Military-industrial complexes

03 Mar 2004 17:05

Their economic importance: in N. America, Europe, East Asia, third-world countries with large industrial bases like India and Brazil. Political influence. Vs. university-industrial complexes.

The US military-industrial complex is very weird, in many ways, not the least of which is that it's hardly capitalist — or rather it exhibits very clearly the split between the interests of business and those of the market system. It uses market mechanisms, but largely to mobilize resources from outside; there is essentially no competition within the system, and extraordinarily little risk. (Large military contractors not only don't go broke, they hardly ever become small contractors.) The political economy here is something I do wish I understood better.

While we're on the subject, has anyone looked at the role of the US military-industrial complex in sparking the shift to the Sunbelt?