Altruism and Sadism in Public Policy

By David Swanson
Remarks at Peace Resource Center of San Diego, June 23, 2018.

There are three things that are almost always underestimated: the U.S. military budget, altruism, and sadism.

First, the military budget.

The U.S. military budget, including all things military in various departments, is roughly 60% of federal discretionary spending, meaning the spending that Congress members decide on each year. It is also, by my very rough estimate, the topic of well under 1% of the discussions of government read more

Leslie Cockburn’s 8-Minute View of the World

Our VA-05 Democratic Party nominee for Congress Leslie Cockburn has a website that does not admit to the existence of the world, mention foreign policy, outline a basic budget, oppose or support any wars, or propose or denounce any treaties, international bodies, acts of diplomacy or aid. Her campaign has declined to answer any questions related to the 60% or so of the budget she wants to oversee that currently goes to militarism.

But she spoke publicly on Tuesday, together with Larry Wilkerson, read more

Murder Incorporated

Murder Incorporated is a three-book series by Mumia Abu Jamal and Stephen Vittoria, which I can highly recommend based on the first book. The other two are not out yet.

Book One, “Dreaming of Empire,” is a critique of U.S. imperialism, a debunking of U.S. nationalist myths, a corrective or alternative history of the U.S. nation. Politically, a book like this would never be permitted in U.S. schools, and it’s clearly not aimed at clearing that hurdle. It uses curse words, which read more

Why Are the Poor Patriotic?

We should be very grateful to Francesco Duina for his new book, Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country. He begins with the following dilemma. The poor in the United States are in many ways worse off than in other wealthy countries, but they are more patriotic than are the poor in those other countries and even more patriotic than are wealthier people in their own country. Their country is (among wealthy countries) tops in inequality, and bottoms in social support, read more

What Else Canadians Should Be Sorry For — Besides Burning the White House

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War

Six-years after the British landing at Jamestown, with the settlers struggling to survive and hardly managing to get their own local genocide underway, these new Virginians hired mercenaries to attack Acadia and (fail to) drive the French out of what they considered their continent.

The colonies that would become the United States decided to take over Canada in 1690 (and failed, again).

They got the British to help them in 1711 (and failed, yet again).

General Braddock read more

Sweden’s Military Madness

The government of Sweden has reinstated the military draft and sent a war propaganda brochure to all Swedes promoting fear, Russophobia, and warlike thinking.

While my last name comes from Sweden, I’m writing this in the United States and will no doubt be obliged to acknowledge that the militarist threat from tiny Sweden hardly compares with that of the Pentagon. While Sweden is fifth in dealing weaponry to poor countries and ninth in dealing read more