we must resist
the spread of militaristic
values and the power of the military in our society.
Militarism is a value system that stresses the superiority of some people
over others. Under militarism, the people deemed inferior are dehumanized
as enemies who must be overpowered by any means necessary. Those who deem
themselves superior are permitted to take whatever they want from others
— land, freedom, natural resources, cultures, lives — by force.
Militarism derides cooperation, equality and nonviolence, and instead
enforces strict hierarchical relationships. Hierarchical systems create
a winner at the top and render all others losers, so in a desperate attempt
not to be a loser, each individual or group struggles to keep others down.
As long as it is possible to see someone else as inferior, even those
victimized by the hierarchy believe it is beneficial and continue to endorse
1. The glorification of the ideals of a professional military
2. Predominance of the military in the administration of
policy of the state.
3. A policy in which military preparedness
is of primary importance to the state.
Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College edition.
This same value system creates racism, sexism, homophobia
and other types of discrimination. It is not surprising that these types
of discriminatory behavior are inherent in military systems. The artificial
creation and dehumanization of an "enemy" is used to manufacture
hatred of certain groups of people and fuel wars. The system is so powerful
that it does not stop with the enemy: within the military itself, women,
ethnic minorities, gays, lesbians and others are treated as inferior
due to their religion, language, nationality or other identities.
Militarism is the root cause of many of the global and domestic problems
we face today. Solutions to these problems will only come about when enough
people actively challenge this destructive way of thinking. This must
include challenging and resisting the influence of the most powerful purveyor
of militarism, the military establishment itself.
of the ways that militarism is evident in the U.S.:
- Over half
of the federal government’s discretionary funds are devoted
to war instead of essential civilian needs like housing, healthcare
deference is given to the military by civilian government, the
media and other institutions that we have traditionally counted
on to help safeguard us from military encroachment on democratic
- The public
school system, our primary mechanism for teaching democratic
values, is being militarized with a growing presence of the
armed forces, including the expansion of programs like high
school Jr. ROTC that teach military values and hierarchy.
- The traditional
independence of secondary and post-secondary schools has been eroded by laws
forcing them to
grant the military access to campuses and student records, even
when it violates personal
privacy and campus policies banning organizations that discriminate.
- The military
is granted significant exemptions from laws concerning pollution,
discrimination, civil rights and claims of injury, including death, that result from neglect and harmful acts by the military.
can be seen in the weakening of laws prohibiting armed forces
involvement in civilian law enforcement and immigration control,
and in the growing militarization of civilian police agencies.