Cut Military Spending? Scrap Trident?

john stewart

In 1998, the UN estimated that we would need $40 billion annually to sustain the entire WORLD population. This translates to roughly $58 billion today and would cover housing, food, clothing, health care, education, and a lot lot more. Any one of the countries listed in the picture above could provide that money if that where all it took.

You might be thinking that all that is needed is for a party to get in that will get into power that can reform the system and divert some of the money to meeting our needs, but capitalism cannot be reformed.

The closer a group gets to controlling power, or at least as groups get absorbed into the decision making structure, the divisions between rich and poor disappear from view and the status quo becomes less and less flawed. Preserving the current order (with the odd cosmetic difference here and there) becomes the goal.

As elections draw near there will be more and more calls to scrap trident, with the vulture political parties circling around our anger and horror about nuclear war and hoping to pick it apart for votes. No matter if we vote or not, or if the candidate agrees with us or not, the demand to scrap trident, by itself, is doomed to failure.

Many supporters of the SNP, the Greens, and the smaller socialist parties all think that the lip service for scrapping trident that their parties give now will translate into action if only we all get behind them and vote them into power, but lets look at what has already happened to see what will come down the line.

As the SNP have gotten closer to power they have had to change their posture so that they look appropriate for that power. This has manifested in their U-turn on leaving NATO, instead guaranteeing that an independent Scotland with them at the helm would remain a member.

The Trident missiles themselves (if not the warheads on them) are an american weapons system housed at Faslane under lease to the Royal Navy through a NATO treaty. It is impossible to scrap it without leaving NATO and the pissing off the US government.

The only reason the Greens and smaller parties can get away with still saying they would leave NATO is because they are not getting any closer to power at this time. They can remain a minority voice that will ultimately be ignored by whoever has power.

So let’s keep in mind that the cry to scrap trident is falling on deaf ears and by itself leads to a dead end of supporting political parties and electoral politics. Instead, as we shout out for trident to be scrapped, let’s also start shouting out for what we really need – a world without wars and a life where our well-being is met because we are alive – and let’s do it through building working class power with those who are around us.

After all, why back one party when we can build so that any of them would have to give us what we want least we take it for ourselves? And if we can take it for ourselves, well, that’s where real freedom lies!

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3 responses to “Cut Military Spending? Scrap Trident?

  1. Reblogged this on ¯_(ツ)_/¯ and commented:
    In 1998, the UN estimated that we would need $40 billion annually to sustain the entire WORLD population. This translates to roughly $58 billion today and would cover housing, food, clothing, health care, education, and a lot lot more. Many countries could provide that money if that were all it took.

  2. Not sure where that 4o0 billion figure comes from. Pretty sure thats less than the British zNHS budget.

    • Yeah, the NHS budges is around £115.4 billion for 2015/16. However, the United Nations Report on the World Social Situation 1997 says:

      “The additional costs of providing basic social services for all indeveloping countries is estimated at about US $40 billion a year over the next 10 years. This amount is less than 0.2 per cent of the world income of US$ 25 trillion. The sum needed to close the gap between the annual income of poor people and the minimum income at which they would no longer be poor is estimated at another US$ 40 billion a year. Thus, to provide universal access to basic social services and transfers to alleviate income poverty would cost roughly US$ 80 billion, or less than the combined net worth of the seven richest people in the world.”

      So it isn’t talking about getting everyone to the same level, but just raising the baseline – not that it could happen in a capitalist system without the kind of social upheaval that could just end capitalism and usher in a better system entirely.

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