Militarism and American Technological and Scientific Progress

  • Paul A. Rosen
Keywords: Imperialism, Political Economy


Left-wing publications have frequently pointed out that American militarism is a basic economic and political prop supporting a shaky capitalist system. For example, the point was convincingly made in the MR editors' "We Can't Win the Cold War" (March 1956). It is less often noticed that the dependence of the United States economy on militarism takes not only the obvious form of providing a military demand for what would otherwise be unsold (and therefore unproduced) goods but also certain other forms which are less apparent but perhaps no less important. This article sets forth the thesis that American prosperity and economic progress depend upon scientific and technological progress, which in turn receive their chief stimulus from militarism. The article then examines some of the implications of this situation. To illustrate and support our basic thesis, we shall refer throughout to the recent Congressional Hearings and Report on Automation.

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