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Peace Culture or Economics

The problem with Marcella’s article on the Culture of War or Peace is that military economics often precedes and causes many of the cultural conditions to be amplified. So this press release is a point by point addition to the seventeen quotes on the chart in the Marsella article: Marsella, A.J. (2011). The United States of America: “A Culture of War.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, 714-728. Anthony J. Marsella, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Going clockwise around the Marcella chart he makes the following 17 points, which I have bolded, followed by my comments on each point in non bolded text. The ninth point, the large military budgets would be my main point and would be the main cause of the bad points or obstacle to the good points Marcella lists.

1) Peace, Non-Violence, Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution, Social Responsibilities and Duties Taught at all Education Levels

It is an excellent thing to teach these things, but they do not often stop a military industrial complex determined to perpetuate its existence through wars.

2) Lobbying and Lobbyist Activities Reduced and Monitored. Special Interest Groups Transparent

Lobbying is part of democracy, but excessive lobbying by commercial interests seeking large government favors needs to be curbed. Journalist and forensic accountant Greg Palast has found that each dollar of lobbying or campaign donations get returned about 350 times that amount in government favors, tax breaks, or spending. Since 1978 when I began following politics in earnest the growth of campaign spending has been exponential, doubling again every few years. Then Japan was famous for money politics, now I doubt anywhere else is nearly as bad as in America. I saw the death of investigative journalism in the Reagan years in Eugene as one radio station that covered all four political forums in the early eighties was covering none in the late eighties. Even then their were 44,000 lawyers in DC to about 2000 journalists to cover 535 congresspersons and the president, with about 5000 congressional staff and 15,000 government information officers of which 4500 were from the pentagon. Congress is hopelessly outnumbered then and it’s much worse today.

3) Isms (e.g., Sexism, Racism, Ageism) are to be Resolved. Diversity is prized.

This will help, but high military budgets and the social decay of empire fights against this process. Politicians use the fear based brain of half the electorate to foment division and seek expensive national security and local police security solutions to problems.

4) Populace is Active and Participatory in Citizen Affairs. Grass Roots

We in Wisconsin had over ten thousand a day for four weeks including three peak Saturdays of 40,000 to 150,000 and a recall election, but nothing stopped Walker from stripping labor rights from teachers and public workers. 15 million world wide protested the Iraq War February 15, 2003 and it did not stop Bush or even stop his re-election. Remember that Gandhi and King were both shot to death after leading successful nonviolent revolutions. Still this is a good goal, not a panacea.

5) Collective, Sociocentric, and Ecocentric Selves are Accepted

Yes we must make room for all.

6) Leaders are Principled, Transparent, Open, Guided by Law and Ethics, Responsible to People

I Haven’t seen much of this, lately, in the advanced stages of decline of a high military spending empire. Poll after poll shows the public wants one set of issues, while the donor class gets what it wants instead. Many politicians are unprincipled, opaque, guided by greed and donors.

7) Sustainability and “Small is Beautiful” are Ethics

In some parts of America this happens, but much more so in low military Europe.

8) Wealth Sharing, Reduced Salary Gaps and Wealth Accumulation, Charitable Donations Encouraged

We are getting the charitable donations, but the wealth divide, that has quadrupled the 1% income compared to the 99% rest of us the last thirty years from 1979 to 2007, continues to grow significantly since the 2008 recession. High military spending correlates stronger than income inequality, using the Spirit Level (2010) statistics. This all started with #1 nuclear weapons contractor General Electric spokesperson Ronald Reagan getting elected president. Actually may have started with the Lewis Powell 1971 memo to organize industry against all the liberal successes of the New Deal to Great Society period. The reaction to the post Vietnam cutting the military in half was to set up think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute and the lobby group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

9) Carriers of Militarism Discouraged (e.g., arms sales, large military budgets, gun laws)

The arms sales are a trivial fraction of the large military budget, and the legend of the NRA only grows under the stagnancy, fear, and lack of sharing growth with the middle class. This is due to the advanced stage of decline of a high military spending empire. Meanwhile our police are acting more and more like an occupying army.

10) Religions Honor Differences and Encourage Knowing And Respecting Others

Wisconsin Governor Walker has been caught on tape talking about “divide and conquer” strategies to achieve his goals. Militarists love to use religion as a wedge issue.

11) Spirituality as Connection, Awe, Reverence for Life and Others is Important.
Prizing of Engi (i.e., Interdependecency)

With all the religions trying to achieve world peace, why don’t we have it by now? High military spending and empire is the answer.

12) Democracy Considered Standard But Not Imposed

We can see in Iraq and the Arab Spring how premature attempts at democracy can be disastrous. Many institutions are necessary for democracy, including a free press and humble politicians like George Washington.

13) Cooperation & Collaboration are Important

But these arise best in an achievement oriented society not a power oriented society, meaning low military spending enhances these characteristics and high military spending enhances authoritarian control instead.

14) Peace, Harmony, Social Interest, & Justice at Person & Societal Levels

All wonderful things destroyed by high military spending control oriented empire societies.

15) National Department or Ministry of Peace.

The big blunder was the 1947 National Security Act renaming the War Department the Department of Defense. The CIA was created in that Act leading to covert operations abroad creating endless wars and Operation Mockingbird subverting the domestic press. Now the allies of those institutions are determined to undermine the United Nations. We have the National Institute of Peace thanks to peace Republican Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon when he was Appropriations Committee Chair from 1981 to 1986. Reagan’s first military budget passed 99-1, he was the one.

16) Peaceful and Non-Violent Entertainment are Promoted

I once heard that the average child saw 18,000 murders on television growing up. That was twenty years ago. How many people do they kill on video games today? That’s worse.

17) Hegemonic Globalization Discouraged – Cooperation with United Nations

The pentagon seeks to control the world’s resources as an obsolete notion left over from World War II. But China trades all over the world without a deep water navy. War with China is impossible with all the subcontractor work done there. The logic of today’s military falls apart on close examination. World trade is already controlled of, by, and for, corporate profits; why not complete the job of world governance and give the people a direct voice in a new international democratic institution. Today’s UN is just an association of governments.

More on control, militarism, and the social decay of empires:

Hint: to read this paper for free, you must click on the tiny word “read” in the middle of the bottom of the screen after you go to the above link on
For more information about how stages of empire apply to America:

Hint: to read this paper for free, you must click on the tiny word “read” in the middle of the bottom of the screen after you go to the above link on
Statistical basis for the connections of military spending to socioeconomic problems:

Hint: to read this paper for free, you must click on the tiny word “read” in the middle of the bottom of the screen after you go to the above link on

Dr. Peace, Dr. Bob Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute
best contact to ask Bob to speak to your group:
to leave message: 608-230-6640
for more info:
(Real Economy and/or Peace Economics free pdf on request by members of the press)
an archive of this yearlong press release campaign can be found at:


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