THIS KIND OF PRODUCT?

The United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency calculates that in 1984 Western arms sales and orders were in excess of 40 billion dollars. They also estimate that Soviet bloc sales and orders were in excess of 21 billion dollars. 20% of the world's scientists are involved in weapons research. 25% of all research and development is swallowed up by military programmes. 50% of all British Government research and development goes on weapons. More financial and intellectual resources are allocated to weapons throughout the world than research on health, food production, energy and environmental protection.

In 1985 910 billion dollars ($910,000,000,000) went on military expenditure worldwide, but at the same time the World Health Organisation had a total budget of only 520 million ($520,000,000), that's the equivalent of just 6 hours of military spending out of the 8760 hours in the year.

The world's total military expenditure for 1985 was $910,000,000,000. $910,000,000,000 / 8760 = $103.88 million per hour. $103.88 million / 60 = $1.73 million per minute. $1.73 million / 60 = $28.86 thousand per second.

The World Health Organisation's total expenditure for 1985 was $520,000,000. $520,000,000 / 8760 = $59.36 thousand per hour. $59.36 thousand / 60 = $989.3 per minute. $989.3 / 60 = $16.49 per second.

There we have it! Government policy for 1985 dictated that we should spend $28.86 thousand a second on military matters whilst we allocated just $16.49 a second to the World Health Organisation. In this instance, how much do we value our world fighting abilities more than our world health? An incredible 1,750 times! This does not take into account failure to manage our planet in such areas as education, ecology and providing people's basic needs.

Manufacturers and governments alike argue that it is necessary to invest so heavily in weapons research for two main reasons, to maintain a higher level of jobs in industry and to keep down the cost of our own weapons development. Increasing the production run and selling more abroad enables us to increase the standard of our own weapons systems for less money.

But talking of jobs, if you can create something that people want, they will buy it. Jobs will be provided and money will come in to finance further research. But it doesn't necessarily have to be weapons related. So why is it? Obviously many people would be put out of work if we just stopped manufacturing, but not if we diverted the emphasis onto other products. Let's face it, if we don't spend so much on weapons we have more to spend on other things. The money doesn't just cease to exist.

Politicians are always quick to point out that spending money on weapons provides jobs, what they fail to add is that generally it costs more jobs than it provides! What politicians don't tell you is that, pound for pound, the number of jobs created by weapons research and development falls far short of practically any other industry. Money spent on weapons is not good investment as far as employment is concerned. The reason for this is simple... they're just too expensive! Weapons systems cost a small fortune, and can involve only a limited production team. Big money, big profit margins, and a demand for high technical application, make this an attractive industry for investors, but cause a reduction in the number of workers that can be employed. Before weapons are even off the shelf the cost of human misery and suffering they cause is abnormally high. If you think this is an overstatement ask yourself why we still feel the need to spend so much money on potential for killing each other when so many are in need.


IN SICKNESS OR IN HEALTH?

In order to find the money to spend on weapons development we've had to make people redundant in other areas, like the health service and education. Even industry in general has had to tighten its belt thereby causing more job losses and increased strain on the social services. The social services then have to make less money stretch further which causes more unnecessary suffering and misery. Increase in social tension and public animosity also become more widespread. Crimes and drug related problems become more common place and the whole world seems to be sliding on a one way ticket to somewhere not very pleasant. Muggings, rapes, burglary, car thefts, shop lifting etc, become everyday occurrences. Vandalism, football hooliganism, and teenage gang warfare takes to the streets and old people die through lack of energy to heat their homes in the winter. Nobody seems to care anymore, I wonder why? Are we resigned to the fact that we can do nothing about it?

Would it not be more constructive all the way around to be putting more emphasis on...?

  • Achieving a better understanding of planetary management
  • Giving more thought to our planet's ecology
  • Achieving a better understanding of life, life on Earth and our universe
  • Developing alternative methods of generating natural energy
  • Creating life saving machinery and new techniques in health and hospitals
  • Developing new technology for home entertainment, recreation and education
  • Developing and manufacturing new technology to help take the industrial strain
  • Finding ways and means of feeding the world's starving people

These are just a few of the significant and important areas we could be investing in and there are obviously many other positive and constructive areas, where, without doubt, money spent would guarantee a rich return in the form of income from abroad and well as being much more beneficial for everyone, worldwide. The fact is, technology makes money, it doesn't have to be weapons related! Just take a look at Japan and what they have achieved! And as far as the U.K. goes, it would also be nice to see a little more emphasis on providing and funding more homes, recreational facilities, public amenities, hospitals, play groups, athletics' and sports' facilities, arts' and crafts' facilities, and free energy for the elderly, surely they are entitled to something back after all they have put into the system over the years! The list goes on as we are all too aware. Shouldn't we by now be more concerned with finding ways of enjoying ourselves and ensuring the continuity of life in our time rather than seeking ways of destroying each other? Why is it that social management in such important areas is suffering so badly just to finance more effective ways of killing each other? Haven't we yet learnt our lesson? Because if not, there is no question as to what could come next, and that would be a real shame.

Obviously any form of government will have priorities. However, should these priorities, and so much of our resources, be related and allocated to potential destruction? Should we be spending so much and sacrificing so many just to keep the quality of destruction on an ever increasing pinnacle? Many people now consider that a drastic change in people's attitudes and understanding, worldwide, will be the only chance of our survival, that is if it's not already too late. Can we help towards pioneering this change in attitude by putting our own house in order? What we really need at this point in time perhaps is alternative ways of achieving security for all mankind without risking the absolute destruction of everything we have. Conscious energy direction in a creative vein rather than a destructive one. Since mankind first developed higher abilities to perceive relationships, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, have been spent on developing what we know today as our civilisation. A little less emphasis on potential destruction and a little more emphasis on our planetary needs may just ensure that all of the blood, sweat and tears, will have not been in vain.

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WAR!

The page 1 quotations are taken from View Point 86, THE FOUR HORSEMEN - THE MASTERS OF WAR, which is a film by David Munro. Tom Gervasi (Director, Centre for Military Research) said in the same programme that a study was done showing what would happen if the billions of dollars spent on weapons were spent on something else, they found that "every billion invested would create 40,000 more jobs than a billion invested in weapons."