Det danske Fredsakademi
Kronologi over fredssagen og international politik 21. August
2012 / Timeline August 21, 2012
20. August 2012, 22. August 2012
The Protection Racket
By John Scales Avery
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war,
neither in Russia nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany.
That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the
country that determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter
to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist
dictatorship... All you have to do is to tell them that they are
being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism
and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any
Herman Goering, interviewed in Spandau Prison
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the
populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by
menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them
imaginary.” H.L. Menken
Owners of night-clubs in modern cities are sometimes visited by
gangsters who offer them “protection”, and demand a fee
for this service. The owners usually pay up. They know what will
happen if they don't.
One is reminded of the feudal system of the Middle Ages, in which
industrious peasants paid for “protection” with a large
fraction of their produce. Their gangster-like protectors, the
knights and barons, did no useful work. All they did was to fight
with each other.
How much is it exactly that we pay today for
“protection”? The total world military budgets cost us
1.7 trillion dollars each year ¨C that is to say,
1,700,000,000,000 dollars, an amount of money almost too large to
be imagined. What do we get for this? We do not get anything
useful. We get war, a universal source of poverty, destruction of
infrastructure, and human suffering.
The people of the world do not want war. Even Hermann Goering knew
this. The military-industrial complexes throughout the world want
war ¨C they live on it ¨C without it they would wither.
Governments make war, contrary to the will of their peoples,
because they are controlled by a great river of money from the
world's military-industrial complexes. This huge torrent of money
drives the war machine ¨C the devil's dynamo ¨C the
protection racket - making slaves of our politicians.
Today the latest means of “alarming the populace” (in
Menkin's words) is “terrorism”. We have to be
“protected from terrorism”. This goal has the highest
priority, although the total number of people killed by terrorist
actions is vanishingly small when compared to the number of
children who die of starvation each year, and even vanishingly
small compared to the number of people killed in traffic accidents.
Nevertheless, we are constantly reminded of terrorism by checks at
airports, whose main purpose is undoubtedly to make us conscious of
the danger of terrorism.
But must we really be driven like sheep by false threats? Can we
not see through the protection racket and free ourselves from
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