Sunday, August 1, 2004

War Is A Racket

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was at the time of his death the most decorated U.S. Marine in history. He was twice the recipient of the Medal of Honor, one of only nineteen to be so honored.


War is a Racket is a short work by Maj. Gen. Butler, in which he takes a cynical view of the profit motive behind warfare. He points to a variety of examples, mostly from World War I, in which a few entrepreneurs and capitalists made great profits off the loss and the suffering of many and in spite of public cost.

It's divided into five chapters:

1. War is a Racket
2. Who Makes the Profits?
3. Who Pays the Bills?
4. How to Smash this Racket!
5. To Hell with War!

Quotes:

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives."

"A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can't end it by disarmament conferences. You can't eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva . Well-meaning but impractical groups can't wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war."

The complete War Is A Racket here