FROM THE BOQ: BUSINESS, POLITICS AND ETHICS #25

Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

If you had to choose between two paths for our country–one leading to military supremacy and a weak economy, the other to economic supremacy and a weak military–which would you pick?

Our country’s founders knew they didn’t have to make such a drastic choice–and this is implicit in the preamble to the Constitution:

We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America.

The common Defense refers to the military.

The general Welfare refers to the economy.

And you can see from the wording, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, that our founders intended a strong military and a strong economy for us–but neither military supremacy, nor economic supremacy.

Our country was established as a republic–not an empire.

And our country had both a strong military and strong economy into the early Twentieth Century–there was no need to choose between two paths so drastic as those presented in Dr. Stock’s two-valued question.

But in 1917–almost a century ago–someone chose a path for our country that would lead to military supremacy and a weak economy. 

The war in Europe, which had begun in 1914, was at a stalemate.  If either side (the Allied Powers or the Central Powers) would have won at all–it would have been a hollow victory.

This was expected to be the war to end all wars.  And, in a sense, it would have been–at least for a very long time.

But something went wrong. 

President Woodrow Wilson, who had claimed to be an isolationist, gave in to the naive nationalism of the American public at that time, and sent troops to Europe to fight on the side of the Allied Powers.  This action gave one side, in that European war, total victory over the other–thus beginning a chain reaction that continues today.

Most of our country’s problems, and many of the world’s problems, are arguably the result of that fateful choice made almost a century ago. 

Over two hundred years ago, a path was chosen for our country leading to a strong military and a strong economy.

But almost one hundred years ago, a path was chosen for our country leading to military supremacy and a weak economy. 

And if our country continues on this divergent path, it is doomed.  We the people of the United States have the power to get our country back on the balanced path originally intended–to save our country from self-destruction.

But we must act quickly.

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