No. 2 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Militarism: A Domestic & Foreign Affair
“Resurgent Militarism.” In Holly Sklar (ed.), Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. Boston: South End Press, 1980, pp. 269–291.
Behind the resurgent militarism of the present day are powerful interest groups with important ties to the armaments industries or to the communities in which these industries are located. Among these special interest groups are members of the Trilateral Commission, a “policy studies” organization which is committed to U.S. military supremacy and to U.S. dominance within a tripartite alliance that includes the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. The consequences of renewed militarism are so dangerous that we need to understand and expose the political-economic forces that are promoting it.
In part, rising militarism is a calculated response to the diffusion of power throughout the world. The emerging decline of U.S. power is seen by the trilateralists as a good reason for renewing our commitment to the core interests upon which America's prestige and prosperity rest. First and foremost among these interests is the continued solidarity of the three leading centers of Western economic activity: Western Europe, the United States, and Japan. Military supremacy is seen as a good way to promote this solidarity by increasing Western power relative to Soviet power.
As long as the U.S. economy was expanding, it was believed that the Welfare State and U.S. military supremacy were compatible goals.
But when forced to choose between guns and butter, major interests have chosen to favor guns and militarism. In order to secure their dominance within the trilateral framework, trilateralists can see no other choice than to expand U.S. military capabilities—a choice that may be incompatible with solving U.S. internal problems.
The results of this rising militarism work against solving U.S. domestic problems. Groups fighting for public funds have to compete for the leftovers of an economic pie already carved up and devoured by military priorities. Military preparations require unassailable secrecy, and thus, in the name of national security, the powers of the military and the presidency grow with a commensurate loss in self-government.
Military spending also contributes to inflation and economic stagnation by rewarding corporations for maximizing their costs of production through “cost-plus-fixed-fee” contracts. Finally, military spending increases the risks of war by forcing us to carry out threats when things fail to work according to plan. We can no longer pretend that foreign policy is separate from domestic policy. We need to confront the new militarism as the number one domestic issue as well.