“Spending billions of dollars on the biggest military build up in Australia since WWII is a military ‘economic stimulus’ that our country simply cannot afford,” Dr Middleton, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia, said today, following the release of the Federal Government’s Defence White Paper.
“The Government is following a familiar path. Capitalism has always used war and preparations for war as a way out of its regular economic crises.
“The US staved off serious recession for 20 years, largely through profit-generating wars and preparation for war. and the massive accumulation of debt.
“Following a recession in 1982 and 1983, US President Reagan stimulated the economy with $2.8 trillion in military spending, using Cold War propaganda to justify this huge handout to the military-industrial complex.
“War is the supreme destructive activity of capitalism which can provide seemingly limitless markets, which can absorb limitless credits, which can raise prices and revive profits, which can use production to produce super profits through slaughter.
“War consumes weapons and equipment generating further orders, it offers the private sector profits from being integrated in the war machine itself during war, and then it provides billions of more profits from reconstruction programs.
“Never mind the lives that are lost and other devastation -- if war is more profitable than providing schools, health services, food, drinking water, housing, then capitalism will go to war.
“In times of recession, capitalist states like Australia promote war and the threat of war to ensure the protection and expansion of corporate empires and to divert working people from their economic problems.
“While the world suffers under the growing economic recession, leading armaments corporations and military contractors are still reporting super-profits.
“Lockheed Martin raked in almost US$5 billion in profits in 2008. In January 2009 Raytheon predicted continued growth in sales and earnings. BAE Systems boasted a 93 per cent profit increase in 2008 due to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“High military spending takes money away from employment, public health, education, housing, clean water, environmental protection, infrastructure projects, etc. Money invested here would provide jobs, stimulate the economy and bring many other benefits now and into the future.
CPA South Australian State Secretary Bob Briton says the procurement of large military contracts for South Australia is not in the public interest.
"There are a lots of urgent things we should be doing to stimulate the economy, things that don't pose a threat to people's lives and don't increase tensions in the region. We should be looking to develop innovative sustainable industries, properly fund public education and health and forge stronger ties with our asia-pacific neighbours," said Mr Briton.
"It's about time the Rann State Government ended its love affair with the military industries and looked to develop peaceful and environmentally sustainable industries," he added.
Labels: bae systems, defence spending, defence white paper, Hannah Middleton, lockheed martin, raytheon