Why are so many modern capitalist societies addicted to militarism? On the one hand, these societies are intensely growth oriented and expansionist. On the other hand, militarism is a convenient way of absorbing economic surplus and thereby countering the stagnationist propensity of monopoly capitalism.
The text below is an excerpt from “Imperialism and the Gulf War,” which was first published as the “Review of the Month” of the April 1991 issue of Monthly Review (42.11). While the exact character of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party state is certainly debatable (“lack of government corruption”? — only relatively so in comparison to […]